Posts Tagged ‘key’

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).

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!

If Only

This is what the Lord says- Your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Isa. 48:17-18)

“If Only… you had paid attention to My Commands!”

These words echo in the heart of those who live with regrets. We have all found ourselves off track to some degree… with strange perceptions, bad choices and wasted opportunities. Many times in our self-absorbed lifestyles, we think that we are doing the right thing or going in the right direction only to find out that we have been wrong. We hit the wall or reach the end of the rope and cannot find our way out. Some have so damaged their future that recovery would require a miracle. Life is not something we should guess at or rush into, but problems are often the high price we pay for trying to please everyone around us. Perhaps you have felt the shame and embarrassment that follows these words… “if only I had paid attention” to God.

Losing Peace:

God has given us all that we need for life and godliness in His Word and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:2-4). He knows what is best for us and He desires to teach us those things, because He loves us. Unfortunately we sometimes refuse what God teaches us and insist on doing our own thing. When we do this, we eventually find that we have lost our peace and our life gets full of unnecessary problems and difficulties.

God is Gracious:

God will not leave us in our confusion if we are willing to return and recover what has been lost. His arms are always open for us and He is always waiting for our return. Although we hear within our soulish man, “If only you had listened”, God does not leave us in defeat if we will come to Him in faith. We often beat ourselves up with the “if only’s”. If only we had not done this or if only we had done that instead. But in spite of what we have done, there is hope in God!

God holds out a wealth of righteousness… His Mercy, invites us into a fresh peace that flows like a river and washes over us like the waves of the sea.

Shifting the Focus:

We cannot change the past, but we can shift the focus and live beyond the regrets of the past. Jesus tells us, “YOU ARE FORGIVEN!”. This changes everything inside of us, when we know we are free of the past, free of the guilt and free of the entanglements. The chains that have held us fall lifelessly to the floor, so we can begin anew. We can begin today with the right choices and listen to God’s instructions for Kingdom life. We can begin now with fresh perspective and limitless possibilities. In return God will cause us to walk in the righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).

Life to the Fullest:

Have you gotten off track and done your own thing only to find that you have lost your peace and brought unnecessary problems into your life? Take ownership of your future and shift the focus… living beyond your regrets is a matter of choosing who gets to speak into your heart. God’s invitation is not to control you, but to free you to enjoy life to the fullest.

The key is to hear His heart: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you.”

Culture of Greatness

We have been commissioned to develop a culture that ignites the greatness in others. Many of us have had negative influences that seemed to suck the wind right out of our sails. Yet no matter how destructive these forces may have become, God has great plans and royal destinies for His people. It is our finest hour when we are able to create pathways for people to find their journey to the Palace.

Memories Vs. Dreams:

A friend of mine once said, “When your memories are greater than your dreams, then you are already beginning to die.”

Imagine if you were raised in a palace where everyone around you spoke to you about your destiny to become a king one day. Who would you be today? How do you think those expectations would effect your dreams? If you knew you were destined for greatness and could not fail, how would that shape your thoughts? …your living? …your personal risks?

Living the Life:

The Lord has told me that it is not too late to think like Solomon… to use God-given wisdom and believe in the greatness inside of me. Even if the role models of my life were negative and stole the joy of my childhood, I do not need to remain an orphan (Jn 14:18). I am a Child of God, which means I have a royal destiny (1 Pet 2:9-10). I follow Christ as my example and hear the Holy Spirit calling me into my true identity. As I begin to act like royalty, issues that felt like mountains in my life have become mere stepping stones to future promise. It feels good to overcome the obstacles that once hindered me.

A Culture of Greatness:

As the Royal Priesthood of God, we are called to develop a Kingdom Culture in our homes, churches, communities and nations that brings out the best in others. We do this by seeing and treating people as God created them to be. Our knowledge and love for others must come from our intimacy with God. We are no longer His slaves, but friends, walking by His side as kings and queens of His court. Being born into a Royal Family means we co-reign with Christ in the Kingdom of God. The culture we reflect is based upon the relational character we enjoy with our Heavenly Father. Jesus gave us the example of releasing a culture of greatness by doing what he saw the Father doing.

The Key is Honor:

Honor expresses value in others. It is one of the greatest attributes of nobility in the entire Bible. When the Kingdom of Heaven rules the heart, honorable behavior comes naturally. We give honor to people, not just because they deserve it, but because we are honorable citizens of the King. It is the standard or condition of the heart, not just the product of a good environment. It eliminates the need for control and manipulation, because it empowers with God-given purpose. People are great, because God created them in His image and for His glory. When we carry honor in our hearts, people can feel it and they respond to it, because it ignites the greatness inside of them.

Hearing the Sound

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.” (Jn. 3:8)

Recently it occurred to me that I had become a little dull in my pursuit of the supernatural acts of God. I was not hearing the sound of the wind. I recall David hearing the sound of the wind in the tops of the mulberry trees – as a sign of God’s angelic activity (2 Sam. 5:24). It’s not that I didn’t believe in God’s power, I truly did. I have watched the Holy Spirit shape my sense of expectation since 1980 and seen God do what I could have never imagined.

Sometimes I just become driven to succeed and dry in my spirit. Having the right doctrine or the most effective answer… is not enough. I need the experience of hearing the sound of the wind! I think that part of my problem is that I inadvertently set limits on what God will do. Oh, I might have verbalized it a little differently if you ask me, but sometimes I want God to fit into my agenda. Constraints and boxes are easy to embrace when things are based on my limitations, rather than experience with the Holy Spirit. In the midst of ongoing ministry, I somehow loose that sense of awe and wonder.

What I’ve Discovered:

If you’re going to really flow in the power of the Holy Spirit, you’re going to have to think differently. You… actually – I must relinquish my rights and give God the freedom to do whatever He wants. I know that might sound crazy, but there is nothing to fear in Christ. God will never contradict His character or His Word. At times He might stretch our perceptions, but He will speak with clarity so we have a place to land in His heart. And that’s where I want to be… in His heart!

How He Moves – Me:

When thinking about how God operates, I often turn to this familiar passage from the Gospel of John. In it Jesus declares, “the wind blows wherever it pleases”. In that little phrase I find a key that I allow to settle in my mind… “wherever it pleases”! And I will let it shape the way I pray… “Father let me hear the wind of Your Spirit, so that I am moving in sync with what pleases Your heart”.

This reality of God’s pleasure is something I am learning to value above everything else. I am just beginning to become a student of God’s emotions. It’s something I want to invite you to experience as well.

Find out what pleases the Lord… and make it your ultimate pursuit!

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