We don’t see those things we hope for yet, but we believe we have obtained them. We don’t always feel righteous but we believe we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We don’t question what God will do, we just accept it, why? Because the God in whom we believe has either spoken to us directly or through others and His word.
When we come to Christ, we are declared a new creation because old things have passed away and all things have become new. We may not feel like “a new creation” sometimes during our Christian lives, but who are we going to believe our feelings or God? That is the fundamental question right there!
In the journey of sanctification as a child of God, the old or carnal nature is raging wild because it is losing its battle to stay alive, it’s agreement with Satan and his demons is no longer effective in controlling our soul (mind, intellect and emotions) as before.
This is because as we live a life of praise, prayerfulness and bible study, we become totally surrendered to God and develop a “Spiritual man into God” nature. Living in the Spirit daily our soul learns to distinguish between what we do that is motivated by Satan and what is motivated by God and we are empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit to reject satan’s control of our mind, intellect and emotions.
The carnal or natural man cannot know the things of God because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinth.2:14)
“For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.7Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.10And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness” (Romans 8:6-10 KJV)
Praise the Lord that with sanctification and maturity comes the dying of self so that the natural tendency to act out our feelings at a whim or quickly declines increasingly. If we are still struggling in these areas, our God is faithful to help us when we acknowledge our weaknesses and sins before him.
By God’s revelation we know that our feelings are naturally under the influence of our soul (mind, intellect and emotions) and reveal the condition of our soul most of the time. The degree of sanctification of our soul nature is dependent on the degree in which we are surrendered to God. How we feel about ourselves, others and situations is therefore often a reflection of the state of our soul.
When we live by the Apostle Paul’s following admonition based on the word of God: “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” (Phil. 4:8 KJV),
it also means we are living in obedience to what Paul said to the Romans (Romans 12:1-3) that we should not be conformed to this world but rather be transformed by the renewing of our minds. It is therefore inevitable that our souls will be transformed and aligned with how God feels about us and our feelings serve as an outlet to affirm the changes we are experiencing to the glory of God.
While our soul is being transformed daily, maintaining an attitude of reverential fear of God is important as well as remembering that our dependence is always on God. This is regardless of our spiritual gifts or an advanced knowledge of the bible. In short, an attitude of humility before God is important.
Why? This is because our feelings must be kept in check as we can still be deceived into believing something that is untrue and so be misled. For instance, when I feel a certain way, it does not necessarily mean that is a true indication of the circumstances. As believers in Christ, if we have not already done so, we must awaken to the fact that in the Christian journey there may be areas of our souls that are not yet completely surrendered to God. This is because in our lives before Christ the enemy reinforced his might in those areas due to things we may have got involved in or we had no control over.
This is why however much sanctified or close to God we think we are, we should still be cautious in trusting our feelings, for they could be giving us signals contrary to what God is saying. How do I know for sure what the reality is? I must wait patiently on the LORD in prayer or speak to Him about the way I feel. I need to ask Him to give me clarity and understanding directly or through His word. This is because quick decisions based on the way I feel are likely to cost me heartache or distress because they could be rooted in deception.
Dear brothers and sisters let us remember that it is what God says about us that defines us not our feelings. It is important to meditate regularly on what the word of God says about who we are as children of God.
You may feel insignificant because of how you were treated in your formative years by family or peers at some point in your life. However as a child of God, He says that He loves you, you are precious and his delight and this is why He sent Jesus for you.
“I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” (Jer 31:3 KJV).
“Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married” (Is.62:3-4 KJV).
Jesus spoke of how the greatness of his love for mankind compelled him to give up his life for us, his friends (John 15:13 KJV).
You may be plagued with guilt about a certain area of your life, but God says
-When you came to Christ, he blotted out all your sins and remembers them no more (Is. 43:25 KJV).
-There is no condemnation for you because you are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1-3)
My prayer for you is that you may “abound in knowledge and … insight” and be able to discern the truth as concerns your feelings and their alignment with the will of God in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Phil. 1:9-10 NIV)
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 10/12/2015
(originally blogged on 10/12/2015, then 21/02/2016)
The journey through the promised land for Israel was a powerful illustration of how God’s people then as now go through the journey of life with a cycle of challenges, problems and obstacles some of which seem insurmountable. Every step of the way through the promised land was a step of faith, at times their faith was so weak that they murmured, many resorted to idolising a golden calf and some did not even make it to the promised land.
In Joshua 3:3-4 (see 19/11/2015 Daily Manna) when the LORD told them to follow after the Ark of the Covenant carried by the priests, the Israelites did not know where they were going, as they had never been that way before. They therefore did not know how close or how far they were to the promised land. They had to put their trust totally in God who alone knew the way.
Likewise without God’s leading we do not know what is ahead of us. Without Him we have no idea at what stage of our breakthrough we are in or how long we still need to wait until we receive what we believe God has promised us in personal prophecy or through His Word.
In the wilderness journey the Israelites were led by a pillar of fire by night and cloud by day and received constant counsel and instruction as guidance by God through Moses and then Joshua, as New Covenant believers in our journey of life, we have access to the revelatory realm of God through the indwelling Holy Spirit and gifts of the Spirit. We cannot and should not underestimate the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives to draw us closer to God so that we know Him as well as His will and direction for our lives.
When we trust God, we are willing to obey Him and do so by taking steps of faith through the leading of the Holy Spirit in the direction in which He is leading us.
The greatest steps of faith based on our trust in God we will need to take are at the beginning and at the brink of our undertaking, be it a journey, a new job, a project or a ministry.
I sense these two junctures are the points at which Satan reinforces his natural and spiritual armies against our progression attempting to sabotage our plans and therefore these are times when we should strengthen ourselves through intensified of increased prayer, fasting and praise as well as scriptural meditation.
CROSSING THE RED SEA
An illustration of the intensified danger at the commencement of a journey with the intention of stopping it: when the Israelites had just left Egypt they thought the final plague was enough to keep Pharaoh from pursuing them but they were greatly mistaken for he mobilized his horsemen with their chariots and pursued them! The Israelites were terrified as they realised they had no where to turn, with Pharaoh and his army closing in behind them and the Red Sea before them.
But they served a God who is omnipotent and omniscient. He is the sovereign one Adonai, who always has the last word on any matter for He is the creator and controller of the universe. God foreknew this would happen and devised a miraculous plan of deliverance which would be one of the all time miraculous testimonies the world has ever heard of and would be recounted from generation to generation. Right before their eyes the Red Sea parted and they were able to cross over safely, however Pharaoh’s horsemen and chariots drowned.
“When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.” (Is. 59:19b)
CROSSING THE JORDAN
“The priests who carried the Ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.” (Joshua 3:17NASB)
The nation of Israel had come to the end of their journey and their last hurdle was the crossing of the Jordan River which would take them into the promised land. Here we find another water path as the Red Sea which if but for God would have served as a great obstacle to them moving forward to attain His promises.
As with the Red Sea, the Jordan River (Joshua 3:13) was parted supernaturally by God for them to walk across.
It is worth noting how the Lord kept the waters of the Jordan River on one side; the priests carrying “the Ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan” until all the Israelites had finished crossing it.
At the brink of the Israelites’ entry into the promised land, this imagery speaks louder than words and is very powerful; The Ark and the priests carrying it, speak of God’s presence and “Right Hand” or intercessory might in the midst of obstacles so that a way is made for deliverance or release. It also makes a statement that nothing, not even the laws of nature, can withstand God’s power of intervention for the sake of His people.
“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth;…I will even make a way in the wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert.” (Isa.43:19 KJV)
God is today speaking in the same way to us. Our Royal High Priest Jesus and the indwelling Holy Spirit are not only leading the way, but also making intercession for us in the midst of every situation so that a way is made for us to enter into our promises.
God therefore strategises to take us through every hurdle safety. Our part is to trust and obey for the manifestation of a glorious outcome.
TRUST, OBEY AND TAKE STEPS OF FAITH INTO YOUR PROMISES
In both cases, at the beginning of the journey through the wilderness and at the end so as to enter the promised land, the Israelites were blessed with the miracle of the parting of waters so that they could walk across.
The LORD was saying “the greater the danger you are facing, or is advancing behind you, the greater the miracle I will outwork to deliver you and bring you to the place I am sending you”.
How easy is it to cross over parted waters? It takes great trust in the one who parted it to decide to obey them and take steps of faith to walk across, knowing that they will keep it parted until you get to the other side.
The Israelites who left Israel were not the same crowd who entered the promised land apart from two, Joshua and Caleb. God made sure that the crowd who left Egypt with Joshua and Caleb did not receive their inheritance, instead they died in the wilderness. Why? because of their unbelief.
Joshua and Caleb represented a generation who had a different spirit, in other words they trusted God to do what was impossible to man. They were people of great faith in God and fearless of the giants they would encounter in the promised land (Numbers 11). It is therefore this generation that God chose to enter the promised land. When we trust God, we are fearless, quick to obey and activate our faith in Him so that He is glorified. These are the qualities of the Joshua and Caleb generation, qualities necessary to receive and sustain the promised of God.
Friends, let us examine our hearts today and ask ourselves, are we among the Joshua & Caleb generation in these last days before the return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?
Is there anything “old ways of Egypt” in us i.e. mindsets, attitudes, presumptions, secret faults that must die or be overcome so that we can truly be consecrated into God as true worshippers.
It is never too late to readdress areas of our lives and put things right so that we attain the fullness of our inheritance in God through Jesus Christ. God reveals to redeem.
Thank you for the promises and destiny you have for me.
Forgive me when I have not trusted you or I have been fearful to take steps of faith according to your word.
I am thankful that as you are all knowing, you have a plan or strategy to overcome every obstacle or danger on my behalf by your mighty power.
I ask that you would help me to stay in that place of trusting you completely with every decision and direction I desire to take knowing that you will redirect my course if it is not your will.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed.
Deborah Esther x
©Deborah E Nyamekye 20/11/2015
Trusting in the Lord means that one is steadfast and therefore able to excel and is also “immovable” or unperturbed and unshaken in the face of adversity. One is able to face adversity head on and can even say boldly “bring it on!”.
“Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.” (Psalm 125:1 NKJV).
To more accurately convey what being steadfast or immovable entails, I would describe one who believes God is trustworthy as having the qualities of one who is astute. The ability to be astute is a product of their trust in God.
What does astute mean? It means that one has or shows an ability to accurately assess situations or people and turn this to one’s advantage. Also according to the English Cambridge dictionary, such a person is “able to understand a situation quickly and see how to take advantage of it”.
People often use this word in the context of secular business; “He is an astute businessman” they say. How about using it in the context of those who live a life engaged in God’s business, which can be within and also outside of the church ? How about applying this word to people who are employed or are self employed and as believers use godly principles that make them astute?
There is so much meaning packed within this word, astute. Synonyms of astute include: Shrewd, Sharp or sharp-witted, bright, brilliant, intelligence, smart, canny, clever, discerning, perceptive, intuitive, insightful.
When we trust in God as believers in Jesus Christ, it means we surrender our lives completely to Him and live abiding in God actively through bible study, prayer and singing praises to Him. Every area of our lives is worshipful unto God.
BENEFITS OF TRUSTING GOD
One of the key benefits of trusting God is that the Holy Spirit indwelling us responds and he imparts spiritual gifts which includes the gift of discerning of spirits and wisdom (1 Corinth.12). When you have God given gifts of discernment and wisdom due to steadfast or immovable trust in God, it means that you inevitably develop the ability to have God’s “eyes” or insight and perception in things the same way God does.
In simple terms you have the wisdom of God and therefore a God given “ability to accurately assess situations or people and turn this to” your advantage. Knowing or having God’s ways (Wisdom) on a matter means He will also give you the understanding for effective application, as a result you are “able to understand a situation quickly and see how to take advantage of it”. (both quotes here are a repetition of the definitions of astute given earlier.
Believers in Jesus Christ are able to know or discern the will and wisdom of God because the indwelling Holy Spirit, being the Spirit of God, knows the will or mind of God on a matter (1 Corinthians 2) and imparts it to us.
As Christians, we should have at the forefront of our minds the truth of the fact that wisdom that is not from Father God through our Lord Jesus Christ is from two sources, ourselves (carnal) and Satan (including evil spirits).
Therefore praying for God’s wisdom so as to live victoriously in all areas of our lives is an absolute necessity. The Apostle James says
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” (James 1:5 NLT).
Another key benefit of trusting in God is that you provoke the Word of God to work for you! You are simultaneously trusting in Jesus the Word (John chapter 1) who became flesh and dwelt among men, died and rose again the third day to redeem mankind from sin. Jesus is described as the last Adam, the life-giving spirit (1 Corinth. 15:45).
The Spirit of God that bears witness with our Spirit that we are children of God, testifies of Jesus (John 15:26), the Word. The abundant life of God (John 10:10) obtainable through Christ (as well as the Holy Spirit) manifests in the life of the Christian who trusts in God.
The great power of enablement released by the Holy Spirit is well expressed in Romans 8:11 as follows:
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you (NLT).
Trust in God therefore inevitably results in resurrection life! Every area of one’s life that is “dead” or unproductive or barren becomes fruitful. The redemptive and productive life of God is breathed into one’s intellect (synonyms of astute: intellectual, brilliance, bright..). This means that as a believer in Christ, your thoughts are increasingly sanctified and become as God’s thoughts.
Your creativity and entrepreneurial spirit be it in church ministry or your role in the marketplace or public sphere such as in the realms of volunteering, career and engaging in a hobby is greatly enhanced and aligned to God’s will for your life. In fact God is likely to give you creative and clever (clever is a synonym of astute) ways to be an influential or fruitful witness for Christ.
Jesus advised his disciples to be shrewd, another of the synonyms of astute mentioned earlier:
“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16 NLT).
God’s children are rightly declared “astute business people” for His sake, because they trust Him. It is therefore accurate to say that when we trust in God, the truth of His written and prophetic word about who we are and what our purpose is begins to manifest or unfold. The reality of these scriptures amongst others are affirmed daily in our lives:
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3 NLT).
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”(Eph. 3:20 NLT).
Through the power of God at work within and also in every area of our lives, we not only increasingly become who we were created to be, in terms of our identity but also what we were predestined to do in terms of our destiny. This is because we have what it takes to be astute when we trust in God. Truly trusting God through His Word results in a life constantly lived in His presence. The cycle of astuteness in relation to “God’s business” wherever we might be is therefore never ending. This verse that speaks of God’s constant presence is a daily reality:
“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people” (Psalm 125:2 NKJV).
Poem: Trusting & Immovable
The heritage of trusting in God is to be branded as astute. Amiable and steadfast immovable as Mount Zion.
A heart of zeal is obtained, clad in wisdom as a quilt patched from experiences and sown.
The ability to excel, a covering of divine brilliance, as a shawl saved from a furnace of chastening and worn.
Astuteness in business, God imparts to trusting men. Revealed in how they discern, assess and walk paths of righteousness. The immovable shall flourish in God’s blessedness.
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 30/08/2016
“Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught”. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake” (Luke 5: 4-5 KJV).
Simon (also known as Peter) and his partners were washing their nets, they had toiled all night and caught nothing. Jesus Christ who Simon had made a part of his life accepting him as his “Rabbi” or teacher, needed the use of Simon’s ship for his teaching ministry that day. So Jesus got into Simon’s ship and was sitting in it in the lake not too far from the shore and teaching the crowd.
Having used Simon’s ship to teach the crowd, Jesus then had a plan to bless Simon, James and John. He started by asking Simon to “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught”. Note that Jesus did not merely say launch out into the lake, but in the deeper most part of it is what he was instructing Simon to do.
Simon and the other fishermen had toiled all night and they had caught nothing not even in the shallow waters, and Jesus was saying “Launch out into the deep!”, but Simon obeyed Jesus saying “nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net”.
Brethren, when you welcome Jesus in your life “Ship” and allow him to orchestrate your life for the sake of others it means God has a plan for your life that would surprise you, He will do something for you that you least expect; there is a great miracle awaiting you in areas of your life where you lack as Simon and his fishing partners James and John found out.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt.6:33 KJV).
When you say “nevertheless at thy word” to the LORD, not looking at things with your natural eyes, but your spiritual eyes of faith, if the company you keep also have Jesus in their life “ship”, as Simon did, they will surely partake of your blessed life in Christ as you will theirs. It is inevitable that when God provides for you miraculously in your areas of need, they too will benefit from it and you will also benefit when they receive the same. This is because it is God’s will that His people are one and live together as a family of God. Jesus prayed for God’s people to be one (John 17:19-21).
“…Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1 KJV)
What do you have in common with your closest friends? It is the unity through Christ that creates a ripple effect of blessings.
Dear brothers and sisters, this account ought to encourage you that God is always looking for ways to bless His children as only a heavenly Father can do. He knows how you have made Him the captain of your life “Ship” through Jesus Christ your Lord and Saviour and so He knows your needs, where you lack and how much you carry on working and toiling for Him, saying daily “nevertheless at thy word” even when he sends you into those “deep” places where an outcome of success seems more impossible.
My message to you today is that He always hears your surrendered response and sees your activation of faith in obedience and whenever you are weak He extends His hand to help you and strengthens you with His powerful Holy Spirit. If you are already seeing the fruit of your labour, I praise God with you and encourage you to keep on keeping on. If you have not yet, I also praise God with you, because God is working on it, delay is not denial and His timing is perfect.
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed.
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 2/12/2015