When Crying is Futile

“The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward” Exodus 14:15).

I have read this bible story a few times and as I read it again today, the above verse caught my attention. Imagine Moses at the Red Sea panicking, the people are crying and bitterly complaining, and God’s response to Moses was, “why are you crying to me?” This sounds a little bit harsh of a response, at a time when everything seemed impossible. “Tell the people to go forward,” is the next instruction from God. Almost as if to say, “Moses I have trained and appointed you to lead, so act like a leader.”

“Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground” (Exodus 14:16). I don’t think that God was tired of Moses crying out to him for help. On the contrary, I think what God was saying to Moses was, I promised that I would be with you to help you and to fight with and for you, so why are you now afraid? In fact, I have showed you my power, strength and might and I have also delegated that power to you, so use what you have.

Moses had used the staff before when God transformed it into a serpent in Exodus 4. He used it again in chapter 7, when Aaron’s staff swallowed up the staff of the Egyptians, when they all transformed into serpents. The power was not in the staff but in God, who used whatever Moses or Aaron carried to demonstrate who he is.

I believe that there are seasons when we pray and cry out earnestly to God. There are other times, when God wants us to use what we have to move forward in faith. This requires us to use our God given, authority to either allow or disallow anything contrary to the will and purpose of God. “So shall they fear The name of the Lord from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah‬ ‭59‬:‭19).


Replenish and Subdue (2)

“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions” (Hebrews 11:33).

In Paul’s letter to the saints in Hebrews, he spoke of the heroes of faith, who made a significant impact on the church. He started the chapter by clarifying what faith is and identifying that it is through our faith that we believe that God created the universe. So what is visible to us was made from what was invisible as God spoke the world into existence (Hebrews 11:3).

Paul outlined the heroes of faith from Abel who gave a well pleasing sacrifice unto God, to David who subdued kingdoms. Although Abel died due to his brother’s jealousy, we still make reference to his example today. Paul recounted Enoch who walked with God and did not see death; Noah who obeyed God and built the ark, which saved his family and Abraham who came out from among his people to walk with God, not knowing where he was going. Abraham lived in the land of promise and he and Sarah in their old age, gave birth to a son. They believed God and attained a promise of having descendants, as innumerable as the stars of the sky or the sand and of the sea.

Paul made final reference to other prophets such as Moses, David, Samson, Barak and Samuel. These men subdued kingdoms and “quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight” (Hebrews 11:34).

These prophets and heroes of faith lived with such a boldness, that sets an example for us. We learn from them about the power and authority that we have in God to take over territories and to win battles for God. Knowing that the one who lives in us is far greater than the power that lives in the world. We work to establish the kingdom of God and to establish our dominion mandate.


Replenish and Subdue

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28).

Let us take a look at God’s first words to mankind in Eden after he created us in his own image. Within this first scripture are a set of instructions which God gave to us to carry out on the earth.

1. Be fruitful and multiply; to be fruitful is producing good results which are beneficial and profitable and multiply means to increase a number in multiples. Most people limit this term to having children and while this is included within the concept, it does not explain it entirely. Jesus used the parable of the talents to teach the principle of multiplication and increase. Within this teaching he demonstrates how God has entrusted to each of us gifts and talents which he expects us to use to yield an increase (Matthew 25:14-30).

2. Replenish and subdue; Replenish relates to restoration and maintenance while to subdue means to bring under control. God expects us to be as concerned about the environment as the scientists and environmental activists. This describes our role in replenishing the earth by caring about recycling for example. And in this way, we are able to subdue and bring things like natural disasters under control. God created the animal kingdom and wildlife and if we think that God is not concerned about all of his creation then we are mistaken. “And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:25).

3. Have dominion; this is our right to govern and control. Although we are not the largest or the strongest mammals that God created, our mind gives us the ability to outthink every other species. And it is this ability to think, reason and plan which allows us to be able to bring even the fiercest animals under our control.

Having an understanding of the core principles which God created us to walk in, helps us with understanding our purpose and destiny. It is important for us to balance each principle as a greater emphasis on being fruitful for example, without the need to replenish can create imbalance. It is also important for us to understand the times and seasons to know what we are to do.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).


Continue in Love

“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do” (Hebrews 6:10 ESV).

Sometimes we may feel like we have been taken for granted, when we have shown kindness to others which is not returned with much gratitude. Continue to show love as God says that what we do in secret, God sees it and will reward us openly. Don’t even talk about it, God says. There is no need to tell everyone what you did for someone and gripe about how they seem to not have remembered your kindness. “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing”
‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭3‬).

Isaiah stated that God desire is that we, “divide our bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into our house–when we see the naked, that we cover him, and that we hide not ourselves from [the needs of] our own flesh and blood” (Isaiah 58:7)? When we meet the needs of others, we are doing the will of God and fulfilling his will on the earth.

When we see to the needs of others, this is God’s promise. “Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily; your righteousness (your rightness, your justice, and your right relationship with God) shall go before you [conducting you to peace and prosperity], and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. (Isaiah 58:8 )

During this and every season, as much as is possible, let us also pray for others and seek opportunity to do good and to be a blessing. For in so doing we shall reap crowns of righteousness.


Power and Might

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Jesus is recorded as speaking to the disciples before his ascension into heaven. He reinforced the promise of the Holy Spirit and spoke of a new baptism not with water but with the fire of the Holy Spirit. This was manifested later with the Acts church when they waited for the promise. “And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them” (Acts 2:3).

God is a consuming fire and there are different manifestations of God in the trinity as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus was referred to as the word which was in the beginning with God and was God (John 1:1). The word of God is quick, powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

God is also manifested in the person of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. This same power of God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives inside of you (Romans 8:11). Jesus has given us power to tread upon serpents and scorpions (demons), and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing can hurt us (Luke 10:19).

We have to maintain a consciousness of who we are and the power that lives in us. Our words are powerful and our prayers are strong enough to shake foundations. Our voices as people of God can change the world and we have the power and authority to move mountains. We can command the weather patterns and even the sea to be calm. Do you know how powerful you are? You have unlimited power from on high. “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”
‭‭(1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭4‬).


What God has Promised

“For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you” (Hebrews 6:13-14).

God cannot lie and when he makes a promise we can rest assured by his character, that it will come to pass. His promise to Abraham was that his children would be as many as the stars in the sky or as the sand upon the seashore (Genesis 22:17). How would this be true when Abraham was old and Sarah had passed childbearing years? “Abraham considered his body to be near death and the womb of Sarah now dead” (Romans 4:19).

Sarah doubted and caused Abraham to deviate from God’s plan in having a child with their maid (Genesis 16:2). She thought at least then they could ensure that God’s promise would come to pass. This was not the case and the maid became resentful of Sarah and caused her more distress.

God’s faithfulness is not dependent on our actions and even when we make mistakes, he will keep his promise to us. Abraham had a relationship with God and because he listened and obeyed, God instructed him to send away his firstborn son with the maid (Genesis 21:12). Although they made a mistake, God still kept his promise in their old age (Genesis 24).

The requirement for God’s promises to be fulfilled, is to listen, obey and trust in his word. It may be even years before we see the manifestation of things promised. It pays to wait on God and trust that what he said will come to pass. “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay” (Habakkuk‬ ‭2:3‬).


Breaking Generational Curses (2)

“The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself” (Ezekiel 18:20).

Yesterday we explored how a relationship with God and his anointing can break generational curses. Today we focus a bit more on the revelations which the prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah had from God concerning this matter. God spoke to Ezekiel about the issue of generational inheritance in the Old Testament. “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’” (Ezekiel 18:2)? Jeremiah also confirmed that this saying was no longer relevant, when he declared God’s covenant of love and restoration towards his people. “In those days they shall no longer say: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’” (Jeremiah 31:29).

What this means is that, although parents and grandparents have made mistakes in the past, that we are not bound by these mistakes. It is true that at times we can unfortunately reap some of the negative consequences of the actions of our parents. A relationship with God can set us free from spirits of inheritance and generational curses. It is important to develop some awareness of our history to understand the roots and foundations of some challenges. We do have to strike a balance so that we do not become overly preoccupied with living in the past. What we need to do is to surrender these situations to God and pray for freedom through the blood of Jesus.

In summation, Ezekiel’s text suggests that despite our family patterns and cycles, that it is possible for people to make different choices. It is difficult at times to choose a lifestyle that is completely different from the one that we grew up seeing. Difficult is not impossible and it is the grace of God which saves us and makes us righteous when we surrender our lives to him. God does not want us to live in ignorance or in a constant state of bondage. Sometimes we need to seek God like Daniel, to seek answers about some stubborn situations. We also need revelation knowledge to understand how to make restitution for some wrongs committed.

“Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 18:23)?


Breaking Generational Curses (1)

“However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you” (Deuteronomy 28:15).

Daniel prayed to God and cried out to him for the sins of his ancestors. During Daniel’s lamentations he recalled the warnings from the prophets and the curses that God said would come on his people if they were disobedient. Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 28 about promises of blessings in the word of God for those who obey him. For those who do not obey however, the promises relates to hard conditions. One thing is certain is that God is always waiting for his people to repent and is so merciful that he will deliver, set free and restore his people to himself. Once we have prayed the prayer of repentance, God will break generational curses.

There are some conditions that represent a curse of affliction, a curse of poverty or even a spirit of death within a family. Some families are able to trace negative generational patterns within several generations. It is no coincidence that some sicknesses and diseases stay within a family bloodline. Poverty and lack, divorce, alcoholism and drug use for example are examples of inter generational family patterns. The good news is that the anointing breaks the yoke and sets the captives free.

“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke” (Isaiah 58:6)? Some conditions require us to commit ourself in prayer and fasting before God, pray the prayer of repentance and confession of sins and then believe God to break spiritual yokes. “To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isaiah 61:1).


God Given Authority

“Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18:18).

Jesus taught his disciples and left for us an example, regarding the power and authority that we have on earth. We possess power over principalities and powers. We need to use this God given authority to place everything contrary to the will and purpose of God into subjection under our feet. We have been sent into the world to establish the kingdom of God and to have dominion. There are angels assigned to assist us in our work and there are also demons, principalities and powers working to frustrate the plan that God has assigned us to.

We cannot accept being frustrated, beat down, held up, prosecuted and worn out by the enemy. The alternative is to identify the spirits working to frustrate the plan of God in our lives. We then arise in our God given authority, bind every contrary spirit and release the power of God to operate. Remaining immature and ignorant of the devices of the enemy is not an option. The Devil will work through people who make themselves available, including people who are believers. Our battle is not with people as we do not wrestle against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12).

What is at war against us are the principalities, powers and spirits operating within the world. We ask the Holy Spirit to help us identify the spirits operating against us and then we take authority. The enemy can employ agents to operate in the spirit of envy and jealousy, for example. This can at times cause someone to start operating in a negative way towards us, which can cause us unnecessary stress. We arise and come against every spirit of envy and jealousy and release the peace of God over that person. In that way, we resist the devil and take away his permission to operate and to continue to frustrate our purpose.

Make sure that you wear your full armour to cover and protect yourself. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭11‬). When we go the the enemy’s camp, we have to ensure that we do not have any open doors to allow him access to us. In this week recognise the power that you have been given and use your God given power and authority. With God on our side, we will win this battle and claim victory through Jesus Christ.


God Specialises in Newness

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19).

No one can stop the flow of blessings that God has in store for you. God wants you to stop knocking on some closed doors or keep trying to get water from a broken cistern. He has already prepared another way, but the longer you stand waiting for water to come from a dry source, is the longer you will wait to discover the new source which God has created. In 1 Kings 17, God sent ravens to feed Elijah and he drank water from a brook during a famine. After a while, the brook dried up and God instructed Elijah to go to Zarephath to see a widow who was instructed to feed him. The widow did not even realise that she had enough to feed her and her son and to feed Elijah. It turned out that God would use her obedience, to multiply what she had in order to sustain them.

When Elijah met the widow gathering sticks, he asked her for some water. He later called out and asked her to bring him some bread. The woman lamented to Elijah that all she had left was a morsel of flour, which she planned to make for her and her son. She had decided that this would be their last meal before they died. Elijah comforted the woman and promised her that God would not allow her flour or oil to run out and instructed her to make the bread for him first. “And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days” (1 Kings‬ ‭17‬:‭15‬). God is the author of new things and the way he blessed you yesterday may not be the way that he will bless you today and tomorrow.

God has created different sources for different seasons, times and purposes. Perhaps the reason you keep hearing no, is because you are asking the wrong question from the wrong person and source. Oftentimes, our thinking has been limited by our head knowledge. If you are going to grow then you have to keep discovering the things of God. There are deeper depths and higher heights to be found in Christ Jesus. The things of God are mysterious to those who do not know or understand him.

As you grow in God, he will give you knowledge and a deeper understanding of him and his ways which are often difficult to grasp. Ask and study what the word says about the area you are struggling in and trust God to give you the answers. There is an answer to every test and for every trial there is a way out. God is doing a new thing so look and you will find it. “May you have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18-19).