Posts Tagged ‘mystery’

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.

Can I Get a Witness?

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you. So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” (Lk. 8:38-39)

Jesus sent him away saying, “Can I get witness… would you stay and testify to all that God has done for you?” We must catch this! God has designed that the Gospel be expressed through the vehicle of our testimony. When we show up with a fresh word of God’s goodness, extraordinary things happen; power is released to lead people to faith in Jesus.

The word “testimony” is a legal term. The dictionary says it’s an “outward sign”, “evidence in support of a fact or statement” and/or “proof”. Our personal testimony stands as proof of the truth of the Gospel… evidence that it is life-changing Good News. The root word for testimony, comes from a word meaning “witness”. Our testimony provides a witness to others of what Jesus has done for us. And what He has done for us, He can do for others!

More than Words:

Testimonies speak of encounter! Your testimony is the story of how you first encountered Jesus! Lives are changed when we encounter Christ. Accepting Jesus, as Lord and Savior calls us into a new realm of reality (Jn. 1:12). When we tell our story and testify to the change that happens when sins get washed away, our experience powerfully illustrates the Gospel Message. Its good news to those who feel overwhelmed by their frailty and it offers hope to those who cannot save themselves. The ongoing stories of God’s Divine intervention in our lives have tremendous power to stir faith in the heart of the seeker.

Jesus expects us to become a witness (Acts 1:8)… talk about Him!

  • How Jesus impacts your life every day…
  • Answers you have experienced through prayer…
  • What God has spoken to you…
  • How you have seen Him at work in your life each day.

Through hearing someone’s experience in God’s grace, we relate to the spiritual thought that God is moving and active by way of the Holy Spirit. In fact, often a friend’s witness is the only clear explanation of the Gospel people will listen to. Most of us want to know what is taking place in our lives. What it requires of us is that we “keep it real”. People are not fooled by the hype… and they are not really scared by the “mystery”… but if they are expected to believe what we tell them; then it needs to be truth! God will empower the Truth!

The Psalmist David said, “He has put a new song in my mouth, praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.” (Ps. 40:3)

God’s Pleasure

“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph. 5:17-18)

“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.” (Ps. 149:4)

“…That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:17-19)

It is important to realize that your pleasure is God’s pleasure, because you are God’s delight. His goal is your heart… to dwell there and to allow His love to find its deepest root system there! He loves you with an unconditional love and all of His thoughts toward you are good (Jer. 29:11). You can’t live beyond God’s knowledge and you can’t hide from His Presence… He will never leave you and He will always be found waiting for you (Isa. 30:18).

7 Things That Bring Pleasure to God:

1. The Prosperity of His People:

  • (Psalm 35:27) Let those who favor my righteous cause and have pleasure in my uprightness shout for joy and be glad and say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, Who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant. (Amplified Version)

2. Ministers Doing His Will:

  • (Psalm 103:21) Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, all you His hosts, you His ministers who do His pleasure. (Amplified Version)

3. Men and Women that Fear Him:

  • (Psalm 147:11) The Lord takes pleasure in those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy and loving-kindness. (Amplified Version)

4. His People Walking by Faith:

  • (Hebrews 11:1-2) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

5. Giving His Kingdom To His Children:

  • (Luke 12:32) Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom! (Amplified Version)

6. Saints Enjoying God’s Fullness:

  • (Ephesians 1:5) For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [ because it pleased Him and was His kind intent (Amplified Version)
  • (Ephesians 1:9) Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in Him, (Amplified Version)

7. Giving People The Desires of Their Heart:

  • (Philippians 2:13) [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. (Amplified Version)
  • (2 Thessalonians 1:11) With this in view we constantly pray for you, that our God may deem and count you worthy of [your] calling and [His] every gracious purpose of goodness, and with power may complete in [your] every particular work of faith (faith which is that leaning of the whole human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness). (Amplified Version)

Prophetic Preaching

Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent Me.” (John 7:16)

Jesus consistently preached under the anointing of God, as we see in the above verse. Yet the key to being prophetic is that Jesus’ message carried the weight of supernatural creativity, breakthrough and fulfillment.  A prophetic preacher may use the gifts of teaching, exhortation and prophecy in a variety of ways; but the power of the message itself, will shift the atmosphere (Rom. 1:16-17). That is what makes it prophetic!

“And take the … sword of the Spirit, which is the word [rhema] of God” (Eph 6:17)

Prophetic Preaching contains a ‘Now’ Word:

The prophetic gift is employed to make known the thoughts, purpose and intent of God. Prophetic preaching has a sense of immediacy. In the New Testament, the Greek word ‘rhema’ primarily refers to the spoken word that carries power in its ‘utterance’, whereas ‘logos’ primarily refers to the written word, the logic of God or His thought process. Prophetic teaching and preaching releases the rhema of God’s “Spirit-breathed”, current Word. It is designed to reveal the Father’s “Now Word”, making known something that if believed would come forth. It answers the question, ‘What is God’s Word to us in this season?’

Example: The Apostle Paul said, “the word is near you even in your mouth and in your heart, that is the word of faith that we preach” (Rom. 10:8). He goes on to say that if you act on it by confessing and believing, you will be saved… You will be transformed!

What happens in prophetic preaching is that we are drawn into an experience by the conviction of the Holy Spirit as well as the will to believe and step into its power. It sets a Kairos moment… the opportune time for change and transformation. Prophetic preaching opens doorways into heavenly blessing, revelation and assignments.

“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” (1 Cor 2:13)

Based on Spiritual Revelation:

Prophetic preaching is inspired by the Holy Spirit through the means of revelation. The word ‘revelation’ in the New Testament Greek, apokalupsis, means an ‘uncovering’ or ‘disclosure’. In other words, God is revealing something by His Spirit that is not known by natural means… its a mystery. There is often a call to action or a need to respond and activate the Word received by the hearer. This is why we place a high priority on seasons of prayer or altar times, to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts when the atmosphere has been shifted in a room or auditorium. This may be to align one’s heart or actions, to pay attention to a timely warning or submit to guidance. When we do not position ourselves for God’s present or future plans, we often miss our opportunity. The consistent results of the prophetic instructions of God are for transformation and breakthrough.

Notice these two examples:

  1. “The children of Issachar, who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel should do… and all their brethren were at their command” (1 Chron. 12:32)
  2. “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” (Mt. 7:28-29)

Prophetic Preaching Carries Authority:

This authority is not based upon the preacher’s gift, but on the basis of being entrusted with a message from God Himself. Throughout Scripture, the instruction given through a prophet brought breakthrough for God’s people. This included strategic guidance in a time of warfare (2 Chron. 20:14-17), a word of action in crisis (Gen 41:25-46) or a specific declaration of breakthrough (2 Kings 7:1-2). Prophetic preaching is of great value when a shift is needed to bring the Kingdom of God and push back against the darkness that floods our vision.

Empowering the Church:

“Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers.”  (Acts 15:32)

The outcome of prophetic preaching, just as with all prophetic ministry, is that the Church and its leadership is built up, strengthened and empowered. (1 Cor 14:3-4)

Lifting the Broken

Praying for the sick in Kenya“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Ps. 34:18)

I find myself at times feeling very sorry for the pain I see people go through… both physically and emotionally. Times of stress or struggle can overwhelm the best of us and our character is often tested even when we are in the very center of God’s will. Somewhere in the midst of suffering there is a powerful resource for our future success.

The “Sifted” Need Lifted:

At times it becomes obvious when a person needs the lifting power of God’s grace. Jesus responded to Peter when he was sifted by the Devil (Lk 22:31-32) and we must respond to those around us (Gal 6:2). We must become equipped with the Truth of God’s Word for the downcast and troubled. When we give God our pain, He does replace it with joy. It’s so subtle that after our own personal seasons of heartache, we often forget how the comforting Presence of God lifted us out of dispair and brokenness.

Finding Hope Anchors the Soul (Heb 6:19):

We can find hope in God’s Word, because it serves as the platform for God’s thoughts and purposes for His family, the Church. God says to Solomon, “Ask for whatever you want Me to give you” (2 Chron. 1:7). The Good News is that He says that to all His children in order to move them into joyful hope.

Jesus tells his disciples, “Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (Jn 16:24) and He prays, “that they may have the full measure of My (His) joy within them” (Jn 17:13). Isn’t that powerful? Those who have experienced this joy know how amazing it is. It goes beyond our mental comprehension and it lifts the broken out of their painful perceptions… even before it delivers them from their painful circumstances. Its the power of hope!

How do we attain this joy?

Jesus tells us that it is hinged to abiding in His love. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (Jn 15:10-11) Love moves us into joy, because it releases hope inside our hearts.

God truly wants to lift the broken:

Here are some more verses that can boost our hope and free us to rejoice in our good Heavenly Father:

  • Prov. 10:24 “What the righteous desire will be granted.”
  • Ex. 33:17 “And the LORD said to Moses, I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
  • Zeph. 3:17 “The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.”
  • Ps. 22:5 “…in You they trusted and were NOT disappointed.”
  • Isa. 49:23 “Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.”
  • Ps. 21:2 “You have granted him the desire of his heart and have not withheld the request of his lips.”
  • Ps. 145:19 “He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them.”
  • Ps. 6:9 “The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.”
  • 1 John 5:14-15 “This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us –whatever we ask– we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
  • Eph. 3:20 “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…”

The Lord is so tender to those who are of a broken and contrite heart and desires to be near them. When the humble cry out for help, He is quick to respond even in the midst of the confusion that often blinds us of His Presence. He is kind, merciful and wants to lavish love on His children (Rom 5:5). The discipline is only for a moment, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Ps. 30:5)

Becoming Mighty In Spirit!

To be mighty in Spirit is to know God intimately and to experience the power of His grace daily over pain, fears and struggle. It is a process of establishing more than how a person feels, because it is based upon the fruit that is released when the sifting occurs. It is being sensitive to the purposes of God that aim to advance His Kingdom even in those seasons when mystery is more evident than revelation. Our trials are putting courage into our bones and transforming us to become mighty in Spirit! (2 Cor. 4:16-17) There will always be trouble, but the grace to arise is more than equal to the task of lifting the broken. To be mighty in spirit… is to understand what it means to be “renewed daily”!

To be mighty in Spirit… comes as we know God intimately and experience the power of His grace daily over pain, fears and struggle.

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