Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hamartia or Hyperbole: Make Your Choice

UV 1172/10,000 Hamartia or Hyperbole: Make Your Choice

For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.
Job 23 v 14
God is upclose and personal. He has many plans for each one of us. He performs that which He has planned for us. Nothing He has intended can be thwarted, prevented, neutralised or defeated. He does not need our help to do it. There is nothing we can do to bring it to pass except to wait with expectation. Of course, we can foul up His plans for us by running counter to it as Jonah did in trying to move in the opposite direction to Nineveh to which he had a call from God to go and warn of impending judgement. But God will bring us back to track even if it may cause us some pain, distress or inconvenience. I was a consistent under performer in academics and a whole host of fields before I received Jesus into my life. Hamartia or shortcoming was writ large all over my character and everything I did or attempted. But, the Lord broke the spirit of “hamartia” and replaced it with “hyperbole” or overperformance beyond all peer and family as well as colleagues’ expectations. Imagine the Times paper of the UK reporting “ Indian police officer leads scholar team to the London School of Economics.” My school teachers would never have placed a bet on me.

The Lord God is mindful of many such matters He has planned to do in our lives. His mind is full of plans to do us good and not harm, to give us hope and a future in eternity. The best of us can only think long term. A statesman thinks of the needs of the next generation. But God Almighty thinks of a thousand generations. He thinks in terms of eternity. We think in terms of securing our comfort here and now while He thinks of our home in “glory land” as well as glory in our land. He does many things multi-purpose and on time every time, never too late or too early. Sometimes we are not mature or prepared enough for a particular experience. He defers it till we are ready. The words “ the thing” in the uni-verse reveals that the Lord has a specific plan with many details fleshed out for each of us. It has to wait for the appointed time for its completion or fulfilment. It does not mean that we do not make our own plans or set our goals or make efforts to attain those goals. It only means that man’s plan got to agree with God’s plan. When that happens, heaven rejoices, the angels celebrate, the Holy Spirit chuckles with delight, miracles are released. We are no longer on the natural curve but on a supernatural learning and doing curve.

God does not tell us ahead of time what His specific plans are. But He does allow the Holy Spirit to give us a word of knowledge, a word of comfort and promptings for guidance along the way. We can discern His plans by seeking His will in all situations and circumstances and at every turn or crucial decisions of our lives. We should not make any major move in our lives without consulting Him in prayer and obtaining the peace that it is in accordance with His pleasing will. If we act in haste, we would rue and regret it. He will, of course, help us come back on course from the detour we have taken. Each of us is an arrow in the hand of a skilful archer who knows how to get us to the bull’s eye of the target or goal He has in mind for us. When I look back I can give testimony for the truth of this uni-verse as I recall the details of my life from childhood. He was with me in the dark days and the bright ones. He was my comforter in the valley of the shadow of death. He led me to take the right turns with regard to my career and my marriage and family life. He was in the details of my life, some of them seemingly minor or too small for Him to take notice. For instance, when I was selected for the British Gurukul Scholarship, they needed me to take a master check up in a leading hospital. Just at the time, I won the first prize in a national contest, “ Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul Contest.” God never allowed the famed author Jack Hansen, the chief judge an element of doubt. He ended up scoring my little story of a life changing experience an absolute score of ten on ten, saying “ I can’t take a word from it or add a word.” It was more than just soup for his soul. The prize incidentally was a master check up sponsored by the co- host, the Apollo group of hospitals.

Prateep V Philip

Today’s fillipism based on the above meditation:
God replaces the hamartia or shortcomings of our natural lives with the hyperbole of the supernatural for He knows that hamartia causes failure, frustration and sadness while hyperbole or “doing exceeding ability and expectations” produces exceeding joy and great celebration.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Divinity-Humanity Interface

UV 1171/10,000 The Divinity-Humanity Interface

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Micah 6 v 8

Scripture is all about finding the balance in life. This uni-verse talks about the balance between belief and practice. It is not enough to say we believe in God. We need to demonstrate His goodness to our fellow beings by acting justly, loving mercy and walking in humility before God. It is more important to be truly humble at heart before God than to merely bow or prostrate before Him, to make a show of religion and piety, to offer sacrifices and go on pilgrimages. He has clearly shown us that our goodness is like dirty rags. We have a motive behind every act. Yet we should be zealous in doing good not because such acts will justify us or qualify us for salvation but to try to be like the Father, to reflect His goodness and glory, to bring praise and thanksgiving to Him from the recipients, beneficiaries and witnesses of our acts of goodness.

When we believe God and exercise our faith in practical ways, we grow into spiritual maturity. We will please God with our thoughts, emotions, words and ways. We need to act in accordance with our conscience as well as all that we have been taught and learnt from the scriptures about the way we should live. Loving the mercy of God implies that we realize how special and precious is the forgiveness God extends to us. We do not take it for granted and try to make amends in the areas we have gone wrong in the past. We are grateful to the Lord for staying related to us as Father and Redeemer despite all that we have done. We show the same degree of forgiveness to others around us, to members of our immediate family, to our kith and kin, to our friends and acquaintances, to strangers as well as foes, rivals, opponents and adversaries, to the weak and poor, to the disadvantaged. The litmus test is how do we act towards those who cannot reward or punish or react to our actions towards them.

Walking humbly before God implies acknowledging Him at every turn and every step of our lives, to be diligent in obedience to His commands contained in His Word. Walking humbly before God means cultivating an attitude of gratitude and constant worship of the Creator-Redeemer. It is knowing that we are not entitled to receive anything from God and to realize that it is sheer grace that He is involved in our lives. We know we have done nothing to deserve His love. God has demonstrated to us what is good and He expects us to manifest His goodness in practical ways in our daily walk. We need to retain our humanity and aspire for divinity. We need to know that due to our humanity and our inner hubris we can fall short of God’s standards at any time. We should therefore not exhibit a hypocritical, proud or self -righteous attitude. We should not judge or condemn others, giving them no chance to improve their lot but extend the same grace we have received freely to each of our fellow beings.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, August 29, 2014

Wisdom is the Masterkey

UV 1170/10,000 Wisdom is the Masterkey

Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.

2 Chronicles 1 v 12

IT is said that knowledge is puffed up with pride about how much it knows while wisdom marvels at how much it does not know. There is a need for knowledge and wisdom to increase simultaneously and side by side in a person. For the one bereft of the other will lead to one not being effective. We need to seek for wisdom first and knowledge next. Wisdom enables us to recognize the greatness, the awesomeness and the infiniteness of God’s wisdom, knowledge, glory, greatness and riches. It enables us to see how tiny and puny the best of us are vis- a- vis the Lord. Wisdom will enable us to be humble even when our riches, wealth, power, position and honour increases. It will enable us to know what is meant by fear or reverence for God. God’s knowledge of each of us is so deep and comprehensive that if we slip in a thought or word or action from the standards He has set for us, He could take away all of it in a split second.

Wisdom enables us to recognize and to publicly acknowledge that all that one is or has is due to the sheer mercy and grace of God. Knowledge is the leader’s edge- it has to be sharpened all the time lest it become blunt from disuse. Wisdom is needed for decision making while knowledge supplies the inputs that lead up to decision making.

Solomon was given this uni-verse as the Lord was pleased with his priorities as a young king. He got what he did not ask for. Wisdom it is that pleases the Lord. We need to ask for wisdom all the time and the Lord will give it to us liberally or generously. Knowledge can be gained by study, observation, experimentation, discussion, travel and by reading books but wisdom is a quality of heart and mind that the Lord bestows on His chosen. From the time of the fall of man, our species has increased in knowledge but declined in wisdom. God-given wisdom is the key to all round success. When we seek first wisdom, or His kingdom and His righteousness, all things-including knowledge, power, wealth and unparalleled influence will be added unto us. Each of us like Solomon is a potential spiritual king and we need to humble ourselves like him to seek eagerly for wisdom. When we ask God for wisdom, we are acknowledging that we are not wise, that we are needy of wisdom and that He alone is the One who can grant wisdom. We need to know that the source of all wisdom is the Lord God –our Creator and Redeemer. The source code to access this wisdom is to fear God and to love His Son. The source of eternal knowledge, the knowledge of the master blueprint for our lives is the Word of God. We need to increase in our knowledge of the Word and the world. The solution for many or all of the ills of the world are found in the Word. As we increase in wisdom and knowledge, the Lord will bless us with health, wealth and influence. These are not evil in themselves nor are these ends in themselves but are a means of glorifying God and extending His kingdom, a means of meeting the need of others and being a blessing to many.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Significance of Agreement

UV 1169/10,000 The Significance of Agreement

Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Amos 3 v 3

This simple statement or rhetorical question states a deep truth about relationship. Can God and man walk together except they agree between them? Can a man and a woman live together as husband and wife except they agree on basics? Can a person be someone’s friend unless there be some common points of shared values? Can a business partner pull on with another unless they agree with each other how to transact their business? Adam and Eve agreed with satan and disagreed with God. As a result, they as well as all succeeding generations of mankind suffered the consequences.

Noah was a just man in his generations and he could walk with God as he agreed with the principles that the latter had ingrained on his conscience. Agreement with God meant that he could not agree with the immoral practices and wickedness being practiced in Sodom and Gomorrah. Agreement with God meant that he listened to the voice of God in building a huge Ark when not a drop of rainfall was in sight. Agreement with God implies that we too should be able to live in holiness and to visualise what cannot be seen by others, to carry out the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the written instructions of God.

Abraham was another person who walked in agreement with God. As a result, he was blessed and he was made a blessing to succeeding generations. When we agree with God, He creates rivers of blessing for us in the desert experiences of life and makes a way out of the unchartered and unmapped wilderness of everyday life. The resurrected Jesus walked with the two unnamed disciples at Emmaus and taught them once again why He had to die for all mankind and they agreed with Him and were blessed. A husband and wife are yoked together for life and it is vital that they agree on what they believe in. This is the glue that holds them together through the thick and thin, the ups and downs of life. Scripture says, “What fellowship can righteousness have with unrighteousness, what communion can light have with darkness?” Similarly, a believer needs to be careful of how he or she chooses his or her friends. The Lord delights in concord, harmony, agreement, friendship. The kingdom of God is built of such as these. When a husband and wife agree to live according to godly principles, they are establishing the kingdom of God in their home. When we live in agreement with God, our bodies become the living temple of God and He will walk in us and with us.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Value of Testimonies

UV 1168/10,000 The Value of Testimonies

Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

Psalm 119 v 36

Our hearts are naturally inclined to covetousness or lust. People are obsessed with But when we are spiritually born again and our hearts are circumcised by the Spirit of God, they become inclined toward the Word, the promises of God and the testimonies of God who fulfils the promises in our lives. We rejoice in the things the Lord teaches us from day to day as if it is great wealth and good nourishment. We find our pleasure in the revelations of the Lord. We enjoy the ways in which He manifests His grace, love and power in our lives. We look for wisdom, comfort and assurance in the Word.

We begin to realize that happiness does not consist in the abundance of things or possessions but in being blessed by the presence of the Lord. We need to hasten to do that which the Lord bids us to do. We need to bear witness to the truths and blessings that are ours when we listen and obey. We need to give priority to the things the Lord does in our lives and to give a faithful account of it to others. Simultaneously, we need to eschew the lusts and covetousness that is characteristic of the people of this world.

Our faith is based on experience and evidence. God is a person who believes in giving evidence of His goodness in practical ways in providing for us, in protecting us, in guiding and leading us, in saving us, in blessing us, in multiplying the impact of our contribution and legacy. He attaches great value to the truthful testimonies of people. When we hear the testimonies of believers, we give thanks and worship the Lord. When we ourselves share our stories of how the Lord has intervened and acted in our lives, we cause the Lord Himself to rejoice. When Jesus obeyed the Word and took baptism at the hands of John the Baptist in the waters of the Jordan, the Father in heaven rejoiced over Him and testified, “ this is my own beloved Son- listen to Him.” Similarly, He testifies of each of us when we bear His testimonies.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Amazon link to the book : For Better Through Verse

Here s the link to the latest book in the uni-verse series:

The Origin of Lust and Love

UV 1167/10,000 The Origin of Lust and Love

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

I John 2 v 16

The word “lust” is an excessive uncontrollable desire that can control and drive a person instead of the person being in charge and control of his desires. Our bodies have some legitimate needs like food, drink, clothing, comfort and sexual satisfaction. Our minds too have some legitimate need of a sense of security, recognition and satisfaction. But when we crave more than our need, each desire becomes lust. The Word describes three different types of lust: lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. While legitimate and natural desires and needs are from the Lord God for He has wired us and made us in His image, our desire to possess in excess of what God had intended and willed for us is lust. The world feeds our lusts by feeding our disbelief and our insecurities.

Satan desired to be equal with God. This is the pride of life. He tempted Eve and Adam stating that if they disobeyed God and ate of the fruit of knowledge, they would be like God and live forever. Pride of life causes us to disbelieve God and to believe satan and the world. We are deceived by our own excessive desire. Instead when we submit our lives, our desires, plans and all that we are to God and accept whatever His will is for us, we have the opposite quality- the humility of life. We are deemed to be humble before God and He will lift us up. Lust destroys us from within while love sustains us.

The lust of the flesh prompts us to desire to consume and possess more than we need to. The lust of the eye causes us to covet that which is not ours. The world and its systems condition people to desire more than they need and to desire what they do not need as well as to desire that which is forbidden by God or that which is harmful to us in terms of eternity. While Gautama Buddha described all desire as evil, the Word of God describes desires as natural and necessary but when the desire is excessive, unnatural and not under the control of the person, only then it becomes evil and destructive. When our desires are submitted to the Lord, disciplined by the Word and controlled by the Holy Spirit, these are of the Father and not of the world. We in turn become people who are in the world but not of the world. When we have a relationship with God as our loving, generous as well as capable Father, we will not be affected by the sense of insecurity that afflicts the world. He knows what we need and He will supply it according to His generosity. Trust in Him keeps the inner lust and pride in check and keeps chipping away at such as these. Love replaces lust as love is of the Father and not of the world.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, August 25, 2014

World Patterns versus Word Patterns

UV 1166-10,000 World Patterns versus Word Patterns
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God

Romans 12 v 2

The words “paradigm shift” is much bandied about in modern day conversation but its origin can be traced to this uni-verse. A paradigm is a pattern. Scripture asks us not to conform to the patterns of this world but to have transformed patterns of thought, speech, actions and reactions. Our thought pattern, emotion pattern and decision and desire patterns are yielded to God. Our once darkened minds are renewed by hearing the Word of God. Our perspectives are transformed. We no longer see our purpose in life is just to satisfy our own desires. We are not to ask like the rest of the world, “ what is in it for me?” Instead, we are to ask, “ In what way can I contribute? What can I do for the glory of God? What can I do to touch and save more lives, to bring meaning, purpose and power of salvation into the lives of others?” The purpose of our lives is no longer to make ourselves comfortable in this lifetime but to strive for an eternal goal of building the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. It is surrendering or submitting our lives to the will and purpose of God. The purpose of our work is no longer mere profit and wealth but to meet the need of others, to serve the least of our brethren, to share the love of God.

The pattern of speech of this world is boastful, spiteful, scornful, untruthful, vulgar, full of lies and vanity. The transformed pattern the Word indicates is a wholesome pattern of speech that is wholesome, not harmful to others but building the hope and faith of others. The pattern of thought conditioned by the world is self-focussed, problem-oriented, limited and narrow. The transformed pattern is based on meditating on the Word. It is solution-oriented and other-focussed. The pattern of our emotions triggered by the world and its circumstances are largely negative and unhealthy. It is driven by fear, insecurity, greed and selfishness. The transformed pattern of emotions is to be hopeful for the future, joyful in the present and thankful for the past. The process of spiritual transformation is not a one time happening but a lifelong learning that comes from daily renewal and affirming our relationship with the Creator-Redeemer. It does not happen due to a lot of striving and effort on our part but a continual yielding to the Holy Spirit who gently moulds and shapes us again in the image of God without breaking us.

The pattern of actions of this world is highly reactive. It is stimulus-driven. Most of our actions are knee-jerk and based on what is happening around us. The transformed pattern of action is to not to do unto others what they have done to us but to do that which we would have liked them to do to us. It is proactive, progressive and a natural outflow of selfless love or agape that God demonstrated in His Son Jesus. The relationship pattern of this world is based on the need to dominate, to emerge superior and “quid pro quo” or what can I gain from person x or y. The relationship pattern is transformed when we experience the love of Christ to one of the need to serve, to help and to bless the other. While worshipping last Sunday, I had an insight why the angels and elders worship the Lord saying, “ holy, holy,holy”- it implies that God or the Trinity is absolutely perfect or holy in thought, word and action. While we cannot exactly be holy except by attribution by grace, we need to conform to the character of God by being wholesome in our thought pattern, word pattern and action pattern. Transformation is a deep -seated, irreversible change in the way we think, speak and do. Our pattern of goals and objectives are changed. Our priorities are changed. Behavioural change automatically ensues.

Prateep V Philip

My New Book in the Uni-verse series

Please get a copy online of my latest book "For Better Through Verse" and leave a review on amazon kindle:

Pl also send the link to your friends and contacts encouraging them to read it..
blessings prateep

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Seed, the Wind and the Clouds

UV 1165/10,000 The Seed, the Winds and the Clouds

He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

Ecclesiastes 11 v 4

IF we look at external circumstances and wonder whether we will succeed in fulfilling the purpose of our efforts or of our life, we are like the farmer who before sowing watches the wind, worrying that the wind will carry it off or whether the sun will shine in due season or whether it will rain at the right time for the seed to grow and flourish. If we are fearful and doubtful, the Lord cannot prosper our lives and our efforts. We will be like the wave that is tossed about by the wind, moving now in this direction and now in that direction. The wind is a mystery. Like the Holy Spirit, no one can say where it is coming from, which direction it is blowing and where it is going. We just need to trust the Lord and His Word wholeheartedly. We should not live by what we see or hear but by every word we hear from the mouth of the Lord.

The Word of God is the eternal seed. If we look to see if circumstances are congenial or if the season is ripe, then the Word cannot be sown. It is to be sown in season and out of season. It will bear fruit in season and out of season, when circumstances are favourable and when they are unfavourable. Along with whatever we do we should sow a promise of God, then it shall bear a different fruit every month of the year to meet our need as well as the need of others. The process of sowing a promise of God is to pray and to claim it for ourselves and others.

The clouds are again a symbol of the Lord. It is a canopy that covers us. We are always covered by the cloud by day and a fire by night. We need not be deterred by dark clouds, by threatening thunder storms or lightning that shoots forth from the clouds. The Lord will turn the adverse to our favour and for our good. We only need to enter the cloud of the Lord’s presence for comfort, guidance, leading and blessing. The Lord God will in His wisdom establish the work of our hands, the seed that we have sown. We need to sow both by day and night, in the morning and the evening for we do not know which shall prosper and which shall perish, for either result we should give glory to the Lord.

Prateep V Philip

The Family and the Lamp

UV 1164/10,000 The Family and the Lamp
You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.

Amos 3 v 2

There is an aspect of faith that is quite bewildering. Why is it that the chosen suffer often more than those who are not chosen? The Lord reluctantly afflicts the chosen as a father who loves His children reprimands, chastises and punishes his children. We are His chosen jewels and therefore the Lord spends time and effort in polishing us and perfecting us. The church is God ‘s chosen family of faith. Recently, the Lord gave us a revelation of family- the husband is the oil of the lamp, the spouse is the lamp itself and the children are the wick that needs to soak and burn in the oil. Without the oil in the lamp, the wick will lie dead, cold and blackened in the lamp.

We are a special people unto the Lord. We are His greatest concern on earth. He is focussed on dealing with us and leading us. He desires to shape and groom us for His heavenly kingdom. His holiness prevents Him from glossing over our infirmities and weaknesses. The Holy Spirit furnishes the oil for our spiritual lives. We are the lamp or vessel in which He lights up. Our homes are expected to be Philadelphia or a place of brotherly love as well as a city of light. Our children are expected to soak up in the learning and instruction provided by the Lord and be the wick that constantly burns in a world whose mind is darkened by incomplete, incorrect and uninspiring knowledge.

We are a family or people set apart by God and for Him, to be a kingdom of kings and priests, a royal priesthood. His knowledge of us and our inner working is awesome and beyond our comprehension. We are called to be noble vessels or lamps of gold for the Lord to be used for special purposes- the worship of the Saviour and spreading the savour and flavour of the Saviour God. He purifies the dross and impurities in our faith and our profession of our faith through a process of direct revelation, teaching by godly mentors as well as by the process of affliction and correction of our character.

Prateep V Philip

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Uplifting Humility

UV 1163/ 10,000 
Now the man Moses was very humble, more  so than any man on the face of the earth.

Numbers 12 v 3

Moses lowered himself before God and exalted The Lord higher and higher. When we likewise humble ourselves before God  we qin the favour of God,  He clothes us with His grace.  He fills us with His spirit and anoints us.  Moses began his life as an aggressive person and He even vented his anger against an Egyptian for oppressing his fellow Jews by attacking him and killing him. But forty years in the wilderness caring for the sheep of his father in law broke his spirit and he learnt his life lessons there.   We too when we are called to tend, lead and feed spiritual sheep are to become like the good shepherd, Jesus - exceedingly gentle and unusually humble.

The Lord resists the proud but gives grace to he humble. Moses never needed to defend himself against the accusations and insinuations of Aaron and his sister Miriam. The Lord judged and punished them for their careless and unkind utterances against the leadership of Moses.  Those who murmured against him suffered the consequences.  The Lord takes it personally when those He esteems  or holds in favour are unjustly criticised.  

The Lord found there was no trace of even hidden pride in Moses even though He had enabled him to perform amazing miracles in order to deliver the Israelites from the yoke of slavery.  Moses yielded himself completely to The Lord.  He did not consider himself worthy of leading the Israelites.  He knew that he was called to do so not on account of merit or ability or leadership qualities but due yo the sheer grace of God.   He did not consider himself better in any way than any of his fellow Israelites.   He did not have a spirit of entitlement on account of his God ordained and  anointed position as leader.  He simply  did the tasks assigned by The Lord just as the staff in his hands obeyed him. 

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, August 21, 2014


UV 1162/10,000 Encirclement

And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes.

Zechariah 9 v 8

Since we are the house of the Lord God and He resides in us, He encamps His angels around us to guard us against an army of forces of darkness that pass by and can return to us to afflict us, to tempt us, to affect us, to torment us. The word “ encamp”, a military term , is also echoed in other portions of Scripture for instance in Psalm 91 that states that the angels of the Lord encamp around those who fear Him. It implies that when we stay put in a place, they stay with and around us. When we pitch our tent, He pitches His army too around us. When we move around, they move with us. They that array themselves against us may be a legion of hundred but the Lord encamps a whole company and battalion of angels around us and our homes. He will not allow the spirits to oppress us, to take away the joy of salvation from us. He breaks every chain of habit, every negative attitude of fear and doubt by which we might be oppressed by the forces of darkness. He will not leave us or forsake us. He is a very present help in trouble.

The attacks are not just spiritual but it could be physical for the uni-verse says that we will perceive it with our own eyes. The promise of physical, spiritual, financial, emotional, social protection implies that the Lord covers us in all directions and dimensions. The protection is total and complete. There are no loose links in the fencing around us, no gaps in the hedge He places around us.

We will see the protection of the Lord with our own eyes. We will experience His grace and mercy in tangible ways. These experiences make up the testimonies of our lives. The creatures in heaven are described in the book of Revelation as having eyes all round. But we are created with eyes only looking to the front as the Lord covers our backs. He knows all our vulnerabilities, threats and risks and He undertakes to give us complete security and assurance. He watches for us and over us. Faith is a pre-condition for successful and wholesome living even just looking at the positioning of our eyes. Our knowledge as well as our vision are limited and only by faith can we move from day to day, event to event in our lives.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Heart of Joy

UV 1161/10,000 A Heart of Joy

For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.

Psalm 33 v 21

Our hearts rejoice in the Lord much more than a connoisseur of finest wine takes pleasure in it. The source of our pleasure and delight is our trust in the name of the Lord. The name of the Lord is a pool of refreshing water, a pillar of strength, a canopy of shelter, the guarantee of our provision and reward, a source of comfort, a promise to honour us, the hope of salvation and eternal life. Eternal life begins here and now. Heaven begins here. His awesome power is revealed to us in our everyday life. His holiness drives a sense of deep reverence into our deepest parts of our souls. Yet, His love draws us near.

It is no mere coincidence that the word “heart” when re-arranged can form the word “earth”. Everything in the earth can be found in the human heart and vice versa: both faith and doubt, violence and gentleness, love and hatred, peace and strife, hope and frustration, kindness and cruelty, mercy and injustice, greatness and pettiness. The kingdom of heaven as well as the kingdom of darkness can dwell in our tiny hearts. Our hearts are most valuable to the Lord. The circumcision of our hearts means all that is not of God needs to excised out of our hearts. When our hearts are so circumcised, it becomes the veritable fountain of joy everlasting. The enemy of our souls knows it and tries to preoccupy our hearts with all possible things of this world, either pleasures or pains to choke our inner life, to make it difficult for us to rejoice or exult in our Lord and Creator. He first of all works with his primary weapon – the doubt whether God exists at all for he knows no man can see him. He uses the power of our eyes to overcome the potential of our hearts to delight in God. But the Lord affirms His holy name as “ I AM ..” His very name means “ I Exist”. His Name is “ Logos”, the Word. It implies that I will do whatever I have said I will do. “ Your eyes may not see me. Your hands cannot touch me but I dwell in your hearts.” We do not see our own hearts. Neither can we touch it. Yet no man exists who thinks he does not have a heart.

We trust in the Name of the Lord. We believe in His character as revealed in His Word and in His interactions with us this far. Our dealings with Him are not merely transactional but relational. When we trust in His Name as Jehovah EL Shaddai, we are confessing or declaring first to ourselves and then to others that we rejoice in His might. As the young virgin Mary beholden with the holy infant said, “ My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour. He regards the low estate of His handmaiden. He that is mighty has done great things for me.” Mary became God’s surrogate. When we trust in His Name as Jireh, we rejoice in all that He has provided for us thus far and all that He will provide for us for our every need- emotional, spiritual, intellectual, material, financial, familial, physical and social. When we trust in His Name as Rapha, we delight in His healing- preventive and curative. When we trust in His Name as Jehovah Nissi, we rejoice in the victories He gives us over our own hidden sin, over our mortal foes, rivals and adversaries, over every work of the enemy to depress, weaken and overcome us.


Let us celebrate today as a festival of joy recalling and delighting in all that the Lord has done for us both collectively and individually..

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Source of Our Confidence

UV 1159/10,000 The Source of Confidence

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

I John 5 v 14

We need to have confidence in the Lord and His faithfulness to His promises. We need to ask that His will be done on earth in our houses and our lives as it is done in heaven. In heaven, everything is organised in such a way that it pleases the Lord. All the mighty creatures of heaven and all the elders prostrate themselves before the throne of the Lord. Everything is spoken and done for the glory of God. There is no pride or attempt to equate themselves with God in any manner but they completely humble themselves before the Sovereign Lord. They spend their days in worshipping and praising the Lord. When His will is done in like manner in our houses, our homes become part of His kingdom, part of heaven itself. Our bodies are His houses on earth. His pleasing will should be done in our bodies, minds and homes.

When we do the will of God, obey His commandments, seek and keep His Word in our hearts as precious treasure, when we heed the Holy Spirit, the Lord delights in hearing our prayers. He will grant us whatever we ask in His Name. If we ask bread, He will give us bread. If we seek His blessings, He blesses us. When we pray as the Lord Jesus taught us, “Let thy kingdom come , let Thy will be done..” the kingdom of darkness that rules through division, conflict, misery, sin, weakness, failure, sickness, destruction will depart from our lives and His eternal dominion of peace, goodwill, joy and blessing will be established in our lives.

Once the Lord reigns and rules in our lives, then we will be confident that whatever happens is for our own good. That confidence will give us a sense of rest, peace, security, joy and assurance. We will be anxious for nothing. We will rejoice and revel in thanking and praising the Lord all the time. The word “confidence” implies that we confide in that or whom we have confidence in. We need to confide in the Lord our problems and life issues, our hopes and desires but leave it to Him to grant it at the time of His choosing and the manner of His choosing.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Publishers of Great News

UV 1159/10,000 Great News

Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.

Nahum 1 v 15

Our problems and challenges in life are the mountains on which our feet rest and walk in the name of the Lord. He will enable us to surmount them and give us the grace to hear and experience good tidings of great joy. Every challenge or test we confront and overcome will be a cause for rejoicing, testimony and celebration. Just before going overseas recently the Lord had told us that we would have many testimonies during our journey. Early one morning after we had disembarked from a bus from Washington to China Town, New York, I had forgotten to collect three small bags including my laptop bag I had placed on the pavement while I was taking the bigger boxes from the cargo hold. Half the way to a cousin’s place, the Lord reminded me that I had forgotten to take the bags, one of which held the passports of the four of us. To the surprise of my cousin who is a traffic police officer in NYPD, the three bag were exactly where I had left it. When I shared this incident with others both in New York and back at home in India, they marvelled. It gave me and my family greater joy than all the delicacies we can feast on in a celebration.
Even our lowly feet are described as beautiful in the eyes of the Lord. We are His messengers to bring the good news to those who do not believe or perceive or experience the goodness of God. The gospel of Christ is not just good news that you hear only once but great news that give us reason to rejoice and celebrate all our days and all our lives. We are publishers of good news and peace. In order to be a publisher of news, the events reported have to be true, happening real time. We need to collect every detail of the event or happening. We need to be faithful in reporting it on time and reach it to all persons possible. We have the inheritance of Judah, the elder son of Israel and we need to keep our commitments to and before the Lord. We are not to keep secret and confidential the marvellous things the Lord has done in our lives. Rather we are to share it openly so that we are truly His messengers to the world, to unbelievers so that they too gain faith and to believers to encourage them to grow further and stronger in their faith. Every day is a festival to rejoice. Every person we meet is an audience for the message from the Lord. Every experience is a testimony.

The presence of the Lord in our lives makes our lives a continual feast where we enjoy many choice dishes represented by the promises of God. But we are to know the limits that God has set for us- remember His commandments to be faithful, diligent and obedient. We need to be conscious of the promises and commitments we have made to the Lord. When we do this, it will lend a solemnity to our celebration of life. We need to take time to remember to praise and thank the Lord for His goodness, love, mercy, kindness and grace and for His wonderful acts in the lives of our children. The wicked, the unrepentant, the ungodly, the fiercely jealous have no place or influence in our lives. We need not feel threatened, intimidated or fearful of such as these. We can be unmindful of their hostile attitudes, actions and words. Their power to harm us has been completely annulled and negated.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Absolute Security or Absolute Insecurity

UV 1158/10,000 Absolute Security or Absolute Insecurity

When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether ist be done against a nation, or against a man only:

Job 34 v 29

It is so refreshing to return to the living waters of the Word- the feeling is like the splash of cool water on the face on a very hot summer day but the benefits outlast the feeling of the moment and go beyond a lifetime and beyond time and space into the generations next. When the Lord has ordained peace for us, who can create trouble for us? He is our shield as long as we yield to Him. When we resist Him in doubt or disbelief or disobedience, He hides His face from us and no one will be able to unveil it for us except at the time and way of His own choosing. There is no reproach for us as long as we approach Him. We are faced with the dilemma of choosing between absolute security in the Lord or absolute insecurity in His absence from our lives. Quietness or peace is not a given or not an assumption in life that we can take for granted. It comes from actively seeking and finding the One who can give it. Peace is a gift, a blessing, an anointing. His presence or our personal relationship with Him is the guarantee of His blessings. Moses more than anyone else in Biblical history knew this secret and therefore pleaded with God not to leave him or Israel.

The peace of God will keep us united with Him through the blood bond of Christ regardless of the circumstances. Christ is like the buckle that binds us to God. If the buckle is removed the bond breaks, the belt falls. As long as His presence is with us, His peace is with us. His light shines upon us. His face radiates and shines upon us and our own. We are blessed of the Lord and not of our own making. He will give us rest all round from our enemies and our troubles. He anchors our minds. We are at rest from our sorrow and from our fear and from the bondage to sin and death. We will be preserved from evil from within and from without. We will do the work of righteousness the Lord has willed us to do and the effect of that is peace, security and assurance all round. Our hearts will not be neither troubled nor afraid. Our minds will be focussed on Him and we will have peace of mind, unity of purpose and hope eternal. It is the kind of peace that cannot be explained rationally. It is the kind of peace that the world and anything in it cannot detract or reduce. Nobody and nothing can affect it, disturb it or take it away. When we have the Lord’s favour or His grace, we stand strong like a mountain, unshakeable, immovable and enduring. We will have peace and joy bubbling like a river flowing down from that mountain. Joy is indeed the byproduct of peace. Each of us occupies space and time. How much of that space and time do we reserve for our Lord, Creator and Redeemer? That determines whether we are truly seeking Him or whether we are just going through the motions.

In contrast, when the Lord hides His face from us or takes His presence away from us, we will be greatly troubled. Our minds will be in a state of civil war with ourselves. Nothing we do and no one can give us a sense of peace, neither medicine nor physician nor psychiatrist. When He breaks one down, he cannot be built again. When He shuts us up, we cannot find an opening again. His decision is final and irrevocable even as His mercy is enduring. The recent suicide of the famous Hollywood actor Robin Williams is a case in point. He had everything in life: the looks, the talent, the glamour, the wealth, the fame, recognition and popularity. He made millions laugh and entertained them but it did not save him from an unexplained intense depression that led him to take his life with his own belt. He had neither searched nor found the peace of God in His life. The buckle was missing and the belt strangulated him. Death is the byproduct of depression. In a crowded life with no space or time for God , the Lord hides His face and one cannot find Him. As Paul Coelho the modern parable writer says: “What is success? It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace.” But how does one find peace in the soul=the answer is Christ. He gives the anointing of peace for He has been anointed to be the guarantor of our peace. He gives the answer of peace for every question and every trouble in our lives. This principle of life and leadership applies universally not just to individuals but to organisations and nations too. The Lord is consistent in the way He deals with people whether it is one individual like you or me or a billion people. The Lord hid Himself from His beloved and chosen nation Israel from time to time as they rebelled against Him. They had the greatest victories as long as He was with them and when He hid His face, they went through the greatest of human tragedies, a people dispossessed and persecuted, subjected to the worst possible of human tragedies.

Prateep V Philip