Posts Tagged ‘guidance’

Advancing in the Nations

In the Great Commission, Jesus came and spoke to the remaining Apostles, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”  (Mt. 28:18-20)

  • “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Lk. 24:49)
  • “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)

The Great Commission was an Apostolic Mandate designed to delegate authority for Kingdom Advancement. The oupouring of the Holy Spirit was the release of power that would accomplish God’s mandate. Without this authorization and spiritual power working together there would be no spiritual progress beyond Jerusalem and no impact in the Nations. But because of it; the Church is a triumphant people fully engaged and fully equipped by the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!

This is our Mandate…

To Go… in the authority and power of our King - Jesus. Christ is Head of the Church and the True Light of Salvation, yet He is also the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. He is the One in whom we hope for fulfilling our call and reaching the unreached.

It Requires Authority & Power:

The Apostolic Mandate cannot function on human strength, it is designed to necessitate an outpouring of authority and power from heaven. We follow Jesus as Lord of the breakthrough, who breaks us out of confined places and leads with Kingdom influence into all the World. This was the purpose for waiting for the Promise of the Father in the earliest moments after the resurrection, to establish the platform for advancement. This was not some optional request, but a central focus for the followers… to wait for power was and still remains the key to success in the future purposes of God, in Christ.

The Prophet Micah says it like this: “The One who breaks open will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate and go out by it; Their King will pass before them, with the Lord at their head.” (Micah 2:13)

The Prophet Joel said: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29)

The Apostle Peter adds to Joel’s words: “And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:18). Note - prophecy is a forward speaking, declaration of God’s purposes empowered by the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is the voice of Kingdom Advancement!

The Early Church Advanced:

  • Beginning in Jerusalem: “So those who received the word were baptized and there were added that day about 3,000 souls.” (Acts 2:41)
  • Advancing beyond the City of Samaria: “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the Word.” (Acts 8:4)
  • Among Gentiles of Caesarea: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those  who heard the Word.” (Acts 10:44)
  • Into Regions of Galatia: “So the churches were strengthened in the faith and they increased in numbers daily.” (Acts 16:5)
  • Throughout Regions of Ephesus: “So the Word of the Lord grew and prevailed mightily.” (Acts 19:20)

Defining Desiny:

Under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew and Luke are defining destiny. One Apostle lays out the mandate while the other lays out the keys to its fulfillment. They are laying the platform for how we must see our future. Luke speaks to us of the triumphs of the Gospel of the Kingdom, because we must understand where our strength comes from. The Battle Is the Lord’s and we are His volunteers, following our advancing King. We must not just settle for an assignment… we must become people of truimph who take the next step, under the authority and power of the Holy Spirit.

  • “…from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Mt. 11:12)

These are the Days of Great Purpose – Where a People of Triumph… lay hold of their Desiny!

Sudden Breakthrough

Scripture: “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mt 11:28-30)

Thought for Today: “Releasing Suddenlies”

Every person I know needs a breakthrough in some area of their life. I am no exception. I need breakthroughs all the time. I find myself stuck or tempted, confused or confined and in need of wisdom and revelation. The challenge for most of us is that getting a breakthrough means changing how we see. I often hear people say, ”You might have to get serious about spiritual disciplines if you want to see any impact in your life”. What I would like to propose is that the key to getting your breakthrough is more about striving for rest, than fighting for your life (Heb 4:9). Jesus said, “Come to Me… and I will give you rest. Take My yoke… learn from Me… and you will find rest for your souls.” The key is to stop relying on your own understanding (Prov. 3:5-10)

Trust God!

What I have seen repeatedly through the years in Scripture, personal experience and the testimony of others, is that prayer and fasting produces great spiritual results. Yet those results were tied to trusting God. When we give ourselves to intense seasons of seeking, we must lean on Jesus, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the counsel of God’s Word. God is always up to something and your breakthrough is on His mind… in fact, He wants it more than you do!

Enter In:

I want to encourage you to stop leaning on your own understanding. You might never discover how problems or difficulties will be resolved in your life. Try to enter a season of rest. Go to the Throne of Grace and let God love you. Let His mercy pour out upon your heart and just soak it in… stay there and begin to enjoy His Presence. Let Him wash away your worry, cleanse you of all fear and wrestling. Now simply direct your trust toward Him… speak it out. Tell Him that you love the way He meets your needs and praise Him in this moment in the midst of all that is going on around you.

Suddenlies will Begin:

Then… what was offering no impact, suddenly does. What was making no difference, suddenly will. That unwanted situation or mountain that stood in the way, suddenly is removed. The relationship that was broken, suddenly gets restored. The pain in your body, suddenly is healed. The job that hadn’t come through, suddenly opens up. Suddenlies are God’s specialty!

The Reward of Seeking: Believe that God is the “Rewarder” of those who diligently seek Him. (Heb. 11:6)

Its the anointing that breaks the yoke (Isa 10:27), but it must settle in on us. Its God’s power that releases the suddenlies in our lives (Acts 2:2). Those miracles, the breakthroughs and the revelation of purpose, did not show up simply because we got the words right in our prayers last night. It was because God moved on our behalf. We sought Him in a season of prayer and fasting – yes, but it was God who showed up, brought the breakthrough and the suddenly you needed.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16)

Advance the Kingdom

In the Great Commission, Jesus came and spoke to the remaining Apostles, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” (Mt. 28:18-20)

  • “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Lk. 24:49)
  • “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The Great Commission was the Apostolic Mandate designed to delegate and release authority to the apostles for the Kingdom of God to Advance. It was meant to stir the valiant heart, so that simple men would find their destiny. Yet, that which these men carried was feeble and frail… like dry wood awaiting a flame. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit was the flame, a mighty rushing wind that would release power to accomplish God’s mandate. Without this authorization and spiritual flame working together, there would be no progress beyond Jerusalem and no impact in the Nations. But because of it… the Church is a Triumphant People fully engaged and fully equipped by the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!

This is our Mandate…

To Go… in the authority and power of our King – Jesus! Christ is Head of the Church and the True Light of Salvation, yet He is also the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. He is the One in whom we hope for the fulfillment of our call in reaching the unreached.

It Requires Authority & Power:

The Apostolic Mandate cannot function on human strength, it is designed to necessitate an outpouring of authority and power from heaven. We follow Jesus as Lord of the breakthrough, who breaks us out of confined places and leads with Kingdom influence into all the World. This was the purpose for waiting for the Promise of the Father in the earliest moments after the resurrection, to establish the platform for advancement. This was not some optional request, but a central focus for the followers… to wait for power was and still remains the key to success in the future purposes of God, in Christ.

The Prophet Micah: “The One who breaks open will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate and go out by it; Their King will pass before them, with the Lord at their head.” (Micah 2:13)

The Prophet Joel: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29)

The Apostle Peter: “And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:18). Note – prophecy is a forward speaking, declaration of God’s purposes empowered by the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is the voice of Kingdom Advancement!

The Early Church Advanced:

  1. Beginning in Jerusalem: “So those who received the word were baptized and there were added that day about 3,000 souls.” (Acts 2:41)
  2. Advancing beyond the City of Samaria: “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the Word.” (Acts 8:4)
  3. Among Gentiles of Caesarea: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the Word.” (Acts 10:44)
  4. Into Regions of Galatia: “So the churches were strengthened in the faith and they increased in numbers daily.” (Acts 16:5)
  5. Throughout Regions of Ephesus: “So the Word of the Lord grew and prevailed mightily.” (Acts 19:20)

Defining Destiny:

Under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew and Luke are defining destiny. One Apostle lays out the mandate while the other lays out the keys to its fulfillment. They are laying the platform for how we must see our future. Luke speaks to us of the triumphs of the Gospel of the Kingdom, because we must understand where our strength comes from. The Battle Is the Lord’s and we are His volunteers, following our advancing King. We must not just settle for an assignment… we must become people of triumph who take the next step, under the authority and power of the Holy Spirit.

“…from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Mt. 11:12)

These are the Days of Great Purpose – Where a People of Triumph… Advance the Kingdom of God!

Seeing Like God

Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” (1 Sam. 16:1-2)

God’s greatest challenge is always to get us to see what He is seeing!

There is a key phrase in the above situation that unlocks some wisdom for us… God says “Samuel, you have to get over your feelings for Saul… if you want to see what I am doing.” When Samuel was able to obey God, “fill his horn with oil and go to Bethlehem”; an amazing plan would become visible. It was actually going to unfold before his very eyes… and go beyond his human perception. In fact, natural sight would limit Samuel’s vision! God had a king of His own choosing, to rule over Israel!

God’s guidance is usually not as discernible in the moment as it is in hindsight. We may not sense what God is doing in our midst of our situations or how God is leading us. Even the great “Prophetic Gift” did not unlock what God was doing. Yet, God did have a plan… a purpose that would gradually become more clear, more discernible and more acceptable to Samuel’s human understanding. That is the story of every Christian Believer… it is a walk of faith, not sight! Thus we must be willing to train ourselves let go of our “perceptions” in order to see what God sees.

Seeing the Big Picture:

“I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.”

This story, as with so much of the Old Testament; demonstrates that God’s “providence” operates beyond the realities in which our seeing operates. But even so… we remain within reach of God… so we can have a participation in the process. Note that God’s “Big Picture” is on the flock and not just the individual sparrow. We have to remember that we are co-laborers… to His plans and purposes. In our “do it myself” age, we tend to individualize so many of the messages of the Bible. Here, it is important to note that it is the community, the people of faith that is under God’s care. Neither Samuel nor Jesse’s household would have understood the way in which God was providing for Israel, but God’s eyes were on the people as a whole and not merely the individuals.

Samuel might have questioned the direction God was sending him… Jesse might have questioned the choices Samuel was making as he turned away all of the older boys… But God was providing for His people, a king of His own criteria! He had seen something, known something and was doing something that was way beyond the limitations of human choice.

We must remember this when we decide to attack our own problems with our wisdom and limited experience. God sees the Big Picture and has a plan and purpose in His directives that go far beyond our imagination and skill level. The only way to see like God is to begin with surrendering your sight to the Holy Spirit. You might ask “How?”… and I would tell you that you will never do it by ignoring what you see!

The way to do it is by focusing on the right goal… by looking into the riches of God’s Glory (2 Cor. 4:6)(Heb. 12:1-2).

Look Into the Glory:

As you look into the Glory of God you begin to see what God sees. Inside the human heart is the capacity to see things that are images and visions placed there from the Holy Spirit. What the heart sees is better than what the mind sees, because it has the ability to evaluate and discern where it is leading. God is never seeing life in terms of “snap-shots” or “snippets”, as we see and perceive. His vision is all about spiritual purpose and His awareness is complete with all understanding. He sees the end from the beginning, with a fore-knowledge of the next moment, year or decade.

He sees from a view of Eternity… and that is what He offers those who ask in faith!

Effective Disciples

Scripture: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

Thought for Today: “Hitting the Mark”

Jesus is in essence saying… “ask and keep on asking, knock and keep on knocking, seek and keep on seeking… something will be open to you.” The spiritual disciplines of our Christian faith should be done for the purpose of developing our focus. Like an archer who takes aim at their target, we can only hit the mark if we are able to get our arrow and the “bulls eye” to line up. The goal is to hit the mark from any distance, any angle and in the midst of any distractions. So many things can become a hindrance to our spiritual life, but disciplines like prayer and fasting sharpen our aim by stabilizing our stance.

Identifying the Mark:

The Apostle Paul said that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). This means we are very familiar with what it feels like to “miss the mark”, because of where we stood… without Christ.

However, today by standing in Christ, we are fully capable of walking by faith and trusting in His power. We hit the mark by manifesting His Glory in the Earth. All fruitfulness and blessing flow from the work of God inside of us and through us. He has given Holy Spirit discernment, we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16) to equip us and train us in hitting the mark every time. We might need comfort, wisdom or healing. The Holy Spirit will lead us in all Truth and make His power effective to our need. James tells us that the passionate prayer of a righteous man is effective and hits the mark (Jms 5:16).

Fasting to Hit the Mark:

Here are a few ways in which fasting can elevate our effectiveness in hitting the mark. By fasting with a purpose we can focus and aim at significant needs and bring forth results that are supernatural.

  • To Strengthen Prayer (Ezra 8:3)
  • To Seek God’s Guidance (Judges 20:26)(Acts 14:23)
  • To Express Grief (1 Sam 31:13)(2 Sam 1:11-12)(1 Sam 20:34)
  • To Seek Protection (2 Chron 20:3-4)(Ezra 8:21-23)(Esther 4:16)
  • To Repent or Return to God (1 Sam 7:6)(Joel 2:12)(Jonah 3:5-8)
  • To Humble Oneself before God (Ps 35:13)
  • To Express Concern for the Word of God (Neh 1:3-4)(Dan 9:3)
  • To Overcome Temptation and Dedicate Oneself to God (Mt 4:1-2)
  • To Express Love and Devotion to God (Lk 2: 37)(Zech 7:5)

I want to encourage a focused aim on those things that hinder or distract from manifesting God’s Glory everyday. Your lifestyle of prayer and fasting is a uniquely powerful arrow for hitting the mark set before you!

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