Tuesday, 1 December 2015

I Feel So Unworthy

I once read about a Pastor...in fact, I know the Bible says not to show favouritism, but he happens to be one of my favourite preachers because his preaching changed my life. The preacher below is David Wilkerson. He once said even though he preached to thousands of people, there are times when he felt very far away from the presence of God. There were times when he had no desire to read the Word and very little desire to pray. He knew he loved the Lord but sometimes, he couldn't seem to touch God for days, or even weeks.

Do you ever feel like others get blessed while you feel like nothing great is happening to you? It seems like God is blessing them and they testify of His Goodness and how He answered their prayers but you just plod along, loving the Lord but not making a difference?

We make a lot of excuses to the Lord sometimes. For example, when a new job opportunity comes but you are afraid to apply because you feel unworthy, under-qualified, lacking skills, unequipped...the list goes on. OR, God is telling you to let go or mend a certain relationship but you feel like you cannot bridge the gap between both of you. OR, it could be your relationships at work and you feel like you cannot make an impact or change because you're just the 'cleaner' or you're 'just the postman'.

YOU are not alone. A lot of people in the Bible felt the same. They felt under-qualified and that they lacked skills.

Let's read the Story of Moses. We all know this story because we read it as kids and there is even a movie about it.

Exodus 3

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within the bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire, it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight - why does the bush not burn up?"

Clearly Moses was inquisitive.

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!"

And Moses said, "Here I am."

"Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey - the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them....

STOP THERE!!! - I can actually imagine Moses saying, Amen, Lord. Ooh, yes. Thank You Lord for answering our prayers and for hearing our cries. Thank You!

...So now, go. I am sending you to Pharoah to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt."

I am guessing on here Moses was like, "Hold up, Lord...just wait a MINUTE...me?"

Then the excuses began.

Self Doubt:

But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharoah and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"
Moses felt unworthy, he doubted himself and the ability that he had to do it. He felt that he had no skills

Fear of Rejection

Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, "The Lord did not appear to you."

Moses was afraid of rejection. Well, who isn't afraid of failure. It's hard to stand up in front of people and try something risky when you wonder if you are even really up for it. When faced with that sort of pressure, Moses had to tell God he couldn't do it. But God had a clear message for Moses and for us. God doesn't care about our excuses. He knows our capabilities, and if he does not think we could do it then he would have asked somebody else. Even the fact that he used 'what ifs' made him sound like he was belittling himself. Do you find  yourself doing that? You're scared. But God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of POWER, of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND. A sound mind means one of peace, not of worry or anxiety. And if you are anxious, then pray about it and the peace of God which transcends all human understanding will guard your heart and your mind.

But Moses said, "Pardon your servant Lord, but please send somebody else."
Moses realised he would not win and he had run out of excuses so in the end, he settled for begging.
I really don't blame him. Imagine having to be hated by the Israelites, and then you have a speech impediment, you stutter, you are shy and then having to talk to PHARAOH and convince him to let God's people go? I would be scared too.

The funny thing is, the Lord told Moses to just use the staff he had in his hand.

The Staff

Then the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
"A staff," he replied
The Lord said, "Throw it to the ground."
Moses threw it to the ground and it became a snake and he ran from it.

You're probably thinking, what is the point of this? Well, after complaining about how he was unworthy, the Lord asked him what he had and all Moses had in his hand was a staff. He probably thought, 'Lord, I am going up against Pharaoh here and you're telling me I should use a measly old STAFF to fight against him?'

The whole point is, God will use the weak to bring about  victory - 1 Corinthians 1:27 - "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong."

Guess what? It is the same with you! You can compare yourself to others but comparison is the thief of all joy.

The Message

  • Go with what you've got and God will give you what you need
  • Wait on God
  • Comparisons will make you feel like you aren't blessed as much as others are.
  • Pray intentionally
  • When God sees you he does not see the limitations you set for yourself.
One root of envy is ingratitude. We must begin to give thanks for everything that we have received. Let us give thanks to God for the gifts that OTHERS have received. 

God used many others in the Bible.

Abraham and Sarah - God promises Abraham and his wife Sarah that they would one day be parents, even though they were old and barren. They had nothing but God told them their children would be as the number of stars at night. So many that they would not be able to count them.

Jeremiah - At the time that this prophet was born, the people of God were not living according to His Word. So, God called Jeremiah to change the people through him. In fact, he planned this out before Jeremiah was born. Jeremiah was scared, of course, like Moses but his excuse was that he was  too young. He did not think he could speak out against the wickedness, he was only about 20 years of age. God touched Jeremiah's mouth and he spoke boldly against the sin in the land. 

Gideon - After Joshua died, the people of Israel disobeyed God (again).God wanted Gideon to lead the people of Israel against the Midianites but of course, Gideon was afraid. He had an army of 32,000 men but God cut that down to 320 men. Hello? Why would God do that? He used the little that Gideon had to prove that He was God.

So, whatever it is that's bothering you or making you feel unworthy or under-appreciated, just remember how God used all these people. Despite their lack of confidence, God turned them into great prophets. God can do great things in and through you too!

Enjoy the last month of the year.

God bless.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Private War of a Saint

Do you have those moments of despair, moments where you feel like God is not near you. I mean, everything was going well. You read your Bible every day, you were growing with God, doors were opening and then all of a sudden you just don't FEEL Him. 

Or, you feel like God no longer loves you and you get tired and worn down by those voices that condemn you. Or that you've hurt God more than enough times and you just don't want to any more. 

Everyone who walks closely with the Lord has gone through seasons of having a heavy heart. Some of us have gone through financial issues, issues with our families, health problems, etc. David (I know I use him a lot), he had great faith, but he grew weary at times due to the burdens that he faced. 
Have you ever been through seasons where nobody, not even a service, a message, a counsellor, can lift your burden. You try to pray, which helps, sometimes, but it does not seem to get you anywhere. It feels like God has abandoned you?

When we are saved, we are made righteous in Christ - Romans 3:22 and even as Christians and as those who seek Christ, we will be tempted and we will go through seasons of heaviness of sin, private issues, pain, problems...possibly everything. All of us as Christians, as the CHURCH, are in a spiritual 'warfare'. You have heard this before. For example, if you look to the Middle East, Christians are persecuted for their faith. In fact, we had the Barnabas Fund talk at our Church about the persecution of Christians in Iraq, Kenya and other places. Places where people are KILLED and made to choose between their faith and their life.

Pastor David Wilkerson, who I truly, deeply love, quite a while ago, he was an American preacher, preached on the persecution of Christians. He said if we truly obey the true mission of Christ to a lost world, we will be marked. He said you will find enemies everywhere. We, as Christians, have a mission and that mission is to tell men who have spent a lifetime believing that they are doing good and that they are achieving something and tell them that it's all filthy rags. 

We know that the one who walks in the Spirit and walks with God will be tempted and will be persecuted. The more spiritual you become the more intense your battles. The Spirit of God will lead you into the wilderness BUT the devil will do the tempting.

Every Christian on earth has probably faced or will face their own private war. The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:8 - "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time of war and a time of peace."

I know one Godly Man who suffered his own private war. He was a very charitable man and served God faithfully for years. He worshipped God, he was honest, he loved God's Word so much and even those who hated him knew how righteous he was. But one night, because of lust, he made another woman pregnant. Because he panicked and wanted to cover up his sin, he arranged a hit man to kill the woman's husband. He was later exposed. All his friends forsook him, he cried out because his burden became intolerable. He was ashamed and his guilt became unbearable. His soul was flooded with bitter tears and grief. Day after day, he cried out to God. You know who I am talking about, right? King David. A man after God's own heart suffered his own private war.

Paul told us that there would be a spirit of lust upon the world. We would be enticed. We cannot even think that the holier we are, the more immune we are to falling into the lusts of the flesh. Even if we are faithful to God and pray and study his Word, we will be temped. Look at David, who loved the Lord more than anybody, he was tempted fiercely and he gave in to his lust. 

But some of us have lost a battle against lust and we are in the midst of this private war. We face guilt, fear and confusion every single day. But remember, even in the midst of the war, Jesus is your Victor.

How Do We Overcome the Private War?

Psalm 18:34 - "He trains my hands for batter; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow."
There is no step by step plan to this. God works in mysterious ways.

  1. David Cried Out To The Lord
Psalm 70 - 'Please God, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord and help me. May those who try to kill me be humiliated and put to shame...'
All of us will face burdens and times of heaviness because, I know you don't want to hear this, this will teach us wisdom as soldiers of God's army. He needs us in this war. You are an example to those around you. You are the one who God will use to drive back the enemy. You are the one he wants to teach how to fight.He will use you as an example to strengthen those who are weak in their faith.

    2.   Live or die I will magnify the Lord

We need to set our hearts to magnify the Lord in the midst of our war. That doesn't mean smiling and pretending to be happy, but to glorify Him regardless of what we are going through. It means to stand still in the midst of the storm and to firmly declare in our hearts, 'Lord, I believe in You.'

   3. Cast Yourself On The Mercy of God
If you look at David's testimony, David learned that God would never have allowed his distress to overcome him. By His grace, His problems would not take him down. In every struggle, God is always full of tender mercy to those who are repentant - 'The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide, neither will he keep his anger forever...'

Please make this your testimony. Look at all your fears,  your distresses, your anxieties and your temptations, and say by faith, "By God's grace, I am not going down. I will not be overwhelmed by these things.'

His grace is sufficient for you!

In every private war you face, keep your eyes and your thoughts fixed on God's mercy and loving kindness which will never fail.


Pastor Wilkerson teaching on 'The Private War of a Saint'

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Pornography & Soul Ties

In a world where under-age sex is seen as 'normal', pre-marital sex is practised and dating without purpose is sought after, it can be difficult to remain strong and have faith and in fact, question your own faith. I've been reading about the implications of pre-marital sex and recreational dating. I have also been listening to a series of sermons, which I will leave down below.

1 Corinthians 6:15 - 20

"Don't you realise that your bodies are actually parts of CHRIST? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! And don't you realise that if a man joins himself to a prostite, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, 'The two are united into one.' But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.

Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immoraility is a sin against your own body. Don't you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honour God with your body.'

So, technically, God is telling us, once we got saved, our bodies were not us. The Holy Spirit lives in us so we cannot disobey Him by going against this law. Set boundaries in your relationship (if you are courting). Sex outside marriage is showing that the covenant (the promise we made to God when we got saved) is not that serious. Marriage is a commitment in itself and pre-marital sex breaks that commitment.

What are the implications of pre-marital sex?

  1. Babies are created - as obvious as that is, we create completely messed up generations. We go in and out of marriages where the child has no father, then they end up growing up angry, bitter and full of wrath. They didn't have that BOND with their father so they end up killing, stealing or treating women with a lack of respect.
  2. STDs are more prevalent.
  3. It steals the JOY of courtship - when you are NOT focused on having sex with your boyfriend, this gives you time to connect with him. The fact that you do not set boundaries does not give you that emotional connection. Dating is meant for building trust as the foundation. - Song of Songs 2:7 - "Do not arouse or awaken love until it pleases"
  4. Sex creates soul ties. Soul ties can be created between a mother and a child - it's that emotional and spiritual bond you create with someone you are intimate with (through conversations or whatever). Sex is the highest form of a soul tie you create with somebody.
Some examples of soul ties in the bible:
  • David and Jonathan 
  • Shechem & Dinah - Genesis 34 (Dinah was raped by Shechem)

How To Get Rid of a Soul Tie?
  • Renounce those things that tie you to an ex girlfriend or ex boyfriend - take them out of the house and renounce your former ways. For example, old love letters, text messages,their photos etc. Let it out and confess it to the Lord, allow Him to give you strength.
Proverbs 28:13 - "People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess them and turn from them, they will receive mercy."

Marriage is a covenant (like I said before) made before the Lord. 

Matthew 19:6 - "Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together."

Malachi 2:13-16 - "Here is another thing you do. You cover the Lord's altar with tears, weeping and groaning because he pays no attention to your offerings and doesn't accept them with pleasure. You cry out, 'why doesn't the Lord accept my worship?'. I'll tell you why! Because the Lord witnessed the vows you and your wife made when you were young. But you have been unfaithful to her, though she remained your faithful partner, the wife of your marriage vows. 

Didn't the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. 'For I hate divorce!' says the Lord, the God of Israel. 'To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,' says the Lord of Heaven's Armies. 'So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife'.

Pornography is a huge problem in today's world. Young people are curious and turning the the internet to learn about sex and relationships. I, for one, know how easily accessible it was when I was younger. I had friends who had laptops from a young age and it was very accessible. Research has found that 39% of boys in England aged between 14 - 17 watch pornography on a regularly basis. Child Line receive an average of 18,000 views a YEAR to its website message board regarding pornography. It's not even a growing epidemic any more, it's AN EPIDEMIC. 

Pornography is basically gratifying your sexual nature OTHER than your wife.

Matthew 5:28 - "But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

Porn apparently has the same effects as taking cocaine.

The effects of Pornography
  • Porn KILLS your healthy appetite - deal with it before your marriage. People may view porn due to loneliness or depression
  • It causes the person to see people as objects rather than people - this destroys their emotional connection with their wife or anybody.
  • It does not satisfy - you will always want more
  • It takes the JOY of intimacy out of marriage. 
  • It makes your mind darker and darker
  • It is self-love
  • After viewing porn, it brings a sense of shame
  • It is addictive (as obvious as that sounds) 
Generational Curses

Sexual sin not only affects YOU but it affects generations after you. For example, when a father is absent from the home, it is often the case that the son will do the same thing OR the daughter has issues trusting men in future due to that alone. OR if a mother drinks during her pregnancy, it is a well known fact that the mother's child will be more prone to alcohol.

I once read a story about a man who ruined the generations after him due to his sexual sin. This man was prone to LUST and had fallen for a woman who was one of his soldier's wives. He fell for her, she fell pregnant and when he found out she was pregnant, he did his best to kill her husband. By now, you should know that this is the story of David and Bathsheba.

Well, David's children were a MESS after that. Yes, David was a man after God's own heart but due to his sin, his family was a mess.

Let's take them in turn:

Amnon - this is one guy who fell in love with his sister, Tamar. Because of his selfish desires, he ended up raping her
Absolom - this is the one guy who slept with one of his father's prostitutes.
Adonijah - he requested one of the young maidens who took care of David to sleep with him
Solomon - well, you know about him. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines, just like his father went after all these women. 

All this was due to David's lust - your purity is especially important, especially to your future children.

How to FIGHT against LUST?
1 Corinthians 6:18 - the Lord tells us to FLEE from sexual immorality. Remember the story of Joseph and Portiphar's wife? Well, this woman constantly tried to get Joseph to sleep with her and he literally FLED.Avoid movies with nudity or anything that will cause you to fall.

Job 31:1 - Job made a covenant with his eyes to 'not look on a woman lustfully'. You have to train yourself, especially the men. Be baptised in the Spirit of holiness. Ask for more of the Holy Spirit. The blood is on our hands. Ensure that you work on your salvation with fear and trembling.

Enjoy your moth of August!

God bless.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

God's Soldier!

In Church, this month and the last, every Sunday, the Pastor has been preaching on Ephesians 6:10 and onwards. He has been going in detail regarding this Chapter. I won't lie, I used to read this Chapter but I never really understood it. Now, reading it for the past few weeks, along with really studying it, I understand what t means. We are in a Spiritual WAR and we have been since the beginning of the fall of man.

Anyway, let's read Ephesians 6:10 and onwards together.

The Armor Of God

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on ALL of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God's ARMOR so that you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.  Then after the battle, you will still be standing firm. Stand your GROUND, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the PEACE that comes from the GOOD NEWS so that you will be fully prepared. 

In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your HELMET and take the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the Word of God.

PRAY in the SPIRIT at all times and ON EVERY OCCASION. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. 

So, the first thing we are told by Paul is we have to be strong. We, as Christians, are depicted as many things in the Bible.

We are depicted as FARMERS - Yes, I know. Some of us have never been in a field and dealt with crops before, but the Word of God compares us to Farmers.

James 5:7

Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord's return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. The eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen.


Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for MEN, knowing that from the Lord, you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord, Jesus. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.


Phillippians 2:14

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticise you. Live clean, innocence lives as Children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.

We are ATHLETES - I don't know about you, but I cannot run. Well, I can but in a race, I'd be last! Let me give myself a bit more credit...probably, second last.

1 Corinthians 9:25-27

All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every STEP...I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others, I myself might be disqualified.

We are depicted as a LOT of things but these are just the examples. We are depicted as watchmen, priests in the Kingdom of God, Saints. However, in Ephesians 6, Paul depicts us as SOLDIERS for Christ.

Let me tell you the background behind what Paul was preaching. Back then (at the time Paul wrote this letter to the Ephesians from ROME where he was imprisoned). His message to the Ephesians about the importance of uniting among Christians themselves could be addressed to the people of today.

So, be strong in the Lord. Note, Paul did not say, be strong in your own power. He said be strong in the Lord. What is the full armor of God? Well, before a soldier went to WAR, he would put on his armor so that he would not get injured during the war. Paul studied the uniforms that the Roman Soldiers had on and he used that depiction make the Ephesians understand the Gospel.


1. The first thing a Roman Soldier would put on is the BELT. That belt would go around his waist. As Christians, we must wear the BELT OF TRUTH. This belt of truth is the WORD of God. The truth is that God LOVED the world (that's you and I) that He gave up His ONLY son (Jesus) that those who BELIEVE in Him would have everlasting life (they would not be condemned and be judged for their sins). THAT is the truth which we must wear constantly.

You must read the Bible and put into practice what you have read. James 1:22 - do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. DO what it says.


2. We must then have the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS in place. This refers to the righteousness purchased for us by the Lord at the cross. 1 Corinthians 5:21 - 'For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ'.

When we repent, we are given a 'breastplate'. This is made for us to protect our heart and soul from the devil. By our own righteous acts, we are no match for the devil's attacks. Do you ever wonder why some religions seem to be...a bit crazy. Those that go to the length of dying for 'god' and those that seem to think doing good deeds will lead them to heaven. Those that kill in the name of god? That's not being righteous. Being righteous in our OWN strength will get us nowhere.

Your SHOES AND the gospel of PEACE

3. Next, the Roman Soldier would put on his shoes. We must have our feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. I don't know exactly what Roman Soldiers wore on their feet but I know they had to be prepared for battle. Their feet had to be firm when the attacks came. He couldn't lose his footing. That's US. We must be prepared to fight.


4. In addition to ALL of this, we have to take up the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Each and every soldier had to have a shield. Back them, a Roman shield was called a scutum, not that that matters. Anyway, this was a huge shield, which looked like a door and would cover the soldier in his entirety. This was to protect him against arrows from those attacking him. This shield is a blanket of protection. It is used in all circumstances.

You all know what faith is? Well, your faith is your belief in God. Your faith and your obedience to God will affect how you live. It affected how the Apostles lived, how the prophets lived.

One example of how it affected a few people is the story of Daniel. I won't go through the whole story, but just to give you some background to the story. In Daniel 3:13 - there was a King called Nebuchadnezzar (I know, strange name!). Anyway, this King built a golden image of himself and forced people to worship this image whenever music came on. Those who refused to bow down and worship this image were thrown in some sort of lake of fire.

Now, three faithful men - Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - refused to bow down. Why would they? God said 'you shall have no other gods before me'. So, the King heard about this, and mocked God. The King actually tested them and said, 'If your God is alive, then let him save you...'. In the end, due to their faith, they ended up being saved from this lake of fire they were thrown into. How amazing is that? Would you trust God with your life? Or do you just talk about it, like most of us do? They proved it by their obedience, which nearly cost them their lives.

They are examples of guys who had their shield of faith


5. The last thing that a Soldier had to put on was the HELMET. This was the assurance of salvation. In order to have this helmet of salvation tightly fastened, we have to:

Renew our minds - Romans 12:1-2 instructs us to renew our minds by allowing the truth of God's Words to wipe out everything. We have to allow God's truth to wash away the world's filth and lies, opinions and whatnot. We have to allow God's Word to change us and we have to adopt God's perspective on things, not the World.
  • Keep an eternal perspective - when life crashes in around us, we have to remember the purpose, looking up to God. 
  •  Find our hope in HIM - Psalm 73:25 - The salvation that Jesus purchased for us cannot share the place of importance in our hearts with earthly things
As we wear the helmet of salvation everyday, our minds become more insulated against the suggestions, desires and traps the enemy lays for us. We choose to guard our minds from the worldly influence and instead think on things that honour.

Phillippians 4:8 - "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right and pure and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."


The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God (as mentioned by Paul).

Hebrews 4:12 - For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Paul also tells us to pray in the Spirit on ALL occasions with ALL kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind - be ALERT and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people.

Do not give up, put on your armor and stand your ground, soldier!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

God Knows

Do you ever wonder if God knows what we are going through? Sometimes, you pray...and pray...and pray but it seems like nothing happens. Well, after listening to this sermon, I know that God KNOWS. He knows our fears, our troubles, our tribulations, our addictions, our pains, our cares. He knows them all.

Psalm 139

"Oh, Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head, such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand. I can never escape from your Spirit. I can never get away from your presence..."

God knows. Do you ever go through troubles? What am I asking...of course we all have those seasons of troubles. It could be your finances getting worse, you have lost your job, you've lost a child, somebody you love just passed away and things just seem to be getting worse. Then you have this extreme pain in your soul. A pain that nobody can understand. Even when they ask you how you are, you just think, 'You don't want to know...' but you respond, 'I am fine'.

But the good thing is, God KNOWS. You may be thinking, how? But remember, He had a Son. Our Savior, Jesus Christ suffered so much. He suffered rejection, he got lonely, he got tempted, he got tired, he got weary, he got lost. So, God, in FLESH KNOWS. He understands what we are going through.

Some people question God and whether He is concerned about their trials. They ask - "Where is God? Why am I going through this?". Then we, as Christians, get bitter towards God. We feel like He has abandoned us. We require evidence that He is hearing our cry. But remember, the only way God can reach the world is sometimes through TESTIMONIES.

Remember the Israelites who complained and doubted God for 40 years. God provided for them, they were never homeless, never hungry but He provided for them even through their unbelief. Speak to Him. Go to His WORD and be sustained. People will look at you, and no matter what you are going through, they will SEE how you sustain yourself. They will want to know what makes you like this...and through that, you can lead them to God because He sustains YOU.

God knows your troubles, your issues, but He still answers prayers. Many of your prayers are answered and you are not aware of them. He knows what is in your heart. He knows EVERYTHING.

God knows our HEARTS. Even Jesus spoke to the Pharisees and told them that God knows their hearts...and there was a reason why they were so bitter.

Luke 16:15 - "Then he said to them, 'You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honours is detestable in the sight of God.'"

So please, no matter what YOU go through in LIFE...remember that God knows. If you are not careful, that bitterness will WRECK you. The most difficult people to reach with the gospel of CHRIST started with a seed of bitterness.

If you are facing something right now, be on GUARD against the enemy throwing you thoughts of fear, of anger, of wrath.

You should know that God has forgiven your sins, He will supply all your needs, He will present you as faultless before His throne. He will meet you in your sadness, in your sorrow. God knows. Believe in that with all that is in you. Do not focus on your material needs, do not worry. Go before His throne. The Book of Life is full of stories of Prophets who suffered mightily, but they made it through. Even through the darkness, God will lead you and guide you as long as you are on the face of this earth.

God knows. He is with you. He will never leave you or forsake  you. He will always be with You. Do not be discouraged. He will uphold you with his righteous right hand. The Bible says do not worry about anything but with prayer and supplication give Him your requests. Do not turn away from Him. You will stand before God. Do not take a chance.

God Bless - Enjoy Your Month!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Young And Unashamed

It's a NEW month, meaning a NEW POST. I thought I'd write a Post on a young girl...well, she's very much overlooked, she isn't even given a name in this story, but when the Pastor at Church was going through this story yesterday, I learned that she is actually very significant. She made a large impact on a certain man's life. This man was stubborn, full of pride, highly respected and rich (I am presuming).

This story is about Namaan. It is told in 2 Kings 5. Let me just give you a background of this whole Book (Kings) before I get into the story. God punished his Chosen People (Israel) because they rejected Him and chose to worship other gods. But, nobody can escape God's judgement. The message in this Book, TO ME, is that we have a choice. We have to stay connected to God through studying His Word, praying and staying close to other believers.

2 Kings 5

The Story of Namaan

The King of Aram (we are unsure of his name), admired Namaan, who was the commander of his army, because through him, the Lord had given Aram great victories. But, even though Namaan was a mighty warrior, he suffered from leprosy.

Let me just stop there. Namaan was a COMMANDER. He was highly respected, highly favoured and in high position. So, he probably had a bit of pride there. Leprosy, however, was a horrendous disease back then.

Anyway, at this time, the Aramean raiders had invaded the land of Israel and among their captives was a young girl (by young, I'm guessing she was a teenager), and gave her to Namaan's wife as a maid. One day, the girl said to her mistress, "I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy".

So, Namaan's wife obviously told her husband, who told the King what the young girl from Israel had said. The King gave him his authority to go and even told him, "I will send a letter of introduction for you to take to the King of Israel".

So, Namaan, definitely excited (I can imagine, because he would finally be cured of his leprosy) carried gifts, money and some clothes. The letter that the King of Aram had written said, "With this letter I present my servant Namaan. I want you to heal him of his leprosy."

When the King of Israel read the letter, he was greatly distressed. He was so stressed that he said, "This man sends me a leper to heal! Am I God, that I can give life and take it away? I can see he's trying to pick a fight with me?"

So, when Elisha (the Prophet) had heard that the King had torn his clothes and that he was distressed, he sent a message to him, 'Why are you so upset? Send Namaan to me and he will learn that there is a true prophet here in Israel."

So, Namaan went with his horses and chariots, waiting at the door of Elisha's house. I find this funny. A Commander of an ARMY waiting at the door of the Prophet. Elisha didn't even go out to see him, he sent his messenger out with a message. This messenger tells him to wash himself seven times in the River Jordan and his skin will be cleared.

Well, Namaan was not too happy about that. He was angry. He was upset that Elisha didn't even come to see him or greet him. HE had expectations. He thought that Elisha would wave his hand over the spot and cure him. He was even complaining, 'What's so special about the river Jordan? Aren't the rivers of Damascus, better than the waters of Israel?'

He was so offended. But in the end, his friends and officers tried to reason with him saying, the Prophet told you to do it, just do it. I mean, what's the worst that can happen?

So, Namaan was like, "Oh, fine, I will go..."

He did exactly what Elisha had told him to do and he was.

Anyway, I don't want to focus this story of Elisha and Namaan. I want to focus on the slave girl. She was a young girl from Israel. She was obviously a Christian, a believer in God, she had faith. Namaan and his wife probably weren't. I mean, in those days and at those times, these people, most especially the Kings, were involved in idol worship. The slave girl had a lot of NERVE to even bring up the Prophet. But she carried a message, she had faith. She didn't think of herself as inadequate.

There are four principles (that my Pastor went through yesterday) that this slave girl had and we should definitely live by:

1. She was CONCERNED - she wasn't worried about how she would be perceived, she didn't think about her position. She was motivated by love and she had compassion (just like Jesus did)

2. She was CONFIDENT - she was confident in what she believed in. The message she believed in and the gospel she carried.

3. She was COURAGEOUS - some of us are scared to even utter the name Jesus. We are ashamed of our faith. Even I am, to be honest. I am trying to maintain my faith in a world and a culture that just seems to be backsliding and goes against my beliefs, OF COURSE it's tough. But, if this slave girl had not been courageous, Namaan would not have had his faith restored. He would not have been healed of leprosy. I can actually imagine him being so happy, that he spreads the message along and others come to the knowledge of who GOD is. What God had done for him.

4. She was CREDIBLE - she was a good example. She definitely gave her best and what she did and she seemed to have a good attitude and well mannered. I mean, Namaan could have just ignored what she had said but he listened for a reason. It's in the way she carried herself. My pastor said something that hit me. For some people, YOU are the only bible they will read. People are watching you. The way you react to certain situations. How you endure hardships. You are their BIBLE. The slave girl was credible because of the way she carried herself. She was young but it's just how she was. We are never too young to tell others about the Gospel.

I will leave you with this (which is the way the Pastor ended it): 1 Timothy 4:12 -15

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given to you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be DILIGENT in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers"

Enjoy your month and may God bless you.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

The Foolish Virgins

The whole concept of this Parable is similar to the Parable Jesus told of 'The Wedding Feast'. Let me just explain Jewish Wedding Customs again because, like I said before, when you understand the Jewish Wedding Customs of the Bible and compare that to the salvation in Christ and our 'marriage' to Christ, you can then begin to appreciate the beauty of it all. I did my research. So, there are the three 'C's' of Biblical Weddings: Contract, Consummation and Celebration. Ancient Jewish Weddings surprisingly never involved a wedding ceremony like we see today with the bride walking down the aisle to be married.

If we want to learn and understand the figures of speech used by Jesus when he talks about 'The Wedding Feast' and the Church as the 'Bride of Christ', it's important to learn the ancient culture and forget everything we know about the modern wedding ceremonies.

In those days, biblical times, there were three stages.

Stage 1: Signing The Contract
The Bride had to choose her husband and the FATHER would sign the legal contract in order to have that marriage come into being. Once the Father signed this contract, the couple were MARRIED. BUT, they did not have sex.

Stage 2: The Consummation
I learned this in Family Law as well. Even though we have the Wedding and signed the Marital Contract, you were not married until you consummated that marriage. So, in Biblical Times, the groom had to raise the money set out in the Contract and notify the Father of the Bride, who sets a date to consummate the marriage at the Bride's Home. The Bride would wait with her Bridesmaids for the groom and his companions.
The Groom would then have the bloodied 'proof of virginity cloth' to the witnesses chosen by the Bride's parents, who then give it to the Bride for safekeeping. When the groom satisfied the father of the bride that he had fulfilled the financial and legal requirements of the Contract, he would then set the date to 'consummate the marriage' and notify the bride.

The Bride and Groom may have friends of up to ten who would act as witnesses to the event. These witnesses would wait outside or in a room nearby while the couple consummated the marriage in the wedding bed.

John 3:29: 'It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hears his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success'.

Stage 3: The Wedding Feast

So, after consummation, the entire wedding party walks to the house of the Groom in a procession for a wedding feast. At the conclusion of the wedding feast, the couple has completed the ancient ritual of marriage. 

So, in telling this Parable, the Lord, Jesus, was referring it back to Jewish Custom so that the people in those days would understand the love God has for us.

So, the Parable of the Foolish Virgins is talking about the Bridesmaids, who would wait for the GROOM and his friends. The bridesmaids or the 'ten virgins', were the witnesses and would walk with the BRIDE in a ceremony to the Wedding Feast in the HOUSE of the GROOM. As the Bride was waiting for the groom to arrive and join her in the Consummation bed, they fell asleep due to the lateness of the groom. But, once the groom arrived, the witnesses of the GROOM announced his arrival and called in HIS own voice to the bride and her maidens.

The Parable: - Matthew 25:1-13

"God's kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were the silly virgins and the other five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom did not show up when they expected Him so the virgins fell asleep.

In the middle of the night, someone yelled, 'HE'S HERE! THE BRIDEGROOM'S HERE! GET OUT AND GREET HIM!'

The ten virgins quickly got up and got their lamps ready. The silly virgins said to the smart ones, 'Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.'

They answered, 'There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.'

They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom had arrived. When everyone who was there to meet him had gone into the Wedding feast, the door was locked. Much later, the silly virgins, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, 'Master, we're here. Let us in'

He answered, 'Do I know you? I don't think I know you.'

So, stay alert, You have no idea when HE might arrive."

The Prophet Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would come to speak in Parables but only those who were wise would understand his parables.

Isaiah 6:9-10 - "Yes, go and say this to the people, 'listen carefully, but do not understand. Watch closely but learn nothing. Harden the hearts of these people. Plug their ears and shut their eyes. That way, they will not see with their eyes, nor hear with their ears, nor understand with their hearts and turn to me for healing."

God said certain people will have hard hearts because they do not want to hear or listen or understand, their hearts will get harder

This is fulfilled in Matthew 13:34 - 'Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables.'

Daniel 12:9-10 - "But he said, 'Go now, Daniel, for what I have said is kept secret and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, cleansed and refined by these trials. But the wicked will continue in their wickedness, and none of them will understand. Only those who are wise will know what it means.'"

If you want to be the wise virgin, ensure that you make Christ the centre of your thought life. Let the Lord be in all your thoughts. When you wake up in the morning, thank Him. At night before you go to bed, call out to Him in thought and on your knees.

Phillipians 4:8 - "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." 

Pray out to God, 'Lord, you are true, you are just, you are pure, lovely, You are my GOOD REPORT. Help me focus on you.'

1 Corinthians 3:20 - "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise...". God knows our thoughts, He records them all. He knows every time we think of Him.

Meaning Of The Parable:

The prayer is the oil for your lamp. Pray daily as you begin to prepare to meet the Lord.  Jesus obviously knows who we are. But, to be rejected and for the Lord to say to you, 'I never knew you', He is definitely saying, 'You never took me seriously. You never put me first. Your heart is NOT in this relationship and you have neglected me. I cannot recognise you, your spirit. How can I know you?'

Do you know the Lord? Do you speak to Him? When you're driving to work, walking to work? When the Church doors open, are you there?

We need to be prepared and this preparation means washing ourselves, putting off our SIN and SELF, being refilled with the Holy Spirit and producing the Works of RIGHTEOUSNESS. Its not enough to just have that outward look of being a Christian, we must allow the Lord to complete the inward beautification that will produce the fruit that He is looking for in our lives.

The five foolish virgins were shut out of that Wedding feast due to the fact that they were not ready. They were not partaker's of Christ's life and they were not overcomers. For them, they were shut out.

The Bride must make herself ready. If you don't know by now, the bride represents the Church. We must be ready, this is our bridal preparation. It's how we continue to make ourselves ready and prepared.

Revelations 19:7-8 - "Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honour to him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself. She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear." - For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God's holy people. 

Christ must not only be on us as a robe, but also as a way of life. The wise virgins took extra oil and this represents those who are truly born again and are eager for the coming of Christ. They are determined, with whatever happens, be it the length of time or certain circumstances, they will be prepared. The five virgins WITHOUT the oil represents those with false beliefs but just reap the benefits of being a Christian by name, without even having that true love for Christ. Their hope is that, being in association with the true believers, will give them access into the kingdom of God. 

That can never happen though. You have to know the Lord personally. Remember, the Lord Himself said, 'Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord', will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but He who does the will of my Father in heaven, will enter. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'

I don't now about you but I know that 'Be Ye Ready' is NOT a JOKE. I don't want the Lord to reject me on that day. I don't want the Lord to say I never spent time with Him. I don't want to be rejected or even the Lord to feel that rejection. I don't want to hurt Him. My heart feels heavy when I even have that thought. I want to be more godly and reject sin. Of course I cannot be perfect like Christ was, but the Lord tells me to strive perfection just like Jesus was. So, the most I can do is try. I can guard my heart against anything that is against His Word, anything that will make me question my faith in God. I hope you do the same.

Happy New Month. Xo

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Love Is Colour Blind

I thought I'd write a Blog Post on Interracial Relationships and Interracial Marriages. I am tired of seeing all this 'Black love is dying', 'Black men are no longer approachable' or 'the Black race is dying' and 'Black Supremacy'. Whilst celebrities such as Will and Jada or Beyonce and Jay Z are commended for their relationships and apparently that is what we should 'look up to', other celebrities such as Tamera Mowry and Adam Housley or other interracial relationships are looked down upon. I am also tired of being made to feel guilty if I show an interest in somebody who is of a different race due to the stigma held by these people about that certain race.

Well, the long line of racism in today's world has made people have this belief that there is something immoral about dating someone outside your race. I, personally, have no issue with this. I can't imagine God having to have a favourite race. This was how it was in the olden days. Blacks were not allowed to worship and fellowship with Whites. 

Jeremiah 13:23 - 'Can an Ethiopian change the colour of his skin? Can a leopard take away its spots? Neither can you start doing good, for you have always done evil.'

Jeremiah, the Prophet, was speaking to the people of Judah. They were just plain stubborn. They knew they shouldn't be sinning but still did it anyway. We are like that. The people of Judah were very stubborn. God sent a number of prophets to warn them to turn from their ways. So, God was telling them that we cannot change the natural colour of our skin, just like it seemed impossible to change the people of Judah because they were so used to doing evil. They were taught to do evil, they had been brought up in sin. Anyway, that's not the message here. We cannot change our skin, but we can change our THINKING. Anyone born of Christ is a NEW creation.

An Interracial Marriage In The Bible

Let's take a look at one of the most famous Interracial Marriages in the Bible. Remember Moses? Well, he was married to an Ethiopian woman. Let me just give you the story from the Bible;

Numbers 12

While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticised Moses because he had married a Cushite woman (Ethiopian). they said, 'Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn't He spoken through us, too?' But the Lord heard them. (Now, Moses was very humble - more humble than any other person on earth.). A Cushite was soebody from the land of Cush, which was around Ethiopia. Cush was a descendant of Ham, who settled down that area of Africa (around Arabia). She was darker skinned.

I am not sure why Miriam didn't like Moses' wife. But, they began to talk about Moses. What do we call that? Oh, yeah, GOSSIP! They didn't talk to Moses about it, but to each other and who knows, maybe that gossip spread.

Anyway, so, immediately,the Lord called to Moses, Aaron and Miriam and said, 'Go out to the Tabernacle, all three of you'. So, the three of them went to the Tabernacle. Then the Lord descended in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle.

"Aaron and Miriam," He called, and they stepped forward. And the Lord said to them, "Now, listen to what I say: If there were prophets among you, I, The Lord, would reveal myself in visions. I would speak to them in dreams. But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust. I speak to him face to face, clearly and not in riddles! He sees the Lord as He is. So, why were you not afraid to criticise my servant Moses?"

The Lord was very angry with them and he departed. As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy. When Aaron saw what had happened to her, he cried out to Moses, 'Oh, my master! Please don't punish us for this sin we have foolishly committed. Don't let her be like a stillborn baby, already decayed at birth'

So, Moses cried out to the Lord, "Oh God, I beg you, please heal her!"

But the Lord said to Moses, "If her father had done nothing more than spit in her face, wouldn't she be defiled for seven days? So, keep her outside the camp for seven days, and after that she may be accepted back."

So, Miriam was kept outside the camp for seven days and the people waited until she was brought back before they travelled again. They they left Hazeroth and camped in the wilderness of Paran.

In those days, everybody with leprosy had to go outside of the camp and stay there until they were healed of leprosy. Miriam had a lot of pride. She wanted more power and influence. But, the total opposite happened. She had no contact with humans, no influence. She was unclean.

I also find it ironic. Miriam was basically speaking against Moses' marriage because his wife was black. It's like God was telling her, 'Fine, if you prefer white skin, here you go...' and He gave her really white skin. I don't believe God ever told us or restricted us to marry a certain race. We may have personal preferences, and that's fine. Just, please, do not say, 'it's forbidden to marry this race' or 'this race is better than that race'. The Word of God does NOT support that.

The Bible does not forbid us to marry outside of our race. It encourages us to marry fellow believers (2 Corinthians 6:14). 
Leviticus 19:33 - 'Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord, your God.'

So, please, let me just repeat this. People will have their views, but yours should be based on the Word of God. Biblical love goes far beyond and above worldly standards, being patient and kind to our enemies. So, be willing to endure the words and negative actions of people.

Be strong in the Lord (Ephesians 6:10). It can be heartbreaking and painful to have your friends and family reject your relationship based on racist views. But always look for the chance to share the gospel with those that oppose your relationship.

Oh, and should anyone oppose your relationship/marriage, confront them lovingly and with biblical truth. We are ONE in Christ, 'a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.'

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Prophet Elijah

So, this Month I have been reading about the Prophet Elijah. Although, he is one of the most famous Prophets in the Bible, I have never really read up on him. I usually read Parables or a certain story and take what I can from that story. But, reading on Elijah, I have fallen in love with him. He is funny, quirky, interesting and very vibrant, yet his life was filled with a lot of sorrow, which today would be seen as turmoil. There is SO much to learn from Elijah because he was so bold and decisive, and sometimes fearful and hesitant to do things, we can (well, I know I can), learn a lot from this prophet. He had so much faith and demonstrated the power of God and there is a lot we can take from him.

Let's begin with his name. I was surprised to learn that the name Elijah means 'My God is Jehovah'. I wouldn't mind naming my Son that name now that I know what it means. Also, from the research I have done and even the reading, there is not much about his background either. In 1 Kings 17:1, we are just told that he came from Tishbeth in Gilead.

The Problem

There is a reason why the Prophet Elijah came into being. The whole problem was that, the King at the time, Ahab, 'did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord, even more than ANY OF THE KINGS BEFORE HIM.' This guy was crazy. Not only that, as if THAT wasn't bad enough anyway, he went on to marry Jezebel. He started worshipping 'Baal'. He even built a temple and an altar for Baal. He did more than provoke the anger of the Lord, than ANY of the other Kings of Israel before him. Okay, let me just enlighten those who do not know why God would be upset or who don't even have any IDEA who Baal is. Baal was a fertility god (and is still worshipped up to today) and people believed back then that he would help them produce children. Others, such as the Canaanites, worshipped him as the sun god and as the storm god. How he even came about, that's another story, but the whole point is, God was not pleased that His people were worshipping other gods and all this idol worship was not pleasing to Him. (1 Kings 16)

The Solution

Now, God being God, He will obviously offer a solution. He uses Elijah, which ironically means 'HE is Jehovah', I find it ironic because the people back then, under the reign of Ahab, were worshipping Baal. But God sends a Prophet called 'ELIJAH', a man, whose name praises HIM. So, Elijah confronts the King. See how BOLD he was. Imagine...okay, let's say President Obama (as an example), passes a law stating that we must worship a god called 'Baal'. Would YOU as a Christian confront him and challenge him to say 'God, Jehovah, will not be happy with this? The whole land is in danger because of this law?'. Depends on how prayerful you are, because that's what Elijah did. He challenged Ahab and even prophesied to him telling him that there will be 'no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word'. He was warning Ahab that a drought would come upon his nation because of his evil choices. Because they chose to worship Baal.

After warning Ahab of this, Elijah was told by God to hide near the Brook of Kerith, near the Jordan River. He was even fed by ravens as the drought and the famine in the land got worse. To be fair, from the human mind, I can't even begin to imagine how a raven would fly back and forth to bring food for a person. It's just something I can't even fathom. But the ravens brought Elijah bread and meat, each and every morning and evening. But, after a while, there was no rainfall anywhere in the land so it was all dried up. (1 Kings 17:6). 

The first thing I have learned is that Elijah had faith. He was told by God to go and hide and he left, without food or water. If I was him, I'd try and stash up as much food as I could so I could survive, but he trusted that God would provide for him.

The Widow - 1 Kings 17:8

So, obviously, as Elijah is in hiding, the famine is still going on. He hasn't got food left. God then tells him to 'go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon'. At this stage, knowing myself, I'd probably be sick of hiding and start complaining. I wonder if Elijah did that? He had a lot of faith because God told him to travel again. It was quite a long way from there and I am guessing he has never been before. He didn't know anybody, he had no relatives, but he followed God's word and went anyway. God sent a widow to provide food for Elijah. Now, this widow was a poor woman, she was out by the town gathering a few sticks for fire. He asked her for a drink, but she started to leave. He had to assure her that she would have enough to eat and they would not run out. She insisted that it would be impossible as she only had a small amount of flour and oil to cook for herself and her son. Once it was finished, she'd die. She was expecting to die because of the drought. There was no rain, the crops would not grow and obviously there was no food. 

I wonder...what did God see in this widow? Was it faith? He favoured her for a reason for Him to choose her. God would have provided for Elijah in other ways, but I wonder, why this widow in particular? But, anyway, just as the Lord had promised, they had food. She also had a tremendous amount of faith. Imagine going through a drought, you have no food, you're taking care of your only child, you're expected to die soon and you don't have enough food to feed a third person, yet when a stranger comes to you and promises that you won't run out of food, would you stand on that promise? She had faith because how did she know where that food would come from? Maybe God heard her struggle, maybe He heard her prayer. I just wonder. 

Sometime later, the widow's sun became very sick. In fact, he grew so ill that he died. She lay the blame on Elijah. Even though she always had food, and the flour and oil never got to be empty, the widow and her son had enough to eat, she ended up blaming Elijah when her son died. She was wondering whether Elijah was sent by God to curse her for her sins. I don't know what she was going through personally. What sins she had committed. But it makes me think of us today. Maybe she had lost her faith in God at that point; but she truly believed after her son was brought back to life by Elijah.

The Face-Off - 1 Kings 18:17-40

THREE years LATER...this is a LONG time for a drought...the Lord told Elijah to go to King Ahab. I wonder what been happening during those three years in that Kingdom. Was King Ahab looking for Elijah? I mean, if Baal was so powerful, how come he hadn't found Elijah? I wonder if Elijah ever got discouraged being in hiding. But, the famine was so bad in Samaria. Elijah got in touch with Obadiah, who was also a follower of God. They had a meeting and Elijah instructed Obadiah to inform the King that he wanted to have a word with him.

Once Elijah got in touch with the King, he made a deal with him. The prophets of Baal would call upon their god and ask him send down the rain. Then, Elijah would call upon HIS God, Jehovah, to send down rain. The God who answers is the true and living God. 

Elijah mocked the prophets of Baal, asking them to call upon their god. They did this all day long to send rain from heaven but nothing happened. Elijah mocked them, telling them to 'dance more' or 'shout louder' and funnily enough, they did this.

I love Elijah's sense of humour. He is hilarious. He said that Baal was maybe 'talking to someone else' or 'taking a walk or sleeping and needed to be woken up'. Well, they danced even more and cut themselves until evening but Baal did not answer them.

When they gave up, Elijah built an altar to God, put the sacrifices on the top of that altar and called for water to be poured over his sacrifice three times. HE called upon God to send fire from heaven and burn the sacrifice. God had proven that He was more powerful than any false gods. Of course, nowadays, we cannot see this sort of evidence of God's power BUT we have the same access to God and same power through the Holy Spirit in our lives. 2 Corinthians 4:7 - 'we now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves'.

Elijah had so much faith. Of course, there are many Prophets that had the courage to act on God's word. But, nevertheless, Elijah had the courage to act on God's word and show these idolaters that they were not doing right in praying to the false god. We do need to stand up for what's right, we need to be brave. Act on His WILL.

The Aftermath

After the whole victory over the false prophets, in spite of the victory and the provisions from God, Elijah enters a period of depression. He gets depressed after hearing that Jezebel was planning on killing him. He hides in a cave and starts to feel sorry for himself. He focuses on everything else but God. That's when the fear of what Jezebel would do to him and his feelings of being alone crept in. 

Of course, it's normal seeing as we are humans. When we start to focus on the NOISE and CLUTTER of this world, we get our eyes of the Lord. If we continue to walk in obedience to His Word, we will be rewarded. Elijah is a great example. He was filled with so many human failures and weaknesses, but he was used so much by God. God saw the potential in him.