John 3:16 Arrow For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life ^DREAM interpretation ministry

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Carl Beech on pride and being humbled by God

A reprieve came when a national magazine decided to do a two-month double-page spread on what I was doing. That was a real boost to my ego… until the complaint letters came in the following month to the magazine. One person even said that I was ‘ignorant and lived my life under a flower pot.’ That was a wake-up call. What it did was this: It made me look at myself more closely. Where was my identity? Was it in success or in the fact the God loved me no matter what? Was I serving Jesus for my own ends or for him? Did I really understand Romans 8:15 – a verse which I think is the key to inner security for blokes? ‘For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”’ (ESV) The end game was this: I came to the conclusion that anything good people see in me was only because of the One who was working in me to Him they were seeing and not me. I also came to the conclusion that it didn’t matter if I was the big speaker or not. All of that meant nothing to God. Of that I was, and am, totally sure. We often say it but now I knew it. Recently, I was tentatively approached for several possible big jobs in other much bigger ministries. Around that time, someone who had no idea what was going on sent me a picture of two tents. One was small and had loads of guy ropes and tent pegs. The other one had a huge f lag pole coming out of it. Underneath they had written, ‘I would rather be a tent peg in the house of the Lord, than a flag pole anywhere else.’ It was a startlingly clear picture of just what was going on. I had a choice to make and decided to stay as a ‘tent peg’. I am God’s son – that’s all that matters.

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Prophet Ebankole

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Our pride often gets in the way of personal change, says Tim Chester. But there is a way through


One of the main ways in which pride wrecks the process of change is when we hide our sin from others. ‘He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy’ (Proverbs 28:13). We want our good reputation. So we hide, we pretend, we don’t seek help. It meshes with proud self-reliance. We want to avoid exposure so we tell ourselves we can manage on our own. But here’s what’s really happening: we love our reputation more than we hate our sin. We’d like to stop sinning, but not if that costs us people’s approval. And that means true repentance isn’t taking place. ‘It is one thing to make a resolution; it is something completely different to repent, diligently seek counsel, and in concert with others, develop a plan that is concrete and Christ-centred’ (Ed Welch). Think about it: we’re prepared to choose sin, reject God, abandon freedom and even risk hell rather than have people think badly of us. True repentance lets nothing get in the way of change, not even reputation. Are you confessing your sin to a trusted Christian? Are you going to them for accountability? Have you told those, such as your spouse, who are affected by your sin? It’s not always appropriate to tell a wide circle of people. But you should freely and willingly confess to those to whom you’re accountable. You’ve not done this yet? You’re reluctant? Then your reputation still matters more to you than your holiness. Ongoing guilt makes your opinion the one that matters most; shame makes other people’s opinions what matter most. Repentance is making God central and accepting his declaration that you’re righteous in Christ. The key to change is continually returning to the cross. A changing life is a cross-centred life. At the cross we see the source of our sanctification (Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 1:22; Titus 2:14). We f ind hope, for we see the power of sin broken and the old nature put to death. We see ourselves united with Christ and bought by his blood. We see the glorious grace of God, dying for his enemies, the righteous for the unrighteous. We see our hope, our life, our resources, our joy. At the cross we find the grace, power and delight in God we need to overcome sin. If we don’t come to the cross again and again, we’ll feel distant from God, disconnected from his power and indifferent to his glory – and that is a recipe for sin. A cross-centred life means an inevitable and resolute rejection of all self-confidence and selfrighteousness. The life of Jesus shows us humility, but his cross humbles us. At the cross we see the full extent of our sin; when we get the chance, we kill our Creator. The cross leaves no scope for human boasting. Instead our only ‘boast’ is Christ Jesus, ‘our righteousness, holiness and redemption’ (1 Corinthians 1:30–31). There is only one thing I know of that crushes me to the ground and humiliates me to the dust, and that is to look at the Son of God, and especially contemplate the cross… Nothing else can do it. When I see that I am a sinner… that nothing but the Son of God on the cross can save me, I’m humbled to the dust… Nothing but the cross can give us this spirit of humility. The secret of humility, and therefore of change, is never to stray far from the cross. It should be often in our thoughts, on our lips, in our songs, determining our actions, shaping our attitudes, captivating our affections
Prophet Ebankole

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Your 28 Days of Change

God’s spirit is in you and...

‘He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world'

It takes time to change long-standing thought patterns, habits and behaviour. We need to keep coming before God in our brokenness and asking for His help. The rest of this Overcoming booklet is designed to help bring you before God for the next 28 days – to learn from His wisdom in His Word and to access His healing power through prayer. Make a decision to set aside the time each day to read and respond in prayer. Don’t worry if you miss a day or two, just pick up wherever you left off. Keep a notebook and pen nearby to jot down anything that occurs to you while you read, or quotes that inspire you to think differently. Trust that God will speak to you personally about your healing over the coming weeks. Remember, Jesus is on your side, willing you to succeed. Right now, He is praying to the Father on your behalf. God’s Spirit is in you, and ‘He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world’ (1 John 4:4).
Prophet Ebankole

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It’s in Christ that we find out who we are

’ Help, I’m a perfectionist!
Ephesians 1:11 TM

WHAT KIND OF PERFECTIONIST ARE YOU? The performance perfectionist, who always goes the extra mile but never believes he’s getting anywhere? The appearance perfectionist, who worries constantly about what others think instead of thinking for herself? The interpersonal perfectionist, who searches for the perfect mate but always seems to wind up alone? The moral perfectionist who can’t forgive himself or others no matter how minor the transgression? The truth is, your performance at any task will be below average half of the time and above average the other half, contradicting the myth that doing anything less than your best makes you a failure. God doesn’t see you as a failure; He sees you as a learner! It’s better to fail trying something than to excel doing nothing. A flawed diamond is better than a perfect brick. The key to being free from the stronghold of perfectionism and low self-esteem is to learn the lesson and forget the details. If you’re a perfectionist, you need to find out what God says about you in His Word and refuse to believe anything different. The messages you received and the perceptions you formed about yourself in childhood were wrong then and they’re wrong now. They’re wrong because a) God says so b) now you have more experience, knowledge, choice and personal power c) ‘It’s in Christ that we find out who we are’ (Ephesians 1:11 TM). Throw out the old tapes! They simply don’t apply any more. Learn to forgive yourself, accept yourself, love yourself and believe in yourself, because God does.

Prayer Point :
Help me, Lord, to be comfortable in the skin I’m in. Show me, Lord, how You love me. Even when my low self-esteem drives me to think bad things about myself, let me see things from Your perspective. In my determination to do things ‘just right’ help me not to develop a critical spirit of other people around me, my family or friends. Let my words be positive and not negative, in Jesus’ Name. Amen!
Prophet Ebankole

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Take control of what I say, O Lord’
Psalm 141:3 NLT 2

IN ‘A ‘ Catherine Marshall writes, ‘One morning last week, God gave me an assignment for one day. I was to go on a ‘fast’ from criticism. I was not to criticise anybody or anything. For the first half of the day I simply felt a void, almost as if I’d been wiped out as a person. This was especially true at lunch. I listened to the others and kept silent. In our talkative family, nobody seemed to notice. Bemused, I noted that the federal government, the judicial system and the institutional church could apparently get along just fine without my penetrating observations. But still I didn’t see what this ‘fast from criticism’ was accomplishing, until mid-afternoon. ‘In the afternoon, God gave me a new vision for my life. And it had His unmistakable hallmark on it: joy! Ideas began to come to me in a way I hadn’t experienced in years. Now it was apparent what the Lord wanted me to see. My critical nature had not solved a single one of the multitudinous things I had found fault with. What it had done was to stifle my own creativity.’ Listen: ‘Words kill, words give life… you choose’ (Proverbs 18:21 TM). Negative words create an atmosphere in which positive people can’t live and creative solutions can’t be found. Only in a climate of faith and acceptance can risks be taken, progress be made and dreams be fulfilled. That’s why you need to pray today, ‘Take control of what I say, O Lord.’ (Psalm 141:3).
Prophet Ebankole

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The ‘I-knew-you-when’ crew!

'Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honour.’ Matthew 13:57'

REALISE THAT some of the people who knew you ‘way back when’ don’t know you now. They’ve pigeon-holed you and they won’t be happy when you move out of that pigeonhole. Listen: ‘Coming to His hometown, He began teaching… and they were amazed… “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?”…they took offence at Him… He did not do many miracles there, because of their lack of faith’ (Matthew 13:54-58 NIV). So what did Jesus do? He left! What else could He do? If you allow them, the ‘I-knew-you-when’ crew will keep you stuck at a stage in your life that’s past and gone. You’ve got to move beyond the good old days! If you allow people to keep taking you down memory lane, you’ll eventually set up house, stay longer than you should and miss your destiny. Don’t stay where you’re tolerated; go where you’re appreciated! Before David slew Goliath, he had to stand up to his oldest brother, Eliab, one of Saul’s generals. David’s boldness magnified his brother’s cowardice. Had David given in, he’d never have slain the giant and gone on to become king. It’s a gift to have people in your life who know where you’ve been, and can relate to where you’re going. But if you have to choose between ‘then’ and ‘now’, sacrifice ‘then’, for it can’t be rewritten, only replayed over and over again. Stop rehearsing your beginnings and write the rest of your story! The future is yours, grab it while you can!

Prayer Point
Lord, I press on toward the mark of the high calling of God in my life. I put You first, Lord, thanking You for all the experiences in life You have brought me through. Help me to continue to change for the rest of my life, so I can be an example of someone who served well, through the decades of a changing world. Amen!
Prophet Ebankole

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Change is an uphill climb!

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’ Philippians 3:14 NKJV

NEAR THE TOP of Mount Everest is a memorial which reads: ‘He died climbing.’ What a way to be remembered! In an old Peanuts cartoon, Charlie Brown says to Linus: ‘What would you do if you felt that no one liked you?’ Linus replies, ‘I’d see what I could do to improve.’ To which Charlie Brown replies, ‘I hate that answer!’ There are a number of reasons why many of us, like Charlie Brown, hate that answer and want to freeze life where it’s at. 1) When it took everything we had to get to where we are now, ‘Let’s go’ is not what we especially want to hear. 2) We’re creatures of habit. We form our habits, then our habits form us. 3) Change makes us feel insecure. We fear that maybe we don’t have what it takes. Solomon writes, ‘The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day’ (Proverbs 4:18 NLT). In ‘Teaching To Change Lives’, Howard Hendrix asks every potential leader these searching questions: ‘How have you changed lately? In the last week, let’s say? Or the last month? Can you be very specific? Or must your answer always be incredibly vague? You say you’re growing. But – how? “Well,” you say, “In all kinds of ways.” Great; name one! You see, effective teaching comes only through a changed person. When you stop changing, you stop leading.’ Today, ask God to show you the areas in which you need to change.
Prophet Ebankole

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What would Jesus do

Christ… is your example… follow in His steps.’ 1 Peter 2:21 NLT

DO YOU COMPLAIN when your friends let you down? Do you keep score about gift-giving, initiating phone calls or picking up the tab? Are there times when you feel that you give more than you get? Jesus experienced these things and more! His closest friends let Him down. They were unreliable and immature. They learned slowly and always the hard way. One even betrayed Him. Yet He forgave them and loved them anyway. Listen: ‘…having loved His own… He loved them to the end’ (John 13:1 NKJV). Jesus loved His friends but not because they were worthy of love. His love made them worthy! In ‘Knowing God’, J. I. Packer writes, ‘There is tremendous relief in knowing that God’s love for Prayer Point me is based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst in me. No discovery can disillusion Him in the way I’m so often disillusioned about myself or quench His determination to bless me. There is great cause for humility in the thought that He sees all the twisted things about me that others don’t see. Indeed He sees more corruption in me than I see in myself. Yet He wants me as His friend and desires to be my friend and has given His Son to die for me in order for me to realise this purpose.’ So the next time a friend lets you down, remember God’s grace. Use His Son as your role model and ask yourself, ‘What would Jesus do.'

Prayer Point

Jesus, You are such an example to me, Your reactions to the challenges of Your own life on earth are amazing. Help me to be a Jesus mirror to people so that when they look at me they actually see the character of You inside. Help me live with Jesus’ integrity, that the decisions I make will always be the best for the people around and the best decision for Your Kingdom. Amen!
Prophet Ebankole

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Integrity never disappoints

Declare me innocent, O Lord; for I have acted with integrity…’ Psalm 26:1 NLT

ALL OF US know people who are not the same on the inside as they are on the outside. Indeed, many who work harder on their image than on their integrity don’t understand when they suddenly ‘fall.’ Even friends who thought they knew them are surprised. In ancient China, the people wanted security against the barbaric hordes from the north, so they built The Great Wall. It was so high nobody could climb over it and so thick nobody could break it down, so they settled back to enjoy their security. During the first 100 years of the wall’s existence, China was invaded three times. Not once did the enemy break down the wall or climb over it. Each time they bribed the gatekeeper and marched right through without a problem. The Chinese were so busy relying on their wall of stone that they neglected to teach integrity to their children. Your answers to the following questions will determine if you are into image-building or integrity-building. 1) Are you the same no matter whom you’re with? 2) Do you make decisions that are best for others, when another choice would benefit you more? 3) Are you quick to recognise others for their efforts and contributions to your success? Life is like a vice; at times it’ll squeeze you. In those moments, whatever is inside will come out. Image promises much and produces little but integrity never disappoints. So commit yourself today to be a person of integrity
Prophet Ebankole

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More on integrity

May integrity... protect me’ Psalm 25:21 NIV

A NEWSPAPER CARTOON depicts two executives sitting in jail. One turns to the other and says, ‘And all along I thought our level of corruption fell well within community standards.’ In a survey of 400 managers, 55 per cent said they did not trust their top management. We’re living in the age of Enron! Will Rogers said, ‘People’s minds are changed through observation, not argument. People do what people see.’ It’s said that 89 per cent of what we learn comes through visual stimulation, the remainder through audible stimulation. So it makes sense that the more people see your consistency, the greater their respect and loyalty will be. What they hear, they understand; what they see, they believe and follow! That’s why David prayed, ‘Guard my life... let me not be put to shame... May integrity... protect me’ (Psalm 25:20-21 NIV). When integrity is the referee, your lips and your heart will be in agreement. Your beliefs will be mirrored by your conduct. There’ll be no discrepancy between what you appear to be and what your family knows you are, whether in good times or bad. John Maxwell says, ‘Integrity determines beforehand what you’ll be, regardless of the circumstances, persons involved or places of testing. Integrity is not only the referee between two desires; it’s the ‘decision maker’ between being happy and being fragmented. It frees you to be a whole person no matter what comes your way. Socrates said, ‘The key to greatness is to be in reality what we appear to be.’ He’s right!

Prayer Point
Lord, let my integrity grow. I pray today that you would reveal anything in my life that I need to change for the sake of promoting integrity. Whether it’s my temper or mistruth, let Integrity reign in me. Even if I’m set in my ways, Lord, let the winds of change come, to blow away the old bad habits of the past, so that today would be a new day full of integrity with you.
Prophet Ebankole

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