Archive for September, 2015

Glossolalia

“All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God.” (Acts 10:45-46)

One of the most controversial and misunderstood gifts of the Holy Spirit is praying in tongues… called glossolalia in the Greek language. I am convinced that there is so much antagonism aimed at this gift because of the incredible power it releases into our lives. In the same way that many reject the prophetic ministry because of abuses, misuses and bad experiences, the same approach has been taken – perhaps in greater extremes – toward praying in tongues. What was intended to be a source of supernatural power, and a catalyst for deep intimacy with God; has been reduced to a mere theological position in many Charismatic Churches. In the past, many books and teachings have emphasized tongues in almost a robotic way. Yet the gift of tongues is something that the Apostles, especially Peter and Paul deeply cherished. Their goal was that the believer experience the power of a Person… the Holy Spirit.

Available to Every Believer:

Tongues is a manifestation of the Gift of the Holy Spirit… also called the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit”. Its a real language… a spiritual language. It is a tool. When we pray in tongues, we are praying in the spirit (our spirit), with the Holy Spirit and according to God’s will as the Holy Spirit knows what our Heavenly Father desires. It is not exclusive to the super-spiritual. It does not even signify elevated spiritual maturity. It is powerful, available and absolutely life-changing. However, many receive this gift at one point in their lives and taste its power, but rarely make it a part of their normal Christian lives. We must recognize that yesterday’s encounter with God cannot sustain us for today. Yesterday’s touch is insufficient for today’s trials… and trials do come with consistency and intensity for the seekers of God! (Jn. 16:33)

Based on a book written by Corey Russell called The Glory Within, here are 5 ways that praying in tongues will change your life forever.

  1. It Gives You Supernatural Understanding of God’s Mysteries. Holy Spirit is the One who “searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets” (1 Cor. 2:10). ”For he who speaks in a tongue… in the spirit he speaks mysteries” (1 Cor. 14:2).
  2. It Offers You Access to Other Revelatory Gifts of the Holy Spirit. “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit … to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues” (1 Cor. 12:8 & 10).
  3. It Opens Up the Bible in a New, Living Way as You Read It. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak” (Jn. 16:13).
  4. You Can Speak Directly to God. “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God” (1 Cor. 14:2).
  5. It Empowers You to Engage Spiritual Warfare From the Position of Victory. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:18).

“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Cor. 1:27-29).

Why tongues – something that seems so foolish to our natural human minds? We must renew our thinking because our minds cannot understand the whys of God’s ways… and discomfort does not give us permission to ignore them. Tongues is surely a mystery, but at the same time it is a powerful gift that will not only enrich our personal prayer life but will bring us into deeper intimacy and communion with the Holy Spirit.

  • “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit (Pray in Tongues), keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 20-21)
  • “He who speaks in a tongue edifies (builds up) himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.” (1 Cor. 14:4)
  • “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.” (1 Cor. 14:14-15)

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4

Contending for Promise

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2 Cor. 1:20)

“Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In Him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident.” (2 Cor. 1:20 MSG)

The Church that we see spoken of consistently in Scripture is a people of promise. Jesus said the very gates of hell will not prevail against her (Mt. 16:18). She is a people of promise (Lk. 24:49), called out of darkness and established upon a platform of Holy Spirit activity (Acts 2:4) and supernatural love (Col. 1:13-14). 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 sense of promise.

Agreement with God’s Promises: (2 Peter 1:2-4)

  • Brings Miracles: (Acts 3:1-9) In this story, Peter and John were going into the temple together to pray when they met a lame man at the gate. Peter told him to rise up and walk in the name of Jesus Christ and immediately he received his strength and was healed. Your prayers of agreement can bring miracles into your lives also, just as they did for Peter and John.
  • Brings Great Power: (Acts 4:31-33) Here is an account of the Apostles praying together for boldness. After their prayers, the place was shaken and filled with the Holy Spirit. They were of one heart and one soul.
  • Brings Abundance: (Acts 4:34-37) After the Apostles prayed for boldness, and gave witness to the resurrection of Jesus, land and house owners sold their possessions and brought the proceeds to the Apostles and they then distributed to everyone who had need.
  • Brings Freedom: (Acts 12:5-11) These verses tell of Peter when he was in prison. The church prayed to God for him constantly. Peter was bound by chains with guards and soldiers next to him. One night an angel of the Lord came and he released the chains from Peters hands and set him free. These prayers of agreement gave Peter his freedom.
  • Brings Deliverance: (Acts 16:25-26) Here Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God. Suddenly a great earthquake shook the prison and all the doors opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. (Rom. 15:30-31) Here Paul is asking for prayers that he may be delivered from those in Judea. (2 Cor. 1:8-11) Here is another account of Paul in Asia where the help of others praying together delivered him from a sentence of death.

Silence and Double-mindedness:

Offers Nothing:  Remind yourself that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).  The Apostle James emphasizes this point by telling us of the foolishness of doubting, saying that it makes us double-minded and unstable in all of our ways(Jms. 1:5-8).  He also contends that we have lack and confusion, because we are not even asking or we ask amiss, that we can spend it on our own pleasures(Jms. 4:2).

Contending:

When the Church does not contend for the promises of God they are stolen by deception, intimidation or religion. The Christian lifestyle was never meant to be a stroll in the park… we were made for dominion and occupation of the Earth!

We are at war! And we are advancing for both, the very victory won by Christ and the promises acquired through crushing the enemies hold on society (Col. 1:9-13). The very purpose for Christ’s coming in the flesh was to destroy the works of the devil and render him powerless over the people of promise (1 Jn. 3:8). Every time we stand on a promise of God, hold our peace in the midst of the storm or trust God in the midnight hour… all of heaven leans in to offer its resources. Our “Amen” reverberates in the atmosphere and the devil does not doubt the character of our resolve! For Christ Himself is our Advocate with the Father, making sure that the promise is fulfilled and His people are established in truth.

“And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” (Rom. 16:20)

Steward Your Giftings

Fan into Flame the Gift of God!

The truth is that we personally have been given the responsibility and the ability by God to steward our gifts and calling.

The Parable of the Talents and Spiritual Gifts:

Jesus told the story of a man who went on a journey and left his riches with others to invest. We call it ‘the parable of the talents’ (Mt. 25:14-30). To one he gave five talents, to another two and to another one. The responsibility to invest and grow that talent was left to the individual. And when he came back, the master looked to each person for the return on his investment. The person to whom he gave one, failed to invest that talent, blaming a factor outside of himself – the temperament of his master – for his failure to multiply what had been given to him. Those who were faithful to invest and grow the portion they were given, received more.

  • “Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.” (1 Tim. 4:14-15)
  • “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Tim. 1:6-7)

The Apostle Paul holds Timothy personally responsible for the growth and stewardship of his gifts and ministry. I believe it serves as a wonderful reminder, that the Church is a Body and a fellowship where everyone has a ministry… everyone participates in its edification. And when loving encouragement and accountability are balanced with personal responsibility the Body of Christ is strong and resilient. Church growth must be measured by how well new believers become powerful leaders, and more mature believers become effective mentors. Some young followers of Christ are just beginning to receive gifts and callings… they must practice and study the Biblical patterns to be more accurate and confident. They must see and hear what the Holy Spirit is doing and learn to trust God’s voice as people of faith. Other believers have become dry and stale, leaning on yesterday’s anointing. They need to sense the fresh breath of heaven and begin to flow again. They need to feel the energy of the Holy Spirit once more… fanning dying embers into flames of passion. Its time to say it… “C’mon, lets get moving again”.

So today, decide to take ownership of your spiritual gifts and you will be amazed at what takes place.

Victory Over Satan

Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33)

How – you ask? By Faith… By believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and trusting in His promises!

This is War! A war of a spiritual nature, but certainly it carries the weight of conflict, broken lives and devastating consequences. It is important to know the tactics of the devil, so that you are not overwhelmed by the surprise attacks he launches against you (2 Cor. 2:11). The devil is a liar and thief, aiming to accomplish your utter destruction (Jn. 10:10)… but Jesus has come to give you life abundant, full of peace, joy and righteousness in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). You are not your own… your life is hidden in Christ; and although there is a battle, you are not left without tools in your arsenal and authority to use them! You are a Child of God with a destiny of Kingdom purpose and courage. You are called for dominion… to defeat the enemies of your soul and accomplish the Will of God for your life. Jesus has given you delegated authority to run your race with joy and release the Kingdom of God into every battle, every sphere of relationship and every place you set your feet!

Every Child of God carries the promise of Victory over Satan.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world – our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 Jn. 5:4-5)

“For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good and simple concerning evil. And the God of Peace will crush Satan underneath your feet shortly.” (Rom. 16:19-20)

3 Truths:

  1. Our Battle is not Carnal: The battle is “not against flesh and blood ” (things in the natural realm), but we battle “…against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12). “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after 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” (2 Cor. 10:3-5).
  2. Our Authority is in Christ: The battle is already won! Jesus has established our victory by crushing the power of the devil and breaking all the authority he has ever had by triumphantly overcoming the cross through the resurrection. Jesus has all authority and power (Mt. 28:18) and has delegated His Saints to rule and reign in life for the advancement of His victory in the Earth. Yet, this authority must be taken… and dominion must be established by those who walk by faith and believe in the Word of God.
  3. Our Victory is in the Truth: The battle is for the Truth… for Satan’s greatest device is deception and lies (Jn. 8:43-47). He uses subtly to murder and destroy the plans of God as he did in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:1). He uses doubt and distractions to undercut God’s purposes as he did with Jesus in the temptation in the wilderness (Mt. 4:3-11) and (Lk. 4:3-9).

Renew Your Mind… in These Promises:

  • Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord …”
  • Malachi 4:3 “And you shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.”
  • Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
  • Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers … nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  • James 4:7 ” … Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
  • 1 John 4:4 “You … have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

Power of Persuasion: Part 3

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)

  • “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:37-39)
  • “I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2 Tim. 1:12)


Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:31-32)

The Truth shall make you free… free from sin – free from ignorance – free to find a confident place to rest your hope! This Power of Persuasion is the Believer’s platform of reality. In things pertaining to the Kingdom of God, our life is directly tied to a knowledge of the Truth! Remember “Truth” is reality from God’s perspective!

Ignorance is simply a lack of knowledge! You cannot live in what you do not know! As the Bible clearly indicates – a knowledge of the love of God and a confident assurance in Christ’s ability to do what He says… brings us deliverance and strength! Ignorance causes all kinds of confusion and division… even destruction among those who are content to live in it. Confusion, division, and disagreement abound… even in religious circles. I would even go as far as to say, Christianity is experiencing its greatest challenge to date… the weak efforts to disciple its followers. The Body of Christ seems unwilling to find its footing on Biblical foundations. God’s people are divided, because they are spiritually blind and Biblically illiterate. The Church promotes hundreds of different denominations, wearing different names, worshiping in different ways and teaching different doctrinal beliefs. It is important that we consider why there is so much confusion, disagreement, and division… because God does not approve of this reality.

The Words of Jesus have not changed. He said, “I will build My Church” upon Himself – the Rock of Revelation… that is that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Mt. 16:18). Jesus is seeking a people who will become “one” in spiritual knowledge and unity (Jn. 17:20-23) and once again walk in the Glory of God!

So What’s Going On Today?

Does the Bible contradict itself? Is it impossible to understand? Do people fail to study diligently enough, resulting in ignorance? Are the problems caused by following man-made creeds and authority instead of following the Bible? The answer to all these questions is… What did Jesus say?

  1. The Key is to Know Him: To become persuaded requires an encounter and some experience with God and His Son Jesus, the Christ! (Jn. 17:3)
  2. Next Make Room for His Words: To become persuaded means there must be a renewing of our mind! (1 Cor. 2:6-16)
  3. Finally Willingly Trust in God: To become persuaded takes an enormous amount of faith – faith comes by hearing …the Words of Christ! (Rom. 10:17)

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Col. 2:8)

We need to understand that its not a new problem! Even in Christ’s day, the People of Israel had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge (Rom. 10:1-3)… and the Sadducee crowd found themselves in error, because they did not know the Scriptures (Mt. 22:29). Its amazing how passionate we can become and be completely wrong in the arena of knowledge. We must know Him and have a knowledge of the Truth, in order to exhibit the kind of character that pleases God and the kind of power that makes a difference in the world. We must be continually growing in our knowledge of the Truth so faith will increase and the Holy Spirit will feel welcome to guide our steps.

Here is the Apostle Paul’s word: “I Press Toward the Goal”

Because there is a Prize… “And it becomes the Power of Persuasion”

Its God’s voice calling me upward in Christ Jesus!

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.” (Phil. 3:12-16)

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