Posts Tagged ‘resource’

Send the Rain

“Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain! Like the latter and former rain to the earth.” (Hosea 6:3)

“He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing, like showers that water the earth.” (Psalm 72:6)

It is the cry of my heart… “Holy Spirit – send us the rain!” We are after Your refreshing! Your going forth is established as the morning… and we have awakened to the sound of Your Presence! Yes, Lord come to us as the rain! We are longing to see, waiting to know, postured to receive the abundance of Your resource. Like the sweet spring rains that fall on the meadow. Like the swift delouse that washes the atmosphere. We long for the great outpourings and the gentle drizzles alike. Its all about Your Glory, that we might experience Your heart.

A Life Source:

Rain has such a powerful influence on that which it touches. We can visually see its dual implication. First as refreshing – where there has been dryness and barrenness (Joel 2:23-29). Second, as restoration – where there has been loss (Isa. 28:11-12). Rain comes to replenish and renew everything it touches. Its longed for and anticipated, because its a life source that carries the earth into new seasons. Did you catch that… Rain initiates new seasons of life in the earth!

New Seasons of Fruitfulness:

The ”outpouring” Peter and the 120 disciples experienced at Pentecost (Acts 2:17) was not some abstract concept; it was the birth of a New Day! This was the literal evidence of “latter rain” that brought about a harvest and watered the earth for fruitful seasons. The Lord is saying to the thirsty that He will send rain! He will come like the rain to fields… to people that are totally barren as a promise of revival.

Personal Revival:

Needing to be refreshed doesn’t mean that we are lost or backslidden or that we have broken our fellowship in some way. When the lawn endures a hot season, it dries up and needs to be refreshed – only rain can truly nurture its recovery. In the day of natural drought, the earth cries out silently to be restored. When there is drought and barrenness of soul or when the evidence of weariness takes hold, it is with great anticipation that we cry out for the early and latter rains of heaven. There is no greater sight to the weary ones than the gift of refreshing… the rain of heaven!

Its the Resource of God in the Promised Land:

“For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden; but the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year. And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.” (Deut. 11:10-15)

“Holy Spirit – Send the rain!”

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).

My Shield – His Favor

I have come to understand that God’s love is poured out toward all men equally, yet His favor is a resource which becomes hinged to other things like obedience, intimacy and character. Favor is a resource that we must see increasing in our lives. Notice Jesus’ example to us:

“Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Lk 2:52).

What does it mean to find favor with God?

The Psalms tell us that the favor of God was the difference between life and death (Ps 30:5-7)(Ps 119:58)(Ps 106:4). The book of Proverbs tells us one way to find favor with God is to find a wife (Prov 18:22)… for me that was a big one. Obviously that was not the method used by Jesus; but it is one way.

One of the things Solomon emphasized in the book of Proverbs is favor’s connection to finding wisdom (Prov 8:35-36). Favor simply means that we are able to access kindness and are treated with a generosity and goodwill, far beyond what would normally be expected.

Of course, every believer is favored by God to some degree; but we want increase as Jesus exhibited. Therefore, we must understand God’s favor comes to us in degrees. The more we please God, the more we will be favored by Him. It is important not to think of this favor in material or worldly terms alone… God’s favor is given in spiritual blessings as well as in material blessings.

My personal favorite Scripture on favor helps me understand why I need to increase in it… because His favor serves as my shield of protection on all levels of life.

“For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield” (Ps 5:12).

This shield of favor will not just protect you from the front but also the rear. It is a shield that surrounds you. Even when you don’t know what people are saying about you, this divine favor will insulate you from damage.

The Glory

What if I told you that there is a place beyond the Presence of God… would you call me a heretic, lunatic or mystic?

Let me speak to the issue of the Glory of God! It is both a Secret Place, where God speaks to us face to face and a Spiritual Realm, where supernatural authority is established within our lives. It is a Place where we begin to truly see… and manifest the riches of the invisible stuff of heaven into our natural reality on Earth. We as Christ’s followers, are called to a “walk” that is able to please God and release the inheritance of spiritual resource into our daily life. But do we understand the Glory of God or just take life as it is presented to us everyday. I want to enlarge your thinking, because the day has come; whereby God is wanting to increase the “knowledge of the Glory of God”… to a level that would be as recognizable as the way the “water covers the sea”.

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14)

The Apostle Paul spoke about the Glory in terms of an ongoing ministry that began in the Old Testament and advanced into the New Testament. He said that the Ministry of Moses had a Glory that was so strong that the people would cover the face of Moses, because it would shine with the Glory that rested upon him as he ministered face to face before God in the Wilderness Tabernacle. Yet Paul said that the Glory of the Ministry of the Holy Spirit was even greater and more precious to behold (2 Cor. 3:7-18). His message was that our lives are transformed by the Glory as we behold Christ more and more… as we fellowship with the Father and experience the working of the Holy Spirit. He used illustrations from the Old Testament like the Glory Cloud that followed the Hebrew People in the wilderness or the Ark of the Covenant as the fire rested upon the Mercy seat… these images were to encourage us to recognize that our lives are changing as we learn to walk in the Glory of God and behold Jesus as the Glory of the Father (Heb 1:1-4). Notice verse 3 speaks of Jesus as the brightness or manifestation of the beauty of the Fathers Glory and the express image of His person.

Spiritual Atmosphere Heavenly in Nature:

Interesting that the Apostle Paul also speaks of the Glory as a Realm of God’s spiritual atmosphere… an atmosphere that is heavenly in nature. It was in the Garden of Eden as God walked with Adam in the “cool” (ruach/spirit/glory realm) of the day (Gen. 3:8). In other words God was sharing His Glory with Adam before the fall… as they walked together and shared fellowship and communion. This Glory made Adam feel loved, accepted and comfortable without clothes, for he was naked and unashamed until after the fall – after sin came into the Garden experience. Notice that Adam was not alone, yet the woman that accompanied Adam was not named until after the fall: because they were living together naked and unashamed. They lived in harmony, as one in the Glory with the Father, but after sin comes shame and guilt become the overwhelming atmosphere. It was in the fallen state that Adam names the Woman Eve, because he was now very aware of their differences rather than comfortable in their unity with the Father.

As the Glory Lifted:

Now this happens because the Glory had lifted… note that God comes into the Garden to find that man is hiding himself and that he was covering himself with leaves… man was meeting his own need, and hiding in disobedience and shame.

  • Psalm 8:5 tells us that God had “crowned” or clothed man in Glory at creation.
  • Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8 & Ephesians 5:17-18 tells us He wants to do it again in the Holy Spirit as we are filled to overflowing with His Power.
  • Isaiah 43:1-7 tells us that God created man for His Glory… it speaks of “man” as Jacob and that God had formed man in His Glory, redeemed man by His Glory and called man to His Glory… so that man could live as he was created to live – in the Glory of God.

Riches in the Glory Realm:

The Apostle Paul says (Phil. 4:19) that all of his needs were met according to the riches in the Glory in Christ. This is an amazing revelation to know that we can have our needs met as we learn to walk in the Glory Realms with God as Adam experienced before the fall. Indeed Jesus has restored access to the Garden of Eden… by becoming a curse for us (Gal. 3:13) so that we could become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). We can live with all of our needs met and teach as Jesus taught (Jn. 14:12-14)… to walk as Children of His Glory (Jn. 17:22-24).

The Church is to be a Glorious Bride – fully clothed in Glory, the apparel of Loving Fellowship!

The Working of Favor

“Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (Lk. 2:52)

I have come to understand that God’s love is poured out toward all men equally, yet His favor is a resource which becomes hinged to other things like obedience, intimacy and character. Favor is a resource that we must see increasing in our lives. Notice Jesus’ example to us was increase! Jesus was obedient to His Father. The key to unlocking God’s favor is this kind of obedience. In any situation where you and I have the choice to trust God or take the shortcut that the enemy offers, there is the potential for favor to be accessed and increase.

If we do not choose the favor of God, we are exchanging God’s potential destiny – for our best efforts.

    • The Psalms tell us that the favor of God was the difference between life and death (Ps. 30:5-7)(Ps. 119:58)(Ps. 106:4).

    • The book of Proverbs tells us one way to find favor with God is to find a wife (Prov. 18:22)… for me that was a big one. Obviously that was not the method used by Jesus; but it is one way.
        • One of the things Solomon emphasized in the book of Proverbs is favor’s connection to finding wisdom (Prov. 8:35-36).

        Favor simply means that we are able to access kindness and are treated with a generosity and goodwill far beyond what would normally be expected.

        What does it Mean to Increase in Favor with God?

          Of course, every believer is favored by God to some degree; but we can increase as Jesus demonstrated. We must understand God’s favor comes to us in degrees. The more we please God, the more we will be favored by Him. Becoming “special” to God is not a love issue, its an alignment issue. When we live in agreement with the will and purposes of God, He orders our steps (Prov. 3:5-6) and illuminates our path (Prov. 4:18). It is important not to think of favor in material or worldly terms only. God’s favor is given in spiritual, as well as natural blessings (Eph. 1:3). The goal then, is to continue increasing; because His favor offers us supernatural resources… it even serves as my shield of protection on all levels of life. My shield is His favor.

          “For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield.” (Ps. 5:12)

          This shield of favor will not just protect you from all sides, it will bear you up. It is a shield that surrounds you, much like a cloak of invincibility. Even when you don’t know what battles are headed toward you, this divine favor will serve to insulate you from danger. Knowing the dynamics of the favor of God will encourage you in spiritual warfare and give confidence to never give up, back down or let go. If God be for us – who can stand against us? (Rom. 8:31)

          Favor – Your Platform for Boldness!

          You need to know where boldness comes from, so that you can access it when you need it! Have you considered your favor quotient? Are you mindful of favor when you make a decision? Its God who is able, God who is strong and mighty. You are called to the impossible, but its favor that offers you success and victory in every assignment!

          You and I can rely upon God’s “Fathering heart” – He is watching and looking in over our shoulders, to display His increased favor in our lives.

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