Posts Tagged ‘recognizable’

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.

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)

Atmospheres of Peace

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13)

I believe God is wanting to bring a restoration of hope into all the Earth. In order to release revival in any part of the world, there must be a fresh vision of Jesus… Jesus is our Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6-7) (Eph. 2:14). Interestingly, the Apostle Paul saw “hope” as something tied directly to our joy and peace in believing. We can abound in hope, but never without the power of the Holy Spirit releasing atmospheres of peace.

Prophetically: A Pathway for Jesus!

John the Baptist prepared the path for the Lamb of God to come into view for the nation of Israel. The Prophet Isaiah tells us that John needed to “make straight in the desert, a highway for our God” (Isa. 40:3-5). The valleys would need to be exalted and the mountains made low. The crooked places needed to be made straight and the rough places made smooth. And why? “For the Glory of the Lord to be revealed” – that everyone would see it… everyone would experience God’s peace!

Kingdom people are designed to carry the Glory of God and enjoy the atmosphere of peace that goes beyond our understanding (Phil. 4:7). John was a voice crying in the wilderness… “prepare your hearts, repent of your ways, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. John was not looking for just any man when he looked for the Christ. The Lamb of God would be recognized by peace. John would identify the Messiah by this sign, at His baptism the Spirit would come like a dove (the symbol of peace), land upon Him and stay. God was asking John to notice how peace would come into the world. The Lamb of God would serve as an entry point for the “dove” to land and for peace to be recognized. Remember the phrase… “a place for the dove to land”.

Visible and Recognizable:

When Jesus sent out the 12 disciples in Matthew 10, He said freely you have received now freely give, yet when you go into a community look for places to impart your peace. If they will not receive it then take it back unto yourself, wipe the dust off of your feet and journey to the next community. What Jesus was saying is that we should be looking for places where the “dove” will be welcome. The dove is the Biblical symbol for the 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! Our mission unlocks the revelation that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. And all are welcome to see into its Glory and live in its Peace.

Today – let the Peace of God find its rest in your heart and mind!

True Riches

Ugandan Children

Children of Uganda

“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the Living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Tim. 6:17-19)

Trust in God!

We are warned that we cannot serve two masters… money or Christ, one of these will win our affections (Mt. 6:24). We must not allow our affections to be lured into captivity. When we invest ourselves in true riches; like the goodness of an upright heart or the power of an enduring testimony, then our wealth carries eternal significance. I often remind folks that we must take ownership of our heart in order to put our trust in God… it will not just happen naturally.   

This World’s Wealth:

The world will try to tell you that riches and wealth are defined by how much money you have in your pocket or how much stuff you can pack into your barns. The issue is not the amount, it is the allure. Recently, we have seen how money can be lost overnight. Businesses close their doors, homes enter foreclosure and real people find themselves hurting, because they trusted in an unstable economic system. Anyone who listens to the reports on Wall Street can see that the environment is changing every minute… and not for the better. 

Reliable Foundation:

The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy warning him to not trust in this World’s wealth. He told those who were wealthy not to be proud and arrogant nor to put their trust in their riches, because they cannot be relied upon. Instead he encouraged them to put their trust in God who provides all that we need (Phil 4:19). The goal is a reliable foundation!

Understanding Blessing:

Notice the issue is not the money as much as the trust. Trust is easily given when we understand our blessing in Christ. When anyone accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior they are enriched with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3). They are declared complete in Christ (Col. 2:10) which means they are capable of manifesting His character and power. In fact, the Apostle Paul refers to these spiritual blessings as “the unfathomable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8). Unfathomable means they are past finding out, unsearchable and beyond tracking down. The idea is that the believer’s blessings in Christ are too deep to measure and too great to be exhausted. But they are recognizable when invested in others. They are recognized as a good foundation for the time to come, when folks will need something of eternal value. What we must come to understand is that Christians are blessed… to be a blessing through the true riches of Christ!