Archive for January, 2018

Advancing in the Nations

In the Great Commission, Jesus came and spoke to the remaining Apostles, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”  (Mt. 28:18-20)

  • “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Lk. 24:49)
  • “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)

The Great Commission was an Apostolic Mandate designed to delegate authority for Kingdom Advancement. The oupouring of the Holy Spirit was the release of power that would accomplish God’s mandate. Without this authorization and spiritual power working together there would be no spiritual progress beyond Jerusalem and no impact in the Nations. But because of it; the Church is a triumphant people fully engaged and fully equipped by the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!

This is our Mandate…

To Go… in the authority and power of our King - Jesus. Christ is Head of the Church and the True Light of Salvation, yet He is also the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. He is the One in whom we hope for fulfilling our call and reaching the unreached.

It Requires Authority & Power:

The Apostolic Mandate cannot function on human strength, it is designed to necessitate an outpouring of authority and power from heaven. We follow Jesus as Lord of the breakthrough, who breaks us out of confined places and leads with Kingdom influence into all the World. This was the purpose for waiting for the Promise of the Father in the earliest moments after the resurrection, to establish the platform for advancement. This was not some optional request, but a central focus for the followers… to wait for power was and still remains the key to success in the future purposes of God, in Christ.

The Prophet Micah says it like this: “The One who breaks open will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate and go out by it; Their King will pass before them, with the Lord at their head.” (Micah 2:13)

The Prophet Joel said: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29)

The Apostle Peter adds to Joel’s words: “And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:18). Note - prophecy is a forward speaking, declaration of God’s purposes empowered by the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is the voice of Kingdom Advancement!

The Early Church Advanced:

  • Beginning in Jerusalem: “So those who received the word were baptized and there were added that day about 3,000 souls.” (Acts 2:41)
  • Advancing beyond the City of Samaria: “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the Word.” (Acts 8:4)
  • Among Gentiles of Caesarea: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those  who heard the Word.” (Acts 10:44)
  • Into Regions of Galatia: “So the churches were strengthened in the faith and they increased in numbers daily.” (Acts 16:5)
  • Throughout Regions of Ephesus: “So the Word of the Lord grew and prevailed mightily.” (Acts 19:20)

Defining Desiny:

Under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew and Luke are defining destiny. One Apostle lays out the mandate while the other lays out the keys to its fulfillment. They are laying the platform for how we must see our future. Luke speaks to us of the triumphs of the Gospel of the Kingdom, because we must understand where our strength comes from. The Battle Is the Lord’s and we are His volunteers, following our advancing King. We must not just settle for an assignment… we must become people of truimph who take the next step, under the authority and power of the Holy Spirit.

  • “…from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Mt. 11:12)

These are the Days of Great Purpose – Where a People of Triumph… lay hold of their Desiny!

Sending Revival

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14)

These words show that God is willing and ready… longing to send revival!

God is on the edge of His seat… wanting to see and hear the sound that unlocks revival activity! He is longing to see His people turning, hear His people humble themselves in prayer; so that forgiveness can reign and healing can be released. He wants to give healing for our spiritual disease of silence. Indeed, a silence based on blindness and arrogance! He is always more willing to send revival than we imagine and far more compassionate than we ever dreamed. He longs to revive us (Ps. 85:6); to revive His work (Hab. 3:2); and to revive each individual, the whosoever – “me” (Ps. 138:7)… because He loves us (Jn. 3:17).

Laying a Pathway for Revival:

Revival conditions are according to God’s purpose and aimed toward honoring His desire. God’s people must pray, not just muttering words; but recognize the incompatibility of heaven’s reality manifesting in a worldly system… where God is seen as an enemy. Perhaps the word here really means ‘plead’, because it carries the idea of intensity and urgency, and speaks of a man who appreciates the importance of the ministry of intercession. There is a huge gap and someone must step into it with a heart for the manifestation of God’s Kingdom. Every revival in the history of the Church, from Pentecost to the present; has been born and cradled in prayer!

The Promise of God’s Response:

God will hear from heaven! This is the promise that we have from Him that if anyone cries out to God, He will hear their cries and come near to them. I can testify of God’s willingness to bring revival, because we have seen it in our day and in our ministry. We are watching, even now; as the nations of East and Central Africa are beginning to erupt in a fresh outpouring of Holy Spirit activity. And its not just about RevivalHut Ministry – in fact, we are only seeing a small part of the work God is doing in this part of the world. Many ministries are seeing and testifying to similar experiences of revival in their regions.

God’s People must Seek His Face:

We must seek His face and not just His hands… we must look into His eyes and not just His Book! We are discovering great promises that encourage us to pray, but the promises are all about relationship, friendship and fellowship in the Glory of God… (Jer 33:3)(Ezek. 36:36-38)(Mt. 6:6)(Mt. 18:19)(Jn. 14:13)(Acts 1:13-14)(Acts 4:31)(2 Cor. 4:6). Revival is possible now if only we will pray- with the intent of connection, seeking His face! Nothing should prevent a personal or regional revival, but the key is that our seeking has a goal… relationship, friendship and fellowship!

This means that we must seek within the context of His Glory- (Ex. 33:18)(Ps. 27:8)(Ps. 105:4)(Jer. 29:13)(Jn. 11:40). We must seek His favor (Ps. 63:1-2), His will and pleasure (Eph. 5:17)(Heb. 11:6) and His spiritual blessing (Ps. 67:1-3) so that our gladness will be experienced in all the nations of the Earth. He is the source of revival… do we know Him? He is the sufficiency and the supplier of revival… are we acquainted with His heart and know His ways? He is the Desire of the Nations (Hag. 2:7)… do we recognize the real cry of our hearts? It’s a cry that can only be satisfied by the Holy Spirit. We were all made to drink of this one Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). Is there anyone thirsting for God? (Jn. 4:10) …Are you thirsty? (Jn. 7:37-39)

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14)

Advancing Kingdom Life

Evangelism is the Kingdom of God advanced through our lives!

The Apostle James said, “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works’. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (Jms 2:17-18)

If we only proclaim the Gospel with our lips and not our lives, we are hypocrites and our faith is dead… ineffective. This is why it is so important for Christians to continually live with a vision for Kingdom Advancement. When we daily experience God’s Glory in our lives we begin to be revived and transformed from the inside out. The freedom of having a Kingdom mindset will enable us to joyfully speak of God to those within our sphere of influence. We will end the argument that aims to get people to agree with us and begin to impact the world with a flow of life.

Fear Factor:

The Devil uses intimidation to discourage us from telling our story. I often hear people say, “How can I tell anyone about Jesus when I’m not gifted at evangelism?” At that moment we must stop and apply the Truth of the Gospel to our own soul. The Apostle Paul didn’t hang his head in shame when he was reminded of his own unique history and personal limitations. He spoke to his own soul about the nature of his relationship with Christ. His confidence before kings came from knowing that fruitfulness flowed from his intimacy with God, not his personal eloquence or human wisdom (1 Cor 2:1-5).

No Condemnation… not even a little bit!

“There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1). When clumsiness, unworthiness or shame overwhelm our soul we must preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to ourselves. Speak boldly; ”I am in Christ and He has made me righteous by faith in His blood! I take hold of His forgiveness and He washes away all sin and breaks every stronghold. His power works in me and is mine at this very moment. I’m God’s adopted Son! It is Christ who lives in me and I have inherited His boldness, because I carry His Spirit.”

Make the Grace Connection: (Eph 2:8-10)

Remind yourself, its not about “you”. I often pray over myself, under my breath or speak His Name out loud while I am driving. This is my way of staying in the flow of heaven’s resource… Glory (Phil 4:19). I am believing and receiving His grace spontaneously in those moments. It may sound silly, but I believe in laying my hand upon my own head and speaking a blessing over myself or asking God to anoint my head with fresh oil. I desire the overflow of God’s Presence to be seen upon my life, even before I speak a word.

The Holy Spirit:

This discipline has the power to radically change my focus, because it puts the weight of pressure back upon the Holy Spirit. He is My Helper, the Voice of Conviction and Discerner of the Heart. He clothes me in the Father’s Glory. Its the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us that makes us witnesses in the world (Acts 1:8). He is the Spirit of Grace and Truth, but He is also the boldness we need to testify. Welcoming the Holy Spirit’s leadership is essential to any success in the Kingdom, especially evangelism.

Go into the World:

Go for it and proclaim the Kingdom Message to others… remember that someone had to tell you while you were still in the world. That same Kingdom reality that has changed you, has the power to save, deliver and set all men free from sin and intimidation. Speaking the Truth to ourselves; that is our ”soulish man”, sets our perceptions on the love of Christ and releases the anointing for breakthrough in others. Jesus is our source of life, not our eloquence or ability to formulate an argument (1 Cor 1:30). It is Christ in you that reflects God’s Glory (Col 1:27) and it is by His power activated and flowing, that you become effective in destroying the works of the devil (1 Jn 3:8).

Jesus is our model: “How 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).

Restorer of Destiny

a well defined path

the path

What is defining your life? Are you positioned to fulfill your greatest purpose and could you reach your destiny from this place, at this time? Perhaps you are far from where you hope to be. Its okay to have seasons of uncertainty, but to have no sense of direction is a very dangerous place to find yourself.

Take a moment and imagine yourself from God’s perspective. God has made Himself available and torn down the walls of separation between His love and our hearts. He has a plan for our good that should never be missed through our ignorance or selfish ambition.

If your dreams have been stolen from you or your goals drew you off course somewhere, then you must make every effort to hear the promise of God…”I will restore to you the years that the locust have eaten” (Joel 2:25).

God is the restorer of broken destiny! Now is the time to ask the Lord to release the winds of change to blow over your life and shift you back on track with your destiny in Him. Its well within the reach of your voice, but you must call upon Him for the shift to occur (Jer 33:3).

The primary reason we must call upon God is because of how much of life is hidden and difficult to understand… we are limited to our own experience.

Jesus said to Saul of Tarsus, on the road to Damascus “its hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 9:5).

What He was trying to tell this confused and dangerous persecutor of the early church was that He had a better plan for his life. Jesus was calling out to Saul to become the Apostle to the entire Gentile World. Notice that Jesus took the initiative because experience was leading Saul more off course all the time. Restoration is a product of experiences with God not experiences apart from Him. This Apostle to the Gentiles would later write,

“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).

On track with God, Paul was aware that Christ was the Restorer of Destiny.

Change is Coming

Scripture: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Thought for Today: “Welcoming the Crucible”

God knows the secrets of the heart (Ps 44:21). In fact, He knows us better than we know ourselves. Yet we still feel a bit vulnerable yielding our lives to change. We ask God to use us and we know changes are coming, but being in the crucible of spiritual discipline can feel uncomfortable even to the most mature Christian.

Our Resistance:

When God tests and tries our heart, there are always things that firmly resist, because they have become our safety net. We have relied upon ourselves and trusted in own strength at times when we could not see clearly. The Apostle Paul tells us that many have exchanged the Truth of God for lies by serving and the worship of things that offer no real peace (Rom 1:25). He reminds us that we have all gone astray and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). These issues represent the baggage of idolatry and must be rooted out for us to enjoy the freedom found in Christ.

Real Transformation:

As much as we would like to believe we can change, transformation is not really something we can do for ourselves. It takes the power of the One who knows us best. We can change habits and shift our focus, but it is God who changes the human heart. When we step into the crucible of prayer and fasting, we make the most important move toward God’s best for our lives. The refining process frees us from sinful behavior, renews our thinking and enables us to discern the will of God more clearly (Rom 12:1-2).

God Loves and Receives Us:

Transformation happens in the safe place of His Presence, where the Holy Spirit gains access to those things that hinder our progress. God knows what is best for us and He always acts in our best interest by treating us as sons and daughters (Heb 12:4-11). We are reminded that when we are chastened by God, it is because He loves us and receives us as a father cherishes and loves his child. Remind yourself today that God loves and receives you as His very own son or daughter.

“Why do you spend money on what is not bread and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me and eat what is good and let your soul delight itself in abundance.” (Isa 55:2)

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