I SAMUEL 17 : 1 – 11
The Philistines gathered their armies together
to battle against Saul and the men of Israel;
Battles were not new to Saul or the men of Israel.
They were ready to fight;
But, suddenly the confidence and courage became
doubt and despair!
The Giant Goliath!
This one giant was sufficient enough to mock the
entire army of Israel;The size and the challenge!
Even though men of Israel were warriors, they were
not having any strategy to challenge Goliath;
In fact, they were dismayed and greatly afraid!
Even in our life, some times GOD permits the giant to
challenge us; we get confused; fear grips our heart;
Like the Israelites, we become passive; our courage
and confidence vanish; thousands of questions assail
us; pseudo-guilt and inferiority complex embrace us;
slowly we try to join the group of ‘hurt and retired’.
Our past achievements, accomplishments and victories
does not give us any clue to handle this giant;
In despair we cry ‘ why LORD, why?’.
We give up, surrender ourselves to the enemy and quit!
But, come to the other side and view the scene!
At least three truths emerge from that scenario!
1. The challenge of the giant helps us to identify our
See, David used slingshots to kill animals but never
tried that on giants. The appearance of the giant
gave David an opportunity to ‘ test drive’ his skill
on the giant.
2. The challenge of the giant exposes and advertises
your uniqueness to your friends and enemies;
See, the uniqueness of David got noticed by his
people and by the philistines on that day!
3. The challenge of the giant indirectly helps us to gain
victory without any damage or loss to our side;
See, in any battle there will be some deaths and injuries;
but, in the above mentioned battle, Israel won without
losing even a single soldier, thanks to the giant!
Or in other words, whenever GOD wants to give
victory without even a slightest damage to us, HE
will permit the giant to challenge us!
Facing a giant? Perplexed? ready to quit?
Have a giant-view!
Humble yourself in the sight of the LORD and ask HIM
to reveal your hidden talent and uniqueness!
Remember, you are the apple of HIS eye;
Do you think that HE will permit a giant to challenge
you just to crush you?
No, HE wants us to have victory; no loss or damage!
Come on, Take your sling and stones!
IF YOU HAVE RUN WITH THE FOOTMEN,
AND THEY HAVE WEARIED YOU, THEN
HOW CAN YOU CONTEND WITH HORSES?
( JEREMIAH 12 : 5 )
The desire to possess more!
The urge to expand at any cost!
King Ahab had so much, but went home sullen and angry;
He went to bed even ignoring dinner!
Just because of a small vineyard.
The desire to possess, in fact, possessed him!
Do you know, when ever a person reaches this kind of
possessive and possessed state, the whole counsel of
devil will freely flows towards that person?
Jezebel took control of that situation; and eventually
Ahab got Naboth’s vineyard; yes, a dirty and tragic story!
But, the same sad story is repeated again and again, not
just in the world, even in our Christian circles!
Explosive expansions at any cost!
Building, buying, building, buying manipulations!
See Ahab’s strategy!
1. Having a desire to have that land.
2. Allowing that desire to control him.
3. Possessing that land becomes the vision.
4. Receiving the whole counsel of devil.
5. Planning meeting with elders and leaders to pass the vision.
6. Arranging an urgent fasting and prayer.
7. Getting linked to underground mafia.
8. Spreading lies using GOD’s name.
9. Eliminate any genuine person (if necessary, kill).
10. Unanimously making a decision to own that piece!
Is that not happening in our ministries?
Do you know the number of sincere seekers stumbled and
gone away from us just because of the way our expansion
plans are projected from the pulpit?
Do you know the number of pages wasted, in all the so called
Christian magazines, just to convince that our vision of having
one more mega building is so strategic for national revival?
Do you know how many hours are stolen from our channels to
broadcast ‘the appeal breaks’?.
Ahab and Jezebel openly declared their allegiance to Baal;
But we claim that we follow Christ and follow the way of
Jezebel in all our vampire state buildings!
GOD’s curse came so fast on Ahab and Jezebel!
The innocent peoples cheated by you are HIS children;
Don’t ever assume that we won’t reap what we sow!
Want to enlarge and expand?
Expansion is good, but only if you follow GODLY standards;
Wait in HIS presence for HIS guidance!
Be faithful in the small things!
HE promised to give ‘ THE BIG’ if we are faithful in ‘the small’.
WELL DONE, MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT, YOU HAVE BEEN
FAITHFUL IN HANDLING THIS SMALL AMOUNT, SO NOW I WILL GIVE YOU MANY MORE RESPONSIBILITIES.(MATTHEW 25 : 23).
FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS, PAUL LIVED IN HIS OWN RENTED
HOUSE. HE WELCOMED ALL WHO VISITED HIM, PROCLAIMING
THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITH ALL BOLDNESS AND TEACHING
ABOUT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ( ACTS 28 : 30).
Jonah ran away from GOD given mission;
Went in the opposite direction, but the
beginning of the journey was so smooth;
Ship was ready; Place was available;
Sound sleep till storm came!
Think about the return journey!
In the stomach of a big fish!
Darkness and confusion;
Fear and fatigue;
Three days and three nights of isolation;
Soul searching and repentance in the dark room;
Near death stinky experience in the digestive fluids!
The consequence of disobedience!
LIVE SUBMARINE JOURNEY WITHOUT RETURN TICKET!
2. ACTS OF APOSTLES 8 : 26 – 39
Philip, not a prophet like Jonah but just a catering supervisor,
obeyed GOD; Accepted the mission of sharing the gospel to
the Ethiopian treasurer!
Ministry to only one person unlike Jonah’s call for an entire city,
the city of Nineveh, even then Philip obeyed!
No special transport; He ran behind the chariot in the desert!
Mission accomplished! Baptism over!
Now the return journey!
In a fraction of a second, the Spirit of the LORD caught
Philip away; He reached the city of Azotus!
So comfortable; So fast; Just like that!
The consequence of obedience!
INVISIBLE AIR TRAVEL WITHOUT RETURN TICKET!
May be in this world, the position defines the comfort of
the travel; higher position, better facility!
But in HIS kingdom, our obedience defines the comfort of
Disobedient Prophet Jonah, three days uncomfortable trip;
Obedient disciple Philip, swift and comfortable trip;
I WILL TEACH YOU WISDOM’S WAYS AND LEAD
YOU IN STRAIGHT PATHS. IF YOU IVE A LIFE
GUIDED BY WISDOM YOU WON’T LIMP AND
STUMBLE AS YOU RUN.( PROVERBS 4 : 11 & 12)
I KINGS 13 : 4, 5, 6 & 20, 21, 22,23.
A strange story; A strange prophet; A strange end;
A prophet sent by GOD against the rebellious Jeroboam;
Mighty in word and deed; able to prophesy exactly;
Courageous enough to confront Jeroboam in his land;
Protected by GOD from the angry and rebelling Jeroboam;
Was gracious enough to pray for the punished Jeroboam;
Saw GOD’s grace in healing Jeroboam when he prayed;
Oh, what a mighty man of GOD!
But alas, by a deceiving prophet, left his initial commitment;
It happens to all, is it not so?
No one is perfect; we all fall and fail somehow, somewhere;
This prophet is also not an exception;
But see his strange reaction when confronted;
The other prophet thundered the punishment;
Punishment for his disobedience, from the Lord!
But the confronted prophet continued his eating;
Finished eating and drinking and went back!
No repentance; No guilt; No crying or praying;
He continued his journey as if nothing happened;
Just think about it;
He just saw GOD’s grace by the miraculous restoration
of Jeroboam’s hand when prayed even after a fall;
But, when he disobeyed and received a prophesy about
his punishment, the death penalty, he did not show any
sign of repentance!
Why he did not cry and pray and ask forgiveness?
Even after seeing GOD’s grace in response to his
prayer for Jeroboam?
Repentance and Grace for others, but not for him?
If the rebellious Jeroboam can get another chance,
why not this mighty man of GOD?
How come he continued his eating even after the
clear revelation about his disobedience and end?
Is it not strange? He embraced the punishment!
But, dear friend, we all also can be so strange!
Seeing, reading, preaching the grace of GOD,
without a broken heart;
Simply embracing the punishment just because of
our hardened hearts, not willing to cry unto HIM!
Continuing as if nothing happened!
No need to keep the statistics of your achievements!
No need to boast about the fulfillment of the prophesy!
No need to list the number of people blessed through you!
No need to file the miracle case studies of your prayer!
But never ignore the ‘ not for me ‘ attitude in your heart!
Deal with it then and there; have a broken heart;
‘Walking wisely without any slip ‘ is great, but
When slipping, please don’t harden your heart;
Check honestly, accept your failures, cry and repent!
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger,
And abounding in mercy.
HE is just, no doubt, but HE is close to the broken people!
FOR THUS SAYS THE HIGH AND LOFTY ONE WHO
INHABITS ETERNITY, WHOSE NAME IS HOLY:
I DWELL IN THE HIGH AND HOLY PLACE, WITH HIM
WHO HAS A CONTRITE AND HUMBLE SPIRIT, TO
REVIVE THE SPIRIT OF THE HUMBLE, TO REVIVE
THE HEART OF THE CONTRITE ONES. ( ISAIAH 57 : 15).
MARK 5 : 18 & 19
Region of Gerasenes:
The demon possessed man’s life underwent a dramatic
change in a single encounter with CHRIST;
Yesterday, an uncontrollable, self injuring and howling man;
Today, a humble, Christ honoring and word sharing man;
Yesterday, the most cursed and hated person of that region;
Today, the most blessed and listened person of that region;
One encounter with JESUS; Who can measure that impact?
Tortured again and again by the same secret sin?
Not having the boldness to take a stand for TRUTH?
Confused by the triple attack of world, flesh and devil?
Lost hope of a life of deliverance?
Read the chapter Mark 5 carefully;
If that kind of person’s life can get an U TURN,
Why not our lives?
But, you need an encounter with CHRIST, THE WORD;
How you approach, appreciate, appropriate and apply
The WORD is going to determine your level of victory;
Read and pray;
Pray and read;
Read with prayer;
Pray with reading;
Have frequent, planned encounter;
Let the WORD of GOD dwells in you richly;
That is the one and only way to have an
CHRIST CENTERED, SPIRIT CONTROLLED
I WILL WALK IN FREEDOM, FOR I HAVE DEVOTED
MYSELF TO YOUR COMMANDMENTS! (PSALM 119 : 45)
GENESIS 21 : 14 – 19.
Hagar and Ishmael sent out by Abraham and Sarah;
Pathetic situation in the life of Sarah.
From slavery to a blessed position and then abandoned;
Her life was always controlled by some one else.
Is not natural to cry? Is it not the time to feel depressed?
Is it wrong to worry about the future of her son?
She lifted her voice and wept.
But notice the surprising response from GOD!
‘GOD heard the voice of the lad’,
she cried but her cry was not so significant .
Again the angel of GOD explains (GENESIS 21 : 17 )
‘GOD has heard the voice of the lad where he is’.
The Bible not even recorded the cry of the lad, but GOD heard it;
Hagar lifted her voice and wept, but that was not considered!
Hagar already received a personal promise about her son
and his future(GENESIS 16 : 10, 11 &12 ).
Again GOD confirmed that to Abraham( GENESIS 17 : 20 ).
Again GOD promised that to Abraham ( GENESIS 21 : 13 ).
When GOD promised and confirmed that again and again,
Getting frustrated and crying is not expected from Hagar;
She is supposed to encourage and strengthen Ishmael,
who is yet to get the maturity to claim the promise;
Crying now means lack of faith in GOD and thinking high
about her role in the fulfillment about the promise;
You know, the child won’t die, It is having a promise!
Her cry is aiming at the death of the child!
It is a mistake to cry from her part; CHILLI mistake!
See the angel’s response;
‘Hold the lad with your hand and I will make him a great nation’
Notice carefully, no blessings promised to her, but only to the lad;
Her blessings depends on holding the hands of the lad!
With or without her help, the promise will be fulfilled;
But if she needs to be blessed, she has to be with the child!
Yes, GOD opened her eyes!
How many of us are crying with these kinds of unbelief?
We overestimate our worth in the GOD given vision, ministry;
We cry foolishly fearing the death of the vision and ministry;
Remember, GOD given vision can not die; can not be killed;
It is having life; the promise and the blessings of GOD!
Your blessings depend on your attachment and involvement;
Don’t ever imagine, if you are not there ….?
Even your cry and frustration will become a mistake;
A chilli mistake, which brings tears if mishandled;
Stop your cry; Get hold of the GOD given vision;
Your future blessings depend on that;
You are not needed for that vision;
But, you need that vision;
Understand, humble yourselves and accept your part!
WRITE THE VISION AND MAKE IT PLAIN ON TABLETS,
THAT HE MAY RUN WHO READS IT.
FOR THE VISION IS YET FOR AN APPOINTED TIME;
BUT AT THE END IT WILL SPEAK, AND IT WILL NOT LIE.
THOUGH IT TARRIES, WAIT FOR IT;
BECAUSE IT WILL SURELY COME, IT WILL NOT TARRY.
( HABAKKUK 2 : 2 & 3 )
PHILIPPIANS 4 : 22
Paul’s one more prison epistle; usual way of greeting his
readers; but here some thing unusual!
Greetings not just from Paul and his co workers,
but also from the saints who are of Caesar’s household!
Saints in Caesar’s household?
See the situations;
Claudius Caesar banished Jews from Rome( Acts 18 : 2 );
After him came Nero Caesar, whose hatred against Jews
and Christians was so sharp and strong;
In these averse situation, how in that Caesar’s household
a group of saints?
When and how they came to Lord?
Who was instrumental in their Truth discovery?
They are of Caesar’s household, but they are bold enough
to have fellowship with Paul;
Actively involved in Paul’s epistle ministry!
Now think about Paul;
In Roman prison because of his faith(Philippians 1 : 13 );
Facing envy and strife from some Christians( Philippians 1:15);
Uncertainty about his life (Philippians 1 : 22 & 23 );
Under prolonged affliction (Philippians 1 : 30 );
Feeling forsaken by all (Philippians 2 : 20 );
Grieved by the sickness of his partner(Philippians 2 : 27 );
Full of tears because of strange teachers (Philippians 3 : 18 );
Depending on others for his financial needs (Philippians 4:14);
And with all these pressures and challenges,
Paul was able to have a healthy prison fellowship;
That also for the Caesar’s household!
Dear friend, almost all the genuine works for God got roots
and flourished from these kinds of uncertainties, pressures, challenges, backstabbing, financial insecurity, misunderstandings, health constraints and loneliness!
Waiting for the ‘right time’? Right place?
Expecting red carpet welcome? peaceful circumstances?
Complete deliverance? Financial security?
Good; GOD can and will give these all;
But, to start the work, to exercise your gift,
The right time is always ‘now’.
Start your work subject to ‘conditions from Above ‘.
Remember Paul; Remember the household of Caesar;
Remember their ‘GLITTERING GREETINGS’ to saints!
Pray; Discern; Use the opportunity!
HE WHO OBSERVES THE WIND WILL NOT SOW,
AND HE WHO REGARDS THE CLOUDS WILL NOT
REAP. ( ECCLESIASTES 11 : 4 ).
I KINGS 17 : 12.
The Zarephath widow was gathering a couple of sticks; For what?. To prepare the last meal; But, if it is the last meal, why bother to cook? You believed that this is the end, then whether you are eating that last meal or not does not matter; No husband; No one to understand and support; No hope; Little oil; handful of flour; Going and gathering a couple of sticks, is it worth? Why work, after having a glimpse about the end? Why gather a couple of sticks for your last meal?
Dear friend, in GOD’s mysterious plan to bless that widow, you know, that last step of that widow becomes crucial. Meeting Elijah, his request for water, her willingness to give, his request for bread, her painful, hopeless explanation, the servant of GOD’s promise, the miracle in her house, she and her household having a SQUARE MEAL regularly, every thing hinges on her attitude to fight till the end;
Yes, willing to gather a couple of sticks, even if it is the last meal; not giving up even if no sign of sunshine, not quitting even if no one to encourage, being faithful even if compromises lure, that is the key to unlock a prosperous future!
Have you noticed an interesting thing? When GOD instructed Elijah to go to Zarephath, He said ‘He commanded that widow ‘! But read that story, you won’t find any hint about that; What do you mean? The command ‘not to give up till the end’ is an inbuilt command given by THE CREATOR!. Common to all, including you! Need a miracle? Need a blessing? Go and gather a couple of sticks, even if it is the last meal; Be faithful in your workplace, even if it is your last day; Pray earnestly, even if the deadline is visible; Fight for your family, even if the hope of unity gone; Search sincerely, even if darkness engulfs your mind;
Don’t give up; Fight till the end; Run the extra mile; We all have an inbuilt resource center to do that; Pray; Trust; Wait; Endure; You are special; Divinely appointed to supply ‘ a square meal’ not just to your household but even to Elijah’s!
Get up! Dress up! Show up! You are going to meet ‘A miracle’!
BEHOLD, I AM THE LORD, THE GOD OF ALL FLESH, IS THERE ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR ME? ( JEREMIAH 32 : 27).
II KINGS 8 : 1 – 6.
Seven years of famine in the land of Israel; This women and her household advised by the servant of GOD to leave Israel. Easy to obey? Her family was having everything in Israel; Agricultural lands, big house with an upper room, so many servants, vehicles(donkeys) and so on! Leaving them all and moving to a another place, is it not difficult?
Even if the LORD instructs, even if famine is expected, leaving and moving is always a challenge! She obeyed, went to the land of Philistines and came back after seven years. See the rewards! This woman approaches the king of Israel to appeal for her house and her land. Is it possible to expect justice? King knows her? Even if he knows her is it an important matter deserving king’s attention? Is not seven years rather a long period?
See what is happening. The king got a sudden and surprising interest about all the great things Elisha had done!. Why today? Elisha was in the land for so many years, and all his activities were well known. The king asked Gehazi to explain; but, you know, Gehazi was cursed by Elisha, got leprosy, supposed to dwell outside the city; How and when he became so close to the king? Repented and got healing? No answers! But, the day the king met Gehazi was the day this dear woman approached the king; Coincidence? No, SAFETY LOCKERS! The rewards for her obedience! GODS compassionate eyes and caring hands moves the heart of the king! Yes, even the kings’ hearts are in His hands! He moves them to bless, protect and honor the obedient!
See the consequence; an officer was appointed to settle her requests; An officer? Exclusively for this unknown woman? Is the king mad? When GOD intervenes for His people, these kinds of funny things bound to happen! Praise the Lord! Everything got restored in a royal way! From the SAFETY LOCKERS!
‘Who is the king of your land?’ is not such an important question provided you are willingly obeying the words of THE KING OF KINGS! In the right time, Your Master will come from behind the maze, just to bless you, honor you and to restore your ‘lost’ things! He loves you so much! In fact, if you obey, you won’t have any loss!
SO I WILL RESTORE TO YOU THE YEARS THAT THE SWARMING LOCUST HAS EATEN, ….. ……, YOU SHALL EAT IN PLENTY AND BE SATISFIED, AND PRAISE THE NAME OF THE LORD YOUR GOD, WHO HAS DEALT WONDROUSLY WITH YOU; AND MY PEOPLE SHALL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME. ( JOEL 2 : 25 & 26 )
MATTHEW 17: 27.
A piece of money; we all need it, you know.
For some a piece means only a few cents;
For others, it is only few billions!
But we all need it!
The question is ‘ are we trusting GOD to meet our needs?’.
A piece of money in the mouth of a fish!
Is it not a strange place to expect money?
How the fish got the money?
How many more fishes are there with money?
Why the fish is keeping the money?
But the point is, that money is not useful to the fish!
That fish can not eat or swallow it;
Even if it swallows, the fish can not digest it!
The better option is ‘ give it up, vomit it ‘
You see, that fish is also having a need;
The urge to ‘ donate ‘ that piece!
When Peter’s need meets the need of the fish,
We call it a miracle;
But, only GOD can make that link;
The link between Peter and the fish!
Dear friend, take stock of your financial situation;
Not once or twice, but regularly.
If you are like that fish, having more pieces,
More than what you can digest, kindly pray.
GOD will send a Peter, to collect, in your way;
If you are like that Peter, in need of few pieces,
Not able to meet your needs, kindly pray.
GOD will send a fish, to donate, in your way;
Whether it is giving or receiving, don’t do on your own;
You know, the mammon is having power;
So don’t deal with it with your ‘ wall street wisdom’.
Trust GOD, pray earnestly, discern and decide;
You need the ‘ financial wisdom from above’.
If not, in your need, you will swim behind the wrong fish,
When the fish with the urge to donate is waiting;
In your abundance, your indigestion will affect your health,
When a Peter with a genuine need is silently suffering;
Whether you ‘give’ or ‘receive’, don’t move without prayer!
Whether it is ‘pieces’ or ‘billions’, don’t deal without prayer!
Pray, Trust GOD, be blessed and be a blessing!
BUT BY AN EQUALITY, NOW AT THIS TIME YOUR
ABUNDANCE MAY SUPPLY THEIR LACK, THAT THEIR
ABUNDANCE ALSO MAY SUPPLY YOUR LACK – THAT
THERE MAY BE EQUALITY. ( II CORINTHIANS 8 : 14 )