For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
Throughout this book, we have covered the power of repentance, healing from offences and the power of the Holy Spirit, all aspects that are very dependent upon experiences. These three topics can tend to become all about having life-changing encounters, or are very much led by emotion, based on how and what you feel. However, there will be times in your life when you don’t feel anything. You don’t feel anointed, you don’t feel called for something, you don’t even feel good, and you face some really tough situations and circumstances in your life.
When I had to leave India and go to Dubai, it was really tough. I owned a business, and separately my family also owned a business. Although the money wasn’t really coming in, I had a lot of freedom, feeling like I could do whatever I wanted. Now, when I moved to Dubai I got my first job as a clerk in a company. Those days everyone used to tell me off – even the peons used to shout at me. The first six months were so tough. I had to stand and work till ten at night. The place that I was staying in was horrible, my roommates were always partying and drinking, and I just kept wondering, how am I going to survive? The truth is, if I hadn’t had Jesus in my life, I wouldn’t have survived.
I would get physically exhausted because I had to stand the entire day, and my legs would get so tired. Yet I had no other option but to carry on doing this job, because before I’d left for Dubai, my dad had come to me and my mom and told us we were completely bankrupt, that there was no money and we would have to sell our house. He just broke down, saying that we were finished altogether, and that he had made some big mistakes. This is when we came to understand the reality of how bad things were. I had personally received a breakthrough in my life, but when I realised that our family finances were in such bad shape, I knew I couldn’t go back home because I had to help our family out of this situation; my dad owed money to a lot of people. So resigning was really not an option, and I had to stay in this job however difficult it was.
One thing I realised in that time was that what really and truly got me through was just faith in the Word. I had no feelings leading me; I didn’t feel good; I didn’t feel anointed; circumstances were tough; I didn’t have great fellowship or know many believers where I was living, and people around me were always being negative. From the little that I had, it’s amazing to see how God started building faith.
So I would come back home from work and read the Word and worship. I strongly believe that it’s in trusting the Word that circumstances will change.
Then He said to them, ‘Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.’ Mark 4:24
Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him. Luke 8:18
These two verses are speaking about the Word. What you hear from the Word and how you hear the Word makes a big difference in your life. I remember going through these circumstances whilst I was still a clerk. I used to say that I wasn’t going to remain a clerk – I would learn whatever it was that I needed to excel, and show a good attitude. I determined to learn whatever I could, and it turned out to be the best time of my life. I would pray and confess that I was not just going to remain in this position, but from my good works I would move up, and I would become a manager – although the circumstances made it seem impossible. But I started just believing the Word. One of the Scriptures I would confess is Matthew 17:20:
…if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
I couldn’t see it, but I just believed it. In the branch that I used to work at there would be a managers’ meeting held for the managers of all the eight or nine branches, and I would just position myself rightly, and say that I was going to be a manager. The reality was that it was really difficult to get a managerial role, because I was only twenty-eight years old and there was no chance that naturally I could have become that, but that’s faith. We need to understand that what the Word says is what is reality for us!
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
When you start believing the things not seen, that is faith. It’s an assurance of all things hoped for. I started hoping for things even though I could not see them.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
I started believing the Word as reality and truth, not what I was feeling and experiencing. There are times in your work when you may face tough circumstances; you may have difficult customers, you may have difficult jobs and you may not feel anointed or good; but that doesn’t mean that God is not with you. This is the time that you have to have the Word of faith coming into you and believe that this is who I am, this is what God says about me and this is what’s going to happen.
It’s all well and good that you pray in tongues, worship and read the Word and it makes you feel anointed; but if there are times when you don’t feel anything, it can lead you to feel that something is wrong. Yet when you have the Word, you can confess the Word over the reality even when you don’t see it or feel it. I had to make the choice to go above my feelings. I love experiences, I love encounters, I love the glory, I love the fire; but you can’t live your life based on that or how anointed you feel or even how good you feel. You have to live your life based on who the Word says you are and what the Word says you need to confess even when things are all wrong. I started believing and confessing these things in those times. I would pray in tongues and confess scriptures like John 15:7:
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
So I would say, ‘I am abiding in You, Jesus, and your Word says that if I have faith as little as a mustard seed and I tell the mountain to move, it will move.’ When you do this, you start seeing things breaking through because you are confessing what Jesus said and Jesus does not lie. Jesus said in John 8:32, ‘And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’
That’s how you know you are His disciple, when you start confessing what Jesus said. There will be freedom released, there will be power released; it doesn’t matter who you are, because you are in Jesus.
I would have people coming and condemning me and saying that I wasn’t good enough, I was weak, I was young, that I got ahead because I had influence. But in times like this, when people around us are trying to speak negativity into our lives, we have to decide to believe who we are in Jesus and what the Word says about us. I was very weak. When people come and condemn you, what do you say? Do you react, or start believing what the Word says? I just started believing what the Word says. When someone would condemn me, I would confess Romans 8:1:
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:14
When you are a child of God and led by the Spirit, there cannot be condemnation against you.
No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rise against you in judgement you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,’ says the Lord.Isaiah 54:17
Are you a child of God or a slave? If you are a child, you have the inheritance and the promises of a child. It’s not about how many people you know or what you have. I didn’t have anything. I was only a clerk in a company. I went to a few churches, but I didn’t really feel they were where I wanted to be, and it wasn’t until about four months later that I found a church where I really loved the word and felt that this was where I wanted to be.
One day I went and met the pastor of this church to say hello, and he invited me to his house. It was a small church at the time with only about ten people. This pastor and his wife were living in a huge bungalow and he was also a regional manager with a multi-national corporation in the Middle East. When I went there we spent some time praying, and his wife prophesied over me and said that she saw I was going to be promoted as a manager. I had only been at this company for six months at that point, and there were 275 employees, with many people more senior than me. There was no chance a promotion was naturally possible. But she said that she saw me wear a position that was higher than what I had now. I just decided to believe the word and I knew that if God was in it, then no one could be against me. I believed what Romans 8:31 says: ‘What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?’
So many times we are just led by fear. That’s what I felt about the work environment I was in; it was full of fear and oppression. You may have experienced this in some places. If you have ever worked in the Middle East, you will have an idea of how tough it was. They operate by controlling people through fear. The same week after I had met with the pastor and his wife, the head of HR for the company called me and said ‘We are opening a new branch and we are going to promote you as an assistant manager.’ I was completely shocked because it was not naturally possible. I was really struggling, sharing this room with the unbelievers who were drinking and partying all the time, but they said they were going to give me a single room. That was a huge deal for me at that time. That was my first breakthrough in six months, which really encouraged me.
Testimonies and miracles are so powerful because they make you realise that God understands and knows what you’re going through; and they give you faith to move on to the next level and press in. Even today when I face difficult situations I can think back on these victories and say that if God could deliver me from that, He can deliver me from this. That’s what keeps me going.
When I moved to this new branch as assistant manager, I remember the manager of that branch saying that he was giving me complete freedom to learn everything and he would give me responsibility for various things. It was not easy, but I had this opportunity to do everything. And I took the opportunity to learn everything that I could. Then I started hearing other people in the company saying things like ‘How is it that this guy can become the assistant manager? There are so many people who are more talented. There are so many things he doesn’t know.’ There was truth in a lot of this, but I didn’t let it affect me. Over those months I learnt as much as I could. Also, I started believing what the Word said about me and not what the circumstances said. I started confessing scriptures like Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ It is so important to believe what the Word says.
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
We need to understand that the Spirit of God is living in us and He is going to give us power and wisdom and He is going to give us the knowledge to accomplish what God has called to do, because we have the very Spirit of the Lord living in us. He strengthens us, so we are not dependent on what people are saying or what the circumstances are.
There were so many nights I had to work till midnight because our books wouldn’t tally and we would have to find out what the issue was, but in those times God gave wisdom and gifts started operating. I learnt a lot of ministry from my work, that’s the truth. God can teach you in all different ways. Over the last three years there have been many messages emerging of God building people in the marketplace, but back then, nobody was really speaking about this. The thinking then was that if you wanted to be a minister for the Lord, the only way to do that was in full-time ministry. I myself thought like that some three years back, that God was preparing me and I needed to get into full-time ministry as a pastor. But God had to break away that thinking because that’s not what He wanted. All the preparation was for this. You have two options: you can either believe what the Word of God says about you or you can believe your circumstances.
Often you will have people saying you need to do a certain thing to succeed at your job because that is what the world is saying. But the Bible says, in Romans 12:2:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Renewing your mind according to the Word is so important because unless you renew your mind, unless you change your patterns of thinking, you cannot do what God has called you do; otherwise you will be following the same spirit of the world. I am not saying that I did not make mistakes – there were so many times I did make mistakes – but even in mistakes God starts teaching you. As you acknowledge your mistake and turn to God, Romans 8:28 says, ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.’
Even in those mistakes and tough times God starts teaching and turns those things for our good. Living according to faith and according to the Word is so important, and it makes you challenge yourself according to the Word.
So I was in this branch as an assistant manager, and in a year and a half we had become very successful as a branch, but there was no future and I thought I couldn’t grow any further in the company, so I started looking out for other jobs. It had started becoming tough again. By this time Preethy had joined me in Dubai, but it was very difficult to get a visa for her to stay permanently. So I started applying for different jobs, and I was close to getting offered some of them.
One night at church I went to the pastor and his wife and told them I wanted them to pray for me. This was the same pastor and wife who had invited me home and prophesied over me two years earlier. So they prayed for me and the pastor’s wife said that I was going to be promoted again. The promotion would take place as a replacement; there was already a person in that position, but he was going to be moved and I would be put in his place. I was completely shocked once again with what she had just said to me, because the owner of the company had just said that I was one of the worst employees they had, and so I had no chance of being promoted! If the owner says you are the worst employee, there is really no point in staying, so I thought I would leave. So when I heard this prophesy, it came as a complete shock. But in the next week, the owner of the company, the same person who had said that I was the worst employee, called me and said that I was the best employee and that he was going to promote me as a branch manager in the biggest branch. That was just the most unexpected thing I could imagine.
The most important thing to understand is that when you are pursuing God, He sees you, He sees your circumstances, He sees your situation. For me the circumstances didn’t seem good. When I was first getting into business things didn’t work out well, though now, looking back, it was all God’s plan at that time. It was my thinking that God had to break at that time, and I then realised it is not my circumstances that determine where I’m going to get to. It was a big thing when I got promoted as a branch manager; it was unbelievable. All the people over those two and half years that were condemning me and rebuking me and putting me down, they all had to report to me now. I was made branch manager of the same branch where I had started as a clerk, and that was unbelievable. It was a complete turnaround. I believe that there are choices we can make in our lives. Either we can live by faith or we can live by fear, looking at our circumstances. If I look back, this was one of the most important breakthroughs on how God allowed me to take risks on so many things that I did.
Soon after this I was involved in creating a new product, and when I was working on this, I remember everyone coming up to me and saying that I wouldn’t succeed because I didn’t have the knowledge, ability, strength or contacts. But I just kept saying I could do it because God had told me it was brilliant. But when I started succeeding, the same people who had put me down would come tell me that I was really good and the product was great. I saw that the world wanted to be tough on me, because there were so many people who were not with me and they would want to come and take over what I was doing and sideline me and push me out. But one thing I realised is that when God is with you, nobody can be against you.