Monday, September 30, 2013

Connecting the Rudder with the Radar

UV 881/10,000 Connecting the Rudder with the Radar Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: James 1 v 19 Our tongue is set within a full guard of 32 teeth. Only the very important persons in the world receive a full guard of 32 standing 24 hours x the whole of their lives. Similarly, there are 32 scripture verses that speak about the right use of the tongue. Each of these is like a tooth that guards the tongue. The human tongue is so vital, so important- a spring of life or death. Our natural tendency is to be swift to speak, slow to hear and quick to get angry. It takes training, practice and transformation to develop the supernatural tendency advocated in the above uni-verse, summed up in the formula: SSS. When we are slow to speak or quick to listen, it becomes a spring of life. When we are swift to speak, slow to listen and quick to giving vent to our anger, bitterness, sarcasm, hatred- it becomes the very trap door of death and our downfall. We hear of ENT or Ear, Nose and Throat specialists but we never hear of a specialist of the tongue. It is quite a hardy organ and it is itself rarely subject to sickness. St James was something of a “tongue specialist” for he constantly harped on this point as no one else has in all of history -if we can bridle or rule over our tongues, we can rule over our whole bodies. St James compared the tongue to the bit that controls the horse and the rudder that guides the ship. To use the metaphor of modern day aviation, the tongue is the joystick in our mouth. The problem is that it is so flexible that it can flex in any direction. One moment it can spout wisdom and the next, venom. It is a forked organ. But how can we rule over our tongues? We need to connect the rudder with the radar- our spirits that should sense what we should speak aptly in different occasions and times. First, we must be swift or sensitive and eager to hear the Word of God and the words of others. Second, we must wait for our turn to speak and not be in great haste to speak. Third, we must weigh our every word in our minds and chose our tone too. Fourth, the Spirit of God should rule over our minds, hearts and bodies. St James addressed his audience as “ beloved brethren”. Our attitude too should be that of brotherly love towards our audience, whether it be one listener, a few or many. Our hearts feed our mouths. Hence, we need to constantly empty our hearts of anger, bitterness, hatred, fears, conceit, contempt, pride, jealousy, discontentment, covetousness and fill it with love, forgiveness, kindness, joy, peace, patience, humility, grace, goodness, faithfulness.. We need to develop our spiritual taste buds on our tongues in favour of the latter and towards repulsing or vomiting the former. Our speech should be wise and edifying or wholesome and contributing to building up the faith, hope and love of the listeners. When the Holy Spirit rules over our spirits, minds and bodies, our hearts will manifest these supernatural fruit. Our mouths should always speak the good confession of faith. We agree with God when we speak the positive. We agree with satan when we speak the negative. By the words we use we call events and circumstances to ourselves as a man would call a puppy to come running towards him with his whistling. Prateep V Philip

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Erase and Shine

UV 880/10,000 Erase and Shine “Forget the former things, do not dwell in the past.” Isaiah 43 v 18 Erase ( the mistakes of the past) and shine (by overcoming them in the present and the future). Our past actions and experiences haunt us only if we allow them to. This uni-verse exhorts us to forget that past and to dwell in the present in the presence of the Lord. For as the Psalmist wrote,” there are pleasures forevermore at the right hand of the Lord.” We need to actively recall the marvellous works of the Lord, His wonders and the judgements of His mouth. We need to remember and rejoice by recalling all the times He delivered us from death, disease, defeat and destruction. The enemy of our souls wants us to dwell in the past so that we would not be effective in the present or the future. When we dwell in the past, bitterness, anger and regret take control of our souls. But the Lord says, “ Take a clean break from the past. You are no more the old sinful creation. You are a new obedient creation and child of God.” His love does not hold a record of the past. If He held a record of the past, who can afford to stand before Him ? He has blotted out our transgressions. He has given us a clean slate again for us to write, to erase and to write again. So we can erase and shine. Everything and everyone in this world loses its relevance after a period of time. Only the Word remains relevant at all times. Therefore we can dwell on His Word at all times. The word “ dwell” implies an intensity or passion of living or commitment or zest and zeal. It means to be obsessed with, to be engrossed, to be focussed, to be surrounded and covered at all times. When we live with such intensity, passion and real zeal, the Lord’s enabling and ennobling power or grace will outwork or cause new and glorious things to happen in our lives. Dwelling in the past is like the prodigal son grovelling in his humiliation and suffering as the keeper of the pig sty instead of returning to the love and inheritance the Father was reserving for him at his former home. The Lord is telling us, “ Do not dwell in the pig sty of the past that is full of thrash but come to my banqueting table in my home, your home.” The Lord will give us the gleaming new clothes of salvation, the full armour of protection, the crown or the helmet of the victor not the groaning of the victim, the ring of authority and sceptre of power of the king, the shoes to go places for Him. He will sharpen our tongues not to complain of our past lot but to be a sword for Him. He has erased every trace of our past, our hubris, our ignorance and our arrogance and enables us to shine with the authority of a king and the holiness of a priest. Above all, He has restored us to the bosom and love of the Father- an intimate relationship with God. Prateep V Philip

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Favour of the Lord

UV 879/10,000 The Favour of the Lord “For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” 2 Peter 1 v 17 Many believers think that God the Father would only endorse His Son Jesus alone in the words recorded in the gospels, “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” But the truth is the Lord God delights in so endorsing those who not just believe in Him and His Word but who delight in doing His will. This is the biblical pattern of filial obedience and parental satisfaction : Every child should make his or her parents pleased with him or her. The resurrected Jesus told His disciples to go tell the other believers that He was ascending to His Father and their Father, His God and their God. It implies that Jesus has declared us all to be His brothers and sisters. Just as the Father delighted in His relationship with Jesus as evidenced in the Holy Spirit descending in the shape of a dove upon Jesus as He obeyed God ‘s will in taking baptism in the waters of Jordan at the hands of one who was lesser than Him by John’s own testimony, He delights in each of us and affirms us with these same words, “ This is my beloved son/daughter in whom I am well pleased.” It implies that we have won the favour of God. It will surround us from then on just as the Ark of His presence ensured victory for the Israelites under Joshua as long as they were faithful and obedient. The favour or grace of the Lord surrounds us like a shield at all times. In a time of prayer, I heard these words, “ This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” The Lord went on to say, “ I am pleased with you as you are adoring me all the time. You are proclaiming my glory. You are proclaiming my Word.” Indeed, the Lord delights in honouring His children. He does not hesitate in sharing His glory with us. His glory or fullness excels everything we have seen or heard or experienced or dreamt of. When we walk in the cloud of His presence all the time, we will perceive this glory. It is not an evanescent glory that will pass away. It is His eternal glory. We will hear His voice from time to time as we are overshadowed by His presence. When Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, her pregnancy that held the hope of humanity for eternal life and salvation progressed well. Similarly, when we are overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, our hope will be brought to fruition in this life and the life to come. Prateep V Philip

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sharing in Divine Power, Divine Nature and Divine Glory

UV 878/10,000 Sharing In Divine Power and Divine Nature “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” 2 Peter 1 v 3 Uni-verse is a verse by verse analysis of the Bible. Each uni-verse is a rhema verse or a specific portion of scripture spoken to me at some point in time. From each uni-verse a specific principle or management concept or promise of God is drawn out and explained. In order to gain the most from this spiritual exercise, we should return again and again in our minds to the uni-verse of the day and see how it applies in the different situations we face through the day. It will be like drinking a glass of cool water on a hot summer day. It is our personal knowledge rather than a theological or an intellectual or a traditional knowledge of God that multiplies grace and peace in our lives. In order to sustain life, we need to breathe air. We breathe in air and use the oxygen content in the air and breathe out the carbon dioxide and other gases we do not need. Similarly, grace is the equivalent of breathing in air and using the oxygen in the air. Peace is the equivalent of breathing out the carbon dioxide. Through grace the Lord gives us what we need and through peace, He enables us to get rid of what we do not need. We need the Lord to bless us, to preserve us from evil and harm from within and without . We need Him to be gracious to us and to lift up His countenance upon us and to give us peace. Our personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus gives us access to His divine power. As Jesus said, “ Only the Father knows the Son and only the Son can reveal the Father.” Jesus also said, “ All power in heaven and on earth is given to Him.” His name is far above all other names, living and dead, far above all principalities and powers, rulers and authorities, celebrities and icons. Hence, when we believe in His Name and what He has revealed of the Father we have access to all divine power and all things that we need in this life. But the Lord does not want us to only share in His divine power but He wants us to share in His divine nature or in His godliness and in the beauty of His character or holiness. He also wants us to share in His glory or His fullness, wholeness and greatness. When we believe and act on His promises and His Word, we share in His greatness. His glory is manifest in our lives. The spiritual process is something like this: we breathe in grace, breathe out peace. We believe in His Name and feed on His Word and promises. We grow in His divine power. We claim His promises and proclaim His Word. We share in His divine nature and His glory and greatness. We are sharing in the very DNA of God. He has indeed lifted us from the miry clay ffrom which He made us and made us part of the Rock of Ages. Prateep V Philip

Thursday, September 26, 2013

No One is Indispensable But Everyone is Valuable

UV 877/10,000 No One is Indispenable but Everyone is Valuable “ For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to this royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4 v 14 No one is indispensable for God to fulfil His will and purpose in any generation. Mordecai was warning Esther that if she chose to be safe and not take any risks when the lives of the Jewish people were at stake, the Lord would raise enlargement or promotion and deliverance from some other person or quarter or circumstance. He warned Esther that she and her relatives including Mordecai himself would perish in her very attempt to be safe by being silent in a time of crisis. This predicament faces every human being. In attempting to save our lives, we would loose it. We fear we would loose our position or our lives or be moved out of our comfort zones when we speak for God or we serve Him. But the source of our salvation and deliverance is in offering our lives, our position, our resources and our gifts to our Lord God. Esther was persuaded by these words of Mordecai to place her life at risk in incurring the displeasure of the king by going into his presence without being summoned. In addition to the admonition, Mordecai added the motivational truth that Esther might have been raised to the position of queen in order to play a role in saving the lives of the Jews. Each of us have been given our position as kings and priests for such a time as this. We need to play our roles to the hilt by exercising our authority, by utilising our opportunities to witness and proclaim the goodness of the Lord, by binding and shaking the forces of darkness and spiritual oppression, by exposing the misdeeds of Haman-like characters, by interceding with the Lord for the nations and for our loved ones. Our positions and designations are like pedestals for the Lord’s light or glory to be mounted. Esther dared not enter the presence of the king without invitation or summons. It was a rare privilege and was triggered only at the will of the king. But we are welcome to enter the presence of the King- o -Kings – Jesus again and again, times without number even on a single day and all through our lifetime. Unlike the king Xerxes who despite his immense wealth that he displayed in public for a full six months and his power, had limitations in granting the desires of his supplicants, the Lord has no such limitation. Esther is herself a metaphor for the church today. She is the submissive bride. Unlike the erstwhile queen Vashti who was deposed for despising the king and not obeying his orders, Esther wins the favour of the king with her pleasing and gracious ways. Jesus is the Mordecai who warns, counsels, blesses, guides, teaches, honours and rewards the believers. He is our advocate on high who always makes plans to have His people delivered from threats and dangers. Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Symptoms of the Second Yoke

UV 876/10,000 Symptoms of the Second Yoke Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; Isaiah 58 v 9 Conceit conceives deceit. If we are conceited and proud, we are inclined or oriented to be deceived by the master deceiver-satan. We will speak in vain and not be accustomed to speak the truth in a spirit of love. Satan has put a heavy yoke on us- the burden of ploughing through life with sin. The Lord has lifted the yoke off our necks and shoulders so that we are no longer weighed down with the burden of guilt about the past and anxiety about the future. He has given us in place of that heavy yoke, the light yoke. The latter yoke is like the nutrient rich nucleus of an egg- the yoke. This is the seed of the gospel that grows like a seed organically from within us. The first yoke produces guilt, the second yoke produces hope of eternal life and consequent joy. Having been the recipients of mercy and compassion, we should not be an agent of satan in accusing others with our pointed finger. Rather we should learn to forgive more easily and not harbour feelings of lust and pride. We must not speak in vain but we should measure every word we speak such that it builds up the faith, hope and strength of other around us. Our speech should be salted with grace. The Lord is sensitive to even our body language- are we pointing fingers at others after having been forgiven of much sin? Every promise of God has certain conditions in the manner in which a covenant is written. We need to keep our side of the sacred agreement or covenant. This uni-verse specifies that we should strive to live a righteous life implied in the words, “take away ..the yoke.” We should avoid accusing, condemning or judging others. Our speech should be edifying or encouraging to others, not hurtful or proud or conceited. When we conform to these conditions the Lord sets out in His Word, He will answer us when we call. When we cry out to Him in our moments of distress, He will appear to us and say, “ Here I Am.” He will sometimes hear us even before we ask or pray. He will answer us while we are still speaking or praying. Sometimes, He hears us in due time or His own time. Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Price and Prize of Redemption

UV 875/10,000 Redemption None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: Psalm 49 v 7 No man however rich or virtuous or wise can redeem even his brother nor can he redeem himself. We cannot be redeemed by silver or gold or knowledge or wisdom. We are not saved by virtue of our own virtue as the Greeks taught but we are redeemed by our faith that God gave Christ Jesus as a ransom for all mankind irrespective of their deeds or background. His only begotten Son Jesus was not only the most virtuous among all humanity but He is His most prized and favoured Son. In terms of sheer value in God’s mind and heart, His value is equal to the rest of all creation. Redemption means to live fully in the here and now and forever in eternity. We are not born free but we are born in captivity to sin and satan. The price for a man’s soul to be redeemed and to live forever is too great for him to pay. Our souls are mortgaged to the prince of darkness. Our souls are bound to see corruption. Our bodies are bound to decay. But since we are precious in God’ s sight, He made the provision by making payment of His most prized and favoured Son, the Prince of Peace, the Prince of Light, the Prince of Love. A more than adequate payment has been made for all people and for all time and for all types of sin. Satan cannot accuse God of adopting double standards, of not being just and righteous. The ends of both justice and mercy are met in one act of God. That one act of God has inspired the children of God right through history to overcome fear of evil, fear of death, fear of the devil, fear of judgement and to do the acts of the apostles: teaching, healing, preaching, prophesying, delivering, proclaiming. When we believe in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, our own wages of sin are paid in full. We are freed from guilt. Satan can no longer accuse us and drag us into the lower realms that belong to him. Just as the sin of the first father Adam held us in captivity to death, the sinlessness and sacrifice of the second Adam, Christ Jesus set us free from the captivity forever. Abraham was only called a Friend of God but we are called now children of God. Jesus has set us free to be His brothers and sisters. We cannot experience greater freedom, greater joy than this that we are now destined to live fully in the here and now and live forever in the hereafter. Prateep V Philip

Monday, September 23, 2013

Spiritual Wisdom

UV 874/10000 Spiritual Wisdom But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. James 3 v 17 For everything in heaven that is genuine, there is a copy or counterfeit on earth. For the wisdom that is from above or from God in heaven, there is counterfeit wisdom that is earthly or worldly, sensual or fleshy and from the devil. The latter gives people the appearance of being wise and righteous but in truth it makes them impure, insincere, difficult to please or persuade, judgemental, rigid or inflexible, partial and hypocritical. The uni-verse above exhorts us to seek the wisdom that is from the Lord which is pure, peaceful, gentle, not fastidious, full of mercy, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. If we possess such genuine spiritual wisdom, we will not judge people by their external appearance, the colour of their skin, their possessions and money, their social standing. We will not pose to be what we are not but we will always humble ourselves in the presence of God, knowing that we are what we are today not by virtue of our attributes but by virtue of the grace He has attributed to us. We will have a teachable attitude and always willing to learn and improve ourselves. The wisdom from above is the wisdom that fills our hearts and leads our spirits. The wisdom of this world is what fills our minds and puffs up our spirits. We need to be pure in our desires and thoughts, peaceful in our relationships, gentle in our expressions, teachable in our attitudes, merciful in our dealings, fruitful in our lives. Our wisdom is posited in knowing who God really and truly is. We cannot pretend before Him or others to be who we are not. Hence, we will avoid hypocrisy. Since He is not partial to people, we too should be fair and impartial in our ways. Our fear or awe or wonder at His holiness should make us abhor evil and seek to constantly avoid any kind of evil. Where do we obtain such spiritual wisdom and how do we increase in such wisdom? We need to ask the Lord for more and more wisdom in our lives. The Word of God is His wisdom in crystallised form. The more we intake and apply our minds and hearts to understanding the Word and applying it in our lives, the more wise we will become. The Holy Spirit is a custodian of all the qualities mentioned in the uni-verse. He is gentle, peaceful, easy to be entreated or invited, merciful, fruitful in the attributes of God, impartial and sincere. When He dwells in us and fills us and imparts His fruits to us, we will begin to possess and manifest more and more spiritual wisdom. Prateep V Philip

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Simplicity of Christ

The Simplicity of Christ But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2 Corinthians 11 v 3 Christ is simple. The gospel is a simple message that salvation can be obtained through Christ alone. But satan is subtle, cunning and deceitful. He likes to complicate the simplicity of Christ and the gospel so that people get deceived. Christ spoke and did the truth all the time. It is the unadulterated and unsophisticated truth. Nothing can and should be added or taken away from what is true. But satan being the father of lies, adds untruths to the truth to make it difficult to understand and apply. The minds of the unbelievers and the spiritually immature get deluded by these lies, half-truths and untruths that satan deceives them into believing and accepting as truth. Satan is the source of corruption and distortion. God has called us into His kingdom by the grace of Christ but satan wants to sidetrack us with another version of Christ and other versions of the gospel. This accounts for the large number of denominations, doctrines, cultic beliefs and practices in the world today. There are many false apostles, disciples, false prophets, false doctrines and practices prevailing. There are many servants of satan who project themselves as servants of righteousness. They may even do many signs and wonders. They handle the word of God deceitfully. They use philosophy, deceit and the traditions of men to beguile the gullible and fickle-minded. Their goal is to bring believers who have been set free by the simplicity of Christ and the gospel away from spiritual liberty back into bondage. They replaced the truths of the Word of God with man-made rules. They are deceived by their own lusts and the seducing spirits sent by satan. They use enticing words and persuasive arguments. They are both deceived and deceiving. Their motive is their own profit and satisfaction of their own greed. The sincerity of Christ contrasts sharply with the subtlety and deceitfulness of satan. Similarly, as followers of Christ, our simplicity should contrast with the subtlety, complexity and deceitfulness of the teachings and practices of people who are deceived by satan. In any given situation, we should ask ourselves, “ What would Jesus say or do in this kind of situation?” Then we should go ahead and say or do it. Regardless of the teaching of people or organisations or institutions, we should check and understand what the Word of God says. Like Christ and the gospel, the Word of God is simple and unadulterated. Our litmus test to find the truth should be to read, understand and apply the Word under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit who interprets it to us in our context with a simplicity and directness that penetrates our souls. Prateep V Philip

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Inseparability Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8 v 39 Once we are in a covenanted personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, nothing in heaven or on earth can separate us from the love of God. He is the buckle of commitment that locks us into a relationship forever. Our search for immortality and eternity ends in Jesus. Our quest for conquest ends in Him. We can now lie like a child who has been weaned in her mother’s arms. Neither the height of heaven nor the fiery depths of hell nor any other fellow being or spirit or demon can succeed in separating us from His agape love. He has opened His hands to us and released all that He has for us. It is up to us to now lock the ten fingers of our hands or all that we are, all of our desires, all of our challenges and problems, with the open hands of the Lord. The very fact that it is mentioned in scripture that principalities, powers, death, life, things present and things to come cannot separate us from Christ and God implies that these forces of the principalities and powers of darkness will attempt to break our union with God. Many events involving death and life will threaten our love for God. Many things in our present circumstances as well as in future events and circumstances will pose a challenge to our faith in God. But despite all these forces and factors, the love of God will stick to us like glue whose binding force never fades or weakens. Our own love may rise and ebb with the flow of events and circumstances but the Lord’s love will keep us tethered and close to Him. Whether we live or die, we are Christ’s and therefore, God’s own people, His precious possession which He will never let go. He is our constant companion whether we sleep or awake, whether we are resting or working , whether we are joyful or depressed, whether we are poor or rich, whether we are successful or not, whether we are healthy or sick. He is our wise guide and counsellor. He judges us not by our outward appearance or our expression but what He sees and reads in our hearts and minds. This is a gift no lover on earth possesses. Our very sighs count for Him. He knows our deepest longings and He helps us fulfil these as long as we delight in the things of God- His Word, His worship, His Work. We are subject to all the vicissitudes of life but one constant factor, the leitmotif of our lives is the ineffable love of God manifest in our lives through the sacrifice of Christ and the grace and mercy of God in accepting us as sinless in Christ. Our dependence on our earthly parents becomes less and less as we grow older but our dependence and love for God will increase as we grow older and more mature in faith. Death can terminate our marriage relationship but our relationship with God is eternal and interminable. Happenings can alter our relationship with our children and friends but our union with the Lord grows stronger and deeper with time. Prateep V Philip

Friday, September 20, 2013

Running Against Odds, Leaping Over Barriers

UV 871/10,000 Running against Odds, Leaping over Barriers For by You I can run upon a troop; And by my God I can leap over a wall. Psalm 18 v 29 By God’s grace we can face impossible odds in life. Our circumstances might look like an advancing troop and a wall that confines us. But we can run against our circumstances and overcome it. We can pole-vault over the wall of our circumstances with the help of the promises and principles hidden in the Word of God. The wall or barrier that satan brings against us will itself become the source of our lasting victory and everlasting joy. Each uni-verse brings out a promise to be claimed or a principle of life to be followed. When we analyse, understand and apply the Word in our lives, it is like drawing a sword or weapon from its scabbard. When we pray claiming a promise for ourselves, we are rushing forward in a surge of faith to leap over the walls that act as a barrier in our lives. With God on our side, we are bound to be the winning side. With Christ in us, we can leap over the wall of satan. Satan brings up walls of failure, hostility, sickness, threat of death and loss against us often all through our lives. God uses these occasions to prove that He is on our side and He being God Almighty is invincible. David enquired of God every time he thought of taking on the Philistines and other enemies. Only after he got a green signal, he went ahead in the strength of his faith and came back with outstanding victory. Our walls of faith are salvation and our gates are our praise of the Lord. Salvation is compared to a wall as Jesus is the keystone in this wall. Our thoughts, words, actions and reactions are like the bricks that make up the wall over a lifetime. If the wall does not hold gates for entry and exit, it will be like a prison wall around us. When we praise the Lord, the points of praise and worship are the gates for God’s presence to enter and for us to enter His presence. Scripture says that “ you will possess the gates of your enemies.” It implies that we will have victories that will spontaneously trigger praise and worship from our hearts, minds and mouths. It implies that we will get the opportunities and blessings that originally belonged to those who opposed us or attacked us. David inherited the kingdom that belonged to King Saul. Prateep V Philip

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Center of Our Security

UV 870/10,000 The Center of Our Security He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. Psalm 62 v 2 Every person needs a rock to stand on, to get support and strength, to build on. Many choose lesser rocks like money, success, influence, power, status, religion and so on. Like an object has a center of gravity that helps it remain in equilibrium, each of us has a center of security. Unlike the center of gravity, that remains a constant for all in any place on the earth, our center of security and the force it exerts on us keeps changing from person to person and from time to time. How do we determine which is the rock of our lives? What do we gain maximum sense of security from? That is our rock. We depend on that for security and for strength. The center of our security is the source of our strength. When it is the Lord, our strength that we can draw from our source is everlasting or enduring forever, infinite or unlimited and freely accessible. King David from the days of his youth had the Lord God of Israel as his center of security- the Rock for facing the hazards of life as well as for his prospects of promotion and prosperity and for his hope of eternal life or salvation. This rock-like assurance in a Rock that was higher than him at all points of his life kept him from being greatly disturbed when he faced a series of life-threatening situations all through his life. As a young shepherd, he faced the lion and the bear. As a volunteer and untrained soldier, he faced the mighty Goliath. As a fugitive, he faced the deadly hostility of his former patron, King Saul. As a soldier of fortune, he and his band of adventurers faced many formidable challenges. As a king, he faced enemies in Israel and all around. As a father, he faced the usurping ambition of his own son, Absalom. As a man, he faced the temptation of his own sexual passion and failed in this area. But, His Rock restored him even from that morally fallen state. The key word in this uni-verse is “ only”. The Lord God was his only Rock. Many of us who are believers have many competing rocks in our lives. We need to trust in the Lord alone for our sense of security. Even when the economy is doing badly, we can depend on Him to provide for us as He provided for Elijah in the desert. He is the sole source of our strength and joy. The joy of the Lord is our strength. We need not be afraid of anybody or anything. Our desire in heaven as on earth is the Lord alone. He is like a river of water in a dry place. He is our hiding place or refuge from the wind and from the storms of life. Indeed, we are living in the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. We will not be greatly troubled or anxious or depressed or disturbed or discouraged. In this uni-verse, David maintained the position that he would not be greatly moved. Later on in the same Psalm, he reiterates it that he shall not be moved at all. We are all human as David was. In the beginning of our walk with God, we shall not be greatly disturbed by overtaking events and circumstances but as we mature, it will disturb us even less and less and finally, we will not be affected at all. Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Husband of Humanity

UV 869/10,000 The Husband of Humanity Isa 54:5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. A husband is a God ordained position and responsibility that He himself does not fight shy of. He is our Maker, Creator of heaven and earth and all things living and non living in it. But He also declares Himself as the husband or protector, provider, lover and redeemer of mankind. As He is the Maker of Heaven and Earth and everything therein belongs to Him, He can provide all things that we might need. He comforts us in our times of distress. He rejoices when we rejoice. He laments with us. He empathies with us in our pain and suffering. Though He is the Lord of the hosts or the armies of angels and other mysterious, glorious creatures in Heaven and on earth, He specially takes pleasure in this role of being husband or bridegroom to the church. This uni-verse affirms that the most intimate relationship that any man or woman can have is the covenant and personal relationship with the Lord God. Unlike our vows of marital commitment that cease with death of either partner, our vow of commitment to the Lord and His covenant with us is forever or eternal. He is betrothed to us in righteousness, in judgement, in mercy, in loving kindness and in faithfulness. Like Boaz to the hapless Ruth, Jesus is our kinsman-redeemer who honours His pledge, His sacred vow, His covenant promise to remain married to us. As husband and wife become one in flesh and in their goals and interests, the Lord becomes one with us in spirit and in seeking our our wellbeing. Like Boaz covered Ruth with his garment, the Lord covers us with the garments of salvation. Like Boaz gave Ruth a song of joy to sing instead of her mourning for her unfortunate past, the Lord will give us a new song to sing. He will redeem our honour even as Boaz saw that Ruth was protected from the young men working in his fields. Boaz also ensured that there was enough and more grain for Ruth to glean to feed her mother-in-law Naomi and herself. Similarly, the Lord provides for our spiritual, emotional and material needs. A wise husband does not overprotect or remain overbearing to his partner. But he is always around to provide wise counsel. Similarly, the Lord gives us counsel and His spirit to comfort, guide and lead us. A husband gives his wife authority to rule over his household. Similarly, the Lord gives us authority to rule over and administer the household of the Lord. Just as a husband and wife take crucial decisions in life in mutual agreement, we need to take the crucial decisions in consultation and after prayer to the Lord. I have often wondered why the Lord does not describe a perfect bridegroom while a perfect woman or wife is described in detail in Proverbs chapter 31. The reason is that the only perfect husband is the Lord God Himself. He consummates or perfects the imperfect partner that each of us and all of us are collectively and individually. He gave Himself in Christ to make us blemishless. Once in a vision He revealed that He is our Bridegroom of Blood. Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Anointed to Serve

UV 868/10,000 Anointed to Serve Then he said to me, “ These two are the ones anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth.” Zechariah 4 v 14 The two olive trees that stand next to the seven lamps that are connected by seven golden pipes to the golden bowl on top are believers who are connected to the Lord all the time. Kings and priests were anointed with oil to serve God and people from biblical times. It was a sign to others and to themselves that they were chosen, sanctified and enabled to serve. But under the new covenant, believers are anointed by the Holy Spirit to serve as a royal priesthood or in the dual role of kings and priests. To be anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth is a higher calling than to be a mere mortal king or leader or priest. To be anointed means to be divinely enabled to perform this role of representing God before people and people before God. The functions to be performed in the course of such service of the Lord is to proclaim the good news to the spiritually repentant or poor, to heal broken hearts, to set spiritual captives free from bondages of darkness. We are priests forever and kings forever in the order of Melchizedek, the King and High Priest of Salem. The two olive trees in the above uni-verse represented the ruler Zerubbabel, a descendant of David and Joshua, the priest. Each believer today is called to be a descendant of David who is to exercise royal authority over the spiritual realms and a priest to intercede for people. First of all, we are to play this dual role inside our own homes. But, the Lord has not set any boundaries in heaven or on earth to exercise our authority and our priestly function. One man can stand in the gap before the Lord on behalf of nations to turn away His wrath from them. Another meaning is that couples or husband and wife together perform this role. They are to act as olive trees before the Lord. An olive tree’s fruit is useful and when crushed is full of oil. We too must be full of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We should seek the fruit of the Spirit more eagerly than even the gifts of the Spirit. We must be faithful in the exercise of our various spiritual gifts on behalf of the church or to build and encourage the body of believers. Like an olive tree lives on for a long time, we too must have an enduring legacy to leave behind us. The branches of the olive tree dipping into the oil of the lamps implies that our thoughts and emotions should be always immersed in understanding and rejoicing in the Word and in prayer. Regardless of what the rest of the world thinks or the price we have to pay, our attitude should be that of Joshua, “ As for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord.” Prateep V Philip

Monday, September 16, 2013

To Rejoice in Suffering

UV 867/10,000 To Rejoice in Suffering “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.” Romans 5 v 3 We gain more from pain than from pleasure for the lessons learnt from pain endure with us. We learn all the deep lessons of life from and in times of suffering. We realize that the pleasure is ephemeral and short-lived but we find answers to questions of our purpose and relevance in this vast universe through suffering. Suffering builds up our inner strength and our spiritual stamina. It prepares us for the next big challenge in life. In this manner, it generates the quality of persistence and perseverance in us. When we suffer for a righteous cause and not because of something unworthy that we did, we can and should rejoice. When we suffer for the sake of Christ we should rejoice that we are sharing or partaking in a small way in His far greater suffering. We may not feel like rejoicing at the time we are going through a phase of suffering but when it is over, we begin to enjoy the fruits of character like the patience and maturity it produces in us like nothing else can. St Paul rejoiced in times of suffering when he felt weak as in these times, he sought and experienced the strength and grace of God. We rejoice in suffering for our suffering is for a little while and is not significant in comparison with the eternal weight of glory that the Lord is going to reward us in eternity. We can rejoice for suffering purifies our faith of the dross or impurities that might have crept in. No plant when it is pruned enjoys it but when the pruning leads to more growth and fruitfulness, it will consider the process useful and necessary. The Buddha taught that suffering can be avoided by eliminating desire. But the Bible teaches that it is not necessary to avoid or eliminate either. Suffering can make us better or bitter. If we submit to God’s plan and will for our lives and believe that nothing happens to us unless the Lord has allowed it, suffering will make us better. Today, as the years increase from the time of my suffering by being injured in the bomb blast at Sriperumbudur, I can rejoice more and more in it and be thankful to the Lord for taking me through the valley of the shadow of death quite early in my life. It has been a defining moment in my life and enabled me to discover my purpose and mission in life. It shaped my character and priorities and built patience, perseverance and endurance into the warp and weft of my personality. Prateep V Philip

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Keys to Death and Life

The Keys to Death and Life. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death Rev 1 v 18 Other great men live and die but Jesus is the Great I Am. He was dead having been condemned to death despite being sinless but after being resurrected He lives forever. Other great men, leaders, teachers and warriors could not save themselves from death and its consequences. They are dead heroes who could not save themselves from hell and death. They are back to being zeros now. Death annuls all their achievements. They do not hold any keys or solutions to the problems of mankind at present or answer the perennial questions of life. We who are living now are better off than them for even a live rat is better than a dead lion. Jesus, as the Lion of Judah. alone in contrast overcame death and to this day continues to minister or serve people by delivering them from hell, the judgement and the second death or eternal death. He alone can revoke death and hell. Understanding the mystery of eternal death and life, hell and heaven is key to our faith. Even if we hold a key in our hands, we need to use it to open the door. We need to apply our understanding of this uni-verse to our lives to live fully and wholly for Christ our Redeemer. We should not live in fear of death or punishment or disease or failure or disaster but be full of joy that we too will live for evermore in Christ. The word “joy” itself means “Jesus Owns You.” He has purchased us from the enemy of our souls with His own priceless death. He has liberated us from bondage by His Resurrection and His eternal power contained in each of His promises to His followers or believers. Nobody can alter or take away this fact or conviction. He has first given us the key to death and then given us the key to eternal life. Death and life are the absolute opposites. These opposites breed lesser opposites like success and failure, health and sickness, prosperity and poverty, knowledge and ignorance. Jesus holds the keys to deal with these lesser opposites too. Jesus is called in the book of Revelation as the Lord Amen for He causes that which is the Father’s will to happen. The Father’s will is that all mankind be delivered from hell and death. The other day I was passing a jail in a certain city. People speculate and wonder if there is a place called hell. The Holy Spirit told me, “ If man in his limited wisdom, knowledge and intelligence has organized a jail or prison to house those who broke the social contract and violated the law, how much more will God in His infinite wisdom, knowledge and intelligence organize a place to house the spirits of those who violated His will and the sacred covenant. If man knows how to reward trust, loyalty, sacrifice and obedience, how much more will God in His infinite goodness and wisdom, reward those who are faithful and obedient.” The other day I happened to be present when the vicar of the church where I grew up as a child was teaching about death and eternal life. He confused the people about what happens to the soul after our physical death by referring to purgatory- a word and concept that is not spoken off anywhere in the Bible. I clarified that the key is faith in the risen personal Saviour Jesus and like the thief on the cross was told by Jesus, “ Today, you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus did not tell the thief, “ I will recommend your case to the Father for admission to heaven while you repent in purgatory.” He promised him that he would be with Jesus in heaven as He knew that He held the keys to heaven and hell to deliver from death and to give admission to heaven. Jesus holds in His hands the keys to hell and death. We need to take the keys from His hands and use it to unlock the doors we want opened in our lives. He has released those of us who believe in Him from both death and hell. He has released us from the curse of shortcoming or hamartia in this lifetime. We have moved from darkness or ignorance of God to His marvellous light. We have moved from the shadow of death to the shadow of the Almighty. The presence of God or the consciousness of God being present in us and with us is like a shadow as it follows us wherever we go. Once Jesus uses His keys to let us out of death and hell and let us into His Kingdom and eternal life, no man or spirit or force can shut it again. Prateep V Philip

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Force Multiplier

UV 865/ 10,000 The Force Multiplier How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up? Deuteronomy 32 v 30 Each uni-verse throws up a principle on which is based the kingdom of God or the authority and power of God is exercised in this created universe. It is the combination of these principles that make the universe in which we live and move and act a moral universe where spiritual principles hold sway. Each uni-verse contains a precept, a management truth, a principle, a promise, a teaching. When we order our lives to live in conformity to these principles, we will discover the harmony, the beauty and joy of life. In the above uni-verse, the principle of a person of faith being a force multiplier is brought out. The Lord God acts on behalf of those who live by faith in Him. He will not let them down but will fight their battles for them. As a result, one is equal to a thousand. When two people agree together and pray their combined spiritual power is multiplied a further five times. “Their Rock had sold them” refers to what our foes trust in. It will not be able to come to their rescue or deliver them. One of the greatest illustrations in biblical history is when the mighty cavalry of Pharaoh’s army pursues Moses and the departing Jewish slaves, their trust in the power of their chariots and horses, spears and swords proved to be like quicksand for them on the bed of the Red Sea whose waters were parted to give safe passage to the Israelites. The Lord shut them up in the self- same waters. The Israelites who were facing the prospect of being again taken captive by the Egyptian army passed beyond the shadow of their captivity, unscathed and unharmed. When the Lord “shuts up” the enemy, it is a decisive victory. The phrase “ shuts up” is unique biblical usage and it means “ made ineffective.” The Israelites were more than conquerors for they had not raised a single staff or sword or spear to defend or to attack their aggressors. We too by virtue of our faith in our Rock and Redeeemer are force multipliers and more than conquerors. In police management, a single policeman given his training, discipline, obedience and the weapon he bears is considered equal to a thousand citizens in terms of power. With the help of these that together constitute his “ rock” or source of security, power and authority, he can disperse a mob of a thousand persons. But when the Lord is our Rock in whom we find refuge, in whom we trust, we receive power and authority to rule over the world and to disperse strongholds in His Name. Each believer is a force multiplier who can affect the course of events by his or her prayer and declaration of the Word. Therefore, we don’t declare war but we proclaim the Word. Prateep V Philip

The Purpose

UV 865/10,000 The Purpose “The people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.” Isaiah 43 v 21 This uni-verse declares the purpose for our creation, formation and preparation. We are formed to humble ourselves and submit before the Lord our Creator and Redeemer. Our primary purpose in life is to proclaim the praise of the Lord. We are the planting of the Lord to reveal His splendour. Some translations put it as “ to show forth my praise.” We must thank and glorify the Lord with the fruit of our lips-thanksgiving and worship, the fruit of our spirit-our character traits, the fruit of our minds- our thoughts, emotions and decisions and the fruit of our hands- our deeds and achievements. True worship reflects all these four dimensions. Our praise and worship should be personal, intimate, deep, holistic and continual. We should always maintain an attitude of gratitude for received blessings or benefits as well as an attitude of anticipation mixed with hope and thanksgiving for promised favour. In Old Testament times, the Levites were a class of people who were set apart to praise and worship the Lord as priests. But, today we are formed as an order of priests and kings. As priests, we praise the name of the Lord with an offering of the sacrifice of praise from our lips and hearts. As kings, we execute matters in such a way that it will bring praise to the Lord God. The word “ formed” implies that the Lord grooms and shapes each one of us individually as well as collectively. He allows certain events and incidents in our lives as part of that process of formation to form our character and faith. The word “ proclaim” implies that our act of praise is not subtle or secret but it implies an open expression of reverence for the Lord and an open demonstration of the power of God. Elijah the prophet declared His God to be a living God and demonstrated how his water-soaked sacrifice was consumed in fire from the Lord. First, he showed an attitude of reverence, then he made a confession of his faith in the Lord and finally, he demonstrated with a manifestation from the Lord. We are a peculiar people who are zealous for good deeds as our good deeds will glorify God. Jesus asks us to shine for the Lord in a world of moral and spiritual darkness or depravity. When we do good deeds to show or prove our own goodness, it is like moth-eaten rags as our motives are suspect. When we do good deeds to show our faith in the Lord, the holes in the garments of praise will be covered with mercy and grace. When people see the good we do, they will praise the Lord too. All our past and current experiences are meant to prepare us to proclaim the praise of the Lord. When we are delivered from life-threatening situations, from crippling diseases, from conflicts, we have a reason to continually thank and praise the Lord. Yesterday, as I lay in bed, this thought came to my mind, “ He is the God who ends the shortages that we encounter on our journey.” Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Spiritual Authority

UV 863/10,000 Spiritual Authority So he said to me, “ This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4 v 6 The Spirit that the Lord imparts to us when we believe in His Word rests or remains on us and in us, renewing us as His new creation or re-creation. He gives us the self-same Spirit that rested on Jesus, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. We will delight in the fear of the Lord, implying we will delight in His Word and its obedience. We will not judge anymore by what we see with our eyes or decide by what we hear by our ears. We will not rely on our physical and intellectual senses but will depend on the insight the Lord gives us and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Righteousness, justice and faithfulness are the hallmark of our lives. The Word that the Lord quickens to our spirit is more mighty than swords, spears, horses, chariots, aircrafts, ships or nuclear bombs. What the Lord speaks, He then performs. The Lord will speak to individuals specifically as He spoke a specific word to Zerubbabel, a governor who hailed from the royal lineage of King David. Each believer is a Zerubbabel in God’s eyes and His purpose for us to build the new covenant temple, the residence of the Lord in our own bodies, minds and spirits. If He has spoken a word of healing, He will cause it to happen in due time. If He has spoken a word of deliverance, He will deliver whether it is from all the strongholds of spiritual darkness or earthly powers or mighty rulers or from the jaws of death. The Word of God is the ultimate arbiter of law on earth. He will slay the wicked, the unrepentant and those who do not show any sign of respect or reverence or fear of God with the breath of His lips. In the time of Moses, the Lord God had revealed His mighty power by delivering with His outstretched right arm of power (or through an open manifestation of His power and might) the Jewish nation from slavery and bondage in Egypt. But this uni-verse is a watershed for the Lord is declaring that in these last days from the beginning of the new covenant, His modus operandi would be to rely on the Spirit-led Word to fulfil His plan and purpose for His people or the believers in Christ. Our weapons of warfare, namely the Word and praying in the spirit are more powerful and effective in pulling down spiritual strongholds of evil and darkness. By these means we will be able to cast down every imagination and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. It is not through political or military or economic power or religious fervour or social upheaval that lasting change will be brought about but by the power of God manifested in a gentle, quiet and patient way through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will convict people with the Word of God and establish the Kingdom of God on earth. The Lord has given us spiritual authority over every physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual realm on the earth. Authority implies legitimate power that is exercised in accordance with the written Word. This uni-verse is an invitation for us to partner with the Lord in the exercise of our spiritual authority and so usher in His rule in our lives and the lives of others around us. Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Strength and Courage-NOT an option

UV 862/10,000 Strength and Courage –not an Option “ Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1 v 9 This uni-verse clearly says that it is the command of the Lord God that we should collectively and individually be strong and courageous. We have no option but not to be terrified or discouraged for two reasons: one , it is a command of God to be obeyed; two, the Lord our God is with us in every situation which looks terrifying or discouraging or overwhelming. He is both Immanuel and Ebenezer: God for us, God with us, God in us and God who helps us. Being strong implies that whatever strength or ability the Lord has placed inside us, we should discover and use it for His glory. We should be good stewards of our talents and resources. We should hone and develop our physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual strength to its full potential. The single certainty that God is with us should enable us to combat a legion of uncertainties of life. Our security, protection and promotion in adversity and prosperity is not from any other quarter but it is in and from the Lord. It is based on the confidence that the Lord will never leave us, fail us or forsake us. When we confess our lack of strength in any area, He will strengthen us supernaturally, sufficiently and abundantly. In areas of our weakness, His grace is sufficient for us to overcome, to sustain and to remain victorious in life. Being courageous implies that we should not give room to the voices of our own fears: our fear of death, our fear of failure, our fear of pain, our fear of those who are more powerful or stronger, our fear of shame, our fear of losses. The enemy of our soul desires us to be weak, fearful, terrified and discouraged. If our faith in God is weak, He will achieve these goals in one shot. If our faith in God is strong, satan will fail. Our faith is strong when we do not rely on our own limited wisdom, strength, ability and resources but we rely on our knowledge of who God is: His incomprehensible love and commitment to those who are His, His awesome might, His infinite and unlimited grace, His amazing power, His indefatigable strength, His unending and enduring mercy, His army of powerful angels, His inexhaustible resources, His faithfulness to His Word and the promises therein and the memory of what He has done on behalf of us and those we know both in our lifetime and in the past. Despite all this, if we still remain weak,anxious, fearful or discouraged, then we are obeying the enemy. God's awesome, superlative, supernatural power works best in our most awful situations. Prateep V Philip

Monday, September 9, 2013

Life-Giving Breath

Uni-verse 861/10,000 Life-giving Breath Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: Ezekiel 37 v 5 What causes us to survive is our breath. It sustains us . But what causes us to live is the breath of God. It is the life-giving breath-life in its fullest and deepest meaning. Man became a living soul after God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed life into him. The breath of man is a mixture of gases but the breath of God is the life-giving, life-enhancing, life-restoring and life- renewing Spirit of God. Without the spirit of God in us, our very bones become dry and our life would tend to disintegrate into its skeletal remains. But Jesus is the ligament that holds the different joints, organs and parts of our life together. The Word of God holds the spirit of God in it as it is God-breathed or inspired. So when we speak the Word to the bones of an afflicted person, it penetrates the dry bones and begins to revive life, health and strength at the point where marrow meets bone. The Word penetrates the core of our spirit, minds and bodies and resuscitates us. Yesterday, I met a man of God who was critically ill from an auto immune degenerative disease that afflicted him in 2009. His wife and he being strong believers began confessing their faith in scripture verses that the Lord quickened to their minds. For several months, he was declining in health and reduced to a virtual bag of bones. Then the breath of God came upon him and revived, renewed and restored him to fullness of health and even greater faith. Last week I also heard of a gospel singer’s child who was born with rickets that makes the bones weak and brittle. The parents in their desperation mixed with hope began to confess promise verses of healing over their paralysed child. He could not walk for many years till the breath of God came miraculously upon his dry bones and enabled him to walk and run. The power of resurrection lies in the breath of God. That same power which resurrected Jesus from the dead is now available and at work to heal, to deliver, to strengthen, to restore, to revive and renew the faithful all over the world. We should not wait to be afflicted but every day we must invite the Lord to breathe on us and particularly the areas of our lives which are spiritually dry, areas where we have not exercised our faith, areas where we feel hopeless and are facing challenges. We must intake the Word of God that is the condensed breath of God. As we intake continually the breath of God in this manner, the promise that “ you shall live” will be fulfilled in all its aspects. Prateep V Philip

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Willing and Obedient

UV 860/10,000 Willing and Obedient If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: Isaiah 1 v 19 The world looks for people who are willing and able. But the Lord looks for people who are willing and obedient. The world rewards people who are able. The Lord rewards people who are available and obedient to His Word. This is one of the biggest “ ifs” in life for the probability of people being willing and obedient to the Word of God is very low since we are born sinful and disobedient. The Word is same as God and so when we hold the Word in us, we are hugging and holding God. The Lord says,” hug me tight and you will squeeze the honey of my promises out of the honeycomb. “ Why does God reach out to those who are openly rebellious and opposing His will like the apostle Paul when he was Saul? He sees their heart and knows that they would respond with single minded zeal to the truth once it is revealed to them. Willingness implies that we offer ourselves to the Lord as a living sacrifice. We reach the point in our lives when we stop running away from doing the will of God and offer ourselves as Isaiah did, saying, “ Here I am.” It means that I surrender here and now completely to the Lord to use us as He knows best. We no longer struggle against His will and act like a horse that has not been bridled. The Scripture says that He became the author of eternal salvation unto all that obeyed Him. Every day as He sees us walking in obedience, He releases fresh anointing and blessings. Jesus spoke of the parable of two sons, one of whom promised to do what the father asked him to do, the other declined but later changed his mind and went and did it. The former is a metaphor for the religious class who promise and act as if they are willing and obedient while the latter is the image of those who were changed from within, who might have led a wild lifestyle in the past but on hearing the word of the Father receives it as truth and accepts His Son as Saviour. When we are willing and obedient to the revealed will of God, He blesses us abundantly so that we eat the good of the land. Our life, land and possessions will be blessed and these will be a blessing to others. The good of the land is an euphemism for what is best for us. Our spiritual, intellectual, social, familial, emotional and financial need will be satisfied. When we walk consistently in the cross hairs of God’s will, we will be blessed. We will fulfil our purpose like an arrow that hits the bull's eye on the target. Prateep V Philip

Friday, September 6, 2013

Children of Promise

UV 852/10,000 Children of Promise And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; Genesis 9 v 9 The other day the Lord brought a thick dark cloud in the sky to the East of our home, The Tabernacle. There was a beautiful sight above the cloud of all the magnificent colours of the rainbow. The splendour of the colours was awesome. It was like a banner or flag that was unfurling. The cloud had lightning passing through it both horizontally and vertically. I immediately realized that it was yet another sighting of the VIBGYOR sign that the Lord had promised and already shown as many as five different types of rainbows or rainbow clouds. I called my daughter to take a couple of photographs before the sign disappeared in the evening sky. The visual sign was then confirmed with this promise verse from Genesis:” And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:” The rainbow is a sign of God’s covenant promise to not just mankind but all flesh. It is a colourful testimony of His commitment to all of His creation. It is His love banner of protection over us and our families. The Lord says, “ I am your well wisher. I will not let any of you perish.” These are the times worse than that of Noah when people have lost their sense of what is right and wrong, when judges take bribes, the prophets prophesy for gain and the oppressed are further exploited, when men and women pine for each other against the natural and moral order. The Lord says, “ you are building an ark for me to save many souls in this age and time.” When I asked the Lord and myself, “ what is the Ark I am building?”, He pointed out that in undertaking to write about the standards and promises of God, day by day, verse by verse over the next thirty to forty years, He sees me as a kind of Noah. We are expected as our part of the covenant to be God –fearing and just in our generations and teaching others also to be so. The Lord gives each of us this wonderful pledge in these uncertain times to establish our covenant relationship not only with us but with our children after us. As people of the covenant, we need to treasure every word of our sacred agreement with God, every word of His pledge to us, running over and over in our minds and hearts every word in His promised spoken to us in past times as a lover would pore over every letter in her billet d’amour from her beloved. Indeed,” my Beloved is mine and I am His and His banner over me is love.” We are children of the promise born out of the pledge of our Father even before we knew Him. We are a lot like Isaac and like Isaac we should always be full of mirth, laughter and joy for in the absence of joy, we cannot celebrate our covenant relationship with the Lord. In the absence of hope, joy and laughter, we would be prisoners of the enemy of our souls, living like condemned prisoners on death row. But, thanks to the new covenant promise, we have been set free to enjoy our special relationship with our Redeemer God. Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Teacher

UV 850/10,000 The Teacher Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say Exodus 4 v 12 The Lord God reveals Himself as the teacher. Other teachers cease to teach us after a while for they have taught us all they know but the Lord remains our permanent and eternal teacher. There is always something He can teach us afresh every day. He is one teacher, the pupil can never excel though He frees us to do greater things. He teaches us what to learn and what to unlearn. The entire universe is His classroom. He uses various objects in the universe and nature as props and objects to demonstrate, to illustrate and to relate. He promised to be with the mouth of Moses and to teach him what he should say to his own people, the Hebrew slaves as well as to Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Moses described himself as a man with a stuttering tongue. But, the Lord chided him saying, “ who is it that gave man the power to hear and to speak?” God is not concerned if our speech is stuttering. He can handle that. He is concerned if our faith is flickering. Jehovah taught Moses to lead. Jesus taught His disciple to pray, to heal, to deliver, to expand their faith, to execute miracles in His name. The Holy Spirit continues the teaching ministry of God and teaches men to be patient, to be wise and understanding. A man who does not hear cannot speak. He remains deaf and mute. So as a practice, we need to listen first before we speak. This is the godly order or the way God has ordained it. The power to speak words of hope and life into the lives of others is such an amazing gift. We need to use it wisely after we fill our minds with the Word of God. The Word of God held in our minds and hearts begins to burn and churn our intellect and imagination and becomes the cool word of wisdom when it travels up to our mouths. Isn’t it an absolute miracle that words with meaning and purpose emerge out of the convoluted pipes of our brains? We can show our appreciation of this gift by using it wisely, often and well. We need to obey the Lord in simply obeying Him in going to the places and people and missons He sends us to. If He has asked us to go some place, He will surely provide us the means to get there. Once He sends us as a messenger, He will give us the message that we have to deliver. We need not premeditate and worry about what we will speak for the Lord promises to teach us what we should say. He will give us wisdom and words to speak that no man can deny or contradict. He will sharpen our minds like a razor and our tongues like a sword. In the use of our tongues, we must be shrewd like a serpent to avoid unnecessary trouble or controversy and gentle like a dove not to hurt others. More than half of life’s troubles are due to the use of our tongues unwisely or inappropriately. The other half is due to the unwise use of our minds- thoughts, emotions and decisions. When we yield our spirits and minds to the Holy Spirit, He will teach us what to think and talk. As far as our feelings are concerned, He will comfort us regardless of what situation we are in or what deficiency we are suffering from. We need not be worried that we will forget something important that we need to say or do. As a Remembrancer, He will remind us. Just as our tongues are guarded by as many as 32 teeth, our speech needs to be guarded with wisdom and discretion. The power to speak is an amazing and awesome faculty God has given mankind alone among all species. It is the very power of God –the same power that brought about all that exists on the earth. The power of life and death lies in our tiny mouths. While we need not premeditate on what we are going to speak, we need to meditate on as many as 32 verses that speak about the wise use of our tongues beginning with the above uni-verse. The Lord will then salt our conversation, making our words tasty and gracious to the hearer. We ourselves are hearers of our own words. So just as we roll a morsel of food in our mouths before tasting more, we must check our words for their import and impact on others. We need to take not only every thought captive to Christ but we must take every word we speak captive to Christ. Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sensitivity and Possibility

UV 859/10,000 Sensitivity and Possibility “Behold the Lord’ hand is not so short that it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear.” Isaiah 59 v 1 The Lord is mighty to save. He has no limitations. Nothing is too hard or impossible for Him. Think of all the hard things in our lives and if we ask ourselves, “ Is it too hard for the Lord to solve these problems?”, if our faith is strong, the answer will be in the affirmative. God shuts His eyes and ears and does not move a finger to help us only when we are stubborn and entrenched in sin. His outstretched arm can reach any part of the universe or deep inside our tiny hearts and minds to cause healing and deliverance. His eyes can discern our deepest desires and emotions. His ears can hear even our heart beat, our thoughts, our sighs and our whispers. His power is so great, His sensitivity to human longings and the pain we suffer is so high that often He responds even before the prayer has scarcely left our lips. It is the sensitivity of the Triune God that opens the doors of every possibility in our lives. Similarly, when we incline our ears to the Lord, it makes possible the manifestation of divine power, love and grace. But due to our human conditioning and disbelief, we limit God by the extent of our faith. We do not entrust to Him our greatest source of despair and longing. We are not willing to let go of our doubt and fear. We allow the enemy of our souls, satan to plague our minds with worries, to make us ineffective and weak. Our own hands cannot reach very far and so we assume that the Lord can also intervene in our real life situations only to that extent. Our own ears can hear only one voice at a time and so we assume that the Lord is preoccupied with the prayers of multitudes of prayer and so would not be able to hear our heart’s cry. Sometimes, when we face seemingly impossible odds, we think that nothing can save us, not even God. Elijah was fearful and frustrated when he became a fugitive trying to escape the wrath of the wicked Jesebel. But, the Lord sent a chariot of fire to transport him to heaven and so do the impossible such that the despairing prophet did not even taste death. When the angry Peter drew a sword and cut the ear of the servant of the High Priest who had come along with soldiers to arrest Jesus, Jesus stretched forth His hand and restored the severed ear. He is the God of restoration, the Lord of redemption of lost souls. Nothing is too big or too small for the Lord to intervene. He is interested in deeply engaging with our lives in all its intimate details. When it comes to the Lord, there is no way we can screen Him out saying, “ This is my personal matter. I will handle it.” The key to expand our faith that it more or less corresponds to the actual dimensions of God’s power and love is to behold Him, to constantly train our eyes on His glory, to incline our ears and our inner hearing to perceive His voice and to act as open mouths to swallow His Word, to store and treasure His received Word in our hearts and minds, to use our mouths to always affirm the possibilities of God. Prateep V Philip

Monday, September 2, 2013

Provision and Protection

UV 858/10,000 Provision and Protection Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. In a time of prayer, the Lord said that a huge pit is dug before a building is built. The pit looks ugly but when the building is completed, it is quite beautiful. The pit has to be dug for strong foundations to be laid. The pit is the metaphor for the preparation of our lives and character that the Lord causes to happen as a foundation for our lives. Indeed, He has lifted us up from the dust of the pit. The deeper the pit or the greater the suffering we have sustained, the stronger is our faith foundation. If any project a believer undertakes has to succeed, the Lord has to be in it and with us from start to finish and beyond. The greatest success without the Lord is worse than the greatest failure with Him. Living in accordance with the Lord’s will and purpose every day of our lives is the greatest success and fulfilment a man can seek. It is the presence and the blessing of the Lord that makes the difference between fulfilment and failure. Yesterday, I was reading the tragic news of a family who was preparing to install a board of a beauty parlour to be installed above the newly inaugurated parlour. Accidentally, it touched the live electric cable just above and four people were electrocuted to death. As a police officer, I know that despite whatever precautions we take, it is the Lord’s protection that gives us both immediate and ultimate security. The first part of the above uni-verse is about provision, success, fulfilment of our life’s purpose and mission. He makes our work fruitful. This is in contrast to what Solomon wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes that all the labour of a man is in vain. The second part of the uni-verse is about protection, guidance, security. When I was posted as Commissioner, Trichy a few years ago, the whole city was threatened by massive rains and flood. There was little that we could do as a police force for the water inundated the streets and many place rose up to the first floor. Even my own large jeep barely made it through the waters in spate after rescuing some people who were marooned on an island in the river. Before I left to take charge of the city, the Lord had confirmed in prayer , “ Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain…” Prateep V Philip

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Bread of Life

UV 857/10,000 The Bread of Life Joh 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die A couple of days ago, I was expecting to travel in the evening and since I would be tired, I had not planned to attend the Sunday service and communion in the church that was located just opposite to the guesthouse where I was staying. But the Lord said, “ I am your administrator. I have inspected your program and direct you to attend the communion as it is the first day of the month. “ He said, “ Eat the bread of life on the first day of the month as you will have victory the whole month as you commune with me and live forever.” Jesus is the loaf of bread that rolled down from heaven and hit the enemy’s camp to give us eternal victory. The Lord reminded me of how as a child, my mother gave of her sweat and tears to prepare delicious food and pack it in a carrier for my lunch. Similarly, the Lord had given of His blood, sweat and tears to prepare the communion meal for us. We should imbibe it to our bodies, honouring the memory of what Christ did for us on the cross. Then, the bread will bring strength to our bones, the Blood will bring healing to our blood and organs and blessing to our whole being. The bread is from heaven and is a symbol of the broken body of Jesus. The Jewish ancestors ate the manna from heaven and perished but those who eat the new manna provided in the broken body of Jesus will live forever. These are spiritual victuals prepared as a meal of blessing for us. The Communion will revitalize us, energize us and bring us inner cleansing and victory. When we repent at the table of the Lord, our pent up feelings of anger or resentment or fear will disappear. We will receive holistic strength and healing as we participate in this sacrament remembering with gratitude the sacrifice of the Lord. Prateep V Philip

A Brand Plucked From the Fire

UV 856/10,000 A Brand Plucked from the Fire Zec 3:2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? When satan who is the accuser of the brethren brings up accusations against the people of God, the Lord our Redeemer who has redeemed us from the fire of hell will rush to our defence. He will rebuke satan for remembering the very wrongs for which we were forgiven. The Lord knows that our clothes are filthy or that our deeds are unworthy of Him but He has plucked each of us like a brand out of the fire. When we are plucked out of the fire, we will know to whom our true allegiance belongs, in whom we can fully trust and who is the real sovereign in our lives and all of human history. It is like a man who has just escaped death in an experience only by the skin of his teeth. The flames have licked him and seared his soul, destroying every element of doubt or reluctance or confusion or fear. When a firebrand burns in the fire, it gets blackened with soot but the Lord is able to renew our lives and give us the opportunity to be a firebrand for God instead. He will give us the brand new clothes of salvation to wear. He has chosen us to be part of the new Jerusalem, the city of Heaven. Satan will attempt to resist our spiritual progress but the Lord will always be at our right hand to overcome the resistance of satan. He will not let satan to push us back into the fire. Now we will realize that instead of burning in vain or burning for nothing or for no clear purpose, we can burn with zeal and passion for the Lord. When I survived the heat, shock waves, shrapnel of the bomb blast at Sriperumbudur, the Lord rebuked satan who was trying to destroy my life from childhood. He had chosen me from my mother’s womb. He knew my clothes were filthy but like the father in the story of the returning prodigal son, hastened to adorn me with a ring of authority to rebuke the powers of darkness on behalf of the Lord, the new shoes to travel places for God and proclaim the good news that others too could be similarly redeemed and renewed in life, the clothes of salvation- the belt of truth for we are tied to God by Jesus, the helmet or a head full of confidence that the Lord had indeed redeemed us from a terrible fate, death or end, the s-word or the spiritual word that convicts both the speaker and the listener, the 360 degree protective shield of faith. Prateep V Philip