VICTORY IS MINE

 

 

“For the Lord your God is He who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory” (Deut 20:4)

The battle was fierce but the victory is mine. O…sweet peace…
If you are a born again believer, in whatever situation, you are always the winner. This is not my wish. It is God’s Word! Victory manifests in many ways, but all these ways have something in common. They spread the sweet powerful fragrance of Christ, the Eternal Victor. In times of trials the devil attacks with lies, mostly the idea that the battle will rage on forever and there shall be no clear winner. These are all lies. The weeping may endure for the night, but morning is faithful to displace the power of darkness, with the songs of joy leading the transition.
At the Cross, the devil rejoiced to see the Son of Man defeated and humiliated. What he did not know was that the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Jesus died for our sins, that we may be forgiven, healed and changed, to become the sons of God. If the devil knew that the death of Christ will become the tree of life for many, he could not have killed the King of glory. But now it is too late, for the power of resurrection has destroyed even the memory of the power and shame of failure and death.

Yes, there is a battle you have to fight. You can’t avoid it. For every spiritual gain, there must be a confrontation with the strong man who keeps men in slavery. Do not beg the devil. Engage him in battle and in the name of Jesus you shall win. Heaven backs you up. You have nothing to fear. The victory is clear and sure. You shall not suffer indefinitely, you shall not weep unto the end. Sickness, failure, poverty, shame, rejection, slander…these do not last forever. God will not allow the power of the devil to continue in your life. It is morning time, victory time…the flag of the Cross is raised on the royal castle…the prisoners are free… the worship continues… Be encouraged by the Holy Spirit! In Jesus name, amen!

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ALREADY KINDLED

 

 

 

“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” (Lk 12:49)

When Jesus came into this world of sin, His express desire was to bring ‘fire on the earth’. John said that Jesus will baptize His own with the Holy Spirit and with fire. God is described as a consuming fire.

What is the source of this fire? That volcano is found on the Calvary hill, at the Cross of Christ. It was there, hanging on that tree, the Son of God became a curse for us. It was there, when Jesus died for our sins that the fire of God came from heaven and consumed all things. The history of humanity, nothing and nobody was ever the same, after the Cross. Old things passed away and everything became new.

 

Fire stands for judgment. We are afraid of fire, for we know that fire has no mercy. All things, all labor and ministry shall be tried with fire. We all have an encounter with the fire of God. There is no salvation, deliverance, promotion or blessings that come without the fire. It purges the hearts and kindles passion in pure vessels. Once you pass thru the fire, you are safe. For example, the patient who survived the sickness called Ebola, has nothing to fear anymore. The wicked virus has tried to kill him but failed. The immunity of the body has won. This survivor is the best candidate to go back to the Ebola infested villages and with bare hands help the others. That is a picture of a man who has passed thru fire and survived. There is no more fear; only power and only joy. That is a picture of a believer baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire. Nothing shall hurt him anymore. The devil has failed in his life.

 

I heard of a story. There was a man and his little son walking in a park in New York. Suddenly a fire started burning along the path. In few minutes they were trapped by the blaze. The father tried to use branches to quench the fire, but all in vain. The wind was driving the flames closer and closer to them. Then the father knew that the only way of escape is to pass thru the fire. He carried his son on his shoulders, comforted him that all is well, and jumped thru the fire to the other side. Behind the blaze all was calm. For all things were burnt off. The fire can never go back to a place that is burnt. That is the law of the fire, it never goes back to where it has damaged.

 

There is a spiritual lesson here. Whatever things you have suffered, if God was with you during that trial, you shall never go back to them again. The devil tried to kill you. And really, you should have died. That sickness should have sent you to the mortuary. That stress should have given you incurable depression. That loss should have made you homeless sleeping under the bridge…But, by the grace of God you survived…This is your testimony, that passing thru the fire, you did not end up a corpse. Even the things that got burnt, have a new meaning for you, for God promised to give you beauty for ashes, joy instead of weeping and a victory song nobody can quench. In the furnace of affliction, Shedrack, Meshach and Abednego met with the Forth Man, the Son of God who is the King of kings and also the King of fire.

 

This is my testimony: fire tried but failed to destroy me; its heat was not enough to disfigure my anointing; its flames could only purify my heart and my vision. I passed thru the fire of rejection, misunderstanding, sickness and slander. And I survived. Not only survived, but I am now qualified to encourage others coming behind.

So this is my word to you: Fear not! Like that father and son, let’s jump together to the safe place behind the fire…Follow me as I follow Christ…Let’s go to the Cross where Jesus died for our sins…Let’s go behind the Cross, where no sorrow, no pain, no rejection and no sickness can ever attack. Come on…that is the way…thru the fire, into the freedom of worship, the power of true anointing and the victory of the blessed!

BACK TO HOLY BASICS

 

 

“For life is more than food and the body more than clothing” (Lk 12:23)

We are spending some time in Houston, Tx, visiting the children and the grandchildren. Some few days I was really sick, with a mysterious cold that ‘missed road’ as we say in Nigeria. Here fashion is king. All the malls have a lot of stuff, dresses, shoes…in the past I used to get excited, seeing all that display…it is natural, you may say… But this time, it was different…Feverish, as I walked between the rows of stuff, all my mind was to go home and rest…I saw beautiful hats with ribbons, but I had a headache…I saw shining shoes, exactly my size, but my feet hurt…I saw leather bags of all shapes and styles, but my left shoulder was paining me… I saw some belts with studs but my waist was too stiff to try them on… I tried to smell some expensive perfume but I had a dry cough that refused to let me enjoy it… we went to some fine restaurants but I had no appetite for any food…

Now back to holy basics! The Word of God is true! ‘Life is so much more than food bought with money and the body is too wonderfully and fearfully made to be compared with some designer’s bling bling. Yes, it wad good for me to learn this lesson once more…God allows some sickness, frustration or limitation to remind us of what is important and what is not. Suddenly, the confusion, the desire to impress others, the vanity of this world…is gone. During the height of my sickness, I could have easily decided to live my life with just bread, water and fruits, and dress with just simple 3$ T shirts, so far the pain, headache and cold was gone.
Yes, health is a blessing from God! I will never take it for granted again! Heaven opened over me when the pain was gone. No joking… There is no doubt that the Word of God is better than the fanciest food on the table. It is pure. It is powerful. It is eternal. I am never too old to learn the secret of life.
It is well with my soul…and my body too…
Do you need to ask? My secret is Jesus, my Lord…”Yes, it is Jesus in my soul!”

THE PIERCING SWORD OF GREED

 

 

 

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1Tim 6:10)

 

These are ‘the last days’. The spiritual darkness will increase and men will become worse. But the light of God shines in the midst of darkness, unafraid and unquenchable. The people of God shall become stronger, more faithful and do exploits in the name of the Lord. Light is not intimidated by darkness for it is the winner.

One of the terrible manifestations of spiritual darkness is the replacement of the holy love of God with the love of money. There are many pastors who survive just by preaching and encouraging the love of money. There are many congregations who are lead astray from the truth of the Gospel. These end up as bitter roots, trouble makers, practicing ‘all kinds of evil’ that will bring much sorrow and disappointment at last. The love of money competes directly with the worship of God. It is an enemy to the knowledge of God. You cannot serve bot God and mammon. You have to choose one and reject the other.

 

This is a true story. Many years ago I visited a church here in Nigeria. During the sermon God gave me a word for the church. At the end of the service I asked one of the ushers about the protocol in that particular church. I said I wanted to talk to the pastor who just preached the message or to his wife. I was directed to his wife. I introduced myself and I told her that I feel in my spirit that they are going towards danger; that they are deviating from the safe path of godliness with contentment, that they encourage lusting after material things and greed as a life style. I told her to pray about it and discuss it with her husband. I told her that I personally have no gain in bringing this word; that I came as a messenger of God. She looked at me with a strange look and said: “Dr. Mrs. Leigh, I know you… Next time please do not bother coming with any word. We know the Bible more than you. What we need is money. You are a successful doctor and not a pastor. Tell your husband to bring money to church…we need money…” I was shocked. I could not comment. I greeted her and left. I never went back to that church. But the Word of God is true. This couple has suffered untold sorrows, much more than the problems ‘common to men’.

 

Greed is a terrible and shameful thing. Please be honest…These are good questions: Do you love money? Do you direct your life based on the profit you make? Is your job or your boss your god? Are you ready to take any risk and be transferred to the ends of the earth just for a better job? Is the choice of a spouse based on your financial calculations? Is the choice of your local church based on greed? Are you sadder when you lose money than when you lose a friend? Are you more worried by your lack of promotion in your office than by the grieving of the Holy Spirit? Is the choice of a Bank more important to you than the choice of a local church where you can serve God and fellowship with godly men? Does your Bank manager have more influence in your life than your pastor? Do you go to church to hear about finances all the time or you really want to know God?

The answers are sign posts on your path. You either go to heaven or to hell. There is no middle ground.

What is the solution? Jesus said that you should seek FIRST the kingdom of God and its righteousness and then, all other things, including money, promotions and other material things shall follow you. This is the Word of God. No man or devil can change it! May mercy and wisdom from above be your portion today! In Jesus name, Amen!

MY EARS HEAR A WORD

 

 

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left” (Is 30:21)

The flesh is restless. We get easily bored on walking the straight and narrow path. Things attract us to deviate, just for the fun of it. On the right, there is the pull of secular entertainment, the music of second hand cymbals and plastic trumpets. On the left is the attraction of legalistic religion…just tell me what to do and I will be happy…the choir sings and the congregation applauds…going home un-changed, that is what I want…

For a long time we think that there is nothing new under the sun. Then the Holy Spirit comes. He is always new and fresh. He comes in His own special way, and corrects our thinking. He points our attention towards Jesus, and for the first time we love with the love of God. My eyes open…it is a spiritual miracle… The vision becomes clear, the path sure and the true worship ignites in my soul. Especially when I am tempted to turn to the right or to the left, to the world and to empty religion, I need to hear the voice of God. He is faithful in His leading.

God’s voice is like no other. When the devil speaks, other demons talk, and there is confusion. But when God speaks, all creation stands still, in quiet respect and honor. God’s voice discourages me to go astray, to walk too fast or too slow. I learn to be lead by His Spirit for I am God’s child. I learn to reject other voices, other strange paths that lead astray, to sorrow and frustration. I learn to adjust my moods to His Mood. Both my ears hear in the same time, the same word. I joyfully make progress. Even when it seems slow, it is God’s speed and I have peace.

“I am grateful Father for Your loving voice directing my path. Because we are together in this journey, I will never worry if the walk seems slow, long, boring or lonely. Our sweet fellowship is all I desire. Thank You for the restrain to go away from Your truth. As I walk before You, one day down the road I will become perfect, for this is Your wonderful promise to me. Slowly I see that the world has lost its magnetic power over me for in Your light all things become visible, for what they really are. I so appreciate You, Father….I love You, Jesus…I love You Spirit…in Jesus name, amen”

GRACE UPON GRACE

 

 

“Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given” (Jn 1:16)

Grace is defined as the unmerited favor of God. The only source of grace in the whole universe is God. Jesus came to earth ‘full of truth and grace’. Truth without grace is fearful to sinful men. But grace makes it easy to digest, so that truth changes us to be free and strong. When the grace of God abides on a man, things just ‘happen’ with ease and joy. Other men labour and struggle, but the man who has the favor of God moves on, thru all things unhindered. If you see a man who is successful without much labor, the only explanation is that the grace of God is on Him.

Joseph suffered much, betrayed by his brothers, slandered by the wife of his boss, forgotten by all in prison…but ‘God was with Joseph’. That simple statement means that the grace of God was upon him and no one could destroy his destiny. Eventually, in God’s time, he became the Prime minister of Egypt.

Esther was surely not the most beautiful face Susa. But it is on record that she had favor with the eunuch. Just like that, the eunuch in charge of the harem liked her. He stands for the Holy Spirit. He knows what the king loves and hates. He was the one who advised Esther what perfume, what jewelry, what clothes, manners or language to use, to impress the king. That is how Esther ‘received favor with the king’ and became his queen. If you have favor with the Holy Spirit, you will surely have favor with King Jesus. Grace upon grace already given… With the crown on her head, Queen Esther ‘received favor with all men who saw her’. The hidden grace became the foundation of visible grace.

There are levels of grace, increasing the influence of ministry. When grace is given, it has the potential to increase its power, to multiply it’s reach. Men who’ve ignored you, they will soon observe you and come closer to help and minster to you. Grace changes the flow of men and circumstances. Holy success follows…
Grace is more attractive than natural beauty. It cannot be bought with money or gold. It is reserved as a unique divine gift for the humble in Christ. It is not easy to kill your pride, but the Cross is able to do it. There is a fear that becoming humble men will take you for granted. This is true…but by the time the sunshine of grace will rise on you, the same men will have no other choice than to come back to you and declare that God loves you!

This is a question…what do you make of these words? Are you interested in them? Do you covet the best gifts from God? May your heart desire this exquisite jewel of all ages called the grace of God! Your life will never be the same again, I promise you…

MY PRAYER LIKE INCENSE

 

 

“May my prayer be set before You like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice” (Ps 141:2)

Aaron was to come every morning and evening in the holy place. He was to add incense on the coals of the altar of incense. Then the fragrant smoke will rise to God. Without fire, incense has no smell and no power to rise. The fire that destroys other things is necessary to change the incense into an acceptable gift to God.
Incense is the symbol or prayer and worship. Most prayers are too ‘cold’ to touch the heart of God. The believer needs the fire of the Holy Spirit burning within for his prayers to be acceptable to God.

The question is this: is the fire of passion and love for Jesus burning in your spirit? This is not a theoretical question…the fire I am taking about is real, hot, sweet, fragrant and strong. When I touch my heart, I can feel its rumblings…like a volcano…it’s heat flows within my veins…it makes my words fire and the listeners wood. The fire in the tabernacle fell directly from heaven. The priests were supposed to take care of the supernatural coals, day and night. In the same way, are you jealous over the deposit of the Holy Spirit in you? Are you happy and grateful that your heart is still burning for The Lord? Because of the increase is wickedness in the land, the love of many has lost its Heat…but true Love is like a fire and many rivers of this world cannot quench it.

Let’s pray…”Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for my lukewarm religion…please rekindle in me the fire of true love and pure passion for Your wonderful Son, Jesus Christ…I desire that my prayers leave the earth and touch Your heart in heaven…I desire that my lifted hands in worship is an evening gift to You…I desire to live a real life, much more than symbols, above dreams and wishful thinking …i want to be like Jesus…I want to be one with You, now and forever…in Jesus name I pray, amen”