Archive for August, 2010

Crushing Fear

Nothing crushes fear like praise… its the weapon of God against Satan that confuses and disarms him by the element of surprise. Satan uses lies to make our problems seem bigger than the solution we carry. When we praise God we surprise the enemy by revealing our solution… God is bigger than all problems and more than enough for us.

 

 We crush fear and release a growing love for God through praise (1 Jn 4:18).

 Praise means “to commend, to applaud or magnify”. For the Christian, praise to God is an expression of focused trust… lifting-up and glorifying the Lord as our source of Truth. It is humbling ourselves and centering our attention upon Jesus Christ, with heart-felt expressions of love, adoration, rejoicing and thanksgiving.

Fears are crushed at a heart level and revealed as the fruit of our lips (Heb 13:15).

 High praises and new songs released from deep within, bring our spirit into a pinnacle of fellowship and intimacy.  It “magnifies” our awareness that we are not in this battle alone.

Our praise invites God’s intervention! (Isa 42:10-13)

 Praise transports us into the realm of the supernatural, where we engage the power of God and it shows up upon our countenance. “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, oh Lord, in the light of Thy countenance” (Ps 89:15). Praise looks good on us!  There are many activities involved with praise to God; from verbal expressions to corporate declarations; like singing, playing instruments, shouting, dancing, lifting or clapping our hands. But true praise is not “merely” going through these motions. True praise sets our affections upon God, because it resonates at the heart. In this way it breaks our emotions free from becoming fearful of the enemy threat or the looming attack.

Crushing something means we break it into pieces. Pieces are easily blown away!

  Jesus spoke about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, whose praise was only an outward show and not from the heart. “This people draws near to Me with their mouth, and honors Me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Mt 15:8). These were an anemic and weak people who chose to handle their problems by eliminating the source, but God wants to raise up a new generation of warriors who handle their problems with courage. Praise equips the soldier with courage and crushes fear because it magnifies God in the face of all challengers.

We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual enemies in the heavenly realms (Eph 6:12). Praise crushes fear!  

Holy Spirit Keys

Our Helper has come. He is the Promise of the Father and the Guide into all Truth. With Him comes an anointing of power that brings strength to the weak and healing to the broken. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is to be poured out upon all flesh; that sons and daughters will prophecy and visions and dreams will become common experiences (Joel 2:28-30). To all that will make Him welcome, He will show the mysteries of God’s Kingdom and provide the courage to stand against the kingdoms of darkness.

 To live and function according to God’s will for us, we need the Holy Spirit’s anointing working in us and through us. The Apostle John tells us that we have an anointing from God that teaches us things that cannot be taught from books or college classes (1 Jn 2:20 & 27). The Truth of God does not come to us to make us smarter, but to empower us for the impossible.

  Jesus said, “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven and whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in Heaven” (Mt 16:19).

Keys represent tools that give access. They are principles and gifts that provide entry through doors and gates otherwise left impenetrable. In this case the keys seem to give access to the Kingdom of Heaven. According to the Apostle Paul that access offers us righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17).

We are called to release the Kingdom!

 Jesus goes as far as to say that using these Holy Spirit keys, will bridge the divide between Heaven and Earth by offering the ability to bind and loose. As God’s delegated authority upon the Earth, we are commissioned to become His ambassadors. His goal is that through our relationship with the Holy Spirit, we will be sensitive and equipped with all we need for living the supernatural life and transforming the culture around us.

His Manifest Presence

One of the most valuable Truths of the Christian Faith is that God dwells in the believer. The indwelling Presence of God is given to all who believe. Just listen and embrace the power of these words…

 “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”  (1 Cor 3:16).

 

 He dwells in the believer and makes Himself known to the believer for relationship and transformation. This indwelling of His Spirit, is the key to our salvation, restoration and victory in Christ. Its the Manifest Presence of God that releases all of His goodness into our life.

 It may seem like a contradiction to hunger and thirst for something that is already all around us and dwells within us.

 Yet when we talk about seeking and experiencing the Presence of God, we are really talking about abiding in Him. Our delight is to be able to perceive His Presence and become conscious of Him. When we seek for God with all of our heart, we are increasing our awareness of His Presence.

 The Apostle Paul writes about this in detail; telling us that as we search out the deeper things of God, they get revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. Things that have been freely given to us by God can and should be discovered, fully understood and walked in… by us. The only way to do this is through the intimacy developed in the Holy Spirit, who is the Manifestation of the Presence of God (1 Cor 2:10-12). Much like Jesus was the manifestation of the Glory of the Father, so also the Holy Spirit is the manifestation of the Glory of His Presence.

Believers should be experiencing the power of God!

Although God is always with us, it is obvious that there are times when His Presence is with us in greater measure. As we experience God’s Manifest Presence in a greater capacity; we are transformed from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:17-18). The Manifest Presence of God is what brings power for transformation, deliverance and ministry. The Holy Spirit changes lives and reveals the Glory of God. He moves us into greater intimacy with our Heavenly Father and removes all the barriers that hinder our growth and steal our confidence. The key to the powerful anointing of God is His Manifest Presence; Jesus experienced it and calls upon us to do the same (Lk 4:18-19)(Lk 24:49). His desire is that we be clothed with power from on high.

 Jesus said to us, ”…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (Acts 1:8). 

A Comment On Wineskins

What I’ve observed over 20 years of ministry is that there seems to be a universal law of decay that affects not only the natural realm, but also the spiritual side of life. We see death and decay all around us. Everything that is built or born is destined to decline. This observation is what  the Apostle Paul called the “law of sin and death”. It works against the movement of God’s Spirit.

 Open Heavens must be maintained and yielded people with hungry hearts are the key.

  In many ways our focus has moved away from the institutional church toward renewal and revival models that have refueled many dried up wineskins. In Bible terms the former glory has been replenished with a fresh breath of God (Haggai 2:9). Fortunately, the work of God’s Spirit is not completely at the mercy of our church governing structures and religious programing.

God has a plan for His Church.

 The challenge to us today is not only to recognize our present need of the Spirit’s ministry and blessing, but to carry the glory in spite of the ebb and the flow of experience. We must pass on to the next generation a pattern of faith that produces wineskins that hold the New Wine of God’s Manifest Presence.

Carrying God’s Glory requires us to have New Wineskins!

 I believe we can end this process of allowing the law of sin and death to poke holes in our containers. Hear what Paul said to Timothy, his son in the faith (2 Tim 1:6)… “fanning into flame the gift that is in you”. Paul says we need to remind ourselves to stir and stir and stir, because when spiritual things are allowed to set, they will succome to decay. Its a law that requires us to be diligent and maintain our gift… the Spirit’s flow.

 We must keep hungering and thirsting for the communion of the Holy Spirit in our lives and ministries. We all face the same challenges in our own lives… will we finish with the same fervor with which we began? Time will tell. In the meanwhile let us continually be filled with the Spirit! New Wine in New Wineskins!

Waiting for Renewal

I have been moved in my spirit often by great messages or songs that touched God’s heart; but never have I been so moved and so sobered than by hearing once again about the worship of Mary Magdalene. Her goal was not to gain an anointing; but to be the anointer, to pour out and to spend her worth on her Master.  The selfless expression of breaking her alabastar jar of sweet perfume and washing His feet with her hair; halts me from my pursuits and calls me to recognize that only one thing truly matters.

 Only one thing offers the potential to completely revolutionize my life… Worship!

Worship is the key to how we can wait upon God in a way that revolutionizes our lives. The Holy Spirit draws near to worshipers, because He feels welcome and when He is welcome there is a renewal that takes place in the heart.

When we read the story of Mary Magdalene’s worship, we see that Jesus felt welcomed by her expression. He tells Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.” (Lk 7:44-46)

 A few moments later Jesus tells her she is forgiven and saved. He said forgiveness came to her, because she loved much and salvation came as she expressed it through faith (Lk 7:47-50).

 Worship brought renewal as she waited on the Lord, making Him feel welcome and pouring herself out upon Him. 

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