Posts Tagged ‘baptism’

River of Transition

“Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground. And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” (2 Kings 2:8-10)

When Elijah and his successor, Elisha came to the River Jordan they were at the “River of Transition”. A change was about to take place. The Mantle of prophetic anointing is about to be shifted from the elder to the younger. How will this take place? By the careful and deliberate choice of Elijah! Notice here that the sons of the prophets were left on the other side of the River – they will have no say in the transfer of the Mantle. The transfer will occur at a place of God’s choosing and not man’s.

Asking for Double!

In seasons of transition, there are opportunities for increase! For eight long years Elisha had followed Elijah faithfully, and finally the Man of God asks Elisha what he wanted from their relationship. Elisha was bold, because he understood the value of transition. He asked for a double portion of the Spirit that was upon Elijah. Elisha wanted the anointing and authority of the Holy Spirit… in fact, he was after double. It is important to state clearly that no man can give what he does not have. Therefore, it was impossible for Elijah to give double; but it was not impossible for Elisha to receive double according to his faith in God. His faith got him just what he asked for… a double portion. And the principle seems to have been true in Elisha, because we see recorded in Scripture double the miracles done by his hand than that of Elijah. When he received the mantle, the observant followers of Elijah recognized the anointing on Elisha’s life by saying, “The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha”. They saw and recognized the power of God upon the ministry of Elisha.

When you stand at the River of Transition… what do you ask for?

Jesus received His mantle at this same River!

Leaping forward… 2500 years or so. It may have been the will of God that this “mantle of anointing” to be passed from one generation to the next all the way from Moses to John the Baptist… and on to Jesus! I cannot help but believe that God was once more speaking in the river of transition. At the time of Jesus’ baptism, all righteousness was fulfilled and the Holy Spirit came as a dove and lit upon the Son of Man. The Father’s announcement is heard, “this is My Son in whom I love!” And from this very place a mantle was received and miracles began in Jesus’ ministry.

Today, Jesus is calling us to the River of Transition… Go after double!

“Most assuredly, I say to you, 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.  And whatever you ask in My Name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My Name, I will do it.” (Jn. 14:12-14)

Pathway for Glory

“The Glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isa 40:5)

Kingdom People are designed to carry the Glory of God and release shifts in the atmosphere where peace is needed. Throughout the Bible we are commanded not to quarrel over words or be divisive. Our affections are to be set on the Holy Spirit, who is referred to as “Comforter”, “Counselor” or “Helper”. We must recognize that the work of the Holy Spirit needs a platform, a pathway to enter. The Holy Spirit must feel welcome if He is to stay active in a person’s life.

Preparing the Way:

In the verse above, we see the central goal of John the Baptist. His ministry was to be a voice crying in the wilderness, “prepare the way of the Lord”. People needed to examine their hearts and repent of their sinful ways, because the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. John was not looking for just any Kingdom or any King. The Lamb of God would be recognized by a very interesting symbol… the ”dove”. God had given a word to John that in His baptism, the Holy Spirit would come like a dove and land upon Him and stay. God was asking John to notice how Glory would come into the world through the peace of Christ. The Lamb of God would serve as an entry point for the “dove” and for Glory to be recognized. That is an important pathway… “a place for the dove to land”. It was the pathway for Glory (Heb 1:1-4).

Looking for Peace:

This is the picture God has shone us through Noah. When the rain had ended and the ark continued to float aimlessly, Noah begins to look for a resting place. Not just any resting place, but a place for a dove to stay. Even as he waited for land to appear; he could not be confident until the dove, having been released from his own hand, found a place to land and stay. Noah was not just looking for land, he was looking for an entry point. A new day was about to begin with a rainbow… and a promise that would promote life.

Kingdom People must look beyond meetings; we are looking for an open heaven, where the dove will have a place to rest… a place that will promote life.

Peace and Glory:

Its important to understand that God’s Glory is a weighty substance that rests in the atmosphere of God’s Peace! When Jesus sent out the 12 disciples He said, “freely you have received now freely give”, yet when they went into a community, they were to look for places to impart peace. If the household was worthy, they were to impart their peace into it, but if not then they were to wipe the dust off their feet and journey to the next house (Mt 10:8-14). Peace seemed to be an atmosphere that could be imparted at the will of the disciples based on how well the house embraced the ministry of the Holy Spirit. And it would be needed, if the ministry was to continue in that region.

Making Glory Visible and Recognizable:

What Jesus was saying is that we must be looking for places where the “dove” will be welcome. Places of peace provide rest for the soul, give access to God’s deliverance and freedom from the oppression of the devil. The dove is the Biblical symbol for Peace provided by the Presence of the Holy Spirit. This is still our urgent mission; not just to win a bunch of people to our point of view, but to bring an atmosphere that unlocks the revelation, that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Peace is Heaven’s influence. The pathway for the Glory of God is a significant point of entry, where God is welcome and the Holy Spirit makes habitation among us (Eph 2:19-22).

5 Disciplines to Welcome the Holy Spirit:
1. Humility: (1 Pet 5:5-7)
2. Praise and Worship: (Psalm 63)
3. Passionate Love: (Eph 3:17-19)
4. Entrance of God’s Word: (Neh 8:1-6)
5. Fellowship of Believers: (Mt 18:19-20)

Faith in the Earth

I believe God wants to bring a fresh revelation of peace to the World. There are however two major themes that run through Scripture… light will get brighter, while the darkness will get darker. God does some of His greatest works when all the Earth seemed to be asleep. It makes sense to me for the Holy Spirit to release such an outpouring of God’s Glory that all could see the goodness of the Lord in these days of confusion and desperation. But if He did this, would we recognize it?

It was Jesus who asked the question… “will I find faith in the Earth?” (Lk. 18:8)

A Fresh Vision of the Lamb of God: (Jn. 1:14)

No question, in order to release revival in any part of the world, there must be a fresh vision of Jesus… and a corresponding faith in the Earth. You might ask, “so what does that look like?” Here is a good example from John the Baptist. He understood that faith requires preparation. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). It was John who prepared the path for the Lamb of God to come into view for the nation of Israel (Jn. 1:6-10). The prophet Isaiah tells us that John needed to… “make straight in the desert, a highway for our God” (Isa. 40:3-5). So we find the powerful impact John the Baptist makes by passionately baptizing thousands of repenting hungry Jews at the Jordan River. One man was releasing a radical shift in the way people would see and feel about their future. Faith was to follow their experience in the waters of baptism. His revelation was enormously valuable… you have to change the way you think. Living with faith means a death and rebirth of heart perceptions. What an amazing reality… to carry such influence within your heart and release such impact in the Earth.

Making straight in the desert, a highway for our God!”

The valleys would need to be exalted and the mountains made low. The crooked places needed to be made straight and the rough places made smooth. And why? “For the Glory of the Lord to be revealed” in such a way that everyone would see it! Today, this is our mandate – the Glory of the Lord!

“For the Earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea!” (Habakkuk 2:14)

Kingdom People are designed to carry the Glory of God and create shifts in the atmosphere. Shifts that release faith in the Earth. Jesus tells us to pray for the Kingdom to come and the Father’s Will to be done, in the same way that the Kingdom is a reality of Heaven… “on earth as it is in Heaven” (Mt. 6:10). John was a voice crying in the wilderness saying… “prepare your hearts, repent of your ways; for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. The Kingdom is at your finger tips and all you have to do is believe to receive it. Can you catch this revelation… believing engages the spiritual revolution we are after – God is after!

The Key is the Sign of His Glory:

John was not looking for just any man when he looked for Jesus. He was looking for the One in whom God had spoken previously in the secret place of John’s heart. The Lamb of God would be recognized by the fact that at His baptism the Spirit would come like a dove and land upon Him and stay. God was asking John to notice peace coming into the world by way of the Glory of God. The Lamb of God would serve as an entry point for the “dove” to land… and for God’s Glory – once lost – to be recognized again.

“…to give the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus.” (2 Cor. 4:6)

Baptism of Fire

Wreckless Abandon

The Bible says: In the Presence of God there is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Ps 16:11)

That could make you wanna shout! Not only is it an amazing reality, but it strikes at the very heart of our sense of destiny and faith. Many Christians want to be in the Presence of God and want to learn the practice of living in the Glory Realm. It’s a natural desire, especially for those who have experienced it and tasted the goodness of God’s Presence. We all want to live in the reality of unspeakable joy (1 Pe 1:8). The sense of well-being and complete acceptance that comes with being in His Presence is more intoxicating than all that this world has to offer.

Complete Surrender:

Hear the call of John the Baptist, as he tells of the Baptism that Jesus will immerse us in when the Holy Spirit is poured out in Jerusalem. “I indeed baptize you with water, but One mightier than I is coming… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire“ (Lk 3:16). God is a consuming fire, and He burns up all of our impure thoughts, habits and behaviors (Heb 12:29). Sin and rebellion in us is consumed in His flaming hot Presence. For us to walk deeper into Glory, we must be willing for unclean things to be burned up. We must surrender them completely in His Presence.

Giving Up Control:

Everyone seems to be so eager to run into God’s Presence, because they want the overwhelming sense of joy and freedom, but very few desire the unpleasant feeling of giving up control. This process of giving up sinful parts of our soul causes us fearful expectations of being left with nothing to hold onto. Yet that is the point of the fire! Its designed to break us free of those things, so that we grab hold of His truth and live by faith in Him personally and intentionally.

Proximity Matters:

If we want to grow closer to Him, we must be willing for God to burn those things up in us. The closer we live to the fire, the hotter it gets. The nice thing about the Presence is that we don’t have to do it ourselves. We just have to be willing to stay in the fire long enough.

It’s like when you put wood in a fire. You really are not the one burning up the wood, but you need to be willing to keep it in the coals, for it to burn. If we surrender all we have grown to trust to this Baptism of Fire, everything will emerge changed. That which is unholy will burn like the wood burns in a fire. As we come closer to Him, we sense our lives being touched by fire.

Fire Transforms Living:

We see the fire in His eyes (2 Cor 4:6) and we are consumed by His loving embrace (Eph 1:6). His immersion of pure, holy, flaming love captures the heart, transforms our vision and makes all things new, dependent and fruitful.

Its amazing and impossible, yet its also… just like God.

Recognizing Glory

I believe God wants to bring a fresh revelation of peace to the World in which we live. And it would make sense to me for the Holy Spirit to release such an outpouring of His Glory that all could see the goodness of the Lord in these days of desperation.

But if He did this, would we recognize it? As I recall it was Jesus who asked the question… “will I find faith in the earth?”  (Lk. 18:8)

***

A Fresh Vision of the Lamb of God: (Jn. 1:14)

No question, in order to release revival in any part of the world, there must be a fresh vision of Jesus. John the Baptist prepared the path for the Lamb of God to come into view for the nation of Israel (Jn. 1:6-10). The prophet Isaiah tells us that John needed to… “make straight in the desert, a highway for our God” (Isa. 40:3-5).

“Make straight in the desert, a highway for our God!”

The valleys would need to be exalted and the mountains made low. The crooked places need to be made straight and the rough places made smooth. And why? “For the Glory of the Lord to be revealed” in such a way that everyone would see it! Today… this is our mandate!

“For the Glory of the Lord to be Revealed!”

Kingdom People are designed to carry the Glory of God and create shifts in the atmosphere. John was a voice crying in the wilderness saying… “prepare your hearts, repent of your ways; for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. The Kingdom is at your finger tips and all you have to do is believe to receive it.

The Sign of His Glory:

John was not looking for just any man when he looked for Jesus. He was looking for the One in whom God had spoken previously in the secret place of John’s heart. The Lamb of God would be recognized by the fact that at His baptism the Spirit would come like a dove and land upon Him and stay. God was asking John to notice peace coming into the world by way of the Glory of God. The Lamb of God would serve as an entry point for the “dove” to land… and for God’s Glory – once lost - to be recognized again.

“…to give the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus.” (2 Cor. 4:6)

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