Posts Tagged ‘Empowerment’

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).

Pursue the Anointing

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Ps. 23:5-6)

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Lk. 4:18-19)

The anointing of God flows from the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is symbolically represented by several ideas in Scripture… oil, water, fire, wind, wine or a dove. When anointing begins to manifest, it can take the form of any of these symbols mentioned.

  1. Anointing can manifest as oil and offer unity and peace among worshipers of God (Ps. 133). When the anointing manifests itself as oil, it is to smooth out or lubricate your progress. When the anointing comes upon you, it will take you to the next level… into your promotion. David was anointed with oil by the Prophet Samuel and as a result, an ordinary shepherd boy became a king (1 Sam. 15:11-13).
  2. Anointing can manifest as fire and destroy yokes (Isa. 10: 27), release healing (Jms. 5:14-15) and break strongholds of idolatry (1 Ki. 18:36-40).
  3. Anointing can manifest as water to satisfy thirst (Jn. 7:37-39). The Holy Spirit can satisfy any form of thirst in your life.
  4. Anointing can manifest as a mighty rushing wind (Acts 2:1-4). When anointing manifest as a mighty rushing wind, it is to open new doors and to make a way where there seems to be no way. The anointing can also manifest as a cool refreshing breeze bringing life with it (Gen. 2:7). After God made man, He breathed the breath of life into him and that represents the Spirit of God upon man. The anointing can turn ordinary mud and clay into a living soul.
  5. Anointing can manifest as wine. The Holy Spirit is the heavenly wine! When people saw those who had been baptized in the Holy Spirit, they said they were drunk on new wine (Acts 2:12-13). Its the anointing that brings joy, excitement and wonderful experiences often attributed to wine. That is why one of the names of strong wine is ‘spirits’.
  6. Anointing can come as a symbolic gesture as a dove upon Jesus, that John the Baptist testified of seeing (Jn. 1:32) or a sudden light from heaven like the Apostle Paul experienced (Acts 9:3). These realities are wonderful signs that point to the essential messages God is speaking to individuals or groups of people at a given moment. We call these manifestations of anointing, miracles, and signs and wonders (Mk. 16:16-18)(Acts 5:12 & 19:11-12)(Rom. 15:19)(2 Cor. 12:12).

Empowerment:

Anointing enables you to fulfill God’s purpose for your life (Jn. 14:12) and do supernatural things (1 Sam. 17:34-37)! One main purpose of the anointing is to win souls (Jn. 15:16). The Bible says, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). After we receive the anointing, power is available to be an effective witness and overcome life’s greatest battles.

For All Who are Thirsty: (Ps. 42:1-3 & 63:1-2)(Mt. 5:6)

Another wonderful thing about the anointing is that it does not discriminate. Whether we be male or female, rich or poor, young or old, the anointing of God can come upon you (Joel 2:28-30). Listen to these words; “…I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon My servants and upon My handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.”

Father – Revive Us Again!

Taking Dominion

“With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Prov. 18:20-21)

Speaking – By Faith & Living with Spiritual Courage!

Notice… A vast and often untapped power is released by the words we speak! Life and death are in the power of our tongue and we overcome Satan’s lies by the word of our testimony. God’s destiny is not far from our reach, it just gets obstructed by the hindrances the enemy sets in our path. Deuteronomy 30:14 declares God’s pathway for obtaining the inheritance. He says, “Now the Word is near you; even in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.”

The Apostle Paul, brings this message to the forefront when he announces to the believers in Rome that faith must be at the very center of their pursuits… He says, “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the Word of Faith that we preach) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom 10:8-9)

Tapping Into The Promises of God:

Moses is speaking here of the opportunity to move into all that is promised in the “Promise Land” and the Apostle Paul is likewise encouraging the “seeker” to understand the way into the “Promises of Abundant Life” in Christ. The pattern is faith and courage to speak the Word of God… a life lived in obedience to the Word of God and speaking those Words over our environment. Even Jesus dealt with the devil by saying, “it is written” (Mt. 4:10). Its the activity of faith… and its the assigned obligation of all who aim to release the Kingdom of God. In this day; we must have Kingdom advancement for the obtaining of every mountain, every valley and every realm of spiritual dominion. We must rule in the midst of our enemies! (Psa. 110:1-2)

Pattern of Dominion:

  • “So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” (Mk. 11:22-23)
  • “…be wise in what is good and simple concerning evil. And the God of Peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” (Rom. 16:19-20)

The Psalmist declares, “Let the high praises of God be in their mouths and a two-edged sword in their hands!” (Psa. 149:6) Praise and Proclamation of the Word of God… these are the faith tools of our mouth. These are the weapons of our spiritual warfare! These essentials are the believers empowerment, because they cause the enemies of our soul to flee and establish God’s dominion in the Earth as it is in Heaven. God stands ready to enforce the victory He has already accomplished in Christ… Jesus  said “It is Finished!” and if we will simply speak the Word and stand in faith – He will do it!

“Rada” – Ruling as Kingdom Agents:

As Ambassadors of Heaven… this is our mandate as Kingdom Agents, to “Rule” - Rada {Hebrew} – in the midst of the enemies! We are laying hold of all that Christ has obtained and possessed for us. We are fruitful and multiplying, filling the earth and subduing it as Kingdom Agents advancing the Victory of God in Christ. We are not as those who shrink back, retreat or settle into a position of ease. It is our destiny to advance, because we have an anointing for increase and an assignment to make the very creation itself see its future in the light of God’s Purposes. And if God has established this pattern from the Garden of Eden, He will be with us.

“If God be for us, who can stand against us!” (Rom. 8:31)

Testing Purifies

If you desire to walk righteously before the Lord, rest assured you will be tested. In fact, the deeper your walk with Christ the more intense your testing will be. The Bible makes this clear: “The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits… When they fall, they shall be aided with a little help… And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time” (Dan. 11:32-35).

A great time of testing is coming upon “those of understanding”. Who are these people to be tested? They are the righteous, those who do exploits for the Lord, who walk with God and have the wisdom of Christ. Perhaps you’ve wondered lately, “Why am I being tested? Why is all this happening to me?”

Go back to your schooldays. When a test is given, it reveals how much you have actually been taught. The Apostle Paul speaks of a different school, one where we are “learning Christ” and are “taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus” (Eph. 4:20-21). If you belong to Jesus, you are in His school. If you have served Him for some years, you may have thought you graduated. But none of us graduate until we are in heaven with Him.

David spoke often of being tested and tried: “I know also, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness” (1 Chron. 29:17). I would suggest that there are at least three tests common to every Christian.

1. We are tested by afflictions and sufferings.

Today there is a mistaken belief that those in covenant with God will never suffer. But all the heroes of the faith mentioned in the Bible suffered stonings, torture and violence (Heb. 11:37). The Apostle Peter explains to us, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Pet. 4:12-13). Peter seems to suggest that something of value was being produced and refined in how we experienced our tests… “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:6-7). Genuine faith is pure and pleasing to God, because it is unhindered by selfish ambition and focused on reflecting a pure expression of what God values.

2. We are tested by delayed answers to prayer.

Why does God delay answers to sincere prayers? It isn’t because He lacks power. He could merely blink an eye or think a thought and the work would be accomplished. And He is willing; even more than we are, to release His purposes in the earth. The answer is found in the fact that we must see the big picture. Jesus said to His disciples, ”…that men always ought to pray and not lose heart”  (Lk. 18:1). The Greek word for “lose heart” means to relax, becoming weak or weary in faith, to faint or give up the struggle. We must learn to contend in our prayers, because our breakthrough is just beyond the testing.

The Apostle Paul tells us, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal. 6:9). The Lord is seeking a praying people who will not relax or get weary of coming to Him. These people will wait on Him; they won’t give up until the work is completed. And they will be found waiting when He brings the answer. For most of us, the hardest part of faith is the last half hour, when it looks as if God won’t answer. We’re tempted to give up, put it all behind us and go on to something else. But, that is not what God intends! When you are praying for what is obviously the will of God, you have every right to hold on and never give up until Jesus answers. You must not listen to the devil, the flesh or human reasoning. You are contending for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

You must ask God to plant the faith of Jesus Christ in you (Gal. 2:20), and not give up until you see completion (Heb. 10:35-39). This has happened to me at least a dozen times. I’ve given up and said, “Oh well, this must not have been God’s will”, and almost immediately the answer came! That may be exactly what’s happening with you. You’ve given up, no longer pressing in for your breakthrough. But God is at work in you and your answer is on the way.

3. We are tested by our frailty and failings.

God never wastes an experience, He is consistent in His training. But His training is for reigning! His goal is to strengthen us and cause us to see the way He sees. Christians who are tempted to fall back into old sins or turn back to the world are being tested. I am reminded of the old TV service announcement that would say “This is only a test! If this was a real emergency…” and in fact some do fall and have real emergencies, but God is faithful to provide a way out of every difficult temptation (1 Cor. 10:13). His goal is to train us to look for His hand at work rather than our human frailty.

I believe most Christians have a “sin consciousness” rather than a “righteousness consciousness”. The Christian must be willing to cast off the sin that so easily ensnares and hinders our growth. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Rom. 8:1). Its the Holy Spirit working in us that purifies us and deepens our spiritual convictions for empowerment and renewal. 

Maybe you have fallen short in some way, after years of serving Him. Perhaps you have found yourself surrendering to anger, lust or unbelief. That sin is not your destiny, so you gotta shake yourself free. You gave in for a moment, but God is not through with you. He is showing you something and wanting you to deal with it – by faith and in faith! 

Testing Reveals:

If you are being tested in some area, you may think, you are unworthy and wonder just how much ground has been lost? “Does God still love me?” The good news is that its only a test to prove you and purify your desires. My friend, if you allow God to transform the way you think, then you haven’t lost any ground whatsoever. God puts his loving arms around you and says, “I have brought you through this once again… so you could see what is in your heart”. You are making progress, but it must begin with seeing reality! Walking with God, requires us to let God “father” us and bring discipline that moves us into His perfect will for our lives. 

He wants all of our heart and will allow us to be tested until He has it all.

Empowered By Leaders

“For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established - that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.” (Rom. 1:11-12)

This is a wonderful expression of the Apostle Paul’s desire to empower the believers in Rome. In my own life I have been blessed by the example of many great mentors and friends. People who seemed like heroes of the faith or people who have set the standard of ministry by their skills and devotion to Christ.

Yet, I can count on one hand, the number of leaders who inspired me by their story and gave me the tools to achieve what seemed beyond my reach. At times, observing successful leaders has left me more discouraged than encouraged, more intimidated than empowered. Their impact or success seemed so impressive that it left me feeling it was unattainable.

Perhaps you too have felt this way after leaving conferences, listening to podcasts or reading great books. Why, and how can it be avoided?

I believe it is a heart problem which manifests as “inspiration without impact”. Getting the most out of any leadership requires us to be empowered not simply impressed. I believe it comes down to a balance of two character traits, confidence and humility… “teachability”.

  • Teachability happens when we can hear and communicate with integrity and empower those who listen.

1. Confidence

Part of the problem is me. I want to be inspired and sometimes inspiration is blinding. My initial adrenaline rush feels good after hearing a great teaching or going to a wonderful conference, but it is followed by the inevitable sobering look in the mirror. Rather than empowered, I measure myself by what I see – not what God sees. When the skill level of a leader feels more like a “super-star” to me than authentic, then it has not really changed how I see. “Hype” will cause us to miss the point of a leader’s influence. When in situations where I don’t compare to others, I just try to admit it! I am not them, but this should not lead me to discouragement or disqualification. In fact, that may be why God has this person’s voice in my ear… to shift my thinking, so that I see myself the way God sees me. We must recognize that God has made each person unique and special, and we must tune our ears to hear at the heart level, every time.

Likewise, leaders and communicators also need to be secure. Few things will destroy you faster than insecurity. Leaders or those with a larger platform should exude confidence. I once heard a well known preacher say that he used to vomit every time before he got on stage, because he was so nervous. One key to his overcoming this was recognizing that it wasn’t about him, but about God. To help shift his mentality and his fears, he would take a step forward before getting on the stage and consciously think about stepping into Christ and His strength (Gal. 2:20).

  • Here is the Truth: When any person finds their confidence in themselves rather than in Christ, it leads to confusion rather than empowerment. (Jn. 8:31-36) Truth is reality from God’s perspective!

2. Humility

As a disciple or ”learner” it’s easy to feel the delight of being inspired and impressed by powerful leaders. Yet, its honesty and authenticity that empowers us to achieve the goals of God’s Kingdom on Earth. I try to listen with a personal need to gain instruction, rather than feel like I’m getting material to teach to others. Humility is what causes teaching to become training, information to become revelation and testimony to become empowerment. I cannot just “listen” – I must “hear” with spiritual ears what a leader is communicating. My life is my testimony, not just my words.

The great temptation for leaders and followers alike is to avoid talking about weaknesses and flaws. But every strength is susceptible to be a weakness when it is not tempered by humility. There is a subtle fear in all of us that if we let others see who we really are that we will loose credibility and shrink our influence. But leadership is only influential when it is honest and humble. We have all seen what hype can do! There is nothing wrong with “putting your best food forward”, but don’t present an illusion of reality. Walk in integrity and present the real you.

Here is the Truth: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble”  (Jms. 4:6). When you feel God’s resistence, there is a reason. Stop and address it and God will give you ears to hear and a heart of understanding (Prov. 3:34).

Christ, Real Confidence & Humility:

Christ modeled this so beautifully. Unlike you and I, He actually had it all together. He was flawless and perfect. God - in skin and dwelling among us. Yet, “He humbled himself, taking on the very form of a servant and coming in the likeness of men”  (Phil 2:5-8). While on earth, He obeyed the words of His parents and in His ministry He listened to the voice of His Father in Heaven (Jn. 5:19). He modeled the confidence and humility that empowered His disciples and now by the Holy Spirit, He empowers us to have the same mind and the same character.

Be Yourself:

You don’t have to be in the spotlight or emphasize your achievements, to have influence and empower others. My advice: do your best and be secure with your calling in Christ. More opportunities will come as you do your best in your current position. Don’t allow shame or pride to poison your heart from receiving from those who are ahead of you or achieving what seems impossible.

Its Christ in you that is the hope of Glory! He is the One we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we might present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. (Col. 1:27-28) Hallelujah!

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