Archive for January, 2014

Confronting Normal

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit… fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My Name.” (Jn. 15:16)

What carries the label – “IMPOSSIBLE”? There is a Name like no other, that God – “the Father” stands behind. Its above every other name that can be named among men (Phil 2:9-11). Its the Name of “Jesus” that allows access into heavenly resources, breaks through in difficult circumstances and pulls the believer into new seasons of influence. The Name, “Jesus” on the lips of the believing heart is the most amazing force in the universe… for in that name is the power and authority to confront all that is called “normal”.

Power & Authority… Means Access, Breakthrough and Kingdom Advantage!

Jesus said, “All authority has been given unto Me in heaven and in earth” (Mt 28:18). “In My Name they shall cast out devils” (Mk 16:17). He literally gave us His own authority when He gave us His Name. A Kingdom resource to deal with the devil. Every act of demonic theft, killing and deception can now be held to a new standard… heaven’s standard. The authority of the most recognized Name in Heaven, the most powerful Name on Earth and the most significant Name in history… has been delegated to our use.

Delegated Power:

A person’s authority is only as great as the power that stands behind them! The police officer directing traffic in the middle of the street is wearing a badge that represents the power of the governing laws that he enforces. A large truck could easily crush him in the middle of the busy street, but because the driver understands the power of the badge, he quickly yields his will and submits the power of his large vehicle to the authority of the badge.

You’re Called to Bear Fruit!

The Name of Jesus is like a “badge of authority”! God knew that you needed a weapon of defense against the ruthless attacks that wage war against you… unprovoked wiles of the devil (Eph 6:16). What we must come to understand is how to use the Name to our benefit. His Name represents His person, His position, His seating (if you will) and influence over all things. His promise to the believer is clear, “If you ask anything in My Name, I will do it” (Jn 14:14). Jesus’ Name can accomplish things that might feel impossible in the natural! Yet when we live in intimacy with Christ, we experience a growing awareness of how the natural is dominated by God, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Faith-filled Reality:

The Early Church recognized the incredible power they carried in the Name of Jesus. Look at how the Apostles, Peter and John address the crippled beggar at the Gate Beautiful of the temple, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). The beggar immediately received strength in his feet and ankle bones and as Peter grabbed his hand, he leaped to his feet with joy and praise to God. Later Peter needed to explain the miracle to some critics saying, “It was His Name, through faith in His Name, that made this man strong whom you see and know” (Acts 3:16). Amazingly, the critics were familiar with this beggar and all of Israel knew him, because they had passed him daily going into the temple. Yet this was a new day and demonstrated a new authority, where faith in the Name of Jesus was confronting what they had seen as normal.

The New Normal:

God is still breaking in at the “gate” of all that humanity has labeled “normal” or “impossible”… simply because He wants to adjust our seeing. The doors of opportunity are wide open, because the heavens are wide open! He has handed the Church an opportunity to experience a “New Normal”, where the name of Jesus offers access to all the authority of Heaven. This new normal confronts all that we see as familiar, impossible and overwhelming. It also offers hope, beyond all the limitations of the past. This new normal is living by faith in the Name of Jesus.

“These things I have written to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the Name of the Son of God.” (1 Jn. 5:13)

The Brightness of God’s Glory

Jesus is the Brightness of God’s Glory.

“Who being the brightness of His Glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Heb 1:3)

Jesus Christ is the “radiance” of God’s Glory, because He is God. The “brightness of His glory” refers to the Shekinah Glory of God that would manifest in the Old Testament tabernacle and temple (Ex. 40:34-38; 1 Kings 8:10). The cloud, the fire and the powerful manifestations of God were more than just traditions. They were the platform of His relationship with humanity until God took on human flesh and dwelt among us. These amazing experiences with the Glory of God were vital to the healthy expressions of worship, because until the Day of Christ (Gal 4:4-7), sin still stood as a barrier between God and man. The Glory was in many ways a visible sign to God’s people that He was close and available! In fact, the Glory that would manifest upon the Ark of the Covenant was a demonstration of God’s heart desiring to meet with Moses and speak to the People of God (Ex 25:21-22).

In Jesus Christ - the Invisible becomes Visible!

Jesus Christ is the “exact representation” of God’s Glory – revealing His nature. All that God is, in His nature and being, is expressed and revealed perfectly in Christ. This is why Jesus is called Immanuel, God with us. Its because Jesus “is the image of the invisible God”. He has explained Him and shown the Glory to us, so we would be without excuse (Jn. 1:14-18)(Jn. 14:23)(Col. 2:9). If you want to know what God is like, take a long hard look at Him in His Son, Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6). When you see Christ - you see the Glory of God, bright, brilliant and wonderful… the Light of the World (Jn 8:12).

Revealing God’s Heart:

Jesus Christ is the revelation of God’s Glory; the radiance of God’s “spiritual substance” in the sense that God was manifest in the flesh. We get to enjoy the real heart of God as a Father, in Jesus Christ. It is impossible to separate the concept of Glory from the nature of Christ’s three and a half years of ministry among us. He came to take away the sin of the world, to destroy the works of the devil and He went about the Galilean countryside healing the sick and delivering the captives from demonic oppression. Without Jesus Christ we are in the dark, utterly in darkness concerning God. It is in Christ that God is revealed (Jn. 17:5). Our illumination is found in His brightness. He is the revelation of the Father’s heart toward our sin, sickness and deliverance. He has come to set the captives free and display the Father’s will.

Revealing Glory:

To the leper, in need of cleansing… Jesus said “I am willing” (Mk 1:41). To the woman with the flow of blood, reaching for the hem of His garment… Jesus said “Daughter your faith has made you well, go in peace and be healed of your affliction” (Mk 5:34). To the deaf man… Jesus looked into heaven and said “Be opened” (Mk 7:34). In all of these cases and more, we see the Glory manifest and revealed in Jesus. He said of Himself, ”The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Lk 4:18-19).

Jesus said to Martha at the death of her brother Lazarus, “Did I not say to you that if you believe you would see the Glory of God?” (Jn 11:40)

A Holy Partnership

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16)

Have you ever experienced a need for breakthrough? The kind where you have done all you know to do, cried out for revelation and yet continued to face a wall of opposition? I have! I’ve seen situations that have lingered for years, though I had purposed to walk in complete obedience, sought God, and even received prophetic words promising the breakthrough… yet still nothing! The Holy Spirit dropped a key in my heart one day that helped me unpack a mystery, I heard Him whisper in my inner ear… “Mercy is at the heart of breakthrough!”

As I began to study mercy a wonderful partnership began to emerge… the partnership between mercy and providence. To understand breakthrough I needed to see how mercy is tied to providence. In essence God was showing me that providence is the “Throne of Grace”. Its the place where God’s plans become our reality. That’s why the author of the book of Hebrews says, “Come Boldly!”. When we realize there is access to grace ( favor with the King), we must begin to figure out how it works… and then we must run to Him in the time of need.

Explaining Providence: 4 Defining Truths

  1. Its God’s Knowledge in Advance. God exists outside of time, knowing the end before the beginning. Jesus was the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world (Rev. 12:8) and we were chosen in Him before that foundation was established (Eph. 1:4). Our God, knows the battles, roadblocks, and stumbling stones that we will face as we walk out our destiny. He has already prepared victories and breakthroughs for us. His plan is for good, to prosper us and give us a future and a hope… peace (Jer. 29:11).
  2. The Active Governing of God. Governing is the authority to control or manage a people or nation, in order to rule in their midst. Mercy deals directly with our position in Christ. His rule and reign in our lives is literally based upon the reality that we do not get what we deserve. Scripture tells us how Jesus carries out His Lordship by governing our lives through peace (Isa. 9:7). When we cry out for mercy, we are crying out for His rule and reign in our lives. The world system, the strategies of the enemy, the circumstances of life must not be allowed to rule over us. Problems will come, but God has already met the need when we arrive. When providence and mercy, God’s governing authority is allowed to grow in us, there will be peace and Kingdom breakthrough!
  3. It is God’s Protective Covering (Glory). Its the Glory of God that was originally design to crown or clothe man at creation in the Garden of Eden (Ps. 8:5). When we cry out for mercy it pulls us under God’s protection in our lives (Ps. 91:1-2), because it pulls us into fellowship, “walking in the cool of the day with the Father” (Gen. 3:8). Rather than hiding ourselves, we are relying upon His care for us and expressing our trust in Him. We may never know what God is doing in the midst of our struggle and there may be times of stretching our faith, but we must press into God. Fear and unbelief only alienate us from God’s Presence and distance us from seeing God’s plan for good (Rom. 8:28).
  4. The Love and Care of Our Heavenly Father. Fathers exercise a balance of honor and provision. They walk in authority only to the degree that their sons and daughters honor their leadership and delight in their wisdom. Just think about the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-14), who stepped away from his father’s providence and could not gain access to mercy. I like to remind myself that authority is established through intimacy… that my success is hinged to the tree of life, not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Elijah’s Example:

Mercy reveals God’s care, but providence establishes our needed resources… long before we even feel our need. A good example of this is when God told Elijah that He would feed him at the Brook Cherith. Elijah would have to go to where the provision was, in order to receive it! When the Brook dried up, so did the provision, which meant Elijah would need to seek God for more mercy and providence… a fresh word of breakthrough (1 Kings 17:2-8). Whatever we need to accomplish in our lives has already been established in God’s providence, because of God’s mercy!

The Apostle Paul said it this way, “and my God shall supply all of your need according to His riches in Glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

God is Able:

I look back now and see that when I have cried out for mercy, for needed finances or help of any kind, that mercy and providence worked together for the promised breakthrough. I knew something about God; I know, He is faithful and just, He loves and cares for me, and He knows how to “take care” of that which concerns me. This is why I run to the Throne of Grace… to obtain mercy – to hold it as an abiding reality for breakthrough! You see I know that beyond any of my own efforts, God is able to do the extraordinary, the impossible and that which is exceedingly abundantly beyond all that I can ask or imagine. But I am also discovering that it is based upon the power that works in me (Eph. 3:20). This revelation is so powerful!

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for its time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” (Hosea 10:12)

We see that we have our part, -the possible, to sow in righteousness, to break up the fallow ground and to seek the Lord. But mercy is God’s part of the equation, its what causes us to reap -the impossible! I can plant a seed, water it, but only God can bring the increase (1 Cor. 3:7). We know that it is not by our power or might, but it is by God’s Spirit… that we experience our breakthroughs (Zech. 4:6). So we will contend at the Throne of Grace with a boldness that proves we trust God’s providence and desire to obtain mercy to help in our time of need.

“…So that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Cor 9:8)

Thank You!

From Pastor Simiyu Peter of Uganda:

On behalf of our Lord Jesus Christ and the people of Africa; I would like to appreciate your ministry and the churches of the West for their efforts in reaching out to our continent. We have seen God doing great things among us. It has been our great joy to share in the Good News of Jesus Christ. Thank you for the church planting efforts, the school visits, orphan support, Bible School Manuals and Training Centers that have been established on African soil. Your generous heart has offered countless pastors and Gospel ministries encouragement and hope. Our friendship and labors have become very fruitful opportunities for God to move in our villages. Many families have felt loved and accepted by all the support from RevivalHut Churches in the bush. This is our time to grow together through fellowship, prayer and personal sacrifices made to advance the Kingdom of God. We continue to enjoy the mission teams you’ve sent and the materials left behind. God is up to something!

Prayer for RevivalHut Ministry:

May the God of all comfort show Himself strong as your Provider – Jehovah Jireh (Gen. 22:14) …as you listen to His heart in the new year of 2014. It is my prayer that our Lord Jesus Christ remember your giving and bless you beyond all that you can handle in the coming days. We are happy to be connected to the ministry, your family and other countries you are beginning to see embrace the vision for discipleship. Please know that we are with you, believing and praying continually for the spirit of wisdom and revelation to increase in your knowledge of Him. In the Mighty Name of Jesus I pray – Amen.

Thank you, Your Friends …and spiritual sons and daughters of Africa.

Pursuit of the Valiant

Psalm 110:1-3  A Prophetic Picture of Christ’s Valiant Army!

The LORD said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion.
Rule (Rada) in the midst of Your enemies!
Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power;
In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning,
You have the dew of Your youth.

As dew emerges in the early morning dawn to blanket the ground by a silent, mysterious vapor; so heaven has compelled a valiant generation of Saints. These are the righteous ones, who are emerging in the Earth. Our Messiah’s mighty host of followers, sent forth from the Throne Room to the harvest fields. The Valiant go from intimacy to victory! And their pursuit is for the enemies of Christ and the advancement of the Kingdom of their God. Its a pursuit of more than just land or promise… it has become personal. For the valiant with embolden hearts; their passion is for dominion and occupation until their King returns. And is there not a cause… for the poor, the brokenhearted, blind and captive of the Earth. The god of this age, the devil has blinded and deceived, in order to kill, steal and usurp truth and authority from God’s children. This is the hour for the valiant heart, the acceptable year of the Lord’s favor… this is their season of Jubilee! For the banquet has been prepared and the call has gone forth, “Make ready the Bride, for the Groom stands waiting!”

The Pursuit:

He shall be enthroned upon the Praises of His People and His enemies shall become a footstool! Its the clarion call of the Gideons of our day, the Davidic heart and the Spirit of Elijah is being stirred. Should God’s Glory be ignored or should there be no fire upon the altar? Yes, there is going to be a wedding at the culmination of these things. And there is going to be a day of feasting upon the goodness of our reward. But today, the Valiant are in pursuit… as the “Rod of His strength, sent forth out of Zion!” And at what cost… the valiant give all – in order to rule in the midst of His enemies! For the reward of the valiant is given to those who rule well… the warriors of prayer, the soldiers of the Word and the guardians of worship! Its a company of Kingdom purpose!

Today, the invitation remains while it is still morning… will you become a volunteer in the day of His power? To those with an ear to hear… Jesus says, “Come!” find the Pursuit of the Valiant!