Archive for March, 2014

Recovering Promise

“Therefore let all the House of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:36-37)

The Church that we see spoken of consistently in Scripture is a people of power. Jesus said the very gates of hell shall not prevail against Her (Mt 16:18). She is a people of power, because of God’s Promise to accompany Her as the habitation of God by the Spirit. Clearly, She is a people called out of darkness and established upon a new platform of supernatural love and Holy Spirit activity. And She has overcome!

She has stood in the midst of persecution and multiplied in the midst of division. Her character has been challenged from every angle and She has advanced in every culture. Yet, She fights Her greatest battles from within, from the very people who carry Her Promise. She will prevail, but not without a people who know how to maintain their Promise. And, I think there will always be a need to recover what gets lost in battle or watered down by those with weak convictions.

The Promise of the Father:

The Promise of the Father is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit! Jesus told His disciples to go wait in Jerusalem until they were endued, or clothed with power from on high (Lk 24:49)(Acts 1:4-8). This Promise was experienced on the day of Pentecost and continues even today as the force that has made the Church most effective in the modern world. Power was released that made those early followers “witnesses” in their world and that same power is alive today if we will maintain the Promise of the Father.

Maintaining the Promise of the Father: (2 Chron 7:14)

  • If My people who are called by My name will… 1st) humble themselves and pray… 2nd) seek My face… and 3rd) turn from their wicked ways.

God’s Response: Restoration & Revival

  • Then I Will… 1) hear from heaven… 2) forgive their sins… and 3) heal their land.

Please notice that God’s Promise is conditional… meaning we must maintain its reality. God will only do what He can do, when we do what we have been called to do. The Church is responsible for the spiritual condition of our cities and nation, because God has given us delegated authority to advance His cause in our World. We are the Power Team in the Earth. We are the carriers of revival to different spheres of society. We maintain the Promise of the Father by fervent, persistent and faith filled praying. When we as God’s People humble ourselves and seek His face, He will hear and respond. God will not fasten our destinies to a dead end vision or lifeless system maintained by religion. Remind yourself that it is still His Church… He is simply wanting to rule and reign in it again!

Another Great Awakening:

I believe there is gonna be another great awakening, but it starts right here with us… God’s People; humbling themselves before God, praying and fasting, turning from wicked ways and seeking His face!

God says through the Prophet Joel; “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.” (Joel 2:28)

The question to ask is; “after what?” Please do not forget what precedes the promise. “Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning…”(Joel 2:12) “Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly…” (Joel 2:15). God was saying, assemble a people who will fast and pray to recover what has been lost. This was God’s call to His People for their recovery of the Promise.

Another Example:

John the Baptist was a burning and shining lamp. It was the quality of his life and the fire of his devotion that captured a Nation. His authority to be a voice was in his lifestyle. Through prayer and fasting he prepared the way of the Lord. The same applies to us, through prayer and fasting we will prepare the way of the Lord. For Him to do a great work through us, He first has to do a great work in us.

Revival must start with us, because we are His People; called by His Name to recover His Promise!

Overlaid with Glory

“And the Glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (Jn. 17:22-23)

The Glory which the Father gave to Christ Jesus has been offered to us. As we come to experience Him and begin to look into His Glory, we are changed. We are transformed in that place like no other place. If we continue to come up into that place, climb the mountain of the Lord, and abide in His holy place, we will be continually changed from one state of Glory to another (2 Cor 3:17-18). Glory will increase in us in the same way that faith increases, when we exercise it in the trials of life. What emerges as we are stretched and transformed is pure gold… precious and tested by fire.

Weightiness of the Glory:

Gold is weighty like Glory; called “kabod” in Hebrew. Glory is the weighty manifestation of God’s Presence that is revealed more visible on the other side of tests. When we are changed from Glory to Glory through the trials of life, gold appears in our character and it is manifesting an eternal weight of Glory for us (2 Cor 4:17).

Greater Glory:

So count it all joy when tribulations come, knowing that it is perfecting and completing you (Jms 1:2-4). You are His temple being overlaid with gold – every part of your inner and outer man is increasing in Glory.

In Moses’ day there was a curtain keeping the weighty Glory separated from the rest of the temple, but when Christ paid the ultimate price of redemption on the cross, the veil was rent in two and the way was gloriously open for the presence and power of God to fill the whole temple with Glory.

  • We must not miss our opportunity to rejoice… the way is made for us to enjoy the greater Glory of the latter house of God (Hag 2:9).

Jesus Christ is your hope of Glory! (Col 1:27)

If Christ be in you and if you are allowing the Holy Spirit to form the mature stature of Christ in you, then your heart is an everlasting door that can provide opening for the King of Glory to come through into the atmosphere of your life (Ps 24:7-10). Jesus Christ is the King of the Glory.

  • Ezekiel 10:4 – “Then the Glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’s Glory.”

We are the Ark of His Covenant – Overlaid with Glory – a Temple of the Holy Spirit where the Eternal weight of Glory increases even as the noonday sun takes ownership of the sky.

Language of Hunger

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)

When you’re hungry and thirsty, you’ll press into the things of God and become a prime target for God’s blessings. God will fill you with His Spirit. Spiritual hunger helps you continue being filled. Spiritual hunger is the key ingredient to plug into the anointing and receive God’s touch. If there is no hunger, there is no infilling. We’re hungry for God’s Word, and the fullness of the Holy Spirit, to live in God’s perfect will all the time, to always be in right fellowship with the Father. Spiritual hunger is key to spiritual progress. Jesus wants us to recognize the language of spiritual hunger and thirst… its not just desperation, but it does go beyond common passion!

The language of hunger defines your relationship with God!

  • Acknowledging your need of Him
  • Expressing your passionate desire for Him
  • Fervency in prayer and worship

Moses used the language of hunger when he said to God, “Show me Your Glory” (Ex 33:18). David spoke in these terms when he wrote, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, oh God. My souls thirsts for God, for the Living God. When shall I come and appear before God.” (Ps. 42:1) or “Oh God You are My God; early will I seek You, my soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water” (Ps. 63:1). The Church in Acts used the language of hunger when they raised their voices in prayer, crying out to God for boldness to speak out His word, and for God to release His power in signs and wonders (Acts 4:23-31).

The language of hunger does not only consist of words and prayer… it is the act of pursuing intimacy and encounters with God.

Jesus Taught us to use the Language of Hunger:

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you… 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. 11:9-13)

We Speak as Sons and Daughters:

Jesus reminds us that our hunger is not that of the impoverished, and not that of an orphan. We are not asking from a mentality of poverty, lack or spiritual abandonment. No! Our Father is present, ready and generous… He loves to give to those who call upon Him. We ask from the revelation of knowing we are sons and daughters. The heart of our God yearns for relationship. We are created to have intimacy with Him and to partner with Him as we go about “…our Father’s business” (Lk. 2:49).

So rejoice and thank God for rewarding us in our hunger and thirst… He daily offers us His benefits (Ps. 68:19). Wake up to the reality of how blessed you are and begin to see the Kingdom resources you have available to you. Know that you are complete in Christ and ask your Father for all that your heart desires, for yourself and for others. For with Him there is always more. Your Father delights in you and your desire to encounter Him… to receive all that He has made available to you. His hand is open. He waits for you to ask in an attitude of faith, expectancy and reliance.

How you speak demonstrates your readiness to receive!

Raise Expectations

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jer. 33:3)

Too often we settle for much less than what God wants to do through us. When God tells us that He is able to do, beyond all that we ask or imagine… and asks the question, “Is anything too hard for Me?” (Jer. 32:27). We answer, “No Lord… nothing is impossible for You!” Yet, when we face difficult situations we begin to qualify our belief in God and lower our expectations of what God will do. It is one thing to believe God could perform a miracle in the Bible; it is quite another matter to believe when a friend is standing before you with a belly full of cancer. “Can do” is easier to say than “will do”… when someone is waiting.

Read this carefully: “…it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13)

Can I just point out that it is God doing the work… and its for His pleasure – not yours. Ministry has never been about you, your ability or your reputation… its about God’s pleasure! When we fail to take God at His Word, simply because it seems unreasonable; we are not pleasing anybody. God’s Word is not open to a negotiation with the devil, it is Truth… reality from God’s point of view! When God speaks to us, what we do next proves what we believe about Him, regardless of what we say.

The Example of Moses:

God revealed to Moses His plan to orchestrate the greatest exodus in human history, and He wanted to use Moses to accomplish it. Moses responded by arguing with God… not because Moses thought God was powerless, but he simply did not believe God would do His miraculous work through his life. Moses’ argument with God was not about the ministry, it was about courage to become a conduit of God’s power (Ex. 4:13–17). Moses says things like, “who am I” or “suppose they do not believe me”, “Oh Lord I am not eloquent” or “I am slow of speech and slow of tongue”… “Please send someone else”.

God was not asking Moses to do the miracles, just to be His mouth piece!

What is He asking you? That is how it is with God… He wants to work in and through us to offer a voice of hope to a broken and wounded people. To tell that friend with a belly full of cancer that God is able to heal, is not wishful thinking it is the will of a wonderful Savior. If Jesus will cleanse the Leper (Mk. 1:40-42), why would He not cleanse the friend with cancer? It is up to God to work in and through us… through the effectual fervent prayer offered in faith by the “righteous man” (Jms. 5:16). You are that righteous man!

Do you sense there may be more that God wants to do through your life? Ask God to show you, then be prepared to respond in faith and obey what He tells you.

The only way to do greater things for God, is to raise your expectations! (Jn. 14:12)

Truth & Freedom

“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The Kingdom of Heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” (Mt. 10:7-8)

This may go against some of our religious sensibilities, but Jesus told us to do more than just agree with the Gospel of the Kingdom. He declares the necessity of advancement… healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the leper and driving out demons. Jesus was promoting a spiritual revolution! The Kingdom of Heaven was designed to be a movement with forward progress. It was to carry a spiritual authority that displaced the ruling dominion and release God’s reign of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit… for all who would receive it. If somebody was in need, Jesus had an answer that would shake the enemy’s hold… by confronting the dominion of darkness head on.

The Apostle Paul said, “…nor give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27)

In essence the Apostle Paul is saying, “Don’t give an inch, or he will take it all!” We must learn to hold our ground. When a person is being harassed by the devil, I believe there is always a reason… its a dominion issue! Here is an insight I find helpful: the Greek word for ‘place’ – is a legal foothold; an opportunity; a legal right to enter and occupy. Demonic influence comes to occupy unguarded places in our heart and mind. By using spiritual “gateways”, or giving “place” to the devil; we are allowing darkness to have influence in our lives. When we allow darkness to have a voice, we are foolishly beginning to embrace twisted perceptions of reality. The devil’s strategy is simple… he wants to steal, kill and destroy (Jn. 10:9). Evil spirits look for ‘gateways’ to enter and begin to control parts of our life (Jn. 13:27). No matter how the access comes, the goal is to convince the person to walk in spiritual darkness, shame and isolation. The devil’s strategy is for the oppression or “works” to lead us into bondage and corruption. That is why Jesus was manifest on the Earth… to expose and destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn. 3:8).

Freedom:

Lasting freedom can only take place if the Kingdom of Heaven draws near and darkness is displaced. The gates must be identified and closed. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Truth, to identify and reveal personal issues that expose these gateways in our lives.

  • Jesus truly is the way, the truth and the life (Jn. 14:6)…
  • And when the Son sets free you are free indeed (Jn. 8:36)…

Its God’s Way, Truth and Spiritual Life that Frees the Oppressed:

What we fail to recognize sometimes is that the devil has blinded our eyes to the truth and clouded our judgment of reality (2 Cor. 4:4). To know Christ and abide in Truth… is to find the freedom of heaven’s “Family” order. Its a freedom that cannot be achieved any other way. The Holy Spirit brings us into sonship… its the Spirit of Adoption (Rom. 8:15) and it offers transformation by breaking the hold of Satan on the human mind and spirit. When we come to know who He is and who He has declared us to be… we are confronted by the Truth and those lies of our heart are made visible. You see, the Truth is reality from God’s perspective! Therefore, when we see Christ for who He is, a vale is lifted from our hearts and we are given the choice to embrace what is real, as apposed to lies (Rom. 1:24-27).

When the veil is lifted… truth & freedom are a wonderful bridge!

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