Where would you have been without God? What would your life be like if God had not helped you, protected you, saved you, provided for you, healed you, delivered you and transformed you? Had it no been God who is on your side when the devil rose up against you, and tried to destroy your life, it would have been a picture of a complete disaster. If you think you can navigate life successfully without God, you are deceiving yourself. You might say; ‘I have gotten along fine without God so far’, but have you really? Who gave you life, protected you, provided for you and showers you with blessings all these years? Are you going to take the credit for all those things?
In this message, Fr. Mbaka narrates what would have happened if not for God’s intervention in the lives of His people and urges the people of God to always affirm the difference that God makes in their lives to continue to enjoy His divine presence.
If not you God who is always on our side, I don’t know how our world would have looked like. If it had not been you O Lord, the devil and his agents would have destroyed our lives long time ago. But we thank you Lord for your presence that has envelopes us, and for not allowing the plans of the evil ones to come to pass in our lives.
God wishes to bless you today, with his word taking from Psalm 124 titled, ‘’if not God who is on your side’’. The devil is not happy with the children of God. He is always moving around looking for someone to devour, and to inflict one pain or the other on you. But we thank God for His presence in our lives and for not allowing the devil to succeed with his plans.
What if the lord had not been on your side all these years?
Therefore, People of God, I want to ask you this question; what if the lord had not been on your side all these years? Do you imagine how your life would have been? If it had not been the Lord who is on your side, do you know what would have happened to you? Even if you think you are passing through a lot, if not God, it would have been worst than that. So, this message is more of a testimony, thanksgiving and appreciation to God who has not left you all by yourself, but always on your side, if not for any other thing, for His Grace that has been sustaining you in the midst of the struggles of life.
If it had not been God, Jesus and for the sake of the Holy Spirit, you and I would have perished long time ago. Psalm 124 says,’’ If the lord had not been on our side when people rose up against us, they would have swallowed us alive when their anger flared against us; the flood would have engulfed us; the torrent would have swept over us; and the raging waters would have swept us away. Praise is to the lord who has not let us to be torn by their teeth. We have escaped like a bird from the hunters’ trap. The trap is broken, and we are free. Our help is from the lord, who made heaven and earth’’. Ps. 124 describe God’s merciful deliverance upon His people and their appreciation of what He has done. The psalm imagines what would have happened if God had not intervened to help, and what would have happened without God.
Today’s reflection is taking from this Psalm. There is nobody who has not for once, passed through ugly situation that would have destroyed him /her if not for God’s intervention. It is a picture of complete devastation without divine intervention in your life. Therefore, this message is meant to take you back to your memory lane to recall those critical times in your life when God showed up for you, and that which the devil planned to befall you did not come to pass just because God is on your side. I want you to think of a time when you were completely dependent on God, a time where if God had not come through for you, you would have perished. Always remember that you escaped from the plans of the evil ones not because of your skill or ingenuity, but because God intervened to help you.
Affirm the difference that God makes in your life
I encourage you today to affirm the difference that God makes is your life. The word ‘if’ focuses on what might have happened if not for God. If the lord had not been on our side, we would have been destroyed. The psalmist uses striking flood imagery to highlight this difference in verse 2-5 of Ps.124 where he said, ‘’if the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us, they would have swallowed us alive when their anger flared against us, the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us…..’’. If the lord had not been on your side, it would have been all over but it’s not all over, you survived the attack of the evil ones only because of God.
It is important to review and acknowledge God’s past deliverance in your life in order to give you confidence for the present and hope for the future. The message should also prompt you to ask yourself; where would I have been without God?
Where would you have been without God?
What would your life be like if God had not helped you, protected you, saved you, provided for you, healed you, delivered you and transformed you? Jesus said in John 15:5,’’ I am the vine, you are the branches, if a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing’’. Do you believe this, that without God in your life, you could do nothing of lasting value? Gal. 6:3 says, ’’If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself’’. If you think you can navigate life successfully without God, you are deceiving yourself. You might say; ‘I have gotten along fine without God so far’, but have you really? Who gave you life, protected you, provided for you and showers you with blessings all these years? Are you going to take the credit for all those things?
You should therefore try to depend on God for His help after which you acknowledge Him and not stealing the glory for yourself. Learn to Praise God for His protection and deliverance, and for all He has done for you. Ps.124: 6-7 says, ‘’praise be to the lord who has not let us be torn by their teeth. We have escaped like a bird out of the hunters’ trap, the trap has been broken and we have escaped’’. You don’t get out of trap on your own. God protects you from danger, and rescues you when you are trapped in any areas of your life. So, how appreciative and grateful are you unto God? How do you show God that He is good to you? God makes all the difference, He helps you against all the odds and so you need to praise Him.
The difference of His presence
The good news is that what might have happened to you didn’t happen. You might have been trapped in sin for life, but that didn’t happen. You might have died without Christ and gone to an eternity in hell, but that didn’t happen. And the reason it didn’t happen is because of God. If not God who is on your side in the labor ward, you and your baby would have landed in the mortuary. If it had not been God, you would have died the day you were born, or probably be deformed when the nurses were trying to bring you out. There are some of your mates who have died long time ago. That you are alive is not by your making but God’s. That you sleep and wake up hale and hearty every day is because of God. Have you not heard of people who go to bed and could not wake up the following morning or people who go out and could not come back alive? If not God: you would have died of that sickness; you would have remained in bondage for life; you could not have gotten a means of livelihood; you could not have gotten married, let alone bearing children. Do you know that your Guardian Angels are at work always, protecting you from the plots of the evil ones? How careful do you think you have always been especially on the high way if God has not been protecting and guarding you? If not God, your enemies would have destroyed you. But because God is on your side, He will prepare a table for you in the presence of your enemies. Ps 110 says; ‘’ sit at my right hand till I put your enemies beneath your footstool’’. All the plans of the enemies will be destroyed because there is a Mighty God who is on your side. For the sake of God, your story will change, and you will receive new miracles for testimony
If not God, there is nobody who is qualified to be a priest. I, Fr. Mbaka would not have been a priest, going by what I passed through during my seminary formation. If it had not been God who is on our side, the Adoration Ministry would have died at GTC after the killing of 14 worshippers by the government of Chimaroke and the consequent closure of Adoration Ministry. The waters of the enemies would have engulfed us; their torrent would have overwhelmed us. Yes, the raging waters of their fury would have overwhelmed our very lives. But we praise the lord who did not let their plans come to pass, and we are now living a life of resurrection.
If it had not been God who was on the side of Nigerians during Ebola epidemic, we would not have survived it, we would have perished, languished under oblivion. This is because Nigerians lacked medical facilities to war against Ebola.
Life is a battle field, and Christians are not exempted from the battles. In fact, God puts us right on the front line. As a Christian, you must be ready to experience persecution, and suffer for your faith. People get angry at you when you speak up or stand up for the truth. But in spite of this, let your heart not be troubled because God is on your side. The bible is full of God’s promises to protect His people. Romans 31 say, If God is for us, who can be against us? For sure, you don’t need to be afraid any more. Ps.118; 6 says, ’’the lord is on my side, I will not fear. What can man do unto me’’? God promise in Isaiah 43; 2 that, ‘’when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you, when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned’’. Ps 121: 7-8 says, ‘‘the lord will keep you from all harm, He will watch over your life, the lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forever’’.
Learn to talk about God’s intervention in your life
Learn how to talk about the goodness of God in your life. Tell others how God has helped you. Why were you able to escape the devices of the enemy? It is because the lord is on your side. We should always testify that God is the one who helped us when we were in trouble. Ps.115: 1 says,’’ not to us, o lord, not to us but to your name be the glory because of your love and faithfulness’’. Verse 8 of Ps.124 says, ‘’our help is in the name of the lord, the maker of heaven and earth’’. Ps 121:1-2 says, ‘’I life up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from, my help comes from the lord, the maker of heaven and the earth’’. Have you escaped from the trap and troubles of the evil ones? Have you survived the flood and attack of the enemy? Don’t take the credit for yourself, but give credit where it is due. Give God the glory for what He has done for you.
In Mark 5: 19, Jesus delivered a man who was possessed by many demons. The man begged to go with Him, but Jesus didn’t let him and told him, ‘’Go home to your family and tell them how much the lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you’’. You need to testify to people how God helped you, and how He rescued you when you were helpless and trapped. Encourage others to trust and depend on God too for their help, not only for the struggle in life but for their salvation. Your testimony can encourage others to recognize their need for God, to understand that they are completely dependent on God, and that they cannot make it without Him.
Psalm 207 says, ‘’some trust in chariot and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the lord our God’’. Too many people trust in their own abilities when they need to be trusting in the lord. When it comes to salvation, some people think they don’t need God, that they can make it to heaven on their own. Act 4:12 says, ‘’salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved’’. Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ. Our help is in the name of the lord, who made heaven and the earth.
If it had not been God, it would have been a picture of complete devastation
The presence of Jesus will always make a difference in your life. In Mark 4, Jesus and His apostles were inside the boat, and there was a fiery storm that made them to be terrified. They went to Jesus where he was sleeping and said, ‘don’t you care if we perished’. Jesus told them not to be afraid and calmed the stormy Sea. Again, in Mathew 14, immediately after the multiplication of the loaves of bread, the disciples got into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, and Jesus went up to the mountain to pray. While the disciples were in the boat, a strong wind came up and they were terrified. At about three o’ clock in the morning, Jesus came towards them, walking on the water. They were terrified the more because they thought it was a ghost. Seeing that, Jesus told them not to be afraid but to take courage because He was around.
If there is any storm that is attacking your life now and it may remain a second for you to perish, I stand in these words of God and by the power in the name of Jesus to tell you not to be afraid, that Jesus is on your side, and for the sake of Jesus, the devil cannot destroy you. There will be a change of story in your life and you will testify to the glory of God in Jesus Name, Amen
God will never cease to be on your side and you will continue to survive the attack of the evil ones again and again. This is because the accusers of the brethren have been thrown down. If not God: Could Sarah be able to conceive and given birth to Isaac in her old age? Could Rebecca be able to conceived and given birth to Esau and Jacob after so many years of barrenness, and could Rachael be able to give birth to Joseph and Benjamin? If it had not been God: the Israelites would not have been able to cross the red sea(Exodus 14), Sanballat would have killed Nehemiah(Nehemiah 6), David would have lost his life in the hands of Goliath(1 Sam.17), Meshack, Shedrack and Abednego would have died inside the furnace of fire(Dan 3), Daniel would have died in the Den of lion(Dan 6), Joseph would have died in the land of slavery in Egypt(Gen.37), Benaiah would have been eaten alive by lion(2 Samuel 23), the dried bones would not have come back to life(Ezk. 37), the wall of Jericho would not have fallen at the marching around the wall by the Israelites(Joshua6), manner would not have fallen from heaven for Israelites(Exodus 6) and water could not have flown from the rock(Exodus 17), Salmon and Rehab could not have been able to come together to beget Boaz, and Ruth could not have been able to get married to Boaz and given birth to obed after losing her first husband and was barren for so many years. Obed became the father of Jesse, who was the father of David, the descendant of Jesus Christ.
If it had not been the lord, peter would have gotten drowned the day he was walking up to Jesus on the water (Math.14), Lazarus would not have come back to life after dying for four days and was already smelling (John 11), the dead son of the woman of Nain would not have come back to life ( Luke 7), the daughter of Jarius would not have come back to life(Mark 5), Dorcas would not have come back to life (Acts 9). The woman with the issue of blood would not have received her healing (Mark 5). But with God everything is possible. Jer. 32: 17 says ‘’Nothing is too hard for God to do’’. But because of God, you have conquered.
What difference does the presence of God makes in your life? Remember, if the lord had not been on your side, you would have been swept away. If the lord had not been on your side, you would have perished. If the lord had not been on your side, you would have been trapped. If the lord had not been on your side, there would be no hope, no deliverance, and no salvation. Indeed, the enemies comes to kill, steal and destroy your life, but because of God, you will not be killed neither will you be destroyed but live to declare the goodness of God in the land of the living; you will continue to escape from the plot of the enemies and you will conquer them. Rev.12; 11 says that you have conquered by the blood of the lamb and the word of your testimony. It is neither by might nor strength but by the spirit of God.
Because of God, the barren will be conceived, the sick will be healed, the poor will be rich, the captives will be set free, the cursed will be blessed, the disappointed will be appointed in Jesus name, Amen. For the sake of God, there will be reversal of your captivity; the sorrow of the night will be over; there will be joy in the morning. Your destiny will be blessed. Goodness and mercy, joy, success, long life and prosperity, signs, wonders and testimonies will be your portion in Jesus Name, Amen.