Posts Tagged ‘intimacy’

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).

Serious Alignment

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!” (Ephesians 6:10)

Thought for Today: “Becoming Armed and Dangerous”

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that we have been given supernatural tools for warring against spiritual forces (Eph. 6:13-18). He first says, “put on the whole armor of God so that you can stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11). We find ourselves wrestling with principalities and powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. I believe we can be armed and dangerous. We can be equipped, shod and gird about with the most impressive sounding weapons God has in His arsenal, but it all works through prayer and fasting. Praying, watching and persevering with all kinds of prayers.

Not by Human Might:

We are ambassadors of Christ with amazing potential to do exploits and achieve the impossible things Jesus did, but it only happens with the help of the Holy Spirit (Zech 4:6). You see, we are battling invisible forces. Spiritual enemies that cannot be seen with our natural eyes. We can see the effects, but never get to the source of the real battle unless we are trained through prayer and fasting.

The Apostle’s Boldness:

Notice how the Apostle Paul writes these words to the Church in Ephesus while he was in prison, saying “I am an ambassador in chains”. He is making the point that his warfare is not fought in the flesh, but in the spiritual realm (Eph 3:10). His boldness was based upon an awareness that God’s grace was flowing through his life (Eph 3:8). Being armed does not necessarily make us dangerous to the devil, unless we are trained in the use of the weapons of our warfare… trained in prayer and sharpened by fasting.

Delegated Authority:

Its all about knowing who you represent! God has chosen you, called you by name and He will work in and through you… but your standard of training is up to you. Jesus was always calling His disciples up higher! He lived with them and taught as one holding the authority, but in a new season, new skills are needed. In John 15 a new season was about to begin. They would no longer be called “servants”. They would begin to discover what their Master was doing (Jn 15:15). As servants, they followed according to commands, but as “friends” they would follow the “heart” of their Master. Jesus was now shifting the relationship, deepening the responsibility and trusting that they would begin to live from what they understood – heart to heart. Friends discover the secrets that give them an advantage in how they walk together. Jesus wanted His disciples to achieve victory in every area of their spiritual journey. Knowing the heart of God is a key to real spiritual trained and impact in the spiritual battles we face. When we know the heart of our friend Jesus, we are able to carry our delegated authority into any challenge. One of the greatest spiritual truths is that your authority gets established through your intimacy with God.

Representing Heaven on Earth:

Becoming a dangerous threat to the devil means you will need some serious alignment with heaven. You are an ambassador for the Kingdom of God… you must represent heaven on earth in a way that makes the devil nervous and demons flee. That is what prayer and fasting will produce in you… the capacity to be armed and dangerous.

Submit to God (through prayer), resist the devil (through fasting) and he will flee from you (Jms 4:7).

No Name Like Jesus

What have we labeled “IMPOSSIBLE”?

There is a name like no other… its above every name that can be named among men (Phil 2:9-11). Its the name of “Jesus” that allows access into heavenly resources, breaks through in difficult circumstances and pulls the believer into new seasons of influence. The name, “Jesus” on the lips of the believing heart is the most amazing force in the universe… for in that name is power and authority.

Access – Breakthrough – Purpose:

Jesus said, “All authority has been given unto Me in heaven and in earth“ (Mt 28:18). “In My name they shall cast out devils” (Mk 16:17). He literally gave us His own authority when He gave us His name. An authority to deal with the Devil. Every act of stealing, killing and deception is now abruptly held to a new standard of authority. The authority of the most recognized name in Heaven, the most powerful name on Earth and the most significant name in history… has been delegated to our use.

Authority is delegated power.

A person’s authority is only as great as the power that stands behind them! The police officer directing traffic in the middle of the street is wearing a badge that represents the power of the governing laws that he enforces. A large truck could easily crush him in the middle of the busy street, but because the driver understands the power of the badge, he quickly yields his will and submits the power of his large vehicle to the authority of the badge.

The Name of Jesus is like a “Badge of Authority”!

God knew that you needed a weapon of defense against all that the wiles of the Devil (Eph 6:16). What we must come to understand is how to use the name to our benefit. His name represents His person, His position, His seating, and His influence over all things. His promise to the believer is clear, ”If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (Jn 14:14). Jesus’ name can accomplish things that might feel impossible in the natural; yet when we live in intimacy with Him, we experience a growing awareness of how the natural is dominated by the Spirit.

Faith-filled and Lead by the Spirit:

The early Church recognized the incredible power they carried in the name of Jesus. Look at how Peter and John address the crippled beggar at the Gate Beautiful of the temple, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). The beggar immediately received strength in his feet and ankle bones and as Peter grabbed his hand, he leaped to his feet with joy and praise to God. Later Peter needed to explain the miracle to some critics saying, “It was His name, through faith in His name, that made this man strong whom you see and know.” Amazingly the critics were familiar with this beggar and all of Isreal knew him, because they had passed him daily going into the temple. Yet this was a new day and demonstrated a new authority, where faith in the name of Jesus was confronting what they had seen as normal.

Confronting Normal:

God was and still is, breaking in at the very gate of all that humanity has labeled impossible; simply because we have adjusted our seeing. He has handed the world an opportunity to experience the “New Normal”, where the name of Jesus offers access to all the authority of Heaven. This new normal confronts all that we see as familiar, impossible and overwhelming. But it offers hope, beyond the limitations. The new normal is living by faith in the name of Jesus.

Reviving our Culture

Reviving our culture with the Gospel of the Kingdom can feel like a task for the super Christians of our world. We have been given the authority and power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, but our confidence often gets shaken when we see the faces of our neighbors. It seems like we talk more about reviving our culture than we practice touching those within our reach.

Kingdom Authority:

You and I have been given a mandate to set people free from torment and diseases (Jn 14:12). We are called to do what Jesus did… destroy the works of the devil. Its the authority to move the resources of Heaven into the Earth, where real needs can be met with compassionate love. It does not need to be flashy or charismatic, to be creative and effective. Its the authority to serve.

The Truth is Practical:

As with most Kingdom principles, the truth about our authority is bound to the truth of practical love. Any truth in the wrong hands can become dangerous, but in the hands of a humble servant, the world is radically effected. Love is the great equalizer, because it is what makes the Gospel of the Kingdom carry its effect. Becoming servants to this world and serving in practical ways within its culture, is the key that opens doors of possibility.

Royalty is my Identity – Servanthood is my Assignment:

There it is in a nutshell! You and I are being fashioned for this. We are becoming Kingdom Agents with a real identity bound to the King of Kings, but a practice of washing feet in the world around us. Before God I live my life in intimacy, but before man I live my life in servanthood. Before the powers of hell I am a ruler, with no tolerance for the works of the devil. Before God I stand triumphant, a Son of Righteousness, strong and faithful. Yet before men I stand in compassion, aware that all men are prone to wander, to weakness and to frailty (Mt 9:35-39).

Begin with Invasion:

Today I want to encourage myself… and you as well, if you would like to take this challenge. Walk across the street and serve your neighbor. Just this week I have been challenged with this commission, because our neighbor passed away suddenly. I sat wondering what I could do? I heard the Lord say, “Give your neighbor a cup of cold water”. God was saying to me, “Stop thinking and go revive the culture across the street!” I am realizing that reviving a culture is done one step at a time.

Who is Your Neighbor?”

I like the answer Jesus gives to the rulers of His day (Lk 10:30). “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves.” 1)My neighbor is anyone the thief has robbed. “Who stripped him of his clothing.” 2)My neighbor is anyone who the thief has left naked and shamed. “And wounded him.” 3)My neighbor is anyone the thief has wounded and left bleeding. “And departed, leaving him half dead.” 4)My neighbor is anyone the thief has left half dead.

My culture is mine to revive, so I am challenging myself to stop for the one within reach. As a Kingdom Agent, I have authority to serve!

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)

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