Prophecy – How should I respond?

John Piper (founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary) shared this very interesting story of when he and his wife, Noël, were expecting their fourth child, and how this lady shared with John a very dire “prophecy”: “Noël would die in childbirth, and the baby would be a girl.”

‘How would something like this encourage me’, was the immediate thought that went through my mind and as I continued to listen to John speak, he wisely said nothing about it to Noël. A few weeks later in the hospital, the child was born a boy, and mother and baby came through just fine!

There is this scary aspect that we do face regularly, sometimes people are motivated by self-interests and the use of the gift of the Holy Spirit and, this most often keeps Pastors and many of us move away from using it in our churches today. Even in the apostle Paul’s day, he had to strongly urge the churches and their leaders to “not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good”. The easiest way to avoid the messes this gift can make is to avoid the gift as much as possible, because we do not want to encourage anyone right!

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist and most recently Why I Love the Apostle Paul: 30 Reasons.

The more we begin to understand, the more important it is that we must not let the misuse of prophecy cause us to miss out on the benefits the Spirit wants us to receive through this gift’s proper use. I have personally benefited from it many times — mostly on the receiving end.

On the 31st of December last year, in a certain church in Sri Lanka, this Prophecy was given in the Sinhala language, its on video and I will be happy to share it with you if you are interested. Below is the translation, some points have already been witnessed and, it is the fervent prayer of many of us who have access to this, to continue to pray, as we prepare. Many of us are burdened and very concerned that we did not heed the warnings but, today we have a responsibility for our nation.

2019 WILL BE A YEAR WHERE

1) The people will come on to the streets

2) The people will come looking a piece of bread, they will come to the streets

3) The 3rd month will be a month of stirring .

4) A war will be seen again in the land in the 4th month

5) Gun fire that was silenced will be heard again.

6) Many deaths will occur by road accidents more than during the times of war

7) It will be a year where people will be treated like dogs , beaten up, and left to die on the road sides.

8) No answers to resolving Political situations

9) The peoples economy will suffer

10) The country weeps much in this year.

11) Wasteful ! wasteful ! decisions, all of them.

12) Peoples minds will be distorted, by force

13) Political decisions are made in favour of themselves

14 ) Political decisions of self again

15) Many will migrate to other lands

16) The prevailing government will take a terrifying decision in the 8 month

17) people will be forced to the street for lack of food.

18) An year in which the rich will flourish in palaces while the needy are forced on to the street

19) Strange (distorted) doctrines in the church and Church teachings that deceive people

20) There will be distorted ideologies

21) Lovers of money and of themselves (in church)

22) God’s Name will be sold for money in the church

23) Two noble Churches will become commercialised.

24) People will mortgage their churches to foreign nations and be reduced to be dependants.

25) One leading and important church will fall 3/4 of its congregation will walk away.

26) Yet! This is a year of salvation in the land

27) It’s a year when people’s eyes will be on Me and their ears will hear My voice for they will have no other to turn to or place to go for help.
My grace will be their place of victory for those who are helpless. My grace alone will be there for them, My grace alone this year.

I say I am responsible because, as an individual, I have failed to lift and include my nation and its governance into my personal prayer life sufficiently. As a church, we have failed to be fervent, we have no passion for our nation, we let the nation run on its own, we never support it sufficiently in prayer. We are good at criticising, finding fault, specially when things go wrong, forgetting each moment that we are not willing to submit to governing authorities, which in turn brings about judgement on ourselves.

All of us must have a desire to obey our God, we need to pursue the spiritual gifts He gives us because they are truly gifts from Him! Just like we all love to receive gifts like little children, so also does God desire to give us so much more, only if we can ask and listen. God wants to reveal Himself to us, He is preparing us, He Loves us and therefore is reminding the Church and all of us who belong to the church that we have a part to play for our nation. This is why he is preparing us, building us, bringing us together, working in and through us and now using us for a greater cause.

More on the subject of Prophecy

My Nation – Going through hell?

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

Sunday again today? Oh…. what happened last Sunday, was it not a remembrance of the Resurrection, Easter Sunday? It was a happy and glorious day until the explosions rocked the churches, 350+ lives lost, many injured and still in hospitals, so much bloodshed, so much panic and so much fear, people are stuck in their homes afraid to walk out…..

We know this well that when we’re in the thick of it—facing these circumstances, we experience this “I just don’t know what to do” feeling? Most of us do, maybe all of us. The thing is, we actually do know what to do—we know exactly what to do. It’s just hard, in these moments, to remember . . . and to trust.

But, the hard part for us who believe is that we must remember and trust our triune God. He sees and He knows . . . and sometimes He allows. I know, we cannot accept this but we learn each day that we must not be “surprised at the fiery trial,” “as though something strange were happening”. When He allows hardship, though, it’s always for good—even if that’s not, at first, very obvious, its our testing of faith to produce Perseverance.

Last Sunday was Easter Sunday, we were all celebrating the resurrection, something that is so important for our salvation story; without it, we are all just “wasting our time” following Christ if he did not rise from the grave, there was bloodshed in the nation. This day for me the MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF REMEMBRANCE, and so it is in many a Christians life, and THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS is the most important TRUTH! The world has no excuse if we ignore this truth– after all the resurrection is celebrated worldwide and what a day to be selected by people to kill and destroy? We know that for us, there is Heaven. But we also know that to get there, we must know the real truth. My heart breaks to know that so many lives were lost and I cry out asking if all those lives will be in Heaven? Everyone who believes in Him receives FORGIVENESS OF SINS – the greatest need of all mankind and we are saved only by Grace, and this is what assured us of Heaven.

As the country battles to overcome, much is being said, critics are rampant, finger pointing is everywhere, the security is on full alert and people are living in fear. Something interesting was shared in Parliament by the opposition, he was bold, people listened, he was not interrupted, he was a true witness.

Can we agree and can we face the many disappointments of life because He is RISEN? The greatest news for us is that we can look forward to an amazing eternal life with HIM despite all that goes around us! Do we know the truth that matters most? Do we know that if we have Jesus, we have everything and we do not have to be afraid? People are worried about their life insurance, their safety, their savings and their future, but if we don’t have Jesus, we really have nothing.

As our nation mourns, as we are shaken and moved beyond words can explain, as we take one day at a time knowing how difficult things are today and as we have moved into the first week after the terrible destruction, can we all be reminded of the great future we have, made possible because of Him who died and rose again? Because Jesus is alive, we can face our problems and we have a greater story to tell, that is and this is the only story we have to talk about!

LIGHT (of the world?)

When someone told me the other day that I am required to be a ‘light’ to others, my response was that I was not made like the ‘firefly‘ to be able to produce light!

‘ “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. ‘

The very purpose of light is to brighten up the darkness and yet, we are called to be a ‘light’ to others!

A few weeks back, I had this once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the jungles deep south of the Philippines and witness this amazing sighting of the Philippine Eagle, perched up on this tree, maybe 500 meters high and it truly was something very spectacular! For one, this is a protected and very rare species to see in the wild, the other is that one never gets to witness this unless you are really very lucky! A dear surgeon friend who took me into the jungle and I, together with the forest rangers, spent hours just mesmerized and made use of every minute to take as many as 2,000 pictures between us!_DIL7059 I cannot explain the moment and the blessed opportunity, but what was interesting is that for the next 3 hours on our journey back, the next few days and even today, when ever we are together, out topic is all about this marvelous creation! We only spoke well of this bird, we talked about its habitat, its challenges, its future and everything positive in nature!

This got me thinking, if I was perched up on a tree, would anyone bother to look at me and take a picture of me and talk positive things about me? I know the answer, its obvious and it now makes me realize that I am not anywhere close to the beauty of nature where one could look at me and say that I can make a significant impact in their lives. It now makes absolute meaning when I recall what my dear friend (who celebrates his birthday today) said:Aravind

We are called to be intentional, we are called to assume responsibility, we need to work excellently and go beyond expectations but most important, we have to gain respect. People we look at our lives and see if something significant is happening through us.

The command ‘YOU are the light’ signifies that the world does not come to us, but we are to be out there, visible to everyone and live out out life purpose. People see us all the time, they either love us or hate us but how can I make that significant impact on others?

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

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Alone

Francis Chan, a very inspiring preacher challenged me, his question was what were my thoughts when I was alone?

At home I am never alone but, this is all the more relevant when I travel out of home on work. Going to bed and waking up is alone, and these are the times that various ideas flow through my mind.

Once the days work is done and is back to just being with myself, keeping the mind occupied is the ultimate goal. If it’s been a mind boggling day, the hotel lobby or bar would be a good place to relax or catch up with an office mate or friend. Its a good time to strategise and draw plans alone for the future of the company or catch up with emails that are always accumulating! Thoughts of going to the spa certainly pops up too.

In the morning when I am awake, a run around the block can help sweat it all out and get ready for the new day!

The realization however is that when alone, my thoughts are all focused on myself and whilst this seems absolutely fine and that’s probably the most logical thing to do, I am now encouraged and challenged to think otherwise!

As a child, my longing was to be with my father and mother, this was my security. Now as an adult, my security is managed by myself and what is being reminded is that in these private moments there is also the tendency to fall into sin, lust, greed, selfishness and much more.

Therefore, can these moments be converted to call upon my Abba Father and be in His awesome presence? My purpose on this earth is to be His disciple and to be able to fulfil His purpose, I need to know His word deeply, which helps me to know the real truth and be set free!

Marriage Prayer

Our god-son tied the knot two weeks ago. This young man was our pageboy at our wedding in 1997!!

The curious Pageboy!

The family requested that we lead the intersessions during his wedding ceremony and this gives me the opportunity to share this prayer with all of us who have made this important life choice:

Amy and Adrian are today joined together and have become one body, two different parts are joined together, and we celebrate and give thanks to our father.

Lord, we thank you for your design on how families are to function. We thank you for the roles you have set up for each member to play and perform to function properly as one family as per your design.

Thank you, Lord, for designing Men and Women differently, Amy and Adrian are different, and this is by your design. These differences are for each other to complement one another, not to compete or clash.

Thank you, Lord for your Design of family.

Father, we pray for Adrian as he takes on the role of Husband. We also remember all husbands present today.

As stated in Ephesians 5:23, Adrian is the head of his wife Amy, just as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which Christ is the Savior. 1 Peter 3:7 (NLT) guides all Husbands and, we pray for Adrian that he must give honor to Amy. Treat Amy with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

Ephesians 5:25-26 reminds us Husbands, and we pray for Adrian that he would love Amy, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for the church to make the church holy, cleansing the church by the washing with water through the word.

Thank you, Lord for your Design of Husband.

Father, we pray for Amy as she takes on the role of Wife. We also remember all wives present today.

The greatest need of a wife is love. The greatest fear of a wife after marriage is that her husband will not love her and cherish her anymore but, take her for granted.

Proverbs 31:10-12 & Titus 2:4-5 guides a wife and we pray for Amy that she be of help to Adrian, assist, aid, support and encourage him, to prioritize Adrian and to do good to Adrian all the days of your life.
Ephesians 5:22 reminds a wife to submit herself to her own husband as she would do for the Lord. This is further explained as to why this is so in 1 Peter 3:1-2 that if your husband does not believe the word of God, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of their lives.

We thank you Lord that your word helps us to understand that submission is ultimately not between the wife and husband, but between wife and God.

Thank you, Lord for your Design of Wife.

Each one of us must love our wives as we love ourselves, and the wife must respect her husband as said in Ephesians 5:33. Sadly today, husbands and wives are under attack because we have lost the real purpose of family. Families are affected, and we are surrounded by single parent homes, divorce, wrong values, live-in or cohabitation, premarital sex and teenage pregnancy, gender confusion and same-sex marriages, addiction to substances, internet, media and violence, all that goes against healthy, godly and family values.

The great news as said in Genesis 1:27 helps us to clearly understand that the family is God’s creation, God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them, and in Genesis 2:24 we learn that a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Thank you, Lord for your Design of Family.

We pray Lord that you will bless Amy and Adrian in their new family life from this day forth, Amen

December 29, 2018. Cathedral of Christ the Living Savior, Colombo
I pray that every married couple will experience this level of happiness.

My encounter with ‘JD’

Jan-Darryl, also known as ‘JD’ is a shy young man and we regularly meet at church on a Sunday. We’ve always admired him as he is a great singer and leads worship regularly on Sundays. 

A few weeks back, JD reached out to us and said that he wanted to share his vision and was looking for prayer support to help him take forward his plan and, as we sat and listened, I was just awestruck to understand that here was someone who really had a burning passion to do something very meaningful. A civil engineer by profession who was not planning to go build mega structures but was seeing how broken the world around him was and, dedicating himself to leading others to their God-given vision.

JD first shared with us some really frightening statistics that got us very worried and scarred, the reality more when we were bringing up two teenagers. Let me share the data:

Philippine Statistics

Obviously the statistics are revealing and whilst our youth may be a blur, the reality is when it comes to our own, what values are we bringing to our homes?

JD has made a commitment to bring awareness to the young population he works closely with, he wants to cultivate a good value system that is morally and spiritually right. Many have not had the opportunity of knowing between right and wrong, the way of life depends on the circumstances one is living in but, 

God put a burden in my heart to minister to youths full time

Jan-Darryl

As I dwell on this serious issue, I am sure that this is not just in the Philippines but is a global issue. As parents, how far do we care about those outside our families? Are we concerned about our own children and family members? Do we really understand the right morals we need to live with? I am burdened, I am pained. How can I help?

‘Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”’

Matthew 9:35-38

If you are moved to lend a helping hand to JD, let me know and I can connect you.

LIGHT (of the world?)

When someone told me the other day that I am required to be a ‘light’ to others, my response was that I was not made like the ‘firefly‘ to be able to produce light!

‘ “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. ‘

The very purpose of light is to brighten up the darkness and yet, we are called to be a ‘light’ to others!

A few weeks back, I had this once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the jungles deep south of the Philippines and witness this amazing sighting of the Philippine Eagle, perched up on this tree, maybe 500 meters high and it truly was something very spectacular! For one, this is a protected and very rare species to see in the wild, the other is that one never gets to witness this unless you are really very lucky! A dear surgeon friend who took me into the jungle and I, together with the forest rangers, spent hours just mesmerized and made use of every minute to take as many as 2,000 pictures between us!_DIL7059 I cannot explain the moment and the blessed opportunity, but what was interesting is that for the next 3 hours on our journey back, the next few days and even today, when ever we are together, out topic is all about this marvelous creation! We only spoke well of this bird, we talked about its habitat, its challenges, its future and everything positive in nature!

This got me thinking, if I was perched up on a tree, would anyone bother to look at me and take a picture of me and talk positive things about me? I know the answer, its obvious and it now makes me realize that I am not anywhere close to the beauty of nature where one could look at me and say that I can make a significant impact in their lives. It now makes absolute meaning when I recall what my dear friend (who celebrates his birthday today) said:Aravind

We are called to be intentional, we are called to assume responsibility, we need to work excellently and go beyond expectations but most important, we have to gain respect. People we look at our lives and see if something significant is happening through us.

The command ‘YOU are the light’ signifies that the world does not come to us, but we are to be out there, visible to everyone and live out out life purpose. People see us all the time, they either love us or hate us but how can I make that significant impact on others?

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Read more