HEART BURN… The WORD of His Power!

For our gospel came not unto you in WORD ONLY, but also in POWER” (1Th 1:5)

Error thrives because there is dearth of biblical teaching in the land.

‘Biblical teaching/preaching’ is ‘Power teaching/preaching’. And it is scarce in the land… Note that ‘Power preaching’ in this context is different from ‘preaching powerfully’. A person can preach energetically (as I think I do) & powerfully, without God’s energy/power.

Truth presented (but) devoid of power cannot dislodge sensational, emotionally appealing and/or demonically charged distortions of the gospel, such distortions as have become common place in our world today. Power-empty presentations actually don’t qualify as truth, in the deepest sense. They would merely be ‘true facts’.

Properly understood, biblical truth is ‘spoken power’, is ‘verbalized energy’. It means giving direction and purpose to power. When God wants to do a thing by His power, He puts His power into words. That is why the word of God is self-actualizing. God doesn’t run around, after He speaks, trying to bring His words to pass. The Word of the Lord is “the word of His Power.” (Heb 1:3) So, when God said, “Let there be light” (that was all He needed to do); there was light. The power to create light was dispatched as spoken words, to make it conscious of its assignment, to give it direction as to what to achieve.

Heart Burn!

“And they said one to another, Did not OUR HEART BURN within us, while HE TALKED with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32).

Jesus’ words burned their hearts! Those were more than mere words. They were pregnant words. It was a case of fire wrapped with words. When such words drop in people’s heart, there’s an explosion; hearts burn!

“And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his WORDS was with POWER.” (Luke 4:32).

It is the power of God accompanying His word that cuts men to their heart, and brings conviction. This is partly why two people can preach the same message, verbatim, to the same audience, and evoke opposite reactions.

O, sure, there are biblical PRINCIPLES that work for everybody, saved and unsaved: for example, the principle of giving & receiving, of diligence & promotion, of consistency & advancement, and even of faith (to an extent). But that’s not what I am dealing with here. (Principles don’t save. Salvation is not a principle. Neither is biblical transformation.) I am dealing with the word of His grace which is able to build-up lives; the word that guarantees inheritance among the separated. The word  translates people from darkness into light and that transforms them into Christlikeness. I mean the word that chisels rough edges off the lives of believers; the word that straightens-up a man from within the heart. The word that forms Christ in us. The living word!

We can’t combat error in these days with just the true facts of scriptures. It must be with facts plus ‘power therein’. That power is sought and secured in the place of intimate fellowship with, and supplication before God. God’s energy must be sought & must accompany sound doctrine, for it to transform lives.

What we are up about is beyond a clash of TRUE versus FALSE facts, it is a spiritual battle, it is a war of words, a war of spirits, a war of powers.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (2Cor 10:4)

Paul was referring to the weapon of the word here. Their words were mighty, but THROUGH GOD. Their words went THROUGH GOD to reach people. Those words were cooked in God’s phenomenal brilliance and majesty before they reached the hearts of the hearers. Paul spoke THROUGH GOD to people. That is how to be a Biblical preacher. That is the sort of man I want to be for God!

Licensed  Witnesses

And with GREAT POWER gave the apostles WITNESS of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4:33).

The Apostles were eye-witnesses of the resurrected Christ. Yet they were not allowed to witness to that fact until they were “endued with power from on high”. They knew what happened; they had even eaten with the resurrected Lord. They could recount the story, but their words wouldn’t convict a fly, until POWER came for them. You can do motivational speaking with facts. But It takes more than HAVING true facts, to do biblical preaching.

Jesus told them, “tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high… ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me” (Luk 24:49, Act 1:8). They were eye-witnesses but were not allowed to serve as witnesses till they were power-clothed. Some of us need to go back and ask God: ‘What happened to me; when I (claim to have) received the baptism of the Holy Ghost?’ Friend, the proof of Holy Ghost Baptism is not merely speaking in tongues; it is demonstrating God’s POWER. That’s how Jesus meant it to be.

Let men hear us and have more than our words to wrestle with. Let them have God’s spirit too to resist, if they are going to reject our message. Peter’s message at Pentecost was very simple, going by the seeming ‘word-level’ of most preachers today. Yet he saw three thousand people come to the Lord that day, with an unplanned, unprepared message. What is not so popularly advanced today is that Peter, with the other disciples, had been praying for many days in the upper room, prior to the descent of the Holy Ghost that Pentecost morning. You may memorize Peter’s sermon and deliver it next Sunday, but you may not see Peter’s result. His words were energized by the Spirit.

“But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” (Act 6:4) Prayer must always go with the ministry of the word. That’s how to work the word. We must fellowship with the Word, if the word will work through us.

“And when they had prayed… they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness… and with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus…” (Act 4:31,33)

Hierarchy

I’m sorry, but they have not told us all the truth: God does not identify with all believers at the same level. He is related to all believers at the same level: He is our Father. But we do not manifest Him at the same level. The New Testament says to believers, in James 4:8:  “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you…” or in Hebrews: “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…”

The word of God is living. It is not just ‘a thing’. It is not a dead code that works for whoever stumbles upon it. It does not work equally in different mouths. THE NAME OF JESUS MEANS DIFFERENT THINGS IN DIFFERENT (believing) MOUTHS.  For instance, there is a reason why the disciples at Joppa sent for Peter, when Dorcas died, in Acts 9. Intimacy with God increases our productivity and profit-possibilities by His word.

“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you (Gal 4:19). Transformation does not happen just because we tell people the true facts of scripture. Those scriptures (true facts) must be energized in the place of prayer, in the upper-room of travail, to birth transformation.

the kingdom of God is not in word, (however correct the word) but in power.” (1Co 4:20)

And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, WHAT A WORD is this! for WITH AUTHORITY AND POWER he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.”( Luk 4:36)

Put broadly, the key to true biblical preaching can be found in three inter-related factors: the life of the preacher, the truth of the message, and the power therein.

TO BE CONTINUED…

2013: Witness!!

“And with GREAT POWER gave the apostles WITNESS of the resurrection of the LORD JESUS: and GREAT GRACE was upon them all.” (Acts 4:33).

It is a year to WITNESS God & to WITNESS for God!

“There was a man sent FROM God, whose name was John. The same came for a WITNESS, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.” (John 1:6-7).

There is call to Intimacy with God more than ever before. John was not just sent BY God, he was sent FROM God. Meaning he lived IN God.

I sense a very deep calling to Intimacy… (To know Him & then to make Him known). Yet, I sense a lot of calculated distractions/­­attractions to keep us away from Him. We need to cultivate a decided discipline of cherishing Him above all else.

In addition, Jesus is calling us to grow/­groom His body… Ready writers, living sacrifices, walking models are in short supply but in huge demand.

May God wean us from trivialities and set us up for what He will do in these last days. Amen!

Lastly,

“He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will BE WITH him in trouble; I WILL DELIVER him, and HONOUR him. With LONG LIFE will I satisfy him, and SHEW him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:15-16)

There is also a strong promise of DIVINE RESPONSE for GOD-SEEKERS this year.

I look forward to a glorious year, of enjoying God and ‘making’ Him popular!

Happy New Year Friends!

CHARACTERS OF CHRISTMAS…

Please, join me… Let’s take a brief  look at some of the core figures of Christmas as we approach the festivities…

MARY:

She was willing to suffer public shame and misunderstanding, to ‘make’ Christmas possible.

Think of it: How ridiculous to say you are a pregnant virgin.

Who will believe such nonsense? Not even Joseph would believe without divine instruction. And the Angel didn’t go round town, convincing everyone else. So, what did the town think of Mary? She bore it, so we can have a merry Christmas.

She had no proper wedding ceremony… A hurried wedding would not help, because the baby would come in less than 9months…

JOSEPH

He was willing to take Mary as wife, and not have a honeymoon. Whoever got married and fasted from sex for maybe another one year. Everybody around thought he had sex, because he SHOULD, but false. He waited till Jesus was born.

“…when Joseph woke up, he married Mary, as the angel of the Lord had told him to. But he had no sexual relations with her before she gave birth to her son.” (Mat 1:24, 25)

Today, we see people who should not have sex YET, but surprise-surprise, they do! Joseph was willing to wait, not only till marriage, but even AFTER marriage.  Today, we can’t wait to be married to have sex. What shame!

At Christmas, we celebrate a Saviour born to a couple who had never had sex. Yet, at Christmas, loads of people lose their virginity and loads more indulge in all sorts of sexual sins.

JESUS

At Christmas, we celebrate the incarnation, the condescension of divinity. Perfection came into a broken world. Let’s mirror Him, however frail. Christmas is not about peers. He is not our mate, Jesus is not our class, but He came to us. Christmas is about going below, going down to bring someone up.

Christmas is the superlative epitome of selfLESSNESS, it is not about indulgence. Yes, we celebrate His birth by celebrating. But how should we celebrate?

This year, how will you celebrate the arrival of Humility and Perfection and Purity, and God enfleshed?

Make this Christmas count… Let the Christ be born in your heart… We are messed up, but that’s why He came. He didn’t come to condemn us… He came because we were condemned. He didn’t come to punish us… He didn’t come to pamper us either. He came to save us FROM our sins. He said: “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11) Yea, He came so we could be God’s holy children! Maximise His coming…

This Christmas, tell someone about the CHRIST of CHRISTmas. Make someone joyful.

Or at least, don’t make Jesus grief.

I should talk about the

ANGELS… & The

FATHER…

Later.

THE CALL

It is a beautiful thing when God calls a man, but it is a powerful thing when a man returns the favour & calls (upon) God.

The call of God is upon my life.

My call is upon God!

“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that CALL UPON him. For whosoever shall CALL upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:12-13).

The Lord is over (us) ALL. The Lord is rich. But He is not rich unto (us) ALL. His riches are enjoyed by certain ALL; ALL who CALL upon Him.

“Thus saith the LORD… CALL unto me, and I will ANSWER thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:2-3).

I have answered the CALL of God
God answers my CALL.

Those who are stingy with their prayers will find God stingy with His powers!

I will CALL upon the Lord!!!
What will you do?

Holy PERMIT!

But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak;
not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
- 1Th 2:4

 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel,
The ‘we’ in this verse stands out for me. ‘We’, as opposed to ‘they’. The ‘we’ here speaks to me of contrast. Whatever happened to this ‘we’ didn’t happen to ‘they’. (Forgive the grammar.) We were allowed. They were disallowed. We were allowed of God. They were not! There are people that God has allowed, to be put in trust with the gospel. Whatever else they did for God was on the ground that His Majesty had allowed them to be entrusted with the gospel.

There are people that God has disallowed… There are people that Abba has prevented, or hindered from a level of holy duty. Some people have not been permitted or allowed to touch this work, but we have been allowed.

O God, if ministry is by divine allowance, where then is my allowance, where is my permit?

Some Christians have been commissioned by their church denomination; chosen indeed by men, but disallowed by God. Refused by Heaven.

Is it possible for the Lord Himself to stand on a man’s path, hindering the man from a certain  level of ministry?  Yes, very much. At Jesse’s house, He refused Joab, Eliab, Abinadab, and the other likely, notable, Saul-appointed, soldier sons of Jesse. But He chose David.

In mercy, He chose David.

As much as we like to proffer rational reasons why God chose David – and we aren’t wrong in so doing – he (David) attributed his election to the kingship as an act of mercy. Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father HE LIKED ME TO MAKE ME KING over all Israel: (1Ch 28:4) David said in essence, I was made king because God liked me. Period!

It was not so much as about David’s credentials. It was about God’s disposition. If He likes you in this sense, He will make you what He has liked you for.

Do you ever feel that God has granted you undeserved opportunities in His Kingdom?

To be continued…

Exploring the Essence of Prayer

Prayer is both easy and difficult to define. It is best understood through experience. Definitions will emerge as we make progress in this blog, but for a start,  prayer, in its simplest aspect means: communion with God.

Beyond Platitudes!

Nothing imposes man’s finitude on him like prayer. In prayer we are not only helpless, we admit our helplessness. Prayer re-enforces the reality of our humanity on us.

The soul is at its extremity when we come to prayer. More, in prayer, the soul stretches beyond itself. We transit to realms ordinarily out of our reach, when we pray.

Prayer brings God near and sucks us into Him. Prayer is a hybrid-alliance: Humanity fuses with and tags on with God. Prayer empowers man in realms invisible and ‘empowers’ God in realms visible.

When I pray, I gain God, and HE recovers me.  Prayer is more than profound platitudes; it is more than calculated confessions. Prayer is the soul’s union with its Founder. In it, I extend, I intrude into Him, and, HE invades me.

In prayer, HE increases, I decrease. Prayer de-emphasizes man. Prayer proclaims God, exalts God, affirms God and ultimately glorifies Him.

Prayer is the soul’s resort to its native but somewhat lost habitat. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”. (Ps 91:1)

Prayer is something more than an exercise – yet, whatever more it is, it is – only AFTER the exercise, not before. Prayer is not JUST an act but it is part-act. Prayer is beyond the act of praying, but that is what it is: A ‘something’, arrived at when you have journeyed past the act of praying. You could not achieve true biblical prayer without the act of prayer. You will do more than the act of praying, in order to pray, but you will not do less.

It is difficult to practice habitual prayer; that is, praying without ceasing, if you don’t practice moments of prayer.

We learn how to ‘pray continually‘ from praying particularly.

Time and Place

Jesus had TIMES and PLACES of prayer: “And in the MORNING, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into A SOLITARY PLACE, and there prayed.” (Mark 1:35). Yet, He was always in touch with Abba. His communion was not limited to TIMES and PLACES of prayer, but they were founded in His TIMES of prayer. Come to think of it, how can you isolate and identify my voice in a cacophony of voices at the train station, if you are not a cordial, one-on-one friend to me in private?

“But thou, WHEN thou prayest, enter into thy CLOSET, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. ” (Matthew 6:6)

We cannot practice His presence if we don’t frequent His presence… We cannot CARRY His presence EVERYWHERE if we don’t COME INTO His presence SOMEWHERE.

The practice of His presence, or unceasing communion, is the cultured spillover, the acquired aftermath of dedicated periods of ‘acquainting’ with His presence, of fraternizing with Him.

Don’t miss the point. We don’t have to undertake pilgrimage to a particular holy ground or location to pray. “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in THIS MOUNTAIN, nor yet at JERUSALEM, worship the Father… God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. ” (John 4:21,24).

So, wherever, whenever I decide, I can have a meeting with God. I can come into His blessed presence at all times. But it is during my particular moments of prayer, shut away from the necessary distractions of daily living, that I teach my spirit how to identify and pick His voice at all times, everywhere. It is my repeated retreats to those ‘moments’ of prayer that guarantee my ability to maintain unbroken, all-day-long communion with Him.

That is how God designed that it should be. Jesus lived so. The Apostles lived so. They went to pray in the Temple at prayer times. They met as disciples for regular corporate prayers. In fact, in acts 6, they appointed deacons in Jerusalem, so they (Apostles) could dedicate themselves to the ministry of Prayer and the Word. Obviously, the prayer they meant here is not just the general practice of God’s presence. It is clearly the act of praying as a means of prayer.

Those who fancy that they are ALWAYS in communion with God but do not have habitual decided TIMES and PLACE of deliberate intercourse with HIM are deceived. They are in unbroken touch with the petty god of their making. They imagine the reality of a God that is actually ‘absent’. Something else, something less than God is acting God in their minds. They are in touch with themselves, not with the God of heaven. They soliloquies. They commune, but NOT with the Father. They suffer from delusions of divine-intimacy.

Humility Prays!

True Prayer engages God. It is a strong expression of our humanity and humility in the face of God’s blazing Divinity and towering Almightiness… It takes humility to pray.

A praying man can never be humiliated. He is humble. He is in touch with grace… God gives grace to the humble.

A proud man cannot pray. He may think he does, but he does not. A proud man cannot secure the ear of God, because, God resists the proud.

Prayer and pride are polar.

Prayerlessnes is man’s declaration of his self-sufficiency. Prayerlessness is a direct affront on divinity. The man who does not pray plays God.

You put yourself at par with God when you refuse to pray. Prayerlessness is an expression of omnipotence. On the other hand, Prayer is the undisguised proclamation of helplessness. Not to pray is not to need/want God. Not to need God is to assume to be self-sufficient. Only God is self-sufficient. Therefore, the man who does not pray declares his autonomy outside God.

When we pray, we appreciate. Yes, our very being: spirit and soul, appreciate. When we pray, we connect with God. When we pray, we prevail.

Don’t deny yourself the unspeakable privileges of securing divine interest in your life.

Say a prayer… NOW.

Then learn to LIVE in prayer.

Practically

Share your own thoughts on prayer…

We are all learners in this terrain.

None of us is an expert in prayer…

Lets learn from your experience!

A True MAN

John 1:
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

A MAN

“There was A MAN sent from God, whose name was John.” – John 1:6
There was a man… John was introduced simply as ‘a man’. He was a prophet no doubt, but that is not the ground of his introduction here. It is that he was a man. He may be anything else AFTER being a man, but not before. Your greatest status before God is to be a proper man; to be God’s man. Everything else comes after. Your title or gifting or calling is but for effectiveness and focus in service.

DOMICILED IN DIVINITY!

“There was a man SENT FROM God, whose name was John.”

There are people who are domiciled in divinity. They are based there. They are accommodated in God. Like the Psalmist said: There are people ‘that DWELL in the secret place of the most High…’ John was one such man.

John wasn’t just sent BY God. He was sent FROM God. He was always with the one who sent him, ever before that Holy One sent him.

God is not looking AROUND for whom to send. HE is looking WITHIN! And, that’s the challenge today: There are so many available people AROUND, but very few WITHIN Him.

Your domain, your residence, is a pointer to your eligibility for holy use.

In Mark 3:13,14, Jesus chose 12 Apostles to first BE WITH Him and then that HE MIGHT send them out (FROM Him, obviously) to preach the gospel. Nobody is attractive to God for divine errands who has not first secured God as his permanent accommodation.

This is the formula for the making of a true MAN of GOD. He is a man sourced in, resourced by and sent from God, by God! There is a sense in which you may call all such men ‘dangerous.’ Dangerous, because there is usually more to them than them.

Visitors into God: those who come occasionally or only during their moments of need may benefit some things from God but they shall never know the humbling honour of true divine commissioning!

SENT

“There was a man SENT from God, whose name was John.”

He was SENT. Apart from being domiciled in God, John was sendABLE. Abba found him a convenient messenger.

A sent man does not need to have personal power & authority, he enjoys the graces and abilities of his sender. A sent man has the backing of his sender. He will have access into any place he needs enter – for him to succeed on his sent mission, provided his sender has access to any such places.

It hits me like thunderbolt, to realise that the Sender of this sent man is God. Where would he not enter, what mountains would he not bring down, what valleys would he not fill up, on the path of his God-assigned duty!

A sent man is a camouflage! The energies of his sender are available to him every inch on the path of his mission. A sent man on his sent duty is a powered and an empowered man, by his sender.

If you wish to know the true abilities of a sent man on his assignment, take your focus off him. Evaluate his sender!

What are your insights into how we may today be DWELLERS in, SENT by and EFFECTIVE for God

Holy Lighter

…(Jesus) was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
– John 1:9

There are lights.
There are worlds.
True Light. False Light.
True lights. False lights.
True worlds. False worlds.

There is a false light. There are false lights. Satan is the false light. His followers: demons and humans are false lights. My burden in this piece is the true Light and true lights: Jesus and His followers.

Jesus:
Every man that comes into the world must be a beneficiary of this Light. You don’t exist if He has not lit you. Nobody is in any true world who has not benefited from Him! He is the true Light.

To enter the natural world, He must light you. To enter the spiritual world, He must light you. To come into any true world, the Lighter must light you with the Light… With Himself!

He is the true Light. He is the true Lighter.
He lights men into worlds with the Light that He is!
He is Conscious, Intelligent, Rational Light!
Light of lights.
Lighter of all the lit!

There are different lights… there may be different lighters;
But there’s one true Light… one true Lighter.
No one can be true without Him

That (Jesus) was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
– John 1:9

In Jesus, we see a conscious Light, a conscious Lighter. He is not just Light, He is also the Handler, the Director of the Light that He is. Unlike normal candles that depend on some external intelligence to light, and position, and possibly use them to light other unlit candles, Jesus is Very Light: original, eternal, uncaused. He simply is! More, He determines who He activates by the Light that He is. He determines who He quickens and warms up to life in any world.

Supernal, In-charge, very God!

If Jesus doesn’t light you for the world, you can’t come into the world. If He doesn’t light you for any world, you can’t come into that world.

But before being lit, there has to be a ‘you’, a formed you.

Genesis 2:7 shows that a man has to be formed before being lit or filled or activated. It says:

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. – Gen 2:7

A candle cannot be lit until it is first formed. If you dodge from the formation school, you will not qualify for the filling experience.

It is one thing to be formed, and quite another to be lit (filled), as in Gen 2:7. If you are formed but not lit, you will be like a lump of dust, moulded, shapen, but lifeless. You will be useless to God, men and to yourself. You will be helpless; a mere dummy. Children, enemies, passersby will take a chip or chunk off your sandy, immobile frame. You can’t respond, resist or relocate.

If you are formed but not lit, you will be like a lifeless candle in the kitchen drawer at night, while men trip and grope in the dark, within the house. Men will languish for want of what you have potential to deliver and/or they will look elsewhere while you stand by. Because, though formed, you’ve not been activated. You haven’t been lit for that realm (world).

To be formed is potentiality, to be lit is to be activated for actualities.

There are worlds (realms): natural, spiritual, social, political, economics, financial. If you are not lit for any, you can’t access it, however formed for it you are! That is why some of the brightest graduates are not at the top of their professional realms. If you are lit into the world of academic excellence as a student and not lit for professional peaks, you will be a disturbing irony to undiscerning observers. You were formed, perhaps well formed. But unlit. In your unlit condition, there is a world in which you are not alive; in that world, you can’t shine.

Some of the prominent people in different worlds today are not the best formed, but they have been lit for those worlds…

O, holy Lighter!

 O holy Lighter, light us for worlds… the worlds for which you have been forming us this many seasons. Several of us have been lying in the formation school of your Spirit. In your wisdom, aren’t we due yet? May we not remain in the “formatory” overtime. May nothing hinder our activation.

Holy Lord, light us to come into various worlds, progressively as we follow You.

Special Class

I prophecy upon every reader who’s been formed for some worlds: receive activation for realms high and lofty; realms for which He’s been working on you.

The Lord of prominence and Light Himself arises upon you now!

Friend, you will arise. Yes, you will shine. God, our God will activate you. He will light you.
In Jesus’ name.

What do you say?

Lighter of Men

That (Jesus) was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
– John 1:9

In Jesus, we see a conscious Light, a conscious Lighter. He is not just Light, He is also the Handler, the Director of the Light that He is. Unlike normal candles that depend on some external intelligence to light, and position, and possibly use them to light other unlit candles, Jesus is Very Light: original, eternal, uncaused. He simply is!

More, He determines who He activates by the Light that He is. He determines who He quickens and warms up to life in any world.

Supernal, In-charge, God!

He lit me. He lights me. I worship Him!

When his love is not enough!

Now there was a certain man… his name was Elkanah… And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children… he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb. (1Sa 1:1-5)

Hannah was loved by man. Her husband loved her. But she was barren. the LORD had shut up her womb.”

What do you do when the Lord is responsible for your unpleasant condition? We know how to handle Satan, or at least, we think we know how to; but how do you handle God? We know how to deal with Satan. But how do you deal with God?

Hannah was cherished by her husband and shut-up by her God. She was loved on the one hand, and she was ‘locked‘ on the other hand. Should she have been rather favoured by God and shunned by man? Or is it possible to have favours both ways? Questions… Questions. How can a woman be so beautiful, so lovable, so amiable, so affectionate, yet hedged in by God and embittered by reproach? Questions… questions…

It does not matter how many people love or hate you. What God is doing with you will eventually define you. It is good to be affirmed by men, loved by husband, respected by wife, cherished by family. Sometimes, it is not only good, it is commanded. Yet, God’s treatment of your life will define and project and identify you.

Her husband loved her. But the conspicous thing about her was barrenness. The Record says:

her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret,
because the LORD had shut up her womb…

so she provoked her;
therefore she wept, and did not eat.
(1Sa 1:6,7)

Or according to the GoodNews translation:

her rival, would torment and humiliate her,
because the LORD had kept her childless…
Peninnah would upset Hannah so much
that she would cry and refuse to eat anything.

Her adversary became a more potent figure to her soul because this adversary took advantage of God’s treatment of Hannah to deal with her. It didn’t matter what her husband did or said, ‘she wept, and did not eat.’ 

Hannah was provoked.
It happens to the finest of us, at some point. Has anyone taken advantage of a condition in your life, a condition allowed by God, to provoke you? How do you handle such provocations?
What did a provoked Hannah do?

And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. (1Sa 1:10)

She prayed! She prayed!!

Some people’s similarity with Hannah ends at provocation. Unlike Hannah, they will curse, complain, whine, murmur, but they won’t pray.

Whatever you are going through, pray: talk to God about it.

When the hand of God is seemingly heavy upon you and men mock & provoke you, pray.

When the love of loved ones and the sympathy of friends will not dissolve your burden, pray.
“unto him that is able to do… ”
Men can try, but God is the guaranteed Doer!

Pray!

Sometimes, a husband’s love is not enough. A wife’s love will not do. A  man’s love will not suffice.

Hannah Prayed.

Don’t bother endlessly about Peninnah – the fruitful adversary. She didn’t make you childless. If it were not for God, she could have no such material for provocation.

If God will be gracious to Hannah in opening her womb, Peninnah would lose her strong point. The rug would be pulled from under her disdaining frame.

Master, Have mercy.

Consider our condition.

Consider even the adversaries.
They have provoked your heritage; sore provoked your children.

Keep not quiet o Zion!

Hannah Prayed.

God heard. He answered.

…and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her.
(1Sa 1:19)

And, the Hannah provoked. The Hannah who prayed…
Praised!

Hear her:
My heart rejoiceth in the LORD,
mine horn is exalted in the LORD:
my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies;
because I rejoice in thy salvation
.
(1Sa 2:1)

Who knows what testimonies await you if you like Hannah would passionately pray!

What ‘Samuels’ are waiting to be received by grieving but praying people, we cannot tell.

Do not deny us your testimony.

You can be loved by man and by God.
After her prayer, Hannah was still loved by her husband. And she was remembered by her God!
You can be favoured here and there.

Provocations not withstanding, you will burst forth in magnificent praises if you’ll pray!
Prayer turns human needs to divine projects.

Provoked. Yes. But
Pray!

You will praise…