Saturday, October 21, 2017

Pattern of the Rule and the Hierarchy of Elements

UV 2806/10000 Pattern of the Rule
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Galatians 5 v 17
The pattern of hierarchy of life is the spirit is meant to rule over the mind, the mind is meant to rule over the flesh, the flesh is meant to rule over matter and machine. But due to man’s fallen nature, the flesh is ruling over the spirit. The flesh and mind are fused as one and the mind serves the dictates of the flesh. The flesh and spirit of the same person is at war with each other. There is no peace in the person as a result. But once the fallen nature is restored by faith in Jesus and His finished work on the cross, the pattern of spirit over mind, mind over body, body over matter is restored. The Holy Spirit revives the spirit of man and teaches the spirit to rule over the flesh. The kingdom of God or God governance is established in the person and there is peace or Shalom reigning in him.
When a person is yoked to Christ, his spirit and mind will not pull in different directions. He does not allow his bodily lusts and desires to dictate his choices or decisions or actions. The three primal drives of lust of the flesh, lust of the eye and pride of life cease to control him. His desires are subjected or subordinated to the will of the Lord as revealed and explained in His word. His focus is no longer on pleasing himself and satisfying his carnal desires but in pleasing the Lord and fulfilling His will. Our desire or hunger for righteousness far exceeds the intensity of the desires of the members of our bodies. As a result, the spirit bridles the entire body with the help of the Word. The spirit then like the rider of a trained horse is able to make it go right or left, up or down, fast or slow or to make it stop when it needs to stop or pause.
The rule of lust in our entire being and lives is replaced by the rule of love, the rule of Christ Jesus, the anointed of God to rule over and save all human beings. We will cease to do anything out of selfish ambition or covetousness. We will not indulge the flesh in its excessive and illegitimate cravings. We are set free from the captivity that Paul wrote about- the captivity of the different members of our bodies- our tongues, sexual organs, limbs, brains to the law of sin and of death. Like Joseph the dreamer was set free from the pit, from the prison, from the bitterness of the past to experience the supernatural favour of the Lord in this natural and political world, we are set free from that to which we sold ourselves in the past. Like Joseph was seated at the right hand of Pharaoh, we are seated at the right hand of Jesus to rule and reign over the kingdom of God within us.
Prateep V Philip

Friday, October 20, 2017

Word vs World Pattern

UV 2809/10000 Word vs World Pattern
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts
Jeremiah 15 v 16
A child is called after the name of the parents. It implies that the child has certain rights and duties vis a vis her parents. The child inherits the DNA, the character and the possessions of the parents. Likewise, we are called after the name of the Lord God of heaven and earth. It is our great privilege. Just as a child relies, relishes and depends on the words of her parents, so also we need to rely, relish and depend on the Word. The Word equips us to handle the world. We need to feed on the Word as the Israelites fed on manna. We need to treat it as necessary and delicious food for our sustenance and our enjoyment.
In some cases, reading the Word convicts a person and leads him or her into a personal relationship with the Author of the word and of life. The Word is the word of truth and it penetrates the heart of the reader to convict him or her. But in most cases, a personal relationship with the Lord God through Jesus leads us into regularly and daily feeding on the Word. Just as with food, there are some parts of the word that is soft and easy that we can swallow or drink, some parts which are tough and are to be bitten into and chewed.
Scripture says that the Word is sweet as honey in the mouth but that it turns bitter as medicine in the stomach. It implies that not only does the word sustain us, it acts as medicine to heal the afflicted parts or our lives. It strikes a balance between the blessings we enjoy by claiming the promises of the Lord in our daily lives and the boundaries of behaviour and choices that it sets before us. It takes discipline and commitment to seek the truths, insights and revelations that are hidden in the Word. The Word is the key to the John 10 v 10 promise of Jesus of the abundant and eternal life.
Prateep V Philip

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Pattern of the Godly and Good

UV 2805/10000 The Pattern of the Godly and Good
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
Psalm 37 v 23
The steps of a man of God are directed, guided, led by the Lord. His actions and reactions are not self directed, emotion-driven or led by man-made ideas and philosophies. He delights in following the ways of the Lord. He is not a reluctant follower. He diligently studies the Word in order to conform to the patterns of the word in this world. He knows that though there is no innate goodness in him, he is only reflecting the goodness or light of the Lord in him and upon him. The templates or models set forth in the word become his guidelines. It influences the choices he makes every single day and even every thought he thinks and every word he speaks. He does not rely on his own wisdom or whims or emotions or the wisdom of the world. He does not seek or receive ungodly gain. He is conscious of the presence of the Lord all the time. He is filled with the power of love rather than the love of power. He is neither violent nor deceitful. He is not easily deceived, too. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Triune God, is the Director of his life even as a film director directs each step of an actor in a movie. He always goes to the Lord in prayer before taking any major decision and acknowledges the Lord all the time. He realizes that he is neither alone nor helpless in the pursuit of success, happiness or fulfilment. He is not bewildered when the situation becomes adverse for He knows whose he is and He believes and trusts the love, wisdom and power of God to save him.
In allowing the word to direct our ways, we pay a cost in this world in being different, in not being able to take short cuts but the benefit is that we will not stumble and fall. We will end up making fewer blunders that would have cost us our peace, our health, our joy or even our lives. The Lord preserves us from evil and keeps us from foolish decisions. It is not as if we do not face troubles and challenges but the Lord will be with us in our troubles and afflictions. We may sometimes fall as even a righteous person may fall seven times but each time the Lord will strengthen us and set us back on our feet.
The world is compared to a slippery pit, a miry quagmire which will easily ensnare the feet of the person who is not deeply rooted in the word of God. The Lord takes us out of this miry pit and allows none of our steps or actions to slide or cause our downfall. He establishes us in the ways of Jesus who is the Rock of life. We have a model of perfection, of goodness, of wisdom, of love in Jesus. We only need to look to Him as the author and perfector of our faith. We only need to imitate Him in all that we think, say and do. When we do so, the Lord God delights in us. He will establish us in our ways. He will prosper us in our work and in all that we do.
Prateep V Philip

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Pattern of Faith in Our Great Struggles in Life

UV 2804/10000 Pattern of Faith in Our Great Struggles
O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.
2 Chronicles 20 v 12
The odds are often very heavy against God’s people. We face formidable enemies and tremendous opposition in this world. Yet, we do not rely on human strength or means to retaliate. Like Jehoshaphat who cried out to God when his kingdom faced invasion from many powerful armies, we need to appeal to the Lord. Jehoshaphat like any normal leader or king at first feared but through a process of humbling himself, preparing his heart and his people’s, he reinforced his faith in the God of his forefather Abraham. We may be at our wits end and may not know what to do. But we should be assured and confident that in all our dire situations and crises of life, the eyes of the Lord are upon us and our people. The Lord will not forsake us or leave us in our times of greatest need. He is the righteous judge. He clearly sees the justice of our cause.
The Lord fights our battles for us. Even as Jehoshaphat led the people of Judah in praise and worship, He had mercy on them. Even as they began to sing and worship, the Lord set up ambushes against the Ammonites, the Moabites and the inhabitants of Mount Seir who were intent on attacking, defeating and destroying the kingdom of Judah. The secret of Judah’s victory was the faith of the king and his people in Jehovah Nissi, the God of victory. Their only strategy was praise, worship and intercessory prayer. They were encouraged with a prophetic word. They did not cower in fear or shrink away from the sight of the enemies. They remembered past awesome victories the Lord had brought them in many struggles and battles. They did not rely on their own military prowess or resources.
In every struggle in life, we need to turn and seek the Lord, His presence and His help. We need to understand that the battle is clearly not ours but the Lord’s particularly if the odds are heavily against us. We should not run away from the battlefield or hide from our struggle but submit our fears and apprehensions to the Lord. Recalling the past victories and deliverances by the Lord and giving Him thanks and praise for the same will boost our faith and cause our fears to evaporate. Our enemies and adverse circumstances will melt in the presence of the Lord like wax before an intense fire. This is the beauty of His holiness. We only need to stand still and see. Through scriptural history, we see no instance of the Lord wielding a weapon or riding a chariot or leading a large army but His mere presence, His word is sufficient to give us grace to overcome, to win, to defeat the forces arraigned against us. As the God of heaven and earth, He has all the armies of heaven and the resources of earth at His command. He can obtain victory with many or few or with none. Our understanding and recognition of who God is, is vital to winning in the many battles of life.
Prateep V Philip

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Biblical Pattern of Freedom, Growth, Prosperity and Fulfilment

UV 2803/10000 The Pattern of Freedom and Prosperity
And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.
Ezekiel 34 v 27
This uni-verse promises six great blessings all of us need for a successful, meaningful, prosperous and joyful life: yield of fruit, increase, safety or security, knowledge of the Lord, the breaking of bondages that enslave us, deliverance out of the hands of erstwhile masters. The key factor which would lead to all the other five is the knowledge of the Lord or a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. We need to know the limitless love, grace, power and mercy of the Lord not in a theoretical way but at a deeply personal level. We need to attempt to get to know the Lord as well as He knows us. Knowledge of the limitless or infinite love of the Lord will enable us to break the self imposed limits we place on ourselves by our own way of thinking. Our perspective will be transformed and it will lead to a change in our choices, our priorities, our actions and reactions. Knowledge of the Lord also means knowledge of His word which contains precepts, principles, examples, testimonies, judgements, experiences of godly people who have gone before us.
The change in the way we process our thoughts, emotions and decisions will naturally lead to a change in our results or fruit of actions. As we yield our wills increasingly to the Lord, He increases our yield of spiritual and all other types of fruit or end results of our lives. Our experience and expression of the spiritual fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control will keep increasing or growing in us. The fruit is meant both for sustenance and growth as food and for healing as medicine. We will enjoy Shalom or spiritual security, peace and safety as we cannot be preyed upon by spiritual predators of the dark world and their deluded human agents. The bondages of dead habit will be broken. The heavy burdens of guilt, fear, existential worries will be removed from our backs so that we can walk erect and upright. The Lord will give us a lighter load or responsibility to save others who are presently carrying a heavy load and are spiritually oppressed for the greatest oppression is spiritual and the greatest freedom is spiritual. The physical, the political, the intellectual, the social freedom only flows from the spiritual freedom.
The Lord will deliver us from our evil masters of yore: the world,love of money, lust, covetousness, the fear of death and judgement, forces of evil that exploit us. The spirit will rule the flesh and not the other way around. The Lord will teach us to be shrewd or subtly wise as the serpent so that the enemy of our souls does not any longer delude or deceive or entice us in any way. He will also teach us to be as gentle as Jesus and the Holy Spirit who is imaged as the dove. For all these blessings to flow and overflow in our lives, the root is our faith in Jesus.

Prateep V Philip

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Pattern of Hope Fulfilment

UV 2802/10000 Pattern of Hope Fulfilment
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
Lamentations 3 v 26
Hope makes improvements, changes, achievements possible. People place hope in a variety of things. Sometimes such hope is misplaced and leads to disappointment and bitterness. Scripture says that it is better to place hope in the Lord than in princes of people. This uni-verse asks us to place our hope in the Lord, in His word, in His promises. The Lord will then do His part- salvation. Salvation is not an end-of-life experience but an everyday experience that extends into the timeless zone of eternity. Once we place our trust in the Lord, we need to learn His word, understand His commands, obey and patiently wait on the Lord with a sense of joy, thanksgiving for blessings received and expectancy of the blessings in the offing. Waiting does not mean being inert but actively seeking the Lord’s presence, His wisdom, His grace, His mercy, His justice and all of His ways as it intersects our own paths at several points.
Hope is a natural byproduct of supernatural faith. It means that it is not faith in our own intelligence, abilities, connections, resources but a belief in the supernatural wisdom, grace and power of the Lord to save us. It is not a vague belief but a specific belief in Christ being the wisdom and power of God to save mankind. This hope in Christ as our Saviour in all real life situations, even as we take all natural precautions that our reason dictates and do all that we need to do by way of due diligence, is the hope of glory of God being revealed.
Quiet waiting indicates that we should be free from worries. Our minds should not be tossed about by doubt, fear or anxiety as we face different situations in life. Joseph waited patiently, trusting that His Lord and God, the God of his forefathers would certainly help him come out of his state of misery, of gross injustice. Every reverse in fortune did not deter him or cause him to take his eyes from the ultimate vision that the Lord would raise him up as a ruler and leader in the world. He had a rough ride to the seat of the Prime Minister of the then super power Egypt but he was buoyed up by the hope he reposed in the Lord. There are few instances in scripture of people of God taking a short cut to greatness, fame, wealth, of meteoric rise overnight but there are enough examples of people taking a “God cut” to the ultimate purpose, role and position that the Lord had in mind for them. A “God cut” is neither long nor short but it prepares the person’s character to fulfil godly responsibility. Often it means years of waiting, years of suffering and endurance, years of hoping as the etches and lines of deep character are sculpted and chiselled by the Spirit in the heart of man.
Prateep V Philip

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Pattern of the Word at Work

UV 2801/10000 The Pattern of the Word@Work
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Isaiah 55 v 11

The word that has gone forth from the mouth of the Lord God is truthful, wholesome and extremely effective. It is in this world but not of this world. The origin is divine, supernatural, spiritual and yet it works in this world. The only condition for it to work is faith or belief in every word spoken by the Lord. It will accomplish the will of the Lord in this world. It will work deep inside us, at a level deeper than our bones and marrow. It will work quietly, invisibly but surely. It shall without a doubt or without delay prosper in the thing to which the Lord sends it. It is the good seed that meets our greatest need- the need for salvation, for eternal life. It will also meet our diurnal needs for wisdom in the decisions and choices we make, the work we do, the words we speak. It comes like the rain, snow and dew that softens the earth and prepares the harvest of all that we eat from herbs to fruit. It softens our hardened or inured hearts to feel again the things that are vital from the Lord and Creator and Redeemer’s perspective. It brings forth a harvest of righteousness and blessings. It will give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. It will bring forth sweetness out of the killer echoing the dead carcass of a lion that Samson had killed that became the shelter for a beehive full of honey. What the enemy of our souls plans for our destruction and defeat, it will change into a sweet testimony or evidence of the greatness, goodness and love of the Lord. The believer can trust, praise and thank the Lord on every up and down in his life, every turn and twist. All is grist to his mill- no experience is wasted, all is gain including pain and nothing is in vain.
Any human plus the word is a champion like David, a winner like Joshua, a leader like Moses. He is anointed, enabled, equipped, empowered. The word is the software of our existence. It is wholesome food. It is manna from above that does not spoil overnight. It is sweeter than honey and gives wisdom to the simple. It strengthens us from within. It educates our senses so that we are sensible. It teaches us what no earthly teacher can teach us- how best to live. It is higher, much higher than mere man-made religion, morality, philosophy, psychology and science. We need to dwell on every word and absorb its essence of meaning. We need to digest and apply it in every aspect of our lives as nothing is beyond its scope.
The word is practical, simple, applicable in all conceivable human situations. It works even in impossible situations, crises and predicaments as well as in normal fair weather. The biblical thought process “ Cling to what is good, let go of what is evil” can best be practiced by clinging to the word and letting go of what is evil in this world. It will preserve us from conforming to the patterns of this world and instead be spiritually transformed from within. We will not be clay that resists the Potter but yields to His every move. The word embodies the spirit of God and it cures the ills of our flesh. It deals with the issues of the heart out of which flows forth life. It releases the supernatural wisdom, power and resources of the Lord into our mundane situations. It is certain, precise and specific in our real life situations to offer solutions and answers to the questions and problems we confront on a day-to-day basis. The Word is guaranteed by the Lord. The warranty is everlasting.

Prateep V Philip