Saturday, March 31, 2012


“…they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. However, when the disciples gathered round him, he rose up and went into the city…”

Acts 14:19 -20 (NKJV)

An adage in one of the languages in Nigeria when transliterated says “when the sun is hot and the flies are thick, use the horse’s sense”. That maxim describes the way in which horses pair, side by side, head to tail when the flies become too much for the tail of either horse to handle. By pairing, they help each other by warding off flies from the face of one another.

The story of Stephen as recorded in the book of Acts 7 ends with the account that the witnesses to the stoning laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. No one came to his rescue or help and he was said to fall asleep. In the case of Paul the apostle in the anchor passage, the Bible says he was surrounded after the stoning then he rose. The people that surround you determine the things you can survive. Examples abound in the scriptures where associations have led to positive outcomes. Naaman was guided to his healing by a slave girl; Joseph was directed to his brothers and consequently his destiny by a certain man in the wilderness. David had both Nathan and Gad as Prophetic voices over him. We all need the right associations.

We are called to compliment and lift each other up. Not to bring each other down via competition against one another. There is a commanded blessing on associations of unity and like passion. (Ps. 1:1; 133:3). John and James were killed but prayers went up to God for Peter and he was miraculously released from prison. The quality of a man’s destiny can be predicted by the quality of the associations he keeps. The person we look down on today might just be the solution to our most pressing need. It behooves us to find, keep and service our relationships. Like Elisha, we need to input a conscious effort to maintaining a close contact with those people we see are significant to our life in as many facets as there are. Jesus our perfect example had to work with not just one or two but twelve men. This gave him the honor of a king. The lack of people could lead to the downfall of a person.  (Prov. 14:28). It is said that one of the former presidents of Nigeria spends at least one hour daily making “power” calls. He goes as far as asking about each child by name. It’s no surprise therefore that despite his misgivings while he was on the throne, we still have quite a number of influential people vouching for him. We need to examine our circle of friends if indeed they are God’s right circle for us.