Archive for November, 2014

Trust His Results

The Apostle Paul writes: “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead.” (Eph 1:19-20, NLT)

If you want to walk in the fullness of God and experience the power of the Holy Spirit… you will need to learn how to trust God for the results. Doing what Jesus did takes more than just a knowledge of your spiritual identity. You need to know how to draw upon the inexhaustible resources of God’s love, wisdom, forgiveness, and abundant grace; without feeling like you are the one who must produce the results. You and I have such a limited strength in our “self”… that is, our own understanding and experience. We must rest totally upon the hand of God to release His explosive power through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus stresses the importance of drawing your strength from Him: Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:4-5 NLT).

Co-Laboring:

The responsibility for fruitful ministry is a shared reality between ourselves and the Holy Spirit. Its God, the Holy Spirit who works in and through us producing fruit and changing the lives of individuals. Our role is to trust God and obey Him! Success in ministry is simply offering the love of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.

Quick Testimony:

An example comes to mind as this past week I felt lead to pray for a man who was deaf from years as part of a rock-n-roll band. My hope was to release the power of God and see this man completely whole; but nothing happened. Again I prayed with similar results. Wow I thought … this is really hard! But, to truly trust God means leaving the results to Him! My responsibility was to obey the mandate of advancing His Kingdom.

Let me repeat that word… “My responsibility is to obey the mandate of advancing His Kingdom!”

Staying connected to the Vine is always the greatest challenge when power seems limited. Its a mystery that remains until further revelation comes. And, we must never allow our perceived limitations to undermine our trust in Him.

Its Christ alone who sets men free!

Kingdom Ministry

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ.” (Eph. 4:11-12)

The Apostle Paul believed in the government of the Kingdom of God as it rested upon the shoulders of Jesus (Isa. 9:6-7). His teaching promoted Jesus alone, as the Head of the Church and “under-shepherds” as gifted leaders, anointed to equip believers in each city or region. So if you were a Christian in a certain city or region in the Apostle Paul’s day, you would be expected to fellowship and become equipped by the 5-fold ministers around you. All the 5-fold ministers were to model a unity of Spirit even as they traveling across regions of the country and the believers were to embrace their gifts according to the measure of Christ’s anointing upon them.

The Challenge of Kingdom Ministry:

I believe every disciple and every local body of believers need access to the 5-fold ministry in order to mature as spiritually healthy and effective Christians. Today our challenge is training that advances the Kingdom of God. Instead of receiving from all five ministries, we generally find only the leadership of one or two gifts carrying influence in the local body… for instance; the pastor led church, the teaching church or the evangelistic church. These groups might emphasize a balanced message, but they find themselves limited in their ability to release breakthroughs over their city or region. This is because Jesus has given “grace keys” to each of the 5-fold ministers individually and they are designed to equip and release authority in the spiritual realm (Mt. 16:19). Its the “Christ Anointing” that opens doors, breaks yokes and brings down spiritual strongholds over a vicinity. The corporate anointing that advances Kingdom authority has five keys or mantles… apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Any model of Church leadership will suffer when one gift is emphasized over all others.

The Pattern Within the Early Church:

“So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed and fasted, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.” (Acts 14:23)

We see that the pattern for Church government was to establish 5-fold ministry elders in every community of believers. We never see the language of one elder or the appointment of one superintendent over a people. There was accountability and strength as Christ governed His Church by the power of the Holy Spirit. Notice, the freshly appointed elders were prayed and fasted over and then commended to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Christ Jesus carries the authority of His Church and it is our responsibility to listen and trust His governing headship.

Fruitful Lips

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Heb. 13:15)

I am invested in the idea of maintaining fruitful lips. Like David I want to be found praising the Lord seven times a day… and seven days a week! Why? – Because Praise accomplishes things that nothing else can. It effects hearts, renews vision and awakens passions that have grown cold. Praise gets the attention of the enemy of our soul and pushes back against the kingdom of darkness. My finest hour is not when all is well… but when all is sheltered beneath the shadow of God’s Presence.

Rejoicing Releases Peace:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:4-7)

When we praise Him He shows up right in the middle of our circumstance! God wants to bring us the victory! He is not insecure… He doesn’t need our praise to prop up a sagging self image. Praise does far more for us than it does for Him. The Apostle Paul tells us that rejoicing praise and thanksgiving will get us beyond our limited imagination, small thinking and mere understanding… it will guard our hearts and minds with the power that Jesus Christ offers.  Don’t be anxious and worry about things, unlock your ability to trust God in the midst of storms and uncertain circumstances… and the peace of God will be released! Jesus is the Prince of Peace… let Him show up as you rejoice in who He is!

Never Allow Yourself to be the Victim:

When the Apostle Paul and his good friend Silas were arrested for preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. They were chained, beaten and cast into prison. They were locked down and positioned for defeat. They had every reason to be angry, depressed and discouraged; but instead they praised God. And at midnight; what looked dark to most people, looked like daybreak to Paul and Silas. They would be found rejoicing and singing hymns of praise to God. The other prisoners were listening, when suddenly a violent earthquake shook the foundations of the jail. All the doors immediately flew open and all the prisoners’ chains broke loose. (Acts 16:25-26)

  • In the midnight hour when things are dark, Praise Him!
  • When you feel mistreated or misunderstood, Praise Him!
  • When you are facing physical or emotional pain, Praise Him!
  • Don’t wait for things to get better. Praise Him and things will get better!

“This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My Praise.” (Isa. 43:21)

Vital Signs

“This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His Glory; and His disciples believed in Him.” (Jn. 2:11)

These are the Kingdom’s vital signs! Jesus is manifesting the Glory of God (Jn. 1:14), so that “thirsty” people can become believing disciples.

Still today, God is taking the pulse of His Church to find signs of life. He is looking for people that He can reveal Himself in and through their daily lives (Jn. 14:16-17). How does He do it… through greater manifestations of His Glory. You see, the Glory of God is available and within reach… and His power is on full display if you can believe.

It is His love, His wisdom, His creativity, His anointing, His purposes, and His wealth… the sum total of all that He is. Jesus revealed it; full of grace and Truth, and now His desire is to release that same resource into our lives.

Humanity was designed to reflect His Glory.

  • Isaiah 40:5 Says that His Glory would be revealed and that all flesh would see it together.
  • Psalm 19:1 Says that the heavens declare the Glory of the Lord.
  • Hebrews 1:3 Says that Jesus was the brightness and expressed image of the Father’s Glory.
  • 2 Corinthians 3:18 Says we are being changed and increasing in Glory through the Holy Spirit.

It Requires Fellowship!

We cannot manifest God’s Glory until we gain some personal experience in God’s Kingdom and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Like Jesus; we simply cannot live our lives fulfilling the purposes of the Father, without the anointed leadership of the Holy Spirit (Lk. 4:18-19). We too must be equipped and empowered (Acts 1:8), so that we reflect Him. Jesus’ promise to us; is that when we have experienced the Presence of the Holy Spirit, we will do the greater works, because of the influence of the Glory (Jn. 14:12)

The Believing Factor is The Heart:

Notice: The key to our stewardship is our “believing heart”! As we abide in the Glory, effective spiritual growth and fruitful ministry begins to flow freely. Jesus said, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover” (Mk. 16:17-18). In these days, God is raising up a believing generation, those who will walk in great passion, see amazing things and carry the Kingdom to the farthest corners of the Earth! Its the revelation of God’s Glory that marks the believing heart as “Chosen”, “Royal”, “Holy” and “Special”… and sets us in position to proclaim the praises of our King (1 Pet. 2:5-10).

Have you checked your vital signs lately?

Establish the Day

I love the opportunities that God has placed before me. Everyday there are moments where I am learning, making decisions and growing in my awareness of God’s plan for me. The Christian life is meant to be this way… abundant and full of promised goodness (Jn. 10:10). Everyday has some divine potential that God expects me to take advantage of. I must take responsibility for my perceptions and enter every moment with anticipation that God’s plan and purposes will emerge before me. What I need is less analysis and a whole lot more praise to establish the day. In this way I can redeem every moment… by choosing to glorify God in the midst of uncertainty.

Its what the Apostle Paul meant when he told us to redeem the time, because the days are evil (Eph 5:16). His encouragement was that we give thanks or glorify God, in the midst of all things (2 Thess 5:17) “…for this is the will of God for us, in Christ Jesus.”

God wants to teach us how to see!

  1. First we must trust God that every moment is a Divine opportunity;
  2. And second we must grab the greatest potential from the moment we are experiencing – through praise.
  3. Third – we will begin to see what God is doing in every step we take… because the Divine opportunities will emerge.

Better & Brighter Days:

The wise King Solomon wrote that the path of the righteous grows brighter and brighter until the full day (Prov 4:18). Brighter days are better days… established days! That idea of a  “full” day in the Hebrew (kuwn) means a day that is firm, stable and established. How does a person “establish” a day? They do it by how they think about it, speak into it and rejoice in its opportunities. We must learn to be deeply confident that God has a plan in every day to reveal His Glory! We must become fully persuaded that God is good and that He has good plans for us just waiting to emerge in the “brightness” of each day.

“The Lord is good, a Stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” (Nahum 1:7)

It does not matter where you are in life right now… God has much more in store for you! You may be disappointed and confused, because of recent bad news: His plans and purposes are beyond anything you can imagine. You may feel betrayed and rejected, in an impossible marriage: His mercy and grace are beyond anything you can imagine. You may be doubting and defeated, weakened by a serious illness: His healing and deliverance are beyond anything you can imagine. You may be desperate and lonely, concerned for your wandering children: His compassion and fathering heart are beyond anything you can imagine.

“No eye has ever seen, nor ear heard, nor has any man imagined the wonderful things God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor 2:9).

Yet when we begin to glorify God through open declarations of praise… then moments begin to establish the day with goodness. Brightness will reveal it.

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