The 2020 Olympics is just over. It was a bit disappointing to see very few spectators cheering their favorite athletes due to the Covid pandemic. I love sports and I love to watch the athletes. I personally dislike any sport that involves hitting and punching others, such as boxing and fighting. I don’t consider them sports at all. It maybe good to learn those skills for self defense perhaps, but I don't regard them as competitive sports. That’s just me. But I love athletics. Track and field events like running race, high jump, long jump, pole vault, shot put, javelin throw and events like those are my favorites.
I was watching the 100 meters race. My best event to watch. I was amazed human beings could run that fast. 100 meters in less than 10 seconds. That is over 40kmph running speed. Crazy….
These athletes train rigorously for 4 years or more leading to the Olympics. They eat only healthy food. They watch their diet. They ensure they get enough sleep every night. They train many hours every day of the year for 4 years. They willingly choose to miss out on entertainment, parties with alcohol, they don't eat yummy street food like fried stuff. No KFC, no McDonalds, no Indian street food like wadas or pakoras and no fried fish. In short, they very carefully refrain from any food that could affect their performance. They discipline their bodies and they don't do what their bodies tell them to do, but make their bodies do what it should do. All that for 4 years continuously and all of that only for 10 seconds of performance. And even if they won, they just get a medal. They will be famous and be on the news for a week or two, everybody will cheer them, talk about them for a few days and after that everybody forgets and gets on with their own lives. Yes, very few of these top athletes might get rich due to advertisement contracts and other stuff, but really, who cares.
1 Cor 9:24-27 - Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercise self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim, I box in such a way, as not beating the air but i discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
We as Gods children are asked to discipline ourselves to run the race as if to win (not just to participate), and our victory is a crown that does not perish and it is not for 10 seconds of performance and two weeks of fame. We have eternal life to look forward to. We can win eternal life with Jesus if we discipline ourselves and the good news is that we don't need to compete with each other. We can all win this race.
I watched the high jumpers. So much focus, so much dedication, tears and sweat. When they fail to make the jump, they try again and then again. They get only three attempts. I was reminded that the high jump bar was the sin nature in our lives, which we try to overcome. If we fail, we try again, and again, and again. God in His mercy and grace gives us way more than just three attempts. We can keep on trying till we overcome. Praise God. But once we do overcome one sinful habit, the bar moves a bit higher. The bar is a representation of the challenges in our lives. Each time we overcome one challenge, the bar moves a bit higher preparing us for the next challenge. The grace of God provides us with as many turns as we need to try and overcome the bar. This is a process of growth in our Christian walk. But we should be trying to clear the bar. Not just give up and sit on the sidelines watching others overcome.
Now, only three people get medals in the Olympics. What about all those athletes who did not win any medal? What about those who came fourth, fifth and including the ones who came last? Did they stop being athletes because they didn’t get a medal? No, they are still athletes and world class athletes at that. So also, we as Christians, don’t stop being God’s children when we stumble and fall. We don't stop being Christians when we see that others are better than us. We get up and try again. Even when we fall, we are still God’s children and we are still Christians. But we never stop running the race, and we train to run so as to win. We don’t stop the fight to overcome. And in God’s view, every runner wins the first prize as long as they are running as if to win. That means, they are putting in their every effort to continue the race and have not given up.
What if a man calls himself an athlete, but never practices, never pushes himself too hard, never watches what he eats and indulges in all worldly pleasures, but wants to run the race on the day of Olympics and comes wearing the right outfit and shoes to the track? He very much looks the part, but he isn’t an athlete at all. He will fail miserably although he looks like the rest of the athletes at the start line. That is the situation of many people who call themselves Christians, go to church, sing songs, but take the grace of God in vain and don't make any attempt to run their race or overcome their sin nature. Such people will not just NOT win a medal, but will be judged unfit and disqualified. These are the one's Jesus refers to in Matthew 7:21-23. They want to be in God's kingdom but are unwilling to let go of worldliness. They want the crown, but will not put in the effort. They love the fleeting pleasures of sin but dislike the idea of eternal damnation and so put in the bare minimum effort to "feel" secure. But on the day of the Olympic finals, they will be disqualified. The only one's who will win are those who have been rigorously training.
Matthew 7: 21-23: Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’
Some mornings or evenings, the Olympic athletes must have felt lazy or tired and just wanting to relax and rest. They may have gotten demotivated and just wanted to watch TV and eat popcorn. Perhaps they felt like giving up the training and focus on just making some money and enjoying life. But No! they kick themselves out of bed on those days, force themselves to go and train. Even if it is raining and cold or incredibly hot, the Olympic athletes go out to train. Their focus and eyes is on the Olympic event and they want to win a medal. Some mornings, we as Christians may find it tiring too, to follow the Lord. We may find a lot of doubts and questions in our minds. We may find worldly temptations too strong. But just as those athletes, we also must force ourselves to deny our own will and do God’s will on those days.
Corinthians 9:27: Paul said “I beat my body and bring it to subjection”. In the ERV, "It is my own body I fight to make it do what I want. I do this so that I wont miss getting the prize myself after telling others about it."
Sometimes our thoughts may be ungodly and it may be too exhausting to fight it, but we need to make the effort to take every thought captive and bring it to the obedience of Christ. Sometimes, our energy levels are low and we just want to indulge in worldliness. Sometimes, we look at successful and prosperous people out there and they “look happy”. We wish we could be like that, and there are many other feelings that sometimes may make us tired. Sometimes we may get angry or irritated or moody. Sometimes, we are overcome with grief and are tempted to give up. Sometimes, we get depressed for no reason. These are the things that we need to fight in such as way as to win. This is what Paul was doing. He was training his body and bringing it to subjection. This is our personal gym. This is our training routine everyday preparing us for the finals.
Just like the Olympic athletes who go through strict discipline just for a medal, Christians need to open their eyes to see that they need to be under strict discipline to live godly lives too. And this is hard. Self discipline is always hard. It’s not easy for the Olympic athletes either. For us as Christians, it is doubly hard, because the athletes train for a few years of competition and then retire. We don’t. And we not only have to discipline ourselves to overcome our sin nature, but also exercise to develop godly nature. Some people are strong willed and can have will power to overcome their weaknesses, but we cannot use willpower to love someone, to forgive someone or to have compassion. These are developed out of an attitude of gratitude towards God and humility and the fear of the Lord. Our gym as Christians is way tougher than the iron man challenge or a marathon runner.
1 Timothy 4:7-8 - But stay away from worthless stories that are typical of old women. Rather, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness, for bodily training is just slightly beneficial, but godliness is beneficial for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
The Olympic athletes have a coach. A single coach or maybe two at most. They don’t listen to many people’s advises. They don’t listen to various peoples opinions and stories on the internet. They listen to their coach and strictly discipline themselves and adhere to their coach’s instructions. Likewise, we have the written word of God. That is our coach. We don’t need to be confused and carried away by different people’s preaching's, personal experiences or stories. We need only to know Christ and follow His teachings from the word of God.
Romans 12:2 - And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Friends, there are so many verses in the New Testament that talks of self discipline either directly or indirectly. I want to encourage us to simply take the word of God seriously and make every effort to live godly lives because the end is near. The finish line is near. As part of their practice sessions, long distance runners learn to control their speed and their breathing. They have to keep check of their control of stamina. After they have run quite a bit, lactic acid kicks in and it affects their breathing severely. If they don’t learn to control it, they can faint due to lack of oxygen. They will need immediate medical attention. They train really hard for several years so that they know how to deal with such situations. They do all that training, so that when they reach closer to the finish line, they can give it all they have got and run as fast as they can towards the finish line. Let us also be like that.
1 Peter 4:7 - The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgement and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
Philippians 3:14 - I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
In closing, Hebrews 11 talks about a whole bunch of people of faith in the Old Testament who by faith did this and by faith did that…etc. All of them were hoping to see the kingdom of God in their life time and ran their race in faith. Then we see in Hebrews 12:1 - Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance (or weight) and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
My dear brothers and sisters, We are going through challenging times. Sometimes, the challenges are personal. Sometimes the challenges are external. Either way it affects our service to God. It hinders our plans. It frustrates us. Even this Covid pandemic that prevents us from moving freely, travelling as usual and meeting each other, is quite challenging and frustrating. We have ministry challenges. Sometimes we may have financial challenges or relationship challenges due to misunderstandings. Sometimes health challenges or undesired and harmful addictions. Whatever the nature of the challenge, let us look at it as a race track with hurdles and let us run the race with endurance so as to win in the end. Let us give it all we have got because as long as we are still on the tracks when He comes and do not give up, we will all win and receive the crown the Lord has for us. Amen!
Proverbs 10:22 - The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.
This is not a promise from God. This is a statement of fact.
Sit back for a moment and think. What really do you WANT in your life? I think you cannot make a list of more than 10 max., probably not more than 5. Normally any human would want the following:
1. Someone who genuinely loves you without ulterior motives, cuddles you, and cares for you.
2. A peaceful and loving family where there are no arguments, fights or misunderstandings. Just happy times.
3. Enough money for all your needs with no debt and no lack.
4. Some reasonable material possessions like a good house and a decent means of transportation.
5. A sickness free life with good health and plenty of laughs.
Ok I am already struggling to go past 5. I think I would have everything I need in life if I had the above 5 things. How about you?
Question is "Does the world you live in, the economy, the culture and its systems give you all of this? " The answer is "YES!, it does", but it also gives you along with it, heartbreaks, ungratefulness, manipulations, jealousy, greed, cancer, pneumonia, heart attacks, depression, alcohol addictions, gambling addictions, drug addictions, pornography addictions, worry, fear, anxiety, divorces, unhappy families, angry husbands and fathers who physically abuse wives and children and more.
Now, ask yourself, "Does God's kingdom give you all of the above 5 things?" The answer is "YES! it does", AND the bible says "HE adds NO SORROW with it". How wonderful is that!!
The truth is that all things you need in life is found in Jesus Christ our Lord. He is truly the way, the truth and the LIFE.
When you believe in Him and choose to walk in obedience to His word (the bible), then you have all things that pertain to life and godliness and with NO SORROWS.
The bible also says "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you". This does not just mean you believe in Jesus, call yourself a Christian and go to church every Sunday. This means, you actually leave the world's way of doing life behind and choose God's way of doing life. This includes turning from all forms of sin, living a pure and holy life, being loving, being kind, compassionate, generous towards the poor, sharing the gospel with others and actually living out the faith you confess to believe in. Yes, there will be moments when you give in to temptations and fall. But stand right back up and put up a fight. The grace of God is powerful and sufficient enough to give you victory over all sin.
When you consistently do this, all things pertaining to life will be added unto you and He will add NO SORROW to it. Does it happen overnight? No, but you'll be on your way and you will eventually get there. Some quicker than others. At least your life will now move in the right direction isn't it?
The answer to all things pertaining to life is in the knowledge of Jesus alone. Are you aspiring for the 5 things in life mentioned above? You can get it. You can live it and experience all of it when you believe in Jesus and make Him the Lord of your life. The bible says,
His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, - 2 Peter 1:3
And He adds NO SORROW to it. How amazing!!
The word “religion” is derived from a Latin word which literally means “to bind fast”. Therefore, a religious person is bound under an obligation of some sort. Religion can easily hold us bondage when we determine our lives and actions based on fear of hell and judgment from an angry god. In addition, when under the influence of a religious mindset, every person’s idea of god can be different; and it is. One only needs to ask ten random people on the streets about their understanding of God and you will get ten different answers. And everyone assumes they have the right to define God and His standards of righteousness according to their own understanding. No one ever stops to think for a moment and question. "If there really is a God, who is He? Can I know Him? What does He want from me? What happens when I die? When I pray does He speak back to me?"
From the earliest of times, humans have looked around and wondered about the universe, the complexity, and the perfection of creation and the meaning of life and their purpose. To realize the true potential of your capabilities and to fully grasp that for which you and only you are gifted, it will require you to walk in absolute freedom. Freedom from all bondages and fear that have the potential to hold you down and your religious beliefs can be one of them. Often times, people generally choose to ignore questions about God if they do not know the answers for sure. They willingly brush the most important "truth" aside and continue pursuing the ever evading pleasures of life.
Galatians 5:1 – So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
Religion causes you to live by other’s convictions instead of your own. Think about it. Why do you believe what you believe? In most cases, it is simply because that is what you were taught by your parents or family when you were a child. Tradition has been passed on from generation to generation. Did you ever stop to ask questions? Did you attempt to find out for real if what you believe is true? Did you research and come to your own conclusion? Life is fragile. No one ever knows how long they are going to live. People die of old age, sickness, accidents, murders, wars, violent fights, and for many other reasons. And accidents could happen to anyone. What if you suddenly died and found yourself on the other side of life facing judgement before God whom you ignored all your life? It would be too late to do anything about it then.
Let go of religion and seek to get into a real relationship with the true God. Apart from God, you can do nothing because He is the very source of your life. He is the vine, and you are the branches. A branch detached from the vine just shrivels and dies, (John 15:5). Be reconciled to God through belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. God cannot be contained into an idol in a room or on your desk or into a picture in a photo frame in your car. God cannot be contained by man’s imagination of how He might be, and He is not a set of moral teachings either. God is way too big for that and holds the entire known and unknown universe in the palm of His hands. Yet, He is loving, compassionate, merciful and forgiving. And He has made it possible for anyone keen to know Him personally and intimately through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Contrary to popular belief, Christianity is not another “religion”. Yes, people have made it a religion and unfortunately many churches have portrayed it as a religion, but it is not. True Christianity is a personal “RELATIONSHIP” with the one true God, our Father. Yes, such a relationship is possible and it is only achieved through the personal knowledge of Jesus Christ who laid down His own life for our sins and paid the price for our sins. He didn’t stay dead thereafter. He rose from the dead and is alive today and will return again soon. His resurrected life is proof that our sins are washed away. His resurrection is proof that we are free from religious bondages. His resurrection is proof that we are healed from our sicknesses. His resurrection is proof that we are free from addictions. His resurrection is proof that we can KNOW God our Father and live in peace and harmony, with a genuine love for one another. If anyone is in Christ, that person becomes a new creation, (2 Cor 5:17). God becomes your Father and you become His child. How can you not know your Father?
When you are free from religion and rituals and festivals, now you can pray and know that your Father in heaven heard your prayers. You can now live with out fear of death, because you KNOW you have eternal life. You will live forever with Him in heaven. You become reconciled to God and that fills you with peace. It transforms you into a loving and compassionate person. You find purpose in life. You are content and satisfied in life. Religion does not transform you, but adds to your fear. You are afraid that something bad might happen to you if you did not fulfil a ritual to a man made god. You are afraid of curses. People are afraid as they near death because they are uncertain what lies on the other side. An intimate relationship with God through the knowledge of Jesus Christ brings true transformation to your life. In fact, you truly begin to live only when you get to know Christ.
Let go of religion friends. Be free and get to know the real God who is ALIVE and REAL. In today's world with all the technology and internet, why don't you research, study and find out for yourselves instead of living on another man's convictions. God is real. Heaven is real. Hell is real. Jesus is real. His coming back again is real. Get to know Him by reading the gospel of John in the bible. Set aside all dead religion and walk in peace and happiness with a personal and intimate relationship with your Father God. If you need help understanding or need access to a bible, contact me and I can help.
John 15:5 - Apart from Me you can do NOTHING!!!
Jesus said apart from Him, we can do nothing. The emphasis was on the word “nothing”. That means, not only those things which we find difficult or incapable to do or when we are in need, etc, but also when things are easy for us and things that we often do on our own without involving God. Just because we can. Eg: taking up a new job, moving to a new country or city, marrying someone or getting into relationships, friendships, making large purchases or small purchases that we think we can afford, etc. Just because we can.
But Jesus said apart from Him, we can do nothing. But we do? How is that? Its because He/God sees us as separate from the world, dead to the world, redeemed and saved. So our new born again life that we now live CANNOT be lived apart from Him. Because we can’t do anything apart from Him (as His children); we have been given a Helper; the Holy Spirit. That means we actually DON’T NEED to make any decisions or do anything apart from Him. But if we still do, then this is the pride of life issue.
1 John 2:16 - For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the world.
Romans 6:11 says “Consider yourselves dead to the power of sin….”
Romans 14:23 says “Whatever is not from faith is sin”.
So when you operate in the flesh, you are not operating by faith and that is sin according to this definition. This is why we need to “consider ourselves dead..”so that we can live by faith in Jesus Christ.
No one in the cemetery is considering themselves dead; are they? They don’t need to because they ARE dead. Because they ARE dead, the devil has absolutely NO power in the cemetery. Contrary to popular belief that cemeteries are where dead people's ghosts often wander, in fact the devil has absolutely no power there. He cannot oppress anyone there. The dead graves cannot be tempted, they cannot be lied to or deceived, they cannot be addicted to anything, they cannot watch nude movies and be affected by it, they cannot succumb to alcohol or drugs. The devil cannot do a thing there. Why? Because they are dead. The bible says, we need to consider ourselves dead to the sinful nature in us and to the worldliness or the system of this world. If we just did that, much of life’s problems are solved.
Let us assume that we all consider ourselves dead to the world and its systems. The next part of the verse says “and alive to God through Jesus Christ”. So how, does such a kind of life look like? This could well be the answer to whatever challenge you are facing.
“Being dead to sin, dead to the world and alive to God”?
Learn to see yourself as God the Father sees you. He sees you redeemed. He sees you as “not of this world”. He sees you as over comers. He has given you the Holy Spirit not just to guide you and lead you into all truth, but also to seal you as His. We need to learn to see ourselves as God sees us. Then live out that kind of life. I have 3 points or factors to experience such a life.
Eternal Life – Live with an eternal life mind set. John 3:16 When you received Jesus, that same moment you received eternal life. Eternal life BEGAN when you got saved and got born again. The new life that you got is eternal already. It’s a wrong mindset that people have. They think one day in future they’ll live forever and they will be in the presence of God. Nothing wrong with that, but that mindset causes you to separate out the spiritual life from the physical life in the flesh. This is why some people struggle with temptations and addictions. They have separated out their spiritual life from the natural life but haven’t understood the concept of being dead and being born again anew. And then you try to satisfy both flesh and you spirit which causes the struggle between flesh and spirit. Gal 5:17 says “the flesh wars against the Spirit”. So consider yourselves dead and then there is no war. Right? The moment we believed, at that very moment we became the offspring of God. One that is born of God. Because of that, we were born immortal and all things are ours. We are joint heirs with Christ. The New Testament is all about showing us our identity (who we really are) and teaching us to live the life of righteousness.
When you separate out the spiritual and the physical, then you live in fear of death and become enslaved to this world and its affairs. Everyone in the world is trying to prolong death as much as possible so that they can live a fuller life; longer. And we believers have got into that rat race as well. Instead, Live with an eternal mindset like as if you are never going to die. Why? Because you are already dead to the world and alive to God.
Hebrews 2:14-15 says Since, therefore, [these His] children share in flesh and blood [in the physical nature of human beings], He [Himself] in a similar manner partook of the same [nature], that by [going through] death He might bring to nought and make of no effect him who had the power of death -- "that is, the devil and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
In other words, this is why Jesus came. When we live with an eternal life mindset and consider ourselves already dead, then the things of this world don’t matter to us that much. We just use the material things as tools to live life. We are dead to the world, but alive to God.
Live in righteousness – God gives us His own righteousness as a gift giving us the confidence and boldness to stand before Him. That position of being right with God not only justifies us but also empowers us to live godly. When you know you are righteous and when you BELIEVE that you are righteous, then you will live that way as well. The main problem believers have here is guilt and self-condemnation. Whenever they do something wrong, guilt sets in and they condemn themselves. If it doesn’t, someone near them will make sure they feel guilty by pointing out their mistakes. They feel that they have fallen short of the glory of God. Why? Because that’s how the flesh/sinful nature reacts. People say “that’s natural to feel that way”. No, its fleshly and worldly.
You say, “but the bible says everyone has fallen short of the glory of God”. True, the bible says that; but that is exactly why Jesus came. So if you are a believer now, you can never fall short of the glory of God except by your own will by rejecting Jesus Christ. So when you are dead to the world, but alive to God, then you can never ever begin to think that you don’t deserve to be in God’s presence or you are unrighteous or have fallen short, etc.
Romans 8:1 – There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
2 Cor 5:21 – He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God.
John 17:16 – Jesus Himself says “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” . Wow! Jesus is making me equal with Him in this statement.
If that is the case, then why do we live like as if we are of the world?
The people of this world say “Be realistic”. “Be practical”, etc. What they are actually saying is “Adhere to the worlds system”. The worlds system is to better your life through prosperity, luxury, better homes, cars, maintaining your position of success in the world, carry a persona of being successful and so on. The worlds system teaches that there will be ups and downs in life. We need to be strong and face challenges in life, etc…All of that comes from a built-in sinful nature that rebels against God and want to achieve things in life apart from God. The biggest struggle of man is being drawn to the world and also being drawn to God. The Christian doesn’t want to give up either, but the way to true life is giving up one obvious one. Cutting off your flesh. Consider yourself dead to the sinful nature and the world and live a life alive to God alone. So if you consider yourself dead to the world and are alive to God alone, then what ups and downs in life are you talking about?
Fellowship with God = Don’t do anything apart from Him
James 4:4 says “Friendship with the world is enmity with God”. You cannot have an intimate fellowship with God if you are friends with the world.
People think friendship with the world means drinking, partying, gluttony, indulging in all sorts of pleasure, etc…No, friendship with the world includes all of those and also the worlds way of living life.
Eg: People imagine an ultimate godly life with a happy and peaceful family, no arguments at home, no misunderstandings, always having enough, no financial debts that steal their sleep, and they all want that life, but they also want money, they also want a car they dream of, they also want to show off and maintain a fake position of success, etc. Instead, just love fellowship with God and love your family members with the love of God. You will have that happy and peaceful family. But you have to give up love for the world and love for any self-indulging pleasure. Seeking self indulging pleasures and recognition in the world are not of God.
People ask and pray for the anointing of God on their lives. How are you going to get that? Many times you see people lifting their hands in worship services or conferences wanting the anointing of God. Then the preacher prays and they SEEM to get something, sometimes they fall down, etc…Next second, if someone asks them if they want the anointing of God, they ask again and lift their hands again. Like as if God is pouring out something little by little by little. No!!! We have the fullness of God in us according to the bible. Christ in us, the Holy Spirit in us. The bible says “Be led by the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh” – Gal 5:16. If we can be led by the Holy Spirit, then we have the fullness of the Holy Spirit in us.
If we consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God, then we can live the God kind of life and we won’t go seeking after feelings and Goosebumps experiences.
If you consider yourselves dead to the world and the sinful nature, then in effect you are saying you are not going to rely on your sensory perceptions to live life. In other words, you are not going to go by feelings or by this worlds way of doing things. What!!! But that’s the only way to live in this world. So how else can you live?
To be alive to God, you need FAITH. Romans 1:17 says “The just or righteous shall live by faith”. That’s a life style. Faith is not something that you use to get something from God. It’s a lifestyle of choosing to die to the world and live for God.
2 Cor 5:7 says “We walk by faith not by sight”. Why? Because if you are walking by sight, then you have not considered yourself dead to sin and to the world.
People think or the devil has deceived them into thinking that if they chose to live a life fully surrendered to God, then they are going to miss out on the pleasures and luxuries of life. They say its’ not practical and not realistic. That’s a lie from the devil. The apostle Paul lived with an eternal life mindset. He said “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain”. He considered himself dead to the world. To the Philippians he said “I have learnt to be content in all circumstances.” (or independent of circumstances). It is a lie from the devil that you’ll miss out on life.
The bible says in 2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,”
Firstly, all things pertaining to life and all things pertaining to godliness has been given to us. That means we don’t miss out on anything both in life and godliness. Secondly, it comes through fellowship with Him. Its not through fellowship with the world and adding on a personal quiet time or prayer time or meditation time. It comes through knowing Him.
What does one want in life?
Peace, harmony, provision and love at home? – It comes by making Him the Lord of your household. As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord. Having family prayers together, etc..
Enough finances to live comfortably? – Give and it shall be given unto you, pressed down and shaken together… The answer is right there…
A fully content and satisfied life? – If you lose your life for my sake, you will find it. In other words, consider yourselves dead to sin and to the world and alive to God.
Isaiah 26:3 - You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You
Perfect peace means nothing missing in life. But it comes out of fellowship with God, doing nothing apart from Him.
Bless you all my dear family in the Lord.
John 13:1-5 : It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
This is remarkable. Jesus KNEW who He was, He Knew He was the son of God. He KNEW that the Father had given all things into His hands and that He was going back to God. At that time, and in that context, He decides to do something, ie. Wash the disciples’ feet and wipe them dry. What was the significance of Jesus washing the disciple’s feet? Why did He do it? What was He trying to communicate?
Many a times, we have heard it being taught that this was Jesus teaching about humility. Yes, there is a lesson about humility which you can learn from this. It’s true that there are many teachers who think of themselves higher than the students and expect/demand respect. In fact, that’s the norm in this world’s education system. Here, by Jesus washing the disciples feet, you could indeed learn a lesson on humility, considering how Jesus didn’t think it below his dignity (knowing who He was, the son of God) to stoop down and wash his disciples feet.
However, that was not what Jesus had in mind when he did this act. He was trying to demonstrate something much deeper. The bible teaches about humility quite directly on many other occasions. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6, Proverbs 3:34, Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 15:33, Proverbs 18:12.
There are plenty of verses in the OT and the NT that teaches about humility and contrasts it with pride. So if Jesus wanted to teach on humility, He would have simply told them to be humble. There wouldn’t be a need to perform an act like this and leave them wondering why He was doing this. He washed their feet to remind them of something very important.
Let’s read verse 6 and 7 again:
Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you
will know after this.”
Now, why would He say “What I am doing you do not understand now”, if it was about humility. He also said “You will know later”.
There was a much deeper message than just humility here. In effect, Jesus was demonstrating to them that by His death and resurrection, they were cleansed from their sins and no longer separated from God. He was demonstrating that His blood had cleansed them from all their unrighteousness. But though they were cleansed completely once and for all, they still lived in a sinful world and they would end up getting their feet dirty, or defiled every day.
Feet represents your daily walk..
Watching TV and movies, listening to people talking, your own thoughts, walking through the mall and seeing images and pictures, listening to negative people, listening to angry people who speak foul, etc. In other words, whatever you do daily as part of your normal life in this fallen world brings in daily defilement's. Things such as negativism, wrong beliefs, news, medical news, etc. For example, all you need to listen on TV is some medical professional say "one in 10 people drinking coffee are bound to get cancer at some point in their life" and you suddenly feel fearful. These are all faith killers and little foxes that affect your identity in Christ. Your mind is defiled every day and leads you away from who you actually are as a child of God. This sinful world always leads God’s children away from righteousness to unrighteousness and from NO condemnation to guilt.
How do you keep yourself clean from all of this? The bible answers this question and says "By cleansing yourself by the Water of the word". Washing your feet is a form of preaching. Whenever you are listening to the gospel being
taught or reading a blog post or Gods word by yourself or a daily devotional, etc…you are exposing yourself to the basin of water. That is what washes your feet and cleanses your defiled mind and thoughts and any other “faith killers”.
Jesus washed them and wiped them with the towel with which He was girded. Towel in the greek (original Latin) is Linteum, which is linen cloth. And Linen is representative of righteousness in the OT. The priests wore linen garments.
Isaiah 11:5 – and righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
So by Jesus wiping the disciples feet after washing, He meant the following. After you read the word or after you listen to the word being taught, you should leave with a sense of righteousness. You should leave with a reminder that you are indeed the righteousness of God in Christ. You should feel clean, accepted and loved by the Lord. You should leave reminded that you are a new creation in Christ, you are a citizen of heaven, you are not of this world, you belong to Gods family and you are His child. You are seated together with Him in the heavenly places. No weapon formed against you can prosper. He that is in you is stronger that He that is in the world. Whenever you listen to teaching or preaching of God’s word, you should leave with a sense of acceptance. You are accepted in the beloved. That’s what gives you hope, faith and makes you experience the (zoe) life of God.
When Jesus said in John 10 – The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy but I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly. In the original language, it says “zoe” of God which is the God kind of life, divine life and have the completeness of that zoe life.
Expose yourself to the water of the word, as often as you can. If not, you will accumulate dust and dust is a representation of the devil’s food. God said to the devil, dust you shall eat all the days of your life. Gen 3:14
John 13:7 - Obviously Peter understood the physical washing….but Jesus wasn’t referring to that when He said, what I am doing, you do not understand now. So this is not so much about humility. It has a much deeper significance. You have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ. This is what he meant by saying, you are clean already. Those who have bathed need only to wash their feet.
Peter then says “Not only my feet, but my hands and head also. Then Jesus responds to Peter in John 13:10:
Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you
are clean, but not all of you.” - The "not all of you" was referring to Judas who would later betray Jesus.
But you my brothers and sisters are cleansed by the blood of Christ. All you need is washing of your feet everyday due
to the exposure to sin/dust in this world. And you clean your feet by washing with the word.
When your feet gets dirty, (or when your mind gets defiled due to everyday living in this sinful world), It does not mean you have lost your standing before the perfect and holy God. The blood of Jesus Christ has washed you clean once and for all. You are righteous. You are a citizen of heaven. You are a joint heir with Christ. You are seated together with Him in the heavenly places. When God looks at you, you are blameless because of Jesus and you are still His new creation. But your feet is dirty. You might be someone who doesn’t read the bible a lot or spend too much time every day in the word other than on Sunday at church or maybe once or twice a week. If this is you, maybe that explains why you don’t experience the love and grace of God in your life. Maybe this explains why you don’t experience the goodness of God in your life. Maybe this explains why you are constantly in need of prayer by someone else who DOES spend a lot of time with God and in His word.
But then maybe your friend calls you and says something encouraging or shares a testimony, or you read something on facebook or a blog post, and all of a sudden you experience this washing of your feet. All of a sudden, you feel accepted by God and loved by God. What happened? Your feet just got cleansed…
Jesus says "You are completely clean."
In villages (in our home town) people go down to the river or lake to bathe. After they have bathed clean, they step on to the muddy ground and walk back home. Do they bathe again? Of course not. No…they just wash their feet. So also, washing of water by the word (Ephe 5:26) cleanses your feet, whilst you are already clean. This is why it is important for us to spend time in His word everyday as often as we can. Meditate on His word. Wash your feet every day.
John 13:14 - “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
So how do we wash one another’s feet? How do I wash your feet and you wash someone else’s feet? Obviously, we don’t see anybody doing this in the bible from the book of Acts onwards or at least it is not recorded.
Each time you remind someone else about the forgiveness of their sins through Christ, when you encourage them, when you lift someone up from their depression or discouragement, you are washing their feet as well. This is how you wash others feet.
Ephe 5:19 says speak to one another in psalms, hymns, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Each time you remind a brother or sister about the Lord, about who they are in Christ, you have just washed their feet.
When your feet gets dirty and you don’t clean it for a long time, it affects your life. Many Christians who are walking in defeat or are discouraged, depressed, struggling with issues, always wanting someone to pray for them, etc. Their feet might be dirty. In other words, they have forgotten how much the Lord loves them. They have forgotten that they are completely clean. Their feet needs cleansing. The longer you stay away from the word and the longer you stay away from prayer and worship and church, the longer it takes to feel clean, free and full of faith again. It’s a lot easier to consistently walk in victory, peace and full of joy when you keep washing yourself with the word often.
Jesus was giving them an assurance that they never need to feel like they have lost fellowship with God. He who is bathed need only to wash his feet. John 13:10
So my dear brothers and sisters, stay blessed, stay clean and wash one another's feet as often as can.
Self-Discipline – How important is it to deal with our bodies and its cravings in our walk with God?
We are born again as a “NEW” creation. (2 Cor 5:17)
We are born of an incorruptible seed. (1 Pet 1:23)
We are not of this world. (John 17:16)
We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (2 Cor 5:21)
We cannot sin. (1 John 3:9)
We cannot be condemned. (Romans 8:1)
We are citizens of heaven. (Phil 3:20)
We know we are righteous. We are born again and this time of an incorruptible seed. We are not of this world. We cannot sin. We cannot be condemned. We are citizens of heaven. We are a new creation in Christ and more. This is all true of course. Jesus has done everything that was needed to be done to ensure that we as His children are given ALL things pertaining to life and ALL things pertaining to godliness.
We know all this and believe it too. We do have faith. Yet, in practicality, there still seems to be a struggle in experiencing all that in real life. Why is this? Christians still struggle in their prayer life. Everything is a spiritual warfare for some. People still struggle with sinful habits and addictions. In other words, there are many Christians who are little to no different from anybody else in the world, except that they believe in Jesus and go to church. Why is this? I mean, if Jesus removed sin from us, if Jesus set us free from condemnation and bondage to the devil, if Jesus has given us a NEW life and called us His brethren and made us joint heirs with Him, then why this struggle? If we really are not of this world, if we really have access to the throne of God and can address Him as our Father and if we can really ask whatever we wish in Jesus name, then why do things not work that way in our lives?
The fact is this. When we became new born-again creatures, not only did we become new, our desires changed too. We now want to live new lives that are in line with the incorruptible seed of righteousness in us. Our spirit man has come alive and we want to live the God kind of life. We want to be like who Jesus was. And that is natural and expected because we are indeed born of Him and are like Him in every way. We were not like that before.
But, everything that Jesus did for us has only affected our spirit man or our inner being; our true self. He always addressed our spirit. Jesus said “The words I speak to you are spirit and they are life”. Our spirit was dead. Our being born again has made our spirits alive. Our bodies didn’t get born again though. The corruptible has not put on incorruptible as yet. That will happen upon our Lord’s return. Our bodies will be transformed to glorious bodies in the twinkling of an eye without any flaws when the Lord returns. But for now, we are here on earth with an “unsaved” body with all its cravings, desires and lustful passions, which upon death will return to dust.
Galatians 5:17 – For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
1 John 2:16 - For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
Anything that is not of God in your life will hinder the fullness of God in your life. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. These are not from God. And these are the very reasons for a struggling Christian life. Let me explain.
Lust of the flesh – This can be explained as a deep desire for food, for sensual pleasure, for ungodly entertainment, sex, nicotine, alcohol, drugs and whatever else your body (or feelings) craves for. You think fulfilling the lust of the flesh will satisfy the lust, but it only hungers for more. It is never satisfied.
Lust of the eyes – This can be explained as a deep desire for something in the world that is appealing to your eyes. For e.g.: jewellery that could enhance your social status, furniture, larger homes, cars, etc. In short, anything that you look at and desire for yourself either to satisfy your greed or to maintain a social status. Let me clarify that God is not against His children having good things in life. But a worldly lust for them is not from God.
Pride of life – This can be explained as anything you think you can do without God. When you say “I will call out to God in prayer when I need help, but these things I can manage on my own”, then you have just displayed the pride of life. E.g.: You have enough money and can afford to buy a piece of jewellery or a car that you are aspiring to buy. Then you say to yourself “I don’t need to pray about this. I only need to pray when I have a desire and I don’t have the means to get it”. That attitude is pride of life. And the bible says its not from God but of the fallen sinful world.
Ezekiel 16:49 is a great example. “Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”
When you think of Sodom, you would think of sexually immoral and perverse people. But see where it all started…It started with the pride of life.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have any desires at all. Desires are in fact from God and the bible says if we delight in the Lord, He will grant us the desires of our heart. Desires are different from lust. Lust is impulsive.
Anything that is not of God in your life will hinder the fullness of God in your life. We are called to cut the flesh off from the equation to experience the fullness of God in your life. Do not give in to the desires of the flesh. We are in fact encouraged to put to death the lusts of our flesh. That takes effort and self-discipline on our part.
Romans 8:13 - For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
It’s amazing how many verses in the bible teach us about our responsibility in controlling our bodies so that we can experience the fullness of the God kind of life. And all these verses are addressed to Christians, believers, followers of Christ, saved people. Paul has had amazing revelation in this area.
1 Cor 6:19 – Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit….
Most people respect a church building. When they come inside the church, they never smoke. When they enter a church, they don’t swear, or drink alcohol. Because in their mind, they think the church building is a holy place. But the bible says, our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. So, if we don’t do certain things in a church building, how come we allow those things in our bodies?
1 Cor 6:19-20 – You were bought at a price…
The value of something is determined by the price that was paid for it. Because such a huge price has been paid for your body, glorify God in your bodies.
Here are some more verses that talk about self-discipline if that wasn’t enough:
James 1:26 – if you won’t control your tongue, your religion is useless
Colossians 3: 1-6 – Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
James 1:13-16 – Do not be deceived…Sin and the desires of the flesh are deceptive in nature. They lie.
Romans 13:13-14 – Make no provision for the flesh
Romans 8:5-14 – Carnal mind is enmity against God. Do you see that when we are in the flesh, we can’t experience the God kind of life? Verse 8 confirms it.
Verse 9 says “We are not in the flesh…to remind us that we are born again. New creatures in Christ. Our spirit is alive and born of the incorruptible seed of righteousness if the Spirit of God is in us. Well, “if the Spirit of God is in us” is a pre-requisite of course.
Romans 8:12-14 – by the Spirit, put to death the deeds of the body
1 Cor 9:24-27 – I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. This passage is addressed to Christians in Corinth. In our walk with God (race), we can all come first and obtain a prize. But as an athlete disciplines himself to win, so also, we must discipline ourselves to win. Run in such a way to win.
The living bible says, “I make my body do what it should do and not what it wants to do.” Paul said that.
This is critical to make progress as a Christian. We need to add discipline to our faith and that takes effort on our part.
Ephesians 5:3-5 – But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, not covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
1 Peter 1:13-16 – Rest your hope fully upon the grace, BUT ALSO be holy
Romans 12:1 – present your bodies as living sacrifices -
Galatians 5:19-22 – The works of the flesh are evident
Ephesians 2:1-5 – We once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling desires of the flesh and of the mind. But God made us alive together with Christ and made us sit together in heavenly places…
Why say this if God didn’t want us to live or knew that we cannot live in the fullness of godliness?
Romans 1:24-26 – Very important to note here is that “they exchanged the truth of God for the lie”.
1 The 4:4-5 – you should KNOW HOW TO POSSESS your own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust
2 Tim 3:1-13 – Paul admonishes Timothy that in the last days saying, many men will have a form of godliness but deny its power. They will become lovers of pleasure.
1 Peter 4:1-2 – Therefore since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
Friends, there is a place in God where you do not have to always be struggling in prayer trying to get what you want. There is a place where you don’t even have to ask. You instinctively know the Lords will. There is a place in God where it is no stress to walk with God. His burden is light. His yoke is easy.
So how do you put to death the lusts of your flesh, the lust of your eyes and the pride of life?
We need to stop thinking that our bodies are us. It is not. The new born-again self is us. The body is our temporary home and the bible even calls it our “tent”. 2 Cor 5:1
Erroneously thinking that our bodies are us causes us to also own the selfish desires of our bodies. And that includes the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. But our bodies are not us. So we don’t need to own its desires.
So, we need to look at our bodies as a tool outside of us that we “use” as children of God. Its something we use. Its not us. Just as you use a hammer for a purpose and lay it aside when you don’t need it, or a microwave or a car. But all these are non-living things and don’t crave to be used. Our bodies have lusts and crave to be fulfilled. Therefore, we need to learn to say NO and discipline ourselves. The apostle Paul said, “I beat my body and bring it to subjection”. In other words, he refrained from giving in to the cravings of his body. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. Gal 5:22-23 This is why you should get into a habit of fasting. Fasting greatly help in denying your flesh the cravings. Consciously control the cravings of the flesh. Do not give a foothold to the lust of the flesh or the lust of the eyes or to the pride of life.
A suggestion for those who need practical help: Pray and tell the Lord that you intend to consciously make an effort to put to death the lusts of your flesh, the lusts of your eyes and the pride of life. Ask him for grace and start out in faith. Mark the date you decided to start on your calendar. Then mark dots each day for the number of times you think you failed that day in any area. Don’t feel guilty about it at all. Just ask the Lord for forgiveness and to grant you the grace to continue. He is faithful to forgive and will definitely bless you just because you have started out this walk of self-discipline. Ask Him to give you the “gift” of self-discipline. Then continue on. Watch the number of dots reduce in a few weeks’ time and before long it will become your life style. When nothing stands between you and God, everything about your life will miraculously change.
I wish to encourage you to start to put in an effort to discipline your bodies friends. Do nothing without talking to God first. Even when you have the money and the means to buy something, pray about it first and ask God if it’s the right thing to do. Don’t treat God like a genie and approach Him only when you want something and you don’t have the means to get it. Instead, know that He is your loving Father and walk in intimacy with Him. When you spend your money on something “after” talking to Him, your joy is so much multiplied.
The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. These are not from God but is of the world. Anything that is not of God in your life will hinder the fullness of God in your life. It will steal your joy, your happiness, your health and your prosperity. On the contrary, when you have nothing standing between you and God and you are able to stand before Him with a clear conscience, you will truly experience life and life more abundantly.
Belief is not belief unless you act like what you say you believe. Until then, its just knowledge. Knowledge of the truth indeed, but still it’s just knowledge. And knowledge of Gods word doesn’t get you results. Belief does.
He said He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do you believe that or do you know that? Knowing it will not set you free from loneliness and depression. Believing it will.
His word says “By His stripes you were healed”. Do you believe that or do you know that? Knowing it will not bring healing to you. Believing it will keep you healthy.
His word says “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed”. Do you believe that or do you know that? Knowing it will not set you free from sinful habits, bondage's and addictions. Believing it will set you free.
His word says “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory”. Do you believe that or do you know that? Knowing it will not make you abundantly supplied and generous. Believing it will.
His word says “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. Do you believe that or do you know that? Knowing it will not remove guilt and self condemnation. Believing it will set you free.
His word says “He has given us ALL things pertaining to life and godliness”. Do you believe that or do you know that? Knowing it will not make a difference in your life, but believing it will cause you to walk in confidence.
We Christians have plenty of knowledge of the truth, but we don’t really believe because we are accustomed to believing only what we see and experience in the flesh. Isn’t that being carnal? We are called to walk by faith and not by sight.
The disciples couldn’t cast the demon out and when they asked Jesus about it, His answer was “ because of your unbelief”.
Jesus said “He came to give us life and life more abundantly”. Did He or didn't He? If He did (which of course He did), then we ought to be living that life isn't it?
In conclusion, you will only experience a joyful and wonderful life in the areas where you believe the gospel message. If you really believe that By His stripes you were healed, but don’t believe He has set you free from all bondage's, then you will always be able to use your faith and fight off sicknesses but will struggle with sinful habits. If you believe that His blood has cleansed you from all unrighteousness, but you don’t believe He supplies all your needs, then you will never feel condemned or guilty, but you will struggle with being generous and therefore be in lack struggling to make ends meet. If you believe Christ is Lord, but don’t believe Christ has become your wisdom, then you’ll be an awesome worshiper, but will mostly find yourself making wrong choices and wrong decisions. Am sure you get the point..
Believe the gospel message in its entirety brothers and sisters, and enjoy the abundant life He has given you. Because belief is not belief unless you act like what you say you believe. Until then, its just knowledge.
The most common statement I’ve heard over the many years of walking with the Lord is this. “Not all biblical promises are literal and true because we know that in life, there can be situations where no amount of prayer and fasting seem to be working. It’s just God’s will and that He has a greater good planned in everything we go through”. Really? I have never been comfortable with that statement because that raises so many questions with regards to the words of Jesus.
So, when the bible says, “Jesus Himself took ALL our sicknesses and by His stripes we are healed”, are you now saying that isn’t true all the time? Did He leave out some? When Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”, are you now saying that He sometimes leaves you? When Jesus said, “Whatsoever things you ask for when you pray, believe that you have received it and it shall be yours”, are you now saying that is not true? I am sure you agree there are lot more promises which could fall under this category. Jesus did say that He is coming back again. Going by this standard, how do we know that He is going to return?
This is because many of us have wrongly learnt to validate Gods word with our “feelings”. We let our “feelings” tell us what is true and what is not. If we “feel” sick, then our feelings override the truth in the word of God. If we asked for something in prayer and we didn’t’ get it when we wanted it, we begin to doubt. Now we let the doubt override the truth in the word of God. Many such instances in life become something called “life experience” and we let life experiences determine what is true and what is not in the word of God.
No, my dear brothers and sisters, one cannot pick and choose what to believe and what not to believe in God’s word. One must never read “into the bible” based on life experiences. All the above might have been your experience in life as a Christian, but that doesn’t make it the truth. Gods word is the truth, and nothing changes it. Not even your life experiences.
But the real truth is this. God’s word has POWER to change your life experience.
One of the key reasons why many of us don’t really experience the promises spoken of in God’s word is because we underestimate the power of “words”. The words we speak are often contrary to the word of God. We pray and ask God for a healing or a miracle or a provision, but our words immediately after the prayer are always contrary to the prayer we just prayed.
The bible says in John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made what was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. “
Did you see that? The Word was God and all things that were made was made through Him. Through the word. Creation happened through the word.
This is why in Genesis 1 we see, God spoke words, and it became. He spoke “Let there be….and then there was”. Such is the power of the “spoken” word. Not a “thought” word or a whispered word, but a “spoken” word.
John 1:14 –says “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us….”
Wow! The Word of God became flesh. In other words, the word of God was Jesus Himself. Jesus said “The words I speak to you are spirit and they are life”. – John 6:63
A lot of times, we agree with God’s word when we hear it. We agree with God’s word when we read it. We say “Yes, its true”. We read “By His stripes we were healed”, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, etc and we agree. We read the bible and say “Halleluiah Amen!”. We even quote it but agreement with the word is very different from “using” the word in our daily lives. God gave us His word to use it, not just to agree with it and say, “we believe”. Many of us agree with the word of God but do not know how to use it and hence do not see it manifest in our daily lives.
Agreeing with the word and not seeing it manifest in our day to day life is mere religion. We must learn how to use the word of God to see it manifest in our lives.
Jesus always ministered with words. He opened blind eyes with words. He said, “Be opened” and there it was. He made the lame walk with words. He said, “Arise, pick up your mat and walk”. He raised the dead with words. He calmed the sea with words. He fed the hungry with words. He cast out devils with words. The most important part of a Christian’s life is the ability to use Gods word. A born-again Christian’s life is defined by the words he/she speaks. How much of Gods promises manifests in your daily life largely depends on the words you speak. You are no greater than the words you speak. Watch your words. No man ever got better than the words that came out of his mouth.
Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”.
When the multitudes listened to Jesus, they went back and said, “No man ever spoke like this man”. Multitudes thronged around Jesus. They came from near and far just to hear Him speak. In one instance, they even forgot they hadn’t eaten for three days. They were with Jesus listening to Him speak. When they heard Him speak to the wind and calm the sea, they said “Wow! What manner of man of this that even the winds and the waves obey Him”? His words had power. The tree that withered out overnight couldn’t resist the power of His words. The devils couldn’t resist His command to flee. Mark 1:22 says, “The people were astonished at His teaching, because He spoke with authority”.
He has now given us (His children) the same authority. This is why He said, I’ve given you authority to overcome all the power of the enemy. Nothing by any means will harm you. Jesus also said that we would be able to lay our hands on the sick and heal them. We would be able to cast out devils in His name. He also said “Ask what you want in my name and it shall be done for you for the glory of my Father in heaven”.
If we really have been given so much power, then how is it that we ourselves are struggling with sicknesses and oppression and lack often times? Isn’t something wrong with that picture?
No, my dearest brothers and sisters, let us learn to speak the word. Out loud. With boldness and confidence because we are children of God. We are not ordinary people of the world. We are His children with direct access to God our Father. Do not just whisper and definitely do not just close your eyes and “think” a prayer. Jesus said, “When you pray, SAY and not “think” because “words” are powerful.
It is said that a scientist once performed an experiment. He had 2 plants. He spoke nice words to one plant every single day. He spoke out words like you are beautiful, you are awesome. You will bear much fruit. You look so beautiful and healthy and so on. But he spoke harsh words to the second plant. He spoke out words such as “You are ugly. You are fruitless. I don’t think you’ll stay alive. You are miserable, etc. After a few weeks, he noticed that the first plant grew beautiful, flowered very well and looked very healthy, but the second plant withered and died. Such is the power of your words. Imagine then what your words can do to your life.
The truth is that when we were born again, we were born of the Word of God. He gave birth to our new born-again self. His word gave birth to us. So we have His word living in us. We have the life of God Himself in us. We cannot be sick, and we can never be condemned. We can live guilt free and with divine health.
1 Peter 1:23 says, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
Now since we have the life of God Himself in us and since we have His word in us, let us also ensure that only His words come out of our mouths. His words will always be full of power, will be full of selfless love and will always build people up and not tear them down. His words bring healing and His words set people free.
This is what I do every day, at least once. Often more than once. I speak this out loudly all by myself every single day.
“I am a child of God. I was born of the Word of God. God Himself gave birth to me. I was born of an incorruptible seed. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. The blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed me from all my unrighteousness. I cannot sin, because I do not have the sin nature in me. When God gave birth to me as I was born again, He didn’t impart the sin nature into me like Adam did. Therefore, I cannot sin. Sin has no dominion over me because I am not under law but under grace. I have the life of God in me because He birthed me. Therefore, I cannot be sick. I have his divine health in me. As He is, so am I in this world. I am not of this world. I am a citizen of the kingdom of God. It is impossible for me to fail because God is my Father. He owns all things. I am His son and I am a success. Because I am His son, I only speak His words and I only do what I see Him do. The Holy Spirit is with me. I am never alone. He will guide me through this day and provide for all I need today. I thank you Lord for my new life. I thank you for my family and for your Lordship over my household.”
After several months/years of doing this, it has become who I am now, and I have learnt to look at myself through God’s eyes. Speak this over yourself every day for 2 weeks and let me know if you notice a difference in your walk with God and in your personal life.
Let me remind you again. Watch your words. Speak God’s word over your lives. Do not speak as any one else of this world. Be different. Speak differently.
For example: When you feel sick, don’t say “I have this problem or that problem….” Instead try speaking out “I am a child of God. It is impossible for me to be sick. I have the life of God in me. I refuse to let this sickness in my body. I command you (name the sickness) to leave my body now in Jesus name. Keep saying it. Don’t stop. Keep saying it.
When there is discord and arguments in your home and there is no peace, don’t be discouraged and sad. Instead, speak out and say “Jesus is Lord of this house. I command the sprit of disunity to leave now. “
Ask God for wisdom. Dear Lord, grant me wisdom. Wisdom to discern spiritual truths. Wisdom to prosper and make money. Wisdom to be generous and to live a godly life. In Jesus name. Amen!
Let me pray over you right now. Dear Lord Jesus, help my brothers and sisters find revelation in this blog post Lord. Let them realize the power of their words and convict those who have been experiencing curses in their lives due to lack of knowledge. May your Holy Spirit teach them to speak YOUR words going forward Lord. Bless them in their households. Fill their homes with your peace. Heal those who are seeking health and provide for those who are seeking provision. But teach them to walk in victory going forward Lord. For this purpose, you came, that they might have abundant life and that we all might be one with you. I thank you Lord for granting me this request. In Jesus name I pray, Amen!!
Ever wondered if it was possible to have such intimacy with God that you could literally commune with Him every day? Eg: What if you could talk to Him everyday like as if He were right next to you and you could ask Him for guidance? What if you could be really intimate with Him and nothing in this world would ever matter anymore? You would say, that you probably are already doing that. But truly, IF we were enjoying such intimacy with God, then we wouldn’t be worried, or feeling depressed or asking God for a miracle or a healing for ourselves, etc. When you know someone so closely, then you don’t need to ask for something again and again right? Eg: My wife and I are really close to each other and we live together every day. It would be weird for me not to know her and keep checking on her or for her to keep checking on me. We instinctively know that certain things will just happen. If we could have a similar relationship with God, then it would change our Christian life completely. Our prayer life would be very different and faith would never be an issue.
Do you think God wants such intimacy with us or do you think He prefers to maintain the distance? Do you think He prefers to be the all-powerful God and you be the lowly sinner crying out to Him for grace and mercy? Surely He desires intimacy with His children. The bible says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”. James 4:8. Additionally, the entire story of the gospel, the very reason for Jesus to lay down His life, was because He seeks intimacy with us.
But then, look around you. Majority of Christians do not have such a relationship with God. It’s easy to know if someone is intimate with God or not. Just listen in to their prayers. Prayers that are mostly for themselves seeking provision, seeking healing, seeking breakthrough’s and frequent repetitions of the same prayer is a clear indication of lack of intimacy. If they really knew how much God loved them and if they knew they were one with Him, it would change their prayers.
How do we get to such a level of intimacy with God? Is it even possible? Well, there is nothing for us to DO to get to a level of such intimacy with God. Jesus has done it all. We only need to understand the gospel and walk in it. Someone said “Biblical knowledge is far better than gold when it fuels our trust in God. Otherwise, it only fuels our pride.” My intention is to expound the gospel to you to such an extent that it impacts your walk with God, it impacts your prayer life and makes you realize that you are one with Him. You are not separate to God. You are one with Him.
Before Adam and Eve sinned, they did have such intimacy. God spoke with Adam and Adam responded. There was a dialogue. Do you think Adam needed to cry and pray and plead before God for things he needed or for a breakthrough in something, etc? No, he didn’t, because intimacy with God brought all sufficiency. It is essential to rewind and see what exactly separated God and us from such intimacy.
Back in the beginning, it was SIN that separated us from such intimacy with God. Ever since then, Gods plan was to redeem us and reconcile us. Even today, it is the same SIN that separates us from Him. And its not just the unsaved world. It is also us Christians. We know Jesus died for our sins, but we still carry a consciousness of sin. This is the real reason for a lack of intimacy with God. Hebrews 10:2
This does not mean that all Christians who do not enjoy intimacy with God are living sinful lives. No, No, No…a thousand times No. It’s just that their own “consciousness of sin” and their knowledge of the immense holiness of God keeps them from such intimacy.
Yet, God longs for intimacy. He wants us to be anxiety free, sickness free, worry free and living lives that are joyful and victorious. This is the message all through the New Testament.
Ideally, no Christian, no born again child of God should have any personal prayer requests. Ooh! That’s bold. But yes, every child of God should have such intimacy with Him that all their personal requests are handled individually by themselves between them and God. United prayers by a group of believers should be intercessory in nature. This is only an ideal situation which is never the reality because different Christians are at different levels of faith. Some are mature, some others are children and babes in Christ. So group prayers, praying for each other is definitely recommended. But when you are mature and are enjoying such intimacy with the Lord, then Prayers for lost people, prayers for protection during persecution, prayers for wisdom or guidance and a lot of praise and worship are usually the norm. That’s what a Christians life who is very intimate with God would look like. But this is obviously not the case. We get people wanting prayers for money, for broken relationships, people wanting to get married, people always wanting something or the other…
It’s the same old issue of sin or consciousness of sin that separates people from such intimacy with Him. The truth is that God doesn’t recognize sin in us believers anymore, but we do and we lose confidence to enter into Gods presence. Hebrews 4:16, 10:19
We are all born again believers here. We’ve been Christians for a few years now, some more than others. But am sure you all will agree that though we are Christians, we have been sinful at some point in time or the other. It’s not like we suddenly became holy and pious people. We too struggle with many ungodly thoughts and desires, which we call temptations and trials and the world calls normal and being human. When we sinned, we prayed and sought forgiveness from the Lord and it took a while (sometimes a few days) to get that confidence back to feel that we are accepted by God again. At other times, we remind ourselves, we are righteous, there is now no condemnation, etc…but still when we pray, we are kind of doubtful if God heard us because we are wondering if God is upset with us or not.
So as Christians we have been taught to resist temptations and wilfully make a choice to obey God. To help us with this, we learn that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We are righteous now because of what Christ our Lord did for us. We are not under law but under grace. The blood of Jesus Christ continually washes us from every sin. We are taught to just seek forgiveness and continue our walk with the Lord, etc. All of this is true, but by nature it doesn’t make us very different to the lost world. We are just behaving differently and seem to have better control. They also have similar issues, but they don’t care to resist. They have accepted it as part of being human and carry on with their lives, but we as Christians feel convicted and find the need to be forgiven. And that’s the right feeling to have. That is evidence that we are not of this world. In fact, the bible teaches that we are indeed NOT of this world.
All of this battle, though very real, is a ploy of the enemy to keep us from intimacy with God. The devil has successfully managed to keep Christians very busy in this personal battle of watching over their lives, that they never have freedom from consciousness of sin. Our internal struggles keep us focused on watching over ourselves and our thoughts and actions, ensuring we are doing the “Christian” things and living the “Christian” life. But our minds/souls are a different story. Does that make us a less of a Christian? No. It doesn’t affect our salvation either. But it does keep us from intimacy with God and therefore keeps us from hearing His voice for ourselves. That explains why our prayers always sound like God is separate to us and He holds all the power to do something about our situation and we are helpless unless He does something. But the truth is He and us are one.
This constant strenous effort to walk the Christian walk either draw weak people away from God because they wear out or causes them to always be crying out to God for help and always depending on other people with prayer requests. When such people come to you and ask you for prayer, now you are obligated to pray for them because you feel they are looking up to you. You can’t let them down now by telling them you also have similar issues. That will affect their faith. So you pray with them, but quietly thinking to yourself, you need help too. Ultimate outcome is that the prayer didn’t get answered and it went nowhere. Both of you were in doubt with zero faith involved.
In your heart, you are keenly desiring for intimacy with God, and the ability to hear His voice everyday and simply walking with Him every day, but you just can’t seem to know how to get there.
The Solution: As always the answers to all things pertaining to life is in His Word.
The whole issue is lack of understanding of the gospel.
So what exactly did Jesus’s death and resurrection do?
Jesus’s lashings and wounds – Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:21-25 – By His wounds, we were healed. So he took away all our sickness. If this is the “truth”, then it impossible for us to be sick. Don’t go by experience, but simply by what the “truth” is. It is impossible for us to be sick if He took it all away. Right?
Jesus Death – The sin that separated us from God was imputed to Jesus. Even God turned His back on Him when He was on the cross. He died our death. This means we died with Him. Matthew 27:46, 2 Cor 5:21, Romans 5:19 – So then, the sin that separated us from God is no longer an issue, correct?
Born again – John 3:3. To be born again, you must first die. Else “again” is not possible. So if you died already and now are a born again person, who gave birth to you? You are no longer a descendant of Adam, but a descendant of God. The bible says you were born of the Word. This means, God gave birth to you when you were born again.
Born of the word – 1 Peter 1:23, 1 John 4:4
Our old self, was born sinful because sin was transmitted to us from Adam through generations after generations. We couldn’t help but sin. We were all born separated from God. But what happened when we were born again?
In the beginning was the Word, the Word was God and the Word was with God. If we were born of the word, then God gave birth this new born again person. Therefore, He couldn’t have transmitted sin to us. Ooh! Therefore, it is “impossible” for us to sin. We “cannot” sin.
We cannot be sick, we cannot be in bondage, we cannot be in sin, we cannot be a failure, etc. Christ won the victory for us in such a way that He made it impossible for us to fail, if we believe.
We Cannot sin. Is that shocking to hear? Read 1 John 3:9
When we understand this truth, we begin to realize that we “really” are not of this world because we are no longer a descendant of Adam or sinful man. We don’t have a past though we remember our previous life. This is why we are a NEW creation. Now when you call God “Father” in prayer, you will realize He really IS your Father because He literally gave birth to you. This is why the bible says “As He is, so are we in this world”. Just like Jesus is, so are we. We are family. He is our Father. When we walk in this consciousness, we begin to experience a new level of intimacy with Him. Your prayer life will change. You begin to speak to Him and you begin to hear Him speak back to you. Your prayers are more for others than for yourselves. Your day is full of communications with Him. About everything, the good, the bad and the uglies.
Now having understood this, read the following verses and see if it reveals something new to you.
From God’s view point, when we keep crying out to Him for things we need, then fast and pray for answers to our personal prayers, (almost as if like trying to coerce Him into taking action), these are signs of immaturity. Like stubborn children in a shopping mall trying to manipulate parents into buying something they want. A mature child who is walking with God intimately, asks once. Thereafter there may be communications regarding that thing, but not a repetitive prayer.
The devil has kept us busy being “sin conscious” so we can be ineffective in our Christian walk, but the truth is “We CANNOT Sin” because God gave birth to us and we have no sin in us. Therefore, there is nothing separating us from God our Father. Once we know this, then the devil is not even a factor. He is a defeated powerless useless nothing. He can only access your life if you let him. “He roams around seeking whom he may devour”, “Do not give the devil a foothold”, “submit to God and resist the devil and he will flee” . He is not a factor. Ignore him.
Focus on intimacy with God through Christ. Walk in maturity. Have God communications everyday. Let God find you as a mature child with whom He can talk man to man/man to woman and give guidance and direction in your everyday life. Once you experience this, you will learn to be gracious to others. Nobody’s words will hurt you. You will not feel less about yourself. You will enjoy that feeling of contentment and also be godly in your daily walk. The bible says “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” Additionally, since God Himself gave birth to you, you have His life in you. His DNA is in you, not Adam’s. God is a God of love. So you have His love in you too. You will find it a lot easier to walk in love, loving everybody and being patient with everybody, once you know that you are His child. Walk in love because love is the most powerful spiritual weapon you can have.
Jesus said, “By this the world will know that you are my disciples, if you have LOVE for one another”.
Blessings in abundance to you all.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
To most of us, we have come to understand these verses as the “beatitudes”.
The term beatitude comes from the Latin noun beātitūdō which means "happiness" or supreme blessedness. The beatitudes here start off with the word “Blessed”.
What does it mean to be blessed? The old testament not only used this terminology a lot, they also gave a huge amount of importance to being blessed. Esau was really upset with his brother Jacob for have stolen his father's blessing through deception. Abraham was a blessed man. Joseph was a blessed man. Some others were not blessed. The Greek word for "blessed" used in the Beatitudes is makarios
In ancient Greek times, makarios referred to the gods. The blessed ones were the gods. They had achieved a state of happiness and contentment in life that was beyond all cares, labors, worries, sicknesses and even death. The blessed ones were beings who lived in some other world away from the cares and problems and worries of ordinary people. To be blessed, you had to be a god. People knew and believed in god back then and also believed that god lived in another "blessed" realm far away from worldly pains and sorrows. Therefore, if anyone was “blessed”, they had to be a god.
When this word, makarios was first used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, it took on another meaning. It referred to the end results of right living or righteousness. If you lived right according to the word of God, you were blessed. If you didn’t live according to the word of God, you were not blessed, but cursed. (Deuteronomy 28). Being blessed meant you were happy and satisfied with life and received earthly and material things: a good wife, many children, abundant crops, riches, honor, wisdom, beauty, good health, etc. A blessed person had more things and better things than an ordinary person. That’s how a “blessed” person was identified. Abraham had an abundance of wealth, plenty of servants, flocks of animals, etc. People who saw him said "Abraham was a blessed man". To be blessed, you had to have big and beautiful material possessions along with good health and a happy family. This was how the term “blessed” was perceived back then.
In all of these meanings, the "blessed" ones seemed to live on a higher plane in life than the rest of us. They were like gods according to the ordinary people living at that time. They were the wealthy, upper crust. They were those with many possessions. The blessed were those people who lived above the normal cares, problems, and worries of normal and ordinary people.
But then Jesus came and rocked this whole mind set. Matthew (reflecting Jesus' thoughts) uses this word in a totally different way. It is not the elite who are blessed. It is not the rich and powerful who are blessed. It is not the high and mighty who are blessed. It is not the people living in huge mansions or expensive penthouses who are blessed. Rather, Jesus pronounces God's blessings on the lowly: the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, the meek, the mourning. This came as a shock to the people listening because it was totally contrary to their beliefs. Throughout history, it had always been the rich, prosperous and well to do people who were considered blessed. Jesus turns it all upside-down. The elite in God's kingdom or the blessed ones in God's kingdom, are those who are of a different kind.
Yes, of course there are rich, prosperous and influential people today who are indeed blessed of God. But what Jesus is teaching here is that “blessed” doesn’t refer to an abundance of material possessions alone. It has got to do more with the identifying marks of a child of God.
When you look at a dog, you say that’s a dog. Why? Because of its distinguishing features and mannerisms as that of a dog. Likewise….a duck or an elephant. They have distinguishing marks that helps you easily identify them. What then is the distinguishing marks of a Christian? How would you know if someone was a Christian if you spotted one?
Jesus is teaching about what a life blessed by God looks like.
The Beatitudes are not telling us how to become a Christian but rather it is telling us what a Christian looks like. The beatitudes are not a recommended change in behavior to become a better person. In fact, it is quite impossible for you to “obey” the beatitudes in your own strength.
For eg: Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Can you now decide that from tomorrow, you are going to be poor in spirit? Of course not. Likewise, can you decide on your own that from tomorrow, you are going to be meek? These changes are inward only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus didn’t teach the beatitudes to show us how to live an improved and better life in this world.
But rather, he was saying “Let me tell you what a person who lives under the blessing of God looks like….Here they are…and then He taught the beatitudes.”
In Matt 5:13 Jesus said “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its taste (purpose), how can it be made salty?” – This particular verse talks about “people that belong to God”. He said “YOU ARE”. He did not say “You are going to be” or “You will be”. You ARE the salt of the earth. In other words, you that belong to God ARE the salt of the earth. Then He goes on to say, “If salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?”
You that belong to God are already in the kingdom of God and you ARE the salt of the earth. Now considering that the Kingdom of God is the ultimate realm, then if you lose your saltiness, where else can it come from? The representation of God is in you (salt). If you lose your peace (another of God’s kingdom component), then where else can it come from? If you lose your faith, belief, your health or whatever else you are crying out to God for…where else can it come from? They all have to come from God, who is already IN YOU.
Have you noticed…that everything that Jesus taught before His death and resurrection…though sounded really good…was almost impossible to do? So also the beatitudes are impossible to achieve unless you “understand” the gospel message.
Once we do understand the gospel message and how wonderfully we have been saved, then we can begin to understand how far we had fallen from the original purpose of God. At the same time, we get closer and closer to God. The more you realize how far you had fallen, the more closer and intimate you get to Jesus.
Eg: Take an object close to a light bulb. The further the object is from the light bulb, the more perfect and clean it looks, but as you get the object closer and closer to the light bulb, you begin to see flaws, dirt, dust and other marks on the object. Likewise, we also when we get closer to God, we begin to see our own flaws more and more clearly. The more closer we get to Jesus through His word, the more insignificant and unworthy we feel, but at the same time we also feel very pleased that we are saved and that we belong to God. Our hearts well up with immense gratitude, isn't it? If you can relate to this example, you have just achieved the first beatitude. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.
Likewise, you can directly relate all the rest of the beatitudes to the level of your understanding of the gospel message.
If you are feeling miserable about how imperfect you are and how full of flaws you are, but you still feel very grateful and comforted with His amazing love, then you have just achieved the second beatitude. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”.
If you have concluded that nothing in this world is worth chasing after and you really don’t care about people around you placing importance on insignificant matters, then you have just achieved the third beatitude.”Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
If all you are longing for is more of an intimacy with Jesus and He is subconsciously at the back of your mind throughout the day, then you have just achieved the fourth beatitude. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
I think you get the point. If you belong to Christ, you are a new creation. The Holy Spirit lives in you. You are not of this world. Sin has no dominion over you because you are not under law, but under grace. There is now no condemnation for you because you are in Christ Jesus. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Your mind is subconsciously aware that all things will work together for good for you because you love God. As you go about your day to day work, when something steals your peace, your immediate first thought is Jesus and your faith in Him keeps you stay calm. If this is you, then you are “blessed of God”.
You can even get prosperous with an abundance of all needs when you are blessed of God. That is an end result or a fruit of being blessed of God. Read the message on “How to prosper God’s way” here.
I know you are all blessed ones of God. Stay blessed my dear brothers and sisters. Next time when you say God bless you to someone, say it in renewed faith. Try to confess "I am blessed" as often as you can because if truly God has blessed you, then its impossible for you to fail, be depressed, discouraged or sorrowful. When you pray from a stand point of being blessed, your prayers are full of faith. "Without faith it is impossible to please God - Hebrews 11:6". So when you know you are blessed, you are always full of faith. GOD BLESS YOU.
We as Christians claim to be believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. However, most Christians only believe that Jesus died for our sins and therefore we are saved and that He rose again on the third day and is coming back again. This is true indeed, but God’s children either don’t know or don’t believe any more than this. Hence the constant struggles in life. Struggles with addictions, weakness to face troublesome situations in life, financial lack, poverty, anger, and lack of peace, sicknesses, untimely deaths, anxieties, depression and many other unnecessary afflictions.
But the real outcome of the gospel message is that Christ now is IN YOU AND ME. He literally resides IN YOU. This is what the word of God teaches us. Can you imagine!! If Christ Himself is IN YOU, how can you be depressed, discouraged or afraid? I mean, Christ (God Himself), the Holy Spirit is IN YOU. Shouldn’t you be walking in amazing victory? Shouldn’t your face be full of confidence and joy? This truth is what the devil keeps from God’s children, so that he can oppress them and keep them ineffective in their walk of faith.
On the contrary, if you KNOW this truth, then it is impossible for the devil to keep you down. Yes, he might succeed in battling you occasionally on some days with “many distractions” but you will never be defeated. This is the truth my dear brothers and sisters. Christ is IN YOU. You only need to KNOW this truth and walk like a victor.
Let us see some evidence of this from the word of God.
John 20: 20 – 22:- When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Here we see Jesus saying, “As the Father (God in heaven) had sent Him, He also was sending us.” That would mean that Jesus was expecting us to function like He Himself did while He was on earth. Then He goes on to say “Receive the Holy Spirit”. Wow! This is interesting. Jesus first expected us to function the same way as He did. But He also knew that it was impossible for us to function like Him without the Holy Spirit. He then breathed on the disciples and said “Receive the Holy Spirit”. So He equipped the disciples to live and function the same way He did.
Later on, we know the story. Jesus asked the disciples to wait in Jerusalem till they received power from on high. They did wait and they did receive power on the day of Pentecost. Thereafter, we see Peter, the same Peter who denied Jesus thrice and the same Peter along with other disciples who were hiding locked up in the upper room for fear of the Jews, now suddenly is full of boldness and preached the gospel to the people in public. 3000 of them got saved that day. How did that happen?
John 17:21 – “that they all may be one, as You, Father are in me, and I in You; that they also maybe one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Here we clearly see that it is indeed God’s will that we all be one in Him. In other words, we not only be reconciled to God, but be ONE with Him in the same way as God the Father and Jesus the Son were one with each other. Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father”. In effect, Jesus is now saying that we all ought to be saying the same thing. Do you have the confidence to say “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father”? Incredible, isn’t it?
John 14:17 – 21 – the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be IN YOU.
18 “I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, bereaved, and helpless]; I will come [back] to you. 19 After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 On that day [when that time comes] you will know for yourselves that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am IN YOU. 21 The person who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him [I will make Myself real to him].”
This is Jesus Himself saying that the Holy Spirit will be continually IN YOU (ver 17). In (ver 20) He confirms again that He Himself is IN YOU.
Romans 8: 9-11 - However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives IN YOU [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God]. 10 If Christ lives IN YOU, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides]. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives IN YOU, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives IN YOU.
Wow! Did you see that? If Christ lives IN YOU, though your body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive. If the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead lives IN YOU, then how can you succumb to sickness and depression and other afflictions?
1 Cor 3:16 – Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells IN YOU?
We are not going to become a temple of God in future when we get to heaven friends. God’s word says that we ARE the temple of God right now and that the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) dwells IN US.
2 Cor 13:5 - Or do you not recognize this about yourselves [by an ongoing experience] that Jesus Christ is IN YOU
Col 1:27 – To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ IN YOU, the hope of glory.
Friends, when Christ our Lord died for our sins, at that very instant, our sin problem was taken care of. Sin has no hold over us anymore. Sin has no power to condemn us anymore. The price for our sins has already been paid in full. Sin has no power over us anymore. If you feel overwhelmed by sin, then it’s a lie from the devil. Sin is not our problem. Our real problem is unbelief and lack of understanding of the gospel. People say, most sicknesses are caused because of sin in people’s lives. That is probably true, but only because they have believed a lie. The truth is that sin is no longer a problem because Jesus’ death on our behalf took care of that issue once and for all.
Christianity or the Christian way of life doesn’t start at the cross. It starts at the resurrection of Christ. Because when Christ died for us in our place, it was as if we died ourselves for our sins. Our real “born again” life began when Christ arose from the dead. The bible calls Him the first born among many brethren. If we were born “again”, then we must have died earlier isn’t it? Else how can you be born again? This new born again self of yours has a new life. Your old self that died didn’t have the Holy Spirit and didn’t have Christ. But your new born again self HAS the Holy Spirit IN YOU. You have Christ IN YOU.
Therefore, what you perceive to be your limitations and weaknesses are not real. They are lies, which you have accepted as the truth. The word of God is the real truth. Not our experiences or perceptions. If we walk in this revelation of knowing that Christ is IN US, then nothing in this world can steal your joy or steal your confidence. You will then consciously put up a massive fight against sicknesses and anything else that does not conform to the kingdom of God. And that includes your addictions, your bad habits, your anger and anything else that are ungodly. And you will always win every battle, not because you are strong willed or very spiritual, but simply because Christ is IN YOU and the Holy Spirit is IN YOU. Christ can’t lose, can He?
Have you noticed that temptation only comes in areas where there is a command from God? And and Eve had just one command, which was not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve was tempted only in the area of that one commandment. She wasn’t tempted to murder Adam. She wasn’t tempted to leave him and run away? She wasn’t tempted to poison him or stop talking to him. Why not? Even so today…temptation only comes in areas where you are aware of God’s will for you. So, now that you know this truth of Christ IN YOU, be assured temptations will come and try to steal your faith in this area. But Christ is IN YOU and you will always win as long as you remain conscious of this truth.
Have you noticed how you act in faith naturally in day to day affairs? Eg: You go to a shopping mall and are looking for the toilet. You can’t find the toilet and you ask a total stranger for the way. He points you in a certain direction. You simply say “Thank you” and follow his instructions. You had no trouble exercising faith in what that stranger said even though you don’t know that person. Or you are sick and you go to a doctor. You don’t know the doctor personally at all. Yet, you are quite willing to eat whatever he prescribes and you have faith that you will get well if you eat those tablets the doctor gave you. You don’t even know what exactly you are popping into your mouth. Yet you have faith. There are numerous examples of this in your day to day life. But when it comes to God and God’s word…suddenly we want signs, confirmations, etc…before we can believe. Why is that? It’s that sinful nature in us…
This is why we need to KNOW the truth of “CHRIST IN US” and the “Holy Spirit IN US” so we can begin to condition our mind to act naturally to the word of God. We must be so transformed by renewing our mind (our way of thinking) that we act naturally like God’s children. We must change our way of thinking from what the world considers normal to what God’s word says about us, as born again new creatures in God.
Friends, the truth is that Christ is IN US and the Holy Spirit is IN US. We are not acting alone. We are powerful children of God. This is why Jesus said that we would also do what He did. In fact even more. This is why Jesus said “If you had faith as little as a mustard seed, you could say to a mountain to cast itself into the sea and it would obey you”. This is why Jesus said “We shall lay our hands on the sick and they will recover”. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is IN US. IN YOU. So don’t tolerate sickness in your body’s friends. Take authority over it and cast it out. Be healed and walk in divine health. Don’t tolerate bad habits and addictions friends. You have the power in you to cast it out and walk free. You have the Holy Spirit IN YOU.
1 John 4:4 says 4 Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is IN YOU is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].
My dear brothers and sisters, stop constantly seeking for a church leader, pastor or someone else to pray for you. Yes, it is good to receive prayer sometimes, but it is far more wonderful for you to be praying for others. Especially for the salvation of lost people. Do not think that God is somehow closer to the preachers and pastors than yourselves. If you are a believer, then Christ is IN YOU. The bible says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). So it is up to you. You can get as close to God as you choose to. The primary issue with people who are constantly looking for instant miracles and prayers is that they don’t invest time in studying the word of God for themselves.
They live worldly lives, but attend church once a week even though God’s word states that we are not of this world. Since we are not of this world, we will of course be subject to worldly troubles if we become one with the world. The bible states “What fellowship does light have with darkness”? 2 Cor 6:14
The answer to worldly troubles in your life is not prayer and miracles my dear friends. The solution is being separate from the world.
Invest time every day and read the word friends. You will find out that you are a power packed individual for whom all things are possible because Christ lives IN YOU. Walk in freedom. Freedom from oppression. Freedom from sickness. Freedom from lack. Freedom for depression. Freedom from anxiety and fear. Christ lives IN YOU. How can you fail at anything? The bible says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Phil 4:13
God Bless You
The very first thing to understand and acknowledge is that our mind is a battle ground between good and evil. Before we got to know our Lord Jesus personally, this was never an issue. We just did whatever came to our mind. We decided what was right and what was wrong. Some of the things that we thought didn’t harm anyone, we didn’t consider wrong and did it simply to satisfy ourselves. For eg: Drinking, smoking, watching obscene movies, etc. But as soon as we came to know our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, suddenly there arose a battle in our minds. The things we once considered harmless and okay to indulge in has now become a conviction in our hearts because it contradicts with our new nature in Christ. A battle has begun in our minds. Who wins in your battle? Is it you or is it the enemy? In most cases, you win sometimes and at other times, the enemy wins. In some Christian’s lives, the enemy still wins most times.
The very first thing to acknowledge is that our mind is indeed a battle ground for us Christians.
This is what Paul addressed in 2 Cor 10:4-5 – “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,..”
As we continue our lives in this world and go about our day to day affairs, there is an invisible battle going on around us that is not directly associated with our day to day affairs. Most of us are unaware of this battle and quite ignorant about it. The things we see on our way to work such as hoardings, billboards, images and pictures, the things we hear at home, on TV, colleagues talking to each other and to us and random thoughts that come into our minds very quickly and disappear just as quickly. These things subconsciously inserts thoughts into us and disturbs our mental peace. There is an everyday battle in our minds between good and evil. God has given us all we need to always be victorious in these battles, but we have to “engage” in that battle. Most of us simply pray and ask God to take away the thoughts and wait for a miracle to happen. But God wants us to stop being childlike and grow into mature sons and daughters. He has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness. No weapon formed against us can prosper. He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world. There is absolutely nothing we lack to walk in victory every single time. But we have to “engage” in the battle and win. This is why you might have noticed that in your walk with God, there are some areas of your weakness God never takes away. He expects you to win over it by yourself and He says “My grace is sufficient for you”.
Paul asked God to take away a thorn from his flesh which was a messenger of Satan sent to constantly buffet him, but God said in 2 Cor 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”.
No one is born saved. When any person gets saved, there are multiple strongholds in their minds. Not a single person has a pure mind immediately after getting saved. A mental stronghold is a fortress the devil uses to establish his position so he can control our lives. Examples of mental strongholds are fear, jealousy, anger, lust, depression, worry, low self-esteem, etc. These are strong holds hard to break free from because they are “thoughts” and not a physical enemy. The devil knows each one’s weaknesses and uses these thoughts to establish his dominance over your life.
A bondage is nothing but a house of thoughts. Every bondage in a Christian’s life; be it drinking problems, lust problems, smoking problems, always being worried and fearful, having low self-esteem, being depressed, drug abuse, gambling problems and any other bondage is nothing but a house of thoughts. Every kind of bondage is directly related to a preceding thought life. The thoughts that you entertain in your mind long enough will eventually show up in your actions.
I’ve seen good Christian men who are so short tempered that they can’t control their anger. I’ve seen good Christian women who are constantly depressed and have a very low self-esteem. I’ve seen other good Christian brothers who struggle with lust and can’t help themselves from watching obscene movies. I’ve even seen some Christians who can’t stop gambling. Why? These are all mental strongholds. All these people, including myself have a battle in our minds.
Now, before being saved, this wouldn’t be so much of an issue. Because doing what you feel like doing is considered very normal in this world. But after Christ has come into your life this becomes a battle in your mind because by your new nature; you don’t want to do these things, but then you find yourself too weak to resist. Paul address this battle in Romans 7:19 where he says “For the good that I want to do, I do not do, but the evil I don’t want to do, that I practice.”
Read Romans 7:14-24
Before this battle began, it started off as a thought.
James 1:14 says “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin…”
Now because you KNOW the word of God and you KNOW that your thoughts are contradictory to the word of God, a battle ensues. Good vs Evil. That means, if you can change your thoughts, your life will change. Every type of bondage is a house of thoughts. So if we are able to change our thoughts, then we could also be free from this battle. This is exactly what “take every thought captive and bring it to the obedience of Christ” means. Change your thought life.
Jesus our Lord died for us to set us free from this battle and from the lies of the devil. It is very important for us to intentionally change our thought life and that will change our lives, setting us free from every bondage. God’s word is “truth” and every time we hear truth, strongholds in our minds through disappointments, rejections and failures will break loose.
Our minds have been conditioned to think a certain way with mostly lies while growing up and now as soon as we hear the truth (God’s word), the battle starts. Satan approached two perfect and godly people in the garden of Eden and argued against God’s word to them. Did God really say…..? You won’t die if you eat that fruit? You see….he always attacks your mind and gets you to think contrary to God’s ways.
The devil doesn’t really care about what struggles you are having, be it gambling or drug abuse or worry or fear or depression or lust or anything else. He is ensuring that there is something else other than God on your mind. If he can get any other thought to exalt itself over God in your mind, he has enslaved you and gained control. It’s the focus of your mind that keeps you from knowing God.
It keeps you from reading the bible regularly. It keeps you from praying. It keeps you from going to church. It keeps you from focusing on God’s way of life.
2 Cor 10:5 - casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ
Any thought that you don’t take captive, WILL take you captive.
We are the door keepers of our thoughts. We have the ability to choose to entertain or not entertain any thought. This ability has been given to us by our Lord Jesus. It’s just that we don’t believe He has and hence have no power when it is most needed. When a thought comes in to establish itself as a stronghold in our lives, it is our role to bring it down and take it captive to the obedience of Christ.
2 Cor 10:4 - The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
You say, “Santosh that is a lot easier said than done. No one can control thoughts”. Yes, you are right. And you are right because no one can delete a thought or remove a thought from their minds, but you can most certainly “replace” it. This is something to “learn” and discipline ourselves. It doesn’t happen automatically just because we became Christians. This is in fact, the key to victory over the battles in your mind.
The Word of God is not just religious teachings. It is a life changer AND a spiritual weapon.
Ephesians 6: 10-17 – The armour of God speaks of God’s word as a weapon, a sword of the Spirit.
God’s word is a powerful weapon. In the spiritual realm, God’s word is like a nuclear weapon against which nothing can stand. Even Jesus Himself used this weapon against the devil in the wilderness when He encountered every advance of the devil with a “It is written….followed by God’s word”.
The underlying problem of all mental bondage's is spiritual. Consciously choose to walk like a Christian, a saved person who lives by the Word of God and not by worldly standards.
The solution to the battles in your mind is simply “BIBLICAL MEDITATION”. When you intentionally decide to practice “biblical meditation”, victory will be yours from any mental stronghold and it will be easy. It’s instant if you do it regularly enough and you will experience freedom instantly. It’s a practice and something that needs to be done regularly so that it becomes just a way of life for you.
When we meditate on the word of God, we are bringing the word of God into our hearts and into our minds. We are letting the word of God reprogram our minds.
God’s word says if you meditate on the word of God, you will achieve good success in Joshua 1:8.
“The book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Everything you put your hand to will prosper in Psalm 1.
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
Why? Because when you meditate on the word of God, you will suddenly understand relationships, you will understand money matters, you will understand marriage. You will understand life in its entirety. When you meditate on the word of God regularly, you begin to succeed because the mental arguments and the strongholds will instantly begin to fall. You get reprogrammed with truth. God’s word, the “truth” will set you free.
Jesus said, You will know the truth and the truth shall make you free.
How to meditate:
Wake up in the morning and read the bible. There are many bible reading plans you can download from the net or simply google for a reading plan. Even better if you simply google “Bible reading plan for ……(mention whatever your area of struggle is). You will find a reading plan for it and choose that to start off your mornings. Read the verses for the morning and keep muttering them under your breath, so you can keep dwelling on its meaning. Eg: Everything I put my hand to will prosper if I delight in His word and meditate on His word. He said He is the way, the truth and the life. But the bible says “The word became flesh”. That means, He is the word. So the word must be the truth and the life. So if I just walk in the truth, all things will go well for me. Keep saying these things. That’s how you meditate. Do likewise with other verses depending on your situation.
Some of you might be feeling unworthy or condemned and depressed. Keep meditating on things like “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I am not accepted and loved by God because I am perfect and righteous. Christ is my righteousness. He has won the victory over everything for me. His victory is my victory. I am loved by God the Father because of my faith in Christ. Not because I am good on my own.” Keep saying such things and meditating on His word.
Meditate means to “mutter” under your breath. So don’t just “think” in your mind, but mutter it and speak it out quietly. Go for a walk if you can’t find a quiet place to be alone.
Through the day, remind yourself on your phone calendar to read that same verse again and again. During tea break, during lunch or any other time. If your job allows, you could go for a short walk after lunch meditating on that verse.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. “
Interesting that God asks us to teach our children the word of God on those 4 times of the day. When you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up.
Why? Because those are the best times for meditation. Most people don’t have a battle in the mind when they are working or concentrating on their jobs or doing something productive. For eg: If you are a computer software developer by profession, then you probably won’t have a battle in your mind about lust when you are busy coding an interesting software program. The battle usually is when you are idle, doing nothing or driving and see something on the way or when simply lying on your bed with no particular plans for the day.
It’s not a sin to be tempted with thoughts. Thoughts can come and go and sometimes the devil puts thoughts into your mind. But when you linger on that thought, it evolves into a battle. When you get a bad thought, then that is the exact time you should pull out a bible verse and begin to meditate on it. Yes, I understand. It takes discipline, but that’s the way to be free. Most people have no problems with discipline when it comes to dieting or going to the gym. That’s because they made up their mind to be physically fit or healthy. How much more important is your spiritual health? So why not be disciplined about this as well?
You cannot take a thought out of your mind. You can only replace it with another thought. This is the secret to winning the battle in your mind. The key is to “replace your thought” with God’s word. This is how you take every thought captive and bring it to the obedience of Christ. Some people use will power to do these things but they soon wear out. The bible says “Self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit in you.” So you don’t need will power so much. What you need instead is to learn to be led by the Holy Spirit in you. When you are about to get angry, you have this prompting within you to stop. When you are about to watch a dirty movie, you have this prompting inside you to stop. This is the Holy Spirit leading you. Learn to listen to Him and obey.
But you cannot remove a bad thought from your mind. You can however replace that thought with another. All it takes is a distraction.
Let me give you an example. Most of you have surely seen a black and white dog. Is there a black and white dog near where you live? Does any of your friends own a black and white dog? Is the black and white dog you know of, friendly or ferocious? Have you ever got bit by a black and white dog? Most Border collie dogs are black and white isn’t it?
Or do you know of someone who owns a brown cat? Perhaps a friend or relative of yours who owns a brown cat? Brown cats are quite common isn’t it? Brown cats are beautiful if they had black stripes on them. They would look like small tigers. Have you ever seen one?
See, how the brown cat replaced the thought of a black and white dog? That’s how you replace your thought by another thought, which in this case should be the word of God.
When you are worrying or angry or depressed or lustful and someone comes over and asks you to stop doing that, you end up doing it more. That’s because you cannot remove a thought. Only replace it. Replace thoughts with God’s word every single time. Practice doing this and you’ll be free from battles in your mind. Biblical meditation is how we win every battle in the mind. If you practice biblical meditation, then it will soon become a part of you and it will become your default defense mechanism and it always wins.
Of course friends, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, none of this will work. The very first step then is to invite Jesus Christ into your life as Lord. He loves you, died for you, rose again from death and is alive today. He is not an idol or a photograph or a holy person. He is God and when you pray, He hears and replies back. He is one God with whom you can have a personal and intimate relationship. He is Almighty, He is all powerful and He is returning back soon to take us all who believe in Him to be with Him forever.
Bless you all my dear brothers and sisters. Feel free to comment or post a prayer request. I will most certainly pray for you.
Isn’t it a sad thing, when we claim to be children of the most High God, who owns everything in this world, who lives in a place where even the streets are made of gold and yet we ourselves are always in need and never having enough to live a fulfilled and content life? I mean, we call Him our “Father” and yet live like as if our Father doesn’t care at all for His beloved children. It’s a sad thing to see God’s children always pleading for more money, when He has given us ALL things pertaining to LIFE and GODLINESS through the knowledge of Him who called us. 2 Peter 1:3
The most common prayer request is God’s children seeking financial provision. Sometimes it is money to just pay all bills and at other times it is to pay off debts. But whatever the reason, the money is never enough because bills keep coming and debts keep building up. Many marriages that started off really happy ended up bitter and cold due to money problems. The need for money has destroyed many relationships, split friend’s apart and stolen peace and joy. Have you noticed that it is really hard to worship the Lord joyfully when you have money problems? In fact, you can’t even concentrate on prayer or reading the bible, let alone worship.
Surely, this is not the will of God for any of His children. He would want all of us to prosper in all things and be a blessing to the poor and the lost (who do not know the Lord). How can we be a blessing if we ourselves are always looking for a blessing?
Being in lack is a curse according to the word of God. It is not a good thing to be in lack or being poor. Read Deut 28:15-68 – The list of curses for not walking according to God’s ways include never having enough, not having a home, being hungry and being thirsty.
Proverbs 10:15 – The rich man’s wealth is his fortress; the ruin of the poor is their poverty.
But Praise the Lord, Galatians 3:13 says that Christ has redeemed us from this curse of the law. Praise God! Our Lord Jesus Christ has completely redeemed us from poverty and lack. We are blessed in Him. We are able to live a great fulfilled and satisfied life through Him. We need to start thinking this way to see it manifest in our lives.
2 Cor 8:9 – Amplified – “For you are recognizing more clearly the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (His astonishing kindness, His generosity, His gracious favour), that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich (abundantly blessed).
See friends, our Father in heaven is a loving “Daddy”. He wants every single one of His children (including you) to live a fulfilled, content and satisfied life without any stress, anxiety or lack. Why? Because only then can you see His love and truly worship Him in spirit and truth and only then can you be a blessing to others. You can never be a blessing to anyone by being poor yourself. Many times you have passed by a hungry poor beggar on the street side, but you couldn’t do anything to help. You just continued walking and going about your life. Why? It wasn’t because you were insensitive or uncompassionate, but because you couldn’t afford to help and be a blessing.
A child of God needs to be living a fully satisfied life and his/her generosity should be a witness unto the Father’s love. If I claim to be God’s child, then I should live like I am the child of the King of kings. I can afford to be generous because I can never ever be in lack if God is really my Father.
I too was ignorant and stupid with money. I started off my career with a decent job in a computer firm in Bangalore back in the 90s. But I didn’t know God or Jesus or the bible. I wasn’t wise at all. In fact I was immature, stupid, proud and arrogant. I carried an attitude of “I know it all”. It was a good job and I earned a salary. But by nature, I wanted to satisfy all of my desires at the very moment I felt like doing so. I spent much of the money as soon as the salary came in, usually on clothes, eating out most days, drinking, buying things I didn’t need, etc. Then the banks introduced credit cards. So now, I was spending way more than what I was earning. With credit cards, I could buy whatever I felt like buying whenever I wanted to. I convinced myself that I could always pay it back little by little when my salary comes in.
Little did I realize I was getting into a vicious cycle. I never was able to pay the credit card debt off and I found myself always chasing a massive balance. On top of it, all of my necessary expenses such as vehicle maintenance, petrol and other bills still needed to be paid. I was getting poorer and poorer even though I had a good job with a decent salary. After one year of work, I had no money in the bank and still owed money on my credit cards. 12 months of working, earning a salary every month and after 12 months, I had zero in the bank.
Solution? Look for another job that paid me higher salary. I complained that my company didn’t give me enough bonus or didn’t appreciate my work and give me a raise, etc. I blamed the boss, the government, the economy and everybody around me, except myself.
I jumped from job to job, earning more each time, but it didn’t change my situation. Just earning more didn’t make me rich. I only spent more and accumulated larger debts. There was a time, I used to sell my bike every 6 months or so simply because I got bored of it and got a different bike just because I love bikes. How foolish!! I wasted a lot of money God placed in my hands. But then I didn’t know Jesus.
I loved my wife and daughter. We lived comfortably, but in a “rented” house. I didn’t own anything and my net worth was zero. If I had died then, I wouldn’t have left my wife and daughter with anything. I was never able to be a blessing to anyone or enjoy a holiday without borrowing money from the banks or using the credit card. I didn’t know how to be a responsible husband. I didn’t really know how to be a good dad. I obviously didn’t know how to handle money either. Bad!!!
But then, in 1997, I met Jesus. Read my Road to Damascus story here. I learnt that despite my stupidity, pride and arrogance Jesus still loved me. Things did not change immediately for me, but as I was getting to know Jesus personally more and more and as I spent time in His word and prayer, I started getting wiser and smarter. I began to look at money as a tool in my hands to do good, rather than be a slave to money. Eventually God taught me how to handle money. I learnt that it is possible for anyone (literally anyone) to begin to prosper irrespective of how much they earn. Even a laborer living in a small hut can begin his journey to prosperity if he lived God's way. And God showed me through His word that it all starts off with trusting Him more than trusting money and then “saving” and then "giving". God is not in the microwave business. I didn’t prosper immediately or get rich quickly. But when God takes you into prosperity slowly and surely, the prosperity STAYS and you can never ever be in lack again.
The issue is not the size of a man’s income. The issue is the size of his mind. It doesn’t matter how much you earn, you can be prosperous with all your needs met and still have some left over. All you need is wisdom and the bible says “Christ is our wisdom”. 1 Cor 1:30. How then can I not prosper?
If only I had the wisdom to start saving from my salary and living God’s way back in the 90s, I would be very wealthy today. But I had no Jesus in my life and I had no wisdom either.
Proverbs 6:6 – TLB – Take a lesson from the ants, you lazy fellow. Learn from their way and be wise. For though they have no king to make them work, yet they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.
Proverbs 21:20 – TLB – The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.
Let me share with you three points on how the Lord has made me prosperous. Yes, I am prosperous.
Depend on God. Don’t depend on money.
Hebrews 13:5 says “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
1 Timothy 6:10 says “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
1 Timothy 6:17 says “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”
Most often, we strive to work more so that we can earn more. We have this mind-set that if we can make more money, we can be prosperous and debt free. Subconsciously we depend on money to get our perceived happiness, rather than depend on God. We say we are Christians, we believe in the living God, we claim to be His children and even call Him our Father and yet we don’t trust Him to provide for us. We need to change this way of thinking and start thinking less about money and more about God our Father. The more you get to know God through knowing Jesus our Lord, the more wiser you become and the more wiser you become the more prosperous you become.
Solomon asked God for “wisdom” and God was so pleased that along with wisdom, He also gave him an abundance of wealth. What you lack is not money. What you lack is wisdom. The bible says “Christ has been made unto us wisdom”. 1 Cor 1:30 . So if you get to know Jesus Christ, you will also be made wise. If you have Christ's wisdom in you, even the small amount you have will multiply. You will cease from making unnecessary purchases and you will become wise with your resources. Trust in God for your provision and stop striving to make ends meet. This doesn't mean you stop working, but make a decision to live by the word of God in all aspects of life. Not just when it comes to religion, but also in handling money. Make a decision to do it God's way according to what the bible says and test out God's word. It is the truth, the way and the life and it will always work. It CANNOT fail because it is Gods word.
Spend less than you earn
I am obviously assuming you are working, either for someone or for yourself. If not, the very first thing to do is to get a job.
Proverbs 10:4 says “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”
You know how much you earn. Make a budget or at the very least, ensure your expenses are “lesser” than your income. Choose a house to rent according to your income, not according to your liking. Choose a car or a bike according to your income, not according to your liking. There is no need to impress others at the cost of losing your joy and peace. Always ask “How much can I afford to spend” before making any purchases. Sacrifice your personal likes and desires at the start and you will be able to live luxuriously later. Be patient and wait.
Proverbs 13:11 says “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.”
Proverbs 21:5 says “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”
It is often the case we automatically assume that we need to buy the “best” of everything. We often go by our eyes and want something that is appealing to us, be it a car, a bike, a house or anything else. Just because we have a job and earn a salary and have a credit card, we assume that it is okay and that we can pay the debt off little by little. This is unwise my friends. If the purchase has potential to exceed your earnings, then hold off. Wait for another opportune moment. Alternatively, find something else that you can afford and is within your earnings. Eg: If you plan to buy a car on finance, then the first thing to do is to add up all your monthly expenses including groceries, electricity, water, phone and all the absolutely essential expenses first. Then check what you are left with from your salary. The balance is all you’ve got. If that balance is sufficient to pay back your installments, then it is OK to make the purchase. If it isn’t, then you just can’t afford it right now.
Get on a budget – Luke 14:28 says “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?” Most of us when we pray and ask God for money all the time, we’re basically saying “Lord, I am totally incompetent, I am unwise and don’t know how to handle the little you’ve given me, but send me more money.” The answer is an obvious “NO”. Read the parable of the talents. He took away the talent from the one who didn’t manage it well and gave it to the one who managed it well.
Get out of debt – Proverbs 22:7 says “The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave to the lender.” Your most powerful wealth building tool is your own income. This has nothing to do with your salvation of course. You can have a MasterCard and go to heaven, but would you want to? Get rid of your credit cards and for the next few months, don’t use it at all. Instead focus on getting out of debt. Pay it all off so you can have a clean start.
But that’s just the start. Spending less than you earn. There is an even better way; God’s way.
The 10/10/80 Principle
This is a life changing principle God taught me. As soon as you receive your salary, give 10% of it to God (your local church). That way you are expressing your gratitude to God for everything you have and He will make sure you are blessed. Then take another 10% and transfer it to another bank account. Do not touch this. This is your saving for emergencies and luxuries. Then plan your living expenses on the remaining 80% of your salary. Calculate your 80% and then apply the “Spend less than you earn” principle. Feel free to use your credit card, but service the credit card from the 80%. I use my credit card, but I never leave a balance on it. Every month 20th, I pay off the full balance and that way I don’t pay any interest at all. I am able to do that because I don’t spend more than I earn. A debit card is best.
Keep doing this every month for 6 months and suddenly you will become more confident in your life. You will begin to feel more financially secure. Why? Because you will actually begin to SEE that you have some extra cash in the bank and it is GROWING every month. This has nothing to do with how much you earn. Be it $200 or $20,000, the principle is the same. Even if you are earning very little; say $200 per month. Before learning this, you spent over $300 a month. That is more than what you earn. But now, you give $20 to God, save $20 and live on $160. Do this for 6 months. Now you suddenly have $120 sitting in the bank which you never had before. Do this for a year, 2 years, 3 years, and so on. After a couple of years, you probably have enough cash to plan a holiday, without having to use your credit card. That’s with $200 per month income. What if you earned $2000 instead or perhaps $5000?
Proverbs 13:22 says “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…” If that be the case, then the good man must be very prosperous isn’t it?
Proverbs 21:20 says “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil. And a foolish man devours all he has.” Wise people save money. Save for a rainy day. What if you lose your job? What if you suddenly have hospital expenses?
Some of you have been working for over 10 years or more now and still don’t have any significant balance or net worth. I was one of those myself. I’ve seen many of my Christian brothers and sisters who have been working for decades and still don’t own a home. Can you imagine, if only you had saved 10% for all those years, how much better off you would be now? You would probably be owning two or three homes, renting out to others.
This is how God would like His children to live and as you continue doing this, God blesses you with more. As you faithfully give the 10% to Him and also at the same time, show your faithfulness in handling the money He has given you, He will bless you with more and more. That is the secret to prosperity.
Luke 16:10 says “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
Read Genesis 41:25 – 43 – This is the story of Joseph who was sold as a slave to the Egyptians. He was bought as a slave with nothing by Potiphar, the Egyptian.
Gen 39: 2 says “The Lord was with Joseph”. That’s all we need. The Lord was with Joseph. He was bought in as a slave boy with nothing, but the bible says “he was a prosperous man” simply because the Lord was with him. Prosperity is not about how many cars you have or the size of the house you live in. Prosperity is not about the material things you can count. It is in your spirit. Joseph was a prosperous man and was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.
This man Joseph was put in prison and even there God’s favor caused him to prosper. But in one moment, we see that Joseph was just 30 years old and he was made the Prime Minister of Egypt. Why? Because Pharaoh saw that Joseph was very wise. He predicted a famine in Egypt coming after 7 years and advised Pharaoh that the way to overcome the famine was by saving 20% of their produce for 7 years. It was God that gave Joseph that insight and wisdom. Today Christ is our wisdom. Isn’t that awesome!!
It doesn’t matter where you are working or how much you are earning. If the Lord is with you, He can cause you to prosper. Christ is our wisdom. What is the wisdom of God telling you to do?
People tend to just continue to work, work, work, earn a salary and not do anything different to change their life style or spending habits, but expect to become prosperous. These are the one’s always praying for financial provision. Things don’t work that way friends. Make some changes and observe the results. God’s grace will help you make the change with ease and you will be amazed in just a couple of months. But you need to make that decision to change your spending habits and discipline yourselves to follow God’s way. It is a trap of the devil to keep you locked down in that state of lack. Break free in Jesus name and live the God kind of life. You be the master over your money and don’t let your money be your master.
I have been doing this for at least 10-12 years now. And God has blessed me and my family amazingly. We never owned our own home and always rented. We never had enough money for family emergencies or holidays or any urgent purchases. We always relied on the credit card as most people do. But not anymore my friends. Today, by God’s grace we are fulfilled, satisfied and live a content and joyful life. We own our own home and an extra home that we rent out. We also are a blessing to others. I don’t mean to boast in any way at all. I've already mentioned how stupid I was with money. I share this with you only to help you grow in the Lord and prosper in all things just as the Lord has prospered me.
When I initially started giving 10% to God, I actually had hardships in my job and I wanted to quit. I was earning quite well, but I was living in a rented house. I also had a credit card balance. I actually took up a job at our church, with a significantly reduced salary. But I still kept giving 10% to God, trying to save 10% and living on 80%. I did this consistently and there came a time when God blessed us with our very own house. Despite the lower income, I didn't have any credit card debt. Today I still serve at our church, but work in the corporate world and still continue the same discipline. We give to other people in need and support other organizations and individuals serving God. We give away a significant portion of our income every year and yet God ensures that we never lack anything. This is why the Simply-Jesus blog is totally ad free and we don’t seek any donations for its upkeep. Freely I have received and therefore I freely give.
It is not God’s will for anyone to be in lack friends. No matter how much your salary is, start being faithful in the little. Start the 10/10/80 principle and you will literally see yourself coming out of poverty and begin to step into prosperity.
You say, but brother Santosh, “You don’t know. I am already in huge debt. I cannot afford to give 10% to God and save 10% because I have to pay back my credit cards first.” Or perhaps, you say “Let me pay off all my bills and debts first and then I’ll begin saving”. Friends, this is exactly the trap you are in. The way OUT is to step out and start living God’s way. I was exactly in the same position and I gave little bit when I went to church, just to feel like I’ve contributed something. I made plans to get out of credit card debt. I made plans to pay off my credit card balances first and I promised to myself that I will live God’s way as soon as I am debt free. That’s the trap we all fall into friends. The way out is to simply start living God’s way and He will ensure we step into freedom. That is exactly what I did. I began when I was still in debt and before long I was free.
I know, some of you might debate, tithing is not for us. It was in the Old Testament and not valid anymore, etc. Friends, it is not a question of whether tithing is in the Old Testament or New Testament friends. That is a theological debate and I will address that in a different blog. It is a principle of honoring God. Honor God, and trust in Him to provide for you. Remember the very first principle in this post? Depend on God. Don’t depend on money. Freely and joyfully giving away 10% back to God is evidence that your trust for your financial provision is in Him and not in your own capacity to earn more.
Let me conclude by saying this. Money doesn’t make you happier. It only magnifies what you already are as a person.
If you are a jerk and get money, it’ll make you a bigger jerk. If you are an arrogant and proud person and you get money, it’ll make you much more arrogant and proud. You will treat everyone around you like dirt. If you are an always complaining type of person and you get money, you will start complaining all the more and get stingier and stingier, making you more miserable. On the same note, if you are a generous and compassionate person and you get money, you will be super generous and super compassionate. People will call you a philanthropist.
The bible says in Acts 20:35 “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Luke 6:38 NLT says “Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full-pressed down, shaken together, to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
The wonderful thing is that you can decide to do this TODAY and start your journey into prosperity. Things will not change by itself, unless you change something. You can decide to make the change today if you wish. Unfortunately, many won’t and they will remain where they are five years from now. But those who do, they will be well on their way into prosperity in the same five years.
Bless you my dear brothers and sisters. May the Lord grant you the grace to prosper in all things and make you financially secure.
Many a times, we have heard it said "If only Adam had not sinned, the world would have been such a wonderful place. We wouldn't have had to suffer all this pain, sickness, poverty, hatred, wars and death in life". Yes, that's true indeed. But we are here now. There is no way of going back in time and correcting our mistakes. So lets learn to look at it this way. If Adam had not sinned, we wouldn't have come to know of the GLORY of God as we know it today. We wouldn't have known of His unending mercy, His amazing grace, His awesome power and His faithfulness as we know of it today. We wouldn't have known about how mightily He split the Red Sea for the people of Israel to cross over. We wouldn't have known about how Elijah split the river Jordan to cross over. Jesus our Lord wouldn't have come to save us. We wouldn't have seen His awesome and inexpressible love for us through Christ Jesus in redeeming us, saving us and making us into a new creation. We wouldn't have become citizens of heaven. We wouldn't have seen the awesome glory and power of God in healing the sick, opening blind eyes and deaf ears, healing the crippled and casting out evil spirits. Yes, we would have been perpetually in the presence of God if Adam had not sinned, but here we are now. So learn to rejoice in the glory of God. Rejoice in the fact that we are saved. Rejoice in the fact that we are a new creation in Him. Rejoice in the fact that we are no longer of this world. Rejoice in the fact that we have been now made into kings and priests unto Him.
You say "Does that make what Adam did acceptable and good?" No, not at all. That's not what I am saying, I'm encouraging you to reflect on something more deeper than that. All through the bible, we see that God's strength, power, love and grace was made manifest perfectly in the midst of man's weakness. For all those who put their trust in God, He proved Himself strong in the midst of their weaknesses. Jesus our Lord showed Himself mighty and strong to those who were poor, sick, oppressed by the devil, depressed and hurting. He healed the sick, opened blind eyes and deaf ears, He cast our evil spirits and even raised the dead. Every single situation of His demonstration of power was in mans weakest and helpless situation. When man cannot do anything, that's exactly when you see Gods awesome power.
So also, today, though we belong to Him, we still face life's challenges and every day is a bit of a battle to live conscious of being Gods children in this sinful world. Some days we feel great and some other days, we don't feel so great. We feel holy, righteous and joyful in the presence of God on some days. And yet, on some other days, we feel miserable, inadequate, disqualified and depressed. We know we are saved. We know that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Nothing has changed, but we feel like we let down our Father in heaven. Perhaps you have other problems in life for which you have tried all you can do and nothing has worked out for you. You are perhaps feeling helpless in your weakness and are blaming Adam. If only Adam had not sinned,......Do not fret my brother, my sister. Do not fret. God's strength is made perfect right in the midst of your weakness. When you are weak, He is strong. In other words, keep trusting in Him. In your weakest point, He will show up strongest. His love for you will not let Him ignore you. He cannot but show Himself strong in your life on your behalf.
Look at what apostle Paul said when he was going through a weak moment in life.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says "And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
If you are feeling low or depressed today, know this. His grace is sufficient for you, His strength is made perfect in your weakness. In fact, boast in your weakness so that the power of Christ may rest upon you.
Now you know why I referred to Adam's sin. Just as in Adams weakness, God displayed His awesomeness in saving mankind, so also in your weakness, He will definitely display His awesome power and grace. He said "He will never ever leave you nor forsake you." So there is no need for your to be sad. Rejoice in Him.
There is a song called Yeshu Tumhe Jeevan Mein Shanthi Deta Hai. My Indian friends will surely know this song. Listen to this song here. Hopefully it will bless you.
I pray that the Lord give you understanding and the grace to apply it and it will change your life.
Some of us reading this have been Christians for quite a few years. For some others, perhaps they are just a few months old. However, what has Christ meant to you? Who is He to you?
For most Christians, He is our Savior and our Lord. He is the one who died for our sins, rose from the dead and gave us eternal life. That is true indeed and that’s who He is. But there is more to it than just that. In 1 Cor 1:30, God explicitly mentions what Christ has been made unto us.
To completely understand this verse and experience it in our lives, we need to understand the fundamentals of our salvation.
Just because some people who have been Christians for a very long time and have chosen to adopt a certain kind of Christian life style and have decided that that is Christianity, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. True Christianity is based on the bible, the Word of God. Or in other words, a true Christian’s life will simply reflect the Word of God as in a mirror.
As a fundamental foundation, it is necessary that every Christian MUST believe that the bible is the infallible and absolute word of God. Literally like as if God Himself were speaking. As studied about Truth in the blog post “What is truth?”, there can be only one truth and if Jesus said “I am the truth” and if He was the Word, then the Word must be the truth. If you don’t believe this, then you already are on the wrong foundation. Every Christian believes, accepts and confesses that the bible is absolutely the word of God. Christians MUST believe that Jesus came in the flesh, died for us as a Savior, rose from the dead and is alive TODAY and that He is coming back again. Christians MUST believe this and MUST confess this, else you cannot know God the way you should and therefore will fail to practically experience the abundant life the bible talks about.
All the promises of God and the guilt free righteous and abundant life the bible talks about are only applicable to those who believe. Now “Believe” in the bible means firstly to accept the truthfulness of something and then also to confess it.
Romans 10:9 – “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved..
If you will confess with your mouth and believe in your heart –
This is how you and I got saved. Confess with your mouth means say it, speak it out.
Why is this so? Why can’t I just believe the gospel in my mind? I believe that Jesus died for me. I do. I also believe He rose from the dead. Why should I confess or speak it out?
Read ver 10: For…(it starts with the word “For”, or Because) with the heart man believes unto righteousness – This means God has made man in such a way that when our heart believes, we then come into agreement or oneness with God. In that instance, God and man are on the same page. Both now think alike. Believing what God says brings you into union with God Himself.
The verse goes on to say” and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
And with the mouth…confession is made unto salvation. Here the greek word for confession is homologia. Homologia means to say the same thing in agreement or consent. In this instance, you say the same thing as God says. You are not just reciting the verse, but you actually agree in your heart what it says.
For eg: I tell you, if you jumped down from the third floor, you will fall down because of gravity and you could hurt yourself badly. You will actually agree with me and repeat “Ofcourse if I jump down, I’m going to hurt myself”. That is confession or homologia. You say the same thing as I do, because you actually agree.
Eg: Romans 4:3 – Abraham believed God and it was counted unto Him for righteousness.
You don’t believe with your mind. You believe with your spirit which the bible calls heart.
Out of the fullness of your heart, the mouth speaks. So, when you make that confession because you believe it in your heart, you are catapulted into salvation.
This is the way, everything in God’s word works. The bible calls this “faith”. You believe God’s word and then you speak. You see what God sees. You get revelation and understanding of the things of God and you speak the same things, not because you are in a faith battle or because you are trying to be religious quoting scriptures, but because you truly believe it and know that this is the TRUTH. When you speak that way, it begins to manifest in your life.
You already know that God made us in His own image. God Himself functions this way. When He speaks something, it becomes. He created the entire universe that way. He spoke things into existence. When God says it, it comes into existence. It’s the same with us. But it won’t work if we are confessing our own thoughts and our own ideas or philosophies. When you are in agreement with God and when God and you are on the same page, then when you speak it out or homologia (confess in agreement), then it manifests in your life.
If God said you are something and you believed it, then you are on the same page with Him and in right standing with Him. Now let us look at the 4 things Christ has been made unto us.
Christ has been made unto us WISDOM
The bible on multiple occasions (in over 20 verses) talks about “Christ in us”. So, If Christ be in us, and if He has been made wisdom unto us, then we have the wisdom of God isn’t it? That’s the truth.
So confess it when you need to take wise decisions. Don’t be confused or anxious. Don’t question yourself. Most often we come across situations in life where we need to take a decision and we are so confused. God, am I doing this right? God, what should I do? I don’t know what to do, etc.. Some Christians cry out “Lord help me…” and that is fine. All of that is fine because all of us are growing. And the Lord knows those who are growing and will certainly help them with direction and guidance.
But there will come a time when the Lord will want you to walk as a mature child. A time will come when despite all your crying and praying, nothing seems to happen. So, instead of crying out, Confess!! Say “I have the wisdom of God in me because Christ has been made unto me wisdom”. I have the wisdom to make the right decision. I have the wisdom to be at the right place at the right time. And when you say it, don’t be anxious or doubtful. Why? Because you have only confessed what is THE TRUTH. You did not make it up and you are not trying to muster up faith. You are just repeating the truth because you believe it. Now you and your Father God are on the same page and as you keep on confessing it, before long it will MANIFEST. You will have the wisdom and you will make the right decision.
Remember what Jesus said in Mark 11:23-24 – “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”
Verse 23 says “does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to take place,” and then in verse 24; “whatsoever things you ask for in prayer, when you pray; BELIEVE you have received it and it shall be yours”. Wow!
You can believe and not doubt ONLY when you are on the same page with God. Because it is written and it is the TRUTH. There is no ambiguity there. So say, I am quick of mind with divine wisdom. Confess that I have the wisdom of God in me and keep on saying this and wisdom will manifest in your life.
Christ is my RIGHTEOUSNESS
God made it as so. He had to give us the ability to stand before Him in His Holy presence without fear, without guilt and without condemnation. Without righteousness, we would not qualify to stand in His holy presence. We would die. Righteousness is right standing or the rightness of God. When we say “we are the righteousness of God in Christ”, we are saying we have the rightness of God. The same nature of God is in us. Like when Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”
How could Jesus make such a statement? Because He was righteous and had the same nature of His Father in Him. Today, we are the righteousness of God too and this not by ourselves, but was given to us as a gift.
We could never stand before God without dying on our own. It would only be possible if God gave us this ability. He had to gift it to us. Otherwise, we would die because no amount of our good deeds can make up for our sin. If we even saw God in our unrighteous state, we would die. Once He gives us the ability to stand in His mighty presence as a gift, then there is no fear, no guilt, no condemnation or not even inferiority. Have you observed, you are not afraid to go to your prayer seat and get into the presence of God? You are not trembling with fear. You are not afraid to close your eye and pray. You quietly and confidently go, close your eyes and start talking to God. How is that possible? Even if you didn’t know how you did it, it is because God Himself gave you that ability when you were born again. He imparted that right standing to you. You became bold in His presence and now you say to Him what is in your heart. You speak to Him without hesitation and share your thoughts with Him. You even dare to call Him “Father”!!!
Christ has become that righteousness for you. This is why we say I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. No man can have this ability on their own. God has to impart it and He did so through Christ Jesus. As awesome as He is, I am not afraid of Him. That’s righteousness.
Confess this: Speak it out and it will manifest. Say I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Right living is a result of your righteousness. This is the answer to addictions. Any bad habit that keeps lingering on and on can be kicked out by exercising righteousness. And you exercise righteousness by “confession”, by speaking. You have the inherent ability to be righteous. You have the inherent ability to do what is right. Now, how do you make it manifest in your life? By speaking….by saying. Keep saying it. Keep talking the word.
Remember…With the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made.
James 3:1 – 2 – If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man and able also to control the whole body.
Christian perfection is found in your mouth. This is why we need to be careful about what we speak.
What you think shapes your character, but what you speak becomes your life. See how important this is. Don’t talk vain words even jokingly. Don’t say things like Oh! I am a poor man, Oh! I can never get anything right, Oh! I am so confused, Oh! I just can’t get rid of this habit…Oh! I’m so ugly, nobody likes me. No, No…confess the word of God; the TRUTH. Make sure you are on the same page with God and it will manifest in your life. Say I’m a child of God. I’m wonderfully made. I’m righteous. I have the same nature of God my Father in me. I am abundantly supplied. I have the life of God the Father in me because I am born of Him. His word abides in me. Keep saying the same thing God says about you and watch it change your life.
Joshua 1:8 – This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night….Meditate, meditate means muttering. Keep saying it, Keep talking it.
In 2 Cor 4:13 – Paul says “We believe and therefore we speak…”
Christ is my SANCTIFICATION
Here it is not particularly the doctrine of sanctification. There are 2 types of sanctification in the bible. It basically means set apart. But there is one sanctification where we are separated from the world and translated into the kingdom of God. Then there is separation of worldliness from the children of God. But in this verse, it is meaning that we are simply set apart for God. Christ is my set apartness. He is in me and I in Him. It is no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me. We are a peculiar people. Special people. Separated from the world unto God. We belong to God.
Read 1 Peter 2:9 Amplified : But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a [special] people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Why do some people suffer for so long? Whether it is their health or job or family issues or finances….why do some people suffer for so long? They keep praying or getting other people to pray for them, but nothing changes. Often times, it is because the word of God (God speaking through the bible) has meant little to them. They have looked at the bible as a religious book. They haven’t comprehended that the bible is THE TRUTH and it is as if God is speaking.
God spoke and said Christ is made unto us Wisdom. He said Christ is your righteousness, the rightness of God Himself. What is your response? God has said in 1 Peter 2:9 that we are a special people. What is your response?
Saying the same things God say is a principle for manifesting the God kind of life in you. This is what confession is. Philippians 2:12 says Work out your own salvation. Work out what is already in you. You got saved. The Lord saved you. You now are separated from this world. You belong to Him. You are special to Him. He has given you ALL things pertaining to life and godliness. You are now a Christian. So what has Christianity done for you? How are you working out your Christianity? If nothing has changed or if nothing is changing, then this blog post is going to start changing situations in your life.
Your life should be moving from glory to glory according to the word of God.
We need to learn to see things as God sees them. When you get upset with someone, think if God is angry at that person. If God is not angry, then why should you be angry? We are supposed to be the exact representation of Him. We become slaves to doubt, anger, fear, etc unnecessarily simply because we are not on the same page with God.
Christ is my REDEMPTION
Here redemption can also mean deliverance or riddance. This means that Christ is my riddance. No matter what trouble I am in, Christ will rid me of it. This means, we are free, we are delivered. We need to believe this. This is God speaking and He says Christ is my deliverance. So what is my response? I need to confess the same thing. I am free in Christ. It’s impossible for me to be oppressed by any evil. Christ is my riddance. Christ is my redemption. Even when you are in trouble due to your own mistakes, you need to confess “Christ is my deliverance” and He will deliver you. When you confess what God’s word says (Homologia – saying the same thing in agreement), then the word of God WILL manifest in your life.
This is why Jesus said in John 15:7 – If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
In conclusion dear friends, the power of believing and confessing is the key to the actual manifestation of the God kind of life in you. Be blessed.
John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
NLT says “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
What is this peace that Jesus is talking about? What do you think "peace" means? The dictionary explains peace as freedom from disturbance. Sometimes, it is also referred to as tranquillity, calmness, quietness or even an absence of war.
Was that the peace Jesus said He was leaving with us? Obviously not!! Because today’s world is full of uncertainty, fear of war, fear of an economy crash and job losses, fear of natural disasters and many other fears. Most people don’t need such major global issues to become fearful or worried. They are usually worried and in despair with more down to earth issues such as financial challenges, marriage problems, children gone astray and poverty.
Jesus said “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you”. “My Peace”…he said My peace I give to you. Can you imagine Jesus Himself ever being worried about anything? Can you imagine Jesus being fearful? Can you imagine Jesus being anxious and tensed not knowing how He was going to heal the blind man? How about raising Lazarus from the dead? Do you think He worried about how He was going to do it? Or perhaps when He walked on water. Do you think He was worried about drowning then? No my friends, He was always at peace. He was always confident and always in control and in charge. That very same peace that He had, He said He gives to us.
Question is: How do you receive that peace?
Friends, let me ask you something. How did you get saved? You simply believed that Jesus laid down His life on behalf of you. You simply believed that His shed blood has cleansed you from all your unrighteousness. You simply believed that He rose from the dead and is alive today and that He is coming again. That’s how you got saved. So also I urge you to simply believe that you don’t have to be worried about anything at all. Why? Because Jesus has given you His peace. Not peace as the world thinks of it, but His peace.
You say “But Santosh”, you don’t understand!! My marriage is falling apart, I have a huge debt to pay and I am in a financial mess or my business is in trouble, etc. How can I be at peace? I can’t even sleep well at night.
Friends, without sounding arrogant or prideful, but in all humility; let me tell you this. You do not realize WHO you are as a Christian. Hence the lack of peace in your life. If you knew who it is Jesus has made you into, it would be impossible for you to stay worried.
The immediate next verse after Jesus said “My peace I give to you”; He talks about Him leaving us and He says if we loved Him, we would be happy that He was going…..!!! John 14:28 Why?
Why would the disciples be happy that Jesus was leaving them? It doesn’t make sense! But read on…in verse 28
Notice, He said I am going to “the” Father and not “My” Father. That’s interesting isn’t it! Up until now, He always referred to God in Heaven as His Father. To us God was God, but to Him, God was His Father. Now He says “the” Father.
Now look at John 20:17. This is “after” Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to Mary at the tomb where He was buried.
John 20:17 – Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father, but go to My brethren and say to them, “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.
Wow! His Father and our Father? His God and our God?
There is so much in just that one verse. But in a nutshell, when Jesus bled and died, all of our sins were paid for. With Jesus’ resurrection; Satan was utterly and completely defeated. We no longer are separate from God. Sin was no longer an issue. The once and for all sacrifice for sin was offered and we were all reconciled with God. In other words, we that believe were all welcomed to the family of God, which makes Jesus’ Father, our Father too. That makes you all (readers) my brothers and sisters. We are family.
So then, the very God; the Almighty God who created everything around you is actually your Father……He for whom nothing is impossible…He is your Father. God Himself, who is all powerful and owns everything under the sun, including the sun and the rest of the universe….He is your Father. And you say you are worried? Do you see the truth now? If God be for us, who can be against us.
Friends, worry and anxiety comes in when you stop believing that you are in fact a child of God, with God Himself as your Father. When you forget the relationship of Father to Son and Father to daughter and begin to see yourself as separate to God, then the raging waves around you in life begin to induce fear, anxiety and worry. Remember, how Peter walked on water initially when his eyes were fixed on Jesus, but then he began to drown when he looked at the wind and the waves?
This amazing truth wasn’t made known to people before Jesus rose from the dead. So then, it makes sense that Jesus comforted them all through the years He was with them. Jesus knew perfectly well who He was and who His Father was. That’s why He was always at peace, in control and in charge. What did He have to worry about? His Father was God Himself. Now His Father is our Father as well. We ought to have the same peace He had. This is why He said, My peace, I give to you.
We actually proclaim God is all powerful and that He can do anything. We even proclaim that God is with us, He will never leave us nor forsake us, and He is always with us. God Almighty, who created the heavens and the earth by simply speaking, He Himself is with us and we are His children. We say all these things, but we don’t really believe it. Why else would we not be at peace? If you really believed what you say you believe, then you would also experience Jesus' peace in all situations.
You say “But Santosh, that is like an ideal situation. Life is not ideal." But is it? Or is it actually the truth? Isn’t the bible the word of God? Isn’t it the truth? Yes it is my friends. Learn to not live by experiences you go through in this world. Instead, learn to live by the word of God, which is the truth. Your life experience says “You are poor and unable to provide for your family”. But the truth says “the Lord Jesus Christ, though He was rich became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich”. – 2 Cor 8:9. Your life experience says “Nobody loves me”. But the truth says “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5) and “Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ”. – Rom 8:38,39. Your life experience says "I am sick and there is nothing I can do. I might even die and I have no hope." But the truth says Jesus Himself bore all our sicknesses. By His wounds, we were healed. What do you really believe? Your life experiences or the truth which is the word of God? Learn to live by the truth friends, not by life experiences. Then you will also live like Christ did, with the peace of God in all situations, in charge and in control.
Usually in this world, our minds are restless because we are constantly trying to do/achieve something. Remove that restlessness from our lives and then there is nothing to think about or worry about. The world’s system of life has led us into thinking that having nothing to worry about is abnormal, but God says that’s the normal. Have you noticed that almost all of your personal miracles and personal experiences of God coming through for you, have been mostly at times when you gave up struggling or were at peace with whatever the outcome? Either way, the miracle was when you were at peace.
All miracles in the bible,including healing's have been when people had nowhere to turn except to Jesus. When people tried everything they could and couldn’t find a solution, they gave up, stopped struggling and turned to Jesus. That’s when the miracle happened. Miracles happen when you are at peace.
When you realize who you are in Christ, who your Father is and when you are confident because you KNOW your Father is God Himself, that’s when you experience Jesus’ peace in you and that’s when you experience the abundant life that Jesus came to give us.
In the story of Job, Job kept complaining to God about why He had to suffer so much and he kept talking. Listen to what God said to Job in Job 33:31 – Give ear Job, listen to me, Hold your peace, and I will speak. And then in Job 33:33 – If not listen to me; Hold your peace, and I will teach you wisdom.
See, if you wish to hear God speak to you, then hold your peace. You hear God’s voice when you are at peace.
Phil 4:6 : Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
You know who your Father is. So why are you anxious? Be at peace friends. Simply ask your Father for what you want. He loves you and He will answer you. Sometimes, through a miracle and at other times He will tell you what to do. Either way, you will hear from God, your Father when you are at peace.
Matthew 6:25 – Do not worry about your life…
Isa 26:3 – You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You.
Jesus said His peace He gave to us. Are you enjoying that peace? If not, it is time to receive His peace friends. Realize that you are a child of God, the same God who was and is Father to your Lord Jesus Christ. That same God is your Father too. The God who created the entire universe and owns literally everything, that same God is your Father. You are a citizen of heaven. You belong to God’s family. You cannot be discouraged, depressed and in despair when God Himself is your Father. This is what the truth is according to the bible friends. Do you believe it? If yes, then His peace is yours this moment on. Do you feel it already?
Should you need me to pray for you, let me know. Leave a comment here or post a message on our Facebook page. The Lord bless you.
Two individuals came to Jesus, each with a deep spiritual problem. One found life, but the other lost it. What was the difference?
The first person was a rich young ruler who approached the Lord with the most burning question of his heart: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18).
He was not seeking a religious debate as so many others did. He honestly wanted to know. When Jesus listed five of the commandments, the young man replied that he had a perfect record in keeping them all. Christ simply responded to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor . . . and come, follow Me” (Luke 18:22). Scripture tells us that the rich ruler went away sorrowful (Matthew 19:22).
The second man (Luke 19:2 – 19:8) was also rich, but he had gained his wealth by shamelessly defrauding others. Zacchaeus was a well-known crook. When Jesus came to his house, He said nothing to the man about selling his house or giving his money away. Amazingly, Zacchaeus freely made the decision to give half of his possessions to the poor and restore four times the amount he stole to everyone he’d cheated.
What was it that compelled Zacchaeus to respond so differently than the rich young ruler?
When Zacchaeus saw Christ, he saw the pearl of great price. He saw in Him everything, all things, completion. Zacchaeus realized that all things pertaining to life including provision, health, joy, peace and fullness of life is in Christ alone. He realized, If I have Him, I can easily give away everything. What else do I need?
But when the young ruler saw Jesus, he didn’t see that pearl of great price. If we could know what his thoughts were that day, I imagine most of them were focused on what he would be giving up, more than what he would gain in Christ. His security was in his riches.
Proverbs 18:11 - The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense; they imagine it to be a high wall of safety. NLT
The rich man wanted religion and was confident that he could go through religious rituals and earn his way into heaven and eternal life. Jesus, being God in the flesh was able to see his heart and addressed the issue asking him to give up the false sense of security in his wealth.
We very often make the same mistake as the rich young ruler. Most of us truly want to follow Christ and experience His abundant life. Most of us truly desire to see miracles, healings and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. But subconsciously we focus on what we may have to give up and are afraid to let go of those things we have relied on for so long. The material things of this world gives us a "false sense of security" which we cling on to. We call it "being wise" "being practical", and make up other terms to explain it away. Ever tried "being foolish for the Lord"? Ever tried "letting go of things this world clings on to"?
I challenge you to try it. Try walking out into the street, pick a random person who appears to be lonely, discouraged and in despair. Invite him/her to lunch. For a change, don't worry about the money you'll have to spend. Don't worry about what your friends will think. Just be foolish and do something contrary to the world. Treat the person to a sumptuous lunch. Just sit with the person and talk about life and love the person. If you get a chance, talk about your faith in the Lord and what He has done for you. Bless the person and leave. Don't expect anything in return. Tell me thereafter that you don't feel more alive!!! Examine yourself thereafter. If you are cringing at the money spent, then you know where your heart is. If you are feeling alive and joyful like never before, praise the Lord. You've got it!!!
I believe the Lord looks for that “one thing” we grasp so tightly and depend on. It could be anything: our strength, our abilities, our education, a meaningful relationship, our years of Christian experience, our connections, the good reputation we have established, our position, our extraordinary discernment and other spiritual gifts, our plans for marriage or the things of this world. What is your "one thing" (or many things) that you are clinging on to? For the rich young ruler, it was his wealth.
As long as we hold on to that one thing in which we trust, we will never be able to surrender fully to Christ. Such lack of intimacy with the Lord often results in frustration and discouragement. In addition, that one thing will be a constant hindrance for the rivers of living water to flow freely out from us and give life to others.
How do we recognize the “one thing” that we are clinging on to? We will know it by the discouragement, tension, bitterness, frustration and irritation that fill our hearts, when that “one thing” is tampered with. Is it your money? Is it your relationship with someone? Is it your position or name? God will open our eyes, and we will recognize it if we truly desire to. We will then have the grace to surrender it to the Lord, not by looking at what we are letting go, but by looking at all that we are gaining in Christ— the pearl of great price.
Luke 14:26 - If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters - yes, even their own life - such a person cannot be my disciple.
You see, if “our riches,” that which we value most, is the Lord Jesus and what we have in Him, then no raging storm can cause any disturbance. I believe the Lord wants us to live in a continual state of seeing Him as "all sufficient" and being content in Him alone. Those whose life is full of joy and in the unhindered presence of the Lord are the ones who experience a continuous feast on Him. Nothing else will matter to them, and abandonment to Christ alone is their obvious choice.
God bless you friends. If you would like me to pray for you, just leave me a comment and I'll come back to you soon. Alternatively, we are on Facebook. You can leave us a message there.
Many a times we struggle with knowing what God’s will is for your life. Is it God’s will for me to take up this job? Is it God’s will that I marry this person? Is it God’s will that I start this business? And there are plenty of other situations where you are trying to find out God’s will for you.
But God’s word says that if we can be transformed by renewing our minds, we would KNOW the good and perfect will of God.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
What does it mean to be transformed by the renewing of your mind? How do we go about doing it?
Friends, I encourage you to read through the book of Romans up until chapter 11. In short, this is what the book of Romans teaches.
Soon after the first eleven chapters of Romans teaches us all of the above, chapter 12 starts off with “Therefore”. In other words, seeing all that God did on our behalf, therefore….live like this. And the very first instruction is for us to renew our minds.
So how do we do renew our minds exactly?
By default, through tradition, culture and worldliness; our minds have been conditioned to think that God is pure, holy, just, perfect and someone to be feared and worshipped. This is of course true. But we have also been conditioned to think that we are mere men, sinful, imperfect and unworthy to approach a holy God. We even hear it often said “no body is perfect.” This is true too, but NOT for us who believe in Jesus Christ. With this mind-set, we try to work out our faith in God which is a perfect recipe for failure.
The fact is that Jesus' finished work on the cross has changed everything for us who believe. We are NEW creations in Christ.
Everything this world has taught us and everything our minds have been conditioned to think and believe as natural is a sharp contrast from what God’s word says about us.
What you believe and allow your thoughts to dwell on, will determine your actions. You consistent actions will then form into a habit and your habits will determine who you become as a person. Change what you believe and it will change your actions and therefore your habits and you will end up as someone living that abundant life Jesus promised to give you. “He said I have come that you might have life and life more abundantly”. John 10:10
So renewing your mind is to rewire your thinking by repeatedly telling yourself what the word of God says about you. Tell yourselves:
We know that we are spirit, soul and body. The spirit needs to be continually fed….so that it affects the mind….which affects the body. Before being born again in Christ, our spirits were dead due to sin. Our mind got its information from the physical senses. There was no room for faith in the unseen. Hence when situations and circumstances got challenging, the mind is stressed and this shows on our bodies through sicknesses, looking old prematurely, aches, pains and diseases. Whatever the state of your mind, it is made manifest in your bodies.
Likewise, now that your Spirit is made alive and you feed on God’s word and good teachings, your mind is renewed and this will show on your body as well. Faith begins to operate…you are much calmer in the midst of a storm. You begin to walk in divine health and Godly confidence. Your face will begin to glow and health will manifest.
When you begin to confess the same thing Gods word says about you, you begin to renew (re-wire) your mind and when you do this, you will always KNOW the good and perfect will of God in all situations. Learn to speak out God’s word. Only say what God says about you in the word.
2 Cor 10:4-5 – For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
How do you know the thoughts that are exalting itself against the knowledge of God? Anything that steals your peace, steals your joy, steals your assurance and confidence or makes you feel condemned and guilty, these are thoughts exalting itself against the knowledge of God. It is time to tell yourself who you are once again.
This obviously does not mean we can go about doing whatever we like to fulfill our sensual pleasures and then say I am a child of God. Pay attention to the Holy Spirit within you who convicts you of wrongful deeds.
There are many other verses in the word of God which reiterates what I just said about who we are in Christ.
Colossians 1:13 says “we have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.”
John 8:31-32 – If you continue in my word, you are really my disciples. And you will know the truth, and THE TRUTH will set you free.
2 Cor 3:18 - But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
2 Cor 5: 14-17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. He IS already a new creation. It doesn’t say “he will become”…
This study was about being transformed by the renewing of our minds…
Other places where the word “transformed” is used: (Original greek – metamorphoo which is where we get metamorphosis from). Like a caterpillar changing into a butterfly.
Matt 17:2 – The same word is used to illustrate Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain
1 Cor 15:51 – 54 – Here talking about our rapture and our bodies being transformed, Paul says “We will not all die, but we will all be transformed”
Gal 6:15 – It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.
So friends, if you wish for your life to be transformed, if you wish to experience that abundant life, and if you wish to experience the joy of walking with the Lord every day and being able to hear His voice and being led by the Holy Spirit, then RENEW your minds. Change the way you think. Start thinking of yourselves as the way God thinks about you.
God bless you.
Most of us have been taught to remember the Lord’s death for our sins as we take communion. The usual routine is for us to quietly bow our heads, reflect on the Lord’s death for our sins, then take the piece of bread and drink the juice. We then thank the Lord and say Amen! Many a times, it is even just a religious ritual which kind of gives a fake sense of fulfillment of a duty.
What exactly is the Communion? Why did the Lord ask us to do this in remembrance of Him? How exactly do we take communion?
We know that Jesus took our sicknesses and diseases. We know that He bore all of our sins upon Himself. But how exactly do we “experience” the benefits of His work on the cross? This is where religious Christians will say “It is by Faith” and Yes! That’s true. But I submit to you that the communion is a great way to stay strong in that faith.
In fact, the bread and juice we partake represents the greatest expression of God’s love for His people.
1 Cor 11:23 – 26 – For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, Take Eat, this is my body which is broken for you, do this in remembrance of Me. In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying. “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
He goes on to say in verse 29-30 – For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgement to himself, not discerning the Lords body. For this reason, many are weak and sick among you.
So dear brothers and sisters, when we take the wafer or bread and drink the juice, let us reflect on what these emblems represent and let us ensure we take them in a worthy manner and discerning the Lord’s body.
As you know, two items are used in the Communion—the bread represents Jesus’ body that was scourged and broken for us, and the cup which represents His shed blood.
When Jesus walked on earth, He was vibrant, full of life and divine health. He was never sick. In fact, He imparted His life and health to others and healed them. But before Jesus went to the cross, He was badly scourged by the Roman soldiers, and His body was torn as He hung on the cross.
God took all our sicknesses and diseases and put them on Jesus’ originally perfect and healthy body, so that you and I can walk in divine health. That is why the Bible says “By his wounds, we WERE healed”- in 1 Peter 2:24.
This is the truth. He really did take your sicknesses and diseases away. So when we take the bread or wafer, let’s take it in a worthy manner, reminding ourselves that our sicknesses and diseases were indeed taken away by Jesus. By His wounds, we were healed. Believe this, as you take the wafer or bread. Take your time to reflect on this. Tell yourself that no sickness can remain on you because it was indeed taken away by Jesus your Lord. If He took it away, then it can’t remain in your body. If the TRUTH is that Jesus took away your sickness, then it cannot also be TRUE that He didn’t take it away. Which truth do you want to believe? What the word of God says or what your body feels? Choose to believe the TRUTH my friend, think about this and then take the bread believing the truth.
Likewise, when He shed His blood for us and laid down His life for us, He took all our sins upon Himself and paid the ultimate price for us and imparted total and complete forgiveness to us. Along with this forgiveness He also gave us the freedom from sin and guilt and condemnation. This is the truth. We can now say “There is now no condemnation for me because I am in Christ Jesus. Believe this, as you take the juice. If He took all your sins and has forgiven you of all your sins, then the feeling of guilt and condemnation is a lie from the enemy. Both can’t be true. Choose to believe the truth which is God’s word (because He cannot lie) and reject your feelings, then drink the juice thanking the Lord for His shed blood.
1 Cor 10:16 – The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
Here communion means sharing or exchanging. The Lord Jesus took our sicknesses and diseases & gave us divine health and healing in exchange. He took our sins and gave us forgiveness, righteousness and eternal life in exchange. Jesus wants us conscious of this fact as we take communion.
And whenever we partake in this consciousness, we “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).
Today, when you partake of the bread or wafer, you are declaring that Jesus’ divine health and life flows through your bodies. And when you partake of the cup, you are declaring that you are indeed forgiven and have been made righteous.
That is the truth my friends. This is why we can now go boldly into God’s presence without any guilt and KNOW that when we pray, God hears us!
Pray this prayer as you take the bread or wafer:Thank You, Father, for the gift of Your Son. By the stripes that fell on His back, by the many wounds that were inflicted upon Him, my body is healed from the crown of my head to the very soles of my feet. I am healed, restored, and renewed. In Jesus’ name, I believe and I receive. Then eat.
Pray this prayer as you take the juice:Lord Jesus, thank You for Your precious blood. Your shed blood has removed every sin from my life. Through Your blood, I am forgiven of all my sins—and made completely righteous. Today, I partake of your righteousness and proclaim I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus for your blood has cleansed me from all my unrighteousness. Then drink.
Our Lord recommended that we do this as often as we can and remember Him. So friends, do not wait for the church to lead you into communion once every week on Sunday or once a month. Personalise this and do this as often as you want to in your own home. In fact, the more often you do this, the stronger your faith will be. You will notice a sense of joy in you and find yourself becoming healthier and healthier. Do this as often as you want to until such time the TRUTH of this exchange gets deeply rooted in you. What an awesome Lord and saviour we have.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
The word of God calls for us to walk in truth. We are even called to worship in truth. How can we walk or worship in truth if we do not understand what truth is?
What is truth?
John 18:37-38 - Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are you a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”
So I ask you too? What is truth? It is important for us to know what truth is so we can distinguish it from what is NOT truth.
3 John 1:3-4 – For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Psalm 86:11 – Teach me Your way O LORD; I will walk in Your truth
1 John 1:6 – If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
There is a requirement that we understand the truth firstly and then “intentionally practice” it. If we claim to have fellowship with Christ, and do not practice walking in truth, then we are actually walking in darkness. Probably that explains why many Christians suffer unnecessarily.
So what exactly is truth? Most of us in this world are programmed to think that truth is relative. In Pilates case, his truth was that Jesus was innocent. But the truth according to the Jews was that Jesus was a blasphemer. Both of them thought they were right. This notion that there is no universal truth is probably the root cause of why we have so many religions and even factions amongst the children of God. If truth depends on the perspective each one has, then there is no firm ground and no frame of reference. There will always be a valid contradiction of every view point.
So what is truth in the bible? There can be on only ONE truth. You can’t have multiple truths different from each other right? So what is that truth? How do we walk in it?
Truth can be relative and subjective in situations in this world. For eg: You might be wearing sun glasses and I am not. I might say “The sun is too bright and blinding…and you might say, “Its not”. Both of our statements are true for each of us. This truth is relative and subjective to the situation.
That’s not what our Lord Jesus is talking about though. There is one absolute truth when it comes to God and the God kind of life that He destined for us. When I say “There is one God” and you say “There are many Gods” and someone else says “There is no God”. Now, these are opinions of 3 people, but all of them cannot be true. Only one of them is true and if so, the other two are lies or false. This notion that what is true for you is true for you and what is true for me is true for me is the reason why many Christian’s suffer. This is carnal thinking. Worldly thinking. Most of us think that whatever it is we are experiencing; that is the truth for us. This is why people often say “You don’t understand what I’m going through”, etc. Most often, it is not THE TRUTH as our Lord Jesus defined truth at all. You see…the Jews thought that the truth was that Jesus was a blasphemer claiming to be God. Why? Because they were blinded by sin and were programmed by worldly thinking. All they could see was Jesus being a man claimed to be God. But the actual truth was something else. Jesus was indeed God who became man so he could rescue us. He came to His own and His own received Him not.
Likewise, most Christians acknowledge what they see and experience as truth; which is not actually truth. The bible says “Set your minds on things above, not on things on the earth. Col 3:2.” The bible says “For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Cor 5:6-7”
Read John 17:14-17
Jesus says “We are not of this world just as He is not of this world. Interestingly in ver 9, Jesus says “I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given me” and in verse 17 He says “Sanctify them by Your truth” or separate them out by your truth. Therefore, once separated, whatever (or the group of people left out) is not of the truth.
John 14:6 – I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; nobody comes to the Father except through Me.
Before Jesus came, John the Baptist came bearing witness to the truth.
John 1:14 – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Ver 17 – For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
That means, until Jesus came, people were blind and couldn’t comprehend the truth. They thought they knew but they didn’t really know the truth. Whatever life gave them and whatever they experienced; they considered that to be truth. But Jesus came and along with Him; truth came.
Truth about life. Truth about who we are. Truth about what authority we have here on earth and what we are capable of. Truth about our real identity. Truth about the devil.
When Jesus (truth) came, He started healing the sick, casting out demons, etc. The bible says the people were astonished that He was speaking to demons and sick bodies and that they obeyed Him. Then He raised the dead. People were gobsmacked. They had never seen such things. He even spoke to the winds and the waves. He spoke to the tree. He walked on water. Until such time, the world was accustomed to the lies of the devil so much so that we believed that that was the truth and life in general. Sickness, hardships and death were all part of life. Nobody ever thought that they could have authority over these things. Sin had separated us from our Father God and we had lost our true identity. When the disciples tried to cast out demons and failed, they asked Jesus, “Why could we not cast it out?” Jesus said because of your unbelief. And then He said, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as much as a mustard seed….you would say to this mountain. He was talking to us and about what we could do, if we knew the truth.
Unbelief is usually because you don’t know the truth. If you know the truth, you won’t have a problem with belief.
John 8:25-34 – (ver 31) Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Free from what? Jesus says He who continues to sin is a slave to sin. So He was referring to freedom from sin in this context. Abide means “settle down” “take up residence”. Here it would mean that our lives are dictated by the word of God because that is the truth. Everything else is NOT the truth. If we did that, then we would be free. Free from sin and therefore free from the consequences of sin too.
He said I am the way, the truth and the life. So that confirms that the truth was something else than what the world was used to. If He had to proclaim, “I am the way, the truth”….then the people were probably a slave or under a spell to lies. And Jesus had come to show them the truth.
All through the NT, when Jesus mentions “truth” he implied that there is a truth which is quite different to the lie people were living in. If He didn’t intend to contrast, then there would be no point in using the term “I tell you the truth” or I am the truth or walk in truth, etc. Eg: I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter…. Also I tell you the truth, it is for your good that I am going away and I tell you the truth, if you had faith as a mustard seed…
Our Lord kept insisting, “I tell you the truth…” because He wanted us to know and understand that what we think to be true isn’t actually the truth. We thought the truth was that it is impossible to cast out demons, but He said “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as a mustard seed…”. We thought the truth was we could gain access to God by good works and sacrifices, but He said “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again…..” Am sure, you get the point.
John 16:12-13 – I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth…”
We all have the Holy Spirit in us and He has guided us into all truth or is guiding us into all truth every day.
For us the truth is this:
The secret to having dominion over evil is walking in truth. The truth of who you are, what Christ has revealed to you. The truth that the devil is now powerless over you. The truth that you are a citizen of heaven. The truth that you are a child of God, who is now our Father and who is ALL Powerful.
Therefore, if we are to walk in truth, then we ought to be walking like we really are who God says we are…(as per above). How does that look like? We ought to look at every situation in our life and analyse if it’s the truth as we know it or a lie from the devil. Because there cannot be two truths. When you feel condemned, then ask yourself, is this the truth or a lie from the devil? Because the truth is that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. When you feel lonely and depressed, ask yourself, is this the truth or a lie from the devil? Because the truth is that He will never ever leave us nor forsake us. It’s a mind-set we need to carry and be conscious of all the time. Even when you feel sick. The truth is that Jesus took it away. So whatever is showing up is a lying symptom. Treat it by all means because our bodies are not saved and it needs comfort from pain and hurt. But believe the truth and reject the lies. Technically, Jesus has made it an impossibility for the enemy to work against His beloved children, which is you. No weapon formed against you shall prosper.
2 Peter 1:3-4 says “He has given us ALL things pertaining to both LIFE and Godliness.
Unfortunately, for most of us, our default stance is to consider our immediate circumstance in this world as the truth. We think, we are in this world, God is in heaven. What we go through here is the truth and we cry out to God for miracles all the time…like He is separate from us. But the “truth” is He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is in us. Christ in us, the hope of Glory. We are seated together with Him. God does indeed do miracles and answer prayers amazingly……..for baby Christians. But stay a Christian for a while and you will soon realize that life is not full of miracles. This is because God wants us to grow. He says Abide in my word. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Paul went through a lot of hardships. He was beaten, flogged, stoned, ship wrecked, imprisoned….but it didn’t faze him one bit. Why? Because he was walking in the truth. He knew this world and everything in it is a lie and temporary not worth comparing to the truth which is eternal.
As we grow into mature children of God, we need to literally live being conscious of who we are and where we are from and separate that out from what we experience here. Only one of them can be the truth. Both can’t be the truth. If you choose to walk by your experiences here, the bible says “we walk in darkness. 1 John 1:6 – If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
To see what happens when we suppress the truth and walk in lies, read..
Romans 1:18-32 – ver 18- suppress the truth in unrighteousness, ver 25- exchanged the truth of God for the lie,
A Christian has to be a doer of the word. There is a difference between obeying the word in the Old Testament and doing the word in the New Testament.
“Obeying the word” is obeying a commandment like how a soldier obeys an order and gets a medal for doing so whilst “doing the word” is living out what you actually are. In contrast, not doing the word is living a life contrary to who you are. I’d like to end this message with a reminder that the Armor of God mentioned in Ephesians 6 encourages us to – “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.”
Bless you my dear brothers and sisters and keep on growing in the knowledge of your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
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John 15:18-19 – If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
In Jesus’ prayer to the Father in John 17: 14-16 He says – I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.
John the disciple knew this powerful truth and in one of his teachings says – “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. “
In other words, we are citizens of heaven. Philippians 3:20. Therefore live as foreigners in this world. 1 Peter 2:11
So then, I urge you friends to stay true to your citizenship. If you adopt the culture around you, then along with that also comes troubles, sickness, sorrow, depression, lack, hurts and pains.
True wealth and prosperity is not an abundance of possessions. It is not about living in an upmarket suburb or driving an expensive car and maintaining a high life style. True wealth and prosperity is this. Never being in lack, plenty of joy, fun and laughter at home with your family, unexplainable peace in your house with no arguments, disagreements or fights, your ability to always stay calm and positive even in the midst of the worst of storms, divine health and energy, a sense of contentment in life and the ability to be generous in helping those in need; always willing to give from what you have. This is prosperity. If you are living such a life, you are very prosperous.
We as children of God (if living as a citizen of heaven and are conscious of who we are), then we already have all of this and are prosperous. Immensely prosperous.
These are the very things that the people of this world are trying to get. They also want joy, fun, love, laughter at home. They also want to never be in lack. They too would prefer a house with no arguments, disagreements and fights. They too want to be healthy and enjoy life doing things they love. However, the bible teaches us that the people of this world think different to us. They think the means to achieving all of this is by making more money. They think if they can have enough money to buy a large mansion, buy an expensive car and live a high life, then they have become wealthy. Their idea of an abundant life is parties, food, sex and holidaying. At the end of the day, when they sit down to unwind, they realize they still have no peace, no love, no health, and no true joy in the family and no contentment.
I too was like this before, until I met the Lord. My life has never been the same since. Today, after several years of walking with Him and learning a new way of life, I can truly say that He has made me prosperous. We own a home, we lack nothing, there is great peace in our home, no arguments or disagreements, plenty of fun, joy and laughter over the dinner table and we have enough to provide for ourselves and be generous towards others too. We are also healthy, full of faith in who we are as children of God and have a sense of contentment in life. Read my testimony here.
When we know that we are not of this world and live conscious of this fact, then we will attempt to discard “everything” of this world and adopt “nothing” of it. We will begin to live life by a different set of rules. Friends, I urge you, do not adopt the methods, ideologies and philosophies of this world that promise you a life of prosperity and contentment but deliver little to nothing. We are not of this world. We are from above and we don’t lack anything. Don’t let the world tell you otherwise. We were born into prosperity. We don’t need to compete with others in the world to give us a sense of fulfillment or satisfaction.
If I dare to say, don’t even try to acquire worldly treasures by using your authority as a child of God. You know what I mean? That can also lead to frustration and grief and more importantly lead you to deception. The bible says “The love of money is the root of all evil”.
Think differently. Live by a different set of rules. Treasure the peace at home. Treasure your family, your wife and your children. Treasure the word of God. Treasure your health and your daily provision. Treasure all that you have and live free from worldly desires that always are just a little bit beyond your reach, causing you to strive harder and harder to get them. It is truly amazing to observe how true prosperity hunts you down with little effort from you, when you are content with what you have and live a life of gratitude, perpetually conscious of who you are in Christ. A child of God, a citizen of heaven and not of this world.
In the kingdom of God, there is NO lack, NO poverty, NO sorrow, NO sickness, NO hatred, NO jealousy and NO lusts. There is an abundance of provision, there is divine health, there is unexplainable peace, there is unending and unconditional love, and there is laughter and fun and joy. All these things are yours.
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
In the kingdom of this world, there is lack, there is poverty, there is sickness, there is hatred, there is depression, discouragement, inferiority and superiority, there is jealousy, there is greed and lust for more, there is untimely death, there is pride and arrogance, wars and plenty of temporary pleasures that don’t last.
Seek first the kingdom of this world, and all these things will be added unto you as well.
If you need prayer for anything, leave a comment below or visit our Facebook page and leave a message. I will most certainly pray for you. God loves you, cares for your every need and will definitely help you when you call out to Him.
Ephesians 3:20 – He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
I am sure this verse has been preached from the pulpit on many occasions, almost always encouraging you and filling you with hope. However, many a times, this hope and encouragement doesn’t last very long. It’s just a few hours in some cases when people are back to their anxious and worried selves wondering how their bills are going to get paid or how their broken down relationship is going to be restored. In other cases, I’ve talked to people who have had someone sick in their family and the entire sermon at church was barely a band aid to them.
Yet the bible says “He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
In other words, He will do MORE than your mind can fathom. But that’s where most people stop. The verse goes on to say “according to the power that worketh in us”.
According to the power that works in us? – Yes, that’s right!!….to the extent you are filled with His word and to the extent your natural lifestyle reflects His word, to that extent this power works.
I’m sure you have seen or know people who come to church on Sunday’s specifically to get prayed for. They even come to mid-week prayer meetings when they are in desperate need of a job or a house or a healing. Once that particular need is met, they slowly withdraw over the weeks and eventually don’t come to church regularly anymore. When you try to meet up with them, they are seemingly apologetic (as if they are letting us down) and say they are too busy…They have a big smile and say they got a job, they thank you for your prayers too but then church and time with the Lord takes a back seat. That’s religion. They neither know the Lord personally nor His word, let alone applying it to their lives.
When they have a need, they try their very best on their own to fulfill that need at first. But when all else fails, they try God. Again, only so that their need can be met if at all possible. After all, it doesn’t cost them anything to try God. These are religious people who have not understood the gospel at all. Before long, they have lost peace, they have no real joy in life, they are always under pressure, stress and in some cases a marriage breakdown or some other hardship. They will return to church to get prayed for again.
And then there are another kind of people. These people are regular to church. They claim they love the Lord. But they too are always in need. In need for either health or money or something else. Every single time you meet them, they are happy to get prayed for. These are those who will attend every single conference or seminar several times every year, listen to every speaker that comes along and yet they have not much change to show in their lives. They are still in need all the time. They do not have the time to be a blessing to anyone or share the love of Christ with those in need because they themselves are always in need.
Why is this? Why do so many so called “Christians” suffer worldly hardships? Is it meant to be this way? Are we to always be in a state of crying out to God for some need or the other? Is this normal? Didn’t the apostle Paul say “The gospel is the power of God unto salvation”? Where is this power?
No my friends!! This is not God’s will for His children. It is His will that we prosper in all things and be in good health.
Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”.
Its lack of the understanding of the gospel which causes so many of us to still deal with struggles, temptations, addictions and pressures in this world. Every negative thing people experience in life is of this world. Sickness, poverty, lack, anger, depression, egos, pride, selfishness……you name it. All of this is of this world that we live in. You cannot find any of this in God’s kingdom, can you?
If only you grasped the truth behind the gospel message, you would jump for joy, GREAT JOY!!! You would then truly believe “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Phil 4:13
John 8:32 – You will know the truth and the truth will make you free…
If you are struggling with anything at all, be it health or finances or discouragement or depression or sickness or addiction; if you will know the truth, the truth will make you free.
And that truth is this:
When you believed in Christ and were born again, you became a new creation.
2 Cor 5:17 – Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; (as in dead and gone) all things have become new.
The new creation means, a newly created being which did not exist before. In other words, when you were born again putting your faith in Christ as savior, your old self died and you were born afresh. This time not by means of a human father and mother, but born by the word of God Himself, just like how Jesus Himself was born. Remember “the word became flesh”. This new creation is not simply a better version of the old you. You were born afresh and you didn’t exist before. Therefore, you do not have a past.
1 John 5:1 – Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…
Now let’s see what God has to say about this newly born person…
1 John 5:4 – everyone born of God overcomes the world. NLT says “every child of God defeats this evil world and we achieve this victory through our faith.”
1 John 5:18 – We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.
Do you believe this? If people really do believe this, then how is it they are almost always under attack by the wicked one?
This is how you became a Christian. You were born again and this time you were born of God Himself and not of a human father and mother. God Himself is your Father. When Jesus died in your place, you died. When Jesus rose from the grave, you rose and were born again afresh. That’s why the bible says “Jesus is the first born among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). When Jesus ascended into heaven, guess what happened? He took us with Him and seated us together with Him in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 2:6- And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…(read ver 7 too)
What’s more? In Romans 8:17 – Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,…
Did you see that? We are joint heirs with Christ Himself. In other words, all that He owns, we own too. He is God and we are joint heirs with Him. Wow!!! Can you see the love of our Father for us here? Can you see His abundance of grace by which He has saved us sinners and given us everlasting life with an abundance of everything?
Furthermore, He has made us citizens of heaven. Philippians 3:20 says “But our citizenship is in heaven….”Of course it has to be. Why? Because by birth (being born of God Himself) we are citizens of the place where God belongs. This is why we are “ambassadors for Christ”. An ambassador by definition is not an ambassador if he is living in his own country. An ambassador represents his country in a foreign land. Likewise, we are not of this world, but we live here. Hence we are ambassadors for Christ. In other words, we represent Christ and His kingdom here in this world.
So if you truly believed this….ie you are a newly born person with no sinful past, born of God Himself, made a citizen of heaven and a joint heir with Christ Himself, then how can you always be in want? The psalmist says in Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want”. How can you always be crying out to God for a need to be met? You own everything along with Christ.
2 Peter 1:3 says “He has given to us all things pertaining to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue..
All things pertaining to life? Yes…all things indeed. Whatever you need for this life here has been given to you because you are a child born of God. You are a joint heir with Christ. Not just all things pertaining to life, but also all things pertaining to godliness.
Friends, the bible says “When I was a child, I spoke as a child”. When we are babes in Christ, we do not have a full understanding of God’s word. So we speak as a child. We cry out to God for all things, and He answers because He loves us and cares for our needs. That experience doesn’t last forever though, because He expects every child of God to grow in the knowledge of Christ and in the knowledge of the gospel into maturity.
You cannot be an influence in this lost world and share the gospel with the lost, if you yourself are a child and have not much to show for your faith in an unlimited God, whom you claim to be your Father.
I encourage you to grow my dear friends. Become a mature son, a mature daughter and live life on a different plane. It’s exciting, it’s miraculous and it’s stress free. Jesus said “My yoke is light” and that is so true.
Live life being conscious of who you are. You are from above, not of this world. God’s kingdom is a kingdom of light. The world is a kingdom of darkness. Light dispels darkness. We are from the kingdom of light but live in a kingdom of darkness. Therefore, wherever you set your foot, darkness is cast out because light has come. Light dispels darkness. Jesus said “You are the light of the world”. Matthew 5:14.
Can you see now? Sickness, lack, discouragement, depression, anger, bitterness, jealousy, etc are all from darkness. When you as a born again believer set foot into that situation, they all have to flee. Remember, we are from above and not of this world. We are citizens of heaven and ambassadors for Christ here. When you are conscious of who you are, then poverty, sickness and demons have no power over you. They can only run rampage in people’s lives when they are ignorant of the truth.
Remember Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed due to lack of knowledge”.
Mark 16:17 – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.”
These are Jesus’ words. Can you see why He said it now? Am sure you do. It’s because your new born again self is from above and not of this world. If you have believed the gospel, then this is for you. Doesn’t it sound super human? Yes! That’s the power you have, IF you truly believe what you say you believe.
Once you are born again (and have understood the gospel), you actually have no reason to ask God for anything anymore. You don’t have to figure out if it’s God’s will to heal you, if its Gods will to bless you, provide for you and prosper you, etc…Why? Because in His eyes, you have become a heir, a joint heir with Christ, seated together WITH Him in the heavenly places. You see that!! You now live by a different set of rules. Now that you know who you are in Christ; when you do ask for something you need, you can ask without doubting and you will surely receive.
You ask for healing for those who do not know Him. You ask for miracles and answers to prayers when you pray for people who do not know Him. In other words, the unsaved. And when miracles happen, prayers are answered, God is glorified and the unsaved get to know the Lord and Savior, Christ Himself.
As for you, you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you. You are a joint heir with Christ. Christ is in you. All things (I mean all things) pertaining to both “LIFE” and “GODLINESS” has been given to you through the knowledge of Him. 2 Peter 1:3 . Therefore you must be walking in victory. You are like a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.
Does that mean, life will always be trouble free in this world? You will never have any challenges? No, but you will always be a victor in all situations. Because you cannot be defeated. It is an impossibility. He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.
1 John 4:4 – You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
I encourage you friends, brothers and sisters in the Lord, don’t just rely on a Sunday sermon at church. Don’t always look for a miracle or a handout. Decide to become a mature child of God. Spend time in the word of God, meditate on it. Grow in the knowledge of the Lord and in His word. Read the bible for yourself and let the Holy Spirit teach you. The word of God is powerful to transform the hearer and to bring about change. It’s a sad thing when you listen to sermons week after week for years and it hasn’t brought about any change in your life. If it is God’s word you listened to, then it WILL change you.
Isa 55:11 – So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
It’s amazing, powerful and exciting when you get to know the truth. The truth does make you free and will make you a mighty witness for His glory, wherever you go.
Be conscious of who you are. You are born of God, a citizen of heaven, a joint heir with Christ and the light of the world. You are from above and not from this world. You have authority over this world and the darkness in this world. You lack nothing. You cannot fail. He that is in you is greater…..
When you pray from this stand point, you will see results. God calls this “walking by faith”.
In closing, I’ll leave this thought with you. Jesus said “As the Father has sent me, so I send you”. John 20:21.
Jesus was in heaven and the Father sent Him to earth. Now Jesus says, As the Father has sent me, so I send you. If you think you are on earth already, then where is He sending you?
No friends, you are seated together with Him in the heavenly places. Hence He is sending you and hence you are an ambassador for Christ.
God bless you!!
How effective are your prayers? Do you always get what you ask for from God? Very likely the answer is “No”. But the bible says:
Mark 11:24 – Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
John 14:13 – And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 16:23 – And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my My name He will give you.
Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
This is God’s word. And the bible says God cannot lie. So how come we always come up with excuses like God always answers prayers in one of three ways. Sometimes “yes”, sometimes “no” and some other times “later”. That is nowhere in the bible; but certainly visible in people’s experiences. It is wrong to infuse our life experiences into the word of God and make it say something it doesn’t.
When I read the above verses on my own, I come to the conclusion that I can get whatever I ask from God my Father when I ask with the right motive and in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ. There are only two scenarios according to the word of God when we don’t receive what we ask for.
My dear brothers and sisters, learn to always question yourself when something from God's word isn’t working for you….because this is God’s word. He has spoken. His words cannot fail. How are you going to respond? Are you going to explain it away or try justifying why you can’t always do what’s written here because of life experiences? We need to be careful not to get inoculated by people’s opinions or their life experiences and instead align ourselves to the word of God.
In Christianity today, there is a lot of emphasis in “getting something from God” when it comes to prayer. We are always wanting God to “do something”. Our prayer life is full of “requests”. We associate prayer with requests. We associate prayer with a need. We always have a need or a want. Our default stance when we pray is “pleading” for something. We are looking for either a miracle, a provision, a deliverance or direction.
Is this really the essence of serving God? Do we only relate to God because we constantly want Him to do something for us that we can’t do ourselves? Is that the only reason we relate to God? Often times we even wonder if we are heard…because very often we don’t really see answers to our requests, except the obvious ones. Eg: A miraculous healing. In fact, we have almost made a god out of our “needs”.
Subconsciously our “needs” have gained so much attention in our lives. We say we are praying to God, but our needs are more on our mind than the God who is the answer to our needs. God our Father is wanting a genuine intimate relationship with us. Get into that relationship and you will notice that your prayer always works.
There are two primary things we need to learn when we stand before God in prayer.
In the Old Testament, we see God being Almighty God and man being a separated sinner from God. God spoke to man through prophets, signs and wonders. However, in the New Testament, Jesus (our Savior) has reconciled us to God. Our sins are wiped clean and there is nothing that separates us from God our Father anymore. In effect, we are back in the Garden of Eden situation “before” Adam and Eve sinned. In other words, we have an oneness and intimacy with God.
Before Jesus died, He was called the only begotten son….but after He died and rose again, He wasn’t called the only begotten son anymore, but the first born from the dead…Wow!! That implies, there must be a second born, a third born, a fourth, a hundredth, a millionth, and so on. That’s because when He died, we died with Him. When he rose from the dead, we rose with Him. In fact, Ephesians 2:6 says “and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. How awesome is that!! We became sons and daughters of God when we were born again AND are seated together with Christ in the heavenly place. We are right there with God our Father in His presence, just as Christ Himself is.
Before Jesus died for us, He said to His disciples “I no longer call you servants, but friends”. (John 15:15). However, after His death and resurrection, when conversing with Mary; He said “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God”. (John 20:17)
This is the gospel dear friends. We are one with Him. He is the vine and we are the branches. We have the same God life flowing in us. This is why the bible says “we are not of this world”. Again, this is why the bible says “We are ambassadors for Christ” here in this world. You cannot be an ambassador when residing in your home country, can you? You are in a foreign land and you represent your home country in that foreign land. That’s what an ambassador does.
Revelation 1:6 says he made us kings and priests unto God. He is not planning on doing it when we get to heaven, but has made us kings and priests. This is a present tense reality.
This is who we are in Christ. We live by a different set of rules. Therefore, when we pray, we need to be conscious of who we are in Christ. We are right there in God’s presence. When you know who you are, then it changes your prayer life significantly.
When you know your Father that intimately, you don’t need to plead and beg in prayer for things that you need. Your requests don’t have to be lengthy and repetitive. He already knows what you need and He loves you immensely. Just ask in the name of Jesus, believing that He loves you, believing that you are His son or daughter and believing that you are not separate from Him anymore. Asking in prayer becomes easy and full of faith (not hope). You are now able to ask like a child and know that He heard you and also know that He will most definitely give you what you have asked for.
You come away “expecting” whatever that is you have asked for. This is the manner in which God expects us to come before Him.
1 John 5:14-15 – Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
When we pray, we need to pray from the right stance. From an understanding of who we are in Christ Jesus. A king and a priest unto God. From an understanding of our relationship with our Father God. From an understanding of the nature of God and the kingdom of God.
Eg: The bible records instances of healings and miracles done by Peter and Paul, but in all these cases, it was a “decree”, not lengthy prayers. So prayer is a private affair between you and God. Talk to Him…listen to Him.
Being in Christ is a position. Not a belief or a matter of faith.
Keeping on repeating the same stuff over and over again will not work with God. It’s not a strategy to get God to do stuff for you. Some people think that if they fast for a day or two and then ask God, then He is somehow obliged to do stuff for them. That is a poor understanding of who the Father is.
If you know who you are in Christ, then you also know that just as He is, so are you in this world. (1 John 4:17). Therefore, if Christ is God’s beloved son, then you are His beloved too.
Do not sound as if you are begging your Father for something He is refraining from giving you. You will paint a picture of your Father who takes sadistic pleasure in watching his dear children helpless and at His mercy. That’s not who your Father is. He wants you to have what you are asking for more than you want it for yourself, because seeing you joyful makes Him joyful.
John 16:23 – And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.
Time and again I have seen and heard people start off a prayer by saying “Dear Jesus…” and then they ask whatever they need to ask and end it with “in Jesus name”. You don’t pray to Jesus….in Jesus name. Yes, He is our Lord, our Saviour, our everything in life. Tell Him how much you love Him. Talk to Him. But when you make a request…ask the Father in Jesus name. This is not about technicality. It is because we are now in Him ourselves. We are in the presence of the Father ourselves. Jesus has been given the name above all names. His name is the highest authority and He has given us the authority to ask the Father in His name, because He doesn’t see us separate from Him anymore. So how can we ask Jesus for anything in Jesus name?
So how do you pray effectively? For things that don’t comply with the kingdom if God, just decree or command. Say I decree peace in my home in Jesus name. I decree health in Jesus name. Call out your infirmity and tell it to GO in Jesus name. Why? Because you are standing in the kingdom of light and commanding things into the kingdom of darkness. The kingdom you represent has authority over the kingdom you are living in. These prayers don’t have to be lengthy.
For things that you need, such as a house or a job or a car or financial provision, etc; simply talk to your Father. Explain the situation like He is there right in front of you and simply let Him know of your needs. Trust that He heard you and come away assured that your need will be met. Remain in faith thereafter.
However, IF you are walking in intimacy with the Lord, you will at times be overwhelmed with a burden for lost souls in your family or city or country. This might compel you to intercede on behalf of them. Such prayers can tend to be quite intense, sometimes even with tears because you are genuinely feeling the same compassion of Christ for those lost people. These prayers are close to Gods heart because they are motivated and guided by the Holy Spirit in you.
James says “Prayer of a righteous man avails much”. Why is this in the bible? Because God knows that we might think that our prayers are not working. He knows that we may think our prayers are weak and get discouraged at times. Don’t think nothing is happening. It works. Why? Not because you are praying using eloquent words. But because you are righteous. We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. No condemnation anymore. The blood of Jesus has cleansed us from all unrighteousness.
Matthew 18:19 - Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. Two of who? Any two who know their standing in Christ. Any two who are standing in His marvellous light.
This works best when you actually explain the situation to the other person. Don’t just say, agree with me in prayer…and start praying. You don’t know what the other person is thinking…Explain and ensure both of you want the same thing. Then pray.
There is so much more to say. I know some of you might have a lot of questions.
Think of two men, each having to jump without warning from an airplane because the plane is going down. Both are wearing parachutes. Then one of them reminds the other, alerting him to the fact that there are a lot of fake and defective parachutes on the market. People have been jumping to their deaths fully expecting their parachutes to work and it didn't. Fear sets in, time is too short and it is too late to check your parachute now. You have to jump because the airplane is going down. Can you imagine living a life like that? Wouldn’t it make sense to check the parachutes well in advance and be sure? Of course! the answer is YES!!
Life is similar my dear friends. The airplane of life is going down for everyone. Every one lives by their own beliefs about God and life after death. Some believe that their good deeds will get them to heaven "if" there is a heaven. Many others believe, there is nothing after death. No one takes the time to check if the parachutes they are trusting in really works or not.
Yet people get very defensive about their beliefs. They are easily offended. They tend to cling stubbornly -- and even fearfully -- to whatever hope their religious beliefs give them. They point to their life experiences or someone else’s experiences, their charitable works, their renowned and gifted teachers, their tradition handed down to them from generations or culture or mission statements, and so forth, never willing to consider that they could be unprepared to meet their Maker and end up eternally separated from Him in spite of all of these things.
They express their imaginations of God in sculptured images of stone and wood and make gods for themselves. They buy idols from the marketplace which they themselves created, and then they treat them as gods and live in fear of the very idol they themselves made. Some others live in a so called agnostic state hoping that should there really be a God, then they should be fine because their good deeds outweigh their sins. The fear of potentially being wrong doesn't let them even consider how foolish this is!
They will pay scrupulous attention to their investments, their retirement funds, their business interests, their perceived insurance needs, their properties and many other facets of their lives nothing of which they can take with them after this life, yet they will stubbornly and blindly cling to their beliefs, betting their souls on a faith they will not honestly examine, even if it means eternal damnation. Intelligent, smart and well educated people do not want to check if their parachutes are working fine. Why is this? Wouldn't it make sense to research, study and find out the truth to ensure we are making the right choice now before we die?
It breaks my heart to think that when they do realize, there will be no turning back. What if; God forbid your life ended here and you stepped through the door of death into the next realm and then found out, every belief you held on to with fear and pride up until now, was not true after all? Then there's no turning back. Don't you think it is worthwhile to invest some time in examining eternity, life after death and ensuring you are indeed on the right path?
1 John 5:13 - I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
It is possible to know if you are on the right path right now. Imagine the peace of having that assurance.
Friend, if you are one such person gripped with fear or uncertainty, then know this that Jesus loves you. He laid down His own life for your sins so that your sins can be erased and you can be reconciled to God. God doesn't condemn you or find you guilty anymore because His son Jesus bore your sins and died in your place. The price has been paid on your behalf. There is no need for you to try and earn your way into heaven. Simply accept this message and receive Him into your life as Lord and savior and fear will flee from your life. You will experience an instant peace come over you. The true God in whom you also believe really does exist; He Himself will come and live inside of you. With His presence in you and His guidance and grace, your life will begin to change. Thereafter, you will not need me or anyone else to convince you about the truth. You will yourself be a living testimony to His glory.
If you went to a restaurant for the first time, ate their food and you LOVE their food incredibly, no one needs to tell you to advertise that restaurant. You will tell all your friends yourself so that they can go and enjoy the food too isn't it? I am doing the same. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. I was like any of you before, following my family traditions, beliefs and religious rituals. Read my story here.
Friend, You are an intelligent individual. You can live as you want to of course. I am asking you to examine your faith. Ask questions. Ask yourself why you believe what you believe. Is there any truth to it? Is there any evidence? Is there a living testimony of a transformed life? Why is there fear in my life? Why do I have to face hardship, sicknesses and poverty? Ask questions my dear brother/sister. I am only asking you not to blindly follow traditions. Your eternal life is at stake. Eternal life is eternal...which means it never ends. There are only two options. You either end up in heaven in the presence of God or in hell separated from God....forever. Forever is a really long time and you will be alive with all feelings and memories intact forever, except in the wrong place. It is critical you get this right and make the right decision because you only get this lifetime to figure it out. And who knows, how long this "lifetime" really is.
My life was transformed when I got to know the truth. Read my testimony here.
Are you struggling to be free from alcoholism, smoking, drugs, pornography or anything else that has kept you in bondage? You love Jesus. You love God. You love to worship and it IS indeed your genuine desire to walk in the fullness of God. Yet, you find yourself stuck in a rut unable to get free. After every few weeks of excellent fellowship with the Lord, you stumble and feel miserable. You carry a sense of guilt and condemnation and probably consider yourself disqualified for any significant service to God. You probably have even given up and concluded "this is not for you". Do not fret my friend. You are not alone. The bible says "No temptation has overcome you, except that which is common to man". (1 Cor 10:13).
The great apostle Paul explained this phenomenon in Romans 7: 14 - 25.
"We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."
Doesn't that sound like someone struggling to be free? Does that sound like you? The answer is not in trying harder my friend. Victory doesn't come by trying harder, making a new year resolution or attempting a new program. True freedom from any bondage comes from "no condemnation".
In verse 24, we see Paul expressing disgust at his own body and his weakness, but then immediately after he thanks God who delivers him through Christ. Hence chapter 8:1 starts off with "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus....." Your victory lies in perpetually resting in "no condemnation". In other words, do not let "guilt" and "condemnation" cripple you. You think its the alcohol, the smoking, the pornography, etc that is holding you hostage. No, my friends!! NO!!! That's a deception. In reality, its the guilt and self condemnation that is holding you hostage to the habit. Guilt and condemnation always frustrates you, because your own will power is never strong enough. It is only a matter of time when your will power fails and you succumb again. As long as you focus on your will power and the habit itself, victory will keep eluding you. True victory is in being conscious of who you are in Christ. True victory is in the revelation of Romans 8:1, which says "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus....." Once you come to a realization of who you are in Christ Jesus, then nothing can keep you in bondage. Whom the Son sets free, is FREE INDEED!!!
Watch or feel free to download this 10 minute video. I believe this message has the POWER to set you free if you will listen to it everyday until it becomes a reality to you.
Walk in the fullness of what the Lord has made available to you. Don't let the enemy cripple you. You are a child of God. You belong to the kingdom of God. You have been made a king and a priest unto God. You are not of this world. Your new born again self is a citizen of Heaven. You were translated from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. Jesus Himself said "You are the light of the world". This is who we are. This is how God views us. A believer in Christ is a NEW creation, a creation that didn't exist before. You are not simply a better version of the old self. Your old self died with Christ and you were born again. This time not of a human dad, but born of God Himself. That's what makes you a citizen of heaven by birth. When Christ rose from the dead, you did too. When Christ ascended into heaven, you did too. When the Lord Jesus Christ sat at the right hand of God our Father, you did too. Ephesians 2:6 says "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us together with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,.."
The new creation that you are must now live by a different set of rules and privileges. We need to practice living like we are not of this world, but citizens of heaven. As citizens of heaven, as children of God, we have privileges and some of these privileges is "No condemnation for us" AND that God has given us all authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome ALL the power of the enemy.
In addition, 1 John 4:17 says "As He is, so are we in this world...". If that is so, then it is impossible for you to be in bondage to anything. All you need to do is, act like who you actually are; ie a child of God who has "no condemnation" anymore because you are in Christ and in fact you are like Him.
This takes a change of mindset. A change of mind from being a man separated from God crying out for help TO a man one with God as His child commanding victory in His life. Hence the word of God encourages us to be transformed by renewing our mind. Renew your mind by understanding who you really are as a child of God. Receive an abundance of His grace and His free gift of righteousness and reign in life. Romans 5:17
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind....." Romans 12:2
I was radically transformed by the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ back in 1997 in a most unusual way and unusual place. Read my testimony here. Over the years of my walk with God, I have come to realize a few basic truths that have altered my life.