Archive for November, 2012

A Quickening

Jesus tells us, “It is the Spirit which quickens, the flesh profits nothing: the words which I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life.” (Jn 6:63)

The Spirit Quickens:

Feeling the quickening of the Holy Spirit is a powerful faith activity, a strong sense of “NOW” or being present in a Divine Opportunity. Its the heart’s response to supernatural life becoming activated by a Word from the Mouth of God. We can become engaged in God’s timing, simply by believing; not tomorrow, not when we have time available, but right now. We are called to live in the moment, to move with that unction of Holy Spirit activity. In God’s timing success and impossible breakthroughs are gained, we simply set our hearts on spiritual realities and focus our faith on the Words of His Mouth. His Words are spirit and life!

Quickening comes from three levels of awareness:

  1. Our Identity: The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are a Child of God (Rom 8:16). Jesus modeled this for us, to value and respond from the identity of a Son or Daughter makes us more sensitive to the heart of God. Jesus said “The Son only does what He sees the Father doing” (Jn 5:19).
  2. Our Compassion: The Holy Spirit’s love compels us to move according to the will of God with great urgency (Mt 9:36). The Apostle Paul spoke of being “bound in the spirit” to go to Jerusalem, even though the Holy Spirit had told him he would find tribulations there (Acts 20:22-23). Yet, Paul felt compelled on the inside toward others.
  3. Our Convictions: The belief that God would desire all men to be saved, births an urgency in the person who aims to please God (1 Tim 2:4). To know that Jesus said that we will do even greater works that these, stirs the believer to go after signs and wonders (Jn 14:12). To trust in the power of prayer creates an urgent response when somone we love is struggling (Jms 5:16). When we know and abide in the Truth, the Truth will set you free (Jn 8:32)… free to walk the walk with urgency.

Supernatural Lifestyle

When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as He was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased.” (Lk. 3:21-22)

Jesus’ baptism was significant, because it marked the launch of a 3-year season of supernatural ministry. And How did it start… with a voice from heaven! This Voice of the Father, provides us with important keys for living our own supernatural life with God.

3 Keys to a Supernatural Lifestyle:

1. Know and Live out of the Father’s Pleasure:

“You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased.”

At the outset of Jesus’ ministry, the Father declares His love and affirmation over Jesus. God’s pleasure was not based on works and the Father’s declaration occurred before Jesus had done any ministry. He had done no preaching, no miracles and healed no one, yet He was embraced by His Father. The Father’s voice resonated in the heart of His Son long before He faced the cross.

The power of His identity with the Father was such that Jesus would later say, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (Jn. 14:9). He lived out of that identity and went about revealing God’s love and compassion for people. In the same way, before we can live a supernatural life and share the Father’s love with others, we have to know and experience His love for ourselves.

2. Be Filled with the Holy Spirit:

“And as He was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove.”

Jesus did no supernatural works before He received the Presence and power of the Holy Spirit at His baptism. From this time onward, it was the Holy Spirit’s anointing that enabled Jesus to fulfill all the Father showed Him to do. In every word or action, Jesus was in perfect unity with the Father. One valuable secret that Jesus tells us, is that receiving the Holy Spirit is the privilege of sons and daughters. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Lk. 11:11-13)

The experience of the Early Church demonstrated that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was not just for Jesus. The supernatural lifestyle is available to us on an ask and receive basis, because we are sons and daughters. In fact, the Apostle Paul instructs believers to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). As we are filled, the life and power of the Spirit overflows like rivers of living water (Jn. 7:37-39).

3. Doing What Jesus Did:

As Jesus heard and responded to the voice of His Father… we must be patient to respond to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

After 3 ½ years of training by Jesus, perhaps the greatest lesson of all was the way Jesus waited on the Father. The disciples of Christ were commanded by Him to wait in Jerusalem until they were clothed in power. In obedience, 120 disciples gathered in an upper room and waited to see what was next. And what was next, was nothing short of amazing! That supernatural lifestyle could only be theirs, if they waited for it.

Three days later… nothing, five days later… still nothing, eight days later… Not even a hint of what was coming until that tenth day. When the day of Pentecost had fully come, so also did their expected outpouring. After days of worship, prayer, and waiting, the wind of heaven blew in and the fire of the Holy Spirit fell upon all of them. This little band of believers was filled with power, just as Jesus said. In their first day, 3000 people were saved and the Early Church was born. God was touching everyone within reach. They preached the Gospel of Christ, routed devils, healed the afflicted and lived out of that same supernatural lifestyle they had seen in Jesus.

There is no other way to see or do what Jesus is asking of His followers. It requires a supernatural lifestyle (Mt. 6:10).

When God Says “Go!”

What do you say when God says, “No!”?

The selfish person looks at the situation and figures out how they can still get it done. The cautious person sees it as an excuse to do nothing. The controlling person manipulates others to do what they have been given no approval for. The critical person finds fault with God’s logic and complains the whole time. The negative person promotes a bad attitude and discourages others from even considering the risk. The pleasure-seeking person will only be interested if they get something out of it. They all get what they want, but at what cost… and will it satisfy?

The Deception of Getting What We Want:

In the end what we sow will produce it’s fruit, it’s reward and it’s harvest. The Bible says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Gal. 6:7-8). 

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Therefore Go…” (Mt. 28:18-19)

When everything is aligned according to the will of God, Jesus says,”GO!”.
That’s when miracles happen, a hopeless alcoholic is set free, a doubter begins to see the error of their ways and a broken dream suddenly becomes a reality. It’s when prayers get answered… and it happens more than you think!

When Jesus said, “GO!”… it was because of authority.

When Jesus says, “Go!” it is because of knowledge and awareness of all that pertains to every sphere of reality. We see through a glass darkly, but His view is eternal and complete. The warning is clear… don’t be deceived into thinking you can mock God or go around the authority of Jesus. You might get what you want, but it will be a harvest of corruption and it may even lead others into darkness. 

Remember these 4 Principles of Prayer:
1. God’s answers require patience.
2. God’s timing is perfect.
3. God’s heart is moved by faith, not need alone.
4. God’s delays are not God’s denials.

Sometimes God says, “No!”. Sometimes He says, “Grow!”  But there are other times… When God says; “Go!”

Heavenly Help

Imagine getting help from heaven! Its not such a silly reality. Angels came to minister to the Apostle Peter while he was in prison “…behold an angel of the Lord stood by Peter, …and said, put on your garment and follow me” (Acts 12:5-8) and the angel led Peter safely out of jail. Wow- pretty amazing, right?

Angels are Ministering Spirits:

These same kind of things are happening in the lives of believers everyday. We are told that angels are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who are heirs of salvation” (Heb. 1:13-14). That’s you and I, every believer who trusts in God, becomes an heir of the blessing that Christ bought for us at the cross. Jesus even spoke of how angels watch over us from infancy through life.  ”In heaven their angels always see the face of My Father” (Mt. 18:10). We call these spirits guardian angels, because they are delegated with the specific task of keeping you and I safe.

Angels are God’s Messengers:

God employs innumerable invisible ministers to help us. The supernatural power of angels; willingly and obediently responsive to the voice of the Father, actively minister to the welfare of His Children. Lets take that truth a little further.

  • We read that angels will hold us up and protect us “lest we dash our foot against a stone” (Ps. 91:11-12).

These angels are concerned with even little things in our lives. Just think for a moment, who and what the angels are; how great, glorious, holy, and blessed; how high and majestic the office they fill and the assignments in which they are engaged. And then think of their stooping to such works as this… the preventing of a man from stumbling over a stone. God has given the angels charge over us, so our feet may not even come in contact with a stone! Surely that seems beneath them, but no - it is the purpose of angels to do the Lord’s bidding.

“Not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father knowing it” (Mt. 10:29). 

“The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Mt. 10:30).

Taking Charge Over:

Holy angels have charge over the minute by minute details of our lives, as well as over great events. Why? Because for our body, the slightest stumble could have a lifetime of consequence. And for our soul, we fall little by little, not by great crimes, but by little sins… little distractions. Desires pull upon our attention and refocus our eyes upon temporary, carnal things. We need heaven’s intervention more than we even know.

  • Surrounded:We are told that “the angels of the Lord encamp all around those who fear Him…” (Ps. 34:7).
  • Covered:We are told that angels contend with Satan and demons on our behalf in spiritual warfare – “but the prince (evil angel) of the kingdom of Persia withstood me 21 days, and behold Michael, one of the chief princes (arch- angel), came to help me, …” (Dan. 10:13)(Eph. 6:12)(Jude 9).

These angels that God sends are responding to us and they are encamped around us for two specific reasons. First, because we fear God. We are designed to honor the same heavenly realities they do. And second, because we obey God and fight for His purposes and priorities in life. They are protecting, defending, and guarding us so that God’s will is accomplished. They are like an army that defends a country, only they are defending us.

Called Alongside The Faithful:

These angels are fellow worshipers and associates in the heavenly realm, always looking at the One whom they serve. They are willing and ready to walk alongside of those who have their eyes on God. You see, their highest priority is alignment with the will of God. 

We have no claim if we want to be disobedient and wayward. The promise is for those who walk by faith… see through faith and delight in their faith. When a person puts their trust in Jesus - a partnership emerges.

Jesus told Nathaniel, ”you will see greater things than these… I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open and angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man” (Jn. 1:50-51). 

Power of Hope

Through Jesus “…we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” (Rom. 5:2)

Standing in grace means a flow of supernatural favor. God’s arm is not short that He cannot reach us. In fact, every day there is evidence of the finger of God moving in our lives. This is our hope, reliable to the end and established upon Promises that have in so many ways proven true through the ages. Our Christian hope produces the confidence and character it takes to endure in the face of trials, tiredness and temptation.  Hope establishes, energizes, and encourages us to keep pressing forward when the heat is turned up or the storms begin to rage. God is faithful! God is purposeful and nothing is beyond the scope of His authority. Yet, we must take hold of the horns of the altar and place our hope firmly in Christ and His Promises!

  • Take a good look at some of these Scriptures that speak to the wonderful fruit that is released when hope is activated in our lives: (Rom. 4:18)(1 Thess. 1:3)(2 Thess. 2:16-17)(Heb. 3:6; 6:7-12; 18-20 & 10:23).

Life Gets Rough, Hope Gets Activated:

Why do trials, tiredness or temptations affect us so deeply? It is because they reveal our frailty. Perhaps the greatest blessing hope offers is access to the Glory of God. When we begin to trust in God’s favor and future blessings, our hope comes alive and motivates us to run the race with joy and fight the good fight of faith. Our strength of character depends on a powerful living hope that bubbles up in the midst of struggle. Having a hopeful view of the future affects the way we respond to the present, a weakened hope will weaken our dedication and perseverance in the Christian life.

Remember: Hope is a confident assurance of good outcomes based upon the promises of God’s Word.

7 Vital Truths about Hope:

  1. Hope is the platform for faith in God: (Heb. 11:1; 6)
  2. Hope is a pathway into the Glory of God: (Heb. 6:19-20)
  3. Hope is essential to the Christian identity: (Eph. 1:17-20)
  4. Hope ignites the fruit of the Spirit: (Rom. 15:13)
  5. Hope enables us to rejoice in the midst of trials:  (Jam. 1:2)
  6. Hope provides boldness in our witness:  (2 Cor. 3:12)
  7. Hope is our helmet in the armor of God: (1 Thes. 5:8)
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