Posts Tagged ‘disciples’

Pulling On God’s Heart

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among My people… If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.” (2 Chron 7:13-15).

Ministry Breakthrough:

Our Lord Jesus said fasting would be necessary for His disciples when He was no longer with them in person. “The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast” (Mt 9:15). Notice Jesus is giving the impression that the disciples would need to fast in order to pull information out of the spiritual realm after He was gone.

The early disciples remembered the words of Jesus and made fasting a vital part of their spiritual lives, especially when breakthrough was needed. The outstanding work God accomplished through them speaks for itself. They could easily hear God speak to them through prayer and fasting and so their activities in ministry were more effective.

Just imagine the scene as those disciples were worshiping and fasting. The Holy Spirit spoke with amazing clarity. “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them“. So after they fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them into ministry (Acts 13:2-3).

Personal Breakthrough:

We must recognize the value of fasting and prayer, as we consider our own heart toward God. Many times in my life, I have seen wilderness experiences turned into opportunities for promotion, simply because of fasting. Turning sorrows into joy and mourning into dancing, must not be left to chance or opportune times. We must move into our responsibility as stewards of our spiritual destinies, because we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Prayer and fasting will separate us from spiritual laziness, where we stop expecting God to bring success and lay it at our feet. Jesus told His disciples that when they prayed and fasted, God would reward them publicly… openly (Mt 6:18). I have watched God move with Kingdom resources when I gave myself to fasting.

“Even now, declares the Lord, return to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love and He relents from sending calamity” (Joel 2:12-13).

Principles of Governing

Then God blessed the man and woman, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Gen. 1:28)

“When Jesus had called the twelve together, He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases.” (Lk. 9:1)

Dominion is our natural stewardship of the planet! Its using the power and authority given freely by Christ to govern our sphere of influence. It is not enough to simply have the power to control things, if you do not have the right or authorization. For example, a person may have power to take someone’s car, but if he does not have the authority to do it, they are called a thief. On the other hand, a person may have the right or authority to take my car; but if he does not have the battery, he lacks the power to do it.

Jesus gave the Church both power and authority to govern as Kingdom representatives in this world, then He set the pattern for how to do it.

He said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). The believer can do the miracles Jesus did and even greater than those seen through Him. Since Jesus gave us His power and authority, we simply have to look at what areas He showed dominion over.

Jesus showed dominion over:

  • Natural Problems (Mark 4:39)
  • Sickness and Diseases (Mark 2:10-12)
  • Evil Spirits (Mark 1:23-27)
  • Death (Luke 7:12-15)
  • Poverty (Matt 14:16-20)
  • Temptation (Heb 4:15)
  • Sin (Mark 2:10)

Jesus is our Example:

When you get a revelation of Jesus’ dominion you begin to recognize your own dominion. You will begin to speak to storm clouds, natural or spiritual. You will not put up with sickness and disease. You will drive out evil spirits. You will expect to live a long life. You will not worry over lack. You will resist temptation. You will not let the enemy condemn you for your past sins. This is dominion. When you find yourself overcome by these things in your life, then its time to exercise your dominion. The Apostle John said, “as He (Jesus) is, so are we in this world.” (1 Jn. 4:17)

Exercising Dominion is Governing:

Someone may ask, “So how do I exercise my dominion?” It is easy! You exercise dominion by governing your behavior… living to the Glory of God and choosing your words with the Holy Spirit’s influence. Renew your mind in the Words of Jesus… God’s Word! That’s right… you reign by releasing the Will of God over every situation! Look at how Jesus ruled… He said I do nothing on My own initiative… I only do what I see My Father do and speak what I hear My Father saying! (Jn. 5:19 & 8:28) And that is how He exercised dominion… through a life lived in the Glory of His Father!

He spoke to the winds and waves, “Peace! Be still!” And the storm obeyed Him. He said to the sick, “Be healed.” And His Word cured them. He used only His word to drive out demons and this shocked the people of His day (Mk. 1:27). When it came to death, He simply spoke, “I say unto you, get up.” And the dead listened. When the people were in need of food, He simply spoke a blessing and His blessing multiplied the loaves and fishes. How did He overcome temptation? Simply by saying to the devil, “It is written.” And when He saw a sinner condemned and sick He said, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” His words calmed the fears of the sinner, because they carried the dominion of His Father’s will. His words were sufficient in every situation. His words caused Satan to flee, because God stood behind them. Jesus consistently accessed the Glory of the heavenly realm and released God’s provision of health, deliverance and restoration.

Jesus consistently accessed the Glory Realm and released God’s provision of health, deliverance and restoration.

Disciples Govern the Same Way:

Obedience is evidence of our discipleship! Governing through our words and action requires us to carry a knowledge of the Truth and a love of His Presence. Jesus said that without Me you can do nothing, but if you abide in Me and My Words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you (Jn. 15:5 & 7-8). Note that He goes on to say, by this His Father is glorified that you and I would bear fruit and prove our discipleship. Proving our discipleship is all about carrying out the will of God… dominion.

Jesus said, “if you abide in My words, you are My disciples indeed” (Jn. 8:31).

Secret of the Glory

“At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from Him, He turned around to the crowd and asked; “Who touched my clothes?”. “You see the people crowding around you – and yet You can ask ‘Who touched Me?’” His disciples asked. But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. The woman came and fell at His feet trembling with fear and told Him the whole truth. He said to her; “Daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering”. (Mk 5:30-34)

This is an amazing story, because Jesus did not walk through the crowd looking for His next victim. There was no deep revelation in His mind that somewhere in the crowd was a woman with an issue of blood. Not at all! Yet that is often how people think of healing. “If only He would get a word for me?” We have seen so much showmanship and we have little understanding of the Glory of God.

Jesus healed all who came to Him, because He carried an anointing that released the perfect will of God (Lk 4:18-21).

Jesus said that He only did what He saw His Father do. Notice: She had heard about Him! She heard that Jesus was healing everyone and that power was going out of Him at the very touch of His garment. Her thought… “If I can just touch the hem of His garment.” What was the secret she understood? It was the secret of the Glory of God. She knew in her heart that God was good and that doctors had failed to cure her.

  • He didn’t pray for this woman.
  • He didn’t give her a healing!
  • He didn’t lay His hands on her.
  • She touched His garment and her faith placed a demand on His anointing… the Glory of God!

You see, the real secret we must uncover in our day is the secret of the Glory of God! The Apostle Paul said, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). There are riches in the Glory that are yet untapped, because we have not pressed in to touch, or put a demand upon the anointing that rested on Jesus.

Worship:

When you and I enter His Presence, awaken our senses to the voice of the Holy Spirit and wade into His atmosphere in worship; we are touching spiritual substance. Let me repeat that… “we are touching spiritual substance!” Its unseen with human eyes, but through faith we can navigate through the realms of Glory and fellowship with God. That is the time to put a demand upon the resources made available by the heavenly Promises of God.

Our Inheritance:

Touch the hem of His garment… go ahead and pull upon the rich inheritance He has purchased for you. Don’t wait to get to heaven or hope for a preacher to get a word for you. Your inheritance is for you… even now (Eph 1:13-14) and you can access it by faith today. Tell Jesus the whole story, but then look for His goodness to show up in your need.

He is still asking “Who touched Me?”

Covenant Resources

(Ps. 103:1-5) Bless the Lord, oh my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits:

  1. Who forgives all your iniquities,
  2. Who heals all your diseases,
  3. Who redeems your life from destruction,
  4. Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies,
  5. Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

My Heavenly Father renews my spirit (Eph 3:16). He offers resources, benefits and inheritance that strengthen my confidence and encourage my walk of faith. Each one of His benefits are promises to meet the need and teach me of His power and His Glory. Along the pages of my Bible; you’ll find written and dated Covenant principles that remind me of His provision for me. They are truths that will not fail!

  • He Forgives: (Isaiah 1:18)

Jesus tells us of the Father’s agreement through the blood of His own Son. A Covenant of Forgiveness and Grace. “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins” (Mt. 26:28).

  • He Heals: (Isaiah 53:5)

I love the way Jesus fulfills His Father’s will and establishes the truth for our provision at the same time. “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” (Mt. 8:16-17)

  • He Redeems: (Psalm 34:22)

Jesus declares us - righteous by faith (Rom. 3:21-24)! A reality that cannot be accomplished by our own efforts is made available through a free gift. Because we take refuge in the promises of God, there is a fellowship in the Holy Spirit that enables me to be free from the grip of sin. I am free to live in the destiny God has for me. Redemption allows me to watch as God restores the brokenness and fears of the past.

  • He Crowns: (Psalm 8:5)

The word crown can also be translated “clothed” and we see that Jesus tells His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were clothed in power from on high (Lk. 24:49). Its the Father’s will that His Children be clothed with Glory and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. The benefit of the Father’s Promise (Acts 2:4 & 8) gives us influence over the world’s system and releases supernatural impact right where we live.

  • He Satisfies: (Psalm 23:1)

Jesus makes the evidence of salvation a renewal every morning. He meets with me and satisfies my soul as a Good Shepherd leads sheep to pasture. His invitation becomes an abiding rest and empowerment. On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stood on a high place and shouted, “If anyone thirsts, let him come unto Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (Jn 7:37-38).

Revealing His Glory

“This, the first of His miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed His Glory, and His disciples put their faith in Him” (Jn. 2:11).

“…a cloud came and overshadowed them: and they were fearful as they entered the cloud.” (Lk. 9:34)

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me, may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My Glory” (Jn. 17:24)

Jesus Reveals His Glory:

What are we seeing in these verses? What is it inside of us that shifts when we truly see the radiating splendor of God? Make no mistake the Glory of God is the key to igniting faith in the human heart!

In the New Testament we see that Jesus revealed His Glory in four major ways:
1. through His signs and wonders (Mt. 11:3-6),
2. through His revelation of the Father’s heart (Jn. 5:19-23),
3. through His transfiguration (Mk. 9:2-8)
4. and finally through His cross and resurrection (Rom. 6:4).

To behold His Glory was to see the essence of who He was… the express image of the Father - His Person (Heb. 1:3). Truly He upholds all things by the Word of His Power; and by way of His completed work in the Earth, He has earned His place at the right hand of the Majesty on High.

Beholding Transforms:

Beholding the Glory revealed in Christ affected His disciples so significantly that the Scripture tells us they couldn’t even talk about it (Lk. 9:32-36). That revelation became the birth place of their faith and all they understood was that they could never be satisfied without it.

Notice this rather odd request by James and John: they wanted to sit in His Glory, one of them at Jesus’ right hand and the other at His left… for all of eternity (Mk. 10:35). They were seeing something that transformed their understanding so deeply that they wanted it for all time.

Ah, But There’s More!

I believe that the more we see of the Glory, the more we want to see. It is inexhaustible! We see so much in Scripture, yet the Apostle John wrote, “there are also many other things Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (Jn. 21:25). Christ reveals the Father’s splendor, character and purpose that can never be seen any other way (2 Cor. 4:6). The lame, walking and the deaf, hearing; sickness and diseases being healed without the influence of a doctor; and demons, fleeing with only a word. The dead, raised at the sound of His voice and the living, transformed at the touch of His hands. How, you might ask? He continues to identify the Glory as the real source of His power (Jn. 11:40).

He would still say to us today, “if you will only believe you will see the Glory of God”.

John was clear about the impact of beholding His Glory… it was the reality of walking in the light (1 Jn. 1:7). Peter was clear about the experience… “joy unspeakable and full of Glory” (1 Pet. 1:8). Paul even prayed that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened to the riches of the Glory of the inheritance among the saints, in Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:17). Does it not make you yearn like Moses…

“Lord – Please, show me Your Glory!” (Exod. 33:18)

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