Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Revelation Knowledge

The first time Jesus spoke about the issue of revelation knowledge was when He asked the disciples who they thought He was. When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? They said, some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah and others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt 16:13-17). In this passage, Jesus lent credence to the fact that there is a certain type of knowledge that can only be imparted spiritually. This type of impartation occurs when an individual presses in, beyond the level of knowledge obtainable from his immediate environment. Such an individual goes beyond the level of what men have told him about the things of God. This is usually in a bid to find answers to the hidden questions in his heart. Such a quest springs up when that person has put certain kingdom principles to work in his life and still meets with a brick wall. The brick wall prompts a search for a deeper understanding of the Truth.

When questions of this nature are asked in all sincerity, the people that receive revelation from the Lord are the ones who press deeper. These are people who have sown seeds (cash and other forms) and legitimately expect a harvest. However, if results are seemingly not forthcoming, they do not take offence, or get discouraged but they earnestly press into God for wisdom acknowledging that God’s Word never fails. These individuals look within for shortcomings of wisdom, knowledge or skill that needs to be worked on. Consequently, this heart attitude moves God to impart knowledge to the individual’s mind via his spirit. As seen in Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.(NKJV) God begins to reward their diligent search with wisdom.

As the Holy Spirit begins to answer those questions, another dimension of the gospel of Jesus Christ is revealed to them. This is the dimension called faith the realm where hope begins to be substantiated. At this stage, the things that you hitherto did not know now constitute the essence of your life. They form the platform through which you will begin to make progress in your life they become the defining issues of your life.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Substance vs. Shadow

As co-labourers with God, our responsibility is to be jointly involved with God in the process of creation. However, it should be noted that the kind of labour God is involved in is spiritual in nature.

It is more creative than the exertion of physical effort - the type that man is well acquainted with. It is this type of spiritual labour Jesus referred to in Matt 9:37,38 when He said, the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.’

This expectation of God (that we become actively involved with Him in the creative process) is in line with the fact that He created us in His image and after His likeness.

This means that every human being possesses God’s creative nature. Although everyone has this innate ability, only a few men explore its potential. Conversely, a vast majority are involved in physical labour which wearies the soul (Eccl. 10:15) and achieves nothing of any lasting value.

This is the issue Jesus was addressing when He said, ‘Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed’ (Jn 6:27).

The physical labour exerted by most people is usually in a bid to acquire the shadow of their dreams. The people who participate in this type of labour erroneously believe that this apparent manifestation will satisfy the deep longings of their hearts despite what Heb 10 verse 1 states, ‘shadows cannot make the comers thereunto perfect’ (paraphrased).

In a more general sense, shadows cannot satisfy the hearts desires. It is, therefore, important for every believer to recognise the difference between the shadow and the substance of their vision. This difference could easily be overlooked especially since it cannot be discerned by the carnal mind.

Thus, many people who pursue the shadow of their vision erroneously believe that they are involved with its substance. The difference between the two concepts was stated in Hebrews 10:1, ‘For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of those things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.’ The distinct characteristic of the shadow reality was revealed in this verse i.e. that the shadow reality of anything lacks the power to create positive change, either in the life of the person concerned or in his environment.

The power to bring good things to pass simply cannot be done by the shadow reality, regardless of how often activities are carried out to that end. It simply lacks the innate ability to make the comers perfect and produce genuine impact and results.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What faith is and how to get it

‘Faith is the substance of the things that you hope for and the evidence of things that you do not see. And we understand that through faith, the world was framed by the Word of God.’ (Heb 11:1 -3) Faith is priceless, it cannot be compared to silver or gold all forms of life actually came out of it. When this substance is in you, it reveals necessary information to you. This means that when faith enters your heart, something dawns in your consciousness that guarantees your desires. This substance was what Paul saw in the crippled man at Lystra (Acts 14:8-10). Prior to this time, it was absent in him, so he remained in that state. However, when he heard Paul preach, the substance was imparted to him. The Bible says in Acts 14:8-10 that Paul sensed the man had received the substance to be made whole. Then he told him, ‘Stand upright on thy feet’ (verse 10) and faith infused the crippled legs. Therefore, in the pursuit of the manifestation of your expectations, the emphasis should be on faith and how to obtain it.

Romans 10:17 explains the method of obtaining this substance. It says . . . faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The term ‘Word’ in this verse refers to the rhema of God i.e. the specific will of God concerning a given situation. So then, faith comes by knowing and carrying out the specific will of God concerning different issues. This makes it important for us to be sensitive and obedient to such instructions. The knowledge of this truth made Mary advice the servants at Cana to do whatever Jesus instructed them. In the same vein, we should also ensure we do whatever the Spirit of God instructs us to do.

However, it must be noted that faith cannot be born without a hope or desire. We must remember that faith is the substance of things hoped for there can be no substance without a seed. This means that you need to have a specific desire faith then comes to substantiate it. This desire must be consistent with your inner yearnings and not borrowed from people that have influenced you. It might be necessary for you to pray until you have effectively weeded out such influences. Adopted desires render the faith process futile you cannot penetrate the spirit realm with them. Discover those things that are deep within take time to purify your thoughts through prayers. Be true to yourself and let the light begin to shine.

The Bible speaks about Moses’ desire to lead the Israelites out of captivity. It was not something that arose out of jealousy or peer pressure. It was a desire within his spirit. Likewise, those desires within your heart are what you should start out with. It will be suicidal for you to attempt to cut your dream to fit the evident resources in your environment. Do not look at the probabilities because faith principles are always at work even when it does not seem so. Keep confessing the Word keep offering up the sacrifices of praise. Hold fast to the tenets of your faith, shortly, the seed will bring back your desired harvest.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

You are Either Right or Successful

Philippians 4: 6-9 says, ‘Be careful for nothing but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you’.

In life, you can either choose to take a position of rightness or be successful. Success here refers to the fulfilment of the desires lodged within your heart. This means that in life, you can either choose to hold a defensive position where you claim to be on the right track or you can really be fulfilling those desires of your heart.

One of the most important things in your Christian walk is the adjustment you make in your life when faced with obstacles in your faith walk, it is very important that you do some appraisals of the beliefs that you have hitherto held. The reason for this is because you are either frantically trying to prove that you are right or you are actually successful. You can never be in both camps simultaneously. If you are going about trying to prove to people that your viewpoint is the right one, you are probably not producing the desired results in your life. Results usually speak for themselves they cannot be hidden and therefore cannot be argued with.

The side of the pitch that you find yourself is largely due to the attitudes and mentality that you have cultivated. You need to evaluate both on a consistent basis. On the basis of this appraisal you may discover that you may need to unlearn those attitudes, beliefs and behaviour that are unproductive. You need to constantly judge your attitude and beliefs by the things that you constantly see in your life over a period of time.

The belief system and mentality act as a filter for the way you absorb knowledge, especially the messages and conversations that you hear. The modus operandi of these filters might not be accurate but it is how you see things. You might even have faulty methods of evaluating yourself using religious means which are not necessarily productive e.g. how well you perform in organised church activities, the perception others have of your piety etc.

This appraisal mechanism wrongly tells you that it is okay to serve God and lead unproductive lives. This system goes further to convince you that wealth and productivity is synonymous with ungodliness conversely it affects the way you view them ensuring you piously turn away from this path.

In situations like this, it is not the unknown that stands in the way of your progress. Rather, it is those things that you know, which you need to unlearn. Thus, if your environment constantly communicates undesirable results to you, put on the garb of humility and re-programme your mind. Make the necessary adjustments and results will inevitably manifest in your life.

From the Desk of Pastor Poju