Monday, December 11, 2017

In your worship, the Lord will stand up for you!

John 12:3 (NKJV): Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

In recent weeks, I have been preaching on the heart of worship, like that of Mary when she took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair, and the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. The very word 'spikenard' here comes from the Hebrew word 'nayrd', which means 'aroma', a 'picture' of our sweet aroma of worship unto the Lord.

In cross-reference, Song of Solomon 1:12 says, 'While the king is at the table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance'. This was sung by the Shulamite (a 'picture' of 'you and I') for the king (a 'picture' of 'the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, i.e. Jesus Himself').

To worship is to surrender. It is the word 'proskuneo' in Greek, which can mean 'to prostrate oneself in total reverence and adoration towards the Lord'. To worship is to lay down your crowns before Him, no matter what other people may think or say about you. And Mary did just that by wiping the feet of Jesus with her hair. 'Hair' to a woman speaks of 'one's glory or crown'. 1 Corinthians 11:15 says, 'But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering'.

John 12:4-6 then says, 'But one of Jesus' disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray Him, said, "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it'.

'Three hundred denarii' was equivalent to about one year's wages for a worker those days, and that's a lot of money! It may sum up to tens of thousands of dollars today! As women rarely had inheritance those days, this jar of very expensive oil was probably Mary's only valuable thing that she had, and quite likely, her dowry. But she did not reserve any, because her focus was only on the Lord. This speaks of an 'unreserved worship', a sweet aroma of worship that pleases the Lord.

'Judas Iscariot' here speaks of 'the way and the mind of the world', i.e. 'the unrenewed mind', very much like Michal (the daughter of Saul) who despised David when she saw him leaping and dancing before the Lord as the ark entered the city of David (2 Samuel 6:16).

Watch now what John 12:7-8 says, 'But Jesus said, "Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always."'

Instead of agreeing with Judas Iscariot, Jesus stood up and spoke up for Mary! And He said, "Leave her alone"! Not only that, He even went on to justify, explain, and defend what Mary had just done!

People of God, your total surrender and unreserved worship touches the heart of your Father in heaven, even if others in the world may mock at you or despise you, and see you as foolish.

And the wonderful part is, just like Mary, you too will see how the Lord is going to stand up and speak up for you, even at the most unexpected of times or circumstances!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Now is the time for your restoration and redemption!

I heard and released these prophetic words for November and December 2017:
"This is a time and season for the Lord to restore and redeem your lost time or opportunities, especially if you have 'run off the track' in the past season! Don't look back and don't hang on to those lost time or opportunities, but look to the Lord instead! For now is the time for your restoration and redemption! For now is the time for Him to touch you and embrace you anew again! And you shall rise up stronger, and you shall receive double for all that you have lost!"

Joel 2:25-27 says, 'So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust... You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame. Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel. I am the Lord your God and there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame'.

Notice the expression 'My people shall never be put to shame' has been emphasized here, and it was mentioned not once, but twice. The word 'shame' here, by the way, is 'buwsh' in Hebrew, and it can mean 'to be shamed, to be ashamed, to be disappointed, to be delayed'.

So, people of God, if you have been 'shamed', 'ashamed', 'disappointed', or even 'delayed' in your past season, do not lose heart, because the Lord is bringing you into a time of restoration and redemption right now. Your part, of course, is not to look back and regret (or brood) over those 'missed time or opportunities', but to look to the Lord and receive from Him afresh (and anew). Don't miss this time and season. Like the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times and knew what ought to be done (1 Chronicles 12:32), let us also ask the Lord to teach us likewise.

The word 'restore' here is 'shalam' in Hebrew (from the word 'shalowm' meaning 'peace'), and it is defined in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible as 'to make complete, to be (made) at peace again'. Like a vase that is broken into pieces, though it may be impossible for human to mend it completely and make it new again, it is possible with the Lord. After all, He is the Lord who makes all things new (Revelation 21:5).

Will you let go of those 'broken pieces' in your life to the Lord right now? For some of you, it may be a broken career, a broken vocation, or even a broken (and failed) relationship; and for some others, it may be a broken finance, or a broken health. Whatever those 'broken pieces' may be, receive His touch and His embrace in those areas (situations), and let Him make you whole again!

Like Job who eventually came to the understanding that 'the Lord is a God who can do everything, and no purpose of the Lord can be withheld from Him' (Job 42:2), he looked to the Lord and prayed for his friends (i.e. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar - who have not spoken what is right), and the Lord restored to him twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10).

The Lord also brought to my attention the color 'red' for these two months (November and December 2017). There are biblical meanings for every color; and 'red', first and foremost, speaks of 'the blood of Jesus', i.e. the atoning and redeeming blood of Jesus for all who believe.
- 'atoning' because He has restored us back to be 'at one' with the Father again;
- 'redeeming' because He has bought back for us what has been lost!

The color 'red' is also the color in Hebrew for 'life', 'wisdom', 'power', 'honor', and 'courage'. People of God, if any of these have been 'stolen away' from you in the past season, I have a good news for you, because the Lord is also restoring unto you a greater manifestation of His 'life', 'wisdom', 'power', 'honor', and 'courage' in your life right now. Receive by faith, and just as the Lord has spoken for this time and season, I also pray that 'you shall rise up stronger, and you shall receive double for all that you have lost'! In Jesus' name. Amen!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Receive the life and the breath of God!

I heard these words from the Lord recently:
"When the enemy puts death in you, I put life in you! This is a time to receive the breath of My life in you, especially in those areas that seem dead in your life."

Prior to these words that I heard, I had a dream in the night where I saw someone having a chronic disease (even though in reality, this person has no such disease!) and he seemed to be shunned, ignored, and isolated in the confine of a house, while the people in the house passed him by, going about their own businesses. As I woke up, I began praying in the Spirit for the Lord's divine protection and health for that person. I was also led by the Spirit to take authority and bind the spirit of death and disease that tried to 'invade' that person.

People of God, this is an important time to guard your heart against every form of lies, negativity, discouragement, or even despair sown by the enemy against you. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word 'despair' as 'to lose all hope or confidence'. For some of you, the enemy has been trying very hard to put such 'despair' in you recently. Take authority and bind it in Jesus' name! And fill yourselves with the Word of God, because the words that He speaks to you are spirit, and they are life! (John 6:63)

In the days after Jesus' death, the disciples were rather discouraged and downcast, and they certainly felt like failures, hopeless in every sense of the word! Some had even thought of quitting ministry altogether and walk right back to their former jobs. 

But God! When everything seemed 'hopeless' and 'dead', Jesus showed up!

Let's go to the Scripture now.

John 20:19-22 says, 'Then, the same day (of Jesus' resurrection) at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit."'

See the word 'breathed' here?

This word 'breathed' is 'emphusao' in Greek (from the word 'phuo' meaning 'to blow'), and it literally means 'to cause to spring up'! In other words, Jesus came to re-commission them and give them a new lease of life! It was a time of imparting new hope in them! And it was a time of releasing them to be of use again!

People of God, no matter how 'hopeless' and 'dead' your situation may be at the moment (be it in your health, finance, family relationships, career, business, or ministry), do not lose heart, because the Lord is also here to breathe His Spirit and His life in your situation right now! This is a time to receive by faith, and declare boldly that when the enemy puts death in you, the Lord is here to put life in you!

Let's go all the way to the Old Testament now. 

2 Kings 4:32-36 says, 'When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. He went in therefore, shut the door, and prayed to the Lord. And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. And Elisha called Gehazi his servant and said, "Call this Shunammite woman." So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, "Pick up your son."'

The name 'Elisha' ('Eliysha' in Hebrew) is a 'picture' of 'God who is rich in all His supplies', the One who can even breathe 'life' into every dead (or impossible) situation. The son of the Shunammite woman was already dead on his bed, and 2 Kings 4:27 says the woman's soul was in 'deep distress'. But in the midst of all these, Elisha showed up

Having entered the house of this woman, and shutting the door behind him, Elisha then breathed into the mouth of the boy. Notice he wasn't satisfied with the flesh of the boy becoming warm, but he continued till the boy 'sneezed seven times' and 'opened his eyes'! You see, Elisha would not give up until he saw 'clear evidence of a perfectly (and completely) restored life'! The number 'seven' in Hebrew speaks of 'perfection, completion'.

People of God, the Lord your God will also not give up on you, even when everyone else on earth has given up on you! Like a vase that is broken and crushed, let Him mend what is broken and crushed in your life right now. To man, it is impossible, but with God, nothing will be impossible (Luke 1:37). And like the woman who was asked by Elisha to 'pick up her son', you too will 'pick up your God-given dreams again'. Amen!