Posts Tagged ‘Kingdom Agents’

His Word to You

Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” (Lk 1:28)

Here we have the amazing story of how Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel who told her she would become the mother of the Messiah. Naturally Mary was shocked and asked how such a thing could be, since she was a virgin. The angel did not go into a longwinded explanation, but simply told her “the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Lk 1:35). That was good enough for Mary and she responded with a powerful declaration of faith: “Let it be to me according to Your Word”.

Discovering Favor:

That simple reply is at the heart of the mystery of answered prayer. Mary came to believe that as a virgin she would become pregnant and give birth to Israel’s long awaited Messiah. There were probably a lot of young Jewish women that might have hoped for that privilege, but Mary didn’t just hope it – she lived it. She knew a secret, because God had revealed His Word to her. Yet, she would come to live it out, only as she discovered her favored estate with God. For Mary to have felt favored by God would seem normal and expected in Jewish households, but a divine revelation from the angel Gabriel would have certainly emphasized its reality.

Favor Establishes Faith:

Now there would be nothing absurd about Mary’s belief in God, because she was finding His favor in His Word to her. It was rooted firmly in the Word of God’s supernatural encounter. God’s Word to her made faith… reality and had made the ridiculous… reasonable. As the angel told her, “With God nothing will be impossible!” I can almost hear a shout of “Amen!” as she embraced the words. “I am Your maidservant! Let it be to me according to Your Word.”

Receive His Favor:

Most of us are not likely to experience a visitation from Gabriel, but we have encounters with the Holy Spirit waiting for our embrace right now. The Bible is filled with words for us from God and there are angels that accompany our activities everyday. As Kingdom Agents, we are designed to walk in the favor of God and establish an atmosphere around our lives that allow His voice to become recognizable.

Like a fragrance, Mary found that favor longs to be discovered. You can be told that it is there, but it must be received and experienced, to be sought out and appreciated. God’s Word to you is like Mary’s secret, dependant upon your willingness to recognize His favor.

Anointing and Increase

“Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’” (Luke 4:14-19)

“…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)

Jesus was anointed by God… indeed “God was with Him” in increasing measures by a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. His example is designed to be our model of spiritual discipline. It was Jesus’ experience even as a youth to increase in His favor with God and man (Lk 2:52). Yet even in the transition of Jesus into His Earthly ministry, we can see a direct connection between a lifestyle of prayer and fasting and His increasing anointing (Lk 5:12-13)(Lk 6:12)(Mk 9:29). This reality is both inspiring and instructional.

Notice how God moves Jesus into His public ministry:

  • He is baptized in the river Jordan, where He is filled with the Holy Spirit and hears the voice of His Father from heaven (Lk 3:21-22).
  • Immediately (it would appear to me) Jesus establishes a posture of prayer and fasting as He is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil (Mt 4:1-2).
  • While in the wilderness, Jesus feels the challenges of the Devil, the hunger in His body and the threat of wild beasts. He becomes aware of the ministry of angels as well as the strength given by the Words that proceeded from the mouth of God (Mk 1:12-13).
  • He experiences increase in the anointing and breaks through the challenge victorious, because the Devil left Him until a more opportune time (Lk 4:13).
  • Jesus would return to Galilee in the increased anointing and power of the Holy Spirit bearing evidence with signs following, because people give Him glory and praise for His teaching ministry (Lk 4:14-15).
  • Now that the temptation was over His ministry would begin with a journey to Nazareth and an announcement of how He was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach, heal, bring deliverance and freedom to the captive heart (Lk 4:16-19).

Defining the Anointing:

The anointing is God being “with us” or God’s Glory manifest upon our lives. Glory is defined best as God’s “Weighty” Presence or abiding spiritual power made known through our fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I have often said the anointing is God’s hand of favor upon our lives for the advancing of His activity in the world around us. We see this in how Jesus carried the anointing. He went about the Judean countryside advancing the Kingdom of God, because the anointing was on His life. God was with Him, empowering and leading Him, breaking the grip of the Devil and advancing the activity of His Father’s heart.

Why Prayer and Fasting:

Prayer and fasting increases our ability to know and sense the supernatural Presence of God, by awakening our spiritual senses and diminishing our emphasis on flesh desires. His power and His Glory begin to increase as we meet with God and experience fellowship in an unhindered way. God’s will and His ways become more recognizable when we are sensitive to His heart. I would describe the anointing as an actual physical experience whereby we feel the internal warmth of His Presence upon our body. That is why it increases as we pray and fast. By yielding our hearts in greater measure to the Holy Spirit’s activity we can welcome and value the anointing and make room for increase in our lives. It is like a signal that God sends to us saying that He is with us. He is showing Himself to us and approves of what we are saying or doing (Jn 14:21)(2 Cor 1:21).

There is nothing so important to our Christian walk than our faith in God (Heb 11:6)! It pleases Him when we step out in ways that give Him greater opportunity to reach the world through us. It is my desire to encourage prayer and fasting so that we may increase in the anointing of God and be more effective as Kingdom Agents in the world around us.

We are ambassadors for Christ {The Anointed One} as though God were pleading through us… Be reconciled to God! (2 Cor 5:18-21).

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!

Value Your Anointing!

“Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us – Eternal Life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (1 Jn. 2:24-27)

Allowing the knowledge of God to abide in you, is more than just theology or Church Doctrine being understood. Our minds are incredible in so many ways. God has given us the capacity to process facts, but spiritual truth requires spiritual discernment… an anointing of the Holy Spirit. The anointing is an abiding Presence of the Holy Spirit that offers influence (Exousia or authority) and power (dunamis or dynamic impact). Those benefits go beyond the natural realities of our five senses. We have by way of the anointing, a supernatural ability to see, hear and move in the spiritual realm. The Apostle John is trying to help us understand the value of this anointing, as we process Eternal Life.

1st) We need to Experience Eternal Life…

The Anointing within us is designed to turn spiritual knowledge into fellowship with the Father and the Son. This is fellowship in the Glory of God at its best! When we are saved, we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light; whereby our lives are no longer held by the power of sin, but the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is a process, recognizing the influence of our new abiding “Helper” (Holy Spirit); but it is also, an awesome and powerful freedom that allows Eternal Life to be released into all of our decisions. Its by the anointing that we know spiritual truth and have power to overcome the enemies of our soul (Isa. 10:27)(1 Jn. 2:20 & 27). If you desire to see deliverance and breakthrough in your life, then you must value the anointing! Even Jesus was aware of the impact the anointing carried upon His life and ministry. He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed Me…” (Lk. 4:18).

2nd) We must Hold On to Eternal Life…

The Apostle John warns us that many are trying to deceive and lie about the truth of God. They are jealous or intimidated by the life they see in the Believer and aim to discredit the Child of God, because they walk in rebellion to a Biblical world view. There are so many hostile environments in our world, that it requires us to value the anointing above any other influence in life. We must have a fresh anointing abiding within us to build ourselves up and carry a bold testimony of God’s goodness and power in our lives. Without question, trouble is always knocking at our door and we cannot give in or make room for the enemy’s lies or perversions. We give no place to the Devil… by standing firm against his schemes (Eph. 6:11-13), his approaches (Jms. 4:7) and his accusations (Rev. 12:10-11). It is the anointing that destroys the demonic strongholds and offers freedom in the midst of spiritual battles (2 Cor 10:3-6)(Acts 10:38). We must value the anointing if we want to continue to receive the blessings of Eternal Life… in ourselves and for those within our reach.

3rd) We are called to Advance Eternal Life…

Believer’s are called to become Ambassadors for the Message of Eternal Life. We are like the mouthpiece of God, flesh and bone, but anointed with the Word of Hope. Our declaration is that God has set His love upon the world and lifted up His own Son in the place of the sinful. We cry out with trembling voices, “Be reconciled to God!” Because He made Him, who knew no sin; to become sin for us, so that we might become His righteousness, by the pure blood shed at the cross (2 Cor 5:19-21). We must value the anointing of the Holy Spirit, because it is not about the eloquence of our preaching or the depth of our experience. It’s all about the One who abides in us, speaks through us and empowers the message… so that it is “good news”. As Kingdom Agents we advance Eternal Life with the anointing, through the anointing and by the anointing. Jesus said, “All authority, and all power has been given unto Me, therefore go… preach, teach and disciple the nations of the Earth… and I will be with you!” (Mt. 28:18-20 -my paraphrase).

That is the anointing defined… “I will be with you – I will be upon you – I will abide in you and live through you!” Why would you have no need of a teacher? “For He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.” (1 Jn. 4:4)

Reaching For Anointing

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

Pressing Toward the Goal:

Believers should be found consistently pressing forward for more of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It becomes a lifestyle! Disciples embrace disciplines that shape the way they see and hear. These disciplines, like prayer and fasting, reading and meditating on the Word of God and creating opportunities for fellowship among other believers… these lifestyle choices are the foundation of a true spiritual relationship with Jesus. They are really all about the exercise of reaching forward to lay hold of Christ – the “Anointed One”! We are letting go of our past, counting all things as loss and pressing toward the upward call of God. He has apprehended us through salvation and He wants us to become His Kingdom Agents in the Earth. This call is not an occupational choice, we are not just working for Him… we are working with Him. We are becoming a people in step with His purposes.

The Prize that is Ahead:

The Apostle Paul emphasizes this reality as he speaks to us about reaching forward to those things which are ahead (Philippians 3:7-16). There is an obvious prize in his efforts… “Christ”. He speaks of four key principles in the prize set before him:

  • To know “Christ”.
  • To gain “Christ”.
  • To be found in ”Christ”.
  • To walk with “Christ”.

As I noted earlier, the word – “Christ” is a significant title that means “Anointed One” and points to more than just a person named Jesus. Jesus carried something with Him everywhere He went… the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Lk 4:18)(Acts 10:38). By calling His followers “Christians”, all the world now assumes that we too are called as “little anointed ones”… to carry something everywhere we go. But you cannot carry – what you do not have… and you will not have – what you are not seeking after!

Carrying the Christ Anointing:

We should and we must carry the anointing everywhere we go (2 Cor 1:21)! It is the Holy Spirit’s power poured out (Acts 1:8) that breaks yokes (Isa 10:27) and destroys the works of the devil (1 Jn 3:8). Yet this will require a lifestyle of reaching forward consistently for more of Christ. Its not information, but power; life transforming power. Its not inspiration, its purity and a wealth of spiritual integrity. Its not desperation, its supernatural faith and trust in a God who still does miracles. We are not working out our religious service, we are reaching forward to carry the same anointing that rested upon Jesus (Jn 14:12).

Revival Fire:

The flame that burns within our heart is fueled by that which we see through the eyes of faith! We are reaching and gaining a more excellent prize than gold or human favor. Our reaching forward is to lay hold of Christ, Himself… The Anointed One!

The Desire of the Nations (Hag 2:7)
…and the Hope of Glory (Col 1:27).

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