Posts Tagged ‘Gentiles’

Bring My Children Into Glory

“I will say to the north, Give them up! And to the south, Do not keep them back! Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth— Everyone who is called by My Name, whom I have created for My Glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”  (Isaiah 43:6-7)

We as God’s Children were made for His Glory! We were designed to enjoy His fellowship and advance in the knowledge of His heart for us. In the Scripture above, we can feel the passion of the Father calling His Children home. Its more than an invitation… its more like a declaration of war! As if God Himself is speaking to the spiritual forces of darkness and all human governing bodies saying, “The day of confinement is over! I am establishing an order of release and recovery!” Truly it amazes me to watch as God puts His foot down upon the neck of principalities and powers in the spiritual realm.

The Voice Itself:

Make no mistake; this voice is the prophetic voice of Isaiah, yet it is the passionate heart of the Father as well. Our perception of a prophetic voice is so important as we hear with the ears of faith. You see, it cannot become only a prophetic “suggestion” in our daily routine, because God is serious about recovering a people who know Him and are waiting for a pathway to be established in the wilderness. Remind yourself of how God found you in your sinful condition and called you to Himself. He did this because of His love for you… to bring you back into His Glory!

Our Assignment:

John the Baptist was not the only Messenger of the Lord who has been assigned the task of making a highway visible for the people of God to find His Glory (Isa. 40:1-5). Jesus said, “Go – into all the earth and make disciples” (Mt. 28:19). The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore we are Ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20). It is our assignment to bear witness and make available a pathway back to the Father’s heart! This thought of ”bringing them back” means we have a mandate from heaven to grab the hands of every person within reach and speak of God’s love for them. We have a task that requires our diligent understanding and our personal commitment!

4 Practical Principles:

  1. Be People of the Glory… You cannot bring people to where you have never been. Recognize your own chosenness and royalty in God’s Kingdom. You are a holy and special person, designed, formed and called out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Pe. 2:9-10). Being a person who understands the Glory of God cannot happen without your participation daily in prayer and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. You must be a Child of God and have obtained mercy… in order to offer mercy and a path into His Glory.
  2. Be Equipped… God’s desire is that all of His Children be filled with all the fullness of His Spirit (Eph. 5:15-21). Jesus said all we need to do is ask for the Holy Spirit, because it is the Father’s desire to give us the Kingdom (Lk. 12:31-32). Making a priority for the things of God will begin to establish your pathway into the Father’s heart. That is where the resources are found. You will need grace, intimacy and yieldedness in order for your life to display fruitfulness.
  3. Be Observant… You carry the Father’s Glory in that you carry the testimony of Christ. Christ is the Desire of the Nations (Hag. 2:7) and because He lives in you, you will become the desire of those around you in need of Him. “Arise and shine, your Light has come and the Glory of the Lord has risen upon you” – these words of Isaiah 60:1-3 speak of the Gentiles coming to your light and kings coming to the brightness of your “rising” or testimony. Its spoken of Christ and it is speaking to you, because “Christ in you is the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27).
  4. Be Prophetic… Speak to people what God is saying about them. Bless those that curse you and love those that speak evil of you because of your testimony in Christ. Recognize the real battle is in the spirit realm (Eph. 6:10-12), with forces that aim to confuse (2 Cor. 10:3-6) and works that aim to deceive (1 Jn. 3:8). You are God’s anointed voice to the principalities and powers in the spiritual realm, wherever God has given you influence. Speak boldly and speak often of the reality that God has made a way through Christ, back into the Father’s Glory (Eph. 3:10-11).

Notice: The Goal is the Glory!

Finally, I want to emphasize the spoken desire of God is to bring His Children back into the Glory. Adam was created for the Glory and lived in a Garden that was designed to allow him to be “formed” by his fellowship in Glory. He was visited daily by God who walked with him in the cool of the day in an atmosphere permeated by the Glory. And God’s greatest gift to mankind was to give His Only Begotten Son - Christ, in whom is the brightness of His Glory and the express image of His person (Heb 1:3). In Christ, God has opened up the pathway home and in you and I, He is making His purposes known in all the earth.

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14)

Into the Call of God

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 Jn. 4:4)

“…Christ in you, the hope of glory!” (Col. 1:27)

Bridging the Gap between Our Ability and God’s Call:

1. The Anointing of the Holy Spirit
“He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Cor 1:21-22)

The Greek word for anoint is chrio, meaning ‘to smear or rub with oil’… and when used in the New Testament it speaks to the idea of the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon and within the believer to achieve great exploits.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18)

These verses emphasize the essentials to entering into the call of God! Just as Jesus was “anointed” and “sent” to fulfill God’s purpose, we are also anointed by the Holy Spirit and sent to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. With the anointing of the Holy Spirit, we receive God’s power to do the work He has called us to do (Acts 1:8)(Eph 3:16). In the Old Testament, Prophets, Priests and Kings were the classes of people anointed with oil, foreshadowing Jesus the Messiah; and also signifying that the anointing sets God’s people apart for service to Him. In the New Testament, anointing is not a substance or impersonal power, but the Person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit still sets us apart to do all that would fulfill the Will of God in our generation. We need to highly value and treasure the Spirit and His anointing. This puts a demand upon our hearts… WE MUST:

  • Maintaining an intimate relationship with Him and continue being filled with the Holy Spirit! (Eph. 5:15-18)
  • Be growing in our sensitivity… to obey Him and follow His timing! (Acts 13:2)
  • Value accountability and honor God-given leadership! (Eph. 4:11)
  • Treat His Presence and anointing with honor and respect! (Eph. 4:30)

As you do this, you can trust His anointing and abiding Presence to be evident and enter into the call of God for your life. So, if you are wondering how to get the supernatural results God intends for your ministry… remember that the source is not you; but is in you and on you. Its the Presence of Christ and anointing of the Holy Spirit.

2. The Grace of God
God says to us: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…” (2 Cor 12:9)

God offers us grace and power, sufficient for His purposes, but we must tap into it by the humility of surrender. The Apostle Paul tells us that he “boasted in his weakness”, because in so doing he was able to tap into God’s supernatural grace and power! If you are unsure where the strength will come to achieve what God has called you to do? Then you are right where God wants you! Just remember what the Apostle Paul heard from God and how that redirected his focus and his praise. God’s grace, “charis” in Greek, refers to the undeserved favor of God freely given to us in Jesus Christ. Grace is the favor that encourages and empowers us in our service for Him!

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Cor 15:10)

Grace effects us at the deepest level when trying to accomplish the Will of God. This enabling grace relates to our specific calling from God… it is the favor within His voice that clarifies your purpose in life and strengthens your resolve. So you and I run into the will of God with passion because the call of God become the beat of our hearts! We Pursue Him – Make Him your highest aim and you will never, never be without strength in the days ahead.

“Through Him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for His name’s sake.” (Rom 1:5)(1 Cor 3:10)

When the call of God is daunting, remind yourself that you are of God …and “Christ in you” has already overcome!

Glossolalia

“All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God.” (Acts 10:45-46)

One of the most controversial and misunderstood gifts of the Holy Spirit is praying in tongues… called glossolalia in the Greek language. I am convinced that there is so much antagonism aimed at this gift because of the incredible power it releases into our lives. In the same way that many reject the prophetic ministry because of abuses, misuses and bad experiences, the same approach has been taken – perhaps in greater extremes – toward praying in tongues. What was intended to be a source of supernatural power, and a catalyst for deep intimacy with God; has been reduced to a mere theological position in many Charismatic Churches. In the past, many books and teachings have emphasized tongues in almost a robotic way. Yet the gift of tongues is something that the Apostles, especially Peter and Paul deeply cherished. Their goal was that the believer experience the power of a Person… the Holy Spirit.

Available to Every Believer:

Tongues is a manifestation of the Gift of the Holy Spirit… also called the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit”. Its a real language… a spiritual language. It is a tool. When we pray in tongues, we are praying in the spirit (our spirit), with the Holy Spirit and according to God’s will as the Holy Spirit knows what our Heavenly Father desires. It is not exclusive to the super-spiritual. It does not even signify elevated spiritual maturity. It is powerful, available and absolutely life-changing. However, many receive this gift at one point in their lives and taste its power, but rarely make it a part of their normal Christian lives. We must recognize that yesterday’s encounter with God cannot sustain us for today. Yesterday’s touch is insufficient for today’s trials… and trials do come with consistency and intensity for the seekers of God! (Jn. 16:33)

Based on a book written by Corey Russell called The Glory Within, here are 5 ways that praying in tongues will change your life forever.

  1. It Gives You Supernatural Understanding of God’s Mysteries. Holy Spirit is the One who “searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets” (1 Cor. 2:10). ”For he who speaks in a tongue… in the spirit he speaks mysteries” (1 Cor. 14:2).
  2. It Offers You Access to Other Revelatory Gifts of the Holy Spirit. “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit … to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues” (1 Cor. 12:8 & 10).
  3. It Opens Up the Bible in a New, Living Way as You Read It. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak” (Jn. 16:13).
  4. You Can Speak Directly to God. “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God” (1 Cor. 14:2).
  5. It Empowers You to Engage Spiritual Warfare From the Position of Victory. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:18).

“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Cor. 1:27-29).

Why tongues – something that seems so foolish to our natural human minds? We must renew our thinking because our minds cannot understand the whys of God’s ways… and discomfort does not give us permission to ignore them. Tongues is surely a mystery, but at the same time it is a powerful gift that will not only enrich our personal prayer life but will bring us into deeper intimacy and communion with the Holy Spirit.

  • “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit (Pray in Tongues), keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 20-21)
  • “He who speaks in a tongue edifies (builds up) himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.” (1 Cor. 14:4)
  • “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.” (1 Cor. 14:14-15)

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4

Glory that Increases

‘…indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever”, that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.’ (2 Chron. 5:13-14)

God’s Glory is supernatural – unmanageable, unpredictable, and frequently controversial… especially when it violates our religious traditions about God. Yet the Glory of God still remains the most influential and powerful expression of our Christian experience. Throughout Scripture, God calls His people to know Him, to glorify Him and to reflect His Glory. The more intimately we know God, the more His Glory will be revealed to us and in us… from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:17-18). After all we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit!

Increasing Evidence of Glory:

In the Exodus from Egypt, God’s Glory was seen in the cloud that lead His People by day and the fire that lead them by night. In the days of King David and King Solomon, there were Tabernacle and Temple experiences that overwhelmed the leaders and challenged every religious idea of the day. As New Testament Believers, we recognize that same Glory now resides within us as the New Covenant Promise – written upon our hearts. It is the shekinah Presence of the Holy Spirit living within us that increases as we embrace it and hunger for more. The Apostle Paul said that although this Glory would be mysterious, it would be revealed to the Saints and increase in the Believer who puts their trust in Christ. We were made to know the riches, and to drink in the river of God’s Glory.

  • “The mystery that has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the Glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory.” (Col. 1:26-27)
  • “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body… and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13)

How Much is Enough?

Three truths I try to remember – 1st There is always more! – 2nd You can have as much of God as you want! and 3rd Your hunger will dictate your capacity to receive. The Apostle James tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us (Jms 4:8). There are several ways we can “go after more” of God’s Glory in our lives.

  1. Worship: Gives God the worth He is due and increases our awareness of His Glory.
  2. Thanksgiving: Offers appreciation for all He has done and will do and creates room for His Glory to be manifest in our lives.
  3. Meditating upon The Word of God: Releases revelation and an awareness of how God’s Glory was seen in the past.
  4. Fellowship: Recognizing our relationship with the Holy Spirit and soaking in His Presence shapes our hearts as places of intimacy and habitation for greater Glory.
  5. Prayer: Intercession and offering our petitions to God in faith draws His attention, His love and Glory encounters.

We were born to manifest God’s Glory… to embrace the challenge of carrying something so wonderful that were we to truly comprehend its power…

WE COULD CHANGE THE WORLD!

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.

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