Childlikeness

25 At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike.
26 Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!
Matthew 11:25-26 (NLT)

In the above passage, Jesus tells us the benefits to be like children compared with those who think of themselves as wise and clever. According to Jesus, God hides important things from those who think of themselves as wise and clever and revealed them to those who are childlike. The important things must be very important. What do you think they are?

If they happen to be perverted things like God makes you poor and sick to show us his sufficient grace, I don’t think any one of us will be interested. The reason is because we are not perverts. We do not worship God to seek the opportunity to suffer in sickness and poverty. We Christians are not masochists. The idea that God is a sadist who creates disasters, sicknesses and poverty to show us his sufficient grace is nothing more than a perversion of theology. If you want to learn to be a pervert, learn theology.

When we read the Bible, we have make up our minds that our God is not a sadist. Whenever God gives us a revelation or wants us to do something, his motive is always for our good. The term “good” is in accordance to the definition of the dictionary, not the perversion of theology. Let me give you an illustration on God’s definition of “good”.

2Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
3 John 1:2 (KJV)

This is only one of many other verses in the Bible that shows the true nature of God. The Bible is clear in its message that God is not a pervert. When we receive revelations from God, we are effectively receiving the tools to attain prosperity in every area in our lives. Health and wealth are part of the prosperity in every area in our lives. We don’t need any health and wealth gospel because the Gospel of Jesus Christ provides us with health and wealth as a part of its prosperity package.

The next step is how to receive these revelations. Jesus said we must be childlike and not be arrogant to think of ourselves as wise and clever. Who are the ones that like to think of themselves as wise and clever? I think the answer is very clear, theologians.

Throughout history we can see from Jesus’ time to the Dark Ages and up to today, theologians are the most arrogant, miserable and bitter people on earth. They think they are the only ones who have the right to decide what the Bible says. Anyone who reads the Bible and come out with meanings that are not approved by the theologians will be branded as heretics and be called all sort of names. During the Dark Ages, the theologians even had Inquisitors to kill anyone who dared to defy theology.

Today, the theologians do not have such powers but their arrogance is the same. They will not hesitate to spread lies and slanders on anyone who dares to place the truth of God above the lies of theology. Anyone who dares to obey God instead of theology will be branded with names like “being deluded by the Prosperity Gospel”.

I take advantage of this phenomenon to create my own filter on good churches and ministries. I consider any church or ministry that has not been accused by the theologians for preaching the “Prosperity Gospel” is not worthy of my attention. Most likely they have not been preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a pure and unadulterated form. The truth is, anyone who preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a pure and unadulterated form will be slandered by the theologians as preaching the “Prosperity Gospel”. This is how I choose churches and ministries.

Enough on the theologians. Let us move on to childlikeness. How to be childlike? I happen to know the answer because I have a 4 year old boy at home. Through him, I have learned a lot of the term “childlike” and I would like to share them with you.

Living by full faith.
My son lives by faith every moment of his life. In his view, his father is infinitely rich and powerful. When he is hungry he asks for food. When he wants a toy, he asks for it. Whatever he wants he always asks for it. He does not know the meaning of recession. Neither can he comprehend the idea that sometimes his father wants him to suffer hunger in order to experience some sufficient grace. Thank God for that.

My son lives his life with full confidence that he can always ask for anything he wants. There is always food when he is hungry. There is always water when he is thirsty. There are always toys for him to play.

Living in joy.
I name my son Isaac, which means laughter. He lives up to his name. He is a happy boy. It seems that even simple things can bring him joy.

I bought him a small ball and he enjoys rolling it down the slides. When I played Age Of Empires, he wanted to play as well. So I let him move the characters there. He enjoys building houses, windmills, towers, farms and castles. He had a great time. Bringing him out is such a joy for my wife and I because he knows how to express joy on things we take for granted.

This is how God wants us to live. He wants us to enjoy every moment of our lives on earth.

Living In Simplicity.
My son has never asked me what is my will for him. He never asked me what toys he should be playing on any day. He plays what he wants to play. That makes him happy. When he is happy, I am happy. This is the will of God The Father for all of us, his children.

What is the will of God for you? The answer is what makes you happy? If drinking coffee makes you happy, then it is the will of God for you to drink coffee. When you are happy, He is happy. Can you come up with a revelation more simple than that?

In conclusion, God wants us to be childlike. He wants us to trust in him, believe in his faithfulness to bless us and to deliver us from every trouble we face. He wants us to live each day with joy in our hearts. Do you intend to obey?

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He Will Give You Your Heart’s Desires

4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Psalm 37:4 (NLT)

Welcome to the second installment on my study of Psalm 37. In the first installment we learned that God wants us not to be worried and envious when we see ungodly people prospering because their prosperity is temporary. Instead we should trust in him and do good. Then we will live safely in the land and prosper. Psalm 37:4 tells us more about this prosperity.

It says take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. It seems that prosperity is more than just having a lot of money or things that money can buy. God’s desire is to give us our hearts’ desires. This means that no matter what desires you have in your heart, God will give them to you. Is there a condition to get those desires fulfilled? Psalm 37:4 tells us the only condition we have to meet to have our hearts’ desires is to take delight in the Lord.

What does taking delight means? It means being happy when we are spending time with God. Does it mean being religious? Certainly not. The religious way of approaching God is to force themselves to pray and read the Bible. Religious people regard spending time with God and obeying him as a chore and obligation. These are things that they have to force themselves to do to avoid the wrath of God. I was one of them before. Therefore, it is impossible for people under the bondage of religion to take delight in the Lord.

In order to be successfully taking delight in the Lord, we need to know and understand the true nature of God. He loves us greatly. Nothing makes him happier than to see us happy. He wants us blessed in every area in our lives, which include our finances, health, families and success in all our works. Yes, he wants all of us to be rich, healthy and have long lives despite the protest of religious people. When we understand the above truth, we will be drawn to him. We don’t have to behave like those religious people in forcing ourselves to spend time with God. Thus, we can have the joy that they don’t have in our communion with God our father.

This is how I live now. When I was in my previous religious church, I considered all the spiritual disciplines like praying and reading the Bible as things I must do or God will not be pleased. I felt like I was threatened to do these things. Thank God, he has opened my eyes to these religious lies. Now, I pray, read the Bible, confess my blessings, sow and obey God with joy in my heart. I do all these things because I like to do them not because I am threatened. This means I can choose not to do them and still dare to face God without being ashamed. I am no longer under threat.

This is freedom. Jesus died at the Cross to set us free and not to subject us to any bondage.

1 So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
Galatians 5:1 (NLT)

We are no longer slaves to the law. We obey God because we want to and not because we have to. We obey God because we are happy to do so. We are able to take delight in the Lord and he promised us that he will give us our hearts’ desires.

So, what desires do you have in your heart right now? Start taking delight in the Lord. He will give you your heart’s desires.

A Cheerful Heart Is Good Medicine

22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
Proverbs 17:22 (NLT)

This verse tells us that healing does necessary comes from drugs. God’s medicine does not come from drugs but from a cheerful heart. God designed us to have the ability to heal ourselves through self-producing medicine and this medicine comes from a cheerful heart. When we are cheerful, we have natural immunity against disease. If you happen to have a health problem right now, being cheerful is necessary for you to fight the disease. If you are to search for secular sources on the relationship between cheerfulness and health, you will find positive correlation between them.

The next question is, how am I going to be cheerful when I get a report saying that my disease is incurable? The answer lies in your ability to see beyond your present circumstances. You got to see yourself as God sees. In the eyes of God, we have perfect health because Jesus took all our sickness and disease at the Cross.

4Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains — he hath carried them, And we — we have esteemed him plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isaiah 53:4 (Young’s Literal Translation)

I have written another article on the subject of healing entitled, “The Power Of The Human Spirit”. In that article, I explained that if you do not allow your spirit to be crushed and determined to fight on, you are going to defeat your disease no matter how incurable it is supposed to be. Having a cheerful heart complements and strengthens your fighting spirit. In other words, the more cheerful you are, the faster your disease will die.

Therefore, it is important for you to do whatever you can to be cheerful. Watch comedies, read jokes, think happy thoughts and look for any excuse to laugh. Go to churches that preach faith. At the same time, avoid anything that can remove your joy. Avoid watching movies about people dying of disease. Avoid going to religious churches where they tell you it is the will of God for you to be sick. In short, do everything you can to be cheerful and do everything you can to avoid sorrow. If you do that, your disease will not last for long not matter how “incurable” it is supposed to be.

The second part of Proverbs 17:22 says a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. If a cheerful heart is our medicine, then a broken spirit must be our poison. I suspect many people got sick after some disasters happened in their lives like a divorce or death of loved ones. They allowed the negative events to break their spirits. They lost the will to live. Their bodies responded according to the will of their spirit and stop functioning in an optimum state. They become vulnerable to disease. They have no more strength to fight on. People in such conditions will not live for long.

Therefore, it is crucial for us to guard our spirits. Satan cannot kill us physically. He has no power to do so. The only thing he can do is to create some negative circumstances in our lives to get us to give up our faith. Then he will be able to get us to dwell in negative thoughts until our spirits are broken. Once we are this condition, we will be at the mercy of Satan because we will have no strength to overcome him.

It is the will of God for us to be cheerful at all times.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4 (NIV)

We need to rejoice at all times because the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)

This strength will enable us to every problem we can ever face even if it is an incurable disease.

Rejoice In The Lord Always

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4 (NIV)

I am taking another break from Hebrews 11 today because I believe God wants us to take a serious view on joy. When I was in my previous religious church, I have heard a message on rejoicing too, but they made it so religious and burdensome that the act of being in joy has become something that is full of stress. I was glad that I only had to go to church once a week because if I have to “rejoice” more often, I would probably fall sick out of stress. I suspect the calling for every religious church is to turn every positive message from the Bible into something opposite.

However, today we can truly rejoice because our God is not the person the religious churches described him to be. He truly loves us, cares for us and has a wonderful future for each of us. Philippians 4:4 was written by Paul when he was in a prison. If he was to think of his situation, there was no cause to be rejoicing. Yet he was advocating it. Why? His attention and focus was on God. This gave him the ability to have joy in his heart even if he was physically in a negative situation.

You could be in a negative situation right now. You may have a health problem. The doctors might have told you that you have terminal disease and you can die soon. Or you are facing a massive financial problem and you are broke. No matter how bad you situation is, God wants you to have joy in your heart. Do you know why?

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)

The joy of the LORD is our strength! You may not have the will power to persevere through your trials. You may not have the money you need. You may find your enemies to be too powerful for you to overcome. You may be on the verge of giving up your faith. However, as long as you still have the joy of the LORD in your heart, you can still win. You can still turn the situation around. You will have the strength to rise up again no matter how many times you have been knocked down. You will have the strength to look at the devil in the eyes and say, “Don’t celebrate yet, devil. I may be down but I am not out. No matter how bad the situation is, I will never give up. I will never surrender. This battle is not over! The only way it can end is when I win. No matter what the situation says, I am destined to win. You are destined to lose.”

When we are rejoicing in the midst of negative circumstances, we are telling God that we trust him and we believe what he said is true even if the situation around us does not agree with us. This is faith. God loves it and he will honor our faith. When we are in joy, our minds will be filled by positive thoughts and become more receptive to God. Why do we need to be more receptive to God? He has all the answers. Don’t you think that God has the solution for every problem you can ever face? As long as you are connected to him, you will have all the answers you need.

However if we choose to be upset, depressed, stressed and think negative when we are in a bad situation, we are cutting off our communication link with God. How can you overcome your problems when you cut yourself from the person who has the solution? This is why negative people can never be successful.

Let us look at Philippians 4:4 in full context.

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)

Philippians 4:5 tells us to let our gentleness be evident to all because the Lord is near. What is gentleness? It is defined as strength under control. The strength that comes from joy is controlled strength. It is not destructive, it is constructive. It is not just an empty emotion outburst. It delivers results, in particular positive results that we want. The Lord is always with us. He is near us even if we are going through some rough patches in our lives. So, don’t give up you faith. The Lord is with us and he will deliver us. We have to keep believing and rejoicing in him.

Why should we do when we are anxious about something?

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

Philippians 4:6 tells us not to be anxious and to overcome anxiousness with prayers and petitions. Prayer is the best answer to anxiousness because it links us to the one who has all the answers. We are also told that we are to pray with thanksgiving. Why is thanksgiving needed? Being in a thanksgiving mode means we are thanking God in advance for answering our prayers and delivering us. This means we believe in receiving what we pray for. Prayer is useless if we do not believe we will receive what we pray for. Prayer can only work if and only if we believe we will receive.

24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11:24 (NIV)

Philippians 4:7 gives us the results of obeying Philippians 4:4-6. We will have the peace of God. This peace will transcend all understanding. It will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. Once our hearts and minds are guarded, we will not be stressed, depressed and think negative. We will be in perfect peace no matter how chaotic the external situations are. We will have joy in our hearts and the faith to overcome every challenge that come into our lives.

This is the future God wants us to have. Start rejoicing!