Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Crown and the Concept of Abundance

UV 1285/10,000 The Crown and the Concept of Abundance
Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.
Psalm 65 v 11

The Lord crowns us with His blessings of grace and peace. He kept our souls from destruction. He tasted death on our behalf so that we live eternally. As long as we keep our covenant of love and our testimonies, the Lord will bless us bountifully or abundantly such that it not only meets our need but we are able to bless others with our giving to meet their need. He has given us the former rain moderately, implying that He has blessed us moderately with showers of blessing but He will also send the latter rain or the blessings of our latter years in abundance.

He crowns us with His goodness- this means that not only the goodies that He gives, the good things that He has promised to fill our mouths with but that He will clothe us with His goodness. He will prepare us for works of righteousness. Some versions of the Bible put the last part of this uni-verse, “ all your carts will overflow with abundance.” A king never needs to worry about where his next meal is coming from. He is not worried about how to pay his taxes or to make ends meet. Similarly, we need to know we are wearing crowns given by our Father in heaven a king and that He will supply all our need according to His riches in glory. When we worry and agonize over our wants or future wants, we are allowing the crown of peace and security to fall from our heads. Scripture promises that He will give us treasures out of darkness or out of secret places. We need not worry if the stock or the source is sufficient or whether it will run out on us. We need to wear not a physical crown but a crown of assurance and faith in the promises and the ability as well as desire of God to meet all our needs. He will provide for us while we are sleeping. Apart from mankind all other species are provided food and drink according to their need without any of them working for it or growing it for their consumption. This is the reason Jesus said, “ Look at the sparrow- it neither sows nor reaps.” It does not mean that we do not work or are not diligent but that we should wear our spiritual crowns all the time and hold our heads in peace and security knowing that the Lord who has met all our need this far will continue to do so. We need to wear the crown and walk the paths God has intended and indicated to us with the alternating feet of faith and love. We need to push our carts towards the finishing line or work with enthusiasm and motivation to fulfill the purpose the Lord has given us.

The concept and reality of abundance is seen in the miracles as well as teachings of Jesus. He held little in His hands or His pockets or in the purse of His followers but He always displayed an attitude of abundance. We too need to reflect His abundance mentality and not the scarcity mentality that we are conditioned to exhibit. Jesus said, “ I have come that you might have life and life in all its abundance.” When no food was available or in sight, He asked his disciples without batting an eyelid to “give them food as they are hungry.” After they fed the multitudes, as many as seven and twelve baskets of leftovers were collected. When Jesus turned the water into wine, the vats were filled to the brim and there was sufficient and more for all. When He told the disciples to cast their empty nets on the right side, the nets were filled with large fish to the point of bursting the seams. God has purposed abundance in all aspects of our lives: physically, we need to be healthy, vibrant and multiply; intellectually, we need to rule; emotionally, we need to be overflowing with joy, peace and love; spiritually, we need to be abounding in the fruit of the spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control, financially, we need to be sufficient and contented; socially, our influence need to grow manifold; professionally, our goals should be achieved. This teaching of abundance in scripture runs counter to the culture and knowledge of this age which is spreading the idea of scarce resources, unlimited wants, shortages of food and water, threatened and dying species, an ecology and environment that is threatened and damaged, an ozone layer that is depleting and so on. But the Lord God is not limited by any factor in time or space. He is able to provide for us consistently all year round, in times of famine as well as in times of plenty. His goodness is with us 365 days and 24x7. Our connection, our commitment and our communication with Him should also be 365 days and 24x7. The marrow of a bone is what I enjoy the most in terms of food. Scripture says that He will satisfy our need as with marrow and fatness.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Shallom Peace of Jesus

UV 1284/10,000 The Peace of Jesus

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 14 v 27

Jesus knew that the most valuable legacy He could leave for His followers was peace. The peace that Jesus gives rests on His finished work on the cross. His death was the sacrifice that purchased peace for all mankind. His resurrection and life is what brings salvation to us. No act of man or no religion or practice can give us this kind of peace. It is a peace that the world can neither give nor take away. It frees us from our worries and anxieties as well as from our fears and tears. The peace that Jesus gives is indestructible, irreducible, authentic, real and wholesome. It is not a shallow peace. Rather, it is summed up in the Hebrew word of blessing and greeting, “ Shalom” that means a wholesome peace that includes health, prosperity, longevity, eternal life, salvation, goodness and righteousness.

The peace that Jesus gives is an inner and eternal peace. It does not fluctuate or evaporate with changes in circumstances. He is the Prince of Peace. Jesus is the central part of God’s plan for man. His plan is to redeem mankind and give him eternal peace and love. Jesus rules not through edicts or proclamations or wars or strife but by filling our hearts and minds with His peace. Lucifer by contrast is the prince of strife who rules by creating divisions, by causing grief, by stealing the peace of people, by making people fearful or worried. He derives His power from the power of sin and death while Jesus ensures peace by destroying the power of sin and death in our lives. When we yield our hearts and minds to fear or worry or strife or temptation, we are denying Christ and affirming the enemy of our souls. Our heart attitudes are the sails on our souls that catch the upward wind of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus gives us the peace of righteousness. He is our righteousness and He clothes us in His righteousness. He breaks every curse and removes every limitation. Scripture says that the effect of righteousness is quietness, assurance and peace forever. Jesus not only imparts peace to us but He calls us to be peace- makers like Him. When we have peace with God, we have peace with ourselves and then we have peace with others. We also would naturally reach out to others who are living in a state of strife, worry and fear and point them to Jesus. We are partners with Jesus in ushering peace in this strife-torn world. Yesterday, I received a New Year Greeting card that is remarkable as it showed all the nations of the world marked with words indicating the problems of strife each is facing and that only Jesus is the answer to all the problems. He is God’s answer and provision of peace for a blighted earth.

Prateep V Philip

Saturday, December 27, 2014

When the Chips are Down......

UV 1283/10,000 When The Chips are Down…
But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
Psalm 22 v 19

The Psalmist David declared the Lord as His strength. He did not regard his army, his throne, his military prowess, his wealth, his loyal supporters, his kingdom or his people as his strength but only the Lord. He knew that the Lord God was only a prayer away, that He is not distant and that He is close and personal. God manifests His strength to the advantage and help of His people, those who are in a personal relationship with Him. He is the God of impossible odds. Even when all probabilities and possibilities are extremely low. Even when the situation is hopeless, He can turn things around. The proximity of the Lord precedes the availability of His help. Therefore, David first cried out to the Lord to come near to hi and then only to hasten to his help. Our relationship with God should not be utilitarian- to use or get His assistance in times of need and then forget Him. We should not be time-servers but be consistent and faithful at all times, when things are looking up as well as when the chips are down.

We need to acknowledge that God has been our help, our Ebenezer from the time in our mothers’ wombs. He is an ever present help in our present troubles. He is a mighty help. He is an everlasting help. He is a help all round in every situation and predicament. He helps us overcome our own personal weaknesses for He knows us from the inside out. He knows our desires and aspirations. He helps us fulfill them in His time. In this uni-verse, David cries out desperately but with great hope that the Lord increase the speed of His help. The Lord God hearkens and hears even such prayers that seem to impatient with His timing or seems to question His sovereignty. Our attitude at the time of praying such a request should not be that of a rebel but that of a child who expects His Father to act quickly.

When King Hezekiah cried out for help against a formidable and powerful enemy- the army of Sennacherib, the Lord hastened to his help. When he cried out for healing and to lengthen his life so threatened by a disease, the Lord healed him and extended his life by another fifteen years. Sometimes the Lord delays some answers to prayer as He first desires an intimacy with us. He might want to test our faith. When we declare ourselves completely hopeful and dependent on His help alone, then He is pleased to act swiftly. No king would like to be described or viewed as a helper to his people. He would regard it as demeaning or insulting. But the Lord Jesus alone as King of Kings humbles himself as a helper or Ebenezer God to all people. It is His great grace, His humility and His awareness of our great need that enables Him to do so.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, December 26, 2014

Unique Success Proposition

UV 1282/10,000 Unique Success Proposition
There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Joshua 1 v 5

This is an amazing promise of God to Joshua who succeeded Moses in wearing the mantle of leadership of Israel. Leadership is about direction while management is about directions. The right direction is far more vital than getting the right directions in place. There is no point in running faster or working more efficiently in the wrong direction. God saw that Joshua was following after the direction that He pointed out to Him. He anointed and empowered Joshua. He gave Joshua the authority to lead Israel. He promised him that no one would be able to confront him or challenge him or defeat or overcome him in any way. As a result, Joshua defeated 31 kings en route to establishing the nation of Israel in the land that God had pointed out to him. Joshua saw clearly that Moses succeeded in challenging the might and authority of Pharaoh as God Almighty was with Him. He developed the confidence that as long as He followed God step by step in the right direction, he would never fail in achieving the goal or mission of establishing the nation of Israel. He had the confidence that God who had led them this far would never forsake them.

We too must trust the Lord step by step and believe He is with us, that He would never leave us nor forsake us. He will fight for us and defeat every force and factor against us. He is more than conqueror as He loves us. It is His presence in us and with us that distinguishes us. As He was with Moses and with Joshua, He is with us today. We should not set great store by our natural strength or abilities or wealth or position or contacts but move in the direction the Lord leads us. Joshua did not say that the spirit of Moses is with him. He was not in awe of Moses but He was in awe of Jehovah. The Lord wants us not to focus on any man of God or person of the world, however great and powerful he or she might be. He wants us to focus on the author and finisher of our faith- Jesus. He is the author and finisher of our lives, our success, our goals, our desires, our strength and our influence. We need to first recognize that we cannot do it on our own. We need to be confident that we can do all things in Christ and with Christ.

We too have to defeat 31 kings. We have different types of battles and different types of foes. We have a variety of challenges, problems and difficulties. We too have many Red Seas and Jordans to cross though they may be more spiritual than physical hurdles. As long as we stick to God like a leech, we will draw our strength from Him. It will be reflected in our sense of security and contentment. It will be reflected in our reactions and responses to the stimuli we face in our environment on a daily basis. It will be reflected in our sense of priorities in life. Joshua’s USP or in this context Unique Success Proposition was that he diligently studied the Word of God and never swerved from the direction indicated in it to the left or to the right.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Manifold and Abundant Grace

UV 1281/10,000 Manifold and Abundant Grace
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
2 Corinthians 9 v 8

God ‘s grace is sufficient for each of us and all of us. His grace is never in short supply. He is able to multiply His grace and peace in our lives. We are expected to abound in faith, gracious speech, knowledge, all diligence and all manner of love. It is referred to in scripture as the manifold grace of God that manifests itself in many ways. It will be sufficient to meet our every need as well as to be generous in giving to good causes and to do good works. We cannot work hard to get grace. Grace is a gift from God and God alone.
Our faith though it is sufficient to save us by grace, should be expressed in good works. The relationship between faith and good works in God ‘s plan of redemption for mankind is that faith is the root while good works are the fruit. The branches that bear the fruit are diligence, gracious speech, knowledge, diligence and different forms of expressing love. We have received freely of grace and therefore, we too need to give freely. Diligence or persistent efforts after thorough planning is needed for grace to run its course. It is not a hands off approach where we can say, “ let’s relax and let God take control.” Faith is a mustard seed not a full grown tree. It needs to be planted in different situations of need. It needs to be drilled into our minds and hearts to take deep root. It needs to be continually watered and fertilized. It needs to be trimmed and pruned. It needs to be fenced and protected. It needs to be harvested and stored. Gracious speech is needed to express our thoughts and emotions and desires. Knowledge of scripture is needed to know which verse is a seed for which specific situation or need and how best to apply or claim it. Knowledge of who God is will deal with our insecurities and fears that make us store more than we need and be unwilling to share it with others. Love is needed to be able to share the harvest of blessings and God’s provision with others, to be able to bear one another’s burdens.

Giving to the needy is also an essential grace. The early believers despite their afflictions and relative poverty they were liberal in giving to meet the need of others. When we give to the poor, it is written in scripture that we are lending to the Lord. He is no man’s debtor and so He will return it to us through manifold grace in a variety of ways and blessings. We are commanded to test the Lord by giving our first fruit of our harvest or our earnings to the Lord and He will open the windows of heaven and bless us so abundantly that we will not have room to store it. It is not just a reference to financial provision but to an overflow of God’s blessings in our lives. We will suffer no lack. We will lack no good things for the Lord will fill our mouth with good things not just to taste but to speak of. The measure we use will be the measure God uses but He will give us multiple times the measure we use.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Seed that Meets Our Need

UV 1280/10,000 The Seed that Meets Our Need

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.

Genesis 3 v 15

This uni-verse is the very first prophetic promise of the Messiah, the Christ, the One anointed to save all mankind, the Saviour of the world, the One who will crush the head of the enemy of all mankind-satan. Indeed, the Seed of God became the seed of man in order to meet the past, present, future and eternal need of mankind. We need to be absolved of the willful, known, hidden and secret shortcomings of our past. We need to be able to face the moral, spiritual, social, physical, intellectual and emotional challenges of the present and the future. We need to overcome death and the fear of death. We need to overcome the penalties of the judgement of God. We are a bruised and hurt people, bruised physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. We need healing. We need to be made whole.

We need to end our friendship with our common enemy- satan and become Friends of God. We need a relationship with God. We ourselves need to become the good seed in the field referred to in Jesus’s parable of the sower of seed who hear His word and His promise and both believe and obey it. We need hope to live forever. We know we cannot do it on our own. We cannot help ourselves. We need to be able to resist the temptations and weaknesses, pressures and pleasures of our flesh. We need to be able to live fully and free from our fears. We realize that we are a needy people, craving for the blessings of the Lord.

Under the old covenant, the blessings were exclusively reserved for the first born. The first born was prepared to inherit and rule the father’s household. The first born of all cattle was sacrificed as it was reserved for God. The sacrifice of the first born was symbolic forerunner of the sacrifice of Jesus. But the first born of God, Jesus being the Seed of God by becoming the seed of man, one of us, He crushed all the power of the evil one under His heel. He freely shared the blessings of the first born with every one of us. We are being prepared to rule on His behalf over all the earth. Our faith makes us spiritual heirs and descendants with Jesus of Abraham. Our power to rule makes us spiritual descendants and heirs with Jesus of King David. Jesus declares us Friends of God and children of God, brothers and sisters with Him. We only need to be grafted and rooted to Him by faith. Further, we will bear fruit in love of forgiveness, of goodness, of joy, peace, humility, kindness.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, December 22, 2014

Joy in the Lord

UV 1279/10,000 Joy in the Lord
Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.
Joel 2 v 21

Our fears detract from the joy that the Lord wants to be full. He does great things in us and with us and for u. Not just the mundane or ordinary things that we encounter every day but He does extraordinary acts of grace and mercy in our lives, some of which we are aware of and some of which we are not even aware of. As we increase in awareness of the greatness of God and the things He has done for each of us, our fears will recede, decline or vanish and our gladness and joy will increase. Joy is a lot like double entry bookkeeping. On the one hand, we need to reduce our fears, worries and anxieties and on the other increase in peace, gladness and joy. It is said that the expression, “ Fear not” occurs 365 times in the Bible, once for every day of the year. Every day a new type of fear manifests in our minds. In other words, we need to command ourselves every day of our lives to decrease in fear and increase in joy. Our fears are largely baseless and irrational but our joy is rational and justified for this reason: the Lord, who has done great things for us in the past, will do great things for us this day.

The Lord does things that we cannot think, ask or even imagine. His love is so great. It cannot be held back. His power is so great. It cannot be thwarted or limited. He is the Alpha and the Omega and hence, He will do great things from the beginning of our lives to its end and even beyond. When we meditate on who God really is, it will increase our gladness. Our strength or inner power and grace will be enhanced. The Lord will bring about inner transformation. Instead of being worriers, we will become warriors, prayer warriors for Him. Our prayers will trigger great changes in the visible and invisible world for the Lord delights in answering our deepest sighs and even impossible requests. The Lord will do things that transcend the natural. He will do supernatural deeds or miracles. He does not do these to impress us or to prove He exists but as He wants us to be exceedingly joyful. The uni-verse is put in the future tense, “ the Lord will…” implying that whatever great things He has done for us till now is only a token of the greater things He is going to do in our lives, for us and with us. “ In us” is grace, “for us” is blessing and “with us” is purpose or destiny. Instead of regretting about the things we could have done or the things we have done wrong, instead of worrying about what can go wrong, instead of entertaining imaginary fears and apprehensions about our future, we can dwell on these great things that the Lord is going to do.

The words are addressed to “ O land” as the uni-verse is addressed to us as individuals dwelling in the land of the eternally living as well to us as a people of God. We are called to rejoice not as the people of the world who delight in their own power, beauty, wealth, position or fame, who are conceited and boastful of their accomplishments but whose chief and primary source of joy is the Lord Himself. We delight in His fellowship. We delight in studying His word and obeying Him. We delight in His wonderful promises. The word “ rejoice” implies that we need to find joy again and again in the Lord, not in the things He has provided for us or the things He has done but in who He is to us. We should not get bored or exhausted or run out of enthusiasm as we tend to do with worldly things and activities but our joy keeps getting filled to the brim, overflows, empties and is renewed and filled again and again endlessly. Who we are or what we have or what we have done is not the source of our joy but whose we are is the source. “JOY” implies “Jesus Owns You.” Everyone else might reject us but Jesus owns us. He belongs to us and we belong to Him and His banner over us is love and that is the source of our joy. It removes our fear of failure, fear of success, fear of want, fear of shame, fear of death, fear of sin and its consequences, fear of curses, fear of the powerful, fear of the new, fear of the future, fear of the unknown, fear of threats, fear of dangers, fear of rejection and so on. It increases our peace, gladness, grace, hope and joy.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Blessings of and for Children

UV 1278/10,000 Blessings of and for Children
Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.
Isaiah 8 v 18

The massacre of more than a hundred innocent children in a school in Peshawar by misguided terrorists has broken the heart of God. Even the hardened grave digger who had never wept for those he buried wept bitterly over these slaughtered innocents. Children occupy a special place in the heart of the Lord. They are a sign from the Lord of the blessings and bliss of innocence. The Lord promises not only to bless us with children but to bless them and give them wonderful testimonies. For this to happen we only need to fulfill one condition that we spend time on Mount Zion or in the presence of the Lord and teach our children also to do the same. This uni-verse is a promise of generational blessings. It is also a declaration of faith and affirmation that God had given us the children and that He will be faithful and undertake to do signs and wonders of protection, provision, leadership and guidance in their lives. It is a sign of dedicating ourselves as parents and our children as a living offering to the Lord even as Abraham offered Isaac.

We need to acknowledge that children are a heritage from the Lord. It is he who has given them. The other day I heard a testimony of a young father of how his third child fell seriously ill while they were travelling in Singapore. When he knelt in prayer in the hotel room angry and asking God, “ Why are you letting this happen to me?” , he heard a voice that clearly asked him, “ Do you love me even if I take your child?” He thought about it and replied, “ You have given the child and it is for you to leave her with me or to take her.” The child and her illness was a test of his faith and a sign and wonder of His goodness and grace.

The term “ in Israel” implies that in all our struggles with our children and in all the struggles and challenges our children face, the Lord will manifest His mercy, goodness and grace. The term “ in Mount Zion” implies that the Lord rules in our every situation and predicament. He will demonstrate that He is sovereign and that He cares for us in every intimate aspect of our lives. He is the Lord of hosts or of the armies of angels of heaven. He sends His angels and messengers on behalf of our children. He gives them success and victory. He nourishes their spirits and strengthens them in spirit, mind and body. The greatest thing we can do for our children is to bring them up in faith and the fear of the Lord. The Lord is their eternal and permanent parent. He will teach them directly and lead them as He leads those with young with tenderness and care. Great shall be their peace and grace. Those who are parents will do well to claim this uni-verse every day for their children.

Prateep V Philip

Saturday, December 20, 2014


UV 1277/10,000 “ Christalis”
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
Galatians 6 v 15

Our pre-Christ life is a lot like a caterpillar. We have a ravenous appetite like the caterpillar and keep gorging on all that the world has to feed us. We enjoy the things that pander to our worldly lusts and we seek after pleasure and do not bother about the higher goals of life. Our world consists of our present need and its satisfaction. We are connected to the world with a hundred different limbs. We are in competition with others as we forage for our need. We desire to bloat and gloat as the fattest worm on the planet. Then, when we receive Jesus as our Saviour, we enter a Christalis not a chrysalis. While we are in the Christalis, He feeds us with hidden manna of His Word. He sustains us with His grace. We receive the anointing of Christ. Our old being is melted. It dies and a new creature emerges over time. We die to ourselves and our deceitful lusts and conceit. We live for Christ. We can fly on the wings of the Word and prayer into the very presence of God. When we bow down on our knees with our head on the floor we are actually taking the position of f oetus in its mother’s womb, a caterpillar in a chrysalis. “ It” becomes a new and living creature. Our circumstances do not matter any more. Our outer forms do not matter that much. Every crisis takes us back into the christalis to experience the power of His resurrection. When we pray, we are entering a christalis, not a chrysalis and we will emerge regardless of our circumstances with renewed faith, renewed love, renewed beauty, renewed hope, renewed wisdom, renewed strength and grace.

Our old ambitions of amassing wealth or becoming famous or powerful and important no longer attract our hearts and minds. What matters is a life of faith expressed in works of love. Our perspectives are changed. Our priorities are different. Our behavior is changed. Yes, we do have our struggles but our struggles are no longer with other people or with ourselves or with God. With God on our side, we can triumph in all our struggles. We do have threats and adversaries but we can be victorious over every threat and adversary. The shadow of Almighty God or His ever accompanying presence distinguishes us from all other creatures. He provides for us. He renews us and clothes us with His salvation.

We are butterflies not moths. We are to fly by day and rest by night. We are to cross pollinate with the message of hope from God the lives of all the people we encounter. We are to remind them that their lives are like grass and their acquisitions and accomplishments but fading flowers. Whom we do not impact with an exchange of words, feelings and thoughts, we will influence by our presence, our example and our testimonies. We are not dying creatures but living creatures destined to live and rule forever. We are symbols, metaphors and personification of the glory of God on earth.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, December 19, 2014

Drastic Surgery, Not Plastic Surgery

UV 1276/10,000 Drastic Surgery, Not Plastic Surgery

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3 v 18

Change Management in the Kingdom of God is not restricted to the superficial or cosmetic level. It goes much deeper and is much more lasting. All believers in Christ should with unveiled faces behold the glory of God in Christ. The image of Christ is full of grace and truth. We too should be transformed into that same image, degree by degree, day by day, experience by experience, little by little. Transformation is a gradual process of maturing in the knowledge of Christ. The Word of God is a mirror to us of where we should be aiming to reach in terms of spiritual and holistic growth. When we look into the mirror of scripture we see two images, one of who and what we are with our strengths and weaknesses, our imperfections and flaws and the other image of the glory of Christ or His moral and holistic perfection, His flawlessness and holiness. The Spirit of the Lord then tells us, “ I want you to grow from what you are now to being like who you see in Christ”. As we desire wholeheartedly, He will give us the grace to grow more and more like Him.

The process of unveiling our eyes is an important step in our transformation. The world and the things we see and hear and feel have blinded our eyes. We should seek the help of the Holy Spirit to see better and more fully. The Lord will challenge our beliefs and our faith so that it expands. To our faith we need to add love, to our love knowledge and wisdom, to our knowledge we need to add diligence and perseverance, to our perseverance, we need to add patience. We need to excel or keep improving in each aspect of the abundant life. We need to abound in these qualities or fruit of the Spirit. Then only will we be like the first born of God, Jesus Christ. We will be His spiritual siblings. Then only will we be truly citizens of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God means that God rules directly in us through His Spirit and His word.

While we strive towards the higher goal of being exactly like Jesus, we are already dwelling in glory. The expression “ from glory to glory” implies that we are moving from one level of perfection or righteousness to the next. We do not have to wait till we arrive in heaven to celebrate or rejoice. We are already dwelling in unity with God or we are intimately connected to His glory. The indwelling God is our glory. The vacuum in our hearts are filled. We are no longer frustrated and always reaching out in vain to something beyond us. We need to every day look into the glorious face of Jesus and appropriate more and more grace and more and more glory or power. We accelerate the pace of being absorbers and reflectors of God’s glory by increasing the intensity of our longing as well as the time we spend in His presence and in studying and applying His word in our everyday lives. As we do so, He does not do plastic surgery to make us look better or bring about cosmetic changes but He does drastic surgery to transform us.
Prateep V Philip

Spiritual Liberty

UV 1275/10,000 Spiritual Liberty

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

2 Corinthians 3 v 17

Adam was created a living soul but after he broke faith with God along with Eve his partner, they became dying souls in accordance with the law of sin and death. All humanity who are descendants of Adam and Eve are consequently captives of the law of sin and death. Jesus in contrast is a quickening spirit. His words are spirit and life. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty of freedom from the law of sin and death. We are set free from curses and bondage by the blood of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus from death give s us hope too of our own resurrection and life forever. Political liberty, economic liberty or social liberty while being important do not match the freedom that spiritual liberty brings. Religion also does not give people the liberty they seek and need. All religion has little to do with who God is and what He wants us to do.

There is an old saying that “while knowledge is power, wisdom is liberty.” In actual point of fact knowledge of Jesus as our personal Saviour and Lord gives us access to the wisdom of God as well as liberty. We have freedom from fear and guilt. We are given the spirit of adoption that enables us to call God the Father as our Abba or Daddy. The Spirit that God imparts to us is not one of fear but of love, power and self control. Love sets us free from a reactionary or vindictive spirit. It frees us of bitterness. The spirit empowers us to be bold and brave. The spirit gives us the confidence that nothing can happen to us without the knowledge and express permission or will of God.

The spirit also restrains and tames our passions. We exercise balance and self restraint with regard to expressing our emotions and in the fulfilment of our desires. The spirit imparts wisdom and prudence in us so that what we say and do never brings a bad name to the Lord. An ambassador acts with restraint and dignity in a foreign land. Similarly, we are expected to act with restraint and dignity in representing God on earth and His kingdom ways in this world. We are freed from worries as well as excessive or wrong desires. We are freed from the burden of guilt. We have no false illusions or delusions. These attributes make us full of the joy of salvation or eternal joy. Our spiritual liberty leads us to greater and greater joy in the Lord. We are not subject to the law of righteousness and the abundant and eternal life in Christ.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Spiritual Food and Medicine

UV 1274/10,000 Spiritual Food and Medicine Rev 10:10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

The little scroll that we receive from the hand if the angel is the portion of scripture that The Lord gives us daily to teach us, encourage us, warn us or to admonish us. It is the thematic or specific verse that we need and that we claim. We should not just read it casually but we need to eat it, masticate it so that it becomes part of flesh and blood and mind and spirit. It should be woven into the warp and woof of our lives.

Scripture is sweet in our mouths or sweet as we hear it for our ears are the mouths of our minds and spirits. It is sweet like the honeyed taste of God provided manna. We should enjoy reading and digesting scripture and not treat it as a burden, boredom or imposition. We should relish it and cherish every word.

Once we ingest a portion of scripture it becomes like bitter medicine in our stomachs or in our inner being. It will produce the churning that produces change and healing in our lives. It will make us whole and healthy in spirit, mind and body. It will supply all the nutrients our being needs. It will equip us for the present and prepare us for the future as well as for eternity. It is by understanding and applying this promise that we can enjoy the promise of Jesus in John 10 v 10 " I have come that you might have life and life in all its abundance. " We have multiple and abundant as well as specific and precise promises and answers in scripture for the healing of nations, for the blessing of our lives, for the health and well being of our people, for the growth and blessing of our children and succeeding generations, for meeting every deficiency and shortcoming, for overcoming every curse and limitation and for solving every problem.
Prateep V Philip

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Power Backed Speech

UV 1273/10,000 Filtering Negatives and Focussing on Positive Speech
The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.
Malachi 2 v 6

God gave us minds to think, feel and act. He gave us mouths to speak . But only when we bring our mind and our mouths in alignment with scriptural teachings about how to use our minds and mouths, can we filter out the negatives and focus and feed on the positive. The mind is like a bow, the mouth, vocal cords and lips like a string on the bow and our words are the arrow. The arrow can cause death, injury or it can give rise to life by penetrating the hearts and spirits of people with the truths of eternal life. Scripture contains the law of truth. When we constantly remember the Word of God and meditate on it, it sets up some filters for our own words. Before we utter a word, it will prompt us to ask ourselves if it is the truth. If it is the truth, then it prompts us to send our words through the next filters: is it wholesome or healthy ? Is it useful? Is it pleasing to God? Is it edifying or tending to build the hope and faith of the hearer? Is it profitable or useful for training both the speaker and the listeners in righteousness?

The words we speak are the fruit of our lips. We should honour the Lord with the fruit of our lips who has given us the amazing power of speech and the understanding of words. We honour the Lord when our words reflect the fruit of the spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and humility. We are a messenger of God to people. Hence, our words should turn many people from sin. It should produce peace and not strife.

We are priests and kings of God on earth. As priests our words should preserve and enhance knowledge and wisdom. Our words and gentleness should touch people. Our speech will be filtered of all guile or untruth or deception as well as hurting or biting sarcasm and insults or coarse jokes that make other people look smaller. As kings, our words should reflect authority and power of God. Our sense of conviction and confidence will boost the faith of many. It will lead them into truth of sin and the hope of eternal life or salvation. The law of truth was “in his mouth’ – this implies that we do not just know the truth but we keep speaking about it. The sentence “ he walked with me in peace and equity” implies that not only should we know the Word but that we should live according to the teachings and principles contained thererin. When our lifestyle, thought life and actions back up our words, our speech becomes powerful. None of it will fall to the ground without any effect. Of course, the soil or the kind of attitudes of the listeners will determine whether it grows or dies. The truth we speak will set people free from their fears, doubts and inhibitions. It will lead them into freedom of a personal relationship with the Saviour God.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, December 15, 2014

Able to Help

UV 1272/10,000 ABLE TO HELP
For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
Hebrews 2 v 18

Jesus was made in every way like all of us who are of flesh and blood. He therefore understands and empathises with our troubles and temptations, our weaknesses and failings, our feelings and fears. He is now a merciful and faithful high priest before God Almighty on our behalf, to plead for our help and to intercede for our souls. He is not only atoner for our sins in His death but He is now our chief interceder. Since He himself suffered temptations of flesh and blood, He is able to help all of us who are being tempted or troubled. HE IS ABLE TO HELP US IN ALL OUR UNIQUE OR DIFFICULT OR PECULIAR CIRCUMSTANCES. He is our enabler. He is our Ebenezer or Helper. We can expect, claim and receive divine help in every aspect of our lives.

Though Jesus took on our lowly bodies, He is now raised on high, higher than heaven. He is holy, blameless, harmless, separated from sinners and undefiled. He will ensure that nobody will be able to pluck us from the Father’s hand. He will give us laser-sharp focus and crystal-clear clarity in all the complicated situations or complex issues of our lives. He will help us fend ourselves from tempations to be obsessed with the seen and material world, the temptation to test and doubt God, the temptation to be lured away from God by the attractions and rewards that the world has to offer. He will remind us of the appropriate Word to strengthen us from within. If we fall, He will help us rise and walk again.

IF He does not deliver us from a temptation or trouble, He will give us grace to help overcome or grace to bear the suffering. He is able to present us faultless before the glory of God with exceeding joy of victory. He will provide a way of escape in our troubles. He sends the Holy Spirit to give us word of wisdom or counsel on what we need to do and to comfort us. He sends His angels who could be messengers in flesh and blood as well as spiritual beings to our assistance. The key words to remember always in this uni-verse is : He is able to help us. His hand is not too short. He is not wanting in strength or power or resources or the willingness and desire to help us. He is always ready to help us. He is only one prayer away. He is at arm’s length. He helps us overcome temptations from within and troubles from without.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hand Holding and Hand Blessing

UV 1271/10,000 Hand Holding and Hand Blessing
I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
Isaiah 42 v 6

The Lord has commissioned us to walk or live in righteousness. He does not give us His great commission to be a witness for Him in this world and leave us alone. He will guide us step by step. He will hold our hand and teach us. He will carry us as He carried us from the beginning till our last day. He will protect us. He will make us a covenant mediator for people and enlighten us to be a leader of influence among the unbelievers. We need to have compassion or a heart of sympathy for people in their struggles. We must not be cold hearted like Jonah who desired that the people of Nineveh perish for he judged them to be wicked and decided that they should be not given a second chance to repent. We must desire to lead people to the true light of the world- Jesus. When we experience the grace of Jesus, we are ourselves transformed from being a Gentile to being a gentle person. It is like the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. As one author put it, “ There is nothing in a caterpillar that can turn it into a butterfly.” We have no light of our own but the light of truth that Jesus spoke into our lives. Where earlier we crawled, now we can fly. The other day while on a walk I noticed how a butterfly kept flitting from one flower to another in quick succession, collecting and exchanging pollen on its filaments. Similarly, we need to exchange our words and gestures with all the different people we meet in different ways so that some of its sticks to their minds and hearts and convicts them too.

The Lord says, “ I am your window. “ He does not say that “ I am your door.” The reason is that He takes us through a narrow passage. He is not going to be lavish with us. We need to struggle and He will show us the way out through the window for only then will we have a testimony. During our struggles, He holds our hand and leads us. He is the road or the path on which we should walk. He manifests His grace in all our struggles as a Wonderful Counsellor. He is an extraordinary strategist and He will give us the strategies to emerge victorious. Whenever we are confused about what decision to take, what choice to make, we need to consult the Lord and ask for wisdom and guidance. He will give us clarity and vision. He will restore our joy and peace. He will renew us with His strength and power from on high.

The Lord not only holds our hand but He holds us in His right hand. In a time of prayer the Lord gave His five finger message of blessing: the thumb represents Jehovah Nissi, the one who ensures our victory, the index finger represents Jehovah Jireh or His provision that is sufficient for our every need, the third finger represents that He conquered us, the fourth stands for the blood from Calvary that sanctifies us and the last finger of God removes every curse and sickness. His face will shine on us and lighten our loads and enlighten our hearts and minds.

Prateep V Philip

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Faith is Evidence-Based and Experience-Based

UV 1270/10,000 Evidence and Experience-Based Faith
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11 v 1

The eternal realms are unseen. Hence, God sees if we are worthy of eternal life by examining our faith. Faith is a confident, persistent, growing and patient hope. We do not hope for things we can see as it is already within our perception and our grasp. It is a hope for the unseen. Faith informs us that the silence and invisibility of God is not evidence of His non-existence, ignorance, inability or indifference. Faith is the anchor of our soul that gives us stability and security in the midst of swirling change even as a large ship is held in its place near the pier by its anchor. It is like a baton that we first begin to hold when we believed in Jesus and His finished work on the cross. Our challenge is to hold on to the baton firmly and steadfastly all through the circumstances and vicissitudes of life till the very end. Faith is a promise to believe, a commitment to keep, a covenant to honour. Faith is being sure of what we hope for. What we see and experience in the physical world is neither certain nor sure. It could be taken from us anytime or we could be snatched from it. Faith enables us to exchange the uncertainties of the physical world for the certain or sure hope of the spiritual realm that nobody can take away from us, neither death nor principalities of darkness. With the one certainty that Christ died as our Saviour, once for all and now lives forever as Lord, we can combat a legion of uncertainties.

Faith is most precious as it enables us to have a relationship with the unseen God. Normally, our sight is more powerful than our hearing. We believe what we see more than by what we hear. But, by faith our hearing overpowers our sight. We believe what we hear about God from His Word. It no longer matters that we cannot see Him or touch Him. Faith is indeed the eyesight of the soul. Our spiritual eyes that were blinded hitherto are opened to see the precious blessings and treasures in the promises and Word of God. Normally, substance is something physical and evidence is visible. Here, substance means believing in the substantiated facts of history, that Jesus Christ, a sinless man who proved by His deeds and words that He is of supernatural origin was crucified, died and was resurrected. He once was unseen but now is taken up to sit at the rightful place- on the right hand of God’s throne in the eternal realm. Our faith is rational and based on solid facts as it is based on the evidence in writing left behind by His followers- the disciples and apostles. Faith is not airy-fairy or spiritualism or a ‘ make-believe’ world of fantasy. It is practical, real and down to earth. It is evidence-based. It is experience-based. When we build our faith on Christ, we are building on a solid substance- a rock foundation. Though it starts off as hope in the unseen, over time what is hoped for will be seen and experienced just as Simeon experienced joy when his eyes perceived the child who was born to be Messiah- Jesus. Some of the hopes will be realized and experienced on the other side of the river of life, on the shores of eternity even as Abraham saw his promised child, Isaac but did not live long enough to see the multitudes who were the seed of his kind of faith.

Faith is more precious than gold or silver as the latter can be purchased but faith cannot be purchased. Faith is precious as it is the one thing that pleases God and wins us His favour or grace. Faith is precious as it supplies the missing pieces or answers in the puzzle of life: Who created us? Why were we created? What is our purpose? What is our destiny beyond this life? Who will give us the help and power to live and face the challenges of this life? Faith gives us empirical or experiential evidence, both of ourselves and thousands of people world-wide, of the existence of God, of the character of God, of the existence of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit. Faith is precious as it becomes a living root for our growth and fruitfulness. Faith is precious as it gives us the inner strength to endure and to overcome. It gives us the confidence that whatever be the hurdles or odds or problems, we will prevail and be victorious in the end. Faith is precious as it gives us access to the valuable promises of God contained in the Word. It enables us to wait with hope, joy, optimism and patience for the fulfillment of these specific promises affecting every area of our lives, meeting every need beyond what we can think or ask or imagine. Faith makes us value-able or able to uphold and live up to values or the expectations of character that the Father has for His children. Though faith does not rely on sight, it makes us far-sighted and eternity-focussed.
Prateep V Philip

Be An Overcomer

UV 1269/10,000 Be an Overcomer
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Revelation 2 v 26

Once I was feeling despondent while I was recuperating from my injuries in the assassination of Mr Rajiv Gandhi. I told my father-in- law, “ I think I am a failure.” He replied quite wisely that “ Only at the end or after our life ends can one say if a person is a failure or a success.” In order to determine the winner in a race, it is the one who touches the finishing line first who is the winner. But in the race of grace, the one who endures, the one who keeps the word and patiently bears fruit is the winner. While running the race, we should say, “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” At the end of the race, we should be able to say, “ I have fought the good fight. I have run the race.” A soldier defends his position. The athlete runs forward with an eye on the finishing line. We can finish well by reason of our focus on Jesus. Jesus is an overcomer. He overcame sin, temptation and death. He expects us to be overcomers and more than conquerors. Conquerors overcame their adversaries by virtue of their more powerful armies or weapons or strategies. But we overcome by the power of the Lord.

The winner is the one who finishes well, the one who overcomes all temptations and troubles and seeks after eternal life, glory, honour and immortality. The one who lives a testimonial or faithful life till the very end is the winner. The one who overcomes receives the crown of life. His name will be written in the Lamb’s book of the Living. He will be given a new name of significance given by God as a mark of reward and honour. He will sit with Christ on a heavenly throne. There is a saying in quite another context that says, “ winner takes all.” When we overcome, we will receive every blessing of every promise of God. We will inherit every spiritual blessing in heaven and on earth. The tragedy and reality is that only one out of three leaders finish well as they fall to temptation of money or pride. They are either overcome by the world or lured by their own weaknesses. We cannot rely on our own moral or emotional or intellectual or even spiritual strength. But we need to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. He enables us to overcome and protects us from being overcome sometimes by providing us with a way of escape. Sometimes, He enables us to overcome by letting us go through the storm.

Life is not a short hundred meters dash but a long marathon. Our spiritual stamina counts a lot. We must remember the Word and do the work of God. We need to do good works for the glory of God. We should avoid compromises that can take us on a detour from the path the Lord wants us to take. As we grow older in the Lord, we must retain our first love or the passion with which we first sought and cherished the Lord. We must not become complacent or comfortable but be ready to face any hardship for the sake of our faith. The Lord will help us by giving us grace to overcome. He promises us that once we overcome, He will give us power over the nations. It implies that He will give us power or authority to rule over the spiritual powers over the nations.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Purpose of Pain

UV 1269/10,000 The Purpose of Pain
And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
Malachi 3 v 3

This uni-verse uses a metaphor from metallurgy where the Lord sits as a refiner of silver and gold. Believers are to God what precious metals are to a human being. He takes pains to see that we are purified and refined so that we share in His holiness, so that we are blemishless, without wrinkle or spot. Silver is purified in a refining pot and gold in a furnace. Silver is purified seven times to remove the tin, brass and iron that are the dross or impurities in it. Gold is burnt and melted in the furnace to remove its impurities and make it of purest quality. When silver and gold is smelted and purified, it reflects the image of the refiner or goldsmith. Similarly, when we are purified, the image of God is reflected in us, our work and our lives. The image of God in us implies that the purity, the perfection, the greatness, the grace, the power, the mercy, the patience, the love of God, the glory of God are reflected in us and through us. Just as a glass prism splits the white light into its constituent glorious colours of the rainbow, when our character, minds and hearts are refined, we reflect the glory of God.

Believers are “sons of Levi” or priests in the eyes of God and are to be pure in the thoughts we think, the words we speak and the things we do. The Lord purges us through the fire of suffering in this lifetime. Pain tends to straighten the crooked things in our lives. Pain removes stain of character. We become messengers or vessels of gold and silver to carry the message of hope of Christ to the rest of humanity. We become vessels of glory. Suffering also proves our faith. The furnace is meant for gold and silver but suffering is meant to test our faith and to strengthen it. The intense heat applied to precious metals makes it malleable. Similarly, the intensity of the emotions and thoughts involved in human suffering causes us to change for the better. Suffering produces patience and patience supports hope. Just as the crucible of silver leaves a remnant in it at the end of the process of purification and refinement, we will be the remnant that wear the white spotless raiment of salvation.

Suffering equips us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, perfected, acceptable and pleasing to God. It constantly renews the image of God in His children. Our attitude as we go through God-permitted suffering should be to submit and yield. As we yield, God will increase our yield or the value of our sacrifice. We are purged of the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. We will be able to endure, overcome and finish well.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Victuals not Rituals

UV 1268/10,000 Spiritual Meat and Drink
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost
Romans 14 v 17

Jesus said, “ The kingdom of God is within you and amongst you.” The kingdom of God is the government and governance of Jesus as He is “ Wonderful, Counsellor, Everlasting Father, Mighty God, Prince of Peace.” When Christ reigns over our inner life, the kingdom of God is established in us. When Christ reigns and rules over our relationships, the kingdom of God is amongst us. We have righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. God is not concerned with our externals but He is concerned with our thoughts, emotions, relationships, motives, desires, hopes and fears. He sets our fears at rest and helps us overcome them and thereby, we have wholesome peace or Shalom. Our peace will increase and not decrease over time even as His influence and our submission and obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit increase. God is not interested in rituals and ceremonies but He is keen on nourishing us with spiritual victuals that enable us to live in victory. Just as there is a variety of meat, food and drinks in the physical realm, similarly there are a variety of spiritual meat and drink or the experiences of divine nourishment that we can obtain from the hand of God.

This uni-verse states that righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy Spirit are the meat and drink of our souls and spirits. Taking righteous stands and doing the right, good and just deeds based on scriptural precepts and principles will play the role of meat in our nourishment. We will satisfy our thirst by drinking of peace and joy. The wonders God does in our lives will create joy in us. We will rejoice first as a farmer who sees his harvest flourishing rejoices. We will rejoice again as a soldier who has won a great victory and enjoys the spoils thereof. He will give us the garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness, the oil or anointing of joy instead of mourning, beauty instead of ashes. Man plans but God plants and people will know that our success, blessing and growth is not a result of our plans or efforts but the gracious planting of the Lord. Everything that happens in a kingdom is dedicated and credited to the king. Similarly, the reasons for our righteousness, peace and joy are all attributed to the glory of King Jesus.

The Lord will also counsel or guide our inner man to act wisely and justly. We will have the joy of salvation. We will also have the joy of success. We will have the quiet assurance and contentment of a man who has been blessed by God like Abraham, Jacob and Job. Doubtless it will not all be hunky-dory. There will be times of struggle and tribulation as well as persecution. But the Lord will give us peace as we go through it and victory at the end. As “ Everlasting Father” unlike our earthly father or parents, He will never leave us or forsake us. He will provide us both food and drink. As Almighty God, He will act and show Himself strong on our behalf. Righteousness, peace and joy are impartations of the Holy Spirit as we walk close to the Lord. It needs to be manifested in various aspects of our life and relationships if our leadership is to be impactful or effective.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Silence, Strength and Salvation

Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.
Isaiah 41 v 1

The great continents of the earth are but tiny isles before the might of the Lord. His little finger can move all the land masses or cause it to stand. All of humanity inhabiting these continents need to be silent when they enter the awesome presence of the Lord. Silence and reverence is a form of worship that pleases the Lord and heals and blesses our souls. We must stop the seemingly ceaseless chatter of our brains which resemble the waves of the seas and oceans and find our rest, solace and strength in the Lord. We must silently meditate on the greatness and goodness of God and of how His love is practically demonstrated to us through the grace of Jesus. Each of us as we dwell in silence in the presence of the Lord is like a tiny isle surrounded by a mighty ocean of God’s love and power.

When we spend time at the feet of Jesus meditating in silence on His word, our strength will be renewed. The strength of our spirit will be renewed with hope to make us soar like eagles and run like an untiring Olympic marathon runner . The strength of our minds will be renewed so that we are more joyful and peaceful, more confident and less fearful or worried, more sure of what we need to do, more resolute to get things done, more patient to wait for the results of our efforts with faith. The strength of our relationships will be renewed so that we will be more forgiving, more wise, loving , patient,humble, gentle and understanding. The strength of our bodies will be renewed so that we will be more youthful and bounding with health and energy. The measure of our strength should not be something expected, ordinary or natural but it should be of an order that can only be described as supernatural and miraculous.

We must draw near to the Lord. The most personal and intimate relationship in our lives must be with the Lord. We must not hesitate to unburden ourselves daily by sharing our challenges and difficulties with Him and invite Him to either intervene or give us the strength to endure and overcome. We must communicate and share with Him our most dreaded fears, our secret desires, our fond hopes, our deepest feelings about all the aspects of our lives. It is not because He does not know but as He loves to hear it from our own lips. We must confess our faults and failings, our shortcomings and weaknesses to Him and He will erase or blot it out of His judgement to come. We must plead for the mercy and salvation of others even as Abraham pleaded for Sodom. But we can go confidently to the judgement seat of God as it is intended to reward us for our just deeds and not to penalize us for we are already judged when we identified ourselves with the death and resurrection of Jesus. Faith has three functions: to bring us into alignment or justification or in a straight line or personal relationship with God, to strengthen and bless us in this lifetime and to be the root for good words and deeds to spring up from.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, December 8, 2014

UnderGod, Not Underdog

UV 1266/10,000 UnderGod not Underdog

For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.

Psalm 54 v 7

Many awful events happen in our lives over which we do not seem to have much control. It throws out of gear and makes us question our faith. Indeed, many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of it all. Scripture also says that no man is righteous. Hence, righteousness implies the righteousness of Christ that is attributed to us when we believe in Him. He is not only our Saviour from sin and the consequences of sin- death and limitations but He is the Saviour in our past, present and future troubles. He delivers our souls in adversity. He delivers us from tribulations and persecutions. For God is greater than all our troubles. He will not cause us to endure more than we can bear. He will give us the grace and patience to endure, overcome and be victorious. He does not want us to languish in despondency and self pity as victims but He desires that each of us has a victory mentality that keeps urging us, “ You shall overcome.” Not so are the afflictions of the wicked. It is the just reward for wickedness. They are easily overcome by the floods and storms of life with no reprieve or relief.

We should not seek to see our desire performed on our enemies but the Lord’s desire. We should instead bless them and allow the Lord’s justice to be done in His time. If they dig a pit for us, they will eventually fall in it without any help from us. If they roll a stone, it will roll back on them. Like Joseph said, if we take it into our hands to repay them, we are virtually taking the place of God. We should repay their evil with goodness, their cruelty and injustice with kindness. While we wait for the Lord to act on our behalf, we should engage in anticipatory praise and thanksgiving. While it is happening, we should further engage in praise and thanksgiving and after the victory celebrate it forever with praise and thanksgiving from our hearts.

When people plan evil against us, God will turn it into good. We only need to trust Him for His justice and wait for it to happen. If we take the law into our hands, He will not interfere with the course of events. We are more than victors, more than conquerors for conquerors had to fight for themselves but the Lord will fight our battle for us. We only need to be still, knowing the Lord will act powerfully on our behalf. The victories He secures for us against both spiritual enemies as well as human enemies are a manifestation of one of His names-Jehovah Nissi. He can turn impossible odds into possibilities and reality. Very often the enemy is too strong and formidable for us. It is an unequal contest, an unfair fight. The Lord revels in entering the arena at this juncture and turns the table on the enemy. Therefore, we can say with confidence that we are no longer underdogs but underGod.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hide, Seek and Find

UV 1265/10,000 Hide, Seek and Find

Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.

Isaiah 45 v 15

In the beginning when the first man and woman sinned, they hid themselves from God. They hid themselves out of shame, fear and guilt. Thereafter came the turn of God to hide Himself from mankind. Adam and Eve had broken faith with God even when they could perceive Him with their senses. They could hear His movements and His words. They could not see Him as no man other than Jesus has seen God. God hid the secret of eternal life from man. But since there is a crying need in the human heart to know the Creator, mankind in different geographies and times and nations have sought God in different ways and therefore, we have many religions- the efforts of man to find and reach God. But God revealed Himself, His thoughts and His ways from time to time through some men and women who were godly and through some prophets who walked close with Him. He knows that unless He reveal Himself no man can find Him. The fullest and complete revelation of God came through the birth, life, acts, teachings, death, resurrection and ministry of Jesus.

God is not flamboyant. He is discreet and humble. Even Jesus presented a de-glamourised image of God. Scripture says that “there was no beauty in Him that anyone should desire Him.” The silence of God should not be assumed to be evidence of His non-existence, ignorance or indifference. He has set signs and symbols in nature of His glory. He has made it evident and explicit in scripture. He now waits in the wings of history to see which man or woman wholeheartedly seeks Him out. From His perspective, seeking is believing. He promises that whoever seeks Him with all their heart will surely find Him. Adam and Eve broke faith by disbelieving in His words. Now He wishes to see which offspring of Adam and Eve believes His Word( Jesus) and His words and seeks to restore themselves to a loving and trusting personal relationship with Him. He does not believe or revel in sacrifice or ritual or religion for He knows these are poor and ineffective substitutes for a personal relationship with Him.

Once we find God in the person of Christ, He never hides Himself again from us. He is always present with us and in us in the person of the Holy Spirit. We can hide ourselves in Him from the world and its pressures and temptations. He will wipe our tears and heal our fears. Where formerly we had to hide some parts of our lives from our own selves and from others, we can now have full closure as well as disclosure. From time to time, when we are distressed we can hide ourselves in the bosom of the good Shepherd and Saviour of Israel. He is not the Saviour only of Israel but it means that He is Saviour who is born in Israel or in the lineage of Jacob and David. We get grafted by faith into the citizenship of the Kingdom of God on earth as in heaven. We can hide ourselves in the Rock of ages to derive strength. We can find the hidden truths about God and the hidden keys and treasures in the promises of God contained in scripture. God will hide us from dangers and threats under His mighty wings even as a hen hides its chicken under its meek wings from the predator’s claws. Every day we should make it a discipline and habit to spend time hiding in the presence of God, seeking and finding His direction, His comfort, strength, guidance and wisdom.

Prateep V Philip

God of Restoration

UV 1264/10,000 God of Restoration
Restore us, O Lord God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.

Psalm 80 v 19
If the sun turns its face away from the moon or it gets blocked by another body like the earth, it gets eclipsed. Similarly, when the Lord God Almighty turns His face away from us even for a short while or when sin blocks our access to Him, we are cut off from His light, His truth, His grace, His mercy and His love. Just as the moon praises the sun by reflecting its light, we praise God by reflecting His light. Left to itself the moon is ugly, dusty and full of barren craters but in the light of the sun, it is beautiful. Similarly, our lives get beautiful in the presence of the Lord God Almighty. When people appreciate us for any talent or ability or accomplishment, we should turn the praise back to God and not bask in the glory ourselves. We need to recognize that He is Lord, He is God and He is almighty, that He alone is the source of our light and life and love. He alone is the sustainer of our hope. He alone is the fountainhead of our power. He alone is the provider of all we need.

The moon is held in orbit by the gravitational force of the sun. The closer the moon moves towards the sun, the greater is the reflection of the sunlight. We need to move closer and closer to God Almighty. When we follow the paths Jesus has shown and taught us to take, we will be on orbit like the moon not off course like some wild asteroid crashing through space. The Psalmist David in this Psalm repeats his prayer thrice to restore him. The first prayer is to restore us to His love, to a deeper and more intimate relationship with Almighty God as He is not only our creator but He is also our Saviour. If the Lord so much as looks on us and smiles, our relationship with God will be affirmed forever. Our first love or the passion with which we first loved God would be restored.

Many of us had lost some things on the way. It could be our peace, our possessions, our family, our friends, our honour, our health. The second prayer is to restore to us the blessings that we once had but now have lost or are in danger of losing. The third prayer is to restore us to following the ways and paths of the Good Shepherd. It is a plea for guidance and wisdom. It is also a plea to restore the Holy Spirit to us and the joy of salvation. God is the God of second and umpteen chances, the God of restoration. When Job lost all he had in His life: his great wealth,his children, his servants, his friends, his status, his possessions, the Lord God Almighty restored him and gave him a double portion of all he had lost. If it is anger that caused Him to turn His face away from us, if it is our sinful ways , the moment we are contrite and repent, He will restore us in every sense.

Prateep V Philip

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Cedars on the Mountain

UV 1263/10,000 Cedars on the Mountain
The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.
Isaiah 9 v 10

When I run on my own it ends in ruin. The bricks or all that comprises the different aspects of my life will fall down and things will lie in disarray. I will not be able to govern myself or be in charge of my own defences. I will be quickly and easily overrun by the enemy of my soul. But when I allow Jesus to be the CEO of my life, He re-builds it with better material that will endure all the troubles of my life. Many people wonder why that persons with faith tend to suffer more in life. It is because we are made of stronger stuff and meant to be tested with tougher tests. For hewn stones are any day a more lasting medium than bricks made by the hands of men. The book of Daniel speaks prophetically of Jesus as a rock that is not cut with human hands, that will grow into a mighty mountain and fill all nations. He is the keystone that holds the whole edifice of of our lives and our eternity in place. He is the cornerstone that bears the weight of the entire life that we build. He is the foundation stone on which we can build upward. There are other stones that we should contribute to building. We can build with precious stones or with cheap material. When we meditate on scripture verses, we are hewing stones to fit into the gaps in the wall of our lives.

The sycamore tree was the tree that Zacheus climbed to see Jesus for the first time in life. It is a short plant with low branches that a short man like Zacheus could climb. Zacheus was content with a view of Jesus. He had no intention of getting intimate with Jesus. Each of us tend to try to climb such sycamore trees in order to gain in our stature in life and attain success and happiness. We are content with getting a glimpse of Jesus. But the Lord asks us to dismount from these worldly pursuits and perches and to invite us directly into His heart as our very own God, gracious Lord and personal Saviour. He desires to make His home or residence in us and with us.

Once we invite the Lord to reside in and preside over our spirits, hearts and minds, He cuts down the sycamore trees –or all the low pedestals of our lives- and turns us into giant cedars. The cedar is the king of trees. It reaches up to the greatest height and the wood is extremely strong. It provided the choicest wood for making panels for the temple built by Solomon at Jerusalem. It grows generally on mountains. Its roots run deep. We will grow in stature- intellectually, spiritually, socially, emotionally and even physically. Our roots will run deep and drink of underground or invisible underground streams. We will sway only to the move of the Holy Spirit. We will be the cedars on the mountain of the Lord. Our lives and our work will be useful to both God and man.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Leadership of God

UV 1262/10,000 The Leadership of God
I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

Isaiah 45 v 2

On a mountain trail, climbers’ and trekkers’ most vital need is a guide who knows the terrain and knows how to help them get through safely. In the climb to the top of Mount Everest, Tenzing Sherpa had a major role in contributing to the success of Edmund Hillary. When they reached the summit, both of them shared in the glory of being the first ever to conquer Mount Everest. Life is a lot like mountain climbing. It is difficult and challenging. It has its fair share of dangers, thrills as well as success and accomplishment. In this uni-verse, the Lord promises to go before us in this hazardous climb. The humility of God is seen in this that He is willing to be the guide, the herald and advance pilot of mere mortals, creatures of His hands. It also reflects the devotion, commitment and love of God to us. In all of life’s adventures, He is just ahead of us. He goes ahead to straighten the crooked places, to smoothen the rough paths, to elevate the low places and to bring down the high places. He will safely take us over mountains as well as valleys of the shadow of death. He goes ahead to remove the obstacles and barriers. The reference to brass gates are the things in this life that are an alloy of the spiritual and the temporal that block our way and constrict our growth towards the stature of Christ. The gates of brass lead on to an experience of more grace and victory. The reference to iron bars are a metaphor for the that restrict our freedom, our peace and the realization of our potential in Christ. The iron bars once removed will lead us to more peace and joy. His immense power will shatter the gates of brass and cut the iron bars that confine us and prevent us from advancing in our lives. He goes ahead to take us to the place He has prepared for us. Once we reach the summit, we must give all the glory and honour to the Lord.

When we are embarking on a journey or a new project, this is the specific or rhema verse to claim in faith and thanksgiving for all the crooked things that He has straightened in our lives this far. There are many crooked things to straighten in our character, our minds, our relationships, our words and our thoughts, in our workplaces and in the world at large. There are also many obstacles to our growth and progress in life. The Lord sees the invisible obstacles and barriers as well as those that are visible and known to us. We need to know and believe that He cares enough for each of us to understand our own unique situations in life and that He is wise enough and powerful enough to deal with these challenges.

This uni-verse also underlines the need for the leadership of God in our lives. No human leader can go ahead of us in every way and every situation but the Lord alone can go ahead of us and lead us. Every human leader has his own insecurities and fears to deal with, his own iron bars and brass gates to surmount and overcome. As we trust in His leadership and follow patiently and obediently, He will give us a clear vision. With the wings of prayer and the Word, we can fly over every obstacle and barrier. If the barriers and obstacles in our paths are so big and strong that we cannot bypass these, the Lord will destroy it with His mere breath. What He does not straighten or break, He will unlock. These are blessings that we have not yet received but remain blocked. In a recent time of prayer, the Lord promised to give three keys to unlock these blessings.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blessings of a Life of Divine Service

UV 1261/10,000 Blessings of a Life of Divine Service

And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.

Exodus 23 v 25

To serve the Lord implies to pledge an unswerving allegiance, a commitment to the Lord for life of all that we are and do and have. To serve the Lord means that we know we do not deserve His love or attention. To serve the Lord is to reverence His holy name and respect His holy person. To serve the Lord is to diligently listen to His voice, to store His Word in our hearts, to run it over and over in our minds, to do that which He commands, to live in accordance with His counsel. To serve the Lord is to give top priority to God in our lives. To make our lives an altar, our praise, worship and thanksgiving a constant offering. TO serve the Lord means that we need to combine a head that thinks with a heart that feels and hands that help others.

Health is a free but precious gift of God. A servant is entitled to his wages. When we serve God faithfully, we are paid the wages of good health. When a person pleases a king, he gives a gift as a token of his being pleased with that person. Similarly, when we please the Lord with our attitudes towards Him and our actions flowing from those attitudes, as a token of His pleasure, He blesses our bread and water. He causes it to multiply to meet every need. He causes it to be wholesome and health-inducing. He takes away sickness from our midst.

When we daily imbibe the water of life that is the Word of God and eat of the spiritual bread, our health and our internal organs are blessed. The Word of God is “ God-breathed”. It is the oxygen of God that He blows on us to induce health and blessing. I can testify that in the past thousand two hundred days I have barely fallen ill as I daily dwelt on the Word in the course of writing the uni-verse. Scripture says that “none of the diseases that plagued Egypt will affect us.” God uses a scientific method to convince human beings of His goodness. When we observe the lives of the people who do not care about God or even we ourselves before we committed to serving God, we find a recurring pattern of sickness and misfortune. They are like control experiments to show us the value of faith. When we spend time in prayer, the Holy Spirit reminds us that so many hapless people spend time and money on unhappy things like the ICU, courts,post mortems, hospitals and prisons while we are preserved from these and that we should be thankful and not take these blessings for granted or lightly. Our faith acts as an invisible shield against invisible weapons like bacteria, viruses and the like. The Word acts as a powerful and effective disinfectant, antibiotic and antiseptic. It not only negates diseases but it induces and produces health, vitality and well being in us. Our spirits are invigorated, rejuvenated. Our minds and bodies are renewed and strengthened.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thirst First, Hunger Next

UV 1260/10,000 Thirst First, Hunger Next
For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:

Isaiah 44 v 3
Jesus said, “Blessed is the man who is poor in spirit for he shall be satisfied.” He also said, “ Let him who is thirsty drink of me and he shall never thirst again.” We need to recognize our great spiritual need and to think and feel that it is indeed our greatest need for if that need is met fully, all our other needs would be easily satisfied. Just as parched throats burn with thirst, our souls should have a burning desire for God. But through human history, mankind in pursuit of our mundane physical needs have forgotten to prioritise our aching spiritual need. Jesus promises that anyone who craves for his eternal need, his need for salvation, his need for forgiveness, his need for peace and grace, his need to relate and be increasingly dependent and intimate with the Father in heaven, his need will be fully satisfied. For this to happen, we need to drink of the teachings or the words of Jesus, the scripture inspired and written through different spiritual men in many generations. We need to drink of the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. We need to drink of the presence of God.

Without a relationship with God, our Maker, Father and Redeemer, our souls will be like dry parched land. It will break into disjointed bits or segments like dry and thirsty land that aches for drops of rain. Once the Lord pours down His mercy, grace and peace, it will once again look like one integrated field enclosed by the hedge of God’s love. We will be flooded with countless blessings and promises and experiences of His grace and love. Not only in our generation but the uni-verse promises that the Lord will be a wellspring even in the times of our offspring and succeeding generations of faithful.

Belief limits or facilitates our growth. Belief in Jesus opens the floodgates of heaven’s blessings on earth. Belief in Jesus becomes a wellspring deep in our hearts from which nine rivers will flow: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. The Lord will direct the course of these rivers now to irrigate or touch one life here and a life there. Our lives that were once a barren desert will now become an oasis of hope, a well watered garden, a fruit bearing orchard, an evergreen forest. The uni-verse also promises that the Holy Spirit will be poured on us for our anointing, sanctification, empowerment and enablement. Through our thirst for God and the things of God, our hunger for earthly blessings will be satisfied even as rainfall ensures that trees, crops and plants bear enough food for both humanity and other creatures.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Strength-Weakness Paradox

UV 1259/10,000 The Strength-Weakness Paradox
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12 v 9

Instead of being ashamed of our weaknesses, our personal inadequacies, our failings, we can be glad for these are opportunities to avail of the might and power of God in Christ. God is greater, much greater than all our troubles and challenges, all our weaknesses. Whoever we are, we are weak and vulnerable before God even as Adam and Eve who hid their nakedness in shame from God. But God clothed them by making a first sacrifice of animals and using their skin to clothe them. Similarly, by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His anointed Son, He clothes us with the grace of Christ and the glory of God. All power in heaven and on earth is given to Jesus as God’s suzerain and viceroy. We too as we hold on to our faith in Christ inherit all power in heaven and on earth- spiritual power as well as temporal power is placed at our disposal. Grace provides for salvation and the power to overcome our weaknesses. Grace is a prelude to overcoming and victory.

Many teachers and institutions of this world take great pride in the achievements of their strongest , most brilliant and ablest students as testimony of their own teaching and leadership abilities. But God is one teacher and leader who takes pride in the achievements of His weakest student and follower. He revels in patiently watching over, helping and guiding such a student to success and victory. Hence, like St Paul we need to hold dear or value our weaknesses, our inability, our inadequacies, our shortcomings, our failures, our troubles, challenges and difficulties. We are emptied of personal pride on account of these and everyone will know that we succeeded or overcame not on account of our own abilities, talents or skills but only by the power of God working in us. These are opportunities and openings for God to act and reveal His marvelous strength and power in our lives. Like St Paul we need not to be orthodox, judgemental and reactive but “ paradox” or above all fixed forms, rigid positions and attitudes but flexible, sensitive, responsive and creative. We can affirm with Him, “ When we are weak, then we are strong.”

His grace is abundant. It is sufficient. It is timely and adequate. It will meet our need. He is willing to pour it out in us and help us overcome. God is closest to us in our greatest trouble. He is most intimate in our deepest need. He is both most willing and able to help us as an Ebenezer but we need to be able to recognize the weakness in our character, the thorn in our flesh, the deep need of our soul. We ought not to gloss over it or paper over it or lie about it and put up a brave face, a farce or a fa├žade. We need to avail the power of God, to be strengthened with might in Christ and to so overcome, prevail or endure. The things that we need to overcome,He will enable us to do so. The things we need to endure, He will give us the patience and inner strength to bear with. The things we need to change, He will enable us to change.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Secret to Glowing Health and Well Being

UV 1258/10,000 The Secret to Glowing Health and Well Being
Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
Isaiah 58 v 8
Jesus said, “ I am the light of the world.” His other title is “the bright and morning star” or in other words the star that can be seen in the morning. Long before science discovered that the sun is just another star that is more proximate to the earth than other stars, scripture recognized the sun as a bright morning star and a symbol in the universe of the Son of God. A believer is like a prism through which His ‘sonlight’ breaks into its constituent seven colours of the spectrum. Each colour symbolizes a different type of blessing. He blesses the entire spectrum of our lives, our work and our relationships. The Lord revealed that one of the greatest blessings is health. Health is not just the absence of disease. It is well being of the spirit, mind and body and the health of relationships. The blessings in each of these areas will burst forth like a spring that never dries up. It will be like the sunrise that can be first seen as an orb of light in the distant horizon and then it grows brighter and brighter as the dawn of life advances and suddenly it is the full blaze of sunlight. The Lord will glorify His name in our lives in each area of our lives: spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual, physical, material, financial..
The righteousness of God goes before us like a standard bearer in a battle. It clears the path before us. It removes the obstacles, the hurdles, the barriers. But we are not to dam up or store up the light of grace, mercy and truth that He radiates into our hearts and minds. The Lord promises to satisfy us in a time of famine or drought if we open our souls and our resources to those who are needy, who are hungry physically, emotionally or spiritually. The Lord promises to so bless us if we make efforts to comfort the afflicted, the emotionally distressed and broken in heart. We will be glad when we are upright in heart. Our bones will be literally strengthened as we meditate on His Word and as His light penetrates our whole frame. We will not dry up in the heat of His presence but we will be like a well –watered garden. We will soak in His glory as we worship Him as a sponge absorbs water. The truth of the Word will be sown in us and we will bear fruit for the glory of God and the blessing of many.

Scripture promises that the Sun of righteousness will rise on us with healing in its wings. The wings are a reference to prayer and the Word. Even though we will go through times of pain and sickness, suffering and affliction, the Lord will send us relief from pain, healing in sickness and alleviation of our suffering. Our belief gives us relief. The Lord breathes on us and resuscitates us and gives us health in all aspects and areas of our lives. The Lord covers us just as a basket is used to cover and protect the chicken even as the mother hen cackles menacingly to ward off any predators. The glorious and gracious power of God surrounds us in all directions. The glory of God pilots us and escorts us.

Prateep V Philip

Internalisation and Application

UV 1257/10,000 Internalisation and Application
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Jeremiah 31 v 33

Any head knowledge or learning unless it is internalised and applied has little value in changing or impacting human lives. There has to be a two way transfer from a head that thinks to a heart that cares and vice versa, from a heart that cares to a head that thinks and carries out or implements the inclinations of the heart. Under the old covenant between Israel and Jehovah, the law was written on a stone tablet but under the new covenant, the relationship between God and people changed from that of a King and His subjects to that of a Father and His children. The hearts of people are now circumcised or focussed to love God with all their hearts, minds and strength. The stony hearts of people that were naturally inclined towards disobedience and rebellion were replaced with sensitive hearts that are naturally inclined towards obedience and submission to the word and will of God. There are different principles and precepts that apply to different parts of our bodies, minds and hearts. The Lord will help us to internalise these such that just as the blood reaches food and oxygen to different parts of the body, these will be applied aptly to the appropriate parts: when the principles and precepts relating to our tongues are applied, we become gentle men and women, when it is applied to our hearts and minds, we become wise men and women, when it is applied to our sexual organs, we become self controlled people, when it is applied to our moods and emotions, we become stable people. We do not need an external reminder for the Holy Spirit will remind us at the apt time.

Under the old covenant relationship, people did not feel they belonged to God. Now we feel we belong to God and God belongs to us. We delight in learning His law. He writes the law in our hearts and minds such that none of our steps will slide. We fear God’s righteous judgement but we do not fear the reproach or reviling of men. We are spiritually minded and not carnal. Just as He has written the laws of our growth and functioning into the genetic code of every cell of our being, He has wired our minds and hearts to delight in understanding and applying the Word of God. The Word will show us what is negative in the eyes of the Lord that we need to avoid, what is positive and pleasing to Him and what we need to practice in our lives. The negatives often stick to us naturally like a leech. Only salt if applied around a leech compels it to let go. Similarly, the Word acts as salt to let the negatives let go of us. The positives need to always be strapped to us like a life jacket. It needs to be internalised.

When the Word is inscribed in our hearts and minds, the voice of our consciences will be amplified. We will learn to walk in the paths and ways that please the Lord and to avoid those that do not please Him. The Lord will tabernacle with us or in other words our house will become His dwelling place. His presence will move ahead of us as a cloud by day giving us shelter from intense heat and a fire by night to protect us from the powers of darkness. The name “ Israel” means “struggle with God.” Instead of struggling with God we will have peace with God. When we have peace with God, will have peace with ourselves and when we have peace with ourselves, we will have peace with others.

Prateep V Philip