Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Barren Patch

I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. (Isaiah 41:18)

Sometimes, we as believers can hit a barren patch in our lives. Gone is the excitement to worship, the zeal to pray and hunger for the Word seems to have died out. Perhaps it's some long sanding problem that has played on our minds and is the cause, but often it's difficult to figure out what the problem is.

After all the excitement in the first 40 years of his life living in the palace with the Egyptian ruler Pharaoh, Moses hit a barren patch for the next 40 years. Though he got married and had kids in Midian, Moses must have often remembered his days in Egypt. He must have wondered whether things could have been different if he had not taken matters into his own hands by killing an Egyptian. Like Moses, many questions may plague our minds when we go through a barren patch. Things don't seem to move swiftly, dreariness sets in, we go through the motions, but are left unsatisfied.

To preachers who have preached almost everyday and sometimes several times each day, not getting enough oppurtunities to preach or teach the Word can bring a sense of unwantedness. Is it a satanic attack or is God involved? The answers do not come easily.

Moses, finally seemed to have accepted the new life that he was living, taking care of his family and tending to Jethro's flock. The memories of Egypt were fading. "This is it", must be what he felt in his mind. And "this is it" must be what you are thinking in your mind. But wait! God had not finished with Moses and he's not finished with you. A sudden call came to Moses from God at a time when he least expected it and Moses thought he was unprepared for the job. He didn't want to accept it. But God wouldn't take "No" for an answer for he was preparing Moses for this work for 40 years.

If you are going through a barren patch in your spiritual life, God is preparing something new for you. Persist in prayer, worship and meditation of God's Word even if you don't feel excited about it. Things will change. God will do a miracle for you. He will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valley for you.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Right Response

For twenty-three years - from the thirteenth year of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah until this very day - the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. (Jeremiah 25:3)

The people of Judah were stubborn and did not care for the godly counsel that Jeremiah gave them. They persecuted him and tried to kill him on several occasions, but God saved him time and again.

Over the past 17 years as a minister of the Gospel, there have been many who have approached me wanting me to pray for them and tell them what the Lord's counsel is regarding a certain situation they are facing in their lives. Perhaps it's a new job or a new location that they are planning to shift to or regarding buying a plot of land to build a house. The situations are diverse and the seekers are keen to know what the Lord's will is. Whether to----or not to-----. But many a times, I have noticed that the seekers have already made up their minds regarding their situation. And even if I tell them that it is not the Lord's will, they anyway go ahead and do as they like.

In the infancy of my work for the Lord, I used to get upset that the seekers were not obeying the Lord's counsel that I gave them. A few years back, once, when something like this had happened, I was upset because the seeker was a member of my Church and he directly did the opposite of what counsel I gave him. But as I spent time in prayer one of those nights and as I put the matter in the Lord's presence, he spoke to me quite clearly and said, "Let me handle it from here."
When I heard that, I was so relieved, that from then on, I was, and am now, never perturbed when seekers do not follow the counsel that I receive from the Lord and give them. May the Lord have mercy on them is what I pray.

We, as servants of the Most High must faithfully do what we are called to do. If our calling is to tell what the will of the Lord is in the lives of those who ask and seek counsel regarding their life matters, we must do it faithfully. What the seekers do with the counsel that we give should not disturb us unduly. Such matters will be handled by the Lord as per his infinite wisdom and impartial justice.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

God's favor

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us - yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)

Psalm 90 is titled as "A prayer of Moses the man of God."
In the verse given above, we see Moses praying to God for God's favor to rest upon him and the Israelites and that he may establish the work of their hands; a prayer that we all should pray regularly.

The Bible says,
Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. (Genesis 6:8)
God chose Noah in a depraved and wicked generation to fulfil his plans and purposes. Noah walked with God and did as God commanded him. The task was mighty, but because God's favor rested upon him, he could complete the mission God called him to.

We all need God's continued favor upon our lives as did Joseph, the son of Jacob. Though he passed through adverse circumstances, we see God being with him continually and delivering him and blessing him mightily. The following verses attest to that.
The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. (Genesis 39:2)
Joseph's master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. (Genesis 39:20, 21)
The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph's care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did. (Genesis 39:23)

The story of Joseph did not end with that. God fulfilled everything that he had spoken to him through dreams long ago.

A person on whom the Lord's favor rests is truly blessed. That doesn't mean that, that person will not have problems while living in this world, but it means God's continued presence and deliverance in his/her life. Let's make it a point to pray for God's favor to rest upon us continually. Praise the Lord.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Thoughts on Praise- 14

The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior! (2 Samuel 22:47)

How wonderful it is to worship and serve a living God! A privilege that many don't have has been given to you as a child of God.
The Old Testament saint Job was sure about him serving a living God. He said,
I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. (Job 19:25)

The Psalmist outlined the characteristics of them that are not living gods. He said,
"But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats." (Psalm 115:4-7)
He also spoke about the living God whom he served and said,
"Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him." (Psalm 115:3)

King David experienced the living presence of God in his life and praised God saying,
"Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior."

The Apostle Peter writes,
"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy..." (1 Peter 1:8)
It's true that we have not seen our God (well, most of us haven't);yet we believe. How wonderful a faith that is. Praise God. We are also sure that we shall see him some day. How glorious a hope that it. Praise God.
Like David we too must praise the Lord, for he is the Rock, our Savior.

Praise: O Triune God, I praise you because you live and you have given me the privilege to know you and live for you. I exalt you for you are the Rock, my Savior.