Archive for February, 2014

Bridging the Gap

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 Jn. 4:4)

“…Christ in you, the hope of glory!” (Col. 1:27)

Bridging the Gap between Our Ability and God’s Call:

  • 1. The Anointing of the Holy Spirit

“He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Cor 1:21-22)

The Greek word for anoint is chrio, meaning ‘to smear or rub with oil’… and when used in the New Testament it speaks to the idea of the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon and within the believer to achieve great exploits.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18)

Just as Jesus was “anointed” and “sent” to fulfill God’s purpose, we are also anointed and sent to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. With the anointing of the Holy Spirit, we receive God’s power to do the work He has called us to do (Acts 1:8)(Eph 3:16). In the Old Testament, Prophets, Priests and Kings were the classes of people anointed with oil, foreshadowing Jesus the Messiah; and also signifying that the anointing sets God’s people apart for service to Him. In the New Testament, anointing is not a substance or impersonal power, but the Person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit still sets us apart to do all that would fulfill the Will of God in our generation. We need to highly value and treasure the Spirit and His anointing. This means…

  1. Maintaining an intimate relationship with Him and being filled with the Holy Spirit! (Eph. 5:15-18)
  2. Being sensitive to obey Him and follow His timing! (Acts 13:2)
  3. Valuing accountability and honoring God-given leadership! (Eph. 4:11)
  4. Treating His Presence and anointing with honor and respect! (Eph. 4:30)

As you do this, you can trust His anointing and Presence to be evident and fulfill the call of God in your life. So, if you are wondering how to get the supernatural results God intends for your ministry… remember that the source is not you; but the Presence of Christ and anointing of the Holy Spirit.

  • 2. The Grace of God

If you are unsure where the strength will come from to achieve what God has called you to do? Then you are right where God wants you! Just remember what the Apostle Paul heard from God and how that redirected his focus and his praise.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Cor 12:9)

God’s grace, “charis” in Greek, refers to the undeserved favor of God freely given to us in Jesus Christ. Grace also refers to God’s empowerment in our service for Him:

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Cor 15:10)

This enabling grace relates to our specific calling from God:

“Through Him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for His name’s sake.” (Rom 1:5)(1 Cor 3:10)

When the call of God is daunting, remind yourself that you are of God and “the Christ in you” has already overcome the world!

Anointed to Fulfill

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” (Mt. 5:17)

Have you ever noticed that when God calls people in the Bible, He always gives them a job or ministry to do that is beyond their natural ability? Even Jesus comes to Earth with a task that could never have been accomplished without God’s help! Jesus came to fulfill all of the Old Testament Law and the Prophetic Statements made about Him. He would carry the weight of the task laid upon His shoulders as the “Anointed One” – the “Christ” or “Messiah”. And in like manner, we carry the assignments of heaven in the same way; as Christians, “little anointed ones”… so to speak. We have been anointed by God in the same way that Jesus was anointed by the Father (Acts 10:38). We go about doing good deeds and healing all who are oppressed of the devil, because God is with us (Jn. 14:12)(Mt. 28:18). Amazing, yet quite daunting, when you ponder the ramifications of it… cuz’ really – we can’t do any of it without Him!

Its Bigger that You!

So, that God-sized dream knocking on your heart’s door, or that ridiculous passion that seems like more than you can handle in your own strength; it is probably from Him. And here’s why: because its way bigger than you! God has designed us to partner with the Holy Spirit in our service. He uses weak and feeble, ordinary people so that He gets the glory (1 Cor 1:27). But here’s the good news…

He can handle it and He is with you!

Responding to Slander

“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Mt. 5:12)

As followers of Christ, we will always feel that this world is not really a good fit. We will long for peace and joy from this world, until we recognize it comes from another place… heaven. And as we grow in Christ, the feeling that this place is not our home; will only grow… not diminish. Life here, will not get easier in terms of comfort. In fact, we may find that we mourn more easily than we used to, that our ability to be merciful is strained, and that our awareness of sin is more keen. We may also find that some people become very uncomfortable with us as we experience greater freedom in Christ, because we are not as easily manipulated and don’t join them in their controlling games. But, the choice is our… we can rejoice and be glad! We do this, because we want the very things Christ is offering… indeed – we are glad that His Kingdom Dominion (Rom. 14:17) is our real inheritance!

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Eph. 4:31-32)

HOW TO RESPOND TO THOSE WHO SLANDER YOU…

A. Love: Kind, Tenderhearted, Forgiving… even as God in Christ has forgiven you and I. Jesus set the standard very high… He calls us to love one another. By loving people who mistreat us, we demonstrate His love… a love that flows from heaven (Jn. 15:9). The Holy Spirit is our resource (Rom. 5:5), and by having this attitude, we can have impact and minister even to our accusers.

  • “I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you…[as it] is written… They hated Me without a cause.” (Jn. 15:17-25)

B. Bless: Jesus called us to bless and not curse our enemies, even those who slander us. To revile or slander is to share negative reports about someone without cause. We are blessed and anointed with power from heaven to love our enemies or slanderers by our words, deeds and prayers. Jesus modeled it for us (Acts 10:38) and we are promised to have access to the same Kingdom Reality (Jn. 14:12)… the anointing of the Father!

  • “Blessed are you when they revile… you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” (Mt. 5:11)
  • “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you…” (Lk. 6:22)
  • “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Mt. 5:44)
  • “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 Jn. 4:4-6)

C. Entrusting Ourselves to God: We endure mistreatment by knowing that God will vindicate us in His timing, as we commit the conflict and mistreatment to Him. The challenge is to walk in self control and allow room for God to move on our behalf. We can entrust every situation to God through prayer and believe His promises to respond in His way.

  • “…when He [Jesus] was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously…” (1 Pet. 2:23)
  • “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I [God] will destroy; the one who has a haughty look and proud heart, him I will not endure.” (Psa. 101:5)

D. Speak Privately: If someone slanders us, we are to talk to them in private. If we want to win the brother who is accusing or slandering us without a cause, we must talk in private. If we want to win the argument, we will continue to talk in public… and often lose the brother.

  • “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.” (Mt 18:15)

Clearing the Air:

When people operate without resolving conflict, they pay a high price in order to protect their pride and selfish ambition. Seeking to win an argument, means we are more willing to devour each other, strain christian fellowship and weaken our testimony before God. The Apostle Paul cautions, “If you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another” (Gal. 5:15). This kind of atmosphere is disastrous to advancing the Message of the Kingdom of God, because it releases a dominion of darkness and corrupt attitudes in environments where people of all types meet and experience our poor behavior. We pay for unresolved anger towards those who slander us and end up undercutting our goals as Christ’s followers.

Freedom & Reconciliation:

Our ministry as ambassadors for Christ… is all about reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-21)! The only way to be liberated and walk in freedom is by blessing those who mistreat us and repenting of bitterness when we see it in our hearts. As we act in the opposite spirit, the “spirit of peace”; our heart begins to be healed and we are called the “sons of God” (Mt. 5:9). Jesus said, “Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge… and you are thrown into prison. I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny” (Mt. 5:25-26). We must learn how to clear the air of our arguments and discord, because they lead to other sinful behaviors. I believe there is a relationship between harboring bitterness and stumbling in immorality. Anger causes trouble, personally and corporately; but if we can learn to evaluate our conduct in the light of God’s Word we will guard ourselves and find freedom from this spiritual struggle.

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.” (Heb. 12:15–16)

Central Africa Advancement

This email was sent to me February 11th 2014 following our regional director’s (Samuel Asani Bahombwa) return from Tanzania. Pastor Samuel is our Director in the Republic of the Congo. It is exciting to see and hear from him as he has a great passion for the work of training spiritual leaders all across Central Africa. He is truly a wonderful blessing to our RevivalHut Network of leaders. Enjoy…

Greetings in the wonderful and precious name of our Apostle and High Priest Jesus, the Christ. I am delighted to let you know that I arrived safely from the mission conducted and concluded in Tanzania for about two months. My family is ok and continuing in the faith. I conducted many sessions of training in the refugee camps where the Lord enabled me to teach the following themes:

-Who is Jesus? Messiah (Christ) and the Son of God: (Matt. 16:16)(1 Tim. 3:16)
-The restoration of the five-fold ministry: (Eph. 4:11)
-Receiving again grace and apostleship: (Rom. 1:5)
-Making known the Revelation of the Mystery of God: (Eph. 3:2-11)
-Understanding and entering into the Spirit of Sonship: (Rom. 8:15)
-Building the House of God; doing the work of the the apostle as a wise master builder: (1 Cor. 3:10)
-Following the Scriptural pattern of breaking bread from house to house: (Acts 20:20)
-Making disciples: (Matt. 28:18-20)
-Training and equipping workers for the harvest: (Matt. 9:37-10:40)(Lk. 10:1-20)
-Bringing the Church into maturity by fathering sons: (Gal. 4:19)(1 Cor. 4:14-17)

Therefore, having familiarized myself with your teaching on the internet, I find that you are equipping us with the Truth… the pure Word of God as an Apostolic Leader. We continue to remind ourselves that Jesus has said in Matt. 16:18 “I will build My Church”… God is building a house (temple) and we are inspired to dwell with Him in it. The temple is made up of living stones, we the saints are those living stones. We are being built into a Spiritual House for God to indwell by His Spirit (Eph. 2:22). This ministry is being raised up and we, as priests continue to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God (1 Pet. 2:5) with thanksgiving and joy. This is our passion, to watch as God builds upon the foundation of the apostle and the prophet (Eph. 2:20). These pillars are beginning to already under-gird ministries that hold up the rest of the building; connecting the Church to the foundational Rock of Revelation, who is Christ Our Lord (1 Cor. 3:11). We are understanding now that without the apostles and prophets, the building will not be built according to the Scriptural pattern and carry the Glory as God intended. It is the “apostles’ doctrine” that the Church is to devote itself to (Acts 2:42)… not human traditions or superstition.

Update:

We have Apostolic Training Centers now set up in the Congolese Refugee Camps in Kigoma Town (Tanzania), in Burundi and in the Republic of Congo. It has been a good beginning and I have been well received. I am introducing apostolic teaching to the disciples in so many places. In the midst of the training, I am also translating into their understanding; so we can follow the curriculum and be able to issue certificates and eventually diplomas later on.

Requesting Our Visit:

Therefore, at this time – We need you! We want to welcome you to come soon and help us move forward. I need you to complete the process by instructing us in teaching and graduating the successful students. That is why my family and I support your plan of coming and staying with us for a month or so in order to ground me in what you are teaching. If you equip and empower me, the work will be easier since I will be trained as a teacher of teachers. I still need to be under your feet for more training. I remember that you said you will be in Uganda in March and requested you on the phone to connect this mission trip to our family visit! I could meet you in Uganda and then come with you into the Congo. If you can decide otherwise, we agreed in my family to suggest to you that you may come and stay with us equipping, strengthening and maturing us as the Body of Christ, workers for the harvest. As with the Lord nothing is impossible!

We are convicted that God will make arrangements for our meeting and the work will bring advancement to the Kingdom of God. My family and I are longing for having a face-to-face contact with you so that we may talk more and build our relationship on the Word of God. God has made us known to one another on purpose! It is encouraging and pleasant to speak with you by phone. Greet your family and other brethren for me. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Grace and peace, Apostle/Pastor Samuel Asani Bahombwa. (RevivalHut Ministries Regional Director)

In the Absence of Revival

Among rocks and rubble we look for anything that could give meaning to the pain and boredom we’ve experienced, even living among God’s own people. The deep feeling of vacancy itching in the soul leaves even the most educated Bible scholar or successful pastor looking deep within themselves and wondering what the point of Christianity is… if it really isn’t pleasurable, and really doesn’t fill the void.

We’ve convinced ourselves as humans that the point of living is to be happy, or maybe to have a big house, to be successful and have a wife or husband and a family that’s perfect. The American dream, I suppose. But all of our efforts and striving fall short, time and time again. They only leave us with a deeper sense of hopelessness and subtle anger at the One whose name is “Pleasure” and “Satisfaction”.

In the depths of the human heart, we know there is a source of pleasure, we know there is a source of love. Some spend a lifetime searching for this source only to find themselves with a broken heart and a twisted view of God.

Things are Not Okay!

In just a short 19 years of living I have realized that things are not okay unless He is with me. Things are not okay when I’m holding myself back from Him, and things are not okay when I search other places. The deepest place in my soul is dead when He is far from me. In my own heart I have found a desperation for His Presence that had been planted in me at a young age. I believe this is all He asks of us… to have a desperate, open heart to Him.

When we search for pleasure in Him, we find it. Not only do we find pleasure, but we bring pleasure to Pleasure Himself. We find our ultimate purpose, and we also find true satisfaction in the deepest parts of our hearts. We find completion. He takes care of us, and leads us in a life that’s pleasing to Him. And He doesn’t JUST satisfy us in the deepest part of our being, He leads us in the paths of righteousness. He doesn’t JUST tell us to love Him, He teaches us how and then rewards us for the good work that He did in us. His heart is beautiful, and it cleanses us of boredom and anger, and it gives a heavenly pleasure that far surpasses comprehension. This pleasure literally lasts forever, and only gets better and better as the years come and go.

What a God He is!

He could’ve just told us to serve Him, because He is worthy of it; but instead He wants relationship. To walk with His sons and daughters through the trials and circumstances of this time. This God of power could have started everything over whenever Eve took that bite of the fruit, but His love for us is beyond our grasp, beyond our little peanut-brain’s reach. There is no limit to this Love. Nothing can hold it back. Because of it, there will no longer be a space between God and man. The God of humility came and died, and His very own blood fills the place where that void used to be.

In the absence of revival, the heart searches… But those who search for revival in the heart of God, will surely find it.

written by… My Daughter – Johanna Marie Bateman

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