KISSING MY SCARS

‘How beautiful You are and how pleasing, O Love with Your delights!’ (SS 7:6)
The Song of Songs is placed in the middle of the Bible. It is pure passion; a fire that burns the rest of the scriptures.
The woman is called the Beloved, the Bride. She represents us, the true worshippers, the Body of Christ. The Lover is Jesus.
The woman desires intimacy with her lover. At the beginning, she is shy about her appearance. She had no time to learn how to dress up, how to do make up or how to look like a lady. She is a shepherdess, a pastor. She had been working so hard for her brothers that now she is ugly in her own eyes.
She says to others: Please…’do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun…’
But even so, her inferiority complex is not strong enough to stop her desiring to marry the most wonderful Man in the universe. He is the Lover of her soul. She openly confesses her need of Him; she desires to be kissed and embraced by Him. She is ‘dark’ and He is ‘the Fairest of ten thousands’. The two of them look so different at the beginning…But love has its own power to change. At their wedding day, the Bridegroom lovingly kisses all her body, her hair, her lips, her neck, her breasts…He kisses the scars of the past away….He kisses the darkness of sin away and His Bride becomes ‘white as snow’…’without spot or wrinkles’.
Has Jesus kissed your scars away!
Marriage is a very important subject in the Bible. Marriage is a mystery, something that only God can design. The intimacy of marriage will leave you in awe of God’s romantic power. Marriage is a wonderful celebration, a gift from God, especially designed and bestowed on His children on their wedding day.
No two human beings can experience this joy, except the Prince of Peace attends their wedding. Flesh is a cheap counterfeit. Lust is the enemy of true love. Sexual sin is an insult to the mystery of marriage. It destroys the divine seal of protection and the romance will leak away, leaving the couple feeling guilty, bare, weak and ashamed. If your marriage is not extremely happy, something is wrong. If you are not proud of your spouse, if you are not ‘madly’ in love with one another, something is seriously wrong. Your marriage is sick and dying. You must pay the price for its restoration; for God will ask an account from what He has given to you.
This is my testimony: On the outside, I was ‘a successful’ person. But inside, I was dark and ugly, lonely and sad. But one day, I permitted myself to become crazy…I chose to chase the most wonderful Person in the universe, Jesus Christ, my Lord. I had many doubts at the beginning. I imagined that He will reject me, for I was too dirty for His royal court. But something new entered my heart, a strange new passion, to cling to His Cross and touch His cleansing Blood. Religious men discouraged me, reminding me of my past of sin… But still, I could not stop this awaken love, this seeking the King with tears like a flood…Just at the mention of His name, I will weep and weep, unable to stop this longing to be one with Him….Each tear from my eyes was a rebuke to the doubt of my heart, for ‘he that has suffered in the body is done with sin’.
It was a long and dangerous road. I passed thru dry lands and barren seasons. I passed between roaring lions and poisonous snakes. But worship became bolder and none could harm me anymore for ‘love is as strong as death’. At last, exhausted on a pursuit of impossible dreams, I fainted and died, all alone, surrounded by mockers who sang the ugly chant of unbelief. I still remember the hour and the very spot of my death when I became nothing…zero…It is finished, I told myself…
The next day, to my greatest surprise, I found myself in the royal chamber of my Holy King… I lost myself in His presence…His eyes are like doves…His lips are like lilies… His mouth is sweetness itself…This is my Lover, this is my Friend, O daughters of Jerusalem…
Jesus saved my soul, my marriage, my children, my ministry and my all!
Just in case you ask…yes, I lost all my fears and all my insecurity…I am not ugly anymore for He has kissed my scars away…I am now wonderfully and fearfully made, to love Him forever…’You are beautiful, my darling…’- He tells me…And I do believe Him!
To Him be all the glory, both now and forevermore!
Amen!

THE KISS

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth- for Your love is more delightful than wine” (SS 1:2).
“If only You were to me like a brother, who was nursed at my mother’s breasts! Then if I found You outside, I would kiss You, and no one would despise me” (SS 8:1).
The song starts abruptly with a strong, intoxicating passion, the desire for a kiss. The Beloved has seen a glimpse of the Lover and the attraction is instant and magnetic. This is a love that has no fear, no second thoughts of danger or doubt. We can see the movement forward, closer to the Lover, desiring intimacy from the very beginning.
What is a kiss? The dictionary gives us the meaning of the word ‘kiss’ and helps us to have a greater revelation of this verse. A kiss is a gentle contact or touch, especially with the lips, as a sign of affection. A contact is a union, a joining of two surfaces. In the field of electricity a contact is a junction of wires thru which the current passes. We see then that the kiss is a superficial touch that expresses a deeper connection, establishes the reception of significant signals from another. The kiss then is part of a coded system of signals or symbols, ‘a body language’, a behavior with the intent of establishing communication. There is no kiss without a meaning. Nobody desires a kiss by accident. The kiss communicates an idea, there is an exchange of information between two people; both understand and cooperate with the meaning.
The kiss is the symbol of unity, of forgetting self in the fire of love. There is no regret, to fear, no doubt. To an outsider, this desire expressed in the kiss, is a terrifying act to behold. Spiritually it is the heart desire to become one with Christ, to be like Him, to feel His embrace. The kiss is the desire of all true believers, born by the Spirit. I have seen people who call themselves Christians, who have all the correct doctrine in their head, but never feel comfortable with the passion of the kiss. There are only two explanations for this; this people are either not born again or they are just very much baby Christians.
In my own experience, the moment I gave my heart to Jesus, I could not rest again until I came closer and closer to Him. I never had the desire to rest apart from Him, not to feel the fire of His presence. In a way I became addicted to His kisses on my soul. The older I get, the more I desire Him and nothing else makes sense to me apart from Him. Just in case someone reads these notes and thinks that I am talking of just an excited imagination. Far from it! The Kiss of the Lover is a real touch on the soul and nothing else can compare with it. It gives instant strength and joy from heaven. Something happens in that very moment. Things may look so dark, life may feel so sad, and yet, with just a touch from God, the spirit and even the body quickens at once. What a miracle!
I want to make it as simple as possible for you dear reader, who has never felt the kiss of love from Jesus. One reason may be ignorance of the best God has for you. That is why is good to study the book of the Song of Songs. I praise God that ‘the Song’ is part of the Bible. It makes my work so much easier. If you love the word of God, there it is! Our Lord died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and to reconcile us back to the Father. That is the greatest price any one had to pay for a man in the whole universe. Don’t you think that salvation is more than a little bit of religious feelings and going to church? ‘Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends’ (Jn 15:13).
God the Son is the most romantic person in the whole universe. Can you imagine that some people, even among believers, think that Jesus is a boring, hard master? The devil has deceived so many, especially about the character of God. From the time of Adam and Eve, the enemy of God has tried to convince men that he, the devil, is the one who loves and cares, the one who really understand us. The tragedy is that people do not want to know the truth; so few believers are willing to pay the price for spiritual maturity. I look around me in the church and I see so many ‘baby Christians’. They like to come to a church where there is a little preaching combined with a lot of music and excitement. Much effort is spent in creating ‘the right atmosphere’ or ‘the right sound’; but at the end of the service the hearts of men remain unchanged. It is in fact a double tragedy because the people do not even know that they are unchanged, at least not for a long time. The emotions are swelled with the personal charisma of the preacher or of the singers. People cry and ‘worship’ and all along they are ignorant that they do not touch the heart of the Father.
The bride cries for a ‘holy kiss’. We are commanded to desire and to kiss the Lord. It is the antidote to God’s anger on sin. We see in the Bible that there are only two options; to kiss Jesus means life and to refuse to kiss Him, to ignore Him, means death. ‘…you kings be wise…Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him’. We see here that to kiss the Lord Jesus is life, is wisdom and protection; it is an eternal blessing. The reward is authority over the nations of the earth. ‘Ask of Me and I will make the nations your inheritance…’ (Ps 2:8-12). The only other option is to ignore His love for us and to be foolish enough to resist Him. That option is surely death. Even as I write these lines I ask myself, do I long for this passionate touch? I am really ready to pay the prize for such a holy kiss? There are so many people who see passion as foolishness, completely unnecessary for a ‘successful’ Christian life.
As I write these words the easiest way for me to concentrate to go on is to do it only for the sake of my Lord. I can’t really imagine what type of men will appreciate these words. But for me, they are words from my heart and soul. These are words that were conceived in me with many tears along the way. I know the touch of Jesus. I know that He desires intimacy with the believers. I know the power and the life of a kiss to Him and from Him. O, Lord, I need more anointing, the utterance of spiritual truths wrapped in spiritual words. Holy Spirit please come and help me! You encourage me to write what seems impossible to me! Fill me I pray! Amen!
There is similar scene recorded in heaven by the prophet Isaiah. He became spirit and ‘saw the Lord seated on the throne, high and exalted’. He heard the voices of angels crying “Holy! Holy! Holy! Then the prophet discovered that he is the only stranger there, so different than them all. He saw that the only words that could come out of his lips were words of woe and ruin. Then he saw the mercy of the Lord in sending a seraph with a live coal taken from under the altar of sacrifice. The fire touched his lips and suddenly the guilt and shame of sin removed (Is 6). What a touch! What a kiss of fire! I may not understand everything about it but I feel my spirit saying ‘yes’ to it. I need the fire, I need the passion, I need the kiss of life! Then I can go in the name of the Lord and preach to my last breath.
There are two types of ‘kisses’ in the Bible. The first category is the kiss of the traitor, the kiss of the seducer and adulterer. ‘…an enemy multiplies kisses’ (Pv 27:6). This type of kiss is the mark of the pain of betrayal and goes together with the ‘flattering tongue’. ‘A lying tongue hates those it hurts and a flattering mouth works ruin’. ‘Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet’ (Pv 26:28; 29:5).
There is in the bible a classical scene of seduction and capture played million times in the history of man. Sin starts with a kiss and like a snake; it entangles its victims and crushes the breath out of them without mercy. ‘At the window of my house…I noticed among the young men a youth who lacked judgment. He was going down the street near her corner…at twilight…Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent…She took hold of him and kissed him…with persuasive words she led him astray…All at once he followed her like an ox going to slaughter…’ (Pv 7). You may think that the devil has improved in his technique since then and today there more sophisticated methods of falling into sin. The word of God can’t be broken. This passage in the Bible is still the way he operates. The heart of man is still the same. This is the kiss of death. Every Samson has his Delilah. ‘So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man…’ (1Cor10:12, 13).
Just in case you taught that this is the worse that can happen to any man, there is in the Bible the most infamous kiss of all; it is the kiss of the devil himself. In other words the devil used his lips to stain the face of Christ who is the image of God (2Cor 4:4). Do you remember the last day on earth in the life of our Lord? ‘…As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered him. What you are about to do, do quickly, Jesus told him…As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night…Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: The one I kiss is the man; arrest him. Going at once to Jesus, Judas said: Greetings, Rabbi! And kissed him. Jesus replied: Friend, do what you came for. Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him…’ (Jn13:27-30; Mt 26:48-50).
Even as I write these words my fingers are shaking. I can see the scene, I can hear the sounds, I can feel the emotions as Jesus was troubled in spirit (Jn 13:21). Since that night of betrayal the kiss of man has been sold forever to the devil. There is no innocent kiss anymore in this world. Like everything else, the kiss had to be redeemed at the cross. The blood of Jesus has been shed to reconcile us to God and to one another in Christ. There is now no condemnation for us in Christ. All members of our bodies that were used for sin before have to learn the new way of conduct, as slaves to righteousness. We are to use our lips to praise God, to worship Him. And we are to show love and appreciation to one another, with a holy embrace and a holy kiss (Ro 16:16, 1Cor 16:20, 2Cor 13:12, 1Thess 5:26, 1Pet 5:14).
What is that ‘a holy kiss’? Many believers quote the above scriptures; many of them greet, embrace and ‘hug’ one another. But the question still remains; what is a holy kiss? I have seen many kisses in my life, but I can’t really tell how many of them were holy. The word ‘holy’ means something that is like God, it belongs to the realm of heaven. It means something different than the ordinary, it is uncommon, special. It also means something that is pure and also has the power to purify what it touches, life fire purifies the gold. A holy kiss then is the kiss of Jesus if He was here on earth. We know that words spoken under the anointing of the Spirit have the power the touch people’s lives and change hearts. Just the same way, a holy embrace imparts something of the presence of God, His comfort and strength.
The best example I can think of is the touch, or let’s say the kiss of the woman of the issue of blood (Lk 8:43-48). She was sick for so many years. She needed healing but more than that, she needed the Healer. She was desperate to kiss the feet of the Master, or even the ‘hem of His garment’. The touch was of faith, of desperation, of love, of worship. Many around were close by, pushing from all sides. Only one really touched Him in worship. ‘Who touched Me?’ Jesus asked. The kiss of worship made the connection and virtue came out of Him into the woman. There was a transfer of virtue, like electricity passed at the joining of wires. It was not an accidental kiss. It had a meaning. Jesus felt it, He stopped because of it. The woman was there, in His presence, made whole. That means she was not just healed in her body, but freed to worship the King forever. What a kiss! What a touch! From death to life eternal!
To the world this type of passion stirs up anger and judgment. The world knows nothing of the power and purity of a holy kiss. ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is-that she is a sinner…Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house…You did not give Me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet… for she loved much…’(Lk 7:36-50). He then said to her ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace’. What was her faith? She knew the Song of Solomon of long ago and she believed the word. Remember that faith is the response of the human spirit at the preaching of truth. She was a ‘sinner’ but save by grace. She knew the word and acted on it. ‘Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth…If only you were to me like a brother…then, if I found you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me…’ (SS 1:2, 8:1). Every scripture has to be fulfilled in Christ. That is why He came. That is why He died.
O, blessed are they who have faith to worship God in Spirit and in truth!

I rejoice in the downfall of satan!

‘And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him’ (1Sam 5:4)
fallen-dagon-statue
The Ark of God was captured by the Philistines (1Sam 5). The Glory of God is now in the possession of His enemies. God permitted this strange capture of Himself for two main reasons: to chastise His people for their long standing rebellion against Him and secondly, to defeat His enemies from within their own camp.
The Ark represents the visible presence of God. It was made of pure gold. On top there was the mercy seat with the two cherubs worshipping God. This Ark was now placed in the temple of Dagon, the god- fish of the Philistines. The next day the priests of Dagon discovered that their idol was fallen on the ground before the Ark of Jehovah. The word ‘fallen’, in Hebrew, it means to be demoted, to be inferior, to fail, to be a fugitive or to be divided.
‘A house divided shall not stand but fall’- said Jesus (Lk 11:17).
The priests of Dagon gently set back their idol on its platform, pleading with it to stand and not be disgraced publicly before Jehovah’s Ark. That prayer failed too. The next day, Dagon was face down, on the floor again, this time with the head and both hands cut off. The word ‘face’ means the presence or the favor of a person. The word ‘head’ means the leader or the ruler. The word ‘hand’ means the power, the resources, the sense of direction and identity; it also means fellowship or ministry.
Spiritually speaking, the Philistines stand for the people who serve religious idols, in particular the wicked ‘fish- water’ spirit of Jezebel. They infiltrate the churches and actively oppose the true worship of God. But their altars have been destroyed in our midst. Except they truly repent or their spiritual wickedness in high places, they shall be punished with division, divorce, losing leadership, losing their jobs, poverty, confusion, foolishness and madness. They shall lose any favor or influence they have over the true believers. Do not just pity a poor man, a jobless man. Direct him to the Cross of Christ. It may be that he is connected with Dagon worship and he is your enemy, even if ignorantly. His greatest need is not money or a job, but Christ!
The Ark was finally removed from the shrine of Dagon and carried from city to city all over the Philistine territory. The hand of God was on these cities and brought great anxiety over them. The inhabitants got sick with ‘emerods in the secret parts’ (1Sam 5:9, KJ). The word ‘emeords’ means tumors, painful boils in the genital area, venereal diseases, hemorrhoids, breasts lumps, ovarian cysts or uterine fibroids. Medically speaking, these represents painful, hidden, very difficult to treat infirmities. Medication or surgery may not be enough in some cases. Prayer and deliverance, for them that are willing, may be required before healing can come. This was indeed my experience as a medical doctor and a Christian over the years.
The hands of Dagon were cut off but the hand of God was troubling the cities of the enemy. The word ‘hand’ is the same in both scriptures. The religious unbelievers shall lose strength and vision. But none can cut off the mighty hand of God, His power, His resources, His sense of direction and identity. As the idolaters in the church continue to lose power and direction, the people of God will become stronger by faith. God’s power and resources, His confident sense of identity and sense of direction will propel them to greater heights and spiritual promotion. Darkness will become deeper and the light will shine brighter, in the same time. The difference between the true and the fake believers shall become clearer than ever before, to the glory of God! The veil of deception over the minds of the Children of God is now destroyed! You are free!
The capture of the Ark and the defeat of Dagon, in his own domain, is a wonderful picture of the Cross. Christ was crucified in weakness but resurrected by God’s power and glory. Our Lord was ‘captured’ by the forces of darkness and dragged to hell. This was on behalf of our sins that deserved no less than death. But on the third day He came out of hell and grave holding in His hands not only the stars, but the keys of hell and death. Keys mean authority. The devil had the power of death over all of us, the sinners. But now, this authority belongs to Christ. It is the Lord who decides who goes to hell or not. It is not sin or the devil or even death that determines our destiny. It is Jesus!
“I saw satan fall like lightening from heaven! I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions (and ‘fishes’) and to overcome ALL the power of the enemy! Nothing will harm you…Rejoice!” –says the Commander of the Army, our Lord Jesus Christ! (Lk 10: 18-20)
I REJOICE! I REJOICE! I REJOICE!
All the Glory to the Lamb upon the Throne!
Amen!

ZELOPHEHAD’S DAUGHTERS (2)

THE FAITH OF THESE SISTERS – DREAM BIG!
The story of Zelophehad daughters is hidden between the pages of the Bible. Few preachers take real interest in it. But there is great encouragement for us all. Especially when we are in need and none can help but God alone. Their faith in God is worthy of admiration. They confessed that their father was a sinner, an unbeliever. They did not come in the name of their father. They did not hold on their natural inheritance. They also said that their father was not an unrepentant, rebellious sinner like Korah. It is possible that the girls were witnesses that he repented before he died in the desert. The girls trusted God, the Righteous Judge of all men, knowing that the children shall not be punished for the sins of their fathers (Ez 18:20).
Their faith was bold. Like we said, it was not easy for women to come and speak in public. It was even more difficult to come and ask for something that was not recorded in ‘the constitution’, in the law of Israel. They asked for an amendment!!! Possibly they discussed these matters for a long time, on how to go to Moses and explain their need and their desire. The tradition of men was against them. Religion was against them. The risk was that ‘old’ Moses will just dismiss them as ‘foolish girls who dream big dreams’. What was their secret? Apparently they believed in the God of all grace! They trusted that God will show them favor because they humbled themselves. They also loved the Promises of God. They wanted to preserve the name of their father. They succeeded to do that for the name and ‘the memory of the righteous is a blessing….’ (PV 10:7)
One of the lessons here is that not all blessings come to us ‘automatically’. There are times in which we must exercise a sanctified imagination and dream big! We are to see ahead what God is willing to give, even if He did not specify the particular blessing in His Word. We are commanded not ‘to limit God’ (Ps 78:41). These girls allowed themselves to see God big, as He really is, the Almighty! True faith trusts God, for whom nothing is impossible! I often ask myself before I pray: ‘Lia, what do you lose if you believe big?’ The answer is nothing, except my fears and my doubts. And that is what I desire anyway…
Just imagine what could have happened if Moses ignored them and their request. That is the reaction of the evil spirit of religion. Many churches have grieved the Holy Spirit by holding too tight to the rules and traditions of men that are not Biblical. It takes great faith to challenge these strongholds. Few are ready to pay the price for their destruction. During revival, as the Spirit moves upon the hearts of men, as the true Word of God is preached in the pulpit, more will be willing to come forward and ask for changes in the religious structures. These girls challenged the status quo, as it is said. Please observe that they were not rebellious. They come to Moses in a very different attitude than Miriam, for example, who complained about her brother’s foreign wife. Mariam was chastised by God, for coming with a familiar spirit of rebellion, with leprosy and untimely death.
Another great lesson is that we should have faith to come before God with all our requests. Even if men ignore us, persecute or punish us, we should never forget that God is above all and His Word overrules all other decisions. He is the God of Justice. He is also the God of mercy. Like the widow coming to the judge and asking for justice against her adversary, we should believe that God hears and eventually answers the cry of his needy people (Lk 18:1-8). The best example is our Lord, who persecuted, He did not retaliate but found comfort in the fact that the Father is the God of justice (1Pet 2:21-23). We need faith mixed with boldness to approach the throne of God and be confident to always find grace and mercy our times of need (Heb 4:16).
‘Christ is the end of the law’ (Gal 3:28). In Christ, there is no discrimination, no male or female, no Jew or foreigner; they are all one (Rom 10:4). For as long as you depend on a law for the answers to your prayers, you will be disappointed. It is Christ and His grace to men that we should trust in, just like these young women. He alone takes the credit for giving them joy! If you consider the fact that this discussion about inheritance and land has taken place on the east side of the River Jordan outside the Promised Land, then you will appreciate their faith even more. Moses did not give them the land. He only gave them a promise that they will have land after they conquer it. Now, they could rest their souls on that Word. That is faith!
Later we see that the men in their father’s family came to Moses with a complaint. They became bold like their sisters. They said that if these girls receive land and if they marry outside the tribe, they will take their property to their husbands. In this way, the tribe shall lose land because of marriage and even the year of Jubilee cannot nullify that transfer. Moses also prayed and God confirm the men’s request. The girls are free to marry ‘whoever they desire’, from any tribe. But if they insist to inherit their father’s land, according to the promise they just received, then they should marry only men from their father’s clan. This restriction on marriage is so that the land will not pass from one tribe to another. All five decided to obey the Word of God and to fulfill the conditions for family inheritance and decided to marry their cousins, proving that they were indeed women of God!
There is another peculiar quality about these sisters faith. It is violent! Religious people fear this type of faith but it is Biblically recommended. The Lord said that ‘the violent take the Kingdom of God by force’ (Mt 11:12). The word ‘violent’ in Greek means the power of life that pushes itself into the area of death and conquers it. It is to force your way, to press on thru the crowd destroying illegal hindrances. The best way to describe this wonderful faith is to apply the power of resurrection that opens the grave. The entrance into the Kingdom is not easy; it is thru spiritual warfare. May the spiritual violence be revealed!
All this revelation is the proof that Zelophehad’s daughters prayed hard and long before they decided to approach Moses, in front of the congregation and at the entrance of the tabernacle of God. Any presumption, any pride, any display of flesh could have killed them. The power of resurrection, the active faith in the grace of God, the seal of the Spirit upon their words and requests, these were undeniable. The God of Justice gave them the victory! They are an inspiration to us all. If our motives are right, if we study the Word of God and believe His promises, then we shall enter the fullness of the Spirit! Selah!
May our faith in the God of all grace increase! May our desire to conquer new territories for the Kingdom of God increase! May our boldness to come before the Throne of God increase! May we love God more than all other things, including marriage and children! May sanctified imagination be our portion! May the fear of God replace the fear of man and of religion! May God send faithful harvesters to collect His harvest and prepare this land for revival! In Jesus name, amen!

EXPOSING AND DEFEATING DOUBT

(Jam 1:1-8)
Doubt is an evil spirit, a branch of the spirit of religion and particularly the demon called Jezebel. Because it is a religious spirit, it is very common and active in the churches. Doubt is a type of faith, but not the living, acceptable faith of the true believer. It is a weak, damaged faith. Doubt manifests itself as a wavering between two opinions, even after a choice has been made. That is why doubters are ‘unstable in all their ways’. The word ‘unstable’ means something that is not ordained by God; it is temporary. You cannot trust a doubter because he will surely disappoint you.
A doubter is addicted to fear of failure. He sees obstacles and giants in his path. He excuses his foolishness and cowardice with smooth words. These fiery darts meant to destroy the faith of the believers. Be careful! Separate from friends who are always maximizing the obstacles and discourage you to take risks with God.
Ten out of twelve men sent by Moses to spy the Promised Land were doubters. They doubted God’s promises even before they crossed the River Jordan. There is no surprise why they came back grumbling against God. They said that the land is good but the giants too tall. Doubters hate holy activity, prayer and especially spiritual warfare. Doubt is more contagious than faith. There are more doubters than believers. Be careful, choices made by following the crowd are wrong, most of the time.
God ignores the prayers of doubt but He answers them that believe.
Faith has joy and strength. Doubt is filled with sadness, weakness and passivity. Faith is patient and wise. Doubt is impatient and foolish. Faith is the engine towards spiritual maturity, going to the place of ‘lacking nothing’. That is a blessed position where you can never be inferior or poor. Doubt gets exhausted going between two opinions, until he is tired, ready to faint. Rejoice when you pass trial of faith because no one bothers to try a doubter.
You are a blessed believer!
‘It is well, with my soul!’

Zelophehad’s daughters

This is the story of five young women. They probably grew up with a single father. They had no brothers. Their late father was from the tribe of Manasseh. According to God’s promise, he was entitled to an inheritance once the children of God will take over the Promised Land. But the Law of Moses gave the right of inheritance only to sons (Deut 21:15-17). That law did not apply to the daughters. The only thing a daughter could receive from her father was a dowry given to her on her wedding day. But no family inheritance was given because thru marriage she changes her name to belong to her husband’s family and tribe. To change the Law, this was an impossible challenge for these five young, unmarried women of God. What will they do?
Their father’s name Zelophehad, in Hebrew, probably means ‘Protection against fear’. His daughters names all end with the letter ‘h’. That is the shortest form for the name Jehovah. Just imagine the scene: praying for a son, each time his wife had a child, it was a girl. It happened five times. And each time their father bowed his head in submission to the sovereign will of God. Each time, according to his name, he refused to fear concerning their daughters’ future. The blessings of God, five girls and no son, ‘do not add sorrows’, I am sure he told himself. So he did the best he could: he named and dedicated each of his precious girls to Jehovah, praying that He will be their Savior, Protection and Wisdom after he was gone. These are the five names of his daughters and their meaning in Hebrew language:
1. Mahlah – Prayer (the travail of my wounded soul) given to God
2. Noah – Leading (unto promotion) by God
3. Hoglah – Partridge (the hunted bird) of God
4. Milcah – Queen (the royalty, the rule) of God
5. Tirzah – Favor (the delight and pleasure) of God
These five sisters grew up in the house of their father, Zelophehad, who surely told them that according to the law, as girls, they are not entitled to a family inheritance after his death. But as his name implies, he also told them to fear not, for God’s ways are mysterious and He can make a way for them, if they just believe. I am sure that they grew up trusting God for a miracle.
The story above happened at Shittim, on the east side of River Jordan, opposite Jericho. The children of God are ready to enter the Promised Land. With the exception of Moses, Joshua and Caleb, all the adults that came out of Egypt died, including Zelophead. This was God’s judgment because of their rebellion against God. Moses gives his last commands to them at this spot and soon after, he too will die on the east side of Jordan. But for now, he is still in charge. The five sisters decided to come together to meet Moses and the elders at the entrance of the Tabernacle of God and witnessed by about two million peoples.
Just imagine the sight! Try to understand the feelings of the sisters. It is not easy to step in the limelight, in front of such a multitude. For some people, especially for women, the fear of speaking in public is as great as the fear of death. They needed real courage and faith in God. Their attitude is one of humility and confidence in the same time. They plead for the sake of their father’s name connected with his inheritance. Obviously they love their late father. They ask for a great favor from Moses and the elders: that in the Promised Land, the portion of family inheritance allotted to their father should be given to them. This was a strange, unique request, because like we said, girls did not have that right in Israel. They humbly ask for the favor to carry on their father’s name and his right to an inheritance.
Moses was possibly surprised by these girls. He wisely did not just reject them by saying that the law does not accommodate such a request. It is possible that their attitude impressed him. Their faith, humility and anointing was sealed by the Spirit. No one could reject a person of true faith in Jehovah, one who speaks the Word of God with anointing and power. Not knowing what to do, Moses decided to take their case to God! He prayed and then came back to inform them of God’s decision.
‘The Lord said to Moses: ‘What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and turn their father’s inheritance over to them’ (Nu 27:5-7)
This is a most wonderful Word directly from God!!! All poor, humble, in need people, rejoice! Sisters, rejoice!
Jehovah God confirms that what the girls ‘are saying is right’. In Hebrew, the word ‘saying’ means a rehearsed (before God) speech, a spiritual utterance that is the work of faith, the word of a teacher. It is the perfect command that destroys all opposition. The word ‘right’ in Hebrew means that their speech was ordained, established in faith, just, prepared and perfect, as coming from spiritually mature hearts. God, who looks at the hearts of people, has approved their standing, their faith and their prayer.
O, that out faith will increase to trust God who is never under the law!

The Anointing

IMG_3855THE ANOINTING
When the anointing of the Holy Spirit comes down, suddenly it is so easy to minister…the memory is active and at peace…the words become oily in the mouth and the atmosphere is filled with the intoxicating presence of the king Himself…none can remain the same…you learn more in a minute under the anointing, than a year of studying the Bible on your own…
I love the Holy Spirit!
(in the picture, women of God in our church praying…)

MOTHERLY ADVICE BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY: PASSION, PURITY AND PURPOSE!

praying-couple
‘My son (my daughter), pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it’ (PV 4:20-23)

There is good dating and sinful dating. Recreational dating is wrong. It is sin. Young people exercise their emotions by dating many without any clear purpose. These relationships are generally based on flesh attractions. They consume time, money and energy. Their foundation is wrong. The common ground of these worldly relationships is based on worshipping the same idols together. Sometimes, they are infatuated with different idols but they have ‘peace’ when these do not clash with one another. All these are sinful relationships, the wicked work of familiar, seductive spirits. There are ‘serial daters’ who become very skillful in manipulating others emotions. They are a stronghold of lust, pollution and wickedness.
True relationships in the body of Christ must always be based on purity, passion and purpose. Like Job, make a covenant with your eyes not to look lustfully to others. Be sensitive with ‘the sign of peace’. The Holy Spirit will warn you if you go too close to one another, or if love degenerates into lust and purity into wickedness.
If you feel led to marry, pray that God will open only one door and close all others to you. Marriage is not hunting. Marriage is not trial by error. Marriage is God’s gift to man and the Holy Spirit does the connection.
‘Do not awake love’ until you are ready to marry. This is a paraphrase of Song of Solomon SS 2:7, the most passionate, erotic Book in the Bible. The high levels of stirred emotions between a man and a woman are to be found only between husband and wife. During dating keep your emotions under the control of the Holy Spirit, controlling your body in a holy way. The worldly books and movies can never be your standard as you prepare to marry. Read the Bible and apply the principles you find there. Also imitate other couples who clearly are mature spiritually and still intoxicated with the wine of the passion for Christ and for one another. These couples are rare to find even in the church, but if you seek, you will find them as treasures. Tell your pastors or other mature believers about your intent, even at the beginning of the relationship. Tell them you want to be accountable to them.
During courtship, do not touch one another physically except to hold hands in prayer. All this sacrifice is worth it as God watches and approves the laying of your marriage foundation. Under no circumstances have sex before the wedding! That fire will destroy the seal of anointing from the Holy Spirit and the marriage will be vulnerable and weak. Sexual premarital abstinence is good but purity of heart and motives is even better. Seek holiness and purity in your dating and marriage! Have purpose during your relationship. Do not propose marriage if you are not ready to marry. Long time indefinite dating is not good.
Purity in the relationships is like incense as you worship God. Hypocrisy in the relationships quenches the worship of God.
May God give you wisdom as you prepare your heart and your body for the marriage ahead! In Jesus name, amen!
I wish you well as I continue to pray for you!
Your mother in Christ!

Unrepentant stubbornness and rebellion is sin unto death

‘If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders of the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders: This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard. Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear and be afraid’ (Deut 21:18-21)
This is one of the most frightening scripture for any child to read. It describes a serious crisis in the family. The parents are believers and they have tried their best to train their son ‘in the way of the Lord’. But their grown son is totally rebellious. The parents have the authority to discipline him, so that he becomes obedient and good. But their authority as parents is limited. The highest method of discipline they can use is ‘the rod’. Let’s say that they have used the rod, several times, but the son is still stubborn and rebellious. That is the point of crisis. The parents have to recognize their limit in exercising authority. They cannot do more than that! They cannot kill their son at home. They have to take him to the higher authority, which are the community elders. In our days, we can say that they have to call the police and hand over their son to them. Father and mother have to make a clear complaint to the council of the elders. Once both parents agree that that their son is an unrepentant, worldly, wasteful, dangerous trouble- maker, disobedient and rebellious young man then the sentence is passed. In the presence of his parents, that young man shall be stoned to death by his community. There is no appeal for him. This is the Word of God.
It is true that there is no record of any such event in Israel, but the Word stands there forever as a warning to all children. The reason why death penalty is given upon such a son, it is because sin, evil, can spread in the community like cancer. Here we see God’s concern for the spiritual health of our families, churches and communities.
To be an unrepentant rebellious and stubborn person, totally defiant against the authority over you, that is witchcraft. And God’s Word says that ‘no witch should be allowed to live’ for she is able to pollute the hearts of all people around (1Sam 15:23; Ex 22:18). That is the reason why the children are commanded to respect and even fear their parents. Their lives are literarily in the hands of their parents for as long as they depend on them living in the home. Children, be careful! Be wise!

Gilgal – Transition to maturity!

‘Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, their hearts melted in fear and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites….The manna stopped the day afterward they ate this food from the land’ (Josh 5:1-12)
Gilgal is a plain close to Jericho. The children of God have just ‘crossed over’ into the Promised Land.
Spiritually, Gilgal represents the transition between youth and maturity, between walking by sight and walking by faith, between dependence on personal strength to being dependent on God, for provision, power and the fulfillment of promises.
The word ‘Gilgal’ means ‘rolling away’ the shame and disgrace of past sin. That reality, that experience is located at the Cross of Christ. What should we expect to see at our Gilgal?
*This is a place of victory. Our enemies will hear of the miracles God has done in our lives and begin to fear, begin to be discouraged about their standing, strategy and religion. The kings of Canaan began to faint at the sound of the victory on behalf of God’s children. These kings represent the demons and the kingdom of darkness.
There shall be ‘unexplained, mysterious’ weakness and confusion in the camp of your enemies.
*This is a place of rest and preparation for further victories in the land. This rest is God’s rest. We like to always ‘do things’ for God, but the primary reason why He called us to Himself is to just BE, to become His worshippers. From now on, every victory in the land shall be your personal gain connected to God’s glory. From now on, your finances will miraculously increase. This is an overflow so that you do not live just for ‘paying bills’ but to exhibit faith in God, the Provider. People will be attracted to this new overflow of wealth. They know your struggling past and suddenly things change. They shall come to ask why? Your wealth shall be a new platform for ministry as you give all glory to God!
*This is a place of transition where we remember with gladness the promises of the past. God said to Abraham that He will be the owner of all that land and that his children will be many, like the stars. After more than four hundred years in Egypt, where the dream of land ownership became unreal, the people of God now ‘sleep’ on that Promised Land under the stars ‘of Abraham’. From now on, you shall experience the fulfillment of old dreams and prayers. Long ago these blessings were life to you and made your soul glad. But after so many years, a part of your soul died with their death. You shall discover that God never forgets prayers in the name of His Son; that your ugly past of sin, surprisingly contained seeds of blessings, now ready to resurrect in Gilgal. You shall find joy in resurrecting old hobbies, gifts, businesses and ministries. This is our God!
*This is a place of separation from the past of sin. All the males had to circumcise. This was the reminder that they belong to God. Abraham was told by El Shaddai that all God’s men must be circumcised in the flesh. In Egypt and in the desert, they ignored the covenant because they were under God’s judgment. Now, they all obeyed the command and they circumcised as the people of God. The flesh dies so that the spirit can live.
From now on, a new sense of belonging to God, to His family on earth and heaven will grip your soul. You shall discover the pain and the gain of the Cross.
*This is a place for a change of ‘diet’. Manna stopped and now, for the first time in their lives, they eat the fruit of the land. Manna was God’s supernatural provision for forty years in the desert. Now they have to work the land for their daily bread. This is not an easy transition, but very necessary for spiritual maturity. To eat manna may be boring but it does not take much personal labor. From now on they have to attack the Canaanites, to disposes them of their land and to start farming it. They have to trust God for rain and seeds.
Spiritually speaking, from now on, the ‘readymade diet’ of listening to sermons in the church will not be enough. You will continue to listen to sermons, but you also have to read and study the Word of God for yourself. You have to apply the Word in daily living. You have to pray always. Then the fruit of the Holy Spirit shall spring up in you. People shall come from far and near to eat your words salted with grace. Spiritual effort will pay off and your harvest shall increase!
May you recognize the change of seasons as you proceed to conquer the Blessed Promised Land!
May you be willing to pay the price to master the flesh so that the Spirit can use you to minister life to many!
May you gladly move on unto spiritual maturity!
May you desire spiritual fullness and all the best God has for you!
May you be filled with the Holy Spirit!
In Jesus name, amen!
(In the picture, twelve stones at Gilgal, as it is today)Gilgal

A Savior ‘from the scratch’

“And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy words come to pass we may do thee honour? And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore askest thou after my name, seeing it is Wonderful?” (Judg 13:17, 18, ERV)
The nation of Israel was backsliding ‘again’. Each time the people went to worship other gods, Jehovah ‘sold’ them to their enemies, so that thru pain and suffering, they might repent and come back to Him. Each time they cried for a savior, for a leader who will stir the nation unto freedom, God granted their request and He will send them one. Then they will relapse again into wicked doubt and idolatry and the circle goes on again and again. But this time, in Judges 13, the people of God are too tired to cry or pray for help. God waits for moments like these when the flesh is dead. Then He intervenes purely for His name sake and to reveal His grace.
Manoah and his wife are old people, barren and childless. They are a picture of Israel: no children, no future, no hope…Then one day, could have been ‘an ordinary’ day, the Angel of the Lord came to Mrs. Manoah and spoke to her. He did not waste any words. He identified the problem (you need a son). He gave the solution (you will have a son). He gave instruction (you and your son must keep spiritually pure). He interpreted God’s will for them (your son shall be a national hero, a deliverer, a savior to begin the freedom of Israel from the present bondage). .
When asked about His name, the Angel of the Lord said (I paraphrase):
‘Why do you ask? Don’t you know My name? Can anyone bless you with a miracle from the scratch like I do? Can anyone give you a son except God? Anyway, My name is Wonderful!’
Mrs Manoah is not named. But she is indeed a true woman of God and a godly wife. She, an old woman, runs to share the good news with her husband. See their excitement…jumping, dancing…’Wonderful Counselor has visited us!
Less than a year they witness the confirmation of the promise from God. The long waited son was born. His name is Samson, which means ‘strength. He was a strong man but with ‘a strong’ weakness. But even so, he fulfilled God’s prophecy to begin the deliverance of Israel from the hand of the Philistines.
The conception and the birth was Samson directs our attention to the Savior of men, the Lord Jesus Christ. He came full of grace and truth, to save us from sin. He lived and died that we may belong to Him forever.
At the Cross of Calvary, so much power, so much grace was released on behalf of men, that forever more God can ‘manufacture’ a miracle from scratch for them who believe.
Do you need a Savior? Do you need healing? Do you need a life partner? Do you need children? Do you need opportunities for ministry? Do you need utterance when you preach? Do you need a financial breakthrough? Do you need the Baptism of the Holy Spirit? Do you need God?
God will create a miracle from scratch for you! God does not recycle! God does not borrow! God is God! Let Him manifest in your life now! In Jesus name, amen!