Posts Tagged ‘Apostle Paul’

God Shaped

“…but now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our Potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” (Isa. 64:8)

According to the experts, clay has to be in the exact center of the potter’s wheel. If not, then the clay will eventually tear apart and become marred in the potter’s hands. The desired result will not be achieved and the beauty in the potter’s imagination cannot be released.

I find it helpful to remind myself often that I, as a believer must stay centered. We are as clay, and God (the ultimate Potter) shapes us into the masterpiece best suited for His purpose. “For we are His workmanship (His masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10) We must be in the middle of the Master Potter’s wheel, if we want to become suited for Kingdom success. Our anointing, the touch of God upon our lives and the flow of spiritual influence; is hinged to staying focused on Christ. At the very center of the Potter’s Wheel is the most vulnerable place, and the most wonderful place; to live your life!

Needing a Savior:

The first step of being in the middle of God’s will is to recognize we need a Savior. We have fallen short of God’s original intent and we need someone to lift us up onto the “Potter’s wheel” again (Rom. 3:23-24). That position is where something significant can begin to take place. Being centered in Christ means we live a life of full surrender to what God, the Master Potter, wants to do in our lives. Surrendering to Christ allows Him to remove the most significant barrier – sin, and restore our originally designed relationship between the Potter and His clay. When we accept the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, He becomes our Savior and everything becomes new… our hearts, our focus and our future (2 Cor. 5:17).

Trusting His Lordship:

The second step is allowing Him to become “lord” and follow Him as His disciple. In order to see the kind of spiritual transformation we need, we have to submit our lives to Him. The Greek word for “lord” is kurios, pronounced koo-rios. In Ephesians  it says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:2). Note that the Apostle Paul recognizes Jesus as our Lord and God as our Father. When Christ is truly Lord in a person’s heart, He becomes supreme in authority and is allowed to govern the heart and mind by grace. Something to remind ourselves, is that grace is a favor that the Holy Spirit opens up to us (2 Cor. 3:17-18) as we learn to walk in humble obedience to the Father’s will and purpose for our lives (Jms. 4:6-10). Through the practices of prayer of reading God’s Word, (the Bible) we are awakened on the inside (our spirit) to the force of God’s shaping hands. This is the power of the Holy Spirit at work transforming and renewing our minds to follow His will for our life.

The Master Potter:

God is the ultimate craftsmen, shaping us with His hands and perfecting us for His Glory. We trust Him to mold us, to shape us into a vessel fit for Kingdom use. It requires faith to believe in something you haven’t seen, but as you process all that God does within you spiritually; there is an assurance that grows and shapes even the way you think. The Bible tells us that there is a renewal of strength (Isa. 40:29-31) and a restoration of heart (Psa. 63:3-7) that comes as we position ourselves before the Father. This is because He loves us with an everlasting and unconditional love. He sees in us something beautiful, something we cannot see, something that He alone will cause to emerge. And emerge it will… to display His pleasure, power and passion!

Remind yourself today that you are: “His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Pet. 2:9-10)

Recognize The Gift

I have often wondered if what disqualifies me for success in the eyes of the world, is oddly attractive to God. Maybe He chose me precisely because others would not have. Maybe my brokenness and frailties are His prerequisites.

The Bible says that God chooses the weak things of the world to shame the strong and the foolish things of the world to shame the wise (1 Cor 1:25-29). Maybe that’s what He could do with me… “shame the strong and wise”. Maybe that’s what He could do with you, too.

The Words of Critics:

Many of us have been told all our life that we can’t, that we won’t or that we shouldn’t. Over time you may have believed this line of reasoning. These words can become watermarks etched in our memories… the images and expressions that undermine our faith; but God refuses such words! He is bold to refute those can’t and won’t and shouldn’ts in our memory.

God has put something inside of each of us… to display His Purposes!

  • In defiance, God takes the outcast and does the outstanding!
  • He takes the misfit and does the miraculous!
  • He takes the improbable and does the impossible!

He rules in the midst of weakness!

The Apostle Paul said it would be this way; that grace would reign in the midst of frailty (Rom 5:17). Nobody needs another example of perfection… Jesus did this for all of us. We need authenticity and when people see that in us… well, let’s just recognize the gift and honor Him for His mercy.

Serious Alignment

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!” (Ephesians 6:10)

Thought for Today: “Becoming Armed and Dangerous”

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that we have been given supernatural tools for warring against spiritual forces (Eph. 6:13-18). He first says, “put on the whole armor of God so that you can stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11). We find ourselves wrestling with principalities and powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. I believe we can be armed and dangerous. We can be equipped, shod and gird about with the most impressive sounding weapons God has in His arsenal, but it all works through prayer and fasting. Praying, watching and persevering with all kinds of prayers.

Not by Human Might:

We are ambassadors of Christ with amazing potential to do exploits and achieve the impossible things Jesus did, but it only happens with the help of the Holy Spirit (Zech 4:6). You see, we are battling invisible forces. Spiritual enemies that cannot be seen with our natural eyes. We can see the effects, but never get to the source of the real battle unless we are trained through prayer and fasting.

The Apostle’s Boldness:

Notice how the Apostle Paul writes these words to the Church in Ephesus while he was in prison, saying “I am an ambassador in chains”. He is making the point that his warfare is not fought in the flesh, but in the spiritual realm (Eph 3:10). His boldness was based upon an awareness that God’s grace was flowing through his life (Eph 3:8). Being armed does not necessarily make us dangerous to the devil, unless we are trained in the use of the weapons of our warfare… trained in prayer and sharpened by fasting.

Delegated Authority:

Its all about knowing who you represent! God has chosen you, called you by name and He will work in and through you… but your standard of training is up to you. Jesus was always calling His disciples up higher! He lived with them and taught as one holding the authority, but in a new season, new skills are needed. In John 15 a new season was about to begin. They would no longer be called “servants”. They would begin to discover what their Master was doing (Jn 15:15). As servants, they followed according to commands, but as “friends” they would follow the “heart” of their Master. Jesus was now shifting the relationship, deepening the responsibility and trusting that they would begin to live from what they understood – heart to heart. Friends discover the secrets that give them an advantage in how they walk together. Jesus wanted His disciples to achieve victory in every area of their spiritual journey. Knowing the heart of God is a key to real spiritual trained and impact in the spiritual battles we face. When we know the heart of our friend Jesus, we are able to carry our delegated authority into any challenge. One of the greatest spiritual truths is that your authority gets established through your intimacy with God.

Representing Heaven on Earth:

Becoming a dangerous threat to the devil means you will need some serious alignment with heaven. You are an ambassador for the Kingdom of God… you must represent heaven on earth in a way that makes the devil nervous and demons flee. That is what prayer and fasting will produce in you… the capacity to be armed and dangerous.

Submit to God (through prayer), resist the devil (through fasting) and he will flee from you (Jms 4:7).

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)

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