In Genesis 17, God came to Abraham in a vision and told him that he would become the father of many nations. God promised him that he would give birth to a son and through this son all the nations of the earth would be blessed. While God was talking about a yet to be born Isaac, Abraham was thinking about Ishmael. They were having different conversations.
You see, God could never use Ishmael to effect His purposes because Ishmael was a product of Abraham’s ingenuity to help himself and help God fulfil His promise of giving him a son. So Ishmael was disqualified. He was not a part of God’s plan for Abraham.
But Abraham cried out to God to use Ishmael, to carry out His purposes through Ishmael.
And [he] said to God, Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!
An Ishmael looks successful but it will stagnate you. You cannot grow beyond the level of an Ishmael. Yes it is successful. Yes, you are doing well, but an Ishmael will get to a certain point beyond which it cannot grow. Your success will plateau and will remain at that point for as long as you want to continue to resist the Isaac God wants to bring into your life.
An Ishmael is the enemy of your destiny. An Ishmael may look good but it is a satanic weapon designed by the enemy to limit you, cripple your progress and stop you from rising to the next level in God’s plan. An Ishmael may bring you money, success, fame and popularity but it is a weapon in the hands of the enemy against you.
An Ishmael is a ceiling beyond which you cannot rise, it is a containment beyond which you cannot go. An Ishmael creates a satanic containment around your life that keeps you from expanding, multiplying, increasing. The containment may be financial, geographical or spiritual. As long as you hold on to an Ishmael you cannot break out of the limitations you presently experience. Until you release an Ishmael you will be severely limited. Continue reading
Someone sent me a prayer recently. It read, ‘May The Lord grant you the desires of your heart.’ Superficially it seems like a good prayer and many people will say a loud amen to it. But as I read that prayer I asked myself, ‘Do I really want The Lord to grant all the desires of my heart? ‘
We all have certain desires we want to see manifest in our lives. However, not every desire in our heart is from The Lord. The super spiritual among us may be questioning this. The truth is that no matter how spiritual and deep you may appear to be in the things of the Kingdom, there are still certain desires that are a product of that part of you that wants to do its own thing, have its own way, be its own boss, go its own way, build its own empire and generally do as it pleases. There is a part of you that wants everything it sees that is flashy, beautiful, attractive. There is a part of you that wants to be recognised by people, honoured by people, seen as a great man or woman. There is a part of you that is driven by pride, driven by covetousness and driven by a desire to satisfy your own lusts. There is a part of you that wants to own more and more property just for the sake of having material things. If you don’t know this, you are living in self delusion. Bottom line is that some desires in our hearts are dangerous to our spiritual health and walk with The Lord. Such desires can compromise our faith and sabotage our destiny. Their manifestation in our lives may cause us more damage than good and they may turn out to be a curse to us instead of being a blessing. Continue reading
With the prophetic calling and its many sided giftings comes a great responsibility on the prophet not to pursue his personal interests and agenda but to pursue, protect and effect the cause of Christ and His Will in the Church. The only agenda a prophet is permitted to have is the agenda of Christ. His only pursuits should be only the Will of God and nothing else. All his personal likes, dreams, desires and interests should be nailed to the cross of Christ and left there as an act of worship. When a prophet begins to pursue his own agenda, using his abilities to pursue his selfish desires, he will fall into error.
Humility is the mark of a true prophet. Being gifted with the ability to see, hear and experience the supernatural may open the door for pride to enter into the life of a prophet and he must guard fiercely against this or it may lead to his fall. His prophetic abilities which were freely given to him by The Lord may cause him to think that he is better, more privileged or has a better standing with The Lord than everybody else and he should therefore be given preferential treatment and worshipped like a demi-god. Unfortunately some prophets think and live like this, contrary to the teachings of Christ. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus said that the greatest should be the chief servant and should not desire to be served by others. The higher we rise spiritually the lower we should go in service. The Lord does not need superstars who have turned themselves into idols, he wants men and women who will humble themselves to serve the body of Christ with a heart of compassion. Continue reading
They Are All Men, Just Like You.
A spiritual gift or ability is a call to serve in the Body of Christ. It should be accompanied with a great sense of responsibility and humility. Having a gift does not make you special or different from any other believer. It doesn’t give you special rights or special privileges to act and live the way you like. Your gift does not give you the audacity to enslave the people you were called to serve. It is an error to think that your calling gives you special rights, advantages and privileges over other believers. It doesn’t. Such erroneous thinking is alien and abhorrent to the saints.
Taking little steps.
Every new year, billions of people make resolutions and jump into the year with excitement. They use up all their energy in the first few weeks trying to manifest results that should take some months and in some cases, even years to accomplish. When the adrenaline from the new year church service pumps through their veins, they feel invincible, powerful, unstoppable and rush immediately into action believing as they did the previous year and the one before: ‘this is my year!’ But as the weeks pass by, the adrenaline slowly loses its rousing effect on their emotions, reality hits them in the most unpleasant way and it seems as if it is taking ‘forever’ to achieve their goals; that is when many throw up their hands in frustration and revert to their ‘pre-new year’ lifestyle.
It is not easy to break out of the old into the new. Change is tough. Change takes time. Change is a process and should never be rushed. If you rush it, you could easily get overwhelmed and decide to remain in your comfort zone where it is safe and warm.
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The Law Of Use.
One principle that will help you achieve more in the next 12 months is the law of use. It is a very simple but powerful law. It is so simple that you may not believe the amazing results that will manifest in your life when you apply it. I have seen the law of use work for me and transform me into an international bestselling author. It continually puts money in my pocket and expands my financial possibilities. You too can apply this law in your life and watch your life change for the better.
In Mathew 25:14-30, we read about the parable of talents. A man gave out talents to his servants and went on a journey. One was given 5 talents, another 2 and another 1. The servant who received five talents traded with it and gained five more talents. The one who received two talents did the same. The one with the one talent hid it in the ground, did nothing with it and gained nothing. When the man returned, he rewarded those who gained more talents and punished the one who refused to use his talents. There are a few lessons we can learn from this parable.
4 steps to success in 2012
1. Assess your progress.
In the past 12 months, what have you accomplished with your time, talents, relationships, connections and resources? What have you produced in your life that has meaning for you? You may have accomplished certain things that made you look good in the eyes of your friends, family and colleagues, but does it make you feel good about yourself? It is important that you look back at what you have done this year and feel happy with yourself. If you are not happy with yourself, you should ask yourself, ‘Why didn’t I move in the direction of my happiness and fulfillment?’ You can correct this error in the next few minutes and move in the right direction.