Tag Archive | Obedience

THE FIRST MISSIONARY

MATTHEW 2 : 13 – 15
Happily lived ever after!
The dream of having a secure and settled life after marriage!
What was the dream of Joseph?
What was his plan about his married life?
The Divine intervention changed his dreams upside down!
Immediately after his engagement, his dreams distanced
themselves from reality and so he tried to distance himself
from Mary!
He was a just man but he was just a man!
His plan to break the engagement quietly was not approved by
GOD and he set aside his dreams because of the dream!
He obeyed, he sacrificed and he cared.
His obedience brought any immediate blessing?, No!
Again he got a dream, a warning, a command to flee to Egypt!
Reason?
To protect JESUS from Herod!
See the command, was it not peculiar?
A man who obeyed so much was not allowed even to stay in
that place!
He was not even asked to go but flee! That too in the night!
Why not some other option?
Why not instant removal of Herod so that the obedient Joseph
could have lived in the comfort zone?
Because, it was a fulfillment of Scripture!( MATTHEW 2 : 15 ).
But Joseph obeyed!
See, Joseph got up and fled to Egypt with Mary and JESUS,
not to protect himself or his dear wife but to protect JESUS!
The calling of a missionary!
The attitude of keeping JESUS, the WORD, as the reason
for all the moves and stops!
He didn’t even send but went! For Jesus sake!
The first missionary!
Dear friend,
Come out of your comfort zone!
Listen to the High calling!
Let the WORD decide your moves and stops!
If any of your move, vertical or horizontal, is going to hurt the
WORD, then you are not in his perfect will!
If necessary, let us suffer but not the WORD!


I REFLECT AT NIGHT ON WHO YOU ARE, O LORD, AND
OBEY YOUR LAW BECAUSE OF THIS. ( PSALM 119 : 55 )

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EXTRANEOUS EXPOSURE

2 CHRONICLES 35 : 20 – 24

The sad end of King Josiah!
The king
who was instrumental in the spiritual revival of Judah,
who began to seek the LORD when he was just sixteen,
who destroyed all the pagan shrines when he was twenty, and
who purified the land and the temple when he was twenty six,
died when he was just thirty nine!

Reason?
Extraneous exposure!
Unnecessary interfering in another man’s battle!

King Nero of Egypt was on his way to battle against his enemies,
but Josiah decided to fight against king Nero unnecessarily.
Even the King Nero’s patient explanation didn’t have any impact
on Josiah. He went ahead, embraced his own death!

See all his spiritual works!
His desire to purify the temple, his respect for the WORD of GOD,
his pledge to obey the LORD, the way he celebrated passover
and his tireless efforts in the restoration of the temple!
He was an excellent example in the list of kings of Judah!

But the strategic truth is even his spiritual standards were not able
to protect him from the consequence of his stubborn foolishness!

Dear friend,
An important strategy of the enemy is to sidetrack a sincere
believer to get entangled in another man’s battle. Whenever
a servant of GOD is having a steady growth, the possibility of
getting tempted to interfere in matters outside his boundary will
also come.

Expecting supernatural protection, because of your spiritual
achievements, in the areas outside GOD defined boundary is
highly dangerous!

Remember, even our LORD JESUS CHRIST declined to obey
the enemy when he misquoted the WORD about angelic
protection!( LUKE 4 : 9 – 12 ).

Discern the difference between acts of faith and adventures of presumption!


A PERSON WHO STRAYS FROM HOME IS LIKE A BIRD
THAT STRAYS FROM ITS NEST ( PROVERBS 27 : 8 ).

PENALTY CLAUSE

DEUTERONOMY 4 : 23 – 28

Have you noticed?.

The Israelites who murmured against GOD and doubted HIS goodness, because of the wrong report of the ten spies, were
denied entry to the promised land.
But their leader Moses, who never murmured against GOD but
always interceded for the Israelites, also got the same kind of punishment. No entry to the promised land!.

Compared to the rebellious nature of those Israelites in the
wilderness, Moses’ sudden outburst and the consequent action,
of striking the rock instead of speaking to it as commanded, looks like an infinitesimally small mistake.

But strangely, he also got the same punishment!
Even his pleading to enter the promised land was rejected!

Is it not a warning to all the leaders?
Many times people in leadership role assume, because of the
way GOD uses them, that they are privileged and hence GOD
will ignore their small mistakes. But, on the contrary, GOD’s
expectation and standard of leaders is much higher.

Leaders are expected not to cross even the minor commands.
GOD is gracious, no doubt, but the leaders are expected to use
HIS grace in such a way to hallow HIM! (NUMBERS 27 : 14).

More power means more responsibility!
More growth means more depth!
More time with people means more time with GOD!
More limelight means more hidden life!
More useful means more careful!

Leaders, who are gracious in their dealings with others but
strict with themselves with the help of the HOLY SPIRIT, are
needed!
Are you ready?


WHO KNOWS THE POWER OF YOUR ANGER?
FOR AS THE FEAR OF YOU, SO IS YOUR WRATH.
SO TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS,
THAT WE MAY GAIN A HEART OF WISDOM.
( PSALM 90 : 11 & 12 ).

REVISED EDITION

GENESIS 22

Have you noticed?

In Genesis 22 : 2, when GOD asked Abraham to sacrifice
Isaac, Isaac was mentioned as ‘ your son, your only son,
whom you love’.

But in Genesis 22 : 12, when the Angel of the LORD asked
Abraham not to kill Isaac, Isaac was mentioned as ‘your
son, your only son’ .
The third part ‘whom you love’ was not mentioned!.

Again in Genesis 22 : 16, when the Angel of the LORD gave
the promise of blessing to Abraham, Isaac was mentioned
only as ‘your son, your only son’ and ‘whom you love’ was
not mentioned!

Similarly, in Genesis 22 : 6, when Abraham and Isaac went
to Moriah, it is mentioned ‘they went together’.
Again in Genesis 22 : 8, it is mentioned ‘they went together’.

But when they came back, in Genesis 22 : 19, it is mentioned
‘Abraham returned to his young men”!.
Why they didn’t come back together?
When did Isaac come back?
Or even if he came back with his father, did the relationship
between them get revised and purified?

Is it a coincidence or some thing more?
What happened on Mount Moriah?
We know that a lamb was sacrificed in the place of Isaac, but
in Hebrews 11 : 17, it is mentioned ‘by faith Abraham, when
tested, offered up Isaac’!

Combining all the verses, shall we say that Abraham didn’t
sacrifice his son Isaac or his only son Isaac but sacrificed
Isaac whom he loved?.
Or in other words, In Mount Moriah, did the way Abraham
love Isaac got transformed?.

In the revised edition of Isaac, Abraham’s love of Isaac got
purified and Abraham proved that he loved GOD more than
Isaac!

Why not check the status of all our relationships?
Who is first, GOD or someone else?
Offer up!
Be blessed!

Jehovah-Jireh!


YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL
YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH
ALL YOUR MIGHT. ( DEUTERONOMY 6 : 5 ).

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)

VERTICAL DIMENSION

I SAMUEL 15 : 1 – 13

Saul defeated Amalekites!
After the victory, he went to Carmel and set up a monument
for himself as if he was the reason for that victory!( verse 12).
But the actual reason for the defeat of Amalekites was GOD’s
anger against them for their cruelty against Israel when they
came up from Egypt (verse 2).

When Samuel met Saul, Saul claimed that he had performed
the commandments of the LORD even though Saul didn’t kill
the king of Amalekite as commanded by the LORD!.

One side Saul celebrated the victory by setting up monument
for himself and claiming total obedience to GOD’s commands
and on the other side GOD greatly regretted for making Saul as
the king of Israel!(verse 11).

In the horizontal dimension, Saul celebrated;
In the vertical dimension, GOD regretted!

Dear friend,
How many of us are having the same kind of mindset?
Even though we know very well that the victories we got in our
life and ministry are purely because of HIS grace, many times
we set up monuments for ourselves!
Even our thanksgiving meetings are subtly projecting our gifts,
our holiness, our uniqueness and our special relationship to
GOD instead of giving glory to GOD!
We pretend as if we are totally surrendered to GOD without
even bothering about the number of Amalekites we are yet
to destroy in our personal life!
We celebrate as if we are the chosen one for this end time
whereas GOD is regretting and grieving because of us!

Celebration is to rejoice in the LORD and not to rejoice in your
might; It is the time to give glory to GOD and not the time to
steal the glory from GOD!

For any true servant of GOD and any GOD honoring ministry,
the real celebration will be on the other side of the shore; Only
there, the fire will test our works to decide whether they are hay
or gold; The vertical dimension will vindicate the true ministry!
Why silver,golden or platinum celebrations and special editions
to advertise your achievements on this side of the shore?

Don’t deceive yourselves by seeing the statistics of your impact!
Even when you are not approved by GOD, like Saul, your ministry
may have impact but that may be because of some other reason!

Got victory?
Humble yourselves; acknowledge your unworthiness;
Give thanks to HIM for the victory;
Confess your personal failures and receive HIS grace;
And give glory to HIM and HIM alone!



SO LIKEWISE YOU, WHEN YOU HAVE DONE ALL THOSE
THINGS WHICH YOU ARE COMMANDED, SAY, ‘WE ARE
UNPROFITABLE SERVANTS, WE HAVE DONE WHAT WAS
OUR DUTY TO DO.’.( LUKE 17 : 10 ).

LIVING SACRIFICE

GENESIS 22 : 1 – 10

GOD tested Abraham!
Abraham was to offer Isaac as a burnt offering.
Tough test. Almost impossible to obey.
But Abraham decided to obey!
We all are challenged by his faith and commitment.
Worthy example!

But there is a doubt !
Why did GOD ask him to offer Isaac in a place which was
three days journey away from Abraham’s place instead of
in the same place?. Why that ‘extra’ time?.

In fact, Abraham, the one who was going to sacrifice, was
allowed to spend more time with Isaac, the one who was
to be sacrificed!. For the next three days, Abraham might
have tempted to review and reconsider his original decision
to offer Isaac.

On the third day, in the journey uphill, even the servants were
not allowed, only Abraham and Isaac!
When spending more time with a thing or a person, the
thought of ‘going to sacrifice that’ will be more painful!

Was it not difficult for Abraham to overcome his emotions?
Every step towards Moriah was actually becoming an altar
for Abraham!
Isaac was on the altar for few minutes but Abraham was on
the altar for three days!
Every second Abraham might have faced death inside!
Isaac was to be sacrificed but Abraham was becoming a
living sacrifice!

Dear friend,
Making a decision to surrender and sacrifice something is
relatively easy but being steadfast in that commitment is
really tough!
Just because you are allowed to spend little extra time with
the things to be sacrificed should not disturb us to review
and to reconsider our commitment!

In other words, embracing death for Christ is relatively much
easier than embedding cross in our life to live for Christ!

Most of us ready to die for Christ, but the real question
is ‘how many of us are willing to have crucified life?


 

HAS THE LORD AS GREAT DELIGHT IN BURNT
OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES, AS IN OBEYING
THE VOICE OF THE LORD?. BEHOLD, TO OBEY
IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE, AND TO HEED THAN
THE FAT OF RAMS.( I SAMUEL 15 : 22 )

ROBOTIC RESPONSE

JOHN 2 : 1 – 10

“Whatever HE says to you, do it”!.
Mary’s instruction to the servants looked so simple;
To manage the crisis, the servants were ready to do
anything, but they didn’t even imagine that their logical
nerves would be tested like that in that process!

Test 1 : Selection of stone water pots which were set
aside for purification of the Jews!
Logic: What is the connection between wedding function
and purification ceremony? Instead of wine pressing stones
why He chose these water pots?

Test 2 : Fill the water pots with water;
Logic : Filling nearly 120 to 180 gallons of water is a time
consuming, tough work; When there is an emergency in
the dining hall, is it not waste of time?
Why not we ignore HIM and do some thing to manage the
situation?

Test 3 : Draw some out and take it to the master of the
feast!
Logic: Who asked water? The master of the feast is
waiting for the wine and HE asks them to give water!
How his need and my supply are going to match?

Test 4 : The master of the feast certified what he received
was indeed good wine!
Logic : The servants poured the water in the jars; they only
drew some out; they only took it to the master; how can he
certify that as good wine?

But, Praise the Lord, the servants obeyed all HIS instructions
just like a robot!
No questions; No murmurings; No hesitations; just obedience!
No wonder a miracle happened on that day!

And no wonder we are not seeing any miracle in our crisis!
You see, how many questions we ask; how much hesitation
we have and how often we murmur even after receiving, the
RHEMA, HIS clear instructions.

Dear friend,
Ensure that the WORD received by you is from the LORD;
Once you are sure of that, give a robotic response!
To come out of your crisis, just trust and obey!
Whatever HE says to you, do it!


“FOR MY THOUGHTS ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS,
NOR ARE YOUR WAYS MY WAYS” SAYS THE LORD.
FOR AS THE HEAVENS ARE HIGHER THAN THE EARTH,
SO ARE MY WAYS HIGHER THAN YOUR WAYS, AND MY
THOUGHTS THAN YOUR THOUGHTS. ( ISAIAH 55 : 8 & 9 )

OVER TIME WORKERS

SONG OF SONGS 5 : 6 – 8

In the night, all alone, she was seeking her beloved;
Not able to find, but she didn’t give up;
She raised her voice and called him, all alone, in the street;
No response, but she didn’t give up;
She continued her search and she was struck and wounded
by the watchmen, but she didn’t give up;
Wounded but she continued her work, and the keepers of the
wall took away her veil, but she didn’t give up;
Humiliated but she approached the daughters of Jerusalem
and begged their help to find her beloved;

Night time; all alone; wounds; humility; suffering;
But sincere and focused hard work;
Just for love, yes, she was lovesick!

We wish to appreciate this kind of lovesick workers for
their over time work for the beloved!
The wounds, the humility, sufferings and sacrifices;
Oh, we wish to put them in the ‘heroes of faith’ list!

But,
If you read few more verses, (song of songs 5: 2&3),
the real color of the over time work will be exposed!

Yes, read the verses carefully;
The beloved came to her house and assigned her some
simple works, like taking care of His head and hair, but
she failed to open her house by giving some fuzzy excuses!

Just to cover up her failure inside the house, she becomes
active outside the house!

Note the points!
Her beloved never asked her to come out of her house.
He assigned work which can be done within her house.
His work can be done by her in his presence.
His assigned work will help her to come closer to him.
The real work is within the boundary and the world need not
see it; only the fruit of that labor will be visible to the world!

Unnecessary travel, unexpected wounds, unwanted
humiliation, unanswered seeking and calling and
unacknowledged extra work are actually not in the
agenda of the beloved.

Stay within the boundary;
Listen and obey;
Accept the assignments;
Enjoy HIS presence;
HIS yoke will not be heavy at all!


 

BUT ONE THING IS NEEDED, AND MARY HAS
CHOSEN THAT GOOD PART, WHICH WILL NOT
BE TAKEN AWAY FROM HER ( LUKE 10 : 42 )

STOP; LISTEN; GO

I KINGS 16 : 34

Broken walls of Jericho!
Was it not necessary to rebuild it?
Was it not a service to the society?
Was it not a project by an unselfish person?

Alas, this seemingly good project of rebuilding Jericho
resulted in tragic loss to Hiel; His two sons died.
Reason?
GOD’s clear instruction through Joshua against that project!
Hiel was from Bethel, but he ignored the prophecy about Jericho!
He didn’t know or check the history!

He was so focused; even after the death of his first son, instead
of stopping and listening, he continued his project!
The second son also died; The project lost its meaning!

Dear friend,
Some times we also may fall in the same trap;
Ambition; vision; rebuilding; service; dedication;
Yes, all are good words to our ears and heart,
but whether we compromise any WRITTEN INSTRUCTION
in that process is the most important question;

Nehemiah rebuild the walls of Jerusalem;
GOD approved it!
Hiel tried to rebuild Jericho;
GOD disapproved it!

Yes, don’t try to compare your project with another person’s project;
Chaos and confusion can start even when you are having the
right intention!
Again and again, check whether you are moving with HIS
approval; Stop; Listen; Go!
Like Hiel, many might have accomplished what they wished
to achieve but at the cost of their own families!
Is it worth?


 

THEN I WILL NOT BE DISGRACED WHEN I COMPARE
MY LIFE WITH YOUR COMMANDS.( PSALM 119 : 6).

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