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The “god Figures”

Jesus

Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Bible clearly points out that God does not want us to make images of him in any form. Making images of gods is very common all over the world and that dates back to early human history. These images commonly called idols are worshiped by some and despised by others. People’s attitudes towards them have been judges variously all over history. For example:

“King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.

Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” Daniel 3:1-6 (NIV)

There are other images people hold of God; these are images of people, they include images of fathers, religious leaders (called by various names), political or national leaders and so on. God does not approve of these too. The scripture says:

“But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ” Matthew. 23:8-10 (KJV)

These figures have held many people in “mind captivity” all over the ages. People have related to God according to how they perceived or related to these “god figures”. For example, when we say God is our father, the image of an earthly father pops up. If people had a good “father – child” relationship, they are glad and happy with God as father; they recoil, if they had a harrowing experience with an earthly father; at that point they are bemuses about the idea that God can be a father.

There had been many religious leaders or leadership institution that people adore and honour. They represent God in people’s minds; they become images that people hold in highest esteem. People call them leaders, fathers, God sent, and many other names like that. These in many instances posed great dangers, given their human frailty; in many cases these “god figures” had succumbed to their human weakness and wrecked the faith of many people. Those occasions have driven many people away from God; in some cases some people who were established in faith had abandon their faith in God completely. The church history is chequered with a lot of these experiences and it has made evangelism difficult in many places.

There have been great leaders who came to leadership with great zeal and fervour. They had great accomplishments but failed to deliver in morals and were not accurate in judgement in some decisions; they failed the test of being “gods”. Their followers usually get discouraged and disappointed. The unfortunate thing  is that many people pass on this experience to God. They see God as inadequate and unable to deliver on his promises.

Men are not gods and there are no gods except the almighty God. Men who play god are in error and should stop; the glories derived from such efforts are false. Great men of God are still men and subject to the passions of men. People should wipe off the god images they hold of other people both physically and mentally. This will save them from error, pain and mental agony that accompany human failures that belittle people including the “god figures”.

God almighty through Jesus Christ has made himself available to all people. Those who seek him find him. The scripture says,

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jer. 29:12-13 (NIV)

It is true that God has placed people along our part to help us in our relationship with him; we should appreciate and honour them but we are never allowed to see them as God. They are not.

 

Hearing from God – Prophesy

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pi...

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pitsak, a Medieval Armenian scribe and miniaturist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hearing from God is very important in the life of every believer. Hearing from God is not a one-sided thing, it is not only a human desire; God wants to speak to his children. That means that it is something that is readily available to everyone who desires to hear God. All you need to do is position yourself rightly and you will enjoy this fellowship with God.

God speaks to us through prophesy. In prophesy God sends a message to you through someone else. This is a very common way that God used in the lives of the Israelites. It is commonly identifiable in the Bible.

“The Sovereign Lord never does anything without revealing his plan to his servants, the prophets. When a lion roars, who can keep from being afraid? When the Sovereign Lord speaks, who can keep from proclaiming his message The Sovereign Lord never does anything without revealing his plan to his servants, the prophets. When a lion roars, who can keep from being afraid? When the Sovereign Lord speaks, who can keep from proclaiming his message? Amos 3: 7-8 (GNT)

God appointed prophets whom he used to convey his purpose to his people. “The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the thirteenth year that Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah, and he spoke to him again when Josiah’s son Jehoiakim was king. After that, the Lord spoke to him many times, until the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah. In the fifth month of that year the people of Jerusalem were taken into exile.” Jer. 1: 2-3 (GNT)

The proof of prophesy is that it must not mislead the people of God; it must not contradict the revealed “absolute truths” of the word of God, (for example, the fact that there is one God is an absolute truth, the sinfulness of man and the need for his salvation through Jesus Christ is an absolute truth.) All prophesies are proved by their fulfilment. All prophesies lead people to God.

Prophesy as a gift is different from the office of a prophet. Prophesy comes anytime God communicates in that manner. It can come from the prophet or someone God chooses to use. The prophet stands in the office to constantly point God’s people to the direction God wants them to follow. This does not mean the ability to see through people or the ability to always have something about the future to say to every person that comes around. Christian prophesies is not clairvoyance; these are different and far-apart as far as Christianity is concerned. In fact God forbids believers from associating with clairvoyance.

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,  or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.” Dt. 18:10-12 (NIV)

I know many people are drown towards seeking prophesies and prophets as an obsession; however, this means of God speaking to people is as normal as any other way God chooses to use to speak to you. Prophesy is one of the most abused Christian experiences and some people have used it to exploit others. It has been used to intimidate and scare people all over the ages against the will of God. False prophets are common everywhere and many of them are so crafty that it takes discernment and the help of the Holy Spirit to escape their antics.

God is interested in the lives of his people and is ever will to guide and help them.  The scripture says:

“Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture” Psalm 100:3 (NIV)

All who desire to hear from God must learn to worship and praise God. They must learn to pray and study the Bible. They must learn to wait on the Lord and be eager to obey him.

Hearing from God – Prayer Dimension (Spiritual Warfare)

Figures 047 The Lord Appears to Moses in a Bur...

Figures 047 The Lord Appears to Moses in a Burning Bush (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am sure you are interested in hearing from God or a least you want to find out few things about it.  You are not the only “person” who is interested in your interest to hear from God. So please pay attention, this post is very important.

In Genesis 3:1 the scripture says “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? ” (NIV)

The devil is interested in your quest to hear from God and in what God tells you. Also the scripture says in Luke 4:9-12 “The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (NIV) The devil is interested in what God says to you because he wants to manipulate it and wrestle it from your hand.

Other people may not care about whatever God says to you especially if they want you to remain ordinary. If what you said God told you might cause them to lose any part of their power or control over you, they will oppose it. Let us see some examples: Exodus 5:1-2, says, “Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’” Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.” (NIV). It took a lot of spiritual warfare to make Pharaoh obey God and let Israel go out of Egypt.

2 Kings 7:1-2 says, “Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seahof the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahsof barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?” “You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat any of it!” (NIV). The man in this scripture felt he was an authority and only the things that he forecasts should be taken seriously. He does not have any respect for God or his word. His comments provoked Elisha and he pronounced punishment upon him.

If you desire to hear from God, you must be prepared to pray. Some of the things prayers will do for you are:

  1. It will remove every clog on your way that can hinder you from hearing from God.
  2. Prayer will sharpen your perception and make you more excited at what God is saying.
  3. Prayers will help you with the strength to obey what God has told to do.
  4. Hearing God could become a spiritual warfare like we have read in the scripture earlier. The devil and his agents will oppose you; they are not interested in seeing the will of God done. I have seen this happen severally and the only way to prevail is through prayer.

It is spiritual blindness if anyone does not want to hear from God and actually, the devil likes it. It exposes people to greater danger and opens the gate for oppression, stagnation and slavery. It promotes a dry life and all manners of evil. I am sure you don’t want any of those.

Commit yourself to praying effectively as a Christian. You can really enjoy your Christian life if you make up your mind to pray constantly.

 

Reference:

Bible quote: http://www.biblegateway.com

 

 

 

 

 

Hearing from God – Is Very Important

Cover for a NIV Bible

Cover for a NIV Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the most exciting things for me is to hear from God. The Holy Spirit’s work includes speaking to us and helping us to understand and to obey. However, this is very confusing and scary issues among believers.  It is commonly said “you should hear from God” but it is grossly misunderstood. I hope to write several short articles on this topic and I hope it might help someone somehow.

Hearing the voice of God is very essential for anyone who wants to enjoy the Christian life. We should desire to hear God clearly, obey his voice and achieve good success. One misunderstanding that many people have is that “God’s word and instructions are weird” That is not true. Some people feel it may take ages waiting before God speaks to you, that again is not true. Yet some other people think that God only speaks to special people; that also is not true too. God speaks to all his children. Being a child of God makes you special.

The scripture says “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” Rev. 5:10 (NIV)

Also in 1 peter 2:9-10 the scripture says “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; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (NIV) Even if anyone argues that only priest could have access to God,(though that is not so), you are by right of salvation a priest.

The restriction of access to God was destroyed when Jesus died on the cross. The symbolic barrier to God’s presence, the curtain shielding the Holy of holies was torn from top to bottom; it means all children of God can come into his presence without hindrance.

Mark 15: 37-38 “And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” (NIV)

One last thing for now is that I believe that God will not speak to me in a language I don’t understand. Well, that is my own experience. It is simple for me that way. I feel that if God speaks in a language that I don’t understand, it means he does not expect me to obey. In the first instance I did not understand what was said and I do not know how I could go from place to place seeking for someone to tell what was said and I could be at a risk of getting it wrong. It has been working for me and it is fine with me.

Stay blessed.

Reference: biblegateway.com

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