In the Great Commission we hear these words: “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.” (Mt. 28:18-20)
- Jesus tells the disciples in John 20:21-23 “… I am sending you”. And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.
- In Luke 24:49, Jesus says, “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.”
- In Acts 1:4-5, we are given more clarity as Jesus commanded the disciples to not leave Jerusalem, “…but to wait for the Promise of the Father… for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
- In Acts 1:6-8 we find the final commission of Jesus: They gathered around Jesus and asked Him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
We at RevivalHut Ministry believe that the commission is clear… go make disciples of all nations! And we need the power of the Holy Spirit to be God’s witnesses to the lost and hurting people of the world. We as believers are all invited to feel the compelling reality of being sent and being empowered by this Promise of the Father… the outpouring or Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Being sent as connected extensions of God’s heart to minister and bring the good news… the Gospel of the Kingdom of God… to our circle of influence whether it is local or international. We want to be found concentrating our efforts to wherever God would lead us.
Be the Church:
We are the Church of Jesus Christ carrying the good news that freedom and breakthrough are at hand. The Gospel Message brings hope and the power of the Kingdom is made available… to push back darkness. However, as with the disciples, there is a need for faith to rest in God’s authority. There is an empowerment of the Holy Spirit that is necessary in order to accomplish the mission that God has called us to. It is clear to us that we can’t accomplish anything in our own power and strength… but only with the power that we receive through the continual filling of the Holy Spirit. We believe that this filling of the Holy Spirit empowers believers for Christian witness and service.
While all genuine believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at conversion, the New Testament indicates the importance of an ongoing, empowering work of the Spirit subsequent to conversion as well. Being “indwelt” by the Spirit and being “clothed by” the Spirit are theologically distinct experiences. The Holy Spirit desires to fill each believer continually with increased power for Christian life and witness. At the same time the Holy Spirit imparts supernatural gifts for the edification of the body and for various works of ministry in the world. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the Church of the first-century are available today, are vital for the mission of the Church, and are to be earnestly desired and practiced.
Be an overcoming Child of God – “He who is in you is greater than he that is in the world!” (1 Jn. 4:4)
Acts 1:5, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:2-4, Acts 19:2-6, Acts 6:3, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, John 3:5-7, Galatians 4:6, Ephesians 5:18
I encourage every believer to study these Scriptures and live as those who walk in power and authority in our world. When we look at the Early Church we see a people who were commissioned, sent and empowered. Therefore it is clear that the Great Commission was and is beyond achieving without the power of the Holy Spirit. In the same way so is living out a Gospel-centered life.
Let’s Be that Empowered Church!
“All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God.” (Acts 10:45-46)
One of the most controversial and misunderstood gifts of the Holy Spirit is praying in tongues… called glossolalia in the Greek language. I am convinced that there is so much antagonism aimed at this gift because of the incredible power it releases into our lives. In the same way that many reject the prophetic ministry because of abuses, misuses and bad experiences, the same approach has been taken – perhaps in greater extremes – toward praying in tongues. What was intended to be a source of supernatural power, and a catalyst for deep intimacy with God; has been reduced to a mere theological position in many Charismatic Churches. In the past, many books and teachings have emphasized tongues in almost a robotic way. Yet the gift of tongues is something that the Apostles, especially Peter and Paul deeply cherished. Their goal was that the believer experience the power of a Person… the Holy Spirit.
Available to Every Believer:
Tongues is a manifestation of the Gift of the Holy Spirit… also called the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit”. Its a real language… a spiritual language. It is a tool. When we pray in tongues, we are praying in the spirit (our spirit), with the Holy Spirit and according to God’s will as the Holy Spirit knows what our Heavenly Father desires. It is not exclusive to the super-spiritual. It does not even signify elevated spiritual maturity. It is powerful, available and absolutely life-changing. However, many receive this gift at one point in their lives and taste its power, but rarely make it a part of their normal Christian lives. We must recognize that yesterday’s encounter with God cannot sustain us for today. Yesterday’s touch is insufficient for today’s trials… and trials do come with consistency and intensity for the seekers of God! (Jn. 16:33)
Based on a book written by Corey Russell called The Glory Within, here are 5 ways that praying in tongues will change your life forever.
- It Gives You Supernatural Understanding of God’s Mysteries. Holy Spirit is the One who “searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets” (1 Cor. 2:10). ”For he who speaks in a tongue… in the spirit he speaks mysteries” (1 Cor. 14:2).
- It Offers You Access to Other Revelatory Gifts of the Holy Spirit. “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit … to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues” (1 Cor. 12:8 & 10).
- It Opens Up the Bible in a New, Living Way as You Read It. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak” (Jn. 16:13).
- You Can Speak Directly to God. “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God” (1 Cor. 14:2).
- It Empowers You to Engage Spiritual Warfare From the Position of Victory. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:18).
“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Cor. 1:27-29).
Why tongues – something that seems so foolish to our natural human minds? We must renew our thinking because our minds cannot understand the whys of God’s ways… and discomfort does not give us permission to ignore them. Tongues is surely a mystery, but at the same time it is a powerful gift that will not only enrich our personal prayer life but will bring us into deeper intimacy and communion with the Holy Spirit.
- “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit (Pray in Tongues), keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 20-21)
- “He who speaks in a tongue edifies (builds up) himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.” (1 Cor. 14:4)
- “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.” (1 Cor. 14:14-15)
“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4
“Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In Him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident.” (2 Cor. 1:20 MSG)
The Church that we see spoken of consistently in Scripture is a people of promise. Jesus said the very gates of hell will not prevail against her (Mt. 16:18). She is a people of promise (Lk. 24:49), called out of darkness and established upon a platform of Holy Spirit activity (Acts 2:4) and supernatural love (Col. 1:13-14). She has stood in the midst of persecution and multiplied in the midst of division. Her character has been challenged from every angle and she has advanced in every culture. Yet, she fights her greatest battles from within, from the very people who carry her promise. She will prevail, but not without a people who know how to maintain their sense of promise.
Agreement with God’s Promises: (2 Peter 1:2-4)
- Brings Miracles: (Acts 3:1-9) In this story, Peter and John were going into the temple together to pray when they met a lame man at the gate. Peter told him to rise up and walk in the name of Jesus Christ and immediately he received his strength and was healed. Your prayers of agreement can bring miracles into your lives also, just as they did for Peter and John.
- Brings Great Power: (Acts 4:31-33) Here is an account of the Apostles praying together for boldness. After their prayers, the place was shaken and filled with the Holy Spirit. They were of one heart and one soul.
- Brings Abundance: (Acts 4:34-37) After the Apostles prayed for boldness, and gave witness to the resurrection of Jesus, land and house owners sold their possessions and brought the proceeds to the Apostles and they then distributed to everyone who had need.
- Brings Freedom: (Acts 12:5-11) These verses tell of Peter when he was in prison. The church prayed to God for him constantly. Peter was bound by chains with guards and soldiers next to him. One night an angel of the Lord came and he released the chains from Peters hands and set him free. These prayers of agreement gave Peter his freedom.
- Brings Deliverance: (Acts 16:25-26) Here Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God. Suddenly a great earthquake shook the prison and all the doors opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. (Rom. 15:30-31) Here Paul is asking for prayers that he may be delivered from those in Judea. (2 Cor. 1:8-11) Here is another account of Paul in Asia where the help of others praying together delivered him from a sentence of death.
Silence and Double-mindedness:
Offers Nothing: Remind yourself that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). The Apostle James emphasizes this point by telling us of the foolishness of doubting, saying that it makes us double-minded and unstable in all of our ways(Jms. 1:5-8). He also contends that we have lack and confusion, because we are not even asking or we ask amiss, that we can spend it on our own pleasures(Jms. 4:2).
When the Church does not contend for the promises of God they are stolen by deception, intimidation or religion. The Christian lifestyle was never meant to be a stroll in the park… we were made for dominion and occupation of the Earth!
We are at war! And we are advancing for both, the very victory won by Christ and the promises acquired through crushing the enemies hold on society (Col. 1:9-13). The very purpose for Christ’s coming in the flesh was to destroy the works of the devil and render him powerless over the people of promise (1 Jn. 3:8). Every time we stand on a promise of God, hold our peace in the midst of the storm or trust God in the midnight hour… all of heaven leans in to offer its resources. Our “Amen” reverberates in the atmosphere and the devil does not doubt the character of our resolve! For Christ Himself is our Advocate with the Father, making sure that the promise is fulfilled and His people are established in truth.
“And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” (Rom. 16:20)
The truth is that we personally have been given the responsibility and the ability by God to steward our gifts and calling.
The Parable of the Talents and Spiritual Gifts:
Jesus told the story of a man who went on a journey and left his riches with others to invest. We call it ‘the parable of the talents’ (Mt. 25:14-30). To one he gave five talents, to another two and to another one. The responsibility to invest and grow that talent was left to the individual. And when he came back, the master looked to each person for the return on his investment. The person to whom he gave one, failed to invest that talent, blaming a factor outside of himself – the temperament of his master – for his failure to multiply what had been given to him. Those who were faithful to invest and grow the portion they were given, received more.
- “Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.” (1 Tim. 4:14-15)
- “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Tim. 1:6-7)
The Apostle Paul holds Timothy personally responsible for the growth and stewardship of his gifts and ministry. I believe it serves as a wonderful reminder, that the Church is a Body and a fellowship where everyone has a ministry… everyone participates in its edification. And when loving encouragement and accountability are balanced with personal responsibility the Body of Christ is strong and resilient. Church growth must be measured by how well new believers become powerful leaders, and more mature believers become effective mentors. Some young followers of Christ are just beginning to receive gifts and callings… they must practice and study the Biblical patterns to be more accurate and confident. They must see and hear what the Holy Spirit is doing and learn to trust God’s voice as people of faith. Other believers have become dry and stale, leaning on yesterday’s anointing. They need to sense the fresh breath of heaven and begin to flow again. They need to feel the energy of the Holy Spirit once more… fanning dying embers into flames of passion. Its time to say it… “C’mon, lets get moving again”.
So today, decide to take ownership of your spiritual gifts and you will be amazed at what takes place.
This is what the Lord says- Your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Isa. 48:17-18)
“If Only… you had paid attention to My Commands!”
These words echo in the heart of those who live with regrets. We have all found ourselves off track to some degree… with strange perceptions, bad choices and wasted opportunities. Many times in our self-absorbed lifestyles, we think that we are doing the right thing or going in the right direction only to find out that we have been wrong. We hit the wall or reach the end of the rope and cannot find our way out. Some have so damaged their future that recovery would require a miracle. Life is not something we should guess at or rush into, but problems are often the high price we pay for trying to please everyone around us. Perhaps you have felt the shame and embarrassment that follows these words… “if only I had paid attention” to God.
God has given us all that we need for life and godliness in His Word and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:2-4). He knows what is best for us and He desires to teach us those things, because He loves us. Unfortunately we sometimes refuse what God teaches us and insist on doing our own thing. When we do this, we eventually find that we have lost our peace and our life gets full of unnecessary problems and difficulties.
God is Gracious:
God will not leave us in our confusion if we are willing to return and recover what has been lost. His arms are always open for us and He is always waiting for our return. Although we hear within our soulish man, “If only you had listened”, God does not leave us in defeat if we will come to Him in faith. We often beat ourselves up with the “if only’s”. If only we had not done this or if only we had done that instead. But in spite of what we have done, there is hope in God!
God holds out a wealth of righteousness… His Mercy, invites us into a fresh peace that flows like a river and washes over us like the waves of the sea.
Shifting the Focus:
We cannot change the past, but we can shift the focus and live beyond the regrets of the past. Jesus tells us, “YOU ARE FORGIVEN!”. This changes everything inside of us, when we know we are free of the past, free of the guilt and free of the entanglements. The chains that have held us fall lifelessly to the floor, so we can begin anew. We can begin today with the right choices and listen to God’s instructions for Kingdom life. We can begin now with fresh perspective and limitless possibilities. In return God will cause us to walk in the righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).
Life to the Fullest:
Have you gotten off track and done your own thing only to find that you have lost your peace and brought unnecessary problems into your life? Take ownership of your future and shift the focus… living beyond your regrets is a matter of choosing who gets to speak into your heart. God’s invitation is not to control you, but to free you to enjoy life to the fullest.