“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)
There was a wonderful pattern in the fellowship of the Early Church… “all things in common” (Acts 2:44-46).
The benefits of partnership to the Apostle Paul are obvious – we all need help, material needs and prayer support. 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 to advance the Gospel of the Kingdom – all across Africa and India!
Go to the Apostolic Training Center page and see what God is doing to raise up leaders and stir the fires of revival in the nations.
“John, to the seven churches which are in Asia. Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 1:4-6)
In a recent gathering of spiritual leaders, we saw a mandate to reintroduce a correct form of shepherding which we celebrated and rejoiced to pass on to our teams. We are moving away from “control”… to real Kingdom Empowerment! This is some of the revelation we began to pray into and see as heaven’s blueprint.
- Trusting God: God is the Chief Shepherd of His flock (Psalm 23 – the Lord is My Shepherd) – pointing them to engage heaven as their source of life.
- Spiritual Fathering: True leaders work themselves out of a role and encourage those they are fathering to go higher.
- Apostolic Models: True apostles always father another and build successors.
- Spiritual Freedom: Letting people make their own mistakes knowing they will grow more.
- Humble Servant-Leadership: Being humble seeing we do not know everything and often not more than who we are fathering.
- Investing in Others: Trusting everyone can hear from God and the more we let them do that the more they will grow in that skill.
- Empowerment & Encouragement: Everyone is a powerful son or daughter and God gives grace and revelation to the humble and lowly in heart.
- Mutual Engagement: Finding rapport with people and common ground. Not this is the way we do it.
- Pointing toward the Glory Realm: Shepherding people to find their “scroll in heaven”… Their Destiny – Calling, Passion and Vision.
- Spiritual Sonship: Fathered to maturity… as fellow disciples growing in the counsel of respected fathers.
MOVING AWAY FROM:
- Over control (you must meet this criteria to be in my network).
- Overseeing (not allowing freedom).
- Checking and vetting people, while at the same time; not believing the best about them. We are never to judge others according to the outward appearances.
- Making them wait for your timing.
- Being intimidated by someones strengths compared to our own.
- Making assumptions about their contribution or relationship.
- Asking for commitment to your events instead of respecting their calling may take them to many different activities.
- Making judgments on a persons spirituality based on outside appearance – the Bible says “do not judge on mere appearances but make a right judgment.” God is the judge and we are not to assess them.
“This man (Apollos) had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” (Acts 18:25-26)
This story is a powerful example of how Christian Truth must go beyond just getting the facts correct. The dedication of Apollos was wonderful and needed in Ephesus, yet for some reason it was ineffective at transforming the culture and calling the region into the Kingdom of God. He was eloquent in speech, fervent in delivery and fully committed to the information he had. But, there was something missing in his ministry, between what he knew and what he needed to know by experience. The text says Aquila and Priscilla explained some things to him that enabled him to become more accurate.
What He Knew:
Apollos’ ministry consisted exclusively from experiences received from a season in John the Baptist’s ministry. That is, he was preaching the Kingdom of Heaven and practicing water baptism for the same reason John had taught and preached it. Remember, John did baptize in the wilderness and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins (Mk 1:4). It would seem very possible that anyone who had experienced such a powerful ministry would find it of value and want to pass it on as God’s message to the world.
What He Did Not Know:
Now, what was it Apollos did not know? Keep in mind that Aquila and Priscilla had served with the Apostle Paul and had learned some amazing things from experiencing the mantle of grace that rested upon Paul. They had a congregation of saints that met in their house and Paul had frequented that ministry often releasing his revelation and exposing the true nature of effective ministry. They had some marvelous opportunities to experience both the teaching of Truth and fellowship in the Holy Spirit. The Book of Acts tells of how Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:9), spoke the Word of God with boldness and did ministry with powerful miraculous signs followed him everywhere he preached (Acts 14:3)(Acts 19:11).
The Substance Within:
The Apostle Paul carried an enormous anointing within his ministry and this is the substance that makes accurate Truth carry accurate manifestation. An effective Christian life is full of Truth and full of power. The ministry of the Holy Spirit releases us into effectiveness, because we are equipped with power from on High to live as God’s Children, clothed in the Father’s Glory and manifesting His power right where we live. We can walk as people of Truth only as we have the energy of Heaven flowing through us to allow the Truth to make an impact.
Power Flowing From Heaven:
The key to making accurate Truths more effective is the authority of the Holy Spirit who stands behind it. We must be thankful for God’s servants who are gifted and zealous in their ministries; but zeal and knowledge can be a dangerous thing if not accompanied by the work of the Holy Spirit. It has done great harm to the Church through the centuries to see a pattern of religious fervency carry no power to transform the culture (2 Tim 3:1-5). We must have a more accurate teaching of the Truth.
The Presence of the Holy Spirit:
Many today are still laboring under the Kingdom ministry of John the Baptist and have no clue of the more accurate ministry given by Jesus and expressed by the Apostle Paul (Acts 19:2). It was not a new message, but a more accurate message, accompanied by the Presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:13-15).
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)
The answer against a “spirit of heaviness” is to put on the ”garment of praise.”
Satan hates praise:
Praise exalts Jesus no matter what the circumstances may look like. It engages our trust in God and activates our faith like nothing else can do. You see, praise introduces light and supernatural life into our circumstances. It is the ultimate release of spiritual freedom. Just listen to the following verses and let something click inside.
(2 Cor 3:17) “The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
(Gal 5:1) ” Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”
(Jn 8:36) ” Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
Praise is Agreement with God!
Praising the Lord and agreement with the truth of God’s Word, renews the mind and lifts the spirit of heaviness off your shoulders. Notice the Prophet Isaiah says that your life is designed to reflect your calling as “trees of righteousness”. Its your destiny to become the “planting of the Lord”. As you praise Him daily, you will release the stature of Christ within you… “that He may be glorified”, seen and celebrated as your Deliverer! Nothing so clearly displays the power of God like our freedom in the spirit.
The Effect of a Spirit of Heaviness:
It darkens our countenance. Our hearts are down cast. This spirit brings a “heaviness” over us and dims our vision, robs our hope and crushes our sense of purpose. There are testimonies I’ve heard from people who say “when this spirit comes it even makes the room feel darker”. It brings a heavy and oppressive atmosphere that restricts and quenches our perception. It may come like a cloud hanging over you or your location, but the most difficult part to deal with is that it causes isolation. The devil’s goal is to remove you from the atmosphere of love and approval. Think about it, if Satan can get you isolated, then he can break your spirit and remove your source of inspiration and hope.
This is the first step. You are a Child of God! This is not God’s will for you! “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31) Don’t believe the lies… Praise God instead! Accept no criticism and carry no extra baggage. You must learn the art of selective hearing, so that you choose the things you ignore and the things that come from the Throne of Heaven. We destroy arguments and pull down strongholds, so that every thought is made captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:5). That means I am actively discerning where my thoughts are coming from and believe me… I can rule over them with praise!
Put on the Garment of Praise!
This literally means to be “wrapped up in praise”. God has given it to be worn and provide insulation. So put it on like a jacket every single day. Take a few moments each morning and every time there is a battle raging, to put it on like armor on a soldier. You will watch your enemy run for cover with his tail between his legs… like a whipped puppy. That’s right, praise is your most effective tool in magnifying God and shrinking the influence of the devil. Get loud, get aggressive and set your heart on spiritual freedom!
It is the anointing that breaks the yoke! (Isa 10:27)
When I think of eagle’s wings, I consider them to be parables of our ability to soar in faith. Faith is a heart issue… where we press into the Lord, while the winds of His Spirit lift us into flight. Notice that it was God who “bore the Hebrew people on eagle’s wings”. When we release our faith, we are vigorously exercising the wings that work by love (Gal. 5:6). Believing God’s Promises and trusting in His purposes engage our upward thrust. When we soar, its like we are setting our trust in the Lord and letting Him carry us amidst the surrounding terrain. Our perception is influenced by our altitude!
Soaring Transforms Vision:
Recently, I was praying about the concept of soaring with wings as eagles and I heard the Lord say, “I want you to abide in Me… and soar with Me!” Wow, this took me back for a moment, as I considered what that would do to my routine, my formulas and my personal agenda. Those weights and burdens would need to be left behind. Most important though, was that I discover the ultimate destination… God is bringing us to Himself! He wants me to see as He sees and soar with unhindered faith and victory!
Soaring Positions Us:
The eagle’s flight teaches us how to soar and not just fly. When catching the wind of the Holy Spirit, we gain the strength to soar. Getting weary and tired is natural, but soaring is supernatural. “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They shall mount up (or soar) on wings like eagles…” (Isa. 40:30-31). The Lord teaches us through hope, how to “mount up” and rise above difficulties and trials in our life. We learn the value of rising high enough to gain fresh perspective on what is below. The wings of faith position us in such a way as to allow our thrust to be quickened by trials, rather than hindered by them.
Soaring Renews Energy:
Sometimes I think we try too hard. We fight battles we don’t need to be fighting. When turbulence comes, God has a position for us – faith! Faith is the only position that offers a partnership… God Promises to lift us up! Perhaps we need to stretch out our wings, relax and allow God to help us glide on the “wind”. Soaring will remind us that even the wind obeys Him!