The power of repentance

swan-645589_640Luke 15:21: And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ (ESV)

Repentance means changing your mind which in turn translates to changing your action. The prodigal son, who repented, went back to his father. He retraced his step, after reconsidering his situation (Luke 15:11-32).

Peter said that when we repent, we will experience times of refreshing from the presence of God (Acts 3:19).

This is in contrast to what Adam and Eve experienced when they were chased out of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), or what King Saul experienced when he had a spirit of torment (1Samuel 16).

Adam, Eve and Saul were disobedient, and their experience was far from “times of refreshing.” And being descendants of Adam we are the inheritors of his sin and it’s consequences (Romans 5:12-21).

But in Jesus, repentance is preached (Luke 24:46-48). And we have the opportunity to come from curses to blessing (Galatians 3), from error to wisdom , from darkness to light (Acts 26:18), to the very presence of God. One moment we were children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-7), the next, through the gate of repentance, we come to the very presence of God, we have peace with God (Romans 5:1).

Repentance is the gateway to life. When we do not repent, we have chosen to remain the same. When the prodigal son repented, he started moving in the direction of change. Repentance is turning to God, like a plant turns to the sun to blossom.

In repentance we stop rejecting God and experience restoration; we sever our link with the first Adam and embrace the last (1Corinthians 15:45), in whom is victory.

What is wrong with the tongue? 

man-31894_640Romans 3:13: Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: (KJV)

There are very strong picturesque adjectives used to describe the impure mouth here, as Paul attempts to show that all men are incorrigible sinners (Romans 3), that try as we may humanity without Christ are sinners because of how corrupted the mouth is.

He said that the scriptures have described everyone as sinners and there is no of escape to escape judgment but by believing in the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and the saved by faith. Paul said that scriptures said that everyone does evil, and no one is clean and the tongue gives the summary of that. James described the tongue as being a little member but boasts great things. He said the man who does not err in words is truly perfect (James 3).

Throat: Open sepulchre

For the throat to be an open sepulchre means that it is totally filthy. Paul said we should allow our words to be seasoned with salt ministering grace to the hearers (Ephesians 4). But if your tongue is full of rot, then that is what you will deliver to others. Instead of grace there will be curse. Even if you are saying nothing wrong, everything is wrong because of what is being communicated, which is death.

Jesus said that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45), not just in the choice of words but in the spirit behind the words. The devil did not seem to see anything wrong in his suggestions to Jesus as he tempted him, be it was still the devil, if you know what I mean.

The way our heart is shaped will determine how our words is shaped. And since the heart of man was contaminated by sin, therefore the only thing that will manifest is death, regardless of how well trained and well behaved we are.

An opened grave has nothing to benefit you and it is better closed. Before the destruction of the earth in a flood, the bible recorded that the imagination of our heart was evil continually (Genesis 6:5). The mind reeks of corruption, and that determines what essence comes out of the mouth.

The “open sepulchre throat” communicates death, and not life, it communicates end and destruction and not beginning or transformation. We read of one who speaks like the piercing of the sword, but we were told that the mouth of the righteous communicates peace and life (Proverbs 12:18).

God designed that the use of the mouth of man is to create blessing, not curses. God made all the animal and asked Adam to name them (blessing them) and what he called them that was what they become (Genesis 2). They came into their purpose by the word Adam spoke to them.

God made man in his own image and spoke words of blessings over him. And just as God blessed man, he also made man to be a source of blessing through the words of his mouth.

When God set up the ordinances for the nation of Israel, he said the high priest must be careful to place his words of blessing upon them saying: the Lord bless thee and keep thee, the lord make his face shine upon thee and given you peace (Numbers 6:22-27). Life was to be communicated from the mouth.

Tongues: used for deceit

When humanity through Adam and Eve, bought into the lie of the devil, lying became our identification mark. Gehazi lied and he was judged with leprosy (2Kings 5). He was greedy for money but still wanted to maintain a religious demeanour. It is that state of contradiction that lying attempts to combine.

It is associated with hypocrisy. It is coming not clean, not owning up to mistakes. Adam and Eve did not own up to their mistake (Genesis 3). They attempted to cover up, and lying is about cover up. It is embracing darkness instead of coming into light.

Just as Gehazi wanted to take undue advantage of the Syrian general, so lying also comes as a means to take advantage of others. It is the wisdom of earthly demonic and sensual kind (James 3). The liar’s eyes are set on things on the earth (Colossians 3), his mouth is influenced by the hell, and he is bound by sensual, not spiritual consideration.

The devil is called the father of lies (John 8:44). That is his identity. And Jesus told the people in his time, the desire of your father you will do, saying that the devil was their father.

Being a father has to do with influence, and with the influence of the devil in causing Eve to fall, and his becoming the god of this world, lying became the order of the day, but there is freedom from the burden of lying in Jesus, where we can come to experience rebirth, experience being born again, becoming new creature, putting off the old man (associated with lying), and putting on the new man (associated with truth [Colossians ]), which is renewed in knowledge according to the one who created him. The new man that we put on is Jesus.

Lips: Poison of asps

There is death and defilement in the mouth, with Jesus saying what comes out of us can defile. There is the deceit in the mouth which shows the influence humanity has come under, and lastly from the focus verse we learn about the poisonous power of the tongue.

The bible says that some people speak like the piercing of the sword. While we should use our tongue to build up, following the intent of the devil means we will use our tongue to defile others, through which we tear them down.

James wondering about the mouth said that it is the same instrument that we use to bless God that we curse our fellow human being, adding: this should not be so.

The devil poisoned the relationship between Eve and God, sowing the seed of distrust. And one of the things that God hates is a lying tongue and the one who sows division among brethren.

Curing those who had need of healing

church-753815_640Luke 9:11: When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing.

In the ministry of Jesus, there was healing galore. From head to toe people were touched with the healing presence that manifested through his life. The number of the sick did not intimidate nor the severity of the condition. He even raised the dead. He was God in the flesh on a restoration mission to help us out of our quagmire and set our feet on solid rock.

At a time, Jesus was teaching, and it was noted that the power of God was present to heal (Luke 5:17-26). And a man was brought in by his four friends who had enough faith to break through the roof of the house where Jesus was to get to him, because there was no way at the door because of the crowd.

And Jesus first said to the man: “your sins are forgiven you,” before saying “rise up and walk.” He told him to do what he was not able to do before. Jesus demonstrated his power both to forgive sin and heal the sick, to do both the in-tangle and the tangible things. Here we see the evidence of his lack of limitation. He can both lift the burden of sin and also the burden of sickness. He is without limit either to restore relationship with God through forgiving sin and restoring health to the body. Anything God can do, he can do because he is God.

There was a woman who suffered for 12 years from an illness and had become pauperised because of it, having spent a lot with physicians (Luke 8:43-48). None could give her a solution. She saw her solution in Jesus and pressed through the crowd when Jesus was passing to reach out to him. And immediately the flowing blood stopped, the problem of years ended in a moment. What her money could not do, Jesus did. Her lack of money was not a barrier to receiving from Jesus. Here was a woman who was at the end of herself, with nowhere to go to get solution and no money to go there, but she got solution through Jesus, the walking goodness of God.

There was another man sick for 38 years that Jesus healed. He had been in that condition before Jesus was born. It shows that regardless of the length of time, Jesus is able to heal him (John 5). The man was raised from his sick bed by Jesus with merely a word of command. Jesus said his words are spirit and life (John 6:63). They are not empty words.

He said that he was anointed to meet needs (Luke 4:18-19). When he came back from the wilderness after he was tempted by the devil, he entered into the synagogue and opened the scroll of prophet Isaiah that was given to him, he said: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to preach recovery of sight to the blind, and deliverance to the captives.

His was an healing and deliverance and gospel. That is what he embodies. He says that he is the light of the world (John 9:1-5). What that a means is that without him we are in darkness, we will not see our ways, we will be injured, fall into the pit. He said the enemy came to steal kill and destroy, but he came to give us life (John 10:10), he came to destroy the works of the devil.

While he was on the earth he sent disciples to cast out devils, as his representatives, bringing relief to many people. He gave them power such as he had and they were able to reproduce the mighty works in his life.

He is “designed” to meet our needs. He was called the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). He was called the word, the revelation of God to us, because since the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, man lost full contact with God, and Jesus, as God the Word, became man to teach us about the Father, being himself the revelation of the father.

The book of Hebrews says that in time past God in a limited sense spoke to us by the prophet, but in this last days he has spoken to us through his Son, who is full manifestation of the glory, the complete expression of his person (Hebrews 1:1-3).

The bible says that God has invested his son with the right to judge because the world needs justice (John 5:22).  And Isaiah wrote about Jesus, he said: the Spirit of the Lord is upon him, (that means he is invested with God himself), the spirit of wisdom and understanding, knowledge and counsel, might and fear of the lord, and his will not judge by the hearing of the ears but will judge righteous judgment (Isaiah 11:1-6).

He did all things while maintaining a close relationship with the father, obeying him, resisting the temptation of the devil, with living a life of prayer featuring prominently in his life.

He prayed all night, prayed early in the morning, prayer at intervals in the day. He manifested the glory of God because he had connected with the glory in a vital immediate sense in the place of prayer. There was a time the bible says that people were rushing to touch the garment of garment and everyone who did, was healed, but just before then he was involved in many hours of prayer (Luke 5:19). Prayer was the source of his power as was the source of the power of Elijah who also did great things in his time.

The bible says that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we can ask or think according to the power at work in us (Ephesians 3:20). That means God is not limited.

Seek good

sparkler-677774_640 (1)Amos 5:14: Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. (ESV)

What you pursue defines your life. Jesus says that we should seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

The focus verse says that we should seek good and not evil. That seems simple enough but we need that truth lived out in our lives, not just something we say but what is seen in our lives. We need it actualised.

When Jesus was on the cross he sought the good of even those who crucified him. He prayed to God: do not hold this against them (Luke 23:33-34). The bible talked of how blessed it is for us to have our sins forgiven (Romans 4:6-7).

Stephen the first martyr of the church also did the same thing Jesus did (Acts 7:54-60). While he was being stoned and his breath was leaving his nostrils, he prayed that God will forgive those responsible. When we have a forgiving heart it shows that we are seeking good and not evil.

Peter asked Jesus the extent he should go to forgive others. He asked: how many times someone can offend me in a day that I will need to forgive him? He wanted to know the limits of seeking good in that wise. He asked: is seven times not enough? He probably thought it was (Matthew 18:21-35).

Jesus answered: it is not seven times, but seventy times seven times. That means if you want to count, it will be a waste of time and you will lose count. And if you are bent on it, you will keep counting until you are blue in the face.

Then he gave a parable in which he impressed it on us that when it comes to forgiving others we need to be like God, we need to express the God’s own generosity.

It was Peter who will later write: be holy as your heavenly father is holy (1Peter 1:15-16). He finally got the point that what God wants us to output in goodness is not as defined man’s limited ability.

It was something we need to depend on God for. Jesus was unequivocal when he said that no one is good except God (Mark 10:18). Only God is purely good. God is good and Jesus says he showers his rain on both the righteous and the sinner, saying we should be like that (Matthew 5:43-48). David says that he has no good apart from God (Psalm 16:2).

Jesus gives a high standard of love saying that we should love our neighbour as ourselves (Mark 12:31). He also said, showing the kind of love he himself expressed, no greater love do I have than for a man to lay his life for others (John 15:12-13). Jesus died for us because he sought for our good. We were down and out and he willingly laid his life down to get us back to him.

God saw the evil that happened to Man after the sin in the Garden of Eden, but he was not going to surrender to it, he was going to do something about it.  He was going to offer us help in the quagmire of sin we are in. He sought our good, he came all the way from heaven seeking our good, and he wants us to go into the whole world to tell everybody about it, as we share his love for others (Mark 16:15).

Seeking good involves all of your being. It involves going out of your way. When Jesus said that the greatest love is to love the Lord our God with all our heart mind and soul, and to love our neighbour as ourselves, someone asked who is my neighbour (Mark 12:31, Luke 10:25-37)? To answer Jesus gave a parable about a Samaritan who went out of his way to help a traveller that was injured and left for dead after robbers waylaid him on the way.

The Samaritan was the epitome of “seeking good.” There was no prize too much for him to pay to get the needy man back on his feet. The Samaritan helped to connect the injured man to the right places where he could get expert help, where he can be ministered to.

The good you can do somebody may be to invite the person to a church where the need for salvation, healing and transformation can be met. The restoration of the man left for dead because he had been so beaten and battered as the unexpected evil fell on him did not happen overnight. But the Samaritan man was willing to pay the prize to see the end of the process. He was “seeking” his good, not just “wishing” it.

John wrote about the need for us to be practical about meeting the needs of others and not over-spiritualise things. He said that if a brother comes to us who needs food or clothing, we should not shut our bowels of mercy, just offering a word of prayer and sending him on his way, if we have the means to help at whatever level (1John 3:16-18).

Proverbs says: do not withhold good from others when it is in the power of your hands to do it (Proverbs 3:27). The power your have, the opportunities, the possibilities that you have are meant to be deployed for the benefit of others.

Paul wrote that everyone should learn to work with their own hands in order to be able to give to the needy (1Thessalonians 4:11-13, Ephesians 4:28), not just that they could eat. In another place, he said God is able to make all grace abound towards us so that in all things and at all times we will abound in every good thing.

The abounding is not for self-gratification, it is for us to be an extension of the hands of God to give to others. Paul said that Timothy should tell those who are rich in this world to be adept at giving others, so that they may lay for themselves great treasures in heaven (1Timothy 6:17-19). In the same vein, Jesus said that we should labour to have treasure in heaven where moth or thieves do not get to. In the book of Colossian, we read that we should set our hearts on things in heaven and not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-3).

Jesus said that when we give it will be given back to us, in good measure, pressed down shaken together shall men pour into our bosom. There is the reward for giving, there is the reward for “flowing” to others. We read in the book of proverbs that he who waters shall himself be watered (Proverbs 11:25).

The meaning of freedom

horse-430441_640Jeremiah 40:4: Now, behold, I release you today from the chains on your hands. If it seems good to you to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will look after you well, but if it seems wrong to you to come with me to Babylon, do not come. See, the whole land is before you; go wherever you think it good and right to go.

The love of God frees us to be all we can be. It is empowering because he believes in us, he tells us to go on, as he backs us with all he has.

He breaks a chain from us, the chain of sin, and we are free to serve him without any limitation. We can serve God with reverence and godly fear (Hebrews 12:28).

Jesus was clear about what true freedom really is. When certain Jews thought that because they were from Abraham, they thought they were free, Jesus told them if you a sinner you are in bondage (John 8:30-38). Period. If you constantly act against the direction of your conscience, you are in bondage, and Jesus brings us freedom.

To show the clear picture of what bondage to sin means, let us see the story of Peter and how he denied Jesus, just a few hours after he had vowed he will die for him (Matthew 26:31-35, Luke 22:33).

Was he lying when he made that promise, was he being hypocritical? He was not. But he overestimated his ability to be altruistic, to do the right thing, to be right. Paul, knowing that we are prone to overestimating ourselves, said, we should not think more highly of ourselves than we ought, but should think soberly (Romans 12:3).

Man left that ability behind in the Garden of Eden and that is the Holy Spirit (Genesis 2:7). He is the one who can stir us in the right direction, the heavenly ability in us.

Paul wrote that the Holy Spirit is the fight against the wrong impulse within us. Paul said that the flesh desires is against the Spirit and the Spirit’s desire is against the flesh so that we do not do what we want to do (Galatians 5:17).

The Spirit empowers us to not be tied to the aprons of the flesh. Jesus says the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:36-50), it cannot help against the onslaught of demonic influence seeking to rule man with evil thoughts.

And Jesus recommended prayer as a means of freedom from the weakness of the flesh so that we would not fall into temptation and do the wrong thing, pulled away from the will of God.

Jesus, when he said that we need to pray to not fall under temptation, was involved in a long period of prayer in the Garden of Eden as his flesh wanted to shirk away from the will of God which was about him going to the cross.

As the time to die drew near, something he was had long been aware of, the human need for self-preservation kicked in, which is the default setting of the flesh, screaming to have its needs met, which is against the will of God. But the Holy Spirit helped Jesus as a result of his prayer and he was able to offer himself as sacrifice. The bible says that Jesus offered himself by the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:14). You cannot get people to make sacrifice by appealing to their flesh, which is programmed to self-preserve, self-focused and selfish. People make sacrifices only under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Whatever you can do, to get the people under greater influence of the Holy Spirit, do. That is better than trying to beat them on the head by stirring up the emotion of guilt or pity.

There are two sides of freedom, which are freedom from sin and freedom to move into the fullness of the will of God for us. Jesus told the disciples that apart from him we can do nothing (John 15:5), we cannot make real progress. We arrive at “fulfilment” through the path of freedom.

In Christ all our possibilities are unleashed, we cut the picture of ability and greatness, realising the full intent in the mind of God for creating us.

We are God’s product. We cannot use ourselves, and the greatest sense of fulfilment we get is from used by God. Moses was used by God and the bible says that he was faithful in all of God’s house (Hebrews 3-5).

Before he was called to serve, he was just your average herdsman. He herded his father-in-law’s sheep. Any ambition he had while he was younger was dead. As an old man and a family man, he probably was not particularly excited about life. He had excitement in Egypt, by that was decades before, but God told him at the age of eighty: go and deliver my people Israel and I will be with you (Exodus 3).

Gideon was another man who became freed to be all he can be by serving the purpose of God. When God called him, Israel was really in a poor place, they were a people oppressed (Judges 6-7).

Gideon was just trying to survive when God said to him: man of valour, go in this thy might and deliver Israel. He could not believe his ears. But when he stepped out ever so gingerly in the direction of the will of God, he got the victory for Israel.

But first God asked him to do away with the idol made by his father’s. He knew how attached the people were to that and was only able to destroy the image at night. But that was necessary so that there will be no confusion about the source of the victory, when God delivers Israel through Gideon. And Gideon’s name was etched in gold in Israel.

Both Moses and Gideon were servants of God who led the people from oppression into freedom. They did not do it from their own initiative but as they shared the love of God for the people they were able to deliver on their mandate.

In the freedom of these two people to walk in the mandate of God, was the freedom of multitudes of people. In the same way, when you walk in the full freedom of the will of God for you, it will lead to many other gaining freedom, conversely, your being in bondage, has the potential of putting many other people into bondage.

When Adam and Eve fell into sin and entered the bondage of sin and death, it led multitudes in the same direction (Romans 5:12-21). His bondage led to more and more bondage and the freedom of Jesus in alignment with the will of God resulted in many people becoming righteous, gaining freedom of relationship with God, marked by the experience of his Spirit within us, who propels us into more and more wisdom.

The Spirit is empowering. When Jesus was about to depart in the physical sense from the disciples he promised them the Holy Spirit. He said: you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be my witnesses everywhere (Acts 1:8).

A word from the Lord

king-306448_640Jeremiah 37:17: Now King Zedekiah sent and took him out; and in his palace the king secretly asked him and said, “Is there a word from the Lord?” And Jeremiah said, “There is!” Then he said, “You will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon!” (NASB)

A word from the Lord saved a nation in a time of famine. The nation was Israel, the prophet was Elisha. The famine had been biting hard after Samaria, the capital, had been under a siege for a long time (2Kings 6:25). Nothing was moving. No one was moving in or out of the gated city.

It was a hard time like never before as things became so expensive and at least one woman killed her son, cooked the corpse and ate. If a situation was dire, that was it.

The king, who should normally have the solution, was helpless and perplexed and at a time tore his cloth in dejection.

But a word from God changed all that. Elisha said: by this time tomorrow, there will be abundance. That prophetic word, that word from God. That was preposterous and one of the advisers of the king publicly declared that it cannot happen. He was walking by sight and not by faith (2Corinthians 5:7). He was so sure of himself, in his spiritual blindness. He died soon after while other enjoyed the benefit of having the word come to pass.

We need to agree with the word and take action in alignment with that belief. The word will not benefit us if it is not mixed with faith in us. That is why the children of Israel who did not believe that God could bring them to the Promised Land did not get there.

From the fear-filled report of ten spies out of the twelve sent by Moses to check out the land, they concluded that God cannot possibly conquer the Promised Land for them because of how powerful the inhabitants were (Numbers 13-14). They heard of the giants in the land. Because of that the whole generation perished in the wilderness. Their carcasses were scattered in the wilderness. It did not have to happen like that if only they are taken God at his word.

There is power in the word of God. Remember that was the tool for God to create the earth. The prophetic word is when people speak the word of God forth (1Corinthians 14:3). And that carries the divine energy.

One woman experienced provision in a difficult situation. She was a widow and he had no source of income. Famine was biting in the land and she was set to eat her last meal (prepared with a little oil and flour) and then wait for death (1Kings 17:8-15). But Elijah came with a word of God for her that the oil will not stop flowing and the flour will not end. That was what happened and she was fed together with her son and Elijah to the end of the famine. She fed on God’s faithfulness.

If you are experienced famine get ready for a word from God, get ready to have the siege broken and your situation radically changed almost overnight.

When God said let there be light in the first chapter of the bible (Genesis 1:1-3), darkness was everywhere, but the word of God changes things and it is that word that will create a reality of light out of the darkness that you are presently experiencing. Get ready for radical and sudden change.

When God speaks what he says gets created. His words carries the divine energy, his creative essence. Of Jesus (the word) the bible says, through him everything was made and without him was nothing made that was made (John 1:1-6). That means everything you see emanates from the word.

A word from God makes dream come true, brings solution to long standing problem. When Jesus healed the daughter of a gentile woman who was grievously oppressed, it was with a word. Almost a non-word. He only told the woman: let what you desire be done. He just agreed with her spoken desire and it was done (Matthew 15:21-28).

A man came to Jesus asking him to heal his servant. And because of his compassion, he wanted to make the trip to his house, but the man stopped him. He told Jesus that he only has to say the word and it will be done (Matthew 8:6-13).

He recognised the spiritual authority that Jesus wields, which is no respecter of time and space. It is virtually unlimited. Jesus then praised his faith, saying that he has not seen a greater faith in Israel. Jesus has the word and the man has the faith and the mixture of the two leads to a miracle.

Jesus said that everything is possible for those who believe. It’s not enough for the word to come, your attitude to it is also important. If you will see a change, you must be an active believer in the word of God. Not just a hearer, but a doer (James 1:22-25), otherwise you will be deceiving yourself, it will be all motion and no progress.

The word only delivers for the believer. The bible spoke of some people who heard the word but since it did not mix with faith in them it did not deliver the reality it contains to them (Hebrews 4:2).

The bible also says that the Lord will do nothing expect he tells his servant the prophets (Amos 3:7) who will in turn declare it on the earth. That activates things in the realm of the unseen to determine what is seen, because what is visible comes from the unseen in the declared word of God (Hebrews 11:3). The declared word bears the divine authority on earth and angels are released to bring it to pass, going all the way giving it everything it takes.

And remember that they excel in strength and nothing can oppose them (Psalm 103:20). As we declare the word of God they carry it out because they have been programmed to act on the word of God. That is their duty.

It was also the duty of man to do the will of God as revealed in his word. The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes puts it this way: it is the whole duty of man to fear God and do his will (Ecclesiastes 12:13). When we do not do his will, we get hardened and his word takes away from our being able to listen to him and hear his word and declare it for it to happen.

Therefore, obedience is key. Jesus said that if we will obey him he and the father will come to dwell in us (John 14:23). He said that if we abide in his word, we will ask whatever we want and it will be done for us (John 15:7). That means we will decree a thing and it will be established for us (Job 22:28).

God is witness

west-sun-404548_640Jeremiah 29:23: because they have done an outrageous thing in Israel, they have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, and they have spoken in my name lying words that I did not command them. I am the one who knows, and I am witness, declares the LORD.'” (ESV)

There is no limit to what God knows. In the book of Malachi God, frowning at divorce said that he is a witness between “you and the wife of your youth,” and that the man should check his own heart and not take the path of unfaithfulness (Malachi 2:14-16).

It became impressed on David that God sees everything after he planned and executed the killing of Uriah, someone who had come a long way with him, because of his uncontrolled sexual appetite. He probably thought God will understand, but he did not know that God puts him on a higher pedestal that others, with higher standards as God’s king. James wrote that not all should desire to be teachers because they will have the stricter judgment (James 3:1).

The bible says that to whom much is given much is expected. A man of privilege is expected to use that platform to the benefit of others. David later wrote at the end of his life that “the one who rules over men must rule justly, ruling in the fear of God (2Samuel 23:3).”

That is the standard. It to rule justly and with the fear of God. If consideration for what God will say what he will think does not override any other consideration, there is a problem. Because that God is witness he is also the judge. If we do not repent, thinking we can cover things up, then we are in trouble. David made that mistake (2Samuel 11-12).

When Cain had not even killed Abel, but full of angry frustration against him, God showed him that he not also knew what he does, but also what he was thinking, and feeling. He said to him: sin lies at the door, but you must resist it, and not allow it to control you (Genesis 4:1-10).

God is interested in what we think because it flows into how we live. And when God wanted to destroy the earth it was not so much about the evil actions prevailing on the earth but the prevailing evil thought processes which generated those actions that God complained about.

God said that the thought of man was constantly filled with corrupt and evil thoughts (Genesis 6:5-6). God is witness to that also, to the thoughts of our hearts. Hence, Jesus said that when we look at a woman to lust after her, with have committed adultery with her. That is also in the bible and there is nothing you can do about that (Matthew 5:27-29).

David confessed that God knows everything about him even his thought afar off, knows his lying down and rising up, his going out and coming in, knows him in totality (Psalm 139:1-13). When thoughts of fear ravages your heart God knows, and when you know that he wants you to think differently, then you will.

God cannot be conned. He does not just know your thoughts and action, he knows your motivation. Jesus said that some people call him Lord but their hearts are far from him. When Peter vowed that he will not deny Jesus, Jesus told him the extent of his knowledge by saying that in a short while he was going to deny him three times (Luke 22:33-34).

Like Peter, we are liable to overestimate our piety. You do not even know what you are capable of. That is what our only refuge is the grace of God. Paul wrote that sin shall not have dominion over us not because we have made New Year resolutions, not because we change city, but because of the grace we derived from Jesus (Romans 6:13).

We need to continue to emphasise our connection with God through adequate fellowship with him. We read that we can draw near the throne of God to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

Our primary need is to live above sin and that is not possible, except for the grace of Jesus Christ. He is the only one who lived above sin and he shed his blood for us for us and released his grace for holiness and obedience to us. The bible says that it is not by power not power but by the Spirit and the spirit is the Spirit of grace (Zechariah 4:6-9).

God has put his witness in us and it is called our conscience, it is an indicator installed in us. It is the indicator of the knowledge of good and evil as regards our thoughts and actions. It is related to the fruit that man ate in the Garden of Eden which God warned that he should not eat.

When the devil told Eve that she will not surely die when he ate the wrong fruit, she actually did not have the conception of what death means because her world was carefully controlled so that she knew only goodness and no death (Genesis 3).

So since the issue of death was beyond the consciousness of Adam and Eve the only way they will obey the commandment to not eat the fruit is if they take God’s words for it, trusting him.

When they lost truth in God’s words they lost trust in him, for God and his word are one and the same. The word of God was meant to be the guide of men. What they are conscious of is the word of God, they lacked any other consciousness, but when they chose to eat that peculiarly named fruit they got a conscience, but without the grace to do the right thing, man became intractably bounded to sinful practices, generated from the consciousness of evil in him, and the consciousness of good was present at the same time generating a sense of guilt. Paul said it this way: the good I want to do I cannot so, the evil I do not want to do that is what I find myself doing (Romans 7:15-21).

The devil does not have the consciousness of good and evil. He is only consciousness of evil and so cannot feel guilty. The possibility of repentance is far removed from him and so he cannot be saved. Part of the evil in the devil is lying. Jesus described it this way: there is no truth in the devil. His action is filled with what he is evil, murder, deception (John 8:44). It does not matter what he is saying, since he is the one saying it, it is a lie.

Man seems to be able to generate evil thought and action on its own, the awareness of evil within the consciousness is followed by the evil practice which the awareness of good does not successfully overcome. The conscience becomes a recording instrument and makes judgment easy, there is no hiding from God. Our only hope is to run for refuge. We have done wrong and the wrath of God is hanging but we are covered in Jesus. When we come to him, and get his cloth of righteousness, we are no longer held responsible for what we did in the past. It is called justification (Romans 5:12-21).

Paul puts it this way: the days of ignorance God winks at but now calls everyone to repent (Acts 17:30). Peter said we need to repent so that times of refreshment will come from the presence of God. God now becomes our advocate (1John 2:1-2). We have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ, who also stands before God interceding for us. Paul puts it this way: who will bring a charge against God’s elect, it is God who justifies, who gave his son to die for us to justify. God’s witness against us is torn away. The bible says to the cross is nailed the handwriting of requirement that are against us, which are reminders of our errors, inadequacies, and are records against us (Colossians 2:12-14). Believing in Jesus makes us to and we have passed from death to life.