We had an amazing bible study at work last week and one question that came up was, “So do you definitely have to go through things as a Christian?” “Can’t you be a Christian and enjoy straight route like that? No troubles, no interruptions, just onward you go… smooth sailing”. Well, that’s a valid question in my opinion because I mean we speak of this awesome Father so why won’t He just allow you to smoothly sail the course of life. Why do we have the hills and valleys, why do we have the wilderness before the promised land, why do we have the test before the testimony or the trials before the breakthroughs or better still why do we go through the Valley of the Shadow of Death? I mean if I haven’t faced any ‘problem’ of any sort or haven’t gone through any training, am I walking right with God? In my honest view, that was a very honest question asked by the heart of a believer.
First of all, let me be a little harsh in disseminating the truth and sometimes the truth hurts. If you haven’t gone through anything that has challenged you (not defeated or overwhelmed you) but that pushed you to move out of your Comfort Zone, challenged your thinking, made you cry out to God, it’s simple…YOU ARE A BASTARD!! Harsh I know, but the Bible said it though not me. You are simply a bastard who is going absolutely nowhere in all of your smooth journey. Let’s hear from the one who addresses you as such, through His infallible Word.
Hebrews 12:6-8 KJV  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye BASTARDS, and not sons…
From this verse we clearly see I wasn’t making it up. It says whom the Lord LOVES he chastens. My dad would say He molds, He beats into shape, He straightens out. Then it continues to say He scourges every son He receives. If you are enduring chastening, if God is permitting some storms in your life, if life is giving you a little beating, if you are in the wilderness, know that God sees you as a son he wholly receives. The purpose ideally is to transform us from the mindsets and desires the world has offered us since we came on the scene of life. He’s training you for that role as a general in the kingdom. I mean who goes to war without training or which prince or princess takes the throne without grooming?
We are all eager for a good ending but we must remember that precious minerals like gold are refined in the hottest of temperatures. Like I said earlier, and verse 8 confirms, if you aren’t in training then simply God has not received you as a son and therefore you are a bastard! As someone jokingly on Facebook said, the devil is free to dance shoki or azonto on the road of your destiny lol. However don’t fret because God has given us all it takes to steady the path of our destiny, despite the ‘shoki’. He said demons and the devil himself are subject to us and nothing by any means shall harm us – Luke 10:19
It’s necessary for us to pass through some things for us to grow in the person that God has destined for us to be. God permits certain situations to make us grow, He’s more interested in your growth that leads you into His purpose for your life than your comfort.
The Holy Spirit used a rather strange analogy in dealing with me on this topic. The whole world and anyone can tell from one convo with me that sports is just not my thing. It has never been and I doubt it would ever be but you know the Holy Ghost has got a good sense of humor, and He decided that’s exactly how He was going to explain this.
Let me tell you why you should be a little worried when you’ve not been challenged in any manner or area of your life. Before I proceed to explain let me just say that I’m not saying be overcome by your trials rather look for the lesson in the test, look for what God was hoping you would learn when He permitted it to happen. Don’t fight your wilderness prayer by constantly binding the enemy. Moving right along, the question from the study stayed with me till the next day and as I performed- ‘You Still Love Me’ by Tasha Cobbs, and obviously killed it lool-in my room that is, the Holy Spirit said to me “In soccer who is the camera mostly on? And who is the one who is chased the most” and I said “the person with the ball!” Then He asked “And in American football? Rugby? Basketball?” I was like “Yooo what’s this? The person with the ball la”, what’s this sports thing You are doing. Then I reply “why are you asking me all? these” And He said “I’m giving you the answer to the question on your mind.” Oh my! My brain all of a sudden decided to reboot so it was taking a while to come on and catch on to what He was saying and then it finally hit me- ohhhhhhhhhh riggghhhhttttttt!! I get it! I get it
Let me give you the message I received. If the devil isn’t coming against you, it’s simple, you are not going anywhere or you aren’t going anywhere profitable in God’s purpose or Kingdom. Someone would rebut, maybe its because you are prayed up and have a hedge of protection around you. That’s very true but that doesn’t mean the devil wont still try, that doesn’t mean he won’t come and attack, who was more prayed up than Jesus but the devil still tried. So if the devil isn’t trying to attack or tempt you, you are of no importance to him. You have nothing that He wants or rather you already have what he wants to install. Just like how in soccer, if you don’t have the ball, the opponent isn’t really bothered with you. If you are a defender, midfielder or striker but unconcerned about the ball, ain’t no body going to bother with you.
James 1:2-3 KJV My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. …
As Christians we are the ‘player’ with the ball (which is our purpose or our calling) with an intention to get it into the net and as we run through life with that ball, the devil is going to be like the defenders and midfielders of the other team who try to prevent you from making that goal. They would push, pull and tackle you so you don’t get the ball into their net. Sometimes they wouldn’t mind breaking the rule like Suarez did (see at least I know something) just so you don’t get the ball into the net! The devil said to God in Job 1:7 I’m going to and fro the earth and in 1 Peter 5:8 we see that he’s looking for prey to devour, he’s always on a hunt for passionate Christians who want to help build the Kingdom of God, those who have the ball and are aggressively making it towards the goalpost, those who want to run the race and finish their course ( 2 Timothy 4:7)
So if He isn’t bothering with you, it’s two things; you are either not with the ball or do not have plans of getting the ball. You are just one of those players who simply won’t go looking for the ball and even when it comes to you, you just play with it with no intention of scoring the goal. The devil would not even bother with you because then the plan of God (scoring the goal) won’t prevail ORRRRR second thing is you are on his team…period! Do you see players fight amongst themselves on the field or court? I mean I don’t watch football but if it happens I’m sure it’s very rare well unless you are Balotelli lol but really? you’d never see a member of one team let’s say Arsenal prevent a fellow Arsenal teammate from scoring a goal that would be a win for them but thennnnn again I did say Arsenal hehe but yeah you get my point. (I’m going to get into so much trouble for this)
Oh my! I just realized how I’m just going on and on to get my point across. I pray the message is sort of clear amidst the chaos. What I’m trying to say is that we go through our wilderness to train us to OWN the promise land and any other place or position God places us in. We also go through the wilderness because the enemy sees you have the ball; your purpose and can’t have you score a goal, so he comes against you. Fortunately, for God to permit it, there is a purpose so don’t be discouraged because He works the bad and ugly all for your good. If you are going through some things in your walk just know that you are not alone, there are a lot of us out there. Ultimately, there is no temptation that you have experienced but that which is common to man but GOD IS FAITHFUL, WHO WILL NOT SUFFER YOU TO BE TEMPTED ABOVE THAT YOU ARE ABLE BUT WILL MAKE A WAY TO ESCAPE THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO BEAR IT (1 Corinthians 10:13). Finally, finally, you need to learn to dance and laugh in the midst of it all because God would always lead us to victory, just trust Him!
Take care and stay blessed.