Serving as a missionary is perhaps one of the most difficult part of Ministry. Having served in the city as a pastor, and serving now as a missionary, I can tell the difference!
In the city, you are in the midst of fairly civilized people, if they are not. You have people who understand ministry and ministers; a mixture of people which includes those that will accuse the minister and those that will defend him. It is not always so in a small community in the outskirts of the city, where most are unlearned and under exposed! They only want to accuse you! It is tough!
The journey started when the Lord asked me to relieve a woman of her duty in the school. For discretion, I will call her Judith.
My wife and I, to the glory of God, run a school where Judith worked with us as a teacher.
She and her family had joined us in Church. She used to come sweep and arrange the Church on service days, yet would not come till toward the end of the message; if she manages to come. Every month end, the Church gave her a stipend to assist her.
We took Judith and her family as part of ours: not just as Church family but as our own family. We opened our doors completely to them; even gave our keys to them!
The bonding was there to the extent we exchanged meals, the children stayed with us a couple of days when their parents traveled.
Though not a qualified teacher, my wife picked her as she had no job, to come assist in the school as a way of further helping her: at the end of every month she would earn a salary. We believe there is a lot of confidence in what you earn than in what you are given.
My wife groomed her and constantly monitored both her and what she taught the children; for she was given the kindergarten class.
In Church, she was not frequent, but we believed God to touch her as He touched the children. The eldest, a boy, in the secondary school, learnt to play the drums and the second, a girl, God groomed and blessed with the gift of leading praise. Apart from the eldest, the rest of Judith’s children schooled with us.
Their father, we will for this writing call Benjamin, used to drive a commercial bus, but was not making ends meet.
We were thrilled when he had a job prospect with a motor company (whose name I will not give for discretion). However he needed a surety! Due to the relationship, he came to me when no one was willing to help.
….. continued in https://jimout2002a.wordpress.com/2017/10/29/journey-through-hell-2/
“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” – 1 John 1:4-5.
At creation Adam was bright, he was a star.
Jesus called us the light of the world.
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” – Matt 5:14
Adam, the light of the world, went off into darkness when he disobeyed God; and Man consequently went into darkness. He was naturally alive; he could move, talk, do things but eternally dead. He could only survive in his immediate environment. Even there, in his environment, he died slowly.
In His love for us, God sent Jesus to restore the life to us. So,
“…in Him was life” – John 1:4a.
That means that the life we live now is not the real life! The real life is in Jesus!
“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” – John 10:28 KJV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16 (KJV)
“Whosoever believes.” It is by covenant, by agreement; not a must, nor by force.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” – John 1:12 (KJV)
This covenant life is beyond dying in an accident, or being killed by witches, or agents of darkness. No! This kind of life – ZOE – is above and beyond the dark powers!
“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” – John 1:5 (KJV)
This covenant life is more than surviving in this life.
Again, this kind of Life is beyond living in eternity. Everybody lives in eternity, even the wicked!
This kind of Life refers to the quality in THAT life! Not the quality attached to our natural life, such as cars, houses, clothes, perfume, etc. You cannot carry any of these into eternity.
WHAT IS THIS COVENANT?
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” – John 17:3 (KJV)
God desires that we know Him. Whoever fails to know Him is rejected!
“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)
God rejects whoever refuses to retain Him in his/her knowledge; one who fails to know Him. This is what He desires of us: “know Me!”.
“For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” – Hosea 6:6 (KJV)
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” – Hosea 4:6 (KJV)
This is not knowing the word of God, but knowing Him. It is not preaching the word of God, but knowing the God of that word. Moses knew His word but asked to know Him; regardless of miracles. Paul knew His word but asked to know Him; regardless of revelations.
Knowing Him is more than knowing His word. It is experiencing Him, being in awe of Him, giving Him honour; walking with Him, talking with Him and obediently doing His will.
Taste Him and see!
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF KNOWING HIM?
1) Your degree of relating to God will be greatly enhanced.
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” – James 4:8 (KJV)
Your degree of relating to all of creation goes beyond your immediate environment.
“When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” – Proverbs 16:7 (KJV)
3) The above point makes it possible for you to survive everywhere as all of creation will be in harmony with you. Creatures die when taken out of their natural habitat, but with this higher life, you survive in places others die; having passed from the finite to the infinite realm.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” – John 5:24-25 (KJV)
4) Your present life becomes fuller and richer as all creation become responsive ans sensitive to you. No struggle.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (KJV)
5) You become more fulfilled; happier, because this is God’s purpose and intention for you.
HOW DO WE MAKE THIS COVENANT ACTIVE?
“Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me.” – Luke 22:28-29 (KJV)
FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM IN SUFFERING!
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” – Phil 3:10 (KJV)
“A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” – Proverbs 15:13 KJV
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22 KJV
It has been said that laughter is the best medicine. Most often we do not see this as true. And for some of us that believe it is true, we loose sight of this and allow stress and pressure to squeeze life and health out of us.
Everything in life starts from the heart. Good or bad: success, failure, promotion, demotion, joy, sadness, everything starts from the heart!
Life is home in the heart. The heart is the gateway of life into the being. All that the being or person will be comes from either of the two kingdoms of the spirit: Light and Darkness, through the heart.
In the true sense of it, man CANNOT CREATE, he RECREATES! Nothing is new under the Sun. Whatever is, has been in the spirit realm, created by forces other than man. Man is only a vehicle through which these forces display or express their creations: good or bad; whether it be science or art, in all their forms.
“Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.” (Isaiah 24:17-18).
The windows from on high are open! Imaginations and thoughts come to us from these; from the air and we, like antennas, catch these and “produce” them. Man is under the influence of powers greater than him! That is the source of breakthroughs in science, technology, and all art forms, which includes music!
What you obey, rules or influences you! Good or bad!
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants in obedience, his servants ye are whom ye obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).
That is why we are advised to watch what things we allow to enter our hearts.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23).
Every issue of your life proceed from your heart!
Ugly and wicked thoughts come to you through your heart, to steal, kill or destroy your inner beauty and rob you of your testimony! As they come into your heart, they should be pulled down instantly or caged, stifled and not allowed to have life.
“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).
God wants you to “rejoice always”.
Sadness, worry and melancholy are not of God and so should be pulled down!
When projections come from the depths of evil to make you sad, worry or melancholic, through things you see, hear, smell, touch or feel, don’t give a foot-hold to the devil! Render his projections null and void!
There are many programmes in the air-wave. You choose what you desire. Both sadness and joy are in the spiritual air-wave, choose to be happy! Its your choice!
Sadness is a property of the devil. He tries selling it to you so that through it he would have entry into your life and afflict you!
Being under the control of your subconscious mind, all organs of your body respond to the thoughts and imaginations of your heart; and reproduce what you have programmed there.
Deliberately refuse the devil’s item: sadness. Choose to rejoice, which is the Lord’s. As you retain this knowledge of God (Romans 1:28), His good plans for you in your heart, it becomes a “programme”, which runs or directs every fiber and organ of your being!
The health of your body organs and system, are determined by the programme embedded in your subconscious. This in turn reflects in your physical health!
Resisting the devil simply means refusing to write his “programme” into your subconscious mind.
When you choose God’s plan, rejoicing, no matter what comes your way, that is a powerful weapon that would make the devil angry and flee, even if it is for a season!
Hey, be happy!
Love is the command on which hangs the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:34-40). Meaning, every scripture from Genesis to Revelation is about the love of God, which we are commanded to show others especially to those of the household of faith.
It is not measured by gifts, visitations, fasting and praying.
Picture a dissected orange with all its segments; held together by a thick adhesive center that reaches even to the outer of all the segments in a bond of oneness.
“And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” – Colossians 3:14
Like the various segments that make an orange, love has got segments or qualities that make it what it is; one fruit, but with segments. All these segments are interwoven, yet one.
QUALITIES OR SEGMENTS OF LOVE.
(1) Love is a cover.
Love has this tendency to forgive and forget offences.
A heart of true love over brims with such weight of love that makes offences insignificant. The power of love in the heart makes it possible to overlook offences, and not take them to heart.
“He that covereth a transgression seeketh love.” – Proverbs 17:9a
“Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” – Proverbs 10:12
(2) Love rebukes and corrects.
Love does not pass over an opportunity to rebuke, discipline and correct.
“For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” – Hebrews 12:6
It is one that does not love that would not correct.
(3) Love receives correction.
Love receives correction without bitterness or complains of trying to justify itself.
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. – James 3:17
(4) Love suffers long.
Love forebears with people. It endures the contradictions of others towards it without complaining, murmuring, resentment or bitterness.
It is not ashamed to wait for another and believes so much in the success of that other.
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4
(5) Love is kind.
Love goes beyond giving things, to having a sympathetic thought about somebody. It thinks, acts and speaks good of another.
(6) Love does not envy.
Love does not harbour or entertain ill-feelings about another person’s prosperity, blessing or promotion. Rather, it rejoices with them.
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,….. .., but rejoiceth in the truth.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4,6
(7) Love does not boast.
It does not speak boastfully, or exaggerate on his achievement.
“Charity ………. vaunteth not itself ……” –
1 Corinthians 13:4
(8) Love does not puff up.
It does not hold a high opinion of itself, nor have an undue sense of superiority over others.
“Charity ………. is not puffed up.”
– 1Corinthians 13:4
Love is not full of self, neither does it act snobbish like a peacock.
(9) Love is not rude.
It does not act in a rude manner, or indecent with words. Love is polite and modest in all things.
“Doth not behave itself unseemly ……..” – 1Corinthians 13:5
(10) Love is not selfish.
Love does not seek to or impose itself on others. It does not dominate in conversations, or insist on having its way all the time.
“Love ……. seeketh not her own.” – 1 Corinthians 13:5
(11) Love is not easily provoked
It does not get angry too soon. Rather it tends to justify the offender.
Love “…….. is not easily provoked.” – 1 Corinthians 13:5
(12) Love thinks no evil.
It does not imagine or wish evil for anyone.
” …….. thinketh no evil.” – 1 Corinthians 13:5
(13) Love does not delight in evil.
It does not take sides to undo another. Neither does it desire to physically harm others, even under provocation.
“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” – Romans 13:10
These are the very attributes of God.
“And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” – Exodus 34:6-7
And He desires to see these qualities in us; 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
These character traits are not home in man. The heart of man is deceitful and full of wickedness.
Yet God desires the fruit of the Spirit in His children.
We need to train or exercise ourselves to grow them. And since this is not humanly possible, the, “trainer”, the Holy Spirit is given to guide us.
May we cooperate with Him; that He may work into us the desire of our Father. It may be hard, long and painful, you may not get it even after so many times, but remember that the righteous, even the righteous, falleth seven times yet never stays down.
Lets not give up, and at the end we shall shine brighter than the Stars of heaven.
We start exercising with the most preached, yet the most misunderstood message. LOVE. It is the easiest message to preach but the most difficult to practice.
Love is the central point of Jesus’ teaching, and the high point of chapters 13, 14, 15 and 16 of the book of John. A teaching that was not given to the multitude but to the core disciples.
In Matthew 5, as Jesus began His ministry, He gave the sermon on the mount to his core disciples.
“And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set, his disciples came unto him: And He opened his mouth, and taught them.” – Matthew 5:1-2
Again at the closing of His earthly Ministry, He washed the feet of the core disciples (John 13), and in a teaching that covers four chapters, opens to them more about living in the spirit.
He told them of His going away, yet would be with them wherever they were. He talked about the Comforter, the promised Holy Spirit, and about the Father.
This was when Philip asked Him to show them the Father.
In answer, Jesus tells them about the Spirit connection between the Father and Himself, and how it shall be so between them (person to person), the Father and Himself.
All these He summarized possible by a commandment. The commandment to love.
Love is the climax of Christianity and the climax of spirit-life.
That is the reason Paul said “if I can move mountains but have no love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13)
Love is given as a commandment; as a commission, an order, a word of instruction authoritatively given, a mandate that must be carried out.
Love is not an option for Christians but a command!
“These things I command you, that ye love one another.” – John 15:17
Even to people who see us as their enemy, we are commanded to show love!
Someone takes your coat, you do not only have to show him love, you give him your cloak too!
Another insults you, disgraces you in public and takes your blanket; give him your bed too!
The person comes back to you thirsty; give him water to drink!
“It sounds crazy, why should I give drinking water to my sworn enemy?”
Its not your choice! Its a command.!
When I come visiting I prove my love. No! Visitation does not prove love. One can visit with anger and hatred in the heart. Visitation is no love!
When I give gifts I prove my love. Again no! I can give you every beautiful thing in the this world, yet not love! Many have given gifts for the purpose of blinding and gagging the recipient. No, giving gifts is not love!
“Well, I feed the poor.” Sorry, but that is not love either! “Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” – (Proverbs 23:7b)
I have seen men who fed others with the intention of destroying them. No, feeding others is not love!
Some fast and pray for others and call it love. Again I say no! The fact you prayed and fasted for someone and another knows disqualifies it from being love. Many have fasted and prayed for others, to prove spiritually superior or to keep them around! No, fasting and praying for others is not love!
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Love is not an outward show! Something done for others, for some to see! No!
Love is an inside demonstration: a thing of the heart done WITHOUT A GAIN TO SELF!
Love is not caring about yourself while laying your life down for other.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13
Love gives. Yes! It gives, not just things. It gives itself!
It does not give its “body”, but its very being; its very life.
Love gives itself for another!
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
God gave His all, His very being. In human terms, God gave His posterity, His future.
Made in His image and likeness, we should be like Him.
Let’s exercise our senses to love without pretence, and with all sincerity; for God our Father is Love.
A man was told at a counselling session to live in the spirit.
He accepted but asked, “how do I do that?”
“Just live in the spirit!” His counsellor repeated.
“Tell me how!” The argument continued.
That is a big question that even some Pastors are not able to answer. Christians have been told to live in the spirit but have not been told how to enter into the realm of the spirit. It is like asking people to enter a house to the point of getting angry at their delay when the key to the door of entry is not given to them. Many, as Children of God, want to live in the spirit but do not know how to do so.
It takes exercise to enter that realm.
“Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for He is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” – Hebrews 5:11-14
There is so much to say about God, about Jesus and about the Kingdom of the spirit.
But how do I begin to tell you about them when you do not yet understand some elementary or basic things about God and His Word, the writer seemed to say.
Jesus said He had many things to say to us which only the Holy Spirit can make us understand, on condition that we listen to and obey Him.
“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for He is a babe.” – Hebrew 5:13
Obeying Him means not bringing our human knowledge, thought or tradition into it. Tradition nullifies the potency of the Word of God in our individual lives, and is the major reason many have not grown in the way of the Spirit.
“But strong meat!”
“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age…………….” – Hebrew 5:14a
Like the physical body, the spiritual body needs food.
“Meat”, “Food” here is not referring to the natural food but to secrets of the Kingdom; deeper Truths about God, the benefits of spirit-life, which belongs to, and reserved only for those who are matured; who have come of age.
The more matured you are in the Kingdom, the more the benefits you get. The benefits of the Kingdom do not come by how long you have been there but by how matured you are. Paul, a much younger believer could stand and rebuke Peter openly, a “pillar” in the Church, just because of spiritual maturity which is a matter of understanding!
Just as in a family where the first born gets more privileges than the younger who may not be so matured.
“………….even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” – Hebrew 5:14b
“Who by reason of use…..”. They have tasted, experienced, gone through the fire, and consequently have matured, having the ability to discern between good and evil. To them secrets, privileges are given.
To those not matured, those outside, it is given in parables, while secrets of the Kingdom are given to the “inner”, a select few; selected to have such information because of their maturity; because they have exercised their senses and can discern the mind of the Father.
The basic difference between maturity and immaturity is the mental faculty; their sense, not height or form. Maturity comes by training, by exercising the senses.
In the things of the spirit, living a matured Christian life comes by exercising the senses. Paul implies here that there is no other way.
The spirit life in Christ Jesus opens more and more to those who exercise their senses.
Spirit-life can be likened to a coin with two sides. It is exposed to two worlds: the spiritual and the physical. It gravitates to the direction it is trained. This is what leads to addiction. No one is born an addict. Training or exercising one’s senses in a certain direction tells it to gravitate to that direction.
When we train our senses toward God, we will retain Him in our knowledge.
“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
To exercise is to deliberately employ or engage the mental or physical organs of the body in activity, in training; it means to discipline the body or mental abilities toward an aim.
Like every good thing, exercise has benefits.
(1) It Builds Shape: Exercising your senses conforms you to the image of God.
“For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” – Romans 8:29</em>
If you desire to be like Jesus (The Word), you must train at it. Study all about Him, act as He would, talk as He would, go to places He would, think as He would (or as you think He would).
He is our standard, our role model. God wants us to be like Him! It is God’s expectation for us “…..to be conformed to the image of His Son”.
(2) Exercise Makes One Strong: A weak and wimpy person who takes to exercising becomes strong.
I remember reading many years ago, the story of Arnold Schwartzenegger. He was so skinny that he was easily bullied by even those younger in age. He was afraid of his colleagues at school and nursed dropping out.
However, things turned around when he took up exercising. Not only did he build his physique as in (1) above, he became strong and was no more bullied!
“………. but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” – Daniel 11:32b
Spiritual strength comes by the knowledge of God! Zechariah agrees in 12:8, that God will empower His Children so much so that the feeble among them shall be as David in his youth!
Are you weak spiritually? Exercise your senses to know God more!
(3) Exercise Develops Immunity Against Diseases And Contamination. A person given to exercise is one full of good health.
He burns out toxins in sweat.
Spiritually, exercising the Word of God strengthens our blood cells and helps to maintain divine health.
The Word of God is:
“………. life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” – Proverbs 4:22
The process of finding is the process of exercise. Do you desire to enjoy divine health? Find the Word of God.
(4) Exercise Sharpens Reflexes. A person that constantly exercises is alert. Such a person is seldom caught off guard.
Exercising the senses with the Word of God makes you quick, alive and active! It heightens your spiritual sensitivity and reflexes and helps you to be vigilant!
In Acts 18, Paul was spiritually sensitive enough to know that underneath the “good” sounding words of the girl was a spirit of divination.
“And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And He came out the same hour.” – Acts 16:18
Spending time with and in the Word makes you alert!
(5) Exercise Renews Your Youthfulness. As toxins are burnt off the body and strength is increased, youthfulness is maintained and renewed.
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
Waiting on God is exercising our senses with His Word and this renews our youthfulness.
(6) Exercise Sharpens Your Vision.
Exercising your senses with the Word of God opens your spiritual eyes to see thing that ordinarily you would not be able to see; things that others cannot see. Your ability to discern or perceive is heightened.
In 2 Kings 6, Elisha saw something that his servant could not see. The woman of Shunem, 2 Kings 4, “perceived” that Elisha was a prophet., meanwhile her husband could not.
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” – Ephesians 1:18
One constant prayer of Paul was that our spiritual eyes be opened as that is the way by which the greatest benefit would come to us.
Jeremiah knew in advance what God was going to do. (Jeremiah 1:12)
So did all the prophets. Today, you and I are His prophets. We should see!
(7) Exercising Makes You Confident.
Because you know who you are and what you have in Christ, the boldness of the righteous follows you wherever you go.
The knowledge that you are the apple of God’s eye and the fact that God has given His angels charge over you, establishes peace and confidence in you that is not only visible, but puts fear in many.
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” – Hebrew 12:11
Exercise may be gruesome and painful but the benefits of it are awesome!
Every training programme has its tools. There are tools to build the arms, some other tools for the chest, some for the neck. Every part of the body has its exercise and its tools. Some of these tools are in the gym with the trainer, others are supplied by the individual trainee.
So does exercising the senses! We would look at the tools later.
Before going to the gym however, there are things you need to posses or provide. To have that admired shape, your input is needed, for no man would “build” without first sitting to count the cost.
(1) You will need to have a rugged determination! The body loves ease and resists exercise! Determination is something no gym would supply you, no matter how well equipped.
You have to decide that you want to go ahead with it and be ready to bear the cost. Esther said “if I perish, I perish!”
You must have a violent determination to start exercising, to sustain it and not give up. A man that lays his hands on the plough and looks back is not fit for the Kingdom! Nothing good comes easy!
(2) You need a Trainer. Trainers are experienced and know what exercises to put you through to bring out what you desire and give you the much admired shape or image.
Your trainer knows you: your strength, your weakness, your limit and breaking point. He knows how to turn your fat, flabby and shapeless body to one that will turn heads in admiration!
Mordecai trained Esther and brought out the best in her!
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.” – John 16:13
The Holy Spirit is our trainer! He knows everything about us. Our weaknesses, our strengths, where we need to work on, the duration, the needed tools, everything!
He is our Trainer! Let us cooperate with Him.
(3) You also need a “spiritual” stop-watch.
Exercises are timed! Some to the count of 12, some to 15, some to 20.
The timer is most often with the trainer. While you provide time for training, your trainer supplies the expertise to shape you. He would push you to the limits, to do things you never imagined you could do!
In exercising the senses, you do not have control of time! Your Trainer, the Holy Spirit knows and determines what to put you through, with what tools and WHEN!
Yours is to relax, be not afraid, for He would not put you through what you cannot bear. Let Him fashion you, mould you and display you. Welcome to the gym of the Spirit!
I went through an article recently written by a friend. In it he said that the choices we make in life affect us whether good or bad.
Indeed it is true! The choices we make affect our lives.
However there is an angle to it that we most often overlook.
This may come hard and pungent (forgive me Edmond, if it doesn’t come soft). Sometimes Truth comes out hard.
Our choices are based on our human desires which ought not to be!
Our desires are driven by our emotions.
James says “drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” – James 1:14
Human emotion does not work with the Word of God!
In the book of Genesis Eve was driven by desire which made her stretch her hand to the fruit.
How did this desire come about?
She felt inferior! She felt she was not making progress in life; that her “divine destiny” was being delayed, and perhaps truncated. She felt she was not getting the “good things of life”, and so needed a change!
She was made to feel inferior by the serpent who planted a word of insecurity in her head. Eve’s desire was driven by insecurity; an emotional feeling that “others” were better than she was: a feeling that suggested to her that she was empty and could “improve” on God’s work in her life.
Consequently she reached for the fruit, and acting in a manner “to help herself become wiser”, she plunged Mankind into spiritual death.
Her choice was based on her desire, driven by emotion! A thing she called “wisdom”! She wanted to change her situation, which she had come to hate, since coming into contact with an alternative.
“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
Today, many remain spiritually dead. Many more are dying from the presence of God because of choices made that were not based on His Word.
In wanting to be “wise”, they “engage EVERY PLATFORMS available (including Godless platforms), EVERY AGENCIES necessary (including agents of darkness), and follow EVERY PRINCIPLES required (even demonic principles), to ensure making the right choice in life.”
This was the same desperate emotion that drove Man from the presence of God!
Things may look beautiful, “good for food”,
but if emotion is its foundation, spiritual death takes effect.
Every platforms, every agencies, every principles may be convenient, yet NOT ALL are edifying and accepted by God!
That is why God asked us to choose life!
Life is not just having everything YOU want; so you might have the accolades of men, a large acceptance by the world and recognition; James would say to “consume it upon your lust”, your human desire!
That is not the life that God sees as successful!
And that is the reason Jesus asked what it shall profit a man after he has gained the entire world, the backing and support of people, only to lose the salvation of his soul.
Yes, indeed our choices affect our lives!
But what factors “drive” our choices?
Moreover, as Christians we should not make choices based on emotion; on the desires of the flesh; we should like Jesus, not judge after the sighting of our eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of our ears. (Isaiah 11:3)
We should rather make choices based on God’s Word; judge righteously: with the fear of the Lord!
If a man because of fame, wealth and affluence, acts contrary to the Word of God, by marrying another woman, when the Word of God says if you get separated from your wife, remain single and don’t remarry. And if you have to remarry, go back to that same woman! Such a man who marries another lives in adultery! In sin! Minister or Laity!
That is the word of God!
No human reasoning or philosophy can alter or change the Word! It remains immutable!
If for fame and affluence we throw away the Word of God, our action no matter how successful and appealing in the sight of men, becomes a lie!
The desire of man is evil! God testified to this, that the thought and imagination of man’s heart is continually evil, even from his youth!
Who are we deceiving, God?
The same Word we seek to philosophize and bend to justify our actions, will also be our judge! The standard of God’s Word does not change no matter how we try to change it!
Let us learn, no matter what it takes, no matter how hurtful or painful our situation may be, not to put our desires ahead of God’s Word! The moment you do, you put God in second place.
But, He must have the preeminence!
When you go His way, He knows your frailty, your weakness and your pain; and in His faithfulness, He will supply you the grace to carry on.
Even if it was a mistake that brought the unpleasant situation, He will help you!
Only, let it be on His terms.