A Practical Lesson on Law and Grace

My heart sank when I saw the words “Traffic Police” on the back of the envelope. Just two months ago, I received a traffic summons for a speeding offence. To compound that, it cost me $130 and 4 demerit points 😦 It was a little too soon to receive another one, I thought.

A quick glance at the letter and the words “Speeding Offence” confirmed that it was what I had thought it was. I was caught going at 78km/h on a 60km/h road. Guess it would be another $130 and an additional 4 demerit points. I wasn’t exactly pleased about it but I reminded myself, the law is the law. And since I broke the law, I must face up to the consequences and accept the penalty.

Then, looking at the letter again, I noticed something I didn’t see earlier. It was an odd phrase: “The driver could have been fined $130 and be awarded 4 demerit points.” Could have been? That prompted me to read the entire letter more carefully. That’s when I noticed the subject header: ADVISORY NOTICE OF SPEEDING OFFENCE. And in the final paragraph, it started with “However in this instance, no summons action will be taken against you……This letter serves as an advisory to the driver.” I couldn’t believe my eyes! I broke the law, but I had been let off!

What an object lesson about law and grace!

This incident promptly reminded me of our Christian understanding of law and grace. Like this traffic offence, I am guilty of breaking God’s law and totally deserving of the penalty that comes with that. However, by His grace, I have been let off! There is one huge difference though. God, being just, doesn’t issue advisory notices. Sin must be judged and the penalty of death must be paid by the guilty party. That I might be let off, someone else had to take my place, to pay the penalty. That someone was none other than God’s perfect sacrifice, Jesus! Using the speeding offence analogy, when the guilty driver had to be named, God filled in the name, J-E-S-U-S. Jesus took my place and paid for my offence in full. Not just dollars and demerit points, but death. Yes, Jesus died for me in my place for my sins that I might be forgiven and free. Did I deserve such an act of sacrifice and substitution by Jesus. Not at all. That’s grace!

Wages of Sin
Romans 6:23

Indeed, I am thankful that I didn’t have to pay any penalty for my speeding offence. Being mindful of this will help me drive more responsibly. But I’m even more thankful and appreciative of Jesus settling every debt of transgression for me that I might be in right relationship with God through Him! Being ever mindful of this will enable me to live and walk circumspectly to the glory and honour of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour!

As the campaign slogan goes, “Speed thrills but kills!” May we be reminded also that “Sin thrills but kills!” Only faith in Jesus Christ and His completed work on the cross can bring us the salvation we all need.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 6:23

Serene’s Testimony at CVCC

This morning, at Covenant Vision Christian Church, Serene shared her testimony of God’s healing. In her own words, she struggled with whether it was the right time since her skin is still not fully cleared of eczema and she still has itchy bouts once in a while. But after reviewing the photos she had taken along the way, and seeing how her skin was then and how it is now, she felt convicted to share A Story in Pictures of God’s goodness and healing mercies so that Jesus would receive all glory and honour!

After her sharing, Rev Francis and Rev Wilfred prayed for her. It was a bold step of faith for Serene to share the photos and her journey thus far. I believe her faith will position her to receive complete and total healing and restoration for her condition to the glory of God!

To all who have prayed for Serene (and still praying for her), thank you!!! We deeply appreciate your standing in agreement with us.

The Other Glory School

It been quite a few years now where “glory” has been mentioned by various visiting speakers.  Quite a few books have also been written on this topic.  And it seems everyone now wants to get on the “glory” bandwagon.  No longer is it sufficient to just know Jesus, to be in God’s presence, or to be baptised with the Holy Spirit; these are all considered old buzzwords.  Today, you have to visit third heaven, to move in the glory realm.

Hey, I’m all for the glory of God.  But more recently, in my preparations for a sermon series, I came across a few passages which also spoke of the glory, just not in the way these “glory” people have been teaching.  The emphasis is totally different and I can fully understand why not many like to talk about this aspect of the glory.  Consider the following passages and you will see why …

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor 3:18

From this verse (and you should read the passage for context), we see that the glory is not merely something for us to experience, but a destination for us to move towards.  This is the glory of the image of the Lord, and we can only be changed towards this image by the Holy Spirit.

And how is this done and achieved?  By merely asking for His glory or moving in the glory realm?  Read on and we shall find Paul’s answer in the next chapter.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Cor 4:17–18

Afflictions?!  Trials and tribulations?!  Difficult and challenging times?!  For a better idea of what Paul was referring to, he makes mention of these in 2 Cor 6:4-10 and with even more detail in 2 Cor 11:23-27.  For sure, not for the faint-hearted.  Yet, these are the tools that work deep in us to produce the glory!  Hey, these are not my words, but Paul’s!  Note that Peter says the same thing albeit with different words.

“If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.” 1 Peter 4:14

There it is again … if you are reproached for the name of Christ … the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.  Who changes us from glory to glory? The Spirit of glory.  How does He change us?  Through trials and sufferings, through difficult times, through afflictions, for the sake of Jesus.  In 1 Peter 1:6&7, we understand that trials reveal the genuineness of our faith.  Through these tests, our faith is refined and purified like gold.  Can you see the brightness of the purity of the gold?  That’s the glory of the genuineness of our faith, much more precious than gold, revealed through the fire of trials!

As we grow from faith to faith, we move toward maturity in the image of the Son with whom we are co-heirs when we are glorified together with Him … if indeed we suffer with Him (Rom 8:17).  And Paul writes in the next verse:

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Rom 8:18

Not exactly the kind of glory school one would readily enrol for, is it?  What happened to the promise of basking and soaking in the glory?  What happened to the claims of the manifestation of the glory through gold dust and precious gems?  None of that at all!  Just plain, good ol’ suffering for Jesus.

Well, just in case you think I am all raring to go, to get into some wonderful trials and tribulations, I assure you I am not!  But if it is the image and character of the Lord that I am after, if I desire to be conformed to none other than the Son of God, I need to know how to embrace and accept this other school of glory.

Caught this shot at Bishan Swimming Complex. Don't miss the dark cloud on the right as it makes way for the glorious cloud!

Just the other day, a brother asked me, “How do you stay sharp?  What keeps you sharp?”  It was at the tip of my tongue to say the predictable things like fast, pray, read the Word, be in God’s presence.  But somehow, in my spirit, I couldn’t bring myself to say it.  Instead, I said, “Trials.”  Even I was surprised with what came out of my mouth.  But it’s so true!  I can study and know much about God and the ministry.  However, it is through trials and tests that what I know is tested and proven.  Is it just intellectual head knowledge? Or is it real faith that will hold on regardless the situation or the outcome.  Is it all about declarations and claims?  Or is it an acknowledgement of weakness through which His strength is made perfect?

The other glory school.  Register now!  Any takers?

Talking About Third Heaven

There has been a lot of talk about the third heaven lately.  And I mean, a lot.  This seems to be the latest buzzword in Christian circles and the invitation is made to all to enter the third heaven for the way has been made open by Jesus.  I must admit that this all sounds really exciting.  Is this really possible?  Can we just sit down, relax and just go to the third heaven to fellowship with God and frolick with the angels?

Well, that is what is being taught.  And to support the teaching, these would often talk about their own multiple experiences in the third heaven, giving full description of what they had seen or had been shown by God Himself.  It is also not uncommon for these teachers and preachers to suddenly exclaim with oohs and aahs as they are hit by ‘waves’ of heaven or the anointing midway.

Biblical support is usually readily given that we can now boldly come to God’s throne (which is in third heaven), that we are now seated with Christ in heavenly places (which is in third heaven).  In other words, the third heaven is the Christian’s right and entitlement.  After all, many of the biblical characters experienced it … Moses spoke to God face-to-face, Isaiah saw the Lord, Ezekiel was caught up in the Spirit; John, too, in the book of Revelation, as well as Paul.  So why not us?

Perhaps the passage that most supports this teaching is the one where the words “the third heaven” are mentioned … 2 Cor 12:2-5.  By the way, this is the one and only time “the third heaven” is mentioned in the Bible.  Proponents of this teaching often quote verse 2, “such a one was caught up to the third heaven” and verse 4, “he was caught up into Paradise and heard many inexpressible words”.

Well and good, but why stop there?  Don’t we need to read the rest of verse 4 when Paul says, “which it is not lawful for a man to utter”?  I understand some of you may immediately baulk at the word “lawful” since in your minds, the law is done away with.  So, allow me to present a few more versions other than the NKJV:

ESV: “And he heard things which cannot be told, which man may not utter.”

NRSV: “…and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat.”

NIV: “He heard inexpressible things, things which man is not permitted to tell.”

NASB: “…. heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.”

Message: “There he heard the unspeakable spoken, but was forbidden to tell what he heard.”

Please tell me what am I missing here?  Am I misreading or misinterpreting the Word of God?  Or does it say plainly and clearly that such experiences are not to be public domain?  Like everyone else, I don’t want to miss the things of God.  If God is doing a new thing, I want to be a part of it!  That said, I have also been taught to align myself with and test everything against His objective Word.  And here, Paul explicitly says that he refuses to talk about this one experience which took place 14 years ago.  Yet, today, we are making such a big deal of third heaven experiences, suggesting that we can walk in and out of heaven as and when we like.

Please tell me if I am missing something here or being excessively hermeneutical and legalistic about the whole matter!  The point is, to me at least, something just doesn’t line up!  And if that is truly so, then I just can’t be a part of this phenomenon however inviting, exciting, attractive, scriptural or spiritual it sounds!

I am fully aware that I might have offended (or will offend) some people with this post.  That is not the intention at all.  This is just one issue I have been wrestling with for a while.  In putting my thoughts down in writing, I am forced to think and process more clearly.  So this is just what I have done.  Nothing is conclusive at this point.  All I can say is that I am proceeding with extreme caution.

Big Family a Good Testimony? Think again.

When our family was featured in the ST article “More Grad Mums Having Big Families” on 25 Dec 2010, we received many encouraging SMSes and emails from brothers and sisters in Christ.  These comments included how we are a good testimony of a Christian family that brings glory to God and how wonderful our family declares the faithfulness of God through His provision in a money-conscious society (one of the key reasons why Singaporeans refuse to have more children).  Others saw it as a boost for Christians and Christianity, that we scored a few more points for God 🙂

When we agreed to giving a few comments for the article, we didn’t know that our family would be featured as the main photo.

Whilst it’s always nice to be affirmed and encouraged, we must realise that these are seen largely from a Christian perspective with a Christian mindset.  We automatically presume and assume that this would be impressive to the world.  Well, I happen to stumble onto a forum that discussed this article.  Have a look at what some really think about pastors, stay-at-home mothers, big families and Christians in general …

“just read today’s newspapers about a pastor………..Henson Lim………..have 7 kids and wife not working some more…………. so just how much is salary for a pastor ??? or does it depend on how many kids he has ??? like that…………all grads should try to be a pastor………….how many grads can afford 7 kids and a housewife ???”

“who else supprt them? the believers loh. so dumb of them”

“i know a pastor is also a job…………..apparently it’s a super high pay job……………have a dozen kids…………wife not working………………a bunch of goons supporting the whole family thru monthly tithes……………what a dream life………………..getting high pay by nagging at people and telling fairy-tales………!”

“i forgot about how they would need 2 minivans just to go out……….!!! so clueless brain-dead church-goers give money to feed ………a bullshit pastor ……his lazy wife………..7 brats……….and 2 minivans…………”

“so this pastor with housewife and 7 kids are really freeloaders, i think. pastor should not have so many kids since church-goers are supporting them !”

“Wife a shameless freeloader too. She can say take care of kids, but should she support herself or not?”

I must confess that when I first read these comments, it was not a nice feeling at all.  OK, I was offended and a tad angry.  Guess I wasn’t prepared for something like that, given all the positive pats on the back I had received from church members and friends.  Then again, should we expect any less, or more?  Do we expect them to come to God just because we have 7 children in tow?  Or that we have a God who blesses us financially and materially (an attractive option to some)?  That’s what we think, don’t we?

And even if we live right before the Lord, according to His Word, desiring to be the best testimonies to His name and goodness, we may still not be received at such.  On the contrary, as it has been shown, we can be misunderstood and maligned.  This should not come as a surprise at all.  Jesus was the only perfect man who walked on this earth and they did not appreciate His testimony at all.  He told His disciples, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own.  Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” John 15:18-20

Indeed, we are not of this world at all.  To the world, a big family is unthinkable.  To the world, a woman who stays at home is lazy and incapable.  To the world, a stay-at-home mother and a big family means a huge household income.  And since the man is a pastor, and religious types should be poor, this pastor must have deceived his flock.  After all, to the world, these believers are weak and dumb, needing a religious and spiritual crutch, and that is why they are so easily convinced and misled by their pastors.  To the world, they just can’t believe that all we have and enjoy is really possible with God.  To the world, they cannot fathom nor understand what it means to have life, and to have it to the fullest (John 10:10b).  And so, they react and respond as they do with mean, hateful and hurtful words.

I am thankful for this little lesson.  And also thankful that these are only harmless statements.  I may have felt a little upset for myself, my wife and my family.  But I am reminded that this is nothing compared to what the Lord Jesus has done for us.  The world didn’t stop at harmless words with Jesus but executed Him with the words, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”  Many other Christian brothers and sisters face this same plight for the sake of Jesus.  Truly, this is nothing.  As we live for Him, may we continue to bring Him glory, come what may.

Cooking in the Spirit

I don’t know how it came out, but it just did.

There I was, teaching about how God has gifted each of us with natural talents and abilities.  Then, I proceeded to make a point about how these gifts can all be empowered by the Holy Spirit and enabled supernaturally as we yield and submit to Him.  “For example,” I asked, “is there anyone here who can cook really well?”  In their humility, none of my students raised their hands.  “Well,” I said, “have you ever realised that you can cook in the Spirit?”  The moment I said that, the entire class burst into laughter.

I must admit that it sounds rather funny.  But I was dead serious.  I sincerely believe that it is possible and even expected of all believers.  Paul exhorts Christians to walk and live in the Spirit.  What does that mean?  Surely, it cannot just refer to people babbling and shaking under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  But that’s what we automatically presume whenever the words “in the Spirit” are mentioned.  If that was true, then we cannot possibly be in the Spirit all the time.

In Rom 8:5, Paul says that those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on things of the Spirit.  In Col 3:2, the apostle tells the Church to “set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”  Simply put, to live and walk in the Spirit, our minds must be focussed on the things of God and not on the things of man.  It is a Godward orientation that we must have in our hearts and minds, a looking to Him, a focus which, in essence, translates into God-conscious speech and actions!

So how does one cook in the Spirit?  No, she is not one who speaks in tongues whilst frying the vegetables, nor does she shake uncontrollably whilst mixing the spaghetti sauce.  That would result in quite a messy kitchen!  Rather, she is one whose heart is praising and worshipping the Lord as she prepares the meals with joy and gratitude.  We are familiar with the phrase “she baked this pie with love”.  I believe it captures what I’m trying to say here.  When one cooks in the Spirit, there can be an anointing that will bless those who partake of the meal!  We may not be aware of it, for certainly it is not obvious as what we are used to expect of manifestations in the Spirit.  Yet surely, that will has been enabled by the Spirit will touch and bless lives.  Interestingly, Brother Lawrence, the author of “Practising the Presence of God”, was also a humble cook!  In a monastery, whether washing the dishes, scrubbing the floor or making stew for his brethren, he did it “in the Spirit”, to the glory of God.  And how his fellow monks were blessed and edified by this brother’s seemingly mundane tasks, done “in the Spirit”.

But this principle is not limited to culinary exploits nor confined to the kitchen.  Not at all!  Each task we execute, when enabled and empowered by the Holy Spirit, carries His love and anointing, and that impacts and touches lives for Him!  Paul says in Col 3:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”  And how can we do that except fully enabled by the Spirit, in the Spirit?

Often, I feel we over-spiritualise too many things when God intends each biblical principle to be lived out practically for His name.  Consequently, too many consider themselves incapable of attaining such lofty spiritual achievements.  These are, after all, in their perception, reserved for those who are super-spiritual.  I beg to differ.  Have a change of mindset today!  Begin setting your mind on the things that please and honour God, and discover how each and every word or deed is in fact one that bears great spiritual significance.  Not only for yourself, but more importantly, for those you love and serve.

Go on … cook a meal, clean the cupboards, vacuum the floor, wash the toilet, change the diaper, plot a spreadsheet, file a tax return, mow the lawn, send an email … in the Spirit.  Be a blessing to those aound you, through the Spirit’s enablement and empowerment, and bring God all glory and honour!

Building. Shaking. Filling.

The Lord laid this message on my heart in Nov 2008, just after the sub-prime crisis that triggered a worldwide economic recession.  I had faithfully shared it at various congregations, urging the people of God to recognise the signs of the times, at the same time encouraging everyone that God in still in control.  Today, as I observe the happenings and events taking place around the world, I realise that this message is still so relevant; and the times even more urgent.  It is with this burden on my heart that I am making this message available on the web …

In the first chapter of Haggai, we understand that people of Judah were busy with their own personal agendas and well-being.  The foundation of temple laid in 537BC, but up until 520BC, there was very little progress in rebuilding the temple.  However, the busier they were, the busier they got.  The moment they acquired something, they lost it through “leaks”.  Sadly, not much has changed.  In today’s society, we are still as busy, if not busier.  Christians need to discern and understand the times and respond accordingly.  God is about to move in a mighty way!  But are we prepared for God’s move?  From Haggai 2:4-9, the Lord showed me three points, BUILDING-SHAKING-FILLING, that we must take heed of and pay attention to.

1. BUILDING

‘Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the LORD; ‘and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the LORD, and work, for I am with you,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’ Haggai 2:4-5

The first thing that we must concern ourselves with is the building of the temple.  By this, I am not talking about church buildings and monuments.  Today, you and I are the temple of the Holy Spirit; we are the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16)!  When God calls for the building of the temple, He is referring to the maturing of sons and daughters of God.  He is calling for men and women of God to be raised up as pillars of His House in these final days (Heb 3:6).

Be strong, be strong, be strong!  For sure, the building process is not an easy one, hence the exhortation of us to be strong.  Our tendency is to be strong in ourselves, our talents and our abilities.  The moment we are called to be strong, we rush out to do things for God in the best way we know how!  But that is not right at all, for that is man’s way and the world’s way.  We are, instead, to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Eph 6:10) and in the grace that is found only in Jesus Christ (2 Tim 2:1).  It is in recognising our own weakness that we will rely on His strength and His grace! It is when we are weak that we are strong … let the weak say I am strong!  For He gives power to the weak (Isa 40:29) and His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9).  As in the book of Acts, our reliance on His great grace unleashes His great power (Acts 4:33)!

There is work to be done!  The foundation of the temple has already been laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Cor 3:10).  Now, it’s time to build the temple of God!  Today, we individually and collectively are the temple of God; to be built up on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

But don’t mistake this as a call to ministry.  The work to be done is not the good works that bring many a sense of belonging and personal glory even.  Instead, it is a call for each to be built up in Christ, to mature and to grow up in Christ.  Contrary to the popular and consumer-oriented gospel that prevails in churches today, spiritual maturity requires work!  Don’t be lulled and fooled into believing that because of the grace of God, any other effort brings you into working for your salvation and righteousness.  Make no mistake, it takes hard work to pray, to fast, to read bible, to be silent, to have solitude, to deny self, to carry cross, to exercise towards godliness, to live simply, to forgive, to confess, to sacrifice, to praise, to worship, to be equipped, TO GROW!!!  Out of this, ministry and service is a natural progression!

Here’s the good news!  As we work, God works with us for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you!”  He has given us His Holy Spirit to help us, to comfort us, to enable us.  The building will not be by power nor by might, but by the Spirit of the Lord!  (Zech 4:6)

God is waiting to partner us in this effort.  For sure, we can’t do it on our own.  However, we are expected to put in effort, working out our salvation (Phil 2:12) by exercising our faith through obedience.  What we WORK OUT, GOD will WORK IN.  As we work it out, God works in us – this is known as the effective working of His power (Eph 1:19; 3:7; 4:15,16).  Oh, how many have rendered His power ineffective through sin, disobedience, unbelief, fleshly living, religiosity, tradition, pride, complacency, bitterness, unforgiveness, etc

Do not fear!  God knows the building and maturing process will not be easy and will take time.  He knows that fears will come in to challenge and replace the faith in our hearts.  God reminds us, “Do not fear!!!”

Do not be afraid of your own inadequacies, your past hurts and disappointments.  Stop telling yourself you cannot or you’re not good enough.  Do not be afraid of men, of their comments and remarks.  Disregard their taunts and teasing.  Ignore their words (however well-meaning they may appear to be).  Listen to and stand only on the Word of God.  Do not be afraid of the enemy and his distractions and attacks.  He is a defeated foe and has no power or authority over you.  You are a child of God and a servant of the Most High God!  Resist him and he will have to flee (James 4:7).

All these will discourage and hinder us, and even cause us to give up in our spiritual walk.  Keep working at building the temple, keep growing, keep pressing in, keep drawing close to God.  Stay focused and don’t be distracted by the trappings of the world!

But more than anything else, do not fear the shaking that is coming soon.  If you are secure in your relationship with God, you have nothing to fear!!!  If not, there is much to fear!

2. SHAKING

” For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations,…” Haggai 2:6-7a

YET ONCE MORE, God will shake.  All through history, we see God’s shaking.  Every move of God establishes His kingdom and purposes.  But man tries to manage and to protect that experience, thereby limiting God and turning that into human organization and effort.  Over time, it becomes religion and rituals, a form of godliness without power (2 Tim 3:5).  God will shake again.  In fact, the shaking has already begun and it will only get more intense.

More and more, we will see God shake the world’s kingdoms.  The world and its systems are under the influence of the enemy and God will expose these.  God will also shake our own kingdoms, our security systems and comfort zones.  Our theological positions, doctrines and beliefs will not be spared.  The Lord has also shown me that He will shake religiosity and idolatry out of the Church!

Look at all the signs and be wise to it.  Global warming is a hot topic.  Its impact on the climate and ecology is now affecting economies and that will impact financial systems!  This must happen, for the situation must become so desperate that a New World Order will be accepted.  And that will affect you and me.  No one will escape the shaking.

But thank God that we have no need to fear because we have received a Kingdom that cannot be shaken (Heb 12:28).  The question to ask is if we have been living as true Kingdom subjects or have we just been content with church membership?  We have no need to fear because in and through the shaking, God will be our strength and shelter (Joel 3:16).  “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” Proverbs 18:10  All these point to relationship not religion!  We have no need to fear because God’s economy still stands.  In Haggai 2:8, God declares that the silver and the gold are still His!  Regardless what may happen to the economy, our trust is in the Lord.  Our provision comes from Him.  The Lord is my shepherd, I shall never be in lack (Psalm 23:1).

Instead of focussing on the shaking and being distracted by the shaking, we must concentrate on the building of our spiritual lives and our relationship with God.  It is in the raising up that matured sons and daughters will be able to withstand and go through the shaking.

3. FILLING

” … and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. … ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.” Haggai 2:7b & 9

Not only do we not have to fear the shaking, we can look forward to a tremendous promise: Every temple that is built up and growing towards maturity will be filled with the fullness and the glory of God!!!

This prophecy belongs to us!!!  No other temple after Solomon’s Temple exceeded in glory … not Ezra’s Temple … not Herod’s Temple.  There is only one other temple and that’s us!  When Jesus told the Jews that He would raise up the temple after three days, He was speaking of the temple of His body (John 2:19-21).  We are the Temple who will be filled with God’s glory!

This glory will surpass even the glory that filled Solomon’s temple!  When that happened in 2 Chr 5:14 & 7:1,2, the priests could not stand and could not minister.  But I believe that when God’s glory fills us this time, we will move out in power to minister and to reveal His glory in its fullness!  It is no co-incidence that so many other ministers of God are preaching about the glory and about moving in the supernatural.  God is raising up an army that will carry His glory to the nations!  There will be signs and wonders!  There will be deliverance!  There will be breakthroughs!  There will be PEACE … shalom, restoration and rest!

This must happen for the world is getting darker and darker.  The words of Isaiah 60:2 remind us, “For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.”  Against this dismal backdrop, the light must shine.  In fact, the light has already come!  The preceding verse in Isaiah declares, “Arise, shine; for your light has come!  And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.”

May the Church be in slumber no more.  There is work to be done in each of our lives and relationships with the Lord.  The temple of the Lord must be raised up that we can stand firm and not be shaken whatever the world throws at us.  Let us look to the promise of His glory, the inhabitation of His temple!  What a promise!

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Hab 2:14