SEPARATE UNTO GOD


 

“You shall not follow a crowd to do evil…” (Ex 23:2, AMP)

 

A crowd can be evil Stay away from them! This is God’s command! The word ‘follow’ in Hebrew also means to be committed, to entrust your will to others, to expect fulfillment from serving another. The word evil means to hurt, to trouble or to be wicked. Crowds can do good things or they can do evil. This is the question: Why do people follow crowds? Why do they choose to be members of internet groups, clubs or organizations? Why do they open their hearts to strange men?  Why are they attracted by secret societies? Why do men join cults?

One simple reason is loneliness. People feel lonely at home but do not have the courage to make personal friends. So they join a group with similar values. But they soon discover that now they have many ‘friends’ but no one to truly trust. Another reason why men join a club is because it provides security in case of danger. Men follow crowds because they are cowards; they are afraid to stand up for themselves. Some groups are considered ‘elite’ so joining them provide a greater social status. Lastly, they join clubs because most men doubt themselves. A man who has an inferiority complex but still wants to achieve something in life will join a club of friends. He is not sure that he can achieve his dreams alone. He feels the need of a support, of a group; to be accountable and to depend on others who have a similar purpose.

Once you join a crowd, you lose your will to it. You don’t have to decide everything; you can rely on the crowd to make choices and act. You just follow. Hidden in the crowd, like Adam behind the trees, you can avoid being seen and charged as an individual (Gen 3:8). Crowds can be a powerful force of destruction like fighting on the streets, doing damage or even kill. But going home you feel less guilty than if you did the crime alone. Another reason may be pride. Alone at home you feel so small.  But once you are in a crowd, you feel powerful. It is easier to fight for your rights as a group. If the crowd wins, you share in the benefits without fighting directly or personally. You can cheat the crowd and still win the crown.

 

But there are also disadvantages of being a man of the crowd. The major one is that you learn the skill to deceive yourself and others. In the middle of that crowd you are not yourself!  You act differently; you are more aggressive, more reckless than your normal way of life. Pushed by an invisible power that carries all along, you make mistakes that you shall regret. You become confused about the action and the direction of the crowd and you cannot stop it once you are in.

Crowds are strongholds of gossip, slander and violence. Even so, it is no easy to come out from a group that you belonged to, where you shared your dreams with others. You fear that if you leave, you shall miss the action and the friends. Sometimes you feel bad about the time you wasted when you could have followed your own path in life. You regret missed opportunities, giving up the control of your life to others.

 

What is God’s will in regard to all this?

Crowds followed Jesus just to receive superficial things, earthly blessings. They wanted food, healing of sicknesses and entertainment. But Jesus ‘dismissed the crowds’ to go away so that He can be alone with His disciples, to teach them the secrets of the Kingdom of God. (Mt 14:22). The word ‘dismiss’ means to divorce, to loose, to send away. You will not like to be in a group that Jesus will divorce. Whatever advantages you may find there, without Jesus all your dreams will fade away. As a member of the crowd, you may receive bread to eat but you will become spiritually passive. Faith cannot grow in such a heart.

 

God wants you to leave that crowd! He wants you to be separated unto Him, to know and to serve Him! God has a wonderful plan for you alone. Following that crowd will only bring sorrow! God wants that you should fulfill your destiny! God desires that you learn to be alone with Him. Most crowds are noisy and worldly. They are the opposite of what is called ‘the secret place of the Most High God’. Crowds may look impressive but most of the time they move and act by the leading of evil spirits. As part of a crowd, you share in the sins of others. That will bring unnecessary guilt to your soul. Learn to stand alone. If God gives you friends, blessed be His name. But if not, accept loneliness as your portion for this season of your life. When lonely, read the Bible and pray. And find a good living church. Join the Body of Christ. Not a crowd but the Living Body of Christ. Do not surrender your will to the crowd. Do not become a slave to men! Give your will to God! Do not trust the crowd to fulfill your dreams, to fight for your rights or to satisfy your needs. Trust God who created you to do all these things, and so much more.

Lastly, this is God’s word to you:

“Come out from them and be separate -says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing and I will receive you” (2Cor 6:17)

 

In Christ I declare:

One with God is majority!

I am on God’s side!

In Jesus name

Amen!

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WONDERFUL THINGS

 

 

“I will give you back what you lost

in the years when swarms of locusts ate your crops.

It was I who sent this army against you.

Now you will have plenty to eat, and be satisfied.

You will praise the Lord your God,

who has done wonderful things for you.

My people will never be despised again” (Joel 25, 26; Good News Bible)

 

One of the easiest ways to grieve the Holy Spirit is to take God’s promises for granted. God is not a man. God is not my ‘neighbor’. Even in His wonderful humility as the Son of Man, Jesus is God in heaven. I should never forget that! All His promises are ‘yes and amen’! I TRUST THE WORD OF GOD!

God is the only One who can satisfy my soul after losing so many opportunities in the past. The truth is that I cannot blame God for my present situation. The ‘sin factor’ is the hidden source of all deception and pride. If I obeyed God all the time all these years, today I could have been much better. Who knows, I could have been a graduate; I could have had my own house; I could have been married with children; I could have been in fulltime ministry…the list of possible ‘if’ is endless… But the truth is that I wasted much time, resources and opportunities where God could have blessed me more than I can imagine. Thinking of it, I feel ashamed… and sad…

 

So what do I do now?

I still have to come back to the God I disappointed thru my past rebellion. For there is no other being who can restore what I have lost all these years. If I refuse to come back to God I will be a life time slave to bitterness and regret. Old age shall be a terror and a painful reminder of the sins of my youth. I know many people like that…

So I come back to the God who promised restoration after total loss and failure. The word ‘restore’ in Hebrew is similar with ‘Shalom’. It is one of the greatest words in the Bible. It is also one of the names of God. It means the best God has for you; the fulfillment of your greatest desires and dreams, the answer to your best prayers. Specifically it means blessings, prosperity, health, friends, peace, joy and favor. God promises to give you His Shalom to replace your sorrow, mistakes and failures. God allowed pain to come to you, to humble you. This promised restoration comes after many ‘years’ (plural) of shameful losses and painful disappointments in life. This restoration is always miraculous. No man can take the glory for your sudden prosperity. God alone does ‘wonderful things’. The shame of the past will be totally removed and replaced with sincere praises to God, who alone is worthy to receive all the glory! I believe!

Today chose who you want to serve: the idol of self or Jehovah Shalom?

 

In Christ I declare:

‘As for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord!’

Jehovah Shalom shall restore all my losses!

For His glory!

In Jesus name

Amen!

HEALTH AND WEALTH FROM GOD

 

 

“He who loves money shall never have enough. The foolishness of thinking that wealth brings happiness! The more you have, the more you spend, right up to the limits of your income. So what is the advantage of wealth—except perhaps to watch it as it runs through your fingers … And, of course, it is very good if a man has received wealth from the Lord and the good health to enjoy it…To enjoy your work and to accept your lot in life—that is indeed a gift from God” (Ecc 5:10-20; LB)

 

Money is a great subject, for both believers and the unbelievers. Reading the scripture above we draw some life enriching wisdom. First of all: The love of money is sin and foolishness; it is a snare and a torment. On its own, wealth does do not have the power to bring joy to your soul. It does not matter the amount. By itself, money was not designed to bring fulfillment of destiny, joy or contentment to any man. Wealth does not satisfy.

This is the definition of the word ‘satisfaction’: The fulfillment of a desire and the pleasure derived from such gratification; compensation for an injury or the payment of a debt. In other words, all the gold in the world is not able to fulfill your deepest desires as a human being, cannot heal your broken heart and cannot save your soul.

 

What then can money do? Money can buy things that perish. Property bought with money feeds your eyes. You see your houses, cars and clothes and you can touch them. That’s all!  Are you ready to work two jobs only to see the things you bought with your money?  For that is the only ‘advantage’ of wealth. This is God’s decree. It is not in the power of man to enjoy money. Sooner or later, money will prove to be a disappointment. It will deceive you to build your life on great dreams and hopes. But wealth alone will fail to satisfy your deepest desires. A greedy man is not able to enjoy the little he has today, for he is always distracted and disturbed by the seducing vision of more money in the future.

 

What is the solution then? The only way to be satisfied with wealth is to recognize it as a gift from God. It is not a reward for hard work. It is not the result of a wonder financial strategy. It is a manifestation of the grace of God! Please remember this: Health and wealth are gifts from God! In Christ, God blesses you with spiritual benefits. He saves your soul and gives you eternal life. These are eternal blessings no money can buy. But the same God, by His grace, generously provides you with health, wealth, marriage, children and other good things. These things do not come randomly. They come from God!

So, give thanks to God! If you have a job, thank God for it! If food is on your table and clothes cover your body, thank God for them! If you are not homeless, thank God for the house! If you are married (even if your spouse is not ‘perfect’) thank God! If you have even one friend, thank God for sending him!

Lastly, if you are a child of God, even if you lack all these good things, still thank God for eternal life!

In all things give thanks for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus!

 

In Christ I declare:

I love God!

I do not love money!

I hate greed!

My happiness depends on God and not on my bank account!

My wealth and my health are gifts from God!

My marriage, children and grandchildren are all gifts from God!

The gifts of God come without sorrow!

I enjoy my work and my ministry as gifts from God!

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want!

I am satisfied with my portion from God!

Father, from the bottom of my heart I thank You!

In Jesus name

Amen!

RAIN BREAD FROM HEAVEN

 

 

 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you….”

“At evening you shall know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt. And in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord…” (Ex 16:4-7)

 

For more than four hundred years the children of God lived in Egypt; first as free men, then later as slaves. They groaned under the oppression of their Egyptian masters. Then God sends Moses to confront Pharaoh. Thru great acts of judgments upon the Egyptian gods Jehovah proves that He is the only Living God. Lastly, God commands that each family should kill a blameless lamb and smear their doors with its blood. That act of faith shall be their salvation. Any house without the blood shall be thrown into mourning. The first born of each family shall die that night. In the morning the door of freedom was open. The Book of Exodus tells the story…

A wise man said once: ‘It took only a day for God to bring out His children from Egypt. But it took God forty years to bring Egypt out of them’.  Why was it so hard for the people of God to move on? Why is it so hard for us to trust God for the breakthrough? To change in the image of God’s Son? These are questions we must meditate upon…

 

In the desert God provided a special food called ‘Manna’. The meaning of the word is a question? “What is this?” The answer is still a mystery. This is what we know about manna: it was God’s idea and provision for His children’s food. But God’s people never really liked it. They continued to grumble against it. It was called ‘the food of angels’. It was a wonderful food found on the tables of heaven. It appeared each morning with the dew. It was like white flakes on the ground. They could grind it, make flour and bake bread with it. It tasted like wavers with honey. It had nutritional and medicinal value. They eat it for forty years and none got sick. Can you imagine such a food?

Manna looked the same but its taste changed during the day. In the morning, after eating it, they saw the glory of God. Worship was dished out for breakfast. In the evening, at dinner time, they experienced the joy of deliverance. It is implied that at noon, they had the feeling of being attacked and persecuted. So they had to learn to trust God and pray. God intervened and gave them freedom. So at dinner they rejoiced in God’s mighty escape. This spiritual ‘drama’ was played daily for forty years. That was God’s menu: Worship- Prayer- Deliverance! This was to increase their faith in God. All this was to be found thru consuming the daily manna, the Word of God.

 

Jesus is the Word of God. Even today the believers still grumble when they read God’s Word. The Cross is still too bitter, the worship is still unappetizing, the prayer is still tasteless and deliverance is still too hard to chew…But for them who have trained themselves to live by the Word of God and prayer, their spiritual senses have been developed and their appreciation for the Lord grows daily. This is the truth: It takes a long time to come to the place of truly loving and longing for the Word of God. The grace is there, supplied daily. The rain of bread still comes from heaven to water the dry hearts. But you have to wake up in the morning, bend your back and gather it. That is the hard part. But as you open your heart to receive the Word of God, slowly, but surely, the taste of Egyptian leeks shall fade away, the memory of demonic cucumbers shall go… and your tongue touches a new sweetness, the honey of heaven for the bees on earth…and you shall sing new song….

 

Finally, the angels in heaven and I invite you to God’s table in the wilderness. Whatever it costs you, pay the price and come. I assure you: you shall be healed, delivered and satisfied! If not, send me your receipt! I shall pay your bill!

 

In Christ I declare:

I worship, pray and study the Word of God daily!

I am healed, delivered and satisfied with God’s Word!

Jesus Christ is enough for me!

In Jesus name

Amen!

BUSYBODIES

 
“As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to” (1Tim 5:11-13)

The words ‘talking nonsense’ in the scripture above mean the following:
To Bubble (like a foam on the sea, superficial, foolish talk); to be a Tattler (an informer against others to gain financial reward), To Prater (long and idle talk); to be a Garrulous person (pointlessly and annoying talkative), Idle (vain, unemployed, lazy) and vain (useless, unsuccessful, over proud in his appearance, foolish, silly)
To be Idle it means to be unemployed or careless, to lack evident means of support, hating work and good holy activity.
A busybody is someone who is more interested in the affairs of others than of his own. He volunteers to help when help is not needed. He meddles and trespasses in the lives of others, giving advice without restrain or good taste. This person is usually curious about others and indulges in gossip. He may be nice and generous but he is rude and annoying when provoked.
These are evil spirits who desire to destroy the anointing, the unity and the peace of the Spirit in the church. Watch them who only talk ‘in flesh’! Avoid them or rebuke them, as the Spirit leads. Do not help them financially, so that you do not share in their sins. Do not be led by appearances when making money donations. Many have ignorantly sponsored the agents of the devil. Go closer only to people who are truly born again and Spirit filled! Be wise!
And lastly, build up this holy habit to always give God all the glory!

In Christ I declare:
I hate to be idle
I hate to be a busybody!!
If I am jobless, I shall go to the house of God and find something to do there!
God will reward me for my labor!
I open my mouth to speak only words filed with wisdom and grace!
In Jesus name
Amen!

BUT THE LORD WAS WITH JOSEPH

 

“The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man…” (Gen 39:2)

These are strange words… God is mysterious in His dealing with us.

What is the secret of Joseph? He was a successful man, both spiritually and materially. In the Book of Genesis 39 the sentence ‘The Lord was with Joseph’ appears four times. That was his secret. The manifested presence of God affected his life and circumstances in three major ways:

*PROSPERITY

If God is with you as He was with Joseph, then He will bless all the works of your hands. You shall not lose money. You shall make profit. Your boss and business partners shall be blessed because of you. And they shall know it. For as long as you fear poverty, God is not with you as He was with Joseph.

*PROTECTION

Potiphar’s wife tempted him ‘day by day’.. He was a young man in a strange country. Because God is with him, Joseph adapts fast to his new environment. But he does not backslide there. The temptation to sin sexually was not easy to refuse. She is forward, rude and merciless. She has only two words: “Lie with me”. He responds with many passionate words of wisdom, remembering the God of his fathers. He calls adultery “a wicked thing against God”. See how Joseph feels responsible to host and protect the anointing over his life. He is ready to die than to grieve the Holy Spirit. His heart is protected by the presence and peace of God. For as long as you fear backsliding or untimely death, God is not with you as He was with Joseph.

*PROMOTION

Joseph could have been killed by angry Potiphar. But God was with him, so he was sent to prison. This was a special high class type of prison where ‘the king’s prisoners’ were kept. It seems that the same Potiphar was the overseer. The officer in charge saw the same thing Potiphar saw: the visible presence of God on Joseph. He did the same thing and promoted him to be in charge of all the prisoners. Eventually, at 30, he is freed and becomes the Prime Minister of Egypt. None could stop the promotion. For as long as you fear failure God is not with you as he was with Joseph.

God and Joseph had a covenant relationship. Each desired to be faithful to one another. Joseph felt responsible to protect the anointing. There is no other explanation for this type of extraordinary success except the presence of God. It is true that Joseph was hard working, faithful and a good man…but none explain this supernatural success except that ‘the Lord was with Joseph’. That is why all things worked together for good for him. A wise man said once:  “Our disappointments are God’s appointments”. This is true if God is with you.

Lastly, God’s presence was constant but that did not remove the pain of betrayal. God did it to prepare His servant to use him later as His ambassador on earth. God was maturing the character of Joseph!!!! For what Joseph discovered is that God’s heart is never against us even when His hand is against us. Another wise man said: “Joseph was sold so that he may not be honored and he was honored because he was sold”

Emmanuel is the secret of a successful life! This may sound so simple, but this is the truth!

May you covet God’s presence, above all things, above all else…

In Christ I declare:

I am a child of God!

God is with me!

God shall prosper, protect and promote me!

Nothing can stop it!

To the glory of God!

In Jesus name

Amen!

NO MATTER WHAT!

 

 

 

“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the Word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop… who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest” (Lk 8:15; NIV; TM)

 

The Parable of the Sower is basic to understand our salvation and our work for the Lord. There are four types of human beings in this world who call themselves’ believers’. The first three groups hear the Word of God but do not fulfill their destinies. Their hearts are too worldly, too stubborn or too complicated to allow the Word to multiply. They betray God’s purpose for their lives. They go to church, they hear sermons, they like their Bibles, but… the seed of life does not live…their heart refuse to host the power of eternal salvation.

This Parable may sound simple but behind the words of Jesus, there is sadness, too deep for words. I can feel it…But then…when sorrow wants to grip my soul, I am encouraged to read that some people who are true believers. I discover this mystery: Not all men disappoint themselves. Not all men betray God’s plan for them. What a relief…

Long ago I made up my mind that, no matter what, I will belong to this group of gloriously saved souls!!!  I decided that, no matter what, I will never disappoint Jesus and His grace, grieve the Holy Spirit or betray my destiny! Please help me, God!

 

So this is my testimony…I belong to them who chose to have a good and noble heart; the mind of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. I chose to spend time in God’s presence, to study his Word and pray. This is my choice! I pay the price for my choice! Nobody is forcing me! I am not doing it for money or fame! I am doing it for the joy and pure love of my Lord! I love Jesus too much to remain idle in mind or hard in my heart. I sit at the feet of Jesus hours on end. Like Mary of Bethany, I offer Him the precious gift of my time on earth. I learned to sacrifice any other desire on the altar of this godly heart. I had to perfect and minimize the rest activities… no mistakes in the kitchen… no waste of time when cleaning the house…Thank God for the washing machine, vacuum cleaner, microwave and ‘Indomie’ noodles. I smile as I write this…All is well…

 

The hardest of all virtues to master is to quietly persevere in spite of body tiredness, sickness, old age, distractions, setbacks, stress or misunderstanding from friends and family. This perseverance also called ‘longsuffering’, to continue to trust God and His Word is the key to fruitfulness in ministry. I love the Word of God. There are days when I am excited with new revelations…The Greek and the Hebrews translations, the commentaries and the dictionaries…these all work together for my good, helping me rejoice in finding light in the darkness and joy in the desert. These are good times…But there are also seasons when all books seem closed, when the Word of God is ‘locked’ from above, when Jesus is too busy with others to remember me… or this is how I feel…During these times of spiritual dryness… of hard to describe loneliness… of asking myself if I did not miss it…of fears… of doubts… I have learned by experience to remain faithful to my choice of long ago…to still continue to read my Bible and pray… to still have hope… to still believe in God…I remind myself of the truth: Jesus Christ is Lord…my Lord… He knows all pains…my tears are not forsaken on the ground but are all gathered in His bottle…my labor of love shall be rewarded and, not too long from now…my harvest shall be revealed and the crown of life securely pinned on my head…

Oh, dear Hope… you have become my twin sister…I agree with you: we shall stick together unto the end…

No matter what!!!

 

In Christ I declare:

I shall study the Word of God and pray always!

I shall persevere until the end!

No matter what!

The harvest, the crown, the reward and the Joy of my Lord is sure!

In Jesus name

Amen