Archive for May, 2017

Leaders Believe

What is your definition of a leader? Many people talk about this topic today, but few clearly state what they mean when they use the terms leader and leadership. When I speak about leadership, I often think in terms of growing Kingdom Ambassadors. People with a passion for God and a heart that believes in God’s answer for humanity. I am talking about redemptive people, who see the way God sees and commit their lives to burn for more than a ministry title or a desk to sit behind. It feels wrong to me to discuss leadership without defining what we are attempting to develop. So, here are some of the most important values I feel we need to uncover and release in godly leaders.

1st) Christian Leaders are Servants:

Jesus specifically addresses servant leadership in Matthew 20:25-26 and John 13:1–17. He defines a servant leader as one who humbly pours out their life on others, based on their love for them. Its not a natural love, but something supernatural that flows from heaven… a resource of the Holy Spirit. In the Apostle Paul’s teaching about the 5-fold ministry model, he tells of a grace that has been given to each of us for the purpose of leading (Eph. 4:7). A grace that empowers leadership and causes the leader to equip the saints for the work of the ministry… is by nature supernatural. Its impossible for a person to give what he does not have; but Christ has given us grace and power to fulfil all that has been asked of us as yielded vessels. Leaders understand how to receive from God and release that power to flow through their influence in other people’s lives.

2nd) Christian Leaders are Godly Servants:

This is in reference to Christ-like character. I try to encourage leaders that although their gifts might make room for them and give them a voice for a season, it will only be their character that will offer them a platform of influence for a lifetime. Teachability, integrity and transparency are real platforms that inspire and train our hearts as well as the minds, hands and hearts of those in our sphere of influence.  Though many in the business world acknowledge the importance of character, the goal seems to be about pleasing a boss or corporation. Leadership that offers real influence is accountable to God and becomes transformational as the leader is bearing the evidence of their own character changing and growing.

3rd) Believing Leaders Know Where They are Going:

This involves the leader’s direction. Leaders need both a ministry mission and a ministry vision. The ministry mission is “the goal”, which for every leader is the Great Commission (Mt. 28:18-20). The ministry vision is the personal picture on the inside of what they will look like as they effectively accomplish the Great Commission.

It is important to note, that the Great Commission is about a delegated authority to disciple nations, emersing followers in experiences with God and teaching them how to obey all that Jesus taught and modeled. Its not buildings and programs… its people and Kingdom influence that shapes the nations. Its more than what we believe, its the opportunity to experience the supernatural life of the Spirit and model it for the next generation of believers.

Finally, Christian Leaders have Followers:

Leadership implies followers. If a person has no followers, he is not a leader. Followers are not just those who mimmick our words, study our theory or obey our commands. Jesus called His servants up into friendship so they could hear more keenly the secrets of His heart (Jn. 15:9-17). A friend is offered access and knows the motivation of the heart. Good leaders know how to train their followers to step into new levels of authority. Those willing, chosen and appointed followers bear fruit that remains as a pleasing and joyful expression of Kingdom influence… God’s influence ruling in the life of the leader.

Heavenly Solutions

The most incredible moments in life are often those that come by surprise. Its not so much that I find myself unprepared as much as… some moments just sneak up on me as new information.

I like the Bible story about the man who comes to Jesus for the healing of his son. His son had dealt with an issue of epilepsy for many years and it had often caused enormous trauma to the whole family. Unfortunately the father had to settle for the ministry of some of Jesus’ faithless disciples. Jesus was up a mountain being transfigured before Peter, James and John (Mk 9:2-13). As the mountain top experience comes to an end; the three disciples, with Jesus come down the mountain to find an argument over the healing of this boy. Those remaining 9 disciples hadn’t accomplished much, so they began to argue about theology with some local scribes.

Isn’t that just like so many of the church services we have been to… we are prepared to meet with God and all we find are the empty words of men who hold onto faithless theological discussions. Jesus made the most accurate statement, “Oh faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” Life problems must be answered… with heavenly solutions!

Life problems must be answered… with heavenly solutions!

We must never settle for talking about solutions… How often we explain the “stuff” of God, (the miracles, the healing of sickness and the authority to cast out demons) rather than host an invasion of the Spirit into the impossible situation?

Jesus now has the father in front of Him with a question… a question that I believe was not in his mind until he was presented with the frailty of human reasoning. He asks Jesus, “If You can do anything – have compassion on us and help us?” Without hesitation Jesus addresses the impossible situation with the touch of Heaven and the boy is made whole. But there is a surprise for the disciples and for us as we peer into this story from the outside.

Solutions require us to carry something! Note: Some things can only be accomplished through prayer and fasting (Mk 9:29).

  • First: We all need a fresh spiritual revelation that helps us see our situation with discernment… notice this was an unclean spirit and Jesus called it “a deaf and dumb spirit” as He rebuked it and cast it out (Mk 9:25). The revelation leads to the correct response. We know that revelation is given as we tune into Heaven… thus the need for prayer and fasting.
  • Secondly: When faced with life issues, we are always called upon to rise to the occasion and believe for God’s perfect solution to the problem. Although we may have a great amount of knowledge about how it all works; God is looking for those who can carry the glory and release it into the impossible.

The “Faithless”:

What we forget sometimes is that we carry heavenly solutions to life’s biggest problems. To rid ourselves of the harsh label as the “faithless generation” requires that we become a people who release what we carry. Earthly problems offer us an invitation to move with God’s supernatural compassion, authority and power… Heavenly solutions! God wants to bring freedom, but has given authority and power to us to tread upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy (Lk. 10:19). We must shake ourselves free of faithlessness, so that we experience more of the solutions Heaven offers to human frailty. Its the Promise of God’s Heart…

“On Earth as it is in Heaven.”

Valiant Laborers

“And the Word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region.” (Acts 13:49)

“Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand.” (Ps. 149:5-6)

We mount our assault on the portals of hell and against us they shall not stand! The valiant of heart are those whose laborers are noted by courage, passion and alignment to the Word of God. These marks are the standard where soldiers emerge and warriors take shape. Indeed, the character of heaven is revealed in no better way than when God’s Saints are clothed in the power of the Holy Spirit and accompanied by angels. The advancement of the Kingdom of God is a violent overthrow of the works of the devil! It requires God’s anointing and the character to follow His heart!

No matter how we define a move of God in our day or in the days of the Early Church… we must not miss the prophetic reality of following God’s heart. One of Luke’s purposes in writing the Book of Acts was to tell the real story of the remarkable growth of God’s Kingdom. Amazing things took place in the years that followed the birth of the Church. An outpouring of the Holy Spirit clothed the Apostles with power to become witnesses in the world (Acts 1:8). Although, persecution and struggle shaped their character, never do we hear the cry of retreat. This was the work of God! Humanity’s greatest discovery was how to be filled with the Holy Spirit… and walk as carriers of the Glory of God!

This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel (or any servant of God):
“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,”

Says the Lord of hosts. (Zech. 4:6)

A Valiant Vision:

To see entire regions waiting, cultures and people groups ready to be reached with the love and power of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Our call, requires a company of valiant laborers with fresh eyes… with a vision to disciple the nations (Mt. 28:18-20). We must be found teaching and building bridges of opportunity for generations to walk in God’s destiny for their lives. Should we not stand willing and ready to risk it all for the purposes of God’s heart? Yet in order to risk it all, it will require a vision of how God sees and what God wants to accomplish.

The Prophet Habakkuk said it this way: “For the Earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14)

God is Speaking!

These are New Days in almost every culture of the world, and the sound of a spiritual trumpet has gone forth. Many with an ear to hear have already begun to assemble. To some its a whisper and to others a shout, yet there is no mistaking its purpose in this season. Its God’s invitation that is being proclaimed on the battle field and in the vineyard. Our Father has a voice that echoes on every high place… causing the nations to give birth. He is calling the weary, the lost and forsaken. His sound summons the alien to come sit at His Throne (Heb. 4:16). And from this motley, misguided lot; He will redeem and restore and revive. This is the day of the harvest, a season of in-gathering as in the time of first fruits. And the valiant rejoice in the pleasure of God. They celebrate with heaven in what is witnessed in their generation, because it was birthed in the Father’s heart long ago! (1 Pe 2:9-10)

Father, Your Valiant Laborers Stand Willing & Ready!

Mandate for Sending

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, that our ministry to the Lord will always give us a more effective platform for sending forth Kingdom leaders. The heart and wisdom of a leader must be tested in relationship with others and fellowship with God for spiritual commissioning to be effective. 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!

Bringing Heaven & Disarming Hell

When we posture ourselves correctly before God, we bring Heaven to Earth & disarm hell’s influence.

In the Old Testament whenever worship is mentioned it had a connection to posture as much or more than activity. The word ”worship” actually means to fall prostrate before the one we esteem. Jesus wants our praise to be the fruitful overflow of a full heart, not a discouraged sacrifice of a wounded soldier. Praise and worship should open the Heavenly Realm and release fresh revelation of Truth. Notice these Psalms…

  • Oh come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker (Ps 95:6).
  • My voice You shall hear in the morning, oh Lord. In the morning I will direct it to You and I will look up (Ps 5:3).
  • The Lord is my Strength and my Shield. My heart trusted in Him and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices and with my song I will praise Him (Ps 28:7).
  • They looked to Him (God) and were radiant and their faces were not ashamed (Ps 34:5).

These praise moments were accomplished through a proper posture that bring Heaven to Earth. When we posture ourselves with humility and honor before God a spontaneous flow of rejoicing, thanksgiving and prayer is released from our inner man (1 Thess 5:16-19). The Apostle Paul tells us to never quench the Spirit. I believe this is because in those moments; when we reflect joy, we actually weaken the Enemy’s grasp on our lives.

Satan loses his power and the forces of darkness are disarmed.

Jesus Christ is truly the Victorious King!

When Heaven is releasing its resources into our hearts; and we are being filled with power from on high, then we walk different and carry unique authority. Jesus is “Our King” and the awareness of His victory is earth shaking and life altering. Faith begins to rise where Truth is embedded. The heart that takes the appropriate posture receives grace (James 4:6), obtains mercy (Heb 4:16) and walks in power (Lk 24:49) from heaven (Acts 2:2). This is the Kingdom stuff that brings heaven to earth and disarms hell’s influence on our lives.

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