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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She was in bondage to fear as a result of negative thoughts and imaginations. And so are many today.
She had heard frightful and bizarre stories in the past and held on to them in her mind to the point that wherever she was, those thoughts loom out larger than life. She had filled her consciousness with so much fear that in the night, her subconscious mind, an extension of her conscious mind, continued in the fear recorded in her mind.
The mind has an awesome recording power that captures all it is engaged in. It has the ability to play back what it has recorded and that is the source of most dreams.
Imagination is a very powerful thing! Even God attested to its power.
“And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” – Gen 11:6 (KJV)
He was referring to the children of men. (verse 5)
Imagination cannot be restrained! It can see things that are not really there! When you meditate so much on a thing, you give life to that thing.
“For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” – Job 3:25 (KJV)
Meditating on the Word of God brings out the power in that Word.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” – Josh 1:8 (KJV)
Equally too, meditating or dwelling on messages centered around activities of demonic forces brings out the power in their activities.
At one time, my wife and I were sitting under teachings of, and counsels that centered on activities of witchcraft and demonic forces. Our minds became full of negative thoughts that we did not only dream of masquerades and pursuits by demonic forces, we became afraid of nightfall!
At 10:30pm on vigil nights, I would only muster courage as a man to walk to the Church with my wife. We would be looking over our shoulders; and on two different occasions, I thought I saw a figure rounding a corner!
The fear was incredibly thick that it became an open door for satan to come into our lives. Did God not say He will confound us in the presence of the enemy if we feared?
“Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.” – Jer 1:17 (KJV)
….. to be continued.
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart, for out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” – Luke 6:45
Nightfall was fast approaching; she shivered. Her fear of the dark had steadily grown like a colossus; so monstrous that she dreaded it.
Where would she run to? Where would she hide? If only she could lay down without shutting her eyes in sleep. that would be better. But sleep is a natural thing that no man can resist.
Even with her husband in bed with her, the horrors of the dark still haunted her. She thought that once married she became one with her husband; morally and spiritually right to share every intimacy together.
Did God not create them one? Man and woman created he them? To share not only the intimacy of the home, bed, children and office but also the night?
Or does it mean that there is somewhere that the husband and wife cannot share together despite their heavenly permission? A place so intimate that it is lonely?
She just could not understand. Her husband would be fast asleep, peacefully by her side, oblivious of the prey that she had become in her dreams. A quarry to be crushed and exterminated by the marauding beasts from the deep dungeons of hell. While he eagerly looked forward to nightfall, she prayed in futility that it would not come.
They had done all what the Christian belief permitted; so they thought. They had fasted, prayed, tarried, done all to stand but the nightmare persisted. It was so visible, that she lost some weight.
She believed she was haunted. Earlier she had thought it was the house that was bewitched and because of this, they moved from one house to another without any change or improvement. Now, she thought, she was under a curse.
Many a night she stayed awake, watching her husband snore. Tears became her constant companion as her eyes blazed with the pain of sleeplessness. She became tired, confused and discouraged.
That was when a friend brought her to me for counseling.
Listening to her, I found out she was in bondage in her mind.
“But their minds were blinded! For until this day remaineth the same Vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament, which is done away in Christ.” – 2 Cor. 3:14
She was in bondage to fear as a result of negative thoughts and imaginations.
And so are many today.
…. to be continued.
A young man took a lady out to an ice-cream bar, settled at a table, before going to get their order. He returned with two cups of ice-cream, placed one in front of her before sitting opposite, across the table.
They talked a while, eating from their cups of ice-cream, when suddenly, she jumped to her feet, almost throwing out a mouth-full of the cream, in her struggle to bring out whatever she ate with the cream.
That was his cue. The young man was on his knee as she brought a ring out of her mouth.
“Would you marry me?” He asked.
He had asked the bar attendant to bury the ring in the ice-cream.
It was indeed a surprise for her.
That is the kind of surprise God has for us as we pass through trials.
“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” – 2 Cor 6:1 (KJV)
The third thing to know is that with every package of trial, there is an attachment: grace!
In 2 Corinthians 6, Paul asks us not to receive grace in vain, and encourages that we stand through storms and trials.
There is certainly a connection between grace and trials.
I do not dispute that grace is God’s riches at Christ’s expense, but I believe it is more than that.
Grace is power; the power and ability of God manifested to help us stand and overcome. Like the Holy Spirit raising a standard against the flood of the enemy, grace is stirred up when we go through trials; when we KNOW it exists!!!
However most do no know that grace is available with every trials and persecution. We see and feel only the pain and discomfort. Not knowing grace abounds therein. Satan blinds us from this to make us think God has abandoned us!!!
Paul learned in 2 Corinthians 12, when faced with an infirmity which he prayed thrice to be removed, and thrice too, the Lord Jesus asked him to hold on to the grace which was abundantly available.
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Cor 12:7-9 (KJV)
Knowing grace was available, he would then “most gladly rejoice in infirmities”, knowing that in his weakness, God’s power (grace) takes over!!!
Tapping into Grace.
Finally, we need to know how to tap into grace, as it would be available, yet in vain.
In vain because we do not know how to draw from it!
Peter and James agree with Paul that only by humility can we tap into God’s grace.
“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” – James 4:6 (KJV)
“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” – Peter 5:5 (KJV)
Let us learn not to think too highly of ourselves, so that the power of God would sustain us through trials.
“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!” – Luke 17:1 (KJV)
Trials are a part of the Christian call; part of God’s will for us.
Promotion comes after successfully enduring trials: when we prove ourselves on top of the trial; when we go through trials without loosing our saltines, our goodness.
To be on top of the trials, you need to know four things.
(1) Know where you are.
You need to do an honest appraisal or evaluation of what has befallen you.
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” – 2 Cor 13:5a (KJV)
Is it possible you are responsible for what befell you? Could you have done something that led to what situation you are in?
“But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.” – 1 Peter 4:15 (KJV)
Be honest with yourself.
If you cannot be honest with yourself, you cannot be honest with anyone; not even with God! Self-respect comes from being true to who you are. When you respect yourself others will respect you.
Do not try to be another person or lie to yourself just because you want to avoid being blamed.
Withdraw to the deepest part of you where no man can come: your husband, your wife, your children. A place Jesus would call the “secret place”; and truly examine yourself.
“Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.” – Psalms 4:4 (KJV)
Sometimes the behaviour of people toward us is actually a reaction to what we have said or done! Clear your conscience!
Repent and ask God’s forgiveness, if you find yourself guilty in any way.
But after searching and you find no fault with you, rejoice!
(2) The second thing to know is that a better and greater life is ahead of you!
The sun is always above. After the planted seed has probed it’s surrounding with its roots and settled itself (as in confirming that its darkness experience is not its making), it looks up to the Sun!
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore “ – Psalms 121:1-8 (KJV)
Look up to the Sun of Righteousness!
It shall be well! Everything will turn out to your favour!
……… to be continued.
Where are you?
“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come:
but woe unto him, through whom they come!” (Luke 17:1).
Jesus is the door (John 10) into God’s Way.
It is easy to come to the door, but that is not the ultimate or end, rather it is the
beginning of the journey.
As Christians, we are expected not only to go through the door, but to continue
further into the life behind the door.
Many have turned back after going through the door because of the life behind it;
a challenging life, full of trials and persecutions. God dislikes those that pull back.
“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have
no pleasure in him.” (Hebrews 10:38).
Walking in the way of God while on earth makes you an enemy of the world.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the
world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Walking with God makes you a candidate of trials and persecutions.
How you react in the dark tunnels of tribulation would tell if you are matured for
promotion into the next level or not.
As you pass through the fire of affliction, would you change; mangled from what you profess to be (a Christian)? Do you loose your saltiness and drop every goodness? Or do you maintain
who you are?
Spiritually it tells if you are on top of or below the trial mark.
Adam fell beneath the trial mark when he dropped every goodness by blaming Eve, refusing to take responsibility; even when given a second chance.
Cain, reacted violently when God asked him for his brother Abel. Even when God made him know He knew what he had done, there was no remorse or goodness in him.
Abram, Called to walk with God, could not retain the word of God when the pressure of childlessness became too great for him. He followed his wife’s advice and acted according to the “culture” of the people. God “killed” Abram, and called forth Abraham.
Elijah lost his ministry to Elisha, when he allowed despair to change him from a man of Faith to a man of fear.
Hezekiah, went through a trial when on the issue of the ambassadors from Babylon, God left him to see what he would do. He got carried away by fame and affluence and could not repent of going into friendship with the enemy.
The list is endless!
However, Joseph, despite all he went through, from the pit to slavery and prison, did not stop doing good. He remained on top of his trials.
Moses, shamefully ejected and rejected from Egypt, could have charged against God for not giving him support when he tried to “liberate” Israel, walked the serpent and scorpions infested desert. Yet, in his hunger and weakness, the good in him could still be seen as he fought for the helpless daughters of Jethro.
Jeremiah, was tempted to drop the will of God, and quit the ministry to go into business. But no; he had to be the man God wanted him to be.
Steven forgave his killers, despite the pain he went through.
Our ultimate example, Jesus, went through a battle at Gethsemane. A trial that made His sweat as droplets of blood. And on the cross, with all the pain, refused to change from Whom God wanted Him to be.
We are all being measured, even through trials.
When trials come, do you lose your saltiness and change from good to bad?
to be continued …..
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” – Eph 3:20 (KJV)
God can do much more than we can ever ask or think!
But why are we not experiencing it?
The power in you! God can work only to the extent of His power in you!
You and I are the limitations to God’s work in our lives.
How can we grow this power?
First we need to know what the power is.
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” – Heb 1:3 (KJV)
His Word or plan has been set in motion and things unfold accordingly. He does not need to come uttering His voice every time for things to move. No. All things are upheld by the “Word (that came) of His power.”
Joel tells us that whosoever carries out His word is powerful!
“….. for he is strong that executeth his word.” – Joel 2:11b (KJV)
The word of God we retain is His power in us!
So we should:
(1) Digest His word for it is the source of Faith.
No amount of tongue-talking can produce faith. Yes; tongues can build Faith, but not produce it! Faith comes only by the Word!
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17 (KJV)
(2) Pray from your heart!
“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.” – Jude 1:20 (KJV)
The revelation that comes from the Word should inspire you to pray not just with your lips but from the overflow of the heart!
“My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue.” – Psalms 39:3 (KJV)
Beloved, build yourself and see God do for you, beyond your wildest imaginations!
Our God is awesome!
What you see is what you get!
Imagination supplies you the mental pictures that you alone can see – in your thought Chamber! It is the “evidence” of what you desire; the “evidence” of your faith. If you cannot see it or “imagine” it, you cannot have it!
Faith cannot operate without spiritual sight. That is where imagination comes in.
Everyone has imagination. When properly used or directed, it can carry you from the visible, physical realm to the invisible spirit realm. It can also transport things from the invisible spirit realm to the visible physical or natural realm. Everything in the physical realm first existed in and came from the spirit realm.
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” – Heb 11:3 (KJV)
Imagination is a visible picture seen only by the creator, the “visioneer”. The more the picture or image is “retained” (Rom. 1:28) and nurtured, the more life it is given.
That is why Jesus said, if any man look lustfully at a woman, he has done it!
“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” – Matt 5:28 (KJV)
It is not just that one looked; but HOW the person looked: LUSTFULLY! In other words, creating, or raising a mental picture of the woman without her clothes. This employs the imagination.
Physically, visibly, people see the person as innocent; not committed adultery. But in the invisible realm, the spirit realm, such a person is guilty, and has committed adultery!
There may be no “evidence” of what has been done. But spiritually, there is “evidence”!
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Heb 11:1 (KJV)
“.. evidence of things not seen”!
Faith is thought that is hopeful, anchored on the Word of God and backed up with love.
With the “evidence”, your thought, you can be convicted; “accused” by the accuser of brethren. Your thought can convict you in the spirit realm!
Hate or hatred is a negative emotional thought toward someone or something.
“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” – 1 John 3:15 (KJV)
The person is called and judged a murderer; though has not physically killed anyone! Negative thought or imagination, not pulled down or destroyed can convict you in the spirit realm!
Here the Holy Spirit reaffirms that our thought can act in “evidence” against us. Physically, you can be smiling with a person, but spiritually there is “evidence” that you have killed the person!
“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.” – Heb 11:17 (KJV)
Was Isaac really, naturally “offered up”? No!
The concluded thought in Abraham, and the sweet surrender of Isaac rose to God as a sweet smelling savour; it is as good as done!
Your thought goes beyond what you do in the natural realm. It enters into the spirit realm and opens you to either Faith or fear. It tells God continually who you are.
“The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.” – Psalms 94:11 (KJV)
Demonic forces also see your thought!
“….. he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.” – Prov 11:27b (KJV)
They see your thought, else they will not have “evidence” with which to accuse you.
What you think will come to you: good or bad. So:
(1) Cast down imaginations and put thoughts into captivity.
“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)
(2) Entertain only good and pure thoughts.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Phil 4:8 (KJV)
May God help us keep our thoughts pure. Amen.