Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Keep Them Alive

And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. (Gen 6:19)

In a world where God had lost faith in humanity, he found only one man he could trust. His name was Noah. He took Noah, put him in a wooden ark and entrusted a pair of every animal species to him. Noah and his family were to feed and preserve human and animal life until the coast was clear. God had found a faithful steward. 

God is always looking for stewards who can protect, preserve and propagate the life in anything He entrusts them with. A fetus? An idea? A vision? A family? A million dollars? A promise? Hope?

Noah had a huge responsibility. He had to lead his own family, keeping everybody happy and agreeable,(in-laws inclusive). He had to make sure the monkeys weren't bored and that the birds got enough exercise for their wings. He had to cater to the owl's irregular sleeping habits - making sure everyone was quiet enough to afford them their afternoon sleep. Noah had to LEAD. God counted on him to ensure everyone and every animal thrived outside of their natural habitat. 

Can God trust you to represent Him well in crises situations? Can you inspire yourself and others to still call God "God" even in trying, uncomfortable times? 

God thinks generationally. When His treasured truths become unpopular in a generation, He finds someone in that generation to entrust them to. He expects these ones to keep them safe and pass such on to succeeding generations. This was what He did with Noah. And Abraham. And the Early Church. Let us receive grace to be life-preserving stewards of God's trust.

Pause and Ponder
If things multiply in my hands rather than die, God will never hesitate to give me more.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Walking With God

"And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him." (Genesis 5:24)

The first ray of hope after humanity's fall came in the person of Enoch. Somehow, he exempted himself from the sinfulness in the world into which he was born. He found God and stuck with Him. And he found his life's meaning in this relationship. Unlike many before, around and after him, he did not just live and die. He did not expire, he upgraded. 

There is a difference between allowing our natural life to play out its earthly course on the one hand; and upgrading it to an eternal life on the other. Our lifetime is a timed opportunity. Enoch ceased it. Others did not.

Walking with God does not mean living in isolation. I am sure Enoch led a regular life. He had a wife and family. Did he have a favorite sport, a best dish and his own kind of humor? I bet he did! And he must have had a normal job too. But he still "walked with God". Walking with God begins with inviting him into our lives : all of Him in all of it. It is in relating with him as a father, friend, adviser, confidant and sounding board. Living by His standards. Not by the world's. 

When we have chosen to walk with God we will have a different spiritual life. This will make us do "natural life" differently.

God cannot be known outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is the real advantage that we have over those who are dead. We have not run out of time to make the decision to upgrade from hell-bound to heaven-filled. Enoch's epitaph is a scriptural verse that's worth reading and rereading. And reproducing in our own lives. 

Pause and Ponder
All of life is an unintended cosmic distraction, except it redirects us to the source of true life - and keeps us attracted to Him.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pray Your Way Out of The Blues

"So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? " (Genesis 4:6, NKJV)

Before Cain sinned in killing Abel his brother, he opened the door to Satan by being angry and sorrowful. God gave him an opportunity to shut that door. He invited him to a conversation. He asked him a prompting question: why? Cain couldn't find a good reason. But he held on to his bitterness until it led him to murder, judgement and banishment. The next time you find yourself angry, bitter or depressed - open your Bible and see if you can find a good reason why. There are NONE.

To deal with the anger, we can redirect our attention to God's goodness and love. To quell the sorrow, we can remind ourselves of the temporary nature of emotions. They change with the next minor event. But the factual basis of our joy - our value before God and our assured place in His heart - doesn't change. Emotional discomfort like sadness and anger are opportunities. Both for growth and for loss. When we give them to God in a prayer conversation, He uses them to strengthen us. If for instance you are sad because of a financial loss or a wayward child, if you can hand that emotion to God at that moment and let Him take it off you, you will realize that you become permanently unmoved by similar circumstances in future. You grow an immunity in that area of your life. It looses its ability to hurt you.

The devil can also use them to trap us. It all depends on who we choose to hold a conversation with. God knows the right phrase, flashback or scripture verse to snap you back into proper perspective. Give Him an audience. Don't shut Him off like Cain.

Candid, Bible prayer has among its benefits the overhauling of our emotions : the realignment of our thoughts and perspectives to God - the true source of joy

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Don't Bother Looking

"So when the woman SAW that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate." (Genesis 3:6, NKJV)
Here is a lesson to learn from the first mistake that a human being ever made : don't bother looking. It is better not to sniff what we know we must not swallow. It is safer not to taste what we know we must not eat. Don't investigate what you cannot participate in. Why bother to read the name plate on death's door. There is nothing fascinating at the edge of sin's cliff. There is so much to do and enjoy on the plain paths of truth. The Bible advises not going there in thought, fantasy, role-play or pretense if  we never want to go there in real life. It's not worth the risk.

Eve lost the major battle when she looked away from the plush and verdant splendor of Eden to focus on the forbidden tree. If anything is wrong, then staying 100 miles away from it is always better than staying 99 miles away.

Sin is flirtatious. The devil could be quite friendly - but he is not a friend. The Bible says to flee from any sliver of suspicious gesture from those two. Absolute separation was God's prescription for Israel. It is Christ's commandment to the church. The first New Testament commandment is to love God with our whole being. Nothing is left with which to wink at God's enemy.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Managing You!

"The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. " (Genesis 2:8, NKJV)

In Genesis 1 we were introduced to God as Orator-Creator. He spoke simple words to create. Space and Time - the universe and its many epochs - fell out of God's lips. In the narrative of Chapter 2 a different theme is developed. We can observe God as Manager of Himself. God, apart from his creative and oratory abilities, is also a Gardener, a Sculpture and a Realtor. Eden, Adam and the first human home were immediate results of these divine talents.

For you and I to effectively manage or lead anyone or anything else we have to master and manage our own selves first. Creation was a success because God knew when to wear His Gardner-cap, His Sculptor-cap and then His Realtor cap. We need to learn this from Him.

The only human that I can lead without the possibility of rebellion is me. The easiest person for you to manage is you. Why not start there? Proper self-leadership is a divine trait. Let's ask God for wisdom to do it effectively. Everything else becomes a little more complicated after that.We all have multiple responsibilities, roles, talents and obligations. Wisdom is in knowing when to do what, what to to next and how to seamlessly transition between them. Get God involved. He's done it before (in fact He's a master at it) and He'll show you how.  Don't say 'I can't' or 'it's hard'. You can, because God is! It's easy because God's involved. Have a balanced week!

Remember this: Focus eliminates the complexity in your view long enough for you to reduce the complexity in your work. Living one day at a time doing one thing at the moment is a sound philosophy for success.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Let There Be Light

And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)

God is not talkative. Every word He speaks is carefully selected and for a definite purpose. Some of His words are creative. Others are informational, corrective or instructional. The first statement that God made was creative. He spoke light into existence in the midst of chaos and darkness. As powerful as God is, His environment would not have changed if he had kept quiet or spoken the wrong words.

The best example to follow is God's. And the first thing God did in a chaotic situation was to speak definite, creative words that changed the environment. Why not start by doing the same in your own dark situation?

As a child of God you share His creative genes. You carry power and solutions within you. The way to release and apply them is to first open your mouth. Speak creative words. If you are sick, speak health. If you are low in cash, speak prosperity. Declare the solution, the world is waiting in pains for you and I to light the darkness, calm the storms and bring an end to its chaos.

This morning, speak to create and not just to report or describe. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Growth and Purpose are Interrelated

"All of God's ways are highways of PLEASURES, and all His paths are paths of PEACE" (Prov. 3:17, Paraphrased)

If we get it right, by design, the path of our personal growth must align with the path of God's purpose in our lives. Otherwise God will be working at cross-purposes with Himself in our lives. Destiny and maturity form the 2-fold objective of divine activity in any human : one cannot be achieved without the other. Your God-given work will make you grow more in God. Your growth in God will always set you up to do more of God's will for you.

Here is an acid test for deciphering if this new job/ministry opportunity is from God: has God prepared me for it and will it make me grow more in conformity to Christ?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Author and The Book

The most significant thing about what we say is who we are. Reputation is the most critical factor in communication. Dictionary words take up different meanings depending on who we hear them from. We briskly peruse and trash brilliant words written by a nameless editor in the daily paper. But the unintelligible scribbles of a toddler is like diamond beads in the eyes of a parent. Love letters touch the heart not because the words are heavenly, but because the writer already occupied a prime place in the reader's heart.

My Bible is precious to me not because it is poetically sublime or scientifically advanced. Not for its factual consistency or its historical accuracy. Not for its transcendent artistry or anecdotal marvels. I love the Bible because I love God, it's author - and that makes all the difference. I am interested in the Bible because it strengthens my love for God. The book is just a facility that draws me into further intimacy with the person of the author. I quite understand the way people who haven't met God trash the Bible. I don't expect other parents to treasure my toddler's scribbles.

So here is a handshake to my non-christian friends. Let's not bash the book until we have met the author.  email me me if you care to know more. He is a heart-cry and a few intelligible words away.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Get God's Perspective On The Problem

"And this is a simple matter in the sight of the LORD; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand." (2 Kings 3:18) 

Three kings had formed an alliance to go to war. As they advanced into enemy territory, they got lost and became stranded. They ran out of supplies - food, water and of course, morale. Judah, Israel and Edom's kings and armies were stuck in the middle of nowhere with the enemy waiting to pounce on them anytime. One of the three kings was so confused he started blaming God for their predicament. He cried out, "Oh, I think the LORD really brought us three kings together only to let the Moabites defeat us!"

Let's get this matter settled in our hearts once and for all : God never deliberately leads us into trouble of any kind - sickness, loss, divorce, pain, poverty - you name it. Our loving Father doesn't lead us into the enemies' camp and leave us for dead - just for "trips"

But a second of these allied kings decided to do something that you and I also have to learn to do. He decided to seek God's true perspective. While his partner was in a guessing game,WONDERING what God thought about the issue, Jehoshaphat decided to find out from God Himself. He sent for Elisha, God's spokesperson. And the news was good. Even though these trained warriors were already planning their own funeral, God was not loosing any sleep. God furnished them with all the supplies they needed. He also helped them to defeat the enemy.

From God's vantage point - His divine perspective - your worst imaginable problem is as simple as can be. If God is not panicking, and you are on His side, then you shouldn't be either.

So how do we actually do this in the real world? I'm glad you asked. God's thoughts and perspectives on any matter are contained in the B-I-B-L-E. This weekend, let's endeavor to quit playing the guessing game. It's a torment to our christian minds. Let's find scriptures that speak to our areas of concern. Do what those scriptures say and expect God to come through on His own side of the bargain.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

How To Respond to Those Who Oppose Your God-given Assignment

When Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard about our plans, they started insulting us and saying, "Just look at you! Do you plan to rebuild the walls of the city and rebel against the king?" I answered, "We are servants of the God who rules from heaven, and he will make our work succeed. So we will start rebuilding Jerusalem, but you have no right to any of its property, because you have had no part in its history." (Nehemiah 2:19-20, CEV)

#1.  Stay in Love : Don't let haters infect you with hate. Pray for them

#2. Listen with a filter on : Give them an audience. Listen to their argument. Critics can be ill-willed advisers, sometimes

#3. Adore and refer: Bring God into the equation. Point everyone to Him

#4. Commit: Stay focused on the job and overcome the temptation to be distracted

#5. Complete: Finish the job, dust your fingers and raise your hands in praise to God!

So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days. And it happened, when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done by our God. 
(Nehemiah 6:15&16)

Here is an advice - send out a general broadcast of your dedication/completion ceremony in 52 days' time. But send special invitations to your greatest antagonists. It's only a matter of time, men are fickle : those who say it can't be done will soon be praising the God who has chosen to do it through you. 

GOD WILL NEVER START IN THE NATURAL WHAT HE HAS NOT ALREADY COMPLETED IN THE SPIRITUAL. You and I can be the ones with enough FAITH to receive His finished work into our physical world.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Stay In Your God-given Place

Once upon a time the trees decided to choose a king. First they said to the olive tree, 'Be our king!' But the olive tree refused, saying, 'Should I quit producing the olive oil that blesses both God and people, just to wave back and forth over the trees?' (Judges 9:8-9, NLT)

Stay in your God-given place and purpose. Don't allow your talent to be turned into a tempting trap and then your tomb. Vain celebrity is a disguised casket. It is a very dysfunctional church that turns the very servants of God into human idols

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Let Jesus Have Your Boat

And Simon (Peter) answered, Master, we toiled all night [exhaustingly] and caught nothing [in our nets]. But on the ground of Your word, I will lower the nets [again]. (Luke 5:5, AMP)

Peter was a fisherman who was closing-off a bad day at work. He had spent his entire workday struggling to make headway in his business. He caught no fish. He didn't make any sales, close any deals or win any case. Professional and expert though he was, it was just one of the down days. Can you relate, my friends? Have you tried your very best and still ended up with nothing to show for it. 

Are you a trained, hardworking professional/expert with no tangible results? Peter gave up on his natural efforts. I invite you to do the same.

This is the first step into the miraculous. To look beyond yourself, pack-up your net and make way for Jesus in your career. The supernatural power and presence of God can makeup and outstrip our losses in an accelerated manner. Jesus knew Peter was frustrated. So He made it worse. He asked him to turn his fishing boat into His pulpit. This was a test. Naturally, a frustrated worker at the end of a bad day is not in the mood to loan his office to a strange preacher....for nothing! This was exactly what Jesus requested of Peter.

So turn over the career failures and frustrations to Jesus. Have you being fired? Give Jesus the rubble and remains of your pink slip. Ask him to have your professional and business failures for His glory!

Jesus is still looking for pulpit-boats today. Men and women who are willing to make their jobs avenues for His word and power. It's a simple prayer you have to pray, in your own words and from the heart. Let Him direct your job search, career choices, business plans and branding style from now on. He NEVER fails to make a miracle out of our mistakes once we give them to Him.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Place of Preparation

"He chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds; From tending the ewes that had their young He brought him to be the shepherd of Jacob His people, of Israel His inheritance. (Psalm 78:70-71, AMP)

David is arguably the most popular and accomplished king of Israel. He started out as a shepherd boy in his father's sheep farm. As a youngster, God handpicked him to become king from a family of 8 boys. He then took him through a series of preparatory experiences before giving him the throne. Even though God had made up his mind that David was going to be king, he allowed the king-in-waiting to go through a lengthy (and sometimes unpleasant and life-threatening) preparation.

David was wrongfully treated by his boss. He became a fugitive and an enemy of state. He was hounded out of town and became kingpin of the disillusioned. All these on his way to the throne. There was very little royal petals strewn on David's bloody path to royalty. His preparation was quite unlike his destination!

There are some remarkable truths in this narrative. Even God's man, backed by God's call and anointed with God's Spirit, could not avoid a tough preparation. So, are you called and anointed by God? Expect to undergo a toughening season of preparation.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Showers of Blessings

He causes vegetation to grow for the cattle, and all that the earth produces for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food out of the earth-- (Psalm 104:14)

In 2008 the world experienced a global recession. Jobs were lost. Families were split. Nations faltered. And life was never the same again for many. Humanity suffered a famine because of the inherent weaknesses in the nature of our hearts and the civilizations we build. According to the Bible, we can never blame scarcity, poverty or financial hardships on God. God is a Father who makes adequate provision available to His creation.

As believers we always need to check-up on ourselves (not God) when we experience lack. God NEVER willfully and whimsically starves his children. The world may lack and suffer hunger, but God's children are not supposed to have a part in that

But that's an escapist and Utopian assertion, you tell me. Well, not really. There are no recessions in the economy of God. Jesus, Elijah, Elisha, Moses and Israel, Paul and the Philippian church - would agree with me. Recessions are artifacts of men. Permanent provision is an heritage from God. Here are some basic truths to help us think and cooperate with God's supply model:

1. As a believer, your spiritual family has changed from the poverty-prone world system to the prosperous commonwealth of heaven. I do not say that you will become a millionaire. But I assert that the source of your supply is not earth but heaven

2. Have a scriptural mindset towards supply and demand. The earthly economic model has an underlying flaw. It has a premise of scarcity. It is based on a finite quantity of resources. The more I have, the less another person has available to them. So we must COMPETE. This leads to strife, envy and the survival of the fittest. Giving to others without payback is anathema in this system. 

3. But that's not the Bible way. In fact, giving to others without charge is how you initiate supply in God's system. 

Now, let me give you a tested advice. Do not make your Net Worth the benchmark for setting your financial goals. Make your GIVING capacity that benchmark. This is how to get God REEEEEEALLY excited! Let your stewardship capacity (not your bank balance) be the driver of your financial plans. Instead of saying, "I want to have this amount by this date" or "I want to be worth this much in assets before I am 30" ; say something like, "I want to have the capacity to give such and such amount by year end". And let "such and such" be big enough to get heaven's attention. 

The world promises us money for the price of our lifetime. But God - the sole originator of our lives and times - has already made ample provision for all the money we can ever need. What remains is for you and I to choose what deal we will take. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Christian Attitude Towards Human Opposition

"And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?" But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.  For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them." And they went to another village. "

Jesus and his ministry team were opposed and denied access by the people of a Samaritan village. Naturally, his disciples were enraged. They were a supernatural company. They were a peaceful, miracle-working, multitude-feeding and protocol-observing team. They expected to be treated with some respect. In fact, they made sure they reached out respectfully to the village authorities. So when the derisive reply came, they wanted to "show them who the boss was".  One can only wonder the grimace of bewilderment on the Apostles' faces when Jesus rebuked them instead of the Samaritans.

In this current dispensation, Jesus isn't blaming and punishing unbelievers for their sins. But He is ever ready to rebuke us if we react in a natural way to the world's offenses against us. 

Our ATTITUDE towards the world is a reflection of our level of spirituality. When we join issues with them in a natural way - ideologically, emotionally or physically - we are being unlike Christ. Our methods are primarily spiritual : intercession, love and evangelism. Another pitfall we must avoid is to generalize a unbelievers by religion, denomination, ethnicity, profession, ideology etc. God has hungry hearts everywhere, our job is to find and reach them.

There are spiritually hungry Muslims, Hindus  feminists, homosexuals, wallstreeters and libertarians. When we put a blanket of irreparable condemnation on a demographic group, we overlook hungry hearts. Cornelius was a Roman occupant, Zacchaeus was a fraudulent government official, Simon was a leper and  the woman with the alabaster box was a prostitute. 

In the light of our Lord's Great Commission, the best perspective to have is to see every unsaved person as potential saint. The unreached masses of the world are our unfinished work. They are unpaid debts of service that we (the church) owe our HEAD who paid the supreme price for them.

Talk to someone about Jesus today, will you. Let's finish His Work!

Making Generational Contributions

  So all the work that King Solomon did on the house of the Lord was completed. Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated--the silver, the gold, and the vessels--and put them in the treasuries of the Lord's house. (1 Kings 7:51, AMP)

Solomon was a wise man. A lot can be learned from the actions and decisions he took in the Bible. The verse above points to his ability to combine his heritage with his own present contributions. He did not throw away the accomplishments of David. He merged them with his own. Even though he had built an elaborate temple that David didn't have the calling and gift to build; and even though his regime was more fanciful and prosperous than that of David, he still didn't discount David's achievements.  

Solomon was OK with not being a "self-made man". He stepped out of his father's shadows only to stand on his shoulder. He didn't conclude that David was outmoded and "old school". He  was secure enough to build on his Father's legacy.

We should never despise older people. They may have made mistakes. They may have tastes that we consider tacky. Rather, we should learn from their mistakes and build on their accomplishments. In every succession process, God want's continuity and increase. He never ordains tearing down and attempting to restart. 

Appreciate the elders and parents while they are still around. Read the biographies of men long gone. They are a repository of whole lifetimes of wisdom.

The temple of Solomon would be incomplete without David's treasures and Moses' ark. We must not fall into a trap of thinking that everything old is "old school". Appreciate your heritage and build on it. Those who quickly learn this truth - of getting mentored - have a head-start in the pursuit of destiny. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Grace For The Present Place

I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. (Galatians 2:21)

A while back I shared on the fact that grace overcomes the nature and practices of sin in our lives. Today join me in revisiting that subject. Paul wrote the words quoted above. He did not nullify God's grace. He did not avoid it, hinder it, belittle it or make it of no effect in his life. That's a trap anyone of us can fall into. If Paul had to be careful in order to consistently cooperate with the flow of grace in his life, then you and I should be ready to do the same. 

Grace is the currency of Christianity. It is the universal resource that keeps, empowers and enables us to fulfill the will of God.

We must learn the scriptural art of cooperating with God's grace. Here are some pointers that I have found helpful:

1. Personal merit and self-ability is an opponent of grace in our lives. Our resume can stand in the way of this divine resource. Let your resume be visibly watermarked with this phrase "accomplished by grace". Stay humble and teachable. He gives MORE grace to the humble (James 4:6). Grace is in measures.

2. The ocean-current of grace flows ONLY in the direction of the Father's will. The tide of grace travels towards God-ordained destiny. God will not furnish grace for our personal agenda. Staying within the Father's desires in our lives, relationships and vocation guarantee a continuous supply of His grace.

3. To activate grace we must start out by faith. Here is what I mean. At every age and stage, God only supplies grace good enough for His immediate instructions. Our human nature is often tempted to wait until we think we have a reservoir of grace and resource to fulfill His ultimate plan. But no, take the next step and grace for successive steps will be supplied. Grace flows! But it rarely overflows : it comes in bits and pieces.

4. Lastly, acknowledge grace before God and man. Let the world know that it is grace doing the work and not you. Even Jesus - the only human being who could have accomplished anything by sheer merit - did this. Let's follow this example : 

I can do nothing on My own. I judge as God tells Me. Therefore, My judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the One who sent Me, not My own will. (Jesus Christ)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Focus on Restoration

"And the LORD RESTORED the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before." (Job 42:10) 

You may already know Job's story. He was god-fearing, wealthy and had family and friends that loved him. Then everything caved in on him. He lost his family. His wife gave up on him. His friends accused him of wickedness and spoke harshly to him. Job lost all the elements of earthly prosperity in a matter of a few days. Understandably, he was confused and depressed. He kept wondering why God would allow all these to happen to him. 

It is OK to ask God "why?". It's a human thing to do. But understand that God rarely focuses on the reasons we suffer. Rather, He works to restore us. We may never know why (not on this side of heaven at least) but we must always expect Him to bring us out better on the other side.

So take heart. Move on towards better days. We must quit wondering WHY the valley is dry but ask God to hold us by the hand and lead us on the mountain trail to the verdant and plush pasture. Wondering "why" keeps us stagnant. But the key here is MOTION. We must get to moving. If the things around you and behind you don't make sense, then sanity can only be in one place : ahead of you. Steady yourself and move with the shepherd.

The Lord did not satisfy job's curiosity. He restored his loss and multiplied his blessings. 

So we must not  become scientists, constantly researching and reprocessing the bad times. We must be patients that focus on receiving healing and restoration, not on the diagnosis. That is what stirs faith for healing - forgetting the mishap and focusing on the promise. There are many curable ailments with unknown causes. And there are some incurable sicknesses with known causes. Focus on the cure and not on the cause. God is not a diagnostic but a healer.

Receive Grace to quit wondering behind. It's time to walk ahead into your healing.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Keeping Your Date With God

"NOW PETER and John were going up to the temple at the HOUR OF PRAYER, the ninth hour (three o'clock in the afternoon), (Acts 3:1, AMP)

Prayer is doing business with God. It is man partnering with God to birth His will on earth (Matthew 6). Your prayer life is the only biblical avenue through which God can perform His will for you, through you and in you. As loving and compassionate as God is, He cannot fully and practically express this love to us if we don't meet with Him in prayer. Prayer is a date. Our attitude towards it is the best reflection of how much we think of God. 

Our daily prayer appointment with God should be something we look forward to.

We spend time with God because we love Him and He loves us - not because we are scared, needy or obligated. Like any relationship, the focus of our time with God is not on the duration, the frequency,  the activity or the requests. It's actually on the FELLOWSHIP. When we really dig God, all these other matters become secondary. God's awesome presence should distract us from all else - ourselves, our needs and our stop-clocks. 

Biblical narrative is quite telling in this regard. When the saints of old SAW God, His person and presence overwhelmed them.
 They forgot themselves and their surroundings and worshiped Him. When we catch a glimpse of God in His fullness, our greatest needs and hardest circumstances pale into remoteness and insignificance.

It is after we have acknowledged and acclimatized into this glory that we may then begin to petition Him. This is why we must minister to the Lord first. Get ADDICTED to His presence. Long for it like David (Psalm 42, Psalm 84). Access it first. Press into it. Prayer should be done in the Spirit - we need to be "pneumatized" first. Afterwards, when we have broken that barrier, we can then hand our hearts, tongues and hearts over for Him to lead us in the business of the day.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Royal Receptacle, Not Refuse Dump

"You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and of the plate, so that the outside may be clean also."  (Matthew 23:26)

There is a universal principle in the Bible. It is the principle of priority. The Bible is a values book. It ranks concepts, actions and people. Jesus was greater than John the Baptist. Moses was greater than Adam. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Salvation is more important than prosperity and must be preferred before it. Some matters of doctrine are fundamental, established and critical. Some others are minor and subjective. The invisible and eternal realities are preferred before the tangible and temporary. Faith supersedes sight...and on and on and on!.

The Bible consistently emphasizes heart condition and thought pattern more than looks, outward appearance and religious routine. God cannot be accused of concealing what matters most to Him. 

It follows then that what we feed our minds is more important than what we feed our bodies. The pharisees were very popular and highly honored because of their outward appearance. But Jesus didn't see that. He saw their proud heart - and that was what He sought to change. So in order not to end up  being tongue lashed by Jesus when we stand before Him, you and I should keep this in mind.

One way is to avoid reading, watching, thinking or focusing on any matter we don't want reproduced in our lives.  Even if it is called NEWS. The TV (especially 24-hour repetitive news items) is a meditative tool. It conditions us to ingest a given  information into our minds repeatedly until it enters our subconscious. Our minds are fertile grounds, we should be deliberate about the seeds we sow into it

Follow the news for information and empowerment. Not for meditation or amusement. The Holy Spirit is here to help and protect us in all we do - even in how we handle the clicker.