Archive for October, 2015

No Open Doors

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.” (Eph. 5:8-21)

The Apostle Paul says, “… give no place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27)

As believers in Christ, we must leave no open doors for Satan to have access to our lives! In essence the Apostle Paul is saying, “Don’t give an inch, or the devil will take it all!” We must learn to hold our ground and leave no room for evil. When a person is being harassed by the devil, I believe there is always a reason… its a dominion issue!

Give No “Place”:

Here is an insight I find helpful: the Greek word for ‘place’ – means 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). God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power, to restore the sick and troubled people within His reach; by breaking the oppression of the devil (Acts 10:38).

3 Powerful Ways to Shut Open Doors:

1st) Walk as Children of Light!

Recognize whose you are (1 Cor. 3:16)… and walk daily with an awareness of the Holy Spirit’s closeness and the Father’s love covering you. The atmosphere of God’s Presence is permeated with goodness, righteousness and truth. His desire for you is that you live in the Light, walking as Children that have an increasing revelation of God’s hand upon them.

2nd) Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness!

Break the covenant of agreement with unrighteousness. Darkness is a “kingdom” with governing principles, requirements and evil intentions. Its not who you are any longer (Col. 1:13-14)… so begin the New Life (2 Cor. 5:17). Find out what pleases God and enjoy the experience of knowing the Creator of the Universe. This relationship has the potential of satisfying every need of your life and offering you purpose beyond all imagination (Eph. 3:20). The works of darkness offer nothing… they are unfruitful, dead and corrupt.

3rd) Stay filled with the Holy Spirit!

Have some encounters with God. Live under the influence of the Holy Spirit at all times… singing, speaking and submitting to one another in the fear of God. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). So live like a believing – Believer… keep the songs of the Lord and the worship of Jesus in your heart and mouth. People will recognize your passion… and better yet – you will become a threat to the kingdom of darkness.

Grace Platforms

The Ministry of Christ is a ministry of grace! His message was the Good News of a Kingdom of grace flowing from Heaven into Earth. It would bring forgiveness, peace and freedom from sin. Yet the deliverance and freedom experienced in the life of a disciple can only be attained and measured by the transformed mind. Real Kingdom mysteries require us to change the way we think about everything pertaining to God, Church and life on this planet (Mt. 4:17). Jesus has stepped into our natural reality and He brought His world with Him!

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His Kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isa. 9:6-7)

Ministry on Christ’s Shoulder:

The five-fold ministry gifts are examples of how “grace has been given” as Christ distributes (Eph. 4:7). All ministry is simply the manifestation of Christ expressed through the believer by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, as the “Christ” is our Apostle (Heb. 3:1), Prophet (Lk. 24:19), Evangelist (Mt. 9:35), Pastor (1 Pet. 5:2-4) and Teacher (Jn. 3:2). He emulated these offices and distributes the mantles for individuals to function in them, so that the Church carries His anointing for ministry (Jn. 14:12).

“…the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So…they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:2-3)

Selected and Sent:

The five-fold leaders are not self-appointed, nor are they simply pastors of a local church. They are clearly defined ministries that have an impact on the Church as a whole and its witness in the world. By nature, their scope of ministry is wider than the local church. They are grace ministries of Christ to the Church at large. Whether its from inner city pulpits or in the bush lands of Africa, the heartbeat of 5-fold ministry is the discipling of the nations… its our Great Commission! (Mt. 28:18-20).

Two things are required for a five-fold ministry gift to come into its own: 1) Recognition by the wider Body of Christ and 2) Functional Ministry to the wider Body of Christ. Jesus said that the fruit of a person’s life is the best way to recognize their identity, character and anointing. Prior to these two conditions being met, someone may potentially have a five-fold ministry gift, but will not yet be moving in the scope and authority of that gift. Jesus gives the grace for each gift to be released into the Church.

“…God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief Cornerstone” (Eph. 2:19-20).

Foundations:

The foundation of the Church is Jesus… the revelation of “Christ – the Son of the Living God” (Mt. 16:16). And yet there is this unique platform of the apostle and the prophet team (Eph. 3:4-5). This platform carries the role of unveiling the mysteries hidden down through the ages, yet revealed in Christ and by the Holy Spirit to the sons and daughters of men. I believe these two mantle gifts still serve that ministry role (Eph. 4:12-13), so it is vital for us to understand how this works in leading the Body of Christ. We must remember that proper buildings are held up by proper foundations. I would propose; that when grace flows into ministry and functions properly, under the headship of Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit, it will result in the growth and supernatural health of the Church worldwide. It is the will of God to set this in order and accomplish it through His apostle and prophet teams (Isa. 9:7)… by grace.

The Key of Humility:

The Apostle James and the Apostle Peter wrote specifically about how to receive grace (Jms. 4:6 & 1 Pet. 5:5-6). The humble person receives grace and more grace even as they maintain their humility in the midst of difficult circumstances. Jesus said “Blessed is the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 5:3). The humble person; who lives selflessly in ministry, will receive a flow of resource from heaven according to the gift Christ has given them. Their anointing will be in proportion to their faith, assignment and their need.

The Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). The ministry teams made up of Apostle and Prophets like Paul, Barnabas, Silas and Timothy served to accomplish great things in advancing the Kingdom of God. They were set apart by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2), helped in the midnight hour (Acts 16:25-26) and anointed to do incredible miraculous signs that accompanied the preaching of the Word of God (Acts 19:11-12).

Restoration is needed: In order for the Church to see what God is after today, our impact must set the captives free! We must rely upon the flow of ministry grace… like the dry ground soaks up the rain.

Get Your Praise On

Praise Looks Good on You… So go get your Praise on!

“Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous ones; praise from the upright is beautiful.” (Ps. 33:1)

What a Sight!

This scripture out of the psalms tells us something that we must never forget… praise looks good on you! Its the power of God’s Glory, evident and brilliant… as seen on Jesus (2 Cor. 4:6)(Heb. 1:3)… and reflected on the face of His Bride (Rev. 19:5-10). Some of the most memorable moments I have ever experienced are in seasons of rejoicing! I love seeing praise on the faces of the Saints of God! Its more than just a happy feeling that stirs the heart… in fact, many of the best worshipers are in the midst of terrible storms. Yet in these moments of praise, breakthrough is released! The faces of God’s people, shining with His kindness and goodness, brings encounter that refresh and revive the soul of all who see it. Lives are transformed and purpose is released by the manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s power touching the most wounded, broken and desperate heart. No question – Praise Looks Good on the Righteous!

Heaven’s Perspective:

God gets pleasure from the rejoicing of His family! I can imagine my Heavenly Father watching and seeing faces and hearing the voices of those whose hearts are captured by His Promises. I believe that God is a wonderful father and just as I feel proud of my children, so too He smiles and loves the way that praise looks and sounds! All of heaven is filled with rejoicing at the reality of a simple sinner who turns in trusting faith toward God, so also His heart turns toward the sounds of praise. The Bible tells us that when we are overwhelmed, when we are under heavy stress and anxiety, we should put on the garment of praise. As God sees and hears your words of adoration, He will remove the burdens and embrace you with His love.

So let your voices ring out… praise looks good on you!

Into the Call of God

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 Jn. 4:4)

“…Christ in you, the hope of glory!” (Col. 1:27)

Bridging the Gap between Our Ability and God’s Call:

1. The Anointing of the Holy Spirit
“He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Cor 1:21-22)

The Greek word for anoint is chrio, meaning ‘to smear or rub with oil’… and when used in the New Testament it speaks to the idea of the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon and within the believer to achieve great exploits.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18)

These verses emphasize the essentials to entering into the call of God! Just as Jesus was “anointed” and “sent” to fulfill God’s purpose, we are also anointed by the Holy Spirit and sent to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. With the anointing of the Holy Spirit, we receive God’s power to do the work He has called us to do (Acts 1:8)(Eph 3:16). In the Old Testament, Prophets, Priests and Kings were the classes of people anointed with oil, foreshadowing Jesus the Messiah; and also signifying that the anointing sets God’s people apart for service to Him. In the New Testament, anointing is not a substance or impersonal power, but the Person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit still sets us apart to do all that would fulfill the Will of God in our generation. We need to highly value and treasure the Spirit and His anointing. This puts a demand upon our hearts… WE MUST:

  • Maintaining an intimate relationship with Him and continue being filled with the Holy Spirit! (Eph. 5:15-18)
  • Be growing in our sensitivity… to obey Him and follow His timing! (Acts 13:2)
  • Value accountability and honor God-given leadership! (Eph. 4:11)
  • Treat His Presence and anointing with honor and respect! (Eph. 4:30)

As you do this, you can trust His anointing and abiding Presence to be evident and enter into the call of God for your life. So, if you are wondering how to get the supernatural results God intends for your ministry… remember that the source is not you; but is in you and on you. Its the Presence of Christ and anointing of the Holy Spirit.

2. The Grace of God
God says to us: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…” (2 Cor 12:9)

God offers us grace and power, sufficient for His purposes, but we must tap into it by the humility of surrender. The Apostle Paul tells us that he “boasted in his weakness”, because in so doing he was able to tap into God’s supernatural grace and power! If you are unsure where the strength will come to achieve what God has called you to do? Then you are right where God wants you! Just remember what the Apostle Paul heard from God and how that redirected his focus and his praise. God’s grace, “charis” in Greek, refers to the undeserved favor of God freely given to us in Jesus Christ. Grace is the favor that encourages and empowers us in our service for Him!

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Cor 15:10)

Grace effects us at the deepest level when trying to accomplish the Will of God. This enabling grace relates to our specific calling from God… it is the favor within His voice that clarifies your purpose in life and strengthens your resolve. So you and I run into the will of God with passion because the call of God become the beat of our hearts! We Pursue Him – Make Him your highest aim and you will never, never be without strength in the days ahead.

“Through Him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for His name’s sake.” (Rom 1:5)(1 Cor 3:10)

When the call of God is daunting, remind yourself that you are of God …and “Christ in you” has already overcome!

Taking Dominion

“With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Prov. 18:20-21)

Speaking – By Faith & Living with Spiritual Courage!

Notice… A vast and often untapped power is released by the words we speak! 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.”

The Apostle Paul, brings this message to the forefront when he announces to the believers in Rome that faith must be at the very center of their pursuits… He says, “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the Word of Faith that we preach) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom 10:8-9)

Tapping Into The Promises of God:

Moses is speaking here of the opportunity to move into all that is promised in the “Promise Land” and the Apostle Paul is likewise encouraging the “seeker” to understand the way into the “Promises of Abundant Life” in Christ. The pattern is faith and courage to speak the Word of God… a life lived in obedience to the Word of God and speaking those Words over our environment. Even Jesus dealt with the devil by saying, “it is written” (Mt. 4:10). Its the activity of faith… and its the assigned obligation of all who aim to release the Kingdom 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! (Psa. 110:1-2)

Pattern of Dominion:

  • “So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” (Mk. 11:22-23)
  • “…be wise in what is good and simple concerning evil. And the God of Peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” (Rom. 16:19-20)

The Psalmist declares, “Let the high praises of God be in their mouths and a two-edged sword in their hands!” (Psa. 149:6) Praise and Proclamation of the Word of God… these are the faith tools of our mouth. These are the weapons of our spiritual warfare! These essentials are the believers empowerment, because they cause the enemies of our soul to flee and establish God’s dominion in the Earth as it is in Heaven. God stands ready to enforce the victory He has already accomplished in Christ… Jesus  said “It is Finished!” and if we will simply speak the Word and stand in faith – He will do it!

“Rada” – Ruling as Kingdom Agents:

As Ambassadors of Heaven… this is our mandate as Kingdom Agents, 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.

“If God be for us, who can stand against us!” (Rom. 8:31)

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