This is about Christ, Christianity and the Word of God which reproves, corrects and instruct in the Ways of God.

YOU CAN’T BE BARREN!

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.
Elizabeth said:
“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
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”.
DIVINE FACTOR
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.
Remember,
“whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed; but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.” – Proverbs 13:13
SUMMARY
(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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JUDGING OTHERS!

“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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Excellent Spirit!

Excellent spirit (2)

 

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)

Life! 4

life (2)

 

The Life of God is not what we pray to receive as every one child of God has a deposit of God’s Spirit.

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” – John 14:17-18 (KJV)

 

This deposit became possible from the day of Pentecost after Jesus shed his blood in death, resurrected and ascended to the Father.

However, the challenge is how to grow His presence in us. This takes a process well described in https://jimout2002a.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/fellowship-2

Furthermore, we need to:

  • Enrol in School. What school, and where? Not the School that has a geographic location, but a School that is located wherever you are at! Life itself is a school. Wherever you are, the teacher, the Holy Spirit, is there! This is the School of sensitivity – the School of the Spirit! Enrolling in His School means submitting your all to Him, being ready to obey all He asks you to do.

“His mother saith unto the servants, whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” – John 2:5-11 (KJV)

 

Miracles are borne out of obedience!

  • Get the book. Every school has its set of books or recommendation of books to acquire. Very serious students get their books and study them! It is disappointing when children are sent to school without books. Not only would they perform poorly, feel inferior when depending on others for books, they would not be able to confirm a sudden flash of illumination or understanding that come periodically to confirm what the teachers have taught; such a student might even fail!

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In the School of the Spirit, there is one key book, The Holy Bible, which contain 66 books. The Teacher would not teach outside the syllabus; the Bible is the syllabus used in this School. However, having the Bible would not grow the student, he needs to study it!

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

 

Approval – growth – can only come after study! Peter adds his voice to this; he calls it desire!

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” – 1 Peter 2:2 (KJV)

 

Spiritual growth is a function of study: the study of the word of God. Unfortunately, many are so busy they do not study. They only swallow hook, line and sinker, whatever their pastor says. It should not be so; they are humans too and have weaknesses and limitations. The true Teacher, the Holy Spirit, comes when we are alone, and filled with desire for the knowledge of the Truth. Let us go to Him in study.

  • Discipline. Every student must be enrolled for a specific subject or discipline. What course is to be studied to develop this Life of God in the believer? QUIETNESS!

This is the only means of minimizing us that He may increase. When we keep quiet, hear him, and carry out what He says, it would no longer be us living but He “working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.”

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – Philippians 2:13 (KJV)

 

As simple as this may sound, it is one of the most difficult things to learn and do because of pride and ego! Hear what God says about this.

“For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.” – Isaiah 30:15 (KJV)

“Ye would not!” All because of pride; the self-spirit!

Quietness is a serious subject to study!

 

“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:11 (KJV)

 

 

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The devil wants us to be noisy so that we would not hear the Teacher! We cannot hear the teacher if we are busy or noisy. When students come into class and are before their teacher they keep quiet to hear him, if not, he has all the power to discipline them for “noise-making.”

The Bible enjoins us to be quiet when we come into the presence of our teacher.

“Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.” – Isaiah 41:1 (KJV)

 

The classroom teacher loves quiet and attentive students. In the same way, the Holy Spirit values and treasures observant and quiet students of His. Silence, quietness is an attribute or character trait that is precious in the sight of God.

“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” – 1 Peter 3:4 (KJV)

 

Peter not condemning the wearing of ornaments, counsel women to pay greater attention to beautifying the inner man, with two things that are precious and of great price in the sight of God: meekness and a quiet spirit! They are of great worth in the sight of God!

It is in quietness that we hear His voice. He would not compete with the noise of our environment or the clanging noise generated in our hearts. Let’s pull down every other voice, and quietly listen to what He shall say to us in response to the challenges of our everyday life, and the life of the Spirit shall be enthroned.

Life 3

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What are the features of this Life?

  • Sight. In our text Jesus talks of people seeing but not seeing. Most see only with the natural eyes and are not able to see with the eye of the spirit, to “see as God sees”. The Eye of the spirit sees beyond the physical. Jesus did not follow the sighting of His eyes because He followed the Eye of the spirit. (Isaiah 11:3)

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” – Matthew 5:8 (KJV)

Seeing God as Jesus taught here does not mean when one dies; but when one “sees well”, even while still alive, confirming what God said through Isaiah, “… but thine eyes shall see thy teachers.” – Isaiah 30:20 (KJV)

In Jeremiah I: 11-12, God asked the prophet what he saw and when he answered, God told him he had seen well.

The life of God in man can discern the mind of God in any situations; it passes judgment or makes opinion not based on natural events. He sees what others do not see.

Spiritual blindness can be treated when one goes to the Lord.

“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” – Revelation 3:18 (KJV)

 

  • Sound

 

“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive.” – Matthew 13:13-14 (KJV)

 

When Jesus quoted Isaiah, He was not speaking to people who were deaf or had no ears, no. He talked to people who had ears and could hear every word He spoke! Their auditory sense was alive, active and potent. They heard the sounds and syllables that He made, but beyond that they were lost; they could not perceive or understand what He meant!

Hearing is beyond hearing of sounds and syllables. What is the good in hearing someone speak to you when you cannot understand him, which is the essence of communication. Marriages fail, businesses fold up and relationships breakdown because someone heard but did not understand the other.

The Life that God imparts us in Christ has the power to understand not just our everyday conversations and affairs but can discern spiritual sounds and syllables! Like the silent whistles that only dogs can hear, spiritual sounds can only be heard by someone who has this life of God.

Till today, many hear preachings and teachings yet lack understanding.

“Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. “ – Ephesians 4:18 (KJV)

 

“They can’t understand because they are in the dark. They are excluded from the life that God approves of because of their ignorance and stubbornness.” –  Ephesians 4:18 (GWT)   

 

The Life of God in man has ears deep behind the natural ears; it hears only hear when we are able to peel off the surface sounds and syllables of daily activities.

“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” – Isaiah 30:21 (KJV)

 

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  • Smell. The nose, with the olfactory sense, can smell emissions in its environment. Many people can smell things afar; their nostrils are sensitive. But if such people lack the spiritual life, the life of God, they can never perceive the mind of God!

“And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.” – 2 Kings 4:9 (KJV)

The Shunammite woman did not go sniffing the Prophet, rather she smelt the aroma, aura or presence of God on the Man of God; she perceived him.

This nose is deeper than the physical nose.

  • Touch. The human system is wired with nerves that carry signals to the tactile sense making him able to feel, and sensitive to touch.

However, beyond the natural life is the massive spiritual ability to become suddenly “aware”, to have an intuition of something one may not be able to lay a hand on or explain initially.

“And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” – Mark 5:30-34 (KJV)

Jesus “immediately knew” something touched him apart from the physical contacts; even the woman knew something was done in her! How did she know, with no doctor to examine her for confirmation? It is the Life of God! No wonder Jesus said to her, “thy faith” has made you whole! The Life of faith is not possible without spiritual senses!

  • TasteThis is the sensation that results when taste buds from the tongue and throat carry information; it is distinguishing between two or more flavours. Spiritually, this means to participate in, to experience, to be a part of something divine.

Tongue

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 16:15-17 (KJV)

Peter did not know when he blurted his answer; nevertheless, it was of God. He partook in something divine; he tasted of the revelation knowledge of God, even before Pentecost.

Paul also partook in, tasted in something too wonderful to relate physically.

“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth. How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” – 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (KJV)

These are experiences beyond the physical; they are things the natural sense cannot comprehend or understand because they are spiritual and belong to the Life of God.

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of 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 2:12-16 (KJV)

…to be continued.

Life! 2

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“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)

 

Life is in knowing the Word of God. However, knowledge is not life itself. Life can only be accessed through the revelation of knowledge. If you like acquire all the knowledge, if there is no revelation of that knowledge, you do not have the life in the knowledge.

Getting the life in the Word of God takes study.

“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” – Matthew 13:13-15 (KJV)

 

Jesus quotes Isaiah, showing the divide between natural life and spiritual life. Each life has its set of senses. The major features of life (spiritual and natural), are the senses. Here Jesus was not talking to dead people, but to people who are alive. However, they operate and live only by the natural senses.

“And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” – 1 Kings 17:1 (KJV)

Heart main

The two sets of senses are at play here. Elijah spoke from the consciousness of standing in the presence of God, he operated the spiritual senses. Ahab, on the other hand, operating the natural sense, could have looked around hoping to see God.

“But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 3:14 (KJV)

 

What the natural life has, the spiritual have also. However, many mind the natural life; they dwell on the natural life, either because of ignorance or unbelief. Jacob, while running from his brother came to a place where he saw a ladder reaching heaven; with angels ascending and descending, and said: “God is here and I knew it not.” The activities of his life then was centred on the natural senses.

“And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.” – Genesis 8:21 (KJV)

God declares that man’s thoughts and imagination (where the treasure of a man is….) dwell on the natural (evil). We are not to live or dwell in the natural. Our minds should be more on and revolve around the things of the Spirit, the things of God.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33 (KJV)

  God is not happy with the direction of man’s mind, hence Paul calls it death.

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” – Romans 8:6 (KJV)

He counsels:

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” – Colossians 3:1-2 (KJV)

…to be continued.

Fellowship 4

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Every meeting must have a place of meeting. Meeting with the King is always held around the throne. Consequently, meeting with God, the King of Creation must be around His Throne.

“And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.” – Revelation 4:6 (KJV)

“In front of the throne was something like a sea of glass as clear as crystal. In the center of the throne and on each side of the throne were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.” – ISV

A transparent and clear place is seen “before” – in front – of God’s Throne!
That is the place of meeting! A place we all, the redeemed or ransomed of the Lord shall eventually be after the rapture; worshipping our God when Jesus would have taken us to the Father as His harvest from the Earth! We, His ministers (flames of fire – Psalm 104:4) will stand on this pure place singing the song of victory, Hallelujah!

“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.” – Revelation 15:2 (KJV)

“Mingled with fire”, the victorious children of God stand here after the rapture!
That is why Jesus said it is not a place on the earth, “neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem”, but in spirit! – John 4:21

It is a place no unclean thing can enter!

“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there.” – Isaiah 35:8-9 (KJV)

Nothing evil, nothing polluted, nothing of darkness can go up there! That is why we need to deal with or clean up the “dross” in our lives. In the Psalms, it is called the hill of the Lord.

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” – Psalm 24:3-4 (KJV)

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Only the pure-hearted, clean hands and simple souls, called “fools”, shall go up there; a people without guile in their mouth.

“And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” – Revelation 14:5 (KJV)

That is the true place of worship: the true place of meeting; the place we meet with the Father. Every true Child of God, irrespective of denomination, temporarily goes there, in spirit, during worship! Jesus asked for this and the Father obliged Him.

“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” – John 17:24 (KJV)

This is also how we are seated with Christ in heavenly places, though we are still on earth!

Beloved, how clean are your hands, your heart and how simple is your soul? These are the combination keys that unlock the place of meeting. Let us search ourselves and get rid of whatever pollutes and whatever makes offence if we really desire fellowship with the Father.

“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” – James 1:21 (KJV)

 

Life!

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“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)

 

Jesus speaking to some of His disciples tells of two kinds of life: the spiritual and the natural.

We often times take being alive for granted. Yes, we have this life and we forget that someday it would leave us no matter how tightly we clutch to it. Many live carelessly and before long this carelessness begins to manifest through ill health.

Another kind of life is available; bigger and better than what is obtainable in the world. It is the real life. It does not come and go neither does it bring health challenges; rather it battles and fixes every natural challenge. However, it does not commit itself easily, and can only be possessed through knowledge; not just any knowledge but a specific kind of knowledge.

 

Knowledge is only a vehicle in which life travels. Knowledge is not life, but the tube or channel through which life travels. And as said earlier, not all knowledge carries life. We may have scientific knowledge of the workings of the human, but that knowledge does not offer life.

We may have knowledge about the working of the heart, the dynamics of it, yet that does not guarantee life.

We do not apply knowledge to breathe or to keep the organs of the body working. Neither do we exert energy to keep them working and to stay alive.

We live by just believing! Life is a function of faith.

Faith itself is a function of the Word!

 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17 (KJV)

Life is a precious thing hidden in the Word of God.

 “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” – Proverbs 4:20-22 (KJV)

“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” – Proverbs 25:2 (KJV) 

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Every kind of wealth is hidden, buried in the earth. To get them man digs. Life is available, but only to them, that search it out. Life in the word is to be dug out. If you do not dig or search deep into the Word, you cannot get it.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” –  2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV

 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” – John 5:39 (KJV)

 

You search or dig through:

(1) Corporate Bible study or fellowship with the brethren.

(2) Private or individual Bible study.

 

….to be continued.

Fellowship 3

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The child of God, having gone through His fire, becomes a new creature; his attitude and character changes even his thought and manner of speaking reflect Christ. Moses, an orator (Acts7:22) emerging from God’s refinery, became a stammerer. No one will remain the same after passing through the Refiners Fire. It’s in the fire that the heart is circumcised and the person comes out “another man.”

That is why Paul could say “I live, yet not I …”

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20 (KJV)

What I was before, I am not anymore; a change has taken place. I no longer hate, I love. I am not aggressive anymore, I’m gentle. Rather than the proud and haughty person I was, I am “meek and lowly of heart.”

The outer man, the flesh, “dross”, having been peeled off, the inner man, renewed after the spirit, is manifest. Like John the Baptist said, that “he may decrease and He increase.” This is the whole essence of “denying self”, which is indeed a very hard thing to do, but nevertheless a major requirement to having fellowship with God.

Paul was so proud of his new person; the person he had become that he counted his former person as nothing and his previous achievement as “dung”.

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” – Philippians 3:7-9 (KJV)

 He willingly lost “all things”, not some, but “ALL” things: his family, because of his new faith, disowned him and excluded him from the family wealth; his educational and Pharisaic attainments he also set aside for the excellency of knowing of Christ. His was a radical change.

Some of the things we should discard from ourselves if we are to have fellowship with the Father are in Galatians 5:19-21

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“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” – Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV)

A careful observation of the above scripture will reveal that these acts originate from the heart!

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“And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” – Matthew 15:16-20 (KJV)

Sin and uncleanness go beyond the act. They are products of the heart and start from thoughts and imaginations!

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” – Luke 6:45 (KJV)

 

The heart of man, being open to two sources of information, should be guarded with all diligence! And yes, we may not completely block out negative thoughts and imaginations, because the heart of man is wicked, yet we owe God the responsibility of pulling down every thought that does not conform to the word 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 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)

Without the cleansing of the heart, one would not be admitted into the place of fellowship, and consequently cannot have fellowship with God!

 

….to be continued.