Taming the beast

Who can tame the beast?

If you are lucky to spot it, you’ll locate it in a den, where it lives. The den is well secured by two gates to provide full security, lest the beast will escape.

The inner gate, white in colour, the outer, mostly pink, sometimes grey or red. Nonetheless, it can assume a motley of colours depending on the caretaker’s preferences.

This beast is not the lion. It is a venomous beast. Its venom is the most virulent on earth. It is not a viper. It is that Lilliputian beast resting comfortably in that den past the lips, behind the teeth-the tongue! Eagerly waiting for an opportune moment to strike.

“Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it, we bless our God and Father, and with it, we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.”

James 3:5-10.

The tongue is like a weapon of mass destruction. The moment it explodes, it causes tremendous havoc. Once it is detonated, it forces the gates wide open and spits out venom, that devastates without mercy; diminutive as it is. It breathes out the fire, that burns carelessly.

Now, what can we do about this dreadful beast if we can’t tame it? The only thing we can opt for is to set a “speed governor” in the mouth.

The mouths in a dire need of it, more than any automobile, for when it is working properly, terms gush out of it with lightning speed. Good and bad words.

“I said I will take heed to my ways that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.”

Psalm 39:1.

Dear friend, maybe you are battling with this beast, trying to tether it but you are completely drained. Whenever you attempt, you’re totally subdued, and you cringe to surrender. 

Maybe you don’t like it when the beast behaves like a machine gun, spitting fire of words on fellow people, maybe you like it. Maybe you don’t like it when your tongue behaves like a sewing machine when the needle pierces ruthlessly through linen; maybe you like it. No. It’s not you my dear reader, but I know you don’t like it.

Whether you like it or not, it is awful,  so deplorable. And you know that. Whenever we curse people who are made in God’s image and yet occasionally we bless God, we’re not true to ourselves, to people and to God.

If this is the case, we need to ask God we bless with the tongue to be the caretaker of our lips. When we do so, the wild beast will no longer misbehave. The beast will remain harmless. The time bomb won’t explode. With God all things are possible.

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips.

Psalm 141:3.

And when God takes over, whenever the gate is opened, I will be speaking words of blessing to God, to myself and to others. This way, I’ll be at peace with myself and others.

“Use the power of your words in the direction of truth and love.”

Miguel Ruiz.

You are blessed!

Kingdom Titbits,

By Joseph.

Spiritual growth

Building your confidence in God

Where is your confidence?

Are you caught up in life’s pressures and trying to take action out but to no avail? Maybe your education, position, relationships or skills you’re relying on have proved futile. How do you feel concerning your struggles? Do you feel like you’re losing confidence in your own efforts? If so, you’re not alone; actually, you’re not misplaced.

Many people are experiencing similar situations, enduring in faith and getting a tremendous triumph. The Bible also gives an account of several heroes of faith who faced dire ordeals, endured by faith to emerge out victoriously. I hope we learn from some. I hope like them we surrender our efforts to God as we wait upon His supernatural intervention.

One of them is Job. He was a very wealthy man who feared God. If his confidence emanated from his affluence, influence, social status, power, might and children, he would have relinquished his confidence when they were taken from him. His confidence remained even rock-solid without them since it was founded on faith but not on temporal things. 

Job’s conviction was beyond his earthly possessions that were obliterated. His supreme intention was to see the Lord.

“For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!”

Job 19:25-27.

Paul and Silas, when they were put behind the bars, they chose to offer grand praises to God. Instead of gloom, they chose glee. Instead of depression, they chose serenity. In that dungeon of darkness, they saw by faith, the light of God. And God in His power sent an Angel to their dramatic rescue.

“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.”

Acts 16:25-36.

May I remind you of the words of J.K Rowlings, who said this:

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

David’s confidence to face boisterous Goliath wasn’t based on military mastery and experience, nor did he need sophisticated weaponry. He only needed God in the vanguard, plus a stone in a sling to smash a robust giant to death. 

So they witnessed Goliath’s torso dancing on the earth minus the head. David’s confidence was born of his faith in his God, whom he acknowledged before the whole assemblage.

“Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”

I Samuel 17:45-46.

The companions of Daniel chose to confidently plunge into the furnace of death rather than to stoop in the worship of an idol. They did this in the name of their God. 

And God was in the furnace with them, who miraculously saved them without a slight laceration. In fact, it is those who participated in throwing them in who we’re charred by the same fire to death. 

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”‘

Daniel 3:16-18.

There are times we’re going to encounter dark predicaments though we trust in the Lord. The road ahead is going to be bumpy. The enemy will try to shake our faith to drive us off course. Goliath is going to block our pathway. We are going to find ourselves in fiery furnaces of life.

In such occasions, are we going to allow the situation to force us to seek an easy way out? Are we by our own efforts going to seek quick fixes? Are we going to seek short cuts that are short of God’s glory? Or are we going to recoil to a defeated surrender?

“Who among you fears the Lord?
Who obeys the voice of His Servant?
Who walks in darkness
And has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord
And rely upon his God.
Look, all you who kindle a fire,
Who encircle yourselves with sparks:
Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled—
This you shall have from My hand:
You shall lie down in torment.”

Isaiah 50:10-11.

Nay, God forbid! We aren’t going to kindle our own fire based on our limited efforts while circumventing God’s ability. Ours won’t provide enough light to illuminate our way out. Fire kindled in this manner is merely sparks in God’s eyes. We’ll be astounded how soon It goes off and we get into more trouble and sorrow.

Instead, we can determine to proceed with the bumpy ride up the rugged mountain, as we confidently rest in the power of the Lord to shine His full light upon our pathway. Himself is light!

Beloved, it is not enough to draw our confidence from our own wisdom, power or strength. Like these heroes of faith and many others in the Bible, we can purpose to stay focused on the Lord in the face of trouble. 

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

Khalil Gibran.

In closing, our efforts may generate positive results but when our actions silence God’s presence; when we disobey God’s will, the results won’t stay for long. However, when in unwavering confidence we surrender our efforts to God and patiently wait for Him, He is going to show up with a supernatural, lasting remedy.

God loves you!

Kingdom Titbits,

By Joseph.

Spiritual growth

Here is the wonderful place we can find complete rest

Are you facing a circumstance right now where you’re attempting to fix something but it seems humanly impossible? Now have you thought of relinquishing your familiar endeavours and telling God to take over because you can do nothing about it? I want you to know that Jesus can take that burden, redeem the situation and give you an amazing rest.

I want you to know that God is love. His love for us is incomprehensible. Unfathomable. Unlimited…God genuinely demonstrated His love on the cross when Jesus died for us.

God could not suffer us enter into eternal damnation. Consequently, He gave out the innocent one He loved most to die for the many who sinned greatly. What unique love this is! What can’t He do?

On the cross, Jesus undergoes the most excruciating experience ever.  Father abandons Son. Son cries, “My God, my God, why have you forsake me?” Father watches as Son is whipped, spat on, ridiculed, rejected…all people zero in on one “villainous” character. At this very moment, Jesus becomes even guiltier than a thief.

“And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

Matthew 27:28-29.

The villain becomes the hero; the victim becomes the victor.

Notice the contrast to what happens on the cross. The one who is renounced and insulted on earth is celebrated and honoured in heaven. (Revelation 5). Not anyone can open the scroll, no one else is found worthy but the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Lion symbolises strength, power, boldness and authority.

Jesus is depicted as a lamb as well as a lion. A lamb symbolises humility, submission, obedience and simplicity; qualities Jesus demonstrates on the cross in obedience to God’s will. (Isaiah 53:7). His obedience precedes His being given the most powerful of all names.

It is finished.

Moments before he takes in the last breath of life, Jesus affirms these monumental words: “it is finished.” (John 19:30). He completes His redemptive assignment in this very moment. The last Adam restores that which the first Adam had lost.

Child of God, I want you to read aloud with me these words. Meditate the words in bold. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a deeper revelation and understanding of these powerful declarations. What do they mean to you as a Christian?

“…saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honour
and glory and blessing!”

Revelation 5:12.

Seven is a number of completion.

Dear reader, the moment you believed in Jesus Christ, you received these seven possessions, for Jesus lives in you. His victory is vested in you. You’re an heir together with him.

Beloved, you’re complete in Christ Jesus. As a child of God, you must stop living pseudo-half life; “not hot not cold” and start living the full life you now possess.

Now that you’re a new creature you’ll always be walking in this newness of life, for you’re free from those former wicked ways that held you captive. You’ll be walking in victory. In boldness. In confidence. In joy. In peace. In love. In humility…and in any other virtue that is found in this new life.

“…and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

Ephesians 4:24.

On the whole, we need to admit our emptiness and humbly forego our total dependence on human strength and ability. We deny ourselves of God’s supernatural power when we continue boasting and basking in our confidence, in our resources, our skills, our positions, our relationships, our platforms… there is no rest, nor security in these, for they’re temporal.

What if we humbly take the lowest positions as Jesus taught and took? Will God not elevate us? We do this by fully emptying ourselves of self-effort so that Jesus can completely fill us. By allowing Him to take the centre stage in our lives. Only Him alone can complete us. Only in Him alone, we can find lasting rest.

Focus on the cross, it is the best place you can find complete rest.

In the cross is salvation; in the cross is life; in the cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness; in the cross is strength of mind; in the cross is joy of spirit; in the cross is excellence of virtue; in the cross is perfection of holiness. There is no salvation of soul, nor hope of eternal life, save in the cross.”

Thomas a Kempis.

Jesus loves you!

Kingdom Titbits,

By Joseph.