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 (Exvy.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)