Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Sacho" Power for Battle

UV 1798/10000 “Sacho Power” for Battle
For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me
Psalm 18 v 39

Each of us is fighting different types of battles all our lives: the battle in our own minds and hearts, the battle against temptations and weaknesses, the battle against those who hate us and revile us with or without reason. The Lord equips us with spiritual armour and fills us with His immense and unlimited strength and power. Every part of our bodies, minds and spirits are protected or girded. He places His sword in our hands. Faith is a shield that defeats every arrow of fear, destroys every snare of the foe of our souls. The Lord trains us for battle. He enables us to fight the primary battle within us and the secondary battles around us. He teaches us military strategy. He calls us His “warriors for peace.” None can defeat us. He subdues all those who rise against us as He subdued the implacable enemies and foes of King David. None can stand against us all our days as none could stand against Moses and Joshua. He being like a consuming fire is passionate about us and surrounds us with fire walls against all the vices of this world. We are like the bush on Mount Sinai that the Lord lit up without destroying to manifest Himself to Moses. We just need to take battle position and the Lord will fight for us. We just need to heed every word and leading of the Lord. Neither horse nor chariot can prevail against us, nor any weapon forged by man in all his ingenuity. We should be ready to battle and muster our inner strength. We draw our vigour from the Word daily.

We are declared more than conquerors as death cannot defeat us. We are more than conquerors as without exchanging a blow, we have certain victory. It is an oxymoron but it is both ironic and true that our battles are non violent. It is through His Spirit and our meekness, not by might or power that victory is wrested. We are more than conquerors as our battle is not physical but in the spiritual realm. In the world, the declaration or proclamation of victory or triumph comes after the battle but the Lord first declares the victory for us and then secures it for us. On our foreheads, it is written Jesus Christ, implying that since we belong to the Lord, none can touch us or defeat us. Our heels are the “Jesus heel” that crushed the head of satan. An army of angels and chariots of fire are marshalled on our behalf.

The Lord goes before us as a mighty breaker. He clears our barriers and makes our pathway smooth. He also follows us in our wake to protect our rear as a rear guard. He places a banner proclaiming our victory with the words, Jehovah Nissi. The enemies are scattered like dust even as we are secured on the Rock. The arena of our battle keeps changing from day to day. The array of forces against us are dispersed in seven directions. The Lord also uses each of us as a sharpened battle axe, a hammering rod to break down bronze gates and cut through steel bars to extend His kingdom. Imagine the awesome power of an uncompromising Samson who gave no room to weaknesses of our flesh, who did not meddle or get involved in civilian affairs. We are to be filled with all the power of the Holy Spirit and exhibit the character traits of self control, gentleness, peace and patience. These may not sound “macho” but “sacho”- spiritually powerful qualities of the soldier of God. The Lord being with us is the source of our power. The certainty or guarantee of victory is on account of His presence with us. Our voices and hands raised in prayer, praise and worship ensures the defeat of our enemies.
Prateep V Philip

A Ruler After God's Heart

UV 1797/10000 A Ruler After God’s Heart
That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.
Nehemiah 7 v 2

People who fear God are likely to be wise rulers. They will have the heart of a servant and shepherd and remain humble and diligent. Their faithfulness to God will keep them from being either negligent or corrupt. They would certainly render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, to the people what belongs to them and to God what belongs to God. It is not the most capable or efficient who make the best administrators and rulers but the most faithful ones for the Lord would endow them with wisdom, knowledge, understanding, insight and common sense. Hanani and Hananiah were earlier in charge of the palace and had proved themselves faithful in a smaller responsibility. Hence, they found favour with Nehemiah to be given the greater responsibility of leading and managing the city of Jerusalem.
Those who are faithful to the Lord are invested with a spirit of excellence as Daniel and his three friends were in the empire of Babylon. The Lord exalts those who love and honour Him above many others who may be naturally more gifted or capable. He sees our faithfulness in lesser matters and gradually increases our influence and responsibility. He is a king who uses broken and weak vessels. He qualifies the unqualified. He has no uses for the proud, arrogant and wicked. But He honours and exalts the meek and faithful. He allows the stone that the wicked roll to roll back on them. He allows them to fall in the pit they dig for the godly and God-fearing.

The Lord desires that rulers not only be law-abiding but God-abiding. Once they have a personal relationship with the Lord, He gives them the grace or enablement to more than fulfil the needs and expectations of their position or responsibility. Faith gives God-fearing rulers the confidence and hope that they will succeed in whatever they do. Faith imparts a sense of vision and infuses deep values in leaders. It teaches them to learn from others, learn from their failures and from the mistakes of others. It keeps them from acting with a sense of selfish ambition or self interest. They would not be egoistic. They would always act out of public interest and remain transparent and accountable to God and man for all their actions in the public domain.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Code of Great Communication

UV 1796/10000 The Code of Great Communication
The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
Isaiah 50 v 4

This uni-verse reveals the secret to great communication. One needs to discipline the tongue and ears to listen to the Lord, day after day, morning by morning. When we listen to Him and His Word, He pours His grace and wisdom upon our lips. We need to still our tongue in order to listen to learn. Our yearning for the Lord and His grace is what gives us the motivation to so discipline ourselves. The Lord anoints our ears, our minds, our lips and tongue. The Holy Spirit interprets the Word to us and sends it to our innermost parts to heal, to deliver, to bless, to enable. He imparts to us the gift to speak the fitting word to encourage, comfort and build the faith of those who are discouraged, tired or mourning. The tongue’s highest purpose is to convey the things we have learnt from the Lord to others in our circles of control and influence. Prayer is the time and season when we hold our tongues in order to talk with the Lord. It is during these times and seasons that we learn the most of and from the Lord.

Our learning from the Lord is not to advance our reputation or to impress others but to lift up the depressed. Our knowledge and communication has a purpose that is focussed on the needs of others. Our words are described as fruits of the lips. The seed are planted in our souls by the Spirit of God. It is watered and fertilized by the knowledge and understanding of the Word. It bears fruit or results in due time and season. Just as precious and healthy fruit are not wasted but collected and used to feed the hungry and weary, our words are not to be wasted but used to be a blessing the multitudes. It is food for the hungry multitude who are facing a variety of issues, challenges and difficulties in life. Our words impart faith, hope, strength, courage, grace to others. The rivers of life –giving water that bubble up from our hearts and spirits find their outlet through our tongues. The lava of erupted fury, bitterness and negativity also flows from our tongues. The mark of godly wisdom, meekness, maturity and perfection is the way we yield our tongues to the Lord to be used of Him to advance the cause of the Kingdom of God, to release power, to deliver people from their chains and bondages, to impart gifts, to equip and train. We are to be a messenger , a spokesperson for the Lord to the world as Moses was sent to speak to Pharaoh.

The human tongue is an unique and powerful weapon of life- giving and life- enhancing potential not a sharp weapon to cut others up. Its purpose is fulfilled only when we surrender it to the Lord to be used by Him. If we do not do so, it becomes a weapon of destruction that ignites many quarrels, stimulates envy, hatred, argument, conflict and violence. The tongue is disciplined in a season of silence and submission. The ears shaped like funnels are meant to pour in the knowledge and wisdom of the Lord and to filter out the noise, sound and fury of the world. As a thumb rule, going by the body code of two ears to one tongue, we need to proportionately double the time we listen to the Lord and to others and halve the time we speak. We need to develop the sensitivity to understand the inner needs and feelings of others to be able to release the power of God through our tongues in a timely and effective manner.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, June 27, 2016

Resurrection Power

UV 1795/10000 Resurrection Power
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Romans 8 v 11

The same Spirit who raised Jesus from death lives in us. Our leader is the Holy Spirit. A godly leader is one who is led by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead. He manifests the same power in us by bringing alive the dead parts of our being, death having been caused by our separation from God so far. The Word is the seed the Holy Spirit plants in our spirits to enliven us. He causes the revival of our spiritual being. He gives us the power to change our inner attitudes so that we can live fully and abundantly. The Resurrection power of the spirit is at work in us to do much more than we can ask, think or imagine. Since death and sin are present everywhere, we need the resurrection power in order to overcome both sin and death. Since resurrection power works only after death is confirmed, we need to voluntarily and completely die to our old nature. The process of so dying is our response and responsibility while the act of resurrection is that of the Spirit. We need to die in the different members of our bodies to the dictates and attractions of the lust of the flesh, lust of the eye and the pride of life in its various manifestations.

The Resurrection power of the Spirit is manifest in our daily lives in a variety of ways. The Spirit causes us to understand the meaning in every context we are placed in of the promises we receive. The Spirit enables us to wait with patience and faithful expectation for the fulfilment of the promises of the Lord. The Spirit causes and enables the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control to grow and become part of our new nature in Christ. To the extent we listen and abide by the counsel and directions of the Spirit, our transformation is hastened or slowed down. The Holy Spirit is a gentle pace setter and is never in a hurry but prompts us to move forward in different areas of our lives, character and ministry.
The Holy Spirit represents the indwelling person of God. He is the One who fulfils the ministry of Christ on earth. He is the One who declares our bodies as temples of God and sanctifies us accordingly. He is the source of inexhaustible joy, eternal wisdom, comfort and strength for each of us. He constantly reminds us of the word spoken by the Lord to us. He interprets the scriptures and also brings it into fulfillment in the course of our lives. The Holy Spirit is also the giver of many spiritual gifts of discernment, of healing, of prophecy, of word of wisdom and of knowledge. By means of His nine fruit, He makes the character of leaders authentic and by means of His gifts, he makes their words and actions powerful and effective.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Overcoming Power

UV 1794/10000 Overcoming Power

For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods
Exodus 7 v 12

The serpent that Aaron’s rod turned into swallowed the serpents of the magicians of Pharaoh. This is a symbol that the forces of good or the grace of God will enable us to overcome the evils in this world. The rods of the magicians were numerous but could do no damage or harm to the rod of Aaron. We are called to overcome evil with good as Christ overcame evil. Later on we learn of Aaron’s rod budding and bearing almonds in the tent of the Tabernacle. This is a symbol that in our lifetime, we should not only overcome evil with good but that we should be spiritually fruitful. The tail of the rod of Moses became the head symbolising that our tails are more powerful than their heads. The rod of Aaron in today’s context are the prayers of a faithful and anointed person. Our prayers will lead to the victory of good over evil. It is also a sign that acting in obedience to God’s word in faith will give rise to signs, wonders, miracles and ultimate triumph. Pharoah represented near absolute power on earth. He was raised up as such a super power and Moses was lifted up to challenge and defeat the will and word of Pharaoh to show mankind that no power on earth is a match for the sovereign power of the Lord.

The rod of Aaron overcoming or swallowing the rods of the Egyptians is also a symbol of our fears, curses and limitations being overcome by our faith. Our thoughts and words should not give room to the enemy of our souls. We should not confess 0r admit negativity by our thoughts or words. We have the power to crush the head of the serpent under our heels. It is apt to note that the serpent symbol adorned the head dress of Pharaoh. It was a royal symbol of the power of ancient Egypt that inspired fear and awe in the people. The enemy rules through fear while the Lord rules through love and willing submission of the faithful.

In the same manner that Aaron cast down his rod in the name of Jehovah, the Almighty One, we need to cast down our burdens, fears, doubts, suspicions, guilt, worries, problems, challenges. We cast it down at the feet of Jesus. We also cast down our crowns or the glory for our victories at the feet of Jesus. Jesus crushed the head of the serpent of death under His heel and is alive today. Good had overcome evil. Over His earthly lifetime, Jesus proved by His words, His example, His sovereign power over nature, His miracles and authority over the unseen realm, His death and resurrection and the evidence of many contemporary, truthful and unmotivated witnesses that not only He is good but that He is God. The bronze staff with a raised serpent coiled around it is again a metaphor that Jesus was raised or lifted on the cross and as He took our place as the very embodiment of sin or the serpent and embraced death on our behalf so that all who look to the cross with faith are saved from sin and its consequences, from ultimate defeat, hamartia or shortcoming. God saw the gap between man and Him and filled it with the agape love through Jesus.

Prateep V Philip

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Commander of Blessings

UV 1793/10000 Commander of Blessings

The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee
Deuteronomy 28 v 8

Mankind with our limited humanistic wisdom think that the purpose of life is the pursuit of happiness. But the Word says that happiness will be sent to pursue us and overtake us. Many of us try to overtake God and therefore the happiness that is sent after us is always lagging behind. We only need to stop panting and running forward and look behind us to find happiness following us in hot pursuit and wanting to catch up with us. The Lord commands or directs blessings on His own and on what they own. He causes us to be successful in all that we set our hands to. He blesses us in the land which He has settled us in. He holds us by our right hand. He guides us in the way we should go each day. He multiplies our seed so that it bears abundant fruit to meet our own need and those whose need the Lord wants us to meet. Jacob was so zealous for the blessings of the first born son that he deceived his father Isaac and cheated his brother Esau. Jacob did not realize that the real commander of blessings was not his earthly father who had limited and delegated powers to bless but the Father in heaven who can command all types of blessings- material, spiritual, emotional and relational. Each of us are given the blessings of the first born Son Jesus without having to attempt deceiving or appeasing or cajoling the Father or the Son. The seemingly undue punishment meted out to Ananias and Saphira was due to their attempt to deceive the Father and the Son in holding back part of the proceeds of the sale of their own property. Hence, even in our failings, we need to be completely honest and open in our dealings with the Lord. While God demands obedience, He commands blessings. He is no respector of persons but He is a respector of faith.

The twelve blessings of the Father are enumerated in Deuteronomy chapter 28: elevation above the ordinary, happiness or the good things of life pursuing us instead of us pursuing happiness, prosperity, fruitfulness in every aspect, abundance of provision, successful and safe journeying, the defeat and dispersal of enemies, foes, rivals or opposing forces, blessings of character, integrity and reputation, success in our chosen professions and in all that we attempt, blessings of outstanding leadership. Most of these blessing concern our lives in this world. These blessings are obtained by obedience to the Word in all its details. Belief is obedience and disbelief is disobedience. The blessings of the Son Jesus are enumerated by Him in Matthew chapter 5 and these largely concern our spiritual lives, our behavioural or attitudinal blessings or the spiritual blessings that we obtain by our Spirit- led and anointed attitudes. The first three attitudes that attract spiritual blessings like magnets attract iron filings are a sense of brokenness, a sense of repentance, an absence of pride and the presence of complete humility before the Lord. The fourth attitude is one of a passion for holiness, righteousness, excellence, truth, integrity, honesty, uprightness by grace and not with a self righteous or “holier than thou” attitude. The fifth attitude is the readiness to forgive others in the measure the Lord has forgiven us. The sixth attitude is a passion for peace, to avoid strife and to be an instrument of peace wherever there is strife. The seventh attitude that attracts spiritual blessings is the willingness to suffer persecution for the sake of our faith. The eighth attitude is patience and forbearance. The ninth is holding onto the joy of salvation regardless of happenings or circumstances. The tenth is to be a positive invisible and visible influencer for the Lord in a world of contemporary darkness.

We obtain thereby the twelve blessings of the first covenant by belief and obedience and the ten blessings of the second or new covenant by being, behaving or manifesting the inner attitudes. The ten blessings of the new covenant authored by Christ are closely related to the nine fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. The nine fruit of the Spirit are also related to the ten attributes of love described by St Paul in I Corinthians chapter 13: the need for forbearance, patience and kindness, the absence of envy, strife, pride, boastfulness and selfishness, the need for an attitude of rejoicing in the truth or delighting in the Word, the fortitude to bear all things, the optimism to hope in all things, the avoidance of evil, the determined pursuit of good intent towards all, the willingness to forgive all things and not to hold grudges or harbour bitterness in one’s heart. Hence, we find that blessedness is a holistic state of spirit, mind and body. It involves the totality of our lives: our thoughts, our attitudes, our motives, our actions, our reactions, our dreams, our goals, our habits, our desires, our character, our speech, our faith and hope. To the extent we submit ourselves willingly to the Holy Spirit, He shapes and grooms us in all these aspects over the long haul.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, June 24, 2016

The New Identity and Nature

UV 1792/10000 The New Identity and New Nature
And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
Daniel 2 v 43

If our foundations are brittle and weak, the whole edifice would be weak and unstable. If our foundational beliefs are of miry clay, whatever be our abilities, it would be of no avail. The statue that Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream eventually collapsed though it had a glorious super structure. Our foundations need to be consistently strong. It cannot be an admixture of strength and weakness, truth and falsehood. In contrast to the image in the dream, John saw the vision of the resurrected Jesus as One with feet of burnished brass, implying that those who build their lives on their faith in Jesus would have a strong rock like foundation. We would be not only be strong but we would also be dynamic. We must avoid mixing up with the ways of the world and stay pure and unadulterated.

Our faith should not be an alloy of the world’s beliefs and practices along with biblical beliefs and practices. It should be pure and strong. Our source of security, our sense of direction, our progress towards fulfilling the purpose the Lord has set for our lives are derived from our faith in Jesus. In the Book of Revelation, it is written that we would be given a new name and a stone. The new name is a new identity that we gain that stands for integrity of our faith and action. The white stone stands for purity and strength. In the dream, the rock that breaks the feet of clay is a stone that is not cut with human hands but it grows into a mountain and fills the whole earth. This is apparently a reference to Jesus since He was not born by human will or of human descent. Empires and kingdoms and Unions like the European Union may come and go but the name of Jesus continues to grow in influence across the globe. We who believe share His identity as sons and daughters of God, priests and kings, co-heirs of the kingdom of God, chosen vessels, peacemakers, fire torches in clay jars, treasures of the Lord in vessels of clay, warriors of the Lord, soldiers of God, aroma of Christ, ambassadors of God to the world, salt and light, sharp sledgehammer of the Lord, servants of God and slaves of righteousness.

Clay cannot cleave to iron as their chemical bonding does not permit it. But since we are made in the image of God, we can cleave to Christ. We need to cleave to Him and leave the world. When we do so, we are bonded to Him and our artificial bondages in this world are broken. We will be overcomers and not be overcome by the world. We should celebrate our new identity in Christ, our new nature in Him.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Reasons for Rejoicing

UV 1791/10000 Reasons for Rejoicing
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5 v 2

Peace with God is the most fundamental and foundational peace. Faith in Jesus is the rock foundation on which all other peace rests and grows: peace with self, with others, peace in the family, peace with the world. The Lord gives us access to such peace by His grace. We can now rejoice in the hope of our salvation. We are no longer short of the glory or perfection of God purely by grace. Our faith enables us to now live a righteous life- a life acceptable and pleasing to the Lord. Christ in us gives us the hope of glory. We are now sure to see the glory of God or the power and the presence of God being manifest in our lives.

We build unlike others not on a temporal, physical foundation but on a spiritual foundation. We need to build on the rock foundation, the bed rock of Jesus. We cannot build our lives with inferior materials like hay and stubble but with precious metals and stones, implying that our lives, our thoughts, words and actions should be characterised by what is noble, true, beautiful, worthy of Christ. For the believer, his security needs with reference to Maslow’ s theory of the hierarchy of needs is met in Christ by a sense of complete assurance that the Lord will provide abundantly and protect effectively. The self esteem needs are replaced not by what others think of us or what we ourselves think but what the Lord thinks of us. Our self actualisation or self fulfilment need is also met in growing in spiritual maturity with the goal of reaching the full stature of Christ.

We have therefore many reasons to rejoice: we can rejoice in our absolute sense of security. We can rejoice that all our present and future needs are met in Christ whose grace is sufficient for us. We have unlimited access to Jesus by prayer and constant communication in the spirit. He gives us the key of David that enables us to access the treasures of heaven. We can rejoice in the hope of eternal life. No wonder scripture says, “ Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.” The Lord wants to always fill us with joy while the enemy of our souls wants to kill our joy. The choices we make determines the results.

Prateep V Philip

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Black Sheep of the Lord

UV 1790/10000 The Black Sheep of the Lord
And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
Genesis 28 v 15

The love of the Lord is steadfast. He promises never to leave us or forsake us, give us up or give up on us. He has spoken many things that He has promised will be brought to pass in our lives. He will not fail even in a single thing that He has promised. It will all happen in due time, not late, not too soon. God did not promise to be with Jacob on account of the latter’s faithfulness nor did He forsake him due to his cunning. He was with Jacob as He stayed faithful to His promise to his grandfather Abraham. Each of us go through many ups and downs in our lives, often more downs than ups, but the Lord promises to be the level ground for us to stabilise our emotions, to gain perspective and balance and focus on Him, thereby gaining strength for the next uphill or down hill. Suffering and pain are inevitable in this earthly sojourn but the Lord provides intervals of happiness as relief from time to time. A covenant relationship with the Author of life and all that exists is key to understanding life and to overcome its challenges.

The first and foremost criterion for success and blessedness in this life is that the Lord should be with us. A covenant relationship is a two way responsibility: God’s faithfulness to His promises to us and our faithfulness to His commands. The Lord prospered Jacob as he served his father- in- law Laban. He kept him safe in all his journeys. He blessed him in all that he did. He preserved him from his enemies, foes and rivals. He protected him from vengeance. He blessed him with dreams of heaven and a two way stairway to heaven. The Lord had a covenant relationship with only one of Jacob’s twelve sons- Joseph though every one of them could have had the same promise. The Lord kept Joseph physically safe through many trials and tribulations and in the end prospered him and made him the source of blessing for his father Jacob and for his eleven brothers.
Jacob’s share in Laban’s flock were the dark, speckled, spotted or the black sheep. They are the symbol or the metaphor that each of us is a black sheep in comparison with the purity and holiness of the Lord. Yet, in His faithfulness and through the sacrifice of Jesus, each of us has been made white and spotless as snow. The Lord being with us multiplies our blessings manifold. We need to be clothed by Him, lead by Him and fed by Him, surrounded by Him, focussed on His love, sheltered in Him. The Lord is closer to us than our own skin. He is intertwined in our every thought and emotion. He consummates us or makes perfect our ways, our words and our thoughts towards Him.

Prateep V Philip

The Value of Writing

UV 1789/10000 The Value of Writing for the Lord

This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.
Ezra 7 v 6

Ezra was set apart from the rest of Babylon, dedicated to the work and the Word of the Lord. Babylon is a symbol of worldly wealth, pleasure, fame, power and such pursuits. Ezra was a willing and able scribe to write down the law given to Israel through Moses. His tongue was a ready pen in the hand of a writer, implying that both his speech and writing were anointed and intended to build the faith of the people of Israel. Even when God wanted to communicate a message, He chose to write it down on a tablet or on a wall. Writing is a powerful tool to influence people for the kingdom of God. Writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is an even more powerful medium. Ezra sought to grow not in status but in stature in terms of his knowledge of the Word.

Those who serve God in an excellent manner will not serve before obscure men but before kings. They will obtain grace or favour of their earthly masters. The hand of the Lord shall guide them and bless them. He will cause to multiply their influence. He will enable them to get whatever resources they need for their mission. Ezra and Nehemiah were contemporaries and both were influential Jews in exile in Babylon. Both had a burning desire to return to Jerusalem to re-build its ruins. They were both successful in petitioning the king and obtaining the permission, the resources needed for the single purpose of re-building Jerusalem. The Lord prospered them in whatever mission they set for themselves.

We too like Ezra need to study the Word, explain it to our co-workers and friends whenever the opportunity presents itself. If we are faithful in these small responsibilities, the Lord will enlarge our vision, our impact and our legacy. Ezra read out the scriptures to the people of Israel and moved them to tears and repentance. Similarly, our writing will move many people and enable them to experience the light and love of fellowship with the Lord. The more we transfer the written Word from paper and stone or metal to our hearts, the more blessed we are and we will enjoy perfect peace. Writing converts thoughts into visible words. Writing transfers emotions to paper. Writing conveys the spirit through the letter. The Lord wants us to write to Him. to write down our vision and our goals, to write down our prayers and our requests, to write down our praise and adoration. Writing makes the invisible visible. Writing endures and outlasts our lives and so carries our influence to the next generation and age. When we write for the Lord, we become a ready pen in His hands.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, June 20, 2016

Latent Leaders, Hidden Heroes

UV 1788/10000 Latent Leaders, Hidden Heroes
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
Judges 6 v 12
Gideon was hiding from the Midianites and he was threshing the wheat by the winepress. He was afraid of the marauding foes and the damage they could cause to life and stock. Yet the angel of the Lord appeared to him. God hears the groans and sees the suffering of His people who fear and acknowledge Him and sends His anointing on the one He chooses to lead them out of bondage. It was not as if Gideon was a mighty man of valour. He seemed quite the opposite. But the presence of the Lord with him made him a mighty man of valour. That presence made him a brave general and leader of Israel. Gideon’s clansmen or family or father did not see the latent leader in him, the hidden hero. The Lord alone has eyes to see the latent leader, the hidden hero. He is the one who calls forth our potential and uses our latent talents and abilities for His glory.

The Lord sees the hidden hero in each one of us and depending on the response of our hearts, He sends His anointing Spirit. We become clothed with a portion of His almighty or infinite power. He shows us signs and wonders in a variety of ways as He did with Gideon to confirm the anointing and leading of God. Gideon regarded himself as the least in his clan and his father’s house. Our humility signifies our submission to God. Gideon was first given smaller challenges to handle to train and test his courage and leadership as well as to prove the might of God that preserved and protected him against the hostility of his own people. By being faithful in the smaller tests and trials, we allow the hidden hero in us to grow in strength, prowess and courage. The waters of leadership are tested in the storms of life. When we taste the mighty Shekinah power and amazing grace of God in our lives, we automatically develop the courage, the faith, the strength, the confidence, the abilities. Under the old covenant, since a personal relationship with God as Father was not yet feasible, an angel had to appear as an emissary from the Lord. But under the new covenant, our personal relationship through Jesus enables us to have direct and unbroken access to the presence of the Lord. He supplies whatever we need at the point of our need in time and space to overcome the challenge whether in terms of resources, counsel, wisdom, inner qualities of leadership, help in terms of people with the requisite commitment.

The Lord being with us is the source of our success, power, courage and hope. We see a similar metamorphosis or transformation of people in Moses, Elijah, Jonah, David, Peter, Paul, Thomas and many other biblical heroes. Gideon was also called Baal-Perazim or the one who has breakthroughs. It is not as if we would not face barriers, walls, obstacles, problems, challenges, hindrances but the Lord being with us would certainly enables us to have breakthroughs even in the most difficult or impossible situations. We only need to hear a word from the Lord and He will turn our latent leader into a real time leader, the hidden hero into a reality. We need to increase the time and intensity with which we listen to the Lord, to soak in His presence, to drink of His Spirit, to await His calling,His confirmation, His commissioning, His equipping, His enablement, His empowerment, His leading and provision.

Prateep V Philip

Saturday, June 18, 2016

One Cause, Multiple Effects

UV 1787/10000 One Cause, Multiple Levels of Blessing
For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.

Zechariah 8 v 12

Our children and our descendants shall be prosperous. We being joined to the True Vine, Jesus shall bear the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. We shall till and plough the ground and our labour will yield increase upon increase. The Lord being pleased with us will bless us with every spiritual blessing from the heavenly place. These are our possessions or the blessings that the Lord will cause us to have. In being so blessed, we will have no lack or shortage or deficiency. We have multiple levels of blessing in the Lord, from within, from without or outside us, from below, from above.

The good seed of the gospel shall so prosper in our lives and our ministry. The seed of our talents, our ideas, our efforts, our faith will also bear good fruit in all areas or fields of our lives. The seed of the promises in the word will work wonders in our lives. The ministry of the Holy Spirit towards us is to transform us from within. He will create a new heart and a new spirit within us. He will remove the dross of impurities from our faith and our character. We will be so rooted and grafted in the love of God and of Christ that we will wield the power and grace of God. The Lord will do mighty things in us, for us and with us. The inner work is the top priority for the Lord as it should be ours. We tend to give top priority for the blessings from without, or outside us, namely our circumstances and possessions. We must first seek to build our character and inner qualities before we seek to be blessed materially or monetarily. This is what is meant by Jesus saying, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness- all these things shall be added unto you.”

The Lord is the cause of all the good things in our lives. He affirms that we belong to Him and He belongs to us. We are the “remnant”, the chosen few, the blessed of the Lord. Jesus saw Nathaniel and knew his heart’s longing for a Messiah even before the latter set sight on Him or heard Him or heard of Him. So also, the Lord sees us, knows us, chooses us even before we choose to follow Him. We live for the Lord and thrive by His grace. As we are rooted and grafted in Him, He feeds us from within. He nourishes every part, He heals every part of us, He strengthens every part of us, He blesses every part of us.

Prateep V Philip


UV 1786/10000 Enlargement
Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip
Psalm 18 v 36

The Lord enlarges our vision, our wisdom, our impact, our opportunities, our hearts. He is not one who tries to restrict us but the One who believes in enlargement. He does not want us to be constrained in any way. He smoothens the paths by which we walk by removing the obstacles. He goes ahead of us to remove the barriers. Very often we try to take the narrow straits of life like Balaam tried to drive his donkey down a narrow alley. But we are guided by the Holy Spirit by His wise counsel, by the turn of circumstances over which the Lord is in control.

He enlarges our wisdom and knowledge so that we do not stumble. He catches us when we fall. He props us up from time to time. We need to employ the spiritual equivalent of the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch to see or read His plan for our lives. We need to sense His presence guiding us all the time. We need to hear His gentle whisper of counsel and not miss it in the din and grind of daily life. We must not be like the disciples on the way to Emmaus who could not recognize the person, the words, the touch of Jesus. The words of Jesus should burn in our hearts to produce greater and greater light in our lives.

The Lord enlarges our resources by meeting our every need. He gives us such an abundance that not only our need is meant but we can give to others in His name. We need to honour Him with our substance, with our time, in our relationships. The word “GOD” contains a secret- it implies we need the Grace of God at every step of our lives. We need to Obey His Word. Belief is equivalent to obedience in the kingdom of God. The ‘D” stands for dedication of our lives to the purposes God has revealed to us. It also stands for discipline, determination, diligence, devotion. We need to do what lies with us to expand or enlarge our love for God and people.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Two Way Mindfulness

UV 1785/10000 Two Way Mindfulness
The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron.
Psalm 115 v 12

The Lord’s mind is full of thoughts, feelings and actions that He plans for our good. The enemy’ s mind is full of thoughts of how to rob our peace, of how to kill our joy, of how to steal our lives as he is a thief, a robber and a murderer. The Lord is a life giver, a life enhancer, a joy-giver, a benefactor or one who blesses all who live in relationship with Him. He blesses us in a generic way with good health, the ability to work and earn a living. He blesses both the great and the small in small and great ways. He causes it to happen in a natural way such that mankind takes these blessings for granted. But we ought to be thankful and joyful about every earthly or temporal blessing as well as every heavenly or eternal blessing. Our Praisebook account should find an entry every day of our lives. We should be thankful even for our problems and challenges. Our shortages, weaknesses, problems, difficulties and challenges are but opportunities for the miraculous power of God to be manifested. We have access to a divine ATM- anytime miracle. If the Lord were not mindful of us, none of this is possible. But as He is mindful of us, as He remembers us, as He cares for us, everything is possible. He revealed His grace, truth and power in the profession of the disciples, in the course of their meals, in their ministry, in healing, in deliverance, in provision, in teaching and training. We are often blinded to the workings of the Spirit as we are conditioned or accustomed to only knowledge or awareness by virtue of our limited intellects, our limited experience, our perceptions that are guided by our five senses. These senses make us purblind for our knowledge is not accompanied by wisdom. We have the spiritual equivalent of our five senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell in the realm of faith. We need to increasingly use these spiritual faculties. Saul was temporarily blinded in order that these faculties would be awakened and used. A complete reversal as well as a fulfilment of his earlier convictions was facilitated thereby. The zeal with which he used to persecute and hunt down the early believers was now transformed into zeal plus knowledge of Jesus Christ. As a result He did more than those disciples and apostles who had seen, heard, smelt, touched and tasted of the goodness of the physical Jesus.

We ought to reciprocate by being mindful of the Lord at all times, to be conscious of His presence in us and with us, to live a life worthy of our calling and anointing, to be aware of His commands and to be enthusiastic about His promises, to follow the examples of the good role models in scripture and avoid those that are bad. Mary was mindful of the presence and grace of Jesus while Martha was only mindful of her responsibilities. Mary enjoyed the fellowship of Jesus. If we are mindful of Jesus, we should love to sit at His feet daily and learn from Him. The mindfulness of Jesus should affect our thoughts, emotions, actions, reactions, words, temperament, goals, priorities, faculties and gifts.

Our human productivity is a factor of our blessedness, of how connected we are with the One who can bless, who can cause the desert to bloom, who can start rivers or the continual flow of blessings in our lives- spiritual, emotional, intellectual, social, physical and financial. He will bless us as He blessed Jacob, transforming Him into the father of the nation of Israel, giving him the power to bless his twelve sons. He will bless us in our existential and relational struggles so that we will taste more of victory and defeat only to teach us to depend on Him or to teach us some other lesson or to give us a course correction. He will bless us like Aaron to be a spokesman for God on earth, to be a royal priest, to be a leader among His people, to be anointed, powerful and fruitful. Our bare almond stick will bear almonds in the tent of His presence or the covering of His presence.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Trust Scale

UV 1784/10000 The Trust Scale
And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:
2 Corinthians 3 v 4

In the parable of talents, the servants who trusted the master more were more willing to take greater efforts and risks to invest the talent of gold given to them. Trust enables people to take great risks. It greatly multiplies our risk taking capacity. This is from a human perspective. But from God’s perspective, trust pleases Him while distrust displeases Him. Extreme trust pleases Him extremely and extreme distrust displeases Him extremely. Jesus manifested extreme trust while Lucifer manifested extreme distrust. The former’s mission is to spread and increase trust in God among men while the latter’s is to spread and increase distrust of God among men. Most of us are located somewhere in between extreme trust and extreme distrust. Some of our thoughts, words and actions veer towards either end of this scale. Trust made Abraham’s, Jacob’s and Moses’ tryst with God meaningful. They trusted in the character of God. They trusted in His words. We trust God in and through Christ. We believe that He has the words of eternal life. We believe He holds the key to heaven. We believe He will redeem us in every conceivable situation. We believe He is our advocate. He is our only mediator with the Father. We trust God to meet our needs. We trust God for our future. We trust His promises. We believe every word is true. Trust is the basis of our covenant and personal relationship with God through Christ.

We trust God that He has the best in mind for us. He wants to give us hope and a future. He wants to bless us and prosper us in spirit, mind and body. We trust Him in good times and bad times. We trust God for forgiveness and mercy. The words “such trust” implies that our faith should be of a certain quality- it should be proven, tested, approved, genuine, purified, freed from doubts and fears. Our trust is put to the test of time. Our trust in God through Christ is put to the test of trials and troubles. We need to show the patience of Jesus such that our faith will outlast our trials and tests.

Christ is the best example of trust. He trusted the Father even when He was subjected to the extreme test of the cross. He committed His soul into the hands of the Father. He trusted God that He would be resurrected. Even when He sweated drops of blood on the Rock of Agony in the garden of Gethsemane, He trusted that the will of the Father is the best for Him to obey. Jesus trusted His disciples to carry out His mandate to make known His plan of salvation to all mankind. This actually was more challenging for He knew that they were weak and ordinary men who could wilt under such extreme pressure as they would face from established religion. Peter trusted Jesus to attempt to step on the water to walk as He did on the Sea of Galilee. We need to trust the Father and Jesus completely and depend on His guidance for every step we take every single moment. Unless our trust is whole-hearted and not partial, it is not faith. When we trust God through Christ, we receive the guidance and leading of the Holy Spirit. Trust in the Trinity produces peace in our lives- peace of spirit, mind and body: a wholesome peace, a holistic one that nothing can detract or subtract or distract. It is the peace that Jesus gives that no man or the world cannot take away.
Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Wordly Wise

UV 1783/10000 The Wordly Wise

The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
Proverbs 10 v 31

The lips of the righteous encourage many people. Their words are better than choice food or delicacies to their listeners. Their lips and their mouths are anointed by the Lord. The Spirit of the Lord guides them into all wisdom. They use their words graciously to heal and strengthen relationships, to give access to well being and salvation to many. The wicked use their tongues to hurt or harm others with sarcasm, lies, gossip, malice, slander. It is a weapon with which they commit suicide as it cuts their own necks. Ananias and Saphira lied to Peter and fell dead as they were judged to have defied God in holding back a portion of the sale proceeds of their house.

The just measure their words against the Word. They check if their words are wholesome and helpful, if they are true and necessary. They refine it through many sieves or filters before they utter a single word. They run the words in their minds after it is spoken to see if it falls short of the standards of God in anyway. They recognize and believe that their tongues have power of life and death, to use it more to enhance and promote life than to take life, to cause destruction. They restrain themselves to speak less when they are feeling low or down, hurt or angry. They use their words to motivate and equip people, not to condemn, pull down and destroy their esteem.

The just use their tongues to confess the positive, to affirm others, to edify or build up the faith of others. It is interesting to see that Peter used his tongue to deny Jesus thrice at the climax of the life and ministry of Jesus. After His resurrection, Jesus leads Peter into affirming that he loves Him thrice. The same mouth that had in a cowardly way denied Jesus was used to feed unbelievers, young believers and those who are mature in faith. It is a clue that the power of affirmation can negate and overcome the power of negation, the power of denial, the power of lies of the enemy of our souls. We need to use our tongues to affirm ourselves, others and the Lord. The little tongue boasts of many powers like these: the power of persuasion, the power of assertion, the power of healing and deliverance. The tongue can be used to inspire hope and confidence in people. It is the most powerful tool of the leader when it is used effectively and it is also the most powerful weapon to bring him down. The qualities of our hearts and minds are revealed in the words we speak. The rivers of life giving water that flows from our hearts as the Holy Spirit fills us, the fruit of the spirit – these manifest themselves through the words we speak. The rivers of life giving water are our attitudes. There is a deep connection between our tongues and our hearts, minds and spirits. The tongue reveals what the heart is full of. If it is full of envy, hatred, fear, bitterness, the fruit thereof or the words would also be likewise. If it is full of love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, humility, gentleness, joy, self restraint and wisdom, our words too would mirror these attitudes. Our mouths should be like a spring that comes forth from the Rock of Jesus.

Prateep V Philip

Monday, June 13, 2016

To Be Set Free

UV 1782/10000 To Be Set Free
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8 v 32

When we do not know the truth, we are servants of sin. We are subject to sin and its wages- death. We live in fear or far below the level of our potential in spirit, mind and body. The image of God or the character of God in us becomes more and more dim. Sin gives us a deceptive freedom to do what we want. We become subject or slaves to sin and death. Our knowledge and wisdom is deceptive and not authentic. Jesus is described as Truth, as Word and as Life. He also demonstrated or proved by the various things He did and said that He is indeed Truth, Word and Life. When we know Him as Truth, Word and Life we are set free from our bondage to sin and death. We are set free from every fear. We are set free from the consequences or punishments of our sinful deeds and words. We are set free from the fear of death. We are set free from curses and limitations. We are set free to live in fellowship with our Redeemer. We can now help others break their bondages and chains. We now have real freedom. We now have access to real wisdom and real knowledge.

This uni-verse is key to our inner transformation. The first chapter of the Bible talks of formation while the rest of it is about transformation. Our identity is now transformed to servants of truth, servants of God, children of God. Sin looses its power or stranglehold over us. We can now live a life of the spirit and the life of liberty for the Spirit of liberty dwells in us. When the Saviour is in, sin is out. Truth being synonymous with the Person of Jesus, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit who leads us into all the truth is available in abundance for us to seek. We are set free once and for all from the bondage of sin and death but for other freedoms, we need to diligently seek and study the Word and seek the move and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Knowing the truth is not a one time event but a progressive happening all through the rest of our lives after we believe and receive Jesus into our hearts.
We are set free from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life and its various manifestations but vestiges of these remain deep inside us. We need to apply specific portions of scripture as the Spirit leads to these remnants of sin in us. In proportion to what sin and its vestiges we have been set free from, our lives will be blessed and our hearts will be filled with joy. Knowing the truth is not just a head knowledge of the word or of Jesus or His teachings but to know Him and His Word in our hearts, to apply it constantly to break every remaining block, lock or chain holding us back. We are free to live fully in spirit, mind and body, the abundant life, the blessed life, eternal life.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Non Material and Material Dimensions of Holistic Wealth

UV 1781/10000 Non Material and Material Dimensions of Holistic Wealth
But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day
Deuteronomy 8 v 18

Scarcity and poverty are a consequence of the fall of man for abundance and wealth are the blessing of the Lord. Wealth if it is holistic has many non material dimensions. Our health is an important part of wealth. What is the use of billions when one is not healthy and able to enjoy it? Our emotions and sense of joy is another dimension of wealth. Our intellectual calibre and growth is the third non material dimension of wealth. Our societal connections or our relationships are the fourth non material dimension of wealth. Our abilities and talents are a non material dimension of wealth that directly has a bearing on our monetary or material wealth. This is perhaps the reason, a measure of gold since biblical times is called a talent that stood for around 33 kilograms. A person with a single outstanding talent like singing or dancing or acting can earn enormous amounts of material wealth and is often treated as an icon, a god who is worshipped in his or her own right and this is where he or she cons self and others for it is God Almighty who has given him or her that talent. This is also the reason that most of their lives are glitched or miserable and often, end in tragedy. Our sense of creativity and innovation is another important non material dimension of wealth. Our attitudes towards money and wealth, about using it and giving a part away are also part of our wealth. The most vital aspect of non material wealth is our spirituality, our personal knowledge of the Lord and our holding onto the presence of the Lord like a leech. We need to prosper in spirit, first but also in mind and body. The last and least aspect is the material dimension of wealth. It is the Lord who gives us the power to get wealth of all kinds. When the Lord makes a person wealthy, He adds no sorrow to it. We should avoid the brazen greed that drives both the materialism of modern communist China as well as the greed that drives the capitalist West. IF our craving veers more to the material than the non material, scripture warns that the Lord may grant our desire but send poverty to our soul or in the non material dimensions.

Scripture says that all the silver and gold in the world belongs to the Lord. He has endowed us with the capacity to earn. He looks at the desires of our heart. If our priorities are right, He is willing to add every good thing to our lives. He gives us a good land with enough water to build our homes. He blesses our food and water so that we are free from disease. He guides us so that we make timely decisions. When it comes to buying land, time is money. The more one delays one’s decisions, the higher the price goes up, sometimes a hundred times in one span of ten to twenty years. He sends opportunities our way so that we are benefitted by availing these.

He protects us from natural disasters and man made problems like crime, accidents and losses. He guides us in our investments so that it grows and multiplies. All this He does not as He is partial to us or that He is playing favourites but as He has promised all the non material and material blessings to Abraham and his descendants. He is pleased when we always recall that it is the Lord who is the source of our material and immaterial wealth, when we are thankful. Wealth should never take the place of God in becoming our source of security or of happiness. It should not make us neither complacent or proud and arrogant. Like Joseph of Arimathea who gave his grave for Jesus, we must always ask what is that we can do for the Lord with all that He has given us. A constant sense of gratitude would bless us even more in the non material and material aspects. We should always be contented with what the Lord has given us. We should not seek to increase it by ignoble or illicit or unfair means. When the king of Sodom wanted to reward Abraham for raiding a common enemy and retrieving his men and goods from some marauding troops, Abraham replied that he did not want so much as a strap of footwear from him so that he could not claim that he had made him rich. Abraham acknowledged that it was the Lord that had made him wealthy with cattle on a thousand hills. His sense of gratitude taught him to be hospitable to strangers and to give a tithe to the Lord. We are blessed with wealth so that not only our needs are sufficiently met but that we can give to people and causes that the Lord lays on our heart. Giving away a portion of our wealth to the needy and to the faithful will enable us to store up eternal riches. We should be obliged only to the Lord and not to others. We should neither be wasteful nor indigent. Jesus said, “ I have come that you might have life in all its abundance.” The abundant life refers to the non material as well as material aspects. Excessive wealth or blessings can be a snare or a temptation to us. It can thwart our growth to spiritual maturity.

Prateep V Philip

Spiritual Manna for Man

UV 1780/10000 Spiritual Manna for Man
And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
Deuteronomy 8 v 3

Unless we hunger for Jesus, He is not the Bread of our life. Unless we hunger for the Word, it is not our Bread. Unless we hunger for Jesus every day of our lives, He is not our Bread. Unless we hunger for the Word every single day as we would for necessary food, it is not our Bread. The Word is our daily bread to be eaten often every day and not cake that we eat only on special occasions. Jesus is the Manna for man from heaven. His grace is sufficient to meet all our need every day and in every situation of our lives. We are humbled and broken through our earthly suffering and only when we are broken like bread do we realize that it is not the physical bread or food and drink that is most vital for our well being but the Word that God feeds us with. Every word that God speaks into our lives has power to heal, to deliver, to bless, to satisfy, to multiply, to preserve, protect and promote us. Our every spiritual as well as mundane need is met in His manna. To use the Word that we already know and have applied is bread but to receive a new word every day is fresh manna. We need to receive it before our active day or schedule begins so that the sunlight or the heat and pressures of the day does not spoil the manna.

The Israelites fed on manna from heaven for the entire forty years they wandered through the wilderness till they reached the promised land. They did not have to store it up for the next day indicating that we should not be insecure that our future needs will not be met. The Word will direct our steps from within so that our paths are in sync with the Lord’s plan and will for our lives. The promised land for us is not the physical land where we stay, work and move but it is the presence of the Lord. It is our personal and intimate bonding or covenant relationship with the Lord. When the divine grain or manna is internalised or understood and applied or obeyed, it sinks roots into the subconscious and begins a deep and transformative work in our lives that will make us spiritually fruitful. The first chapter of the Bible speaks of formation while the rest deals with transformation.

The use of the words, “ does not live on bread only” is an admission that we do have physical needs, we do have financial needs. But the more valuable bread is our spiritual bread. It is more valuable than our necessary food. So much so, we may go without food but we should not forego our daily manna. It is not bread meant only for our maintenance or prosperity or peace but for our transformation. It alters our destination as well as the road we take. It transforms our character and makes our spirit God-like. It is food as well as the best medicine for our souls. It is our direction finder, compass or GPS. It is our map. It is our plumb line. It is our spiritual sword. This very uni-verse is quoted by Jesus when He was tempted by the enemy to turn stones into bread to satisfy his hunger at the end of a forty day fast. Ironically, it will turn our stones or obstacles, barriers, impediments into implements, solutions, blessings. The Word is the precious eternal oil that burns in human hearts as we await the return of the Lord to claim His own. The activism, the dynamism, the reality, the true-to-life yet promising a fairy tale ending, the versatility of the Word makes it superior to the manna that the Israelites consumed for forty years for that manna only sustained their bodies but did not prevent them from rebelling, from disbelieving the promise of God and the words of His servant Moses and Aaron. But we should not end up obtaining intuition from God and taking tuition from the enemy. We need to depend on the Holy Spirit to ingest and digest every grain or every syllable of the Word. Last weekend I was glad to receive confirmation from the Lord that the Word that I send out daily in a pre-digested uni-verse capsule brings satisfaction, relief and comfort to many who are in the pangs of spiritual hunger, in panic and pain in many nations. It heals them like a panacea, the Balm of Gilead of many ills.

Prateep V Philip

Thursday, June 9, 2016

To Be Blessed Forever

UV 1779/10000 To Be Blessed Forever
Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.
2 Samuel 7 v 29

Though this is a prayer by King David to bless his house for ever, the Word of God is so dynamic, effective and relevant that we in this day and age after 2500 years can equally make it our own prayer and promise. A house is a structure that has a strong foundation, walls, flooring, windows, doors and a roof. The strong foundation of the house that represents our lives is faith in the Rock of Ages- Jesus. The fencing are the amazing and numerous promises in the Word. The pathway to the house is the Word. The light of the house is His commandments. The furnishing of the house are the examples and testimony of the many men and women of God described in the Word. The windows are our prayers. The doors are the opportunities that life presents us. The walls are our personal relationship with the Lord. The roof is the fulfilment of the purpose of God in our lives.

We are not to ask the Lord to bless our house just for our lifetime but forever. Man knows only three tenses- the past, the present and the future but all these tenses converge into eternity. The Lord has set eternity as a goal or pursuit in all our hearts as He created us in His image. Somehow, we all realize that our house here is not permanent. We know that our house beyond time is for all eternity. It is a house built by the hands of the Lord. Its foundation is rock. Its windows are of agate and precious stones. The steps leading into it are of gold. We need to store things there that neither moth nor rust nor thief can destroy. The uni-verse hits the nail on the head when it says that our lives should be pleasing to God in order that our prayers and praise are pleasing to Him. It is then that His face will shine on us and our days on earth as well as our eternity will be blessed forever.

The use of the word ‘ servant’ clearly shows that David saw himself as a servant of God. A servant of God becomes a leader of people. He is accountable to God for not only his actions but even his thoughts, goals, desires, actions and reactions. When a servant of God is faithful and is pleasing to Him in all his ways, he becomes a blessing to people. We are blessed in order to bless others. A person who passes on the blessings of the Lord to others is like the Sea of Galilee that is fed by the river Jordan and is teeming with life. A person who stores or hoards the blessings without passing it on to others is like the Dead Sea in which no life can live let alone thrive. We are given much in order to give more to others. The highest to the lowliest are called to be servant leaders, servants of God and leaders of people. David knew that he was a man in authority but under the authority of God. The centurion humbly told Jesus that he was a man in authority and under authority like Jesus. He only had to speak a word of command and his bidding would be done. Similarly, Jesus subjected Himself to the authority of God, the Father. Jesus was served by the angels and archangels but He laid down His life as a blessing to every human being. We may not realize it but every human being living today or who has ever lived has been blessed in some way by the life of Jesus. Every believer subjects himself or herself to the authority of God. It is God who blesses us to be authors or creators or innovators or implementers. Our tongues are like the pen of a ready writer, ready to offer prayer, praise, comfort, encouragement, guidance, inspiration, blessing.

Prateep V Philip

The End of Struggle

UV 1778/10000 The End of Struggle
Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,
2 Samuel 7 v 10

Struggles are inevitable in life. We struggle to be born, struggle to grow, struggle to mature, struggle to be re-born in the spirit, struggle to bear fruit for the glory of God. But in all our struggles, we are assured of victory as the Lord is with us. The struggles that are due to our separation from God due to sin and rebellion will cease. The Lord has appointed a place and time for us to live, to work and to flourish. He has planted us as a gardener plants a precious sapling. He has watered us daily with His blessings and enabled us to grow to our full potential. He has endowed us with a place of our own and put a strong fencing around us. Our foes, the children of wickedness cannot launch their predatory attacks on us.

The uni-verse is a wonderful promise as we are assured of a place of our own where we can dwell undisturbed. Since the sovereign Lord has planted us there, no one can uproot us, no one can displace us. We have complete security and assurance of protection, provision and salvation. We will be enabled to grow to our full potential. The reference to children of wickedness is an indication that the Lord values our character over our abilities or our achievements. The Holy Spirit will enable us to manifest love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, humility, faithfulness and self control for these are the marks or distinguishing characteristics of the children of light, the children of God. Love joins us to others, joy lifts up our spirits, peace anchors us, patience strengthens us from within. Kindness and goodness enables us to do good deeds for the glory of God. Humility keeps us from becoming spiritually proud or feel superior. Faithfulness equips us to remain true to our commitment to the Lord at all times, in good times and bad. Self control that comes from a surrender of all our faculties to the Holy Spirit prevents us from crossing the line and from yielding to our former lusts.

The world is divided into children of light and children of darkness, children of God and the children of the enemy, children begotten supernaturally by the word of truth of the gospel and children begotten naturally, the children of righteousness and the children of wickedness. The latter cannot oppress or suppress the former and prevent them from reaching their potential and fulfilling their eternal purpose. The Lord pits His strength on the side of the righteous, those who fear as well as love Him for His justice and mercy. This is a promise not only to the people of Israel but all those who are grafted onto Israel by faith in Jesus. We win not by might or by power but by the spirit of the Lord.

Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Faith and Justice Genes

UV 1777/10000 The Faith and Justice Genes
This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.
Genesis 6 v 9

The world we now live in, our generation is similar in many ways with that of Noah. The contemporary world is full of violence, corruption, unrighteousness, greed and immorality as it was in the time of Noah. Yet, like Noah we are to live counter intuitive, counter culture lives. We are called to be God fearing under the old covenant and God loving under the new covenant. We no longer obey out of just fear of God but out of the sheer love of Jesus. Jesus demonstrated to us in a direct, personal way the eXpression of true, absolute and perfect love.

Our faith is going to affect our generations. In his book “ A Spiritual Clinic” Oswald Sanders compared the legacy of an unbelieving man named Max Jukes with that of a believer called Jonathan Edwards, both from New York and about the same time. Max Jukes married a woman who lacked principles and faith. Among his 1200 known descendants, 310 became vagrants, 440 wrecked their lives with debauchery, 130 were in prison for an average of 13 years, seven of them for murder. A hundred were alcoholics. 60 were habitual thieves, 190 were prostitutes. Jonathan Edwards married a woman of character and faith. Of his descendants, 300 became clergymen, 100 became college professors, over 100 became attorneys,30 became judges, 60 became physicians, over 60 became authors, 14 became university presidents, some became industrialists. Three became congressmen and one became the Vice President of the USA. These case studies show that the most important decision a person can make is to follow Jesus, to walk with God, implying to involve the Lord in every step of life. When we walk with God, we walk into the pages of the spiritual history of the world. We pass on the faith genes of Abraham, Noah, Daniel to those both near and far.

We are to earn the esteem of God as Daniel, Joseph, Moses, Noah, the apostles like Peter, Thomas and Paul. We are to be both just and perfect. In a generation that believes in “ just do it” we need to do the just. We need to make it a habit to think, feel, speak, do the right thing all the time. We need to renew our minds with the Word and refuse to conform to the world and its standards. We believe in the God standard and not the gold standard. We also need to be perfect, implying think, feel do things in such a way as to imitate Jesus, to reflect, magnify and manifest the perfection of the Father, to live in such a way as to transform or touch or influence all who come in contact with us. Like a live wire, we need to pass on the divine electricity to all who come close to us.

Prateep v Philip

Our God Talk

UV 1776/10000 Our God Talk

I say to myself, “ The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for Him.”

What we say to ourselves is our self talk. It is the window to our soul, our core beliefs. Psychologists like Dr Shad Helmstetter call it the keyboard or inputting device of the human mind. When we involve the Lord in our self talk He is virtually in charge of our keyboard and gives us all the inputs in terms of His spoken Word we need to produce the outcomes He desires. The sum total of those inputs are our portion or share in the Kingdom of God. Once we receive the inputs in terms of relevant portions or specific portions or rhema verses, we need to wait for these spiritual seed to grow in the soil of our souls or lives. We have self talk, others talk and God talk. Our God talk and our self talk helps us be effective in our talk and walk with all other significant people in our lives: spouse, children, friends, enemies, associates, strangers, neighbours. Prayer and meditation are types of God talk.
Our God talk gives us seed that are spiritual resources that are meant to satisfy our every need. Instead of our walk validating our talk, our God talk will enable us to validate our walk or the practical steps we take every day in our lives to fulfil our life goals.

During the waiting period, the seed casts down deeper and deeper roots. The deeper and stronger the roots or core values of our lives become, the more we can endure, withstand and overcome the storms of life. The more we prepare the soil of our souls, the richer are the fruit or outcomes of our lives. We are unlike fruit trees of nature not single fruit producing trees but multiple fruit producing. We produce different fruit in different seasons. Even the words we speak become the leaves that heal the nations, societies, individuals and families.

Our gifts and talents are part of the portion we have received from the Lord. We need to discern what these are and hone these to the highest and greatest levels. We have natural gifts, intellectual gifts, gifts of communication, gifts of creativity, emotional gifts, social gifts and spiritual gifts. We need to be patient in waiting for the Lord to create openings for us to use our gifts by His grace for His glory. The spiritual gifts and graces are the greatest gifts that need to be exercised for the benefit of all, with diligence, humility and responsibility. The more we use our spiritual gifts, the greater is our inheritance, the greater our need to avail the promises of the Lord.
Prateep V Philip

Monday, June 6, 2016

Promises, the Seed

UV 1775/10000 The Promises, the Seed of God
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2 Peter 1 v 4

The promises of the Lord are exceeding the concept of greatness that we humans are capable of understanding. From the human perspective, it is meant for the need of each believer. From God’s perspective, it is seed of heaven. Each of the nearly ten thousand promises in the Word are the reward of our covenant or personal relationship with the Lord. These give us access to untold blessings that are beyond human perception, understanding or imagination. These are the resources by which we can share in godliness in character, in power and in grace. This uni-verse holds the insight that the promises are intended not just to meet our need or grant our desires but to be the seed of godly nature being planted in us. We develop the patience of Jesus on account of our faith in the promises. We develop the wisdom greater than that of Solomon as it is “exceeding” human expectation or classification. We grow in understanding of the deeper purposes of the Lord in all that happens to us and around us. These are the means by which we can overcome or escape the lusts of the flesh. The promises of the Lord keep us from compromise with the world. It gives us everlasting victory over the pulls and pressures of this fallen world. They give us hope and nourish our faith. Every conceivable human situation is met in the promises of the Lord.

The promises of the Lord cover every aspect of human life. They enable us to meet our every need- be it spiritual, intellectual, social, familial, financial, physical or emotional. The promises are concise and precise so that we can easily recall them in our hour of need. The promises are valuable or precious, more precious than anything that money can buy or power can procure. They are necessary for a victorious life of faith. The value of the promises can be assessed in that we obtained the right and privilege of inheriting these promises only as the Lord paid the price in the sacrifice of Jesus. Hence, we should not take it lightly or casually but value every word of every promise of the Lord.

The promises of the Lord are the despair of the wicked but insurance for the righteous by grace- the believers. They are the fount of joy and the source of strength, the cause of much celebration in our lives. They enable us to fulfil the purpose of the Lord for our lives. The promises are fulfilled in due time and due season when the Lord deems it the right time. We need to exercise our faith by holding onto the promises even when nothing seems to be happening. We need to be diligent in studying the promises and in appropriating the blessings it holds for different aspects of our lives. Every promise is a seed to sow God’s nature and the fruit of the Spirit in us. We need to till or plough the topsoil of our minds and create space to receive the promise, water it with our prayers and tears, fence it with our faith, harvest it in due time. Unlike Jack’s magical bean seed, it will not grow into a giant plant overnight. It might take years and sometimes a lifetime and in some cases, we would experience the fulfilment only beyond our lifetime in eternity.

Prateep V Philip

The Morning Star

UV 1774/10000 The Morning Star

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your heart
2 Peter 1 v 19

Word of prophecy is a light on the unknown past, present and future. What the Lord has spoken through the prophets will surely happen. We need to pay attention to the Word that illumines our dark world. Jesus is referred to as prophet, light, Word and as the day star. The sun is the only star that rises during the dawn and shines through the day dispelling darkness wherever it shines. So too Jesus is the day star. He is the eternal, resplendent star of heaven. He is the pre-eminent leader of humanity. He is an infinite source of energy, wisdom, strength, power, truth, goodness and grace. He dispels the ignorance and darkness of this world and allows the bright and penetrating rays of His love, insight, grace, holiness and truth to reach our hearts. He is the sunshine of our lives. He is the daystar that rises in our hearts and minds. The love of Jesus is as sure as the sunrise and as fresh as the dawn.

We are children of the light who have been redeemed from the shadow of sin and death. Therefore, no deed or word or thought of darkness should contaminate our lives. The Word of God is described as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our eyes as it shows us the next step we should take like a lamp. It also shows us the path ahead of us that we should take. When the light of the daystar or Jesus shines on us, then His glory or greatness will also be manifest in our lives. The word of God also is manna or daily spiritual food to nourish and strengthen our spirit.

We need to observe, study, analyse every word and apply it faithfully in all aspects of our lives. Nothing is excluded from the influence of the Word as nothing in the world can be kept from the sun’ s light. The Lord is both a burning light as well as a shining light. In His role as a consuming fire, He is a firm and fair judge. He brings out into the open what is hidden. He uncovers what is covered. In His role as a shining light, He guides, counsels, directs us in all our ways. We need to absorb the words spoken by Jesus, meditate on it and absorb it as a sponge would absorb water. When life’s challenges and pressures squeeze us, we will then release His wisdom, love, grace, mercy and peace.

Prateep V Philip

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Accountability and Source of Leadership

UV 1773/10000 The Servant Leader and the Serpent Leader
He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.
John 7 v 18

The serpent leader does everything for his or her own glory and benefit. The servant leader does everything for the glory of God. Jesus said and did everything for the glory of the Father in heaven. He though being part of the Trinity and God in Himself, held Himself accountable to the Father and the Holy Spirit. The serpent leader in contrast does things on his own, with no sense of accountability. The source of power and influence of the servant leader is not his own self, his own abilities, his own personality, his own ideology, ideas or vision. The source of power and influence is God Himself. The source of power and influence of the serpent leader is his own charisma, his own talents, abilities, ideas and vision.
The servant leader is in continuous fellowship or union with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The serpent leader is averse to any link with the Father or the Holy Spirit. The servant leader is as a consequence, wise, humble and gentle. The serpent leader is foolish, arrogant, proud, rude and violent. The serpent leader exalts himself and is humbled. The servant leader humbles himself and is exalted by God. The serpent leader is conceited and thinks too highly of himself. He speaks often of himself. The servant leader is the messenger of the Lord. He speaks with the authority God has given him. He knows he owes everything he has received to God. He is ever grateful and gracious.
The servant leader speaks and seeks the glory of God. The serpent leader seeks and speaks of his own glory. The servant leader has the mind of Christ. He neither deceives nor is deceived. He pours out his life as an offering to God and a blessing to others. His foremost goal is to serve God and man in the highest, deepest and widest way he can. He does not ask, “ What is in it for me?” but he constantly asks, “What can I do for others?”

Prateep V Philip

The Servant Leader Versus the Serpent Leader

Serpent Leaders versus Servant Leaders
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Genesis 2 v 17
Knowledge of good and evil has made mankind a mixture. God created mankind to multiply and dominate or lead the earth with knowledge of good only initially. But ,satan, the serpent leader lead man to disbelieve God and discredit His goodness, to scorn His grace, to reject His authority and come under the authority of the enemy of our souls.
Historically, two lines of human leadership flows, one from the serpent or satan, the serpent leader, the demagogue, subtle, lying and deceiving and the other , from Jesus, the shepherd king, the servant leader, the pedagogue.

Jesus and Hitler showed us differing models of dissemination, one of truth, the other of untruth, one of love, the other of hatred, the one, a Jew who rose above all sense of nationality, the other a Jew-baiter and hater, one spoke and acted with humility, kindness and mercy, the other with anger and violence and cruelty, the one invested in a dozen lives, the other intimidated millions, the one continues to influence generations, the other fizzled out in a generation. Moral : do not look for a million followers on twitter or likes on Facebook. Invest in a few with humility, love and kindness and retain influence for generations.

The contrast between different world leaders and the style and content of the leadership of Jesus, the servant leader is illustrative. Napoleon Bonaparte is one such serpent leader. People became the fodder or ammunition for his ambition to dominate Europe and the world. He sacrificed the lives of thousands upon thousands of soldiers to achieve his goals. Like satan who grasped for the crown that belonged to God and unlike Jesus who gave up His crown of Deity to become an ordinary human being, Napoleon hailing from a middle class family kept climbing the ladder of success and personal ambition, adding title to title till he claimed to be Emperor and grabbing the crown from the Pope, placed it on his own head.

The leaders of the Russian Revolution, Lenin and Stalin were also instances of serpent leaders though they claimed to be servants of the proletariat or the working class. Stalin particularly was extremely despotic and had even his rival Trotsky assassinated. He also organised pogroms or massacre of a large number of dissidents and those who seemed to be a threat to his own power and position. In this context, Mao Tse-tung the leader of Communist China was an example of serpent leader.

Examples of servant leaders are M.K. Gandhi, Mother Teresa and the young Nobel peace prize winner Malala. These servant leaders were selfless and fearless. They were willing to pay a huge personal price in standing for certain ideals and values. They did not value power or position or titles for its own sake. The exercise of power of office is modulated and shaped by some principles that they hold dear to their heart. Abraham Lincoln was one such servant leader who was prepared to sacrifice his life in order to have slavery abolished in the USA.

Serpent leaders have some diametrically opposite qualities to the servant leader. The servant leader avoids violence to achieve his or her ends. The serpent leader is like the fox-like Prince of Machiavelli. Passions predominate over principles and values in the case of serpent leaders. The serpent leader is easily moved by passions like jealousy to take extreme positions and actions. A good example is Cain, the son of Adam who slew his brother Abel out of an early instance of sibling rivalry. A servant leader is compassionate towards those who are less fortunate or under privileged and takes practical steps to help them in whatever way they can. A serpent leader pretends to be empathetic but it is only a posture he or she takes in order to capture or retain power.

A person can start off as a serpent leader but be transformed into a servant leader. Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty who came to the throne after shedding the blood of a large number of his own kin, became a servant leader governed by Buddhisht morality after the massacre leading to his victory over the kingdom of Kalinga. He eschewed war as an instrument of state policy thereafter and engaged in a variety of peaceful activities.

Some leaders combine the qualities of a serpent leader and those of a servant leader. John F Kennedy, the President of the USA in the early sixties was an advocate for peace and progress. He stood up to the aggressive postures of the serpent leader Khruschev with firmness and courage. He advocated against racial segregation of the Afro- American people. In his personal life, his sexual peccadillos however detracted from his integrity and legacy and marked him out with some aspects of a serpent leader.

Different Biblical as well as contemporary leaders have demonstrated qualities from time to time of both being a servant leader and a serpent leader. Abraham proved that he was a servant leader when he trusted and obeyed God in attempting to sacrifice his only begotten son even as God sacrificed His only begotten Son Jesus. But Abraham lied about Sarah being his sister in order to stave off the threat from a jealous Pharaoh for his wife was beautiful and would be coveted by the mighty Pharaoh. Much later Peter lied about not knowing Jesus when he was accused of being His follower as Jesus was being tried before His crucifixion. George Bush in contemporary times lied about Iraq being in possession of nuclear weapons in order to find an excuse to launch an invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein. Judas Iscariot another disciple of Jesus betrayed His master for thirty silver coins and identified Him to the Pharisees and Roman soldiers with a traitor’s kiss. Peter got a second chance to become a servant of Jesus while Judas denied himself the opportunity and died a serpent leader hanging on a rope from a tree in the Potter’s field. A servant leader does not take his life or death into his own hands but patiently waits for the Lord to shape him and mould him.

Moses in his early days was a serpent leader. His anger and pride provoked him to kill an Egyptian who was oppressing a fellow Jew. But later he humbled himself as a servant leader. His spirit was broken and he was ready to serve Jehovah. A servant leader is one who serves God in whatever task or role he is assigned or finds himself in. A serpent leader is one who manipulates to achieve his own agenda of domination, of aggrandisement, of deception, of self gratification.

Prateep V Philip © serpent leader

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Life, A Feast of Love

UV 1771/10000 Life, A Feast of Love and not a Feat of Achievement

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

Song of Solomon 2 v 4

This uni-verse offers us the enjoyment of relationship, fellowship, provision, transportation and protection. Our physical birth is an invitation to the Lord’s spiritual banquet. Life is meant not to be a feat of accomplishment but a feast of fellowship and enjoyment in the presence of the Lord. IT is meant for enjoyment with God, enjoyment of God and enjoyment for God. We do not have to prove our worth but only need to enjoy the acceptance of us as we are. We need not struggle to justify ourselves. We cannot practice the presence of the Lord as the very expression sounds forced but we can enjoy the presence of the Lord as the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley. The fragrance of His name and His presence, the power of His Word, the sweetness and variety of His promises, the firmness and strength of His commands, the wisdom of the Holy Spirit are part of the variety of the fare of the spiritual banquet. The words “ He brought me…” implies that the Lord Himself transports us in the spirit like Philip was transported to the Ethiopian and that we need not even arrange our own means of transport to reach the banquet.

We enter His house not with foreboding and fear but with joy. His house is not a house of mourning but a house of rejoicing. We often read the word “banner” as “ban” implying that we misinterpret the Lord to be One who bans all the joys and pleasures of life. He holds a banner of freedom over us, a banner of ownership to warn the enemy that we belong to Him and Him alone. On His banner is written, the dynamic words of love are written according to our daily contextual need: I am the Great I Am: Jehovah Nissi, the One who gives you victory. We only need to do our diligent best, He will do the faithful rest. Jehovah Rapha , the Healer. Jehovah El Shaddai, the Almighty One who strengthens you. Jehovah Jireh, the Provider who gives you what you need today so that you need not worry over what you lack for tomorrow. He builds high walls around us that cannot be breached. He does not hold a record of wrongs that we have committed. He washes us white as snow as if we have never erred or sinned against His holy will. He is not conceited or proud. He is humble and enjoys the company of the humble and broken in spirit. He heals our deep spiritual wounds by pouring in His spirit and His Word. His love is agape or spiritual and selfless, not eros or sensual, not phile or charitable or sympathetic. He does not treat us as servants or as underlings or even as friends but as His beloved family. He Himself serves us our spiritual victuals as the raven fed the prophet Elijah at the brook. We always have a spiritual delicacy or dish floating our way. This is the reason, David wrote the psalm, “He satisfies us as with marrow and fatness.” We miss it if we are not spiritually sensitive. The psalmist also says, "Therefore, Rejoice and again I say " rejoice." Every time we eat a spiritual delicacy, we rejoice. For the spiritually inclined man, it is not an occasional high but a series of highs. It is a parallel to the Epicurian dictum,’ Eat, drink (spiritual food, the Word) and be happy for in so doing you are strengthened for the day and you shall never die.”

Our personal relationship with Him is a continual feast. Our fellowship with Him is never broken or interrupted. We remember and thirst for His love more than the alcoholic desires wine. We suffer a withdrawal syndrome when we do not hear or talk with Him for even a day. There is no limitation on the portions we can partake in the divine banquet. We can enjoy an abundant measure of His goodness and grace. We are not guests who have overstayed but we are His own and we can stay forever. His hospitality will not get worn out or tired. His love and His mercies are fresh every morning like the lily of the valley. He does not consign us to a tiny room in the corner but He dwells with us and in us. We only need to listen to His still small voice inviting us, beckoning us to His side. We may be a nobody in our own eyes but He is deeply interested in us. He does not charge us a fee or expect any obligation in return. He does not want our praise, thanksgiving and worship to be an offering of obligation but a spontaneous response to such awesome love.

Prateep V Philip

Form and Flow

UV 1770/10000 Form and Flow
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul
Genesis 2 v 7

God formed man of the dust. Our form is derived by God from dust of the earth. God breathed into our nostrils. Our flow is derived directly from God. Our flow is from an infinite source. Our flow and not our forms determines we are living souls. We are created in the image of God on account of God breathing part of His being or our souls into us. Since man stopped relying on his spiritual link with God, we were reduced to a choice of fight or flight. But when we are connected to Him through Jesus, the flow is restored. Though our bodies or forms belong to the earth, our spirits or flow belongs to heaven and we long for our heavenly home. When man first disbelieved the word of God and believed the word of the serpent, he became a dying soul. He became led by the serpent implying that he lost his flow or innocence. He developed duplicity and could neither trust nor be trusted. Jesus became the Word incarnate and got people to trust God again. He enables us to be servant leaders again.
A serpent leader speaks one thing and believes and does quite another thing contrary to what he or she believes or speaks. A servant leader by contrast is a follower of Jesus. He obeys and trusts the Word. A servant leader lives fully and abundantly. He gives priority to the flow over the form. A servant leader connects with the Lord as the source of his breath, his life, his strength, his hope. A servant leader does everything to serve the Lord and not to severe his ties with God.

As long as we breathe in our bodies, we need to connect with the source of our lives. We cannot practice the presenc e of God but we can practice whatever we learnt by the grace of God in His presence. The Holy Spirit constantly overshadows us and dwells in us. We feed on the living Word and become living souls again. Death, fear of death, negativity and evil no longer rule over us. The O-zone or His omnipotence, His omnipresence and His omniscience fill us and covers us. As we are revived as living souls, rivers of life giving water , of hope, joy and love flow from our hearts and minds towards our Creator as also to our fellow creatures and humankind.

Prateep V Philip