Archive for May, 2014

Tap Into Joy

“You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, Oh Lord, will keep me safe.” (Ps. 4:7-8).

Harvest time was an occasion for rejoicing and celebration, it was like the victory of war… the evidence of God’s favor and the assurance of provision for seasons to come. Just hear the sound of the season from the Prophet Isaiah… “You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.” (Isa. 9:3).

Tapping in, by Rejoicing:

David’s prayer is that the rejoicing in his heart at the Presence of God would be like the rejoicing of others over their harvest or the victory attained in battle. David was a man who valued and promoted dancing, singing, swirling about and shouting for the purpose of releasing new sounds… sounds that aligned with heaven, sounds of exuberance and rejoicing.

David speaks of a peace that would cause his entire being to become a platform for fruitfulness. Even his rest would lead to refreshing and replenishing his life with spiritual resources. He felt safe, trusting completely in the hands of his God. This is our salvation, our joy and promise of an inner supply that will bring us into assurance and revival life. Our “new wine” is the Spirit Himself filling us with His joy. “Don’t be drunk with wine. … instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your heart“ (Eph. 5:18-19). Our harvest is a harvest of righteousness: “Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness” (Jm. 3:18).

The Heart was Made for Joy:

God designed us for joy. His Word is filled with promises of joy from beginning to end. Jesus’ personality was marked by joy. If you think of Jesus as stern and stoic, think again. Jesus told His disciples that He wanted His joy to be in them: “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (Jn. 15:11). The Word of God describes Jesus as anointed with joy even more than anyone else. “Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else” (Ps. 45:7).

Joy is God’s design, and He knows how to fill us so that our security is not tied down to circumstances. We need to tap into a joy that is eternal and supernatural and cast off those petty offenses of the past. We can value the promises of abundant life by rejoicing in all that God is doing today. If others base their joy on the natural, such as their harvest of grain and wine or victories here on earth; then their hope is something temporary and unpredictable. You and I can set our joy on the unfailing Presence of God. Let His peace rest in you and joy will break forth like the morning sun!

Agree with me in prayer and begin to rejoice in His resources… “Father, anoint me with the oil of Your joy. Fill me with the New Wine of Your Holy Spirit. That I may reflect a sound that aligns my heart with Yours!”

God Remembers!

“Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided.” (Gen. 8:1)

Are you feeling like your promise is always just around the corner and never in your hand? You have received words upon words, promises upon promises from the Lord and you know that fulfillment is just around the corner, yet it seems like your corner never comes. If so, I pray this word is a blessing to you.

The first time we see the phrase “then God remembered” in the Bible is in this very passage, as Noah and the crew were enclosed in the ark for the duration of the flood. As the waters prevailed on the earth, the ark was tossed to and fro in the storm. Day after day they waited for the land to be dry again. Talk about something that seems to be just around the corner.

This does not imply that God forgot; rather, it announces that the fulfillment of His promise is finally at hand. In Hebrew, the word for remembered is zakar (a verb) meaning: to recall something, to remember, to call it to mind. God remembers Noah! He remembered the promise He had given to Noah and the time for action was clicking in! God was about to act on His Word!

A New Beginning:

Notice the Scripture reference, 8:1… “eight” is the number of new beginnings. Noah and the crew were on the threshold of a new beginning. The rains have ceased and the storm is over. The ark has come to rest and the waters are beginning to subside and it looks as though the corner is finally here and their promise is at hand.

When Waiting Becomes Exciting:

Even at the point of fulfillment, there is still more waiting… but this waiting is being done in the kyros moments of the activity of God. This is when the wait gets exciting. We are waiting for these clicked in moments where all that we see is now influenced by grace. Notice the wind that passed upon the earth to dry the ground and cause the waters to subside. This is what we are waiting for… the winds of change. Winds that signify that we are remembered by God! Seasons drag on without a sense of divine purpose, until the breath of heaven is released upon our lives. That is worth waiting for… and worth waiting in.

“Be still and know that I am God!” (Ps. 46:10) …the God who remembers!

God Thoughts

These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor 2:13-16)

From childhood we’ve heard, “God said, let there be…” and the world came into existence. We’ve read in the Bible that He “spoke” to people and helped them when they were in trouble. We’ve heard testimonies of how God “spoke” to people concerning certain issues in their lives. These are valid expressions of how God communicates with people. But what if you could hear the “thoughts” of God? Perhaps you become so “tuned in” to God that you can actually sense what He’s thinking! So, if this is were true, it would be possible to navigate your life by sensing His thoughts! Asking, imagining, and dreaming are just the beginning of where God could take us, if we truly knew what He was thinking (Eph. 3:20).

Here are some things to consider:

  • The word “thought” in the Bible literally means “plan, purpose or intention”. In other words, the thoughts of God involve His good intentions for your life (Jer. 29: 11)(Eph. 1:9). The Bible is full of His good intentions (Jn. 10:10).
  • God is constantly aware of you and what’s happening in your life (Ps. 40:5)(Ps. 139:13-17). He has so many good thoughts about you that if He shared them all, you could never count them!
  • God loves you so much that He wants to share His thoughts with you (Jn. 15:15)(1 Cor. 2:9-10). God’s original intention was for you to represent Him and His character on the earth. The only way you can do that is to be able to think like He thinks (1 Jn. 2:20)(1 Jn. 2:27).
  • God doesn’t think the way you think (Isa. 55:7-11). For those who may think that God wants to punish you when you mess up, I’ve got good news! Though God is just, He is also infinitely merciful. He looks for ways to show mercy and forgiveness toward you! (Ps. 103:8-18)

Holy Spirit & Abundant Living:

God’s knows you better than you know yourself. This means He is able to guide you to what’s best for you and guard you from things that could trip you up later in life. God has a wonderful plan that personally fits who you are… and it’s just waiting for you. It is the Abundant Life! This takes the strain out of a trial and error, searching for a career or trying to find some purpose in life. When you trust in God’s Son, Jesus; He gives you the ability to think like He thinks! This is not mental telepathy …it’s the Holy Spirit living inside of you – God living in you!

God is Still Thinking about You!

Pay close attention to the Holy Spirit, He lives inside and speaks to those who place their faith in Christ. As you hear God’s thoughts and draw close to Him in prayer, He will instruct you, teach you and guide you (Jn. 16:13). The audible voice is the communication of the natural man, but the mind of Christ is the voice of the Spirit resinating in the heart. The Bible calls it an unction of the Holy Spirit… like a nudge on the inside. Picking up the still small voice inside is what abundant living is all about. You have the mind of Christ… it was placed in you, when you set your heart to know Him. If you will pay attention… you will discover He is still thinking about you.

“Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 2:5)

A Call to Action

The Bible declares that the weapons believers use to fight their daily battles, are mighty in God and have great power to sustain their spiritual position in Christ. Our warfare is all about spiritual discernment and confidence! Fear and frustration must turn into courage and faith, because far too much spiritual ground is being left unguarded, unwisely. We seem unaware that our enemy is like a “prowling lion in the weeds”, waiting to pounce. Weapons that are ignored, go unused and inflict no damage against our foes… and they don’t win wars. So, the will to use a weapon is as important as the weapon itself. It is not enough to say we believe that spiritual warfare is going on… we must feel the called to action!

Why Hesitate?

We need to realize that passivity is simply the response of the unbelieving heart! People who are disengaged from spiritual reality often walk as practicing atheists. They might say they believe in God, but never really develop an interest in His priorities for their future.  The realm of the spirit is the most powerful dimension in the universe, but it is not the most obvious to the natural mind. We seem to wage more battles in the natural realm, than in the spirit; and our discipline (as followers of Christ) must come from God’s perspective. The truth is that our enemy is out to destroy our destiny and steal our goods! What the devil wants, is for us to feel like we can casually go about our business, as if he doesn’t exist and disregard his sneaky deceptions. Satan’s goal is to cool our passion and lull us to complacency. The passive heart never recognizes the need for the resources established in Christ!

But We Are – Enforcers of Christ’s Victory!

Waking Up to Reality:

There is no neutral ground on the spiritual battlefield. Jesus said, “He that is not with Me is against Me” (Mt 12:30). The Word of God is against passivity and shouts to every soldier of the cross, “It’s time to advance…” to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim 6:12), endure hardness as a good soldier (2 Tim 2:3), resist the devil (James 4:7), put on the whole armor of God (Eph 6:13) and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17). “To wake up and see as God sees, means setting our gaze a bit higher than the natural horizon!”

We must blow the trumpet in Zion!

Like the Prophet Joel, we must proclaim this among the nations: “Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears… Let the weak say, ‘I am strong (Joel 3:9-10). Today one phrase resounds in my heart…

“Wake up you mighty men!”

Our Enemy is a Squatter!

The devil is taking territory, he has no right to occupy. Its’ time for the people of God to put on strength and advance in the face of their adversary. Maybe you don’t feel mighty at this moment. But you are, whether you feel like it or not. We all are… if we’ve made Jesus the Lord of our lives! There is supernatural strength in you! The time has come for us to hear a call to action and start responding like warriors!

Complacency is hindering the work of God, harming saints and holding entire nations hostage. This is a call to action, because too few believers are using their Kingdom authority to actively, aggressively resist the thief. Church has never been about entertaining services or Sunday School pot-lucks… its war and the time has come for a company of Saints to take up arms. The Apostle Paul said it like this:

  • “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph. 6:10-13)
  • “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Cor. 10:3-6)

The King’s Court

Now in the Church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. (Acts 13:1-3)

When we talk about the Kingdom of God we must speak in terms of the Holy Spirit’s leadership and timing (Rom 14:17). It is the King’s Court that must be assembled! We are Royalty… delegated to lead after the King’s Heart, from His Throne and with Kingdom Authorization. It requires two of the most important realities: first, passion for the King and second, passion for His purposes. God has a plan and purpose for raising up a generation of leaders and ministries… and it is designed to equip, as well as edify every candidate in every assignment. The challenge that we face, as members of the Court; is discernment. The book of Acts has several examples where the Holy Spirit takes the initiative to call ministers and speak to the Body of Christ about sending them into their ministries.

Commissioning: Sending the King’s Court!

Notice, the Apostle Paul and Barnabas prayed and fasted while appointing leaders in the Churches they had planted (Acts 14:23). We must not overlook the fact, our ministry to the Lord will always give us a more effective platform for commissioning Kingdom leaders. The reason is simple, our ability to know the Will of God is clarified when we know the heart of God. He is looking for worshipers (Jn 4:23-24) and speaking to those with an ear to hear (Rev 3:20).

Gifts, Grace and Anointing:

The Apostle Paul explains that Christ has given gifts to individuals, some as Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry (Eph 4:11). God gives us a “grace” for the work (Eph. 4:7), which means we are to respond from that grace to the ministry by His direction, encouragement and strength. No matter how gifted or popular a person might be, it will always fall upon God to anoint the leader He desires. While we are being equipped, God is refining our character. It is a beautiful work of Holy Spirit transformation; when disciples are released into Kingdom Leadership.

Jesus said “… he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (Jn 14:12). The King’s Court with the King’s Mandate!