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.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Declare that the crooked places be made straight!

Isaiah 40:3-5 (NKJV): The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough places smooth; the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

The word 'straight' in "Make straight in the desert a highway for our God" here is 'yashar' in Hebrew, which means 'make right, clear, pleasant, prosperous', and the expression "the crooked places shall be made straight" here speaks of 'concording (i.e. in agreement, in harmony), aligning (with God's ways)'.

The other day, I heard these words from the Lord:
"Align yourselves to Me, for I will make your crooked places straight. Do not allow the enemy to take root and have a foothold in your life. I will teach you how."

Then, I heard further:
"Stay strong this time and season, and continue to receive strength and sustenance from Me. I am your strength and your sustenance. The power of darkness cannot and will not have any foothold in your life and in your body."

By the way, the word 'foothold' is defined as 'a place affording a secure grip for the foot, a firm position that provides a base for further advancement'.

Let's go back to Isaiah 40 now. This is a very significant chapter in the book of Isaiah because it speaks of the beginning of a new season, new cycle, new hope, new testament, or new covenant.

Notice that the book of Isaiah ('Yesha Yah', meaning 'Yah has saved') is like a miniature Bible, with the first 39 chapters representing the number of books in the Old Testament, and the next 27 chapters representing the number of books in the New Testament. The number '40' (as in Isaiah 40) in Hebrew numeric means 'maturity, total rule'. For example, after 40 years of wilderness experience, Moses finally reached a time and season of 'maturity' (i.e. God saw him ready to deliver the Israelites from the bondage in Egypt). It was also the beginning of 'total rule' of God's authority (and power) working through Moses to deliver God's people from the stranglehold of Pharaoh.

The other two verses in the book of Isaiah that mentions 'the crooked places be made straight' are found in Isaiah 42:16 and Isaiah 45:2.

In Isaiah 42:16, the Lord says, "I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them."

And then, in Isaiah 45:2, the Lord says, "I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron."
Note: 'Bronze' here speaks of 'man's way, sinful way, fleshly way, worldly way', whereas 'iron' speaks of 'blockages/strongholds put by the enemy to hinder your progress'.

So, here you are! Three verses with the same expression 'crooked places be made straight' in the book of Isaiah! Interestingly, the word 'crooked' in each of these three verses are of three different Hebrew words with very specific meanings. Let's look at each of these words now:

In Isaiah 40:4, the word is 'aqob', meaning 'crooked (as in deceitful, fraudulent, polluted)'.
In Isaiah 42:16, the word is 'maaqash', meaning 'crooked (as in a path or a road)'.
In Isaiah 45:2, the word is 'hadar', meaning 'crooked (as in to swell up, to be proud, i.e. the pride of men)'.

How about the word 'places', say in Isaiah 40:4 or Isaiah 45:2?
It is the Hebrew word 'maqowm', which is a very general word that covers many aspects, namely 'a standing, a spot, a condition (of body and mind), a room, a home, a space, a locality, or even a country'.

People of God, as you enter a new season/cycle this month, begin by declaring 'the crooked places be made straight' for you! (e.g. a new venture, a new business, a new job, a new ministry, or even a new location). This is also the time to receive the anointing from on high to clear the way for you, as you move into the new things in your life! In Jesus' name. Amen.

Scripture reading: Judges chapter 9 - read how Jotham's words and declaration eventually made straight a crooked (wicked) situation.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A time to ask of God's wisdom!

James 1:5-6 (NKJV): If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of sea driven and tossed by the wind.

The word ‘wisdom’ here is ‘sophia’ in Greek, from the word ‘sophos’ which means ‘to be wise, to be clear, to have clear understanding of something (on what to do, or how to go about doing it)’. In short, 'wisdom' simply means 'knowing what to do, and how to go about (on something)'. 

To 'ask in faith' is to 'ask with a believing heart that you'll receive'. 

These are the words I heard from the Lord for this time and season:
"Ask! This is the time to ask! Don’t be afraid to ask! Don’t be shy to ask! Ask of My wisdom, and I will give to you."

Then, I heard further:
"Many of My people are entering a new season, a new cycle in their lives this month. Like a new bicycle is being given, and the old bicycle is being put away. There will be fresh new wisdom. There will be fresh new grace. And I will teach My people if they would ask!"

Isn't that what Solomon (the wisest man on earth) did when he first became king? (i.e. as he entered a new season, or a new cycle in his life) 

Notice ‘wisdom’ was the first thing Solomon asked! 

2 Chronicles 1:7-10 (NKJV) says, 'On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, "Ask! What shall I give to you?" And Solomon said to God, "You have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me king in his place. Now, O Lord God, let Your promise to David my father be established, for You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?"'

And see how God responded to Solomon. 

In 2 Chronicles 1:11-12 (NKJV), He said, "Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life – but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king – wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like."

Today, just as in Solomon's days, He is more than willing to grant you wisdom too, if you look to Him and ask of Him. 

And why is wisdom so important?

Proverbs 3:13-18 (NKJV) says, 'Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her'.

You see, if you have wisdom (from above), you will have all these too - happiness, length of days, riches and honor, pleasantness, peace, tree of life! The Word of God says so! 

No wonder Proverbs 4:7 (NKJV) later says, 'Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding'. The word 'principal' here is 'reshiyth' in Hebrew, which means 'the first (in place, time, order, or rank), the chief, the beginning, the firstfruit', from the word 'rosh' meaning 'the head, the forefront, the captain'.

The keys to having His wisdom as you walk in this new season is to fear the Lord (i.e. having deep reverence for Him and His Word), and a heart that remains humble and teachable (i.e. willing to be corrected) before Him (read Proverbs 9:5-12).

As a believer in the New Covenant, know also that Jesus has become for you wisdom from God (see 1 Corinthians 1:30), and He is the wisdom of God (see 1 Corinthians 1:24) - the principal thing (the first, the chief, the beginning, the firstfruit) - in your life. Allow Him to do His work in you and through you this new season. Amen.