Posts Tagged ‘Blessed’

Loving What Emerges

This post is from the start of the very first Apostolic Training Center…….5 years later God is still up to amazing things.

Sometimes we put our hands to work and we are very aware of the outcome… and then there is the ministry. Its the work of God’s hands! He is the Ultimate Potter, we become the clay and the emerging masterpiece is of His craftsmanship. I love it, I love watching it and being part of it.

The Quest:

There is this wonderful vulnerability where grace, tears, risk and adventure come together. Its like there are no blueprints, no plans to follow. Its just faith in God’s power at work that shapes the mission. We have a vision of where we are going, but there is no quest on earth that so yields itself to the will of another. Not just any “another” but “The Another” - God, Himself holds our attention, our heart beat and our foot prints. And somehow a ministry emerges from our efforts that brings Him pleasure, while at the same time transforms a culture. Wow, what a life changing opportunity to join God in this quest.

Mission Uganda:

In my resent journey into Uganda there was one specific goal that God seemed to be emphasizing over and over; opening the Apostolic Training Center. Our teams on the ground were set and ready to move and I have never seen such passion for God’s Word to be taught. Pastor Francis Wanyama met me at the airport with my schedule in his hand and a fire in his belly. Our driver was not about to waste time with small talk; for he was a pastor as well, already engaged in the process of mobilizing a network of laborers. I could tell this was not an ordinary day… a New Day was emerging in the hearts of these people and all I could say is, “Its just the beginning!”

Apostolic Training Center

March 2012

A Grand Opening:

My schedule was filled with conferences and teaching sessions, but the one event that stood out was the Grand Opening of our Apostolic Training Center. I arrived at about 9 am to about 125 students of all ages, hungry and waiting. Blessed and energized by what I was experiencing, we stepped into the process together… all of us knowing nothing of where God was taking us. One thing we were all in agreement upon… we would not have wanted to be anywhere else. There was a buzz in the room that assured us almost immediately that this was a New Day and that God was doing a New Thing.

The Emerging Wineskin:

For the next 4 days something wonderful began to emerge. A wineskin of sorts was beginning to take shape. It was filled with spiritual substance, Holy Spirit stuff like joy and laughter, hope and expectancy; as well as some tough questions about truth… God’s Truth. And no matter how difficult we imagined this challenge to be, God seemed to be offering a resource. He was doing something I have watched Him do time and time again, governing by peace (Isa 9:6-7).

Just the Beginning:

Now, with over 150 people carrying a dream that no man on earth will be able to sustain. All I know to do is love what emerges. It looks a lot like the vision we had in our hearts when we heard from God, but we could never have taken credit for how it felt to us. It was God’s dream first and it thrills me to have brought Him the glory!

Ministry is like that… its the work of God’s hands. When its all said and done we realize, we are His workmanship and He is shaping our hearts (Eph 2:10).

An Outpouring

“Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” (Mt. 11:3-6)

Offended?  No… transformed! As far as I’m concerned… we need not look any further! What we have seen and heard has changed our view of everything. Our journey has been blessed by an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and we feel a responsibility to release the treasure that we carry. The well has been deepened; we still long for more… but only in terms of more of His Glory. His love has wrecked us and sharpened our gaze.

We believe we have been created to drink deeply at the streams of revival and to awaken a hunger for the heart of our Heavenly Father. This generation must be allowed the opportunity to burn with a passion for the things of His Kingdom. Its a discovery of their own place in the Father’s Heart. Jesus said that the “Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” and that if we ask for it, we could have it; “…on Earth as it is in Heaven” (Mt 4:17 & Lk 12:32). This is the beat of our heart; to advance the Kingdom whenever and wherever, for His Glory.

Training to See

God is very committed to teaching us how to see. To make this possible He gave us the Holy Spirit as a tutor. The curriculum that He uses is quite varied. But the one class we all qualify for is the greatest of all Christian privileges—worship.

The Environment of Worship:

The environment of worship is the most excellent class room. Learning how to see is not the purpose for our worship, but it is a wonderful byproduct. Those who worship in spirit and truth learn to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead. His realm is called the Kingdom of God. The Throne of God, which becomes established upon the praises of His people, is at the center of that Kingdom. It’s in the environment of worship that we learn things that go way beyond what our intellect can embrace.

David’s Example:

David was so affected by this environment that all His other exploits pale in comparison to his abandoned heart for God. We know that he learned to see into God’s realm because of statements like, “I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved” (Ps. 16:8). The Presence of God affected His seeing. He constantly practiced recognizing God’s Glory. He saw God daily, not with the natural eyes, but with the eyes of the heart.

Seeing By Revelation:

The privilege of worship is a good place for those who wrestle with difficult themes found in Scripture. In worship we can learn to hear the voice of God and receive revelation, a God-given gift. Nothing so moves us as a fresh word from heaven. Its the ability to see with the heart. As we learn to worship with purity of heart, our eyes will continue to open. And we can expect to see what He wants us to see.

Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.” (Lk 10:23-24)

God Given Identity

Your God-given identity will answer these 2 questions…

1st) ‘Who has God created me to be?’
2nd) ‘What has God called me to do?’

Your Identity is Prophetic…

Its God’s intended purpose to bless and prosper you as His Child, His friend and His Ambassador. Our identity speaks of who you are, but more than that… of who you are becoming! It unlocks your imagination and awakens your dream and hidden purpose. Its a key for opening the door to where you should invest your heart for the most satisfying life God would want for you. Our Father wants you to be secure in His love and He has created every individual to be great! Yet many Christians are uncertain or conflicted about their unique, personal identity.

Some signs you may have an unclear sense of identity are:
•…a lack of personal confidence or self worth
•…difficulty accepting both your strengths and limitations
•…being affected by fear, doubt, rejection or envy
•…other people’s opinions are setting your course
•…feeling out of place or unfulfilled

Setting Your Course:

To various degrees, many of us need strength, clarity or even healing in vital areas of our identity! If there is anything the devil can do to confuse or distract you from your God-given identity… he will do it! Its really important that you shake off the enemy’s lies and set a fresh course for the Promised Land (Ex. 3:17). The land “flowing with milk and honey” is just over the hill if you know which hill to climb. That’s what a God-given identity will do for you!

9 Clues to Your God-Given Identity:

Here are 9 clues to help you explore who you are uniquely in God. If identity is a struggle for you, I encourage you to take some time to journal or pray about the points you particularly relate to.

1. Your Family Identity

‘Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…’ (Jn. 1:12)

Before you can fully comprehend your personal identity, you need to grasp who you are in God’s household. You are royalty, adopted by the King. You carry the family DNA and attributes. You are Blessed, Loved, Chosen and Qualified to reign in life… you are the Father’s Son or Daughter. You are Righteous in Christ. What does God’s Word say about who you are as a son or daughter of God?

2. Seasons of Fulfillment

Can you look back on your life and recognize times and seasons in which you felt the most fulfilled, the most alive? I call these events or seasons, “kyros moments”… where God comes near and gives you hints of your potential and points toward your destiny. This is not just about relationships, but settings – times and seasons where God is showing you your heartbeat or rhythm. What were you doing during these times, and most importantly, what aspects of your personality and passion were emerging and being revealed?

3. Prophetic Personal Insights

What has God used to speak to you personally about your life? What prophetic descriptions, about who you are; have resonated with you? Perhaps you have personally experienced the feelings when something spoken really resonated in your heart. These words may have a prophetic anointing upon them for you to pray about and consider as God continues to speak truth through the Bible. The Old Testament is full of prophecies about Jesus and He was able to see Himself in the book. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and God will speak into your life from time to time. The key is to see the prophetic voices around you as part of God’s discipleship. What words and names describe you as a person? How does God see you?

4. People Who have Believed in You.

Throughout your life’s journey, God has brought significant people across your path. These are the ones who have believed in you. These people have been gifts from God to nourish your identity and help release your potential. Who were they and what were the marks of Kingdom purpose in you, that they brought out or uncovered for growth? What did they see in you? These are often hidden, or under-developed areas about you that you may have doubted or dismissed.

5. Trials that Have Brought out the Best in You

‘For You Oh God tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.’ (Ps. 66:10)

What tests have you undergone that ultimately brought out something good or strong in you? Can you identify the positive attribute that manifested in your life? How would you describe it?

6. Identify Tragic Events

‘No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah…’ (Isa. 62:4)

Moses killed a man and fled Egypt… his identity was to be a deliverer, but at that time he was labeled a murderer. The enemy hates our identity and the image of God upon you. He aims to kill steal and destroy (Jn. 10:9-10). One of the ways the enemy does this is through strategic events that damage our identity and self-worth. The Bible calls this the “wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:10-12). Personal failure, circumstances or mistakes can injure your sense of identity and so can the abuse and rejection of others. If this has taken place in your life, God’s plan is to restore your true identity. What mark or label have you worn too long and need to cast off? Has an event or person hurt you or attacked you? You are not under the dominion of sin or evil words, but hidden in Christ and under the careful watch of angels. Now that you are alive in Christ, those marks of oppression are often hints to your calling in Christ. What is the opposite of your most tragic experience? Could this be the true identity that God wants to redeem in your life?

7. A God-Given Name

‘The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.’ (Isa. 62:2)

In Scripture, a given name was frequently synonymous with identity. In some cases, God re-named a person as a sign of their identity and destiny. For example, Jesus renamed Simon, Peter… meaning rock (Mt. 16:18). Sometimes today parents provide their children with a prophetic name that speaks of their identity, but this is not always the case. Is there a name that you have been given by God or others that you believe is prophetic for your life and describes who you are?

8. Who are you When Fearless?

If fear and doubts were not an issue, who would you be? What attributes would be displayed in your life? What is the best version of you… courageous and full of faith. Never surrender your heart to the opinion of others or listen to people’s version of what you should be? Be yourself!

9. What is Your Unique Sense of Passion and Purpose?

Your interests and the things that you are passionate about are an important part of who you are. You may even have a sense of destiny or feel a call of God upon your life. This is a valuable clue to your identity. Gideon’s destiny was to lead the Israelites in battle and lead the nation to God. God addressed him by his identity, ‘mighty warrior’ (Judg. 6:12). Abram’s destiny was to birth a Messianic lineage. God named him ‘Abraham’, which meant ‘Father of a multitude’ (Gen. 17:4-6). Do you have a sense of your purpose, or have you seen a glimpse of God’s call on your life? Working backwards, what does this say about how God sees you and who He has created you to be?

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11)

Excellence and Passion

To do things with excellence requires passion. To love well, run our race with an enduring strength and pursue a life with no regrets, requires something bigger than ourselves… something we are passionate about. Doing things well is part of living the abundant life and should be the standard for Kingdom People. We are called to walk in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. An excellent heart comes from who we are in God and who God is in us.

The Counterfeit:

Excellence is not the same as perfectionism. In fact, it comes out of a totally different motivation. Perfectionism is a desire for approval that flows from a religious spirit. There is no creative flow to perfectionism, because it relies upon human reasoning as its standard rather than passion and love. People who come from this motivation are often judgemental and find fault in almost anything they see accomplished.

A good example of this is when Mary pours out an expensive ointment on the feet of Jesus and Judas speaks up with a contentious attitude. To Jesus this expression was an excellent display of affection, but to Judas it was a terrible waste of money (Jn 12:3-6). Although the room was filled with the fragrance of worship, the heart of Judas was filled with criticism and judgement. Interestingly the Scripture gives us a hint of what motivated Judas. He had no concern for the poor, but was taking money from the money box, because he was a thief.

Power to Excel:

Dunamis is the Greek word for power that described the Holy Spirit’s outpouring on the day of Pentecost. Jesus said “You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is poured out and you shall be witnesses to Me… in all the world” (Acts 1:8). Notice that this power would become the motivator for the witness they carried out in the world. The Holy Spirit would release such passion that they would bear evidence of a lifestyle from another world… Heaven.

Heaven’s Purpose:

Now there is some excellence in Heaven. There are some creative ideas in Heaven. There are things yet to be accomplished through Heaven’s creativity and purpose in the Earth. Jesus wanted us to accomplish the things of Earth with Heaven’s resources. Passion, creativity, wisdom and ability are designed to be released through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Its part of our delegated authority in the natural world to be a witness of Heavenly standards. “Gold, silver and precious stones rather than wood, hay and stubble” as the Apostle Paul would say. Your work will be tested by fire and the only thing that will endure will be that which had an eternal quality (1 Cor 3:12-15).

Be Creative:

Being creative does not mean everything has to be original or amazing, it just needs to carry our unique flow of expression, passion and gifting. You and I are the Children of God that the creation has been waiting to see, waiting with groaning and birth pains (Rom 8:18-23). We carry a glory that must have expression!

  • There are songs, yet to be written and sounds, yet to be heard!
  • There are inventions, yet to be seen and businesses, yet to be created!
  • There are cures for diseases, resources for the poor and justice for the downtrodden that must break forth!
  • There are revelations to be discovered and dreams to be dreamed!

All because of the Holy Spirit’s anointing… we have been blessed with the glorious liberty of excellence and passion.

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