Posts Tagged ‘ambassadors for Christ’

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).

Bring My Children Into Glory

“I will say to the north, Give them up! And to the south, Do not keep them back! Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth— Everyone who is called by My Name, whom I have created for My Glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”  (Isaiah 43:6-7)

We as God’s Children were made for His Glory! We were designed to enjoy His fellowship and advance in the knowledge of His heart for us. In the Scripture above, we can feel the passion of the Father calling His Children home. Its more than an invitation… its more like a declaration of war! As if God Himself is speaking to the spiritual forces of darkness and all human governing bodies saying, “The day of confinement is over! I am establishing an order of release and recovery!” Truly it amazes me to watch as God puts His foot down upon the neck of principalities and powers in the spiritual realm.

The Voice Itself:

Make no mistake; this voice is the prophetic voice of Isaiah, yet it is the passionate heart of the Father as well. Our perception of a prophetic voice is so important as we hear with the ears of faith. You see, it cannot become only a prophetic “suggestion” in our daily routine, because God is serious about recovering a people who know Him and are waiting for a pathway to be established in the wilderness. Remind yourself of how God found you in your sinful condition and called you to Himself. He did this because of His love for you… to bring you back into His Glory!

Our Assignment:

John the Baptist was not the only Messenger of the Lord who has been assigned the task of making a highway visible for the people of God to find His Glory (Isa. 40:1-5). Jesus said, “Go – into all the earth and make disciples” (Mt. 28:19). The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore we are Ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20). It is our assignment to bear witness and make available a pathway back to the Father’s heart! This thought of ”bringing them back” means we have a mandate from heaven to grab the hands of every person within reach and speak of God’s love for them. We have a task that requires our diligent understanding and our personal commitment!

4 Practical Principles:

  1. Be People of the Glory… You cannot bring people to where you have never been. Recognize your own chosenness and royalty in God’s Kingdom. You are a holy and special person, designed, formed and called out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Pe. 2:9-10). Being a person who understands the Glory of God cannot happen without your participation daily in prayer and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. You must be a Child of God and have obtained mercy… in order to offer mercy and a path into His Glory.
  2. Be Equipped… God’s desire is that all of His Children be filled with all the fullness of His Spirit (Eph. 5:15-21). Jesus said all we need to do is ask for the Holy Spirit, because it is the Father’s desire to give us the Kingdom (Lk. 12:31-32). Making a priority for the things of God will begin to establish your pathway into the Father’s heart. That is where the resources are found. You will need grace, intimacy and yieldedness in order for your life to display fruitfulness.
  3. Be Observant… You carry the Father’s Glory in that you carry the testimony of Christ. Christ is the Desire of the Nations (Hag. 2:7) and because He lives in you, you will become the desire of those around you in need of Him. “Arise and shine, your Light has come and the Glory of the Lord has risen upon you” – these words of Isaiah 60:1-3 speak of the Gentiles coming to your light and kings coming to the brightness of your “rising” or testimony. Its spoken of Christ and it is speaking to you, because “Christ in you is the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27).
  4. Be Prophetic… Speak to people what God is saying about them. Bless those that curse you and love those that speak evil of you because of your testimony in Christ. Recognize the real battle is in the spirit realm (Eph. 6:10-12), with forces that aim to confuse (2 Cor. 10:3-6) and works that aim to deceive (1 Jn. 3:8). You are God’s anointed voice to the principalities and powers in the spiritual realm, wherever God has given you influence. Speak boldly and speak often of the reality that God has made a way through Christ, back into the Father’s Glory (Eph. 3:10-11).

Notice: The Goal is the Glory!

Finally, I want to emphasize the spoken desire of God is to bring His Children back into the Glory. Adam was created for the Glory and lived in a Garden that was designed to allow him to be “formed” by his fellowship in Glory. He was visited daily by God who walked with him in the cool of the day in an atmosphere permeated by the Glory. And God’s greatest gift to mankind was to give His Only Begotten Son - Christ, in whom is the brightness of His Glory and the express image of His person (Heb 1:3). In Christ, God has opened up the pathway home and in you and I, He is making His purposes known in all the earth.

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

Supernatural Impact

Scripture: 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)

Thought for Today: “Increasing in the Anointing”

Jesus was anointed by God and increased in that anointing 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) but prior to His ministry we can see a direct connection between His lifestyle of prayer and fasting and His increasing anointing (Lk 5:12-13)(Lk 6:12)(Mk 9:29).

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).

“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)

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 Christ… a faith that believes that God responds and rewards the diligent heart (Heb 11:6). It pleases Him when we step out in ways that give Him greater opportunity to reach the world around us. It is my desire to encourage prayer and fasting in all believers, so that they may find increase in the anointing of God and be more effective as Kingdom Agents in the world around them. We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us… we speak a supernatural word and we minister to others by way of a supernatural power from God! (2 Cor 5:18-21).

Let your impact become… supernatural!

Re-Imagine Church

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:19-22)

Its easy to believe that God is in the process of perfecting His Church. The institution we have come to know as “Christ’s Body” has experienced enormous change over the 2000 years since Jesus’ day. Some people have found the variety and flavor of church culture an encouraging mix; with mega churches and home churches, store fronts and village outposts, there is something for almost everyone’s taste. Others have left the whole thing behind in disgust, feeling more confused than ever about their trust in church dynamics, their relationship with each other and worse of all, their faith in God.

Yet, somewhere in the midst of all the chaos; surely, there remains a remnant. A remnant of Kingdom People; cut from the original fabric we see in the Book of Acts. People who the Apostle Paul spoke of as “Ambassadors for Christ”, with a “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18-20). The people Jesus is willing to call “friends” (Jn. 15:14), who hunger for the heart of God and will not settle for an institutional substitute.

When Jesus said “I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18)… He was imagining something that most of the world has yet to embrace. 

Jesus is wanting us to re-imagine Church, as He intended it to function and advance His Kingdom in the Earth. His heart is for a lost and broken World looking for truth in all the wrong places. Could the Church once again become the place where people find God? I believe the answer to that question is – Yes! But only if we will get our blueprints from heaven… not the wisdom of man or traditional religious systems.

3 Key Thoughts the Apostle Paul Emphasizes:

  1. The Purpose… is for a habitation of God by His Spirit!
  2. The Foundation… is Christ as the Chief Cornerstone and the teaching ministry of the Apostles and Prophets!
  3. The Process… is a joining together and growing house that results in a holy temple; a spiritually vibrant and pure people, in the Lord!

The Habitation of God:

One of the most valuable thoughts the Apostle Paul makes in regards to why the Church exists, is this summary statement… “for a habitation of God in the Spirit”  (Eph. 2:22). Throughout Biblical history there have been literally hundreds of story lines for how God spoke with His people, walked with His chosen leaders and made Himself known as their “very present help in times of need”. But, what we must never miss is the fact that God wants fellowship, simply because He loves us and desires to live among us.

The Household of God:

Habitation is a deeply intimate, relational dynamic reserved for only one type of human interaction… the family. God wants the Church to look like a family! A family so strong that the gates of hell itself will not prevail against it, so strong that Satan has no authority or power to cause harm. A family where God is “Our Father” and we are given the wonderful privlege of life in His Glory (His Shekinah), living as His children (Jn. 1:12). 

A Dwelling Place:

Unlike any other social institution, the Church is designed to be a dwelling place (a shekan) for God on the Earth. Therefore, the Church must welcome God as the place designed and perfectly suited for Him, similarly to the way King Solomon welcomed the Glory of God into the Temple (2 Chron. 5:7-14).

The goal is that the Church would function in community, as fellow “citizens with the saints” and “members of a household” with purpose and priorities, values and dominion. What makes the Church function as a family is the Manifest Presence of God governing, abiding and responding in the midst of its activities. Notice how the Holy Spirit speaks to the Apostles in the Book of Acts…

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.” (Acts 13:2)

Increased Anointing

Today is day 5 of our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting

Scripture: Luke 4:14-19
Thought for Today: “Increased Anointing”

Jesus was anointed by God and increased in that anointing 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) but prior to His ministry we can see a direct connection between His lifestyle of prayer and fasting and His increasing anointing (Lk 5:12-13)(Lk 6:12)(Mk 9:29).

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).

“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)

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 deminishing 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 in others so that they may find increase in the anointing of God and be more effective as Kingdom Agents in the world around them.

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

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