The Good Portion

THE GOOD PORTION

WATCH AND PRAY

“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Sis, let us pray. Let us pray to preserve our portion in the spirit. This is the prayer so you do not enter into a snare, and you will pray it all your life. It takes humility and lowliness of heart to be watchful. When pride cometh, then cometh shame:  but with the lowly is wisdom {Proverbs 11:2}. A watchful person is heedful, not suspicious or afraid but proceeds cautiously.  You will find an overconfident person all over the place; hasty as she presumptuously attributes to herself a level of spiritual maturity that she in fact does not have. Zeal for the things of God may likely be mistaken in a person who truly wants to serve the Lord as spiritual maturity. She may think she is doing well on account of her spiritual gifts. It may be that she is charismatic, zealous or talented in some way or other, causing her to be admired and praised by others. We ought to be wary of the attention and the accolades of men and be careful not to lean on the arm of flesh because this may cause us to wrongly put our confidence in ourselves, cutting us off from a state of humility and total dependence upon the Lord. We may then be fooled into believing that everything is alright while we neglect or are totally oblivious to the condition of our hearts. We slip into the error of thinking that our religious activities and mere reputation among brethren is enough ‘spirituality.’ This is the sure recipe that has brought about the disastrous fall of many.

Sometimes, we become careless and we begin to get familiar with the Lord. When we ‘outgrow’ desperation for the Lord, a familiar spirit takes us over and keeps distracting us from the Lord and leads us into spiritual adultery. Then without realizing it, our ‘religion’ finally erodes our ‘relationship’ (with God). We find ourselves putting first and pursuing relevance and reputation with people until one day we wake up to find that all that is left is a show which must go on. You need to start praying for yourself sincerely from today. The Lord knows you. He knows everything about you. You need to spend time diligently in the word and in prayer, generating reinforcement in the spirit. Whenever you sense you are being weakened, do nothing to indulge the flesh I beg you. Please pray, and pray sincerely.

A sister spoke to me recently. “You see,” she said; “I know I have a weakness…  and … I am working on it…”

I said “No. You are not working on ‘it’ except you are calling ‘it’ by name. You have a problem. It is called inordinate affection. Expose your darkness for light to take away.”

Issues we refuse to be honest about and deal with prayerfully will later constitute instruments in the hands of the devil to end us up badly.  When we will not be sincere with ourselves and we would retain the ‘accursed things;’ what we are actually doing is keeping a baby snake in the house, feeding it and playing with it. We have no choice but to attack the darkness in our souls. We are saved, but our souls – the seat of our will, emotions and mind (the mind is made up of the reasoning, memory and imagination) need to be renewed by the Word of God (Romans 12:2). When we refuse to do so, we become blind in our hearts, walk on in darkness and end up in a snare.

Know your Enemies

“And a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.”  Matt 10:36

What do I mean  by ‘darkness in the soul?’ I am speaking of things such as hot-temper and bitterness, doubt and unbelief, insecurity and low self-esteem, fear and terror, greed and covetousness, pride and conceit. When we hear the word ‘enemies,’ we always tend to think of the people around us that we do not like or who have wronged us in one way or the other: but Jesus said a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.   That to me, speaks of those habits and weaknesses  that  we have accepted  as our own; even though  they are capable of destroying us. You see, we all have our idiosyncrasies, but instead of us to confront them, we cover them and fraternize with them; “That’s just me. That’s just the way I am. It’s my weakness.” We talk like that because we are either insincere or proud or just unwise or all. It is not easy to deal with the carnal nature. When God is trying to expose these areas of darkness in our souls, we cover them. We beg the issue, go on in self-pity or we generally develop a callous heart and become very defensive about it. Many times, we want to protect  the carnal nature because it is just easier on the flesh to remain in our comfort zones and not change. It is very dangerous nonetheless, “For this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” {John 3:19}

“Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I am driving out from before you the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in your midst.” {Exodus 34:11 & 12}

God promised to drive out these enemies before the children of Israel. Notice, these enemies were living in the land of Canaan! This means that even though we are saved, having believed on Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, the work of sanctification is still ongoing; the soul is still ‘being’ saved by the engrafted word (James 1:21). This is the purpose of the gathering of the saints. It is not a religious obligation to be observed on Sunday morning and Wednesday night, or a social club or even a ‘feel good’ therapy. Much like God had given the children of Israel the land before they ever began the journey, God has given us the land. But just as the church in the wilderness, we also; who have the first fruits of the spirit are saved in hope. We are waiting for, or journeying towards our adoption (Romans 8:23-25). Peter spoke of this journey in New Testament terms in 1 Peter 1:6-9. These are the holy scriptures, not my words, opinions or ideas. By the mouth of two or three witnesses, every truth shall be established, and you too have the Spirit of God. If your allegiance is to the Lord and not man, you too will come to increasing understanding of the perfect will of God. Even Paul pressed; he took this journey of salvation, but he was wise enough not to try to convince everybody to come along all at once. “…I press…toward the upward call of God in Christ Jesus… as many as are mature have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.” (Philippians 3:13-15).

Christ is that land; conformity to His image; being fully one with Him (Romans 8:28-30, John 14:1-3). Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit to help us along this journey and bring us fully into this Union. He is referred  to in scriptures as the  Spirit of adoption and the  guarantee or down payment  of our inheritance (Romans 8:14, Ephesians 1:14); and a guarantee is a promise with certainty. You have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear (about whether you would make it or not); you have received a guarantee. It is a vow, an undertaking, a formal assurance that  certain conditions will be met.  But if you do not read and understand  the  ‘guarantee’ offered, then that would short-change you of the provision, wouldn’t it?

To the  degree  that  our souls  remain  are  not  regenerated by the  Word (that’s  the  written guarantee),  we are making a treaty with the enemies. To the degree that we honour that false treaty with the enemy with our ignorance, stubbornness and pride; to that degree the beautiful hopes and promises of God for our lives remain out of our sight. We would end up going around circles in the wilderness, without entering into the fullness of God’s purpose for our lives. Only two of the generation of the children of Israel who left from Egypt did enter into the promise land. Yet they had spectacular miracles happen nonetheless. The Red Sea parted right before their eyes. They had water from the rock and food from the skies and a cloud and pillar followed them by day and by night. “But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.” {1 Corinth 10:5}. The Bible says they lusted after evil things. They were idolaters. They were fornicators and adulterers. They walked in doubt and unbelief, complained, and rebelled against God. You do not want God to give you the things you want while He is not pleased with you. “And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” {Ps 106:15}

Stubbornness is Callousness

We may have a form of godliness that denies the power {2 Timothy 3:5}. This is called religion. We may be in church every time the door opens and speak really fierce tongues  but without giving priority to our inner lives, without co- operating with the spirit of truth as He works in us both to will and to do of God’s good pleasure {Phil 2:13}. When a child of God makes a serious error in taking certain major life decisions, know that it did not just happen. It is an activity of deception, but your heart  has to agree  with deception for deception to work. Anyone who hardens his or her heart against the truth of the Word and of the Spirit is going to end up as a fool; that is what it means to have one’s understanding darkened {See Ephesians 4:18&19}. Each time we wrestle with the Spirit, we are doing something to our hearts  unknowingly; we are becoming hardened.  We are beclouding our spiritual sense of discernment and judgment and giving our minds over to vain imaginations. A person given to vain imaginations cannot see what God wants for her. She can only see what she wants for herself. She will be given to foolish and dark thoughts.  She will be filled with suspicion, rebellion, resentment, self-pity, hypocrisy, competition, jealousy, anger,  depression, confusion and all sorts of negative overwhelming feelings which leaves one in a state of spiritual unrest and defilement. We wrestle with the Holy Spirit to the degree that we are self-centred and will manifest all manner of self-sins like self- defence,  self-preservation,  self-aggrandizement  and chief  of all, self-pity.  We begin  to pick offence with and avoid anyone or anything that confronts us with the truth. “I don’t like the way she talked to me…” Well, look into what she said. Learn to chew the meat of rebuke and correction and throw away the bones of offense. The Holy Spirit will never leave us without conviction, without direction, but too many times, we struggle and struggle until we eventually shut down the Spirit and have our own way. We excuse, defend,  justify ourselves or simply ignore the promptings of the spirit. This is also called lawlessness. Getting used to lawlessness is very dangerous; where we think we can do anything we like and defy the spirit and get away with it.  This is not the same with making a mistake. This is when you know what is right and then actually reason your way out of doing it. It is not enough to know the Word of God. It is not even enough to listen to audio messages. Unless you become a doer, acting in line with the word and obeying the Spirit of God; you will be strengthening the darkness inside; you will be opening the door wide for deception and strengthening the activities of lying spirits {James 1:22}. If this darkness in the soul keeps growing unchecked, it will eventually lead to delusion which is inability to know right from wrong or truth from error altogether {2 Thessalonians 2:10&11}.

Cain was stubborn,  but he was not a murderer  to start  with. Before he got to the point of murdering His brother, the Lord had seen it and the Lord warned Him. “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” {Genesis 4:7}. However, some of us get offended in the Lord when He is trying to correct us. We get offended in the Pastor because he would not let us do that thing that we so very badly want to do. Some shy away from the truth because they know it will take something that they very badly want to hold on to away from them.  Girlfriend, receive courage. Be meek and fall in line. If you submit to the ‘pain’ of doing the word, you will reap a glorious harvest of lasting peace. That pleasure of having your way will not last. Some people may yet be unstable and immature but they desire very much to please the Lord. Even though such people may make some mistakes, they will end up alright in the end. But some persons are not so concerned with pleasing the Lord; they will rather have it their way. That is where there is a real cause for alarm. If all you care about is just to have what you want, you are missing the whole point. You see, sometimes you are not in trouble yet but the Lord can see where you are headed. You do not yet fully realize your own tendencies but He can see it, so he tries to warn you. Sometimes a person who has sight in the spirit will be used by the Lord to try and caution us but many times, we do not always take kindly to the yoke of the Lord. We try and cast it off. We want to do as we please. The enemy may be enticing you with a reward but you will end up very badly just like Cain and Saul and Judas if you refuse to confront these little foxes that spoil the vine now {Songs of Solomon 2:15}. At the end of that  road of stubbornness and rebellion is endless pain and regret. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied from above. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. {Proverbs 14:14, 12}

Two people may exhibit exactly the same weakness, but when both of them are exposed to the truth of the Word and the atmosphere of the Spirit, you may get two very different results. It is because one person is humble and open to change, while the other is cocky and self-centred. Truth will free one person; it will offend the other and cause them to stumble {John 8:32, 40 – 48}. Praying in the spirit will create the right atmosphere around your heart and bring you grace to obey the Spirit of God. Consistently practising, not just hearing, the Word will develop in you the discernment and wisdom to be preserved in the will of God through the changing seasons of life.

I will give you an advice; do not focus all your attention on the superficial things. For instance, many seminars, sermons on the issues of love, relationship and marriage may teach you to look sexy and cook nice dishes which is good, but they are powerless to address issues of bitterness, selfishness, temper, low self-esteem, pride or plain crookedness; and these are the real culprits. A spoilt, insolent woman needs the cross to go deep down and do a corrective surgery of the heart.  Hype and cute motivational clichés will not heal low self-esteem. Only at the feet of Jesus can you find healing. Someone  once said to me that  marriage has nothing to do with being spiritual, that it is all a matter of the flesh. It was a Pastor who said that. I was afraid for his flock. How do you even come across the right man for you while walking in the territory of compromise and sin? How do you build a godly and stable family without the fruit of the Spirit such as humility, longsuffering and faithfulness? These are the real issues of spirituality, not the amount of church activities we engage  ourselves with. You need to find people who are focused on intimacy with the Lord and who prioritize character; and fellowship with them consistently. It is the kind of messages  that you expose yourself to that will ultimately shape you. You need to invest in materials and messages that have to do with spiritual growth and maturity. Do not say; “I do not have the money or the time.” If something is really important to you, you will find means. When I was in the university, I started by using a tenth of my pocket money every month to buy books and tapes. After paying my tithe to the church, I would use another ten percent of the money to buy a book or two and some tapes.  However, a time came when my spiritual appetite grew so intense, and I started spending all my pocket money on books and tapes and I would go hungry just to grow spiritually. It has paid large dividends, it is still paying right now several years on, and I realize more and more everyday how invaluable it is to invest in the things of the spirit.

Deliverance from the Power of the Dog

“Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.” Psalm 22:20

Deliverance from the power of the dog is deliverance from the power of defilement; everything that stands in the way of the fullness of God’s will for all aspects of your life. The Bible says Jesus “…in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear.” This was Jesus’ prayer life. “…O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Jesus was not praying to be delivered just from the physical death on the cross. He did not want to drink of the cup alright, but His prayer was not just to escape physical death. It was a prayer of consecration. It was prayer against that self- will, the self-preservation that made Him struggle to drink of the cup and complete the Father’s will. Do you get this? We have been praying wrong mostly. We are praying, not realizing that God knows us; our weaknesses and motives and real values and desires.  Jesus did not want to die and He just said it to the Father. The only clause was; “Lord, may my will not prevail against yours.”

The power of the dog is the power of corruption or the power of decay. We may have given our lives to Christ and walked in consecration and the will of God to a degree and then as the seasons of life unfold, we find ourselves at critical points of pressure. We find ourselves in a very hard place. Going forward with God’s ways at such times may be very painful and it may cost us everything we desire and cherish in life. Sometimes, God gives us some things we desire strongly and then He takes it back, just as God required Isaac from Abraham.  He takes it usually when we are either in danger of or we have fallen into the trap of making an idol of that thing. At such times, we may feel naked, wounded and out alone in the bitter cold. We can almost cry out with Jesus; “…”My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” {Matt 27:46}. It is at these vulnerable moments  of our lives that the power of the dog is unleashed against us. We want more than anything else at that time to have things our own way, to soothe our pain. So, we sacrifice all the way we have come, the obedience of many years and the investments of God in our lives. This is the power of the dog at work. It will lure us the way of self-preservation and we would be desperate for anything that would give us comfort and relieve our situation. The enemy will try to tempt us to lower God’s standard. He would try to make us take a short-cut and assure us that we would ‘arrive’ anyway. Just as the serpent deceived Eve to try to be like God outside the ways of God, many are being deceived to think that there is a way around life outside of God’s ways; a way around total and complete obedience. If God has put you in a certain place, you had better not leave before He comes to get you. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Don’t get in the fight for your right. “Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering it. But the gate is narrow {CONTRACTED BY PRESSURE} AND THE WAY IS STRAIGHTENED AND COMPRESSED that leads away to life and few are those who find it.” {Matthew 7:13&14}. I believe you are destined to be among the chosen few who will find the way. Many will quit the way because it is the road of death to the flesh, but few will keep it saying; “Yes Lord. Work out your ‘yes’ in me. Work out your good pleasure in me.” Many start the journey; many say ‘Yes’ in the beginning but they get on the road and come face to face with the rigour of it and take a detour.  This is the power of the dog. The power of the dog offers you a choice outside full obedience to God. The power of the dog will tempt you to make a decision based on your pain. But few, though wounded and bleeding will still love the way. They will say with Job; “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…” {Job 13:15}

Hear me Sis; the journey of faith can be lonely. There are points in this journey where it would get very lonely, and you too will have agony like the Lord in that garden, and shed tears that only your heart can understand. Abraham went alone. He could not even take Sarah. You cannot force your convictions on even your best friend because without seeing the glory that is ahead, it will be impossible to despise the cross or endure the shame {Hebrews 12:2}. Many because of shame lower their standards. Because of pressure, they convince themselves to go ahead with a decision when all indications are contrary.

The power of the dog is ‘lust.’ They are those fleshly cravings and desires within us that will co- operate with the enemy to short change us of our destiny in God. Some ladies believe that once they have left the ‘single and searching’ group; they will be able to cope with ‘anything.’; but marriage is like a besieged city; many people outside want to run in and many people inside want to run out. However, if we would submit our desires to the Lord and wait on Him, we would have marriage as He intended it.  Many of us protect  our lust. We love attention from guys but we need to mortify our members. Learn to say ‘no’ to yourself. Some things are not sin, but they do not edify. While I am not advocating that we should have a rigid outlook to life, wisdom should direct you, not your impulses.  Some things we indulge in both weaken us spiritually and desecrate  our spiritual priesthood. If every time a guy shows you attention, you respond to it, you are breeding an enemy within. We have a lot more control over our emotions than we realize or would even admit to ourselves. Some guy who does not share your spiritual values is showing you attention in a way that is suggestive. You rationalize it, “It’s nothing. We are just working together.”  Yet you are enjoying it, you are soaking it in. Then one day you wake up ‘head over heels in love’ with someone who may go to church, but does not share your faith all the same. Your emotions have taken the wheel. The voice of the Holy Spirit and maybe even of plain old common  sense  has been  shut out by the  ‘new management.’ If you had been  stricter with boundaries to start with, you would not have been here. However at this point, it is not beyond remedy. There would be pain, and you will suffer some, but you can still put the flesh under. You don’t want to be like Esau. Don’t choose ‘a mess of pottage’ over your good portion; over your spiritual inheritance. The Bible says that afterwards, Esau sought a place of repentance carefully with tears, but it was too late {Heb 12:17}.

You do not always have to act on how you feel; always remember  that. I am not asking you to deny your feelings, but if you will go and pray sincerely about it, you will find that God will help you. I have cried to God on similar accounts in the past, and He heard me. You are not a debtor to the flesh {Romans 8:12}; you do not have to be a slave to your emotions. You do not have to be ruled by the flesh. You are a debtor only to the Holy Spirit, for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God {Romans 8:14}. Anger is an emotion, but the Bible says “be angry and sin not.” In the same way, by the grace of God, not in our own strength, we could have strong feelings for someone and not act on them. However, it would take effectual fervent prayers not to fall into the temptation of the enemy. This is the time to pray for deliverance from the power of the dog. Not prayers that sound like; “Lord, let him love me back. Let him ask me. Let this guy be in a relationship with me.” I am not saying that you could never meet a person at work who may turn out to be your husband. But remember Adam and Eve in the garden! They were made in the image and the likeness of God. They were already like God, and they were made to be like God. Yet the serpent deceived them into trying to ‘be like God.’ “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had  made.  And he said unto the woman…  you will be like God… ” {Genesis 3:1, 5&6}. It is the same old trick. It has never changed. “If You are the Son of God…” {Matthew 4:3}. Of course He is the Son of God. The enemy would always try to make us run ahead of the Lord, trying to grasp for ourselves what is already given. If the Lord says ‘No,’ for now; then His will be done. If He says ‘Wait;’ then you better wait for it. Satan tried to tempt Jesus to take a short cut. “All these things I will give You,

if You will fall down and worship me.” {Matthew 4:9}. There is a way, a godly way to go about things such that we are building on a sure foundation. By patience, humility and obedience, we will come into our own. The throne was David’s from the Lord, but he was not forward about it, scheming and conniving his way to the top. If the Lord is saying ‘Yes;’ then wait on the Lord. He will work it out. Wait on His time. You will not be ashamed.  He is preparing something really special for you and at the right time, His peace will lead you on into this most fulfilling experience. But for now, keep praying like you are in Gethsemane;  “…Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” {Matthew 26:39}. You may be exceedingly sorrowful and shed many painful tears as you give up what you will for His will. God will help you through and when you have found the joy of choosing the way of the Lord, you will see that nothing on this side of eternity can be comparable to what you have gained.

Choosing the will of God will not come easy. It will never be popular. Peter intended to stick with Jesus, as I am sure you do. Oh, we all do. But that night of the Lord’s passion, all the disciples fled. When it is smooth and rosy, we live in assumption that everything is alright with us. But then, our environment may change or our circumstance may change and then we find ourselves contradicting the things we claim to have believed. We find ourselves exhibiting certain traits that no one could have ever thought were inherent in us. We must have an extra jar of oil for the midnight hour {Matthew 25: 1 – 13}. Now is the time to prepare! Many ladies have taken the wrong turn off the  course of divine destiny by missing  the  will of God at critical  points  of decisions in their lives. But when we are in intimacy with the Lord and of a broken and a contrite spirit before Him, we will be filled with grace to obey Him and walk in fulfilment in all seasons of our lives.

I remember  one evening back in the days at the university. I was talking in my room with my husband now {then, he was just a friend and this was some five years before we started courting}. There was a younger girlfriend who was asleep on my bed that evening. We were talking about the Body of Christ. I would never forget that night. My roommates were out and I believe God kept them out for about four straight hours, all of them; while we experienced the move of the Spirit. At some point, I remember saying to him, “Can you feel God’s presence?” It was so intense I was having problems concentrating on our conversation. He said; “No, I can’t feel anything.” So I tried to continue with what I was saying. I cannot remember  at what point we were both caught up, but I do remember him lying across the floor prophesying in diverse kinds of tongue. I would interpret and prophesy myself for a while. I thought  this had gone on for only thirty minutes, but when the experience lifted; it had been about four straight hours! The girl on my bed had been weeping and shaking the whole time! She got up at some point and ran out of the room. When she came back, she still could not withstand the presence. She kept going out and coming in. After the experience, he left for his own room while my young friend followed me around that night as I sought what to eat. I could see that she had been thoroughly affected by the glory we had just witnessed and her clear white eyes shone with awe as she followed me everywhere. I knew what to do with the moment.

“Do you believe I could ever have feelings for anyone?” She stared at first. Surely, she did not expect such a carnal conversation following such intense glory. But then she shook her head strongly. I laughed.

“You think I am steel inside right?” She nodded “People say you are steel and you can never have romantic feelings for any man.”

I took her out on the pavement and sat her down. We talked for hours. I could not tell her then that I was just getting over a strong crush I had on a good looking and fervent brother who was in the medical school and who had shown concern for me when my father died. But I did tell her that I would be just like Peter if I did not remain sober and prayerful, broken and humble in spirit before the Lord. The glory she had just witnessed would not insulate either of us from miserable failure in the coming seasons of our lives if we would not get sincere with God and say with Jesus; “…O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” {Matt 26:39}

Had Peter  prayed in the Mount of Olives that  night, I personally believe he would not have denied the Lord. The Lord knew they were about to face a very difficult season. He tried to tell His disciples about it. “…All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night…” In the night seasons of our lives or in the seasons of adversity, when things are difficult and we are waiting on God to come through for us, there is a great tendency to stumble. But Peter replied the Lord; “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” This is called overconfidence. While the Word of the Lord is coming and bringing instruction, reproof and correction; some people will be thinking of sister ‘A’ or brother ‘B’ because they are so sure the Word is for someone  else other than themselves. They lack the discernment and humility to examine their own heart and admit where they are on the way to where they are going. This is immaturity. I believe Peter had sincere intentions. He loved the Lord and wanted to go all the way for God. But you see, his strength was too small for the journey. The journey of a virtuous woman is a fierce one. Sometimes you will look around and find yourself all alone. Your drill will be very tough but it is because of the Holy Seed. People will talk about you and call you names just because  they do not understand  God’s dealings in your life. Mary could not explain to the entire village of Nazareth her encounters with the Lord. Even if she had tried, she would have been doing a very foolish thing because of course they would neither understand nor believe her. But she had to trust God and go all the way with what she alone had seen. Elizabeth was also seeing and hearing the same things and having similar encounters  in the spirit. They prayed and prophesied and encouraged each other. We need to keep company with the right people. As Mary made the Word her priority, she did prevail; one phase at a time.

I believe that had Peter prayed, he would have had grace for that night. But the Bible says that the disciples were heavy with sleep. To be heavy with sleep is to be careless, like the foolish virgins {Matthew 25:1 – 13}. They were all virgins, all ten of them. That signifies that they were all born-again. But for the foolish five; at some point, intimacy with the Lord Jesus was no longer their priority. Something else took their attention away. They became like Martha. They may have even been distracted by ‘ministry.’ People may be eulogizing you based  on your gifts, maybe you still sing fantastically, but your supply of ‘Spirit-Oil’ is fast running out. At times, our soul so tightly clings to her idols that it will have to take midnight crises in our lives to expose those idols and to shake them off. Has it occurred to you that by the last supper and even on the Mount of Olives, the disciples of Jesus were yet to understand the degree of crises that was only a few hours away? Jesus was doing His best to communicate it to them but they just did not really get it. The ‘night hour’ was in fact upon them but the disciples did not even realize what was at stake. If they did, Peter especially, he would not have been boasting about his spiritual stamina or sleeping that night. He would have been praying. I believe Peter’s mistake served to humble him. It taught him the invaluable lesson of depending on the Lord and not on oneself. We too can learn from our mistakes. Better still, we can learn from Peter. We can learn to lean more on the Lord than on our own understanding. We can learn from the prayer life of Jesus. We also need to say constantly to the Father {over even little issues of everyday life}; “Yes, Lord. Father,  my spirit wants what you want. I call my mind, the  realm of my emotions and my thoughts  into agreement. I give up this body as a living sacrifice. For I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ that lives in me. So Lord, bring everything in this temple in subjection to you by the power of the Holy Spirit. I surrender all.” When this is our heart cry every day, we are setting up ourselves for supernatural living. We will live in the realm of glory, peace and the anointing and everything about our lives will be birthed out from this realm; our marriage, our ministry, our children, our businesses or careers and everything else.

DRIVING BACK THE JORDAN {JOSHUA 3}

The Jordan is significant of whatever stands between  us and the experience of God’s fullness. Please, your promised land is not a ‘world-wide ministry.’ It is not to be famous, to ride in big cars, wear fancy clothes or to travel the world. I remember  a certain ‘lawless prophet’ who was parading himself about at one time. He had many young men and women who were on fire for God but unstable in the word and in the will of God. They were under a satanic wile for a while until the Body of Christ prevailed against him in spiritual warfare and God exposed him. All those who were swept into this man’s camp failed a basic sifting test; their love for ‘ministry’ was more than their love for the Lord. A friend and I were coming from prayer one day when I saw this man wearing ceremonious African attire and surrounded by people. Apparently, he had just finished a meeting. He sent someone to call me. I declined. Later, he sent one of his assistants to me. He said he saw me in a vision preaching to very large crowds in conferences  abroad.  He even described the cloth I was wearing in the dream. He said he wanted to meet with me because I am a great woman of God. I simply dismissed it. I knew the will of God for my life was deeper, fuller and richer than that –preaching to crowds abroad.  It was not pride. I knew the message and the lifestyle of this so-called man of God, and it was clearly ‘anti – the cross of Christ’. As Paul warned, begging us in tears in Philippians 3:18&19; “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and  now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” So when you see a preacher who minds earthly things, who has made his belly into his god; that is not someone  to follow. Your destiny is to show forth Christ in your sphere of influence, through the unique earthly assignment that God has ordained for you.

Between us and the promise of God for our lives stands Jordan. Jordan signifies the limitations of flesh {our weaknesses}, the temptations of the world and the warfare of Satan put together. All these things work to influence us to go against the will of God and live short of our divine destiny. The time when the children of Israel were trying to cross over Jordan was a dangerous time.  The Bible says; “for the Jordan  overflows  all its  banks  during  the whole  time  of harvest.” {Joshua 3:15}. Even so, we too live at the time of harvest – the end of the age {Matthew 13:39}. We live in perilous times; a time of great darkness when lawlessness abounds and the rage of Satan is being poured out. It is a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult to wait on the Lord, to stick with the standard of the kingdom, and to bring forth righteous judgment. The line between  good and evil seems more blurred now than ever. Many are being deceived. People are compromising and lowering the standard.  Truth has become scarce. People think religion is enough to placate God. They show up in church and do some ‘good’ works, but their hearts remain unyielding.

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, SHALL BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” {Romans 8:38&39}. Nothing, no overflowing river or raging seas is able to stand between us and God’s will for our lives; but, we must co-operate with God. The Holy Spirit knows the way through this dark river, but we must allow Him to teach us the way. God instructed the children of Israel;

“…When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing  it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.” {Joshua 3:3&4}

What the Lord is teaching us is to acknowledge the Holy Spirit as our guide through life. The Ark of the Covenant signified the manifest presence of God amongst the Israelites. Communion with the Holy Spirit is the manifest presence of God in our lives today. Let the manifest presence of God lead you on in life, every day and through everything. When we do not lean on the Holy Spirit in this way, we are not putting a space {signifying reverence} between ourselves and the ark and we stand the danger of drowning. We have not passed this way before. None of us has lived before, but the blueprint of our lives is with the Father. He is the one who ordains the end from the beginning. If we have not made a habit of acknowledging the Holy Spirit in all our ways and giving Him His due place in our lives, we will shipwreck in life. The Holy Spirit was not given just to knock us down in church on Sunday and give us goose bumps. Yes, we will have many different supernatural experiences but the Holy Spirit was not given just to make us spooky. He is meant to accomplish a deep work in our lives as He comes in close companionship with us. We are not yet deeply experiencing the Spirit if we do not know Him as teacher, the one who guides us into ALL TRUTH {John 14:26}. The Spirit was given to HELP our INFIRMITIES {Romans 8:26}. The unction of the Holy One within us will teach us what to do in every circumstance so that we do not make foolish moves and put ourselves in danger of losing out on the plan of God for our lives {1 John 2:20}. As Jesus fellowshipped in the Spirit at the garden of Gethsemane, the Bible says; “Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.” {Luke 22:43}. The Holy Spirit is our angel, our strengthener.

PRAYING TO TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE {SEE JOSHUA 3:1 -6}

Sister, you need to be bold. When you see the river of death overflowing its banks, threatening your advance into your glorious destiny in Christ; lift the ark up on your shoulder and walk right into the river; strength will return to you. What do I mean by that? I mean you should get filled with  the  Spirit  {Eph  5:19}.  Do not  accommodate that  fear,  that  confusion,  that  feeling  of condemnation and depression. You cannot reason your way out of your issues; you will only sink deeper into the darkness. But if you get into the communion of the Spirit through prayer and through  the word, you will be shown the way out of it! So get into praise and worship. Give thanks in everything. Sing psalms and hymns. Sing in the Spirit. Learn to pray intensely in the Spirit. The Lord said; “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation…” In prayer, the spirit superimposes the energy of God to be willing over the weakness and rebellion of the flesh. So, put your feet in Jordan. Putting your feet in Jordan is taking up your cross and following Him

{Christ}. It is to deny yourself temporary gratification and to lose sight of your own interests as you choose as your priority obedience to the Father.   It is to give up your convenience and security, literally losing your life to Him. Then you will find true life in the spirit, life as it is meant to be, true and lasting peace and fulfilment {Matthew 16:24&25}.

However, without the constant refreshing of the Spirit, you will not last, for “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” So the next time you are praying in the Spirit, understand  what is going on. Understand the groaning in your spirit that seems beyond utterance. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should  pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes  intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” {Romans 8:26}. The Holy Spirit is pushing back the tide of evil, standing it up like a wall and making a way through the dark river for you. The Holy Spirit is teaching your spirit the ways of the Lord; the way to the promise and the fullness. When you are speaking in tongues, you are stopping the flow of evil, damming the flow of disobedience and every form of insubordination of the flesh; the flow of the substance of sin and of death. When you understand this truth, it will change your prayer life forever. You must never joke with the presence of God. Purify your heart by letting the truth of God’s Word change your mind. Do not harden your heart against the truth that  God is speaking to you. Then lift the ark on your shoulders and put your feet in Jordan. Understand why you have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of you. Understand the purpose of the communion of the Spirit. It is to tide us over to the other side – the side of resurrection and perfection {or spiritual maturity}. Be a woman of His presence. Tarry with the truth-giving Spirit in the Word and in prayers. Maintain an attitude of thanksgiving and joy in your heart. You are equipped to drive back this present darkness.