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“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you,”[1] said the angel Gabriel to Mary, the virgin, and that which was accomplished to fulfil these words is the reason we are here now. For if there had been no virgin birth of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, there would be no acceptable sacrifice for the atonement of our sins some thirty odd years later. Have you seen the similarity of these words to the words of our Lord Himself, when He said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you”[2]? It means that we have been overshadowed by the same power of the Holy Spirit that put Jesus into the womb of the virgin Mary and not only overshadowed her, but that same power is for us if we receive it for what it is.

As much as the word ‘overshadow’ means to have a larger object hover over a smaller object, it is important for you and I to see that the angel said to Mary, “and the power of the Most High will overshadow you,” which is the same power that we have received from the Holy Spirit. We have not received power to light a candle, but rather that same power that produced the virgin birth is in us, and if it is enough to do something as impossible as a virgin birth, then it is enough to do anything else that may be just as impossible, if not more impossible.

As such, it is important to see that the power available to us far exceeds the size of the problem that needs to be solved, and it is the same power that started Jesus on His road to Calvary that is now in us to bring Him back to the Mount of Olives. As Jesus has said, we must count the cost, which means we must take stock to see if we have the resources to finish the work we started.[3]

Noah is our human inspiration, one man with maybe the help of his three sons, assuming all three helped him. Or is it possible that one said yes and didn’t; another said no and repented, whilst the third said yes and did it? Is that why Noah is the man with three sons and not one, two, four or more sons? Look at the immensity of the problem facing Noah: One man and his axe facing the whole world, one man to build an ark 400ft x 75ft x 45ft high, and then to gather a pair of each animal[4] to bring them into the ark. It is literally using a mustard seed to move a mountain. And what a mustard seed Noah proved to be! If we are to speak of overshadowing, then surely we have to say the size of the work overshadowed Noah. However, Noah was never overshadowed by the size of the work God gave him to complete, but rather, he overshadowed the problem. Noah was bigger than the problem that faced him and he overcame the world of his day and its faith by obeying everything that He heard from God and persevering at it even if it took him 120 years. Obedience and faithfulness to that which he heard and from whom he received it; that was Noah’s secret.

Likewise now in the present situation, we are the present day ‘Knower’s’ preparing the ark for the day of Jesus’ arrival. Noah did not allow the problem or the task at hand to overshadow him, but he overshadowed the problem by dogged perseverance in cutting down tree by tree, laying down plank by plank and each nail at a time, knowing that he had the time to finish the task if only he didn’t stop.

The art of the overshadower is not to be overshadowed by the problem, but to overshadow the problem by laying down the answer to the problem line by line, day by day, precept by precept, until the answer to the problem is completed. So Noah cut down the trees one by one to make the planks he had one by one, laying down one by one with each nail one after another, knowing that the sooner he started, the sooner he would finish if he did not stop. It does not say Noah sat down and worked out how long it would take him, because to Noah, it did not matter how long it would take, but as long as one plank was laid down after another, he would eventually finish it. So he grew, as it were, the ark plank by plank, nail by nail.

That is what you and I have to do – grow – line by line, command by command, practice by practice, success by success, and if we were to look up and say this would take us one hundred years, we have no reason to fret or complain at all. For Noah was told that the Spirit of God would not contend with men for more than 120 years in his day, but the Spirit of God has already contended with us 2006 Julian years. Noah had a fixed schedule but we don’t, yet nevertheless, we are like Noah who knew he would and could outlive 120 years, for his father lived to 777 years and his grandfather lived to 969 years. His understanding of the problem in terms of time available was that it would take about one fifth at most of his lifetime, even at 500 years of age he still had 277 to 469 years left, time enough.

So, the first lesson in the art of overshadowing is to realise we have more than time enough, regardless at what age we start from, be it 18 or 88, because Jesus has given all who live and believe in Him an unlimited time extension when He said, “and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.”[5] If we hold onto this with all our faith, then you’d realise that we would also have to extend the lives of our enemies and detractors if they are to live to see our faith proved true, which is why our prayer for those who oppose us must be to keep them alive till Jesus arrives.

Thus for the overcomer, time is of no consequence, and you do not assess your time by the years left of your life, but your time by the work left to do to prepare for the years of LIFE. For your life shall not cease until all your work is done if you believe in Jesus’ words of John 11:26. Even if Jesus is not scheduled to return for another 10,000 years by the Father, then rest assured, you will have more than enough life and time to last the 10,000 years, for whoever lives and believes in Jesus will never die. The mindset and the actions prompted by your faith must be as mad as that of Noah’s in building an ark in the middle of a forest in a world that never rains, to prepare for a flood. So do not say you are too old or too young, neither fear what others fear – old age and death – for you will see neither before Jesus arrives, even if it is 10,000 years from now.

The second lesson of the art of the overshadower is to have a mindset different from all others. God said, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. As the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”[6] Herein then are the words of the OVERSHADOWER, our ways and thoughts must be at all times higher than others so as to overshadow, like a taller building overshadows a shorter one. It means our ways must be more noble, more generous, more gracious, more patient and more loving, not just bigger or larger and higher on moral grounds. That means, our ways must be that of the Lord’s and our thoughts must be that of the Lord’s. Jesus is the Way and the Holy Spirit knows the thoughts of the Father. So the ways and thoughts of the overshadowers are found only in the practise of Jesus’ words as we follow Jesus’ way under the supervision of the Holy Spirit.

If we followed men’s ways, doctrines and traditions, we will never overshadow the ways of men. So recognise that we must seek ways that are not men’s ways and thoughts that are not men’s thoughts. What men consider foolish is wisdom to us; what men consider impossible is fait accompli for us; what men consider wealth and riches is poverty for us; what men reject is what we accept; and so forth.

The mindset of the art of overshadowing is to find ways that no one else can go, and we go there. To think in ways men cannot think, as Phillip said, “Eight month’s wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”[7] …when faced with feeding the 5000 men. That is men’s ways and thoughts! Jesus’ ways and thoughts are 5 loaves and 2 fish, thankyou very much Father! The way you think, the way your thoughts lead you will determine whether you have begun to practise the art of overshadowing as an overcomer. As such, your thinking must not be futile like the thinking of the world is futile, but like the Lord’s. How you think will determine what you say, for whatever the heart is full of will come out from the mouth, and your heart can think as God has testified that God saw… that every inclination of the thoughts of his (man’s) heart was only evil all the time.[8] When you are lifted in your thoughts, you will be lifted in your ways, and likewise, so your words will reflect the way you think.

The third lesson in the art of overshadowing is in the art of saying. As Jesus said, “If any one says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.”[9] However, everyone has been struggling with faith and doubt in his or her own words. So the art of overshadowing is to say words that have no doubt and need no faith for them to come to pass. The art of overshadowing is to always speak the words of the Truth, not the truth, but the words of the Truth. For truth as men know truth, has no life, but it is the words of the Truth that have life, and as such, they are able to create and change the future from the present. In order to overcome the enemy, it is neither enough to not lie nor enough to speak the truth or what is true, but only to speak the words of the Truth, for His words are prophetic and timeless, outlasting even Heaven and Earth. When Jesus said, “Heaven and Earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away,”[10] He just showed us the words that would overcome all things, even the destruction of Heaven and Earth.

People pray and believe that which they say will come to pass if they do not doubt, for that is the Law of Faith, and it works for all people, not only Christians, just like the Law of Gravity. In order to overcome faith as Jesus overcame faith, we have to speak words that are indestructible and require no faith for them to come to pass, and these are the words of Jesus. Practised, expert use of the Lord’s own words in all situations will allow us to overcome the past, the present and the future.

To give you an example, one verse of Jesus that will overshadow all other prophecies and plans is: “Yes, I am coming soon.”[11] These words will come to pass even for those who do not believe them, and the outworking of these words will destroy all the prophecies, plans and works of all others. Thus, the art of overshadowing lies in the ability to apply yourself to the work and actions that will outlast those of others. Herein lies the moral strength to do what you say, to practise what you preach and to live by the words you say. If it is your own words, then your actions would not last, but if it is based on the words of Jesus, which you have heard and have spoken, then just as the house built into the rock overcame the river, rain and wind, so the overcomer learns to overshadow all the actions and works of all others by a dedicated practice of the words of Jesus, just like Noah laying plank after plank, nail after nail in an unceasing rhythm, not counting when he could finish the work but working till it is finished.

Finally, the art of overshadowing lies in a dogged, patient endurance, which is not distractible. Many are patient, yes, and try to endure, but fail because they are distractible. If you are distractible, you are destructible. When Noah was working with the wood, you can be certain that he had his fair share of splinters and bruises from the wood, and from his own hammer as well as the taunts and doubts of his family, friends and enemies. He would have had well meaning friends counselling him to give up and enemies who taunted him to give up, and even his own wife perhaps. I mean, how many wives would put up with a husband who goes and puts 120 years into a hair-brain scheme like building an ark for a flood in a world where there are no oceans or rain? You must not allow splinters to distract you for splinters are the little details that irritate you. Do not be overly sensitive, feel them, get them out, and get on with the task.

You must not allow bruises and broken fingers to distract you, bruises and fractures produced by you when you hit your own thumb and hand. Do not let your failures and weaknesses distract you. Your sins and your sinfulness is no obstacle, ever, when you walk the Way of the Overcomer.

Do not let the opinions of your family, friends and enemies distract you or stop you, for they were not the ones God spoke to, you are. Even if you heard wrong, your faith has already pleased God and God will work out the way to deliver you from your error, for “whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours,”[12] when your actions prove you have no doubt anyway. So, if what you say is based on the Truth, you will never be shaken.

So then, learn the art by firstly destroying the tyranny of time, change the way you think, consider what you say, and do what you say without ever giving up. Just like Noah, you will see your reward, and just like Jesus, you will have obeyed the Father exactly in what He commanded as you hold on to listening to Jesus and His words.

Then that same power you have is the power that overshadowed the virgin Mary, therefore nothing is impossible for you too. AMEN


[1] Luke 1:35

[2] Acts 1:8

[3] Luke 14:26-33

[4] Genesis 6:19-20

[5] John 11:26

[6] Isaiah 55:8-9

[7] John 6:7

[8] Genesis 6:5

[9] Mark 11:23

[10] Matthew 24:35

[11] Revelation 22:20

[12] Mark 11:24


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