Posts Tagged ‘Expression’

Nothing Impossible

Nothing is Impossible
“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, move from here to there; and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Mt 17:20)
“Everything is possible for him who believes.” (Mk 9:23)

So now that we have begun to fall in love with Christ… nothing is impossible. More and more it is becoming the ”norm” rather than the exception, that no act of obedience will be impossible for us. No task will be too great, no circumstance too difficult and no suffering too severe, because believing moves us into supernatural dimensions of power and resources.

You might ask how? or why? and I would tell you of the greatness of His love toward us who believe.

Something Happened!

“…God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:5-8)

The Apostle Paul tells us of the avenue to which God’s love reaches us… it is “poured out”. I like that thought. Its poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who God has given to each of us that trust in Him. The New International Version says that His love was “lavished” upon us. There is a word only used in extremely generous expressions. God is extravagant, but never wasteful. I believe that!

I believe God’s gift of love is extreme and extravagant.

From the beginning of each day; through the routine of my personal daily experience, His Presence is interwoven into the very fabric of my life. He is pouring  His love into me, to be reflected back to Him through praise and honor. He loves me and captures my heart, so that my love for Him becomes an expression of relational bliss in partnership with His will for me.

Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commands” (Jn 14:15).

Amazingly, He made this loving process a signature reality to recognizing Him in life. When you love Me, My Father will love you and I will manifest Myself to you (Jn 14:21). So I love Him, because I see Him in my experiences and recognize His hand on me… and nothing is impossible, because He is in the midst of all those things that “seem” overwhelming! In spite of those “mountain-sized” problems that hide my destiny, nothing is beyond my believing. His love is greater. I am more than able, because of His love for me. I am more than up to the challenge, because of His anointing resting upon me. Nothing is impossible, because of the situations He has already turned into testimonies, in and through me. I can praise Him, because I’m part of His story for all the world to read!

Excellence and Passion

To do things with excellence requires passion. To love well, run our race with an enduring strength and pursue a life with no regrets, requires something bigger than ourselves… something we are passionate about. Doing things well is part of living the abundant life and should be the standard for Kingdom People. We are called to walk in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. An excellent heart comes from who we are in God and who God is in us.

The Counterfeit:

Excellence is not the same as perfectionism. In fact, it comes out of a totally different motivation. Perfectionism is a desire for approval that flows from a religious spirit. There is no creative flow to perfectionism, because it relies upon human reasoning as its standard rather than passion and love. People who come from this motivation are often judgemental and find fault in almost anything they see accomplished.

A good example of this is when Mary pours out an expensive ointment on the feet of Jesus and Judas speaks up with a contentious attitude. To Jesus this expression was an excellent display of affection, but to Judas it was a terrible waste of money (Jn 12:3-6). Although the room was filled with the fragrance of worship, the heart of Judas was filled with criticism and judgement. Interestingly the Scripture gives us a hint of what motivated Judas. He had no concern for the poor, but was taking money from the money box, because he was a thief.

Power to Excel:

Dunamis is the Greek word for power that described the Holy Spirit’s outpouring on the day of Pentecost. Jesus said “You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is poured out and you shall be witnesses to Me… in all the world” (Acts 1:8). Notice that this power would become the motivator for the witness they carried out in the world. The Holy Spirit would release such passion that they would bear evidence of a lifestyle from another world… Heaven.

Heaven’s Purpose:

Now there is some excellence in Heaven. There are some creative ideas in Heaven. There are things yet to be accomplished through Heaven’s creativity and purpose in the Earth. Jesus wanted us to accomplish the things of Earth with Heaven’s resources. Passion, creativity, wisdom and ability are designed to be released through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Its part of our delegated authority in the natural world to be a witness of Heavenly standards. “Gold, silver and precious stones rather than wood, hay and stubble” as the Apostle Paul would say. Your work will be tested by fire and the only thing that will endure will be that which had an eternal quality (1 Cor 3:12-15).

Be Creative:

Being creative does not mean everything has to be original or amazing, it just needs to carry our unique flow of expression, passion and gifting. You and I are the Children of God that the creation has been waiting to see, waiting with groaning and birth pains (Rom 8:18-23). We carry a glory that must have expression!

  • There are songs, yet to be written and sounds, yet to be heard!
  • There are inventions, yet to be seen and businesses, yet to be created!
  • There are cures for diseases, resources for the poor and justice for the downtrodden that must break forth!
  • There are revelations to be discovered and dreams to be dreamed!

All because of the Holy Spirit’s anointing… we have been blessed with the glorious liberty of excellence and passion.

Humble Flesh

Scripture: “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish… And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:16-26)

Thought for Today: “Humbling the Flesh”

The Bible seems to emphasize the idea that man was created by God with three parts (1 Thess 5:23) spirit, soul and body. The spirit or inner-man is where the Holy Spirit makes its dwelling. The soul or outer-man, consists of our mind, will and emotion and is where man processes natural realities and makes decisions. The body, called the carnal man or “flesh” is the visible part. It responds to our five senses; taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing, and becomes the means of expression… activity.

Sanctification:

Now in order for us to understand the value of spiritual disciplines like prayer and fasting, we must first recognize the broken state of our human condition. Sin separates us from God and causes us to rely upon natural sight and human reasoning. The point of spiritual discipline is to restore our connection to the voice of God by separating our spirit, soul and body from sinful behaviors, habits or thought patterns that are in opposition to the will of God.

Restoring the Connection:

Its like removing the insulation from an electrical wire so that a connection can be made between a power source (God) and an appliance (activity). This process of removing the insulating barrier is what the Apostle Paul called sanctification. He felt the struggle we all have with sin and taught about dying to self, letting go of flesh desires and yielding our lives to God’s purpose (Rom 12:1-2)(Phil 3:3). He practiced and encouraged disciplines that would release and multiply the fruit of the Holy Spirit and free us to walk like Jesus.

Quieting the Flesh:

In order for us to hear the voice of God we must quiet all the other voices that compete for our attention and affection. The voice of the flesh is like a dripping faucet, consistently crying out to be fed, clothed and nurtured. Its been doing this all of our life, from a baby until now. We have given in to its desires and unless we discipline its voice, it will try to rule us.

Jesus said – “Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed!” (Jn 8:36)

Spiritual Freedom:

Freedom is not just living without the hindrance of the old patterns, but its the ability to live with fresh purpose, empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that God gives more grace to the humble (Jms 4:6). Fasting does more than just quiet the flesh… it humbles the flesh and trains it to obey the spirit, when done in unison with prayer. By making room for the Holy Spirit’s leadership in our lives, we are free to live by the spirit and fulfill the will of God!

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)

Capturing A Heart

I am Your Chosen Child

Jesus is the Master… “At Capturing A Heart”

It was what a friend of mine calls “a life intervention”, between Saul of Tarsus and the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet it becomes the life changing event where Saul becames Paul and a destiny is transformed. It was somewhere along the Damascus Road that a light from Heaven peered directly into a very dark place… Saul’s heart.

A Stubborn Heart:

His was no ordinary heart, it was thirsting for blood and zealous for a law without mercy. The determination and hatred seemed to overflow in his quest for letters of approval from the governing leaders of Jerusalem. It made him a persecuter of the Church and pursuer of Christians. “Still breathing out threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord”, this ruthless man seemed convinced that the followers of “The Way” needed “to be bound and brought to Jerusalem”.

Divine Encounter:

What could have been an end, becomes a transformation. A light from Heaven, the voice of Jesus and three days without physical sight made all that seemed so desperate, pale in its urgency. Saul was now waiting for a visitor in a place he had never been, from someone he had never met, with a message he would never have imagined.

What could this mean?

While at the house of a man named Judas, on Straight Street, Saul was left to consider the vision of the Risen Lord Jesus for three long days. Would this end in death? Would it be quick or was God’s Son so angry that He would torture the persecuter? Saul would have no sight, just an echo in his heart of an encounter that struck him to the ground. ”Could it really be true that this Jesus had risen from the dead?” This would re-focus anyone’s life, but what could Jesus mean by “you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:6).

Receiving Sight!

Ananias enters the house; and laying his hands on Saul he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17). Jesus was saying, “I have chosen you as My vessel to bear My name before Gentiles, Kings and the Children of Israel” (Acts 9:14), but more than that, He was capturing the heart by an encounter with the Holy Spirit. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he would never be the same again! Scales fell away and a new determination was birthed within his heart. Saul would be wrecked forever, because his heart had been captured by Love, Himself… not the emotion, the Holy Spirit.

Filled with the Holy Spirit!

The Lord Jesus captured the heart of the persecuter; Saul, by filling him with the Holy Spirit. There is no doubt for anyone to become completely captured, they must be completely filled with the Holy Spirit. I have heard it said that in order to remove a passion from a heart, like fear or hate; it must be conquered by a greater passion, like chosenness and love. My only comment is that when the Holy Spirit fills a person, He captures the seat of all passion.

“I count all things loss…that I may gain Christ.” (Phil 3:8)

We read in the Apostle Paul’s words, an expression of the captured  heart. He holds forth a compelling satisfaction in knowing Christ Jesus as Lord and a desire to see the salvation of his fellow countrymen. This formerly driven persecuter was now focused on preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to all people, Jews and Gentiles alike (Rom 10:1-4). His greatest desire and prayer to God for all of them was that they might be saved. His longing was that they turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for the capturing of their own hearts.

5-Fold Ministry

“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers” (Eph. 4:7 & 11).

Christ has distributed ministry gifts, which enable the Church to function as His Body, in vision, anointing and effectiveness. These five gifts as we will see, have a special purpose:

  • the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry
  • the edifying of the body of Christ
  • the unifying, growing and measuring of our sonship 

Spiritual Fathering:

The 5-fold ministry gifts are not titles, but anointed mantles that function to empower  “fathering”  in the Church family. There is nothing “elevated” about them (1 Cor. 4:9-13) and we should not assume that they were only given to men. The emphasis must be placed on the special purpose of preparing God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up and function with the same anointing Jesus carried while He was on the earth. Jesus said, “I only do what I see My Father doing” (Jn. 5:19). This value of “sonship”, stands as our model for how the Church gets its authority and power to advance the Kingdom of God in the world. The 5-fold ministry is designed to position fathering leaders in the family of God, so that there is a natural multiplication of spiritual sons and daughters who are doing what Jesus did (Jn. 14:12).

People Doing What Jesus Did:

These five leadership gifts were not simply given to do the work of the ministry, but to train, nurture and enable God’s people to do the work of the ministry. They offer the framework for God’s people to grow in their own callings and gifting under the governing leadership of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:19-22).  

The Time-Frame: “…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

The five-fold ministry did not pass away at the end of the first century, but was given until the maturing of the Body in unity, knowledge and expression of Christ’s fullness.

It was Jesus’ contention that the very gates of hell would not prevail against the Church. Yet we see the frailty by which the Body of Christ moves and wonder how this could ever be acheived. I have come to believe that most of the problems in the Church today can be attributed to man’s desire to do what they want. To experience the fullness of God, means we must be organized and led in the way that God intends. We have either left or lost our way and need to return to being the Church, rather than doing church. That goes beyond how we worship and what we believe, to the very anointing we expect to see emerge in our lives. Our experience has a direct connection to how we are governed and led.

If we are to be prepared for the return of our Kingly Bridegroom, we must discover the priorities that will bring beauty and maturity to the Bride He longs to embrace. 

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