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“Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do. ” (Proverbs 4:23). TNLT

Watch the information you receive because now, man has opened the other door!

A sponge soaks in everything presented to it; water, powder, oil, dust, even sand. With a little pressure, either through squeezing or beating, it releases part of its content.

The heart is like that. It soaks up every information presented to it. With the pressure of everyday, they come out as actions and attitude. The information you digest form the actions that become you!



“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23;7a

Because of free-will, every information or knowledge you receive comes to you as a suggestion. Not a force or a thing of compulsion. You are responsible for your actions!

Neither God nor Satan will force you.

God punished Adam and Eve, not just because they received information from another source but because they CHOSE to believe that voice! It was a suggestion that Eve received from the serpent. A suggestion or advice. An advice, is a thing that can either be accepted or rejected. The point where the suggestion is received and begins to be “desirable” is the point of choice; the point of “open eyes”, where the “door” of evil knowledge is opened.
Through your thought, you surrender to either side. Your actual person is determined by your thought. You cannot be bigger, better or different than your thought.

And remember, no one who wants to do wrong should ever say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else either. Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death.” (James 1:13-15 TNLT).

“The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust.” (James 1:14 MSG).

It is your own evil desire, the final conclusion of your thought process that drags you away from God.

Though your thoughts are not visible in that they cannot be seen physically, your actions play them out!

The process starts as a suggestion or advert; aimed at making you participate or patronize.


“See how beautiful this tree is. Its fruit will make you wise!”

“Will it, really?” You reply, curious.

Or
“Someone may be hiding in the dark!”
“Oh, that’s true!” You reply in fear.

Every suggestion or advert targets your will. You either walk away or participate. The decision is always yours!

Every time you respond positively to a suggestion, good or evil, you make it your own, and will not remain the same afterwards. It leaves you better or worse.
This is the process that opens the door!
This is the reason we should be careful what we hear and how we interpret what we hear!

To be continued.


For as long as man sits there against the will of God, he remains under the control of Satan.
The question is, how did the image get here?
Man brought it in when he opened a door that should have remained shut!
Through his desire, Man opened a door too powerful for him to shut.

“HE WHO willfully separates and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment.” (Proverbs 18:1). AMP
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“An unfriendly man pursues selfishness, And defies all sound judgment.” (Proverbs 18:1). – New English Bible
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A man’s desire misleads him.

“Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires.” (James 1:14). TNLT

Man fell when the door of desire was opened in him.

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Genesis 3:6).

Now the mind has got two open doors! The door of good and the door of evil! The door of the Spirit and the door of the carnal.
This means that the heart of man from where thoughts originate to make the man who he is, can be accessed by either God through the good door or by the devil through the evil door! This is what corrupted the heart and made it deceitful and wicked!

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

Now there is confusion!

Before the fall of Adam, only one door was open: the door of good. The other door was shut, passive. Adam opened it when he chose to willingly disobey God. Man’s mind has since then been in a battle. A battle to know direction!
God had told Adam not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of good and Evil.

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:17).

It is like saying “don’t depend on the product of this chamber; just obey me, follow what I say!”

Man could make plans but they have to be based on instruction from the Lord.

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9).

Man’s every step should be on the directions of God!

“The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.” (Proverbs 16:1).

No matter your plan, thought or word, God should guide you.

A man should not direct his steps.

“O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23).

“Man that walketh” means man that is alive! If he should not direct his ways, who should?

“Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?” (Proverbs 20:24).

Man was not to know good and evil. He was to know only good.

“And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil. (Genesis 3:22a)

“Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.” (3 John 1:11).


God should guide us.




“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).

“You will hear a word ……… this is the way.”
Information activates thought. Knowledge is of the heart/mind. Knowledge is nothing but information we have received; which in turn activates our thinking. The things we hear, see, perceive, touch, taste, make us think.

“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” (Matthew 12:34-35).


“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).

The children of Israel thought defeat after they received information from the spies.


“And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.” (Numbers 13:32)


“And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.” (Numbers 14:1).

Eve thought after receiving an information.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Genesis 3:6).

What she heard opened the eyes of her heart and she “saw that the tree was good ….. and a tree to be desired to make one wise.”

Information makes one think! 

The devil did not tell Adam he was naked. How did he know? He knew after he ate the fruit, an information that made him think!

When he said he was naked, God was like, “what led you to that, have you received information that I did not give you?”

No wonder the bible says:

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.” (Proverbs 4:23). TNLT


Watch the information you receive because now, man has opened the other door!

To be continued.


MESSENGERS 2

As a messenger who are you affecting? Every messenger carries a message. What message do you carry? When people see you, are they inspired to hope, gladness and smiles? Or does your presence stir in them hopelessness, and suggests to them they can never amount to anything in life? Does your presence encourage or condemn others?

The duty of the messenger of the Lord is to prepare His Way.

“As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.” – Mark 1:2 (KJV)

“Listen! I hear the voice of someone shouting, “Make a highway for the LORD through the wilderness. Make a straight, smooth road through the desert for our God. ” – Isaiah 40:3.
(NLT)

Your duty is to prepare that dry place so the Lord might come in. Soften that situation for that brother, that sister; show the love of God, shine the light of God into that troubled soul! Give hope to people around you. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven! (Matt. 5:16 KJV)

You are a messenger, not only the “ordained ministers”!

Messengers do not do their own will, but the will of their master!

“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” – John 6:38 (KJV)

Where He sends you should go! What He desires, you should do!

Imagine Matthew the Custom officer following Jesus to the house of Peter the fisherman, a demonstration of love and humility. Or of Peter (a Jew) in the house of Cornelius (a Gentle), a proof of self-denial.

One key to being a good messenger of the Lord is to KILL SHAME!

Kill shame in two areas of your Christian Faith.

(1) Shame of the crucified Saviour.

“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:38 (KJV)

Paul confirms:

“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord Jesus, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.” – 2 Timothy 1:8 (KJV)

Many do not believe in a suffering Messiah; they are ashamed to be identified with Him. By confession, many acknowledge Him Lord and Master. But in everyday practice, they deny Him, by believing no disciple of His should carry his or her cross. They believe Christianity is a call to “feel good”, a bed of roses, “at least did He not become poor that we might be rich?” they query. (2 Cor. 8:9) A highly misunderstood scripture!



(2) The word.

Many are ashamed of the Word, yet not aware they are. When we chose our own way over the Word of God, we prove our shame for it. The rejection of the Word is a result of having a “better alternative”; a result of our intellectual prowess which we are proud to carry out. Those times we feel the Word limits us and not “befitting” our status.
Again that scripture.

“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:38 (KJV)




Being ashamed of His Word is manifest whenever we disobey. Every disobedience is a mark of pride; a mark of feeling that the Word is not good enough.

Masters do the thinking and issue instructions. Servants and messengers obey. As messengers, our duty is to obey.

“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;” – Isaiah 1:19 AMP.


Understanding the will of God; the knowledge of what God has freely given to us can help to make us remain or abide in Him.
For more, visit

http://stonesoffire.simdif.com/


Clip from our vigil of December 17 with a former Muslim cleric, Pastor Solomon Haruna Umar, ministering.

http://stonesoffire.simdif.com




“And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.” (Genesis 32:30-31).



Running from his brother Esau, Jacob left alone, encountered the Lord and wrestled with Him. This was the day Jacob “saw God face to face”. Yet we know no man can see God and survive. 

“And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” (Exodus 33:20).

So what could he mean?

It was the day he “saw” God’s plan for him and accepted it; the day he made his ways right before the Lord: the day he got born-again. 

All his life he had been controlled by situations and circumstances, and what people thought about him. He lived in the paradise of other people’s imagination, consequently ended up supplanting his brother, deceived his father and cheated his uncle. He was on his way to inherit God’s possession (Canaan) pronounced on him by their father, Isaac. Indirectly, he was going to possess God’s gift by manipulation. Yes, God had him in mind for that land but not through lying and deception. He connived with his mother to lie to his father; certainly God cannot be in a lie, this was not His way! Again, no unclean thing can inherit the possession of God.

“And a 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 way-faring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” (Isaiah 35:8).



“Who shall ascend upon the hill of the LORD? and who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul to vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” -Psalms 24:3-5.



This was a land that God chose for Himself before the foundation of the world to be His headquarters on earth; a land that rejected and “vomiteth” the inhabitants whose ways were not right with God.
This was the land Jacob, in his carnal, “fleshly” nature was going to inherit?
God does not change; in nature and in principle. Jacob had to be stopped: hence the wrestle with the angel; in which Jacob was brought down “dead” while “Israel” came to life. Jacob did not inherit Canaan, because of his supplanting nature; Israel did!
After this experience with the angel, he became transformed, he became changed, he became a brand new man.

“Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17.

For the first time in his life, he noticed the Sun rise upon him. He had been in the sun before however this was no ordinary sun, but the Sun of righteousness, giving approval of the new man who has come to know the Lord for himself: a man who now has power “of agreement” with God to enter Canaan and possess it. For the first time, he saw himself in a different light. 

God had been walking with him like He walks with everybody today; to lead, to guide, to protect and to bless. But we have to mend our ways: to agree with Him.

“Can two walk together, except they are agreed?” – Amos 3:3.

The blessing of God does not come by how much we work; even for the Lord: how much we run around, where we go, who we meet or associate with, or by what methods we employ. No. The blessing of God comes by obedience and agreement with Him.

“If ye are willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:” – Isaiah 1:19.


“Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: by this good shall come to thee.” – Job 22:21.

The word “acquaint” is old English for “agree”. In other words “agree with Him then good shall come.” Good comes only when we are in agreement with Him. 

“By this” (Websters) 

“By that” (Amplified).

Just this one thing: agreement!

Whatever comes outside agreement with Him, does not stay, yet multiplies sorrow. 

Jacob was at the verge of losing everything to Esau (a man of the flesh; a man of the world), thanks to God for His mercy, his life was preserved. 

If we have to experience not just success but growth: the increase that establishes success, we MUST AGREE with Him. Only by agreement with Him do we have the Sun of righteousness lead us.

“But to you that fear my name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” Malachi 4:2.

“Breaking forth” and “growing up” are things we pursue everyday, but can only get when the Sun of righteousness rises over us, taking the lead and ordering our affairs. 

The Sun rising upon Jacob means he agreed to walk with God in total surrender, led by God. Not like before when God walked with Him; no, it was different now: he walked with God!

His conduct and character changed. He began to see things from a new perspective, his mode of dressing changed, his language and speech changed; all reflecting his new found life in God. Even his manner of walk changed! He began to limp: unable to do certain things he did easily in his former way of living, or should we say he felt ashamed of those deeds and could not indulge in them anymore. However way we interpret it, Jacob became a new creature and old things passed away, paving the way for the new – Israel.
The power to live holy comes, when we surrender to the Lord and agree with Him to drive our life. Let us learn from Jacob so that the sweet fragrance of God “shut” in us would find expression.

Shalom.

   





“King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand.” (Daniel 5:1).

Belshazzar threw a party and invited his nobles. They ate, drank and were merry. When they used their own vessels at the feast, God did not trouble them. They could eat their own flesh and drink their own blood; so long as it was theirs and not God’s own.
However, when he stretched his hands to the vessels of God, God reacted.

“Belshazzar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink in them. Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.” – Daniel 5:2-5

And because he did not humble himself and repent, that night, he was killed.

“In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.” – Daniel 5:30.

God would always protect His own, provide for His own and build for His own.

Why would God kill a man because of ordinary cups?
These were not ordinary cups! They belonged to God; they were His!

God had put so much treasure into the cups; they had been sanctified, dedicated to God and separated for His use only. The cups were no more ordinary; they had been transformed by the purity of the Divine God into extraordinary vessels.

God invests so much into His vessels, that is why He would always rise to defend what belongs to Him.

If God so invested into inanimate objects and could kill for them, of more worth are you that fear His Name and carry His presence!

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God, and not from us.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7.

You are of greater worth than those cups. If God could kill a man because of cups, think what He would do to anyone that tries to harm you!

“He suffered no man to do them wrong: yes, he reproved kings for their sakes; Saying, Touch not my anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” (Psalms 105:14-15).

The cups had no power or say against the king; they could not resist his servants who picked them with ease. Many may think you are helplessly powerless and that they can pick on you, oppress you and get away with it. They are mistaken!! Oh how wrong they are!!! God is the same, yesterday, today and forever! He will fight for you!!!
Peter was so confident about this he said:

“And who is he that will harm you, if ye are followers of that which is good?” – 1 Peter 3:13

Its a question “who is he?” In “pidgin” English we will say “who be dat? Them never born am!” Meaning such a person does not exist and can never be born!

God will fight for you!!!

But… the cups belonged to Him. Do you really belong to Him? No, no, I’m not talking about going to Church for this is beyond that. I mean really belonging to Him. Dipped in the blood of Jesus Christ and living His life?
Those cups had no life of their own; God and His glory were their life. Do you own your life? Live for yourself? Fight to preserve your ego and self-worth? Or do you live humbly, for the One Who gave Himself for your sake?
The vessels, having no ambition, thought or desire of their own were wholly yielded to God and consequently enveloped in His glory.
It is the measure of your surrender and yieldedness that determines the measure of His presence or power in your life; which in turn determines how much attention you get from Him.

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” – James 4:8a.



The more of God you retain, the more His glory envelops you.

Imagine putting a cheque of fifty thousand Naira you would cash the next day, in a 1970 newspaper and the sum of five hundred Naira in a current edition of your favourite magazine. Coming home you find your children playing with the magazine and the newspaper. Which would you rescue first? The current edition of your favourite magazine holding the sum of five hundred Naira or the old 1970 newspaper holding fifty thousand Naira cheque you would cash the following day? I believe your deposit in the papers will determine which one you rescue first.
God loved all the Children of Israel carried to Babylon in the days of Daniel, but He was closer to Daniel, showed him more favour, gave him greater grace than others and granted for him to be called “a man greatly beloved” (Daniel 10:11), because Daniel “understood by books” (Daniel 9:2), he chose to retain God more than anything and was not ashamed to show it!
God will not leave you in the hand of the enemy if you retain Him in you.

“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).

Your worth to God and heaven CAN be increased.


(1) Receive His Word. 

(2) Obey His word


(3) Build yourself on His Word.


Shalom.