GOD IS ON MY SIDE

 

STEP FIVE: THE GREAT DELIVERANCE

 

“If the LORD had not been on our side—let Israel now say…”

 

We are mountaineers to the glory of God. After a long and difficult trek, we have arrived at a new level of holy progress. We shall call it: The Great Deliverance.

Today we shall remember the great victories and deliverances the Lord God has done for us in the past. This Psalm is a song of the holy survivors, a song of thanks-giving. We shall give thanks to God for who He is in our lives!

There are some things men boast of performing. But the blessings of eternal value, the perfect gifts, come from God alone. Let’s imagine now how our lives could have been ‘if the Lord had not been on our side…’

There is this little word ‘if’. It means that not all people can claim the constant presence of God with them. Some people are alone, godless and lost. They live and die without a purpose and without a hope. But we, the children of God, have a Father in Heaven, a Savior on the Throne and the Holy Spirit as our Comforter forever.

God is not a respecter of Persons. He does not discriminate between rich and poor, educated or not. That is true. But we can also say that God discriminates between His children and the rest of mankind. During conflicts and war, God is on our side and He is not on ‘their side’. That is why we pray and know that the victory is ours. If God was not on our side, we could have died in sins; any sickness could have killed us; wicked people could have eliminated us. We could not have had peace and joy, hope and wisdom. We could have lacked a testimony of freedom from sin, healing from sickness and deliverance from circumstances beyond our control.

 

If God was not on the side of Israel, the Bible we read could have been a very different book. Abraham and Sarah could have died childless. Isaac could have starved to death. Jacob could have been killed by Laban or Esau. Joseph could have died as a slave in Egypt. Job could have died as a desperate, childless, poor man. Daniel could have ended in the stomach of the lions. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego could have been just ashes. Jonah could have drowned in the Great Sea. David could never be a king; Peter could have died in prison….

This is also my story…if God was not on my side I could not have been saved. I could have remained a foolish atheist, proud of my lack of spirituality, ignorant of the beauty and grace of a Savior, who died to set me free. Without God, this life makes no sense. Why will anyone be happy to live 80 years on this earth, and then go to an eternal death in hell? Without God there is no purpose, no hope, no joy, no wisdom, no fellowship or friendship, no love, no romance, no happy marriage…just a boring routine surrounded by darkness, fears, confusion and sorrow.

 

But ‘God is indeed on our side’, let Israel, let the church say so! Jehovah, the Self Existent God, the God of the covenant, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is our God! Jesus promised: “I will never leave you never forsake you! Nobody can pluck you out of My hand! Without Me you can do nothing!” “I need Thee, O, I need Thee!”

If God is for us who can be against us? Nobody! God is the Judge of all men and in Christ, He has already justified us. Who can condemn us? Nobody! All trials and tribulations, sickness, sorrow, created things, angels or demons, poverty and even death nothing is able to separate us from the love of God found in Christ Jesus, our Lord! God knew and loved us from the foundation of the world. He called us, justified and glorified us. He shall perfect all concerning us, even to the end! (Rom 8:31-39).

 

“Where would I’ve been, You only know

I’m glad You see, thru eyes of love

A hopeless case, an empty grave, if not for grace…

Amazing grace, How sweet the sound

I once was lost, but now I’m found…

Thank You Jesus…”

 

Does your heart sing? Do you feel like dancing? Do you feel like shouting the name of Jesus? I do…JESUS……

“And now, Give thanks! Let the weak say I am strong! Let the poor say: I am rich! For what the Lord has done, for us…..Give thanks!”

 

In Christ I declare:

I am saved! I am delivered!

God is on my side! That is why I live!

Nobody can steal my salvation!

In the midst of trials, for as long as I live, God will always make a way of escape for me!

I give thanks to God!

All the glory to the Lamb upon the throne!

In Jesus name

Amen!

THE DOCTRINE OF BALAAM (4)

 

 

“Woe to them! For they…have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit…they will do anything for money” (Jude 11)

 

Balak, the Moabite king, hired the false prophet Balaam to curse Israel. He had no good reason to go against the children of God. He did not attack them from a defensive position. The truth is that God did not give his land to the Jews, so there was no danger to his territory (Judg 11:18). So why did he plan evil against the children of God? This is the answer: He attacked Israel out of pure wickedness and greed. This may explain his plans to destroy them: Israel won the battle against king Sihon, a former enemy to Moab. They took over his land (Nu 21:23-26). Balak thought that by defeating Israel he can recover his lost territory. Both Balak and Balaam are covetous people, helping each other in evil and greed.

 

The first time the princes of Moab come to tempt Balaam, he refused to follow them. In his heart he really wanted to go because of the promise of a reward, but God restrained him. His refusal was not because he loved God, but because he was ‘forced’ to stay home.  The second time the elders came, they offered more money to Balaam.  He knew God’s answer but he prayed again. The love of money made him restless. Surprisingly, this second time, God answers him according to his secret heart’s desire. God says that he can go to Balak, but he will not be able to curse His people and he can only speak His word. Balaam is too stubborn to let go of such ‘a golden opportunity’ to make money. Even with all these restrictions on his ministry, he goes to meet Balak, hoping against all odds that God will change His mind.

 

Balaam willingly chooses to enter the path of temptation. This is a reckless sinful road that always ends in sorrow and death. Even the donkey tries to restrain him because he is blind to any danger. In the struggle, his foot is injured. He gets very angry. When confronted by the Lord Jesus Christ, who appears in the form of an Angel, he partially repents but still insists to go on. Eventually Balaam is killed by Israel in a battle ordained by God. He envied God’s people, wishing to die like them, a glorious death (Nu 23:10). But his life ends as it began, shamefully. This is the tragic story of a low class hireling; a false prophet who sold his inheritance, an enemy, a traitor to God and to His people.

“Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death…The wages of sin is death” (Jam 1:15; Rom 6:23)

Dear Heavenly Father: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”

 

In Christ I declare:

I reject all false prophets, no matter who they are!

By God’s grace, I shall never willingly enter the shameful path of temptation, lust, sin and death!

In Jesus name

Amen!

THE DOCTRINE OF BALAAM (3)

 

 

“And God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed” (Nu 22:12)

 

Balaam is a strange character. Some say that he was a true prophet of God who was backsliding. But the best way to describe him is that he was a religious unbeliever and not a true child of God. But he is still a mysterious person. He has a prophetic gift, no doubt about that. But he cannot be described as a true prophet of God. He is a prophetic hireling.  He has a covetous heart. He loves money more than God; especially money made thru evil occult means. There is no record that he ever repented of his wickedness. He knows enough about God and some of his prophesies about the Messiah are wonderful. But in the same time he refuses to obey God. He does not fear God. He is ready to exploit God and to make money out of ministry. He does not care that thousands died as a result of his wicked advice to Balak. Money is his god. The love of this world propelled him to do evil and to sell his prophetic gift to satan’s agents.

 

The princes of Moab traveled a distance of about 200 miles to see Balaam. That means Balak, the devil’s agent, is ready to pay much to defeat and destroy the children of God. He is afraid of the number and power of Israel as a nation. He knows that he cannot defeat them thru a direct military attack. His strategy is to attack them thru occult means. He wants a spell placed upon them so that they become weak spiritually and physically. Then they shall be defeated.

The first time the elders of Moab came with a gift to tempt Balaam, he did not sin. He did the right thing by praying to God. Then God answered: “No! You should not go and curse these people for they are blessed by Me!” A true prophet of God will accept any word from God, even if the answer is ‘No!’ Balaam grudgingly refuses but he blames God for not allowing him to come with them. Then Balak sends more men with even a greater gift. Balaam already knows God’s answer concerning this issue but he is not willing to accept ‘No’ as the answer. So he goes to pray again. Surprisingly, God says ‘Yes’ this time. In other words, God says to him: “I know that it is in your heart to go there and make money as a prophet. I permit you to go and make money because this is your wish. But this is my condition: your mouth remains under My control. You will only speak My words to them. Now…you can go…”

 

The lessons here are many. The devil is very persistent and patient. If he is interested in your ‘services’ he is willing to increase the price. Temptation is not just once. For as long as we live on earth, it is an ongoing process. If you have defeated the devil once, he may come back again with a similar proposal.

Also, it is a dangerous thing to allow an idol to dwell in your heart when you go to God and pray. If you ask for guidance, God may allow that idol to direct you in a reckless path that you shall regret.

But the greater lesson is that God is ultimately in control. He can use even evil men for His own purposes and glory. This is a great mystery that should give us much comfort. God is the Father of the believers but He is the God and Judge of all men. Never forget, God is totally in charge of His creation!

 

In Christ I declare:

I hate the devil!

I repent and reject all idols, visible and invisible!

I love God! All my life, I shall serve God with a pure heart!

God is in charge of my life and my circumstances; even right now!

All things work together for good for me because I love God!

In Jesus name

Amen!

THE WONDER, THE WEDDING AND THE WINE (6)

 

 

THE BEST FOR THE LAST
“This, the first of His signs (miracles, wonder-works), Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory [by it He displayed His greatness and His power openly], and His disciples believed in Him [adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Him]” (Jn 2:11; AMP)

How did Jesus perform this miracle? Let’s see what He did not do: He did not touch the water; He did not fill the pots Himself; He did not pray or prophesy over the water.
What was the method Jesus used to perform this mysterious miracle?
Simply said, Jesus changed the water into wine by the power of His will. He just wanted it to happen. God can do anything He wants. All power belongs to God (Ps 62:11). This is very important to believe that God, who is the creator, is able to will anything into existence.
We need to believe that Jesus is God and He can perform any miracle just by willing it to happen. A good example is the healing story of a leprous man who had the revelation of the power of God’s will (Mt 8:1-5). Jesus said: ‘I am willing! Be clean!’ This is how the miracle happened and the man was healed!
Another example of the power of the will of Jesus is found in His high priestly prayer. He said this to God:
‘Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am and to see My glory!’ (Jn 17:24)
In other words, we shall go to heaven and we shall worship the King of Glory forever just because Jesus wants it! This is His desire! That desire is enough! And the Father granted it!

The miracle at Cana was ‘the beginning of His miracles…He thus revealed His glory and His disciples put their faith in Him’. In Greek, the word miracle is also the word for ‘sign’. The definition of ‘a sign’ is something that points away from itself to something else. When you see a sign, you don’t just stop there; you look ahead to your destination. In other words, Jesus does miracles as a sign to point our attention to His person, His glory, His power and His will to bless all who believe in Him!

Finally…Mary was one of the few people at the foot of the Cross, staying with Jesus until He died. She was also among the brethren who waited for the Holy Spirit in prayer. This is a wonderful testimony about Mary, the mother of Jesus! Her prophetic prayer was answered and for the past two thousand years, ‘all generations have called her blessed!’
There is no better way to end it than with Mary’s wonderful words:
“God has been mindful of the humble estate of His servant…for the Mighty One has done great things for me! Holy is His name! His mercy extends to those who fear Him, from generation to generation!” (Lk 1:48-50)

In Christ I declare:
My future is better than my past!
I am a sign post pointing to Jesus!
My testimony as a servant of God shall increase!
As I humble myself, God shall grant me His favor!
I fear and I worship God!
God’s mercy is on my family!
God has done great things for me and my family!
I am blessed!
In Jesus name
Amen!

THE WONDER, THE WEDDING AND THE WINE (5)

 

 

TO THE BRIM!
“Jesus said to them, Fill the water-pots with water. So they filled them up to the brim” (Jn 2:7)

The next thing Mary does is a wonderful step of faith. This is indeed to her credit, that she was a woman of God. When rebuked, she did not draw back in self-pity or wounded pride. Mary trusted Jesus as the faithful, powerful, loving and the only Living God. Like Job of old she possibly said to herself:
‘Though He slays me, yet will I trust in Him!’ (Job 13:15)
Mary goes ahead and by faith, she counsels the servants: “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it!” This counsel for total obedience with the Word of Jesus shows her faith that the miracle will happen. She knows that Jesus is so different than the ordinary men, that His words may sound weird to their natural ears. By faith, she goes ahead to prepare the minds of the servants for their complete obedience. She removes any hindrance of fear or doubt, in preparation for the miracle of God. She facilitates the miracle just like John the Baptist went ahead of the Lord to prepare the way for Him. Mary’s faith is now pure, trusting Jesus, not as her son, but as God! Once Mary prayed to Jesus, she had peace. She did not interfere with God’s methods but she had faith that the miracle will manifest.
That is ‘the hour’ when Jesus ordered the servants: “Fill the water-pots with water.” These were huge vessels, each containing about forty gallons of water, used for religious purification. The house servants, their mind prepared by Mary, obeyed. They filled the pots ‘to the brim’. This little detail indirectly describes complete obedience. Then Jesus commanded: ‘Draw some out now, and bear it unto the governor of the feast’
Jesus does not pronounce the word ‘wine’ at all. He only talks about water. When the master of ceremonies ‘tasted the water that became wine’, he complimented the host for keeping and bringing ‘the best for the last’.
Lastly, it is not clear when the water becomes wine. It looks like the miracle happened right on the table, when all the commands of Jesus had been fully obeyed. The lesson we should remember is this: If I diligently and completely obey God’s commands, then ‘I have the right’ to expect a miracle! May God help me to passionately desire total obedience to God’s Word!

In Christ I declare:
I shall obey God’s Word to the end and to the best of my knowledge!
I shall obey ‘to the brim’!
I am filled with God’s Word and His Spirit ‘to the brim’!
I expect a miracle right now!
I believe in God’s promises!
In Jesus name
Amen!

THE WONDER, THE WEDDING AND THE WINE (4)

 

EVEN IF YOUR PRAYER IS NOT PERFECT, STILL TRUST GOD TO ANSWER IT!

“Jesus said to her, [Dear] woman, what is that to you and to Me? [What do we have in common? Leave it to Me.] My time (hour to act) has not yet come” (Jn 2:4; AMP)

To be fair to Mary, she did not insist on her own way. She did not tell Jesus what means to use to solve the problem. She prayed and when rebuked she kept silent. She humbled herself and continued to trust in Him.
‘My hour has not yet come’ -Jesus said.
The word ‘hour’ in Greek means the particular season when things are ordained to happen; the moment, sometimes in the evening, when the ocean reaches the highest tide. In other words, Jesus is telling Mary something like this: ‘Dear Lady, Thank you for telling me, but I already know about the need. I knew about it even before I came here. That is why I came. I will supply the need in My own way and in My own time. Quietly trust Me!’
This is another lesson: When God sounds ‘harsh’ it may be that He purifies the motives of our prayers!
For example, the Canaanite woman was rebuked by Jesus and even insulted. He called her a dog. But she did not take offence knowing that He alone is King. He has the key to her heart and to her life. This humble attitude of accepting rebuke from God and not be offended by His words is called ‘great faith’ and it pleases God. If you have made up your mind never to withdraw from God’s words of rebuke, but remain in quiet expectation of a miracle, you are blessed indeed. And the miracle shall come. ‘Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me’ (Mt 11:6; 15:21-28).

In Christ I declare:
I deny myself, I take up my cross and follow Jesus!
By the grace of God, I shall not be offended by anything my Lord does to me!
No matter what, in all circumstances, I shall continue to pray and trust God!
I believe that God has heard my prayer!
God shall answer me in His own way and in His own time!
I rebuke any evil spirit of the world!
God shall perfect all that concerns me!
In Jesus name
Amen!

THE WONDER, THE WEDDING AND THE WINE (3)

 

NO MATTER YOUR NEED, WHEN YOU PRAY, DESIRE GOD’S GLORY ABOVE ALL THINGS!
“Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:4)

Jesus mildly rebukes Mary. His response to her request sounds harsh to our natural ears, but it may not be so. Jesus addresses her as ‘woman’. That is not an insult as some people say. In today’s conversation, it can be translated as ‘dear lady’ or ‘Madam’. It seems as Jesus desires to restrain her emotions, to allow some space between the two of them. The Holy Spirit has to take control of the situation. Only then a miracle that glorifies God can happen!

Please observe that Jesus did not say to her: ‘I will never do it!’
Mary knew that Jesus was not ‘an ordinary’ man. We are told that ‘she pondered in her heart’ about the words of God and about other prophetic confirmations about her son. As a child, Jesus grew up ‘in strength and grace’ in her presence. She had enough time to study Him, His words and His actions. She also heard that recently, Jesus was publicly declared to be ‘the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’. She knew that Jesus has already started His ministry as a man of God. His disciples following Him were an added proof that her son was a leader of men. She knew His potential. But now, for a moment, she forgot all these things and tried ‘to push’ Him a little to perform a miracle.

The truth is that Mary had faith in Jesus, but the motives in her heart were not totally pure. She addressed Him as a natural loving mother. The response of Jesus shows that He detected her fleshly manipulation. She talks to Him as a mother talks to a son. Jesus addresses her as God speaking to His creation. She was worried about a natural need and about men’s opinions. Jesus was ‘worried’ about God’s glory! That is why there was a friction and a clash of spirits!

In Christ I declare:
In all I do, during my prayers and worship, at home or in ministry, I shall not be concerned about men’s opinions or how to please them, but I shall always ‘be worried’ about giving glory to God!
So help me God!
In Jesus name
Amen!

THE WONDER, THE WEDDING AND THE WINE (2)

ALWAYS GO TO JESUS!

“And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine” (Jn 2:3)
The wedding feasts in ancient Israel lasted for days, with food and wine in abundance. For example, when Samson got married, his own wedding feast lasted seven days (Jdg. 14:12). The host has to be prepared to entertain the guests, supplying all that they need. Failure to do so meant public embarrassment and a bad omen for the couple. For whatever reason, in this wedding in Cana, ‘the wine was gone’. The word ‘gone’ in Greek means that there is a lack, a genuine need. This failure of the host to provide wine for the guests can end in public disgrace.
It is possible that Mary was a relation to the couple, or a close family friend. Mary decides to intervene in this crisis and help to solve it. Let’s see what she does and let’s learn from her. Once she is aware of the need for wine, she goes straight to Jesus and simply tells him about it: ‘They have no more wine…’
Spiritually speaking, this sentence is a prayer. Mary could have gone to other people trying to solve the problem. She could have gone to the Bridegroom seated at the table with his bride and could have whispered in his ear about the need for wine. She could have gone to the parents of the couple and involve them in solving the problem. She could have gone herself to buy the wine if she had the money. She did not do all these things. Mary knew where to go in her hour of need. Just like Mary of Bethany who went straight to Jesus to anoint Him with oil, this Mary does the same thing. She knows Him who is God in flesh, and for whom nothing is impossible. She knew what man can do and what only God can do. She approached Jesus as He is Jehovah Jireh, and indeed He is.

In Christ I declare:
Jesus Christ my Lord is Jehovah Jireh!
In every need, both spiritual and physical, I shall go to Jesus!
My Lord Jesus shall supply all that I need according to His riches in glory, much more than I ever can imagine!
I shall be lead by the Holy Spirit!
I reject the evil spirit of distractions, doubt and poverty!
In Jesus name
Amen!

THE WONDER, THE WEDDING AND THE WINE (1)

(This is the first sermon for us in 2014. May the wonder of the person of Jesus Christ impact our lives, marriages and families in a new way this year! Miracles shall be our portion! All to the glory of God!)
ALWAYS INVITE JESUS!
 “Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding” (Jn 2:2)

The story of how Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding in Cana is well known. We shall revisit it and look at it closely, especially at the attitude of His mother Mary. Her petition for wine can be taken as a standard prayer for all who are in need of a miracle. The Roman Catholic Church elevates Mary to a place where she does not belong. But we cannot deny the fact that in the midst of thousands of young women, Mary was God’s choice to bring His Son into the world. We shall learn wisdom from Mary, who was truly a humble and a spiritual woman indeed.

Mary had a need and then she prayed. Jehovah Jireh answered and His supply was much more than she could have imagined. Praying for the leading of the Spirit, we shall study this story once more and apply the lessons we find there in our daily lives. We pray that our faith increases, to trust God even for miracles, for nothing is impossible with Him!

INVITE JESUS TO YOUR WEDDING, TO YOUR MARRIAGE, TO YOUR HOME!
This is the story of a wedding feast in the village of Cana, in Israel. Jesus, His disciples and His mother were invited there. The word ‘invited’ in Greek means to personally call someone by name, to greet, to praise and to urge that person to come inside.
The best decision that the couple has done is to call Jesus at their wedding. His very presence there was the assurance that all things shall work together for good, no matter the need or the trial. So this is the first and the most important lesson of all!

In Christ I declare:

Jesus Christ, my Lord, you are welcome into my life, my marriage, my all!
My life, my marriage, my family, my ministry and all shall experience revival like never before!
In Jesus name
Amen!

THE DOCTRINE OF BALAAM (1)

 

“Look, a people has come from Egypt. See, they cover the face of the earth, and are settling next to me! Therefore please come at once, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed” (Nu 22:5, 6)

Balaam was a false prophet hired by a Moabite king called Balak. The name Balaam means ‘Foreigner’. It speaks of a false brother. The name Balak means ‘Waste’. The Moabites were distant relations of the Jews, children of incest coming from Lot. The name Moab means ‘Father’. Lot followed Abraham for many years but he learned nothing of eternal value.  Like his ancestor Lot, Balak was a worldly man, a prodigal and a compromiser. He knew something about Jehovah God but he did not fear or trust Him enough. He believed in false prophets and paid them to destroy others thru the occult.  Balaam was famous at the time as a successful prophet ‘of God’. He could place a spell on anyone and deceive his victim into destruction. He succeeded with unbelievers and he assumed that he can do the same with the children of God. That became his downfall.

In the previous chapter (Nu 21) we see that the people of God experienced great victories in war against their enemies. Then the devil thru Balak and Balaam attacks. This is a good reminder that we should never be proud after successful campaigns but always remain humble, giving all the glory to God.

Balak was afraid when he saw the children of God coming towards him. He knew that he could not fight them directly. So he thought that a curse can be placed on them to destroy them indirectly. So he hired Balaam to do that. Balak wanted ‘to defeat and drive away’ the children of God thru occult means. These words in Hebrew mean to strike, to wound, to divorce, to drive away from a legitimate possession. This is an important revelation. Many ignorant believers lost their blessings, got fired from their jobs or divorced their spouses as a result of occult spells from false prophets of the order of Balaam. Your blessings and the successes attract the jealousy of wicked men who pretend to be believers and friends. These are agents of the power of darkness ready ‘to kill, steal and destroy’. They have no pity. They hearts are hard like stone. Your ignorance and foolishness is their ‘luck, success and promotion’! God warns His children of invisible traps so we have no excuse if we fall!

O, how I hate to see the believer deceived and backsliding…

O, how I hate to see the wicked rewarded for their evil by stealing your crown…

Please, make me happy, and pray for discernment of spirits! You cannot avoid temptation but you can overcome the devil and his agents by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony!

You can do it!

 

In Christ I declare:

I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me!

My eyes are open to see the strategy of the devil and his agents!

I plead the Blood of Jesus over my life and my family!

I place my life, my marriage, my ministry and my job at the foot of the Cross!

Lord Jesus, have mercy on us!

I shall overcome!

All glory to God!

In Jesus name

Amen!

FROM A GRATEFUL AND HAPPY GRANDMA’

“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Mt 19:14)

Our three grandchildren (who live in Houston, Tx) are here with us for two weeks holiday in Nigeria. Mimi is 10 and Angel is 7. Today we had an open air crusade in Warri. Pastor Leigh (their grandpa’) preached the Gospel and made an altar call. Quite a number of people came forward to give their lives to Christ. Then Angel, our grand-daughter asked me: ‘Malia, can children go forward?’ I said ‘Yes, of course…’ Then to my greatest surprise our two grand- daughters went forward too.
This is one of the best days of my life, to see Mimi and Angel surrendering their lives to Christ.
Thank You Jesus!
All the glory to God!

In Christ I declare:
I am a fruitful vine!
I shall see the salvation of my children’s children!
My descendants are children of covenant and they shall all be saved!
Because I obey God, according to His promise, He shall bless the fruit of my body!
As for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord!
In Jesus name
Amen!

FASTING AND PRAYER

 

 

“He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting” (Mk 9:29)

 

Jesus, Peter James and John came down from the Mountain of Transfiguration. Down in the valley there was a crisis. A man brought his son to the remaining disciples for deliverance from an unclean, suicidal spirit. They prayed but ‘nothing happened’. The disciples did exploits in the past and rejoiced in the glory of the ministry. But now, the demon did not budge. Embarrassed, they waited for the Lord to come. The crowds were gathered for free entertainment. If you are not in need, prayers for others are just a show.

 

When the people saw Jesus they ran to Him with expectation that some miracle will happened. The Lord was grieved at their unbelief. The only one who was also truly grieved was the boy’s father. He expected a miracle and nothing yet…He repeated the story of his son’s sickness…He begged Jesus to do something…Then the Lord rebuked the demon and suddenly, the boy was free. Later, the disciples wanted to know the reason for their failure in ministry; why power was not released from above at their request. Then Jesus directed their attention to an often ignored spiritual warfare strategy: fasting and prayer! What can we learn from this?

 

The first thing we notice is that ministry is not always ‘successful’ especially when done in public. It is possible that the disciples became over-confident of their ‘skill’ as ‘men of God’. In the past, their faith was simply in the person of Jesus Christ. But now, their faith became complicated, stained with doubt, entangled in visible things of this world. True faith is total trust God! Religious ‘failing’ faith trusts God and other things: skill, wisdom or even past experiences of faith. Faith in faith is a snare. Many have been trapped in this disappointing religious strategy.

Jesus is grieved by their unbelief, He rebukes them but gratefully, He does not withdraw from their needs. He patiently allows the father to repeat the story of his son’s illness. It helps to allow people talk about their pains. Then the father quickly discovers that he needs more faith; not only for the present deliverance of his son, but for his life in general, from now on. May we do the same! When we come to Jesus praying to solve our particular problem, may we glean any blessing that comes with the solution! May we repent of doubt and change! May we ask for more faith, for power, for anointing, not just for today but for the future needs!

 

We also discover that not all demons are the same. This particular one did not go away easily. It is like he is used to ‘religious jargon’. Calling the name of Jesus without honoring Jesus will not help! Then we are reminded that fasting and prayer helps us to focus, to repent of any worldly tendency to use the ministry as entertainment, to gain money or fame. When the Spirit is grieved, nothing’ works’. Miracles seize and confusion increases. Lastly, it is good to be reminded that no case is too difficult for Jesus!

 

I counsel that you fast some days at the beginning of this year. The flesh does not like it. The devil will tell you that fasting and prayer is ‘useless’. But the Word of God abides forever. You know yourself! Do not compare with others! If your situation is more of less desperate, then you need radical measures ‘to attract’ God’s attention for your case. Fasting will not kill you. It can only help you, physically and spiritually. May God grant healing, deliverance and breakthrough to you! This is my wish and this is my prayer! Happy New Year!

 

In Christ I declare:
I fast and pray! God shall answer me!

Nothing shall be impossible for me, because I believe!

Nothing is impossible for God!

My faith has increased!

I am free!

In Jesus name

Amen!

PRAISE REPORT – THE LIMITLESS GOD

 

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn 3:16)

 

We just ended our church’ program called ‘Jesus Mega Party 2013’. This is the greatest open air Christian event in our state. Thousands came. Multitudes answered the altar call to surrender their lives to our Lord Jesus Christ. The theme for this year was ‘Limitless God’. We started by 9 pm and ended it at 2 am in the New Year. There was praise, worship and Kingdom dances; both adults and children were involved.  Pastor Leigh preached the Gospel, bringing the good news to all. Just before we started, at about 6 pm, dark clouds gathered threatening to bring storm and rain. The month of December is not in the raining season, so the clouds look strangely intimidating. Everybody prayed with all their hearts…  A little shower, just enough to wet the ground, to avoid dust… that was all the dark clouds could do. We had to wet the grounds with water from the buckets, so God simplified our labor. The storm that threatened to scatter everything quietly went away. We praised God and our faith rose in anticipation!

 

Then the program started. All, went well until about 11 pm. As Pastor Leigh started to preach the Gospel, suddenly all the power went off. Ordinarily, this could have been a disaster. There were thousands of ‘sinners’ all waiting to hear the plan of salvation.  But all the lights went off and all the loudspeakers suddenly became silent.  As the mechanics tried to re-start the generator, all I could hear from all over the field, was prayer and praise. Nobody showed any sign of impatience or frustration. Nobody moved. Then somebody in the crowd lifted a chorus and it spread like wild fire. Thousands sang in the dark: ‘Let God’s light shine! The devil can do what he wants to do, but he can never stop the light of God to shine…’  I never heard this song before but it was just the right thing to sing. This is how ‘the congregation’ took over and sang on and on for about five minutes, until the power came back. There was no pushing and no whistling of disapproval the way you hear in secular concerts when the music fails. At the microphone Pastor Leigh said ‘The devil is a liar!’ and all said Amen!

 

Then he continued from where he stopped. Christ crucified for sinners was preached with anointing and power. Then as he prepared to make the altar call, suddenly, at about 11:30, the power went off again. The crowd responded exactly the same. To hear thousands of ‘strangers’ singing God’s praises in the darkness, that was awesome indeed! The power came back for the third time, the ‘altar call’ was made and thousands came to the front in surrender. As by an invisible hand, they all knelt down before God. There was no pushing and no confusion at all. All repeated the sinner’s prayer and quietly went back.

 

Then we all lifted our hands to give thanks to God for everything! It is with thanks giving in our hearts and lips that we transition into the New Year. The fireworks blasted upwards, as a symbol of joy and praise to God. People greeted and embraced one another.  The praise continued. Some people came closer to be prayed for. Hands were laid on the sick and oppressed. The mechanics said that they could not discover any fault in the generator. Each time they just waited a little and re-started it again without any problem. The mobile police searched all the ‘suspicious young men’ for weapons as they entered the field. Out of more than ten thousands of them, they only found one young man who had a knife in his pocket. He was arrested. That was all they could report.

It was a wonderful night to the glory of God!

Happy New Year!

 

In Christ I declare:

This year, the Limitless God will reveal Himself and bless me abundantly!

In Jesus name

Amen!