Can a Christian be against Christ?

The answer to the title of this article may seem obvious, however, it is not always so! Not all Christians are actually living a life that pleases Christ.

While having christian parents is enough to be called ‘christian’, it takes more than just being born in a Christian family to be on the side of Christ. The lines are way thinner than we imagine.

Once Jesus’ mother and brothers were waiting to meet Him standing outside a house and this news was brought to Jesus. He immediately looked at the crowd in front of Him, who filled that house, and said ‘who is my mother, and who are my brother’s?’ (Matthew 12:48)

I believe, it would have left the audience of Jesus completely baffled. If we were to make the same statement to our parents and siblings today, we would be calling for deep trouble! Yet Jesus did it, because his standards were different and His teachings were tough.

Jesus went against traditions, culture and expectations of His people and time. He gave the place of a mother, brother and sister to those who did the ‘will of God’, over his own blood related family. So if Jesus questioned His own family, would he spare you and me if we don’t believe in Him and do His will, just because our parents are christians?

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Matthew 12:30

Being spiritually passive is a state where one chooses to be inactive in the affairs of the kingdom of God, often accompanied by reasoning such as ‘there is already too much on my plate’, ‘let me work hard now and when I retire I will serve Christ’, ‘am busy trying to hold everything together’, ‘if I don’t work, how will I feed my family’, ‘it’s a clergy job’. This is a very dangerous state to be in.

Jesus gave the place of a mother, brother and sister to those who did the ‘will of God’, over his own blood related family.

When God made us a new creation, He made us for a purpose with a heavenly mandate to be His ambassadors on earth. Not fulfilling or, for that matter, neglecting such a calling not only makes us disobedient to God but destroys the very work of Christ. And Jesus said, these are the people who are against Him!

In a world where everyone likes to play safe, Christ made the lines quite clear and expects us to choose the kind of life that abides by the law of Christ.

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LOVE DEFINED AND APPLIED

….and the greatest of these is LOVE

Have you heard the saying – ‘Love is blind’? And how it makes a person numb to logic? You may have also heard how people in love feel a hormonal rush. To simply put it, these are emotions that are capable to hijack a person. Hence, people push and accomplish major feats for love. But the question today is – Where did something as strong as this ‘love’ originate?

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” Isaiah 49:15 (NIV)

Man’s love
Love is the strongest of all emotions and yet at times becomes the toughest of all. For instance, a man can find it easy to feed a poor person out of compassion, but find it hard to speak a few kind words to his loved one sometimes. Even the purest of all earthly love, which is mother’s love, can fail to satisfy. Because human love has reservations and limitations. Yes, it is true. The sinful nature in man becomes his hindrance to love. Do you remember the times when you knew it was your mistake and still struggled to say sorry and show love?

God’s love –
God is described as love in the Bible. He is the very definition of love. God is seen as the highest form of love. He is without any malice, selfishness, unfaithfulness, bias. His love is also called agape love.

Love is the strongest of all emotions and yet at times becomes the toughest of all.

Every statement made in the Bible is not merely a historic claim but it is a truth claim. It doesn’t need any further validation. Yet, God in his generosity gave enough evidence to support His claims with action.

Even the statement “God is love” in 1 John 4:16, needs no validation. God still demonstrated it by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
1. He became our atoning sacrifice by dying on the cross, so that you and I can be free from sins. What have we done to deserve such a love?
2. He forgave the Roman soldiers who crucified him. This shows the extent of His love – forgiving even those who hurt him.
3. When He asked John to take care of his mother, Mary, even in the last minute shows how caring His love is. It also portrays His attention to our inmost needs.
4. His final statement before He died, “my God, my God why have you forsaken me?”, displays how much He values His relationship with the father which also reciprocates in every other relationship on earth.

Jesus was able to exhibit this love because of the Spirit of God. In Romans 5:5, Paul says – ‘God’s love has been poured into us through the Spirit’. As we walk in step with the Spirit, the first attribute of the fruit of the Holy Spirit generated in us is LOVE.

Now, there are two kinds of love, one which comes from the flesh and one which comes from the Spirit of God – which brings us to our second question – Why has this love from God been given to us?

Well, the Bible gives us a two-fold application, commonly understood as vertical and horizontal elements, resembling the cross.

As we walk in step with the Spirit, the first attribute of the fruit of the Holy Spirit generated in us is LOVE.

Loving God


“..may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,”
Ephesians 3:18 NIV

The vertical element symbolises that this love is poured in us to quench our own need to be loved. It’s interesting to note – it was the cross, Jesus’ sacrifice, which made it possible for us to experience God’s love in a much deeper way. Today, God is not just some distant being trying to force His way in us. In fact, He is a father who seeks the best for us. We receive this understanding through the Spirit.

When you drink from God’s love and quench your thirst, there will always be more of his love to keep filling you.

And God desires that we would stop seeking this love in the things of this world, because the world doesn’t have the power to quench our thirst. On the other hand, God’s love is so vast and deep that no one will be able to finish drinking it fully. You’ll drink from His love and quench your thirst, and there will always be more of his love to keep filling you. Having tasted God’s love, we are able to love Him back on a much greater level by obeying His command.

Loving others

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
Matthew 5:44-45 (NIV)

The horizontal element is to love everyone, even those whom we consider enemies. The Bible commands us to go one step further and pray for our enemies. Humanly speaking, our flesh will not allow to do so. Yet, with God’s love poured into our hearts and by the Spirit that empowers our inner man, we can love others. How can we give, what we don’t have? That’s why it is important for us to first be filled with God’s love.

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”
1 John 4:20 NIV

With God’s love poured into our hearts and by the Spirit that empowers our inner man, we can love others.

There is an intricate connection between the horizontal and vertical element. One is derived from the other. For those who are in Christ, God puts the link. He puts the link between loving God and loving one another – like that between husband and wife, siblings, friends, and colleagues. The love of God poured into us does a full 360° work in us, without leaving any area untouched.

A person may have great faith, great hope, but if he or she is empty of love, that person cannot be used by Adonai.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love
. 1 Corinthians 13:13

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RECOGNISING AND CONQUERING THE SPIRIT OF FEELING ORPHANED

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” – Jesus

Quite often, you find yourself feeling fearful of an unknown future, or a broken past, or a shameful present. Today, keep your heart open – as God, who is your FATHER and who loves like a MOTHER, wants you to dive into His arms and receive His unconditional love that will wash away all your pain, rejection, shame, fear and burden. There is no place except the arms of your heavenly Father where you will be made whole.

The love that human beings have to offer is tainted by sin. An earthly mother or father can love you sacrificially and beautifully, but never completely. This is simply because sin entered mankind and only Jesus could pay the ultimate price for it because He had no sin in Him. God, who is sinless, is the only one whose love is completely selfless and totally unconditional.

To receive God’s gracious love, you and I need to do nothing. Only believe who He is and what He is saying is true.

Jesus literally came on earth to empathise with the scars and wounds that you have faced – caused by sin in others and yourself

Beloved, sin in others and sin in you has wounded and scarred your life from when you were a child. Yes, scarred physically but also spiritually. The inability to trust human beings because they harmed you, automatically, makes it hard for you to trust God. Inability to see good in yourself, automatically, makes it hard to see good in God. Every scar of your life leaves a mark that causes fear, anxiety and bitterness to flood your life.

And Jesus literally came on earth to empathise with these scars and wounds that you have faced – caused by sin in others and yourself. That is why, when He was talking about His ascension to heaven and about sending the Holy Spirit, He told his disciples – “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” John 14 : 18 (NIV)

The disciples weren’t orphans, but with Jesus leaving them to go to heaven – they were going to be ‘orphaned’ spiritually. This is why Jesus had to tell them that though he was going to heaven, he was sending another advocate who would live in them and speak God’s word to them.

Today, a lot of us continue living orphaned spiritually. Sometimes we get a hint of it, but a lot of times we don’t even recognise that the mistakes we make or say is because we’re deeply scarred internally.

Now, how does a king know when to send his army to fight a battle? It is when he recognises that the enemy is scheming to attack him or has already launched an attack.

The same way, a lot of us end up living with a spirit of feeling orphaned, which ties us down and limits us, because we don’t even know that there is such an attack upon us.

A lot of times we don’t even recognise that the mistakes we make or things we say are because we’re deeply scarred internally

So how does one recognise this spirit of feeling orphaned?

  1. Sensing loneliness and feeling helpless
  2. Feeling anxious and worried
  3. Finding it hard to trust anyone completely, including God
  4. Feeling jealous or upset when others are blessed
  5. Being unforgiving and unmerciful to God and others
  6. Pitying yourself

But you are not meant to be living a life feeling orphaned in your spirit.

In fact, the Holy Spirit who lives in you, is always reminding you that you are a CHILD of GOD!

Let me tell you, one of the most important truth you need to live by for a victorious life is that YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD – which only comes by believing in Jesus (John 1:12).

You are not meant to be living a life feeling orphaned in your spirit, but to live as a child of God

Paul understood this very well, and that is why he says in Romans 8 : 15 – 16, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

If you recognise any of these characteristics in yourself, or observe a pattern of any of these or all of it in your life, you know that you got to fight this out. The Spirit of feeling orphaned holds you back from the plans God has laid out for you. Even if you read the bible or attend church, these scars stop you from fulfilling the call of God in your life and living to the fullest capacity that God has fashioned you for.

Recognising and knowing your enemy helps you form a strategy and plan your battle. Every king sends his troops to battle based on the size, ability and schemes of the enemy. It would be foolish to send all the army for a battle against only a few or to take less army to fight a large enemy.

The Spirit of feeling orphaned holds you back from the plans God has laid out for you.

How do you strategise and position yourself to fight this battle and conquer the spirit of feeling orphaned?

1. Know your identity in Christ

Everything you do and everything expected from you is rooted in identity. You are a girl or a boy, a student or a professional, a doctor or an artist, an Indian or German, a daughter or a son and so much more. Do you see how everything in this world functions on identity?

The truth is all these worldly identities like gender, race, profession, and creed are limited and temporary. They either end once your life ends or they keep changing in your lifetime.

There is only one identity that lasts for eternity which is true and firm, and that is your identity in Christ.

When you believe in Jesus, you receive this identity in Christ – You are God’s child, You are God’s cherished possession. You are chosen, holy, a priest (1 Peter 2:9). You are the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8). You are His ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20). You are fearfully and wonderfully created (Psalms 139:14). You are His signet ring (Haggai 2:23). You are God’s chosen instrument and vessel (Acts 9:15).

As you read and meditate on the word of God, the Bible, to know who God is – you will begin to understand your true identity in Him.

There is only one identity that lasts for eternity which is true and firm, and that is your identity in Christ.

Every time you see yourself questioning your worth, or someone else questioning it – remind yourself of your identity in Christ. Feel jealous or upset when others are blessed? Remind yourself of who you are and how valued you are in God’s sight, as much as the other person is valued in God’s sight. Finding it hard to forgive someone who has wronged you or God himself? Remind yourself of what God has done for you through Jesus and who you are because of Jesus’ unconditional love for you.

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. If you focus on your weakness or trials, you will end up pitying yourself which pulls your spirit down. Instead, in those moments of weakness and trials, focus on your strengths and the gifts God has given you. If you do this, you will see how, no matter which area you do well or don’t do well, you will remain confident of who you are – simply because your identity is now in Christ.

2. Trust your heavenly Father completely

When you feel lonely, left out and helpless, you tend to go further into a hole and hide yourself. This destroys all the amazing purposes that God has planned for your life. Instead, when you feel lonely and helpless, you’ve got to call out to God and seek Him.

Job was feeling extremely lonely when he lost everything he had, and even his wife told him to curse God and die. But Job says in Job 23:8 that God was near Him.

How did Job overcome loneliness? By trusting God.

God is a father to the fatherless. We are all His children and He will never let us feel orphaned.

Why should you trust God? Because He is never changing, holy, righteous, loving, compassionate, slow to anger, forgiving and He is the author and perfecter of your life. He holds the whole world in His hands. He is always good. He is keeper of His word, a giver, a helper and your all in all. God says in 1 Peter 2:6 that no one who trusts in Him will ever be put to shame.

God is a father to the fatherless. We are all His children and He will never let us feel orphaned. Because when you trust Him, He ensures He fulfills His word.

When you’re feeling anxious and worried, this trust upon God will be your shield and rampart. Someone who doesn’t have the spirit of feeling orphaned will never worry about life on earth – their job, marriage, family. It is simply because they trust God who says, ‘if I feed the birds in the air, will I not also feed you?’ So every time you feel anxious when a tough circumstance comes your way, proclaim your trust in this true and living God who is in charge of everything and who is faithful to His word. He will never ever fail those why trust in Him.

When you trust God, you also trust people around you because the God whom you depend on trusts those people. Is it making sense? God trusts those around you with gifts and talents and so much more. So if you say you trust God, you got to trust those people too.

People fail, because sin entered mankind and has made everyone sinful. But the God who is over those people and you will never fail. That is why, in Romans 8:28, God says that He works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Beloved, you and I are not called to be trampled by the spirit of feeling orphaned. You and I are called to conquer it – and it is only possible through the help of the Holy Spirit and understanding God’s word. We need to rest in our identity in Christ and trust God completely, even when it looks irrational.

You and I are not called to be trampled by the spirit of feeling orphaned. You and I are called to conquer it.

God is your everything. He promised that He won’t leave you as orphans.

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ANCHORING YOUR HOPE

Looking at all that has happened due to Covid-19, if you are reading this blog now – kudos to your perseverance! Who would have thought that something as small as a microorganism can be so deadly and devour so many lives? It is not only the body that the virus affects but also man’s soul (emotions and thinking). What many have lost, together with losing their many loved ones, is ‘hope’ – which is something that gives strength to individuals to cope through sorrow and distress. One finds it hard to press on forward with confidence, because of all the fatal blows he has received in life.

Yet, despite turmoil and suffering, those who hope in Christ remain strong.

The hope that the Bible promises is complete, concrete and reassuring.

This may sound strange. But let us first look at what is not hope according to Bible

  • Biblical hope is not mere positive thinking. If it was so, then it is hard to encourage oneself especially when one is shattered and depressed. In times of difficulty, we need external reassuring help which is only found in the bible.

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”… For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26 (NIV)

  • Biblical hope is not a dream, either. Dreams may or may not come true, especially considering the financial, emotional, mental exhaustion that occurs during illness or loss. Biblical hope offers us the true solution based on reality. So we need to be more realistic as we look for hope.

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32 (NIV)

  • Biblical hope is not just for riches, jobs and good health on earth. The truth is God wants us to hope for what is eternal because if one gets everything on earth, then there is nothing more to hope for. Biblical hope is weightier than earthly possessions. Rom 8:24

Biblical hope offers us the true solution based on reality.

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:24-25 (NIV)

The hope that Bible promises is complete, concrete and reassuring.

Let’s take a look at this verse, “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27 (NKJV)

True hope is foolishness to people who are not in Christ, but for us who believe – it gives power to face every challenge with boldness.

First of all, hope is based in Christ. You can tap into this hope by receiving Christ into your hearts. Secondly, it is a hope of glory, i.e, a heavenly inheritance, glorious riches, glorious bodies, a peaceful state in eternal dibs. Thirdly, it is for those to whom it has been made known. Till date, this true hope remains a mystery for many. It is foolishness to people who are not in Christ, but for us who believe – it gives power to face every challenge with boldness.

What really anchors a believer’s hope? What makes it unshakeable and true?

1. Jesus Christ, our forerunner

“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)

For a sinner who hopes in Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, there is no fear of being let down by Jesus.

True hope springs from the message of Christ. Because Jesus, left His heavenly splendour with all its powers and became nothing, a human being. He took the path of suffering, pain, the cross and, most importantly, took the place of us sinners being punished for our transgressions. He defeated death, received a rich welcome and sat on the heavenly throne next to the father and will sit as a judge of both the living and the dead. So, for a sinner who hopes in Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, there is no fear of being let down by Jesus. He himself continues to live to intercede for our salvation, just as He did for Peter.

2. Covenant promises by the Father

For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

Hebrews 8:12-13 (NIV)

We can rest assured that all our efforts in the Lord and for the Lord won’t be in vain but will result in better promises.

God has promised, through the new covenant, to be merciful for our unrighteousness and remember our sins no more. We know, these promises were not spoken by God in haste. Unlike us humans who conveniently lie, yahwah – God – is absolutely faithful. The whole Bible in itself proves this truth. The life of Israelites, Abraham and David are the best examples. The word of God boosts our confidence. We can rest assured that all our efforts in the Lord and for the Lord won’t be in vain but will result in better promises. And the greatest promise is that we will be co-heirs with Christ in his inheritance.

3. Holy Spirit, as a seal

Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

2 Corinthians 5:5 (NKJV)

Holy Spirit provides life and power to our mortal bodies giving us hope, just as He exerted power in Christ Jesus, when He raised Him from the dead and brought Him to life.

As we speak of hope, we cannot do so without talking about the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, who is an assurance of what is to come for those who believe in Jesus Christ. He continues to live to reveal the heart and mind of God to us. But, most importantly, He is a guarantee of what is to come. Just as in the case of a betrothal, the man commits and assures the girl’s family that he is going to come back to take her to be his wife.

Holy Spirit continuously prompts you to lead you into all truth, convicting you of His righteousness. He provides life and power to our mortal bodies giving us hope, just as He exerted power in Christ Jesus, when He raised Him from the dead and brought Him to life.

For believers in Christ today, ‘hope’ for tomorrow is not just sympathy shown by God, it is a prerogative.

Paul says in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NKJV)

So, for believers in Christ today, ‘hope’ for tomorrow is not just sympathy shown by God, it is a prerogative. It is an entitlement which God himself has given through Jesus. Our hope is secured and anchored in Christ and by God himself because nothing can separate us from love of God that is in Christ. So we boast all the more in our hope. Because this hope will not put us to shame or result in disappointment.

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FAITH : Placing your trust in Jesus and His promises

Paul, a very fierce character in the New Testament, who nearly destroyed the church because of their ‘faith in Jesus’, later puts himself on the frontline and becomes a pioneer of the same faith among gentiles.

In 1 Timothy 2:5‭-‬7, Paul says, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.”

This story is not just about Paul. Million and billion others after Paul have joined this sect which is called ‘The Way’, and today people call it ‘Christianity’.

You might be wondering why talk about it through this blog? Because many are curious. ‘what really compels these people’ and some are trying hard to fill this curiosity with accusations and stories of people giving money or some perks to convert others to Christianity. While I agree there could be some cases which may be true, it comprises less than 1% of such people who do this for their gain. Let us not push aside the remaining 99% people’s testimony. Viewing them with the same lens as the 1% is incorrect.

For example, simply because we have some murderers in the country. It doesn’t make rest of the people in the country, murderers.

So, let’s look at the core of what really urges people to genuinely believe and follow Jesus Christ inspite of severe persecution.

• Love of God

This love, which is from God, is evident in Christ and in the church which is also called the ‘Body of Christ’.

Jesus demonstrated what it means to love by sacrificing Himself on the cross for us, for the forgiveness of our sins.

Jesus’ teaching in Luke 6:29 says – “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.”

Likewise in Matthew 5:44, He says, “I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”

Jesus, himself, is an example when it comes to following these commands.

He demonstrated what it means to love by sacrificing Himself on the cross for us, for the forgiveness of our sins.

How could we reject such a love? Reject such a forgiveness and still walk in our iniquities? It is truly for freedom that Christ set us free!

• Eternal life

We may all be familiar with the scripture in John 3:16 that says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

But have you heard of this passage in Hebrews 2:14-15 that says, “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

Without Christ, there is no way one can make it to heaven.

So Jesus’ dying on the cross was not just a sign of love, but a ‘hefty price’ He paid with His body and blood to make provision for eternal life. In short, He became our atoning sacrifice. He did this so that you and I can be free of condemnation. In others words, without Christ there is no way one can make it to heaven.

Such a price who can pay to purchase you from death’s hold on you? Jesus came to save us from our iniquities.

• Sonship and Companionship

“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “ Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
Galatians 4:4‭-‬7

We cannot understand the Gospel without understanding the terms – grace and free.

There is a new mandate for us as new creation, to be called His sons – sons of the Almighty God and Co-heirs with Christ. This is all at the cost of just believing in Jesus Christ.

We cannot understand the Gospel without understanding the terms – grace and free. It is just like how we cannot overlook a sale of 70% or 90% on online shopping. In fact, Jesus is giving salvation for free. That is why you will notice that the terms grace and free are often repeated in the New Testament. Companionship with the constant presence of the Holy Spirit is an added bonus.


We are living in times of identity crisis, emotional breakdowns, loneliness and depression. The Bible provides a perfect solution to our problems which is to just believe in the one, Jesus, who gave His life as a ransom for us.

Are you willing to put your faith in Jesus today?

If yes, drop a comment below saying, ‘I put my faith in Jesus Christ.’

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WHY SHOULD I PRAY?

Sometimes we just don’t ‘feel like’ praying or sometimes we ‘don’t have the time’ to pray, yet, prayer is the most important part of anyone’s life. Prayer builds our identity, our knowledge of our creator and leads us into the purposes and plans God has for us.

So, here are five reasons why you should persevere in prayer and pray –

• Converse with God

Praying is literally talking to God, just as you would with a parent / guardian, a sibling or a friend. What do you do with them? Pour out your heart, share yourself with them, listen to them and know them more.

He is always there, not only to hear you, to converse with you.

If you’re wondering or are struggling to pray to the true God, begin now by going to Him and talking to Him. You can converse with him wherever you are, because he is everywhere, at all times. He is the parent, friend or sibling who will never go far from you, no matter what. He is always there, not only to hear you, to converse with you. And He always speaks, in alignment with His word, the Bible.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord .. Isaiah 1:18

The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. Psalms 25:14

• Let ‘go’ and let ‘GOD’

Oftentimes, we tend to keep our problems or circumstances right in front of our eyes, up close. Our human mind pushes us to think of all the probabilities and possibilities of something going right or wrong. But with all our limitations, there is honestly no problem/circumstance that assures us of a permanent solution. This makes us anxious, burdened and hopeless.

That is why we need our creator, who is ruler over all things, to lead us into the plan He has for us. Only He can bring joy and peace in our hearts in the midst of uncertainty, because only He knows how to lead us through.

When you pray, you begin to focus on how God can lead you. So now, the problem or circumstance you are in starts diminishing in comparison to God’s greatness and power. When you pray, you give God the charge and you let go.

Praying constantly and consistently in the midst of uncertainty is very important, if you want to be peaceful and joyful.

When you pray, you give God the charge and you let go.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7

• Stand in the gap

Have you seen someone hurting and wondered what you can do to help? Or Seen someone’s bad behaviour and wondered how it could change? Or Seen a community, city or nation reel under threat and wondered how things would be back to normal?

When you pray for a person’s bad behaviour, God changes their heart and mind. When you pray for a nation, God brings about a revival.

The truth is, God is sovereign over all things and He alone can take control of hearts, minds and even nations. God, in the Bible, says that He just needs someone to stand in the gap and intercede for others.

When you pray for a broken heart, God does the mending. When you pray for a person’s bad behaviour, God changes their heart and mind. When you pray for a nation, God brings about a revival.

“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30

• Fight the real enemy

A lot of times we get caught up fighting against people. Sometimes we win the fight, sometimes we lose the fight.. but, either ways, end up distancing from the person. That is not what God has called us to. In fact, God tells us that anyone who loves God must love their sisters and brothers (1 John 4:21).

Your family and friends are not your enemies, the devil is.

But.. this is not easy. Our emotions and our heart are deceitful, making it hard for us to let go and not fight people. That is why we need to pray. When you pray, you war against the real enemy – the devil. Your family and friends are not your enemies, the devil is. When you pray, God’s angel armies fight the devil and that’s when you remain at peace with your family or friend.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6 : 12

• Unveil the supernatural

When God created man and woman, the Bible says He created us in His likeness. God wants us to be like Him in every way – His character, His glory and His power. He wants us to display His glory here on earth, as it is in heaven.

When you live your life outside of prayer, you live on human capacity. But when you live your life in prayer, which is dependence on God in everything, you live in God’s capacity

That’s why Jesus taught the disciples to pray like this – “..your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” Matthew 6:10

When you live your life outside of prayer, you live on human capacity. But when you live your life in prayer, which is dependence on God in everything, you live in God’s capacity – which is beyond natural. Praying leads you to witness God’s miracles in your life and lives of people around you. You, then, begin to live a supernatural life, the Kingdom (of heaven) life – which is what Jesus asked us to pray for.

If you want to start praying again, begin by just simply conversing with God. He is there. He is lisening. Right now and always..

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SET APART AND FOR A PURPOSE

Sanctification explained

The word sanctification comes from the word ‘Hagiosmos’, which means ‘set apart from everything else and dedicated for God’s use’. In simpler words, ‘being made Holy for God’.

In the Old Testament, there was the ‘Sanctuary’, which comes from the same root word as sanctification. The sanctuary is a place set apart and dedicated for Yahweh to dwell, also known as the Most Holy Place. And then, in the New Testament, we see how God sets apart individuals and not just places for this very purpose. God is setting apart individuals by sanctifying them from within.

1 Corinthians 6 : 19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

“It is the blood of Jesus, offered without blemish through the spirit, that sanctifies all those who believe in Him. This means, a person must put his or her faith in Jesus for the work of true sanctification to begin in them.”

So what really brought that difference between the two testaments? What brought the change from the ‘sanctuary – a place’ being sanctified to ‘individuals’ being sanctified? The answer is Jesus Christ!

What Jesus prayed to God in the Gospel of John, chapter 17 is very crucial for us to understand sanctification.
Jesus prayed in John 17 : 19, “For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.”

Here, first of all, Jesus says that He was sanctifying himself. And, how do we see that He sanctified himself? Going by the meaning of the word sanctification, He set himself apart, kept himself pure and without sin. He did not give into the pleasures of the world. Nor did he use His God-given gifts to make his life comfortable, unlike so many men do for their personal gain. Rather, He made himself available for God, for the purposes that God intended for Him – for the Cross, for humiliation, for insults, for pain, for flogging, for resurrection. And He declared all these even before they took place.

Luke 18:32-33 says, “He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”

Secondly, when Jesus prayed for his disciples to be ‘truly sanctified’, it is important to note that the disciples had already left everything and everyone behind, yet according to Jesus, ‘true sanctification’ did not even begin in them thus far. So this shows us that mere human efforts cannot help a man sanctify himself or make himself holy. Likewise, the offerings and sacrifices offered by people year after year in the Old Testament could not sanctify them.

Mere human efforts cannot help a man sanctify himself or make himself holy.

People can do wonders in personal and professional lives, and still not be separated from sin and the consequences of sin, which is death. Because of which, they are not truly ‘holy’ to the Lord. Each and every person needs Jesus’ sanctification to truly be sanctified. It is the blood of Jesus, offered without blemish through the spirit, that sanctifies all those who believe in Him. This means, a person must put his or her faith in Jesus for the work of true sanctification to begin in them.

The author of Hebrew points us to this vital truth, in Hebrews 9 : 14, “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

God’s purpose of sanctification in the lives of individuals is two-fold –

  • BEING SET APART

God’s work of sanctification is to free people from bondage of sin, addiction, the power of satan and worldly philosophies (which at times comes from your own family and friends).

A lot of people, after accepting Jesus as their personal saviour, are taken on a guilt trip by the devil about what happened, what they could do or couldn’t do in the past. Satan also constantly works to make people slaves to him by making them slaves to sin, slaves to people, slaves to idols; causing them to forget the sanctification power of God in them that set them apart.

Press on to be rooted in Christ by a constant and continual renewal of your mind with God’s word and by remaining in communion with God

As Christ desires, let us throw off everything that entangles us and makes us slaves to sin again and instead let us keep ourselves pure and holy. Through all these experiences that we go through, we know that sanctification is an ongoing process until we die. No, it is not a one time event. So, press on to be rooted in Christ by a constant and continual renewal of your mind with God’s word and by remaining in communion with God. Both of these are very important for the sanctification process to fully take place in our lives.

“to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” – Acts 26:18

Paul reminds the believers in the church in Corinth, “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)

  • DEDICATED FOR GOD’S PURPOSE

God is sanctifying us so that we can fully represent Him in this world, be his ambassadors, share His Gospel, be that aroma of fragrance to the people who are oppressed, suffering and ailing, to share His love and to share the truth in love.

Let us embrace our calling and purpose on earth and do it diligently.

Most often, we are not prepared to face a situation that requires us to give a reason for our hope in Jesus. It could be because of lack of courage or the feeling of not being equipped. We tend to avoid such opportunities that God creates in our lives. Let us remember that we are sanctified by God for this very purpose. Let us embrace our calling and purpose on earth and do it diligently.

The apostle Peter, reminds us in 1 Peter 2 : 9, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”

PLACING YOUR FAITH IN JESUS

Jesus said, “Have faith in God…”

Mark 11 : 22

 “Do you still have no faith?” Jesus said to his disciples right after he calmed a stormy wind and raging waters with a command. It was evening, after a day of ministering to large crowds Jesus and his disciples were travelling in a boat across a lake. Jesus was sleeping with his head on a pillow, when a bad wind came up on the lake and the water entered the boat and it was almost full of water. His disciples were perplexed, scared and had no idea how to control the situation. Then they realised that Jesus was in their boat yet he was sleeping, calm and composed. ‘Who can save us?’ they thought and they knew Jesus could. They knew God himself was in their boat. Yet, their response was to put in their own efforts. They thought if Jesus did not wake up and do something, they would drown and die. So they hurriedly woke him up and said, ‘don’t you care about us if we die?’

Maybe, most of us are in similar situations. We are in a place where our boat is sinking, we have no control over our situation. Maybe it is a job that is slipping away, or finances running dry. We are living in a time where businesses are sinking, the economy is hitting rock bottom. You probably are struggling in your relationship with God and people, or you are in a position where people are looking up to you to do something and save the sinking ship. You don’t know what to do, so you want to take control and do something.

Hold on, God is calling you to him and asking you to have faith in Him.

There were seven simple reasons why the disciples could have remained calm and placed their faith in Jesus; and the same reasons for us to place our faith in Jesus in these storms of life –

  • HE IS A PROMISE KEEPER

To the disciples he said, come lets go across the lake Luke 4:35

Jesus had already told His disciples that they will go across the lake. He had spoken it and God never fails the word He gives.

What is the word God has spoken to you? What was the last thing He told you before the lockdown or the situation that faces you now? Recall the promises, the word that the Lord has given you and cling on to it. Listen to it again, search for it again. Because God brings to fruition every word that He has spoken.

…if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 2 Tim 2:13

Or are you someone who has not heard anything from God yet. Could it be because of your busyness? Could it be because your ears are listening to too many voices?

Because God brings to fruition every word that He has spoken.

Take time to receive fresh promises from God. In the midst of the chaos, God wants to speak to us. The promises of God will give you faith. The Word of God doesn’t return back to Him without bearing the fruit He desires. It might take a while, but be patient and trust God. He will restore you.

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19

  • HE IS ALL POWERFUL

Jesus was inside the boat, sleeping with his head on a pillow. The followers went and woke him. They said, “Teacher, don’t you care about us? We are going to drown!” Mark 4:38

Remember and remind yourself – the God who is in your boat is all powerful.

The words of his disciples were not words of faith. They were words of disappointment, of despair, lack of faith and disbelief. These words make us think that God does not care. Despite having seen miracles that Jesus performed even before getting into the boat, they did not believe that Jesus could control the situation and their lives.

Even the Israelites did not believe God, though they saw how He delivered them from the Egyptians. They saw the red sea parting. What more? Yet in the wilderness, they did not have faith to believe that God can come through. After witnessing God so many times in our own lives, where do we stand today? Where is our faith? Some of us were brought out from situations like death to life, brokenness to being mended, and loneliness to being comforted.  Remember and remind yourself – the God who is in your boat is all powerful.

  • HE IS A PRUNING FATHER

Jesus was in their boat, and he slept. He is God, He was aware this would happen. Yet He was sleeping because He wanted to strengthen the faith of the disciples. Our God likes to put us in the test to prune away everything from our lives that is not from Him.

If we allow God to prune us, we will bear much fruit!

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:2

These situations bring the bad in and around us to surface. The reality comes out and it shows us where our heart is inclined. For all those who are workaholics, God is pruning you to give Him your time. For all those who thought ministry is everything, God is working in you to prioritise family. For all those who always try to run away from home because of your broken relationships, God wants you to mend them.

If we allow God to prune us, we will bear much fruit!

  • HE IS THE PATHWAY

The disciples had to run to Jesus, have faith in Him to come through this situation.

When we are faced with hopeless situations, do we turn and look up to God or murmur, doubt God and get frustrated? The Israelites were in a similar situation when God sent fiery serpents among them because of their sins and many died. But, God told Moses to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole and that whoever looks at it will live and not die.

For all those who are cursing and murmuring against God and against his children, those saying to themselves that there is no God – Remember, God is stopping everything around you just so that you could look to him and believe in Him.

There may be so many things at stake, but, the only way out is Jesus! So lift your head up to Jesus and be saved!

 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him – John 3:14-15

You cannot overcome this situation on your own. It could be your marriage, a broken relationship, an issue related to your job. There may be so many things at stake, but, the only way out is Jesus! So lift your head up to Jesus and be saved!

  • HE IS THE PRINCE OF PEACE

Jesus was sleeping with his head on a pillow; he was full of peace and calm.

But (the kingdom of God is) of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Rom 14:17

God wants you to have peace. This peace comes from you remaining steadfast in God. You cannot be going back and forth from this God to another god (even habits or things that we place above God).

This peace comes from you being rooted in scriptures and knowing God.

Some of us are living in constant fear and without perfect peace because we have not been able to distinguish good from evil. Ask God to give you discernment and a heart that relies on Him.

  • HE IS OUR PROVIDER

The disciples knew that Jesus could provide for their needs, because they had just witnessed a miracle. Yet, in the midst of the storm they seem to have forgotten that Jesus was their provider.

The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Psalms 34:10

God will not only supply for your needs but also for all those who are dependent on you!

Elijah was provided for by God in the midst of a famine. Though God allowed famine during the time of king Ahab because of their sin, God provided for prophet Elijah miraculously. Even in the times of scarcity, God will provide his children with abundance. Then, God also supplied for the needs of the widow through Elijah.

God will not only supply for your needs but also for all those who are dependent on you!

  • HE IS OUR PROTECTOR

They were became scared and feared death because the boat was almost filled with water.

The word of God tells us that the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore (Psalms 121:8). So we needn’t be fearful.

We know that He is watching over us and protecting us from harm day and night.

The Psalmist recognises this vital truth in Psalms 91:2-4 – I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

He is Emmanuel God, God with us! Gear up, and have faith in Christ. He has never failed us, and He will never fail us if we put our trust in Him.

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