Posts Tagged ‘conviction’

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)

Becoming Believers

“Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.” (Mk. 16:9-11)

Did you catch that… the disciples didn’t believe that Jesus was alive! Even though Jesus had told them over and over again that He would be crucified and raised again on the third day… they still seemed to stumble over the news from Mary. No question, the disciples had faith in Jesus; they knew He was the Messiah. He was a trusted friend… their Lord, King and Master. To the best of their ability they knew Him as God, but they couldn’t believe He was going to do what He said He would do. It’s just like many Christians today. They have faith in God, but they don’t believe the promises of God… what He tells us in His Word.

Faith vs. Believing:

Is there a difference? In some ways there doesn’t seem to be much difference. We see the words faith and believing used interchangeably. Yet it is important that we see the difference, so that we can grow in our faith by enlarging our capacity to believe.

Faith, as the Bible tells us is the substance of things hoped for and the assurance of things not yet seen (Heb. 11:1). In this way it becomes a force that emerges out of your spirit man, based upon knowledge and hope. The Apostle Paul said faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). It’s a gift from God and a fruit of the Holy Spirit that grows as we learn how to overcome doubts and unbelief. In fact, Timothy was commanded by the Apostle Paul, his mentor; to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12).

Believing on the other hand is an activity of the soul, choosing to believe mentally or to agree with God – is what unleashes the force of faith. You might ask for an example… the best I can think of is Abraham’s faith. The Book of Romans tells of Abraham’s believing, against all the facts and natural limitations; that he and Sarah would have a son. It says that “he did not waver at the Promise of God through unbelief but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God” (Rom. 4:20). His believing was activated by his consistent praise and “giving glory to God”… and he grew in his conviction that God was able to do all that He had promised.

Unlocked & Released:

So we can see the difference between faith and believing, in that faith must be unlocked and released by our actions… our words and behavior. These are soul realities and activities of the mind, will and emotion. Believing is what makes faith the force that pleases God (Heb 11:6). If faith is the currency of heaven… then believing is the transaction that moves the heart of the Father. Faith itself may be available, but until it is acted upon, vocalized or passionately demonstrated; it is like wanting a trinket, but never getting the coins out of your pocket. Faith without works is dead (Jms. 2:20)… but Jesus said that if you believe nothing will be impossible (Mk. 9:23).

The High Ground

When we make the decision to follow Christ and put our faith in His power to lead us; we are immediately struck by the reality, that other things will challenge us for the position of first place or the “high ground”. As Spirit anointed Children of God, we must allow the Holy Spirit to train us in holding the ground He has given us to possess. We are designed to follow dominion principles over the things that God has given… its our inheritance in Christ and spiritual stewardship. It was one of the key principles of the Garden of Eden as God expected man to “have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle and over all the earth”  (Gen. 1:26-28).

First Place is the Highest Place!

Devotion and discipline are huge factors in our ability to maintain our dominion in high places. The two primary goals of honoring God with our lives and serving Him with our gifts; begin to come into focus when we do the first things well. Jesus made the promise to us that if we would seek first the Kingdom of God; all the important things we value most, would come into priority in our lives. It would come out of… and after, the obedient lifestyle (Mt 6:33). In other words, when you and I hold on to the high places a strategic and spiritual advantage is given to our stewardship in other arenas of life.

Living by Revelation:

Doing first things well opens our capacity to see and hear the secrets of heaven. Its what the Apostle Paul was getting at when he prayed that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ would give to us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. He was determined to get the eyes of our understanding enlightened, “to know the hope of His calling”, the “riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” and the “exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Eph. 1:17-19). The mysteries of the Kingdom of God are unfolding realities that are only discovered, revealed and lived out by active believing… seeking!

Seeking Transforms and Aligns our Desires with His Will!

Seeking after God is a must in order for us to hold on to the high ground. It is a sure thing that our commitment to Christ will be tested, but we can trust our Heavenly Father to deliver on the Promises of His Word. Seeking first the Kingdom of God actually releases the Holy Spirit’s Presence in our lives so that discernment and conviction come to the surface. These are the Spiritual Man’s greatest resources in walking in the dominion of Christ. As we process life on spiritual levels; our hearts are aligned and behaviors are adjusted and affirmed by a sense of the peace of God. The Peace of God rules our hearts.

Testimonies Encourage and Strengthen our Resolve!

Testimonies help us hold on to the high ground! We need not be anxious about our future, because God is with us! He has proven Himself in times of trials and our trust is set by our knowledge of His loving care for us. We can rejoice and be thankful through all things. There is an abiding peace which passes understanding guarding our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus and we are unmoved by storms or struggles (Phil 4:4-7). Nothing can stand against us!

Set Your Mind & Heart:

So keep holding on to the high ground and make it your aim to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. Your confidence will arise; even in the midst of the threats of the enemy or the confusion of the world. And you will not be ashamed! Live with the awareness that God will release wisdom and revelation for breakthrough in your life. Christ is in you, giving you power and dominion over all the things that concern you. Breakthrough happens right before your eyes, so that in your believing you are able to watch the Kingdom of God advancing in the Earth. You are the Child of the King!

Hear the Prophetic Command:
“Rada! Rule in the midst of your enemies!”

“The LORD (Jehovah/Father) said to my Lord (Jesus/The Son) sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool. The LORD (Jehovah/Father) shall send the rod (sceptor) of Your strength out of Zion (the Church)… Rule (Rada) in the midst of Your enemies!” (Ps. 110:1-2)

Taste and See

Every journey offers a process of tasting new things. 

A few days ago I was watching a conference called ”Piercing the Darkness” and one of my favorite speakers – Graham Cooke was teaching. Something He said struck me as very important to my spiritual journey.

“You know what a taste is? It’s a little sample of the whole buffet to come!”

I love the thought of tasting what God has given in the Heavenly Realms -“the whole buffet to come”.  The things that are being experienced in Kenya and Uganda are just a small taste of what God desires to do. The experiences with my Heavenly Father are just a sample of the buffet to come and not just in Heaven, but also here on earth! 

Little boys love sugar cane in Kenya!

Ron has sampled many dishes while in Africa… ugali, flying ants (that’s a great story), chipate’ and sugar cane, just to mention a few. While all of those experiences of tasting a new culture are fun and delicious, they are not the whole buffet. And I’m not sure the texture of the flying ants would pass for “good”. Yet I can testify that sampling the Lord’s goodness far outweighs anything we could physically taste. 

God is Good!

One taste of His Glory, His Presence, His healing touch or His still small voice only wets our appetite for more… of Him!  This is true, no matter what continent you are on or culture you are experiencing. Once you have had a real taste of His goodness, it ruins you for anything this world can offer.

God is Good – all the time?

There are experiences that ruin our taste buds. Have you ever taken a sip of really hot coffee or tea and burned your tongue? You know how damaged taste buds can make it hard to enjoy food for a little while. I find that there are experiences in life that damage our ability to taste and see God’s goodness all of the time. God has not changed, but our perceptions of our journey certainly can!

There are experiences in life that can ruin our spiritual “taste buds” for Kingdom priorities. 

When we allow anger, bitterness or disappointment to come in and literally “burn” the goodness from our spiritual journey, we find ourselves in a tough place. When this happens it’s hard to “taste and see” the Lord’s goodness in the midst of hurt feelings. We do not obey God willingly and often feel taken advantage of when we risk for the sake of God’s love. If you are in this place, ask God to forgive you and restore your ”seeing”, so that you begin again “tasting and seeing” the truth.

GOD IS GOOD – ALL THE TIME!

Here is a great testimony:

Hello Pastor Ron,
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ the King of Kings.
There is real fire arising in the land of Kenya. We have experienced the fire of God at work in our lives and the lives of the people, pastors and leaders in the Church of Kenya. Your timely words have made us marvel at what the Lord has in store for us. The power of God to heal, deliver and give hope to people is testified to date. I have received many testimonies from people about what the Lord did in their lives through your ministry. Another great miracle is the high level of conviction in the hearts of the people in response to the message, it is still evident to date. People’s hearts are encouraged. Many people have begun to act on the messages. Even in your absence they are still responding. They are rising to do the work of the Lord, because you ministered to the real hearts and lives of people. I have personally seen God express His goodness to us through your ministry, because of the time spent in Webuye. It was like a great call to awareness, the work of God is waiting and we have to arise and do it. Many times I have heard one statement from the pastors and leaders and it is… “Pastor Ron has greatly challenged me!”

As things are - you haven’t finished with Kenya yet. It is the beginning of your ministry here and you are preparing the ground. We are making our hearts ready for the work of real ministry. A door is wide open and you are very much needed Pastor Ron! The time has come and after the appetizer, real food is needed. People have tasted and they say it is good and now they are ready to eat. Welcome again my friend…

BISHOP PHILIP NYONGESA LUSWETI

Coming Home

Play in the leaves...

As much as I love vacations and traveling abroad, I really like coming home. I think about the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 - the time away was never going to suffice as a place to call home. It may have been a season away from the routine, the responsibilities, the pressure and the stuff we call normal, but it was not home.

Home is where Father is:

What we all are learning is the tension between Father’s love and Father’s discipline (Heb 12:7-11). This place of relational development is the greatest place to discover Sonship and the grace that helps us recognize the value of  home. Grace is experienced while learning new things still living in an atmosphere permeated with discipline. 

Normal:

What the Bible calls ”normal” is getting lost in our day, because family structures are splintering and we have embraced so much of secular society’s values. I would propose that the most under appreciated thing we have available to us… is our family routine. According to the writer of Hebrews, it is the environment most conducive to produce “the peaceable fruit of righteousness”. Normal is anything but wasted time if it is lived in the Father’s heart. The Apostle Paul encourages us to redeem time by being lead by the Spirit. He reminds us that there are influences of evil that will steal our values if we choose to live like the Prodigal Son, in foolish endeavors like drunkenness (Eph 5:15-18). Breaking free from normal is living without the canopy of a Father’s discipline. Paul tells us to find out what pleases the Father.

Canopy of Grace:

Time with family, making a schedule, eating at a common table, trying things that allow failure and success; all of these things are designed to be done beneath a canopy of grace. These are things I enjoy coming home to. I believe these routines give us our stability, by training us and creating opportunities for growth in grace. There is grace in our home, because there is a wealth of relationship that nurtures our lives beyond the natural routine. 

Joshua’s Discovery:

The great leader of Israel – Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!” (Josh 24:15) This declaration was not just a line he had drawn in the sand, it was his passionate conviction that he had found a home in God’s grace. He had discovered that God had positioned him to stay beneath the canopy of grace… and it was settled in his heart while coming home.

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