Life Mastery, Personal Growth

The Search for Meaning

The issue of what we are born to do has become one of the most puzzling challenges confronting mankind today, especially millennials. Many have turned to philosophy and psychology to make sense of life generally and to discover the meaning of their own lives personally. Although, this endeavour has elevated the thinking of many seekers, due to the discoveries and teachings of many great minds, most remain lost in the rhetoric of such profound ideas.
While meaning is advocated by deep thinking philosophers and well-behaved psychologist, the actual experience of meaning is spiritual; and you will find out that meaning that will pass the test of time does not come merely by good, credible and empirical information but through a process of heart transformation.
Why?
Information versus Transformation
“…the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” 2 Corinthians 3:6
Information, even good information, only usually engages the mind (the reasoning faculty) but the place for real change is the heart (the meaning faculty). The mind is the place of knowledge and we can know without using what we know. This precedence has already been set by Adam’s eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And since then, the default setting of the mind is to have information without necessarily applying it, especially when it has to do with deciding between right and wrong.
It takes much more than merely knowing what is right in a situation; it takes a regeneration to have the heart to actually choose the right cause even when it is not convenient.
Regeneration is a change of the life principle in the heart that Adam (being the head of the human race) instituted into the stream of human consciousness, so that there can be a restoration to God’s original intention. This is replaced with a new life principle from the Godman, Jesus Christ, who is the head of the redeemed race.
“Eschatologically and spiritually speaking, regeneration is a restoration of things to their original, pristine conditions.”
The Supremacy of Truth
The capacity to know truth is not lacking in human nature but the capacity to love and obey what is true is in short supply. If we must experience meaning/purpose, we must embrace TRUTH. Since meaning is a definite experience, Truth must never be compromised.
“This truth is the basis for real transformation from what you are now to what you ought to be or what you were designed/created/made to be.”
Therefore, truth is the first component of meaning. This may be a bitter pill to swallow for some. Truth is not relative. If truth, the very foundation of meaning, is relative; how then can we ever know for certain what we know?
In science, there are measurements that helps the scientist to establish reality or at least a version of reality. But the point is, reality was not arrived at arbitrarily; it was based on a standard of measurement. Also, meaning cannot be established arbitrarily.
The search for meaning must be based on what is fixed, absolute and immutable or else meaning will never be certain. Such a pseudo experience will keep changing with the fads and fashions/emphasis of the times. The first progress in your search for meaning is your appreciation for Truth (not as relative, but as absolute).
“Your word is forever, LORD; it is firmly established in heaven.” Psalm 119:89

ISV

“…the word of the Lord lasts forever.” 1 Peter 1:25 ISV
The discovery of meaning is not a philosophical journey; it is, for all intents and purposes, a spiritual journey.

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

Picture Credit: Ms O Reilly education

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law

Understanding the Law as God’s Ways (not just God’s rules)

“He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.” Psalm 103:7

The Law is righteous. It is God’s unchanging standard. The prophets were inspired speakers of God’s Laws. The Law itself can be understood as Principles, Programmes and Purposes of God. Principles are the fixed ideas guiding the divine nature of God and all His works. Programmes are the various dispensations with their specific goals. Purposes are the eternal, unchanging counsel of the Father.
When we talk about the Law, we are not particularly speaking of the 10 commandments in Exodus 20 and 603 more in Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy that was given to Israel as a nation. These were not only moral codes but constitutional rules for the new nation of Israel. In this sense, the Law is limitedly used.
And it is this understanding of the Law that underwent a change in the New Covenant. Since it is not correct to transfer a constitution of God’s particular dealings with a constituency, Israel, into a rule for the nations (Gentiles) who will enter into the kingdom of God. This does not in anyway discount the strategic place Israel occupies in God’s eternal programme.
However, the Law as Israel knew it was a mixture of moral codes and governmental procedures. But when we look at how the Law is variously described in Scriptures, it will be clear that it is not the Law in that limited sense as we come to know it through Moses, but it is the Law in its essential context of divine order and standard. Before we try to describe the Law further, let us look at how it is described in the Scriptures to make sense of it.

‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. [8] The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. [9] The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. [10] More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. [11] Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7-11

When you look at the very many things we don’t have to do again because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the overriding of the New Covenant over the Old (Hebrews 8 & 10), it will be immediately clear to our hearts, that the Law is not primarily the codes that Israel knew. Those were limited to their own national experience. The Law is simply God’s ways. And what is God’s ways? It is the essence of instructions that each portion of Scriptures contain for our growth and learning that brings us up to the level of His LIFE.

We see David, a Prophet of God, gaining insight into the nature of the Law. He saw that the Law is perfect and it converts the soul, that is, it transforms into a life pleasing to the LORD. He described the Law in five other ways:
1. The Testimony of the Lord: it testifies of the Lord. That is, it bears the very nature of God. Wherever you find the Law, you have found a representation of the Lord. Which means each law testifies and expresses God. When the law is seen in a life as a lifestyle, it serves as a testimony of God’s presence, involvement and investment in that life.
2. The Statutes of the Lord: it shows the fixed nature of God and His ways. It is a governing decree divinely issued to establish God’s will in a matter. It is knowing God’s Will in a previously unclear matter.
3. The Commandment of the Lord: Specific directives given for our benefit. They are not advices. They are absolutes. They cannot be broken. You can only break yourself upon it.
4. The Fear of the Lord: God’s Word produces a genuine reverence for God in a life that is unmistakably sensed by others.
5. The Judgment of the Lord: It is God’s verdict. It should be your decision. No one can ever escape it. If you do not know the Law (God’s Will and Ways) as a way of life in this life, you will know it as a sentence in the next.
These are dimensions of the Law.
If you have understood the Law the way it was expressed in God’s Word, you will see that it is not amendable. Yet, it is so high that human ability by itself cannot reach it or fulfill it.
Hence, the first thing it achieves is to reveal our INABILITY to please God. The dwarfing, unsurpassable height of God’s Law puts all human efforts and ability to where they belong. No amount of reaching and struggling can reach it. The only result of striving by human effort is FAILING and FALLING.
Now, the fact that we are falling is not the fault of the Law. It is the fault of our inherited nature from Adam. The human nature that prides itself on its abilities and capacities must be disgraced before man can appreciate his need for help. Which is where grace comes in. Grace comes to those who realize their weaknesses and inability to please God (Romans 8:3, 8).
This does not nullify the Law; it actually serves the Law because it equips man to reach that previously unsurpassable height of God’s standard.

The Law is a revelation of God’s Ways that we are required to walk in, but we cannot walk in it unless we receive/accept the offer of God’s Grace in the New Covenant.

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” Hebrews 8:10

The Law is God’s expectations; Grace is God’s provision to help us meet His own expectations.

How do we receive this provision?

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

This grace is in Christ Jesus. Stop struggling to be good, righteous and obedient. Come to the LORD Jesus and He will take the struggle off of you. His Grace will take over from your agonizing labours and instantly transform you to a saint. It is “…Not by might, nor by power…” It is by the Spirit of Grace (Zechariah 4:6-7).

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version.

Disclaimer: Using a quote or picture that mostly or fully represents what we have in mind does not imply agreement with or approval of a person’s general philosophy of life.

Picture Credit: Monergism

Grace, Life Mastery, Spirituality

Put on the New Man

“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:24
God has not done more for any man than others. He has offered Himself in the same abundant measure to all those who seek Him (John 10:10). Whenever it looks like a believer is struggling to grow, to express the New Life and to shun the old ways, it can only be one thing: Wanting to live the New Life while retaining their freedom of choice, i.e. the classical case of “spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”.
What is Freewill?
Freedom of choice is not necessarily bad. God gave it to us. It is the freedom to decide whom to serve and follow, what will be our fate in this life and eternity, as well as everything in between. Without this freewill, God cannot have children/sons; He can only have robots. Hence, freewill, in its original, uncontaminated state, is the freedom to choose what God wills. Adam lived in what we can call a duration of probation until he violated his freewill and it became freedom to sin rather than freedom to please God.
He would have been perfected if he had used his freewill to shun the tree of knowledge of good and evil and eat of the tree of Life that was not forbidden. Perfection, in this case, is a state of being beyond the possibility of sin because freewill has chosen the ultimate gift, the LIFE of God; therefore, the Life that is chosen becomes permanent. This is exactly the same way sin became permanent in human experience because of the wrong choice of life by the first Adam, until redemption brought a way of escape to humanity through the last Adam, Jesus Christ. Please read Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7, Romans 5:17, 1 Corinthians 15:45)

Freewill is not freedom to sin, because sin was not yet a possibility for man when God made him; rather, it is the freedom to please God.

Since the introduction of sin into the world, freewill exercises and expresses itself as a liberty to do “anything”, especially that which is forbidden. Nobody is able to master that tendency except they have come to New Life in Christ and have submitted that freewill to God as a living sacrifice. Only those who are yielding to the “Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” can experience freewill as a freedom to please God, rather than pleasing oneself.
The spirit of the mind is the place of change
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind” Ephesians 4:22-23
We put off the former way of life by knowing that sin can no longer have dominion over us (Romans 6:11) and using our freewill to turn down every emotional appeal to report or return back to our favourite sins. Something must happen to the mind for the victory to hold in our practical experiences. “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind” Both in putting off the old and putting on the new, there must be a transformation in the mind. The mind has been used to a certain way of life and by the repetition of certain behaviours, we have taught ourselves to act and react in a very predictable way.
One of the meaning of the word “spirit” in that scripture is “mental disposition”. The spirit of the mind, therefore, is the behavioural direction of a person’s mind in any given situation. This is understandably set as a principle, a fixed way of working that our mind has been accustomed to. To change that, we must know that we already have comprehensive victory in Christ Jesus, and because of this, we can choose to live above sin, in newness of life. The next thing will be to change the patterns of our behaviours or the settings of our mind.

The spirit of the mind must be renewed or else every effort to live out the New Life will be sabotaged by the accustomed thoughts, feelings, attitudes and habits of your mind. This is what makes a person to know the Scriptures, quote it, pray and fast, and still end up falling into sin again.

Resetting the mind
Another scripture that speaks about the renewing of the mind is Romans 12:1-2, and it gives us a proper understanding of how this resetting can be done.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
The only way to deal with the old man is to present your bodies a living sacrifice. The old man is the man of sin that you received at birth from Adam (Psalm 51:5). This man can only sin. It cannot be improved or rehabilitated. That was why it was crucified with Jesus on the cross (Romans 6:6). You will understand that if you know that Jesus was not on the cross for Himself, but for us, because He was never a sinner (John 14:30, Hebrews 4:15).
Let’s look at Romans 6:6 briefly: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Once you know this, that the man that sins, that produces sin in you have been crucified with Jesus, then you need to know the reason why it was crucified. There are two “that”s in that scripture and we can summarize our conclusions thus: You must know that the reason why the “old man” was crucified is to (1) destroy the “body of sin” and (2) to take you out of the “civil service of sin”.
What is the body of sin?
It is the entire history you have with sin that has become a psychological complex. It is the recollection and memory of sin. This body of sin makes you to think that you are still enslaved to your peculiar sins. Meanwhile, it is just a memory but it can force itself into your thinking until you believe the lie that, that is still who you are. Remember, the old man is the sinner, and it has been finished on the cross. And it was so dealt with such that you can be armed to destroy the body of sin, and then live a life that is no longer subservient to sin in any way.
How do you destroy the body of sin?
That’s what the second part of Romans 12 is dealing with (in verse 2). The renewing of the mind is the resetting of the lifestyle of the redeemed man. It is the deliberate removal of ALL memory of sin from your mind until they are no longer the active agents of your behaviour. However, we remove these memories of sin by replacing them with promises of righteousness. This is a work of faith because the just (-ified) shall live by faith. You need to locate ALL that God says about you in Christ and let them dwell richly in you. Knowing and praying the promises of God is what makes you partake of the divine nature (righteousness) and elevate you above the corruptions that is in this world (2 Peter 1:4)

It is also a life time work that is focused on ONE kind of life, the LIFE of Jesus. The New Man we are putting on is created like God, that is, it is the very life of God installed into the created being called man (Genesis 1:27, 2:7, Romans 6:4-5). (NOTE: Always remember that God is the uncreated Creator)

How will you know that your mind is being renewed?
When you begin to prove the practicability of the will of God in your own life. When the will of God is no longer a demand you are seeing in the pages of Scriptures, but a living experience in your own life. So, what happens to your own freewill? It has been offered with your bodies (“bodies” meaning every part of your being) to God as a living sacrifice. Which means ,it has undergone death, the death of the experience of freewill as freedom to sin. And then it has been resurrected, the resurrection of freewill as freedom to please God.
“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” Romans 6:5
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Life Mastery, Personal Growth, Spirituality

Comprehensive Victory

In the last post we discovered that God does not intend for us to be fighting the small, small soldiers of anger, malice and every work of the flesh you can think of, without first dealing with the strong man, the Goliath that they all depend on to afflict us. Goliath is a picture of the man of sin, the carnal nature, flesh, old man, sinful desires that became the life of man after the fall. The choice to disobey God by Adam and Eve brought a decisive “death” upon mankind: a loss of the divine life of God and an instant replacement with the very nature of satan, which is the life of sin. That is why it is automatic for everyone that is born of a woman to be born in sin: we all received an instant installation of that life of sin at physical birth (Psalm 51:5, Job 14:4, 15:14, Ephesians 2:3).
The Necessity of the Second Birth
This is the reason why the second birth cannot be negotiated if you are to be saved from the grip of the strong man called “Mr. Sin” and brought into the Kingdom where righteousness (of life), peace and joy in the Holy Ghost is the common life style (Romans 14:17). With the first birth, we all became sinners because Adam sinned (Romans 5:12). And you are already here! So, it is not a question of whether you are a sinner according to the definition of society, which is a pitiably low definition anyway, and which has a way of making many people think they are good enough, not needing to be saved.
Sin versus sins
Whether your level of sin is so smart that society has not yet developed ways to catch you as an offender or not, “…the scripture hath concluded all under sin…” (Galatians 3:22) already. Which means it is the same man of sin that works in a con artist, fraudster, prostitute that works in a “nice”, “easygoing” and smart CEO, social worker or legislator. The measure of its operation in people is what is different. Sin, as a master, is selective; and it chooses to work in some in the vilest and most unthinkable way, while in others, it is a master of sophistication, full of deceits and dubiousness, although very well disguised with a lot of niceness and persuasiveness that comes from psychology.
This is the reason a Christian must be very careful not to try to perfect in the flesh what God began in the Spirit. The honest verdict of the Holy Spirit over such is foolishness (Please read Galatians 3). Intelligence, education, exposure etcetera which are all not bad, has a way of making you behave in a certain way that may look good, but every once in a while, when you are all by yourself and you are now free to be yourself, you will toss over that jewel of sophistication off of your neck and descend to the level of sin that is common to all men.

Therefore, your “public behaviour index” is not a yardstick at all to determine the kind of person you are. Who you are is what you are when you are not under any corporate, social and/or religious obligations whatsoever to behave well.

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24
Putting off the former conversation (lifestyle)
First of all, you have no liberty to put off until you have experienced the second birth. What will you put off? Who will allow you to put off? The strong man is not so idle that you will put him off without having a warrant/license to justify your actions. Any attempt to put off by the unsaved person will only increase the sophistication of sin and the capacity to sin smartly without getting caught.
So, who is to put off the old man? Let’s check the previous verse. It is the person who has heard Him and has been taught by Him (Ephesians 4:21). To hear Him points to the person who hears and believes Jesus (faith cometh by hearing) and to be taught by Him speaks of the person who has not only believed but has moved on to follow Jesus. When you refuse to follow Jesus, you will become barren, you will not be able to see afar off and you will forget that you were purged from your old sins. (2 Peter 1:8-9). That is, you will forget the essence of your salvation and begin to live like you did when you were not saved. To live like that is to fall away altogether from salvation (2 Peter 1:11)
Knowledge is the key to victory
When we believe Jesus and we are saved, Sin that has ruled our lives since we were born into world loses the right to continue in our lives. That loss of right is death. It is no longer alive in us. But if you don’t know that that was the magnitude of what happened to you when you came to Jesus, Sin will play along and continue in your life, business as usual, because it knows that you don’t know that you have been set free indeed. This is what makes many believers to treat their struggles with sins as something they need a separate deliverance from after salvation. To an extent, the ministry of deliverance to believers is a remedial for a believer’s lack of knowledge. When you don’t know ALL that now accrues to you in the New Life, you will be a candidate for deliverance for every manifestation of sin that shows up in your life.
Meanwhile, treating every sin individually is like killing a soldier in the battle between Israel and Philistine. Even if you succeed in killing one or two, there are still thousands of soldiers running around waiting for an opportunity to be selected by Goliath to afflict you. It is not the sins you commit that you must deal with first; it is the Sin, which is the nature you were born with, called the Old Man. David stood before Goliath and defeated him with one stone. That was the same way JESUS DIDN’T DIE TWICE to put an end to the dominion of Sin; He died ONCE AND FOR ALL, and He arose victoriously to deliver that victory to you. You cannot afford to trifle (or joke) with this kind of comprehensive victory.
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Romans 6:6
God has done all the work. You are only to know it, to investigate from the Word of God the extent to which you have been saved, and you will no longer be subservient to Sin. I think we need to settle down to know this…to become fully persuaded of the comprehensive victory we have been given in Christ Jesus… you know, to realize that deliverance is a remedial for those who refuse to know this. God in His mercy made this remedial for unbelievers* but unfortunately many believers have swelled up the queue to the extent that a confusion has come upon us in the body of Christ. What confusion? The idea that believers and unbelievers struggle with the same things. That is an indictment to the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. And my question to you is this: “are you a part of that indictment or not?”

***Next time, we will look at putting on the New Man***

* A careful look at the ministry of the LORD Jesus Christ shows that deliverance occurred when He was ministering widely to unbelievers; and my definition of “unbelievers” is those who have not yet become His disciples, even if they were already faithful in Judaism or were among those flocking to listen to Him regularly. The New birth is sufficient to deal with every single need for deliverance in a person. He only needs to know the truth and the truth will set free. However, once you don’t know the truth or you know it but don’t believe it; by all means, please join the queue for deliverance! Matthew 4:23-25, 9:35, Acts 10:38 etcetera!
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version.

Photo Credit: Google

faith, Grace, Life Mastery

Decisive Victory

“…And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.” 1 Samuel 17:51
Goliath of Gath was a champion from his youth and a giant of great stature, over 9 feet tall and wearing an armour of bronze that weighs over 125 pounds. He made a proposition that reveals how the kingdom of darkness operates. He said, “…choose one man and send him to fight me. If that man kills me, he wins and we Philistines will become your slaves. But if I kill your man, then I win, and you will become our slaves. You will have to serve us.” (1 Samuel 17:8-9 ERV).
Simply, you choose a champion among you that can fight with me, the champion of Philistine, and let’s see who wins. The team that wins will automatically become masters to the losing team. Now, Goliath has been terrifying the armies of Israel for 40 days and the armies of both sides have been fighting everyday (1 Samuel 17:16, 19, 21).
Definitely, Israel would have killed some of the soldiers in the Philistine’s military, and vice-versa. But you know what? killing an ordinary soldier or any number of soldiers among the Philistines does not give Israel a decisive victory. There is only one man to defeat and victory will be assured, that is Goliath.
Our conflict with the enemy
This is a picture of our conflict with the kingdom of darkness. The enemy has organized himself such that our conflicts with him is both internal and external. There are enemies within and enemies without. The enemies within are “works of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19-21) while the enemies without are “the forces of darkness” (Ephesians 6:12). The enemies within are door openers to the enemies without.

Please read 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.

Christ has purchased our victory
For the Christian, the powers of darkness have been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We “…are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” (Colossians 2:10). The “him” there is Jesus. He has “…spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (2:15). “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6). Where is this ‘heavenly places’? “…the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.” (Ephesians 1:20-21). This is very decisive!
Without any shadow of doubt, those who have been redeemed into newness of Life in Christ Jesus are legally, objectively and practically out of the reach of the entire satanic organization. These are enemies without. We have decisive victory over them through our LORD Jesus Christ. To make it your local, subjective and experiential testimony, you simply need to KNOW that this is the gravity of what was accomplished for you and delivered unto you at the moment of salvation.
This victory has a premise
But there is a little challenge! As vanquished as hell and its hordes are concerning the Christian, they have some very reliable allies which are very comfortable within many of us Christians. And once these allies are having a field day in your life, you are giving the forces of the enemy the right (a special permit) to work in your life. The victory we have in Christ Jesus is total but we must first experience it as a LIFE (mastery over works of the flesh) before the enemy will fall before us. Think about it like this: We have the power to deal with the enemy but the authority (which is the right) to use that power comes from LIFE, a life that bears the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-24).
When you begin to experience attacks of the enemy, you might be fooled to attempt to enter a “warfare”, so to say, with the forces of darkness, which is okay if you have your full armours on. But as long as there is a door opener to these external enemies, it will be an endless warfare. Remember, killing any number of soldiers in the Philistine army does not make you victorious; the only person to kill is Goliath, and the whole battle will turn in your favour.
Deal with the strong man

“Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.” Matthew 12:29

Even if you bind all the lesser, lesser servants in the strong man’s house, you are only deceiving yourself, and permit me to say, you are not yet serious. Whenever you are ready to win, you will deal with the strong man. So, if you are a Christian, you should know that Christ has made you complete in Him and where you are now seated with Him (heavenly places), no demon or principality can reach you there. However, there is an army of vices within, that if they continue to rule your life, they will open the door to demonic activities, right in the face of the perfect victory that Christ has already gained for you on the cross.

You give the devil permission to work in your life when you refuse to cease from any and every work of the flesh

Now, how do you deal with these vices that are called “works of the flesh”? The answer is simple, you don’t deal with the works of the flesh primarily, you deal with the flesh itself. The flesh (or self, carnal nature, sin) is the strong man, the Goliath, that you must defeat, so that all the works of the flesh (soldiers and footmen) will scatter and become your slaves. Even this is already included in the salvation package simply waiting for you to open it. We will pick this up with the next post by the grace of God.

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version.

Picture Credits: emaze & crosswalk

Life Mastery, Work

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…

Ecclesiastes 9:10 

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”


The particular assignment of God for your life is not something to sit down all day to speculate about. While your mind is busy contemplating the wonders of God for creating you for His own glory, your hand is to FIND whatever has been assigned to you to do. Our hands can only find something consistent with what our minds have been preoccupied with. If you have found the TRUTH of God’s purpose for creation, sooner than later, you will also find the TASK that is assigned to you.


Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do…”


Hence, the mind’s devotion becomes the hand’s vocation. The “whatsoever” in this scripture is NOT a license for carelessness or thoughtlessness about that which you will commit the rest of your life to pursue. This “whatsoever” addresses the freedom God has to assign you as He pleases, as well as your own willingness to comply. Self preservation and selectiveness is dealt a deadly blow by the “whatsoever of divine assignment”. 


“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do…”


The next word that calls for our attention is “findeth”. You see, God’s purpose will not just drop on your laps without looking for it. Whereas we are not suggesting that we must work for it, because works is a nullifier of grace; divine assignment is like a pearl that is hidden, and only those who search for it will find it. This is simply highlighting the value of divine assignment. It is a sacred trust from God that we cannot afford to lose.


“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do…”


But why is it the hand that finds? I wonder why it didn’t say, “whatsoever thy eyes findeth to do”. Your hand is that part of your body you use in physical labour. Remember Jesus said, “…No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62).


Hand is the metaphor for labour.

 

So, we see that the hand is what God connects with labour. As long as you are not selective, your hand will find what has been apportioned to you to do. Let’s go back to our scripture again:


Ecclesiastes 9:10

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”


Once you find where you fit into the body of Christ, and the assignment that comes with that placement, you are to do it with your might. Not halfheartedly. Not casually. Not timidly. Remember that you don’t have all the time to be alive. No matter how you try to obtain a second chance after death, it will not happen because death closes the door to further activity. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27)


Ecclesiastes 9:10 BBE

Whatever comes to your hand to do with all your power…” 


For some of us, we need to go and do that which has come to our hands by the providence of God. As long as you can find enough divine deposit within you to meet the need, solve the problem, help the person(s) or situation, go ahead and do it. We can only turn down a need when what it takes to solve it is a gift in someone else’s life, therefore, you know it is not your opportunity. You know your own opportunity when what it will take to meet a need has been supplied abundantly within you, by the grace of God. 


@olamidespeaks

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible. 

Picture Credit: HolySpiritofTruth blog

 

Grace, Personal Growth

Thy Kingdom Come

The prevalence of God’s grace in your life and through your work is the means for God to establish His Kingdom among men

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10


In order for “earth” to be exactly like “heaven”, we need to submit to God’s counsel. For God “…worketh ALL THINGS (including your life) after the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11-emphasis mine). “Earth” here represents your life while “heaven” represents God’s plan/purpose. 

 

“Heaven (that is, the sky) and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.” (Mark 13:31- emphasis mine). 


Only the WORDS, counsels, and purposes of God will not pass away. This means every human desire (whether it produces good or evil) will pass away; it will end in this world.

So, we see that only that which derives from God, which can only be good, will abide forever. That is, its effect will flow into the age to come (eternity).


This will be the yardstick for “rewardability” at the judgment seat of Christ. 


“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10).


Fire will test for what can be rewarded, and all that falls below the standard will be burnt. If anything remains, it will be the thing that is of Christ, not of man; and that will be rewarded (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).


“Thy kingdom come…”


Jesus said, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation…behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21). This is not a motivational statement to imply that without being saved from sin, a person can be a follower of Jesus. No! This is simply saying that presently, the government of God is available in the hearts of men for their consideration.


” For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness…” (Romans 10:10). If you “believe unto righteousness” you will enter/you have entered into the kingdom (John 3:3,5). Every person must decide to either open to Jesus or to keep Him outside. When He enters into your life, the agenda of self that was your pursuit before MUST now be denied, as you take up your cross to follow Jesus (Luke 9:23).


The Cross is the place where the will of God crosses out your will, as it did to Jesus when He lived on earth (John 6:38, Matthew 26:42, 16:21-23)


“…Thy will be done in earth…”


This is why Grace must prevail over human ability in your life. When we “walked according to the cause of this world” and obeyed “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience”, we did not need the help of God (Grace) to achieve that which we set out to do, no matter how good it seemed (Ephesians 2:2). We simply sat down and planned and read books and listened to “great” motivational speakers and presto, we set out to “change the world”.


And even now that preachers are turning to strange teachings, walking away from prayer as dependence on God to prayer as a conversation with yourself, many are deceived by the “miraculous” occurrences that seems to follow, not knowing that they have been subtly introduced/initiated into “scientific occultism”.


Meanwhile, the prince of this world is a sophisticated global thinker that loves to take advantage of any form of self-worship, to “stand in the holy place” of your mind, “shewing himself that he is God” and then project his thoughts into your mind, to systematically devour you and your faith (Matthew 24:15, 24; 2 Thessalonians 2:4, 1 Peter 5:8).


“…as it is in heaven.”


Grace is only necessary when it is the Will of God we seek to achieve with our lives.


It is what you see in heaven (that which Jesus shows to you by His Word and Spirit) that must be carried out on earth. Since this “earth” speaks of your life, it implies the cultivation of your mind by weeding out works of the flesh and planting the seed of God’s Word (Romans 12:1-2, Luke 8:11). This will produce the fruit of the Spirit, which is a recommendation for service/representing God among men. This is when “thy Kingdom come” becomes your reality. 

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotation is from the King James Version.

Photo credit: Grace Church Waynesboro