One of the young men from my church went for an air grading test recently. If he passed this, it would qualify him for pilot training at the Singapore Air Force.
On Monday 3rd June he was in a training aircraft where he was practising landing. Three times he managed to land the aircraft. However on Tuesday 4th June, due to some circumstance, he couldn’t do so. The instructor had to land the aircraft for him instead. If he could not land the aircraft during the actual test, he would fail the whole test. On the same day at about 6.00pm his father (in Singapore) sent me a message informing me what had happened.
But it was only on the morning of Wednesday 5th June that I saw the father’s message at 5:13am, as I was overseas. But I was already praying before that and sensed that I was praying for someone or regarding something. I replied to his message and asked the father whether Tuesday’s practice landing was the son’s first? The father said, no, as his son had already landed three times before on Monday. I asked when the final test would be and was told that his son was already out in the field (on Wednesday). I replied the father saying, “I will pray now!”
I did not know how to pray as I ought. But I knew when he couldn’t land on Tuesday, it was a spiritual and not a natural matter. In the natural he landed the aircraft three times on his own on Monday. So I began to pray in unknown tongues. Not long after, the word of the Lord came to me and I heard these words, “John, I command you to land in the Name of Jesus!” I was certain it was the word of the Lord that came to me. So I confidently and spoke authoritatively, “John, I command you to land in the Name of Jesus!” I knew spiritual forces caused him not to land on Tuesday.
About 5:17pm on Wednesday 5th June, I received another message from his father saying he passed the final test and would be returning to Singapore the following day.
The Holy Spirit quickened the word to me to command his human spirit to do something. We can use the authority we have in the Name of Jesus to command the human spirit to obey the Lord in certain situations. However we cannot abuse our authority to command any human spirit to obey us for our selfish benefit.
Jesus said to “watch and pray.” You watch over your kids to know what is going on in their lives, and understand whether there are any adverse spiritual forces against them, and to pray for them. If in the midst of praying, the word of the Lord comes then you have to act upon His Word.
It is important we hear and know what is happening in our children’s lives so as to understand the spiritual forces that are at work, and use our authority against those forces. Testimonies like these will constantly renew our minds about the authority we have in the Name of Jesus, and to deal with demonic powers that come against our lives and our children’s lives.
Moses asked the Lord to teach him His way that he may know Him. When we see the way of the Lord in our lives and as we look back, we can trace God’s hand in every step we take especially at critical and crucial junctures.
Exodus 33:13 (NET) Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your way, that I may know you, that I may continue to find favor in your sight. And see that this nation is your people.”
When we know the way of the Lord, we will find favour and continue to have favour with the Lord. As we see and understand more and more of the ways of the Lord, we have more knowledge and understanding in following the Lord in our lives.
John 14:6 (KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus is the way. All that He says and does are His ways. If we want Jesus to be center of our lives then keep the way of the Lord and do what is right and just. We live in the way of the Lord by putting Jesus as the center of our lives. Jesus is the Word and the Word is God. When we obey His Word, be it written or spoken to us, we are obeying the way of the Lord, and Jesus is our way.
Acts 19:23 (NET) At that time a great disturbance took place concerning the Way.
When Paul and those who went with him on his missionary journeys, preaching Jesus Christ, it caused a big stir among the people. They persecuted Paul and his company. Acts 19:23 called “Jesus” the “Way”. Troublemakers created such a great disturbance because of the Way.
Jesus is the Way. Do you want to know the Lord’s way concerning a matter or any matter?
1. BE COMPLETELY OPEN TO THE LORD'S WAY
The Lord’s way may be opposite to your way. Be ready to discard your way when He reveals His way. Even if you think you are sure and have the inner witness, pray the opposite prayer - “Lord, I could be wrong about this, please show me the way, the right way.” Even if you know which way to go about a certain matter, ask the Lord, “How would You like me to go about doing this?”
2. BE DETERMINED YOU WILL KNOW THE LORD'S WAY
Make a decision that you must know the way of the Lord concerning this matter. Which is the way to go? Make a decision to pray till you know.
3. FAST AND PRAY
Go on a fast with the determination and objective to find out what the Lord Jesus has to show you.
4. PRAY TILL YOU KNOW IN YOUR SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit may lead you in a direction but every circumstance seems to be pointing in the opposite direction and in the natural it may seem impossible to go that way. Just pray, pray till you have a knowing in your spirit exactly what to do next. If you have to, go on a fast and pray. Fasting helps to put your flesh under control and influence of your spirit. Then the influence of your spirit over your flesh and mind, will and emotions will be greater. In fasting you will be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s way. Else spend three days in prayer, waiting on the Lord till He gives you a clear direction as to what to do. Pray till your emotions are calmed down and pray much in the spirit till your mind is quiet. Then you can distinguish the leading of the Holy Spirit.
John 7:17 (NET) If anyone wants to do God’s will, he will know…
If you truly and sincerely want to do God’s will, you will know. Pray and He will let you know. Many Christians pray and never really get a direction or guidance from the Lord because they do not really want to do God’s will. Jesus said you will know if you want to do God’s will. You will know for sure.
Deuteronomy 5:30–33 (KJV 1900) 30 Go say to them, Get you into your tents again. 31 But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it. 32 Ye shall observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.
So why did God give them the law knowing they were not able to keep it? God’s way since Adam to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and for all of us, is to teach the ways of God to our children.
Deuteronomy 6:1–2 (NET) 1 Now these are the commandments, statutes, and ordinances that the Lord your God instructed me to teach you so that you may carry them out in the land where you are headed 2. and that you may so revere the Lord your God that you will keep all his statutes and commandments that I am giving you—you, your children, and your grandchildren—all your lives, to prolong your days.
Why God gave Moses the law is for him to walk in all the ways of God. If he did not, he would not have been able to teach it to Israel.
THREE REASONS GOD GAVE THEM THE LAW OF MOSES:
1. The way of the Lord was lost when they went into Egypt and were in bondage for 400 years. As slaves they could not practise the Blood Covenant and the way of the Lord. This eventually led them to forget everything and it was not passed down to the next generation.
2. They were to keep the way of the Lord. If they themselves did not keep the way of the Lord, they could not teach it to their children.
3. They were to teach the way of the Lord to their children and grandchildren.
God’s way was for them to pass down the way of the Lord to raise up the next generation after His ways.
Adam taught his children the way of the Lord and this was passed down all the way to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There was no law before Moses. How did Moses’ ancestors keep the way of the Lord then? The Lord Jesus said He knew Abraham would teach his children and his household the way of the Lord (Genesis 18:19). Before the Law was given, the heads of households were solely responsible for teaching both their children and households the way of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 5:27 (NKJV) You go near and hear all that the Lord our God may say, and tell us all that the Lord our God says to you, and we will hear and do it.’
Israel told Moses to go near the presence of God and hear from Him because they were afraid of doing so themselves. Moses was then to tell them what God said and they in turn would do it. Was Israel able to keep the way of the Lord and do all that God commanded? They were not able and God knew this before He gave them the Law through Moses. Before Moses, there was no law. Why didn’t the people before Moses need the law and why Israel with Moses needed the law? After Jesus died and rose again, we in the New Covenant also do not need the law.
Let me use an analogy. If you have a son who is seven years old and one day he says to you, “Dad, tell me how to drive your Mercedes Benzes. All you instruct me I can do, therefore I can drive your car now.” As a father, you know your seven year old is not able to drive your car no matter how much time and how much you instruct him. Would you say, “Ok, son, since you said all that I’ve instructed you you can do, so here is the key. Let’s see whether you can drive my car or not.” Being a good father and not a crazy one, you will not let your son drive your car, knowing it will not only harm him but others as well.
How much more my Heavenly Father who is far greater than you. He will not give the Law of Moses to Israel knowing they would not be able to keep the law and do it. Since the Heavenly Father knew Israel would not be successful in keeping it yet gave them the law, was not God harming Israel instead? Love does no harm to anyone (Romans 13:10) and love fulfils the Law. God is love and He would never give Israel the Law to harm them.
Deuteronomy 5:28-29 (NKJV) 28 “Then the Lord heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me: ‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They are right in all that they have spoken. 29 Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!
However Israel themselves said all that God said they could do. Deuteronomy 5:28-29 does not seem to say that God was not pleased therefore He gave them the law because of what they said. On the contrary, God was pleased with Israel’s intention. He said they were right. They had a heart to reverence Him.
Three men came to Abraham’s tent and Sarah prepared a meal for them. One of them was the Lord Jesus and the other two were angels.
Genesis 18:16–17 (KJV) 16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. 17 And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do …
Why must the Lord tell Abraham what He was about to do? There are five reasons the Lord Jesus would not hide from Abraham:
1. Abraham’s life was one of fulfilling the plan and purpose of God.
1.1 Genesis 18:18 (KJV) Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
1.2 This verse is about Jesus who would come from the descendants of Abraham. Abraham prepared the way for Jesus to come. Abraham lived in the perfect plan and fulfilled the will of God.
1.3 God is carrying out His plan on earth through us.
1.4 Anything that concerned Abraham, the Lord would tell him. Because he was a partner with the Lord and Jesus would come from his descendants; that was the ultimate plan for Abraham.
2. Abraham was to be a blessing to all the nations of the earth - a blessing to others.
2.1 God’s way will bless you and make you a blessing to others.
2.2 If you are in His plan that will bring blessing to others, especially a great blessing, the Lord will not hide anything from you.
2.3 However if you are a selfish person then there is no necessity for the Lord to tell you anything because it will not benefit others.
3. The Lord was about to allow something to happen that concerned Abraham. His nephew was living in Sodom and he would have been destroyed together with Sodom. What was about to happen to his nephew concerned Abraham.
4. Abraham would teach his children and his household to keep the way of the Lord by doing what was right and just.
4.1 Genesis 18:19 (KJV) For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
4.2 The NIV says, “…to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just”.
4.3 Abraham would teach both his children and household to keep the way of the Lord by doing what was right and just. This must have been taught to him by the Lord through his ancestors. How could the Lord not do what was right and just? It was right and just to let Abraham know what He was about to allow - the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and his nephew’s inevitable death.
4.4 People think that when you do and obey God’s commandments and His Word, they are being legalistic. They think you are getting into the law. Do you know that keeping the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just happened way before the institution of the Law of Moses? Abraham taught his children and household to keep the way of the Lord by doing what was right and just, by faith. They followed the commandments of God by faith.
5. Abraham himself kept the way of the Lord.
5.1 Genesis 18:19 (KJV) For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him,…
5.2 This meant Abraham himself kept the way of God by doing what was right and just. Abraham did all these by faith, not by law. Then he was able to teach his children and his household to do the same.
5.3 There is nothing wrong with keeping the Word of God by doing and doing by faith.
We are the children of God and we keep the way of the Lord by faith. Like Abraham, we are to teach our children and others the way of the Lord. The plan of God is being fulfilled through us. On earth, we are the salt of the earth and we are a great blessing to others. Will the Lord hide things from us in this dispensation of grace?
Matthew 20:29–34 (NET) 29 As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed them. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the road. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!” 31 The crowd scolded them to get them to be quiet. But they shouted even more loudly, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 32 Jesus stopped, called them, and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” 33 They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” 34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
The two blind men cried out for mercy. In spite of the obstacles, they cried again for mercy. When Jesus called them to Him, He was not flooded with compassion. It was only when they told Jesus what they had decided (what they wanted) then was Jesus moved with compassion. Mercy pleads for a miracle and then compassion flows.
When you share your concerns and needs, and your heart cries out for mercy, there will be a compassion that flows from the Father’s throne to you. And the Heavenly Father will release His compassion to move others to pray for a miracle. It is important we find fellowship with others in the local church so as to share and pray together.
Mark 1:40–42 (NET) 40 Now a leper came to him and fell to his knees, asking for help. “If you are willing, you can make me clean,” he said. 41 Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be clean!” 42 The leprosy left him at once, and he was clean.
The leper took the initiative to receive a miracle. Just like the two blind men, they did not sit there waiting for Jesus to approach them. The leper came and fell on his knees before Jesus. He decided he wanted to be cleansed and pleaded for help. Jesus was moved with compassion for him.
When divine compassion flows, there is a greater miracle and it is more instant. Jesus has always been willing to heal. But when willingness is wrapped with compassion, there will be a great miracle. Jesus is willing to heal any sickness and anyone, but not necessary divine compassion flows when we minister in His Name. There are times compassion may flood our soul but at other times it may not be that strong. When we feel for your situation, there is a certain degree of divine compassion flowing through us. The degree of compassion varies.
COMPASSION IS IN THE HEAVENLY FATHER'S UNFAILING LOVE
In a parable, the prodigal son squandered away his father’s wealth and lived among the swine and ate their food. He then came to his senses and returned home to his father.
Luke 15:20 (NKJV) “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
From afar the father saw his son returning and compassion began to flow. The father’s love for his son propelled him to run and hug his son (even though the boy’s neck could have been stinky) and planted a kiss on his dirty face. This is a picture of our Heavenly Father’s unfailing love.
The Father’s throne of unfailing love is full of extreme compassion. When you are desperate, come before the Father and His unfailing love, and imagine you are before the throne of extreme compassion. You will receive mercy and find grace for your miracle.
Whenever God has compassion on someone, it will result in a miracle or He will do something to meet his or her need. People who were desperate enough and pleaded for mercy, received their miracle. Where there is compassion and mercy often there is a miracle; a miracle to change the situation.
If you have compassion for someone, ask God to help you do something to change their situation then we will not find God not doing anything and the condition remaining status quo. He will always do something to change the condition or situation. There is always a miracle when the compassion of God flows to you or when you plead for mercy. Things will not remain the same because there is nothing beyond the present situation and condition that He cannot change. The Heavenly Father’s unfailing love will take you beyond where you are now for a miracle. Therefore we should always pray and not lose heart.
If His compassion always resulted in miracles in the past then it will also produce miracles in the present and in the future. A miracle is something beyond what you can see right now and beyond the impossible. But it is something we can believe for because we are children of faith.
The Father’s Compassion Releases a Miracle
Matthew 14:13–21 (NET) 13 Now when Jesus heard this he went away from there privately in a boat to an isolated place. But when the crowd heard about it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 As he got out he saw the large crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 When evening arrived, his disciples came to him saying, “This is an isolated place and the hour is already late. Send the crowds away so that they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But he replied, “They don’t need to go. You give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” 18 “Bring them here to me,” he replied. 19 Then he instructed the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, and looking up to heaven he gave thanks and broke the loaves. He gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the broken pieces left over, twelve baskets full. 21 Not counting women and children, there were about five thousand men who ate.
Jesus had compassion on the crowd who followed him on foot and healed them. When the compassion of God flows, miracles flow. Jesus’ compassion caused Him to heal the sick. The Father always has compassion for the sick. He is compassionate towards the sick and the sick should believe Him for a miracle.
Among the sick were the hungry as well. Jesus multiplied the five loaves and two fish and fed five thousand men not counting the women and children. When the Father’s compassion flowed, both the needs of the sick and the hungry were met.
Where do we find God’s compassion? Stay in the church where Jesus is preached and where the Name of Jesus is exalted. In the midst of Jesus, His compassion will flow and miracles released. The gathering of His children to hear His Word and praying in the Name of Jesus, is where Jesus is exalted. As we gather to worship in His Name, we are in an atmosphere for His compassion to flow and for Him to release His miracles.
Patiently waiting for the answer to our prayers is a virtue, therefore develop it in our soul. We wait not because the Heavenly Father is late in answering our prayers. It is because it takes time, especially the natural things to be brought to us. For example, when you ask and believe God for your needs to be met, all the natural things that will meet your needs are here on earth. It takes time for things to get into your hands. Hence we need to be patient in faith.
The Four Attributes of Faith: 1. We Must Not Give Up 2. We Must Persevere 3. We Must Persist 4. We Must Be Patient
Must be Patient
Be patient and don’t give up. When you have heard from the Heavenly Father or you know from the Word of God or have heard a spoken Word from Christ concerning a certain issue, then have faith for that matter. Once you have faith, be patient to see the result of your prayer, of what you have asked for.
Hebrews 6:12 (NKJV) that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Patience is a state of emotional calm in the face of provocation or misfortune and without complaint or irritation—‘patience.’ [Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 306). New York: United Bible Societies.]
When we release the faith that we have, next we are to wait patiently for the results to manifest, because the Father is waiting patiently for us to ask Him and He already has the answers waiting for us. Henceforth we are to wait patiently for the answer to manifest in our lives.
Being impatient will cause us to make the wrong decisions and embark on something too soon, or go in a direction that is not the perfect will of God. Impatience can cost us much wasted time and money. Impatience will also cause us not to operate in love.
Hebrews 6:15 (NKJV) And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
We know for sure the Heavenly Father will always answer our prayers and will never fail to provide. He will always make a way when there is no way. He always has a direction for us. We just have to patiently endure the waiting time. To endure anything we need to be patient, and endurance will develop another level of patience in us.
There are two things we know of the Father’s unfailing love:
1. The Father knows what we need and He already has all the solutions to all our problems
2. The Father is just waiting to help us
The reason we pray is not to get God to do something. He already knows what we need and is wanting to do something for us to resolve all our problems. We pray not to get God to answer our prayers, in fact He is so ready with the answers that we need. We do not pray for God to plan for us, He already has a plan waiting for us. We do not pray that God find the answers. He already has the answer before we pray. This is the grace of prayer.
We are not to give up in life, but to persevere. To overcome all obstacles, we must persist and we will eventually receive the answers to our problems.
The Four Attributes of Faith: 1. We Must Not Give Up 2. We Must Persevere 3. We Must Persist 4. We Must Be Patient
To persist is to continue with an opinion. For example, if you have made up your mind and have determined the Heavenly Father reveal His plan to you then don’t change your opinion. Be determined to see a miracle. A miracle is something that is beyond what you can see now, and don’t change your mind about it, instead continue to be determined to see the miracle.
Perseverance is about going through difficulties and persistence is about not changing or wavering in your decision and determination to see the result. Be fixed on the result that you want, which is your miracle. A miracle is something that is beyond what you can see now.
Luke 11:5–8 (NET) 5 Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 because a friend of mine has stopped here while on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7 Then he will reply from inside, ‘Do not bother me. The door is already shut, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though the man inside will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of the first man’s sheer persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
The word “sheer persistence” is also translated as “importunity” in other versions. Importunity means a lack of sensitivity to what is proper—‘shamelessness.’ [Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 627). New York: United Bible Societies.]
This person who came knocking on the door at midnight didn’t care whether it was proper or not even though his friend and children were already in bed. It was not proper to knock at such a late hour when others were asleep. He shamelessly didn’t care whether his action was proper or not - he just knocked on the door to ask for bread. What was more important was to get the bread to feed his friend who had just arrived for a visit. This person was persistent to get what he wanted; he was determined to get what he wanted.
When you know what is right and just, and that it is the will of the Heavenly Father for you, then be persistent to get what you have determined.
I was teaching at a Bible school recently when one of the students said that she has had this problem for the past ten years and it has not been resolved yet. I told her, the Heavenly Father will not take that long to answer her prayer and it must not be that He does not have a solution for her.
The problem with many Christians is they would not hear what the Father has to say and simply do what He tells them. There is no problem that is bigger than my Heavenly Father. It is only their pride like a dark cloud covering their minds which hinders them from receiving the instructions from the Holy Spirit. Pride is like the sewage that stinks before the Father’s nose. It hides God’s grace from you.
When Jesus said to always pray and not lose heart, it is because the Heavenly Father always answers our prayers instantly and the solutions or results will be forthcoming. But we need to have these four attributes built into our soul.
The Four Attributes of Faith: 1. We Must Not Give Up 2. We Must Persevere 3. We Must Persist 4. We Must Be Patient
We must persevere in prayer. Persevere in prayer till we see a miracle in our lives.
Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV) praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
Persevere means to continue to do something with intense effort, with the possible implication of despite difficulty. [Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 662). New York: United Bible Societies.]
When Paul said to persevere in prayer, he meant to continue to pray with the possible conclusion of you praying through, and then having a clear direction [although you may not see the answer or the result yet], without being affected by the difficulty. You keep persevering against the difficulties.
The dictionary meaning of persevere is to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulties or with little or no indication of success.
I shared two testimonies in the articles, “Prophetic Words Spoken In Times Past” and “Jesus Said Always Pray and Not Lose Heart”. The people involved in the testimonies persevered until the Lord led one to the right place, at the right time, with the right people and experienced a breakthrough. As for the other person, the time came for him to expand his business regionally. They persevered in doing what they were doing and they never gave up praying.
We persevere in the midst of difficulties, challenges, trials and testings, even when our faith is under stress. We persevere so that our faith will not crumble under distress. We persevere because we know our journey is ordained by God on earth. We persevere in prayer so that we are strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit to push through in the natural. We persevere because we know our conquest is sure and we know the One who is living on the inside of us. We persevere through faith by the Spirit of Grace.
Luke 18:1–8 (NET) Prayer and the Parable of the Persistent Widow 1 Then Jesus told them a parable to show them they should always pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected people. 3 There was also a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but later on he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor have regard for people, 5 yet because this widow keeps on bothering me, I will give her justice, or in the end she will wear me out by her unending pleas.’ ” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge says! 7 Won’t God give justice to his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay long to help them? 8 I tell you, he will give them justice speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Will Jesus find faith in us on earth when we pray? We have to have faith to receive His grace. His grace is unconditionally given to us anytime and all the time. This is because of the Heavenly Father’s unfailing love. Without faith you will not be able to receive His grace. Many Christians accept the Grace teaching but do not understand how faith comes and that faith must be released to partake of His grace.
You have to have faith before you pray. Often in life you will encounter challenges in life that you need to be like the persistent widow woman as mentioned in the parable. To get what is rightfully yours and what you have from the Heavenly Father, there are four attributes you need to build into your spiritual life.
The Four Attributes of Faith: 1. We Must Not Give Up 2. We Must Persevere 3. We Must Persist 4. We Must Be Patient
MUST NOT GIVE UP PRAYING
We must not give up praying. Jesus said we should always pray and not give up.
When we are looking for a direction we may not even know which way to go, or what our career path may turn out to be. Like my church member, was he supposed to do insurance, go into his mother’s business, or be a property agent?
While we are waiting for a breakthrough, we will be waiting for when the breakthrough will come, but at the same time are we supposed to give it up and find a new direction, or continue to wait for the breakthrough?
We should always keep our hopes up and not give up praying. When you cannot see the breakthrough in your career, it is a potential for a miracle. You should see beyond what you cannot see now. How do you see beyond now? Look at the Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus. See that He has a plan for your career. Do not give up praying for a miracle. A miracle is something that is impossible but you can still believe for it. You believe the Father has a plan for your career and it will be good. The plan for your future is beyond what you can see now - it is a potential for a miracle.
The economic season is changing and East Asia is rising up like never before. We are seeing a miracle taking place in East Asia. Your career, your business, and this nation are entering into a new season. Our church is entering into a season like never before.
One Sunday while we were still using GP Hotel for our church service, I was praying for BC and I said his business would expand into the region. This was before the year 2011. At that time, he had enough company issues to deal with and the least thing on his mind was expanding his business.
Our church services then moved to FC Hotel. At both our Sunday services and the businessmen’s prayer, I said to him again that his business would expand into the East Asia region.
The first time I said it was almost 10 years ago. Today his company is really expanding into this region.
We flow with the Holy Spirit in prayer, preaching, and yield to the Holy Spirit to speak prophetically over our people at church.
Prophetic words may be spoken a long time ago, but there are two key factors for these words to come to pass:
1. Spiritual Authority of the local church:
BC is committed to our church. Therefore he comes under the spiritual authority and covering of this church. Spiritual authority is for doing good, to help those who are committed to the local church. The church who understands and uses the spiritual authority vested in the Name of Jesus is crucial to keep the devil at bay from thwarting the prophetic words from coming to pass.
2. Perseverance in Prayer:
BC is constantly involved in the prayer group and corporate united prayer. In fact his company premises is used for our businessmen’s prayer. Most importantly, in our prayer ministry, we pray in unknown tongues. There are many unknown factors that may obstruct BC in his business causing him to expand too soon, or influencing him to make the wrong decisions which could cost his company financially. These unknown factors or issues could have adverse effects and retard the growth of his business, but through prayer many things have been taken care of or overcome and resolved.
There are others in our church, who just like BC, stay committed to our church, under the covering of the Word of Truth and the Spirit. They have seen breakthroughs and obstacles removed time and again.
Prophetic words may be spoken over you and for you concerning the future. They may come to pass or they may not come to pass. It depends a lot on you. Some of the possible reasons prophetic words were spoken but did not come to pass are:
1. Not believing the prophetic word because your spirit was not sensitive to know it was given by the Holy Spirit
2. Straying off into another direction and not staying in the plan of God for your life or ministry
3. Obstacles in your path placed there by the devil (spiritual and natural obstacles)
4. Not believing in the gift of speaking in unknown tongues which helps you to pray for and against the unknown
5. Having little understanding of the spiritual authority that you have in the Name of Jesus
6. Not using your spiritual authority in the Name of Jesus
7. Not following the leading of the Holy Spirit to fulfil the prophetic word given by Him
If you know the Word of Truth and have learnt how to determine the leading of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to judge every prophetic word. Hence you need to receive it, believe it, confess it, and pray it till the day you see the fulfilment of that prophetic word spoken!
The Number “40” After travelling for 40 days in the desert to reach the mountain of God in Horeb, God told Elijah to return to where Ahab and Jezebel were in Jezreel. Ahab was the king of Israel (both kingdoms of Israel and Judah). When he ran to Horeb, he was only in the permissive will of God but he immediately got back into the perfect will of God for himself.
The nation of Israel could not believe they would enter the land of Canaan and rebelled against God. He had to allow them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until the whole generation passed away and a new generation raised to move them into the Promised land - Canaan. The previous generation stayed in Egypt for too long and were not able to trust God to bring them into Canaan.
From the old generation only Joshua and Caleb led the new generation into the land of Canaan, because they both never doubted. Hence God was able to give them the land of Canaan. But Joshua and Caleb were hindered for 40 years from going in. God from the beginning already saw Israel would not be able to go in. He had factored in the 40 years in the wilderness into His plan. No one could thwart God’s plan.
When the Israelites cried out for water in the wilderness, God spoke to Moses to strike the Rock. He did and water gushed out of the Rock for them. The first time Moses struck the Rock, it being a type of Jesus who was struck by the power of Satan going to the cross, was symbolic of the power of sin, sickness, and poverty which were laid on the Spirit of Jesus.
The second time Israel cried out for water, God spoke to Moses to speak to the Rock but Moses in anger, struck the Rock instead. Even though water gushed out for Israel, Moses had disobeyed God, and his action cost him. God forbid Moses from entering into the land of Canaan. Moses begged God to let him go in. Finally, he asked God to let him have a peek into this beautiful land and God did. It may seem like a small matter but when God did not allow Moses to enter in, it is a type of which we should not do. We cannot strike Jesus the second time. (If the first Rock is a type of Jesus, so then the second Rock should also be a type of Jesus.) Moses died in the wilderness and went into Abraham’s bosom to wait for Jesus to save them there. Eventually, Moses did receive salvation and is in heaven.
Some believers have gone away from the Lord for too long and could not turn back to God on earth. Also no one could pray them back. They died prematurely but have still gone to heaven.
King David reigned for 40 years and handed the kingdom to Solomon. He accumulated all the wealth for his son Solomon to build the most magnificent temple of God.
The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness after He was baptised in water. After 40 days in the wilderness, Satan tempted Him. Jesus resisted the temptation after which He entered into a new season of His life and ministry. It was a turning point for His life in fulfilling the plan of God.
The ways of God were seen in the lives of these individuals. We see the grace and mercy in the ways of God.
How Did Elijah Get Back Into the Perfect Will of God?
1 Kings 19:15 (NET) The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came and then head for the Desert of Damascus. Go and anoint Hazael king over Syria.
God told Elijah to go back the way he came which meant he had to travel another 40 days and nights in the desert. Elijah ran away for fear of Jezebel, yet God told him to go back to confront his fear. Never run away from your fears but confront them instead. The Almighty God is with you to help you overcome them. Always stand up against any fear and when you do so, fear will not be able to withstand you. The Holy Spirit living inside of you is the greater One than the spirit of fear which is on the outside.
There are Christian students in university who are succumbing to fear and as a result, suffer from mental breakdowns because they do not know the greater One is dwelling in them. He is greater than any spirit of fear that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Confront your fear and use the authority you have in the Name of Jesus to command the fear to leave. Speak to the fear saying, “I am not afraid of you because the Greater Holy Spirit is in me!”
We must never be afraid but be humble enough to return to where we had strayed off into the permissive will of God. It takes humility to admit we have gone in the wrong direction and to turn back. The key is we must not be afraid to go back when the Lord says so. If we are out of the will of God or only in His permissive will, we must not be ashamed to turn back
Elijah travelled for 40 days and nights in the desert to reach Horeb the mountain of God, but God instructed him to turn back. That was his last chance because God had assignments for him.
1 Kings 19:16-18 (NET) 16 You must anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to take your place as prophet. 17 Jehu will kill anyone who escapes Hazael’s sword, and Elisha will kill anyone who escapes Jehu’s sword. 18 I still have left in Israel seven thousand followers who have not bowed their knees to Baal or kissed the images of him.”
Elijah arrived on the mountain of God and spent a night in the cave. Suddenly the Lord woke him up and told him to stand on the mountain.
1 Kings 19:11–13 (NET) 11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord. Look, the Lord is ready to pass by.” A very powerful wind went before the Lord, digging into the mountain and causing landslides, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the windstorm there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire, there was a soft whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his robe and went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. All of a sudden a voice asked him, “Why are you here, Elijah?”
Then he heard a soft whisper saying, “Why are you here, Elijah?” This was the second time the Lord asked the same question. When the Lord asks you the same question twice He is inferring you are heading in the wrong direction and in the wrong place.
1 Kings 19:15–16 (NET) 15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came and then head for the Desert of Damascus. Go and anoint Hazael king over Syria. 16 You must anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to take your place as prophet.
To save Elijah from continuing in the permissive will of God, the Lord told Elijah to go back. God told Elijah specifically to return the way he came. The way he came was difficult. But he was to return the same way he came. God sent Elijah back because he had to accomplish three assignments.
I believe God must have sent an angel to feed Elijah with bread and water, or else how could he have survived another 40 days in the desert? Elijah did go back and he mentored Elisha to be the next prophet. Even though some believers may have missed God by going in the wrong direction, but God’s mercy and grace will have them turn back into His perfect will.
Moses was in the wilderness for 40 years. He disobeyed God by striking the rock on the second occasion, which cost him from entering the land of Canaan.
Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days, whereafter He entered into His ministry on earth and completed it. It was a new beginning for Jesus’ life on earth.
Some people are like Moses, they never enter into what is God’s best for them. Others are like Elijah, the mercy and grace of God are able to turn them back, and they step right back into the perfect will of God for their lives. There are many who are like Jesus, entering into a new season for a new beginning in their lives.
If we are heading in the wrong direction, no matter how hard it is, turn back. The grace of God will sustain you, provide for you, and guide you till you are back into His perfect will for your life.
King Ahab told his wife Jezebel how Elijah had 400 of the prophets of Baal executed. This enraged her so much that she threatened to kill Elijah. Elijah gripped with tremendous fear, decided to run away into the desert.
1 Kings 19:3–4 (NET) 3 Elijah was afraid, so he got up and fled for his life to Beer Sheba in Judah. He left his servant there, 4 while he went a day’s journey into the desert. He went and sat down under a shrub and asked the Lord to take his life: “I’ve had enough! Now, O Lord, take my life. After all, I’m no better than my ancestors.”
Beer Sheba was over eighty miles away from where Jezebel was, and it would take another day’s journey into the desert. Elijah was so gripped with fear that he ran into the desert although knowing no one had survived without camel and water there. He even asked the Lord to take his life. But if Elijah had really wanted to die, he should not have run from Jezebel. His emotions simply overwhelmed and tormented him with what Jezebel would do to him.
Elijah was asleep when God sent an angel to wake him up and give him food and water. The angel cooked him some fresh bread on hot coals and gave him a jug of water. The angel would have probably come in the form of a man to do so. After eating, Elijah fell asleep again.
God then sent the angel back again and woke Elijah up.
1 Kings 19:7–8 (NET) 7 The Lord’s angelic messenger came back again, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, for otherwise you won’t be able to make the journey.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. That meal gave him the strength to travel forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
God saw ahead of time that Elijah was going to make the 40 days journey into the desert. Hence God sent the angel back again to feed him. Elijah was supernaturally sustained by this one meal.
1 Kings 19:9 (NET) He went into a cave there and spent the night. All of a sudden the Lord spoke to him, “Why are you here, Elijah?”
After running to Horeb, God asked Elijah, “Why are you here, Elijah?” We now know that it was not God’s plan for Elijah to run away for fear of Jezebel and to travel 40 days in the desert to reach the mountain of God. In other words, though there was a mountain of God in Horeb, it did not mean it was God’s will for Elijah to be there.
When God sent the angel back to feed Elijah with bread and water, it was because of His mercy and unconditional grace. This is the goodness of God. Even though Elijah was headed for Mount Horeb, in the permissive will of God and having to travel a journey of 40 days in the desert, God fed him. Although Elijah was out of the perfect will of God, He still took care of his needs.
How much more when we are living in the perfect will of God, wouldn’t He feed us? The Heavenly Father is the same. He has never changed since the beginning of time. So be assured the Heavenly Father will always supply every need that you and your family have.
God’s mercy and grace will provide for you even though you may be in the permissive will of God. But you have to get back into His perfect will.
What did God tell Elijah to do to get back into the perfect will of God?
What is walking in the Spirit? There are two scriptures that interchange the two terms we are going to refer to.
Galatians 5:16 (NKJV) I say then: Walk in the Spirit, .…
Galatians 5:18 (NKJV) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
People think walking in the Spirit is floating around in the air. Paul said walk in the Spirit and then he changed the term to be “led by the Spirit.” Walking in the Spirit is being guided by the Holy Spirit and being responsive to the Holy Spirit. It is actually being led by the Spirit.
The law of Moses was written to be obeyed with the flesh. But if you are led by the Spirit, you will fulfil the law; effortlessly fulfilling the law. The Holy Spirit will never lead you to violate the law. What was Paul saying?
Paul was teaching that a Christian should live by the power of the Holy Spirit and that when he does he manifests in his life not the works of the flesh but the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians was written to remedy a desperate situation, to call early Christians back from the Mosaic Law to grace, from legalism to faith. It is an emphatic statement of salvation by faith apart from works. [Campbell, D. K. (1985). Galatians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 588). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.,]
Our spirits are created in holiness and righteousness in Christ, and because the Holy Spirit dwells in us, we are able to be led by Him. Being led by the Holy Spirit is being led by the Spirit of grace. Therefore when we are led by the Holy Spirit of grace, we fulfil the law by His grace.
Galatians 5:22 (NKJV) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
When we are led by the Spirit we are walking in His grace, then we will be able to manifest these fruits in our lives. It is by the Spirit of grace that we exhibit the fruits of the spirit.
When we are led by the Holy Spirit, we will be walking in the truth and living in the plan of God. We will be walking in the fullness of His grace and fulfil our destinies. Walking in the Spirit is following and cooperating with the Holy Spirit. He will lead us away from tragedy and we will accomplish all the tasks He assigns us.
In the Presence of the Lord - the Almighty God - we need to reverence His Presence. We need to honour the Holy Spirit because He is God.
During times of refreshing in the Presence of the Lord, you will feel excited and exuberant. A greater measure of the Presence of the Lord will flood your spirit and soul. It is alright to express your joy and goodness of the Lord in laughter, shouts of praise, or even dance in the Spirit (if the Holy Spirit moves upon you to dance.)
But refrain from giving God a clap offering. Instead lift your hands up to Him and it will open your hearts up to God to worship and receive from Him. We clap to honour man or to exalt both man and woman. But we do not exalt God with a clap offering. When we do so, we are bringing God down to the level of man. In the Presence of the Lord we lift our hands up to worship Him.
In the Old Testament, the heathens clap to fallen Israel to depose them, saying where was their God whom they claimed was great. Indirectly they despised God because the enemies did not see the Lord delivering Israel from their defeats. There are figures of speech in the Old Testament about clap offerings. But we cannot use figures of speech to develop doctrines or practices. In the Old Testament whenever they worshipped God, they would prostrate with their faces on the ground and lift their hands up to God.
When the Presence of the Lord is in manifestation, we should not dissipate that Presence. The Presence of the Lord is the Power in manifestation. When you are in the midst of the Presence of the Lord and you sense to take from Him what you need, just say, “I take…my healing now, my financial need is met now, or a certain amount of dollars now, etc.” If you sense He wants to meet your need, then you have to agree with the Holy Spirit, and by faith take it. You will be taking the power that is present to meet your need. The Presence of the Lord is the Presence of His grace in a greater measure. It is a time where you will easily receive your needs from the Lord.
Be careful not to dissipate the Presence. Listen to any instruction that is given from the pulpit. Submit to the instructions and flow with the pastor or preacher.
Maintain an attitude of reverence. Then we will see a greater Presence of the Lord. Reverence is an attitude of worship. When we reverence the Lord, we are honouring His Presence. We honour Him as He is Lord. In this kind of spiritual atmosphere you can reach out and take whatever you need and want. In the Presence of the Lord we need to be careful not to operate in the flesh.
The Presence of the Lord is the power of God in manifestation and it will break every yoke of bondage.
Isaiah 10:27 (NKJV) It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.
God always wants to move among us and manifest His Presence in a greater measure. And we also long for a greater Presence of the Lord both in our individual lives and churches.
Acts 3:19 (YLT) reform ye, therefore, and turn back, for your sins being blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the Presence of the Lord,
Notice this verse says, “times of refreshing” meaning it is not just one time but there are going to be times of refreshing again and again. The Church constantly needs times of refreshing and these times will always come. It is in the plan of the Heavenly Father. It is the Father’s grace from His unfailing love that He refreshes His Church time and again to meet our needs.
We also pray for times of increasing manifestation of the Presence of the Lord, because He is pouring out His Spirit again on us. We know He is increasing the outpouring of His Holy Spirit upon us, therefore we pray in faith and with confident expectation, and in rest we pray. Increasing the manifested Presence of the Lord in our midst is the grace of His unfailing love. The Father’s love is unfailing, He will never fail to pour out a greater manifested Presence of the Lord on us again because He loves His children.
Since we believe the Father’s love will pour out a greater manifested Presence of the Lord upon us:
1. We believe therefore we speak, “The Holy Spirit is being poured out in our church, in our midst.”
2. We prepare for an increasing Presence of the Lord, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
I believe this is how we avoid missing and not stepping into the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We pray, we believe, we expect and say, “God is pouring out His Spirit upon us here and we are experiencing a greater Presence of the Lord in our worship, our services, and on us individually as well.”