Archive for June, 2017

Your Spiritual Capacity

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, or concerning operations of the spirit, brothers, I would not have you to be ignorant.” (1 Cor. 12:1)

Designed for Flow:

You are designed to be a spiritual man or woman. God wants you to operate in the supernatural everyday! Its why He has given us the Holy Spirit.

The Apostle Paul is writing to the Church… Notice the first thing: God wants you to move in the supernatural! You are designed to be a supernatural being. You are a spirit, living inside a body. With your body you can communicate with the natural or external world… with your spirit you can communicate from the realm of God’s resources, power and authorization. This dimension is the realm of the spirit… often we call it the “spiritual realm”. You and I are designed to flow and access all that God has made available through the personal anointing of the Holy Spirit upon our lives. Its important to understand the simple principle that you don’t have to become a spiritual person – you already are spiritual!

You already have a spirit dimension to you.

Spiritual Senses:

Your natural body has five senses: you can see, hear, taste, touch and smell. Your spirit man also has spiritual senses. With your physical senses you can interact with the physical world. You receive signals in your natural body… and from those senses you can begin to identify certain things. It’s the same in your spirit; but many people haven’t developed their spiritual capacity. You can develop your spiritual senses just as clearly as you can develop your natural senses. It comes by training yourself in the disciplines of use, practice and consistent discernment. Faith is always the key to opening your spiritual senses and persistent use will enlarge your spiritual effectiveness.

  • Your ability to see God spiritually and identify the purposes of the Holy Spirit is directly connected to your hunger for revelation and activation… like speaking the Word of God or laying hands upon the oppressed, sick and broken lives around you.
  • Your ability to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit is tied directly to your hearing of the Word of God… the voice of your Shepherd.
  • Your ability to taste of the goodness of the Father is connected to your willingness to rest in His Presence and wait upon Him to meet your needs with His love and compassion.
  • Your ability to feel or grow in your knowledge of the Holy Spirit’s touch is connected to meditating upon His Person, Promises and Emotions.
  • Your ability to experience the sensation of smelling the fragrances of heaven is tied to atmospheres of worship and thanksgiving.

“Now the manifestation of the spirit is given to each one for the profit of all!” (1 Cor. 12:7)

The Holy Spirit has expression and communication that benefits everyone who is willing to grow and develop their spiritual senses. Its part of our discipleship goal as God’s Child. Notice the word ‘manifestation’, it means: something that is visible, tangible… that people can see, feel and connect with. He’s saying: God wants to operate through you, in a way that’s tangible, that people can experience Him. Don’t underestimate what God can do through you.

Recent Testimony:

I prophesied over someone the other day. I brought a word from God to encourage them and I shared it with them in order to benefit them. It was what I believed God was saying to me… things God showed me, things which were so personal and so connected to that person. When I asked them: how did this affect you… they said: I felt like my whole life was open before God, and He was aware of my situation. Their perception was that God was talking to them personally.

God is Speaking!

The gifts of the spirit are manifestations of a person – the Holy Spirit; so it’s not like you carry some kind of special gift. In fact, you carry a spiritual sensitivity that you are accessing by faith. You have a person living on the inside of you and you work with Him to bring His life forth. It’s all about a relationship with the Holy Spirit. The passage says: “the manifestation of the spirit is given to everyone” – so who is left out of the word ‘everyone’? There’s no one left out – this is for you! Everyone includes you.

God is speaking… and He wants to use your voice to do it!

Prophetic Preaching

Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent Me.” (John 7:16)

Jesus consistently preached under the anointing of God, as we see in the above verse. Yet the key to being prophetic is that Jesus’ message carried the weight of supernatural creativity, breakthrough and fulfillment.  A prophetic preacher may use the gifts of teaching, exhortation and prophecy in a variety of ways; but the power of the message itself, will shift the atmosphere (Rom. 1:16-17). That is what makes it prophetic!

“And take the … sword of the Spirit, which is the word [rhema] of God” (Eph 6:17)

Prophetic Preaching contains a ‘Now’ Word:

The prophetic gift is employed to make known the thoughts, purpose and intent of God. Prophetic preaching has a sense of immediacy. In the New Testament, the Greek word ‘rhema’ primarily refers to the spoken word that carries power in its ‘utterance’, whereas ‘logos’ primarily refers to the written word, the logic of God or His thought process. Prophetic teaching and preaching releases the rhema of God’s “Spirit-breathed”, current Word. It is designed to reveal the Father’s “Now Word”, making known something that if believed would come forth. It answers the question, ‘What is God’s Word to us in this season?’

Example: The Apostle Paul said, “the word is near you even in your mouth and in your heart, that is the word of faith that we preach” (Rom. 10:8). He goes on to say that if you act on it by confessing and believing, you will be saved… You will be transformed!

What happens in prophetic preaching is that we are drawn into an experience by the conviction of the Holy Spirit as well as the will to believe and step into its power. It sets a Kairos moment… the opportune time for change and transformation. Prophetic preaching opens doorways into heavenly blessing, revelation and assignments.

“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” (1 Cor 2:13)

Based on Spiritual Revelation:

Prophetic preaching is inspired by the Holy Spirit through the means of revelation. The word ‘revelation’ in the New Testament Greek, apokalupsis, means an ‘uncovering’ or ‘disclosure’. In other words, God is revealing something by His Spirit that is not known by natural means… its a mystery. There is often a call to action or a need to respond and activate the Word received by the hearer. This is why we place a high priority on seasons of prayer or altar times, to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts when the atmosphere has been shifted in a room or auditorium. This may be to align one’s heart or actions, to pay attention to a timely warning or submit to guidance. When we do not position ourselves for God’s present or future plans, we often miss our opportunity. The consistent results of the prophetic instructions of God are for transformation and breakthrough.

Notice these two examples:

  1. “The children of Issachar, who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel should do… and all their brethren were at their command” (1 Chron. 12:32)
  2. “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” (Mt. 7:28-29)

Prophetic Preaching Carries Authority:

This authority is not based upon the preacher’s gift, but on the basis of being entrusted with a message from God Himself. Throughout Scripture, the instruction given through a prophet brought breakthrough for God’s people. This included strategic guidance in a time of warfare (2 Chron. 20:14-17), a word of action in crisis (Gen 41:25-46) or a specific declaration of breakthrough (2 Kings 7:1-2). Prophetic preaching is of great value when a shift is needed to bring the Kingdom of God and push back against the darkness that floods our vision.

Empowering the Church:

“Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers.”  (Acts 15:32)

The outcome of prophetic preaching, just as with all prophetic ministry, is that the Church and its leadership is built up, strengthened and empowered. (1 Cor 14:3-4)

Run With Vision

“Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (Habakkuk 2:2-3)

Vision is a calling to something greater than yourself. Vision always takes into consideration God’s plan, your gifts, and your unique experiences. It’s something that started forming before you were born as God created you. It has been developing and growing with each experience. It’s something you were called to do and if you don’t seek it out you will rarely be truly happy. Vision is given by God, but emerges from the heart.

Three Keys about Vision:

1st. Vision grows from how God wired you. God never gives us a vision without giving us the personal gifts and spiritual anointing to get the job done. He wants us to be successful. He loves us and sees us as an extension of Himself on the earth. God gives us a vision for what He wants us to do. He knows how He has gifted us and how to best use our gifts.

The God who created the whole universe also made you. He made you for a specific purpose. That purpose is good, and will bring you happiness and satisfaction. God also gave you unique abilities that are perfectly matched to His specific plan for your life.

2nd. Vision bubbles to the surface through prayer. Prayer is not just about asking God for needs, but about listening to what God says in response to our needs. God’s response unlocks clues to the calling God has for you. Vision comes from prayer. As we pray and listen, God has time to speak to our hearts. We get a sense of peace as the Holy Spirit directs our thoughts and guides our actions. God speaks to us through prayer.

Perhaps there has never been a person who had more vision than Jesus and He prayed with such consistency that His disciples ask Him to teach them how to do it. Something significant was bubbling up out of Jesus’ prayer life that they wanted. ”Jesus rose before dawn to pray to His Father” (Mk. 1:35). This was His daily habit and it allowed Him to confidently say to the disciples that He only spoke what He heard from His Father saying (Jn. 5:19).

3rd. Vision begins with obedience. God’s will for your life is to obey Him… and it serves as the testing ground for increased knowledge and spiritual revelation. The closer you get to abiding in Him and discovering His voice the easier it is to watch vision emerge. The closer you get to God’s heart the easier to see how you fit into His plan.

God’s response or answer to our prayers is like an open door into the vision God has for us (Rev. 4:1). We need to pray often asking God for guidance and revelation of the vision for our lives. Be sure to track how God is answering your prayers and look for patterns that reveal His purposes, because vision emerges out of purpose. It’s through prayer that you learn how to stay in sync with the rhythm of heaven. And it’s through obedience your vision becomes something written upon your heart.

All that is left is to write it down – read it often & run with it… for it has an appointed time! It has a voice of its own, it will speak and though it tarries, you can count on God to bring it forth.

Believe

Jesus says it best: “When you pray, believe.” (Mark 11:24)

Crisp, clear and to the point, Jesus tells us exactly how to have an effective fervent prayer life. We can create all kinds of theories and teach about the five ways to approach God or three hindrances to our answers; but the key is “FAITH”. Believe in God’s ability to do what He has said He will do! And can I suggest something here… get over the issue of sounding religious! Faith is most easily found in relationship; because it works by love, not by rituals or perfect theology (Gal 5:6).

Faith Hears in the Spirit:

Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” (1 Kings 18:41)

This verse illustrates the confidence of the Prophet Elijah who believed God for what He had promised. I will repeat that “…for what God had promised”. The story of Elijah’s prayers holding back the rain in Israel is only climaxed by his bold confidence in proclaiming Ahab’s demise if he didn’t make haste for Jezreel. Rain is coming, because God said so… and I can hear it!

What exactly was it that Elijah heard? Nobody else seemed to hear the rain nor did they see it. The fact is, there was no indication that even one drop of rain was going to fall on any part of Israel! But faith comes out of a spiritual kind of hearing (Rom 10:17). Faith operates from a platform of putting hope in the promise of God (Heb 11:1).

Confidence:

Elijah heard the rain before it was manifest, much like we might trust our friend to send us a package in the mail. If the promise is good, then our confidence dictates our hearing. I will be looking for that package in the mailbox and praying in faith for its arrival. I’m speaking to God in prayer and speaking to others with testimony from a confident stance. “The Promise is on the way!” Its not to be hindered, not to be delayed, not to be distracted or crushed or stolen or intruded upon in any way… God has promised and I’ve heard it in my spirit.

Anointing and Increase

“Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’” (Luke 4:14-19)

“…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

Jesus was anointed by God… indeed “God was with Him” in increasing measures by a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. His example is designed to be our model of spiritual discipline. It was Jesus’ experience even as a youth to increase in His favor with God and man (Lk 2:52). Yet even in the transition of Jesus into His Earthly ministry, we can see a direct connection between a lifestyle of prayer and fasting and His increasing anointing (Lk 5:12-13)(Lk 6:12)(Mk 9:29). This reality is both inspiring and instructional.

Notice how God moves Jesus into His public ministry:

  • He is baptized in the river Jordan, where He is filled with the Holy Spirit and hears the voice of His Father from heaven (Lk 3:21-22).
  • Immediately (it would appear to me) Jesus establishes a posture of prayer and fasting as He is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil (Mt 4:1-2).
  • While in the wilderness, Jesus feels the challenges of the Devil, the hunger in His body and the threat of wild beasts. He becomes aware of the ministry of angels as well as the strength given by the Words that proceeded from the mouth of God (Mk 1:12-13).
  • He experiences increase in the anointing and breaks through the challenge victorious, because the Devil left Him until a more opportune time (Lk 4:13).
  • Jesus would return to Galilee in the increased anointing and power of the Holy Spirit bearing evidence with signs following, because people give Him glory and praise for His teaching ministry (Lk 4:14-15).
  • Now that the temptation was over His ministry would begin with a journey to Nazareth and an announcement of how He was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach, heal, bring deliverance and freedom to the captive heart (Lk 4:16-19).

Defining the Anointing:

The anointing is God being “with us” or God’s Glory manifest upon our lives. Glory is defined best as God’s “Weighty” Presence or abiding spiritual power made known through our fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I have often said the anointing is God’s hand of favor upon our lives for the advancing of His activity in the world around us. We see this in how Jesus carried the anointing. He went about the Judean countryside advancing the Kingdom of God, because the anointing was on His life. God was with Him, empowering and leading Him, breaking the grip of the Devil and advancing the activity of His Father’s heart.

Why Prayer and Fasting:

Prayer and fasting increases our ability to know and sense the supernatural Presence of God, by awakening our spiritual senses and diminishing our emphasis on flesh desires. His power and His Glory begin to increase as we meet with God and experience fellowship in an unhindered way. God’s will and His ways become more recognizable when we are sensitive to His heart. I would describe the anointing as an actual physical experience whereby we feel the internal warmth of His Presence upon our body. That is why it increases as we pray and fast. By yielding our hearts in greater measure to the Holy Spirit’s activity we can welcome and value the anointing and make room for increase in our lives. It is like a signal that God sends to us saying that He is with us. He is showing Himself to us and approves of what we are saying or doing (Jn 14:21)(2 Cor 1:21).

There is nothing so important to our Christian walk than our faith in God (Heb 11:6)! It pleases Him when we step out in ways that give Him greater opportunity to reach the world through us. It is my desire to encourage prayer and fasting so that we may increase in the anointing of God and be more effective as Kingdom Agents in the world around us.

We are ambassadors for Christ {The Anointed One} as though God were pleading through us… Be reconciled to God! (2 Cor 5:18-21).

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