Posts Tagged ‘disciples’

Advancing in the Nations

In the Great Commission, Jesus came and spoke to the remaining Apostles, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”  (Mt. 28:18-20)

  • “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Lk. 24:49)
  • “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)

The Great Commission was an Apostolic Mandate designed to delegate authority for Kingdom Advancement. The oupouring of the Holy Spirit was the release of power that would accomplish God’s mandate. Without this authorization and spiritual power working together there would be no spiritual progress beyond Jerusalem and no impact in the Nations. But because of it; the Church is a triumphant people fully engaged and fully equipped by the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!

This is our Mandate…

To Go… in the authority and power of our King - Jesus. Christ is Head of the Church and the True Light of Salvation, yet He is also the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. He is the One in whom we hope for fulfilling our call and reaching the unreached.

It Requires Authority & Power:

The Apostolic Mandate cannot function on human strength, it is designed to necessitate an outpouring of authority and power from heaven. We follow Jesus as Lord of the breakthrough, who breaks us out of confined places and leads with Kingdom influence into all the World. This was the purpose for waiting for the Promise of the Father in the earliest moments after the resurrection, to establish the platform for advancement. This was not some optional request, but a central focus for the followers… to wait for power was and still remains the key to success in the future purposes of God, in Christ.

The Prophet Micah says it like this: “The One who breaks open will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate and go out by it; Their King will pass before them, with the Lord at their head.” (Micah 2:13)

The Prophet Joel said: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29)

The Apostle Peter adds to Joel’s words: “And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:18). Note - prophecy is a forward speaking, declaration of God’s purposes empowered by the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is the voice of Kingdom Advancement!

The Early Church Advanced:

  • Beginning in Jerusalem: “So those who received the word were baptized and there were added that day about 3,000 souls.” (Acts 2:41)
  • Advancing beyond the City of Samaria: “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the Word.” (Acts 8:4)
  • Among Gentiles of Caesarea: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those  who heard the Word.” (Acts 10:44)
  • Into Regions of Galatia: “So the churches were strengthened in the faith and they increased in numbers daily.” (Acts 16:5)
  • Throughout Regions of Ephesus: “So the Word of the Lord grew and prevailed mightily.” (Acts 19:20)

Defining Desiny:

Under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew and Luke are defining destiny. One Apostle lays out the mandate while the other lays out the keys to its fulfillment. They are laying the platform for how we must see our future. Luke speaks to us of the triumphs of the Gospel of the Kingdom, because we must understand where our strength comes from. The Battle Is the Lord’s and we are His volunteers, following our advancing King. We must not just settle for an assignment… we must become people of truimph who take the next step, under the authority and power of the Holy Spirit.

  • “…from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Mt. 11:12)

These are the Days of Great Purpose – Where a People of Triumph… lay hold of their Desiny!

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).

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