Posts Tagged ‘Kingdom’

I Am Strong

Biblical Truths often seem backward and contrary to common sense… even crazy. Sometimes this is because they are stated in paradoxical ways, like the parables Jesus taught. Even when these Truths are stated in a straightforward way; they still strike us as odd, because they do not conform to worldly thought patterns we have to negotiate.

Perhaps our greatest challenge as Christians is to understand the Biblical principle of strength being released through weakness… notice the following verses.

“Consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that he might nullify the things that are, that no one should boast before God.” (1 Cor 1:26-29)

“(God) has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:9-10)

Worldly wisdom says that power is rooted in natural resources like money, good looks and intellegence. Since these resources are limited, true power is always limited to just the few individuals with access and favor.

God’s wisdom says that true power comes from the Holy Spirit and has no correlation with prestige or riches, that are hinged to natural resources. A persons influence in this world is not some kind of license to heavenly influence. True power; as it relates to the Kingdom of God, is accessible to anyone who depends on God. Jesus was the personification of this principle… anointed as the “Christ” or “Messiah”. He was the Prince of Peace; even without religious ordination or title, yet His power was directly connected to His anointing from heaven. His perfect obedience to the Heavenly Father released His influence in the Earth.

The early Church had great power, not because they had access to money or political influences; but because they were filled with the Holy Spirit! It is dependence on God; through faith, that lays hold of real power. We must believe and place our trust in the Holy Spirit to release power into our lives.

God longs for people He can wear like a glove!

Living His life through us, is how the power of heaven comes into the natural realities we so much want to see change. By the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, He demonstrates His power, He transforms culture and makes His Kingdom visible in the Earth.

It might just sound a bit strange to boast in weakness, until you begin to participate in the transformation first hand. Then you begin to see how something as simple as prayer, praise or thankfulness, can tear down walls and crush strongholds of fear. Only when we begin to understand spiritual realities; though unseen, are more powerful than the natural, will we become convinced that… ”when I am weak, then I am strong”.

Pathway for Glory

“The Glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isa 40:5)

Kingdom People are designed to carry the Glory of God and release shifts in the atmosphere where peace is needed. Throughout the Bible we are commanded not to quarrel over words or be divisive. Our affections are to be set on the Holy Spirit, who is referred to as “Comforter”, “Counselor” or “Helper”. We must recognize that the work of the Holy Spirit needs a platform, a pathway to enter. The Holy Spirit must feel welcome if He is to stay active in a person’s life.

Preparing the Way:

In the verse above, we see the central goal of John the Baptist. His ministry was to be a voice crying in the wilderness, “prepare the way of the Lord”. People needed to examine their hearts and repent of their sinful ways, because the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. John was not looking for just any Kingdom or any King. The Lamb of God would be recognized by a very interesting symbol… the ”dove”. God had given a word to John that in His baptism, the Holy Spirit would come like a dove and land upon Him and stay. God was asking John to notice how Glory would come into the world through the peace of Christ. The Lamb of God would serve as an entry point for the “dove” and for Glory to be recognized. That is an important pathway… “a place for the dove to land”. It was the pathway for Glory (Heb 1:1-4).

Looking for Peace:

This is the picture God has shone us through Noah. When the rain had ended and the ark continued to float aimlessly, Noah begins to look for a resting place. Not just any resting place, but a place for a dove to stay. Even as he waited for land to appear; he could not be confident until the dove, having been released from his own hand, found a place to land and stay. Noah was not just looking for land, he was looking for an entry point. A new day was about to begin with a rainbow… and a promise that would promote life.

Kingdom People must look beyond meetings; we are looking for an open heaven, where the dove will have a place to rest… a place that will promote life.

Peace and Glory:

Its important to understand that God’s Glory is a weighty substance that rests in the atmosphere of God’s Peace! When Jesus sent out the 12 disciples He said, “freely you have received now freely give”, yet when they went into a community, they were to look for places to impart peace. If the household was worthy, they were to impart their peace into it, but if not then they were to wipe the dust off their feet and journey to the next house (Mt 10:8-14). Peace seemed to be an atmosphere that could be imparted at the will of the disciples based on how well the house embraced the ministry of the Holy Spirit. And it would be needed, if the ministry was to continue in that region.

Making Glory Visible and Recognizable:

What Jesus was saying is that we must be looking for places where the “dove” will be welcome. Places of peace provide rest for the soul, give access to God’s deliverance and freedom from the oppression of the devil. The dove is the Biblical symbol for Peace provided by the Presence of the Holy Spirit. This is still our urgent mission; not just to win a bunch of people to our point of view, but to bring an atmosphere that unlocks the revelation, that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Peace is Heaven’s influence. The pathway for the Glory of God is a significant point of entry, where God is welcome and the Holy Spirit makes habitation among us (Eph 2:19-22).

5 Disciplines to Welcome the Holy Spirit:
1. Humility: (1 Pet 5:5-7)
2. Praise and Worship: (Psalm 63)
3. Passionate Love: (Eph 3:17-19)
4. Entrance of God’s Word: (Neh 8:1-6)
5. Fellowship of Believers: (Mt 18:19-20)

Labor Pains

“My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.” (Gal 4:19)

The Apostle Paul likened his relationship with the Galatians to that of a mother having a baby. He went into labor, so to speak; at the time of their deliverance from bondage, their first steps into the Kingdom and their discipleship process. Now he was in the labor room again, in reference to their Christian growth. He wanted these Galatian converts to grow in grace and he was so concerned for them that he went into “labor” for them.

Labor Room Ministry:

This is an amazing concept to ponder. Intercession is a labor room ministry and we must see prayer and descipleship as effective tools for pushing the young Christian through their tight places. Becoming concerned about the newly saved Christian is part of the Great Commission in the respect that we are called to teach them to observe and obey all that Christ commanded (Mt 28:18-20). Notice the context of the discipleship process is relational. Jesus says, “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Going into labor on behalf of those you say you love is significant to their sense of growth and spiritual development. If you hear yourself saying “I don’t want to intrude” or find yourself feeling critical of their actions… then you are ignoring the labor room ministry that God has for you. Get over yourself! Hear the heart of the Apostle Paul and find your position in the labor room.

Spiritual Nurturing:

I would suggest we beef up our accountability and become people who pray and speak into the lives of others. We need spiritual nurturing, fathers and mothers in the Body of Christ today, just like the days of the early Church. We have teachers and pastors who inspire and teach principles, but we need people who carry us to the very Throne of Grace (Heb 4:16).

Modeling Maturity:

Babies need milk and infants need lots of love and attention. Where else are we going to find character modeled in front of us. Those who have walked at length with Christ are the nurturers that offer a wealth of spiritual depth and testimony. When we began to walk with Christ we were in need of milk, but now we should be nurturing and getting deeper revelations to stir up love and good works among the immature. It is my belief that every Christian has several young believers within reach that they could nurture.

This Generation:

There is a generation coming forth that is looking for the fathers and mothers to encourage, equip and exhort them with Kingdom wisdom. They are looking for the House of God to be a Family of Saints, without jealousy, envy or suspicion. We as the mature in Christ, must find ourselves doing more than teaching doctrine and singing campfire songs. We must gain an ear for the labor room and re-establish some platforms for discipleship that help this generation experience the heart of the Father, the ministry of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Stirring of God

“The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and put it in writing” (Ezra 1:1).

King Cyrus was not a believer! He did not know God, but God knew him. Cyrus would speak about God by name, calling him ‘the LORD’ (Ezra 1:2-3), but knowing the name or knowing some theology; does not make you a believer.

Yet… We must Trust that God has a Plan!

I too, struggle with fear and anger over the direction of the American Culture… and our World. I hear the news and hate the liberal spin. I am concerned about a presidential process that seems to limit the voice of conservative followers of Christ. I am fed up with government and terrorist threats. I also find myself wrestling with fear over the economic future of my family. I want change… but I hate how we are changing!

…But God!

Here is the powerful reality I often forget – God is at work in the “Big Picture!”

Listen to what God says about this man 200 years before he was born: “I call you by your name. I name you, though you do not know Me” (Isa. 45:4). God says, “You don’t know Me, Cyrus, but I know you!”

What we see in the Book of Ezra is the stirring of God, pointing out once more; that nothing is beyond His reach! Here is Our Amazing God, proving that He alone is able to fulfill His great purpose in the Earth… and for His people.

  • What did Cyrus do? “…he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and put it in writing” (Ezra 1:1).
  • Here is what that proclamation said: “The LORD, the God of Heaven… has charged me to build Him a House at Jerusalem… Whoever is among you of all His people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem… and rebuild the House of the LORD” (Ezra 1:2-3).

Some Context:

You might remember: the old Babylonian kings took people by force from the lands they had conquered and forced them to worship their Babylonian gods. That was what we see as we read the book of Daniel. Daniel and three godly young men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were deported to Babylon and pressured to worship the Babylonian gods. But they said, “We’d rather go into a fiery furnace than worship your gods. We worship the only true God, the God of the Bible.” And then along comes this new king, Cyrus, who saw that this kind of suppression would never match the power of Jehovah… the God who was bigger than a fiery furnace! It would be better to let these people live in their own lands and worship their own gods. So in his first year, with his heart being stirred by God; he made a proclamation allowing God’s people to return to their own land.

Scriptures says something amazing was going on… “God was stirring the spirit of Cyrus!”

Behind all the events that took place and all the motives that may have been in the king’s heart, God was at work by His Spirit. God works by stirring up hearts, and God can move in the hearts of people who do not even know Him. No heart is beyond the reach of God. Who would have imagined that a great work of God would begin in the heart of an unbelieving king? This is the greatest encouragement for prayer and for witness… ask yourself, “is anything too hard for Your God?”

This is our testimony – “Our God is Bigger!”

The Political Mountain

Understanding the Political Mountain By Dr. Shawn Patrick Williams

We are at a political tipping point in the United States of America. Jesus Christ told the church to “occupy” until He comes and it is part of the Church’s “Great Commission” to go into all the world and make disciples. That directive was articulated in the seven mountains strategy that Campus Crusade founder Bill Bright received in 1975, confirmed by other prolific voices in the Body.

The 7 Mountain Mandate:

These seven mountains are business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family and religion. It is so critical for the Church to have a sound Biblical understanding of the political climate of our nation and what our stance should be as a Body and a believer when we are assessing the political mountain of culture. There has not been such a vicious and divisive political climate that I’m aware of for the past sixty-five years. Not only has this year’s election been dividing the political parties, but it has brought division in the Body of Christ. A house divided cannot stand! I know people are angry about the current state of America’s government. How do we navigate through all of the rhetoric and noise coming from the media? How do we understand our duty as the New Testament Church?

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;” (1 Timothy 2:1-8)


I am convinced that the failed results of the past eight years in the political mountain has produced great confusion and corruption. It is because the majority of the Church spent more time complaining about the current administration, instead of following the Biblical instruction to lift our leaders up in prayer… even if we do not like them or agree with them. A follower of Christ must resolve not to get caught up in political drama. People in all parties should be affected by godly character and deep commitment to pray for the governmental leaders. Throughout the history of the Church, God has placed His people around totalitarian governments and difficult political atmospheres for the very purpose of having their prayers change the governmental mountains of the day.

To gain a deeper understanding of this dynamic, we must grasp the fact that many people are sent to the governmental realm with a “Kingdom Assignment”. God has sent many over the centuries to be a “voice of change” and a “root of righteousness” among world powers. God had Daniel influence the shape of Babylon. The Lord used Paul to impact Rome and the entire known world. Moses was a tool God used to shut one nation down and re-birth another. Ultimately Father God sent Jesus to carry the government upon His shoulders.

“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.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)


The Calling of God:

If you are a believer that feels the call to this governmental mountain, you too will be challenged in these same areas. You will be attacked with all the temptations of idolatry, and your spiritual identity will be tested. You will have to learn to eat lunch with an enemy, but have a resolve to bring the Kingdom into new territory. You will need to be rooted and grounded in your spiritual DNA, in order to not take on a party DNA, as your true source of guidance. The difficult thing will be establishing the Kingdom within the party to which you are assigned. There must be believers commissioned in this mountain in order to occupy it! Ignoring the responsibility of the church to influence this mountain would be a grave injustice. Separation of church and state was instituted to keep government out of church, not to keep believers of government. The first Congress in 1776 was a prayer session.

We must understand two critical things.

  1. God can use and has used evil kings to establish His purposes under the sun. Do not fret about who gets elected or who does not. He used king Cyrus, Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar for His purposes. God is still the King of kings and Lord of lords.
  2. A believer has an obligation to pray for those in government and the responsibility to research the men of God in this political mountain and vote for the candidate that they feel the Holy Spirit has led them to support.  PRAY – DO YOUR RESEARCH – AND VOTE!

When you vote, vote your values and morals. Vote guided by Biblical Truth. Vote your convictions. Above all, pray for all parties and government leaders so we can see unity and a spiritual awakening in our nation!

As an Ambassador for Christ… you carry influence that shapes this mountain!

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