The Discipline of Presence

Joshua said to the People of God, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you!” (Josh. 3:5)

There are times in every person’s life when you stand at a “Jordan River Experience”! A moment when God brings a great opportunity across your path. A moment of promise and expectation… but also a moment that requires something from your heart! God is creative and adventurous. He plants those traits of adventure within us and knows that the best way to draw them out is through the challenges hidden inside of opportunity. The problem is that in order to see breakthroughs you have to have some major challenges!

There Are Risks:

There are many folks who cringe at new opportunities, because “risk” means the possibility of failure. But it also carries the enormous thrill of success. If you find yourself holding back at the edge of the ‘river’, I pray that God will stir your heart, that you will feel the adventure to cross over and take possession of the promise on the other side.

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is the address given by God to Joshua (Josh 1:1-9). God commands Joshua to “be strong and very courageous”! Although God reveals His generosity and faithfulness in Joshua’s moment of promotion, He also opens up the reality of every Christian’s greatest challenge… fear. God is the Master at mentoring leaders and He speaks clearly of how to overcome fear, through the “discipline of Presence”. The discipline of Presence is the ability to put on courage based upon a deeply rooted awareness that God is with you! Its the greatest resource in the midst of fear… “God will not give up on His Child!”

God’s Word to Joshua; “I will be with you, I won’t give up on you and I won’t leave you!”

These are words that should be in the forefront of our minds while stepping out into God’s plan each day. You and I are fit and appointed to the position God has chosen for us and it really doesn’t matter how anyone else has done the job before us. We must listen to God and follow His instruction… as He goes with us. We just have to be ourselves and let God do great things through us! If God tells us to go – WE GO! If God says to speak- WE SPEAK! No resistance, hesitation or distraction is worthy of our attention. We must never allow time to tick away, stealing opportunities from us. God says, “In the same way I was with Moses, I will be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you” (Josh. 1:5). Notice its the discipline of Presence that establishes courage.

Its the discipline of Presence that establishes courage!

Our Key to Courage is the proven Truth; God is a good Father and is faithful to all of His children… all of His children! He is no respecter of persons; He is faithful to all! Listen to that verse again… “I won’t give up on you”. It doesn’t matter if we blew it yesterday… He hasn’t given up. We must not give up either!

Never, Never, Never – Give Up!

Kingdom Effectiveness

But Simon Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” (Lk. 5:5)

I have come to understand that “toil” is the labor of one man, but partnership is the labor of the Kingdom! A Kingdom Partnership is an alliance birthed in the heart of the Father to fulfill His ‘now’ agenda… with supernatural purpose and momentum. It is dominion issues and kingdom alliances that influence future realities, both good and bad. Partners offer Kingdom effectiveness by understand the value of accountability and spiritual timing. In fact, when they have the anointing of the Holy Spirit on them, they can make the impossible, possible. Kingdom Partnerships get results and have supernatural outcomes… advancement and increase. In a Kingdom Partnership we can watch our lives move from struggling into effectiveness. My friend, Pastor Jimmy Wandera calls it moving at the “Pace of God”!

Kingdom Partnerships Reach the Harvest:

I believe this is the generation, whereby we are going to see significant Kingdom advancement as partners come together under God’s direction! The “superstar” mentality is not going to accomplish the end-time agenda on God’s heart. So it must come to an end in order to transform the nations. A gathering of friends, without personal agendas to fulfill; will shift the spiritual atmosphere that has so polluted the nature of evangelism and discipleship. We are a chosen and royal fellowship that must be known by love, rather than denominational structure or doctrinal purity. We can hold on to the main themes, without losing those with differing methods.

Jesus Displays Partnership:

In Luke 5, Jesus used Peter’s boat as a makeshift platform… to talk to the crowds who gathered to hear Him. When He finished speaking, Jesus instructed Peter to let down his nets for a catch of fish. To Peter’s astonishment, the nets began to fill to overflowing. He and his partner quickly called out to other partners on the shore to come and assist. All night the boats had been out fishing without any results. Now, it was going to take the two boats together to gather the harvest of fish.

A Partnership Forms Relationships:

  • A relational connection between two people.
  • A formal strategic partnership with shared goals.
  • An affiliation of two people or groups with like spiritual DNA.
  • They may connect across nations or across movements.

A Partnership is Powerful:

There is no limit to the creativity and design of our Heavenly Father. In the Bible we read of partnerships between people who God brought together for His purposes. Think of Joshua and Caleb, Deborah and Barak, Ruth and Naomi, or Paul and Timothy. Alliances and partnerships are so powerful, that there are warnings throughout Scripture against God’s people forming the wrong alliances (Isa. 30:1, 2 Cor. 6:14).

A Partnership Involves the Exchange and Sharing of Resources:

Partners complete each other, each providing resources and opportunities that the other does not have alone. As a result, God’s work can be accomplished. The Apostle Paul’s relationship with the Church in Philippi is one example of a Kingdom partnership. Just listen to the investment of Paul’s heart. “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Phil. 1:3-4). Paul speaks with passionate tones of the rich joy he felt in the work of advancing the Gospel of Christ with their help. Other translations say, ‘participation’ or ‘fellowship’. The Greek word used here for “partnership” is koinonia which speaks of a spiritual unity of heart. They did more than just share together… they brought pleasure to God’s heart!

Notice, the 3 Ways that the Church at Philippi Partnered with the Apostle Paul:

First Through Prayer: “…for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance” (Phil 1:19).

Second in Sending People to Assist: “But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs” (Phil 2:25).

Third By Supplying Provision: “Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need” (Phil. 4:15-18).

The Benefits of Partnership:

The benefits of partnership seem obvious when we recognize the fact that, we “all” need help, material needs and prayer. However, the Church at Philippi did not just give, they also received the blessings of partnering with God. The Apostle Paul was quick to point out some of the rewards to the Philippian Church.

1. They Shared in the Gospel… the harvest and transforming of nations! The Kingdom of God was advanced “because of… partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Phil 1:5). Paul knew he was not alone in his work. He had a partnership going, and the Philippian Church were co-laborers with him for the glory of God. They had the present satisfaction of knowing that they were engaged in the work of Paul’s Apostolic ministry. As partners, they were current participants in the rewards of the harvest and in the future, receivers of the spiritual rewards laid up in heaven.

2. They Experienced the Joy of Being an Answer to Prayer… “For I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. (Phil. 1:19)

3. They were Positioned to Receive from God… “Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account… And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:17-19)(2 Cor. 9:7-14).

4. They Shared in God’s Grace and Anointing… “It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me” (Phil. 1:7). Paul tells the Philippians that they are not only partners in the gospel, but they are also sharing in the grace of God with him. To this wise Apostle, God’s grace not only meant God’s undeserved favor, but it also meant His enabling power (2 Cor 12:9) and his ministry anointing and calling (Eph. 3:7-8). By sharing with Paul in his ministry through prayer, people and financial resources, the Church was also sharing in the anointing and calling that was on Paul’s life.

RevivalHut Ministry wants to offer you the benefits of sharing with us to advance the Gospel of the Kingdom – all across the Nations! Go to the Apostolic Training Center page and see what God is doing to raise up leaders and stir the fires of revival in Africa, India and Central America!

Advance the Kingdom

In the Great Commission, Jesus came and spoke to the remaining Apostles, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” (Mt. 28:18-20)

  • “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Lk. 24:49)
  • “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The Great Commission was the Apostolic Mandate designed to delegate and release authority to the apostles for the Kingdom of God to Advance. It was meant to stir the valiant heart, so that simple men would find their destiny. Yet, that which these men carried was feeble and frail… like dry wood awaiting a flame. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit was the flame, a mighty rushing wind that would release power to accomplish God’s mandate. Without this authorization and spiritual flame working together, there would be no progress beyond Jerusalem and no impact in the Nations. But because of it… the Church is a Triumphant People fully engaged and fully equipped by the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!

This is our Mandate…

To Go… in the authority and power of our King – Jesus! Christ is Head of the Church and the True Light of Salvation, yet He is also the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. He is the One in whom we hope for the fulfillment of our call in reaching the unreached.

It Requires Authority & Power:

The Apostolic Mandate cannot function on human strength, it is designed to necessitate an outpouring of authority and power from heaven. We follow Jesus as Lord of the breakthrough, who breaks us out of confined places and leads with Kingdom influence into all the World. This was the purpose for waiting for the Promise of the Father in the earliest moments after the resurrection, to establish the platform for advancement. This was not some optional request, but a central focus for the followers… to wait for power was and still remains the key to success in the future purposes of God, in Christ.

The Prophet Micah: “The One who breaks open will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate and go out by it; Their King will pass before them, with the Lord at their head.” (Micah 2:13)

The Prophet Joel: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29)

The Apostle Peter: “And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:18). Note – prophecy is a forward speaking, declaration of God’s purposes empowered by the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is the voice of Kingdom Advancement!

The Early Church Advanced:

  1. Beginning in Jerusalem: “So those who received the word were baptized and there were added that day about 3,000 souls.” (Acts 2:41)
  2. Advancing beyond the City of Samaria: “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the Word.” (Acts 8:4)
  3. Among Gentiles of Caesarea: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the Word.” (Acts 10:44)
  4. Into Regions of Galatia: “So the churches were strengthened in the faith and they increased in numbers daily.” (Acts 16:5)
  5. Throughout Regions of Ephesus: “So the Word of the Lord grew and prevailed mightily.” (Acts 19:20)

Defining Destiny:

Under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew and Luke are defining destiny. One Apostle lays out the mandate while the other lays out the keys to its fulfillment. They are laying the platform for how we must see our future. Luke speaks to us of the triumphs of the Gospel of the Kingdom, because we must understand where our strength comes from. The Battle Is the Lord’s and we are His volunteers, following our advancing King. We must not just settle for an assignment… we must become people of triumph who take the next step, under the authority and power of the Holy Spirit.

“…from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Mt. 11:12)

These are the Days of Great Purpose – Where a People of Triumph… Advance the Kingdom of God!

To Lean on God

“Being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.” (Rom. 4:21)

The question for every heart is… “will you believe, will you become persuaded?” Reasons might fail and facts might lie, but God will not allow you to stumble and fall from His grip, if you are willing to be persuaded that He has power to do what He has promised! Never give up and always remind yourself that you are being trained to do only one thing… to lean on God! What you will discover is that its the greatest adventure of your life.

New Opportunities:

This can be an exciting time, as change brings new opportunities and a fresh season in God. Our energy and sense of purpose are intensified when we feel like God is handing us a new assignment… often it feels refreshing. Yet – I want to encourage you… set your face like flint and be fully persuaded in your “promise”. You need to understand that as you are moving into new places, new levels of conscious decisions are required. God says, “All things become new”. Not all that you have understood up to this point will be of value in the next season and not everyone will share your new found joy. Some of your former mentalities and relationships might even try to oppose or stop you if they can!

Leaning on Others:

As we are serving the Lord in our daily assignments, ministries and lifestyle choices, we have learned to lean upon others and others learn to depend on us and watch us as we move forward. They have learned to depend on our character and become comfortable with how we work or how we respond to life in transition. Something is always changing, but in Christ all things are established for our peace and consistent increase. Beyond the expectations of others, is the Highest Calling we know – to lean on God! In reality, we can bless others more when we bear evidence of a life that is fully persuaded. Our influence becomes most effective when we are fully persuaded by what God is saying… fully persuaded by what God is doing… and even fully persuaded when we are unaware of where it will lead us! I often have to remind myself to never set my heart by the opinions of man.

Move in the “Now”:

When the time comes for a change, many find it hard to believe that it is the will of God for you and they may even speak against it. Those who do not speak faith words are not to be listened to. You are wise to surround yourself with people who pray and find their greatest hope in God. They believe in your success and pull blessing into your path. Every time they speak your name in the Throne Room of Heaven, something is happening for your good in God’s purpose. It’s at this point that you will discover who is on the Lord’s side! Lean forward into your “now” moment and allow the momentum of grace to shift your thinking and your living. You have never been here before and you will only know the direction by hearing God’s Voice.

Your King, Jesus will pass before you! (Mic. 2:13) The Lord is calling you “up” and “out” to a new place where He can enlarge your influence!

Testify to All

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you. So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” (Lk. 8:38-39)

Jesus sent him away saying, “Can I get a witness… would you stay right here and testify to all what God has done for you?” We must catch this! God has designed that the Gospel be expressed through the vehicle of our testimony. When we show up with a fresh word of God’s goodness, extraordinary things happen; power is released to lead people to faith in Jesus.

The word “testimony” is a legal term. The dictionary says it’s an “outward sign”, “evidence in support of a fact or statement” and/or “proof”. Our personal testimony stands as proof of the truth of the Gospel… evidence that it is life-changing Good News. The root word for testimony, comes from a word meaning “witness”. Our testimony provides a witness to others of what Jesus has done for us. And what He has done for us, He can do for others!

More than Words:

Testimonies speak of encounter! Your testimony is the story of how you first encountered Jesus! Lives are changed when we encounter Christ. Accepting Jesus, as Lord and Savior calls us into a new realm of reality (Jn. 1:12). When we tell our story and testify to the change that happens when sins get washed away, our experience powerfully illustrates the Gospel Message. Its good news to those who feel overwhelmed by their frailty and it offers hope to those who cannot save themselves. The ongoing stories of God’s Divine intervention in our lives have tremendous power to stir faith in the heart of the seeker.

Jesus expects us to become a witness (Acts 1:8)… talk about Him!

  • How Jesus impacts your life every day…
  • Answers you have experienced through prayer…
  • What God has spoken to you…
  • How you have seen Him at work in your life each day…

Hearing Opens a Heart Gate!

Through hearing someone’s experience in God’s grace, we stir the heart and imagination of others. People often need a testimony to help them entertain spiritual thoughts. Thoughts like “encountering God, moving and active by way of the Holy Spirit…” these thoughts are an enormous shock to the carnal mind. In fact, often a friend’s witness is the only clear explanation of the Real Gospel people will listen to. Most of us want to know what is taking place in our lives, but rarely give much thought to how God is involved. What it requires of us is that we “keep it real”. People are not fooled by the hype… and they are not really scared by the “mystery”… but if they are expected to believe what we tell them; then it needs to be truth! God will empower the Truth!

The Psalmist David said, “He has put a new song in my mouth, praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.” (Ps. 40:3)