Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

Anointing and Increase

“Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘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.’” (Luke 4:14-19)

“…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)

Jesus was anointed by God… indeed “God was with Him” in increasing measures by a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. His example is designed to be our model of spiritual discipline. It was Jesus’ experience even as a youth to increase in His favor with God and man (Lk 2:52). Yet even in the transition of Jesus into His Earthly ministry, we can see a direct connection between a lifestyle of prayer and fasting and His increasing anointing (Lk 5:12-13)(Lk 6:12)(Mk 9:29). This reality is both inspiring and instructional.

Notice how God moves Jesus into His public ministry:

  • He is baptized in the river Jordan, where He is filled with the Holy Spirit and hears the voice of His Father from heaven (Lk 3:21-22).
  • Immediately (it would appear to me) Jesus establishes a posture of prayer and fasting as He is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil (Mt 4:1-2).
  • While in the wilderness, Jesus feels the challenges of the Devil, the hunger in His body and the threat of wild beasts. He becomes aware of the ministry of angels as well as the strength given by the Words that proceeded from the mouth of God (Mk 1:12-13).
  • He experiences increase in the anointing and breaks through the challenge victorious, because the Devil left Him until a more opportune time (Lk 4:13).
  • Jesus would return to Galilee in the increased anointing and power of the Holy Spirit bearing evidence with signs following, because people give Him glory and praise for His teaching ministry (Lk 4:14-15).
  • Now that the temptation was over His ministry would begin with a journey to Nazareth and an announcement of how He was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach, heal, bring deliverance and freedom to the captive heart (Lk 4:16-19).

Defining the Anointing:

The anointing is God being “with us” or God’s Glory manifest upon our lives. Glory is defined best as God’s “Weighty” Presence or abiding spiritual power made known through our fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I have often said the anointing is God’s hand of favor upon our lives for the advancing of His activity in the world around us. We see this in how Jesus carried the anointing. He went about the Judean countryside advancing the Kingdom of God, because the anointing was on His life. God was with Him, empowering and leading Him, breaking the grip of the Devil and advancing the activity of His Father’s heart.

Why Prayer and Fasting:

Prayer and fasting increases our ability to know and sense the supernatural Presence of God, by awakening our spiritual senses and diminishing our emphasis on flesh desires. His power and His Glory begin to increase as we meet with God and experience fellowship in an unhindered way. God’s will and His ways become more recognizable when we are sensitive to His heart. I would describe the anointing as an actual physical experience whereby we feel the internal warmth of His Presence upon our body. That is why it increases as we pray and fast. By yielding our hearts in greater measure to the Holy Spirit’s activity we can welcome and value the anointing and make room for increase in our lives. It is like a signal that God sends to us saying that He is with us. He is showing Himself to us and approves of what we are saying or doing (Jn 14:21)(2 Cor 1:21).

There is nothing so important to our Christian walk than our faith in God (Heb 11:6)! It pleases Him when we step out in ways that give Him greater opportunity to reach the world through us. It is my desire to encourage prayer and fasting so that we may increase in the anointing of God and be more effective as Kingdom Agents in the world around us.

We are ambassadors for Christ {The Anointed One} as though God were pleading through us… Be reconciled to God! (2 Cor 5:18-21).

Raging from Within

Recently a reader; who shall remain nameless, sent me a request for help in what they called “their struggle to believe God”. The brokenness they felt every time they tried to trust His Biblical Truths seemed to become overwhelming… in fact they said that it felt like their heart was “raging from within”. I want to thank the “reader” for their honest transparency, because I do not believe they are alone in this struggle. The desire to know what steps to take toward freedom is a huge leap in the right direction! We all must learn and understand these spiritual principles, if we are to grow in faith as Christ’s disciples.

What most people do not understand is that they need to be free from Demonic Strongholds!

Immediately, you might draw back and feel shocked at this statement. You may even say, “I am not lead by the devil!” Let me first tell you that this issue is a spiritual battle and there is no way to be free from our past unless we admit that the past might still have a hold on our life. We will never be free from old ways except by faith in the wisdom of God and agreement with the Word of God. The Holy Spirit will watch over God’s Word and make it powerful and effective in judging the intents of our heart (Heb 4:12)… if we are willing to receive.

The value of spiritual weapons… (2 Cor. 10:3-6).

“The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for the pulling down of spiritual strongholds, arguments and human reasoning that war against the Truth and the knowledge of Christ.”

I want to define a stronghold for you… it is a house made of thoughts.

This house made of thoughts is built upon a foundation of lies and deceptions that rule us emotionally, because we have had experiences that overwhelm our ability to believe the Truth. We cannot identify with what we have no ability to believe. What happens is that we make “emotional Covenants”… agreement with Darkness. Covenant agreement is a powerful spiritual force that either works for us or against us. Repentance and forgiveness are the beginning of freedom and all it requires is confession of our sin, but freedom costs us our emotional safety net. Remind yourself that this safety is fear based and not safe at all… its actually a deception. We must surrender our behavior in order to be free (John 8:30-36). Sinful behaviors are connected to the “orphan heart” that wants to be loved and embraced. What happens is that we often confuse legitimate needs with illegitimate behavior (Rom. 1:18-25).

We must do several things to break free.

  • 1st Renounce the Emotional Covenants with Darkness… confess the sin and begin to destroy the yoke associated with the thinking and feeling that sin brings. Isaiah 10:27 says the anointing breaks yokes around our neck… claim that strength for yourself and destroy the yoke.
  • 2nd Ask the Holy Spirit to begin to reveal to you what it is that this sin feeds in your heart. You will be able to hear in your heart immediately when you ask… God will answer and you will know. I find it helps to write a simple paragraph to God asking Him to reveal where your heart was broken and why. You might even want to ask Him where He was in the midst of your pain. You may need to go back into your heart and examine trauma or painful experiences that have caused you to make bitter judgments toward others, your parents or God. Quickly forgive them and the burden will lift, guilt and shame will leave quickly. That is where the Covenant was given its attachment to your heart. That is the easy part.
  • 3rd You must exchange the lies for the Truth of God and begin to identify areas where you are being “fathered” by emotional pain rather than God. Your Father loves you and has always been available to you. His thoughts toward you are all good (Psalm 139:17-18)(Jeremiah 29:11).

You may find many broken places where lies are hiding in your life… expose them and make them come into obedience to the Word of God. Take authority over shame and tell yourself what God has said about you… lies will bow a knee to Truth as you stand firm in Christ!

Access to Glory

Lake Victoria

Our access to God’s Glory is through entering into His Presence. We enter the gates of God’s Presence with thanksgiving and step into the courts of His Glory with praise (Ps 100:4-5). The Psalmist tells us that in doing this we will experience God’s goodness, mercy and truth in ways that both transform and increase from generation to generation.

The Glory Realm:

When we spend time in God’s Presence, we are accessing the Glory Realm. Its an atmosphere that revives the heart and renews the mind of the believer. I remind folks often that we enter the Glory Realm through the Presence, because Scripture clearly tells us that Jesus is the only Door into the Father’s heart. Through activities like praying, meditating on the Words of Christ, praise and worship, and looking into His eyes, our faces reflect His influence in our hearts. At the same time, we are being changed on the inside so that our lives begin to reflect His character. As we are transformed in this way the supernatural light that radiates within us illumines our path and increases with even greater splendor.

Moses Our Example:

“When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands he was not aware that his face was radiant, because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. When Moses was finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the Lord’s presence to speak with Him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the Lord.” (Ex 34:29-35).

Glory is Visible:

From this passage, it is abundantly clear that the Glory of God on Moses was visible; it was not merely a spiritual or moral characteristic. His face was radiant. This means that there was a shining or a glow about it. We also observe a cause and effect relationship here. Whenever Moses would spend time in the Lord’s presence and speak with the Lord, this glory would appear on his face. We also know that this was limited to Moses at that time, as it did not happen to all the Israelites. It was so unusual that everyone else who saw him was afraid of the splendor radiating from his face. That’s why he covered up his face with a veil.

New Covenant Access:

Now under the New Covenant, the Glory Realm is not limited to one man. All believers have access to God’s Presence and the Glory that radiated from the face of Moses is available to all who know Him. In fact, this glory is even more glorious than what Moses experienced. Notice how the Apostle Paul spoke of the ministry of the Spirit to the Corinthians:

“Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with Glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its Glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness?” (2 Cor 3:7-9)

The Ministry of the Spirit comes with even more Glory!

“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away…But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor 3:12-13 & 16-18).

The Garment of Praise

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

The answer against a “spirit of heaviness” is to put on the ”garment of praise.”

Satan hates praise:

Praise exalts Jesus no matter what the circumstances may look like. It engages our trust in God and activates our faith like nothing else can do. You see, praise introduces light and supernatural life into our circumstances. It is the ultimate release of spiritual freedom. Just listen to the following verses and let something click inside.

(2 Cor 3:17) “The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

(Gal 5:1) ” Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

(Jn 8:36) ” Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

Praise is Agreement with God!

Praising the Lord and agreement with the truth of God’s Word, renews the mind and lifts the spirit of heaviness off your shoulders. Notice the Prophet Isaiah says that your life is designed to reflect your calling as “trees of righteousness”. Its your destiny to become the “planting of the Lord”. As you praise Him daily, you will release the stature of Christ within you… “that He may be glorified”, seen and celebrated as your Deliverer! Nothing so clearly displays the power of God like our freedom in the spirit.

The Effect of a Spirit of Heaviness:

It darkens our countenance. Our hearts are down cast. This spirit brings a “heaviness” over us and dims our vision, robs our hope and crushes our sense of purpose. There are testimonies I’ve heard from people who say “when this spirit comes it even makes the room feel darker”. It brings a heavy and oppressive atmosphere that restricts and quenches our perception. It may come like a cloud hanging over you or your location, but the most difficult part to deal with is that it causes isolation. The devil’s goal is to remove you from the atmosphere of love and approval. Think about it, if Satan can get you isolated, then he can break your spirit and remove your source of inspiration and hope.

Recognize it:

This is the first step. You are a Child of God! This is not God’s will for you!  “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31) Don’t believe the lies… Praise God instead! Accept no criticism and carry no extra baggage. You must learn the art of selective hearing, so that you choose the things you ignore and the things that come from the Throne of Heaven. We destroy arguments and pull down strongholds, so that every thought is made captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:5). That means I am actively discerning where my thoughts are coming from and believe me… I can rule over them with praise!

Put on the Garment of Praise!

This literally means to be “wrapped up in praise”. God has given it to be worn and provide insulation. So put it on like a jacket every single day. Take a few moments each morning and every time there is a battle raging, to put it on like armor on a soldier. You will watch your enemy run for cover with his tail between his legs… like a whipped puppy. That’s right, praise is your most effective tool in magnifying God and shrinking the influence of the devil. Get loud, get aggressive and set your heart on spiritual freedom!

It is the anointing that breaks the yoke! (Isa 10:27)

Bold As A Lion

“The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Prov. 28:1)

Jesus Christ has given me an inheritance of righteousness and I claim it as my own. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21) and I reign in life (Rom. 5:17). In fact, I’m bold as a lion, because of all that He has accomplished for me… and in me. The above verse tells us, “The righteous are bold as a lion”. Its walking in the revelation of a person’s right standing with God that makes them confident and bold as a lion. If you can accept the truth; that in Christ there is forgiveness for sin and right standing with God, then you too can have the boldness of a lion. By simple faith, you will never again need to fear your circumstances or look at someone else’s life and feel unworthy.

You can say, “I have the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ credited to me by faith. I have cast aside my filthy rags for garments that are white as snow!”

It is time to stop struggling. If the devil comes to you and says, “You’re no good, you have no righteousness.” You can answer, “I know I am unworthy in myself! I have no righteousness, but I do have the righteousness of Jesus Christ. His Blood, shed for me has cleansed me from all sin! I’ve failed God; fallen from Glory, but I have an Advocate with the Father — Jesus Christ, The Righteous King of Glory!” Jesus was the spotless Lamb of God who died; yet was risen and still remains as our Great High Priest before the Throne of God making intercession for the Saints, declaring the sufficiency of His own sacrifice. He will return as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. And we; as a People of Praise, shall rejoice with Him at His coming… knowing that we are like Him, bold as a lion in His righteousness.

Evil Days:

When you stand in the midst of evil, you will not have to tremble (1 Jn. 4:17-18). Stop thinking, “What have I to offer God? What did I do right or wrong?” No, you come bold as a lion to the Throne of Grace and find mercy and receive grace in the time of need (Heb. 4:16). Jesus has made all grace abound to you; so that in believing, you might have joy and boldness in your fellowship with God.

Freedom to do Good Works:

Living by faith and receiving the gift of righteousness, sets us free to walk in power and do good works. Good works done in fear bring no glory to God — they must flow out of a loving heart… a joyful heart. Walking in supernatural power is possible to those who have a revelation of their inheritance! Christ’s perfect righteousness has become our source of confidence… no more bondage to fear.

Its time to awaken the heart of the lion and move in faith- Courageous & Bold!

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