THAT YOU HAVE DONE SOME BAD THINGS DOESN’T MEAN YOU DESERVE TO SUFFER.
GOD CAN INTERVENE BETWEEN SOWING AND REAPING.
IN BETWEEN ACTION AND REACTION, THERE IS GOD’S GRACE AND MERCY.
- Pastor Mensah Otabil at International Christian Gospel Centre, Accra || Sunday Service
Today my message is titled ‘ARISE AND DEPART’.
One of the most destructive circumstances of life is finding yourself stuck in a wrong place, when you find yourself in some place that is not good for you but you are not able to move away from it. Sometimes we find ourselves in a wrong place because we were born into it. Other times it is because some people made decisions and put us in a bad place and some other times it is because of our choices and actions.
When you find yourself in a bad place what do you do?
I say that you arise and depart. Life generally has tough spots, what I am saying does not mean that every time you meet a tough place , you rise and depart. That will make you an unstable person who can’t fight any of their battles.
There are moments in our lives when we must get out from a certain place where life has locked us in. Those are the moments that we are talking about today.
Micah 2:10 (NKJV) – “Arise and depart, For this is not your rest; Because it is defiled, it shall destroy, Yes, with utter destruction.
Micah was a prophet to the kingdom of Judah. Micah was in ministry about the same time with Isaiah.
This prophecy was given to Micah at a time when the whole of Israel was going through a bad situation where powerful people were dominating the weak people in an evil way and there were several false prophets in the land. The people were in a very bad place so God raised Micah to go and speak about it.
This people had settled in the land with all the evil, and God sent Micah to say to them “Don’t settle here, arise and depart”. The reason why he said they should arise and depart is because the place was defiled.
Defiled means that the place was:
- Unclean – It was not wholesome, it is unhealthy and not good for your well being.
- Corrupted – something that has lost its purpose. It used to serve a good purpose but now it is no longer serving a good purpose.
- Degraded – something that has lost its power. It used to be valuable but now it has lost its value.
A defiled place is a destructive place and God warns the people if you stay there, it would destroy you. There are many things that can defile a place, it can be defiled by sin, by idolatry, by disobedience, by envy, by bitterness, by lust, by bad friends. When we find ourselves in a defiled place, we must not settle there, we must arise and depart.
I will illustrate this concept of rising and departing with three biblical stories.
- The Story of Abraham
Abraham departed from a land of idolatry.
Abraham was born in the Ur of the Chaldeans. That was his native land and he lived among his people and family. Abraham was living in a land of idolatry and God wanted to start something new with Abraham. For that new thing to happen, Abraham had to depart. Abraham got into idolatry because he was born into it. He didn’t know any better but God wanted to do something different with him. God wanted to reveal himself to him, and God couldn’t do that if Abraham was in the same place he was born into. He had to arise and depart. When God wants to do something new for you, He will demand something new from you.
For Abraham it was to rise up from depart from his familiar environment.
There are many Christians who have still not departed from the idols of their fathers.
Even these days, a lot of Christians respond to God, the way their fathers used to respond to idols. Our worldview is still African Traditional religion that is why these days people can’t simply believe in the name of Jesus, they want the name of Jesus plus something else.
You have to do something. In Christianity we don’t go to a man of God to do something, we go to hear the word of God. God always reveals Himself in His word.
Abraham had to depart from Idolatry.
- The Nation of Israel
Israel departed from living under oppression in Egypt.
Unlike Abraham who was in the Ur of the Chaldeans because he was born there, he was born into the wrong environment. The Children of Israel got into bondage because of the decisions of their fathers.
Their ancestors made choices in their time and going to Egypt was the best choice at the time because there was food in Egypt and Joseph had become the second most powerful person in Egypt. It was a good decision until a new Pharaoh that didn’t care about Joseph arose.
Abraham was born into his situation but these people ended up there because something that started right turned bad. God had to get them out because something that started right can turn bad. It’s not about the good old days, they are gone.
You may have been rich but now you are broke, if you keep living in your past heritage, you will stay in bondage for a very long time. Stop dreaming or talking about how things used to be, arise and depart.
- The Prodigal Son
The Prodigal Son departed from a low and miserable life.
The prodigal son was not like Abraham, he was not born into his situation. The prodigal son was not like Israel, someone else didn’t put him there either. The prodigal son got into misery by his own choices and actions.
So we are looking at three categories – (i.) You were born into it. (ii.) Somebody’s decision got you into it. (iii.) You got there by your own choices. But what ever the case the instruction is still the same – ARISE AND DEPART.
When people feel they got themselves where they are, they feel they deserve it. By the way, Karma is not Christian philosophy because between actions and reaction. There is God, there is grace, there is Mercy, there is favour, there is forgiveness. In Christian philosophy if you hit the ball against the wall before it gets to you, God can catch it. God can intervene between sowing and reaping. God is a Redeemer, the whole of the Bible is about redemption.
The prodigal son got into the mess and by the laws of karma he should suffer and wait to die and next time come as a monkey. But he came to himself and said “I messed up, I put myself here but I remember my father and I will arise and go back to my father”.
God can deliver you from what you were born into, God can deliver you from where people took you to and God can deliver you from where you took yourself into. Don’t sit down there and say this is my lot, this is how it is in our family, every one in my ancestral line goes through this.
You are Abraham, although every member of your family is here, God says arise and depart. You are like Israel, someone made a decision and now it is haunting you, arise and depart. Don’t stay there. You are like the prodigal son, you got into a bad place by your own decisions, you will arise and depart because this place is not your resting place.
Don’t stay in a defiled place, God wants us to depart from our defiled places. Don’t stay in bitterness it will destroy you. You must rise from envy, bitterness, greed or they will destroy you.
When we choose to arise and depart, this is what the Lord promises us
- God will help you to break out.
- God will take you through the gates. He is your way maker.
- God will be your head.
I came here this morning to tell somebody – RISE AND DEPART. The place you are in is defiled and it will destroy you. Maybe it is a sinful life, you must rise from it. Maybe it is a place of envy, you must rise from it.
Maybe it is a bad relationship, You must arise from it and depart. Don’t stay in a place God doesn’t want you to be. Don’t say my mistakes brought me here, rise up and depart.
Let us Pray
Father you have not called us to defilement. you have not called us to be prisoners of the bad situations that we find ourselves in. You have not called us to be prisoners of our bad choices.
You have called us to be free, so Father I stand before your throne and lift up your children that anyone who has found themselves in a defiled place, who desires to be free this day, in this moment break them out oh Lord, open the gates for them and be their head and their help.
I speak liberty to your souls. You will arise and you will depart in Jesus name.