YOU CAN’T BE BARREN!
”There shall not be male or female barren among you.” – Deuteronomy 7:14
To him time was running out. He wasn’t getting any younger, nor was his wife. He looked around the massive office, pos, exquisite and tastefully furnished. He had grown so rich that whatsoever he desired on earth he could buy.
It saddens his heart that with his wealth, he could not have a child from his own loins, brought forth by his wife, to take over the business after he was retired. Friends had persuaded him to either go adopting a baby or have a test tube baby. Being traditional and old fashioned he declined both.
He reclined on the office chair only to see the gold-framed photograph of his wife which he hung on that side of the wall opposite his table. The image in the picture seemed to be smiling sarcastically at him. His anger burned anew, devouring all his patience and his eyes burned red.
For three years he waited patiently for a child and he would have been content with one. Just one!
“The useless woman.” He turned around. “She is just good for nothing, except how to spend my money. I will show her!” He added walking out of the office, shutting the door with a bang.
Back home it was a war of words.
“But honey, the doctor said I could still have babies! She defended, her ears tingling with the pain of the slap that almost deafened her.
“When I’m dead?” He fired back. “I never knew you are barren!” He blurted out. “I’m taking a new wife and that is final!” He concluded storming out of the house, with the temptation for alcohol high on his mind.
Many a home has been broken because of barrenness, even Christian homes; for lack of the knowledge of God.
But what is “barrenness” if not the ability to conceive children when desired? Some who conceived and miscarried also see themselves as barren. Why? They have been called barren by others!
The rippling effect of words, break into the consciousness of man and lodge in the deep recess of his mind. Like a shadow, it follows people everywhere they go. With the word of God high in their life as the noon day sun, this shadow becomes small and powerless. When the word of God becomes low in their life this shadow becomes horrendously big and domineering.
The one whose words you choose to listen to is your master.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” – Romans 6:16 (KJV)
Is it the word of God or the words of men? Is the light of the word of God ruling in your life or is it the dark shadow of the absence of the word of God?
It is a subtle form of hypnosis. Words are tools in the hand of demonic forces against the believer to prevent him from the Truth, the word of God, and consequently from being made free.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:32 (KJV)
Outside the word of God, all is darkness and gloom; sinking sand. Who has spoken when God did not decree it?
“Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?” – Lam 3:37 (KJV)
God said to Adam in Genesis 3:11, who told thee that thou wast naked?” It is like asking him “who told you that lie; who told you that preposterous nonsense?” If God never told him he was naked then there was a covering! If God never told you through His word that you are barren, then you can’t be! Adam was covered with the glory of God, clothed with the garment of righteousness. But choosing to believe the lie, the contrary, he became naked! Never believe you are barren!
This can be better understood from the angle of a man whose friends and office colleague agree secretly to meet him at different times and at different places in a given day. One asked him if he was sick. He answered negative. Nevertheless, that first man from his look seemed not to be convinced. Before parting, he told the friend to ease up, relax and take care of himself.
The man had not gotten over that thought when the second met him about two hours later and told him that the symptom of fever was in his eyes. He advised him to take some rest.
A third man, their boss, asked him an hour later why he looked dull, permitting him to go home early. His mind began to race. Could the illness be so serious to be written all over him?
Back home his neighbour, also in the plan sympathetically greeted him, “sorry”.
It would take a divine determination for the man to remain in good health the following morning after the concern of his friends, which would set him thinking in that direction.
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
– Prov 23:7 (KJV)
As an individual is called barren, he or she begins to see himself or herself from the eyes of others. Such a person surrenders the spiritual control of his or her life to the imagination of others. He becomes a puppet in their thought, playing out their imagination. Words heard are suggestions received from outside the individual.
Being a subtle form of suggestion the words (thoughts from others) are seen to be harmless and so often neglected and not pulled down. Paul tells us to tear down fortresses of evil by casting down imaginations that threaten our knowledge of God.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
– 2 Cor 10:5 (KJV)
This imagination projected as suggestion from other people take root in the mind and as the person continues to listen to such words, they choke the word of God. Jesus shared a parable of the sower of seed (Matthew 13), how some fell among thorns. Thorns being plants from seeds (words) not from God, squeeze out the word and grow wildly to fill
such a mind with the thought that the individual is actually barren.
Such a mind becomes programmed to accept the inability to conceive and bring forth! It becomes an auto – suggestion as the person sees the imagination as his or her “own”. Consequently they hold on to it, and the subconscious mind (which controls over eighty percent of the body), brings the thought to be so. Until the mind is de-programmed of such thought, no amount of fasting, prayer or vigil can yield any result, as such a mind would be operating at zero faith level.
“And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” – Luke 1:45 (KJV)
The performance comes where there is a belief in what was told or heard.
The problem is not really barrenness, but unbelief arising as a lack of the knowledge of the word of God. Jesus said that it is not what enters a person – suggestions, thoughts, words, poison, etc – that defile the person, but what he or she does with what has entered. Is it nurtured or destroyed; watered or pulled down? Unfortunately, the former is often the case. People hold on to what they have heard to their hurt.
If you are barren, it is because you are barren in the word of God. You know very little about what God has said concerning you. And you lack an understanding of the little you have heard from Him, if you have. Not retaining the word of God in your mind gives the forces of darkness the audacity to take away your miracles and actualize the barrenness you have come to accept. If you fail to retain God (and His word) in your mind He will leave you to a reprobate mind.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” – Romans 1:28 (KJV)
A reprobate mind is one that is left open to Satan; to toy with, buffet and steal from at will. It is said that to him that has more shall be given, but to him that has not, even the little he has shall be taken away.
“For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.” – Luke 19:26 (KJV)
Unfortunately, some have accepted that they were created to be barren; that that is their portion in life.
No! That is not your portion! Who told thee that thou wast barren? You can’t be barren! God created you perfectly beautiful; fearfully and wonderfully made!
God said “there shall not be male or female barren among you.” (Deut. 7:14), that is among His people. Are you born-again? If you are a born-again believer you can’t be barren!
I don’t care how long you may have been married and without children! I don’t care what reports the doctors have given you! I don’t care how old you are or what your family background is! I don’t care if gospel ministers have invited you for deliverance to break some certain curses in your life! If indeed you are a child of God, you can’t be barren! This is the word of God!
“Shall”, is emphatic and futuristic; from now, stating the mind of the speaker. It is an obligation, a compulsion, a must. “Not be”, means does not, cannot exist. So God is saying here that His intention, His will, an obligation or compulsion of His mind is that barrenness cannot exist in your life from now to eternity! God Himself is saying “you can’t be barren!”
As said earlier, you are barren because you are barren in the word of God. You nullify the potency of the word of God due to your unbelief and a lack of understanding.
God has good thoughts toward you; not thoughts of evil or barrenness. No.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord , thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” – Jer 29:11 (KJV)
I know a woman who for the purpose of this writing I will call Gladys (not her normal name). She has been married for more than seven years without any child. She has a loving and God-fearing husband who gave all within his power to comfort her. He loved her the way she was; with or without children.
She began to see herself as barren in the second year of their marriage when people would come to her in sympathy and pray for the fruit of the womb. Some would tell her how in their Church they stood in the gap on her behalf when prayers were made for the barren.
Beware when people sympathize with you, and what patterns of prayers are made over you! They drive this negative suggestion deeper in you wearing out your faith or resistance.
The sympathy for Gladys became too sentimental that it got to a stage it became the major subject of discussions around her, at her local Assembly and at prayer meetings. Gradually, anxiety was aroused in her mind by the concern and sympathy of others that whenever there was an altar call at her local Assembly for those believing God for the fruit of the womb, she would be the first to go out. And in her absence, someone would stand in the gap on her behalf.
The thought of others about her being barren, so filled her conscious mind that it spilled into her subconscious; Satan began to use that door – that thought that she never pulled down, to haunt her with dreams of spirit children, making her believe that she cannot parent children on the surface of the earth. On some occasions she conceived and miscarried due to the state of her mind.
Medically, this has been proven; that the mind has a role to play in conception.
The effect of anxiety in her min opened up another horrible door into her life. Fear! Fear of loosing her husband to another woman, the fear that her in-laws would grow weary of her childlessness and throw her out. In her fear she began to make visible and noticeable mistakes. She became inhibited in the presence of her in-laws, keeping to herself and not contributing to discussions. The in-laws who were good natured, God fearing and understanding began to see her as queer. Some started to avoid her.
Gladys, a woman full of life and verve became dull as her health was affected. She refused to eat, having lost the appetite to eat. Her weight plummeted and she looked gaunt.
She began looking for help where help can not be found; going from one prayer house to another, from one deliverance meeting to another. She prayed all manner of prayers; prayed nude at midnight, destroyed evil links to the past and to spirit husband; she destroyed evil hands, all sorts! The situation persisted. She became a contractor, looking for what has already been given to her!
At her first counseling session with me, I made realize how Satan tricked mankind through Eve, into thinking the forbidden fruit must be eaten before man can become a god, whereas God had already made man god by giving him dominion over all things!
“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” – Psalms 82:6 (KJV)
“Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” – Psalms 8:6 (KJV)
Outside God man was god over everything. Man lost his place due to unbelief of the word of God which gave birth to disobedience.
I made her understand that children have been given to her but Satan made her look away from the word of God and that is the reason the children are not manifest. She needed to de-programme her mind of every unbelieving thought by changing her mentality: changing her focus, renewing her mind!
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:2 (KJV)
This she did.
CHANGE YOUR FOCUS!
She filled her consciousness with the promises of God concerning the fruit of the womb. Every scripture she came across on the fruit of the womb, she devoured. God opened her understanding of His word and with that anxiety flew from her; she overcame her fears, dreams of spirit husband and children ceased, she became her lively, robust self again. She was so rooted in the word of God that no negative wind of demonic doctrine would convince her otherwise.
With her mind in God’s perfect will, peace came upon her like never before. Through this rest in her mind, God strengthened her feminine hormones and before long her tummy protruded with a set of twins, a boy and a girl, in perfect health!
You too can receive your miracle when you change your focus. Meditating on the word of God, especially the scriptures that have a direct bearing on the situation you are going through. God said to Joshua “…..this book…..” – this scripture (Joshua 1:8). There are specific scriptures for specific situations. Search them out, locate them and present them to God in prayers. His words are powerful, encoded with life which can only be revealed through meditation. The word of God is spirit, go beyond the written word. The letter killeth. It’s the spirit of the word that gives life.
“Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” – 2 Cor 3:6 (KJV)
Not just the reading of the word but deep consideration of it that releases the spirit which gives life.
“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” – John 6:63 (KJV)
Apply them to where they are applicable in your life. If you put a square peg in a round hole, it won’t work! Imagine applying “by His stripes I am healed” when praying for safety! Search the scriptures daily!
ATTEND HIS WORD.
As you seek them out, eat them, drink them, sleep them and live them. Jesus said:
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” – John 15:7 (KJV)
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” – John 15:4 (KJV)
Meditate on them (on the word of God). Get an understanding of the scripture. Let it digest even to your marrow.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Heb 4:12 (KJV)
It is the understanding of a scripture that grants you access into the power inside that scripture. That is why God told Joshua to remain on “this” scripture till he finds the power (good) success in it.
MAKE A VOW
Make a vow to God. Gladys gave her substance to the work of God, separate from her tithe and offering. Look out for opportunities to serve God and do so with all gladness. Sow into Ministries and into the life of Ministers that are committed to the gospel, especially those who have no other work outside the service of the Lord.
Hannah gave unto God.
“And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.” – 1 Sam 1:11 (KJV)
“For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord ; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord . And he worshipped the Lord there.” – 1 Sam 1:27-28 (KJV)
It is not only in finance or in material things. You can vow to work in a department of the Church or set time aside to intercede privately for others; especially for those seeking the fruit of the womb.
God is a just and faithful employer. As you give from your heart unto His work, He will not withhold your due. But you must do it from your heart!
KEEP YOURSELF HEALTHY
Do not be reckless or careless with your health! Keep yourself healthy and observe every health precaution. Don’t take drugs without prescription! Don’t take what others are taking because it is working for them. Only when your obedient is complete would you eat the good of the land.
“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.’ – Isaiah 1:19 (KJV)
LOVE, NOT HATE
Hold nothing against your spouse and be sure he or she has nothing against you either. Agreement must precede performance.
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” – Amos 3:3 (KJV)
No amount of prayers, fasting. Vigils, or tongue-talking can produce pregnancy if you do not sleep with your spouse! It is Love! The devil will try coming between you and your spouse. You will need to be sensitive and not give him any grounds to operate, All could be well and smooth going but when it approaches bed time, he will come lurking. Do not let him! Sacrifice your ego if need be: admit fault even if you are right and your partner wrong; just do not argue!
Encourage others who see themselves as barren. Give them the knowledge you now have acquired. As you do this, your faith is strengthened, for “he that watereth shall in turn be watered”.
Finally, there is the divine factor. God makes all things beautiful in his time (for the things).
“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.” – Eccl 3:11 (KJV)
As a seed your time of germination is different from others. God has given time to every seed. Never compare yourself with others. Patiently wait for God to beautify your life. Even if it tarries (Habakkuk 2:3 ); never loose hope, for it will come. Never see yourself as barren, no matter how long it takes for you to take in. Hope is the bridge to your miracle. Never loose it.
“whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed; but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.” – Proverbs 13:13
(1) Change your focus by filling your conscious with the word of God.
(2) Live the word.
(3) Make a vow to God.
(4) Watch your lifestyle.
(5) Be at peace with your spouse.
(6) Encourage others.
(7) Wait for God’s time.
“Barrenness thrives in a life barren of the word.” – J.C. Ike
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“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1)
Have you ever disagreed with somebody? You have judged! Simply put judging others is saying “you’re wrong and I’m right!”.
Considering then that we disagree with people everyday and in various matters, we judge!
There is a HUGE misinterpretation and misrepresentation of what the Lord said. He was not saying you should not judge people or discriminate between their character, beliefs, and doings as against yours, because we can never be the same! You and I can never agree on every point. Even in a home or marriage, the husband and wife do not always agree, nor do the children agree with all their parents believe. This misunderstanding is the main instrument of “asunder”, separation and divorce.
No, that was not what the Lord meant!
When the Lord said “judge not”, HE simply meant we not using our personal or individual standard to judge others! Note that He was quick to add:
“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and the measure which ye give, shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:2).
When you disagree with people on the basis of your personal standard, they will also disagree with you! Imagine a man standing on the ceiling of a house – upside down. While people tell him he is upside down, he argues that everyone, not him, is upside down! Such arguments do not end because everyone sees from their personal standard!
In other words, the Lord is saying ”do not use your personal, or individual standard to judge or measure others!” Why? We are imperfect beings and our judgment would be wrong! The verse three of that scripture reminds me of my imperfection:
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thy own eye?” (Matthew 7:3).
So does that mean we do not judge others? No. That would be deadly dangerous as we would accommodate and even emulate all kinds of evil. Because for me to be accepted by you even in my imperfection, I shut my eyes and applaud your evil deeds!?
And everyone would do what is right in their own eyes, giving birth to a lawless society as recorded in the book of Judges.
“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25).
A lack or absence of a King made people do what they liked! I wouldn’t want you to judge me so I refrain from judging you!
That sounds so much as “don’t judge others”, which we hear of today!
But, thanks be to God, the King is on the throne! Haleluyah!! His Word, not mine, not yours, is our Standard of judgment! His Word, not mine, not yours, holds sway! His Standard, not mine, not yours, should be lifted and upheld! His standard is “righteousness”, which neither you nor I can produce. Husbands, wives, do not judge yourselves with your individual standard. Stick to yor individual standard and you create an “asunder”. Judge only by the Standard of the Lord. What has He said? Do not twist, bend, modify or modernize it! This is His Kingdom!
Yes, beloved, we are permitted to judge!
“And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and JUDGE RIGHTEOUSLY between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.” (Deuteronomy 1:16).
In Christ, we are Kings and the admonition to kings is to judge righteously!
“Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:9).
In Christ, we are spiritual. We have the mind of the King! We know His Word and by His Word we judge!
“But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged by no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But WE have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:15-16).
Our judgment, however is to be based on His Standard.
Love cover sins but does not accept them. My judgment of you is not based on my individual standard but on the standard of my King! I love you; but, I am forbidden to accept you! My King’s Standard will not permit me to accept you; I love you nonetheless. My King loves the everyone (John 3:16), but has not accepted them all. He has a condition:
“…..touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you;” (2 Corinthians 6:17).
The “unclean” thing is your standard that you have refused to drop! He loves you and wants to receive you. But you need to drop, deny your individual Will or standard, take up His standard and let His Will be done!
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“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me. Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.” – Matthew 18:21-35 (KJV)
Forgiveness knows no limit. It means to have a heart of mercy and compassion; a heart that refrains from inflicting pain on offenders. In the teaching of Jesus in Luke 6:36-38, we see the same principle of “boomerang”, whatever a person gives out comes back to him; “pressed down shaking together and running over.”
Forgiveness is not for God but for us, for our own good. When you forgive, you will be forgiven; if you do not forgive don’t expect forgiveness.
An unforgiving heart is one that exalts situations and circumstances (that brought the offence) above human life. We should be like our Father! Learn to forgive.
One more thing! Forgiveness does not secure freedom from the consequences of our sins!
“For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.” – Jeremiah 30:11 (KJV)
God forgives the sin but the consequences are still ours to bear! Every sin committed before accepting Christ is forgiven and the consequence is carried by the crucified Saviour; however, every sin committed after that is also forgiven but the individual bears the consequence!
Forgiving others secures for us the richness of God’s mercy in our everyday dealings with people. This is earned!
“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew 6:15 (KJV)
If you do not forgive, you can’t receive forgiveness! The cost of being forgiven is paid when you forgive others. “If you don’t …you will not…”
God’s initial forgiveness is not earned but given, as a result of repentance, confession and forsaken, of that which was done.
Beloved, it is only a dog that goes back to its vomit. Let’s not go back to the life we have left behind; the life of wickedness and unforgivingness. Let us learn to forgive; knowing it is the currency to secure our forgiveness.
Who is a rich man?
“And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” – Luke 12:13-21 (KJV)
A man came to Jesus asking Him to intervene in a wealth-sharing dispute between him and his brother who did not want to share their father’s wealth with him. Jesus answered, telling him He wasn’t made a judge over them. His answer has a two-way application. He wasn’t a judge officially over such matters, but indirectly, He told him that the material life was not the reason or purpose of His coming.
This inspired the teaching against covetousness and the parable of the “rich Fool”, a man society called “rich”; Jesus also acknowledged he was rich, and that means he was rich! Yet, heaven called him a fool. Why?
1) He thought the security of life depended on the earthly acquisition: an abundance of wealth, education, connection, location, etc. Sadly, many hold this view today, even in Church, that the more wealth a man has, the more secure he is. This lie looks so golden, whereas it is deception in its highest form, and the creator of the end time god – mammon.
Jesus warned against the deceitfulness of riches and taught that a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses.
2) He believed the things he got were results of his labour and hard work. Again, this is another sad thing in Christendom. There is a general belief that the harder a person works, the richer he would be. Over the years, the “prosperity message” has hoodwinked many a believer into a frenzy of going to work very early in the morning and coming back late at night “only to eat the bread of sorrow”, forgetting that “the race is not to the swift …”
3) He made plans as though he had power over his life. We often times forget that our lives belong to God and are in His hand, and He can make a demand of the life at any time. Job reminds us that no man has the power to retain the spirit (life) in him. When God calls, we respond. But hear this “rich man” speak as though he had power over tomorrow and can resist the call of God. People think some are being “over righteous” when they add “by the grace of God” to their statement.
4) He built his life on and around things that have no eternal value. Everything changes: nothing in this world is stable or durable. Building one’s hope on a shifting thing is like building without a foundation! How secure are those things after the death of the man? Who will inherit those things?
The frenzy with which man run after these things that the Bible clearly and unequivocally teaches to be “deceitful” is so alarming that it has become a standard of judging who is, and who is not a true believer, forgetting that love of things in the world is enmity with God.
Jesus said anyone who thinks and plans like this way, is regarded by heaven as a fool. (Luke 12:21) Why?
God’s ways differ from ours! The way we see things is not the way heaven see things! (Isaiah 55) What Man calls treasure, heaven calls nonsense! We do not value the things God values!
Solomon realized this and said on his return to God, “all is vanity” (Ecc. 1:2). Vanity means the quality of being without value; futile, useless, nonsense! That is where Man’s heart is, and God is clearly disappointed in this.
“O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.” – Psalm 4:2 (KJV)
Man’s heart is clogged up with the “weeds” of this world – the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. All these dull the heart, choke the word of God and makes one unfruitful in godliness.
What are we expected to do?
This is a heart situation, because where the treasure of a man is there will his heart be also, and since man cannot fix himself, only God, Who can farm or cultivate the heart can. But He will not; until we willingly come to Him.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)
We need to come to Him; to present ourselves to Him to weed off “the cares of this world” from our hearts. For this, He calls us, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28 (KJV)
“Come”, He says. Many have not “come”, though they have come to church. However, this is not a Church issue! Many are in church but have not “come” to the Lord. Nevertheless, He knows those that are His. Neither is it a ministry issue. It is not what work you do for Him because on that day He will say to some, “depart from me ye that work iniquity, I know you not”. It’s like saying, “I don’t know you, I don’t remember seeing you; you never came to me!”
The proof of your coming to Him is in how much value you place on what He values! Jesus asked Peter in John 21, if he loved Him more than the fish, representing all we wake early to pursue and come in late to acquire.
What does God place value on? His Word!
“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” – Psalm 138:2 (KJV)
How much of His word do we treasure? How have we been handling His word, because this is what shall be used to clean us!
“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” – John 15:3 (KJV) Emphasis mine.
It is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to live in agreement with the Father, loving what He loves and hating what He hates; and He will not live or dwell in a dirty, polluted heart. Using the instrument of the Word, the disciples were cleaned and made ready to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Without the Word spoken to them, they would not have been able to receive the Holy Spirit!
Again, the Bible repeats it.
“That he might sanctify and cleanse it (the Church) with the washing of water by the word.” – Ephesians 5:26 (KJV) Emphasis mine.
In 2 Kings 5, we see the Syrian captain Naaman, instructed by the prophet Elisha to go dip himself seven times in the Jordan River for him to be clean. The number seven, here, represents the mind of God; completeness, nothing to be added or subtracted. The water represents the Word of God. Like Naaman, we should dip ourselves in it to be made whole and clean.
But again, in the Church of today, how much of the Word do we value?
I was in a discussion recently with two men of God. We talked over a range of issues, from National security to the dwindling faithfulness of believers. In the course of our discussion, mention was made of a man of God, who pastors a well-run church; efficient staff, – paid of course. Sometimes I wonder if some of these Christians would be so efficient, em… faithful if not for the “secularism” or payment of salary. Just a thought.
Back to the main matter.
One of the pastors in our discussion said, “he has an excellent spirit!” I shot him a glance. Why?
Because of the phrase, “spirit of excellence”, or “excellent spirit.”
How do we interpret this? What message, and consequently, what spirit are we passing on to those God sent to us both to mentor and to disciple?
I still stand on my belief that the state of the Church today is traceable to the Pastors and Teachers of the Word.
What irked me in the discussion was the use and application of that phrase as concerning the pastor in question, who was known to the three of us.
True, when you enter their church hall, you will marvel at the beauty and neatness; the efficiency and corporate dressing of the church workers.
However, he has a bad reputation on his street and neighbourhood! Known as a brawler and wife – beater, I do not think that phrase should be applied to him.
I am not in any way judging the Man of God, neither do I advocate for him to be judged. He is not the issue before us. Nevertheless, I believe as servants of God, we owe it to the Lord and to the brethren, to correct interpretations we know to be wrong, else we will hear the Lord say to us:
“But I have this against you, that you let the woman Jezebel say she is a prophet and give false teaching, making my servants go after the desires of the flesh and take food offered to false gods.” – Revelation 2:20 (BBE) Emphasis added.
“But I have this against you: You let that woman Jezebel do what she wants. She says that she is a prophet, but she is leading my people away with her teaching.” – Revelation 2:20a (ERV) Emphasis added.
Certain things should not be tolerated. Again, if we do not correct these things the degeneration will not be arrested, but rather encouraged. We are the ones to withstand and resist this pollution and twisting of scripture.
So, it is not the man that we have before us, but an issue, a phrase that can be found in the book of Daniel, chapter five and verse twelve.
“Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.” – Daniel 5:12 (KJV)
This was something said to show that something more than human, a thing beyond the natural, was in Daniel. And what was this thing?
“There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him.” – Daniel 5:11a (KJV) Emphasis added.
“But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,” – Daniel 4:8 (KJV) Emphasis added.
The key words here are “spirit of the gods …in”, which stands for something beyond the natural or Adamic man; something that is of God, something divine and not earthly. A similar statement, not exactly the phrase, but implied, can be found in Genesis 41:38 (KJV)
“And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?”
This “presence” was in Joseph and as with Daniel. It is not what we do but who we are!
This is not just organizational ability to which the phrase is applied to today; no! The fact that a person, a church, or a business is so efficiently organized does not mean this phrase applies to him or it.
Jesus would call such organizational institutions “whited sepulchre.”
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” – Matthew 23:27 (KJV)
They look good, and perhaps godly from outside, like the tree Jesus cursed for lacking fruit; having as it seems, all the trappings of Christianity: a high steeple, a long cross on top, a solid altar made of marble, a pulpit of glass and aluminum, state of the art sound system, formally-clad staff, a clean sweetly fragranced convenience with two wings – men and women, powerful air conditioning system. Wao; good and dandy! Who no like better thing!
But wait! What is the spirit behind it all?
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” – 1 John 4:1 (KJV)
What lies beneath all these beautiful “outer garments?” What would we see underneath the beautiful tombs? Rottenness? Dead men’s bones? Smelly-ungodly situations? The risen Christ? Whatever is found there is the real thing; the “substance!” Men do not go to graveyards to look at tombstones but to honour the ones the stones cover!
“Excellent Spirit” or “Spirit of excellence”, goes beyond the physical, it is the presence of God, seen in mortal man
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7 (KJV)
What is this treasure? It is the nature of God that we are called to share with Him.
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” – 2 Peter 1:4 (KJV) Emphasis added.
What is this nature?
“And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” – Exodus 34:6 (KJV)
No wonder it is called the fruit of the Spirit!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)
Therefore, the spirit of excellence or excellent spirit does not talk about or refer to organizational ability, but to the presence of God in a person; Minister or Laity manifested through the fruit of the spirit! This is how we know them.
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” – Matthew 7:20 (KJV)