“Things Which Are Not Seen” – Part 1

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18

There is a big problem in the church today. The church does not see. It is blind in the Spirit. It does not see “the things which are not seen”. In fact, the church understands only the things that are seen; and it often scoffs at the things that are not seen…

A while ago, a friend of mine was preaching in our church and he said, “There is no worse impairment than the disability to see.”

He was talking about seeing in the Spirit.

Let us read 2 Kings 4:8-10.

8 And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. 9 And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. 10 Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.”


“… an holy man of God”.

I just love that. That is what a true prophet of God ought to be. Holy. Not unholy.

Today we have prophets who are anything but holy. And they are not just unholy; they are sinning big time, to the extent that they are being arrested! They are being arrested for charges ranging from rape, to money laundering and everything in between. That includes your favorite prophet from down south. And please save me the nonsense that these fellows’ arrests are “persecution for the gospel’s sake”.

But notice here that Elisha was a holy man of God.

How, pray, do we prove that Elisha was a holy man of God? Is it because this woman said so?

The answer is yes. And why, pray, should we believe her testimony? It is on account of her character. The character of the Shunammite woman allows us the privilege to believe anything this woman said. When she says that Elisha was a holy man of God we believe that is what he was.

I love the story of Elisha and the Shunammite woman. It is one of the most beautiful stories in the Bible. It is the story of a pure, holy, loving relationship between a man and woman who were not husband and wife.

I love the way the Bible portrays this woman.

“a great woman”.

It was not the husband who was great. It was the woman. The Swahili Bible says that she was “a woman of position”. She was a noblewoman. But notice also how submissive this great woman was to her husband. When she decided that something needed to be done for the man of God, she beseeched her husband.

“Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.”

I just love that. You see, with God character is everything. The Bible says of our spiritual mother, Sarah:

“Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord…” (1 Pet.3:6)

And for this reason she is the mother of all who believe.

“… whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”

The humble spirit of both Sarah and this Shunammite woman is something every woman should emulate.

It is this same quality that makes us (and God) to believe the Shunammite when she says that Elisha was a holy man of God.

[Today’s ‘prophets’…]

Women In Ministry – Part 3

1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him.

2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,

3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.

4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

5 A sower went out to sow his seed… Lk. 8:1-5

[We should never lose sight of our key scripture above]

The second foundational scripture I want us to consider is 1 Peter 3-6.

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your husbands… For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”

The Bible says Sarah called Abraham “lord”. Is that even possible? Yes, it is – in the Spirit. Just as it is possible for a spiritual man or woman to turn the other cheek, it is possible for a woman to call her husband “lord” in the Spirit. I never read in the Old Testament that Sarah called Abraham “lord”. But the apostles knew this fact by revelation. How so interesting scripture can become. And how so powerful our spiritual lives become when God’s order has been established!

What scripture means here is that Sarah acknowledged and honored Abraham in the Spirit, not because he was a great man of faith, but simply because he was her husband. She acknowledged and recognized the authority that he had over her in the Spirit, and she honored this authority by calling him “lord”. Sarah, being a woman of the Spirit, understood God’s order in the Spirit; and she chose to honor it.

But it was not just Sarah. The Bible declares:

“… in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands”.

It was not just Sarah. In the old time, every Godly woman honored their husbands. In this scripture, the Bible emphatically establishes the fact that spiritual women of old had no problem with authority.

Man in his raw carnal nature has a problem with authority. Unfortunately, the issue of submission is a big problem in the church also. But the Apostle Peter exhorts us,

“Likewise, ye younger submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (1 Pet. 5:5)

Here, again, scripture establishes the fact that spiritual people, both men and women, old and young, have no problem submitting their lives.

This is an incredibly powerful spiritual understanding. If every believer could arrive here, God would not have the heartache that He has today. And the church would have so much grace and power and unity in the Spirit.

A true woman of God is not the woman ‘minister”. Rather, it is the woman who can humble herself and submit herself to her husband. That is what the Bible tells us in those words.

” For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands”.

Not by strutting across the stage. Let a woman submit herself to her husband and she becomes the most powerful woman alive.

Finally, let us consider the Apostle Peter’s words in verse 6:

“whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”

Who or what is Peter warning them to beware not to fear?

It is their own selves. Self is the greatest threat to doing the will of God. Here the Apostle Peter is telling Godly women, “If your lives are surrendered to God, you have nothing to fear.”

When our lives are nailed to the cross, we do not fear this Goliath called self. We do not fear the pride that would have us unable to humble ourselves. When our flesh is nailed to the cross we are free! We are free of any kind of fear.

That is why marriages work in the church. Both the husband and the wife having crucified their flesh can see far ahead in the Spirit into God’s grand plan (not their little self-ish whims). They discover they are mere cogs in the great wheel of God’s plan and they rejoice as they serve God in their very different (but complementary) capacities.

Godly Humility is Incredible Humility

27 And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?

28 And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance. Gen. 43:27-28

“Thy servant our father…”

I haven’t heard that lately. In fact, I have not heard that kind of language spoken anywhere, real time.

And I am wondering what, if these men could refer to their father as someone’s servant, what then could they say of themselves? Much lower than a servant, no doubt.

And this was not a scene from some screen shot. This was real. It was real life.

Notice it was not Joseph who referred to Jacob as a “servant”. It was his brothers. They referred to him as Joseph’s “servant”, even though at the time they did not know it was Joseph they were addressing. This was the way Godly men of old spoke of themselves.

Our spiritual fathers were men who were extremely rich in the Spirit. And the reason for this was because they were extremely humble.

Modern man is so ‘emancipated’ he has missed it in the Spirit. But we need to have the spirit of humility that these early men of God had.

We recall also Sarah, Abraham’s wife, whom the Bible informs us called her husband “lord” (1 Pet. 3:6). That’s a big “Wow!” there. That speaks of humility, great humility. In today’s ‘modern’ church, a wife may not necessarily use the word “lord” to address her husband, but thank God the life she is called to live is not about words. However, the word “lord” as used here has a very specific meaning. It means that the wife humbles herself to the extent the husband actually becomes her lord, or master.

A woman of the Spirit has no place in her heart for things like women’s emancipation, because emancipation is of the heart, and Christ has set her free to obey her husband. He has not set her free to seek ‘equal rights’ with her husband. Christ has set her free to obey her husband. Any other ‘freedom’ is not of Christ.

We could talk of many more Biblical figures with regard to incredible humility. Take David, for example. We could talk of David and Saul; of King David and Absalom his son; and of David and a man called Shimei. We do not have the time to talk about these things in detail here, but they show that David was a truly humble man.

As we already stated, with the Godly men and women of old, it came naturally to humble themselves. But what was the reason for this incredible humility?

It was because they knew God. They may not have been perfect, but these men and women knew God to an extent that would make us appear like little children with all the pride and selfishness we exhibit.

The modern believer may boast of many things, many accomplishments in the Spirit. But to have the incredible heart of humility that the men of old had! That’s the true calling of God.

I use the word “incredible” deliberately. Humility is a big challenge to the modern believer. I have seen many men of God, myself included, who draw the line concerning how far they can be challenged, provoked or defied.

But humility is of grace.

My prayer today that God may give me – give us all – a heart which is ready and willing to say with the great men of old, “Your servant…”

[Below: A wedding. In marriage, as with any relationship, humility is of absolute essentiality]


Faith and Obedience

9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.

10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.

12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Gen. 21:9-12

Long ago, we used to sing a song:

Trust and obey

For there is no other way

To be happy in Jesus

But to trust and obey.

There are many beautiful and spiritually satisfying songs that we used to sing in the old days.

But let’s get down to this post…

Abraham is called the father of faith. He is also called the friend of God. Let’s see how much of a friend Abraham was to God.

When God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, His was a top-secret, highly classified military operation. He had no intention of informing anyone about His mission. But something made God to stop in His tracks, so to speak.

“And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do” (Gen. 18:17).

God came to a decision. He decided He could not hide from Abraham the thing He intended to do. Abraham pleased God so much that God decided to reveal His plans to him!

That was how much a friend of God Abraham was.

God is no respecter of men. He certainly wasn’t with Abraham. But somehow Abraham was able to please God through his faith, and they became intimate friends. That is an incredible feat.

We all love to think that we are pleasing to God. But we can only please God when we have faith, and faith goes with obedience, as we are about to see with Abraham.

We can see from the scripture above that Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. One, Ishmael, was born by his slave, Hagar; the younger, Isaac, was born by his wife Sarah through a promise of God. As is normal with most men, the first born is always very dear to them, for he is the first-fruits of their strength. And so it was with Abraham. His heart lay with Ishmael, his firstborn son.

But we can also see that Abraham’s love for Ishmael clouded his spiritual sight. Now Abraham was seeing things in the natural. He was very happy for Ishmael. At 13 years old, Ishmael must have been a strapping, promising young man and Abraham’s pride most likely was fully vested in him.

But Sarah saw in the Spirit, and she saw Ishmael “mocking”.

Now, “mocking” is not a good word at all. The word “mocking” indicates a revulsive, worldly spirit. It speaks of contempt. It is a spirit that has no boundaries; it cannot define the sacred from the unholy. It is the spirit that we are increasingly seeing in the world today – an anti-God spirit.

That was not a good thing this boy was doing. In fact, it was downright evil. In Galatians 4:29 it says that Ishmael “persecuted” Isaac.

Sarah saw the evil in Ishmael. She decided the boy and her mother had to go. She spoke to Abraham about it and Abraham, poor man, was loathe to send them away. It appears that, left on his own, Abraham would have given his inheritance to Ishmael! We thank God for Godly women like Sarah who can put the brakes to the madness of their husbands. Sarah takes much credit here.

Abraham tried to defend his choice to remain with Ishmael, but God told him, “Listen to Sarah.” Listening to Sarah meant Ishmael and his mother had to go, and this was extremely painful to Abraham. But painful as it was, Abraham obeyed. He sent Ishamel and Hagar away.

That was faith! Through losing in the natural, Abraham proved his faith in God.

We have no idea where Ishmael’s persecution of Isaac would have led to. Probably Ishmael would have kept on bullying the younger boy until Isaac would have become a vegetative youth of no consequence. Or he probably would have killed him outright once he became strong enough.

In casting out both the slave and her son, Abraham suffered, but he obeyed God. He kept his faith.

And in that, God must have been very happy with him.

The word “happy” is not a word that we can easily apply to the relationship between God and the church today. It is no secret that today the church is too much in cahoots with the world. There is too much compromise with the world! So much so that “Isaac” is about to be buried under.

Particularly, these three things are there in the church today:

  • Sin
  • Worldly influences, especially celebrity worship/Christianity and political correctness
  • Law and principles. Far from having no power to enable God’s people to live a victorious life, law binds them even tighter in the bondage of sin.

But we must strive to please God. We must separate the spiritual from the worldly in the church. The church must walk under the full power of God’s grace.

In order to achieve what he did, Abraham walked in the revelation of the cross. There was total denial of self involved. Abraham took up his cross and followed Christ.

When we, too, walk in the revelation of the cross of Jesus Christ we are able to cast off the old man of the flesh through crucifying it on the cross, and only through the cross can we hope for “Isaac” (the spiritual man) in us to be free to inherit.

If we do not cast out the flesh through crucifying it, we will see the influences of the flesh and of the world increasingly manifesting themselves in our lives, a scenario that is becoming more and more a reality in God’s people’s lives today.

[Below: Dar es Salaam: In the afternoon heat, passengers in city buses take time to snooze]


Gaius – A Rich Man

The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 1:1,2

Someone said to me recently, “Mwita, I pray that you may get a car!” and I laughed, sort of the way Sarah laughed, because truly nothing is too hard for the Lord. Now, if you live in Africa you might understand how sometimes owning something as simple as a car might need a miracle equivalent to Sarah’s!

The person who told me this was troubled by the fact that I travelled too much by bus.

I laughed all right, but as I was thinking over the words of this loving friend, I remembered John’s letter to Gaius. In 3 John 1:1-2, the Apostle John writes these words: “The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”

The proponents of the prosperity gospel have worn out this scripture trying to prove that God wants all of His children to prosper materially. They claim that Gaius was one of the people that God had made rich; but all they have to stand on is John’s “wish”, or prayer!

Has it ever occurred to you that Gaius might have been a poor, needy brother, but one with a generous heart? It is not mentioned if Gaius was a rich man or a poor man. What is clear, however, is that Gaius was a generous man.

As a matter of fact, we could say with some conviction that in order for John to make such a prayer on behalf of Gaius, the latter most likely needed that prayer!

The Macedonians were not rich either, but they were generous. Presumably, the same situation applied to Gaius. There is no other reason for John to “wish” for Gaius to prosper and be in good health if Gaius was a rich man. It would be like stating the obvious.

Besides, there is no guarantee that simply by John “wishing” (or praying) for Gaius to prosper, that he would. God might have needed to keep Gaius a poor man for other purposes. The church today has been erroneously taught to believe many things concerning God’s provision, but we cannot limit God to what we think. We must be scriptural.

What the above scripture states, and which is of far greater significance to us, is the fact that Gaius was a spiritually prospering man. The Bible says clearly, “…even as thy soul prospereth.”

But it is not just that the Bible states that Gaius was prospering in his spirit; but the fruits of this prosperity are evident in the generosity he showed in ministering to God’s people. This heart that Gaius had – those are the true riches.

The Apostle John must have felt the heavy burden that Gaius was bearing in ministering to the saints, hence his prayer for Gaius to prosper materially. He knew many saints would benefit from Gaius’ ministry.

It is highly unlikely that when Gaius was going about his labor of love that he would have been looking for material returns for his kindness. Being the righteous man that he was, he was content with his physical state and would most likely have been beseeching God for a spiritual blessing.

A man who expects to “reap” in the natural is a carnal Christian. There is nowhere in the Bible where we are encouraged to have such a mindset. That is a carnal mentality, not a spiritual one.

A spiritual mindset is one that looks to the future, into the things of the Spirit. That is why the Bible says, And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” (1 Cor. 13:13). You don’t see a car mentioned there, do you? Nor a 3-storied house. There is nothing of this world in that scripture. Notice that Paul is talking of things that will abide. These are the things that the Bible encourages us to seek after.

I must end by asking my readers to not think that by using the above example I was in some way trying to compare myself with Gaius. Not by the longest shot! These were men against whom I couldn’t come up close to, spiritually speaking. I am grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to so much as put the soles of my feet on the same road that such men walked.

Abraham’s Instant Obedience – Part 2

We can also see Abraham’s heart when the three men, the angels of the Lord, visited him. The Bible says about Abraham that he was sitting outside his tent. The Bible does not say that he knew they were the angel of the Lord; all he saw were three men approaching. But it was what followed that shows us the character of a Godly man.

Let’s try and see what went on here. I imagine that Abraham saw some very tired-looking strangers passing by his home and his tender heart was touched. They certainly were not walking with ‘Angel of the Most High God’ written on their blazers. Abraham saw these men and he purposed to do something about it. But imagine this man, 99 years old, running to invite passersby, literally forcing them, to accept of his generosity! Abraham had a generosity that would leave many of us reeling with disbelief.

The Bible says that Abraham ran and that he and Sarah personally ministered to these visitors; and it was not your ordinary “Another cookie, please?” Back then, what he and Sarah prepared was a 5-course meal.

(With regard to this, I have a few families to thank. I wouldn’t forget my wife).

God is looking at the condition of our hearts. God is interested with the ease with which we can keep our hearts pure and holy before Him. Christians are forever harping about how God is interested in many other things in our lives. True, yes; but first things must come first. Mind you, God could give us those ‘other things’ without necessarily being pleased with us. But we are interested in what pleases the Lord.

Only by obeying God as Abraham did will we become towering men of faith and mature in character as Abraham was.

And, pray, what price are we willing to make that happen? What price are we willing to pay to make sure our hearts are pure before God and man, especially in today’s world with its many stumbling blocks? Once God grants us to know the price we need to pay in order to live that kind of lifestyle, then we will have known the true price of Christianity.

It is truly sad to see how proud Christians are today. They do many things, but they are not ready to carry their cross and follow Jesus.

The Christian life is a given life. We must be willing to die to our pride and to ourselves!

And we must be swift to do it. We must be swift to release, quick to let go the things in our hearts that hinder us from pleasing the Lord.

Of necessity I find I often have to hit out at myself, “Don’t be stupid!” when I realize that my heart is deceptively moving towards a certain direction.

I want to run a different race. I want to run with father Abraham.

Recently a brother from a distant town called me on the phone and he began telling me about the problems that he has been having in his marriage. It was not the first time for me to hear about that particular couple; I heard about their troubles a long time ago and, being far, I had assumed everything worked out well eventually. Now he was telling me that nothing had changed and that, if anything, things just got worse between him and his wife.

This time, I knew exactly what to tell him. I felt he needed to hear the really Good News. I said, “Brother, if you are having a problem with someone, then the problem is not the other person, but you. Had you determined in your heart to not harbor problems, right now there would be no difficulty in your marriage regardless of what your wife is doing against you. You are taking too long to obey God!”

I assure you that I spoke those words with all the grace that the Lord had given me at that time.

We all have our job cut out for us.

I have a prayer in my heart. Maybe we all need to make this prayer. “Lord, deny me everything, but give me the swiftness that you gave to Abraham in heeding to your voice. Thank you, Lord. Amen.”

(You have the liberty of making this prayer without including the “deny me everything” part. That was just for me).