WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 14, 2023
TOPIC: WHEN THE WORD OF GOD COMES TO YOU
BY T. O. BANSO
“While Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness” (Luke 3:2 New King James Version).
There is a difference between a man God has chosen and a man that human beings have chosen. A human being can anoint another person with oil but God is the one who calls people into ministerial offices. People may applaud a human being but that does not mean that God recognizes him.
People can claim to speak for God but that doesn’t mean He has sent them. God said in Jeremiah 23:21, 25; 27:15; and 29:9 that He had not sent those who prophesied falsely in His name. “They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD!’ But the LORD has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed” (Ezekiel 13:6 New King James Version).
Luke 3:2 says, “While Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness” (New King James Version). The holders of the highest religious title, the high priest, in the days of John the Baptist, were Annas and Caiaphas, but God bypassed them to speak to John the son of Zacharias also called John the Baptist.
Indeed, only one person could be the high priest at a time. The first High priest was Aaron and all high priests were appointed from the line of Aaron (Numbers 3:10). The office was hereditary and the position was held for life.
However, while the Israelites were under Roman domination, the Roman authorities began to appoint high priests for them. Valerius Gratus, the governor of Judea, deposed Annas about A.D. 15 after Annas had been in office for ten years. He appointed in his place Annas’ son-in-law, Caiaphas, in A.D. 18. Nevertheless, Annas still had much influence and the people continued to call him the high priest.
Annas’ continued influence is seen after the arrest of Jesus. The Bible records that the people who arrested Jesus led him first to Annas. “And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year” (John 18:13 New King James Version). Also, in Acts 4:6, the Bible refers to Annas as the high priest.
The Roman authorities appointed Caiaphas as the high priest, the religious head of the people, but God didn’t follow that appointment in choosing whom to give His word to, for the people. Caiaphas was the high priest and Annas, the former high priest, was there still wielding much influence but they were not God’s choice. God ignored them. Caiaphas had governmental endorsement, but God bypassed him. May God not ignore you. May you not become irrelevant to His programme on the earth.
It is better to have God’s backing than to have only the government’s support. It is better for God to anoint a person than for a man to only pour anointing oil on his head! It is worthless for one to be recognized by people but for God not to know one. It is unfortunate if human beings celebrate one but God does not acknowledge one.
Jesus says, “When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity’” (Luke 13:25-27 New King James Version).
It is better to be a saint (a holy person) than to be a celebrity. It is better to secure Heaven’s attention than for society to adore one. Evangelist and author, Leonard Ravenhill, said, “Preachers who should be fishing for men are now too often fishing for compliments from men.” This is an error. Jesus said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26 New King James Version). A preacher’s job is not to seek people’s compliments. Jesus warned, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces” (Mark 12:38 New King James Version).
John the Baptist was in the wilderness but Annas and Caiaphas were in their courts. God bypassed them and gave His word to John the Baptist. The Word of God that comes to a man makes Him seem like God. When the word of God came to Moses, he was no longer afraid of Pharaoh. Forty years after he fled the country, Moses returned to Egypt. “And the LORD said unto Moses, ‘See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh’” (Exodus 7:1a King James Version).
The American Standard Version renders this scripture thus: “And Jehovah said unto Moses, See, I have made thee as God to Pharaoh.” Another translation puts what the LORD told Moses this way: “I will make you seem like God to Pharaoh” (New Living Translation). In John 10:35-36, Jesus said, “If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world,‘ You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” (New King James Version).
The word of God came to John and he seemed like God to the Israelites. The attention of the entire nation shifted to him. Probably, the majority of the people didn’t care about Annas and Caiaphas again. They didn’t have the word of God! You need the word of God; you need the word from Him.
Matthew 3:1-2 says, “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, ‘ Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!’” (New King James Version). John the Baptist didn’t have material things that could make him attractive to people. He only had the word of God.
John the Baptist didn’t wear the best perfume, but he had the anointing! He was a fiery preacher. He was not wearing designer clothes! He was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. Nevertheless, Jerusalem, all Judea, and the entire region around the Jordan went out to him and he baptized them in the Jordan and they confessed their sins (Mathew 3:4-6; Mark 1:6).
Jesus Christ said of John the Baptist, “But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet” (Matthew 11:8-9 New King James Version). He said, among those born of women, there had not risen one greater than John the Baptist (verse 11a).
But John never began to speak until he received the word from God. He remained in the wilderness or the deserts until the time or the day of his showing, manifestation, or the beginning of his public ministry. No advertisement; no publicity. “So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel” (Luke 1:80 New King James Version).
The Bible also records other people in the Bible who received the word of God or that the word of the LORD came to. People like Shemaiah the man of God, Nathan the prophet, and Prophets Jonah, Zechariah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Haggai. May the word of God come to you this season. May you receive the word of God. May you avoid unnecessary competition and useless exhibitionism. “While Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness” (Luke 3:2 New King James Version).
When God gives you light, even the Word of God that you read and study will make more meaning to you. God will give you revelation when the Holy Spirit enlightens the eyes of your understanding (Ephesians 1:18). However, you must wait upon Him. If you don’t want to be just a storyteller, you must spend time with Him. You must be in His presence.
You may be in your desert or wilderness now but wait patiently for the word from God. Wait for the time of your manifestation. The word of God shall come to you in Jesus’ name.
However, when the word of God comes to you, obey. Do as John did. He went to deliver the word he had received. Don’t be like Jonah, who only obeyed God after spending three days and three nights in the belly of the fish (Jonah 1:1-17). To obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, let Your word come to me. Give me divine illumination. Let the eyes of my understanding be enlightened. Father, help me to be a minister of the New Covenant, not of the letters, but of the Spirit. I shall not just receive the Word of God but obey in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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