Monday, April 13, 2015

The keys to your protection in this turbulent world

Psalm 91:1-2 (NKJV): He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.

The word ‘dwell’ here is ‘yashab’ in Hebrew, which means 'rest, remain, be settled, be established'. Therefore, ‘to dwell in the secret place of the Most High’ is 'to rest, remain, be settled, be established in the secret place of the Most High, i.e. His very presence'.

The word ‘trust’ here is 'bawtakh' in Hebrew, which means 'be confident, be sure, be secure', and in the verse above, the psalmist wrote it in the context of ‘putting confidence in Him by remaining in Him and following His leading/guidance’.

Only after the two key verses above, Psalm 91:3 then comes in with, 'Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence…'

Notice here that Psalm 91:1-2 speaks of 'the keys to your divine protection', whereas Psalm 91:3-16 that follows speaks of 'the whole list of protection you can expect to receive'.

With the above explanation, I can now say where His presence is. there will also be His protection! And that's why it is so important to practice His presence (i.e. to know and be conscious that He is with you and for you). This is especially so for all of us who are living in these last days, and in this turbulent world.

'To trust in Him' is also 'to follow His leading/guidance', instead of insisting your own way. In Isaiah 55:8-9, the Lord says, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways; For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."

Romans 8:14 says, ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God (i.e. following His leading/guidance), these are sons of God'.

The word ‘led’ here in Greek is 'ago', which can mean ‘being driven, being carried, or being brought’. So, 'to be led by the Spirit of God' is 'to be driven, carried, or brought by the Spirit of God' to where (and what) He wants you to be! As you allow Him to lead you, and as you listen to the ‘peace’ or ‘unpeace’ that He has put in you (on 'what to do' or 'what not to do'), you will then always end up 'in the right place at the right time', even doing the right things, saying the right things, and making the right decisions!

Romans 8:15-16 then follows, 'For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father”. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God'. 

You see, if you are led by the Spirit, you need not fear! Simply because you know that your Abba (Daddy) loves you (1 John 4:18) and He also wants to give you good things (which includes your protection)! Romans 8:32 says, 'He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all (good) things?'

People of God, may your heart (spirit) be so tender and soft before the Lord, so that you will be able to receive all that He wants to give you. And you can be sure that He is here to help you. In Ezekiel 36:26, the Lord says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh.” 

The expression ‘heart of stone’ (or ‘stony heart’ in KJV) here speaks of ‘hard/hardened heart’, like the stiff-necked (hard-hearted) people in Moses’ days who eventually missed out on the good things in the Promised Land (Exodus 32:9), whereas the expression ‘heart of flesh’ speaks of ‘soft/softened heart’ that is tender before the Lord.

Then in Ezekiel 36:27, the Lord says, "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them."

The word ‘statutes’ here is ‘choq’ (pronounced ‘khoke’) in Hebrew, which means 'appointment, command, instruction', and the word ‘judgements’ here is ‘mishpat’ in Hebrew, meaning 'a formal decree/order, a verdict (a judgment after looking into every angle), the way/style of doing things, a clear discretion/decision on what is right (and what is wrong)'.

In cross-reference, Philippians 2:13 says, ‘For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure’. This word ‘works’ here is ‘energeo’ in Greek, and it can mean ‘actively working, energetically working, effectively working, efficiently working, powerfully working’. Notice this word ‘energeo’ is where the English word ‘energy’ comes from.

And finally in Ezekiel 36:28, the Lord says, "Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God." 

'To dwell in the land that I gave to your father' is 'to dwell in the blessings of Abraham' (see Deuteronomy 28:1-14). Indeed, this is the fruit of a tender and soft heart before the Lord!

Therefore, you can be sure that...
Blessed (and not cursed) shall you be in the city, and blessed (and not cursed) shall you be in the country. 
Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. 
Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 
Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. 
The Lord will cause your enemy who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. 
The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you...

Receive all the above by faith for your life. In Jesus' mighty name. Amen!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hope in God!

Psalm 43:5 (NKJV): Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.

The word 'disquieted' here is 'hamah' in Hebrew, which means 'feeling troubled, a commotion within, a moaning (a sound expressing trouble, regret, pain, or suffering)', whereas the word 'hope' here is 'yachal' in Hebrew, meaning 'to wait with expectation'.

It was indeed in 'troubled times' that the psalmist wrote this verse, and the same it is for many of us these days. We are now living in what the Bible calls 'the last days' (see 2 Timothy 3:1-4). These are perilous times. These are also times full of contradictions and antagonism, when the best and the worst of everything all happen at the same time (see Isaiah 60:1-2). Every day, we hear news of terrorism, wars, disasters and troubles, but yet, these are also times of the great and marvellous work of the Lord taking place!

In spite of all the 'troubles' that we see, hear, or experience on earth at the moment, the truth remains that there is still every reason to hope. I am going to explain the reason why. As God's people, may our hope (in Him) continue to remain strong and alive, no matter what. Amen.

Romans 5:5 (NKJV) says, 'Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us'. The word 'hope' here is 'elpis' in Greek, which carries the meaning 'confident expectation of good, or confident anticipation of something good'.

In King James Version (KJV), the first part of this verse says, 'And hope maketh not ashamed'. It simply means 'this hope doesn't cause you to be shamed (or ashamed)'. Why? Because this hope is a sure hope (not a fickle, weak, or feeble hope that the world teaches), and it is founded on God's sure (and unchanging) love toward you!

Romans 8:35 (NKJV) says, 'Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?' Romans 8:37-39 (NKJV) then says, 'Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord'.

In other words, you become more than conquerors when you know that God loves you! In fact, the more you know and remind yourself of how much God loves you, the more you are going to see good things happening to you! And that's why today, you have every reason to hope! It is the 'confident expectation of good, or confident anticipation of something good'! This confidence is not a 'blind' confidence, but a 'rock-solid' confidence, because you know that God's love toward you never fails! (1 Corinthians 13:8)

How does God demonstrate (show) His love toward you? 

Romans 5:8-9 (NKJV) says, 'But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved (rescued, delivered) from wrath through Him (Christ)'. 

What Jesus has done for you on the cross some 2,000 years ago is the very foundation of your hope!

Because He has carried all your sins, punishment, and judgement upon Himself on the cross, you can now be sure of goodness and mercy following you all the days of your life! Psalm 23:6 (NKJV) says, 'Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever'. See the words 'goodness' and 'mercy' here? These are in direct contrast to the words 'evil' and 'judgement'! I can now therefore have this 'confidence' that no matter what happens on this earth, 'evil' and 'judgement' shall not follow me! The Word of God says so!

And the good news is His words are always sure! Jesus Himself said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away." (see Luke 21:33)

You see, Jesus has a perfect 'track record', and if you look at the list below, all His words eventually came to pass:
Luke 22:31-34 (Jesus spoke about Peter's denial);
Luke 9:22 (Jesus spoke about His death and resurrection);
Acts 1:4-5 (Jesus spoke about being baptized with the Holy Spirit);
Luke 21:20-24 (Jesus spoke about the destruction of Jerusalem);
Luke 21:9-19 (Jesus spoke about the last days, i.e. our days).

Therefore, people of God, in these last days, there's also every reason to believe and continue to hope in Him, knowing that all His words and promises for you will never return void (see Isaiah 55:10-11), even when He spoke about His Second coming and His ultimate victory! (see Luke 21:25-28) Hallelujah! Jesus is alive!

Monday, March 23, 2015

This is not a time to fear!

Isaiah 43:1 (NKJV): But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel; Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name. You are Mine.

Isaiah 43:2-3 then continues, 'When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...'

Like Moses passing through the Red Sea, and the sea waters did not overwhelm him, so is the Lord's assurance for you today, if you look to Him and trust Him. Moses eventually reached 'the other side', and I believe you will be too!

Therefore, if you are going through a trial (or 'high waves', or 'fire') in your life at the moment, fear not! And if you are taking up a new venture that God has 'opened' for you, fear not, even if you feel inadequate (or 'not up to it') right now.

Or if you suddenly feel fearful (afraid), troubled, anxious, worried, or depressed (even for no apparent reasons) in recent days, fear not! Because you aren't alone here. There has been a very thick atmosphere of fear hovering around in the spiritual realm recently. Take authority in Jesus' name, and bind this spirit of fear! There is enough power from on high to push back all that the enemy has thrown against God's people! Tap into this power from on high, and stand strong in His victory!

These are the words I heard from the Lord during a time of prayer recently:
"Fear not! This is not a time to fear! If you allow fear to overwhelm you, you'll be incapacitated for what I am going to do this time and season!"

Note: The word 'incapacitated' means 'to be made unable, to be weakened, or to be disabled (to do something)'.

In John 14:27, Jesus gave this assurance, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

In Mark 4:35-41, as Jesus and His disciples were crossing over to 'the other side', a great windstorm arose, and the (high) waves beat into the boat they were in, so that it was already filling. Jesus then arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. He then said to the disciples, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" And they then said to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!"

People of God, know that He is the same One who can calm the windstorm and the high waves around your 'boat' today. The Bible says 'He is the same yesterday, today, and forever' (Hebrews 13:8), and so, of whom (or what) shall you fear? (Psalm 27:1-3). His faith is enough for you!

I then heard further:
"This is not a time to shrink! This is a time to receive a double portion of My faith!"

It means what you have, He wants to give you double. The Lord is saying something very crucial here for these last days - not to recede, but to continue to advance (even in the midst of increasing persecution or challenges on this earth). He will enable you. He will empower you. It is not you, but Him. It will be supernatural. It is by His ability, supply, and power. The final victory is at hand (see Revelation 19:1-21).

This is also a time to stir up the gift of God in you. In 2 Timothy 1:5-7, the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, '...when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you, through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear (timidity, faithlessness), but of power and of love and of a sound mind'.

So, if you have the gift of an evangelist, this is the time to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ all the more! And if you have the gift of healing, this is the time to heal the sick with even greater vigour! And the list goes on, whatever spiritual gift (or gifts) the Lord has bestowed upon you (see 1 Corinthians 12).

You see, the context of 2 Timothy 1:5-7 here is about 'faith', and the faith to stir up the gift of God by using it all the more (even in the midst of increasing persecution or challenges)! Likewise, the Lord is also saying the same to you and I (His precious sons and daughters) in these last days.

And know also that He will help you for sure, wherever (and whatever) He has purposed for you on this earth! Read now what Jesus Himself says, "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide (stay, remain) with you forever - The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans (comfortless); I will come to you." (John 14:16-18)

The redeemed of the Lord (see Isaiah 43:1 again) shall be strong! Therefore, people of God, continue to receive the impartation of faith and boldness (from on high) for these last days, and be strong (and stay strong) in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10). May you continue to receive the strength and sustenance (from on high) for every good work that He has called you to do. In Jesus' name. Amen.