Posts Tagged ‘Master’

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).

Key to Courage

There are times in every person’s life when God brings a great opportunity across our path. God is creative and adventurous. He plants those traits within us and knows that the best way to draw them out is through the challenges hidden inside of  opportunity.

There are many folks who cringe at new opportunities, because “risk” means the possibility of failure. But it also carries the enormous thrill of success. If you find yourself holding back at the edge of the ‘river’, I pray that God will stir your heart, that you will feel the adventure to cross over and take possession of the promise on the other side.

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is the address given by God to Joshua (Josh 1:1-9). Although God reveals His generosity and faithfulness in Joshua’s moment of promotion, He also opens up the reality of every Christian’s greatest challenge… fear. God is the Master at mentoring leaders and He speaks clearly of how to overcome fear, through the discipline of “Presence”. God’s Word to Joshua;

“I will be with you, I won’t give up on you and I won’t leave you”.

These are words that should be in the forefront of our minds while stepping out into God’s plan each day. You and I are fit and appointed to the position God has chosen for us and it really doesn’t matter how anyone else has done the job before us.

We must listen to God and follow His instruction… as He goes with us. We just have to be ourselves and let God do great things through us! If God tells us to go – WE GO! If God says to speak- WE SPEAK! We must never allow time to tick away, stealing opportunities from us. God says, “In the same way I was with Moses, I will be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you”. Notice its the discipline of Presence that establishes our courage.

Our Key to Courage is the proven Truth; God is a good Father and is faithful to all of His children… all of His children! He is no respecter of persons; He is faithful to all! Listen to that verse again… “I won’t give up on you”. It doesn’t matter if we blew it yesterday… He hasn’t given up. We must not give up either!

New Covenant Believing

Most churches have not understood the reality of New Covenant Believing. The challenge is that the Spirit of the Lord has set us free and we are not sure what we should do with our religious standards! Trying to fulfill the Old Testament Law has caused us to loose sight of “grace through faith” and minimize the very power of the New Covenant itself. Many denominational structures have become very good at mixing the Old Covenant instituted by Moses with the New Covenant ratified by the Blood of Jesus. They have forgotten that the Old Covenant has become obsolete while the New Covenant is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

The New Covenant of Liberty:

It is our freedom… our Day of Jubilee if you will! Jesus said, “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!” (Jn. 8:36). The problem with living under religious systems is that they tend to teach the burdens of faith, rather than the freedom of belief. Stepping away from grace will always lead to a loss of freedom in Christ. But Christ has made us free to celebrate and worship in the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Understanding Covenantal Seasons:

The Old Covenant brought death (and always will), because it was designed to be a “tutor” that would bring us to Christ. The New Covenant brings life as the morning speaks of a New Day, because it reveals the victory over sin and the wealth of strength offered to the believer by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:1-11). Make a note of the word “believer”, its not a title, but an activity. You see, the central goal of the Old Covenant is to behold our sin and make sacrifices according to how we have fallen from Glory (Rom. 3:23), but the goal of the New Covenant is to behold the Glory of God as it is revealed in the face of Jesus (2 Cor. 4:6), and experienced in our personal transformation (2 Cor. 3:4-18). This means we are called to worship and celebration by what we see in the eyes of Jesus. Our praise is motivated by the fact that we are moving from one level of Glory to another level of Glory by the Spirit of the Lord… its our freedom in Christ.

How Jesus has Set Us Free:

Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I call you friends, for all the things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (Jn. 15:15). Jesus gave His disciples some of the most amazing secrets, like keys to His Father’s heart. And He made it clear that the things He was telling them would need the help of the Holy Spirit to understand and walk out daily (Jn. 16:12-15). Obedience was not going to be bound to a set of rules, but a hearing and perceptive ear. As these disciples were able to hear the voice of the Spirit, they would begin to obey the purposes of God by relationship and honor… “friendship”.

Favor & Fellowship:

The Holy Spirit is changing us and it effects our behavior, our attitudes and our believing. To live in the freedom of listening to the Holy Spirit’s Voice releases two powerful realities… favor and fellowship. Knowing you are loved and accepted by God allows you the freedom to grow in the knowledge of the Glory of God as you look into the face of Jesus. When we live in relationship, we experience the power of love and the freedom that comes to those who walk honorably toward the heart of the friend. In this case God is calling us to see ourself as His friend, His Child and His Chosen One.

Living by Human Standards:

Living by human standards distorts our view of real friendship. When we find ourselves unable to live up to the standards set by those we perceive to be more mature than us, it releases guilt, shame and issues of condemnation. When we live according to some arbitrary religious standard and find ourselves successful without the need of relationship, we become vulnerable to personal pride and boasting. It doesn’t make having some basic standards wrong, it just means they are subjective and difficult to measure in changing times and cultures.

Jesus came to do away with the measurements on all levels and substitute His life for any standard, perceived or real… we become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21).

Jesus Christ became our “Standard Bearer” so that we could walk in freedom. Being led by the Holy Spirit; and feeling the joy of a living relationship with the Father, is New Covenant Believing. Its a freedom to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit and live out of the abundance of our growing knowledge of Christ’s victory at the cross.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1)

Believing Church

“For indeed the Gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” (Heb. 4:2)

God won’t move in unbelief! Therefore, we must activate faith in His Word, faith in His activity and faith in His prophetic purpose.

Don’t wait… Activate!

Jesus appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart (Mk. 16:14). He did this because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. Unbelief and hardness of heart are at the center of ineffective ministry and powerless Christianity.

Without Belief there is no Faith! (Mk. 6:3-6)

According to God’s Word without faith, the Gospel will not profit you. After seeing His ministry in action; hearing His prophetic voice and experiencing three years of signs, wonders and miracles, the eleven apostles sat in unbelief and hardness of heart. Why? Because they found nothing inside of them to energize their vision! All they could see was their plight.

Activating Faith is a Choice to Believe Something!

The idea of belief must be taken seriously, because it is what engages our hearts to move in faith (Heb. 11:1). Though their Friend and Master had died, He had spoken of a plan in the midst of this moment (Jn. 14:3). Fear had them paralyzed! They were wanted by the authorities and scared for their lives; yet, they should have been able to step into the promises Jesus had left with them (Jn. 14:29). They needed to bring to their memory the words that encouraged them so many times before. But once again, we see them huddled around the table discussing their plight.

Hardness of Heart:

Suddenly Jesus appeared and rebuked them for their hardness of heart. And why? Because they needed to make a choice… they could have engaged their faith by believing what Jesus had said and seen God’s prophetic purpose. Hardness of heart is the inability to move on what you know!

Did you catch that… “Hardness of heart is the paralysis of analysis!”

The Capacity to See:

Believing awakens our capacity to see what Jesus sees. Instead of lecturing His disciples and beating them over the head with Scripture, Jesus calls them up higher. Its as if Jesus was telling them to just take the leap and obey… make the choice! His purpose of reaching the nations was about to become their lifelong quest (Mk. 16:15-16) and He needed them to break free from distractions. He needed them to awaken their capacity to see, and embrace what He could see. What could we see - if we were truly free from distractions?

If we would just lay aside our fears, our agendas and our desire to please one another, the world would feel the impact of an energized vision and Jesus would soon return for a glorious Believing Church.

The Discipline of Presence

Joshua said to the People of God, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you!” (Josh. 3:5)

There are times in every person’s life when you stand at a “Jordan River Experience”! A moment when God brings a great opportunity across your path. A moment of promise and expectation… but also a moment that requires something from your heart! God is creative and adventurous. He plants those traits of adventure within us and knows that the best way to draw them out is through the challenges hidden inside of opportunity. The problem is that in order to see breakthroughs you have to have some major challenges!

There Are Risks:

There are many folks who cringe at new opportunities, because “risk” means the possibility of failure. But it also carries the enormous thrill of success. If you find yourself holding back at the edge of the ‘river’, I pray that God will stir your heart, that you will feel the adventure to cross over and take possession of the promise on the other side.

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is the address given by God to Joshua (Josh 1:1-9). God commands Joshua to “be strong and very courageous”! Although God reveals His generosity and faithfulness in Joshua’s moment of promotion, He also opens up the reality of every Christian’s greatest challenge… fear. God is the Master at mentoring leaders and He speaks clearly of how to overcome fear, through the “discipline of Presence”. The discipline of Presence is the ability to put on courage based upon a deeply rooted awareness that God is with you! Its the greatest resource in the midst of fear… “God will not give up on His Child!”

God’s Word to Joshua; “I will be with you, I won’t give up on you and I won’t leave you!”

These are words that should be in the forefront of our minds while stepping out into God’s plan each day. You and I are fit and appointed to the position God has chosen for us and it really doesn’t matter how anyone else has done the job before us. We must listen to God and follow His instruction… as He goes with us. We just have to be ourselves and let God do great things through us! If God tells us to go – WE GO! If God says to speak- WE SPEAK! No resistance, hesitation or distraction is worthy of our attention. We must never allow time to tick away, stealing opportunities from us. God says, “In the same way I was with Moses, I will be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you” (Josh. 1:5). Notice its the discipline of Presence that establishes courage.

Its the discipline of Presence that establishes courage!

Our Key to Courage is the proven Truth; God is a good Father and is faithful to all of His children… all of His children! He is no respecter of persons; He is faithful to all! Listen to that verse again… “I won’t give up on you”. It doesn’t matter if we blew it yesterday… He hasn’t given up. We must not give up either!

Never, Never, Never – Give Up!

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