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Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Moses Experience

Once when I was pressing ahead laboriously through a spiritual wilderness experience (God seems far and quiet, unbelief and fear sets in & one feels lonely), the Spirit of God spoke to me and said, "Consider Moses; God took him out of Egypt to get Egypt out of him, so that he could later send him to Egypt to get Israel out of Egypt."

I marveled at what the Spirit of God had spoken. It was true. God wanted to use Moses, but Moses was not prepared to be used, so God had to prepare him."
Moses wanted to bring deliverance to his brothers, the suffering Israelite's, but he had his own strategy and not God's, so he failed initially. God prepared him in Midian and then called him back to service on his terms. That took 40 years.

Some of us desire to be used by God for the extension of his kingdom here on earth and God loves that. The desire itself is put in our hearts by God. But with the world and it's lusts inside us, he cannot use us, so comes the wilderness experience, where he removes the worldly lusts from inside of us, so that he can send us back in to the world to win lost souls for him.

If you are going through a "Moses Experience", hang in there, don't give up. God is going to use you mightily. Come to terms with him and agree with his strategy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Lord's servant must not quarrel

It was a very tiring day. My children (aged 9 &4 then) had to take part in literary and other competitions at a place far away from home and we had left early that morning and had come back at around 11.30 pm. All of us were so exhausted that we sank in to deep slumber as soon as we reached home and hit our beds. It must have been a couple of hours later that I woke up suddenly to the noise of metal hitting metal. I wondered what it must be but then there was a pause and I relaxed....After a while there it was.... clank...clank...clank in regular succession. I ventured to look out of the window where the sounds were coming from and there was a lorry parked at the road side and some men were busily unloading huge metal pipes...clank...clank..clank it went. I looked back and the children were being disturbed with the sounds and my wife was also half awake. It was 1.30 am now and I was irritated, perhaps because of the exhaustion the day had brought.

I controlled myself for a while, but their work did not seem to stop even after 15-20 mins. Suddenly, I looked out of the window and shouted out...What do you think you are doing? Don't you have any other work to do? Disturbing people at this time of the night?

This had an immediate effect and the men spoke between themselves and there was quiet. I walked back lazily to my bed and had almost dozed off when suddenly I heard the still small voice of the Lord say to me....."The Lord's servant must not quarrel".

I felt like arguing with the voice, stating my case of exhaustion, how the family needed an undisturbed sleep after a tiring day and the preposterous work timing of the men, but then thought it wise not to argue, for it had been my experience that no arguments with the Lord are ever won. He is always right.

I did not feel happy with what the Lord had said, but there I was...Guilty...I could have done things in a better way...perhaps humbly asked the men not to create so much noise as it was disturbing others or I could have requested them to wait till morning to unload.

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians, ends Chapter 12 of his first letter by saying...And now I will show you the most excellent way.

He speaks in detail regarding this excellent way in Chapter 13...It's all about love....even if it is 1.30 am in the morning..

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How many marks shall I give him?

Once when I was invited to speak at a fasting prayer, the night before the meeting I dreamt a dream. In the dream, I was standing on stage preaching the Word and people in the congregation are listening very attentively to what I am saying. To my left, on the stage were seated a few pastors and a couple of youngsters who were in the choir. In between my preaching, I look to the left and see one of the youngsters writing something in a book that he has and slowly as the dream progresses, the focus comes upon the matter in his book and when I see what he is writing in his book, I am surprised and a bit annoyed because he was not taking notes of the sermon, but evaluating my sermon and giving me marks as if this were an examination and he was the evaluator.

I prayed about the matter the next morning and in the evening when I went for the fasting prayer for which I was invited to speak, I found the same youngster sitting to the left with the pastor of the church. On inquiring, the pastor told me that, that was his son. I felt amused and did not say anything but preached what the Lord had laid on my heart that evening. In the end, I prayed publicly for a few topics that the Holy Spirit had shown me and I also said, "One of you has a bad habit of evaluating preachers; that should stop"; saying that I looked at the pastor's son and he looked at me and guilt was widely written on his face. I am not sure how he responded to the voice of the Holy Spirit that night, for this was an only occasion that I was invited to preach in that church.

There are at least a few in every congregation, who spend time evaluating the preacher rather than hear the message that is being shared. To an extent, one may evaluate a preacher and his sermon, but if that becomes the sole hobby of a person while in church and later on a matter of gossip, the Lord is not pleased.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

God has many substitutes

When I worked in my clinic in Kerala a few years back, often the Lord would point to a couple when they visited the clinic and speak in to my heart to talk to them about water baptism for believers in Jesus Christ. I was somehow reluctant to do that because they were from on Orthodox Episcopal Church. They were in their 60's and when they spoke to me about their illnesses and I prescribed medicines for them, the Holy Spirit would nudge me gently to speak to them about the truth and importance of water baptism, but I did not do it, thinking they may respond adversely to it. This continued for a few months.

Later, one day when I entered the clinic in the morning, I saw this couple sitting in corner chairs of the waiting room and a Pastor (another patient of mine) was discussing something with them. Later when they came in to my room for their consultation and were leaving, I asked them what the Pastor. was speaking to them about. They smiled and told me that he was telling them the importance of water baptism as believers in Jesus Christ.

I felt bad immediately and also sad that I had not obeyed the voice of the Holy Spirit in doing what he had told me. I also learnt a lesson that day, that if I did not do what God asked me to do, he would find someone else.

If Saul is disobedient, God has a David in store to do his work.
What about you? Are you doing what the Lord has called you to do?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Spiritual Pride

Once I sat in the Lord's presence seeking his face to know what he would answer me regarding my queries of certain pressing matters, but he seemed to be unusually quiet that night. It troubled me and I persisted and finally he showed me a couple of words in my mind which were "Spiritual Pride".

I realized that the Lord was not pleased with some of the thoughts or words or dealings in my life with other people. I immediately confessed the matter to the Lord and asked for forgiveness. I tried to look back at certain happenings that week and realized that I was not appreciative of another servant of God being praised by a friend. In my heart I had looked down upon one of God's elect and he was not pleased with my attitude.

God knows every thought that passes through our hearts. Pride, jealousy, envy and many other ills creep in to our hearts slowly and sometimes we may not even realize that they are there in us until the Spirit of God points out these things to us.

An advice given to Solomon by his father David, was this....And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts......(1 Chronicles 28:9)

Yes, the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts...

Awesome is he and to his understanding there is no end.

Worthwhile then is taking Apostle Paul's advice in regards to our spiritual standing.....

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12)