Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Rock Foundation

UV 1627/10000 The Rock Foundation
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
Matthew 7 v 24
The recent historic floods in Chennai proved the truth of the above uni-verse: For literally,” the rains came down and the floods went up” as the song so prophetically put it. The wise man’s house or life stood while the foolish man’s house came tumbling down. Those who built their houses in the flood basin of rivers and canals had to leave their houses in distress and lost their vehicles and much property. The uni-verse demonstrates that it is not sufficient to live or survive but in order to thrive or live well, we need to decide on what or where to build our lives. It is more important to decide the location of a house than to build it very strong or beautiful.

The location of our house is a metaphor to what is the foundation on which we are building our lives. Is it a foundation of faith- rock-like faith that nothing, repeat nothing can shake? Is it a faith that gives rise to hope beyond current circumstances? Is the superstructure of our lives built of love for God and fellow human beings? We need to hear the Word and store it deep in our hearts and then put the principles or rules of life derived therefrom into practice. This would show that we have built our house on rock. Jesus is the Rock of ages and His promises and Word are the eternal springs that rise from that rock to satisfy our thirst, strengthen us from within and nurture and nourish our faith. Without the Bible and its practical lessons for life and leadership, our lives are like a bubble, waiting to burst with the palpable surface tension. The uni-verse shows that no one is permanently wise or permanently foolish. The choices we make will determine the extent of our folly or wisdom. The day we decide to obey the principles discovered or derived from the Word is the day we have become wise and we have departed from the folly of the world. Building a beautiful edifice on a foundation that will not last is folly. The foundation is what the Lord has provided. What we do on that foundation is our lives and work.

Next to the location of the house is the material with which we build our lives. Are we building with selfish thoughts, words and deeds or are we building with noble thoughts, words and beautiful deeds which can be likened to precious stones, diamonds, precious metals and rare substances of great value to the Lord? For the past five years I have been sharing my thoughts on unique verses from scripture that throw light on the principles that should govern our lives, our leadership patterns and management practices. These are not meant for mere reading but to “ put into practice”. The principles, values and concepts need to be translated into actions and the actions into lifelong habits for our houses or lives to be built on unshakeable rock. Most people are a kind of sand sculptors, spending a lot of time and effort in building structures that will not last but we are called to build lives with an enduring legacy.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sole Criterion of God's Goodwill

UV 1626/10000 Sole and Key Criterion of “God’s Goodwill.”
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
Hebrews 11 v 6

Belief is the only door through which we can approach and know God. It is an open door for anyone but it requires the spiritual grace or gift of the faculty of faith to believe. Throughout His ministry on earth, Jesus was only pleasantly surprised and pleased by the extent of faith of people, many of whom did not have a tradition of belief or faith like the Roman centurion who said that Jesus had only to speak the word to heal his sick subordinate or servant. The centurion who had command over a hundred soldiers applied his knowledge of the military power and structure to the invisible world of faith. In his mind, he saw with the eye of faith that just as the Roman empire had a powerful Caesar at its helm, below him generals and governors of provinces, below them captains and soldiers, prefects and officials, the spiritual universe is under the supreme command of God Almighty. He knew intuitively from what he had heard and seen during his time in Israel that the man called Jesus had the spiritual authority to command sicknesses to be healed and bondages to be broken. He knew that His mere word is law. This kind of faith pleased Jesus as it pleases the Father who sent Him. The uni-verse also implies that we cannot please God with merely leading a good life, not doing evil or by doing good deeds. We cannot please God with our piety and devotion. Nor can we please God with sacrifices and rituals. Faith enables not only our potential to be realized but it allows God’s glory, grace and power to be manifested.

Anyone who personally relates to God must first believe that He exists as a Person just like any of us but so unlike any of us. He is not just a shapeless, nameless, character-less force but a Person of great beauty, awesome power and noble character. We need to believe that just as we love our children, the fruit of our own bodies, He loves His special creatures –humans who alone have the faculty to believe in Him as His children. We need to know that He communicates His thoughts, feelings and ideas to us in a variety of ways- through nature, through circumstances, through signs and wonders, through scripture and prophecy. Our communication to Him is called prayer while His communication to us is revelation. Does God pray? We know that Jesus prayed often and fervently. We know that the Holy Spirit communicates or prays with groans that words cannot express. The Holy Spirit also communicates through unknown tongues and heavenly tongues. Belief in the absolute goodness and perfection of God is the source of the many rivers of life giving water of our inner being: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, self control and wisdom.

If our faith pleases the Lord, our diligence in studying His Word, His revelations and oracles, His promises, commands and all His ways brings us great rewards in terms of wisdom and grace. It will win us favour in His sight. By His wisdom shall our days be multiplied and the years of our lives shall be increased. Wisdom and grace will add life to our years and years to our lives. He will bless us with the abundant and eternal life. Diligence will enable us to discover the secrets of the Lord that are hidden from the kings, rulers and learned of this world. As we study the Word of God, the very DNA or divine nature of God passes deep into our being. Our lives are blessed and we become a blessing to others- to our families, our children, our kith and kin, our neighbours, strangers and the world at large. As we diligently study His Word, we find fulfillment and realize our full potential. As we diligently and faithfully study and apply the Word in our lives in all its aspects, we will learn to walk closely with the Lord, step by step, day by day. Proximity to the Lord implies distance from the ills and evils of this world. Our quest should not be a vain conquest of self or its passions but it must be a quest or search for God accompanied by great zeal or sincerity and earnestness. The Lord promises in His Word, “ If you search for me with all your heart, you shall find me.” The word “you” implies anyone who searches earnestly without any barriers or limitations of religion, race, class, gender, nationality, status, background, qualifications, intelligence or even past record of thoughts, words or deeds.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Riches of Insight

UV 1625/10000 The Riches of Insight
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
Colossians 3 v 16

Christ is the Word and same as God and was with God from the beginning. Through Him all creation, living and non- living was made and through Him all humanity can be saved or redeemed to live for ever. Hence, when we let the Word dwell in our minds and while we dwell in and on the Word, we receive the same anointing as Christ means “the anointed One.” The Holy Spirit interprets and gives us understanding of the Word. The Word can merely dwell among us as a mere token or nominally or it can dwell richly in our midst, full of grace and truth, overflowing in hope and strengthening our faith at all times.

The Word enables us to bless the Lord in and with our souls. As the Psalmist said, “ bless the Lord with all that is within us.” The Word will quicken our otherwise limited minds to bless Him with our intellects, our emotions, our senses, our bodies and all our internal organs. We will be able to sing with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, making melody unto the Lord in our hearts. The appeal to “ let the Word dwell richly” implies that allowing the Word entrance and growth in our lives is an act of volition and commitment on our part.
It is gratitude that prompts our hearts to break into songs of worship and adoration. Gratitude for mercy and grace received fills our hearts with joy that causes us to sing. As we look back, the Lord was closest with us in our greatest trials and troubles. He poured His anointing of strength and courage on us so that we will be able to endure. We held onto hope as things looked bad and it turned out much better than before. The Word gives us more insight and wisdom than any or all of the best books of leadership and management written by the greatest of management gurus and writers of human history. The reason Jesus characterised the leadership and followership in this world as “the blind leading the blind” is that the spiritual eyes or insight of leaders as well as their followers in this world are closed or darkened. They are able to see only as a man can see in a dimly lit room. They learn by trial and error or bumping into obstacles. They trip and keep falling in their lust for power but they will not admit that they are blind or cannot see. Their knowledge is inadequate and incomplete while their wisdom is not even initiated. But the godly leaders on account of their fear of God, have their inner eyes opened. They understand their own weaknesses and rely on the grace and power of God. They are guided by the Word and the Spirit of God into all eye-opening truths. They do not let the facts drown out the truth. They know that insight is needed for oversight.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Marks of a Blessed Person

UV 1624/10000 The Marks of a Blessed Person
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.

Psalm 32 v2

To be in a personal relationship with our Father God is the secret of eternal life, the source of all our blessings on earth and in heaven guaranteed us through our faith in the Son Jesus. Without a living root, our lives are like a dead stump that cannot grow, endure or bear fruit. There is no one who has not sinned and fallen short of God’s greatness, perfection and standards. Only the ones who place their entire faith in Jesus are redeemed by grace from such a state of “hamartia” or misery, failure and shortcoming. To remain related to the Father God, we need to be blameless to show that we are not taking His mercy and grace for granted. We should appropriate grace not only to be redeemed but also to change.

We have two choices in life: to be blessed or to be messed. Peace is our most fundamental need. Progress is a secondary need. When we are blessed, we have access to both peace and the means of effective and lasting progress. The Hebrew word “shalom” is a combination of both peace and progress. Many people sacrifice their peace in order to achieve progress in their lives, ruining their health, happiness and personal lives.

A longing to live forever or to be redeemed is present in every human being. We also desire to be comforted in our sorrows and grief. We desire to be blessed with all the good things of this life on earth. We also have an innate desire to be righteous and upright. God desires purity in the heart of the believer. We are also called to be peacemakers or problem solvers in this world of conflict and disorder. Our faith is not meant only to last during fair weather or in favourable circumstances but to endure during times of trial and testing.

Prateep V Philip

Rivers in the Desert

UV 1623/10000 Rivers in the Desert
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43 v 19

The Lord promises to accomplish new things in our lives. He is the God of surprises. He is able to do things that we are not expecting and do far beyond our human understanding or imagination or desire. We may not be able to fully comprehend His ways. He caused water to gush forth from rocks at His word. When Moses struck the rock in the wilderness water came forth. He can make a way for us where no road or path exists. He can cause rivers to arise in the desert. Nothing is difficult or impossible for Him. The God of peace can make our lives overflow with joy and hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is the spiritual version of the cascade or flywheel effect. A small change in our attitude and heart can create a great change in our lives.

The word “ behold” with which the uni-verse begins implies that we should open our inner eye of faith to perceive the greatness of the Lord. His greatness is beyond our understanding and our senses of perception. When recently the Lord said, “ I will change the city of Chennai into a virtual sea”, we did not know what exactly He meant in the word of prophecy. But it rained continually like in the time of Noah for nearly three weeks, filling all the surrounding lakes. As a result the whole city became a collection of islands with water overrunning highways and road. The nearly dry rivers were in full spate. The canals overflowed their banks. The amount of precipitation exceeded the forecasts and confounded the experts and authorities.

“ A way in the wilderness” is a metaphor for a solution for a difficult issue or problem that is plaguing us. The “ river in the desert” could be interpreted as a perennial source of blessings for our lives. The Word is a river in our otherwise spiritually dry, powerless or hopeless lives. The Word becomes a source of blessings for our lives when it is sown along with tears of faith and prayer over a period of time in our lives. The Lord can make the mountains or difficulties into plains or sources of growth, fruitfulness and blessing. He can make the rough places smooth and make the crooked ways straight. He does these new things to edify or build up our precious faith. Nothing becomes stale or dry or spoilt in the kingdom of God. He is the God of renewal. He renews and revives us with His promises. He disciplines, prunes and corrects us with afflictions, admonitions and commandments so that we bear a different fruit every month of the year. We become more productive, creative and constructive in our approach to life and in everything we endeavour in our lives.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, December 25, 2015

Salvation- A Synonym for Success

UV 1622/10000 Salvation- A Synonym for Success
And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.

Genesis 39 v 3

One of the lies that the enemy has got us to believe is that God is against our success. The truth is that the enemy of our soul is against our success as he wants to steal from our peace, joy and potential. Joseph’s brothers had no desire to succeed themselves but they hated the idea of their brother alone succeeding. The brothers’ smearing the multi-coloured coat that the father Jacob had lovingly gifted with the blood of a sheep is a foreshadow of the blood of Jesus needing to be spiritually smeared on all mankind for their success, fulfilment and salvation. Indeed, God saw the heart of Joseph and loved what He saw. He saw a desire to be great, an equal desire to be upright. God decided that wherever Joseph went He would go with Him. Indeed, the criterion for success is not brilliance or hard work or talent but that the Lord is with us, that He blesses our dreams and desires and brings it to fruition in due time.

Joseph had a multi-coloured coat gifted to him by his father Jacob. This coat is a metaphor for the natural talent and ability we inherit as part of our DNA from our parents, Our talents and ability are no guarantee of success for the world has seen enough talented and able people ending their lives in frustration and failure. The uni-verse states that the Lord made ALL that Joseph did to prosper. It is ultimately the grace of God that is sufficient for ALL our need that makes us succeed in the race. It is not how fast we moved off the block, it is not the pace of life or work that we maintained , the foresight and careful plans we made or the fortunate circumstances that powers us to finishing line success. Joseph was faithful to God and to earthly masters whom God placed over him. He was forgiving and did not harbour any bitterness due to the grievous hurt his brothers plotted against him when he was but an innocent and callow youth. Joseph was patient and willing to wait for God’s will to be fulfilled.

Joseph represents the quintessential meaning of success in this life. His life was designed to be a fruitful bough. The well that watered the bough was the specific Word He received from the Lord in a prophetic dream. The bough being fruitful had stones thrown on it in terms of the jealousy , hostility and aggression it invited from his eleven brothers. He suffered reverses early in life in order to be pruned or prepared for bearing much fruit. But the Lord saw that each turn and twist in his story ended well. Joseph saw things long before they happened. The Lord gave him ability to interpret dreams and a prophetic insight and vision to act in practical ways on the basis of his interpretation. Joseph became the instrument in the hands of God to preserve the seed of Israel or the very survival of the twelve tribes or branches of Israel in a time of great famine. True success is another term for salvation. God’s plan of salvation is a plan for the complete success and fulfilment of man. It is not a selfish plan but it is intended that our own experience of salvation becomes a source of benefit or blessing to many others, our near and dear as well as those who come in contact with us in the course of our journey. Our sojourn on earth has many phases like Joseph’s: an early phase where the seed of dreams and desires are planted in our hearts and minds, a phase of hostility, oppression, suppression or persecution, a desert phase, a prison phase or a phase of captivity, a phase of growth and prosperity, a phase of fruition or fulfilment of the seed of dreams and desires, a phase of legacy. Joseph’s life and success were beneficial for him, for the inner circle of his family, kith and kin, for the nations and for the Lord Himself. The scriptural definition of success is to be both blessed and a blessing. Our faithfulness will be tested in many seasons. The key priority is to endure till the finishing line and the key factor to ensure it is a deep and intimate relationship with the Lord. If the Lord is with us, we will surely succeed regardless of the circumstances or the resources. Eternal life is gifted to us in Jesus so that we succeed forever and not just during our earthly sojourn.
Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Inner Lamp of Leadership

UV 1621/10000 The Inner Lamp of Leadership
So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands.
Judges 7 v 19

Gideon was a leader called and anointed by the Lord. He was an unlikely leader. He did not expect to be anointed as a leader. He sought confirmation from the Lord that he was indeed called. He was given the details of how to “ fight” the Midianites who were superior in number and force. He was asked to go against them with just 300 men who were set apart. Leaders who are set apart by their love for God and a hunger and thirst for righteousness are mightier than the mightiest army. Such leaders are like a lamp burning within the earthen pitcher of their own bodies. Their faith is their trumpet that signals victory.

Gideon chose a strategic place and a strategic time to launch his attack. He chose the outside of the camp of the Midianites and the beginning of the middle watch when the guards were just about to change. Similarly, leaders should know the strategic times and the strategy that the Lord will give to create change and claim victory over the opposing forces of darkness. The pitchers that were broken are a metaphor for our own inhibitions, fears and limitations that the Lord breaks with His word. They had no weapons and no military training but were able to put the Midianites to rout and deliver Israel from oppression. The lamp of leadership that gives direction, illumination, warmth and guidance is the Word burning in our minds and hearts. That lamp generates power and victory.

The Lord delivered Israel through the strategy that He gave Gideon. The three hundred men were chosen on the basis of their lapping water like a dog from the hollow of their palms and not by bending down on their knees to drink directly from the river. The water is a metaphor for the Word. These men applied the manna or specific word they received from the Lord, the river of life on a daily basis, applied it and received blessing, anointing and power. The key factor was that the three companies of men Gideon chose acted in unison as led by the Lord. They were faithful and courageous to obey implicitly and follow the leadership of the Lord. They put their lives at risk on account of their confidence in the Lord and in Gideon, their divinely anointed leader. Similarly, we need to wait on the Lord for the details of His plan of action and share it with carefully chosen leaders who would implicitly obey the Lord in every detail of His instruction.

Prateep V Philip

The Rationale and Purpose of Attempted Perfection

UV 1620/10000 The Rationale and Purpose of Attempted Perfection
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world

Philippians 2 v 15

The Lord’s will is that we who believe in Jesus should be blameless and harmless for we are the children of God. As the Father is just, we too should be just. As the Father is loving, we too must be unselfish, loving and giving. As the Father is merciful, we too should be forgiving. As the Father is truthful, we too should be truthful. As the Father is gracious, we too should be gracious. As the Father is creative, we too should be creative. As the Father is kind, gentle and humble, we too should be kind, gentle and humble. As the Father is perfect, we too should aim to excel. We should be flawless in character, blemishless in word, work and conduct. We should not conform to the crookedness and perversions we see around us in our generation but we should be transformed by the renewal of our minds by the Spirit of God and His Word.

The nine attitudes that Jesus extolled in His sermon on the Mount should be our guide and lamp to indicate the mental and spiritual pathways we should trod: we should always recognize that we are the worst of sinners as St Paul did, not wallowing in our past but always remembering we are saved by grace and not by virtue of our character or deeds. We should every day mourn over some aspect of our character and the world – it implies that we should genuinely want to repent and change in this area. Our greatest passion and desire should be to be righteous not in the sight of men but in the sight of the Lord. We should be pure in heart, implying that we should avoid all manner of impurities of thought and hate dishonest gain. We should love peace and take all possible efforts to ensure peace in our relationships. We should be willing to pay a price for our faith and forebear and tolerate opposition, hostility and persecution on account of the stand we take by faith. These are the marks or qualities of the children of God.

We have been called out of the world to be children of God. It is the intense and great love of God that made this possible. Our just and apt response to such love is to emulate the Father and the Son with the help of the Holy Spirit. We were all prodigal sons at one time but now that we have been welcomed back into the loving embrace of the Father through the grace of the elder Son Jesus who acts as our mediator, we should never ever break away from our relationship with Him and instead, walk or live in such a way that our lives are a living sacrifice unto Him. We know and the Father knows too well that we cannot be perfect as long as we live on this earth but He will fill the gaps by and through His grace. God’s grace is a subtle combination of power, love and wisdom. Our attempts at perfection will bring satisfaction and glory to Him. We are His stars that should shine in this dark contemporary world. Like the moon, we have no light of our own but His grace enables us to shine. We are His ambassadors and representatives in this world and we need to present His credentials and standards.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, December 21, 2015

Spiritual Discernment

UV 1619/10000 Spiritual Discernment
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
I Corinthians 2 v 14
The natural man or the sensual and worldly man will not be able to comprehend, believe or accept spiritual truths. He or she will make do with a semblance of the truth. Spiritual truth and wisdom will be like foolishness to such a person. For the spiritual truths cannot be discerned by the human intellect or the six senses. It needs to be spiritually discerned. Just as there is a natural body, we have a spiritual body. Just as there is natural vision, we have a spiritual vision. Just as there is a natural mind, we have a spiritual mind.

When an earthly ruler and worldly-wise Pilate asked Jesus, “ What is the truth?”, he did not see Truth standing in front of him for Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He was blinded by the trappings of power and imprisoned by the paraphernelia of prestige. He could not discern what his own wife was warned of in a dream that he was going to preside over the enactment of the greatest single act of injustice of mankind that God Himself was going to be convicted of an offence He never committed.

Spiritual discernment is a gift that is given to the believer by the Holy Spirit. The scales fall off our spiritual eyes and we are granted vision, perception and understanding of spiritual matters that we could not comprehend hitherto. Spiritual discernment is beyond the so called sixth sense. It gives us an understanding of eternal truths and a grasp on the wisdom of God. We will realize that what we considered important to us and what we regarded as wisdom and knowledge was actually folly. We will have the perspective of St Paul who said, “What I considered as gain is loss and what was considered as loss is gain.” Spiritual discernment leads to a re-ordering of priorities and a complete reversal of values.
Prateep V Philip

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Leadership Communication

UV 1618/10000 Leadership Communication
For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
Luke 21 v 15
The true sword is not a weapon of destruction and death but it is life giving, life fulfilling and life enabling. The true sword is a spiritual word that penetrates the soul, the spirit, the inner being, that releases power and hope wherever it touches. The Lord promised His followers to anoint their lips and mouth so that they would speak with wisdom and knowledge. They were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit who gave them the boldness and utterance. The disciples though they were uneducated and simple people by the standards of the time were given such wisdom and knowledge that made even the rulers of the day marvel. The adversaries or those who opposed them could not resist or counter what they spoke with such conviction and force of persuasion. The uni-verse states that “all your adversaries” : it includes the chief foe or enemy of our souls. We will be able to take a stand on the truth of the Word against the temptations and snares of the enemy even as Jesus denied and contradicted effectively the suggestions of satan while He was being tempted in the wilderness.
The Lord uses the mouths of men to speak the truth and bear testimony of His grace and glory. He knows that our tongues left to itself is an instrument of folly, poison and death. It is a veritable sword that can cut off our own head but it can also be a fountain of eternal life once surrendered to the Lord. When He touches it with a coal of fire of the Holy Spirit, the human tongue becomes a powerful instrument of delivering godly wisdom and knowledge. The gifts of the Spirit include the word of knowledge and the word of wisdom to be able to speak the apt word at the apt time.
Spiritual leadership does not rely on human learning and wisdom but on God-given wisdom and knowledge. Paul after his remarkable encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus could not speak for a period of time. This time was the interval in which the Lord was touching His tongue to give him divine utterance that was released once Ananias prayed over him. The apostles when they spoke to the Greeks used allusions to their own literature and religion like when Paul spoke in Athens about a statue they raised to an unknown god. He said that he had come to speak of that very unknown God to make Him known to them. When they spoke to the Jews, they quoted from the Books of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms to corroborate that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, the Son of God, the One sent to deliver them from the yoke of sin and death. When we spend time in the presence of the Lord, our tongues will be touched by the Spirit of God and our hearts and minds will be filled with His wisdom and knowledge. Wisdom is needed to know the timing and type of words to use while knowledge is needed to highlight the facts of the matter. The words “earth” and “heart” can be broken into “ear-th” and “hear-t”: when we hear the Word with our spiritual or inner ear and think deeply on it, our hearts are transformed from within. The Word becomes a sword within us to trim and shape our character and heart from within. The ingested Word becomes food that not only nourishes us but helps us navigate the course of life and expression. It will inform us what word we should speak and to whom and when.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, December 18, 2015

Intuitive Leadership and Wisdom

UV 1617/10000 Intuitive Leadership and Wisdom
In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him
Ecclesiastes 7 v 14
When times are good, enjoy. When times are bad, endure. Our lives are like the alternating squares of black and white on a checker board. When we are on the white or symbolically good times, we got to prepare for the black. When we are on the black, we need to live in hope of the white. Joseph’s dream of seven years of prosperity and plenty followed by seven years of famine and scarcity set the course of policy in ancient Egypt so that they stored enough grain during the years of plenty.
The role of intuition for effective leadership is a less researched subject. Genius is one per cent intuition and 99 per cent tuition. We need to factor in the gut instinct, the urging and prompting of the Holy Spirit, even the dreams and signs we see and experience for we are spiritual beings and quite unlike the animals who only exist to eat, drink and sleep. We should be able to interpret the signs and signals we receive. We cannot know the future in its entirety but we can find pointers and divine guidance. Once we read the signs and signals correctly, we can learn from the experience and knowledge of others about how to use the special or rare insight that we have discovered intuitively.
During times of prosperity and peace, we should be thankful and rejoice in the Lord. But we should know that it will soon end and that we should build up the strength and reserves we need to endure during the times of hardship and scarcity. Since even our fortunes are so fickle, we should consider and realize that only the Lord is consistent, faithful and dependable. We should ask ourselves during the good times, “What is it the Lord wants me to do?” and during the bad times, “ What is it that the Lord wants me to learn.” The deep etches of our character are more etched by the chisel of pain of adversity than by oodles of pleasure of plenty. The only other effective teacher of character other than pain of adversity is the eternal Word along with prayer and prophetic ministry. As we live by every word that has proceeded from the Word of God, we will receive intuitive wisdom. The way God has set up everything our lives end up in a zero sum game where at the end we gain and loose nothing: the only prize we can win for eternity is the crown of eternal life.
Prateep V Philip

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Submission Precedes Exaltation

UV 1616/10000 Submission Precedes Exaltation
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
I Peter 5 v 6

Humility before God is an attribute quite different from humility before men or modesty. Humility before God is an act of surrendering oneself wholly and on a daily basis to the Lord and His will in our lives. Such act of submission instead of resistance pleases the Lord and wins us favour in His eyes. Scripture says, “ He gives grace to the humble but resists the proud.” What keeps a lot of people from believing and surrendering their lives to the Lord is a hidden pride and confidence in their own strength, a refusal to submit their wills to the Lord. Everything is us and around us points to the glory, might and grace of the Lord and yet many delude themselves to ignore it and to harden their hearts against belief, submission and surrender to the Lord. When we live in this manner, we exclude God’s power and grace from acting on our behalf to lift us up. We try to exalt ourselves by our own efforts and find ourselves in a lot of pain and misery. Jacob tried to exalt himself over Esau and had to escape to save his life. But when he submitted in humility to the Lord, he began to be blessed. The Lord even moved the heart of Esau to forgive his brother and brought about reconciliation between them in due course.
The mighty hand of God is the X factor in our lives, the hidden hand that is always working to lift us up in every sense and in every way as we submit to the Lord in humility. Obedience precedes blessing. Submission precedes exaltation. The uni-verse comes with the promise that once we obey in humbling ourselves before the Lord in our thoughts, words and deeds, He will certainly exalt us. He will bring about our advancement, ensure our progress, guarantee our promotion and secure our well being. An inward attitude of humility of heart rather than an outward demonstration of piety and religiousity wins the Lord’s attention and favour.

An important rider in this uni-verse is that the Lord will exalt us in His time, not as per our expectations or our human calendar but in due time. It implies that we need to keep learning and growing as we wait for the due time. The Lord has an inner work of sanctification and enabling to do within us to prepare us for exaltation. It could take our whole lifetime or it could take a long or shorter time but it would mean that along with humility, we need to be faithful and patient. Jacob had prospered over a fairly long period of time from being a fugitive from his father’ s home to being a shepherd for Laban, his father-in-law and at the apt time in the Lord’s calendar, he emerges as owner of a large flock of sheep and cattle, the father of twelve sons who were to be the twelve tribes of Israel. He is exalted as the Prince of Israel in the sight of the Lord. He also sees his son Joseph in due time exalted as the ruler in Egypt, second in command to Pharaoh. Faith implies that we are thankful in anticipation of all “due time blessings”. Scripture says that the Lord will humble the mountains to be valleys or that all those who raise themselves, ignoring the Lord, using their own intellect, will, talent and guile will be brought low. The Lord will raise up the valleys-all those who humble themselves and are put down by others or looked down upon. We should, therefore, not be proud of our mountain top achievements or moments even as we should not be ashamed of our bottom of the valley experiences.
Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


UV 1615/10000 Commitment
Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
Proverbs 16 v 3
Scripture exhorts us to do whatever we do with all our heart as we are doing it for the Lord. Since our every breath is dedicated to the Lord, our every effort is blessed. We need to commit our intentions, our methods, our daily schedules, our monthly targets and annual goals, whether professional or personal to the Lord. To commit implies to entrust to the Lord, to believe that the Lord will guide and bless every step we take towards even a distant goal, that He knows best and He would establish our intentions. It is my testimony that whatever and whenever I committed my goals and plans to the Lord, He established it or fulfilled it far beyond my expectations or ability. We got to do what we need to do diligently in the natural and at the supernatural level, the Lord will act.
Jesus in His last words on the cross said, “Father , I commit my spirit into Your hands.” It implied that Jesus trusted the Father to bring Him back from Hades or the land of the dead, to be resurrected and then to be enthroned with Him on high. When we commit our works, the Lord will likewise see us to the end and beyond. He will use the same power that resurrected Jesus to see us through to completion or finishing point. We should have the faith that: one, God never fails for He can never fail. Whatever be the circumstance, adverse or favourable He can use it to our advantage. Two, He never fails us who are faithful and commit all things into His hands. The plural “works” is used to indicate that every aspect of our work, life and ministry need to be entrusted to the Lord.
But our attitude needs to be humble, not using God to fulfil our limited goals but to be His humble and faithful servants in this world. Ironically, while we are task-oriented, the Lord is people-oriented: the person praying is far more important than what He is praying for. His complete knowledge of us and our real need as against our own perceived need might take us on a course or line of events different from our expectations. The Lord is sensitive to just our thoughts even before we start praying about any particular concern of ours. He stirs our spirit and gives us grace or power from within to enable us to attempt and do it.
Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Plug and Pray

UV 1614/10000 Plug and Pray
Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
Isaiah 54 v 4
The uni-verse promises that we shall not be put to shame. We should not be confused or confounded but firm in our faith, our principles, our choices and our decisions. The shame and guilt of our early days will be a thing of the past. We no longer need to remind ourselves of the reproach of our past. We are no longer to live like a widow in sorrow, fear or shame. The widow’s lost gold coin that restored all things to us, renewed us in strength and equipped us for the future is our faith in the Lord. The purer and stronger our faith, unadulterated by false teachings and beliefs, the less we will be assailed by fears and apprehensions. We have reason now to rejoice all the time in the Lord. The words “ any more” implies that we should not lose a single second hereafter in the negativities of life on earth.

After the temptation and fall, Adam and Eve were ashamed of their nakedness and hid because of their shame and guilt. They were confused about what they were to do and how to respond to God. Hence, when we are restored in our personal relationship with the Lord, we have no cause to be ashamed or guilty. We have everlasting salvation and everlasting joy in place of guilt and shame. There is no power we have to fear as the Lord God is with us. He will help us. He will strengthen us from within. We need not fear sin, death, shame, punishment, curses, foes, losses, bad news, defeat, dishonour, failure, disease or strife. Instead, we can welcome into our lives blessings, abundant life, the esteem of the Lord, good news, victory, peace, unity, health, success, the rewards of the inner life and intimacy with the Lord.

The righteousness of the Lord that is invested in us by faith and grace is our strength. Strength is the power to endure and to overcome the temptations and challenges of life. When we do what the Lord delights in, we derive strength. This is what is meant by the expression- the joy of the Lord is my strength. When we are saddened or depressed emotionally and spiritually, we are weakened and we lose our grip on the shield of faith. When we rejoice in the Lord, our faith is strengthened further. We have a clarity of vision and mind. The closer we walk with the Lord, the greater the joy and strength. Just as they say that work stations are in a state of readiness to “plug and play”, we should be always in a state of readiness to “plug and pray.”
Prateep V Philip

Monday, December 14, 2015

Desires,Goals, Plans, Counsel, Actions, Motivation

UV 1613/10000 Desires, Plans, Counsel, Actions and Motivation
Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.
Psalm 20 v 4
Many people think that the scriptural emphasis on “dying to one self” implies dying to one’s desires. Desires per se are not wrong. Contrary to Buddha’s teaching, desires are not the cause or source of evil or suffering in this world. The Lord in fact operates through the working of our desires. Scripture states that “ a desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul.” We need not have a guilt feeling about entertaining desires. But the desires need to be in agreement with the law or the word of God. God manifests Himself or revels in fulfilling our godly desires. Jesus knocks at the door of our heart to fulfil our desires both eternal and earthly while sin crouches at the same door to make us fall by some measure of illegitimacy or excess or wrong motive in the desires. The wise will open the door of their heart to Jesus, the Prince of Peace while the worldly-wise or foolish will open the door to temptation and allow their hearts to be in unrest, temptation and tempest.
Scripture also states that desires will not be gratified instantly and without any effort on our part. We need to make plans but the best of plans would fail without the Lord’s guidance, wisdom and blessing. Planning involves careful goal-setting, scheduling of activities to fulfil the goals, constant review and monitoring and mid-stream correction and using feedback to improve on efforts or performance. I like what Jim Rohn has said about actions or activities-that activities bring something out of nothing and are therefore comparable to the act of creation by the Lord at the beginning. Before making plans, we should seek counsel from multiple sources- the experts and experienced in the field. Before making plans and executing them, we should pray that our efforts will not be vain but will bear fruit or achieve expected results.
When the Lord sees that we have been prayerful, determined, faithful, hopeful, diligent and wise, He will bless our plans with more than the expected level of success. He checks the motives behind our desires. If we delight in doing His will, He will grant us our desires. If we delight in His word, He will surprise us with remarkable success in all that we do as Psalm 1 promises. When we seek the counsel of the Lord in making and executing plans to fulfil our desires, He will give us extraordinary wisdom, grace and breakthroughs that we cannot come by in the normal course of things. The Lord will build the edifice or house of our desires according to His masterplan, converging in it all the little plans we have made. He will not do the actions that we can do but He will egg us on or motivate us and enable us to stay inspired, to run and not get tired, to rise on wings of prayer and the word above the limitations and constraints of our visual circumstances.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Character More than Ability

UV 1612/10000 Character More than Ability
Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
Exodus 18 v 21
In giving such wise advice Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses should be considered the father of management and the principles of leadership, delegation of responsibilities and good governance can be traced back to this uni-verse. The elements of this uni-verse are able men, men of truth, rulers. Mere ability is not, then as now, a sufficient guarantee of good leadership. Ability needs to be balanced with a fear of God and a hatred of dishonest gain. A leader by definition is a person who has both faith and fear of God. If he is not he is likely to be covetous and try to gain dishonestly from his office and influence.

Jethro advised Moses to instruct or train the chosen leaders with the ordinances and laws and to show them the way they should walk. They were to learn from the personal example of Moses who kept himself blameless in the sight of God and man. They were to hear the plaints of both the small and great and not act in fear or favour of any. They were to judge on behalf of God what is true and righteous. They were not to be tempted by bribes or be a respecter of persons. They were to be fair, just and impartial to the foreigner and the stranger. Understanding that God is absolutely just is what enables godly leadership to administer wisely.
The implication of this uni-verse is that leaders need to have a passion for the truth, a sense of responsibility and commitment, patience and integrity. We ought to be God-pleasers and not man-pleasers. In accordance with how we acquit our responsibilities faithfully, He will lift us up in His time. Apparently, the ruler of a hundred or a thousand or ten thousand will be person of equal integrity but greater ability than a ruler of ten. At no point is talent, ability or charisma a substitute for integrity. Integrity , as someone said insightfully,-if one has it, nothing else is important. If one does not have it also, nothing else is important. Character evidently has far greater weightage than ability in God’s scale of things. Moral weaknesses are not set off by physical charm, intellectual acumen or personal abilities.
Prateep V Philip

Saturday, December 12, 2015

To LIsten, Watch and Recount

UV 1612/10000 To Listen, Watch and Recount
Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us
I Samuel 7 v 12
The elements in this uni-verse are Samuel, stone, Mizpeh, Ebenezer. Samuel implies
“One who hears God and is heard of by God.” In our personal relationship with the Creator, we need to be sensitive and disciplined to listen to the Lord and to have our prayers heard by the Lord. Samuel was a leader, king anointer, adviser, prophet and judge. Each of us who listen to the Lord are likewise a leader, both anointed and anointer, adviser, influencer, prophet and judge in the kingdom of God. The word “Mizpeh” is a place in Gilead in Israel and means a “ watchtower.” We should not only listen with our ears but keep our eyes open to watch out for signs of the Lord’s doing in this world. Ebenezer implies that God does not just listen to our prayers and cries but He helps us actively and directly. He also helps us through circumstances and people. The stone that Samuel set up at Mizpeh like the stone that Jacob and Laban set up in the same area is a memorial or a reminder to generations hence of the marvellous help the Lord gave to Israel in subduing the Philistines or their enemies. The stone is also an altar – a place of worship. Samuel acknowledged and worshipped God for the help Israel received.

We too can expect the help of the Lord in our daily struggles and challenges. But having been heard of the Lord and received His help, we should not forget but remember to be thankful and worship the Lord. We need to recall as often as possible the wonderful ways in which He has saved, provided, fended for, protected and delivered us. We need to mount a spiritual watchtower or Mizpeh every day to scan the horizon of our lives for any sign from the Lord. Every help we have received from the Lord is to be remembered and celebrated even as Israel commemorated every major event and intervention by the Lord in their history by one or other Jewish festival.
We need to encourage ourselves by recounting the times and details of how the Lord has helped us this far. Our faith will be strengthened as we do this exercise several times a day or as frequently as possible. Since the all powerful, all knowing and ever present God is helping us, no foe or opposition can be greater and nothing is impossible for us. Another way to recount the help of the Lord to various people through the ages is by biting into the Word. The name “ Shen” means tooth. We need to not only listen, watch and remember but also bite into the Word in order to be greatly strengthened from within.
Prateep V Philip

Friday, December 11, 2015

Salvation Manifested

UV 1611/10000 Salvation Manifested
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
Lamentations 3 v 26

The reason why an uni-verse or even one line of scripture is far more valuable than anything mankind has written or spoken is that the elements or the aspects spoken of in an uni-verse are spoken of in absolute and not relative human terms. In this uni-verse, the elements are goodness, hope, quietness, wait and salvation. We need a perception of the absolute goodness of the Lord as compared with the relative goodness of man. Once we have comprehended the absolute goodness of the Lord and believe in it fully, our level of hope is also strong though not absolute. We are then prepared to wait without grumbling like the Israelites in the deserts of Egypt for the grace and glory of God to manifest. The word “ manifest” based on an analysis of its roots implies the celebration of man by the Creator. The word “ quietness” in this context implies that we should wait for such manifestation of God’s power and glory vide His promises with patience, positive attitudes, faith, thanksgiving, prayer and praise. The Lordship of God and Jesus is the sixth element. Our allegiance and obedience or our submission to His sovereign will should be increasing from day to day.

The Lord’s plan of salvation does not imply instant gratification of our desires or needs. It is more than long term for it is eternal. His salvation does not depend on anything we do or don’t. It is entirely dependent on grace and mercy through Jesus. Salvation is not an after death experience or promise. It begins here and now. There is no human being who does not need salvation. It is our deepest need. Of course, there would be many who would not be aware of this need or who ignore this need or who do not know how to meet this need.

Our hope is in the finished work of Christ on the cross. Our trust and confidence is that His grace is sufficient and absolute to meet all of our need. The Lord did not create us to have us destroyed. It is our salvation that fulfils His purpose for our creation. When we aim to be godly or Christ-like we are honouring His image in which we are created. When we receive the gospel, we are acknowledging that His plan for our salvation is perfect. Each day we must chew on in spiritual terms or meditate on the elements in each uni-verse and draw on the meaning and strength it imparts to our inner being.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Thoughts of Peace

UV 1610/10000 The Thoughts of Peace
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Jeremiah 29 v 11
The Lord thinks thoughts of peace. The enemy of our souls thinks thoughts of evil. The Lord thinks of how to set us free, how to prosper us, how to enable us to lead healthy and blessed lives. He thinks of enabling us to live forever. The enemy thinks of how to take us captive, how to deceive us, how to impoverish us, how to cause sickness and destruction. The Lord’s thoughts of peace or Shalom are contained in His word. Peace can be physical peace that we enjoy in good health, mental peace or peace of mind, relational peace or peace I our relationships and spiritual peace The Lord knows our desires, needs and expectations. He thinks of how to fulfil and satisfy these. The enemy thinks of how to frustrate us, get us anxious, worried and depressed. This is the reason Jesus recognized the enemy as a “ thief, robber and killer.”
We can choose to believe God or to be deceived by the enemy of our souls. The latter packages evil in attractive wrapping. Like Eve and Adam, we will see it and find it good to look at, pleasant, beautiful and even tasty and pleasurable. When we choose to believe the latter and not the Lord, we are saying “no” to eternity, “no” to a lot of possibilities as well as to the impossible. God’s knowledge is certain and guaranteed to assure us of “Shalom” or a composite of peace, joy, prosperity, blessedness , health and wholesomeness. The uni-verse states that God knows but do we know? We need to increase in our knowledge of the thoughts of God. As we increase in such knowledge, we will be more blessed and our lives full of peace or Shalom. We need to distance ourselves from the thoughts and ways of the enemy of our souls. As we increase the distance, the possibilities of being robbed of our peace and joy become more remote.
Each thought of God for our eternal and absolute good is contained in every uni-verse or promise and command of the Lord. It is solid food for our soul and not just soup for the soul. Our expectations can never exceed God’s ability to fulfil and satisfy it. Of course, there is an element of waiting, suspense and the accompanying excitement and wonder how the Lord is going to fulfil His specific promise made and claimed by each of us. Indeed, the g-force that keeps us down is gravity but the G-force that lifts us up is grace.
Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


UV 1609/10000 The Purpose and the Plan for Man
The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
Isaiah 14 v 24
History might appear to be a meandering river with no apparent direction or purpose but as we read history along with scripture, we see the overarching purpose of God in and through all the seemingly unconnected events. That Adam’s disobedience could lead to the impact on all mankind and Jesus’ s obedience could lead to the salvation of all mankind are pointers to the influence and potential of even one individual to affect humanity. Within the overarching purpose of God, each of us has a role and a contribution to make. Our thoughts, words and actions convert into each other and reinforce each other just as the thought of the Lord leads to His purpose being fulfilled in this universe. That power of thought of God is reflected in each uni-verse.

Each of us is a small part of a gigantic mirror but each part is able to reflect the image or glory of God as we align ourselves to conform to the Word and not to the world. We do not allow the world to shape us but we submit to the Word to shape us. A potter knows the purpose of each vessel of clay he moulds. Likewise, the Lord alone knows the purpose of each of our lives. Our role is not to resist His moulding us but to yield to His loving hands. Sometimes, a turn here or a twist there might be painful for some time but that pain was intended to add value or intrinsic beauty or strength to the overall design. We should not resent it but submit to it as Jesus submitted to the Father’s will even though it caused Him an infinite level of pain. If we look at the course of all rivers and streams on the planet Earth we find that they flow from the high places- the hills and mountains across plains to the low places- the coasts and into the sea. In the kingdom of God, it is the reverse- the flow of our destinies defies gravity and flows from the low places to the high places. To illustrate, David started at a low place as a young lad and shepherd and ended up as the Shepherd –King, Joseph started as a slave at the lowest point in his life and ended up as second only to Pharaoh in Egypt. Moses started as a helpless babe in a basket of reeds and ended up as deliverer of captive Israel and intercede with God. Jesus started as a babe in a manger and ended up as the highest in all of humanity and in the kingdom of God.

The Lord’s will is sovereign. It shall come to pass. It cannot be thwarted or stopped. It is a privilege to partner with the Lord to have His kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. We will be better, able and more willing partners in His plan if we spend time reflecting on the thoughts, the words and actions of the Lord in our personal lives as well as in common human history. As we meditate on these, things will begin to fall in place. We will see the patterns and master design of the Lord in our lives and in the lives of others and instead of being passive objects would be active subjects to hasten the will and purpose of the Lord.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Perfect Plan for the Perfection of Imperfect Man

UV 1608/10000 The Perfect Plan for the Perfection of Imperfect Man
Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.
Isaiah 51 v 1
The Lord asks us to listen to Him, to His voice and to His Word. His voice is heard in our inner being through the whispering of the Holy Spirit. His Word makes explicit His will and purpose in all things. His righteous judgments are a light unto the people. When we listen keenly to His word,law and judgment , we will follow after perfection- the righteousness of God. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness as they will be satisfied. If we are passionate about perfection, we will be fulfilled. As Jesus said, “ Be perfect because your Father in heaven is perfect.” Jesus is the model of human perfection crafted by divine plan and will. He is the rock cut from the mountain of Zion that no human hand had chiselled out. He is the rock that Daniel wrote about as one that will one day fill the whole earth. We are to look to Him for He is the author and finisher of our salvation. As author, He writes our lives, page by page, day by day, moment by moment, thought by thought, word by word, action by action. As finisher, He completes us, helps us, enables us, equips us, strengthens us, fills us, perfects us.

Jesus has redeemed us from the pit of death and destruction. We owe our salvation to Him. He has a common plan of salvation for whole mankind as well as an unique plan for each individual. This is the reason that each individual’s journey with Jesus is unique, each testimony is unique. Our response is to zealously seek after the Lord, to listen keenly and to follow diligently in imitating His righteousness. The stumbling stone in the understanding of much of humanity is that we need to be first perfect and then we will be saved. Since none are perfect and perfection is impossible, all would give up the pursuit. But we can be perfect by faith in the perfect One- Jesus. He is the Redeemer. He will redeem us of our wanton flaws and hidden faults. He is the Wonderful Counsellor- He will counsel us in avoiding the pitfalls of life hereafter. He is the Prince of Peace. He will heal our uneasy and guilty conscience and give us triune peace -with God, peace with self, peace with others.
In the recent flood in Chennai, the rivers and canals were in spate and swept through offices and homes, leaving several inches of miry clay. Each step we took on this miry clay left in our office compound and floor was extremely slippery. Jesus has taken us from the miry pit and placed us on the rock. He has redeemed us of our slippery ways and given us the security of faith, the assurance of salvation that is rock-like and unshakable. We can now take confident steady steps. As it is written in the book of Proverbs, “He who follows after righteousness and mercy will find life, righteousness and honour.” We need the mercy of the Lord to be seen as righteous by grace. Thereafter, we need to strive to obey His Word in order to match the standards of righteousness in all aspects of our lives: our attitude towards money, sex, our enemies and foes, the purpose of life, our priorities and goals, our relationships, the quality of our communication. The righteousness of God are in the details of our lives. When we pay attention to these details, we are building our house on the rock.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, December 7, 2015

Anchors of Hope in the Storms of Life

UV 1607-10000 Anchors of Hope in the Storms of Life
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Romans 12 v 12
What causes us to rejoice is not our pleasant circumstances or our attainments or our possessions but our hope in Christ for Christ in us is the hope of salvation. Salvation is the most fundamental need of every human being for the satisfaction ability of other needs like food, clothing and shelter are very transient and the eternal need of every human being is the desire to live forever. We will one day outlive or die to our need for food, clothing, shelter, fame, power, position, pleasure but we will not outlive our need for salvation. Our hope in the name of Jesus is enough to satisfy this need for His name alone means salvation or “ He saves” and His name guarantees our hope of salvation. Our hope is also in the promises of God contained in scripture. This uni-verse says that we should always hold on to this hope that His promises are true and will be fulfilled and rejoice in it always. When we believe in Jesus and His promise of eternal life, we receive the Christ or the anointing of the Holy Spirit on our souls and our total being. Scripture makes a fine distinction between “inherit the promise”, “obtain the promise” and “receive the promise”. We inherit the promise when we believe. We obtain the promise when we endure or our faith endures. We receive the promise in eternity. Our hope is not that our lot in this world will improve. It is not in the princes of the day or the people with titles of this age.

Our faith will be tested by trials and tribulations. During these periods, we should be patient and our faith should outlast or endure these troubles, however severe or painful it might be. Hope is the anchor in the storms of life. The storms will not last forever but for a season, a time and for a purpose- the greater glory of God and for our good. A storm rightly faced will produce inner strength. The Lord promises we will have victory in the end and that we will not be tested beyond our strength. We should wait with patient expectation that the Lord will help us during these difficult times. Our patience will be reflected in our spirit of thanksgiving and steadfast attitude that the Lord will deliver us in His time. We should not try to hasten or advance the clock or calendar of the Lord’s timing. We strengthen ourselves in the peace and grace that the Lord offers us. We also rejoice as we have taken part in a small way in the sufferings of Christ. Like Him we too will have our moment of resurrection. Scripture explains the process in this sequence: sufferings produce the patience of Jesus in us, the patience produces the lessons of experience or in other words wisdom and the wisdom produces hope again for the next big trial or tribulation. Three models of patience are given in scripture- the patience of Jesus, the patience of Job and the patience of the farmer waiting for the harvest.

Our joy, hope, faith and patience are reflected in our habit of continually praying, thanking and praising the Lord. We strengthen ourselves with the joy of the Lord by delighting in His Word. The Word is the calcium that strengthen the bones or framework of our faith. The fulfilment of the promises and obedience to His commands, precepts and examples, the heeding of His warnings and admonitions are the marrow of the bones of our faith. We find our joy in His presence. We will be comforted on all sides or in 360 degrees, 365 days. Instant prayer is not like instant milk or instant coffee. We are not disappointed if we do not get an immediate answer for that is the hope of the hypocrite. It means we pray at all times or at every instant and wait patiently for an answer from the Lord. It might come in wise counsel or a word of wisdom from the Lord about what we ought to do or a change in circumstances like the storm coming to an end. We need to hear the Word, keep the Word in our hearts or closest to us and bear fruit with patience. We need to pray persistently and wait patiently. We should be confident the Lord hears the cry of our souls. We should have the personal knowledge of the patriarchs of faith who by experience learnt the character of God that He is trustworthy at all times. We should know that He will provide our daily BREAD or Blessings Required to Enable/Empower/Equip and Deliver. He has taken away the burden for us to perform or earn or deserve and given us BREAD by grace in Jesus. Every day we must hold onto Jesus like Jacob held on to the angel till He gives us BREAD.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Four Basic Spiritual Disciplines

UV 1606/10000 Four Basic Spiritual Disciplines
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Acts 2 v 42
The apostles expounded or explained the teachings of Jesus. We are exhorted to be steadfast or diligent in learning these doctrines or fundamental precepts of life and leadership and apply these in practical ways. The truth has to be mixed with our words, thoughts and actions even as salt easily mingles with a meal. The second discipline or practice that we need to cultivate or follow is to have regular fellowship with believers and to commune with them, to share our burdens with each other. The third spiritual discipline is prayer- prayer at different times of the day as the Spirit leads, as the need arises as well as prayer along with our family and fellow believers.

Being steadfast in these spiritual disciplines enable us to grow in grace and truth, to be low profile but high impact leaders of our times. The attitude with which we practice each is far more important than the duration or the frequency. Daniel prayed thrice a day while David prayed seven times a day. Paul exhorted the believers to pray at all times. Prayer births miracles. Yesterday, it was pouring heavily in the morning and increasing the misery of millions but soon after many people started praying, the rains that were predicted to continue stopped within the day. Today, we have a perfectly clear and sunny day.

Prayer is our lifeline of communication with the Lord. There are different kinds of prayer – prayer for confession, prayer for supplication, prayer for praise and thanksgiving, prayer for victory, prayer for healing, prayer for deliverance, prayer for wisdom and guidance. We can pray lying flat on our face as I do every day or pray while walking or pray in a kneeling position. Feeding on the Word of God should not be left for only one day in a week but it needs to be a daily practice. The Word communicates the joy of the Lord or what pleases the Lord to our hearts and that in turn becomes a source of strength as we do it. Fellowship with like-spirited persons is vital as we sharpen, comfort, encourage and correct each other as iron sharpens iron. Breaking of bread refers to participation in the Lord’s table as well as having common meals. Jesus said, “ I am the Bread of Life.” When we participate in the Lord’s table we celebrate Jesus as the Bread – our most fundamental spiritual need.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

From Comfort Zone to Challenge Zone

UV 1605/10000 From Comfort Zone to Challenge Zone
And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:
Jeremiah 32 v 39

The shortest distance between two points are two hearts beating at the same frequency or two minds in perfect agreement. God promises to give those who believe and trust Him one heart and one mind. They are given the heart of Jesus- the heart of compassion. They are given one way-the way of Jesus. The way of Jesus is to share love with all. Like sponges we should absorb as much love of Jesus that is possible and keep squeezing it out before beginning the absorption again by studying the word.

To fear God is to be wise for it means that we will do our best to avoid evil and pursue the good. To be good and to do good is both rewarding and rewarded even as being evil and doing it is both punishing and punished. When we revere God, we humble ourselves before Him. When we humble ourselves before Him, He increases us in knowledge, wisdom and understanding. We increase in grace or divine favour. The favour of God lasts a lifetime and three generations – of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are blessed.

To fear God is not to doubt the truth of His word. Adam and Eve were tempted to doubt the Word of God. They were therefore deceived into not believing God. We believe God and therefore, we trust His Word. We ought not to be deceived ever again into believing the counterfeit of truth. God desires to do good to us and to ours. He does not want to harm us or hurt us. But He does expect us to respect His name, His presence and His Word. We do not pray and then hope but we first hope for something and then we are led to pray about it. Our bodies love pleasure and comfort while our minds and hearts love challenge and are willing to endure hardship in order to confront and overcome the challenge. Our biblical values enable us to move out of our comfort zone into our challenge zone as often as possible and to remain there as long as possible before withdrawing into the comfort zone for rest and recuperation.
Prateep V Philip

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Quantitative and Qualitative Dimensions


UV 1604/10000 The Quantitative and the Qualitative Dimensions
But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die
Genesis 3 v 3
We have increased in knowledge but declined in wisdom. Mankind has collectively and individually climbed the wrong tree- the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We have made life an admixture of good and evil. But God intended that we climb the tree of wisdom, that we will be filled with a love for God, a hatred for evil and a desire for good, a desire to do only good to others. From generation to generation, mankind has indeed increased in knowledge, the knowledge that is creative as well as destructive, a double edged phenomenon.
Wisdom is the distillation of knowledge. When a ton of knowledge is analysed or squeezed, we get an ounce of wisdom. It comes from an intimate knowledge of God who alone is absolutely good and perfect. Knowledge is the leader’s edge but it is only the boundary of the domain of wisdom. The Kingdom of God is all about wisdom- about being wise in heart. Knowledge gives us the urge or itch to always attempt what is forbidden. It is said that every human being has this embedded negative in his or her mind to breach the boundaries and trespass into what is not permissible, legitimate or right in the sight of God. Wisdom will enable us to recognize the boundaries of legitimate action and not transgress it.
We get grafted to the “good root” again when we begin to believe in Jesus and to follow His commands and understand as well as apply His teachings. As we grow in our knowledge of God, of good by imbibing His word, we begin to shoot up, bear branches and leaves for healing and blessing as well as fruit or Christ-like traits. He is the tree of eternal life that God removes from the Garden of Eden lest man eats of it and lives forever. Now the tree of eternal life is restored to us and we can take and eat of it and live free of evil, free of the sting of death- its permanence, free to live the abundant and eternal life, implying the quantitative as well as the qualitative dimensions. If a man is climbing and eating only of the tree of knowledge, he might live only the quantitative dimension and ignore the qualitative. The quantitative dimension implies that our need will be met adequately while the qualitative dimension implies that we bear the fruit of the character of God- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, self control. The root of such fruit is not knowledge but spiritual wisdom. If we represent the quantitative versus qualitative dimensions on a graph, the quantitative dimensions will be on the X axis since it will all end in naught one day while the qualitative dimension is represented on the Y axis and it will be rewarded as it grows.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation

UV 1603/10000 The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Ephesians 1 v 17
A true leader needs to have the spirit of wisdom and revelation. But most human beings are purblind and have no insight into where they came from, where they are and where they are heading. Jesus alone among all humans born on this planet had certain knowledge of who He is, where He came from and where He was going. His birth and death were not accidents but a planned event of which He had full foreknowledge and gave full consent. Therefore, when God opens the eye of our understanding and opens our heart by saying, “Ephphatha” or “Open” we receive Jesus by faith. As we grow in our knowledge of Jesus and through Him and His word, our knowledge of the glory of the Father, the spirit of wisdom and revelation is bestowed upon us.

Knowledge is the leader’s edge. It gives him the access to wisdom or the applicable aspect of knowledge. It gives us foreknowledge or revelation of things or events that are yet to happen. Joseph was bestowed with this spirit of wisdom and revelation. Daniel too was given this spirit of wisdom and revelation. We who believe in Jesus have access to the spirit of wisdom and revelation. Jesus said to His disciples, “ I am leaving but I am leaving you the Holy Spirit.” Wisdom and revelation are great gifts of the Spirit of God. In order to access and use these gifts, we need to tune ourselves to listen to the Spirit and act on His promptings. Joseph listened and was able to give Pharaoh a correct interpretation of his dream. Further, he gave him a clear plan of action for fourteen years that protected Egypt in a time of great famine in many lands. When a revelation is given of something about to happen, it is not for us to sit still but to take some steps since we know ahead of time the events to unfold. The Spirit is the source of spiritual intelligence. We derive actionable intuition from the Spirit that we need to factor into our plans and decisions.

We need to increase in our knowledge of the love of the Father. As our relationship with the Father is strengthened and deepened, He will pour the spirit of wisdom and revelation upon us. The world changes not by revolution but by revelation, implying that the mysteries, spiritual insights and secrets revealed to us will begin to transform us from within. The disciples who bungled in so many ways while following Jesus after receiving the spirit of wisdom and revelation were transformed into apostles who never looked back from that time.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Living Weapons of the Spirit

UV 1602/10000 Living Weapons of the Spirit
Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.
Psalm 28 v 9

The Lord feeds us with nourishment and strength from His Word. He gives us hope that buoys up our spirits. He regards us as His inheritance and blesses us or causes us to grow in a wholesome and balanced way. He desires us to lift us up or exalt us. He redeems us out of all our troubles. Like Job despite all the trials and tribulations we face in life, we should hold onto faith as our living shield and affirm, “ My Redeemer lives.”

A shield is a dead or inanimate article but a belief or an article of faith is a living shield. A sword is an inert and inanimate weapon. A hand has to move it or wield it. But the Word of God is a living sword. It has inherent and inbuilt power to impact life positively in every situation. The Word is the weapon of the spirit. The Spirit of God uses it to shape and mould us, to cut off the rough edges, to fill us hope and strength. An inanimate weapon has limitations of reach. A living weapon can touch the smallest pore and penetrate the mightiest power on earth. An aninamate weapon becomes obsolete over time while a living weapon always remain relevant and powerful . An inanimate weapon takes life and harms people while a living weapon gives life and helps people. An inanimate weapon destroys while a living weapon creates and endures. An inanimate weapon affects only bodies or minds while a living weapon affects the whole being- spirit, mind and body.

The Lord uses His living weapons to strengthen us from within, to bless us, to save us. His commands discipline us and build our character while His promises releases power, anointing and blessings into our lives. When we pray using the living shield of faith and the living sword of the spirit, we make advances in the spiritual realm. We are lifted up above the level of our immediate circumstances. We gain a perspective that is eternal and surpassing the temporal and the temporary.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

To Heed or to Hide

UV 1601/10000 To Heed or to Hide?
He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.
Job 37 v 13

For the past three weeks it has been pouring in Chennai incessantly, filling up all the lakes around, leading to a lot of water being released from the floodgates, causing the normally dry tributaries and trickling river to suddenly fill up and overflow the banks, flooding streets, main roads, highways and houses. A prophet had told us a few weeks before it all happened that Chennai would soon resemble the abutting sea. We scarcely believed that it was possible. Several troughs of depression in the Bay of Bengal brought continuous downpour leading to the present predicament. Power supply gets interrupted, people are marooned in the upper floors of their own homes, the telephones and net are no longer working as it used to. The airport is cut off. Trains are cancelled. The answer for why did it happen or why did the Lord allow it to happen or cause it to happen lies in the uni-verse above. He causes it for correction, to bless as well as to demonstrate His goodness and mercy. Indeed, God speaks through nature at all times and when we don't seem to care or listen, He begins to speak a little louder and we are compelled to sit up and notice.

As Job says, “The thunder is like the rumbling from the mouth of the Lord.” He unleashes the lightning under the whole heaven. His voice is majestic and awesome like the sound of many waters. He does great things beyond human understanding or scientific comprehension. He can stop us from labouring or working in our tracks. He loads the clouds with moisture and tells the rain, “Be a mighty downpour” so that people will notice and listen. He commands the clouds to swirl around and move in whatever direction He wills over the face of the whole earth to do whatever He commands it. We need to stop, stand still and consider the wonders done by the Lord, His awesome power and His gracious mercy. We need to be thankful when He sends us showers of blessing in proportion to our need and keep our inordinate greed in check. In our ignorance we are excited on finding a molecule of moisture on the surface of the moon or the neighbouring planets but we ignore the fact that He provides us sufficient food and drink, comfort of shelter and refuge as well as the intellect and means to discover the benefits and inventions of technology.

The Lord can hide the glorious sun behind dark clouds for as long as He pleases. We should not take for granted His daily mercies in sending the bright sun to shine upon us or complain of too much heat on a hot summer day. The Lord Almighty is beyond our reach and yet He has inclined His ear to our prayers. He does look upon the wise in heart of every realm and place with love and affection. He holds them in high esteem as a man considers his bosom friends. Will we take it all in our stride and assume that it all happened as a freak or accident of nature? Will we forget the message the Lord is sending us and return to our humdrum routine of business as usual? Will we find time and room to listen to the Lord on a regular, continuous and daily basis? Will we take the small clues He sends our way as warnings and be sensitive and wise enough to heed them rather than hide them or hide from them? We can surely find a covert or shelter from the storm but can we hide from the anger of the Lord? Is it not best to seek and find His mercy and grace while we can?

Prateep V Philip

Monday, November 30, 2015

Showers of Blessing

UV 1600/10000 Showers of Blessing
And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.
Ezekiel 34 v 26

The Lord is the most exalted One. He dwells in Zion – a hill in Jerusalem that dominates the landscape. That peak stands for the eminence and excellence of the Lord. He is the source of all blessings. He will send down a rain of His spirit upon us as a confirmation of our inheritance. He will send abundant rain in due season so that the earth will yield its increase. He will bless us with the dew of Hermon which is a symbol for everlasting life. Blessings are a foretaste of eternal life-a crystallisation of grace and the manifestation of the promises of the Lord contained in His Word. We cannot do anything to achieve or obtain these blessings. We only need to soak in these God-sent blessings as a man soaks in the shower or in a downpour of rain. To soak in blessings is an act of worship, an act of joy, an act of cleansing, an act of strengthening and equipping.

Whatever the Lord blesses us with He does so in generous measure. It might seem slow or inadequate initially from our human perspective. But as we look back we will see the generosity of the Lord in our lives. Jesus said that “ I came that you might have life and life in all its abundance.” We need to be abundant in love for God, love for His Word, abundant in the fruit of the spirit. Each of us is a tree of righteousness in the garden of the Lord. Trees grow in the garden to please the gardener and not seek their own pleasure. The showers of blessing that the Lord sends on us should seep into the soul as water into soil and soften our hearts, make it suitable to bear much fruit.

We are not expected to be will o’ the wisps or weaklings who cling to others for support but mighty oaks of faith and we live in the security of our personal knowledge of God and not on the strength of the props of this world. Earthquakes can shake a mountain but nothing can shake our faith in the Lord. Nothing and no one can make us apprehensive or afraid for there is nothing that the Lord cannot deliver us from . The Lord shall cause the beasts of the wild to cease. The secret of our security , our peace, our strength, our blessings, our success and happiness is that the Lord is with us as Emmanuel. He is also with us as Jireh, as Shepherd, as Nisi or victorious one, as Ebenezer or helper, as Rapha or healer. His name is the mountain we look to for help, for satisfaction and fulfilment. His names are not mere names that mean nothing but a summary of the essence of who God is to us.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Blessedness Beyond Success and Happiness

UV 1599/10000 Blessedness Beyond Success and Happiness
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
I Peter 1 v 3

The English word “blessed” can be traced to the root of blood. To be blessed it requires the shedding of blood or sacrifice that once again makes us acceptable, good and perfect in God’s sight. We can make our lives blessed or messed. The presence of God in our lives, our equation with Him as Father by linking our hearts with His Son Jesus, our continual fellowship with the Holy Spirit who is God on earth make us blessed. There is no greater goal, no greater success than to be blessed. To be blessed means one is first a recipient of mercy and then a vessel filled with living hope. Death being the curse that we brought on ourselves by sin is broken by the death and resurrection of Jesus from a sinner’s death – that curse is broken. It cannot hold us prisoner any longer. It cannot hold us in the constant thraldom of fear. Once we receive mercy and grace, we are sanctified and ready to worship God as the Blessed One, the source of all true blessings.

The blessedness of God is eternal. His is the greatness, the power, the victory, the majesty and the glory. This becomes our inheritance when we believe in Jesus as we become brothers with Him by faith and are co-inheritors or co-heirs of the blessedness and glory of God. Jesus is the key of David that gives us access to an eternal realm beyond mere transient success and happiness in this world. The abundant mercy of God is triggered by people calling to Him in faith in the name of Jesus. Jesus is the channel of providing access to the mercy as well as the hope of glory of God. When we declare God to be blessed, we are proclaiming Him as the author of goodness in our lives. It is amazing that mortal and sinful man is given the privilege of blessing God. Believing God is saying that He exists. Blessing God is affirming Him for His essential goodness and His specific goodness to us. It is a spiritual and deeply personal acknowledgement of the Lord.

Christ in us is the hope of glory or unimaginable greatness. Hope in Christ and the hope of eternal life is an anchor in the storms and challenges of our everyday lives. It is our experience of the abundance of God’s mercy and the riches of God’s grace that engenders hope. That hope fills us with both patience to wait with a positive, grateful, praising attitude for God to bless us and manifest His glory in our lives. That hope also fills us with joy and strength.
Prateep V Philip

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Perfected By Grace

UV 1598/10000 Perfected By Grace
The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
Psalm 138 v 8
There are many things, factors, relationship, issues in our lives that are far from perfect. Some of these we are not even aware of for we cannot see the beams in our own eyes. But the beams of the light of the Lord will light up the dark beams in our eyes or lives. He has complete knowledge of us, more than we ourselves. He is better equipped to work on us than we ourselves. He knows that there is a play out of all the books of scripture in our lives: we too have had our Genesis moment, Exodus moment, Leviticus (following rules) moment, moments of Psalms or praise, gospel moments and Revelation moments. He knows what we are running short of and where and when. He makes the oil of His grace to overflow in our periods of shortage.
He trains us from perilous heights to take flights of faith but is ready and vigilant like a mother eagle to catch us by the pinions and prevent us crash landing on the rocky cliff of life. He has made us and knows us, our limitations, our frailties and infirmities. He is patient with us and knows that there is a whole lifetime to work on us and with us. He accepts us as we are and makes that the starting point of His work with us. He increases the heat sometimes but makes sure that we are not destroyed but only refined further in the furnace of afflictions and trials. He walks with us closest when we are in that furnace and shields us. We experience the cool and comfort of His embrace with the intensity of the flames raging around us.

When we fail or fall, the Lord’s mercy covers up for us. He will help us to our feet again and encourage us with His promise never to leave us or forsake us. His mercy and grace outlasts all circumstances and situations in our lives. His mercy and grace enable us to withstand adversity and look with hope for the moment we will emerge from it strengthened and victorious. Though He knows we are imperfect, He never wants us to give up on the dream or goal of God-like perfection in character and life. This is the reason Jesus said, “ Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Perfection is an ongoing lifetime project in which God is our partner, Jesus is our flesh and blood model and the Holy Spirit the Enabler and it is concluded or consummated in heaven. On our own it is an impossible goal or dream but with Jesus as our forerunner, perfection is realized for as long as we are “running” or aiming and striving for it, Jesus covers our flaws with His mercy and grace. Faith shields the eyes of the Lord from our flaws and we are perfected by grace. We are washed by mercy and perfected by grace. Our role is to yield to the Lord as He kneeds the clay of our lives and not resist or struggle with Him.
Prateep V Philip

Friday, November 27, 2015

Lean and Learn

UV 1597/10000 Lean and Learn
And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.
Isaih 46 v 4

God is the One who carries us as a mother carries her child. He promises to be our guide until death. He has made us and therefore takes responsibility for us. The word “ carry” means He will protect, provide, guide, nourish, fend, lead and teach us. He will deliver and vindicate us. He makes this commitment to us when we get into a persona or covenant l relationship with Him. Our side of the covenant implies that we carry His word in our hearts as a sign of our commitment, obedience and love for God.

The promise contained in this uni-verse is a great assurance that all humans need as we pass through middle age and feel insecure as we think of the problems and prospects we face in old age: loneliness, ill health, financial insecurity, helplessness and so on. The Lord promises never to leave us alone but to carry us close to His heart. He promises to share our burden and make it seem much lighter. He sends us help and deliverance whenever and whatever way we need or expect it. The key factor to avail this blessing is that one needs to remember the Lord in our youth, grow in grace and faith. Then the Lord promises that we will be fat and flourishing in our old age. We will bear fruit even in old age. We will never feel forlorn nor forsaken at any point in our lives if we stick like a leech to the Lord. Our hope should be on the Lord and in His promises and not on the world or what the world can offer us.

Even our nearest and dearest will one day leave us but the Lord never leaves or forsakes us. Our dependence on our earthly parents comes down as we gain in age and maturity but our dependence on our Father in Heaven increases with age and vulnerability. We can sense the presence of the Holy Spirit all the time with us as we lean on the Lord. The more we lean on Him the more we learn. The draw or drag of earthly pleasures and attractions will become dimmer and dimmer as we draw closer to the Lord as the shadows of life lengthen. Like Caleb we can seek the anointing of the Lord that will make us as strong when we are very old as while we were in our prime.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Headship and Leadership

UV 1596/10000 Headship and Leadership
The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them.
Micah 2 v 13

The uni-verse promises that the Lord will go before us as our king and leader. He will break our chains, anything that limits our potential and our growth. He breaks the bondages within us and the barriers and hurdles before us. He sets the prisoners free and gives hope to the hopeless. He gives sight to the blind. We are the blind who do not have a spiritual vision. The Lord imparts an eternal vision so that we see His purpose, His power and experience His grace on a day to day basis.

The headship of God is as necessary as eyes for the head of man. The head thinks of the well being of the whole body. The head stimulates or moves the different parts of the body-the hidden organs as well as the external limbs to act in the interest of the whole body. These are the roles of leadership. The head cannot exist without the body and the body without the head. They are interdependent. Without the headship of the Lord, we will grope in darkness. We will not know which path to take in our lives. The Messiah is the one who will open the gate of life and the floodgates of blessings. He has the form of a man but the power of God- one like us and yet sent by God and God Himself. He is both king and servant. He has walked the paths of suffering and truth that He now beckons us to walk. He has gone ahead of us, leaving us both example and precept. We only need to diligently follow Him.

The opening of a door needs faith for we do not know what lies on the other side. Faith can be either a getaway from life and reality or a gateway to greater freedom, responsibility and fulfillment. The Lord wants us to make faith in His name and His word a gateway and not a getaway. He wants us to face reality and not hide or getaway from it. Jesus proclaimed Himself as the gate to everlasting life, the door to salvation. He manifests Himself in the life of every believing human being as a solution, an answer, a breakthrough giver. We enter the presence and avail the power of God by entering through this door. Jesus is the one leader in all of history who broke through the limitations of knowledge, of wisdom, of resources, of power in every possible way. He revealed what lay on the other side of the door of death. He is an overcomer and expects us to be an overcomer. He is the One who can give us breakthroughs we need and expect in life. Every day and every moment is like a gate or a door- an opportunity to experience the grace and power of leadership of the Lord. Every difficulty and challenge we face is a bronze gate or door that the Lord breaks open for us.

Prateep V Philip