Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The secret to having the desires of your heart coming true

Psalm 37:4 (NKJV): Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

The word 'delight' here can be defined as 'to find great pleasure, to be glad, to be pleased with, to enjoy'. And the opposites (antonyms) of 'delight' are 'to have displeasure, to dislike, to loathe, to be disgusted, to be displeased, to be dismayed (to be distressed)'.

Notice it's not just delighting in the Lord, but delighting yourself in the Lord! In other words, not only should you delight in the Lord, but you are also to delight yourself in the Lord!

To delight yourself in the Lord is to learn to be happy with yourself, be easy on yourself (instead of being too hard on yourself), love yourself, laugh at yourself (we all make mistakes in life at one time or another!) and give thanks to the Lord for who you are! Remember you are precious and wonderful in the eyes of the Lord, and there will never be another you! This is a very important time to begin thanking the Lord for giving you, you!

The key chapters to read in this time and season are Psalm 131, Psalm 37, and Psalm 34, all written by the psalmist David. All these chapters point towards the same theme mentioned above.

Psalm 131 speaks of a beloved of God who has simple trust in the Lord, and whose soul is calmed and quieted (like a weaned child with his mother). 
Psalm 37 speaks of a beloved of God who learns to rest in the Lord and delight himself in the Lord, knowing that He is the One who causes him to inherit all the good of the land he dwells in.
Psalm 34 speaks of a beloved of God who learns to bless (speak well of) the Lord at all times and in all circumstances, knowing that those who look to Him and seek Him shall not lack any good thing.

As a believer in the New Covenant, know that Jesus has suffered every form of distress on the cross, so you can now delight in all that the Lord has given you! In fact, at the very beginning when God created Adam and Eve, they were created to delight! That was the Lord's original plan for them! Genesis 2:8 says, 'The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed'. Genesis 2:15 says, 'Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it'. By the way, the word 'Eden' ('ayden' or 'aydnah') in Hebrew means 'delight, pleasure'! God had meant to put mankind in the garden of delight! To tend it, and not to toil in it! To keep it, and not to blow it (or lose it)!

Let's go to John 10:10-11 now, and see what Jesus Himself says, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep." The word 'abundantly' here is 'perissos' in Greek, and it can mean 'superabundant, exceedingly abundantly above, beyond measure, excellent (in quality)'.

In New Living Translation (NLT), John 10:10 is translated this way: "The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." 
In The Voice (Thomas Nelson, 2012), John 10:10 is translated this way: "The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy: I came to give life with joy and abundance."
To put it simply, John 10:10 says that Jesus came to give you life to enjoy and to delight in!

No, I'm not talking about indulgence in the flesh (or in sins) here. Sins will always lead to sorrows. The Bible promises that 'The blessing of the Lord... adds no sorrow with it' (Proverbs 10:22). I'm talking about enjoying the Lord and enjoying all the good things He has given you to enjoy here on earth! Take time to breathe the fresh air in the great outdoors, smell the flowers in the garden, and behold the beauty of nature (and all of His creations). Take time to 'pamper' yourself doing something you have always loved to do (or enjoy doing), but never had the time due to the 'busy-ness' and the hustle and bustle of life.

We are living in this fallen world that thrives on competition and comparison. It's a dog-eat-dog world that is ruthlessly competitive, where everyone is looking out for his/her own interests. But do you know the kingdom of God works very differently? David (whose name means 'beloved of God') understood this, and this is what he wrote in Psalm 131:1-2, 'Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty (with fleshly ambitions), neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned (satisfied, contented) child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me'.

Having fleshly ambitions alone will not lead one to where God wants him/her to be. Many people in this world have high and lofty ambitions, but they ended up nowhere (except further heartbreaks and sorrows). On the contrary, David had learned to delight himself in the Lord and wait patiently on the Lord. And you know what? The Lord raised him up in ways unsurpassed by all the kings before or after him! Not even the jealous Saul or the ambitious Absalom could take away what the Lord had in store for him! Indeed, we have a lot to learn from David, a man after God's heart.

So, what is the secret to having the desires of your heart coming true?

Let's go back to Psalm 37:4 now. The secret to having the desires of your heart coming true is by learning to delight yourself in the Lord. The word 'delight' here is 'anag' in Hebrew, meaning 'to be soft or meek (before the Lord), to be pliable (easily bent/shaped by the Lord)'. When your heart is aligned with His heart, your desires will also be aligned with His desires. And that's when good things begin to happen in your life, just as had happened in David's life! (Psalm 34:8)

Psalm 37:11 then says, 'But the meek (before the Lord) shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace (shalom)'. In other words, 'the meek (before the Lord) shall enjoy the abundance of shalom (i.e. happiness, welfare, wellness, wholeness, health, prosperity, favor, safety) here on earth'!

Interestingly, this word 'meek' here shares the same root word as 'delight' ('anag') in Hebrew! That is to say those who delight in the Lord shall inherit every good thing that the Lord wants to give them on earth! Hallelujah!

And that, my friend, in cross-reference, explains what Jesus meant when He said in the Beatitudes, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth"! (Matthew 5:5) Indeed, blessed are those who 'delight' in the Lord, for they shall inherit every good thing that the Lord wants to give them, here on earth! Amen!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Keys to accessing the realm of the unlimited

I heard and released these words from the Lord recently:
"This is a time to expect a fresh outpouring from heaven and expect Me to do many new things in your life! I am setting many free from their old cycles and old boundaries. Be set free from the limitations in your mind, and be released into the realm of the unlimited! I will cause you to see what I want you to see! Receive the anointing to break through any 'glass ceiling' of yours!"

Indeed, this is a new season when old cycles and old boundaries (limitations) are being broken in the anointing (the power from on high), and many will be set free to be who (and what) the Lord wants them to be!

I had a dream recently that confirmed what I heard above. In the dream, I was visiting someone whom I have lost touch with for many years, at his home. That person seemed to be stuck in the old ways and old cycle, and with no way for breakthrough in his life and ministry. In the dream, he seemed like he couldn't be himself, because he was bound by the requirements of the old structures set by the people before him. I was there to minister to him and to set him free.

People of God, there's a fresh outpouring from heaven right now, and there's an anointing being released to set many free from the realm of the limited into the realm of the unlimited. Don't miss this time and season! Tap into it, and receive by faith!

One definition of 'glass ceiling' is 'an invisible, but real barrier to any further advancement (or to move into the next level)'. In the context of the prophetic message today, 'glass ceiling' here can be defined as 'a point after which you think you cannot go any further (in your life, career, or ministry)'. But here's a piece of good news for you! If you think you have reached a limit (in any area of your life) on this earth, and you think you cannot go any further (from this current stage of your life), there's an anointing right now to break through those 'glass ceilings' of yours! Take it!

You see, the enemy likes it when your mind is set with a limitation. It's like some of you are saying, "Well, that's as far as I am able to go. I don't think I can go any further from this point. I think I have reached my ceiling!" And that's what the enemy wants to make you think, because he wants you to remain 'small', 'insignificant', and a 'no threat' to him. But that's not what the Lord thinks or says about you! In Isaiah 43:19, the Lord says, "Behold, I will do a new thing (for you). Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." If He can make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, He can also do what seems to be impossible to you at the moment! Just never allow anyone (or anything) to put a limit on what the Lord can do in your life!

Let me give you an example. In the aviation industry, some people have begun envisioning that there will be a time when you can fly from, say, London to Melbourne within just 2 to 3 hours with 'hypersonic' planes (more than just 'supersonic planes'), high above the height that current commercial planes fly! At the moment of writing, the fastest one-stop flight between London and Melbourne takes close to 21 hours! How about enjoying the beauty and magnificence of the galaxies and stars in all their glory right above your head through a 'transparent ceiling' in the plane, all at the press of a button? Wishful thinking? But do you know all these have been envisioned and be seen as possible?

So, if you think what you see at the moment in commercial aviation today (i.e. long, boring flights) is all about air travel, think again! The best is yet to come!

By the same token, if you think what you see at the moment in your life is all that the Lord can do for you, think again! The best is yet to come! He can bless you in many more unimaginable ways, if you allow Him!

Ephesians 3:20-21 says, 'Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen'. 

Not according to your own power, but according to the power from on high that works in you! Hallelujah! By the way, the word 'power' here is 'dunamis' in Greek, which can be translated as 'miracle, ability, abundance, miraculous power, mighty (and wonderful) work'. And this 'miracle, ability, abundance, miraculous power, mighty (and wonderful) work' from on high has no limitations!

People of God, this is a time to be set free to access this realm of the unlimited!

Keys to accessing the realm of the unlimited:
1. Cast down arguments and every high thing (2 Corinthians 10:5)
2. Know that His thoughts for you are good (Jeremiah 29:11)
3. Commit all your works to the Lord (Proverbs 16:3)
4. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2)
5. Be spiritually-minded (Romans 8:5-6)

Cast down arguments and every high thing
2 Corinthians 10:5 says, 'Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ...'
The phrase 'the knowledge of God' here means 'knowing Him and His plan (or will) for your life'. Therefore, take authority in Jesus' name, and cast down all those 'fiery darts' thrown by the enemy against all that the Lord has spoken in your life!

Know that His thoughts for you are good
Jeremiah 29:11 says, 'For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope'. The word 'peace' here is 'shalowm' in Hebrew, and it can mean 'peace, wellness, wholeness, welfare, health, prosperity, safety'. In other words, He wants the best for you, and He wants you to have 'shalowm' (peace, wellness, wholeness, welfare, health, prosperity, safety) in life! Let not the enemy make you think otherwise!

Commit all your works to the Lord
Proverbs 16:3 says, 'Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established'.
The word 'commit' here is 'galal' in Hebrew, and it means 'to roll, to trust'. 'To roll' your works to the Lord is to involve Him in all that you do (whatever your line may be). And that's when your thoughts will be established. This word 'established' means 'put in order, put right, be sure, be prosperous'. That's how great ideas (not just 'good ideas' from men, but 'God ideas' from the Lord) come about, and if worked on, these ideas (innovations, or creativity in any line you are in) will become a reality in the physical realm.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind
Romans 12:2 says, 'And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove ('dokimazo' in Greek, meaning 'allow') what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God'. The word 'conformed' here is 'suschematizo' in Greek, meaning 'patterned after', and in this context, 'patterned after the way of this world (which is limited in nature)'. The word 'transformed' here is 'metamorphoo' in Greek, meaning 'be changed', and in this context, 'be changed by the works of the Holy Spirit' (see also 2 Corinthians 3:18). And that's how you 'allow' what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God to manifest in your life!

Be spiritually-minded
Romans 8:5-6 says, 'For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, (set their minds on) the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally-minded is death, but to be spiritually-minded is life and peace'.
Colossians 3:2 says, 'Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth'.
Philippians 4:8-9 says, 'Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate (think) on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you'.
Isaiah 26:3 says, 'You will keep him in perfect peace ('shalowm' in Hebrew), whose mind (thought) is stayed on You, because he trusts in You'.
The above verses show the importance of setting your mind on the things of the Lord. Just as good thoughts attract good things from the Lord, heavenly thoughts attract heavenly things from the Lord! And heavenly things are always supernatural, high and above all that men can ever conceive with their own limited minds!

People of God, as you cross into a brand new season in your life, may the Lord also spark off in you (and through you) great and marvelous things that 'eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which He has prepared for those who love Him' (1 Corinthians 2:9). All glory be to the Lord! Amen!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Count it all joy!

James 1:2-4 (NKJV): My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect (mature) and complete, lacking nothing.

The word 'joy' here in Greek is 'chara' (pronounced 'khar-ah'), which can be defined as 'calm delight, cheerfulness, or gladness'. No, you don't delight, cheer, or be glad at those trials of yours. No one with a sound mind would ever do that! What the Bible means here is in spite of your trials, you can still delight in the Lord, be cheerful in the Lord, and be glad in the Lord!

In John 16:33, Jesus says, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

The expression 'be of good cheer' here can be translated as 'be of good courage, or be comforted', and the word 'tribulation' in this verse is 'thlipsis' in Greek, which can mean 'pressure, affliction, anguish, burden, trouble, trials, persecution'.

I heard and released these words from the Lord the other day:
"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials. This is a time to receive My joy and remain in My joy. My grace is sufficient for you, and I will know how to reward you in due time, if you do not lose heart. I have not forgotten you, for I am the Lord who remembers. I am looking at your faithfulness and I am looking at your heart. A time of promotion is at hand for many of My people in these coming months!"

Indeed, this is a key time to receive the joy that comes from heaven, and remain in that joy, no matter what! Nehemiah 8:10 says 'the joy of the Lord is your strength'. It means to say this joy of the Lord (in you) will give you the strength to carry on and look forward in life!

Notice that 'joy' is placed very high in the 'list' of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, coming in second right after 'love' (that never fails!), and is placed even higher than 'peace'! I believe there's no insignificant details in the Word of God! This shows how important 'joy' is for each of us, simply because if we lose this joy, we will also lose the strength to carry on!

Let's look at a prime example in the New Testament now.

In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, the apostle Paul wrote, '... a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of satan to buffet (beat, attack) me... Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."... Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong'.

The expression 'I take pleasure' here, similar to 'count it all joy' in James 1:2-4, doesn't mean the apostle Paul welcomed and took pleasure in all those trials he faced, but in spite of those trials, he could still 'delight in the Lord, be cheerful in the Lord, and be glad in the Lord', knowing that he could count on God's grace (i.e. ability, supply) which is sufficient for him!

By the way, what exactly is 'a thorn in the flesh' here? Let Scripture interpret Scripture. In the Old Testament, the Lord spoke these words to the children of Israel (as an instruction for the conquest of Canaan), "When you have crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their molded images, and demolish all their high places (places for pagan worship)... But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell." (Numbers 33:50-55) See the words 'irritants', 'thorns', and 'harass' here?

'A thorn in the flesh' can therefore mean 'someone/something sent to irritate, torment, disturb, disrupt, or harass you'. In the case of the apostle Paul, he was fulfilling the Lord's mandate and 'calling' for him as an apostle and teacher of the New Covenant, but satan sent people to harass him! As you can see here, 'a thorn in the flesh' doesn't necessarily mean 'bodily ailments or sickness'. In fact, the word 'infirmities' mentioned by the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:10 is 'astheneia' in Greek, which simply means 'weakness, strengthless', and it doesn't necessarily mean 'bodily ailments or sickness'. I personally believe the apostle Paul was walking in wholeness and wellness in his physical body. Otherwise, how would he be able to travel so extensively in his many missionary journeys?

People of God, like the apostle Paul, stay faithful in all that the Lord has spoken (and called you) to be and to do, in spite of the opposition (or harassment) sent by the enemy (or satan) against you. Stand firm in all that the Lord has spoken to you, and keep looking unto Him, the author ('beginner') and finisher ('completor') of your faith! (Hebrews 12:2)

In Philippians 1:6, the apostle Paul himself wrote these very reassuring words, '... being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ'.

Man may forget you, but the Lord never forgets you. He is the Lord who remembers. What He has begun in you, He will see to it that He will complete it, as long as you do not lose heart (or give up). Zechariah 4:9 (NKJV) says, '... the Word of the Lord came to me (Zechariah), saying, "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish (complete) it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you."'

Zechariah 4:10 (The Message) says, 'Zerubbabel started rebuilding this temple and he will complete it. That will be your confirmation that God-of-the-Angel-Armies sent me (the angel of the Lord) to you. Does anyone dare despise this day of small (humble) beginnings? They'll change their tune when they see Zerubbabel setting the last stone in place! ... the seven lamps are the eyes of God (the perfect eyes of the Lord) probing the dark corners of the world like searchlights'.

Interestingly, the name 'Zechariah' ('Zekar-Yah' in Hebrew) means 'Yah (the Lord) remembers', and this word 'zekar' in Hebrew means 'to remember, to record, to recognize, to make mention of, to be mindful'. And what does 'Zerubbabel' represent here? For the record, he was the governor of Judah those days, and the leader of the tribe of Judah. He was also the person who laid the foundation for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. As believers in the New Covenant, 1 Corinthians 6:19 says 'we are the temple of the Holy Spirit'. 'Zerubbabel' therefore is a 'picture' of 'the Lord Himself, the Master-Builder in each of our lives', and He is also 'the Lion of the tribe of Judah' (Revelation 5:5).

Praise the Lord!

So, people of God, keep running the race (Hebrews 12:1) and keep putting in your heart in all that the Lord has entrusted you to be and to do, knowing that the Lord remembers you, and He will know how to reward you in due time. In Galatians 6:9, the apostle Paul wrote it so very aptly, '... let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart', and in Colossians 3:23-24, he wrote, 'And whatever you do, do it heartily (with an abounding heart, putting in your heart) as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward... for you serve the Lord Christ'.

Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy! (Psalm 126:5) For those who have been faithfully serving the Lord (in spite of the many 'harassment' from the enemy) in the previous season, rejoice! Because your promotion is at hand in this coming new season! Psalm 75:6-7 says, 'For exaltation (promotion) comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is judge; He puts down one, and exalts another'. Not from men, but from God! And when He promotes you, He PROMOTES you! No one, and no evil can stand in His way! Hallelujah! Believe and receive by faith! Blessed be the name of the Lord!