Archive for November, 2009

Its Christ Alone

He is My Resource

Co-laboring with Him

If you want to walk in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit, you need to know your spiritual identity.

You need to know how to draw upon the inexhaustible resources of God’s love, wisdom, forgiveness, and abundant grace. You and I have such a limited strength in our “self”… that is, our own understanding and experience. We must rest totally upon the mighty, explosive power of God through His Holy Spirit.

 The Apostle Paul writes: “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead” (Eph 1:19-20, NLT).

 Jesus stresses the importance of drawing your strength from Him: “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:4-5 NLT).

 The responsibility for fruitful ministry is a shared reality between ourselves and the Holy Spirit. Its God, the Holy Spirit who works in and through us producing fruit and changing the lives of individuals. Our role is to trust God and obey Him. Success in ministry is simply offering the love of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.

An example comes to mind as this past week I felt lead to pray for a man who was deaf from years as part of a rock-n-roll band… my hope was to release the power of God and see this man completely whole; but nothing happened. Again I prayed with similar results. To truly trust God means leaving the results to Him… my responsibility was to obey the mandate of advancing His Kingdom.

 Staying connected to the Vine is always the greatest challenge when the power seems unable to flow. Its a mystery that remains until further revelation comes and we must never allow our perceived limitations to undermine our trust in Him. Its Christ alone who sets men free!

Great Joy

Like a child

Jump and Shout

The Christian faith is the religion of JOY… great joy!

Christ came to take away our sins, to remove our curse, to break our chains, to open our prison-house and to cancel our debt. Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? In a word… God!

 He gives us “the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isa 61:3). 

  Every element of joy- deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying and contageous - it is found in the revelation of Christ.

 ”Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again—Rejoice!” (Phil 4:4)

 To the Christian, who is living near the Throne of Grace, there are sources of joy unknown to all others. He can even “rejoice in tribulation,” and “be glad in the Lord,” when pain and suffering cause distress.

 There is sufficient grace in Christ. The intimate follower of Christ knows where he can go for comfort and hope. He knows who has promised to give ”the fullness of joy” even in the midst of trials.  They remind themselves of the Savior’s invitation, “Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full” (Jn 16:24). The one great source of the Christian’s joy is Christ… to see Him as He really is, releases all the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

 This Truth trumpets as a call of invitation and is the resource for confidence and bold discoveries. Discoveries like strength coming out of weakness or hope bursting forth from trials. The Christian has found their Heavenly Father to be the Restorer of all things and Christ to be ”the Friend who laid down His life because of great love” (Jn 15:13). Afterall and through it all: ”love never fails” (1 Cor 13:8).

Hear the Prophet’s exhortation even in the midst of tough times. 

  • Prophet Habakkuk: “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation.” (Hab 3:17-18)
  • Prophet Zephaniah: “Sing, oh daughter of Zion. Shout oh Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, oh daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your judgements, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel is in your midst. You shall see disaster no more.” (Zeph 3:14-15)

 Christian joy can only be realized when God reigns in the heart. Great joy rises above the struggles of the day and emphasizes the Goodness of God in the midst of all circumstances. God never wastes an experience… even when He cannot take the blame, He can release His glory and turn the heart toward life. From prison to victory; where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is hope. Great joy is supernatural and transforms us!

Emotional Wholeness

When Jesus first announced His anointing (Lk 4:16-20), He was quoting from Isaiah 61. The Bible mentions multiple forms of inner healing in this passage, including “binding up the brokenhearted”- “comforting all who mourn”- providing “the oil of gladness instead of mourning” and “a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair”. The entire chapter focuses upon inner healing. The fact that Jesus quoted this passage when He began His ministry emphasizes the importance of healing emotional wounds.

Emotional Wounds are Real:

On one occasion Jesus spoke with a Samaritan woman at a well (Jn 4:1-30) and His focus was not upon physical healing… instead, He provided her with compassionate Truth that soothed her deepest emotional dysfunction. To meet at the well in the heat of the day is an indication that the woman was an outcast. She was not welcome to draw water alongside the “respectable” women. Jesus honored this outcast by choosing her to reveal Himself as the Messiah.

Encountering Love:

 God provides inner healing by drawing us near to Himself. The Bible records such an encounter in I Kings 19. The prophet Elijah runs for his life because he was discouraged to the point of praying to die. First, God sent angels to meet his physical needs. Next, God responded to Elijah’s pain by drawing near and reaching out in a gentle whisper. Finally, after Elijah experienced the healing of his heart, he was ready to follow through with God’s plan. Restoration can be a process, but its always an encounter with His Presence.

Restoring Wholeness:

God’s pattern is to restore spirit, soul and body and although breakthrough in each area of life is unique and personal… the key ingredient is always the power of love. God really loves you and I unconditionally, with a love that has no limits and no bounds. It reaches as far as the deepest pain and is attentive to the whispered prayer.

He said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11:28)

 He is at work, showing us the way to find rest for our souls. No question, we have real difficulties in life; particularly with people, yet the promise in Scripture is to come be yoked with Him (Mt 11:29). He wants us to rest in His Truth about our life problems. Jesus told us in John 8:32, “you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free”.  God has made provision for our emotional wholeness.

Praise Conviction

The Bible says “let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” (Ps 150:6)

We are all called to be people of praise, even when it feels like a sacrifice. It is sad to watch people miss out on God’s blessings, just because they do not understand the principles He gives for our growth and discovery.

 Lately the Lord has been dealing with my heart about having a real authentic life-style of praise to Him. It is amazing to awaken our convictions of God’s faithfulness and begin to focus on His power when we praise Him… its like turning on the light in a dark room.

 We make life difficult when we focus on ourselves, our problems and our limitations. Praise helps us focus on what God is actively doing in our lives rather than willfully fretting about what is happening around us.

Whatever situation we are going through, we can know God’s heart toward us through entering the gates of Heaven through thanksgiving and praise. The Bible says:

 “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name” (Heb 13:15).

 What is a sacrifice of praise? Its the willingness to praise God without the feelings or the heart for it. Now this might sound strange, but in most of my praise times with God… conviction is growing inside of me. Any time I enter the gates of Heaven, I am being enlarged on the inside. He just keeps getting “gooder”. I find a transformation is always at hand, when I get into proper posture before God and His wonderful, supernatural love. Notice the Psalmist finds in his expression of praise a greater awareness of God’s goodness, mercy and Truth… (Ps 100:4-5) all as he gets inside the gates of Heaven through praise.

 Its amazing yet freeing at the same time. You and I can praise our way into convictions that all the teaching in the world could never make us truly believe. Its the value of an experience in God’s Glory that transforms our understanding… praise renews our minds.

Speak The Truth

Its Amazing

Shout it Girl

As Ambassadors of the Kingdom of God, we have been given power and authority to speak God’s Word over circumstances. Truth triumphs over facts, because of the realms they are grounded in. Facts are rooted in the natural and Truth is rooted in the supernatural. Just in case you were wondering… the supernatural is both more dominant and more real.

1 Peter 4:11 “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.”

 God’s Word in your mouth has the ability to change what we see and cause it to conform to what we know to be the will of God.

 Let’s look at Mark 11:23; “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

 Jesus was saying to us to speak as an oracle of authoritative Truth… as an expression of God’s own voice. That’s a powerful invitation to the average follower. So many of us have missed this idea, thinking that Jesus didn’t really mean for us to speak to things, but that He would take care of the issue if we just kinda left it alone. Not only did He mean for us to speak to that mountain, He also commanded us to tell it where to go. In other words “give it a place of total forgetfulness” and you won’t have to deal with it. Give your trouble a destination where it will be completely out of sight and out of mind. The sea is a perfect place for trouble to go. The believer’s job is to believe and speak, and God’s job is to carry it out. 

If we start speaking and yet hold on to our doubting we will deceive ourselves and release a double mindedness that will achieve very little. The Bible says that a double minded man is unstable and shouldn’t even think he will receive from the Lord (James 1:6-8).

Jesus said do not doubt in your heart, but believe the things you are saying will come to pass, then you will have whatsoever you say. This command was given to change facts, by using the Truth.

 Oh how powerful is the Truth of God’s Word… as we speak it boldly, things are happening on our behalf in the Spirit Realm.

 Just like the noise the prophet Ezekiel heard when the bones started moving into alignment (Ezek 37:2-6), bone to bone and putting on the sinew and skin. Jesus said the way of the Kingdom is first the blade then the ear, and after that the full corn in the ear (Mk 4:26-29). In other words… there is a progression that can take some time, because the Kingdom of Heaven is an influence that takes dominion over the “squatter” – Satan. Satan will always tell you that it won’t work for you this time.

 Its an authority issue with the Enemy, but God is on your side at all times against the Devil. You just need to remind those demonic forces about the power you have to tread over all their filthy, rotten messes (Lk 9:1-2). You remind Satan that he is an outlaw predator and a liar, and that the power of God’s Truth is already changing the facts.

See yourself as the Lord sees you and begin to speak as the oracles of God! He sets you in the midst of life with all the power you need to succeed in Christ Jesus.

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