Posts Tagged ‘seek’

The Stubborn Heart

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” (Mk. 9:23-25)

It has been my experience, that literally thousands of people struggle with unbelief. Real barriers stand between their desire and the reality of God’s Will! Like this father they hear the words that Jesus would love to heal, deliver or bring hope; but they are stuck. They know the truth that if they could just believe, nothing would be impossible… but there is no believing, no receiving and no “heart” at all. There is just the nagging reality of hopeless effort, tears and shameful discouragement. And worse yet for many, they construct a new theological platform of resolve… “I will choose to not believe any longer, because it just leaves me hopeless!”

The Spirit of Unbelief:

The inability to obey the instructions of Jesus and trust in the Promises of God, often leads to this frustration. We want to please the Lord and experience all that God has said, but something in us resists faith. We find we “cannot” believe even when we want to. This can be due to a “spirit of unbelief”. Lies, deception, fears or offenses can find their dwelling in the heart and be controlled by a demonic spirit that paralyzes the heart in unbelief. This spirit is real and dangerous, it is pervasive and advancing across the landscape of Christianity and it lives in the midst of the “Church culture”… where all is not fine in paradise!

Authenticity:

I receive many emails and calls about this issue and I find it a bit shocking that the problem is so wide spread and growing. Yet in my opinion there is a root cause that we must uncover and shine the light of truth upon… people are living superficial lifestyles. They rarely stop and contemplate the meaning of their existence. To ask the simple question, “WHY!” is not blasphemy, nor is it going to lead us into deception. Perhaps it would even offer a lot more authenticity to our journey!

Jesus said in Matthew 7:7… “Ask, seek and knock… and the door will be opened!”

Authentic communication with God – opens the door of relational truth. Things that are difficult for us to understand, come into the light of His wisdom and love. God is a “father”, He knows how to take care of His children and He is faithful. He is anticipating our needs to be vocalized and to come streaming into His Presence (Heb. 4:16). The Apostle Peter, who seemed a lot like us; said you and I need to be “casting all our care upon Him, because He cares for us” (1 Pet. 5:7). He cares for us… and He knows all about our issues of faith. This idea that we can avoid our problems and they will just go away… well – that is the greatest deception of all! They do not go away, in fact they produce the fruit of disappointment, which I spoke of earlier. We tend to create and believe a false perception of God’s heart toward our reality.

So – here’s the point…

  • Stop living without meaningful communication with God!

Spend time telling God of the frailty of your faith, the brokenness of your heart and the weakness in your perceptions… ask Him “why?!” and then wait… wait… wait… for the doors to open! They will, my friend they will… they will open wide and the King of Glory will come in. Who is this King of Glory… He is the Lord Strong and Mighty! (Psa. 24:7-10)

Bless The Lord!

Psalms 34:1-10

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul will make its boast in the Lord; the humble will hear it and rejoice.

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.

They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed.

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.

O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

O fear the Lord, you His saints; for to those who fear Him there is no want.

The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.

~ BLESS THE LORD!

Freshly Anointed

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)

The Apostles, Peter and John; carried an anointing that was fresh and obvious to everyone! Their behavior, boldness and supernatural influence were tangible and appeared as rich evidence that they had been with Jesus. Their courage and character looked like Jesus! Their impact in ministry lifted them beyond their education or their status in society. Something was visible… and that will always make the religious culture a bit nervous.

Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed (chrio) Me…” (Luke 4:18)

The Greek word anointed, ‘chrio’, means to smear or rub with oil… and as you could imagine, there are wonderful things produced when the Holy Spirit anoints human flesh. There is something in the experience of Jesus, a powerful picture that is prophetic… conveying the Father’s heart and purpose for our lives. The common English expression, “to rub off”, means to have an effect through close association or contact – so as to make similar. For example, if you brush up against a freshly painted door, wet paint will rub off on you… the same color and texture will show up! Jesus’ attributes and anointing rubbed off onto His disciples, and in like manner; they show up on us when we fellowship with the Holy Spirit. The close contact with Him changes our perceptions and our boldness.

“Rubbing Off”

God desires to get up close and personal with you. When you encounter Christ, the Holy Spirit’s power rubs off on your life in such a way that others witness it and hunger for a similar relationship with God. The anointing is not a commodity; it is not a thing. It is the Person of the Holy Spirit revealing Himself in and through you. I want to encourage you, that the spiritual hunger that you have right now for the invisible, undefinable “more of God”, will change you and transform your outer man! And that, truly is the richest gift of the Spirit.

4 More Ways to Receive a Fresh Anointing

1. A Fresh Encounter with God Through His Word: The Bible (Heb. 4:12)(Jms. 1:21-25)

  • (2 Cor. 3:18) ‘And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s Glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.’
  • The Greek word translated ‘contemplate’ in this verse, means to look into a mirror. In context, Paul is saying that we don’t have a blinded understanding—we have the fullness of the Gospel that reveals Jesus. It is on God’s heart that you encounter Him in the Bible, catching a fresh revelation of Who He is and see mirrored there who you are in the process of becoming. When you do, you experience transformation, you encounter God and you receive a fresh touch from Him.

2. Make Room for More: Surrender (Heb. 12:1)

  • (2 Tim. 2:20-21) ‘In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.’
  • The ‘latter’ that Paul referred to was false teaching and ungodly talk. What is that thing that the Holy Spirit is putting His finger on in your life right now and He is saying, ‘It’s time for that to go’. Maybe it is fear or intimidation, or lack of self worth. Perhaps you need to release bitterness and forgive someone. Maybe it is an area of struggle or temptation, and you need to bring it into the light and share what is going on with someone you can trust. It could be distractions that are keeping you from focusing on God. Sometimes in order to be filled and receive more, we need to make room… we need to be cleansed and separate from some stuff.

3. Close Association with Others who are Anointed: Fellowship (Heb. 10:23-25)

  • (Eph. 4:16) ‘…from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth to the body for the edifying of itself in love.’
  • What is ‘rubbing off’ onto you from the people who are around your life? What is ‘rubbing off’ from you onto others? If possible, get around people who have the Presence of God on their lives and who carry the integrity, attributes, gifts and spiritual DNA that God has called you to have on your own life. Learn from them, receive from them, and study them and what they do.

4. Receive a Fresh Anointing Through Prayer: Ask, Seek and Knock (Mt. 7:7)(1 Tim. 2:1-4)

  • Praying and receiving prayer are 2 of the most effective ways for you to receive a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit’s anointing. Recently I received prayer with some leaders who anointed me with oil for healing (Jms. 5:14). It was powerful and transformed my thinking toward that which seemed to hinder my faith. The fragrance of the oil lasted all day and when I remind myself of that moment I still feel the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes the very act of humbling yourself and confessing to God and others your need, makes all the difference in our spiritual battles.

Declare with me…”I’m hungry for more of You, God – and I embrace Your anointing!”

That is all it takes to receive a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit in your life!

The Ingathering

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.”  (Luke 10:2)

Jesus said to His disciples that there were fields before them that were ripe for gathering, but one problem would hinder their harvest… few workers! Three things are pointed out by Jesus, that if those disciples would begin doing them, they would see some amazing results.

1st - See What Jesus Sees:

So many disciples have no clue that the world is waiting for their witness. They cannot see the fields in which they live. They cannot perceive anyone wanting what they offer and they find themselves paralyzed by fear when asked to share their faith. We must become equipped with a vision of the fields Jesus sees and has placed us in! Hungry people are filling their lives with alternative lifestyles and they need to be presented with a clear message of spiritual truth.

Embrace a vision for the lost, the lonely and hurting around you. God’s love and the cross of Jesus are motivating forces, but we must feel what the Holy Spirit is speaking into our hearts. The fields, His field is ripe for harvest and you are an Ambassador for Christ, carrying His message. You and I are designed to carry heaven’s atmosphere into our earthly sphere of influence. Our behavior and lifestyle are dictated by how we see. So today ask God to give you a vision for the harvest and a perception of how deeply His field needs your voice.

2nd – Prayer: Work the Field

Jesus expects us to ask, seek, knock and keep on knocking (Mt. 7:7-8). Through prayer, God will position people around you and your co-workers, loved ones and friends. At significant times; in God’s timing, workers will come with a word from heaven to witness of Jesus. But know also, that the very act of asking is as powerful as the act of speaking.

Notice that in the next breath He said, “Go… I am sending you” (Lk. 10:3). If we are praying for workers; we must also be prepared to be workers, to speak when the opportunity arises. You are not only looking for God to answer your prayer, but you a waiting before God to be the answer to someone elses prayers. Jesus is Lord of the harvest… you and I must be faithful to the harvest in prayer and witness. Work the field!

3rd – Lean on God:

This cannot be emphasized enough! The subtle truths we often forget are that these are His fields and He is the Lord of the harvest. He knows how to reach people, how to gather them and how to keep them. Reliance upon God is essential in everything we do, say and believe (Prov. 3:5-6). We must speak to God in faith… and be careful with what we see in the natural or hear on the “grapevine” – we must look to Jesus with our eye on His Word. There are no gimmicks to lead someone to Christ, and there are no superstars with fancy degrees. Just simple people, with a tesimony and a vision to be used by God. Impact is made when an authentic voice with an experience shares their relationship in Christ with others.

Remind yourself that God is wanting to include you in this adventure of a lifetime… the ingathering of the harvest.

God’s Chosen Path

Scripture: “Why have we fasted,” they say, “and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?”

“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exploit all your laborers. Indeed you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, to make your voice heard on high. Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?” (Isaiah 58:3-9)

Thought for Today: “Authentic Revival”

The most significant reason for the Christian to develop a lifestyle of prayer and fasting is to be heard in heaven (Ezra 8:23) and begin to hear from heaven (2 Chr. 7:14). We desire a dialogue with God so that we see the way He sees and carry out the mandate He has on His heart. God has an agenda and our sense of destiny and spiritual peace will always be tied to it.

God’s Chosen Fast:

What we must recognize is that “why” and “how” we fast and pray is as important as “what” or “when”. God tells His people through the Prophet Isaiah that they cannot fast in the way they were in their day and expect to be heard in heaven (Isa 58:4). Clearly, there is a chosen fast that offers real impact on our lives and the world around us. There is a chosen path that advances the Kingdom of God. When the heavens feel like brass (Deut. 28:23) and our prayers go unanswered, then it is time to re-evaluate our responses to God (Ps 139:23-24). Notice how prayer and fasting shapes Jesus’ thoughts about His ministry to the world.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.” (Lk 4:18-20)

Clarifying the Vision:

Prayer and fasting clarified His vision for the task at hand. Jesus was not becoming more religious, but feeling the urgency of heaven’s revealed destiny. God’s agenda has always been about reclaiming His people and restoring their original place in His heart… this is the essence of authentic revival. This is why Jesus’ passion was focused on breaking the yokes of injustice and crushing the barriers that seemed to stand in the way of spiritual freedom. Authentic revival begins when we see what God sees and passionately live for His purpose! We must shift our focus and efforts toward God’s chosen path!

* Authentic revival begins when we see what God sees and passionately live for His purpose!

Getting God’s Ear:

I love what the Prophet Jeremiah said. “When you seek Me with all your heart, I will be found by you …and I will bring you back from your captivity” (Jer 29:13-14). When we are willing to set aside legitimate appetites of the flesh and concentrate on seeking God as He longs to be sought after, He promises to be found by us. God seeks worshipers, but because He is spirit, He longs to fellowship with those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (Jn. 4:23-24).

Pressing In:

We must recognize the warfare, the wrestling and the prevailing over spiritual forces that it takes to effectively hear from heaven. We do not wrestle with flesh and blood (Eph 6:12), we do not fight as those beating the air (1 Cor 9:26), our warfare is not carnal (2 Cor 10:4), but we take our stand against spiritual authorities in heavenly places. The anointing of God is for breaking yokes and releasing authentic revival in the world around us (Isa 10:27)!

Sacrifice:

“What will it cost us? What price will we pay?” Perhaps these are the wrong questions… “What could be?” and “Why not breakthrough?” These are the quests that lead to authentic revival. Breakthrough matters… yokes being destroyed offer freedom; yet, when the eyes of the world are fixed upon us, as they were on Jesus; what will we be contending for? These are the reasons for a lifestyle of prayer and fasting…

  • to lift up your voice as a trumpet… telling people of their transgressions and how to get right with God.
  • to get through to a people who delight in their approach… when God is not pleased.
  • to loose the bonds of wickedness, undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free!
  • to share your bread with the hungry, embrace the poor, cover the naked and not hide yourself from the needs of others.

Yes there is a sacrifice, but the benefits are eternal!

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