Monthly Archives: January 2015

KP Yohannan: Relying on God Alone

Living in the Light of Eternity - KP Yohannan Books

Click the image to download your free copy.

Our opportunities are unlimited. Beyond the challenge to spread the Gospel into developing nations, something else is far more pressing: We are totally dependent on God. If we do not look to Him but rather to ourselves to meet our needs, only disaster can result.

Something wonderful happens, on the other hand, when we regard ourselves as helplessly dependent on the Lord. In our hearts and attitudes, we must remain as children before Him. If we are enabled to accomplish anything, it is because of the Lord and His grace. The secret of His blessing on any work, large or small, is that all the glory goes to Him.

But we are self-willed individuals who live in flesh-and-blood bodies and strive naturally for personal praise. How can we regard ourselves as helplessly dependent on the Lord and give Him all the glory? Look at Psalm 103:14: “He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” This verse assures me that the Lord knows the stuff I am made of. The question is, Am I able to remember it? Will I daily recognize that all I am made of is a little handful of dust?

The Lord rescues us repeatedly from our tendency to stop depending on Him and start depending on ourselves. He often keeps us from doing things in our own flesh instead of in His strength. Sometimes, in His mercy, He even causes those things to fail.

Because when all is said and done, when history is sealed up and time runs out, God will make sure that nothing that is a product of the flesh will last for eternity. He has never accepted a work of our flesh and He never will, however good it might look to us. Nothing, not preaching thousands of sermons, not even seeming to turn the world upside-down, will enter eternity if it has been a product of our flesh. Anything lasting for eternity will have been done by Him and Him alone.

We must heed the warning of God to the children of Israel as they were about to pass over the Jordan River into the Promised Land:

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. . . . Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God. . . . You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” Deuteronomy 8:10, 12–14, 17

We are no different than the children of Israel. Take a look around you at the people and ministries you know God has called to do His heart’s desire. Often flesh gets in the way. People become arrogant and take the glory for themselves. When the Lord uses people for His purposes, He often has to strip away dependence on intelligence, education, abilities, strengths. He has to make them nothing before He can build them back up again for His service.

It is refreshing to see how God carries along a person or ministry that acknowledges dependence on Him. Some things we plan never take place. Other things we never expect may happen in a mighty way. This helps us know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has accomplished these things.

Excerpt from Chapter 12 of Living in the Light of Eternity (ISBN 9781595891402) © 2014 by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia.

All for Love

Living in the Light of Eternity - KP Yohannan Books

Click the image to download your free copy.

Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to “a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:45–46).

What does it mean to give up everything for the pearl of great price?

I want to convey that your choice to live for Jesus is not just a means to escape hell. It is not just to have your sins forgiven or to have a nice, comfortable life here on earth with good fellowship and a free ride to heaven.

Life for Jesus is a spiritual battleground. Like it or not, we are in the enemy’s territory. Jesus Himself was harassed continually by the powers of darkness and the enemies of the Gospel. He had no nice place to lay His head. He was misunderstood and rejected. He was often left alone, particularly at the hour of His greatest need. He died daily, and on the cross in great agony.

Paul and the other apostles followed in His footsteps.

Am I saying you are more spiritual if you walk around in rags and alienate yourself from society? No. And I do not want you to assume from what I am writing that giving up “rights” or comforts is all there is to life in Christ. Every truth in this world stretched beyond its limits will become a false doctrine. But when you commit yourself to live for Jesus, you cannot live just like everyone else. You must follow the Lord closely day by day. Only He can provide the balance you need. This is why we are told in the Word of God that “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:14).

As we walk through this life, we can choose to be led by the Spirit, or we can choose to be led by our own logic, by other people’s opinions or by our own flesh.

Our flesh will do a lot of good-looking things—a lot of praying, a lot of fasting, a lot of giving up. But the Word of God says, “If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3).

If we are not controlled and led by love for God, all the “right” outward behavior amounts to nothing. Since love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, we must be filled continually with the Holy Spirit and led daily by Him.

“What is your life?” asks James 4:14. “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

Since your life is short, what will you leave behind? A few pieces of jewelry, a house, some cars, land, investments, money in the bank? Or will you leave more than that?

What about a son or daughter who is serving the Lord somewhere in the world? What about the memory that you lived for Jesus with all your heart—that you gave Him all you had and all you were to gain His kingdom? What about the knowledge that you gave all you could to reach the lost and dying souls of the world?

Jesus told His disciples the cost of the pearl of great price: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). May you find the willingness in your heart to sell all you have for the pearl.

Excerpt from Chapter 12 of Living in the Light of Eternity (ISBN 9781595891402) © 2014 by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia.