The sad truth is most Christians can't even defend their faith because they themselves are ignorant of God's word.

Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. -- Colossians 2:8
"My people are being destroyed for lack of knowledge..." Hosea 4:6


Friday, July 29, 2011


How can we know which of God’s promises to claim? Can we just randomly open the Bible, stab our finger into it and then claim that verse/s as God’s promise for us? When do we stop praying and decides it was not really meant for us? How do we know if it’s God’s will?
   My early life during College was filled with questions. I questioned God for bringing me to where I am? He knew I always wanted to take Fine Arts but my parents ordered that I took Education instead because of financial restraint. Daily my mind was filled with questions, and sometimes even frustrations why God brought me here. I prayed for it since childhood, so what happened? Never in my wildest dream to become an Elementary School teacher; I can’t understand what’s on God’s mind why He lead me here…but as I look back now, not to mention allowing me to have a taste of what I wished for when I was sent for a Visual Arts Workshop no other than at CCP and courtesy of the same institution that I nearly despised. I have realized that God’s plan was better that what I’ve desired. PNC had been my training ground and the one place I consider that shape my character.   
   True I had prayed to be an artist and I asked God for it…but instead He shaped me to become an educator and an artist too. In this I saw how The Lord works for the better. Instead of making me just a skilled painter He opted that I be equipped with another skill. Are you now in a situation that you never expected to had happen to you? May be this is exactly where God wants you to be. How can we be sure that it was God’s promise?
   Now what’s the use in praying if we wouldn’t get what we want after all? When do we know if our requests are not meant for us? When do we stop praying for something? We will answer that as we move along to this blog.
   Before we explore on these subject let me encourage you to pray, even if those prayers seems to be unheard. All prayers are answered believe me…but there are three things we must remember regarding God’s promises.
   ONE: Some promises are universal. Universal promises are those that apply to every believer. One example of universal promise is found in Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
   TWO: Some promises are personal. This promise is tailor made for a specific individual. It means it does not apply to anyone except to whom God is speaking. An example is when God promise to Joshua that he shall conquer Jericho if he march around the city seven times. Of course if a   Commanding-officer would do that now do you think his troop would follow? And God didn’t intend it as a war strategy either for generations to come.
   THREE: Some promises are conditional. The fulfillment of this promise will happen only if you do your part. An example is the ever popular John 3:16 “For God so love the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perished but have eternal life.” You have to believe first before the promise happened.

   Here is where most of us fail to recognized what kind of promise is for us. Our generation now unlike The Old Testament time does not have direct access to God. Unlike the ancient people of Israel we are left with situations where we have to decide for ourselves. That is why God gave us the comforter who is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our voice within, our conscience. But careful on hearing just any voices because there are some voices that aren’t actually from God.
   Distinguishing the voice of “the shepherd” than that of “the deceiver” can be quite tricky. Satan can mislead believers only if you are not in correct fellowship with God.

Sensitivity to the voice of God
   There is one striking scene in the life of Elijah that makes me wonder and here how it goes in 1 King 17:17-24

17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
 19 “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the LORD, “LORD my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the LORD, “LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”
 22 The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”
 24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.
   How did Elijah know that the child shall live again? The widow would have mocked him even more if God did not grant his prayer. In fact, this kind of miracle was never before performed in the history of Prophets before Elijah. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob didn’t experience this kind of miracle. Remember King David when his son died all he could do was cry and mourn?
   What kind of a man was Elijah to have that confidence that God will answer him in a situation never been witnessed before? Let us look at the life of this wonderful prophet who blaze in the history of Israel as one of the greatest prophet who never experience death and was directly taken to heaven and together with Moses ministered to our Lord Jesus during his transfiguration.
   The very name will call attention to who he is and what is his purpose. Elijah means My God is The Lord. His name gave us the core of his character. While most prophets prophesied and wrote, Elijah prophesied and acted. He never wrote anything and in fact he is the only prophet I know who had very few to say. He is a man of few words but a man of actions. You will also notice obedience and unquestioning faith in him. When God said go to Corinth, he went there without question. When he was told by God to go lived with a widow’s house he follows. When God said he should meet Ahab he quickly obeys. Let us remember that in all this callings and wanderings he was usually placed in a not so comfortable situation.
   Point to ponder here: Elijah’s own life was dedicated to God, he proudly carry the name of God even during the time when the Baal and Asherah worship was the official religion of Israel’s leaders and the people seems to have forgotten their rich history. Notice his statement here in 1 Kings 18:21 “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word.
   Clearly he is drawing the people attentions to “compromise faith”. He wants to hear only one opinion. How about you? Do you pray to God for a happy relationship but is also doing some kind of Baal worship like hanging good luck charm on your neck, or taking advice from Feng Shui master? Now do you think God would answer your prayer when you have already asked other gods to solve your situations?
   Let us go back to the scene where Elijah requested or prayed to God that the widow’s son return to life. He pray one time…then twice…and the third time… Elijah had that sensitivity in his heart to know that he should continue praying. He knew because he had seen how God provided for him in the past. I advise you read the life of all the prophets and saints how they were able to know that their prayers are going to be answered.
   How did they ask for rain to come and it came? How did they ask the blind to see and the maimed healed? Here are some of the key prayers that God respond into…
   God answer a fervent prayer. He answers prayer that will glorify Him as God. He answers the prayer of those people with humility and none of those who are proud. He answers faithful prayers contrary to those who are double-minded. Let us also remember that some prayers needed some actions on our part.
   Lastly, God ALWAYS answer the prayer of those people whom He recognized.
Matthew 7:21-23 "“Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. 

(Additional: I didn’t became a school teacher, followed my own course for sometime. Decided on my own and there where my trouble became…I move away from God’s plan and therefore the devil got hold of me for a time…it had been dark times which I regret. But God is faithful even if I’m not…He carried me and transform a new life for me.)

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