Posts Tagged ‘History’

Advancing Kingdom Life

Evangelism is the Kingdom of God advanced through our lives!

The Apostle James said, “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works’. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (Jms 2:17-18)

If we only proclaim the Gospel with our lips and not our lives, we are hypocrites and our faith is dead… ineffective. This is why it is so important for Christians to continually live with a vision for Kingdom Advancement. When we daily experience God’s Glory in our lives we begin to be revived and transformed from the inside out. The freedom of having a Kingdom mindset will enable us to joyfully speak of God to those within our sphere of influence. We will end the argument that aims to get people to agree with us and begin to impact the world with a flow of life.

Fear Factor:

The Devil uses intimidation to discourage us from telling our story. I often hear people say, “How can I tell anyone about Jesus when I’m not gifted at evangelism?” At that moment we must stop and apply the Truth of the Gospel to our own soul. The Apostle Paul didn’t hang his head in shame when he was reminded of his own unique history and personal limitations. He spoke to his own soul about the nature of his relationship with Christ. His confidence before kings came from knowing that fruitfulness flowed from his intimacy with God, not his personal eloquence or human wisdom (1 Cor 2:1-5).

No Condemnation… not even a little bit!

“There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1). When clumsiness, unworthiness or shame overwhelm our soul we must preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to ourselves. Speak boldly; ”I am in Christ and He has made me righteous by faith in His blood! I take hold of His forgiveness and He washes away all sin and breaks every stronghold. His power works in me and is mine at this very moment. I’m God’s adopted Son! It is Christ who lives in me and I have inherited His boldness, because I carry His Spirit.”

Make the Grace Connection: (Eph 2:8-10)

Remind yourself, its not about “you”. I often pray over myself, under my breath or speak His Name out loud while I am driving. This is my way of staying in the flow of heaven’s resource… Glory (Phil 4:19). I am believing and receiving His grace spontaneously in those moments. It may sound silly, but I believe in laying my hand upon my own head and speaking a blessing over myself or asking God to anoint my head with fresh oil. I desire the overflow of God’s Presence to be seen upon my life, even before I speak a word.

The Holy Spirit:

This discipline has the power to radically change my focus, because it puts the weight of pressure back upon the Holy Spirit. He is My Helper, the Voice of Conviction and Discerner of the Heart. He clothes me in the Father’s Glory. Its the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us that makes us witnesses in the world (Acts 1:8). He is the Spirit of Grace and Truth, but He is also the boldness we need to testify. Welcoming the Holy Spirit’s leadership is essential to any success in the Kingdom, especially evangelism.

Go into the World:

Go for it and proclaim the Kingdom Message to others… remember that someone had to tell you while you were still in the world. That same Kingdom reality that has changed you, has the power to save, deliver and set all men free from sin and intimidation. Speaking the Truth to ourselves; that is our ”soulish man”, sets our perceptions on the love of Christ and releases the anointing for breakthrough in others. Jesus is our source of life, not our eloquence or ability to formulate an argument (1 Cor 1:30). It is Christ in you that reflects God’s Glory (Col 1:27) and it is by His power activated and flowing, that you become effective in destroying the works of the devil (1 Jn 3:8).

Jesus is our model: “How 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).

Daniel’s Words

The clearest picture we have of a satanic principality ruling over a nation is found in the ninth and tenth chapters of the book of Daniel. These chapter’s describe what happened after the Prophet Daniel set himself to fast and pray until he received revelation concerning the prophetic future of the nation of Israel (which was being held captive by the nation of Persia).

Daniel’s Season of Prayer & Fasting:

After twenty-one days of seeking the Lord, an angel approached Daniel and explained why it took so long for his prayers to be answered. The angel comes to respond to Daniel’s heart, “Fear not, Daniel; for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand… thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days; but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia” (Dan. 10:12-13).

  1. Notice, the angel was sent to answer Daniel’s prayer on the first day of his fast, but he was hindered in his journey by the prince of the kingdom of Persia.
  2. Notice also the mention of the word “prince” in this verse. Both times they are translated from the Hebrew “sar”, which means a chief ruler, leader or commander over an army.

Since the earthly ruler of Persia could not hinder an angel from completing his assignment, and the chief prince Michael is commonly known to be an angel of the highest order, the term “prince of Persia” must refer to the satanic ruler of the spiritual kingdom of darkness that operated over the physical nation of Persia.

Princes & Principalities:

There are principalities that rule in the realm of the spirit over cities, regions, nations and governments. Some of these spiritual powers are good, and some are evil. Revelation 12:7 tells us, “And there was a war in heaven (ouranos – the abode of God, also the spirit realm); Michael and his angels fought against the dragon (satan); and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not…” Angelic forces are doing battle in the heavenly realm even as you read this, fighting one another to gain control over the regions of the earth.

A messenger angel was dispatched to bring Daniel revelation from God concerning the prophetic future of the nation of Israel; but he did not possess enough power or authority to break through the forces of darkness that were controlling the spiritual regions above Persia. Michael is one of the chief princes of heaven. Everytime you find him mentioned in Scripture, he is doing battle with the spiritual forces of darkness. So, Michael was sent to engage the forces of darkness and to open up a highway for the lesser angel to pass through and deliver God’s message to Daniel. The last part of verse thirteen says, “…I remained there with the kings of Persia”, indicating that the messenger angel was restricted by the forces of darkness until Michael set him free, allowing him to resume his journey.

Then, after he delivered his message, the angel said, “…and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come” (Dan. 10:20). The angel had to fight his way back out of the earthly kingdom by doing battle, once again, with the satanic principality that ruled over Persia.

Daniel’s Words:

It’s important for us to realize that Daniel’s prayers were the catalyst that released the angelic forces of God to break the stronghold the prince of darkness had over the nation of Persia. Once the satanic principality was broken, the earthly kingdom of Persia was finished as a world power. History tells us that the kingdom of Greece rose to greatness in 334 B.C. and destroyed the Persian empire. The prince of Grecia, which refers to the satanic principality that governed over the Grecian Empire, empowered Alexander the Great and his armies to conquer much of the world.

Dominion Reality:

I have heard the critics speak negatively about the theology of dominions, but this story clearly indicates the power and authority that angelic principalities have over nations and regions of the earth. It also tells us the important role that our prayers have in releasing the forces of God to break the devil’s stronghold. The angel told Daniel, “… I am come for thy words”. In other words, Daniel’s prayers were the active agent that precipitated a change in the heavenly realm over Persia.

In Matthew 6:10, Jesus told us to pray, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (“ouranos” – the dwelling place of God, and the abode of angels). God’s will is not automatically worked in the earth or in your life; it must be prayed through. Today, I encourage you to begin to value your words in prayer. Don’t let them fall upon the ground without expecting something… see spiritually and engage your faith to believe that angels are ready to lift your needs into the sphere of God’s hearing.

Its possible that your neighbor, your city or an entire nation is counting on your words!

At His Footstool

Ominous Sunset

Let the Heavens Open Wide

Psalm 110 is the most frequently quoted Old Testament passage in the New Testament. In this Psalm we get a picture of God as the Authoritative Father (Jehovah) speaking to His Son Jesus with crisp prophetic resolve…

“Come have a seat My Son, while the plans We worked out together before the creation of the world, reach their fulfillment”.

You might ask… why, out of all the ancient promises, did the first disciples turn to this text time and time again? The answer comes out of the fact that this Scripture gave them their purpose. This one text spoke more clearly than any other about how they understood themselves. They saw God at work in them… His Church – “Zion”. They embraced their assignment as God’s “rod of strength”; sent with a task and an anointing of power… “till I make Your (Jesus’) enemies Your footstool”.

Psalm 110 pinpoints the single greatest reality unfolding around us today…

the Kingdom of Heaven is forcefully advancing and men of violence are laying hold of its treasure (Mt 11:12).

Its drama helps us interpret both the front page of our newspapers as well as the frontlines of our battle. It reinforces the idea that people and events everywhere are being woven into the Kingdom plans for planet Earth… whether they know it or not. No matter how far from the center of God’s heart we may seem to be, Christ’s influence has its grip on every human domain. History is not moving in a vacuum; because God has a purpose in these last days to release an army of Saints to call out in the streets.

At “His footstool” we can watch history pursuing one increasing priority; not to have more church buildings or religious meetings… but to see God’s Son “rule in the midst of His enemies!” The enemies of Christ will fall, they will become the footstool beneath His feet and life upon this planet will change.

The Apostle John wrote, “…the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev 11:15).

The Beholding Principle

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:18)

One of the most important spiritual principles of the Bible is the principle that what we continuously behold, will be what we become. If we behold and study God’s fiery love for us, our hearts will become fiery with love for God. When we behold the emotions of God, we receive truths about how God feels about human beings; about you and me individually, about our destinies, our personalities, our likes and dislikes… we find our place in His heart. We can certainly connect with mysteries that are beyond finding out and behold the majesty of God. But when we see Him as He is, we begin to change.

The Key to Transformation:

The Apostle Paul wrote of this spiritual principle as a key to transformation… as we behold the glory of the Lord we are transformed, “from glory to glory”. This very basic principle is foundational to the Biblical theology of heart transformation. It is what made David a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14). Simply stated, whatever we behold or understand about God’s heart toward us, is what we become in our hearts toward God. If we behold a mean stingy God, we will become mean and stingy. But if we behold His glory, as the Apostle Paul wrote, the Holy Spirit will transforms us.

Pursue the Heart of God!

By pressing into God’s emotions through study and a personal pursuit of our relationship with Him, we find our place in His heart. We become men and women captured by His heart. If we behold what David beheld about God, we would live as he lived, and we would carry our hearts before God as he did. The things David, Moses or even Adam beheld in God’s heart are still there, available and awe-inspiring; as they have been throughout history. God invites us to behold the very thing these powerful men experienced. We can behold the reality of God’s emotions every time we look into the face of Jesus, our Savior and Friend… He is the glory of the invisible God (2 Cor. 4:6)(Heb. 1:1-3).

When we begin to understand God’s emotions for us, corresponding emotions are quickened in our hearts. The same emotions we gaze upon within His heart come alive in our own hearts, and we reflect them back to Him. For example, when we behold the passion in God’s heart for us, our own heart starts to feel passion toward Him. In the Bible John tells us that we have passion for Him, because we first understood His passion for us (1 Jn. 4:19). We enjoy God more by searching out and convincing ourselves of God’s enjoyment of us. One of the most amazing revelations of my life came when I began to feel God’s embrace of me… to realize that God was not just loving me, but He liked being with me, because He truly liked “me”!

The Unveiled Face:

Think about it for a moment… how do our hearts become alive? How do we get free from the addictions, strongholds and pain of the past? It was the Apostle Paul who taught believers to seek renewal by receiving knowledge of the image of God (Col. 3:10). It was in the face to face encounters that change took place in Moses, David and Isaiah. Spiritual transformation and the renewing of the mind will only happen through revelation knowledge, which is the knowledge of God’s heart bursting into our own hearts. This beholding principle is the miracle God spoke about when He said He would write a new law upon our hearts (Jer. 31:33)… “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

The Eternal Focus

“…We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor 4:18)

To what does hope look? Just as faith can focus on the past and love will focus on the present, hope should focus on the future… what we are becoming!

THE FUTURE – Things Yet Unseen and Experienced

Our Spiritual Benefits! (Ps 103:1-5)
Our Spiritual Blessings! (Eph 1:3)
Our Spiritual Birthright! (1 Pet 1:3-9)

Focus Upon Christ:

There is nothing that releases more hope than to awaken ourselves to the Spirit of Revelation (Rom. 8:19)(Eph. 1:17-20). The Bible is full of open heaven experiences (Jn. 1:51), where believers come into a knowledge that transforms their understanding of life (2 Cor. 4:6). You and I are designed to have a living hope, one that moves us into faith and purpose. We experience faith bubbling up inside of us when revelation begins to flow. Our spiritual eyes begin to see the truth of who Jesus is and who God has made us to be as His light shines in our hearts. Faith comes by hearing the revelation of Jesus from the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). When our eyes are focused on the revelation of Christ, our hearts become flames of fire. We experience His love and see beyond the immediate natural realities. By simply opening ourselves up to His revelation, we experience the power of a living hope.

Its like the young boy Samuel who was awakened by a voice from heaven (1 Sam. 3:8-11). The Priest Eli wisely guides his response, ”Speak Lord, for Your servant hears”. Samuel would never be the same as he was awakened by the spiritual revelation of God’s Heartbeat. Hope changes how we see!

Focus on Salvation:

There are so many benefits, blessings and privileges based upon our New Birth in Christ. As Sons and Daughters, we are chosen and accepted in the Father’s House. Our destiny is never to be limited by our history! God makes all things new! What the past should become is nothing more than fertilizer for future fruitfulness. God is at work in us, both to will and to do according to His good pleasure (Phil 2:13). Salvation releases righteous character, Kingdom power and fresh perspective on the future. To be saved is to be delivered from the oppressive weight of a meaningless life. To be saved offers peace with God and strength through an abiding Presence of the Holy Spirit. You and I are not alone and our battles are designed to enable us to reflect the hope that resonates from deep within (1 Pet. 1:3-9)… joy unspeakable and full of glory.

Focus on the Return of Christ:

  • “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)
  • “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thess. 4:16-18)

With these words we encourage one another in our blessed hope. It was Jesus who said, “I will come again and receive you unto myself” (Jn. 14:3). Perhaps the most victorious reality of all is that Satan is defeated and Christ will return as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah! This is the focus of our hope… to become more and more like Him, for we will soon see Him in all His Glory!

Archives