Posts Tagged ‘pleasure’

God Shaped

“…but now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our Potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” (Isa. 64:8)

According to the experts, clay has to be in the exact center of the potter’s wheel. If not, then the clay will eventually tear apart and become marred in the potter’s hands. The desired result will not be achieved and the beauty in the potter’s imagination cannot be released.

I find it helpful to remind myself often that I, as a believer must stay centered. We are as clay, and God (the ultimate Potter) shapes us into the masterpiece best suited for His purpose. “For we are His workmanship (His masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10) We must be in the middle of the Master Potter’s wheel, if we want to become suited for Kingdom success. Our anointing, the touch of God upon our lives and the flow of spiritual influence; is hinged to staying focused on Christ. At the very center of the Potter’s Wheel is the most vulnerable place, and the most wonderful place; to live your life!

Needing a Savior:

The first step of being in the middle of God’s will is to recognize we need a Savior. We have fallen short of God’s original intent and we need someone to lift us up onto the “Potter’s wheel” again (Rom. 3:23-24). That position is where something significant can begin to take place. Being centered in Christ means we live a life of full surrender to what God, the Master Potter, wants to do in our lives. Surrendering to Christ allows Him to remove the most significant barrier – sin, and restore our originally designed relationship between the Potter and His clay. When we accept the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, He becomes our Savior and everything becomes new… our hearts, our focus and our future (2 Cor. 5:17).

Trusting His Lordship:

The second step is allowing Him to become “lord” and follow Him as His disciple. In order to see the kind of spiritual transformation we need, we have to submit our lives to Him. The Greek word for “lord” is kurios, pronounced koo-rios. In Ephesians  it says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:2). Note that the Apostle Paul recognizes Jesus as our Lord and God as our Father. When Christ is truly Lord in a person’s heart, He becomes supreme in authority and is allowed to govern the heart and mind by grace. Something to remind ourselves, is that grace is a favor that the Holy Spirit opens up to us (2 Cor. 3:17-18) as we learn to walk in humble obedience to the Father’s will and purpose for our lives (Jms. 4:6-10). Through the practices of prayer of reading God’s Word, (the Bible) we are awakened on the inside (our spirit) to the force of God’s shaping hands. This is the power of the Holy Spirit at work transforming and renewing our minds to follow His will for our life.

The Master Potter:

God is the ultimate craftsmen, shaping us with His hands and perfecting us for His Glory. We trust Him to mold us, to shape us into a vessel fit for Kingdom use. It requires faith to believe in something you haven’t seen, but as you process all that God does within you spiritually; there is an assurance that grows and shapes even the way you think. The Bible tells us that there is a renewal of strength (Isa. 40:29-31) and a restoration of heart (Psa. 63:3-7) that comes as we position ourselves before the Father. This is because He loves us with an everlasting and unconditional love. He sees in us something beautiful, something we cannot see, something that He alone will cause to emerge. And emerge it will… to display His pleasure, power and passion!

Remind yourself today that you are: “His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Pet. 2:9-10)

Loving What Emerges

This post is from the start of the very first Apostolic Training Center…….5 years later God is still up to amazing things.

Sometimes we put our hands to work and we are very aware of the outcome… and then there is the ministry. Its the work of God’s hands! He is the Ultimate Potter, we become the clay and the emerging masterpiece is of His craftsmanship. I love it, I love watching it and being part of it.

The Quest:

There is this wonderful vulnerability where grace, tears, risk and adventure come together. Its like there are no blueprints, no plans to follow. Its just faith in God’s power at work that shapes the mission. We have a vision of where we are going, but there is no quest on earth that so yields itself to the will of another. Not just any “another” but “The Another” - God, Himself holds our attention, our heart beat and our foot prints. And somehow a ministry emerges from our efforts that brings Him pleasure, while at the same time transforms a culture. Wow, what a life changing opportunity to join God in this quest.

Mission Uganda:

In my resent journey into Uganda there was one specific goal that God seemed to be emphasizing over and over; opening the Apostolic Training Center. Our teams on the ground were set and ready to move and I have never seen such passion for God’s Word to be taught. Pastor Francis Wanyama met me at the airport with my schedule in his hand and a fire in his belly. Our driver was not about to waste time with small talk; for he was a pastor as well, already engaged in the process of mobilizing a network of laborers. I could tell this was not an ordinary day… a New Day was emerging in the hearts of these people and all I could say is, “Its just the beginning!”

Apostolic Training Center

March 2012

A Grand Opening:

My schedule was filled with conferences and teaching sessions, but the one event that stood out was the Grand Opening of our Apostolic Training Center. I arrived at about 9 am to about 125 students of all ages, hungry and waiting. Blessed and energized by what I was experiencing, we stepped into the process together… all of us knowing nothing of where God was taking us. One thing we were all in agreement upon… we would not have wanted to be anywhere else. There was a buzz in the room that assured us almost immediately that this was a New Day and that God was doing a New Thing.

The Emerging Wineskin:

For the next 4 days something wonderful began to emerge. A wineskin of sorts was beginning to take shape. It was filled with spiritual substance, Holy Spirit stuff like joy and laughter, hope and expectancy; as well as some tough questions about truth… God’s Truth. And no matter how difficult we imagined this challenge to be, God seemed to be offering a resource. He was doing something I have watched Him do time and time again, governing by peace (Isa 9:6-7).

Just the Beginning:

Now, with over 150 people carrying a dream that no man on earth will be able to sustain. All I know to do is love what emerges. It looks a lot like the vision we had in our hearts when we heard from God, but we could never have taken credit for how it felt to us. It was God’s dream first and it thrills me to have brought Him the glory!

Ministry is like that… its the work of God’s hands. When its all said and done we realize, we are His workmanship and He is shaping our hearts (Eph 2:10).

Stirred Up

“So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God…” (Haggai 1:14)

The phrase “stirred up” in this verse carries the meaning: “to rouse, awaken, excite, raise up; to incite; to arouse to action; to open one’s eyes.” This same Hebrew word is used 81 times in the Old Testament. It is used to describe how an eagle stirs up its nest (Deut. 32:11) and also how a musical instrument is awakened or warmed up before it is played (Ps. 108:2). It’s used twice as the Lord awakens the prophet each morning… He awakens his ear to hear God’s message (Isa. 50:4).

Stirring in the Spirit:

The Lord is arousing many in the Body of Christ these days! I hear it all around me, that “God is up to something”… He is moving in power and stirring the hearts of His people. I believe He is specifically calling out to His Sons and Daughters.

The greatest gift the Father wants to give us is a responsive relationship with Him. Yet this requires spiritual communication and hearing His voice. Remember, as believers, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us. Scripture tells us that the Spirit searches all things (1 Cor. 2:9-16), even the deep things of God… He searches in order to awaken the “mind of Christ” inside our spirit. Consequently, because of the Holy Spirit in me, anywhere I am, at any moment, I have access to the thoughts and the stirrings of God’s heart and emotions. I can access the deep things of God through the spirit in me receiving revelation… its the bubbling up of the Holy Spirit searching out all things.

These inner stirrings are wonderful expressions of the Father’s heart toward His children. They represent love, faithfulness and protection in the midst of any storm or battle. They represent more than feelings… and more than pleasure. They are often compelling motivation for obedience, intercession or ministry. In the above verse we see clearly that the stirring of the spirit can motivate the servant of God to co-labor in the building of something that God has on His heart… to work on the House of the Lord.

Stop for a moment and ask yourself… “Are you becoming more sensitive to the stirrings in your spirit?”

Great & Mighty Things

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jer. 33:3)

Too often we settle for much less than what God wants to do through us. When God tells us that He is able to do, beyond all that we ask or imagine… and asks the question, “Is anything too hard for Me?” (Jer. 32:27). We answer, “No Lord… nothing is impossible for You!” Yet, when we face difficult situations we begin to qualify our belief in God and lower our expectations of what God will do. It is one thing to believe God could perform a miracle in the Bible; it is quite another matter to believe when a friend is standing before you with a belly full of cancer. “Can do” is easier to say than “will do”… when someone is waiting.

Read this carefully: “…it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13)

Can I just point out that it is God doing the work… and its for His pleasure – not yours. Ministry has never been about you, your ability or your reputation… its about God’s pleasure! When we fail to take God at His Word, simply because it seems unreasonable; we are not pleasing anybody. God’s Word is not open to a negotiation with the devil, it is Truth… reality from God’s point of view! When God speaks to us, what we do next proves what we believe about Him, regardless of what we say.

The Example of Moses:

God revealed to Moses His plan to orchestrate the greatest exodus in human history, and He wanted to use Moses to accomplish it. Moses responded by arguing with God… not because Moses thought God was powerless, but he simply did not believe God would do His miraculous work through his life. Moses’ argument with God was not about the ministry, it was about courage to become a conduit of God’s power (Ex. 4:13–17). Moses says things like, “who am I” or “suppose they do not believe me”, “Oh Lord I am not eloquent” or “I am slow of speech and slow of tongue”… “Please send someone else”.

God was not asking Moses to do the miracles, just to be His mouth piece!

What is He asking you? That is how it is with God… He wants to work in and through us to offer a voice of hope to a broken and wounded people. To tell that friend with a belly full of cancer that God is able to heal, is not wishful thinking it is the will of a wonderful Savior. If Jesus will cleanse the Leper (Mk. 1:40-42), why would He not cleanse the friend with cancer? It is up to God to work in and through us… through the effectual fervent prayer offered in faith by the “righteous man” (Jms. 5:16). You are that righteous man!

Do you sense there may be more that God wants to do through your life? Ask God to show you, then be prepared to respond in faith and obey what He tells you.

The only way to do greater things for God, is to raise your expectations! (Jn. 14:12)

Meeting the Need

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.” (2 Cor. 1:3-5)

Take a deep breath. Release it slowly, telling yourself quietly: I let go. I let God fill my mind with His thoughts, fill my heart with His love and fill my life with His power… My God meets all my need according to His riches in Glory in Christ (Phil. 4:19). I can simply accept the reality that God’s wisdom is present and available, ready to fill me with new understanding, light and strength. It is my spiritual discipline in faith, to let God fill every void, every emptiness that seems to separate me from the peace of God in my heart. I step into faith, believing that as I let go… God fills every need!

God’s substance is supernatural and when I step into His Presence, a divine activity moves through my life. God’s creative process is awaiting me and all I have to do is receive. This is life in the Glory Realm… its effective, productive and healing; and it is activated as quickly as I let go of my “self”. I feel my life being lifted up to where He is. The Presence of God dissolves all fear and doubts and removes every hint of frailty. I can feel His pleasure, His acceptance of me and His wealth of kindness… which washes all uncertainty away. This is love at its best, comforting and meeting me right where I am. God’s love is worth beholding, unlocking and experiencing!

3 Spheres of Supernatural Stability offered by the Father’s Love:

  1. He Strengthens My Inner-Man: (Eph. 3:16) My Spirit is revitalized with supernatural energy!
  2. I become Rooted and Grounded in Love: (Eph. 3:17) My faith creates a dwelling for Christ!
  3. I am filled with all the Fullness of God: (Eph. 3:18-19) My knowledge is established by experience – Holy Spirit rushes in!

Downloading Spiritual Love:

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Eph. 3:20)

Begin now to relax from the strain and effort of questioning, planning, and reasoning. Take a few moments to calm your thinking and place all your attention upon the words: “I let go. I let God fill my need according to His riches… found in the Glory Realms as received by faith in Christ”. As you breath out, allow the Holy Spirit to breathe into you… strength, stability and spiritual substance that meets all of your needs. Immediately, you will experience visible and tangible benefits, inside and out. You will feel renewed strength and faith, boldness and courage will well-up within you. Your prayers will be more effective, and your understanding of the Presence of God within you will be clearer. You will find that God’s love takes care of what you cannot accomplish. As you let go, God will freely and abundantly fill every need.

God is Jehovah Jireh – Our Provider:

God always provides! As the Apostle Paul has so well proclaimed, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32). No indeed, if God be for us – tell me who can be against us! God gives strength, guidance, understanding, faith, healing, and supernatural supply. So be the “conqueror”, step into all that you need by faith. He loves us! Whatever life throws at you, you have; at this very moment. Make the most of every opportunity… let go of your personal striving and let God move in you and meet your every need!

“…casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you.” (1 Pet. 5:7)

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