Monthly Archives: January 2013

3 Reasons Why Prophesies Fail! (Part I) – It was a Prophe-lie

I dont careLove never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

– 1 Corinthians 13: 8 – 10

What do you think when prophetic words do not come to pass? Do you automatically think that someone has prophe-lied to you? If you say to yourself that ‘real prophetic words must come to pass no matter what’, then you may want to read 1 Corinthians 13:8 – 10! Now, why does this passage say that we know in part and we prophesy in part especially now that we have the Holy Spirit within us who reveals things to us? What should we do with prophesy? How do I know if what I am hearing is a prophe-lie? Hopefully your questions are addressed as we examine the reasons why prophesies fail.

Reason 1: The prophetic ‘word’ was really a prophetic ‘dream’

Not all words that come out of the mouth of prophets are words from God. The scriptures put it this way in Jeremiah 23:28:  The prophet, who has a dream, let him tell a dream; And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.

Note: If you ever wondered where ‘in your dreams’ came from, wonder no more!

Just like the prophet who prophe-lied that the congregation of Israel was only going to spend 2 years in captivity or the false prophets who told King Ahab that he was going to be victorious in battle, we too can become dreamers if we are not careful.

But can we deduce if a prophetic word is a dream? Absolutely!

The story of the man of God in 2 Kings 13 who was sent to Jeroboam will shed light on this. See, this man had heard from God that he should return back to his home a certain way, but decided to turn another way because of the lying words of another prophet who simply wanted some company.

Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.”

16 And he said, “I cannot return with you nor go in with you; neither can I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place. 17 For I have been told by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by going the way you came.’”

18 He said to him, “I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (He was lying to him.)

19 So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.

Unfortunately, this man of God decided to listen to the lying prophet and followed him. As a result, the man of God paid the price of death for his disobedience. The irony of it is that true prophetic announcement of the man of God’s death came by the same prophet who had first lied to him (see 2 Kings 13:20 – 23!

Here are a few things this story relates to us regarding prophesy:

  1. We should never doubt what the Lord has told even if another  ‘prophet’ tells us different
  2. Our obedience to what the Lord tells us is critical to life; disobedience blocks out the blessings of God
  3. Even true prophets fall prey to dreaming. Hence, no amount of prophesy from anyone beats listening to the direct command of the Holy Spirit
  4. If we are hearing contradictory prophesy about a specific situation, then one of the prophecy is not of God, as God will NEVER contradict Himself. Also, God will never contradict the scripture.
  5. The best kind of prophesy is confirmation of what the Lord has already told us. Yes! We can now hear from God who longs to speak to us directly.  Therefore, all prophesy really ought to be confirmation. If it’s not, we need to check the health of our relationship with God.
  6. We become prophe-liars the moment we take our eyes off God to entertain ourselves, our circumstance, or others.

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Overcome Your Mountain: ‘Speak in Faith’

iStock_000000883811XSmallThere are two kinds of mountains (troubles) we will face in this life: natural mountains (those we stumble upon) and self-made mountains (those we create).

Natural Mountains

Natural mountains are those that Satan places in our path to do us harm and to stifle our God given purpose and in so doing change our predestined path. Whether in the form of a lovely distraction or a deadly circumstance; whether inflicted by sickness or inflicted by people, these are real mountains we encounter simply because we live in a fallen world. Natural mountains represent the trials and tribulations to which Jesus says we shall overcome because He has already overcome the world (see John 16:33). Furthermore, the way we attain victory over these mountains is by introducing faith. Here is how the bible puts it:

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith – 1 John 5:4

Note that this passage does not say faith brings victory. It says that faith is our victory. Hence, faith is victory. It does not say victory (faith) will overcome the world. No! It says that victory (faith) has already overcome the word (past tense). From this, we can no longer call ourselves people of faith without living in victory over the trials and tribulation in our lives.

Self-made Mountains

Man-made mountains are those troubles we heap on ourselves though sin and disobedience. These are the mountains we have built up over time as we refuse to turn back from our evil ways (our heart) and our evil doings (our actions).

Now, it is this particular kind of mountain we have built in the impurity of our inner self (our ungodly hearts) that many of us fail to recognize, for we convince ourselves that God is only interested in what we do (actions). But this is not true! Here is what the bible says:

…For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart… – 1 Samuel 16:7

Hence, God cares as much about our hearts as He does about our actions. It is because of this truth that He calls the Pharisees a brood of vipers. Although they (the Pharisees) were blameless when it came to righteousness that came from the law (works or actions), their hearts needed major reconstruction!

Wait Emmanuel; does God correct us based on what is festering in our hearts? I am glad you asked. Here is what the scripture has to say about it:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart; I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings – Jeremiah 17:9 -10

The answer is yes! Moreover, this correction may come through the actions of other people – such as when God allowed the Chaldeans to take Judah captive as a result of Judah’s sin. While some of the false prophets thought it was the Chaldean’s fault, it was really the fault of the people of Judah for not repenting. Let me put it this way:

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: If people are always causing you trouble, check yourself for you may be the problem. People tend to manifest and become the manifestation of what you have allowed in your heart.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: If you are always climbing one mountain after the other, it is likely that you have put some of the mountains there. Have you?

Overcome Your Mountain – ‘Speak in faith’

Now, no matter the source of the mountain, faith remains the answer. All we have to do to overcome is ‘Speak in faith’. Note, I did not say ‘Speak in hope’. If your mountain is self-made, all you have to do is confess (acknowledge) and repent (turn away) from your sin and ask God in faith to relent in the time He may be found, and He will.

The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it – Jeremiah 18:7-8

Similarly, when you tell the natural mountain that you have stumbled upon to be removed in faith, the mountain will move.

For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says – Mark 11:23

If in doubt as to the source of the mountain, instead of praying ineffective prayers, ask God to reveal its source (your heart or Satan) and then speak to it in faith. Remember what God has promised:

 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them – Mark 11:24

Food for Thought: We should not be mountain climbers but should be mountain movers

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3 Keys to Take Hold of Your Birth Right

Morning Sunrise near BellingenWhile the Lord had already given the promised land of Canaan to the Israelites, they still had to take possession of it (see Jeremiah 32: 22 -23).  Just as Israel had to take possession of the land God gave them, we also have to take possession of all the victory and glory that has already been won for us on the cross of Calvary. See, God has already paid the price for us so we may live heaven or earth and attain all the covenant blessings. It is now ours by birth-right – by being born again of His Spirit. Yet, many of us constantly forfeit our birth-right simply because we do not know how to take hold of it. How much it must hurt God to see us refuse His blessings.

So how do we take hold of our promised land (heaven on earth)? We take hold of it the same way that the Israelites took hold of their promised land – through faith and obedience, and by patience and prayer. And unlike the Israelites, we make sure that we keep our promised land by refusing to revert back to disobedience. We have to maintain an attitude of letting go and letting God.

Faith and Obedience

In the battle of Jericho, the children of Israel were successful because they obeyed the commandment of God by marching around the city seven times and by blowing their trumpets so that the city walls would fall. Think of how silly the commandment of God must have seemed. Some may have said, ‘Do what God? You mean to tell me that if I march around this city and blow my trumpet, that this wall, this great wall that is more than twelve feet wide is going to fall.  You are very funny God!’ But Joshua was well trained and understood that no commandment of God is silly. His faith was strong in the Lord and he had seen the power of His might beforehand. He knew He had to do just what God told him if the walls were to fall down and if they were to take the city.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Victory is not about our logic, thoughts, or feelings. It’s about faith-filled obedience to the word of God.

Patience

Looking again at the battle of Jericho, can you imagine the complaints against Joshua? ‘Come on Joshua, this is silly’, they must have said. ‘We have already walked around this city six times and nothing has happened. Instead of wearying us by walking, why don’t we build up our strength to take this city in battle?’ While it is tempting to revert to our own ways when we do not see the result of what God is telling us instantly, it is best to stick with what God has told us even if it means going around the same mountain many times. Remember, it took 21 days for the angel of God to reach Daniel because the Prince of Persia withstood him (see Daniel 10:12 – 13). Likewise, patience is essential if we are to take hold of the blessings God has for us. Remember, it is by faith and patience that we inherit the promises (see Heb. 6:12).

Prayer

After the victory at Jericho, Israel decided that they no longer needed God. They allowed success to get to their heads and so did not go to God in prayer prior to sending out an army against the puny city of Ai. As a result, they tasted defeat and lost men in battle. Oh, how too many of us leave God after He has granted the desires of our hearts. The story of the battle at Ai is a warning to us that we lose every time we forget God and take matters into our own hands.

If only Joshua had asked God (prayed) concerning what to do before he sent men to battle at Ai, God would have beforehand revealed the sin that existed in the camp (see Joshua 7:10 – 11). But no! Men had to die before God was sought after.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: We suffer unnecessarily when we leave God out of our lives. Just as prayer was the first thing that went out of the window after the victory at Jericho, the erosion of a prayer life (not when asked) is always the first sign that we have begun to rely on our own strength.

To conclude, the keys to take hold of what is rightfully yours by birth are as follows:

(1) Seek God in prayer

(2) Obey His voice no matter what

(3) Patiently wait for the victory that is already yours.

When you do this and do not turn back, you ensure you spend all of your days in the Promised Land rather than be cheated taken into captivity by the king of Babylon (Satan). Satan has stolen too much from us. It’s time to take back what is ours!

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My Plea to the Church: Be a Titus and Stop Killing Your Wounded

P1010003As believers, we have to stop killing our wounded through our inaction. Too many of us leave those who have been attacked by the robber (Satan) by the way side. We refuse to heed their cries for help as they are getting attacked but instead we love to cross step aside and go about our business.

The Good Samaritan

Rather than be the Good Samaritan (Jesus) to those in our ranks that have been wounded by the devil, too many us walk on by in pride! Instead of lending a helping hand, we enter into the unprofitable exercise of assigning blame while the patient is dying. We say, ‘You see, his problem is that he did not put on his cloak of zeal. Her problem is that she did not put on her armor this morning. If she had put on that armor, then Satan’s arrow would not have touched her. If he had his cloak on, then nothing would have happened to him’.

Too many of us are too quick to harshly judge one another as if we are perfect in putting on the armor of God on a daily basis before going out in the battlefield. If you tell me the answer is yes, then what you are telling me is that you have never told a ‘white’ lie (belt of truth), you have walked in perfect peace everyday of your life (shod your feet), and that you have never acted in an unrighteous manner ever since you got saved (breastplate of righteousness). You are telling me that you have always attacked every problem in your life with the word of God (sword of the spirit) and have never resorted to your own ways even once! If you say yes, all I can say is wow!

The truth is that it is only by the grace of God that we are protected from evil. It is God’s grace that prevents the devil from pulling our pants down and thus shaming us when we forget to tighten out pants with the belt of truth.  If we are to be honest and humble, it is the Lord that mercifully shields us in the areas we have left ourselves susceptible to attack. He Himself covers us and receives the blows of the enemy on our behalf just as He did and just as many animals do in order to protect their young-ling.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: If the animals understand the concept of shielding their weak ones, why is it that we simply tend to leave our wounded in their time of weakness?

Instead of following Jesus’ example in shielding His beloved (us) from death and destruction, why is it that we just prefer to watch each other crash and burn? Are we that prideful? Where has the love gone these days? Instead of being good Samaritans and nursing our wounded to health, we have tended to be quick in throwing stones.

Stone-Throwing

It is because of this stone-casting tendency that too many people cover and hide their short-comings rather than ask for help. They fear they are going to be ‘put down’ just like a wounded race horse is put down rather than receive the loving care and restoration that Jesus shows us daily and expects us to show one another. So, hypocrisy, phoniness, and deceitfulness reigns supreme.

Rather than put down, we are meant to help restore those who have wondered from the truth (James 5:19). Rather than run away from those who have stepped into the muck of life, we ought to wash their smelly feet. You see, Jesus tells us to wash each others feet because He knows that none of us go through life unsoiled at some point. The truth is that we need each other! We must be our brothers keepers – no only to keep each other from trouble, but also to keep each other alive when we are wounded.

How horrible that we have made our Christian journey a survival of the fittest where we are only looking out for ourselves; laughing in pride as we step on those that have missed the mark. When will we realize that no one is fit enough to go it alone?

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Only one is fit – God! Since we are not God, we all need each other to survive. Isolation leads to death!

It is because we are bent on going it alone and refuse to tend to our wounded that the number in our army – which is God’s army – continues to dwindle. And so we continue to lose the battle for families, communities, and nation for we ourselves are not healthy to do much good – too many are wounded and are not receiving care! Our numbers are too small and too many in our ranks are too weak to fight a good fight. And instead of crying for this, too many of us simply chuck it up to it being the end times and pat ourselves in the back for staying strong. Our mercy, grace, and love walk has become so shallow that our heart no longer breaks like God’s heart breaks every time something ungodly occurs.

When we say that the nation(s) have gone away from God, I wonder if God is saying ‘I know this, but I have made you my hands and feet. I have given you a task to make disciples (not just new converts) and handed you the baton for the ministry of reconciliation and restoration. What are you doing?

God’s Heart

Oh brothers and sisters, my plea is that we take care of our wounded so that the world may see and be encouraged to join our ranks for they know they will be cared for. For what is the benefit of joining our ranks if they are going to be treated the same way the world treats them. Let us take care of our wounded so that the heart of the enemy may grow faint when he sees that we are still as numerous and as strong as at the beginning despite our walk through perilous terrain.

Just as Jesus has promised never to leave us nor forsake us, our motto should be no soldier left behind! That our brothers and sisters will never walk alone. Let us be a Titus today!

“God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus” – 2 Corinthians 7:6

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