“The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:9)
THE END OF A THING IS GREATER! This is a principle of God that cannot be thwarted for He is the God of increase, the God of progression, the God Who takes us from faith to faith, from strength to strength, from glory to glory.
This world cannot dictate to us how the end will be, unless we allow it to. It does not matter where we are at at the moment. We do not despise small beginnings. We are not to be affected much with what is going on around us. Instead, we choose to be influenced and be convinced that our God has greater plans for us. We choose to believe and have faith for a greater tomorrow because the One Who holds and directs us busies Himself with our every step. We choose to soar higher than the storms of life as we are called to be eagles fueled by the grace of God, the Wind underneath our wings.
The Presence of God, the Secret Place where we live in, is always here to carry us through. He is our Helper, our ever-present help in time of need. He never lacks answers to our every question for He is the Answer. He never lacks in angelic protection for He is our Protection. His victory is our victory that is never mediocre for He is Forever the Champion of all champions. The goodness of God is never weak for He is ALMIGHTY. He is forever capable of fulfilling His promises for He Who promised is called FAITHFUL and TRUE. Whatever we need, HE IS.
The question is, do we know Who He is and what His promises are for you and for me that are YES and AMEN? If we do, we dig in for more for He is inexhaustible. If we do not, then, it’s time for us to take a step into seeking Him, for He surely is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
In the natural, we get hungry by not eating. In the Kingdom of God, we get hungry by eating. The more we know Him, all the more we long to seek Him and know Him. The discipline comes in when we make sure we have our time in the Word of God. We inquire of Him and give Him a chance to respond and speak a life-changing thing to us. We read articles of revival history on what God has powerfully done on certain events and in selected places. We make time to listen to testimonies of His goodness and faithfulness until our hearts burn for Him. You and I cannot read or listen to them and not have the appetite to have and experience Him and His manifest presence.
I had an experience in the past when I was worshiping with my keyboards and then meditated on His Word right after. I thought I was full and fueled that night. I was full of wonder of how awesome He is. But, when I woke up the next day, I felt so empty. Initially and honestly, I felt quite bothered. And so, I inquired of Him what happened. He simply impressed in my heart these words that I will never forget for the rest of my life …. “I’ve just enlarged you.” Ohhh … so He made more room for Him to fill me.
Many of us are familiar with this one verse that often comes up when we, individually, corporately, or as a city, a region or a nation go through tough times. This has been highlighted in my prayer time these past few weeks.
“ If My people who are called by My Name will HUMBLE themselves, and PRAY and SEEK MY FACE, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
The first three words alone tremendously blessed me, “If My people ..” How He values us and takes ownership of us as His people, His own precious possession, the object of His affection and the apple of His eye. This revelation in itself should shoot adrenaline into our souls when we come to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we belong to Him first and foremost. We are His and He is Almighty, All powerful, All knowing and Ever-present Heavenly Father.
Then it says that we are called by His Name, the Name above all names where every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. You see, when a person is born into a prominent family, he belongs to that family and called by that family’s name. As secure as he can be as part of that family, he does not need to fight for his identity. He just is.
Our heavenly identity does the same to us. The very moment we acknowledge and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, He says, “TODAY, you will be with Me in paradise.” TODAY, we become His people. TODAY, He becomes our Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit will bear witness within us that we have become sons and daughters of the Most High God, destined to call Him “Abba, Daddy God”. TODAY, we belong to Him. TODAY, we carry His Name and are called by His Name.
This is the greatest HUMILITY we could ever have, when we know that we cannot save ourselves and that we need The Savior Who deeply loves us, Who died for us, Who conquered death, hell and the grave for us, Who split the sea, Who walked on water and calmed the storm. As He was yesterday, He is the same today and forever. He is the One Who never leaves us nor forsakes us, Who holds us tightly in the palm of His hand so no one can snatch us away from Him, Who raises the dead and Who goes around doing good, healing ALL who are oppressed by the devil. And the best part of it is that He chose to dwell inside you and me, making His home in us and He promised to manifest Himself to us. He is “Christ in us, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). We did not choose Him. He chose us.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” (John 15:16)
Knowing how we are intimately knit together in Him and with Him, gone are the days when we doubt if He hears us when we pray. He is nearer to us than we can ever think or imagine. He is closer to us than any human being in the planet. He lives in us and us in Him, and nothing and no one can ever separate us from Him. No one knows us more than He does, that even the number of hairs on our heads He knows. He promised that when we call upon His Name, He will answer us and show us great and mighty things that we do not know yet. In Christ, we live in the bold confidence that God hears our voices when we ask for things that fit His plan.
Prayer is never one way. Our thanksgiving is our response to His goodness. Our praise is our response to Who He is. Our worship is our response when His presence embraces us. When we inquire of Him, we are SEEKING HIM, SEEKING HIS FACE. His Word says, “Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and I will [free you and] gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’ (Jeremiah 29:13-14 AMP) He is the Answer to our every inquiry and His answer is in His Word.
We need to learn TO READ THE WORD WITH GOD, WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. We cannot simply read the letter of His Word without inviting the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to see and seek His face. His Words are spirit and life. They cannot be regarded as any other book that we read. His Word is LIVING and POWERFUL. When His Word speaks to us, we begin to have the mind of Christ. We pick up His voice, the very essence of His presence and He speaks to our hearts before He does to our heads.
I, for one, read the Bible halfway through and understood nothing. I got bored and eventually stopped because it was not doing me any good at all. I did it religiously, form without power. It was a “must” for me to read, and not a “want”. But after a few months, when I started to ask around about some books of other beliefs, I felt a gentle tug from deep within me. They were unuttered words that said, “You have your Bible beside your bed.” It was unexplainable and incomprehensible, yet, without literally hearing those words, I knew they were whispered in my heart.
I came home that day and went straight to my bedroom. I closed the door, took my Bible and prayed. I bargained with the Holy Spirit 🙂 I said, “I will read this provided that You will make me understand.” From that day to today, His Word is my daily divine nourishment. Truly, apart from Him, I couldn’t do anything. But, with Him, I became unstoppable with my pursuit of Him. He issued me an invitation and I accepted it with all humility. It’s all by grace through faith. It’s not by my might, not by my power, but by the Spirit of God.
When Jesus said to His disciples, “Eat My flesh and drink My blood”, nobody understood yet. He was speaking and the Spirit of the Lord was released as He spoke. Though the disciples were clueless of what He spoke, they knew that the Lord released life into them. His Word is full of life and power.
When we open the Bible and begin to read, THE WORD IS LIVING! THE WORD IS ALIVE and we just know it beyond a shadow of a doubt. It‘s a living document. It’s not a box of religious to-do list. It feeds our souls. It’s not something that we have to pretend to fight and claim it. It is alive because we come to Him humbled and surrendered to receive what He is speaking. We don’t come to study for us to have something to teach or to have a sermon. No! We are reading because we want life, the zoe kind of life, the kind of life He always wanted us to have, and that is in abundance, to the full till it overflows. We want the living water that refreshes, revitalizes, regenerates and revives us. We desire to know what He is like, His nature, and every time He reveals Himself, it is always an open invitation for us to encounter Him. He is never revealing His nature to us so that we can become religiously intelligent. He reveals Himself so that we can pursue Him in that way. It’s almost as if we are hearing Him say, “Here is Who I Am and now, discover Me in your experience!”
When we read His Word, He is revealing His nature, His heart, His will, His covenant, His ways, that draw us in into a deep and intimate relationship with Him. His Word is a relationship-cultivator. We come in curiosity and with wonder. We come with an open heart and mind with expectancy of Him speaking to us. This humble way opens us to endless possibilities. This is where He reveals His magnificence and greatness in His Spirit and is opening His door for us to know Him. The Bible says, those who know their God shall be strong and do great exploits – because it is Him Who does these great things in and through us.
The fruit of our seeking Him, His Kingdom and His righteousness is what enables us to turn from our wicked ways. When He speaks, it changes us from the inside out. It changes what we see and how we respond to it. He is the Lord of righteousness and in Christ we become the righteousness of God. There is an identity shift when we become new creations in Him.
God’s plan is, ” A new heart will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26 AMPC) And this is the order of the being new creations in God.
We cannot take ourselves out of the miry clay apart from His hand lifting us up. We cannot change ourselves unless we humble under His mighty hand, with His grace sufficient for us and His strength made perfect for us. If our human spirit does not get wholly sanctified by the Blood of the Lamb of God Who TAKES AWAY all our sins, we will always fight by our sheer will which is doomed to fail. Our sanctification and purification does not come by our own works lest we boast. It is by grace through faith.
Our obedience and submission to God, making His Word as our final authority, enables us to resist the hold of the enemy that used to drive us to do things which results in sin, guilt and condemnation. When we say with our whole heart mixed with faith, “Be it done to me according to Your Word, Lord.”, the enemy gets agitated. Mind you, he was booted out of heaven because he wants to be worshiped. He wants to be lord that leads people to defeat, for there is no victory in him, not even an iota of it. He comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). But the good news is, he is a defeated foe. Jesus won it all for us at the Cross. By God’s grace, we can “therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
God hearing and healing us comes with our intimate relationship with Him. When He reigns on the throne of our hearts, it is the place of holiness. It is the place where our minds are concentrated in the power of God working in us and through us, enabling us to think and fill our minds with beauty and truth, meditating on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy. And as our souls (our mind, our will and our emotions) prosper, so will our bodies be in health.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 1:2)
This is the reason why SEEKING HIS FACE is such a powerful way of changing us. As He changes us, our changed lives become diffusers of the fragrance of His presence and fruit hangers of His goodness around us, that people can taste and see how good He is. We become hope-influencers, grace-carriers and love-expressers. Our lives become a seed to our families, friends, community, region, nation and the world around us, fulfilling the purpose of who He created us to be, that we may bear much fruit ALL FOR HIS GLORY.
As we come to our INCREASING and PROGRESSING knowledge of the truth in His Word, our lives will never stop growing. Jesus Who is our Good Shepherd continually leads us, but unless we know and are familiar with His voice, we, as His sheep, will hesitate to follow or more so not follow. We are to hold fast to the Head, Jesus Christ, from whom the whole body, the church, that includes you and I, are nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, growing with a growth that is from God.
We are to keep in mind what kind of growth we desire to grow in. We are to be mindful of what we allow to get into our gateways, our eyes and ears. Garbage in, garbage out. The Word of God in, the Word of God out. Remember that out of the abundance of our hearts, our mouths speak, and we are framing our world with the words that we speak.
When we SPEAK LIFE, we SEE LIFE. Just as how God created the world with the Word of His power, when He said, “Let there be light!”, light existed. He created us according to His image and likeness, therefore, what we speak, it has the ability and potential to create the words spoken.
The healing of our hearts and our nations starts with you and me, knowing our heavenly identity as God’s beloved sons and daughters, humbling ourselves, praying and SEEKING HIS FACE.
“But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.” (Matthew 6:33 AMP)
It is in our pursuit of Him that postures us for a greater tomorrow for it is He Who spoke that the LATTER GLORY of His temple shall be GREATER. Our response: “Be it done to us, Lord, according to Your Word. Amen!”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus Christ, the One Whom You sent. In Him and through Him, we can come boldly before Your throne of grace to seek Your face and are assured that You will unveil our eyes to see You face to face, just as You revealed Yourself to Moses that made Him know Your ways much more than Your acts. Thank You, Jesus, for coming and enduring everything that You went through, for the JOY that was set before you, seeing us being in PEACE with our Heavenly Father, so that we can respond to Your invitation of KNOWING YOU so we can MAKE YOU KNOWN. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for revealing to us what needs to be revealed in such a time as this. Teach and make known to us what it means to be God’s beloveds and to be called by His Name, for as we come to know this truth, it will cause our knees to humbly bow down and our tongues to boldly confess that Jesus is Lord, the One True Healer Who heals our hearts and heals our land. Amen!