Posts Tagged ‘individuals’

Waiting in Silence

“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Ps. 46:10).

As individuals, families and nations – this Word applies to all Christians standing before God. As leaders, this applies to elders and spiritual mentors… but also to parents. Sometimes deliverance, healing and growth require silence. Let us become Believers that wait in silence for God to reveal His heart. We must give in… when it is needed. For who can truly honor God without knowledge of His exalted state, His enthronement or His authority among us?

Silence does not mean sitting to gaze at our circumstances. Silence means putting a muzzle on our voice in order to listen to God, as well as the voice of our culture. Silence means refocusing priorities. Setting the heart to receive what the mind of Christ would conceive. Such a refocus will effect our action and reaction… often stirring new action. Time and reflection is required for the fruits of repentance to emerge. But out of the soil of hearts that are waiting comes a fresh sprout of faith… and revelation!

Break Free in Your Waiting:

One practical outworking of this is to turn off the TV, cell phone and social media streams. It’s the source of so much noise and clutter, compromised values and politics. Many prefer the noise because they’re secretly afraid of sitting silently and hearing the plain truth of God’s Voice. They know what changes it will require when they understand it, and they don’t want to change. The noise is a distraction and a justification for remaining in a life of compromise and sin. If we seek a biblical worldview, we have to tear away from this world’s distractions and seek solitude in God’s Word, no matter how uncomfortable the challenges may seem.

The Discipline of Patience: (Jms. 1:2-4)

The discipline of this kind of silence is the fruit of patience, and patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, we are called to watch, listen and abide quietly in the Glory of God. This Christian walk is not a sprint. Raising children is not a sprint. Building godly families, churches and societies is the work of perseverance. Its difficult work and it takes time. Just the preliminary steps of repentance and refocusing our hearts may take half a generation in itself. This means patience on the part of those who believe in a revival that is within reach.

While the rest of the world busies themselves in darkness, we who have felt the value of waiting in silence, will rejoice at the exaltation of the Living God!

Grace Platforms

The Ministry of Christ is a ministry of grace! His message was the Good News of a Kingdom of grace flowing from Heaven into Earth. It would bring forgiveness, peace and freedom from sin. Yet the deliverance and freedom experienced in the life of a disciple can only be attained and measured by the transformed mind. Real Kingdom mysteries require us to change the way we think about everything pertaining to God, Church and life on this planet (Mt. 4:17). Jesus has stepped into our natural reality and He brought His world with Him!

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His Kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isa. 9:6-7)

Ministry on Christ’s Shoulder:

The five-fold ministry gifts are examples of how “grace has been given” as Christ distributes (Eph. 4:7). All ministry is simply the manifestation of Christ expressed through the believer by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, as the “Christ” is our Apostle (Heb. 3:1), Prophet (Lk. 24:19), Evangelist (Mt. 9:35), Pastor (1 Pet. 5:2-4) and Teacher (Jn. 3:2). He emulated these offices and distributes the mantles for individuals to function in them, so that the Church carries His anointing for ministry (Jn. 14:12).

“…the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So…they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:2-3)

Selected and Sent:

The five-fold leaders are not self-appointed, nor are they simply pastors of a local church. They are clearly defined ministries that have an impact on the Church as a whole and its witness in the world. By nature, their scope of ministry is wider than the local church. They are grace ministries of Christ to the Church at large. Whether its from inner city pulpits or in the bush lands of Africa, the heartbeat of 5-fold ministry is the discipling of the nations… its our Great Commission! (Mt. 28:18-20).

Two things are required for a five-fold ministry gift to come into its own: 1) Recognition by the wider Body of Christ and 2) Functional Ministry to the wider Body of Christ. Jesus said that the fruit of a person’s life is the best way to recognize their identity, character and anointing. Prior to these two conditions being met, someone may potentially have a five-fold ministry gift, but will not yet be moving in the scope and authority of that gift. Jesus gives the grace for each gift to be released into the Church.

“…God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief Cornerstone” (Eph. 2:19-20).

Foundations:

The foundation of the Church is Jesus… the revelation of “Christ – the Son of the Living God” (Mt. 16:16). And yet there is this unique platform of the apostle and the prophet team (Eph. 3:4-5). This platform carries the role of unveiling the mysteries hidden down through the ages, yet revealed in Christ and by the Holy Spirit to the sons and daughters of men. I believe these two mantle gifts still serve that ministry role (Eph. 4:12-13), so it is vital for us to understand how this works in leading the Body of Christ. We must remember that proper buildings are held up by proper foundations. I would propose; that when grace flows into ministry and functions properly, under the headship of Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit, it will result in the growth and supernatural health of the Church worldwide. It is the will of God to set this in order and accomplish it through His apostle and prophet teams (Isa. 9:7)… by grace.

The Key of Humility:

The Apostle James and the Apostle Peter wrote specifically about how to receive grace (Jms. 4:6 & 1 Pet. 5:5-6). The humble person receives grace and more grace even as they maintain their humility in the midst of difficult circumstances. Jesus said “Blessed is the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 5:3). The humble person; who lives selflessly in ministry, will receive a flow of resource from heaven according to the gift Christ has given them. Their anointing will be in proportion to their faith, assignment and their need.

The Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). The ministry teams made up of Apostle and Prophets like Paul, Barnabas, Silas and Timothy served to accomplish great things in advancing the Kingdom of God. They were set apart by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2), helped in the midnight hour (Acts 16:25-26) and anointed to do incredible miraculous signs that accompanied the preaching of the Word of God (Acts 19:11-12).

Restoration is needed: In order for the Church to see what God is after today, our impact must set the captives free! We must rely upon the flow of ministry grace… like the dry ground soaks up the rain.

Ministry of Grace

The Ministry of Christ is a ministry of grace! His message was the Good News of a Kingdom of grace flowing from Heaven into Earth. It would bring forgiveness, peace and freedom from sin. Yet the deliverance and freedom experienced in the life of a disciple can only be attained and measured by the tranformed mind. Real Kingdom mysteries require us to change the way we think about everything pertaining to God, Church and life on this planet (Mt. 4:17). Jesus has stepped into our natural reality and He brought His world with Him!

  • “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His Kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isa. 9:6-7)

Ministry on Christ’s Shoulder:

The five-fold ministry gifts are examples of how “grace has been given” as Christ distributes (Eph. 4:7). All ministry is simply the manifestation of Christ expressed through the believer by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, as the “Christ” is our Apostle (Heb. 3:1), Prophet (Lk. 24:19), Evangelist (Mt. 9:35), Pastor (1 Pet. 5:2-4) and Teacher (Jn. 3:2). He immulated these offices and distributes the mantles for individuals to function in them, so that the Church carries His anointing for ministry (Jn. 14:12). 

“…the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So…they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:2-3)

Selected and Sent:

The five-fold leaders are not self-appointed, nor are they simply pastors of a local church. They are clearly defined ministries that have an impact on the Church as a whole and its witness in the world. By nature, their scope of ministry is wider than the local church. They are grace ministries of Christ to the Church at large. Whether its from inner city pulpits or in the bush lands of Africa, the heartbeat of 5-fold ministry is the discipling of the nations… its our Great Commission! (Mt. 28:18-20).

Two things are required for a five-fold ministry gift to come into its own: 1) Recognition by the wider Body of Christ and 2) Functional Ministry to the wider Body of Christ. Jesus said that the fruit of a person’s life is the best way to recognize their identity, character and anointing. Prior to these two conditions being met, someone may potentially have a five-fold ministry gift, but will not yet be moving in the scope and authority of that gift. Jesus gives the grace for each gift to be released into the Church.

“…God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief Cornerstone” (Eph. 2:19-20).

Foundations:

The foundation of the Church is the apostle and the prophet team (Eph. 3:4-5). I believe, these two ministries still continue in that foundational role (Eph. 4:12-13), so it is vital for us to understand how this works in leading the Body of Christ. We must remember that proper buildings are held up by proper foundations. I would propose; that when grace flows into ministry and functions properly, under the headship of Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit, it will result in the growth and supernatural health of the Church worldwide. It is the will of God to set this in order and accomplish it through His apostle and prophet teams (Isa. 9:7)… by grace.

The Key of Humility:

The Apostle James and the Apostle Peter wrote specifically about how to receive grace (Jms. 4:6 & 1 Pet. 5:5-6). The humble person receives grace and more grace even as they maintain their humility in the midst of difficult circumstances. Jesus said “Blessed is the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 5:3). The humble person; who lives selflessly in ministry, will receive a flow of resource from heaven according to the gift Christ has given them. Their anointing will be in proportion to their faith, assignment and their need.

The Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strenthens me” (Phil 4:13). The ministry teams made up of Apostle and Prophets like Paul, Barnabas, Silas and Timothy served to accomplish great things in advancing the Kingdom of God. They were set apart by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2), helped in the midnight hour (Acts 16:25-26) and anointed to do incredible miraculous signs that accompanied the preaching of the Word of God (Acts 19:11-12).

Restoration is needed: In order for the Church to see what God is after today, our impact must set the captives free! We must rely upon the flow of ministry grace… like the dry ground soaks up the rain.    

An Apostolic Call

Called an "Apostle"

Called an "Apostle"

Nearly 2,000 years from the time of Jesus and the call still reverberates in the ears of those who are mending nets or working in the fields. The call is for disciples, those who will follow Christ without hesitation. Jesus is calling for the ones who are ready to pick up their cross… and run to the Nations.

Jesus is Walking the Shorelines:

Throughout the Earth today, people like the first century Peter and Andrew or Paul and Silas are sensing a deployment of epic proportion. Christ is calling them forth. Its as real a sound as at any time in human history. Its like Jesus is walking the shorelines of our comfortable lives, challenging people to respond and step away from the activities of fixing nets and building programs. The Church of Jesus Christ is being called to fill the Kingdom… with souls.  

Note: Its an Apostolic Calling;

You might ask, “So what makes a calling apostolic?” Glad you asked. At the center are two key concepts – “send” and “go”. The word “apostle” was a common military term used among the naval officers of Rome during the time of Christ. The word described a person like an admiral of a fleet of ships being sent with the special assignment of colonizing a new territory. These individuals were ambassadors who represented the interest of Rome. The “apostle” part of their calling has to do with their message, what they carried. In those days Rome wanted to conquer the world and when the apostle went into new territory it was to inform the present occupants of that land that they were under a new governing order. A flag and constitution were the first two orders of business.

Interestingly the Bible uses the term in reference to the returning twelve disciples Jesus had sent out with power and authority. They are sent out as students and learners- “disciples” (Lk 9:1), but return testifying to all that they had done, now being called- “apostles” (Lk 9:10). It would seem to suggest that their experience had transformed their understanding of themselves, to such a degree that they were now ruled by the purposes and priorities of the Kingdom they were representing. Thus an Apostolic Call is embraced by those who are fully engaged in establishing God’s Kingdom on planet Earth. 

New Testament Paradigm:

When the 120 believers in the upper room experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, there was such a massive wave of God’s power that hit the Earth that the little company of followers were transformed into revolutionaries. The region was infiltrated, shaken and completely turned upside down by the Holy Spirit. This event represents the first apostolic revolution and at the end of the day 3,000 souls were saved and a New Church was birthed that looked nothing like the religion of the day. A unity of Spirit and community of faith were now to begin shaping the future of how the World would see God (Acts 2:40-47). The Church would be supernatural and authentic, yet committed to one another and the teaching of the Apostles.

An Apostolic People: 

An Apostolic People are a sending people, knit from the same fabric as their Leader, Jesus. “As the Father has sent (apostello) Me into the world, I also have sent (apostello) them into the world” (Jn 17:18). Today, as in the days following Pentecost, there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that is making its way across our land and reviving the apostolic mandate. The echo is felt in the heart of every Apostle,  “go into all the world and make disciples of all the nations” (Mt 28:19).

Kingdom Assignments

God has called us to overcome… to break away from the crowd and move forward in the assigned tasks we were made to accomplish here on the Earth. We must no longer tolerate the false message of powerless words and passive hearts. The Apostle Paul makes the statement that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:20).

God has enlisted us in His great army and has a work for us, if we are willing to embrace the assignment.

 Jesus our King, has given us authority over all the power of the enemy (Lk 10:19). We are not just equipped for guard duty; all that defensive posturing is for the feeble of heart. In this day, God is handing out assignments that will accomplish His will in the Earth. With the power of the Holy Spirit and a two-edged Sword in our hand, we must make our assault upon the strongholds and fortresses that stand in the way of God’s purposes being fulfilled while we were at our posts.

King David recalled his ability; in God’s anointing, to “bend a bow of bronze” while he was “pursuing his enemies”. He “did not turn back until they were consumed” (Ps 18:37). Keep in mind that this David was first a man of worship and that he did not pursue his enemy without first pursuing God! Yet when God gave him the assignment, he thoroughly defeated his foe.

Here is the Truth: Either we pursue our enemies or our enemies will pursue us!

We must gain Christ’s attitude toward evil; while never confusing the convictions with the goal that accompanied His assignment. The Bible says, “Hate evil, you who love the Lord” (Ps 97:10). Notice its the evil we are to hate… not the individuals who are engaged in the evil.  Jesus came to Earth “to destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn 3:8) and to free humanity from the evil oppressive weight of sin (Lk 4:18-19). How should we; who are His called followers, not also live with the same convictions and goals as our Commander and Chief.

 The destruction of evil, breaks the chains that hold people in bondage and slavery.

 Our assignment will always correspond to this ultimate goal. Embracing the call of God will bring us to our feet in faith and to our knees in prayer. Realize Saint, that both postures are forward momentum.

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