Posts Tagged ‘Phil 4:13’

Increase Our Faith

  • So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Rom. 10:17)
  • And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. (Heb. 11:6)
  • The Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” (Lk. 17:5)

Activating Faith:

God’s Word tells us that in order to come to God in a way that pleases Him… we must have faith and it must be activated. We must believe that He exists and be found earnestly seeking because we know it holds a reward. Our entire relationship with God is based on faith. By faith we believe He is real. By faith we pray expecting Him to hear and answer. Faith is something that we practice and exercise… it is active. Let those words sink in, “without faith, it is impossible to please God”.

Faith is Heaven’s Currency:

Faith moves mountains and shifts atmospheres, because it is the currency of the heavenly realm. Although it may start small, faith has the ability to develop and grow. The disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith. They could feel that their faith had limits. Though they had faith for some things they knew they needed more. Deeper revelation requires and stimulates faith to stretch and grow. The bigger the devil the more faith we will need to overcome him (Rev. 12:11). We are not of those that shrink back, but we press forward, to the saving of the soul (Heb 10:39). We do not doubt, we endure and gain a renewal of our confidence. Asking God for more faith does not make us weak. It makes us honest. It causes us to see and admit that we have limitations and we need more of God’s resources.

Faith is a Gift and a Fruit:

Where does our faith come from? Is it something that we alone must work up? The Apostle Paul tells us that “Faith comes from hearing and hearing comes from the Word of God”. Faith is a gift from God (Eph. 2:8-10). God has given to each one a measure of faith (Rom. 12:3) and as we read God’s Word and digest it into our spirits, faith increases like a fruit ripens. When I read about God’s faithfulness and His power over darkness, I am encouraged to believe for greater things. I sense power and strength welling up inside of me when I read that nothing is impossible for God! I believe I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13). You see, that is my faith talking and my soul knows very well… He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world (1 Jn. 4:4).

The Way of Escape

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10:12-13)

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:10-12)

These two passages almost sound as though they contradict each other, but I have found them to be equally helpful in reaching God’s destiny for my life. I believe in these two important keys… first, to find the purpose for which God created you, and second, to fight for it in spite of all opposition. Abundant life is when you connect your passion with God’s purpose and know that God is receiving pleasure in the journey!

Throughout my life, I’ve had my fair share of heart-wrenching situations, including the loss of ministry vision, abandonment, rejection, and betrayal from those whom I thought were trustworthy friends. The list could go on and on. Each of those hard places tried to blind me and imprison me. Satan’s goal is always to keep me from defining Kingdom purpose and destiny. Yet each time, God broke in to offer the way of freedom. I have learned to trust that in trials and temptations, God will always set before us a way of escape so that we will not be overcome or abort the dream that He has for us. If you can recognize it, you will succeed!

Face Your Giants!

Every time you are face-to-face with a “giant” of opposition, you must decide whether you will allow God or the giant to define who you are… and the character of your heart! In recent months, the Lord has spoken to me several times about the story of David and Goliath. I’ve become intrigued with the fact that the name Goliath means “expose or reveal”. When the Philistine giant came against the Nation of Israel, Saul and his soldiers’ exposed their fear. They allowed words to get in their head and intimidate their hearts. At the same time, and with the same words… the courageous heart of a warrior was revealed in David. Stop and meditate on that for a moment.

Who we Really Are:

Life’s giants expose our hearts and character… revealing who we are. When we face crisis, trials or opposition, those circumstances either reveal and amplify the greatness of God within us, or expose our weakness. God wants us to see this stuff; and we need to see it if we ever hope to overcome the world and its intimidating ruler, the devil. He is a liar and thief, but his ultimate aim is to rob us of the Glory of God.

The Good News:

The way of escape is a two-way opening! Sometimes it is not a doorway open for you to run for cover, but for God to enter and strengthen you with His might! When God’s greatness within you is revealed, run toward the giant with whatever stones God has placed in your hand. And when your eyes are opened, the weaknesses that lie within will diminish and you will feel the anointing engage… its the great opportunity to be made strong in Him (2 Cor. 12:9-11)(Phil. 4:13).

“Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ.” (Eph. 3:8) …and I will not miss God’s dream for me…

Ministry of Grace

The Ministry of Christ is a ministry of grace! His message was the Good News of a Kingdom of grace flowing from Heaven into Earth. It would bring forgiveness, peace and freedom from sin. Yet the deliverance and freedom experienced in the life of a disciple can only be attained and measured by the tranformed mind. Real Kingdom mysteries require us to change the way we think about everything pertaining to God, Church and life on this planet (Mt. 4:17). Jesus has stepped into our natural reality and He brought His world with Him!

  • “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.” (Isa. 9:6-7)

Ministry on Christ’s Shoulder:

The five-fold ministry gifts are examples of how “grace has been given” as Christ distributes (Eph. 4:7). All ministry is simply the manifestation of Christ expressed through the believer by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, as the “Christ” is our Apostle (Heb. 3:1), Prophet (Lk. 24:19), Evangelist (Mt. 9:35), Pastor (1 Pet. 5:2-4) and Teacher (Jn. 3:2). He immulated these offices and distributes the mantles for individuals to function in them, so that the Church carries His anointing for ministry (Jn. 14:12). 

“…the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So…they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:2-3)

Selected and Sent:

The five-fold leaders are not self-appointed, nor are they simply pastors of a local church. They are clearly defined ministries that have an impact on the Church as a whole and its witness in the world. By nature, their scope of ministry is wider than the local church. They are grace ministries of Christ to the Church at large. Whether its from inner city pulpits or in the bush lands of Africa, the heartbeat of 5-fold ministry is the discipling of the nations… its our Great Commission! (Mt. 28:18-20).

Two things are required for a five-fold ministry gift to come into its own: 1) Recognition by the wider Body of Christ and 2) Functional Ministry to the wider Body of Christ. Jesus said that the fruit of a person’s life is the best way to recognize their identity, character and anointing. Prior to these two conditions being met, someone may potentially have a five-fold ministry gift, but will not yet be moving in the scope and authority of that gift. Jesus gives the grace for each gift to be released into the Church.

“…God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief Cornerstone” (Eph. 2:19-20).

Foundations:

The foundation of the Church is the apostle and the prophet team (Eph. 3:4-5). I believe, these two ministries still continue in that foundational role (Eph. 4:12-13), so it is vital for us to understand how this works in leading the Body of Christ. We must remember that proper buildings are held up by proper foundations. I would propose; that when grace flows into ministry and functions properly, under the headship of Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit, it will result in the growth and supernatural health of the Church worldwide. It is the will of God to set this in order and accomplish it through His apostle and prophet teams (Isa. 9:7)… by grace.

The Key of Humility:

The Apostle James and the Apostle Peter wrote specifically about how to receive grace (Jms. 4:6 & 1 Pet. 5:5-6). The humble person receives grace and more grace even as they maintain their humility in the midst of difficult circumstances. Jesus said “Blessed is the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 5:3). The humble person; who lives selflessly in ministry, will receive a flow of resource from heaven according to the gift Christ has given them. Their anointing will be in proportion to their faith, assignment and their need.

The Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strenthens me” (Phil 4:13). The ministry teams made up of Apostle and Prophets like Paul, Barnabas, Silas and Timothy served to accomplish great things in advancing the Kingdom of God. They were set apart by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2), helped in the midnight hour (Acts 16:25-26) and anointed to do incredible miraculous signs that accompanied the preaching of the Word of God (Acts 19:11-12).

Restoration is needed: In order for the Church to see what God is after today, our impact must set the captives free! We must rely upon the flow of ministry grace… like the dry ground soaks up the rain.    

Defining Strength

Surrendering is empowering

The Battle is the Lord's

Where does the Christian’s strength come from? Do we suddenly just become “tough” one day? No. Part of being a Christian is realizing that everything is done through Christ.

 ”I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).

 We make the choice to surrender and Christ gives us strength. The Holy Spirit takes control and with supernatural ability, He begins to lead us in the Truth. Alone, we are no more than people wandering in the dark, but when we look  to our Savior, Christ the Lord; we are made strong, by the power of His heart (Ps 121:1-8).

 He is our Helper, our Keeper and Shelter from harm. 

We serve the One who was certainly “tougher than nails”. The activity of  humbling ourselves before God was the example Christ showed to us, that releases the grace we need. Empowerment begins at the very moment of our honest surrender. Jesus establishes His strength in our lives for the purpose of giving breakthrough and fruitfulness, which pleases the Father (Jn 15:8).

 Life is “tough” in this world, but the good news is that Christ has overcome (Jn 16:33).

 The Bible declares that His anointing in us, will give us the power to overcome the world through faith (1 Jn 5:4-5). He is our strength; in tough times, when storms overwhelm and when answers seem hard to wrestle down.

The Battle is the Lord’s! (1 Sam 17:47)

 We would sometimes like to fight back when we feel life has wronged us, but I’m reminded of how most of my favorite Bible heros faced their struggles with the heartfelt reality that… ”the battle is the Lord’s”. Its not about the amount of “fight” in the Christian… its about the amount of “Christ” in the fighter.

So be strong in the Lord and the power of His might! (Eph 6:10)

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