Jan 13, 2017

Pleasing God - The reason for your existence

A question that often challenges every human alive is the reason for his existence here on this earth. While this is a question that tries the hearts of every one, irrespective of their faith or the lack of it, the bible offers us the answers, should you care to accept it.
(Rev 4:11) Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

The matter is simple - we were created for the Lord’s pleasure. For the common man who drives his life always considering himself to be the center of the universe, this statement is unacceptable. There was a period many hundred years ago when Man thought that the whole universe circled the earth - but the later scientific enlightenment proved that the earth was not the center, but it circled the Sun, and later we know that the Sun itself is only a grain of sand in comparison to the breadth of the universe. When one comes to Faith in Lord Jesus, we come to a realization that life is NOT about us - it is all about Him. He becomes the center, and we are displaced from the Kingship of our heart and we lovingly, voluntarily handover the kingship of our heart to Him. Like Paul says : In Him we live and move and have our being.

This causes us to re-evaluate what success is ! One may define success as the fame gained, popularity, money, social impact, influence, positions held. But I say - The level of success of the object is whether the object has achieved the purpose for which it was created. By the same measure, the level of success of a Man is how much he has pleased God - for the purpose of mankind is to please God.

It’s not about how many years you live. The Word of God talks about a man called Enoch. At a time when his peers lived 960+ years, Enoch lived only about 365 years on this earth.
(Heb 11:5) By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (Heb 11:6) But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is God, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

What a testimony ! I’d be very happy if at the end of my life, I hear this report from the words of our Lord that I pleased Him. That I’ve been a good and faithful servant. Nothing much is writ in the Word about Enoch - But he pleased God, so God took him! It doesn’t matter about money, positions or anything. It all fades in comparison to the testimony that the Lord says about us. We have only one life and in that life, our aim should be to please him. Consider enoch.. He was walking with God when none else knew Him. But Enoch, by faith knew that it was possible for God to walk with him as He had walked with Adam (and Adam was present during the initial part of Enoch’s life!) Amos 3:3 says you can’t walk with one, without agreeing with him. Walking together demands a relation, an obedience, a unity of purpose and direction, a pace that is common to both the people who are walking, it implies a course correction when we deviate from the course. Dear friends, this is the life of faith which is pleasing to God the Father. For us, if we don’t believe in the Son that He has sent, we cannot expect to please God. Indeed, this is the starting point of a life that is pleasing to God the father. How will you feel if someone rejects the perfect gift that you’ve handpicked for him? Jesus is the gift of the father for mankind. Many have accepted Jesus as lord and savior and possessed the eternal life that the father has desired for us. Many have rejected Christ, and thereby displeased God.

May our desire be this : we should all please him, love him more, obey him more

Jan 6, 2017

Watch And Pray

(Matt 26:36-41) Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou [wilt]. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.

The key thought that I'd like to develop in today's meditation is the command that Jesus is giving us to Watch and to Pray. These key ministries of a believer is designed to help the church of God to live victoriously in these times. While the original context of these verses happened in the poignant occasion of Jesus being in the garden of Gethsemane, the truth of these words are timeless and very relevant for the end time church.

The word watch implies a certain watchfulness and alertness. It is essentially a military word - where one of the important stances in defense warfare is establishing a watch. The purpose of the watchtower and watchmen is for the very same reason. The lord says in the song of solomon:
(Song 7:4) Thy neck [is] as a tower of ivory; thine eyes [like] the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose [is] as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.
The nose of the bride of Christ is described as an organ of discernment - it is described as a tower (a watchtower)that is on the lookout towards Damascus (i.e. the capital of the enemy - Assyria). Friends, the ministry of watching is concentrated on the attacks of the enemy. It is an alertness and a watchfulness concerning the domains that the Lord has given us - whether it be our selves, our families, the church or our nation. We are ordained as the watchmen of these domains as God calls us.

Why should we step into this ministry of Watching ?
If you don't realize it, we are in a war of a cosmic origin. We are the soldiers of Christ and it is upto us to stand guard against the wiles of the enemy. Satan and the world is coming at us (us, families, church, and nations) with a vigor and frenzy because he knows his time is short. If we watch, then the lord will anoint us with a prophetic watchman anointing and will show us the enemy attacks in time for us to pray and release the deliverance on the same. When we watch, we are becoming partners with the Lord - for He is the real watchman - He who watches over us shall neither slumber nor sleep. Watches in warfare happen in shifts. After our watch shift is over, we handover the shift to the Lord and say - Lord - our 2 hour watch is over. I can't do a 24-hour watch - Will you watch over me, and my family and my church and my nation as I get on with the other tasks for me ? The word of God reminds us "except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh [but] in vain.".

This is not a new concept in the bible. The old testament is full of references to watchmen - especially in the books of the prophets, it was a much needed parable to show the need for the spiritual watchmen. All ministers are watchmen (or they need to be). The Royal priesthood is a set of watchmen. Every father and mother is a watchman. Every teacher is a watchman. Every prayer warrior is a watchman.

(Mark 13:33) Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

(Luke 21:36) Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

(Eph 6:18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

(Col 4:2) Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

As a father, as a husband, we cannot neglect this ministry because the spiritual and physical wellbeing of our family is at stake when we are in this war! As a church, we need the combined ministry of watching and praying to align to the purposes of God and to actively resist the wiles of the devil. In the book of Nehemiah, we see that they (when oppressed by Tobias, Sanballat, etc) set a perpetual watch for them to proceed with the building of the divinely commissioned wall.
(Neh 4:9) Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.

This is a habit that takes time to develop. As the lord reminds us, the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.  Peter has a real issue with staying alert. He is seen to sleep in the time of the transfiguration, during the ordeal in Gethsemane, before he is shown an open door to the gentiles, even when he is in the prison. But we see him filled with the watchman anointing when in the epistles of Peter, we see him prophetically declaring the things to happen 30 years down the lane - the false teachers and false teachings and the signs of times. He was able to declare this, because he became a watchman for the church. Paul, when he writes in Acts 20, warns of things that will come to pass a few years or decades down the lane. The sage advice which is still relevant in church to this day.

I write this devotional as a burden, because we have gone into unnecessary tests and temptations because we have neglected to watch and pray. Let us watch and let us draw near to God in prayer, so that He will preserve us from the temptation!

Father, we ask you to glorify your son Jesus in us. Lord, teach us to pray and to watch for ourselves, our family and our church, as indeed you count us our brothers keepers. Help us to come to the watchmen anointing. In Jesus name we ask and pray, Amen.

Jan 1, 2017

Seek His Face - The focus for 2017

 Ps 27:8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
 As we embark on a new phase of the continuous journey of Life, on this beautiful new year day, one thought resonates in my mind. I can't shake it off. The past years may have been a mixed back, and we do not know what's in store for us in the coming year. The world around, it's becoming more difficult to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ - and we can't do it on our own. We need the strength of the Holy Spirit to make it ! In such a time, the Lord is reminding me to seek His face. He is reminding all of us to seek His face.

Why seek someone who is omnipresent ? Because there are moments when his dealings seem to go to the background. There are times when God seems absent. There are times that He seemingly withdraws. When the Lord told this to David, he didn't argue with God. His "heart" said unto God - Thy face , Lord, will I seek. David was intentional in seeking the Lord's face. His appointments with the Lord was more important to him than the daily running of the country, yea even more than the food he ate. It was a relation of the heart - not a materialistic , transactional dealing with the Lord as many of us are used to. (God is not a genie or an ATM and we'd do well to remember that) David, talking about the people who ascend to Zion (the highest goal of Christian life) says "(Ps 24:6) This [is] the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob."

In (Ps 123:2) the Lord reminds us that it's the servants who always look at the hands of the lord. We who are called apart from a spirit of bondage to a spirit of adoption (whereby we call God Abba Father) are reminded to seek Him, wait for Him & Seek His face.
Behold, as the eyes of servants [look] unto the hand of their masters, [and] as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes [wait] upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.
Dears, when we look at the lord's hands, we neglect to see the expression of his face when he gives us something that we ask for. As a child of God, let's focus on His face. Let's seek Him. Let's seek His face.
(Ps 34:4-5) I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
David - at a low point in his life - when he acted confounded before the enemy king Abimelech says - I sought the lord. Yes at a time when we are at our lowest - when we've got spittle dribbling and we're acting like a madman, comes a cry out of the very depths of our heart. Just an unspoken cry saying "Lord!!". At such a cry, the Lord stops and does what He is so good at doing. He delivers us from all our fears ! What a mighty God we serve. And David says: They looked to Him and was radiant and their faces weren't ashamed. Moses beheld the Lord for a season and his face was radiant. How much more should ours be when we see the beauty of a better covenant !

Dear child of God, may you always seek His face (not just this year or season, but always) - and may you always enjoy the radiance of His presence ...

Bless you ! Wish you a very blessed year ahead.