Wholly, To be full of…

Wholly, To be full of…

Wholly, To be full of…

Written by: Dhishan Kudwalli
September 8, 2020
Therefore, Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day because he wholly followed the LORD, the God of Israel. (Joshua 14:14).
 
As I went through the cross-references for this passage, I noticed that the phrase “wholly followed the Lord” has been used six times in the Bible concerning Caleb alone. (Josh 14:8,9,14; Num 14:24, 32:12; Deut 1:36).
 
I wonder if I’ll ever be known as someone who ‘wholly’ followed the Lord. It’s remarkable what comparison with faithful saints of the past can do to you. At times they show remarkably similar imperfections as ours, but mostly they make us wonder how we have wasted our lives. One such remarkable saint was Caleb. He had the ticket to the promised land, along with Joshua. And all this because he ‘wholly followed the Lord’.
 
The Hebrew word for ‘wholly’ is ‘mah-lay’ which at the root of it means “to be filled’ or ‘to be full of’. The initial days of our salvation, there is such a radical change that we recognize that it’s not I but the Spirit whom God filled in me. We perceive ourselves to be full of the Spirit and testify ” It’s no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me”.
 
But now when you examine your life, would you give the Holy Spirit, credit for the life you are living today? Or is it the flesh, the world, that you live by?
 
Are you ‘full of’ the Spirit or are you ‘full of’ the world?
For some of you, this is a question to ponder upon, but to most of you, this is a rhetorical question.
 
God didn’t sacrifice His thumb for you. He did not sacrifice both His legs. He did not just bear a few scars for you. He sacrificed His one and only Son, whom He so dearly loved for you. He lived a Holy life and died for you. The God of heaven and earth gave Himself up, on the cross, wholly, for you. But have you given yourself up, wholly, for Him, for the cross, for the Gospel?
 
Setting an alarm to wake up early on Sunday, to sit on your bed and stream the church service is not ‘wholly’. Deciding to read a small devotional tagged with a small prayer at the end, is not ‘wholly’.
 
So, what does it look like to ‘wholly follow God’?
We don’t have to look further than Caleb here. Caleb prioritized seeking the will of God and obeying his commands. And we are to do the same; seek God’s will and obey his commands.
 
Read the Bible, that you may know the living God, and His will and seek Him for a greater measure of His Spirit that He may enable you to ‘wholly’ live for Him and honour Him.
 
For the same reason Jesus said “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honour him (John 12:26).
 
Commit yourself today to follow Him ‘wholly’. Let the world primarily know you for your faith in, and service to your King, Jesus Christ.
God be with you.
Walking in your Destiny

Walking in your Destiny

John Piper recently posted a tweet that said, "God's will for our life is that his will should become our will." I agree to that. It's easier said than done. It seems easier to walk in your own will and desire than walk in the destiny that God has prepared for you....

The Past that Hurts

The Past that Hurts

The Past that Hurts

Written by: Joshua
July 22, 2020
We all have a past. If we look back, it hurts.

Though there are good memories, if we look back there are memories that can hurt us.

If you step outside and ask people in their mid 30’s to share a memory from their past; they will answer with extra caution because they wouldn’t want to let out the dark part of their past to any stranger. But if you were to ask a kid what he did in the past year, he would have a ton of happy stories to tell you.

So, why are we that way? Why do we, in our 20’s and 30’s, clearly remember the past hurtful memories more than the good and happy ones?

Why do we remember the times when our hearts were broken, more than the times when we found peace, joy, and happiness in Christ?

Why do we remember the times we were embarrassed in front of a people than the times we were praised and appreciated in front of people?

Why ?

Maybe such memories burn deep into our heart that often times we leave them there with a desire to keep them as the monument of our past. Some like to keep their memories that way. Some like to erase it. Some like to keep but at the same time erase it (Torn apart between two things). But one thing to remember is that the more we cause the past to linger the more it will become the weight that pulls us down.

No matter how we move forward in life, we find ourselves coming back to the same memories, life and habits. We really haven’t moved forward rather we have only moved forward carrying with us the shackles of the past and chains of guilt and hurt still tied on to us.

I love this scripture, Psalmist says,

Psalms 130:3. If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?

The Psalmist had a deeper revelation, he knew that God never kept a record of his past when he prayed to God and said, “I am sorry.”

he goes on to say,

Psalms 130:4. But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

God knows our past and knows all that we have done but still offers forgiveness. So that we can be called his children.

So now, because God has forgiven our sins and hasn’t kept a record of our past. We as his children do not have any obligations, rights or responsibilities to keep the past alive in us.

We are now, called to serve him with all our heart, soul, and mind: throwing away the past that hurt us, throwing away the past that kept us back all these days, throwing away the past that told us we are incapable of achieving anything in life. We are now, called to serve him with peace, joy, and tranquility.

If God doesn’t keep a record of our sins then we shouldn’t.

God is able to make all things new in our life.

Heb 8:12 says, For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Forgetting past hurtful memories is a miracle. Only God can help us get out of it. Ask him and he will heal you of every past hurtful memory.

And now that you have been forgiven, restored and set free; set yourself on the course to run.

Heb. 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Let’s us throw away every hurtful memory by asking God to heal and help us get over it. And set ourselves on the course to run by fixing our eyes on Jesus, the one who started the faith and the one who can perfect the faith.

In my former days, I was a pornography addict but now I have developed a hate and displeasure towards it. It’s been five years since I gazed my eyes on any of those websites. That is something only God can do. God has changed my life so much that the past doesn’t hurt. Rather when I look back at it, I rejoice because I’ve been forgiven and set free.

If God can do that for me. He can do it for you.

Allow God to take control of your life. He will make it GLORIOUS.

I was inspired to write this blog after I read a blog(and the comments) titled, “Reclaiming Childhood” by Beauty Beyond Bones. Read that article here

Walking in your Destiny

Walking in your Destiny

John Piper recently posted a tweet that said, "God's will for our life is that his will should become our will." I agree to that. It's easier said than done. It seems easier to walk in your own will and desire than walk in the destiny that God has prepared for you....

Know where to Hide

Know where to Hide

Know where to Hide

Written by: Joshua
November 21, 2019

“Knowing where to Hide” is the key factor to living a christ-centered life.

Job, a man found in the scriptures, whose piety and devotion towards God was far greater than any of the people living during his time. He would have lived around the time of the patriarchs; either Abraham, Jacob, Joseph or Moses. And God saw something so unique about Job and his devotion towards him that God called him an upright man.

Woah! That’s a valid certification of man’s character.

God certified Job saying;

Job is

  • Blameless
  • Upright
  • Fears God
  • Turns away from Evil

I wish we all could get such a certification from God.

Now, we know what happened to Job later; He lost his property, servants, and children and had painful sores from the crown of his head to the sole of his feet.

This pain that job faced came in two phases: first, property, servants, and children were killed and destroyed; second, he was inflicted with painful sores.

After the first phase of troubles: Job tore his robe, shaved his head, fell to the ground and worshiped. And said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return” The Lord gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. (Job 1:20-21)

If you read those verses over and over again. You will notice something remarkable about those statements.

A man who lost property, his livestock which was an important wealth of measure in those time, servants were killed and children, his own progeny dead, says those words.

This situation isn’t a hypothetical one. It’s not a tale or a myth. It’s real. The pain, the suffering is all real.

But why did he say those words?

If I were in Job’s position, I would have loaded my donkey went the spot where the livestock was stolen; ordered my men to chase those people down and get all that I lost. And visit the spot where the children died, mourn for them, bring them back and bury them. I would have done all of this. This would have been my immediate action. But Job didn’t seem to do any of that. The moment he heard what happened, he stays where he his and praises the name of the LORD.

Job did something that proved he is upright, blameless, fears God and turns away from evil.

When Job faced pain this is what he did.

As I read those passages I realized, Job knew where to hide when troubles came. And because he knew where to hide himself, he praised the name of the LORD in spite of reacting to this painful moment.

Here’s where the truth is,

Job 1:20;
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.

The key word in that verse is: worshiped

Job’s reaction to this painful moment was worship. Job worshiped God in that painful moment. Job had lost property, servants, and children but he worshiped. Worship was Job’s hiding place. Job knew where to hide. He hid in worship, he hid himself in the presence of the LORD. As he hid in worship he knew that this was the Lord’s doing and said, “The Lord gave and Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Let’s be honest. If you and I face such situation what will our response be; will we blame God and people around us for all things that went wrong?

How do we react when anxiety strikes? How do we react when we face pressure to perform? How do we react when problems come? How do we react when we face challenges?

How do we combat them?

In our Christian life, we face many battles. Many spiritual warfares. Sometimes it’s too overwhelming to stand strong. It’s easy to fall. It’s easy to loose our temper. It’s easy to shout at someone when things don’t go the way we expect. In a small moment, we speak words that show anger and hurt others. We speak words that shouldn’t be spoken. We dishonor parents, family, and friends. We dishonor relationships.

There’s something important to understand: The anxiety we face in life is an arrow from the enemy. Unwanted pressure or untimely pressure is an arrow from the enemy. People gossiping and talking bad about us are arrows that are induced by the enemy. Problems and challenges are arrows from the enemy. And when such situations come we have to hide in worship instead of reacting to all that has gone wrong.

But often times in our stand against the arrows of the enemy; we begin to shoot back arrows and we fail.

When people talk bad about us…we will find who they are and give an answer for all they spoke. When somebody causes trouble we make sure they get twice of what they did to us.

But that’s not what we are supposed to do. Rather we should hide in worship when people gossip. We should hide in worship when anxiety strikes. We should hide in worship when challenges come. We should hide in worship when pressure builds up. We have to develop the habit of hiding in worship and in the presence of the LORD when anything goes wrong.

Remember those are arrows. When they fly towards you instead of dodging; hide in worship. Hide in the presence of the LORD.

What does hiding in worship mean?

Hiding in worship means to set your mind in worshipping and praising God for all that he has done in the past and now continue to seek his protection and strength as you face this challenge. When you do that, God will give you the strength to overcome and also protect you from any harm.

The Psalmist realized this and writes.

Psalm 91:1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Psaln 91:7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Job knew where to hide when arrows flew towards him. David knew where to hide when arrows flew towards him. Even today when arrows fly towards you, learn to hide in the presence of the LORD.

When you learn to hide you will live a christ-centered life.

Walking in your Destiny

Walking in your Destiny

John Piper recently posted a tweet that said, "God's will for our life is that his will should become our will." I agree to that. It's easier said than done. It seems easier to walk in your own will and desire than walk in the destiny that God has prepared for you....

Walking in your Destiny

Walking in your Destiny

Walking in your Destiny

Written by: Joshua
March 13, 2019
John Piper recently posted a tweet that said, “God’s will for our life is that his will should become our will.”

I agree to that.

It’s easier said than done.

It seems easier to walk in your own will and desire than walk in the destiny that God has prepared for you.

Because we tend to walk by what we see.

But God desires the opposite for our life. He wants us to walk by faith and not by sight.

In other words, if there is anything in our life that we held on as a treasured possession, that we put our hard work, our hopes, and everything to it – because we see it. Be sure, one day, God will remove that out of your life.

I worked at The Bangalore Conservatory. I served in different positions. I loved my job. I loved the organization. I treated it as a baby. This organization was so precious to me that I spent countless hours planning, working towards achieving the goals. I spent my time, energy, sacrificed my family time to spend at BC. I gave it all. There are times when I’ve worked for 16 hours straight. I thought I’d spend most of my life here. But one day, things started to change. I heard God’s call to enter into full-time ministry. It was a tough decision. I prayed and finally said, Yes. The very thing that I regarded as precious; God took away. Why ?

Why ?

Because I put my hard work and hopes on what I saw. But God took me into a place to make me live according to what I believe and not in what I see. He wanted me to believe in him for my providence. He wanted me to believe in what he made me be. He wanted me to believe in what he spoke into my life several years ago. He wanted me to believe in what he has called me to do.

More than anything, He wanted me to believe in what he can do in my life more than what I can do by myself.

Fast forward, several months later. I have moved to Mangalore. I have met wonderful people; people who became like family to me. Started a church and became part of bible study group where I teach regularly.

So, How is life compared to the time when I worked at Bangalore Conservatory and now when I am in full-time ministry?

When I was working, I put my hopes and hard work in what I could see. I saw an institution that has the potential to become the best music degree institution in the country. I saw students, staff, and everything else. And I saw my providence in that. I put my hopes in what I saw.

And now when I am in ministry. God is teaching me to put my hopes and hard work in what I believe. I believe there is a call, there is a mission and I believe that one day a mega-church will rise up in this city that will lift the name of Jesus high.!

But now, what do I see? I see few people, a small group, challenging times, times when I walk around with coins in my wallet, and sometimes nothing.!

But God has been faithful to me. He has helped me live here for 6 months and continues to provide everything I need. Often times, the question I ask or ponder is why I don’t see anything materialize in the way I expect it to happen. Although I see a structure, I don’t see anything materialize.

But, I know, God is doing something in me. He is teaching me to walk by faith and not by sight. He wants to me to put my hopes and work in what I believe and not in what I see.

He wants me to put my belief in what he can do than what I could achieve by myself.

If I live according to what I see then I don’t need God’s help. But only when I live according to what I believe then I need God in everything. Without him, I can’t live. Without him, I can’t breathe. Without him, I can’t survive.

I believe one day a generation of young people will rise up for the name of Jesus. This city, Mangalore, is going to be on fire for God.

All this will come to fulfillment only if I continue to live according to what I believe.

I tell you, this is life. Though it’s challenging it is a fruitful life. It is satisfying. You will experience the amazing presence of God in an inexpressible way; I experience it every day. This is life. God provides in ways I can never imagine. He is faithful.

This is my destiny.

If God has called you walk into the destiny he has designed for you. Do not hesitate. Pray and prepare yourself. And say Yes Lord, and begin to walk. You will see him do mighty work in your life.

Always remember to set your eyes on what God can do through your life than what you could do by yourself.

Walking in your Destiny

Walking in your Destiny

John Piper recently posted a tweet that said, "God's will for our life is that his will should become our will." I agree to that. It's easier said than done. It seems easier to walk in your own will and desire than walk in the destiny that God has prepared for you....