Posts Tagged ‘God’s people’

Prophetic Preaching

Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent Me.” (John 7:16)

Jesus consistently preached under the anointing of God, as we see in the above verse. Yet the key to being prophetic is that Jesus’ message carried the weight of supernatural creativity, breakthrough and fulfillment.  A prophetic preacher may use the gifts of teaching, exhortation and prophecy in a variety of ways; but the power of the message itself, will shift the atmosphere (Rom. 1:16-17). That is what makes it prophetic!

“And take the … sword of the Spirit, which is the word [rhema] of God” (Eph 6:17)

Prophetic Preaching contains a ‘Now’ Word:

The prophetic gift is employed to make known the thoughts, purpose and intent of God. Prophetic preaching has a sense of immediacy. In the New Testament, the Greek word ‘rhema’ primarily refers to the spoken word that carries power in its ‘utterance’, whereas ‘logos’ primarily refers to the written word, the logic of God or His thought process. Prophetic teaching and preaching releases the rhema of God’s “Spirit-breathed”, current Word. It is designed to reveal the Father’s “Now Word”, making known something that if believed would come forth. It answers the question, ‘What is God’s Word to us in this season?’

Example: The Apostle Paul said, “the word is near you even in your mouth and in your heart, that is the word of faith that we preach” (Rom. 10:8). He goes on to say that if you act on it by confessing and believing, you will be saved… You will be transformed!

What happens in prophetic preaching is that we are drawn into an experience by the conviction of the Holy Spirit as well as the will to believe and step into its power. It sets a Kairos moment… the opportune time for change and transformation. Prophetic preaching opens doorways into heavenly blessing, revelation and assignments.

“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” (1 Cor 2:13)

Based on Spiritual Revelation:

Prophetic preaching is inspired by the Holy Spirit through the means of revelation. The word ‘revelation’ in the New Testament Greek, apokalupsis, means an ‘uncovering’ or ‘disclosure’. In other words, God is revealing something by His Spirit that is not known by natural means… its a mystery. There is often a call to action or a need to respond and activate the Word received by the hearer. This is why we place a high priority on seasons of prayer or altar times, to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts when the atmosphere has been shifted in a room or auditorium. This may be to align one’s heart or actions, to pay attention to a timely warning or submit to guidance. When we do not position ourselves for God’s present or future plans, we often miss our opportunity. The consistent results of the prophetic instructions of God are for transformation and breakthrough.

Notice these two examples:

  1. “The children of Issachar, who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel should do… and all their brethren were at their command” (1 Chron. 12:32)
  2. “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” (Mt. 7:28-29)

Prophetic Preaching Carries Authority:

This authority is not based upon the preacher’s gift, but on the basis of being entrusted with a message from God Himself. Throughout Scripture, the instruction given through a prophet brought breakthrough for God’s people. This included strategic guidance in a time of warfare (2 Chron. 20:14-17), a word of action in crisis (Gen 41:25-46) or a specific declaration of breakthrough (2 Kings 7:1-2). Prophetic preaching is of great value when a shift is needed to bring the Kingdom of God and push back against the darkness that floods our vision.

Empowering the Church:

“Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers.”  (Acts 15:32)

The outcome of prophetic preaching, just as with all prophetic ministry, is that the Church and its leadership is built up, strengthened and empowered. (1 Cor 14:3-4)

Song of Praise

As they went out Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me oh Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets and you shall prosper.” And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. (2 Chron. 20:21-22)

The Song of Praise is a powerful prophetic tool that unlocks the mystery of strength in the midst of spiritual warfare!

  • It Declares- God’s ability in the midst of our frailty!
  • It Celebrates- victory in the face of apparent defeat!
  • It Thanks God- for strategies that have not yet been exposed!

Prophetic Songs:

The song of praise is prophetic; because it gives voice to the Word that God has spoken to you, concerning His outcome for your life. The prophetic song releases power, because it engages faith. We all have moments of desperation, but God remains undaunted by our apparent stress. He stands ready to go forward with His will and purpose for our lives, even when we feel paralyzed by fear. There may be no victory in sight, but there is always a hidden strength in God. Sometimes you just have to put it on or sing to release it.

We can choose to believe the Voice of God and unlock the power that obedience releases through praise!

Breakthrough Praise:

There is something about singing songs of praise that has a powerful magnetic pull on the resources of heaven. And this is why the Bible’s prescription for desperation is a song of praise. God has made the song of praise an instrument of breakthrough.

Unlocking Victory:

King Jehoshaphat received word that a vast army was coming against God’s People. Then, in answer to a prayer of desperation he received a prophetic word from Jahaziel: “The battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chron. 20:15). This Word was like a doorway to victory if the people could respond in faith… the key was the song of praise. Jehoshaphat sent out a choir singing praise to God in front of his army. He was not sending the praisers to their death, but to proclaim the victory that he had already received by God’s Word.

The Bible record is clear, “As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes…”

The enemy armies turned on each other and victory was won with no weapon except a song of praise to God. Do you hear this… with no weapon, no strategy, no great army… The people of God prevailed with a song in their mouth (Ps. 149:6)! The key to your success is in the spirit, not in the natural!

When it feels as though everything is breaking loose against you, break heaven loose against the enemy and overcome with a song of praise.

The Great Exchange

The Truth for a lie… that’s it. What God has done for us is just that simple… if we can embrace it.

Jesus made the statement that the devil is a thief, who comes only to kill, steal and destroy; but He offered an alternate reality… “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:9-10). Jesus offers us freedom – from sin and the lies that sin requires us to agree with (Jn. 8:36)! If you want to be free… agree with the Truth found in Christ!

Everyday:

The experience of our Christian faith must become a journey of exchanges whereby all that we have seen and heard is processed through the lens of Truth. On Calvary there was a crushing blow that destroyed the power of lies. Indeed, Jesus in the cross crushed the serpent’s (the devil) head.. and the greatest transaction of all time took place. Christ the Sacrificed Lamb took our place and became the substitute for the sin of God’s people. Jesus picked up our burden… (Isaiah 53) was laden with our guilt and trespasses just as if He, Himself had committed our sins. He was counted with the transgressors.

“He hath made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor 5:21).

That we might become Righteous!

Christ took full responsibility for the sins of His people and by His death made atonement for them. As the “scapegoat” He took them away from us. He died for the unjust (1 Pet 3:18) and His righteousness is counted as ours. “He has clothed us with the garments of salvation”. Freely justified we stand before God, not having our own righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ paid to our account.

This is the greatest opportunity of all – and the time is now that we exchange our rags for His incredible riches!

The great exchange is about our identity. Its about letting go of our sin, our brokenness and wounds from the past. Sinful behaviors are pardoned by simply asking God to forgive you and free you of the shame. Jesus said, “the Truth shall make you free!” (Jn. 8:32) Yes, yes – YES… you and I can become totally free! Praise the Lord!

Flourishing

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the House of the Lord, they will flourish in the Courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright; He is My Rock, and there is no wickedness in Him!’” (Psa. 92:12-15)

What does it mean to flourish “like a palm tree”? The Psalmist is speaking of a tree called the date palm. There are 5 powerful lessons from this palm tree that encourage us to become all God has called us to be. Today it really is our choice, we can flourish and be blessed… and show forth the praises of God even to the end of our natural life.

1. Remaining Strong:

The palm tree grew to a great height, up to 75 feet tall or 23 meters, reaching ages of 100-200 years. The promise of remaining strong all of our days is God’s will for us, because we walk by faith and not sight… by supernatural strength rather than natural energy.

2. Abundant Fruitfulness:

Throughout its life, the fruit of the date palm produced every year, and in great abundance. The fruit was released in clusters and with exceptional taste. This is God’s plan for the Believer; fruitful and consistent, so the unbelieving heart will see the abundant lifestyle. We are Blessed in the Beloved (Eph. 1:3-6)!

“I am the Vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (Jn. 15:5)

3. Nothing Wasted:

An amazing fact about the date palm is that every part of it was useful. The palm leaves were used to cover homes and as material for fences. They were also useful for making baskets and other items. Even the seeds, when ground, produced food for camels. The richness of God’s resources; as it flows from the Child of God, is an inheritance that is both complete and enduring. Nothing passes into our lives that God would want to see wasted, because His creative nature is to redeem and uncover the “glory” within.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

4. A Testimony of Praise:

The palm represented praise, victory and salvation. As a Believer, we are known from the platforms of our testimony. We overcome the devil by it, advance in the Kingdom with it and stand against our enemies for it… the testimony of the believing heart is praise! We shall praise the Lord no matter what and no matter when, for when God is on our side there is always victory and peace within our hearts. Peace is the Jewish word “Shalome” which means “nothing missing, nothing broken”.

  • Palm trees were a symbol of peace - the establishment of “Shalome”.
  • Palm trees were carved into the temple décor (1 Kings 6:29)
  • Palm branches were used in the feast of Tabernacles (Lev 23:40)
  • Palm leaves were thrown upon the ground in front of Jesus as He rode into Jerusalem. (Jn 12:13)
  • In Revelation, the great multitude of people saved from every nation wear white robes and hold palm branches in their hands. (Rev 7:9)

5. Planted in the House:

In the New Testament context, being planted in the House of God speaks of being firmly established in Christian community, in spiritual fellowship. We flourish, not in isolation, but together. As God’s People we are called to live in the cluster, where the fellowship is sweetest (Isa. 65:8). God tells us there is blessing in it.

“not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  (Heb. 10:25)

Emphasis: Strong and Fragrant like the Cedar

The psalmist also describes God’s People as the cedar; a tall, evergreen tree that produced a fragrant gummy sap. Its wood was strong and long lasting, so it had many uses, including furniture and ship masts. Due to its qualities, cedar wood was used in the construction of the temple.

We can joyfully embrace the power of God’s illustrated language. He describes our strength; and when we read what God has declared in His Word, we feel equipped to become more! To flourish like the palm tree or like the cedar built into a temple. We have the privilege of being used by our Father to help build His Church and establish His Kingdom. And to remain strong where He has placed us throughout our lives… flourishing!

“He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither and whatever he does shall prosper.”  (Psa. 1:3)

Positioned for Transition

"God pulls upon our anointing!"

"God pulls upon our anointing!"

Leadership is the intangible sense within a person who knows they have been positioned for greatness. The Bible is full of encounters where people’s lives were changed for the better. Moses, Joshua and David were unique in Israel’s history, because God positioned them to do great exploits. It was their ability to embrace transition that brought victories into focus and opened the way for God’s people to walk through difficult challenges. Its what made them leaders. They focused beyond the immediate circumstance by their relational promise in God. They were a foreshadowing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus; who for the joy set before Him, positioned Himself on the cross to bring the greatest transition in the history of mankind (Heb. 12:1-2).

  • The key to embracing any spiritual transition is that you must have a great passion for what is on the “other side”.
  • The New Day, the Promised Land or the Greater Glory are our Destiny - Leaders do not allow the spoils to be lost within the journey!

Parting Red Seas:

Moses stood at the Red Sea, with as many as 2 million people waiting for his next move. As he lifted his staff, there was no history of escaping through the midst of a huge body of water like this and there were no others standing by with a “plan B”. He had no pattern, no program and no testimony to encourage himself. But this was a New day! Freedom was just on the other side of this barrier! They couldn’t even see past the waves, but that’s when we can best identify our leader’s gift. Moses had the Word from God! 

“…lift up your rod and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the Children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” (Exod. 14:16)

Crossing Swollen Jordans:

Joshua had seen the Promised Land and brought back a good report along with his close friend, Caleb. He had a history with Moses and had seen the Glory of God upon a great leader. His passion for the Presence of God was more than he could take at times and although he was a great warrior, his gifting was more driven by a delight in obeying, rather than leading. But now Moses is dead and Caleb seems silent. As the Children of Israel look at a Jordan River at flood stage, they had to have questioned his timing for a crossing over. But cross over they would, for God was about to show Himself strong on behalf of the loyalty of Joshua’s heart (2 Chron. 16:9). Joshua knew how to focus on God’s plan!

When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, the Levites bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about 2000 cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before. And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” (Josh. 3:3-5)

Bringing Down Goliaths:

Over 9 feet tall and taunting the people of Israel at the Valley of Elah, Goliath stood as a reminder of how fear and intimidation are more of a barrier than anything natural. Words were the weapons of the serpent in the Garden of Eden and words were the residue of a memory of slavery in Egypt. Words have toppled kingdoms and paralyzed relationships. Now this uncircumcised Philistine would use them to release an atmosphere that terrorized the forward momentum of God’s people. Bringing down Goliath would take someone who understood the secret of dispelling fear. The secret is the favor of God! David knew the favor of God… for it was in the field with frail and fearful sheep that David had killed the lion and the bear. This uncircumcised Philistine did not qualify in David’s eyes to be of any threat, because he had no mark of God’s favor upon his life. David stood under the favor of God!

Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” (1 Sam. 17:32)

The Rest of the Story:

We know the outcome of these journeys, but we so easily forget when we are pulled into their positions that it requires us to be leaders. I want to propose that you and I are at our barriers for such a time as this… to draw out the leadership anointing within us and release it. We will never know what has been deposited within us until we are called upon by those whose eyes are now fixed on us. To part the Red Sea, step into the Swollen Jordan or bring down the Goliaths, requires the faith of a leader. Not everyone will arise to this level, but the one who knows God intimately, has talked face-to-face and listened with a sense of destiny. This one will lead! This one has been positioned for transition… and promotion.

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