God Rules – Not By Choice

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…this conjures an image of a sole deity who in His great will, decided to become a Creator.

He did not consult anyone. Yet, if He did, none could dare oppose or obstruct Him. For all things were made by Him and for Him.

The God of the Old Testament was a monarch. He ruled with equity and justice but His rule was unquestionable.

Once there was a being who thought that he could remove the Ruler of Heaven by a Referendum, perhaps if he got the signatures of majority of the angels, God would be deposed.

Alas, the plot failed. He only obtained one third of the angelic votes. Since Heaven was not a democracy, his dissent was punished with an expulsion and forced descent to earth.

Israel, the nation of God made the same mistake. For centuries after they settled in the Promised Land, they had been led by prophets. God was the King and his earthly governors were prophets. His Word was law and He had no term limits.

In the days of prophet Samuel, Israel acquired a taste for a manmade, modern and flamboyant monarchy.

Opinion polls suggested that prophet Samuel was unpopular. The people wanted a young and brave king who would lead them into wars.

Samuel was aghast. He was personally pained by their rejection. Yet God told him to allow popular opinion to prevail.

Though in rebellion, they got the king of their dreams, he was handsome, tall and courageous. He was a prestigious choice. Yet his reign was a disaster of disobedience. Israel had made a wrong choice in opting for regime change for the mere sake of pomp and pageantry.

In the new testament, Christ the King still proved that He rules and chooses as He pleases.

After the betrayal of Judas, the twelve disciples became the eleven. Peter realizing that twelve was a significant number (Jesus did not choose that number by chance), canvassed that a replacement be selected.

Matthias emerged from that process. He was chosen to be of the twelve in the place of Judas. He was a good and noble man. He was a devout follower of the Lord. Yet after that ‘promotion’ we do not hear anything of him.

God, sovereign in His design, choose Paul instead to be the apostle to the Gentiles and the ‘de facto’ number twelve. See how much he accomplished to make Gentiles obedient to the gospel! Once again divine design trumped popular will.

The New Jerusalem which we seek is not a haven of democracy. It cannot be. For it is not subject to the whims of human nature or the caprices of popular opinion. There, God’s Word is law. It is the place for unanimity and unity. A unity centred on Christ – Who is the Word.

But there is a period of acclimatization before we reach those holy heights. Now we must accept the Divine design, the straitjacket of the Word, and not the yin-yang of conventional wisdom. Only those who acclimatize on earth will be admitted to that Paradise. Let’s do it.

Eve & The Greatest Salesman

Selling to the unwilling is a difficult thing. You have to move the prospect from the valley of indifference to the plains of acceptance and finally to the summit of the buying decision.

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And so it is remarkable that a woman was tempted out of the comfort of Eden by a Salesman who was peddling what turned out to be a lemon.

He preyed on her curiosity and exploited her hesitancy. He, like all good salesmen, moved her through the gears – Attention…Interest….Desire…Action. The last step was the fateful decision to ‘purchase’ and use the damnable product.

A tested and proven four step method…

Attention:

Genesis 3:1 “And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

A rhetorical question that gets you thinking is a good way to attract your attention. It made Eve pause and think.

It was a rhetorical question because the Serpent knew the answer to it. The answer was obvious to both the questioner and questioned.

The way it was asked though, left Eve thinking that they could be a different answer. Her curiosity thus piqued, she was now ready for Satan’s next hook.

Interest:

Genesis 3:4
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die”

The serpent now had Eve’s attention. But mere attention in itself is noncommittal. It only guarantees listening. He had to do more.

And the above grand statement was it. In one fell swoop, he described the product in a way that addressed the root of Eve’s deepest fears. She would not die! Death was supposed to be the sad consequence of disobedience to God’s command. And it would no longer happen! Suddenly Eve’s pulse quickened. She was excited. This proposition was now interesting.

Satan had her literally where he wanted her to be. It was now time for the next hook.

Desire:

Genesis 3:5-6 “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise…”

Now that he had gotten the attention of the customer and had earned her trust, he swiftly took advantage of it. He showcased the benefits of the product. He appealed to her sense of sight for the fruit was pleasant to the eyes. He appealed to her sense of taste and sensual pleasure. He made it clear that the ‘fruit was good for food’. He appealed to her need for intellectual affirmation, for it was a ‘tree to be desired to make one wise’.

Marketers know that you pitch the benefits of a product and not the physical or technical features. Otherwise the presentation would be a dry one lacking in emotional appeal.

Satan, being a wily old salesman, focused on the benefits and not the features too. Eve never realized until it was too late, the actual specifications of the product she was desiring. Or how difficult it would be to return or dispose of it. That would come later. For now, all the talk was about benefits!

Action:

Genesis 3:6 “…she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

After moving her up the ladder – from the rung of Attention to Interest and from Interest to Desire, there was one thing left to do; to go for it.

She was convinced about the product, it ticked all her boxes. Then she reached with aroused anticipation and took the fruit and ate it. There was no immediate post-purchase anxiety. None. She even flaunted the benefits to Adam. He ate of the fruit as well.

The World’s greatest salesman had done a good job. He was so persuasive that his convert became an influencer for the cause. Word-of-mouth/viral marketing was in full swing.

This virus had an unmentioned feature. It would enter the bloodstream and doom all of Adam & Eve’s descendants to be perpetual addicts to the product. The delighted Eve did not know that yet.

This great salesman is still wooing customers today. His tactics have not changed. He is slick and cunning. His campaign focuses on creating a buzz, arousing desire and talking exclusively about benefits not features. He appeals to the senses, and is an astute judge of human emotions.

Beware of him. Do not be deceived as Eve was. Stay with the Word. To get back to the Eden of God, you must withstand the wiles and charms of the greatest salesman.

The Value of Little ‘Not’

The value of little ‘not’
Always underrated but
Important when unheeded
By many to great hurt

Thou shall not eat thereof
Was the command given
The reward for eating was
To fall by death’s sting

But Satan brought another
‘Not’ for he said
‘Thou shall surely ‘not’
Die the death you dread

Eve forgot the first not
For lure of the second
She traded nots and gained
Nought-for she and husband
Died in same thousand year day

One misplaced not brought
Death and human suffering
To all sages in all ages
What a single ‘not’ brought forth!

Christ has made a way back
He has bought the life Eve sought
So He must be our truth North
To navigate quick sands of Satan’s nots

We’d be nuts to reject Him for Satan’s nots
That only lead to regions fraught
With the weeping of the distraught

Mouth It

In the beginning was the Word
And what God spoke became
Today He asks us to do same
To feed on the Word of His mouth
And become like Him-the Word
To be like Him is to speak
And call things that are not
By mention to bring them forth
Confession is the true compass
That makes the heart faith’s port
Where salvation’s ship will berth
Be not afraid to say the promises
For speaking brings a creative birth
Where reality is formless and void
When in doubt, speak the Word out

 

Importance of Revelation – Esau & Jacob

Isaac had twins. Esau was the elder and Jacob the younger. Esau was a noble man. An example of machismo. He hunted, trapped and loved the outdoors. He was a father’s dream.

Jacob preferred his mum’s company. Preferred to hunt in the kitchen. A domesticated sissy?

Jacob valued the birthright. He knew it’s spiritual implications. Esau was gruff and rough about everything. Including the birthright.

He lost it. Traded it for convenience. For a meal. He could not comprehend its significance. Jacob bought it and sold it not.

The Word of God is our birthright. Don’t sell out for money, popularity or pleasures.

Importance Of Revelation – Cain & Abel

 

Two religious men were called of God to offer a sacrifice. They both did so earnestly. One sacrifice was accepted and the other was rejected.

Abel offered an animal for his sacrifice. Cain, the ultimate vegetarian, offered fruits and vegetables.

Abel’s altar was messy and bloody. Cain’s altar was beautiful and succulent. God chose the ‘dirty’ altar over the ‘clean’ one.

How did Abel know that blood was the essence of the sacrifice? How did he know that without blood, there would be no remission of sins? He knew this by faith – a revelation.

Cain had no revelation. He worshipped God by his mental deduction – which was wrong.

Sincerity and religiosity without a true understanding of the Word is like a well without water or a cloud without rain.

Nimrod’s Big Idea

Confusion reigned now crowned by terror of misunderstanding
Questions were rewarded with stares of incomprehension
Some thought it a joke-this unintelligible play-acting
But this derision midwifed the birth of mirthless frustration

All work soon stopped on the great tower
No more brick and mortar for want of what to utter
Nimrod’s pet project was destroyed in a hour

Nimrod’s idea was to unite all of humanity
In the great quest to ascend to heaven
By sweating sinews and ambition-fueled unity
They would make a name for all eternity
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