Posts Tagged ‘Counselor’

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)

Grace Platforms

The Ministry of Christ is a ministry of grace! His message was the Good News of a Kingdom of grace flowing from Heaven into Earth. It would bring forgiveness, peace and freedom from sin. Yet the deliverance and freedom experienced in the life of a disciple can only be attained and measured by the transformed mind. Real Kingdom mysteries require us to change the way we think about everything pertaining to God, Church and life on this planet (Mt. 4:17). Jesus has stepped into our natural reality and He brought His world with Him!

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His Kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isa. 9:6-7)

Ministry on Christ’s Shoulder:

The five-fold ministry gifts are examples of how “grace has been given” as Christ distributes (Eph. 4:7). All ministry is simply the manifestation of Christ expressed through the believer by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, as the “Christ” is our Apostle (Heb. 3:1), Prophet (Lk. 24:19), Evangelist (Mt. 9:35), Pastor (1 Pet. 5:2-4) and Teacher (Jn. 3:2). He emulated these offices and distributes the mantles for individuals to function in them, so that the Church carries His anointing for ministry (Jn. 14:12).

“…the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So…they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:2-3)

Selected and Sent:

The five-fold leaders are not self-appointed, nor are they simply pastors of a local church. They are clearly defined ministries that have an impact on the Church as a whole and its witness in the world. By nature, their scope of ministry is wider than the local church. They are grace ministries of Christ to the Church at large. Whether its from inner city pulpits or in the bush lands of Africa, the heartbeat of 5-fold ministry is the discipling of the nations… its our Great Commission! (Mt. 28:18-20).

Two things are required for a five-fold ministry gift to come into its own: 1) Recognition by the wider Body of Christ and 2) Functional Ministry to the wider Body of Christ. Jesus said that the fruit of a person’s life is the best way to recognize their identity, character and anointing. Prior to these two conditions being met, someone may potentially have a five-fold ministry gift, but will not yet be moving in the scope and authority of that gift. Jesus gives the grace for each gift to be released into the Church.

“…God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief Cornerstone” (Eph. 2:19-20).

Foundations:

The foundation of the Church is Jesus… the revelation of “Christ – the Son of the Living God” (Mt. 16:16). And yet there is this unique platform of the apostle and the prophet team (Eph. 3:4-5). This platform carries the role of unveiling the mysteries hidden down through the ages, yet revealed in Christ and by the Holy Spirit to the sons and daughters of men. I believe these two mantle gifts still serve that ministry role (Eph. 4:12-13), so it is vital for us to understand how this works in leading the Body of Christ. We must remember that proper buildings are held up by proper foundations. I would propose; that when grace flows into ministry and functions properly, under the headship of Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit, it will result in the growth and supernatural health of the Church worldwide. It is the will of God to set this in order and accomplish it through His apostle and prophet teams (Isa. 9:7)… by grace.

The Key of Humility:

The Apostle James and the Apostle Peter wrote specifically about how to receive grace (Jms. 4:6 & 1 Pet. 5:5-6). The humble person receives grace and more grace even as they maintain their humility in the midst of difficult circumstances. Jesus said “Blessed is the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 5:3). The humble person; who lives selflessly in ministry, will receive a flow of resource from heaven according to the gift Christ has given them. Their anointing will be in proportion to their faith, assignment and their need.

The Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). The ministry teams made up of Apostle and Prophets like Paul, Barnabas, Silas and Timothy served to accomplish great things in advancing the Kingdom of God. They were set apart by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2), helped in the midnight hour (Acts 16:25-26) and anointed to do incredible miraculous signs that accompanied the preaching of the Word of God (Acts 19:11-12).

Restoration is needed: In order for the Church to see what God is after today, our impact must set the captives free! We must rely upon the flow of ministry grace… like the dry ground soaks up the rain.

An Apostolic Company

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His Kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

It is vital that God’s Kingdom Government gets established in the Earth today. That which was laid upon the shoulders of the Son of God must find its expression in the Children of God under Christ’s authority. The Church is a living organism, with a government established and advanced by the activity of God’s “brooding” Holy Spirit. When an Apostolic Company of believers; like Christ’s disciples, wait upon the Holy Spirit in an upper room, something amazing gets birthed in the natural… a dwelling place for God! The Church finds its birth and government in the Spirit and gets established upon a people who are willing to let God lay foundations. The history of the Bible continues to declare this one truth, wherever He is welcome, God will have a habitation among us in the spiritual realm (Eph. 2:22).

Jesus testified of the impact on the “gates of hell” when His Church finds its footing and its identity (Mt. 16:18).

The Called Out Ones:

This is the “ecclesia” (the called out ones) that God is after and will use in these last days, both spiritually and prophetically. It is the priority of Christ to establish the Church on this rock of revelation – “Christ, the Son of the Living God”. We are His offspring, the living stones huned from the original Rock and Chief Cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:4-5).

Foundation Stones:

We must begin by embracing the pattern God gives for establishing spiritual foundations. He has given gifts to the Church by “grace” (Eph. 4:7) and imparted a release of favor to chosen individuals. These divinely chosen roles or ”mantles” are identified by the Apostle Paul as the 5-fold ministry. The first mantles, in rank and order that are called to this duty are the apostle and prophet. God’s goal is to establish His government upon an Apostolic Company. This “company” simply represents a group of people, of any size that recognize the spiritual impact of their willing yieldedness to God’s divine order. An Apostolic Company is a network of individuals, who allow the free flow of God’s governing to rest upon them. They must be full of the Holy Spirit and graced by God to set the platform for the Kingdom of Heaven to rule among them.

Ordering the Living Stones:

God orders His Living Stones in line with His grace given to men (Eph. 2:19-22). This might seem unusual and difficult at first; but as a team begins to let God’s voice emerge, it will come. He will lead by His Holy Spirit. Living Stones are set into the foundation as we listen to the spirit of revelation flowing forth. It is important to remind ourselves that the anointing Jesus carried emerged out of a work of the Holy Spirit and released the authority to do the miraculous things we see Jesus doing (Lk. 4:19). Signs and wonders were not the achievements of man, but the evidence of God’s anointing (Acts 10:38). Jesus was the ”Messiah”, the “Christ” or “Anointed One”… and the “Christian” is to become “little anointed ones”, because of the government of Heaven in their midst.

Wait On God:

We must not become concerned if it is a little difficult at first to see the Apostolic Company emerge. God is working and He will do it! These times must be part of an overall waiting process and discovery of the Glory of God manifesting itself among a people. Seeking His purpose in our midst and allowing Him to inhabit our praise and worship times, will release an atmosphere of divine order. Pray and even fast for this emerging atmosphere. These are the most important moments in the birthing of God’s spiritual government. Yet its reward will be in the revelation of His heart and vision among the company.

New Testament Paradigm:

When the 120 believers in the upper room experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, there was such a massive wave of God’s power that hit the Earth that the little company of followers were transformed into revolutionaries. The region was infiltrated, shaken and completely turned upside down by the Holy Spirit. This event represents the first apostolic revolution and at the end of the day 3,000 souls were saved and a New Church was birthed that looked nothing like the religion of the day. A unity of Spirit and community of faith were now shaping the future of how the world would see God (Acts 2:40-47). The Church would be supernatural and authentic, yet committed to one another and the teaching of the Apostles.

An Apostolic People:

An Apostolic People are a sent people and a sending people, knit from the same fabric as their Leader - Jesus. “As the Father has sent (apostello) Me into the world, I also have sent (apostello) them into the world” (Jn 17:18). Today, as in the days following Pentecost, there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that is making its way across the nations and reviving the apostolic mandate. The echo is felt in the heart of every apostle,  “therefore go and make disciples of all the nations” (Mt 28:19).

Vision & Unity:

It is very important to know that the vision is not primarily ”church building”, but Kingdom Advancement. Its more about the Glory of God, than the institution of man. Jesus will build His Church, but Apostolic Companies are driven by the call to disciple nations (Mt. 28:18-20). People are very tired of the competition that comes from our church growth activities. God wants to pull down religious perceptions and misguided agendas that work contrary to unity in the company.

Focus On the Glory of God!

Take ownership of the atmosphere of congregational gatherings and leadership meetings in an effort to release the power and purpose of God, as exibited in Psalm 133:1-3. Notice: Ps. 133:3 says – “There the Lord commanded the Blessing!” That is what you are after!!! Its the anointing oil that flowed as a Priestly Company is established in the Holy Spirit. Now you will get accostomed to the heaviness of God’s Glory… it is supposed to be this way. It is the atmosphere of God walking in the “cool” of the day with Adam. The word for “Cool” is Ruach, which means “Spirit” and is the expression of the Glory that was present in the Garden of Eden. Adam was naked and was not ashamed, because he was clothed in the Glory of God at Creation (Ps. 8:5). The word for crowned here is the same word for clothed. It is also noted as the goal in Colossians 1:27 – “Christ in you the hope of Glory”. Recognize that walking in the Glory will establish the training in righteousness and the authority of the Apostolic Company.

We are moving from Glory to Glory as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor 3:18). God will do it!

Ministry of Grace

The Ministry of Christ is a ministry of grace! His message was the Good News of a Kingdom of grace flowing from Heaven into Earth. It would bring forgiveness, peace and freedom from sin. Yet the deliverance and freedom experienced in the life of a disciple can only be attained and measured by the tranformed mind. Real Kingdom mysteries require us to change the way we think about everything pertaining to God, Church and life on this planet (Mt. 4:17). Jesus has stepped into our natural reality and He brought His world with Him!

  • “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His Kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isa. 9:6-7)

Ministry on Christ’s Shoulder:

The five-fold ministry gifts are examples of how “grace has been given” as Christ distributes (Eph. 4:7). All ministry is simply the manifestation of Christ expressed through the believer by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, as the “Christ” is our Apostle (Heb. 3:1), Prophet (Lk. 24:19), Evangelist (Mt. 9:35), Pastor (1 Pet. 5:2-4) and Teacher (Jn. 3:2). He immulated these offices and distributes the mantles for individuals to function in them, so that the Church carries His anointing for ministry (Jn. 14:12). 

“…the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So…they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:2-3)

Selected and Sent:

The five-fold leaders are not self-appointed, nor are they simply pastors of a local church. They are clearly defined ministries that have an impact on the Church as a whole and its witness in the world. By nature, their scope of ministry is wider than the local church. They are grace ministries of Christ to the Church at large. Whether its from inner city pulpits or in the bush lands of Africa, the heartbeat of 5-fold ministry is the discipling of the nations… its our Great Commission! (Mt. 28:18-20).

Two things are required for a five-fold ministry gift to come into its own: 1) Recognition by the wider Body of Christ and 2) Functional Ministry to the wider Body of Christ. Jesus said that the fruit of a person’s life is the best way to recognize their identity, character and anointing. Prior to these two conditions being met, someone may potentially have a five-fold ministry gift, but will not yet be moving in the scope and authority of that gift. Jesus gives the grace for each gift to be released into the Church.

“…God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief Cornerstone” (Eph. 2:19-20).

Foundations:

The foundation of the Church is the apostle and the prophet team (Eph. 3:4-5). I believe, these two ministries still continue in that foundational role (Eph. 4:12-13), so it is vital for us to understand how this works in leading the Body of Christ. We must remember that proper buildings are held up by proper foundations. I would propose; that when grace flows into ministry and functions properly, under the headship of Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit, it will result in the growth and supernatural health of the Church worldwide. It is the will of God to set this in order and accomplish it through His apostle and prophet teams (Isa. 9:7)… by grace.

The Key of Humility:

The Apostle James and the Apostle Peter wrote specifically about how to receive grace (Jms. 4:6 & 1 Pet. 5:5-6). The humble person receives grace and more grace even as they maintain their humility in the midst of difficult circumstances. Jesus said “Blessed is the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 5:3). The humble person; who lives selflessly in ministry, will receive a flow of resource from heaven according to the gift Christ has given them. Their anointing will be in proportion to their faith, assignment and their need.

The Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strenthens me” (Phil 4:13). The ministry teams made up of Apostle and Prophets like Paul, Barnabas, Silas and Timothy served to accomplish great things in advancing the Kingdom of God. They were set apart by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2), helped in the midnight hour (Acts 16:25-26) and anointed to do incredible miraculous signs that accompanied the preaching of the Word of God (Acts 19:11-12).

Restoration is needed: In order for the Church to see what God is after today, our impact must set the captives free! We must rely upon the flow of ministry grace… like the dry ground soaks up the rain.    

Transition Vision

"Sometimes transition looks like chaos" - Market place in Webuye

 The first day in Uganda was a day of transition. A new nation, a fresh Word from God and a mountain of unknown sights were accompanied by a large storm. The Kenyan Pastors came to Ron with huge smiles, calling him “Pastor Wafula”.  They were remembering the last trip to Kenya in May when it would rain all day and then stop for the evening crusades. At that time, pastors nicknamed Ron - “Pastor Wafula”. The name Wafula means “one who is born in the rainy season”.   

Seasons require revelatory vision… 

When you have a revelation that comes from your history with God, vision is transformed and Godly perception kicks in. From the very beginning this trip seemed different. Our journeys have been fruitful experiences with huge impact for all involved. That being said, things were different this time around. It required us to see differently. 

Beyond the Natural Limitations:

First of all, Ron had originally set this trip up for the end of August and then our travel agent and Pastor Wycliffe encouraged Ron to set it back about a month. That seemed good to us in that we believed it would give us more opportunity to raise funds. Little did we know it would require us to see more than just natural reality. We would need to come into a revelation of God’s timing far outweighing our schedules. God’s timing is based on opportune time and must be clicked into the divine ordering of His plans. Each step that the righteous takes is ordered by the Lord according to the psalmist (Ps 37:23). We needed that and appreciated it when it was made visible to us.

Beyond the Personal Apprehensions: 

Ron would be in Africa well over 3 weeks this time, compared to no more than a couple weeks in other trips. A unique challenge to the family certainly, but more specifically to me as the one who would carry most of the responsibility at home. What God would show me seemed incredible. He showed me through my sons a line of defense that I had never seen before. The second day after Ron’s departure, the car broke down. While we were in the service station to have it fixed, the mechanic spoke to me and out of the corner of my eye I could see my three tall, strapping boys surround me with their “fathering’ presence. They didn’t even know they were doing it, but it spoke to me of how God would surround Jerusalem with His fathering love like the mountains surround that city (Ps 125:2).  I needed that revelation.

Beyond the Spiritual Challenges:

Perhaps the biggest challenge was that Ron was ”hearing” in his spirit that this trip would be accompanied by more spiritual warfare than any prior trip. Yea, just what I wanted to hear. Yet, nothing was beyond God’s power to overcome. I found myself in agreement with God’s purposes even in the midst of uncomfortable circumstances.

Sometimes hearing confuses our seeing.

When Ron shared with me that he was doing one of his messages out of Deuteronomy 11:11, my thoughts immediately went to the Biblical meaning of the number 11. The Hebrew meaning is transition, shift or chaos. My thoughts were… OK God, I’m ready to see what You have for me in this season of transition. It sometimes feels like I’ve had just about as much transition as I need in life, but this time will be significant! I was about to see transition as a season of mental and spiritual alignment that would increase my awareness of His Presence everyday!

God’s up to Something: 

I love the thought that God is shaping our future for greater impact, but I would like for it to happen without some of the drama. I have discovered however, that when we see the momentum of spiritual activity properly, it becomes a time that makes the adventure worth the journey. The wonderful truth is that when I stay in alignment with God’s heart, we see all He is doing to advance His Kingdom.  

This made me look up the number “12″, which means completeness, order or government. God has been setting a pathway for His purposes to be seen in my life through my spiritual alignment. The government of Heaven will find my heart more welcoming at His appointed seasons.

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, Upon the throne of David, and over His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

    Being in the midst of transition is always a challenge, yet when we align our vision with God’s zeal – He is able to turn every season into something beautiful.

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