The devil uses two major spirits to rob people of their rewards, namely, abortive spirit and devourer spirit.
This is a spirit that does not want people to complete what they are doing to the point of receiving reward. This is the spirit that makes people quit before the time to enter into their reward comes. Something just happens to them and discourages them from continuing.
This spirit destroys the reward a person receives. It does not allow someone to enjoy his or her reward. It is this kind of spirit that kills people prematurely and denies them the life to enjoy the fruit of their labour.
Reward is never at the beginning, but at the end. Every organisation has its own reward system. When the reward system is not just, people don't give their best. The essence of the reward system is to compensate people for what they have done and motivate them to do more. 1Timothy 5:18 says, “For the Scripture says, ‘You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.’ And in another place, ‘Those who work deserve their pay!”
It takes faith for a person to continue to work until the reward comes. “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Heb 11:6 NLT).
God’s reward system is a fair and just one, unlike the reward system in the world. God will always reward you according to your work. “For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his father and will judge all people according to their deeds” (Matt 16:27 NLT). Your reward will not be more than your contribution.
1 Corinthians 3:8 says, “The one who plants and the one who waters work as a team with the same purpose. Yet they will be rewarded individually, according to their own hard work” (NLT). God is taking note of how you are working and your labour will not escape the notice of God.
In verses 12-15, Paul talks on how God will reward us at the end of this age: “Now anyone who builds on that foundation may use gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But there is going to come a time of testing at the judgement day to see what kind of work each builder has done.
Everyone's work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value. If the work survives the fire, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builders themselves will be saved, but like someone escaping through a wall of flames” (NLT).
Many people will cry that day when they see the work they have prided themselves in consumed by fire. They will shed tears because their labour has been in vain. They may build without God but their labour will be in vain. The Lord will test their work with fire. Any work that cannot stand the test of God's fire receives God's disqualification – He never knew the work; He never approved of it.
In 2 Timothy 4:14, Paul prayed that Alexander the coppersmith be rewarded according to his work to him. His prayer is consistent with the principle of God as stated in Revelation 22:12: “And behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to everyone according to his work” (NKJV).
There are rewards we get while we are here or earth for what we have done – earthly reward. The Bible says, “...You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.’ And in another place, ‘Those who work deserve their pay!’” (1 Tim 5:18 NLT) The Lord spoke to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great” (Genesis 15:1 NLT).
And there are rewards we get in heaven – eternal reward. Human beings and God will reward us on earth, but it is nothing to be compared to what is waiting for us in eternity, which only God will give us.
What your employer pays you for the service rendered is not your full reward – your reward is from God. Begin to labour in the Kingdom of God and in your secular job as one expecting a reward from God. Don't let your employer change you to become, for instance, a thief, because of his or her unjust reward system. He is not your rewarder. God is there to reward you on earth and in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The human reward system is not always fair. We have seen honest people being oppressed and denied appropriate reward while dishonest people are the ones being honoured and promoted. If the honest people know that it does not end here on earth with a man's reward or lack of it – there is eternal reward – they will not be discouraged. If we do not even receive reward from human beings or God before we leave this earth, we should not lose sight of heaven’s reward that is awaiting us in eternity.
Don't pursue reward on the earth and lose your reward in heaven. Don't allow the non-receipt of expected reward or commensurate reward make you lose the real reward waiting for you in eternity. “Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven...”(Matt 5:12 NLT).
Don't allow an abortive spirit to stop your journey for a reward in eternity. Don’t run in a way that you will not receive a reward.
Don’t fail to run to the point of getting a reward, both here on earth and more importantly in heaven. Let nothing rob you of your reward. Luke 6:23 says, “When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way” (NLT). Verse 35 also speaks of the reward in heaven:
“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked” (NLT).
No earthly reward is greater than heaven’s reward. But God still allows us to have some reward before we get to heaven for the real reward – eternal reward. This truth Jesus told Peter who was concerned about reward for himself and other disciples who had left everything to follow him.
“Peter said, ‘We’ve left our homes to follow you.’ ‘Yes,’ Jesus replied, 'and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come” (Lk 18:28-30 NLT).
I will stop here today and continue next week. See that nothing robs you of your reward. Let not earthly reward rob you of heaven’s eternal reward.