Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

Dear Christian, Who Bewitched You To Leave Goshen?

Intro

The people had hitherto seen a more curious sight. The magicians could not explain it and the wise men were lost for words. A man slapped himself just in case he was dreaming. But this was no dream, this was reality. What is going on he cries out aloud!

Just like every other Egyptian, while this man could not believe the severity of the plagues that was devastating their land, what was more unbelievable was that all this pestilence that had come out of nowhere did NOT touch the land of Goshen. It was as if there was an invisible barrier around Goshen that prevented all these plagues from entering.

History

If you know some bible history, you may remember that Goshen was a piece of land within Egypt where the the Children of Israel settled. After suffering under the hand of Pharaoh who had put them to hard labor, the voice of their cries reached God and He in turn decided to send them a champion called Moses who would save them from the rule of Pharaoh.

Light-bulb moment: Real and lasting change starts with crying out to God.

Moses was a messenger from God who came to put Pharaoh ‘on notice’ but Pharaoh did not like it and hardened his heart…to the chagrin of his subjects who experienced the hardships of the plagues.

Light-bulb moment: We have a choice between pinning our hopes on the ruler of this land or the ruler of the land of our heart.

Application

Of the many fascinating things about the story, the one I want to point out is that though Goshen was nestled within Egypt it did not experience the craziness that was happening with all the plagues. It was as if though it was in Egypt, it was not a part of Egypt. It seemed as if the rules of Egypt did not apply to it. It was as if Goshen was a kingdom within a kingdom. While the citizens of Egypt experienced the full effects of the plagues, those that belonged to Goshen were fully insulated from the effects of what was going on around them. Because of this, unlike the citizens of Egypt who complained about what was happening around them, those in Goshen had no cause for complaint.

If you consider the parallel between then and now, we see that land of Goshen represents the kingdom of God while the land of Egypt represents the kingdom of the world.

Implication

Friends, we ought not  to operate in the world system but operate in God’s system, for although we are in the world, we are not of the world. This means that though chaos and pandemonium may be all around, there ought to be calm and stillness where we live, for we live in Goshen.

But I am afraid to say that this is not the case lately where I live. In fact, the opposite seems to be true of those who are supposed to belong to Goshen (us Christians). Everybody is up in arms and complaining about something – making enemies of their friends based on man-made ideology. Forgetting that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against unseen forces.

Why is this? It is because we have strayed outside of the land of Goshen. When we stray outside of Goshen, the laws and rules of Goshen cease to apply but those of the Kingdom of Egypt do.

Light-bulb moment: When we desert Goshen, people stop seeing us as Goshenites but start to identify us as Egyptians. Instead of being set apart, we get stuck in place.

It Is Time To Go Back To Goshen

To get back to Goshen requires that we seek the Kingdom of God. If we seek it, we will find it. Yet if we are to find it, we need to know where to look.

God tell us that the Kingdom of God is within us. This Kingdom was given to us when the Holy Spirit was given to us. So we see, the Kingdom was sanctioned by God and negotiated for us by Jesus (through his sacrifice). And since the Holy Spirit is its custodian, there is no enjoying the benefits of the Kingdom without walking in the Spirit.

Light-bulb moment: We can’t work our way into the Kingdom of God, we can only walk  our way into it.

This is why Jesus said ‘it is good that I go’. By leaving, he was able to leave us a Helper and a guide who would guide us into the kingdom – a place where we are free of the plagues and pestilence of this world. Jesus left so that we that we could be indwelt by the Spirit not only for eternal salvation but also to experience the Kingdom life right here on earth. That is good news!

What We Are Seeing Today

What we are seeing today is a direct result of not following the lead of the Holy Spirit. When in our pride and stubbornness we decide we know better than the Holy Spirit, we step out of the Kingdom and start to operate in the world system. When this happens, we find out that we begin to pin our hopes not on God but on  whoever is ruling. And of course four years later we are not satisfied and want change again – whatever it is – only to be dissatisfied again.

Light-bulb moment: The kingdom life cannot be obtained through legislature. It can only be obtained through obedient surrender to God

What Should We Do

The bible says we will eat of the good of the land if we are willing and obedient. It does not put stipulation on who is where, what they are doing, and why they are doing it. This means that whether we experience the kingdom life or not ultimately depends on us and us alone!

Light-bulb moment: Disobedience to the voice of God is what got us where we are. Obedience to the voice of God (and not of man) is what will get us where we want to be.

What if we had applied ourselves when He told us to; what if we had gone to school? What if we had listened?  What if we listen and obey now!

Friend, lets choose to follow the lead of the Spirit today and obey his promptings. All he wants to do is lead us into the kingdom life – a life of love, joy, and peace. A life of nothing missing and nothing broken. A life that paid for by giving his own life.

Therefore, let us not expect any man, woman, political party, or otherwise to give what only God can give us. To do so is to set ourselves up for disappointment.

Food For Thought: I am the only one who can decide to leave the hell of Egypt for the heaven of Goshen.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Victorious Living

Practical Bible Wealth Tips: 3 BIG Keys to Living in Abundance

I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly – John 10:10b

Where do we get the idea that God desires for us to live on the  cusp of not having enough and barely making it through? Is it from the word of God or is it from tradition? Unless specifically called to live otherwise (due to something specific and magnificent that God wants to achieve in and though us), the words of Jesus quoted above makes it safe to say that God wants us to live an abundant life.

As hard as it may be for some of you to believe, this was the plan from the very beginning when God made a picture perfect world for our ancestors (Adam and Eve) and made provision for them to live their lives to the fullest (see Genesis 1 and 2).

Unfortunately, our oldest ancestors decided to trade in their abundance for poverty – strange and foolish decision. Now lest we should follow in the footsteps of our ancestors, we need to understand the drivers that led to that crazy decision. Though there are  significant spiritual nuggets that we can take away from the story of Adam and Eve’s crazy decision, there are 3 BIG practical lessons that we need to learn, that if we do not learn, will lead us to trade in the abundant life that God wants us to have for a life of poverty.

Books (B)

The first thing the enemy of abundant life (Satan) did was test what Eve knew about the principle of life in the garden. Specifically, he tested her knowledge of God’s word concerning a specific tree in the garden.

If she had not known God’s word, then he could have hoodwinked her right there. Thus we see that lack of knowledge will always rob us of abundant life.

Friends, we should make reading a habit. Once we know, it is nigh impossible to un-know. Moreover, the things that we know should help us make better decisions, combat falsehoods, and expand our horizon.

Food for Thought: Ignorance is not bliss but blitzes our lives and robs us of the abundant life that has been given to us.

Our top priority should be to feed our spirit (the bible) and then fill our minds with good and useful knowledge.

Individuals (I)

What Eve was doing hanging out with the devil, I will never know. Instead of excusing herself, she carried on a conversation with the creation that was jealous and envious of her position and only wanted her downfall.

The scripture reminds us that bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33). The opposite is also true – good company enhances and encourages good character.

The people we keep around us are influencers. If we want to know where we will be in the next few years, all we need do is take a look at a deep look at the totality of the lives of our influencers.

The people we keep around us will rob off on us and ultimately change our character.

Food for Thought: The best move  we can make is decide to keep company with the Holy Spirit (for He is our standard) and keep company with people that reflect the character of Jesus (for they are our examples).

Goals (G)

The goal of Adam and Eve should have been to get close to the tree of life and munch its life giving fruit the moment they knew of its existence. But no! They did not have the goal of making their lives even better by eating of the fruit of the tree of life.

It was the lack of having a grander vision for their lives that made them susceptible to banter about the tree of the knowledge of evil.

The same is true for us as well. Here is how it works: If you have a goal of attending Harvard, you have no time to entertain thoughts of hanging around the corner wasting time. If your goal is to save $10,000 per year, you will not entertain buying a fancy race car. Why? It is because it does not line up with your goals.

In order words, purpose is what streamlines our lives and keep us focused.

But what if you do not have goals? What if your goals are not big enough? Then you will entertain all sorts of crazy thoughts and find yourself in places you should not be in life.

We should set goals that make something of us to achieve them.

Food for Thought: The best goals are God-sized. That means that nothing other than divine intervention will help us achieve them. These God-sized goals help us keep our eyes on God and keep out feet on the right path.

Leave a comment

Filed under wealth

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!’ I heard it for the first time in 2002 from an older lady in college. See, I worked as a math tutor and she was a non-traditional student taking college courses after work. One afternoon, she came in wearing a sad countenance. Halfway into our session it became clear that her mind was elsewhere so I asked her if everything was alright. At this she apologized and told me she was thinking about her 9-year old son – how it hurt her that he was growing up without his father. She told me how she went from being a stay-at-home mom to having to go back to work, and is now taking college classes so she could get a better job and build a better future for her and her son. After she finished giving me a few more details about her divorce she said finished with, “my mom always says when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.

Friends, this phrase has become more prevalent in my thinking the last couple of weeks. Indeed, life has handed me some lemons lately. Yesterday, as I pondered the phrase, the Holy Spirit quickened me and used it to teach me 7 life lessons

Lesson 1: When 

It is not a matter of if lemons (troubles) will show up, it is a matter of when they show up. Lemons in life are inevitable. Instead of hoping that lemons never show up in our lives, we are better served to prepare for those lemons. Prior preparation allows us to respond in love rather than react in fearfulness when trouble does come. This is where we want to be.

Consider that the prince and princess that rode off on a shiny white horse into the sunset in the fairy tale did not ride forever. The horse got tired and they had to get off the horse at some point – even if it was just for a bathroom break. So don’t dread the lemon, prepare for it. Whatever you are prepared to deal with is less daunting when it comes to pass. Moreover, be careful not to break off a fairy tale just because a lemon shows up in it.

In this life you will have trials and tribulations, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world – Jesus Christ

Lesson 2: Life

Lemons come from life. Most of the lemons we encounter in life come from our own or other people choices and decisions. Some lemons do come from what mother nature dishes out (i.e. natural disasters) but these are in the minority.

No matter where your lemon comes from, know that it does NOT come from God. God does not give lemons, God takes away or redeems lemons. Settle that in your spirit right now.

No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself doesn’t tempt anyone – James (brother of Jesus)

Lesson 3: Gives

While it is true that life will give us lemons, it is not true that we have to keep possession of it. For example, unless you are a farmer, if given a pile of dung, are you likely to keep it? No, you are likely to throw is away or sell it. Even if you are a farmer, you are unlikely to keep the dung in your house but you will put it to good use. The same goes with a lemon of a car. You will not keep such a car but get rid of it.

Similarly, we should not keep possession of every lemon that comes our way – especially the rotten ones that serve no useful purpose. If your old friends have become lemons in your life, find new ones. If your hobby is killing you, find a new one. If the demands of your job is causing a major rift in your marriage, it’s a lemon, do something about it.

There are somethings given to us to posses, then there are others things given to us to transfer. God does not want us to merely take possession of lemons but wants us to do something with them. Ask Him what he wants you to do with the lemon you have. Is He calling you to take possession of the lemon or throw it away?

 Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess – God the Father

Lesson 4: You

The lemons we have are trouble enough. We should not take possession of other people’s lemons.

Consider Joyce Meyer’s story: She is always very clear about the lemons that she had in her life – lemons she carried with her as a result of an abusive father and a cheating husband. Yet she is equally clear that Dave Meyer did not take possession of her lemons but stayed content while she wallowed for a while in self-pity.

In other words, we should not expect anyone else to take possession of our lemons and we should not try to give others our lemons

Furthermore, while playing the blame game makes us feel good, it does nothing to rid us of our lemons.

Cast your cares and anxiety on the Lord for He cares for you – Peter

Lesson 5: Lemons

Do not deny that the lemons in your life exists and do not meditate on them. Just as ignoring the lemons in your life will do nothing to give you rest, meditating on your lemons will do nothing but give your lemons power over you. Accept that the lemons exist but also accept that there is a God greater than your lemons. Lemons are simply opportunities for God to show off in your life when you give them to him.

We walk by faith (trusting and believing in God) and not by what we see – Paul   

Lesson 6: Make

The first thing we tend to do when we receive a lemon is to pray to God to take it away. Then if God does not take it away, we may blame God for not taking it away or we blame ourselves for either being too sinful or not having enough faith to get rid of it. Friend, if God does not take away the lemon, it is because he wants you to do something with it. If all lemons were simply taken away then we would not have lemon meringue pie or lemonade would we?

When life gives you lemon as an ingredient, do not get mad. Ask God what he wants to create from the lemon and get moving.

Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours

Lesson 7: Lemonade 

To make lemonade out of lemons requires three things: (1) squeezing the lemon juice out (2) diluting the lemon with water (3) stirring in sugar or honey.

To squeeze the lemon means to sift out the life lesson the lemon is there to teach us. For me, after cutting one of my biggest lemons, I found out that fear and pride was the juice hiding within the cleverly packaged exterior of security and independence. If I had been afraid to squeeze the juice out, I would have missed out on growing.

To dilute the lemon juice is to attack the problem area with the word of God. For example, if the lemon juice is sickness, it is time to focus on healing scriptures. If it is pride, the book of Daniel may be a good place to start. As we read the word of God on purpose we realize that juice is not as bitter as we once thought as we understand there is a solution. Magically the juice becomes more palatable

To stir in honey is to start moving in accordance to the will of God. As we do that, what was meant to bring a bitter taste in our lives starts to taste sweet.

So friends, let us commit to turn a few drops of bitter and tart juice into a cup of delicious and enjoyable lemonade.

When life gives you bitter lemons,  do not worry, but turn to God and He will help you make sweet lemonade out of it – Emmanuel  

4 Comments

Filed under Growth

I Was Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places

An erroneous view of love will always lead us to look in the wrong places; it will cheat us out of the best life we were created to experience. If we go looking to satisfy our love craving from our spouses, children, parents, jobs, or possessions, then we end up disappointed. If we think that love is about feelings, emotions, and infatuation, then we have drunk the wine of lies that causes us to stagger and stumble. Rather than guess at love, it is best to see what the Scripture says about it. Without a scriptural understanding of love, what we end up believing in and showing is not love but simply components of love. Let me explain.

If someone shows us the horns of an elephant, that does not demonstrate that we have seen an elephant, nor does it demonstrate that an elephant doesn’t exist somewhere. All it tells us is that an elephant previously existed. Similarly, just because we are being shown acts (or parts and parcels) of love does not mean we are being shown love, for those acts may have been done out of fear and self-seeking. For love to be shown, the heart behind the actions must be pure. Analogous to the missing elephant, it is impossible to show and give what we do not have. Therefore, it is impossible to show and give love if God is missing in our lives and if we are operating in fear. So how do we make sure that what we have and are experiencing is love? The first step is to define love accurately. Although love can be described in many ways, here is the complete definition of love

Love = God = Word = Jesus = Holy Spirit

Here are the scriptures that help us come up with the equation:

1) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
2) “And the Word became flesh (Jesus) and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
3) “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And aft er it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God’” (Acts 5:3–4).
4) “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8).

With regard to real love, this equation reveals that no human being can claim to love without having the presence of God in his or her life, a stumbling block for those that do not believe there is a God. It says that it is impossible to say that we have love in our lives without having Jesus in our lives, a stumbling block for the non-believer. In addition, it says we cannot claim to love God without loving his Word. We cannot say we are walking in love without walking in fellowship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Alas, any action we take that does not align itself with the Scripture is an act that is devoid of love. Any decision we make that is not inspired of the Holy Spirit does not fulfill the call to love.

Real love is not just satisfied that we “know about God” but requires that we “know God.”

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Love, Video

Success Secrets From Jesus – Day 4 – Wisdom and Understanding

WISDOM

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ And, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”
—Matthew 4:5–7

The first thing to point our here is that Satan knows the scripture! He would not have been able to quote it to Jesus otherwise! Yet, Jesus would not listen to Satan’s words because He understood that Satan had no wisdom.

Jesus knew Satan had no wisdom for two reasons:

  • He knew that it is the Holy Spirit who gives life (John 6:63)
  • He understood that the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it – Ecclesiastes 7:12 (NKJV).

Putting it together, He understood that wisdom can only come from the words spoken by the Holy Spirit. So Jesus neglected the words of Satan and focused on the life bringing words of the Holy Spirit.

Light-bulb moment: Just because the ‘right’ words are being used does not mean the words are ‘right’ for the specific circumstance/situation

Build Your Understanding of People and the Subject Matter
While knowledge start us on the road to success, it by no means guarantees success. Success requires that we build our understanding of any subject matter. Only then can we apply the knowledge we do have in such a way to bring success.

The same principle applies to people. It is important to know the underlined motivation behind the advice people are giving us. If the heart behind the advice is evil, then it is likely that the planned effects of following the advice will be evil – even if the advice sounds good.

The way to understand a person is by placing close attention to them – examining their heart and seeing if their life generally matches up with their words. Of course, if the person speaking to you is Satan, there is nothing to examine, rebuke him instantly.

Today, too many people know people but do not understand them!

Light-bulb moment: While knowledge can explain past and present behavior, only understanding can go the extra mile to explain that behavior and predict future behavior.

Here is the key takeaway: Knowledge – Wisdom  = Failure and Defeat!

Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding – Proverbs 4:7

Check out Looking to Superman – The secret to success in life on superchampinc for more practical tips the experience of Jesus teaches us on being successful.

1 Comment

Filed under Success

Meekness – The Secret to Inheriting the Earth (Conclusion)

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” – Matthew 5:5

Jesus is the ultimate example of a man who walked in meekness. He was completely surrendered to the leading of the Holy Spirit to the point that He only spoke only what the Father spoke and did only what the Father did (see John 14:10). He did not question, when the Holy Spirit told Him to venture into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He chose not to disobey when the Holy Spirit then told Him to make His way to the cross to be mutilated and killed. Furthermore, Jesus makes mention of His meekness as written in the gospel of John where He says:

I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord—but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. Even as I hear, I judge [I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision], and My judgment is right (just, righteous), because I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me – John 5:30 (AMP)

Importance of Meekness

It was love-driven humility (meekness) that made Jesus the most successful man that ever lived.

In three years of being led by the Spirit, he changed the course and history of the world, undid the wages of sin which Adam unleashed on the world, defeated sin and death, reconciled us to God, made available to us all covenant blessings and promises of the New Covenant, and inherited all kingdoms of the earth.

Thus it is no wonder Apostle Paul encourages us to have the same mind which was in Christ – the mind of humility and obedience.

  • Meekness is important if we are ever to take possession of the honor; riches and life that has already been made available to us (see Proverbs 22:4).
  • Meekness is important if our prayers are to be answered (see Daniel 10:12).
  • Meekness is paramount if we are going to live victoriously here on earth (see 2 Chronicles 7:14)

It is no wonder Apostle Paul tell us to put off self-imposed rules and regulations which is cloaked in false humility (see Colossians 2:18-23). While false humility has the appearance of being good and is usually lauded by the world for it aims to please the world, it profits absolutely nothing.  True humility on the other hand usually finds the persecution of the world because it puts God first and always, goes against the herd mentality, and is the road less traveled. Even so, it is what makes all the difference in our existence and allows us to fulfill the purpose of God for our lives and to reach the destiny God has in store for us.

Conclusion

A lack of understanding of what is means to be meek (humble) has unfortunately made a mockery of the words of Jesus when he says the meek shall inherit the earth. This is because the world’s definition of meekness has to do with what others think about of us instead of what God speaks to us. As a result, too many people are trying to gain the favor of man by walking in false humility instead of walking in the grace (favor) of God by walking in true meekness.

To be truly meek requires that we let go our own will and completely submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. When we do this, we find that we are able to walk just as Jesus walked and we are able to become successful in life just as Jesus was successful. Moreover, just as Jesus was given all the kingdoms of the earth as an inheritance, we find that we also inherit the earth. Indeed, blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Teaching, Victorious Living

Meekness – The Secret to Inheriting the Earth (Part I)

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” – Matthew 5:5

Unless God is lying, meekness is the secret to inheriting the earth. Therefore, the root cause behind our inability to inherit honor and the richness of life on this earth boils down to the lack of meekness. I can say this confidently because this is what the bible teaches. Since God is not a man that he should lie (Numbers 23:19), we can only conclude that the reason our meekness today is not yielding the result we want in life is because what we think is meekness is not meekness at all.

We cannot inherit the earth if we have an erroneous understanding of what it means to be meek

For example, there was a time I thought “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” meant that taking hold of heaven required that I had to be weak, listless, and fatalistically surrendered to whatever life threw at me. I thought it was God’s will for me to be a victim in life. I carried on thinking ‘poor old me, Jesus just wants me to suffer in life for Him‘ until I came to the realization that our faith has made us victorious in life (see 1 John 5:4). This does not mean that we will not experience suffering, trial, and tribulation in life. What it means is that we have been granted the power to overcome any trial and tribulation the world can throw at us (see John 16:33).

Popular View of Meekness

A quick search for the meaning of meekness in the dictionary reveals words such as ‘overly submissive’ and ‘humble’. The online dictionary further describes a humble person as someone who has a modest opinion of themselves.

A survey that asked people what it meant to be meek or humble revealed statements such as: Someone who does not highlight his/her achievements, a person who is submissive to others; a person who has a modest opinion of themselves, and who is weak compared to others. In other words, the survey revealed that a person is seen as humble if the individual downplays their achievement, is seen as vulnerable, and is borderline apologetic about who they are or have become to others.

In essence, meekness has become a label that is now applied based on how people view people instead of how God views people.

The issue with this is that the view of man is often tainted with feelings of jealousy, fear, insecurity, and inadequacy. Conversely, the view of God is always right, just, honest, and pure. In other words, the assessment of a meek person can never be based on our assessment but on God’s assessment. So, the question to be answered now is this: how do we know who is truly meek or humble?

       I.       True Meekness

That the measure of meekness should not be based on man’s opinion is nowhere better highlighted than in Numbers 12:3. Here, Moses writes of himself that he is the meekest man living on the face of the earth (see Numbers 12:3). Since Moses did not know every single man that lived on the face of the earth at that point, to us this statement certainly seems misguided at best and prideful at worst. Today, most people would regard Moses as being ‘full of himself’.

But when we realize that all the words that Moses wrote were inspired of the Holy Spirit (see 2 Timothy 3:16), then we see that Moses simply wrote under the guidance and dictate of the Holy Spirit. Hence, it was not Moses that wrote Numbers 12:3 about himself but it was the Holy Spirit that wrote it about him. Moses was just the vessel for the Holy Spirit’s penmanship.

In fact, what Moses wrote under the guidance of the Holy Spirit took great humility. He had to completely forget about his feelings concerning what he was being told to write but chose to completely submit himself to the leading of the Holy Spirit. In writing Numbers 12:3, he decided to let go of his opinions and bow to the opinion of God. So, we see that Moses was ‘overly submissive’ to the Holy Spirit and had a ‘modest opinion’ of his own feelings about the words he was writing. Moses must have said to himself ‘well, if You say I am the meekest man alive, I chose to submit to that assessment no matter how I may feel about that’.

For Moses not to have written what the Holy Spirit told him because of what others would have felt about it would have revealed pride. It is pride in the sense that he would have been saying to God, ‘I think what You are asking me to write is wrong and that people will not receive it as You intended. I know better than You God and so I will just leave this portion out’. In truth, the only reason Moses would have left out Numbers 12:3 is if he was thinking about himself and about how others viewed him; he would have left it out in selfishness and in pride!

What Moses wrote in Numbers 12:3 reveal to us that true meekness requires that we completely surrender ourselves to God’s word and that we totally submit ourselves to the leadership of the Holy Spirit; that we die to our own thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

Hence, it is true meekness to believe and agree with God by saying ‘I can do all things through Christ’ instead of saying ‘I just do not have the ability’. While the first statement is aligned with the truth of word of God, the latter is aligned with the doubt that comes from taking our eyes off the ability of God and instead placing it on our own ability. While the first is a statement rooted in faith, the latter is a statement rooted in unbelief.

In other words, meekness or humility is the key that allows us to walk in the faith that gives us access to grace (Ephesians 2:8 tells us that grace comes through faith). Indeed, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (see James 4:6).

Pride is the end of paying close attention to man’s thoughts, opinions, and ways but humility is the end of paying close attention to God’s words, opinion, and ways.

Food for Thought: True meekness is what enables us walk in the power (grace) of God onto inheriting the earth.

5 Comments

Filed under Growth, Teaching, Uncategorized, Victorious Living

Just Be You – Rediscover the King in the Mirror

The phrase ‘just be you’ is usually spoken in the context of telling someone not to conform to every norm and not to live a life trying to please everybody. While this is sage advice, the advice only ends positively only if we know who we truly are. Now, we cannot answer the question of ‘who we are’ until we know what we are.

The scripture reveals to us that ‘what we are’ are spirit beings. We know this because God, who is spirit (John 4:24) decided to make us in His image (Genesis 1:26). Seeing that we are spirit beings, this means that this body is simply a garment that cloaks our true nature. And just as a garment shows wear and tear over time, the physical garment of our body also deteriorates over time.

Light-bulb moment: The man in the mirror is not the real you; the real you is hidden.

This hidden person inside of you is not like your body which changes over time. The spirit only has two states of existence – it is either dead or alive. Therefore, the first question you have to ask yourself is this: Am I dead or am I alive?

If you do not know the answer to this, then consider that it is the Holy Spirit that gives life (John 6:63). Hence, any person without the Holy Spirit is spiritually dead. Such a person cannot ‘live’ their identity for they are not even alive. How does the Holy Spirit give us life? He does this by taking up residence within our spirit when we accept Jesus as our Lord and savior. When He does this, He seals our spirit with His Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22) so that our spirit and His Spirit become inseparable. Here is what it all means:

Light-bulb moment: Our living identity is given by the Holy Spirit and is found in the Holy Spirit

Since ‘what we are’ is spirit and ‘whose we are’ is the Holy Spirit’s, the only we way can ‘just be us’ is to live by the Spirit. The moment we stop living by the Spirit is the moment we become imposters! As imposter, we no longer as who we are but have started acting like someone else!

Remember the ‘You are not you when you are hungry’ snickers advertisement on television where the teen turned into a grumpy Liza Minnelli when hungry? It is just like that with us when we do not live by the Holy Spirit. Living without the influence of the Holy Spirit is akin to starving ourselves of life. It makes us grumpy and cranky; we begin to act like who we are not. In truth, we are no longer controlled by our true selves (who are identified with the Holy Spirit) but are controlled by our hungry flesh.

Light-bulb moment: The only way to ‘just be you’ is to live by Spirit. If you are not being you, then you are being whatever your flesh (your senses as impact by things and people) wants you to be.

So then the question is this: Are you being you or are you acting like who you are not? Today, choose to be you! It is so much more difficult trying to be someone else anyway. Furthermore, whomever you are trying to become is not as good as who you are! If you have been running away from yourself, I want to encourage you today to stop, look inwards, and rediscover who you truly are. I promise that you will love yourself!

Leave a comment

Filed under Purposeful Living, Relationships

Why Can’t I Unlock the Power of God in My Life? (Part I)

Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God – Luke 22:69

During His trial, Jesus tells the members of the Sanhedrin that He is going to be seated at the right hand of the power of God after His death (Luke 22:69). Note that Jesus does not say He is going to be seated at the right hand of God, but at the right hand of the power of God. This means that the power of God is released only through Jesus or that God only releases His power through Jesus who is seated at His right hand. In addition, this means that any power released outside of Christ is NOT of God but of a worldly and sinister nature.

Now, here is the process by which God’s power is released: When we call upon Jesus, He hears us and makes intercession on our behalf to the Father (Hebrews 7:25). The Father then decides whether to grant the petition of the one who calls on the name of Jesus based on whether it will glorify Him (John 14:13). Should the request be granted by God, Jesus then releases the power to fulfill the request through the Holy Spirit who resides within us (John 14:16-17). In the event the fulfillment of the request requires our action, Jesus speaks the instruction from God to the Holy Spirit who then instructs us (John 16:13).

Though we are worthy of getting the attention of God through the sacrifice and worthiness of Jesus,  John 14:13 reminds us that God will only grant those requests that glorify Him. Here is how the bible tells us we glorify the Father: If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you will be My disciples – John 15:7-8

So we see that it all starts with abiding in Jesus. Since Jesus is love, we can say that it all starts with abiding in love. When we abide in love (Jesus), then everything we ask will reflect the heart of love and will fulfill the requirement of love. In other words, God will only grant those requests that come from a heart of love and fulfill a loving purpose. Since the heart of God is the heart of love, we see that our heart and God’s heart align when we abide in Jesus. That’s why He grants those requests that flow out of love.

Now we see why Jesus tells us that all the law and prophets instructions are fulfilled in the commandment to love – to love God with all our being and to love one another (Matthew 22:37-40). Simply put, love is the secret to unlocking the power of God! This is why Jesus wants us to focus on love! He wants us to have victory in our lives so that we can share the booty of the victory with others.

So I ask you this: How is your love life? Do you really care for people or only care for people that can offer you something? Is your heart right or is it hardened?

In part II, we will see that we cannot buy God’s love through words and actions

Food for Thought: The only way to truly love yourself is to learn to love – by submitting your fears to God

1 Comment

Filed under Growth, Love

What Does God Require of Me? How can I live a blessed life?

Uncharted territoryI have heard it said many times: ‘I just don’t know what God wants from me? I am doing all I know to do – I am tithing and reading my bible everyday but nothing is working’.

The question of what God requires of us must not be confused with the question of what God wants or desires for us. Unfortunately, a lack of understanding of what God requires leads too many of us to chase after what God desires for us in our own power. In other words, we become law-keeping Pharisees who attempt to buy God’s love and favor through sacrificial law-keeping – hoping we can lay hold of the sanctified and abundant life that He so desires for us. But this does not work and only leads to endless striving (bondage) and disappointment.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: The truth is that if we can give God what He requires of us, then He will give us what He wants and desires for us.

Rather than leave us to our own devices, God tells us that what He requires of us is to hear His words (the word of God) which He speaks through His Son.

 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him – Deuteronomy 18:18-19

If we peruse the scripture, we find these three highlighted words in the New Testament where Apostle Paul tells us that ‘faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ – Romans 10:17

Hence, we know that God wants us to hear His words because the hearing or the paying of attention to His words produces faith. Why does God want us to have faith? He wants us to have faith because we are saved from eternal separation from Him by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). It is our faith that allows us to overcome mountains (Matt. 17:20). It is our faith that is the victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4). It is our faith that pleases Him and so allows us to get rewarded (Heb. 11:6).

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: The secret to attaining all victory and reward in life is paying attention to the word of God spoken by Jesus spoken through the Holy Spirit.

And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him – Deuteronomy 18:19

With regards to salvation, verse 19 tells us this: whoever will not hear My words which He speaks in My name (whoever will not have faith or trust in Jesus), I will require it of Him (I will require the words of faith – which cleanses you and accomplishes the forgiveness of sins unto salvation – from him). Since we know it is impossible to achieve salvation by our own works, we see that God is telling us that whoever does not have faith in Jesus Christ is in trouble and will have to answer to God someday at the great white throne of judgment.

With regards to victorious living, verse 19 tells us this: whoever will not hear My words which He speaks in My name (whoever will not trust in the word of God spoken by Jesus through the Holy Spirit), I will require it of Him (I will require the words which produce life from him). In other words, the only way we truly have life (live heaven on earth) is by paying attention to the guidance and instruction of the Holy Spirit. If we do not, then the abundant life that Christ came to give us right here on earth is taken away from us. Put another way, we cheat ourselves of God’s best when we fail to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: God requires that we hear His words because He wants us to experience heaven on earth before He calls us back home to heaven – where we belong by hearing his word.

Friend, God is always speaking but are you listening? If you can no longer hear Him, acknowledge your wrong-doing to Him today and ask Him to penetrate your heart afresh. If you have never heard from Him and this has spoken to your heart, then acknowledge Jesus as your Lord and Savior and confess it with your mouth. All God requires of you is to hear Him out and give Him a chance

Food for thought:  Those who open their ears (heart) to hear will never regret it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Victorious Living