One of the greatest prayers of Apostle Paul for the Church is that our eyes of the spirit be opened.
“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).
More often than not, our natural eyes stand against us. Most times they join up with the enemy, and are in fact the greatest weapon in the hand of the enemy against the Children of God.
True, we see with the eyes, yet what they interpret is the greatest undoing of the human race!
The eyes are the foundation or starting point of most vices: adultery, starts from the eyes! Idolatry starts from the eyes, envy, jealousy, hatred, greed, etc, find entry to the soul through the eyes. Even failure and defeat, are offsprings of sight!
The major reason most Christians are weak spiritually is the lack of spiritual sight. We have become like the Israelites in the wilderness, who fell because of spiritual blindness.
“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.” (Exodus 32:1).
They took Moses as their god; now he could not be seen, neither did they know what could have befallen him, for him to delay this long. He had never delayed like this before, and this made them uncomfortable; they needed to see their god, to be assured their god was with them. They could not endure not seeing Moses, so “up Aaron, make us gods! ” What we can see!!!
Journeying to our promised land through the wilderness called earth, many Christians cannot see God in their situations, their homes, jobs and businesses, and have not only “heaped pastors to themselves”, they have pressured them to make gods that they can see and follow: the god of success, “mammon” the god money, the god of technology, the god of cars, of fame and affluence. This has weakened Christians; we have a name, the form “Christians” but lack the power!
Spiritual blindness weakened the “desert Church” by robbing her of the presence and power of God, and here we are, the Church of the New Testament and New Covenant, being robbed of the same!
Moses endured trials and contradictions because he saw beyond the natural eyes; he saw beyond sight!
“By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27).
Most Christians buckle and fall at the slightest trial because they are not seeing beyond natural sight.
When Moses noticed the nakedness of (departure of God’s glory from) the people, he went to the entrance of the camp and called “who is on the Lord’s side come to me.” The tribe of Levi went to him. So why did they go to join Moses? What put them “on the Lord’s side”, because at this time they had not been chosen to represent God before the people? They saw what others could not see, not even the first born sons that God had chosen to represent Him!
What did they see? They saw and felt the presence of God in the camp, and also saw the consequence of walking against Him!!
In the presence of our earthly fathers, and filled with the consciousness of their presence, we would not do things we know they will not approve. This knowledge of their presence makes us uncomfortable and sort of paralyzes us from getting involved in any vice, no matter how much we would have desired to.
The Sons of Levi saw both the presence of God and the consequence of acting outside His approval. So they did not get invinvolved!!!
We see Pastors and Ministers, but do we see the Lord Jesus in His house, and at every gathering of the Saints? Do we see Him in our homes, our jobs and every areas of our world? He is our greater than Moses, presently “on the mountain”, in heaven interceding for you and I. Can we see Him in the “Camp”, the Church? Spiritual coldness is a product of spiritual blindness. Christians are almost begged to go to Church!
Why are we not able to stand and resist the enemy? Why are Christians so afraid: afraid of the devil, of lack, of failure, of sickness and all? If I know my Father is with me, I should not be afraid, knowing He would take care of me and all that concern me. That is Faith!! In other words, Faith cannot be in operation where spiritual blindness operates!
Look at the Church. Can we really say there is faith? Jesus spoke prophetically when He asked:
“I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? ” (Luke 18:8).
If faith is lacking, it is due to the absence of spiritual sight. Because faith comes only by perceiving through the Word of God.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17).
Jesus, our Lord, Master and Example, endured because He saw!
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2).
No servant can be greater than the master. If our Lord endured and triumphed by what He saw, we need to see God’s way. This does not come by prayer. Prayer is done by revelation; after you have seen. And revelation is spiritual sight.
Only the Word!
A deep hunger and thirst for the Truth is the eye salve that opens the eyes. God will pour water on the ground that is parched and thirsty. When you begin to be dissatisfied with lies and seek after Truth, genuinely; not for what you can gain for yourself, the Holy Spirit shall open your eyes.
(1) DO NOT LISTEN TO NEGATIVE INDIVIDUALS
Don’t listen to negative minded individuals who tell stories of woe and defeat. Some people delight in telling stories of woe, of failure, of fear and discouragement.
Don’t listen to them! Run from them! Remember the saying, “show me your friends, or people you listen to, and I will tell you who you are.”
God confounded the children of Israel in the desert who after seeing the giants in Jericho, lived in fear.
“But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.” (Numbers 13:31).
“But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.” (Numbers 14:21-24).
God will confound you in the presence of your enemies if you dwell in fear, for then He will see you as a rebel!
“Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” (Numbers 14:9).
He never said demonic forces will not rise against you, but that we pay no attention to them.
(2) FILTER WHAT YOU SEE AND HEAR.
What you see and hear are suggestions! They affect your heart!
“Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.” – (Lamentations 3:51)
If they are not pulled down ( 2Cor. 10:5), but allowed to grow, saturate the mind and take control of it. And when the mind is full, like a cloud full of vapour, it releases its content.
(3) READ BOOKS OF INSPIRATION
Read books of encouragement; books that tell you mighty acts of God.
”Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.” (Deuteronomy 4:9).
Listen to messages of hope. Messages that give life, and play music that will edify your spirit. Video is good, but watch only those films that inspire you towards righteousness. Don’t watch just any “wolvish” video in “lamb clothing” by the title “Christian film”.
(4) CONFESS POSITIVE WORDS.
As you speak godly words aloud to yourself, faith will grow in your heart to counter any influence of evil that may have been deposited there.
Finally, no matter the situation, confess positive words. What you programme or sow into your heart is most certainly what you will reap!
“A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.” (Proverbs 13:2a)
The fear was incredibly thick that it became an open door for satan to come into our lives. Did God not say He will confound us in the presence of the enemy if we feared?
“Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.” – Jer 1:17
We had various forms of attacks; of roaches: big, black, hairy roaches, swarming in hordes, through windows that had mosquito nets, while the multi-tenement kitchen, just next door had no net on the window, yet no invasion of roach!! Scorpions were discovered in the house, a small wall-gecko that though it could not come in because of the net, stayed upside down on it for one week and released a vibration that affected my man-hood.
I felt embarrassed and frustrated, especially as we were only a few weeks into marriage!
Even after a cup of boiling water was poured on the gecko, it came back some minutes later to the same spot, and in the same position: upside down!!!
Indeed we should not war with the weapons of the flesh!
One night my wife found a live gecko under my pillow!!!
All these and more, are true-life experiences God used to groom us!
Having given room to satan through fear, we sold our precious sleep. Every night, either birds or pussycats will come in our window and cry like new born babies!
Like a barrage of machine guns we would rain curses at them, calling down fire and brimstone thinking that we were engaged in a warfare being “spiritual giants”. Whereas it was God who had confounded us in the presence of the enemy due to the fear in our hearts. God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of boldness.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
The mind is a dynamic force that does not sleep. Solomon said,
“I sleep, but my heart waketh.” – S.O.S 5:2
The heart continues in the night with the thought that the individual dwelt on during the day.
If you sow your thought into negative news, you will reap a harvest of nightmares and masquerades. Sow your thoughts into positive news and you will reap a harvest of sound mind and sweet dreams.
That is why we are warned to guard our hearts with all diligence.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life .” – Prov. 4:23
WATCH YOUR THOUGHTS
What thoughts have you been dwelling upon? They would either make you or mar you. You are a product of your thought.
“As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” – Luke 6:45
You need to review your thoughts. Until the meditation (thought) of your heart is acceptable (pure) before God, demons will continue to oppress you.
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14
Think only of things that are lovely, that are positive.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8
She was in bondage to fear as a result of negative thoughts and imaginations. And so are many today.
She had heard frightful and bizarre stories in the past and held on to them in her mind to the point that wherever she was, those thoughts loom out larger than life. She had filled her consciousness with so much fear that in the night, her subconscious mind, an extension of her conscious mind, continued in the fear recorded in her mind.
The mind has an awesome recording power that captures all it is engaged in. It has the ability to play back what it has recorded and that is the source of most dreams.
Imagination is a very powerful thing! Even God attested to its power.
“And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” – Gen 11:6 (KJV)
He was referring to the children of men. (verse 5)
Imagination cannot be restrained! It can see things that are not really there! When you meditate so much on a thing, you give life to that thing.
“For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” – Job 3:25 (KJV)
Meditating on the Word of God brings out the power in that Word.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” – Josh 1:8 (KJV)
Equally too, meditating or dwelling on messages centered around activities of demonic forces brings out the power in their activities.
At one time, my wife and I were sitting under teachings of, and counsels that centered on activities of witchcraft and demonic forces. Our minds became full of negative thoughts that we did not only dream of masquerades and pursuits by demonic forces, we became afraid of nightfall!
At 10:30pm on vigil nights, I would only muster courage as a man to walk to the Church with my wife. We would be looking over our shoulders; and on two different occasions, I thought I saw a figure rounding a corner!
The fear was incredibly thick that it became an open door for satan to come into our lives. Did God not say He will confound us in the presence of the enemy if we feared?
“Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.” – Jer 1:17 (KJV)
….. to be continued.
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.
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.
One major reason we go to school, go for on-the-job courses, seminars, conferences and trainings is to get to the top in our jobs, in society and in life. We all work to be promoted!
We desire to be taken beyond our present level to a higher one.
To be divinely promoted is to be “taken” beyond one’s present level to a higher one without the promotion being worked for. To be “made” to enter a higher office in power and dignity, even without merit.
“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:6
In Paul’s time the Ephesians Church was a faith-full Church. They loved the Word and lived it! Paul did not correct them of any particular error or heresy.
He wrote to give them details of what Christ’s resurrection did for the Church.
Paul starts by telling them and everyone of us, that blessings have been made (Ephesians 1:3), and are in heavenly places.
He talked about their eyes of understanding being opened, and of the height to which Jesus has been elevated; raised. Above powers and dominions.
In chapter two, he tells every sincere child of God that we have been raised up, exalted, lifted up: divinely promoted! Not by our work, neither a thing we obtained by merit. This is all a divine gift! Promotion is not a result of man’s labour but of God’s grace. We are not asking to be promoted, raised or lifted. We are already.
This is how we were made the head and not the tail. We are at the top and not the bottom! We are above and not beneath!
We have been raised in all things! All that happen to us physically come through the spirit realm. Being lifted in the spirit means we have been lifted in all things!
We need to know the gift of resurrection! We need to know what He did at death. At resurrection He raised us up.
We are no more at the lowly place! No more in the dust! No more with the losers!
The price has been paid, the work has been done so that we might be above: far above all principality and power and might and dominion! (Ephesians 1:18-21). Hallelujah!
When an aircraft meets rain and its destination is still far, the Pilot would climb higher, above the cloud. Meanwhile everything under the cloud will be beaten by the rain.
Principalities, powers, might and dominion; the powers of darkness, produce the rain of poverty, barrenness, sickness, failure, affliction, etc.
Since we are above the powers that create the evil rain, we are above the evil things they create!
“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
Many are still praying for upliftment! Still praying that God would promote them.
No one prays to be made a man or a woman. We are already what God fashioned us to be. We are born with every features needed to be male or female.
All that you would need as a gender: male or female has been provided. All you need is to eat the right food, do the right things and as you mature, all the features given you develop and become visible!
In Christ, you have been promoted. When you eat the right spiritual food, and do the right things, you grow into the exalted position that has always been yours in Christ!
“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” – Isaiah 1:19
Two things stand out in that scripture.
(1) Willingness, and
These actions are propelled by the Word.
You will have to locate the mind or plan of God written in His word, agree with Him, whether you understand it or not. And, .. do!
Daniel was a slave in a foreign land. But overtime he rose to the position of leadership; even offered to be third ruler in the land.
How did he do it?
He did not scheme to be promoted nor was he ambitious to attain the height. He lived to please God in everything by maintaining his stand on the Word of God. He may not have understood everything, yet he accepted it, agreed with it whole heartedly. He did not try to rationalize or bend it to favour himself.
So did Joseph, who believed the Word of God, trusted it and refused the substitute offered by Portipher’s wife. Again he was not ambitious to be promoted. Rather than accept her suggestion, he fled, acting on what he believed. He proved that pleasing God and seeking after His Kingdom brings promotion.
What about Caleb and Joshua? They heard the Word of God like other spies, saw the giants, but refused what their eyes suggested to them. They held on to what God said, certainly not knowing how victory would come, but believed it shall come; for faithful is He that promised! When others were crying and pulling back, they were itching to move on, not out of ambition, but with the plan of God; His Word. They stood and did what He said and consequently entered the next level.
So did the three Hebrew children: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They defied fear, thoroughly convinced that God would save them. They rejected every other word that suggested deliverance. They knew they already had deliverance! They acted on the Word of God they believed and saw the fourth man; even the Son of God, and were made to defy fire made seven times hotter! They certainly entered a higher realm and their promotion followed immediately.
So did countless others. All attained promotion and exalted positions.
These may be from the Old Testament, the principles of God remain the same, from generation to generation. The methods of God may differ, yet His principles are unchanging.
Man fell because he was ambitiously seeking something he already had. He was already divinely promoted. Adam was god over all of God’s creation. All things were placed under him. That is why the Psalmist asked:
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?……Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” – Psalm 8:4,6
This is the eternal purpose of God, that Man be promoted. Adam was promoted by the Father, but because of ignorance of the Father’s plan, he tried working his promotion and consequently lost his position.
Most often we want to see how God’s Word would benefit us before we get involved with it, and drop it when it looks hurtful.
This was the undoing of those who died in the wilderness, who cried and refused to obey the Word, choosing to go back to Egypt. They were not willing to accept the Word as it is and so were not promoted to the next level.
It is not just what we do!
Is our willingness, our heart in it? What is the inspiration propelling us to do, or not to do?
We should not be like Thomas who wants first to see before he would believe.
Yes; to the threatening situations around us. Beloved, change the way you think, lift up your eyes and see what the natural senses cannot see: what God has ordained and settled. For beyond what your eyes can see, beyond what your ears can hear, beyond what your nose perceives, beyond what you feel and taste, lies the Truth: what God has purposed.
Yes, there lies your promotion!
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!