Archive for April, 2015

Followers of God

“Therefore be followers of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” (Eph. 5:2)

To become a follower of God – we must love! The first dimension of understanding love is to become aware that you cannot give what you do not have. God’s love is from God not from ourselves… therefore it must be received to be given (1 Cor. 13). We do this as we walk in faith and see spiritually, finding ways to embrace God’s love for ourselves. We love because He first loved us (Rom. 5:8).

God’s Love Overcomes Fear:

Fear drives our need for self-preservation, our need to prove and to promote ourselves. We are trying to preserve our own life. A true vision of God’s love will overcome our fears. The “fear of the Lord” is the beginning of wisdom and understanding. God’s love overcomes the need to be In control! The need to prove, promote, and preserve our own life is a poverty spirit that destroys our sense of safety and security in all of our relationships. Fear is a spirit (2 Tim. 1:7) that has not come from God. It aims to intimidate and terrorize so we live producing its fruit… selfishness, anger, pride and lust. We become like Lucifer; wanting to exalt ourselves to the position of god, when we allow fears to rule our lives. Wanting to be “in control” can become like a drug. We learn subtle ways of getting what we want. We slip into counterfeit spiritual authority and manipulation, which the Bible calls witchcraft. God’s love overcomes the fruit of fear, by first transforming the heart so that it has the potential to see spiritually. Seeing and embracing a revelation of the love of God will break the power of fear.

5 Truths about God’s Love:

  1. God’s love preserves life. We are kept by the very power of God, a power generated by His love.
  2. God’s love overcomes rejection, the wounds and corruption of sin.
  3. God’s love is the provision and the promise of abundant blessing.
  4. God’s love sustains life by the supply of the Holy Spirit.
  5. God’s love removes all that would separate us from Him, because fellowship is love’s objective.

God is Good and His love is fresh and embracing every time I meditate upon it. Because He is the Lord Most High; He is above only and below no one, His love causes me to sense His triumph in everything I do. He is transcendent and radiant in His Glory. He speaks and acts in order to release His good pleasure. He gives, invites, cares and celebrates our delight in His love. He carries our burdens and establishes His Promises. He has not left me as an orphan or fatherless in any way. He is My Comfort and My Stronghold in the storms that come. He infuses my path with light, strengthens my soul with His counsel, and refreshes my heart with His abiding Presence. This is the life of love and I am captured at the thought of Him… My King – Jesus!

Let Me Tell of His Love…

His love energizes, motivates action and releases the true life of God. His love sets us free. It heals, because He is healing. It binds up wounds, because He has been wounded. It renews our thinking, because His thoughts toward us are all good. Love covers our sin, because mercy is clothing us with the rich robe of Christ’s righteousness. It restores a right heart within us, because God creates in us a brand new heart. His love is pure, peaceable, powerful, more powerful than death itself. He has reached out to connect with us in words, with eyes, with touch and the fragrance of grace. His love is the energy of communion. It is completely sufficient, holy and clean. It is selfless, given by sacrifice and poured out like a waterfall. It has been shed abroad to reach the least or the greatest of humanity. It transforms us. It conforms us into the image of true Son-ship. It enables us to take on, not only the Name, but the nature of Jesus Christ.

God’s Love is Visible!

The love of God embraced, is like the ocean that overwhelms or the river that reaches to the lowest place. And when released into our world, it becomes a tangible anointing. God loves us tangibly and so it becomes our beauty when it is seen on us. Therefore, the anointing which you have received of God abides in you and it instructs (1 Jn. 2:27). It abides in us- as we abide in Him. Love enables us to behold Him and become what we have been embraced by. God has lavished His love upon us and enabled us to be called the sons of God (1 Jn. 3:1). God’s love causes us to live. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love! We are enabled to love our brothers as He has loved us (1 Jn. 3:10-14). We esteem others as greater than ourselves and forgive our enemies as God has forgiven us. These are the marks that prove His love abides in us, that we love in word and deed and that we see as the Heavenly Father sees… in giving ourselves away.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jn. 3:16)

Made for Dominion

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Gen. 1:26-28)

The Paradigm of Creation:

When God created man, His wonderful plan was defined by three Divine realities… 1st God’s image, 2nd a sense of relationship or likeness and 3rd the command to take some responsibility over the environment. This responsibility is called dominion, rule or stewardship; yet it came down to managing the Garden of Eden in a way that pleased God and served their personal needs.

“The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!” (Psa. 110:2)

We, as the Church of the Living God; we are the very “rod” of Christ’s strength, called as Kingdom Agents out of Zion! We need to rule in the midst of the enemies of Christ Jesus! The activity of ruling in the midst of enemies should be embraced like a military assignment. A victory has been won in Christ… and now as followers, we are to advance the dominion of our King. There’s been a transfer of authority and ownership in the land and we must run off the present-day squatters. “Dis-possessing” spiritual squatters is the essence of spiritual warfare. Its what Christ did by conquering sin through the Cross of Calvary… yet possessing our victory is a challenge that calls us much higher than casual Christianity. We must press forward and reclaim all that the kingdom of darkness has acquired through lies and deception.

The Spoils of Christ’s Victory – Our Abundant Life!

Unforgiveness is a squatter, bitterness and envy are squatters, competition, jealousy, pride, fornication, sorcery, heresies and uncleanness of all kinds… are squatters upon the promise of God’s work in our lives. These deceiving spirits lie and establish false ownerships. They communicate through intimidation and manipulation. Your history is not your destiny! According to the Word of God – Jesus came to give us life and the kind of life that is growing more abundant as we mature in our faith journey (Jn. 10:9-10).

Speaking – Faith & Courage!

Life and death are in the power of our tongue and we overcome Satan’s lies by the word of our testimony. God’s destiny is not far from our reach, it just gets obstructed by the hindrances the enemy sets in our path. Deuteronomy 30:14 declares God’s pathway for obtaining the inheritance. He says, “Now the Word is near you; even in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.”

He is speaking here of the opportunity to move into all that is promised in the “Promise Land” through obedience and speaking God’s Word over our environment. Its the activity of faith… and its the assigned obligation of all who aim to release the Glory of God. In this day; we must have Kingdom advancement for the obtaining of every mountain, every valley and every realm of spiritual dominion. We must rule in the midst of our enemies!

“Rada” – Ruling as Kingdom Agents:

This is our mandate, to “Rule” – Rada {Hebrew} in the midst of the enemies! We are laying hold of all that Christ has obtained and possessed for us. We are fruitful and multiplying, filling the earth and subduing it as Kingdom Agents advancing the Victory of God in Christ. We are not as those who shrink back, retreat or settle into a position of ease. It is our destiny to advance, because we have an anointing for increase and an assignment to make the very creation itself see its future in the light of God’s Purposes. And if God has established this pattern from the Garden of Eden, He will be with us.

Even as the Apostle Paul proclaims – “If God be for us, who can stand against us!” (Rom. 8:31)

Angels on Assignment

Imagine getting help from heaven! Its not such a silly reality… for the Child of God. Angels came to minister to the Apostle Peter while he was in prison “…behold an angel of the Lord stood by Peter, …and said, put on your garment and follow me” (Acts 12:5-8) and the angel led Peter safely out of jail. Wow- pretty amazing, right?

Angels are Ministering Spirits:

These same kind of things are happening in the lives of believers everyday. We are told that angels are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who are heirs of salvation” (Heb. 1:13-14). That’s you and I, every believer who trusts in God, becomes an heir of the blessing that Christ bought for us at the cross. Jesus even spoke of how angels watch over us from infancy through life. ”In heaven their angels always see the face of My Father” (Mt. 18:10). We call these spirits guardian angels, because they are delegated with the specific task of keeping you and I safe.

Angels are God’s Messengers:

God employs innumerable invisible ministers to help us. The supernatural power of angels; willingly and obediently responsive to the voice of the Father, actively minister to the welfare of His Children. Lets take that truth a little further.

  • We read that angels will hold us up and protect us “lest we dash our foot against a stone” (Ps. 91:11-12).

These angels are concerned with even little things in our lives. Just think for a moment, who and what the angels are; how great, glorious, holy, and blessed; how high and majestic the office they fill and the assignments in which they are engaged. And then think of their stooping to such works as this… the preventing of a man from stumbling over a stone. God has given the angels charge over us, so our feet may not even come in contact with a stone! Surely that seems beneath them, but no – it is the purpose of angels to do the Lord’s bidding.

“Not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father knowing it” (Mt. 10:29).

“The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Mt. 10:30).

Taking Charge Over:

Holy angels have charge over the minute by minute details of our lives, as well as over great events. Why? Because for our body, the slightest stumble could have a lifetime of consequence. And for our soul, we fall little by little, not by great crimes, but by little sins… little distractions. Desires pull upon our attention and refocus our eyes upon temporary, carnal things. We need heaven’s intervention more than we even know.

  • Angels Surround Us: We are told that “the angels of the Lord encamp all around those who fear Him…” (Ps. 34:7).
  • Angels Cover Us: We are told that angels contend with Satan and demons on our behalf in spiritual warfare – “but the prince (evil angel) of the kingdom of Persia withstood me 21 days, and behold Michael, one of the chief princes (arch- angel), came to help me, …” (Dan. 10:13)(Eph. 6:12)(Jude 9).

These angels that God sends are responding to us and they are encamped around us for two specific reasons. First, because we fear God. We are designed to honor the same heavenly realities they do. And second, because we obey God and fight for His purposes and priorities in life. They are protecting, defending, and guarding us so that God’s will is accomplished. They are like an army that defends a country, only they are defending us.

Called Alongside The Faithful:

These angels are fellow worshipers and associates in the heavenly realm, always looking at the One whom they serve. They are willing and ready to walk alongside of those who have their eyes on God. You see, their highest priority is alignment with the will of God. One important truth however – we can make no claim on Divine Providence, if we want to live apart from God in disobedience and rebellion. The promise is for those who walk by faith… see through faith and delight in their faith. The best news of all is that when a person puts their trust in Jesus – a partnership emerges.

Jesus told Nathaniel, “you will see greater things than these… I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open and angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man” (Jn. 1:50-51).

Signs of the River

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (Jn. 7:37-39)

Are you seeing any signs of the River? Just how thirsty are you?

Jesus said that when we drink from Him, receive His life and become filled with the Holy Spirit; rivers of living water would begin to flow out from within our lives. The River not only flows from His Presence, as wherever He went life would spring forth… His Presence flows through us. The Glory of the Lord becomes evident through us by the Presence of the Holy Spirit. From this Holy Spirit River, flow salvation, peace, healing and transforming joy. The joy that comes from knowing and partaking of God Himself. It is “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27).

A glance through the New Testament, and especially the book of Acts; we see Jesus and His followers demonstrate the signs of Kingdom advancement (Mt. 11:4-6). Everywhere they preached the Kingdom of God broke out and healing miracles and signs of the River begin to flow (Mt. 4:23-24)(Acts 4:29-31)(Acts 5:12-16)(Acts 8:4-8)(Acts 19:11-12). Its more than just cause and effect… its the hand of God mightily impacting the world around believing people! He is wanting to break in with power, truth and compassion… and its thirst that makes His River rush in!

6 Bible Facts about the River:

1. The River flowed out of the Garden of Eden: This was the place where God communed with Adam and Eve. This river separated into four headwaters, sending out life-giving waters throughout the land (Gen 2:10-14). In this way, our Father prepared a means of life to nations and people long before they even existed.

2. The Bible begins with a River and ends with a River: In the last chapter of the Bible, we read of the River of Life flowing from the Throne of God. “On each side of the River stood the Tree of Life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the Tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Rev 22:2) Here in the final page of Scripture, we again see God’s heart for nations and people.

3. The River brings healing to the Nations: Ezekiel had a vision of a River with life-giving properties flowing out from the Temple, after God’s glorious Presence had returned there. Trees surrounding the river, bore fruit for food and leaves for healing. (Ezek 47)

4. The River of Life brings a Harvest: Where once there were no fish, fish abound and fishermen spread their nets for an abundant catch (Ezek 47:9-10). The harvest on God’s heart is souls… people from every tribe and tongue (Mt 4:19)(Rev 7:9).

5. The River of Life is a Source of Joy: The Psalmist says: “There is a river whose streams make glad the City of God, the Holy Place where the Most High dwells” (Ps 46:4). “People feast on the abundance of Your House; You give them drink from Your River of Delights” (Ps 36:8).

6. The River flows from God’s Presence: Consistently, we see that the River of Life flows from the very seat of God’s Presence, the place He inhabits and reigns (Joel 3:18).

  • “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 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. 16:15-18)

Glory that Increases

‘…indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever”, that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.’ (2 Chron. 5:13-14)

God’s Glory is supernatural – unmanageable, unpredictable, and frequently controversial… especially when it violates our religious traditions about God. Yet the Glory of God still remains the most influential and powerful expression of our Christian experience. Throughout Scripture, God calls His people to know Him, to glorify Him and to reflect His Glory. The more intimately we know God, the more His Glory will be revealed to us and in us… from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:17-18). After all we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit!

Increasing Evidence of Glory:

In the Exodus from Egypt, God’s Glory was seen in the cloud that lead His People by day and the fire that lead them by night. In the days of King David and King Solomon, there were Tabernacle and Temple experiences that overwhelmed the leaders and challenged every religious idea of the day. As New Testament Believers, we recognize that same Glory now resides within us as the New Covenant Promise – written upon our hearts. It is the shekinah Presence of the Holy Spirit living within us that increases as we embrace it and hunger for more. The Apostle Paul said that although this Glory would be mysterious, it would be revealed to the Saints and increase in the Believer who puts their trust in Christ. We were made to know the riches, and to drink in the river of God’s Glory.

  • “The mystery that has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the Glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory.” (Col. 1:26-27)
  • “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body… and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13)

How Much is Enough?

Three truths I try to remember – 1st There is always more! – 2nd You can have as much of God as you want! and 3rd Your hunger will dictate your capacity to receive. The Apostle James tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us (Jms 4:8). There are several ways we can “go after more” of God’s Glory in our lives.

  1. Worship: Gives God the worth He is due and increases our awareness of His Glory.
  2. Thanksgiving: Offers appreciation for all He has done and will do and creates room for His Glory to be manifest in our lives.
  3. Meditating upon The Word of God: Releases revelation and an awareness of how God’s Glory was seen in the past.
  4. Fellowship: Recognizing our relationship with the Holy Spirit and soaking in His Presence shapes our hearts as places of intimacy and habitation for greater Glory.
  5. Prayer: Intercession and offering our petitions to God in faith draws His attention, His love and Glory encounters.

We were born to manifest God’s Glory… to embrace the challenge of carrying something so wonderful that were we to truly comprehend its power…

WE COULD CHANGE THE WORLD!

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