Spiritual Roots of Disease Pt 3

In Part 1 we established the soul-spirit connection and in Part 2 we saw confirmation from Jesus’ statements to some persons he healed that their sickness was due to their spiritual condition. Today, we will be looking specifically at several scriptures that speak about the bones. I have provided most of those relevant to our discussion of dis-ease because the importance of this particular aspect of sickness requires that I be thorough. Although today’s blog is somewhat lengthy, I can guarantee that you will find it worth reading all the way through.

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. (Psa. 6:2)

For my life is spent with grief, And my years with sighing; My strength fails because of my iniquity, And my bones waste away. (Psa. 31:10)

When I kept silent, my bones grow old Through my groaning all the day long. (Psa. 32:3)

There is no soundness in my flesh Because of Your anger, Nor any health in my bones Because of my sin. (Psa. 38:3)

As he loved cursing, so let it come to him; As he did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him. As he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, So let it enter his body like water, And like oil into his bones. (Psa. 109:17-18)

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones. (Prov. 3:7-8)

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones. (Prov. 12:4)

A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones. (Prov. 14:30)

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, And a good report makes the bones healthy. (Prov. 15:30)

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. (Prov. 16:24)

A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. (Prov. 17:22)

If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. (Isa. 58:9b-11)

When you see this, your heart shall rejoice, And your bones shall flourish like grass; (Isa. 66:14a)

You may be wondering why the emphasis on bones? Bones are crucial as they contain bone marrow that produce red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells. Red blood cells are filled with a protein called haemoglobin that allows oxygen to be transported to the body to energize the body’s processes and they also transport carbon dioxide to the lungs so it can be breathed out. Platelets are blood cells that help with blood coagulation to help stop bleeding whenever we are cut or injured. They create the scab that is formed over a small cut. White blood cells help the body to fight against infection. These include: lymphocytes, neutrophils, and monocytes that fight against invading bacteria, viruses, or fungi; eosinophils and basophils that respond to allergens that can invade our bodies. Another point to note is that the scriptures tell us that blood is the life of the body (Gen. 9:4; Deut. 12:23; Lev. 17:11, 14).

Therefore, if our bone marrow is compromised in any way there are many sicknesses, including autoimmune diseases, that can arise. There are more than 80 different autoimmune diseases. Some of the more common ones include rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (“lupus” for short), Type 1 diabetes, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease & ulcerative colitis), pernicious anaemia, and Addison’s Disease. Doctors don’t know what causes the immune system to misfire by attacking the body’s cells rather than the invading cells. They suspect environmental factors, diet, and the hygiene hypothesis among others. However, based on scripture, we get more plausible insight of the causes of these autoimmune diseases. I won’t list them here (I’ll have more time to do so in my upcoming book), the scriptures above speak for themselves.

It is also interesting to note that women are twice as prone to autoimmune diseases when compared with men. There are also generational and ethnic risk factors that have been identified. This should be no surprise now that we know the cause is spiritual. Women are stated to be the weaker vessel (in terms of fragility in emotions) (1 Peter 3:7) and we are well aware that the iniquities of the fathers are visited on the children to the third and fourth generations (Num. 14:18). We should also be aware that haemophilia, a life-threatening disease in which the blood fails to clot as normal, is hereditary. In fact, we have discovered that most diseases that involve abnormal blood function, not only the autoimmune diseases, have a spiritual root.

I know the ultimate question that arises from this discussion is, “How do we heal these diseases?” In the same way we heal all other diseases with a spiritual root. Next week, we will look at a few more general scriptures to further convince ourselves of the spiritual roots of many diseases. Then, the following week, I will discuss the approach to healing. Patience is a virtue!

Shalom.

 

National Transformation Through Holiness

I am republishing an excerpt from my blog originally published on April 22nd, 2017 in celebration of the National Days of Prayer, Fasting and Repentance here in Jamaica today and tomorrow.

I believe with my whole heart that 2 Chronicles 7:14 holds the key to the healing of the nations and the so-called ‘revival’ for which many Christian leaders have been praying. However, God is after more than revival, He is after transformation. A total turnaround, change, cultural shift in our nations. God is after nations. When Jesus was giving instructions to the disciples, what we call the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19, His focus was on making disciples “of all the nations”.

So, the earth shattering question is, “Why are Christians seeming to have so little impact on transforming the nations?” There are several reasons but I would like to focus on those that are clearly evident in 2 Chronicles 7:14. Throughout the Scriptures there is a premise for every promise. What I call the “if…………then……..” conditions. God says ifyou would choose to do something then this will be the result. In fact, we refer to these as spiritual laws. They are laws because God spoke them and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. His Word does not change based on circumstances or whatever cultural shift is taking place in the world. It is immutable, irrevocable and immovable. What does God say in 2 Chron. 7:14 will result in Him a) hearing, b) forgiving, and c) healing the nation? He lists 4 conditions that need to be met. By who? My people! The Church! You and me! All 4 conditions – humility, prayer, seeking God, turning from wicked ways (being righteous, being holy, set apart for God) – come as a package deal. Now, it seems reasonable to me that if ‘My people’ were meeting these conditions then we would be seeing the effects promised by God in our nations. The only conclusion to be drawn then is that ‘My people’ are falling short of meeting the conditions. We are full of pride and arrogance (insufficient reverence and awe for God), not praying sufficiently or effectively (just look at the number that show up for prayer meetings), we are not seeking God to know His will, and many of us are not walking in paths of righteousness.

God has been speaking through me and others prophetically for years “that He holds the Body of Christ accountable for the nations”. We are crying out to God to save our nations, to bring revival to our nations, to deliver our nations and God is saying “but I gave you all power and authority in the earth. I am waiting for you my people to be holy as I am holy and take up your rightful positions of influence in the nations. I need to work through you in the earthly realm. I have no legal right to function in the earth except you empower me to do so.” The scripture in Romans 8:19 tells us, “For the earnest expectation of the creation, eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” Revealing means “manifesting, activating”. Who are the sons of God? “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).

Many Christians are saved but are still dead in trespasses and sins and are therefore powerless. They need to activate the power that is resident in them. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, (Eph. 3:20). The things we ask or think, God can bring to pass even in greater measure than we have asked or thought but only when we choose to activate the power He has placed in each of us. That power is made powerless through unholiness. That power is therefore activated through holiness.

The saving and healing of our nations begin with each one of us obeying God’s command to be holy as He is holy. To seek Him and find out from Him what He requires you to do in your sphere of influence. Each one of ‘My people’ has a part to play. Each one not playing that part is accountable to God for the continued devastation that we see in the midst of our nations. It begins with you starting today to make the choice and the determination to become all that God has purposed for you to be. It begins with holiness.

Join me in prayer to God [click]

Shalom.

Spiritual Roots of Disease Pt 2

In this series of blogs, I am sharing scriptural evidence that there is a spiritual root to many of the diseases that afflict us. I have proposed, and there is empirical evidence to support my proposition, that most ‘chronic’ diseases, and diseases for which allopathic medicine states there is no cure, fall into this group of diseases for which there is a spiritual root. Last time, we also discussed the spirit-soul connection, which is very important to understand for healing to take place.

Today, I want to focus our attention on Jesus’ healing ministry and the words He spoke that reveal the root cause of the individual’s disease.

In John 5:13, Jesus said to the man He had healed at the Pool of Bethesda of a disease he had suffered with for 38 years,

See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you. (John 5:13)

In Matthew 17:14-20, a father brings his son to Jesus and declares that he suffers from epilepsy. Jesus rebukes the demon causing the epileptic fits, which came out of him and the child was cured “from that very hour.” The disciples had been unable to cure the young man and asked Jesus why. He told them it was because of their unbelief and in addition that this kind (of demon) “does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” In other words, this type of disease (and many others) have a spiritual root and require deliverance through faith, prayer and fasting for healing to take place. In Mark’s rendition of the same account in Mark 9:17-29, we are provided with greater details of the root of the seizures being a deaf and dumb spirit, which Jesus calls by name and commands to come out of the boy. This healing is also recounted in Luke chapter 9.

In Mark 5:21-34, we are told of the healing of the woman who had been suffering from a bleeding disease for 12 years. She believed that if she could just touch Jesus’ garment she would be healed. Jesus felt power leaving Him as she touched His garment. This was another case of spiritual healing required for a disease that had a spiritual root. Did you ever wonder why Jesus said to her “Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction”? The root of her problem was torment and anxiety, which she needed to retain peace in her soul to ensure that the affliction did not return.

We see evidence of blindness and dumbness (Mt. 12:22-25), lunacy (Luke 8:26-34), and other unstated diseases (Luke 4:40-41) having a spiritual root that required spiritual healing.

Stay tuned next week for further profound scriptural evidence of the spiritual roots of disease.

Shalom.

 

Spiritual Roots of Disease Pt 1

The more I read the Bible the more I am convinced that there is a spiritual component to many diseases. Here, I differentiate ‘disease’ from physical injury. A disease is a condition that puts our body or mind in ‘dis-ease’. The Lord created our bodies to function in a state of equilibrium called ‘homeostatis’. In simple English, this means having a steady state of balance or stability. It is when this balance or stability is disrupted that we have ‘dis-ease’. The prefix ‘dis’ means apart, away, or having a negative or reversing force. Hence, ‘dis-ease’ is a condition that takes you apart or away from, or is reversing the absence of difficulty or effort we have when our body is balanced and stable.

In this series on Spiritual Roots of Disease, I will be providing scriptural evidence of the spiritual roots of disease. It is essential that if something has a spiritual root it has to be healed by spiritual means. Might I present the hypothesis here that many of our so-called ‘chronic illnesses’ and illnesses for which there is ‘no cure’ are not being cured because we have not addressed the root cause. We are merely treating the symptoms to decrease or slow down the impact of the disease on the body and or reduce the physical manifestations of the disease. Additionally, when you read the medical literature you will find several diseases for which the aetiology or cause of the disease is stated to be unknown. Again, may I hypothesize that this is because allopathic medicine has omitted a very real and critical source, which is spiritual. They have omitted it because they have not understood it. This is not surprising as the Bible tells us that spiritual things can only be understood (discerned) spiritually (1 Cor. 2:14).

So as not to make this blog too lengthy, I will share only one piece of evidence from scripture this week.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2, NKJV)

Note that there is a precondition to be met for health, that is, the prosperity of your soul. Man consists of three parts – body, soul and spirit – even as God is tripartite.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thess. 5:23)

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb. 4:12)

As we study Scripture, it becomes evident that our soul is composed of our emotions, mind and will. Many times in Scripture the word ‘heart’ refers to our soul. The spirit is the inner man, where God’s Spirit takes up residence when we surrender our lives to Him. This is the part of man that is reborn or born again at the time of our decision to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour (Rom. 8:9). Thereafter, the Christian walk consists in large part of submitting our souls (carnal nature) to the control of our spirits (1 Cor. 3:1-3). This is the ongoing battle to become Christ-like and to have the fruit of the Spirit being consistently evident in our lives (Gal. 5:22-23).  Therefore, although our soul is separate from our spirit it is not independent of it. There is an interconnectedness between soul and spirit such that our spiritual state impacts our emotional, mental and behavioural state. In other words, the prosperity of our soul is dependent on the prosperity of our spirit. Therefore, 3 John 1:2 is stating that our health is conditional on the extent to which we are allowing our souls (emotions, mind and will) to be influenced and controlled by the Spirit of God.

Join me next week as we explore this intriguing topic further.

Shalom.

 

Transforming Power

It’s “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” (Zec. 4:6)

As I read through the Scripture and see what I refer to as the “paradoxes of God”, I become increasingly convinced that there is no way that a true disciple of Jesus Christ can be transformed into His image without the supernatural indwelling Holy Spirit. God’s ways are 180 degrees removed from the world’s ways and the only way we can obey His instruction to “be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds” can only take place through allowing His Word and His Spirit to have dominion in our lives. I will just share a few of these “paradoxes” so you get a better understanding of our need for God’s transforming power.

  • God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9)
  • Blessed are the meek. (Mt. 5:5)
  • To be the greatest you must become a servant. (Mt. 20:26)
  • To save your life you must lose it. (Mt. 16:25, Mk. 8:35, Lk. 17:33)
  • To receive abundantly you must give generously. Whatever you need more of in life give it away. (Lk. 6:38)
  • You are more blessed when you give than when you receive. (Acts 20:35b)
  • Count it all joy when you fall into trials. (Jam. 1:2)
  • Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. (Mt. 5:44)
  • Be fair, just and honest in every aspect of business. (Prov. 11:1, 20:23; Deut. 25:13, 15).
  • Love unconditionally (1 Cor. 13:4-7)

The next time you feel that you have arrived as a Christian, just remind yourself of these yardsticks. I know I have been weighed in the balances and been found wanting. But let us be encouraged. If God requires it He has also given us the power to achieve it. He has given us His Word (2 Tim. 3:16-17), His Holy Spirit (John 14:16), His armour (Eph. 6:10-17); prayer (Eph. 6:18); power and authority over ALL power of the enemy (Lk. 10:19); fellow Christians (Jam. 5:16). Therefore, let us be strong and of good courage and press on to victory!! If God is for us who can be against us? (Rom. 8:31). He will never leave us nor forsake us. The battle is not for the swift but for those who endure to the end (Mt. 24:13).

Let us cry out to be filled up with God’s indwelling Holy Spirit so that we will be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ and bring His saving power to the nations!!

Click to listen – Fill Me Up God

Shalom

The Change Starts With Me

William McDowell sings a song entitled “Intercession” that says, “The change I want to see must first begin with me. I surrender, so the world can be changed.” The more I interact with fellow Christians the more I see the truth in these words. The world is not going to change by us quoting Scripture or praying for it to change. If Christians are not living the Word of God in their own lives and modeling it within the spheres of influence where the Lord has placed us how then do we expect the world to change. Many of us who are supposed to have the Spirit of Christ inside of us are obviously not listening to Him and are not submitting ourselves to the process of transformation that will bring us into the image of Christ Jesus. How then do we complain about what we see happening in the world? If we are not part of the solution we are part of the problem.

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (Rom. 8:19)

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. (Rom. 8:14)

If we, as Christians, are no different from the world why will the world be attracted to our Saviour? In what way has God the Father called us to be different?

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35)

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Ps. 133:1)

The world lacks true love – love that is of Spirit and of truth. God’s type of love, which is unconditional. It is obvious that this is also lacking in the Body of Christ. A brother from my church once stated, “The Body of Christ is the only army that leaves wounded soldiers on the battlefield to die.” I have found that we are able to believe the worst of each other. Even when someone in the world accuses the brethren we forget that Satan is called the accuser of the brethren. We are guilty of being ignorant of the devices of the enemy. Even if the brother or sister was guilty as charged but has now made restitution and has been forgiven by God the Father, through His grace and mercy, we feel that we who are so ‘perfect’ have the right to continue to hold the sin against them. Is this how we love our neighbour as ourselves? When you have committed a sin and have been forgiven by God and have made the effort to go through a process of sanctification would you want others to hold that same sin against you for the rest of your life? When we do this we are partnering with the enemy for the condemnation of our brother or sister.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Rom. 8:1)

The problem is that some of us believe we know more than God and have become our own gods. The sin of idolatry is very rampant in our midst and we don’t even realize it. We lean unto our own understanding instead of recognizing that we need to acknowledge God and seek His direction in all things. We become too emotional and allow what the world has to say about our own to determine how we will treat our fallen soldiers.

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (Mt. 7:1-2)

Remember, in God’s eyes sin is sin. The only sin that is deemed worse than any other is blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when we seek to condemn one of our brethren let us remember that we ALL have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23).

Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Heb. 12:11)

Let each one of us look into ourselves and let the change we want to see in the world begin with each of us. Click link to William McDowell’s Intercession

Nuff said!!

Shalom.

Evil Spirits on Assignment

I was reading 1 Samuel 16 as part of a study I was doing on spiritual warfare and became perplexed about verses 15, 16 and 23, which speak of an ‘evil spirit from God’ distressing Saul. I was disturbed. This seemed to be contrary to my knowledge of God the Father, who does not seek to harm us but to prosper us, to give us hope and an expected end (Jer. 29:11). I have been taught that the Word of God does not contradict itself when studied as the whole counsel of God. In other words, we must use the Bible to validate itself and not just take one scripture and build a theology around it. With that in mind, I recalled other situations relating to God and evil spirits. The one that came to mind was the occasion when Satan came to God seeking permission to trouble Job. Job was under God’s protection and therefore Satan had no legal authority to bring evil upon Job. Similarly, Saul still held the position of God’s representative on earth, even though He was to be replaced by David, so evil spirits had to come into God’s presence to seek permission to ‘distress’ Saul. The verses in 1 Samuel 16 did not say that God ‘sent’ the evil spirit, they said the evil spirit ‘from’ God. Since scripture does not contradict itself, I interpret this to mean that the evil spirit came to God first then from God’s presence to Saul. Both the Kingdom of God and Satan’s kingdom have an authority structure. Therefore, Satan gives assignments to evil spirits but if it involves anyone who is under God’s protection He must give permission. God has no right to withhold permission if the person has opened areas in their lives that give Satan the legal right to have access to them. This was the case with Saul.

In the case of Job, it was stated that he was upright. Some theologians say that his fear for his children is what caused God to have to give permission to Satan. However, if that were so we would have seen that coming out in the discussion reported between God and Satan. God was confident that if he allowed Satan to test Job he would pass the test. At times, the Lord will allow evil spirits access to come and test us. Even Jesus was ‘led of the Holy Spirit’ into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan for forty days and nights (Mt. 4:1). This was just before He launched into ministry. The tempting was to strengthen Him and not to harm Him. In the same way then, we will go through testing to be strengthened so we can be used of God. Would you just go ahead and use someone to do an important assignment on your behalf without having the confidence that you could place your trust in them?  This is borne out in James 1:2-4 and Romans 5:3-4.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (Jas. 1:2-4)

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Rom. 5:3-4)

We always have to remember not to lean unto our own understanding (Prov. 3:5) because God’s thoughts and ways are much higher than ours (Isa. 55:9). We must seek revelation and discernment from the Holy Spirit because spiritual things are foolishness to the natural man, they must be discerned spiritually (1 Cor. 2:14).

We must always remember that even seemingly ‘bad’ things will work for our good once we love the Lord and are walking in accordance with His will.

All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. (Rom. 8:28)

Shalom

Why Pray Persistently?

I have always reflected on my parental role when thinking about my relationship with God the Father. Consequently, I have never felt the need to ask My Father for something more than once because if I really think my children deserve to have something I will give it to them the first time they ask. If I feel they are not sufficiently mature to handle what is being requested or they have been irresponsible in caring for other things then I will simply say “no”, pointing out to them why I am not granting their request. In recent times, however, I have realized that there are some reasons why, in my relationship with God the Father, I may need to ask for something more than once even when He intends to grant my request.

  • By nature, humans are fickle. We want this thing one minute and then we change our minds soon after. Many times, as time passes by, we realize that the need for something is not as urgent as we thought it was. Alternatively, our commitment may simply start to wane. Since the Lord knows the beginning from the end and we don’t, if He allows time to pass and the fervour and urgency of our asking persists then we can see that we are truly committed to that which we are seeking. I am reminded of the parable of the widow and the unjust judge (Lk. 18:1-8).
  • Sometimes, it’s not that God is unwilling and so we have to persist. There are times when He has answered and the persistence is not to continue asking but to pray thanking Him for its manifestation. Many times it is our faith that will cause the answer to be manifested because there may be spiritual opposition to it that we do not know is taking place. Remember Daniel not getting answer to prayer until 21 days after God had sent the messenger with the answer? (Dan. 10:12-14)
  • There are times when the issue is such a spiritual burden that we need to be persistent in carrying it to God so we can get relief. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to His crucifixion was a case in point (Mt. 26:36-45). In these times, we may need others to be praying with us to give spiritual support. If Jesus needed it so do we.

Persistence in prayer does not only consist of praying repetitively about a particular issue. The definition of persistence is “the fact of continuing in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition; the continued or prolonged existence of something.” Therefore, prayer itself should be something that we seek to do persistently. If we understand that prayer can be done in different ways we will recognize that God has given us the power of persistent pray. Prayer is simply speaking with the Father, petitioning, or interceding. We can do these forms of prayer in different ways. I do this through praise (spoken or sung), praying in tongues (that way you can even be driving and praying cause your mind is not involved and you know you are praying according to God’s will), asking the Father’s guidance throughout the day (like He is right beside you, which He is). So, if we think about it, being persistent in prayer is actually easier than it sounds. I have been practicing to pray more persistently since the beginning of 2017 and it has made such a difference in my spiritual strength, spiritual discernment, and not to mention the peace I experience knowing I am in intimate relationship with My Father.

Men always ought to pray and not lose heart. (Lk. 18:1b)

Shalom

Pray Without Ceasing?

I want to touch on an aspect of prayer that has intrigued me. When I first read Paul’s parting instructions at the end of his first letter to the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, I started wondering, “How can you pray without ceasing? How is that even possible?”

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thes. 5:17)

Initially, I was thinking about it from the stand point of an individual being required to pray without ceasing. However, these were instructions being given to the Body of Christ corporate in Thessalonica. I felt a sense of relief. I was somewhat perplexed as I know that God doesn’t give us instructions that cannot be accomplished. Having addressed the feasibility issue, I began to think about the obedience issue. How many churches are obeying this instruction to “pray without ceasing”? I know at my own church attempts have been made to establish a prayer chain by assigning specific persons to pray during prescribed hours so that prayer is taking place 24/7. It lasts for a while but then fizzles out due to lack of commitment. I can well understand Jesus’ frustration with the disciples who accompanied Him to the Garden of Gethsemane.

Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mt. 26:40-41)

This is insightful! Unfortunately, this is the same problem with the Body of Christ today. Instead of following Christ’s example of putting prayer first above everything else, we are at ease in Zion. Sleeping when we should be praying. Allowing the enemy to have his way while we sleep. And then getting all fired up in prayer when the damage has already been done. Prevention is always better than cure! Much less costly and definitely much less painful. I asked the Lord, “Why is it such an uphill task to get Christians to commit to prayer? When you call a prayer meeting very few are in attendance but call a healing and deliverance meeting or a prophetic meeting and there is standing room only.” The Lord showed me several reasons.

1. We have lost our first love. Remember, prayer is simply talking to God about what is on your heart. Many of us no longer have the love affair with God that we had when we were first born again. Not because God has changed but because we have not been committed to keeping our side of the relationship going. Every relationship requires a commitment of time and energy. It requires purposeful, diligent effort to maintain intimacy because there are so many things vying for our attention that we have to be constantly reminding ourselves to remain focused on the thing or person that is most important.

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. (Mk. 12:30)

Let the Body of Christ heed the words that were spoken by the Lord to the church in Ephesus:

Nevertheless I have this against you, that have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place–unless you repent. (Rev. 2:4-5)

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Heb. 10:31)

2. We are not in tune with God’s heart. This is aligned to reason #1. Prayer is a love response to the burdens of others. If you have an intimate relationship with someone you become aware of the things that are dear to their heart. The Lord’s second commandment says you are to love your neighbour as yourself (Mk. 12:31). Not only have we lost our first love, we have lost love for others. Jesus had compassion for the lost and dying. If we were in tune with God’s heart we would be crying and groaning and interceding for a lost and dying world. Okay, maybe praying for the world is stretching our hearts a bit too far. But truth be told, many of us don’t even have a heart to pray for those who are hurting right around us.

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Gal. 6:10)

praying with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. (Eph. 6:18)

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (Jas. 5:16, emphasis mine)

3. We have not allowed the Word of God to renew our minds. Romans 12:2 says we are not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The Lord says it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35b). The world says it is better to receive than to give. That is why the healing and deliverance as well as the prophetic meetings are full. In those meetings we come to get something from the Lord. On the other hand, the prayer meeting is requiring that we expend ourselves to empower God’s action on earth. If we are totally honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that we are a lazy people. Prayer requires work and sacrifice and many of us have not signed on for that as part of our Christian walk.

4. We lack faith. If we really believed in the power of prayer and that God hears us when we pray why would we not pray? Many times our prayers are hindered for lack of faith and then we are disappointed when we do not see the outcome that we desired. We then get turned off prayer. It’s a vicious cycle.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Heb. 1:6)

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. (Mk. 11:24)

Many of us, as soon as we have prayed about a matter, immediately cancel what we have prayed by confessing that we are worrying about the same thing. We continue to talk about the issue as though it’s still a matter for prayer although we have already asked the Lord to intervene on our behalf.

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (Jas. 2:26)

5. We lack knowledge. If we knew and understood that God has given us authority in the earth and our prayers are the keys that unlock God’s hand to act on our behalf with heaven’s power on earth, why wouldn’t we pray? If we realized that it is our lack of prayer that is hindering the healing of our nations, why wouldn’t we pray? The Body of Christ has been given the mandate to disciple nations; this will not be accomplished without prayer.

And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Mt. 16:19, emphasis mine)

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chron. 7:14, emphasis mine)

Now that we are an enlightened people, let us not be weary in well doing. Now that we have been empowered with knowledge, let us not reject it and open ourselves to the consequences.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me: Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (Hos. 4:6)

John Wesley said, “Without God man cannot and without man God will not.” What happens on earth depends on man. Prayer is earthly licence for heavenly interference. Prayer is not an option it is a necessity.

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (Rom. 8:19)

Child of God, not only is creation eagerly waiting for your prayers but God is eagerly waiting for his children to allow His will to be activated in the earth (Mt. 6:10). Are you willing to say, “Here I am Lord” and be counted among the remnant that will hear and obey?

Men ought always to pray and not to lose heart (Lk. 18:1).

Shalom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trusting God No Matter What

There is a difference between the Christian at the milk stage and the Christian at the meat stage. Will you trust God even when He doesn’t come through for you? Is your christianity based on the degree to which God’s favour appears to be evident on your behalf? Or do you have a ‘though He slay me yet will I praise Him’ type of faith? When you lose someone you love dearly will you have the type of faith that says “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” After all, He gave you everything you have. Nothing belongs to you. You are merely a steward of what He has provided.

Will you trust Him even when He seems to ‘let you down’? Ever ask yourself why it is that although God is able He is not always willing? It’s all about comfort versus character. God tests you to get you to see your own motivation. If you are willing to lose faith because God didn’t show up for you to deal with a situation as you thought He should have then obviously God is serving you rather than the other way around; maybe you became saved only for what you could get rather than for what you could give. God already knows your heart but He wants you to know your heart so you can do something about its condition. Does God not responding to your every need change who God is? God is sovereign. He rules, not you. So, you don’t dictate to God how or when He will act. That is strictly His decision. If you don’t understand His decision then join the club. His Word tell us that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts (Isa. 55:9). He will explain if He cares to. But most times you won’t receive an answer to the question “why?” because He is after your trust not your understanding.

We need a change of mindset. We need to recognize and accept that God the Father sacrificed His only begotten Son on our behalf. Through Him we have everlasting life. That is more than enough. Anything else is ‘brawta’. We must become a thankful people and not feel like God owes us something; that we are entitled. In fact, it is just the reverse. Like David we must humbly ask God, “What is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honour” (Ps. 8:4). Not because of anything we did to deserve it but simply because of His grace and mercy (Eph. 2:8).

Anytime you think that you know more than God, just read and reflect upon the discourse between God and Job in the passage from Job 38:1 – 42:5. Humbling isn’t it? We may need to repent and be restored even as Job did.

Shalom.