Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

The Spirit of Prophecy

“For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev 19:10)

If you really want to make an impact… then allow God to transform your problems into testimonies! Telling people about the miracles happening in your life makes God more real and believable to the person who is struggling. It causes faith to engage in those who hear what God is doing in you.

Making Him Visible:

People begin to see miracles in their own lives, because of what God does for you. As we watch this process develop in others we begin to discover how the spirit of prophecy actively effects those around us. We rarely consider the fact that we have the authority to release God’s mercy to everyone around us… but it is a Kingdom promise for the child of God.

When we read in the Bible that God is able to do the miraculous, it means He has the power to do it! But when we hear somebody’s testimony, it means God is still doing it! He has the will to do these miracles in the here and now. Its an invitation to believe He will do it for you! The big difference in our perception actually draws us into expectation. We feel invited into the same experiences that we hear about.

Paul said it this way, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom 10:17).

Remind yourself that God’s Word is His will for you! Its His testimony. God is able! There is no deficiency in His power. The deficiency may not be in your faith, but in your testimony. Believing that He “can do” what needs to be done in our life is not enough, we must be enforcers of a victory that has already been won. He may work in totally unexpected ways, but He will work with supernatural power and give you something to talk about.

The World is watching your Christianity: Give them something to talk about!

The Stubborn Heart

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” (Mk. 9:23-25)

It has been my experience, that literally thousands of people struggle with unbelief. Real barriers stand between their desire and the reality of God’s Will! Like this father they hear the words that Jesus would love to heal, deliver or bring hope; but they are stuck. They know the truth that if they could just believe, nothing would be impossible… but there is no believing, no receiving and no “heart” at all. There is just the nagging reality of hopeless effort, tears and shameful discouragement. And worse yet for many, they construct a new theological platform of resolve… “I will choose to not believe any longer, because it just leaves me hopeless!”

The Spirit of Unbelief:

The inability to obey the instructions of Jesus and trust in the Promises of God, often leads to this frustration. We want to please the Lord and experience all that God has said, but something in us resists faith. We find we “cannot” believe even when we want to. This can be due to a “spirit of unbelief”. Lies, deception, fears or offenses can find their dwelling in the heart and be controlled by a demonic spirit that paralyzes the heart in unbelief. This spirit is real and dangerous, it is pervasive and advancing across the landscape of Christianity and it lives in the midst of the “Church culture”… where all is not fine in paradise!

Authenticity:

I receive many emails and calls about this issue and I find it a bit shocking that the problem is so wide spread and growing. Yet in my opinion there is a root cause that we must uncover and shine the light of truth upon… people are living superficial lifestyles. They rarely stop and contemplate the meaning of their existence. To ask the simple question, “WHY!” is not blasphemy, nor is it going to lead us into deception. Perhaps it would even offer a lot more authenticity to our journey!

Jesus said in Matthew 7:7… “Ask, seek and knock… and the door will be opened!”

Authentic communication with God – opens the door of relational truth. Things that are difficult for us to understand, come into the light of His wisdom and love. God is a “father”, He knows how to take care of His children and He is faithful. He is anticipating our needs to be vocalized and to come streaming into His Presence (Heb. 4:16). The Apostle Peter, who seemed a lot like us; said you and I need to be “casting all our care upon Him, because He cares for us” (1 Pet. 5:7). He cares for us… and He knows all about our issues of faith. This idea that we can avoid our problems and they will just go away… well – that is the greatest deception of all! They do not go away, in fact they produce the fruit of disappointment, which I spoke of earlier. We tend to create and believe a false perception of God’s heart toward our reality.

So – here’s the point…

  • Stop living without meaningful communication with God!

Spend time telling God of the frailty of your faith, the brokenness of your heart and the weakness in your perceptions… ask Him “why?!” and then wait… wait… wait… for the doors to open! They will, my friend they will… they will open wide and the King of Glory will come in. Who is this King of Glory… He is the Lord Strong and Mighty! (Psa. 24:7-10)

Revival of Intimacy

“The more you know God, the more you love Him.”

I hear this phrase quite often from the people I pastor. What they are communicating is the irresistible nature of God. He has captured our hearts! There is a powerful pull upon our hearts when we begin to see Him for who He really is. It makes Him irresistible to the hungry… and “living water” to the thirsty (Jn. 4:10).

David said… “Oh God You are my God, early will I seek You. My soul thirsts for You, My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.” (Ps. 63:1-3)

The high calling of Christianity is to know Christ intimately! To know Christ is to know the Father (Jn 14:9). Knowing Him is not about what we do for Him, but about our pursuit of Him. Our aim is for a spiritual relationship that gives us life, it revives us and releases fullness of joy, establishes peace that rises above our understanding. Imagine a faith that comes easy, because love so fills the heart that God becomes easy to obey.

Don’t Stop Following Him!

Our problem seems to be that somewhere along the way we stopped following Him and began to follow doctrine and traditions of man. We became “churchy” and religious; rather than friends and co-laborers. We need a heart-rending revival of intimacy that calls us back to behold the face of Jesus (2 Cor 4:6). To recover our first love, we must look into the eyes that captured our hearts in the beginning.

  • God is irresistible… beyond any human definition.
  • God is irresistible… there’s no better place to be than in His Presence.
  • God is irresistible… and early we shall seek Him and consistently we shall follow.

“One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the House of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in His Temple.” (Ps. 27:4)

Real Grace

The word “grace” has significant meaning for our relationship with God, ourselves and one another. Grace is God’s love offered. As a gift is freely given, so grace must be received to be appreciated. God offers us something beyond ourselves, yet within our reach. The power of this gift called grace, grows when we truly understand how it works in connection with faith and trust.

Grace is a Person:

God so loved the world that He gave us the gift of His only Son (Jn 3:16-17). Jesus is the gift of grace to all mankind. He is the way, the truth, and the life of God, given as the full representative of grace. Through Jesus, God comes to us and reveals Himself to us, because we cannot by ourselves find God. Jesus as our advocate with the Father comes to help us know Him and believe in Him as He really is. We cannot do this by our human limitation, because we get so blinded by carnal perception. We need God’s grace.

Religious Perceptions:

Religion can be negative to our perception, as it creates a way of seeing through boxes of morality, judgment and expectations. In fact, so many people are bound to religion that Christianity is often defined more by what it rejects than what it believes.

If we are sinful (and we all are), we may not want to come to God, thinking that God is unapproachable and will punish us for our sins. We may get the idea that we must be “good enough” to be acceptable to God. But this is where grace becomes so significant. Its the gift of God!

Understanding Mercy:

All sinners experience guilt, brokenness and emotional pain. But faith is our humble belief in God’s mercy. Mercy is simply God not giving us what we deserve so that grace can become visible. When we understand mercy, we naturally turn toward the one showing us that mercy. This turning is an act of humility, because we recognize the favor (grace) being shown us is undeserved and it causes us to feel like a burden is lifted from our shoulders. There are all kinds of burdens that mercy lifts when someone favors us.

Clarifying Our Focus:

It is important that we reject sinful behavior, but never reject ourselves or the person we see sinning. Unfortunately, in real life, many of us have the tendency to blend the two into one: we often associate the behavior with the person. In this way, we become condemning and judgmental, hypocritical and proud.

This is where God’s grace becomes visible. Jesus is not a policeman, but an advocate. An advocate is somebody who pleads the case for mercy and stands on behalf of the guilty before the accuser or the judge.

Restoration and Hope:

In the parable of the prodigal son, the father is not judgemental and condemning, but a restorer of broken relationship. Jesus tells us, he throws his arms around the returning son and kisses him, while his servant is commanded to prepare the house for a party.

Consistent with Grace:

Jesus would have us see God as the waiting Father, who runs to embrace the son at the first sign of his turning toward home. “This son was lost, but now has come home! Bring out the robe, the ring and the sandals, for my son was dead and is alive again. Prepare the fatted calf… tonight we feast!” (Lk 15:20-24)

Walking in Real Grace:

The other son is caught up in the epic battle with religious seeing and self-righteous attitudes. Jesus does not approve of that moralistic attitude, because it is hypocritical. In offering grace to others, Jesus wants us to embrace people at the first sign of turning toward home. Its not that we condone what they have done as much as we embrace who they really are. He wants us to know that grace is God’s unconditional love revealed at the first sign of humility. The Apostle Peter said “…be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble” (1 Pet 4:5).

Gratitude

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thes. 5:16-18)

Do you want to know the will of God for your life? Here it is… Without question, this is the most direct statement from the Bible concerning God’s intent for you!

  1. Rejoice!
  2. Pray!
  3. Give Thanks!

The Discipline of Gratitude:

Its a lifestyle of gratitude that God is looking for in His Child! It is a discipline, a witness and a sphere of authority… to live in such a way that others see you as a positive influence in a very negative world. Gratitude is one of the greatest Keys of the Kingdom! It positions the believer to see, hear and respond to things under unique environmental laws – laws governed by the Holy Spirit. Gratitude is a postured heart that moves “you”, your mind, will and emotional “you”… from limitation and fear to optimism and love. The Discipline of Gratitude means we are practicing and producing an attitude of being thankful, even when the future is cloudy ahead of you. This is a real test to our worship as lovers of God, as Christians; we are to be found expressing to the Lord our appreciation and reverence for how He has and still is releasing grace into our lives.

God offers us the Wow Factor!

We are grateful because His blood has redeemed us. As a discipline, this means we are to realize our indebtedness to God and “practice” our faith, in awesome wonder of what He has done for us. It has a relational application in that it helps us deal with others with support and appreciation for how they have benefited our lives. This Discipline of Gratitude enables us to know Him and His will more and more… as we keep our focus on God’s promises and not our circumstances. His provision and care are amazing! They are an expression of His mercy… not merely our experiences. Christianity is not for our personal benefit… it is for His glory. Seeing life from the perspective of what “I can get” or what I feel “I deserve”; rather than what I have already been given, creates “self” problems. We must discipline ourselves to see God as the Father of every good and perfect gift (Jms. 1:17)… and then live out loud (Heb. 13:15), expressing the wonder of His favor toward us. Remind yourself… He is looking for worshipers! (Jn. 4:23-24)

See God as the Father of every good and perfect gift… and then live out loud!

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