Archive for September, 2012

Training the Prophetic

Lukas Maina of Eldoret, Kenya

“Do not neglect your gift… Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.” (1 Tim 4:14-15)

If you have the spiritual gift of prophecy, receiving prophetic training is one way in which you can develop your gift. No spiritual gifts, even revelatory gifts such as discernment and prophecy, come mature and fully developed. We have a responsibility to steward the gifts God has given to us, from the time we recognize that we have them.

Training and mentoring is a Biblical concept. In the Old Testament, Elijah and Elisha had groups of prophets that looked to them for leadership (2 Kings 2:5-7, 2 Kings 4:1 & 4:38). In the New Testament, we learn that God has given leaders to the Church to help equip people for ministry and bring the Church Body to maturity (Eph 4:11-13). Jesus trained His disciples, who in turn trained other leaders to do the work of ministry.

7 Reasons for Prophetic Training:

1. Training Develops Your Unique Prophetic Gift:
The purpose of training is connecting your skill level with your gift and ministry development. Training is an intensive, focused way in which you can grow your prophetic gift and take the next steps forward in your prophetic ministry. Good prophetic training will not limit, but rather enlarge your capacity to hear the voice of God and provide tools for ongoing growth.

2. Training Accesses the Experience and Knowledge of Others:
Prophetic training will give you knowledge and instruction on a broader base of experience than just your own. Along with this, training should teach you how to apply what you have learned with wisdom. The best teachers are those who are not afraid to share their own experiences… even failures make great teaching material. It is wiser to learn from other people’s mistakes than make your own!

3. Training Enables Instruction from Mature Leaders: 
When you receive prophetic training, you are learning from instructors who are gifted and experienced in your area of ministry. They have a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and experience to impart to you. And they carry authority in their sphere of expertise. Each of us struggle with our blind spots… in other words, we don’t know what we don’t know! Training is an opportunity to have others who are further along in the journey speak into our lives, broaden our perception and teach us new insights about our prophetic gifts.

4. Training Provides an Environment for Practice:
Your prophetic gift is sharpened through being put to use. Training should provide a safe environment in which you can practice using your gift among other people who are on the same journey. A good teacher will coach you, encourage you to prophesy and provide advice on how you can become more accurate at using your prophetic gift.

5. Training Provides Opportunities to Fail and Get Feedback:
Feedback is vital to growth, and training should take this into account. Training is not meant to be a comfortable process. One Hebrew word for training means “to goad!” (1 Chron 25:6-7). Training requires personal discipline and discomfort. It also calls us to be open to direction and correction from those who are training and leading us. In a training environment, we should be assured that we are in a safe place to give and receive feedback, as we practice using our prophetic gifts.

6. Training Maintains a Fresh Anointing for Ministry:
Training can help us recognize and release old or incorrect paradigms and styles of prophetic ministry. Training is a great way to bring unity into a ministry team, as those trained receive the same instruction and are grounded in the same values together. Some values that should be present in prophetic training are: the Bible, prayer, praise and worship, a balanced approach, prophecy that reflects Jesus’ character, humility, accountability, natural expression and participation in a local fellowship.

7. Training Provides Community with Like-Minded People:
Training brings you into contact with people who are on the same journey as you. You can encourage each other, share ideas and experiences and provide a safe place to practice together. It is good to attend sessions that directly relate to your gift. However, it will also benefit you to attend any sessions your own church runs on leadership, ministry and Bible teaching. This is because the outworking of your gift is going to be unique to the flavor, vision and values of your church.

Remind yourself that the Holy Spirit distributes the gifts to each one individually as He wills… “for the profit of all!” (1 Cor. 12:7 & 11)

Prophetic Clarity

In the bush regions of Uganda

In the bush regions of Uganda

“Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy… he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” (1 Cor. 14:1 & 3)

Over the past 20 years, the Lord has graced us with better understanding of prophetic ministry. We have seen a wonderful restoration of the ministry of the prophet in our day… and for that I am grateful. Gone are the days where there is no word from heaven and the image of prophets are simply a picture of Elijah with a long, grey beard in a flowing robe. I believe that now God wants to raise the prophetic standard in our churches and train us to hear with clarity and precision.

The Standard of Clarity:

Hearing the voice of God with clarity and understanding the anointing of the Holy Spirit are the pre-requisites to speaking words that edify, exhort and comfort the people of God. It takes experience and knowledge of God’s Word to become consistent and it is a life long pursuit. Here are some thoughts about raising the standard of prophetic ministry.

1. All may prophesy, but not all are prophets. We must release the prophetic in our fellowships and begin to allow more freedom of expression. We can learn how to identify the difference between someone who is simply prophesying a word of encouragement and someone who has a prophetic ministry. But we cannot grow in our understanding without vital experience in spiritual revelation. One way to test the gift of the prophet is by measuring the accuracy and authority by which the person speaks (1 Jn. 4:1). Some well meaning individuals, who lack maturity will use a harsh tone or “old fashion” pentecostal tone. But true prophets speak the word of the Lord with clarity, as if it is the very word of God (1 Pe. 4:10-11).

2. Prophetic people need patience. Just because you have received a message from God doesn’t mean you are to speak it forth. You must learn the right timing in which to prophesy. Unless the word is spoken at the right time or “kairos” moment, it will likely fall on deaf ears. Hold the word, pray into it, let it develop and expand and at the right time deliver it with a sense of boldness. It will carry a fresh anointing and accomplish what it was sent to do, because it was set in its proper season. It helps to look at examples in Scripture, like the Sons of Issachar (Gen. 49:14-15) who were Jacob’s descendants. They were prophetic people who understood the times and knew what Israel should do (1 Chron. 12:32). They spoke into key events with clarity and eventually their descendants were influential in King David’s reign in Jerusalem. 

3. If you have no prayer life, you have no prophetic ministry. In order to “be a voice”, you must first hear God’s voice. Scripture makes it clear that we must abide in Christ in order to know the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). “The Lion roars, who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8). In other words, first the Lion of the Tribe of Judah must roar, and then those who hear it begin to prophesy. I know that sounds simplistic, but believe me when I say it is a problem, when our standard is accuracy and edification.

4. Let the prophetic word come sharp and clear. The Spirit doesn’t author confusion, so if you don’t understand the meaning or interpretation of something then it’s possible that you should not share it. Words without interpretation are not edifying to people. I personally enjoy hearing about rainbows, clouds and exciting visions, but we must recognize that some of these things only leave a person that much more confused. I understand there are occasions where the meaning of a vision is not disclosed, but someone else should have the interpretation. God is not hiding anything from us (Jn 15:15), we can always ask for the interpretation. Be patient and God will speak with clarity (1 Cor. 2:10-12).

“Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10)

5. We are Dependant Upon Revelation. The prophetic ministry puts a demand upon revelation. Its a ministry that has its roots in pursuing God in such a way that He begins to reveal the secrets of His heart (Prov. 25:2).  I am not talking about revelation beyond that found in the Scriptures. No, but within the revelation already given – and God knows it is bigger than our imagination! The Holy Spirit still moves to reveal what “eyes have not seen, nor ears heard” (1 Cor. 2:9). This is the role of prophetic ministry… to bring others an unfolding revelation. It was there all the time, but somehow hidden. God is doing new things and the only way we can see it is to shift the way we see (Mt. 4:17). 

Liberty:

That is the wonder of a life in the Spirit. It is a life of constant new discovery and everything that once was mystery is full of surprise and wonder. A life set on the Holy Spirit can never be static; it is full of liberty and freedom. God’s thoughts are beyond limit. We cannot reach the place where Truth is no longer enlarging our perception of who He is… nor who we are in Him. This is our liberty in Christ, to listen to the Holy Spirit and become activated in something bigger than ourselves.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” (2 Cor. 3:17)

Enemy Lines

Call for Prayer in Uganda: 
2 weeks ago

Pastor Francis Wanyama

We just received word today that the new church building in the Namaingo township (Uganda) has burned. It is a very suspicious issue in the bush regions. We know we are stepping across into enemy territory and challenging the kingdoms of darkness on many levels. Yet we are praying for strength and perseverance as our team is determined to press on in faith.

 Pastor Francis’ email to me today:

Dear Apostle Ron:
I have written to inform you that our new church building in Namaingo was burnt to the ground. We have not got the cause yet. Otherwise we are to begin putting up a new structure to accommodate the people this Sunday.
Pastor Francis Wanyama

Update:

1st Week of Worship

A Full House

So I just got off the phone with Pastor Francis and evidently some children in the area were playing with fire on a windy day. They would not admit to Francis that they had done it, but they told him that it had happened that way. He tells me that the evidence all points in their direction, but it is a useless process to press the children.

“We will Rebuild!” 
 
 Pastor Francis reassures me that he is okay as he tells me about rebuilding. Yet it is a very sad moment in the progress of this new congregation. He tells me of several members who were crying over the loss and collects his own emotions at times as he speaks with me on the phone. They have met this morning with the pastors in the area and it has been decided that they should not rebuild with grass, but iron sheeting. This will require much more time and money, but they shall go ahead and believe God for it. In the meantime they will worship under the shade of a tree until it is complete.

The financial burden is great – please consider helping us rebuild this building… the total cost is about $1500.00. Either contact us directly or use the paypal option in the upper right hand corner of this site. It is safe and easy… Thank you for your consideration.

  • each “iron sheet” – $12.00 (we will need at least 40 sheets)
  • each wooden post – $3-5.00 (we will need at least 25)
  • each bench – $15.00 (we need about 30)
  • each chair – $4.00 (we need about 50) 

**********

“I have a Church that meets under a tree!”

These words take me back to the day I met Pastor Francis… it was about 2 years ago at a conference in Webuye, Kenya. He had a team of three or four pastors with him and it was obvious from their respect of his leadership, that he was very special. I asked him, “So brother, tell me about your work in Uganda?” He said to me, in a very honorable way, “Our Church gathers under a tree.” He went on to explain the powerful impact they were having in the region, but all I can remember were those words… “Church gathered under a tree”. It was less than a year later that doors opened for me to do a leader’s conference in Uganda - under that same tree. Since then God has used Pastor Francis to raise up an Apostolic Training Center and plant 4 more churches in the area. Almost 2 years have passed and God is bringing Pastor Francis back to gathering under a tree. The prophetic sound in my heart is clear…

Don’t ever lose your love for the Tree of Life! When you cross enemy lines you will need its shade in the midst of the battle.

Update Tanzania

Hello Pastor Ron

Greetings to you in the wonderful name of our Lord and Savior – Jesus.

My brother, I want to let you know that the work is Good in Tanzania from the time I was started to have affiliation with RevivalHut Ministry. Even now, through your teaching which we receive from your website, www.revivalhut.com God is blessing and adding daily to the churches. May God bless you to help the work of Tanzania all the more in the days to come through more of your teachings. We have about 35 people who are ready to be part of a baptism service. I know when you come you are going to find us ready and hungry for God’s Words of life.

ACTIVITIES we have:-
- Many Bible Studies with groups of 50 people
- 12 Churches in the different places. God has planted 2 more churches since the summer has begun. 

We are praying for your coming… I know when you come we are going to put everything in order. I’m also speaking with our brother, Pastor Francis Wanyama in Uganda, because we shall soon begin an Apostolic Training Center to raise up new leaders in our region. May God bless you in all of your plans.

Yours Faithfully,
Pastor Bernard Ogallo

One Body in Christ

“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” (Rom. 12:4-5)

Three important Truths are emphasized in the Apostle Paul”s use of the “body” analogy in explaining the Church. Simple as it may sound, there is and always will be a need to remind ourselves that there are no super- Christians and no professionals in the family of God. God is a Father and expects us to recognize that He knows what is best for His Children. I hope you can hear the “Fathering” voice of God flowing through the Apostle Paul’s words.

1) No Lone Rangers: 

No individual Christian can function effectively in isolation and sustain any longterm victories for God. The Church’s highest goal is to embrace the value of standing with one another… as One Body in Christ. Our calling is the advancement of Christ’s victory in the world. Just as there are many parts of the human body and the individual parts enable the effective performance of that body, so we are part of the body of Christ. And His ongoing power is made most effective when we stand with each other. Its true, we are many individual members, but each member is important! We are tied together in our offensive posture in proclaiming the Gospel and defensive posture of protecting the weak… ”members of one another”. No member of Christ’s body can battle against our adversary alone and win. We lock arms and lift the burdens together. The devil is a fierce and cunning warrior. His demonic host of wickedness are accustom to the spiritual realm and understand invisible realities that are difficult for us to maneuver. The Church of Jesus Christ is an army that can only function as one dynamic, faith filled unit, when interdependant and coordinated as one in Christ Jesus.

2) Humility Matters:

No member of Christ’s Body should feel more important than any other member. No Christian has exclusive rights to God’s grace nor can any single member move without an effect on the rest of the body. This, perhaps, is one of the Apostle Paul’s major teachings in the passages dealing with the body function.

Some of the Corinthians were saying, “I don’t need you” and/or “I’m more important than you” and Paul made it clear that humility must be at the center of their attitudes. In a parallel passage in his Romans letter (Rom. 12:3) Paul says “…don’t think of yourselves more highly than you ought”. He also wrote, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Eph. 4:2). These are powerful exhortations considering the explosive nature of the Kingdom at this time in history.

Why did Paul emphasize humility, gentleness, and patience in these passages? Because, attitudes define altitude in the Kingdom of God. As he went on to say, “There is one body and one Spirit”  (Eph. 4:4). This is essential when we understand, we get our source of life and revelation of God from the Holy Spirit! He said to the Corinthians; “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body… and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13). These are powerful realities that make the focus of our faith produce real impact. Though one person may have a more public position, in God’s sight even the person who may go unknown and unnoticed, is just as important and necessary to the body (1 Cor. 12:22-23).

3) Unity Releases Blessing:

Every Christian should work hard at creating unity and aligning their hearts to one another in the Body of Christ. Just listen to these words of the Apostle Paul:

  • “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Cor. 1:10)
  • “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of Peace.” (Eph. 4:3)
  • “…let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Rom. 14:19).

The Apostle Paul was exhorting these Believers to do everything they could to “build one another up”. The atmosphere of mutual edification is the anointed place where God commands blessing and favor (Ps. 133). We want impact and we long for God’s voice to carry weight in the culture… well, this is how we do it! Unity is an awesome platform that establishes the authority of God and produces supernatural influence in the world around us.

“For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Mt. 18:20) 

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