Tag Archive | God’s presence

COSTLY COUNSELLING

JOB 42 : 7 & 8

Eliphaz, Bidad and Zophar, friends of Job.
Excellent friends!
They heard of all the adversity that had come upon Job.
They decided to go to Job’s place to meet him!
Purpose of their visit?
To mourn with Job and to comfort him (Job 2 : 11).
But when they met Job, they crossed their limit and instead
of comforting him started counseling him and tried their best
to prove that that he was responsible for his sufferings!

But GOD’s wrath was aroused against them!
Reason?
In their attempt to counsel Job, they some how lost track and
spoke of GOD what was not right!

In fact, when they met Job, they didn’t speak even a single word
for seven days and seven nights. But when Job spoke, they got
disturbed and responded by giving their own explanations.
Just check, there are approximately 200 verses that covers all
the three friends’ arguments!. So few verses!
But GOD condemned that and not their seven days of silence!

Consequence?
They were commanded to offer seven bulls and seven rams as
burnt offering; And Job was supposed to pray for them!
Their love and affection, burden, sacrificial visit and seven days
of silent mourning have lost the meaning because of their folly!
And they were forced to spend extra money for the burnt offering!

Dear friend,
Is it not our problem too?
Even though we are not having any specific word to comfort and
encourage our wounded brethren, we, because of our over zeal,
try to explain the unknown in a fleshly way. We insult and isolate
them by our words!

Remember, any wounded person will always connect his present
suffering to his past and will have unnecessary guilt. When they
pour their heart, we are expected to listen silently, and if possible
help them to overcome the guilt in a scriptural way!
That is not the time to prove our spiritual superiority by uttering
words that will increase their guilt.

If you are sure of a word from GOD, speak;
If not, just sit there silently and that will be a real comfort!
Why play with GOD’s wrath by entering the unknown?
It is not our knowledge or experience, but the time we spend in
HIS presence only will give us the right word at the right time!
Want to comfort others?
First, go to HIS presence!


THE LORD GOD HAS GIVEN ME THE TONGUE OF THE
LEARNED, THAT I SHOULD KNOW HOW TO SPEAK A
WORD IN SEASON TO HIM WHO IS WEARY.
HE AWAKENS ME MORNING BY MORNING, HE AWAKENS
MY EAR TO HEAR AS THE LEARNED. (ISAIAH 50 : 4)

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ROYAL ROAD

PSALM 105 : 17

HE sent a man before them -Joseph- who was sold as a slave.
GOD sent Joseph to Egypt before other Israelites!

Wait a minute!
When did that happen?
Where is it in the Book of Genesis?

GOD sent Joseph?

Was it not Jacob who sent Joseph to Shechem?
-Is obedience to parents also GOD’s way of leading a person?

Was it not some unknown man who informed Joseph about his
brothers’ plan to go to Dothan thus by helping Joseph to go to
Dothan?
-Does GOD guide us through a stranger’s word also?

Was it not Joseph’s brothers who sold him to the Midianite
traders?
– Are a GOD-centered person’s enemies also controlled by
GOD in such a way that even their secret plans will help that
person to move only in the GOD- assigned direction?

Was it not the Midianite traders who sent Joseph as a slave to
Pothiphar’s house?
– Is having no rights for a time period also a proof that one is
travelling in the GOD-designed Royal Road?

Was it not the Potiphar’s wife who was instrumental in sending
Joseph to the prison ?
-Do injustice and silent nights also confirm that our journey is
in the right direction?

Was it not the king of Egypt who sent two of his servants to the
prison?
– Does the seemingly accidental meetings in a disciple’s life is
also the significant road signs planted by GOD?

Was it not the forgetfulness of the person who received favor
from Joseph the reason for his extended days of dark nights?
– Does the ‘last hope’ on a person becoming the ‘lost hope’
indicate that our times are in HIS hands?

Was it not the king of Egypt who sent and released Joseph?
– Is it true that the world will conspire to honor a life surrendered
to GOD in the right time?

GOD sent Joseph to Egypt!
But it took thirteen years to reach Egypt from Canaan!
Because when GOD deals with a person, HE will not just sent him
in the Royal Road but equips him also for his future assignment!
And above all, he didn’t just send Joseph!
But HE went with Joseph! (GENESIS 39 : 2 & 21)
Yes, HIS presence will be with us, whether we acknowledge or not,
whenever we travel in HIS Royal Road!

 

Weeping? Lost hope? No one to understand?
Almost gave up?; Betrayal after betrayal?
Rejection after rejection?
No one remembers?
Forget your own name in the valley of shadow of death?
Counting stars with open eyes and counting sheep with closed eyes?
Feeling as if the whole world is against you?

Hey! Wipe your tears! Don’t worry!
You are a Joseph for this generation!
Believe me, you are on the Royal Road!
GOD only sent you in the Road!
Not just sends you but HE also comes with you!

Look up and get up!
Again surrender your life to HIM!
And live one day at a time by trusting HIM!
Soon you will receive your position and promotion!


UNTIL THE TIME THAT HIS WORD CAME TO PASS, THE
WORD OF THE LORD TESTED HIM (PSALM 105 : 17)

ACCEPTING THE ACCEPTANCE

2 SAMUEL 9

Mephiboseth!
Son of Jonathan; grandson of King Saul.
Lame in his feet; depending on his servant Ziba.
Living somewhere outside Jerusalem (verse 4)
Frustrated so much about his life that he considered 
himself a dead dog! (verse 8)

But he didn’t know about one thing, the covenant;
The covenant between David and Jonathan, his father!
(1 Samuel 20 : 12 – 17)

After many years, the invitation came to Mephisobeth!
A favor shown to him because of the covenant!
What was the favor?
One time gift? Monthly allowance? temporary permit?
No! He was given the privilege of eating bread at the 
table of King David! (verse 7)
Not for one or two days but always! (verse 10)
Not like a guest but like one of the King’s sons! (verse 11).

Think about this! 
A privilege given to a person who considered himself a 
dead dog; a person not having the right or might, even to 
enter the KIng’s palace, got the opportunity of being in the 
presence of the king and eating at the king’s table at least 
three times a day throughout his life!
No strings attached!. No ifs and buts!
Pure favor! Power of the covenant!

Mephiboseth accepted the favor and immediately changed 
his residence from some remote village to the city of King 
David, Jerusalem, so that he could utilize the favor! (verse 13). 

There is another covenant, covenant of blood, made two
thousand years ago at Calvary!
This covenant gave us the right to enter the KING’s presence 
and eat at HIS table! 
Not like a servant but as the children of the KING OF KINGS!
Not for one or two days but always!
Favor shown to a person who was dead in his sins!
Grace even to the dead dogs like us!

David’s presence was not assured at his table always, 
but Our LORD’s presence is assured at HIS table always!

You are accepted in the beloved, not because of your merit,
because of the covenant of blood made by our KING,LORD 
and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST!

Have we accepted that acceptance properly?
Have we made the necessary changes in our life and lifestyle 
so that we can enjoy the given privilege to enter HIS presence?
Have we thanked HIM enough for the grace bestowed upon us?

Remember, Mephiboseth came and dwelt in Jerusalem so 
that to receive and honor the favor of king!

What about us?


HE PREPARES A TABLE BEFORE ME IN THE 
PRESENCE OF MY ENEMIES; …… ….. …….
AND I WILL DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE 
LORD FOREVER. ( PSALM 23 : 5 & 6 )

TEAM JUDAS

JOHN 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17

John 13: JESUS washed the disciples’ feet and shared the 
last supper with the disciples; Judas was there! 

John 14 : JESUS clarified the doubts of some disciples! 
But Judas was not there; he left already! .

John 15 & 16 : One of the longest recorded sermons of JESUS;
Beautifully explaining the relationship of believers with JESUS,
with other believers and with the world!
But Judas was not there; he didn’t even come back to listen!

John 17: JESUS prayed; first for HIMSELF, then for the disciples 
and finally for all the other believers!
But Judas was not there; he didn’t come back at all!

Washing the feet, breaking the bread, sermon and prayer;
Judas participated in some activities and left! 

Dear friend, 
Even now we can see ‘Team Judas’ in our churches!

Coming to church service, sitting there for a while and then 
disappearing!

At least about Judas, it is written that Satan entered him and 
so his absence may be considered as a consequence of that!

We claim that we are led by the HOLY SPIRIT and spend as 
minimum time as possible in the worship services; we attend

few parts and leave the church even before the final prayer!
And we have and give thousands of excuses for not attending 
the ‘full service’; 

We blame the choir, we blame the music, we blame the elder
and we blame the preacher and leave that place!
Even though we know the promise of JESUS’ presence in any 
place where two or three gathered in HIS name, we act as if 
our visit to the church is the toughest assignment in the world!

Remember, 
It is because of HIS grace we all got the privilege to enter HIS 
sanctuary!

Go to church on time, participate actively in all the sessions 
and honor HIS presence by your presence!.

Don’t be a member of ‘Team Judas’!



FOR A DAY IN YOUR COURTS IS BETTER THAN A 
THOUSAND, I WOULD RATHER BE A DOORKEEPER 
IN THE HOUSE OF MY GOD THAN DWELL IN THE 
TENTS OF WICKEDNESS. ( PSALM 84 : 10 ).

COVENANT CHALLENGES

JOB 42 : 10 – 17

The LORD restored Job’s losses!
The LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before!
Friends and relatives came back.
Again peace and prosperity!

He also had seven sons and three daughters;
But what happened to his wife?
Even though Bible is silent about his wife, it is obvious
that Job didn’t get one more wife!
Was it not a challenge?
The way she shouted at him to curse GOD and die when
he was facing the worst phase of his life was sufficient
enough to break their relationship; But even after the
restoration of his health and wealth, Job continued his
life with the same person!

Not just continued, but also had seven sons and daughters!.
She also enjoyed the restored life and blessings because of
the covenant of marriage even though she failed during the
time of adversity!
Job successfully and silently faced the covenant challenges!

Dear friend,
How many times we fume against the cutting remark of our
partner?
How many of us plan to do some kind of revenge against
our own life partner because of some silly disappointments?
How often we think of separation as the best alternative?

Remember,
Marriage is a covenant made in the presence of covenant
keeping GOD; Before marriage, you have plenty of time to
think and choose; but after the marriage, no reason, may
be except sexual immorality, is sufficient enough to break
the covenant!
Consider Job; Even though how he treated his wife was not
explicitly written in the Bible, we can easily infer from the things
mentioned in the Bible that he had a fruitful relationship with
his wife!

Hurt and insulted?; Hate that day?
Feeling deceived?; Cursing your choice?
Tempted to break the covenant?

Please don’t give up!
It is a covenant made in HIS presence!
HE also knows your struggles and fears;
Be faithful in your part of the covenant;
In the right time, GOD will restore everything;
That will be a time of peace and prosperity!


FOR THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL SAYS THAT HE HATES
DIVORCE, FOR IT COVERS ONE’S GARMENT WITH
VIOLENCE, SAYS THE LORD OF HOSTS. THEREFORE
TAKE HEED TO YOUR SPIRIT, THAT YOU DO NOT DEAL TREACHEROUSLY. ( MALACHI 2 : 16 )

DOUBLE INSULT

LUKE 15 13 – 14

The younger son rebelled and got his share from the father
but he didn’t leave the house immediately. Few more days
he stayed in the same house and only after few days he
gathered his things and left his house.

Think about this!

Insulted his father by asking for his share and got his share
but the next few days he had so many chances to see and
hear his broken father!
Even that didn’t force him to reconsider, repent and reconcile!
The deceived heart became a hardened heart!
His father’s presence didn’t have any impact on him!.
Remember, the father could have thrown his son out of the
house immediately after giving his share but he didn’t!

Dear friend,
Even though we all have so many failures, our Father still
allows us to be in HIS presence and to hear HIS voice; but
most of the times, because of our stubbornness we try to
justify and rationalize our wrong moves instead of using
that chance to repent!
Sitting inside the church, we plan our future sinful course
of action; we ignore the gentle Voice and add insult to insult
to our Heavenly Father;

Failed?
Hear HIS voice and repent;
Don’t be stubborn even after hearing HIS voice!
Whatever may be your fall, if you repent, HIS grace will
sustain and uphold you!
Be quick to repent!


DO NOT BE LIKE THE HORSE OR LIKE THE MULE
WHICH HAVE NO UNDERSTANDING, WHICH MUST
BE HARNESSED WITH BIT AND BRIDLE, ELSE THEY
WILL NOT COME NEAR YOU. ( PSALMS 32 : 9 )

STRENGTH AND SKILL

PSALM 144 : 1

Bless the LORD, who is my rock.
He gives me strength for war and skill for battle.

Strength for war and skill for battle!

Some of us give so much importance to strength and power and we
assume that with power we can crush the strongholds of enemy;
On the other hand, some of us prioritize skill development only and assume skills are enough to defeat the enemy!

But the Word of GOD is very clear;
Strength and skill!

Why you need strength?
Because Christian life and warfare are not a single day’s affair!
We can not assume our yesterday’s victory will keep the enemy away from us today and tomorrow; In fact, after every thwarted plan, that experienced enemy will change his strategy and will wage surprise and ferocious attacks the very next day!
Even if you know the secrets of warfare and the skills to defeat the enemy, if you are not having the strength to fight the next day, in your exhausted state, your skill set will become a null set!
You may not be able to stand even if your fingers are ready to fight!

Hence, waiting in HIS presence and getting regular filling of HIS SPIRIT to have the strength not be ignored!

Why you need skills?
Because Christian life and warfare are not of this world!
Our battle is against the principalities and powers!
If we do not have the skills to discern the enemy’s wiles and schemes, we will be having only shadow boxing!. We are supposed to fight according to the rules!

If the skill to study the Scriptures is not developed properly and on time, our position in Christ and Christ’s position in warfare and the enemy’s position against Christ will all be a distant reality for us in our battles!
Spend time to develop the skills; the skills of absorbing, appropriating and applying the Word!

You need the strength for a prolonged battle;
You need the skill to thwart the wiles of the devil!

The objective TRUTH and the subjective filling of the SPIRIT;
The deadly combination to empty hell and enlarge GOD’s kingdom!

GOD promised; strength for war and skill for battle!
Why focus on only one?
Grow in the WORD and Glow with the SPIRIT!


BUT THANKS BE TO GOD, WHO MADE US HIS
CAPTIVES AND LEAD US ALONG IN CHRIST’S
TRIUMPHAL PROCESSION! ( II CORINTHIANS 2 : 14 )

CHERITH ACADEMY

I KINGS 17 : 1 – 6

Brook Cherith;
Was it necessary for a man like Elijah to spend so many days there?
Especially when the powers of darkness were dancing through the nation?
Was it not the time to ‘think big, plan big and do big’?
When there is a need, how to ignore that need and take rest at Cherith?

But GOD’s instruction to Elijah was strange;
‘Go and hide by the brook Cherith’!
Simple life style; simple food; solitude!
No public display of power; no confrontation; no prophesy!

Standing still is so boring; so difficult!
So most of us ignore the discipline of solitude from our curriculum.
We see a need; we consider it as our calling; we form a team;
We jump in to action; We pray to GOD to bless our move;
We present statistics; we please our sponsors; we celebrate;
But no fire from heaven; No Mount Carmel experience!

As iron sharpens iron, solitude sharpens a saint;
Only at the boot camp of brook cherith, every saint can understand the
meaning of ‘ deep calling the deep ‘; His inner man will get tuned to the
promptings of the Spirit; His heart will lean on his LOVER;
The process of emptying-cleansing-filling will be effective;
The power to run and win will be bestowed;
The theory and theology of GOD’s power will become personal and practical;
The vision will become the burden;
The mission will become the passion;
The eternal fire will engulf the saint and he will start burning for the LORD!

Dear friend,
Ignore it, we will have premature ministries bringing dishonor to LORD!
Needs are everywhere, but every need may not be a part of your call!
Elijah needs food but ravens can meet the need only till GOD permits;
If GOD prepares some other person to meet Elijah’s need, the ravens
need not worry about Elijah’s need at Zarephath!

The enemy knows this and that is why the intensely attacked area in
every saint’s life is the area of solitude!
We find it difficult to wait in HIS presence, but want to have a fruitful
life and mission!
Give GOD the control to decide and define, not just your steps but, your
stops.
The victory of an army depends on the clear execution of the superior’s
instruction by the subordinates and not on their own assumptions!

Know this, wait for HIS instruction and stand still till HE asks you to move!


HE WHO DWELLS IN THE SECRET PLACE OF
THE MOST HIGH SHALL ABIDE UNDER THE
SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY. ( PSALM 91 : 1 )

SLEEPING SAVIOR

MATTHEW 8: 23 – 27, MARK 4: 35 -40, LUKE 8: 22 – 25

JESUS slept;
Even when a windstorm came down, HE slept;
Even when the waves beat into the boat, HE slept;
Even when the boat was already filling, HE slept;
Even when the disciples were in jeopardy, HE slept;
The Savior sleeping?
Difficult to accept; Difficult to understand;

But we have to accept the basic facts!
Whether you are a disciple or not, sometimes you may
have to face the storms in your life.

Whether you are in the will of GOD, like Paul, or away
from the will of GOD, like Jonah, in your journey storms
may come.
The political storm, the economical storm, the relational
storm, the cultural storm and the natural storm threaten
a believer and an unbeliever in the same way.
Till this world passes away, till the new earth comes, the
naturally occurring things will be there.

Then, in what way our faith and HIS presence matter?

Dear friend, read that portion carefully!

First of all, JESUS only initiated that journey!.
Not just HE initiated, HE also clearly stated the destination
of the journey; to the other side of the lake!.
In addition, He assured His presence ‘ Let us go to ‘!.

In fact, by the way HE slept, HE indirectly illustrates the
way a person of faith, moving in the will of GOD with the
assurance of HIS presence is expected to behave!

If HE is sleeping, it simply means that HIS intervention
is not at all needed to reach the destination.
What HE told will surely come to pass!
HIS spoken WORD and HIS Presence,
No storm has the power to stop them!
Remember, if it is a real danger, even if you are not calling
HIM, HE will swiftly come and gather you under HIS wings!

But our problem is actually because of our assumptions!

We assume, every storm is here to destroy us;
We assume, silence of GOD as absence of GOD;
We assume, Heavenly promises can be disturbed by
the earthly storms;
We assume, calming the storms is more important than
using the storms to declare and grow in faith;

See JESUS’ response!
He never asked ‘ How could the storm come?’ or
appreciated ‘Thanks, in the right time you cried, we
all escaped’ or even consoled ‘it won’t happen again’!

But HE certified them ‘men of little faith’ and questioned
them ‘where is your faith?’.

Facing a storm?
Fear not; Check who initiated your project; Check HIS
promises about your project; Check HIS presence in
your project; yes, whatever may be your project!

If GOD is silent in your storm, understand, this is a minor
storm and won’t have any impact; just relax in HIM!

Remember, your SAVIOR is IMMANUEL too.


FOR HE SPOKE, AND IT WAS DONE,
HE COMMANDED, AND IT STOOD FAST.
(PSALM 33 : 9 )

LOVE FEAST

JOHN 21 : 4 – 14

After resurrection!

The disciples tried their best throughout the night, but
were not able to get any fish.
Waste of time and energy! Worthless effort!
Physical, mental and emotional tiredness!
So tired, not even able to recognize their Master!

JESUS called them FRIENDS!

But, even when they were not asking, the guidance came
from our LORD!
As usual, obedience to the LORD’s guidance brought the
most needed outcome!
They recognized the LORD!

Have you noticed?
Even before they reached the shore, the breakfast was
ready on the shore!

They saw charcoal fire and frying fish over it!
Bread and freshly fried fish!
From where they came?
Surely the fish was not from their net!
What kind of food was that?
Planned and prepared by our Gracious Lord!

Resurrected Jesus prepared a break fast for HIS friends;
To give satisfaction to HIS dear ones, he himself taking
the initiative;
Whenever our human effort drains and saps our energy,
when doubts and uncertainty assails us in all directions,
the Resurrected LORD, willingly and graciously, takes the
initiative to refresh and restore us!

Dear friend,
Don’t think of any refreshment away from HIM!
Learn to relax and rest in HIS presence!

But, at that same time, He did not ignore their
effort, their work, their obedience!

Even though miraculous breakfast, with bread and fish,
was ready, our friend JESUS asked them to bring some
of the fishes they caught!
What they ate?
What they caught or what HE brought?
In a love feast, when friends are eating together,
is it important to know that?

What a lovely friend we have in JESUS!

Their break fast was a love feast of human effort
mingled with HIS divine touch!

Do you think, JESUS can not accomplish HIS mission
with out human intervention?
HE can, but HE will not! Because HE is your FRIEND
Or do you think your effort is not going to make any
impact in the world?
It will, if He is your friend!

Dear friend,
As HE guides you, work, take effort and spend yourselves!
But, always remember, if it is not served with what HE brings,
it will not give you or others the needed satisfaction!

Yes, when your effort based on GOD’s guidance and the
DIVINE touch mingles together, what you have and what
you serve will be of heavenly impact!

Work with HIM and lean on HIM!

Is the RESURRECTED LORD your FRIEND?


 

I NO LONGER CALL YOU SERVANTS, BECAUSE A
MASTER DOES NOT CONFIDE IN HIS SERVANTS.
NOW YOU ARE MY FRIENDS, SINCE I HAVE TOLD
YOU EVERYTHING THE FATHER TOLD ME (JOHN 15: 15)

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