Being Men & Women of the Times
God wants us all to be men and women of the times like the Men of Issachar in 1.Chron.12:32. In this verse, we read that there were 200 from the tribe of Issachar who understood the times and knew what Israel ought to do. In understanding the next course of action to take we need to see into three different areas I believe. We need to be able to look back, we need to see into our current and present situation and we need to see into the future. We need to have hindsight, which deals with the past and hindsight is a wonderful thing as the saying goes. We need insight to see our current situation so we can take honest stock and evaluate where we are and where to go next under God’s guidance. We need foresight so we can see where God might be taking us in the future. These three areas relate to the past, the present and the future; In other words, History, Current Affairs and Future Events. To be men and women of Issachar, we need our Prophetic lenses on accurately to, discern all three time frames by trusting God to help us see through His eyes. In being able to accurately discern the times like the men of Issachar, we need to remember, time is all before God’s eyes as He is outside time. He dwells and lives in Eternity according to Isa.57:15 and He is the one who is, who was and will forever be (Rev.1:8). He declares the end from the beginning and from the ancient times He reveals what is to come (Isa.46:10). So, God is the one with the true Hindsight, Insight and foresight. He has got perfect and untarnished knowledge but He, however, wants to make us like the men of Issachar so He can impart the Revelation Knowledge we need to accurately discern the times.
With regards to Hindsight, different characters in the people referred back to their History when they were in difficult and sticky patches in their walk with God. One such example can be found in 2.Chron.20:5-12, where Jehoshaphat uses the basis of the History of the Children of Israel as a means of crying out to God. He referred back to God’s promise in Verse 8 that God will deliver them when they called on His name in the Temple and He will save them, hear them and rescue them. Jehoshaphat used a promise from the past, from the History of the Israelites and from Hindsight to cry out to God in the present when they were facing invasion from the armies of Moab, Ammon and Edom. I like to say, Jehoshaphat used Testimonies of the past to inspire prayer of deliverance in the present because he referred back to God bringing the Children of Israel to the part of the promised land where they had settled. In the same way, we can look back to previous answers to prayers, previous promises and previous victories as a way of inspiring our prayers for the present. We need Hindsight to see what God has done in the past and what He has done in the past, He can do again because God never changes according Mal.3:6 and Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forevermore (Heb.13:8). We overcome the devil by the blood of the lamb and the Word of our Testimony according to Rev.12:11. When we testify of God’s goodness from the past or even the present we overcome the devil. But it is God who enables us to see His goodness and recall it from the past when we need to be reminded in the present to infuse Holy-Ghost energy in the battle and Spiritual Warfare.
We need Insight for the present like men of Issachar to see what God is doing and see what God is up to in the now. We need to pray Ephesians 1:17 on a regular basis that God would grant us the Spirit of Wisdom and of Revelation so the eyes of our understanding will be enlightened. As we have the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation that comes through the Holy-Spirit, we will be sensitive to what God is doing and how God is moving in our present situation and like men of Issachar we would know what to do when we understand the current situation. The men of Issachar were really like the the Intelligence Agency for the Military Force of Israel during the times of King David. Before any Military force goes into battle, The Intelligence Unit need to gather a lot of information and the information gathered forms the basis upon which the army strategizes and draws up Battle plans. Knowing your enemy’s strengths, weaknesses, tactics, potential opportunities and threats is down to the information gathered by the Intelligence Unit. During the times of David, that was down to the 200 men of the tribe of Issachar. They can be likened to MI5 and the MI6 behind James Bond’s undercover missions. James Bond will be ill-equipped without the information provided by the Intelligence Services. When the Intelligence Services provide the Secret Agents with information then they know which course of action to pursue. In the same way when the Holy-Spirit gives us Wisdom and Revelation and when He opens our eyes to see wonderful things in His law (Ps.119:18) or when we see what He shows us of His miracle-wonders according to the Message Translation of the same verse then we know what to do next. Even though eyes have not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered the heart of man of what God has prepared for those who love God, God still wants to show us by His Spirit (1.Cor.2:9-10) and He will if we ask him to show us what is going on so we can flow with the choreographic moves of the Spirit and be men and women of Issachar in the process.
We also need the Spirit of God to give us foresight in keeping with the men of Issachar. Part of Military Intelligence is anticipating the move of your enemy and trying to intercept or thwart such moves before the enemy has the time to execute their plans. We need God to show us the future so we can intercept the plans of the enemy too and thus be like the men of Issachar. The Bible tells us that the Holy-Spirit will show us things to come (Jn.16:13). The New Living Translation says God will show us the future. We can count on the Holy-Spirit to give us inside information about warfare tactics like God did in the days of Elisha. Elisha by the Word of Knowledge revealed every move of the King of Syria and this gave the children of Israel the edge and victory in battle. The issue perplexed the King of Syria so much that he thought he had a spy in his camp but one of his servants told him Elisha knew everything the King said including what was uttered in his bedroom (2.Kings.6:8-12). Here is an example of someone operating in foresight to intercept the plans of the enemy. God also tells us in the book of Joel.2:28 that in the last days He will pour out His Spirit on all flesh, the sons and daughters will prophesy, the old men will dream dreams and the young men will see visions. One of the ways God shows us the future is through dreams and visions as He did with Joseph, Pharoah, Nebuchadnezzar, the Wise Men from the East, Peter, Daniel and Paul. Just like God spoke in dreams and visions to these people, He is willing to speak to us today about the future and guide us regarding His plans and destinies for our lives.
May we be those with hindsight who look back to recall the positive things God has done and use them in the present. May we be those who have insight to see what God is doing in the present and hear what God is saying in the present. May we be those who foresee danger and hide according to Proverbs.22:3 and not be the simple who pass on and are punished so we can be true men and women of Issachar.
The Vision Puts You To Action
The word tells us to write the vision upon the tablets and make it plain that he may run who reads it (Hab.2:2). It was like the Lord could see well in advance that we would have a digital device called a tablet. Of Course, God was instructing Habakkuk to write on tablets of stone as the scribes and writers of the day were prone to use to record important and worthy oratory. We could apply the same principle to what God speaks to us today as writing on a notepad, a journal, a laptop, a digital notepad on our phones and tablets or a recorder on our phones. God is instructing us through this verse to write and not just write anything that comes to mind but to write the vision. The Vision is a picture God gives you about the future. It’s an image of God’s plan, purpose and design for your life. A vision is so important that God says without a Vision, people perish (Prov.29:18, KJV). This is why we must take the Vision for our lives seriously because without it we will wander through life aimlessly, blindly without direction and purpose. One of the three main questions that human beings ask themselves is “why am I here on earth?” God wants to reveal that purpose to us more than we want to find out. People go to unusual lengths to discover their purpose. These include consulting fortune-tellers, psychics, tarot cards and clairvoyants but the Word tells us that eyes have not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love him (1.Cor.2:9). God has awesome plans for our lives and He wants to reveal them to us by His Spirit according 1.Cor.2:10. God wants us to record the things He reveals to us by His Spirit in the various Journals, notepads, digital pads, tablets, laptops and computers. We really have no excuse in this day and age regarding information storage as we are blessed with so many options.
The scriptures tell us to make it plain on the tablets we write on according to Habakkuk 2:2. What does it mean to make it plain? It means to write with clarity, without obscurity, concise, precise, accurate and with a purpose. God wants us to hear him precisely, without obscurity and with clarity so we can write the vision down and record it in a way that it inspires, motivates and energizes us to take action when we read it.
Staying with Habakkuk.2:2, when the Vision is written down with clarity, precision and accuracy, then the reader can run. The vision is meant to activate us and move us into action. The Vision is meant to inspire and motivate us to pioneer, break records, discover new horizons, break new ground, go for unprecedented breakthroughs, scale new heights, push through walls, move mountains, remove barricades, climb mountains and overcome obstacles. The Vision is the vehicle that carries you from your present into your future so when God speaks to you about it, you must not take it lightly. You should cherish it so much that you treat it as a treasure worth keeping and that is why you write it down.
Receiving the vision is like having our heart or capacity enlarged as it says in Ps.119:32. This causes us to run in the path of what God has for us. Knowing the vision, getting a revelation from God broadens, energizes and invigorates us into running with action, purpose, fervour and zeal.
Receiving the vision which motivates us to run can make us accomplish the impossible according Ps.18:29. When God speaks and reveals His plans we can run through a troop which signifies problems, obstacles and impossibilities. When God speaks and you are fuelled by His Vision for your life, there is no stopping you because you can run through a troop or an army and you can scale a wall; With the vision as your motivating factor, mountains can become plains and valleys can be exalted. God wants us to Journal the Vision so we can run with Divine Speed to fulfil His Glorious Purposes. Let’s continue to wait upon the Lord for Him to reveal the vision so we can run and not be weary and walk and not faint (Isa.40:31)
2023 – The Year of Consolidation and Establishment
This is going to be a year for Consolidation and Establishment according to the Prophetic Word God has given me for 2023. Consolidation is the process of making something stronger or more solid. When I was thinking about this word back when God gave it to me around October or November of 2022, I was thinking of how this word of Consolidation lines up with the Word of God because we must always test every Prophetic Word with Scripture. The word that came to me is Establishment and that is how God helped me formulate Consolidation and Establishment. In going by the meaning of Consolidation, if you make something stronger or more solid, it becomes more established.
We are going to need to get more established in 2023 because the shaking is not over. If anything, there will be more shaking. The trials will intensify, disasters will increase and the crisis will get stronger but our foundations need to be strong, otherwise we won’t make it. The rains and the storms will be on the rise but we need to make sure our houses are built on Christ the Solid Rock. We need to make sure our foundations are built on the Word of God so when the storms come, our houses will not crash according to the parable of Jesus in Matt.7:24-27. The house speaks of foundations of our faith, family, finances, health, marriage and every other area of life. Even if any aspect of our lives are shaken, our faith must never be destroyed because that is what will see us through the hard and difficult times.
God gave me 3 Scriptures to do with Establishment which I will like to encourage us to go into this year with.
The First Scripture is Isaiah 54:15 which says “in righteousness you will be established for you will not fear”. Righteousness means having a right-standing with God through the Blood of Jesus. Through the Blood of Jesus, we are justified. That word “Justified” carries with it the notion of God treating us “Just like we have not sinned”. This right-standing will lead to right-doing. As we constantly stand before God with a sense of confidence that comes through the blood of Jesus, it will lead to a life-style of practicing right-living. This cycle of righteousness will cause to be stronger and more solid which will enable us to experience Consolidation and Establishment as we establish the good habit of right-standing and right-doing.
The Second Scripture is 2.Chronicles.20:20 which says “Believe in the Lord your God so shall you be established. Believe His prophets, so shall you prosper”. We experienced some hard times in 2022 with the energy crisis, cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine. The harder the times get, the more we need to trust and believe in God because according to this scripture, believing in God is what will cause us to be established. The just shall live by faith according to Rom.1:17 and if you believe in the Lord Jesus, then you are just in His sight and He expects you to live by faith or lead a life that is totally dependent on Him. As you do, He will cause you to be established, unmoveable and fixed despite the difficult times.
The Third Scripture is found in in 1.Peter.5:10 which says “God of all grace who called us to eternal glory by Christ Jesus will perfect, stablish, strengthen and settle you after you have suffered a while”. If you look this verse up in the Berean Study Bible, it says God will restore, secure, strengthen and establish you. Some of you have suffered in 2022 but God is going to establish you in 2023. I don’t know what challenge you went through in your health, marriage, work or finances but God is going to establish you.
If you look 1.Pet.5:10 up in the Passion Translation, it says God will set you up firmly in place and build you up. This is in correlation with the metaphor of buildings that we started with from the Jesus’ Parable in Matthew 7. Builders and Architects tell us the higher the building, the deeper the foundation. God wants us to dig deeper and firmly establish our foundation in Him so He can take us to higher heights in Him this year. So, in the light of this scripture in 1.Pet.5:10, you suffered in 2022 but God wants me to leave you with these 4 statements:
- You have been squeezed but it’s so you can give life (2.Cor.4:11)
- You have been exposed but it’s so you can be a refuge
- You have been under attack, so you can be a Haven like the Mustard seed that grew into a mighty tree in Matt.13:31-32
- You have lacked but it’s so you can become a Distribution Centre
As you are established, you can be a blessing in 2023 to many.
Uganda Mission Praise Report
Praise God for the opportunity to Preach and Teach at Rhema Community Church for the Pastors and Leaders Conference from the 30th of October to the 4th of November. I was invited by Pastor Joseph Mugwanya and God gave me a safe journey to Entebbe Airport in Kampala, Uganda via Amsterdam.
Sunday the 30th of October
Sunday Commenced with a Service in the Morning and I noticed there were lots of children at the morning service. God inspired me to do a Rap about Jesus for the kids and tell them the story of Samuel before preaching to the adults. During the service, God gave me words of knowledge about a Sister being concerned about her children and a brother carrying a Business Anointing and both were confirmed as I gave them Personal Prophetic Words. I preached a Message on Jam.3:17-18 about the wisdom from above being pure. I was going to carry on with the qualities mentioned in James 3 about the wisdom of God but God changed my message and told me His people needed a breakthrough. So I proceeded to preach on God being a God of the Breakthrough from 2.Samuel.5:1-17. Prophetic words followed as God had me make an altar call for those who needed a Breakthrough in their Businesses, Finances and Health. Many responded to these words. Many were blessed by this message and claimed it was a word in season for them.
Monday 31st of October
God directed me to preach from Isa.28:21 which speaks about God being a God of the Breakthrough (Arising in Perazim), a God of Miracles (Being angry as in Gibeon) and wanting to do the strange and unusual. Some pastors who were present from a Bible School confirmed they had been looking at some of the topics mentioned in the sermon about the gifts of the Spirit, some had been looking at Joshua and another had been teaching about Jesus calming the storm the previous night which I mentioned in the sermon. This was confirmation that I was on the right lines as God changed my sermon from continuing with James 3 to Isaiah 28:21. There were some encouraging testimonies during the service as a sister shared how God had given her a financial breakthrough after the service from the previous night. After she received prayer for a Business and Financial Breakthrough, she received a phone call immediately after the service with someone offering her a business deal worth 10,000 Ugandan Shillings. Others testified about receiving revelation from the sermon that had raised them to a new level, Praise God!!! God gave me words of knowledge about Him wanting to minister to people with disturbed sleep, trouble at work and trouble in their marriages. Many responded to these words. There was also a personal prophecy about a young lady in the choir with God saying He wants to release the Anointing of the Psalmist on her. In the evening, I carried on with Isa.28:21. After, the sermon, God led me to release a word of knowledge based on Ps.119:83 which describes someone feeling like a bottle within the smoke. A sister responded to this word and was slain the Spirit as I prayed for her. I was led to lead the congregation in a Prophetic Declaration I normally use from one of the devotionals I use during my time of prayer. As I did so, a lady fell out under the power of God without anyone touching her. I was also led to pray for singles to find the right spouses.
Tuesday 1st of November
During the Morning Service, I was led to speak on Exodus 14:1-14. During the service, the sister that responded to the word from Ps.119:83 testified about what God did for her as a result of responding to the word of knowledge and being prayed for. God did two outstanding things in her life. She had responded to the word about disturbed sleep, a condition she had for 12 years and for the first time in 12 years, she slept well. She had also had chest pain for 6 years and God healed her chest pain too. Praise God!!! Another Sister testified about getting victory in her dream. People responded to words of knowledge about heart trouble, diabetes and blood disease. In the evening, I finished off the passage from Exodus 14 about “The Egyptians you see today, you shall see them no more”. 3 people were delivered from demons as me and other pastors prayed for the people and many responded to the call for being filled with the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
Wednesday 2nd of November
Before the service I was led to pray against the interruption we had been experiencing about electricity and other issues within the country. God led me to preach on Psalm 46 on Wednesday. During the service, the same sister who received a Financial Breakthrough had received another blessing. Her landlord had decided to be lenient and allow her to move in the house without the required rent or deposit. In the evening, I carried on with preaching on Psalm 46, people responded to the altar call for prayer about bad relationships with their fathers and there was a testimony from a brother about being healed from chest pain after I had laid hands on him. The interpreter who translated my sermons from English into Luganda also received a promotion at work to become a supervisor and there was news about an imminent sum of money coming to him in the near future which confirmed the Business and Financial Breakthroughs mentioned on Sunday Night.
Thursday 3rd of November
On Thursday, I began preaching on the need for discernment from Hebrews 5:14 and the parallel of our 5 physical senses in the Spirit. During the service, the same sister who had received 2 Financial Breakthroughs had another miracle. A Pastor in the congregation, felt led to give her some clothes for her business as someone had given him some clothes asking him if he knew who could make use of them. The same Pastor also felt led to pay for 5 months rent for the sister which would be a real help for the Sister. Halleluyah!!! As I read a word from Nehemiah 4:1 about someone being the object of mockery, someone fell under the power without being touched and others responded to this word regarding their lives. Praise God the electricity stayed on without being interrupted after prayer. During the evening service, there were more testimonies after I preached on Discernment of Spirits. A sister was healed of abdomen pain after prayer even though she had been to hospital and not received any relief from the hospital, an older gentle-man was healed of shoulder, back and knee pains. He could move them in ways he had not been able to do before the conference. Another Sister also received healing in her body even though she had been to the hospital and received some prescriptions. She felt healed to the point that she saw no more need for her medication. Praise God!!!
Friday 4th of November
The conference finished on the Thursday but we travelled to a different rural village called Kakiri. This village contains a branch of Pastor Joseph’s Church called Rhema Community Church. We had the orphans from the village who are cared for through the Church attend the meeting in the church and some adults who belonged to the church and other churches. I felt led by God to do the rap about Jesus, sharing a Gospel story with the children and preaching to the adults from the book of Matthew chapter 10. I finished the session by leading the children in a Prayer of Salvation. Halleluyah. I had a safe flight back home via Amsterdam. Praise God!!!!
Don’t Limit God
Can God be limited? Yes!! He can according to the scriptures. We must never be guilty of this in our lives as the scriptures tell us in Ps.78:41. Apparently, there are certain qualities we all exhibit from time to time that can limit God. As difficult it is to think God – The creator of the Universe, the awesome one, the great and mighty one, with whom nothing is possible, can be limited is quite astonishing. The qualities that can limit God are turning back and tempting God according to Ps.78:41. This chapter is referring to the attitude of the children of Israel in the wilderness where they tempted God and turned back from God by complaining, murmuring, doubting and voicing unbelief. If we display these characteristics in our lives, we could be guilty of limiting the Holy One in our lives too. This is why the Apostle Paul warns us not to have an evil heart of unbelief that departs from the Living God (Heb.3:12). This evil heart of unbelief that departs from the living God is the type of heart and life that limits God. We cannot allow ourselves to be in such a state and we must pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show us when we are drifting into murmuring, complaining, grumbling and unbelief so we do not fall into the trap of limiting the Holy One of Israel.
A basic Revelation of God will help us cure this disease of limiting God. The fact that God is Omnipotent (All Powerful), Omniscient (All Knowing) and Omnipresent (God is Every where). If we know God as the All Powerful, the All Knowing and Ever Present God, then we know we cannot limit God. God is Unlimited, Unstoppable, Indomitable, Invincible, Amazing, Wonderful and Incredible. If we know God as God, as the Awesome one, then we should not limit him by turning back, tempting him and doubting Him. We must be still and know He is God (Ps.46:10)
God is the Omnipotent, the all powerful one. The God with whom nothing is impossible, the one who made Heaven and earth with whom nothing is too difficult, He is God there is no other (Matt.19:26, Jer.32:17, Isa.45:5). He parted the Red Sea, He caused the walls of Jericho to fall, He fed the Israelites with Manna and gave them water to drink in the wilderness, He fed Elijah by the brook of Cherith with Bread and meat through the ravens. When Jesus was on the earth, He healed the blind, cured leprosy, turned water to wine, made the cripple walk, healed the deaf, cast out demons, raised the dead, fed the multitude with 5 loaves and 2 fish, walked on water, calmed the storm and to top it all when He died on the cross for our sins, God raised Him from the dead on the third day. If the God we serve can do all these things, indeed there is nothing impossible with Him (Mark.10:27) and if we believe He said nothing will be impossible to those who believe (Mark.9:23) and those who believe Him will do the same works as He did and do greater works than He did because He has gone to the Father (John.14:12). So we must not limit God because He is an All Powerful God!!!
The second reason we must not limit God is because He is Omniscient; He is All-Knowing. The problem with us as human beings is that our knowledge is limited. We only know what we have experienced in the past, what we have learned or what we are experiencing in the present. God, however, has knowledge of the past, present and future. Nothing is hidden from him whether past, present or future. He is the Beginning, the end, the God who is, who was and who is to come (Rev.1:8). In other words, there is no time where God is concerned because past, present and future all exist before him as the same, He dwells in eternity and He is outside time (Isa.57:15). He is the source of all Wisdom and Knowledge as all treasures of knowledge and wisdom dwell within Him and He gives wisdom and out of His mouth proceed all knowledge and understanding (Col.2:3, Prov.2:6). If He is all Knowing, then how and why as limited people in knowledge, wisdom and understanding can we limit someone who knows everything about every known subject matter whether they be mathematics, science, space, engineering, art or technology. He knows about every thing whether visible or invisible, present, past or future ever since time began until the very end. He even knows a lot more about things we have not discovered yet as human beings and everything was made by Him, for Him and subject to Him (Col.1:15-18). Every now again, He chooses to reveal some of this wisdom and knowledge to us by His spirit (1.Cor.2:9-10) and through the Gifts of the Spirit (1.Cor.12:8). But we need to realise He is the source and not us.
The third reason we must not limit God is because He is Omnipresent; God is everywhere. As human beings we are limited to being in one place at one time and relying on our 5 physical senses of sight, speech, taste, hearing and touch to navigate through life but the God we serve is not limited to one place at a time. His eyes run to and fro throughout the earth (2.Chron.16:9, Prov.15:3), His ears are not deaf that He cannot hear (Isa.59:1), His arm are not shortened that they cannot save (Isa.59:1), when He speaks things happen (Num.23:19, Ps.29). One of the names of God is Jehovah Shammah which means the Lord who is There (Ezek.48:35). Where is He? He is everywhere as the Psalmist acknowledges that He cannot escape the presence of God because He is in Heaven or whether he makes his bed in hell, God is there. He is in the wind and He can see the farthest ocean (Ps.139:7-9). So if God is everywhere, why limit Him by trying to box him in the cage of our natural senses and locations.
God owns Heaven and earth, everything belongs to Him, He can move anything, anywhere, however and whenever He chooses. That’s why we must never limit Him realising He made Heaven and earth, our help comes from Him and He wants to do the impossible by literally moving heaven and earth to show himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are right towards Him. Trust Him, don’t limit Him!!!
Don’t let them Limit You!!!
So many people try and limit you and put you in a box because people can’t help but compare. We are all familiar with the adage “Keeping up with the Joneses”. Everyone wants to be like their neighbour, nobody wants to feel left behind or feel like their neighbour is surging ahead of them in life. While there is healthy competition in sports, academics and employment, competition out of pride, selfish ambition, ego and the need to get one up over your neighbour can be dangerous. This is why the scriptures tell us not to do anything out of vain glorying and selfish ambition but in lowliness of mind to esteem others better than ourselves (Phil.2:3). The Bible also warns us against comparing ourselves against other people and suggests it is not a wise thing to do (2.Cor.10:12).
People, in comparing themselves with others out of jealousy and pride, try and put them in a box, put a limitation or ceiling over them as they measure them up because ” How dare them surpass them”. So in measuring them up, such people seek to drag people down to their level, put people in a box which they feel they are not supposed to outgrow and seek to keep others down because they are not supposed to outstrip, outgrow or flourish more than them. Such instances occurred many times in the Bible and we should not be surprised if it happens to us. People put a limit on Jesus, David, Nehemiah and Joseph, so we should not be surprised if they try and put a limit on us too.
With Regards to the Lord Jesus, people questioned his wisdom due to the fact that they knew his brothers and sisters and that he was the son of a carpenter. They wondered how Jesus came by such wisdom and how He displayed such power (Mark.6:2-3). They limited Jesus based on His Family Background, their familiarity and His Family’s Status. All the qualities people use to write us off today!!! Jesus never let them limit Him and place Him in the box of their expectations. Rather, He broke out of their box of expectations and limitations by retorting that a Prophet is without honour except in his own household, in his own town (Mark.6:4). Jesus knew “Familiarity breeds contempt” especially among your family or the people you expect to believe in you but you must never let that deter you from pressing forward in your calling or destiny. Jesus did not let the nay-sayers deter him from His goal, vision and objectives; neither should we.
David is another example from the Bible of someone who did not listen to people who tried to limit him and confine him to their level. As you are aware of the story of David and Goliath, when David showed up on the battle-field and noticed Goliath’s taunts and challenge, he asked what would be done for the person who manages to kill the giant. The first nay-sayer was David’s brother, Eliab who asked David about who was looking after the sheep and accused David of pride and naughtiness saying David wanted to see what was going on at the battle field. David simply replied his brother by asking what he had done and if there was not a cause (a reason, a destiny, something to fight for). David did not let the limitation of him being a youth, a shepherd, being a younger brother to Eliab or his motives being misunderstood prevent him from fulfilling a date with destiny. People will use age, background and the misunderstanding of your motives to try and put you in a box or place a limitation on what they think you can achieve but you must not let that stop you. Like David, you must ask “Is there not a cause? Is there not a date with destiny? Is there not a calling to be fulfilled? Is there not a future God has for me? Before David went up against Goliath, Saul told David he was not able because Goliath had been a warrior from his youth but David was still young. Saul also gave David his armour and weapons to wear in battle against Goliath but David refused them saying he had not proved them, neither was he used to such an armour. So people might try to limit us like Saul because of our age or might try and hand us their armour which could mean their ideas, thoughts, methods or concepts but we must be like David who relied on God, used the stone and sling and conquered Goliath (1.Sam.17:28-51). We must not be limited by other people’s thoughts or ideas but move forward through Faith in God using the weapons and methods He told us to use in our battle against Goliath and in our quest to fulfil destiny.
Joseph is another good example of this notion of not letting people place a limitation on us or put us in a box. When Joseph shared his dreams with his brothers about the sun, moon and eleven stars bowing to him and the bundle of sheaves bowing to his own bundle of sheaves, his brothers were annoyed with him asking “Shall you indeed reign and rule over us” (Gen.37:7-11). When people sense someone might have a special destiny or calling, people ask the same questions today in a different way. Through their attitude, actions and words, you sense them belittling, undermining and patronizing another individual they believe should not outstrip, outgrow or outdo them.
In their jealousy, they sold Joseph but Joseph kept trusting God, worked hard with a good attitude wherever he found himself, kept serving God with his gifts until he finally ended up where God wanted him and the very people who tried to prevent it ended up bowing to Joseph (Gen.42:6). In the face of jealousy and suffering, we must keep serving, be faithful, work hard and keep using our gifts and God will make sure our gift make room for us and bring us before great men like He did with Joseph (Prov.18.16 )
Nehemiah was another Biblical example who did not let people prevent him from him from reaching the heights of what God had for him and fulfilling God’s calling upon his life. Nehemiah was charged with rebuilding the walls in Jerusalem after they had been destroyed after some exiled Jews had returned home ( Neh.1:3). Nehemiah found favour with the Persian King who allowed Nehemiah to back to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. After Nehemiah started on the project, Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, Ammonites and Ashdodites mocked, plotted, schemed and did everything they could to prevent Nehemiah from concluding the project but Nehemiah remained focused, steadfast and unmovable mustering and mobilising the Jews to finish the project. We must be like Nehemiah and not let the ridicule, plans, ploys and distractions of the enemy limit us from fulfilling our destiny. (Nehemiah Chapter 4 to chapter 7)
Don’t let them place a limitation on you, don’t let them put you in a box, don’t let them put a ceiling on your potential, don’t let them label and fix a measure they think you should reach with your life. You are who God says you are and you can be all God has called you to be, people are not God and it is not up to them to decide how far you can go. You mainly need God’s approval and not people’s permission to fulfil your calling and destiny (2.Cor.10:18)
The Theology Behind Blessing
The priests in the old testament were charged with the privilege of pronouncing blessings on the Children of Israel (Deut.10:8) and the Lord commanded the priests to pronounce the Levitical Blessing on the Children of Israel in Num.6:22-26. The fact that the priests pronounced the blessing in the New Testament does not mean the concept has ceased in the New Testament. We are called the Priests and Ministers of the Lord in Isa.61:6. We are also called Priests and Kings in the New Testament (1.Pet.2:9, Rev.1:5-6). Therefore as Priests and Ministers of God we have been given authority by God to pronounce Blessings like the Old testament priests.
It is very important to realise the role of speaking and what the Bible has to say about the Words that proceed from our mouth if we are to effectively and confidently pronounce a Blessing over a person, a group of people, a town, a village, a city, a nation, a continent and the rest of the World.
In Isa.65:16 (Amplified Classic Version), we are told that anyone who will bless himself should do so by saying. So we see in this verse that the Blessing is released by saying and we see biblical examples of Isaac pronouncing the Blessing on Jacob and then Esau got the remnant of the Blessing by what Isaac pronounced upon him. Jacob pronounced the blessing on his 12 sons and on Joseph’s sons as well. So the blessing is released by saying and the curse is released by saying too as Elisha demonstrated by cursing the youth who laughed at his baldness (2.Kings.2:23-25) and Jesus cursed the fig tree (Mark.11:12-25)
We need to realise that our words have power, in fact Prov.18:20-21 tells us that the power of life and death is in the tongue and anyone who loves it will eat the fruit thereof. If you speak life (words of encouragement, edification, peace, love and joy) that is the Blessing and if you speak death (Words of discouragement, fear, doubt, unbelief) that is death. That is why we are told in Deut.30:19-20 that God has set before us Life and death, Blessing and Cursing. We are encouraged by God to choose Life. Life and Blessing go together, Death and cursing go together. We speak Life when we speak the blessing and we speak death when we speak Cursing.
The Word of God tells us our words have power. We are told that if we decree a thing, it will be done for us in Job.28:22. We need to realise that God will only sanction His Word. God is not under no obligation to fulfil anything that does not line up with his Word. So when we decree a thing it should be in line with His Word because he watches over his word to perform it (Jer.1:12). It is the Word that proceeds from His mouth that He sees to that it prospers (Isa.55:11) and the angels carry out assignments and commandments by obeying the voice of the Word of God (Ps.103:20-21).
We need to be careful about what we say therefore because God is listening and the angels are also listening. That is why God admonishes us not to be hasty with our words (Ecc.5:1-6). The children of Israel found this out the hard way as God told them they will experience all they had declared in His hearing (Num.14:28). The Children of Israel complained in the wilderness and said “Moses, you have brought us in the wilderness to kill us”. They complained and murmured saying they were going to die in the wilderness and that was exactly what they got. Majority of them died in the wilderness apart from Joshua and Caleb whose confession was different because they had the Spirit of Faith. They said they were well able to possess and inherit the land and that was what happened to them. They possessed the promised land because they uttered words of faith rather than words of doubt and unbelief like the rest of the children of Israel.
It is very important to have the Spirit of Faith like Joshua and Caleb if we are going to pronounce a blessing over a person, situation, town, village, city or nation. We need to believe God’s Word and speak like David says in Ps.116:10, 2.Cor.4:13. It is the Word of God declared in faith that releases the blessing.
It is the Spirit of Faith that would allow us to enter the realm of Rom.4:17. The place where we call the things that are not as though they were. The realm of the God kind of faith where we speak to things that are dead, hopeless and impossible and believe God to turn dead, hopeless and impossible situations around by having the Abraham kind of faith that did not stagger at the promise of God but was strong in faith, giving glory to God (Rom.4:17-20). The way Abraham believed God was accepting God’s title of calling him a “Father of many Nations” before he had many children. God called him a father of many nations when he only had Ishmael, the son of the concubine, not the child of promise. Abraham believed it, allowed people to call him “Abraham”, introduced himself as “Abraham” and he became a Father of a Multitude like the stars of Heaven and the sand on the sea shore as God promised him. So we see a correlation between believing God, speaking the blessing according to the Spirit of faith and experiencing the Blessing according to what we pronounce. The key is saying what God commands us to speak like he did with Abraham. God gave him the name and he accepted it. We need to do the same. Take God’s word regarding our situation that He leads us to and pronounce that as the blessing over our situation. When we speak Faith, we call the things that are not as though they were and that’s why God told the weak to say he is strong (Joel.3:10)
It was Jesus that told us that if we have faith we can speak to the mountain and ask it to be removed and it will obey us and be cast in to the sea. The Lord Jesus said if we do not doubt in our hearts but believe that we say will come to pass, we shall have what we say (Mark.11:22-23). The Lord Jesus said you will have what you say. So we need to speak His Word of Blessing and His Word of Faith that He has inspired us to speak if we want to see the Blessing in operation.
So we can speak words based on scripture for healing, prosperity, peace, comfort and these words will be words of blessing if they are based in scripture. We need to be people who speak healing rather than death (Prov.12:18). We need to be bearers of life rather than messengers of death. When we are messengers of Life, we are channels of blessing. When we are messengers of death, we are channels of the curse.
Knowing that our words have great power we need to be people who speak words of Faith, life and the blessing. We can be people who use the words of life and blessing to exalt the city rather than bring the city into destruction by our words (Prov.11:11).
When we praise with our mouth, it has an effect on the land around us. As we praise God and as people praise God, the land will yield her increase and God will bless us (Ps.67:5-7). This verse of scripture shows us the correlation between praise, worship and blessing as we use our mouth in a positive way.
So as Priests and Ministers of God, let use our mouths to pronounce the blessing over our lives, families, towns, villages, cities and nations. Amen
Don’t get Depressed, be Impressed!! Don’t get Jealous, be Zealous!!
How do you react when you meet someone more gifted, talented or dare I say even more anointed than you. No matter how gifted or talented you are, there will always be someone out there doing better than you, being more used of God, getting more exposure, more opportunities and attention than you. What’s your first reaction? Be Honest! Is it jealousy? Pride? A Competitive Spirit? Insecurity? A Territorial Spirit perhaps? There is no need to be jealous and there is no need to be insecure in the presence of more gifted, anointed or talented individuals – Particularly if they are in the same field or area of service as you.
God challenged me one time that when you meet people who are more gifted or anointed than you there are two reactions. You can either get jealous or you can be inspired. That is why God has given me the title of this blog. Rather than get jealous we should become zealous or inspired to function more effectively in what we are called to do. Rather than get depressed because of the feelings of insecurity, inadequacy and feelings of not measuring up we should be impressed by what God has bestowed on others. We can get to the stage of being zealous and being impressed by celebrating the gifts and callings of others rather than feeling the need to compete and vy for superiority.
God spoke to me about the fact that in order to celebrate the gifts, anointing and talents of others we need to be secure in who God has called us to be and in the measure of anointing and grace He has Sovereignly bestowed upon our lives.
There are three scriptures that have helped me to combat feelings of jealousy, insecurity, competition and rivalry.
The First Scripture is “Do nothing through strife or vain-glory but in lowliness of mind esteem other people better than yourselves” (Phil.2:3). God spoke to me about seeing the talent in everyone I meet whether saved or unsaved. There is something they have got that I haven’t got. There is a gift in someone else that does not reside in me. They are better at something than I am. When I meet them, I don’t focus on the gifts that I excel at better than them but I focus on the gifts within them at which they excel. This squashes any need in me to compete or operate in pride. I concentrate on them, I celebrate the goodness of God in their lives. If they have a bigger or more popular ministry, I will still celebrate them because they are fulfilling God’s call upon their lives. It does not mean God loves them more than He loves me. They are functioning under the Anointing God has Sovereignly and graciously bestowed upon them and they are accountable to God for how they use the gifts and callings. My job is to love and pray for them. If I am already esteeming them better than myself according to Phil.2:3, there’s no room for an inferiority complex! Just Thanksgiving to God for making me unique, loving me and giving me an opportunity to fulfil a tailor-made purpose to accomplish that cannot be fulfilled by anyone else.
The second Scripture God has used to encourage me is found in 2.Cor.10:12. It says those who compare and measure themselves against other people are not wise. God’s wisdom is pure, full of mercy, full of good fruits, without hypocrisy and without partiality (Jam.3:17). God’s wisdom does include rivalry, jealousy and competition. Where there is bitter envying, strife and jealousy, there is confusion and every evil work (Jam.3:16). The way to combat the feelings of envy, strife, jealousy and competition which are not wise according to 2.Cor.10:12 is to adopt the characteristics of the wisdom of God found in Jam.3:17. Which is the heart that operates out of purity, gentleness, transparency, a lack of hypocrisy and a lack of partiality.
The Third Scripture is found in Ps.139:14 which tells me I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am unique, special and precious to God. There is only one me and there would never be another. I am so unique, my finger prints and DNA are only unique to me. With that, there is a purpose and destiny only unique to me. There might be others who do what I do and function in similar gifts, talents and anointings to me but there is only still one me and God loves me just as I am and for whom He has called me to be. He has something for me to do for him which has my name, and only my name on it! I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do the works He has prepared for me to do before the foundation of the world (Eph.2:10). God actually re-created us to fulfil the destiny He has given each of us (Eph.2:10 – TPT). A destiny tailor-made, custom made and specific to each individual. So I do not have to be jealous rather I need to zealous about the gifts, anointings and talents God has embedded in me. I do not need to be depressed about how gifted, anointed or popular other Ministers are but I need to impressed by how God has bestowed his gifts on others, be thankful and content with where He has placed me and who He has called me to be because I am known by God, special and precious to God. So don’t be Depressed, be Impressed! Don’t be Jealous, Be Zealous!!!
India Mission 8th – 17th of August 2019
Long Prayer vs Short Prayer
Many people struggle with prayer and quiet times. In fact, it’s one of the main sources of guilt in a lot of Christians’ spiritual life. Many people don’t know how to pray, how long for or what format their prayer life should take. Some might even wonder – How long should I pray for? The best answer to all these questions is to look at what the Bible says. How did Jesus do it? How did the Early Church do it and how did the great saints of old do it?
I would like to suggest Jesus as our best example before considering other characters in the Bible. There were times Jesus prayed all night ( Luke.6:12), there were times Jesus woke up early to pray (Mark.1:35), there were times Jesus prayed before making important decisions like choosing the 12 disciples (Mark.3:13) and He had prayed all night before making the decision about the people He chose as His disciples(Luke.6:12-13). Jesus was praying on the mountain before he was transfigured (Luke.9:29). There were also times when Jesus offered spontaneous prayers publicly and in front of everyone (Matt.11:25-26) and there was the great prayer Jesus prayed for His disciples and the future Church – (Jn.17:1-26), Jesus prayed the prayer of submission to the will of God in the garden of Gethsemane for three hours before his Crucifixion (Matt.26:39-45) and Peter and John went to the temple to pray at the hour of prayer which was 3 O’clock.
So in observing the Life of the Lord Jesus, there is premise for all the different kinds of prayer as Paul says to pray always with all kinds of prayer and supplication in the Spirit for all saints (Eph.6:18). It was Jesus that taught the principle about men praying always and not giving up (Luke.18:1) and the Apostle Paul admonishes us to pray without ceasing (1.Thess.5:17). So in following these examples of the Lord Jesus and the teaching of Apostle Paul, we can have All night prayer, early morning prayer, special prayer times for important decisions, prayer of preparation in readiness for an encounter with God, spontaneous public prayers, prayers of intercession for our friends and the Church, prayer of submission to the will of God and afternoon prayers.
It should also be mentioned here that the disciples recognised the importance of prayer in the life of the Lord Jesus that they did not ask him to teach them to heal the sick, cast out devils or raise the dead but for the Lord Jesus to teach them to pray ( Luke.11:1). No wonder they cultivated the habit of going to the temple to pray at the hour of prayer in (Acts.3:1). They followed in the footsteps of Jesus in prayer and the healings, signs, wonders and miracles followed in the book of Acts just as they had been evident in the life of the Lord Jesus.
We should all cultivate these forms of prayer because we are called to follow in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus and the saints who have gone ahead of us.
God did Awesome things in Cameroon!!! – Mission Report from recent trip to Cameroon from the 9th – 17th of February:
Friday the 9th of February -Praise God for the awesome things he did during the recent visit to Cameroon. I travelled from London Gatwick Airport on Friday the 9th of February to Cameorun via Istanbul and landed in Douala at 11.50 pm to work with Pastor Hamegni Guy of the Christian Faith Missionary Chapel, Foumbot, Cameroon. I spent the night in a hotel in Douala after Pastor Guy met me at the airport with another Pastor called Rehoboam
Saturday the 10th of February – We travelled to Foumbot by coach on a 8 hour journey from Douala. I was scheduled to preach at Pastor Guy’s Minister Friend called Pastor Zephraine on the Sunday. Pastor Zephraine’s church is located in Bafoussam and we had to pass through Bafoussam to get to Pastor Guy’s home and Church in Foumbot. As we were passing through, God told me there was an open heaven over that city.
Sunday the 11th of February – I was scheduled to preach at the Church in Bafoussam. We had a lively time of worship featuring upbeat African Praise and Worship by the choir, a drama and some testimonies as well. I preached from Acts.3:19-20 about “Times of refreshing from the Presence of the Lord”. Before I preached, I shared the prophetic word God had given me about the city the day before as we were passing through about the ‘Open Heaven’ over the city. After the time of preaching, I had some prophetic words for certain people. The first lady God had told me earlier in the service that she wasn’t married and God wanted me to speak into her life, so I prayed as I was led, prayed and prophesied over some singles in the church and was led to pray for the church that God would send families and as I was praying I declared prophetically that there would be an open heaven and it would be like Jacob’s ladder. After the time of ministry, the Pastor came over and said all the prophetic words had been accurate and spot on. He said God used me to pray prophetically into the problems the people were facing. He said the first lady I prophesied over regarding marriage had gone through traditional marriage but had not been through the wedding ceremony in the church and had not had the Pastor’s Blessing on their marriage. I also prayed for the fruit of the womb without realising they have been seeking a child for 4 years. The prophecy for the Church regarding the Open Heaven was also apt because the Church was called Bethel Church and I did not know the name of the Church prior to my visit. Jacob named the place where he had a dream about a ladder going from earth to heaven, angels descending up and down and the Lord at the top of it Bethel saying “The Lord is in this place and I did not know it. This is surely the House of God and the gate to Heaven” (Gen.28:12-17). This was significant because people have been laughing at the church saying how could your small church be the gateway to heaven? God used me to encourage them because the church was founded based on this passage!!! Praise God.
Monday, the 12th of February – We had an evangelistic outreach in the evening where we used someone’s balcony and the open space in front of the balcony which would normally be a market place during the day for our outreach. I did some rapping which seemed to go down well and preached the Gospel from Luke.4:18. I dealt with the good news to the poor this evening. God drew many to hear the gospel through my rapping which was duly followed by evangelistic preaching carried out through Pastor Guy’s interpretation into French. After the outreach, we got a chance to pray for the sick and minister to the owners of the property we used for the outreach. The wife had severe back pain while the husband had prostate cancer. I asked the woman whether she felt any better after we prayed, she said she was slightly better but not completely so I prayed for her again and while I was praying God revealed to me that stress was the cause of her back pain. I shared the word of knowledge and she acknowledged it and we prayed for her again and God led me to ask whether she had any children. I shared with her that God was telling me she was worried about her children and this was causing stress which led to the back pain. She broke down in tears at this stage because she was indeed worried about her only son who had been in a lot of trouble with the police. The couple promised to attend the conferences scheduled for later in the week. Praise God for this opportunity.
Tuesday, the 13th of February – We started the Evangelistic outreach by taking testimonies and quite a few testified about God healing pain in the body, neck, back and nerve pain. One of the most remarkable healings happened when a father laid hands on his own head on behalf of his son who was lying in bed with a fever because Pastor Guy had asked people the night before to lay hands where they were sick and asked me to pray the prayer of healing for the people. Praise God for the healings. I did some rapping again and preached from Luke.4:18 about Jesus coming to heal the broken hearted. We prayed for the sick at the end again and asked for testimonies straight after and there were testimonies of neck and back healing, pain in the head and body healed and the healing of a broken heart. After the outreach, God protected one of the young girls who was nearly hit by a motor bike as she was returning one of the benches used for the outreach. She only had a minor wound on one of her toes when the accident could have been fatal – Praise God.
Wednesday the 14th of February – We started the day by paying the District Governor a visit. Pastor Guy normally meets with this District Governor every week to pray and have Bible Study sessions with him. I got a chance to pray for the District Governor and his wife and as I was praying, God led me to pray prophetically regarding enemies that might be setting a trap for the District Governor. I was led to pray for them to fall into any pit they were digging for the District Governor. This turned out to be significant too because later that day a member of parliament was leading some individuals from her political party to go and complain about the District Governor regarding his absence from witnessing their processional march on the National Youth Day. This accusation was not true because the District Governor had been present and waited for 45 minutes for the party members to turn up while he witnessed other youth organisations, political organisations and groups pass by but the political party in question did not show up. Unfortunately, the political party heading up to the capital, Yaounde, to complain had an accident on the way and the leader of the group died. This was astonishing judgement but it is because the District Governor is key to furthering the cause of the Gospel in the area.
The Evening witnessed the commencement of the Presence of God Church Conference at Pastor Guy’s Church called the Christian Faith Missionary Chapel. I preached about the Presence of God from Exodus 33. God moved powerfully in the service, many were touched by the Holy Spirit and God used me to deliver a prophecy to the Church.
Thursday, the 15th of February – We had the Presence of God Conference at the Church again and I preached about the Presence of God in Joseph’s life from Genesis.39. There were testimonies of prophetic words God had spoken through me into certain people lives that had been fulfilled that week and diverse testimonies of healing again as God had healed people of pain, God healed a man whose legs were weak and could not walk properly. God strengthened his legs to attend the meeting on the Thursday as he had been prayed for on the Wednesday. He felt better after prayer on Wednesday but he had doubts about whether his legs will be strong enough to attend on the Thursday but when he got up to attend the meeting he found his legs were strong enough to come. I prayed for him on Thursday and he had more mobility in his legs after prayer. God also healed a lady with bad pain in her stomach, the pain would get so bad that she would be immobilised sometimes and sometimes she would pass blood when she visited the toilet but God healed her of the pain after she was prayed for earlier in the week. 5 people also gave their lives to Christ this evening and God used me to bring a tongue and interpretation at the meeting. We ended the meeting by praying for the nation of Cameroon. Praise God for all the things He did. I also want to thank God especially for the grace He gave me to carry on preaching on the night of both conferences when there was a power cut but I continued without reference to my notes even though I could not see and the only source of light in the hall were people’s mobile phones.
I really enjoyed the food and the cultural aspect of the trip. The weather was pleasant in Foumbot because it was significantly cooler than that of Douala which was hot and humid. My night at Foumbot was infested with mosquitoes trying to eat me alive even though I was in a hotel room!!! It was a personal time of reminiscing because I grew up in Nigeria and there were a lot of cultural, geographical and nutritional similarities. Pastor Guy went out of his way to get me any foodstuff I commented about having as a youngster in Nigeria. I also got a chance to visit the Sultan’s palace which was a magnificent piece of architecture and great exposure to the Cameroonian Culture. Please see pictures of the trip on the Home page (https://www.fullnessoflifeministries.org) and the Missions Page (https://www.fullnessoflifeministries.org/mission).
I travelled back to Douala on Friday the 16th of February, boarded the plane in the early hours of Saturday the 17th of February at 12.45 am via Istanbul and landed safely at London Heathrow at 2.45 pm. Since I got back from Cameroon, other good reports have come regarding the trip such as miraculous protection brought about through prayer, a business upturn and breakthrough and healings of HIV and a life-time diagnosis of low blood pressure. To God be the glory for all the great things He did in Cameroon. Halleluyah!!
Prophetic Word for 2018:
Grace Versus Maturity
There are so many gifted people out there. God has anointed His people with various gifts, graces, abilities and talents. There is one question though? Are people with great gifts better than more seasoned Christians who might not be equally gifted but have been walking with the Lord a lot longer. For example, a young Christian of say 22, saved radically by God and called straight into a wonderful ministry and manifesting fruitfulness in souls being saved by their thousands, numerous signs, wonders and miracles taking place after the first few years might still not be as mature in the faith as an 80 year old who has been walking with the Lord for 50 years, faithfully serving the Lord and doing all God has called him to do. The young man can still learn from the 80 year old provided the older Christian is mature in the faith. Am I saying age determines Spiritual Maturity? Absolutely not!!! There are 50 year old Christians who are really 3 years old in the Spirit while there are 3 year old Christians who are 75 years in the Spirit. Spiritual Maturity is determined by many factors but the foremost are hunger, desire, passion and pursuit of the things of God. So the degree to which you pursue God, will be the degree to which you mature in Christ.
In getting back to the Grace Versus Maturity issue, it is important to note that the most gifted individual might not be the most mature. People with great gifts are put on a pedestal by man and highly praised at the height of their powers but severely criticized when they fall. People seem to forget they are only human!! Very much how the press treat celebrities. Massively Celebrated one day and harshly crucified the next. We need to understand highly gifted individuals are only human capable of the same weaknesses as everybody else and they must not be worshipped or unfairly expected to be perfect. When gifted men fall, could it be due to maturity (That’s not always the reason for a mistake) or some other weakness? What I really want to address in this blog has to do more with the fact that a gifted person being used mightily by God is simply functioning in the grace, destiny and purpose God has planned for them. This is a free gift (Grace). They haven’t worked for it, they haven’t earned it. It’s simply a divine endowment from Heaven. Maturity, however, takes time and effort. Maturity also needs to be attained by grace. For without the grace of God, we can’t grow in Christ. Maturity, does not just come on you as a gift. Indeed, when a baby is born, he or she is a baby first, then a young child, a young adult and then a full adult. The scripture gives us this outline too. When we are born-again, we are as new born babes (Jn.3:3, 1.Pet.2:2, 1.Cor.3:1) and then we must grow to be little children (1.Jn.2:12), then grow into young men (1.Jn.2:14b) and then fathers (1.Jn.2:14a, 1.Cor.4:14-15). It takes time for a person to grow from childhood to manhood. Grace, gifting and endowment comes from God from birth physically and spiritually. There are certain gifts and talents we are born with and there are some imparted at New Birth. It’s freely given and predetermined by God according to His Sovereign grace. Here are 5 factors highlighting some similarities and differences between Grace and Maturity:
- Grace is a free gift from God (Eph.2:8) while maturity needs to be cultivated (Phil.2:12)
- Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (Jn.1:17), nothing to do with man. Man could never institute Grace but Maturity involves the co-operation of man. To mature we need to actively pursue, hunger, thirst and desire (Matt.5:6, 1.Pet.2:2).
- From Christ’s fullness, we receive Grace upon Grace (Jn.1:16). Nothing to do with the fullness of man, man is incapable of fullness because of imperfection anyway. Maturity comes line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little (Isa.28:13) and it comes in stages, first the stalk, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear (Mark.4:28).
- By the Grace of God we are who we are according to the Apostle Paul – 1.Cor.15:10. We are saved by Grace but that Grace comes on us for a specific purpose. Paul was saying He was what he was by Grace but he had to develop that grace so that grace was not in Vain. By Grace he was saved and that grace was upon him to be the Apostle to the Gentiles. That Grace then enabled him to labour more abundantly than the other Apostles. The fact that Paul had to labour in this verse means he had to cultivate, nurture and develop the grace that was upon him. In other words, he had to allow God to mature the grace upon his life. Here we see the need to bring Grace to Maturity.
- We Mature as we feed on the strong meat of the Word according to Heb.5:14 but we also need the Grace of God to grow and mature -2.Pet.3:18
In referring back to the initial point of gifted and charismatic (A word derived from the Greek for Grace – Charis/Charisma) individuals not necessarily being the most mature, it is important to note that gifted men can fall, we must be gracious, understanding and loving; knowing they are only human beings gifted by grace on the journey to maturity in Christ.
Since grace and maturity are so linked and inter-twined, one could conclude we need Grace to Mature and the more we mature in Christ, the more grace is multiplied to us (2.Pet.3:18).
As important as grace is to the Christian faith, after salvation, maturity should be our goal – Being conformed to the stature of the fullness of Christ is the end goal for the five-fold ministry of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers (Eph.4:11). They are given for the perfecting of the saints (Maturity of Character), the work of the ministry (Maturity of Service) and for the edifying of the body of Christ (Corporate Maturity) – Eph.4:12. Until we come to the unity of the Faith, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Full Maturity -Eph.4:13). So we need the Grace working through the 5-fold Ministry to bring the Body of Christ to full Maturity.
In the light of all the above, a gifted young minister still needs a mature father or mother in the faith to provide counsel, mentorship and spiritual cover no matter how gifted he or she might be. In the same way, a mature father or mother in the faith should respect the grace and gifting on a young minister and be available to the young man or woman for support, encouragement and motivation. The older Christian must not be jealous, dismissive and judgemental while the young minister must not be proud, conceited, self-sufficient nor self-deceived. Both need each other for challenge and encouragement.
2017 is the Year of New Beginnings:
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TIME TO SWIM DEEPER
God showed Ezekiel waters flowing out from under the House of God and the waters reached to the ankles first and he was led out 1750 feet and the water came up to his knees and another 1750 feet and the water came up to the waist and another 1750 feet and the water was deep enough to swim in (Ezek.47:1-5). God is calling us to take a dive into the River of His Spirit, into the River of Life. He does not want us wading in the shallow end, staying in the outer court or the fringe of the action, on the periphery of what God is doing today.
The places to which the waters come up are indeed symbolic. God wants His River to come and affect certain areas of our lives. Firstly, the River came up to the ankles. The ankles support the sandals of the gospel of peace (Eph.6:15). God wants to touch our evangelism with His River of living water. When people first get saved, they are usually on fire for God wanting to share the good news of the gospel with everything that moves. God wants us to re-capture that zeal, hunger and passion to tell others about Him. But we need a touch of His Spirit to take that message out afresh with renewed vigour for it’s not by power, not by might, it’s by His Spirit (Zech.4:6).
The next part the river comes up to is the knees. The knees speak of prayer (Ps.95:6, Eph.3:14, Acts.20:36). Remember, how much time you spent in prayer after you first came to Christ. If you are slumbering and flagging in prayer God wants to touch your prayer life with the Rivers of Living Water. He wants to make your prayer life vibrant, refreshing and alive by touching you by His spirit.
The River next came up to the waist. The waist speaks of what holds up the belt of truth (Eph.6:14). God desires truth, honesty and integrity in every area of our lives. That begins with knowing the truth of God’s word, standing for and upon the truth of the Word of God. From holding on and holding up the truth flows integrity and honesty. God desires truth in the inward parts according to Ps.51:6 which means we need to be utterly and totally transparent with God and we need to speak truth to our brothers and sisters in Christ (Eph.4:25). We need the Spirit to touch us afresh and infuse our hearts with passion for the truth of God’s word and speaking the truth to one another in Love (Eph.4:15)
Then the River was deep enough to swim in. God wants us to throw our whole being into the River of His Spirit. God wants all of us. He wants to use every part of our lives. Our head, our arms, our hands, our legs, our hands, our eyes, our mouths. God wants all of us, not just a part. God does not want a part of us, he does not want us to hold anything back, hang back in any way or refuse to throw all of us into the thick of the action. He is not satisfied with a little bit but he wants all of us.
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A SPECTACULAR MINISTRY VERSUS A SINCERE HEART
Paul wanted the Corinthians to be proud of him and his team so they can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than a sincere heart (2.Cor.5:12). What would you rather have? A Spectacular Ministry or a Sincere Heart? A Spectacular Ministry could mean thousands of souls being saved, people being healed, miracles and gifts of the Spirit breaking out, communities being transformed, people being delivered, marriages being restored and nations being impacted. These things aren’t necessarily bad, in fact they are quite good and should be desired. They should not be an end in themselves though. A Sincere Heart could mean serving God with all our hearts, soul, body, mind and strength. A Sincere Heart could also mean doing things to the glory of God, serving God out of humility, sincerity, love and gratitude. Serving God out of a Sincere Heart could also mean having a pure motive and not serving out of pride, vain-glory, glamour/lime-light seeking and showmanship.
Some individuals have the gifts to possess a Spectacular Ministry but lack the Sincere Heart to sustain the Ministry. It’s the common adage of your gift taking you where your character cannot keep you if you’ve got a bad attitude, the wrong motive and wrong heart despite being very gifted. The Spectacular Ministry could be seen as the gifts while the Sincere Heart could be seen as the Character. To achieve balance, we need a Sincere Heart and a Spectacular Ministry.
As human beings, we tend to focus more on the Spectacular Ministry rather than the heart but God says Man looks on the outside and God looks at the heart (1.Sam.16:7). God pays more attention to the heart than to the outside. This reminds us of why some people would say in the last day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied, have we not cast out devils and done many wonderful works in your name and the Lord would say to them – I never knew you, Depart from me you workers of iniquity (Matt.7:22-23). God is obviously interested in more than Prophecy, casting out devils and wonderful works. He wants to know us!!! The way He gets to know us is by searching our hearts as David prayed – search my heart and know me, search my heart and know my thoughts and see if there is any wicked way in me lead me in the way everlasting (Ps.139:23-24). Does that mean spiritual gifts and Spectacular Ministries are wrong? Of course not. God told us to earnestly desire spiritual gifts and not to forbid speaking in tongues (1.Cor.14:39). When the Lord sent His disciples out in Matt.10:7-8, He told them to go and heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out devils. The same commission is still for us as Disciples of Today. All these were evident in the Ministry of the Lord Jesus, the Apostle Paul and the Early Church and the Lord is still doing these things today.
God does not want us to go after a Spectacular Ministry at the expense of a Sincere Heart and He doesn’t want us to concentrate on a Sincere Heart at the expense of a Spectacular Ministry. The best combination would be to have a Sincere Heart coupled with a Spectacular Ministry. Amen
I have just been on a Mission to the Philippines from the 12th to the 20th of February. You can see a Video Summary in the Movie above. God caused it to rain after 3 months following the Prayer and Intercession of Faith. The Lord gave me the Word to preach from 2.Chron.7:1-3 about the Fire falling which was in line with the theme of the Conference – “Catch the Fire” – which was unknown to me. God touched many after I preached from 13th to the 15th as many were slain in the Spirit, the Pastor saw fire in my face through a Vision, there were prophecies, 42 people got saved as we engaged in Evangelistic Outreaches through me Preaching & rapping and the Go Gospel Go Rescue Band and the Bible School Students ministered in Koronadal City and Norala.
On the way back from the Mission, I thought my flight from General Santos Airport to Manila was going to be at 11.00 am but on getting there, I found out it was meant to be at 9.05 am to arrive at Manila for 11.00 am, hence the confusion. The Pastor and her team had already seen me off and said their good-byes so I was alone at the Airport by this time. I was told I had to get a replacement ticket as the previous one had been forfeited because of my mistake. I only had 1,400 Filipino Pesos on me as God had led me to give away the 5,000 Pesos I had on me during the trip to cater for different needs He had opened my eyes to while I was at Koronadal City. I started to pray in tongues fervently asking God to get me out of this sticky situation. While I was pacing up and down and praying, a Taxi Driver came up to me asking whether I needed a Taxi, I told him I was trying to get through to my Contact and friends but my mobile would not work for making phone calls in the Philippines. He offered me his phone and I was able to speak to the Pastor asking her to come as I had missed my flight. Before the Pastor got to me, the Taxi Driver asked me what I was doing in the Philippines and I told him I had been on a Mission. He asked me what denomination I was from and I told him. It turned out that the Taxi Driver was also a Pentecostal Pastor and heard me praying in tongues!!! Halleluyah!!. When the Contact Pastor arrived, I was told that when she hung up from taking my call, she got a text from her husband’s cousin who lives in Canada and he had sent 5,000 pesos so that effectively paid for my flight to Manila. My ticket from Manila back to the U.K was still valid as my flight back to the U.K was not until 10.30 pm in the evening. So there was enough time to catch my connecting flight from Manila to the U.K. Praise God for this miracle!!!
I WOULD RATHER BE KNOWN AS A MAN OF LOVE THAN A MAN OF KNOWLEDGE
Knowledge puffs up but Love edifies. It’s so easy to acquire knowledge by reading, studying, researching and comparing notes. Since the advent of the internet, it’s never been easier to acquire more knowledge through websites, social media, blogs and webinars. But all that knowledge will be of no use if it’s not applied in Love. We are told in 1.Cor.13:4 that Love is not puffed up or proud. Am I saying knowledge is wrong? By no means!!! The Bible admonishes us time and time again to acquire knowledge (Prov.1:1-7 & Prov.2:1-7). There’s nothing wrong in getting degrees, Masters or PHDs. The main thing here is not to get proud or puffed up by the knowledge that we disdain and despise others or think we are better or superior because of the mere fact we are knowledgeable. Such an attitude is against the life prescribed in 1.Cor.13. If we are walking in pride and arrogance, we are out of Love. The saying “People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we actually care about them” comes to play here. People respond to Love first before they respond to knowledge. Let us acquire knowledge by all means but let love be the motivating factor behind the knowledge. Let Love be the fuel and vehicle through which the knowledge is used.
True Agape Love edifies according 1.Cor.8:1 but knowledge puffs up. Genuine, pure and undiluted Love according to 1.Cor.13 edifies and builds up while arrogant, boastful and displaying knowledge that puts people down is detrimental to the Body of Christ. Puffed up knowledge ascribes glory to self and the pride of life while edifying love brings Glory to God and encourages the Body. Amen
WORD FOR 2016
I believe 2016 will be a year for increased Boldness, Authority, Signs and Wonders in Jesus’ Name according to Acts.4:29-30
Currently embarking on Church-Planting for from my local church called Kimmel Bay Church into a place called Bodelwyddan. We just started a house group and we are looking to get into the Hospital, School, Town Council and local Pub. Please pray for open doors.
GOD’S ON THE MOVE AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE!!!
I had the privilege of being involved in evangelistic missions over the summer in Llangefni, Carmarthen, Llangoed, Sandycroft, Baja in Hungary and Gwalchmai over the summer serving on various Mission teams and we saw over 70 people saved of which 80% were young people . Praise God
Jesus was called upon to go and minister to Jairus’ daughter who was ill and close to death. On the way, the woman with the issue of blood grabbed the hem of Jesus’ garment and received her miracle. Jesus had time to ask who touched him and speak to the woman. Jesus was not too focused on going to minister to Jairus’ daughter that he didn’t have time for the woman with the issue of blood (Mark.5:21-43). We must be like Jesus. We must minister like Jesus and have compassion for the sick, the poor, the broken and hurting like Jesus. We must not let even legitimate things like prayer, Bible-study and fellowship prevent us from hearing what God is wanting to do right at that very moment. That is where the priest and levite missed looking after the Jew in the story of the good Samaritan (Luke.10:30-37). They were going to the temple to carry out legitimate service and duty but forgot to love their neighbour as themselves. Remember, God is after relationship rather than routine. God might choose to interrupt your routine so you can minister to someone in need. I call them Divine Interruptions. Don’t let routine prevent you from the blessing of Divine Interruptions.
2015 is the year for the Divine Turn-Around according to Ps.107:35, Ps.114:8 & Isa.32:15
Every time you have an encounter with God, you get a revelation of who He is like Abraham found God to be Jehovah Jireh on Mount Moriah (Gen.22:14), Moses found God to Be Jehovah Rapha at the waters of Marah (Ex.15:26), Moses & Joshua found God to be Jehovah Nissi at Rephidim (Ex.17:15) and Gideon found God to be Jehovah Shalom at Ophrah (Judg.6:24)