Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Three Amigos – Whom do you call when El-Guapo strikes?

The Three Amigos is one of my favorite movies. In it, the Mexican village of Santo Poco is tormented by a band of thugs led by a bandit called El-Guapo. To combat El-Guapo and his minions, a villager contacts the three amigos who she thinks are real heroes that can put a stop to El-Guapo’s reign of terror. Alas, unbeknown to her and her fellow villagers, these amigos are simply actors who think they are being invited down to Mexico to take part in a movie with El-Guapo! As can be imagined, pandemonium ensues once they reach the village.

While the Three Amigos is a comedy film, it does reflect the reality of living in a fallen world. Just like the villagers, we will all face El-Guapo’s (trials and tribulation) in this world (see John 16:33). Yet, unlike in the movie, we do not have to make a comedy of errors while battling El-Guapo. We do not have to pin our hopes on clowns and pretend heroes while crossing our fingers that we have found the magic touch. No! Our weapon against El-Guapo is divinely powerful; we have the power that conquered the grave, a living superman to call upon; we have our very own three amigos – The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

These living superheroes do not have to suit up but are always ready, pumped up, and itching to come to our rescue. They specialize in kicking El-Guapo’s posterior and showering down blessings on us. They cannot help but to save and bless us for it is in their nature. Simply put, it’s what they do. All we have to do is call! Even with this knowledge, too many of us neglect to push the easy button in the midst of our turmoil. We put on our own superhero costumes instead of picking up the phone and hitting the speed-dial button (prayer) for deliverance and restoration. By not calling, we tell God that we do not need Him! We tell Him to take a break (as if He wants one). In our pride, we say to God, ‘God, I can be a hero too. I can play You just fine. I do not need you on this’.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: When we put on our own costumes and play God, all we are doing is playing ourselves. Furthermore, why allow the joker (Satan) to run riot when we have batman (God), robin (Jesus), and cat woman (Holy Spirit) to call upon.

When we put on our own costumes, we become our own three amigos since we rely on our own spirit, soul and body. Unfortunately, the real El-Guapo (Satan) can spot a phony from a mile away. He sees that we are not the real three amigos but that we are simply clowning about and so he laughs and defeats us in battle.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: For as long as we refuse to call on the three amigos of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in battle, El-Guapo will be victorious over us!

This is what happened to the King of Israel (see 2 Kings 6:24 -33). Rather than inquire of the Lord and call on Him when besieged by Ben-Hadad of Syria, he waited until the resulting famine led to cannibalism amongst his people. I believe his pride kept Him from going to God! When out of anger (rather than humility), he finally did seek God (through the Prophet Elisha), the city was delivered out of famine the very next day. Let me say it again, the very next day!

That makes me wonder how many battles we keep fighting that we should just give to God for an immediate victory. The Lord longs to grant us victory in every area of our life. All we need to do is win the battle over our pride and ego and call on His name quickly.

Food for Thought: The secret to victory in life is the name of Jesus

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Ready for marriage – Are you equally yoked?

The scriptures advice us not to be unequally yoked with any person with whom we are about to enter into a relationship. In Unequally yoked – So you think you are marrying a believer, I shared some insights on how to spot a true believer versus a potential counterfeit. Specifically, I explained why believing that Jesus is Lord, knowing the Word, preaching the Word, exhibiting spiritual gifts, and obedience is NOT enough to put a stamp of approval on someone as a believer (although true believers also exhibit these qualities) but rather it is their faith-walk. I explain why it is not just enough to have the Spirit, but that we have to be led by the Spirit.

Now, for two people to be equally yoked, they have to be compatible. Since humans are triune beings (for we are spirits who have a soul and live in a body), we have to be compatible in the spiritual realm, in the soul realm, and the physical realm in order to be truly compatible.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: If two individuals are incompatible in either the spiritual realm, the soul realm, or the physical realm, they are unequally yoked.

In today’s world, most have shunned spiritual compatibility and navigated away from physical compatibility and have instead focused solely of soul compatibility (as evidenced by the popular use of the term soul-mates). As believers, we cannot drink the Kool-Aid of thinking we can be soul mates with someone with whom we are not spirit-mates. The only way a believer can have the same mind (be soul mates) with someone with whom we are not spirit-mates (having the same Spirit – that is the Spirit of God) is if that believer has strayed away from being spirit-led. Let me explain!

When we become born-again, we receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts, to seal our spirit till the day of redemption (see Ephesians 4:30), and to make our spirit incorruptible (see 1 Peter 1:23). Since it is the sealing of our spirit with His Holy Spirit that makes us the righteousness of God in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:21), it is clear that we cannot be spirit-mates with someone who has not received the Holy Spirit. Why? The incorruptible Spirit of God cannot agree with a corrupt and unsaved spirit for that would be communion between light and darkness. Simply put, the Holy Spirit in us will only agree with the Holy Spirit in someone else for the Holy Spirit can only agree with itself.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: A born-again (saved) person is spiritually incompatible with a person who is not born again.

Yet, the soul of a born-again (saved) person must come into agreement and alignment with their born of God (born again) spirit. The only way this alignment happens is if the soul (mind) is transformed to reflect the spirit nature by allowing the word of God to renew it. The bible puts it this way:

“…Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” – Romans 12:2

Note: This passage tells us that we can be transformed into the image of His Son; aligned with the Holy Spirit within us, by renewing our mind with the Word of God

“…The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul, and spirit, and of joints and marrow…” – Hebrews 4:12

Note: This passage tells us that the word of God is what blurs the lines and is the glue that joins together (aligns) and works in the realm of the spirit, soul, and body (joint and marrow).

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: When we spend time in the word of God, our soul and our spirit become aligned and fall into agreement. Hence, it is impossible to be soul mates with a person with whom we are not spirit mates unless we have closed our minds to the Word (God). When we close our mind off to God, we cannot be led by Him.

When our own spirit and soul are equally yoked in Christ, we find that we only desire what God desires. Hence, we are more likely to yoke ourselves with those to whom we are physically compatible (just as a lock and key are compatible compared to a lock and a lock), and we find that we desire that compatibility to take place within the context of marriage.

If our own spirit and soul are not equally yoked in Christ, we find that we do not walk in agreement with ourselves (for the spirit of God cannot agree with our yet to be transformed soul). Hence, the extent to which we renew our minds determines the extent to which our soul and spirit agree. If we renew our minds regularly, we will be on fire for Christ. If we do not, we will blow hot and cold for Christ, be double-minded, and be more susceptible to sin (for we have not taken up our sword of the spirit).

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: First, we have to make sure we are equally yoked with ourselves ( that our soul and spirit in Christ are agreed and aligned) before we try to be yoked to someone else.

Hence, the bible passage, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed” – Amos 3:3, applies to both the individual and the couple. An individual whose soul does not agree (via the renewal of the mind) with his spirit (which has been born again of the Spirit of God) is not ready to be yoked with anyone else. This person must first get the soul to spirit compatibility right before he/she is ready for marriage. Likewise, two people who are not agreed together in their spirit and soul are not ready to be yoked together and certainly should avoid being yoked physically.

To summarize, here is what it means to be equally yoked

  • Both you and your future partner have received the spirit (born-again) and so have a relationship with God
  • Both you and you future partner fellowship with God daily and so renew your minds and put on the mind of God constantly
  • Both you and your future partner walk in faith (rather than just have it)
  • Both you and your future partner are Spirit-led (not just Spirit-filled) and so exhibit the fruit of the spirit (see Galatians 5:22 – 23)
  • Both you and your future partner keep your eyes focused on God no matter what (rather than on each other or problems, thereby making them idols)

Food for Thought: I need to be made whole (equally yoked) before I yoke myself to others


Filed under Relationships