R E L I E F !
Exodus 8:15, “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the LORD had said.”
You found yourself in trouble beyond your ability, or beyond what you could bear, then you cried to God for help and promised to serve Him with all your heart and life, in holiness for the rest of your life, if only He could rescue you. You got into serious needs and embarrassment above your human power or solution, then you cried unto God, that if He could do this for you and remove the shame, that you would surrender all your life to Him and serve Him, and do His work, preach His word everyday and night. Then God listened to your prayer and did as you requested. But after you are relieved from the problem, pain or punishment, you forgot your promise to God? Such relief which made you to forget your promises to serve God and walk is a short relief and it will shortly bring greater destruction.
When God punished Pharaoh for his own sin of arrogance, the punishment was too painful that he cried to God and promised to obey God if He could stop the punishment. “Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, “Entreat the LORD that He may take away the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the LORD.”9 And Moses said to Pharaoh, “Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you, for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, that they may remain in the river only.” 10 So he said, “Tomorrow.” And he said, “Let it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God.” Exodus 8:8-10.
But immediately Pharaoh was relieved of the problem and pain, he hardened his heart and continued in his old way. “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the LORD had said.” Exodus 8:15. To his detriment, greater calamities overtook him.
God gives relief from problem or pain so that we can quickly repent and turn to Jesus Christ. This relief is like a golden chance, a time of grace. It is also like a second chance for those who have turned away from God and got caught in the web of Satan. The reality of this relief is that it’s a temporal period of grace, relief doesn’t last forever; it is when you make good use of it that real lasting time of refreshment comes from God, but when it is misused, as Pharaoh did, worst calamities ensue.
Relief can come in form of healing from sickness; God heals you so that you can have a better chance and health to serve Him then, so you can surrender your life to Him and serve Him with health and body in holiness and righteousness. But if after you have been healed, you continue in your sin, then worst thing will shortly overtake you. If you have ever received healing from Jesus Christ, it is not because of your righteousness or power, it is not because of what you did for God; it is because of a purpose – God heals you so that you can surrender your life to Him in genuine salvation and serve Him with that health. You may be a sinner and receive healing from Jesus, yes He does that, He heals you so that you can serve Him.
A sick man who did not even recognize Jesus was met by Jesus in the temple, Jesus Christ healed him, and, “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” John 5:14.
Relief from God can come in form of financial blessings, provision of job, clean financial opportunity, material things, so that you can use them to serve God more better than before, so that you can use them for God’s work of evangelism and to help people. But if after you get the blessing, you begin to use it for your personal and selfish purpose, or the blessing has even distracted you from serving God, the business or job has made you not to have time for your daily devotion or time for God’s work, then destruction is at hand. Such a person will soon experience poverty in all ramification with terrific destruction.
Relief can also come in form of human blessings. You said, “God, if you can give me a godly wife” You said, “God, if you can give me a godly husband” Or you said, “God if you can give me children” Then you said, “I promise to consecrate my life to You more than before, and forever. I will preach Your word everyday. I will throw myself into Your service, I will serve You with that wife, husband or children” Then God was entreated by your prayer and did as you prayed. But what about your vow of consecration now?
You found yourself in a serious trouble, legal case, storm of life or terrible crisis more than you can handle; you called upon the Lord and promised that if He would rescue you this time, you will surrender your life totally unto Him, you will walk in His way of holiness and righteousness, that you will serve Him with everything you have and with all your life. And God listened to your supplication, He did as you said. Now after you are relieved and rescued, and the siege is over, you have forgotten your vow and promise to God. Are you not fooling yourself and forcing God’s judgment upon your own head by your own hands?
Vow or promise to God can be a simple or small matter, in fact everyone of us has made one or two promises to God at different particular time; it can be you are in a journey, traveling on road or in the air, and things got worst, then you quickly promised God that if He would see you through the journey, you will serve Him. It may be you were looking for admission, and you promised God that you would serve Him if He got you the admission, that you will be crazy for Him, in serving and preaching His word. And now, here you are, you have forgotten because you are relieved?
How come you are deceiving yourself by giving financial offering to your church or to a minister of God, but you refused to give yourself to God in re-dedication and holiness? How dare are you cheating on God? You made an agreement with God to surrender all to Him and serve Him if He would do that thing for you, and after you got what you asked from God, you turned your back. Is it a simple matter to you to cheat and mock God? If you dare not cheat your President or General of Army, how come you think you can cheat God and go score-free? Is God a man?
Vow or promise to God is far more than giving or donating huge amount of money to a church or a man of God; it’s more than buying something for a church or a man of God, and it is beyond building houses for a church or a minister of God. The major and most important vow or promise God is expecting you to pay to Him, the reason why God brought relief for you and rescued you from that problem is for you to surrender your life to Him and to serve Him with your time and strength by living for Him in holiness and righteousness, by preaching His word to all men. The payment of financial vow is the least and last. The first thing God needs from you is your life, the paramount thing He wants from you is your salvation and sanctification. That was the reason He healed you and kept you to this day; that was the reason He rescued you and blessed you.
Your pastors and church may be so particular about you making financial vow, they may be majorly concerned about you paying your financial vow, but all your vow of offerings, payment of monetary vow, buying or buildings for God’s works are just useless if you have not surrendered your life to Jesus Christ in genuine salvation and holiness of life. God is not asking you to pay vow of money if you have not forsaken your sin; God does not need your offerings of vow if you are still living in your sin. God does not need your sacrifice of praises and thanksgiving if you still continue in your old lifestyle, what is the use to God?
Isaiah 1:11, 13, 16, 17.
“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?”
Says the LORD.
“I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of fed cattle.
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
Or of lambs or goats.
Bring no more futile sacrifices;
Incense is an abomination to Me.
The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies—
I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good;
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.”
The reasonable service God demands from you is your life. Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
For you to be alive to this day is by God’s mercy, relieving you from all attacks so that you can surrender your life to Him and serve Him. If you fail to make use of your time of relief to repent from all sins, to rededicate your life to Him; if you fail to discontinue in ungodly habit, if you fail to consecrate your life to Him in serving Him and preaching His word, then the next event will be eternal regret.
Isaiah 55: 6, 7
“Seek the LORD while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the LORD,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.”
If you will like to surrender your life to Jesus or to rededicate your life to Jesus, please click on this link and read
Be blessed in the mercies of God
Evangelist Gideon Akande
Revelation of Truth Evangelical Ministries, RTEM
Tel: (+234) (0907 394 3088