Posts Tagged ‘servants’

Filled Anew!

Here are a few guidelines to answer the question, “How can I be filled anew with the Holy Spirit?”

Ask & Receive: (Lk. 12:23-32)

Confession & Reflection:

As David… “Lord, search me… try my heart and see if there is wickedness in me!” (Ps. 139:23-24)

As the Early Church… “Lord look upon their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your Word.” (Acts 4:29)

Let God, the Redeemer and Master of your Soul; go deep into your heart to search you and show you anything… hindering motives, attitudes, sins or failures in your life. Then confess them to God! He is loving and kind and will forgive and renew a right spirit within you. (1 John 1:9-10; Jms. 4:8) Confession will bring cleansing and will restore you to fellowship in His Glory.

Follow up with these next four steps so you will see the patterns that enable you to stay filled… Never be “empty” again!

1) Renounce the deeds of darkness:

Renounce anything of darkness; any sins or bad habits or false loves, selfish ambitions, and evil desires:
Romans 6:11-13; Col 3:5, 8

2) Make restitution for transgressions against others:

If you have done wrong, make it right if at all possible… as soon as possible!

  • Mend broken relationships
  • Repay what you owe
  • Apologize if you have offended (Mt. 5:23-24)
  • Forgive quickly – those who have done wrong to you (Mt. 6:12)

3) Walk humble, surrendered and yielded to the Holy Spirit:

Surrender everything you have and are to the Savior – Jesus is the Lord of your life!

  • Give every part of your body and every area of your life to Him – Become a living sacrifice! (Rom. 12:1-2)
  • Recognize and meditate upon whose you are – Establishing your identity in Christ! (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
  • Find you purpose in fellowship with the Holy Spirit! (Jn. 16:7-15)

4) Walk in faith, by faith & with faith:

Move ahead, trusting the Father to enable you to live for His purpose and in His Glory. (2 Cor. 4:6 & 5:7) (Gal. 2:20 & 5:6) (Eph. 1:17-23 & 5:8-10)

Wait upon the Lord as the first order of your life: (Acts 13:2)

When we are refilled, the work of the Holy Spirit will go deeper in our lives, taking us forward in the light and life of God (Col. 1:9-(1 Jn. 1:5-7). It must be emphasized that the infilling of the Holy Spirit is not given just for the sake of our experience… but to advance God’s Kingdom in the Earth! The Spirit fills us so that our lives might be effective and compelling evidence for His Glorious Name! When we are filled, we may or may not have strong feelings inside, but we will become His witnesses in our environment (Acts 1:8). Sometimes there may be little feeling at all – only a sense of trusting the Master as Lord… but there may be a great sense of relief, renewal and joy (1 Pe. 1:6-8). Some believers have an indescribable experience in the Spirit, overpowering and flooding them from head to toe. Others find the peace of God increasing as they move forward believing and trusting in the anointing God has promised in His Word. But, what we must recognize… it is always a faith activity that releases fruitfulness and power beyond our natural ability; and strengthens the inner man!

  • The filling of the Spirit usually produces a deep sense of embrace, followed by a spirit of praise! (Heb. 13:15)
  • It rekindles our love for God as “Father” and gives us a deep compulsion to tell people of our Savior’s love! (Acts 4:20)
  • As we walk in the Spirit, the evidence of the Spirit’s work will be seen in our lives! (2 Cor. 3:1-3)

Remind yourself… being filled with the Holy Spirit is the Command of God! (Lk. 24:49) (Eph. 5:15-18)

Serious Alignment

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!” (Ephesians 6:10)

Thought for Today: “Becoming Armed and Dangerous”

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that we have been given supernatural tools for warring against spiritual forces (Eph. 6:13-18). He first says, “put on the whole armor of God so that you can stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11). We find ourselves wrestling with principalities and powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. I believe we can be armed and dangerous. We can be equipped, shod and gird about with the most impressive sounding weapons God has in His arsenal, but it all works through prayer and fasting. Praying, watching and persevering with all kinds of prayers.

Not by Human Might:

We are ambassadors of Christ with amazing potential to do exploits and achieve the impossible things Jesus did, but it only happens with the help of the Holy Spirit (Zech 4:6). You see, we are battling invisible forces. Spiritual enemies that cannot be seen with our natural eyes. We can see the effects, but never get to the source of the real battle unless we are trained through prayer and fasting.

The Apostle’s Boldness:

Notice how the Apostle Paul writes these words to the Church in Ephesus while he was in prison, saying “I am an ambassador in chains”. He is making the point that his warfare is not fought in the flesh, but in the spiritual realm (Eph 3:10). His boldness was based upon an awareness that God’s grace was flowing through his life (Eph 3:8). Being armed does not necessarily make us dangerous to the devil, unless we are trained in the use of the weapons of our warfare… trained in prayer and sharpened by fasting.

Delegated Authority:

Its all about knowing who you represent! God has chosen you, called you by name and He will work in and through you… but your standard of training is up to you. Jesus was always calling His disciples up higher! He lived with them and taught as one holding the authority, but in a new season, new skills are needed. In John 15 a new season was about to begin. They would no longer be called “servants”. They would begin to discover what their Master was doing (Jn 15:15). As servants, they followed according to commands, but as “friends” they would follow the “heart” of their Master. Jesus was now shifting the relationship, deepening the responsibility and trusting that they would begin to live from what they understood – heart to heart. Friends discover the secrets that give them an advantage in how they walk together. Jesus wanted His disciples to achieve victory in every area of their spiritual journey. Knowing the heart of God is a key to real spiritual trained and impact in the spiritual battles we face. When we know the heart of our friend Jesus, we are able to carry our delegated authority into any challenge. One of the greatest spiritual truths is that your authority gets established through your intimacy with God.

Representing Heaven on Earth:

Becoming a dangerous threat to the devil means you will need some serious alignment with heaven. You are an ambassador for the Kingdom of God… you must represent heaven on earth in a way that makes the devil nervous and demons flee. That is what prayer and fasting will produce in you… the capacity to be armed and dangerous.

Submit to God (through prayer), resist the devil (through fasting) and he will flee from you (Jms 4:7).

Receiving the Prophetic Voice

“Hear me, O Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” (2 Chron 20:20)

I take you back to the time when Jehoshaphat, the son of Asa, was king of Judah and Jerusalem. It was a season of terrible anxiety. The Ammonites and the Moabites had declared war on the people of Judah. Those of Judah were vastly outnumbered and their cause appeared hopeless. Jehoshaphat gathered his people together to plead with the Lord for help. He cried out in prayer:

“O our God, … we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do: but our eyes are upon You.” (2 Chron 20:12)

Then the Prophet Jahaziel spoke into the situation:

“Thus says the Lord to you: Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s… You will not need to fight in this battle: Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you…” (2 Chron 20:15 & 17)

The Prophetic Voice:

These are not just words of encouragement that can make an anxious situation go away. The prophetic activates and releases a platform to position yourself, stand firm and see the supernatural demonstration of God’s hand upon your life. The need to believe God is obvious, but the activity of believing comes from the prophetic voice! Its the strategy for success. Jehoshaphat understood the dilemma, but it was the voice of the prophet that would release the strategies of God’s thought process.

How do we trust when the enemy outnumbers us? How do we respond when the storm outmaneuvers us? How do we know what to do? Believe the voice of the Prophet… for the battle is not yours, the battle is the Lord’s!

Enabled to Prosper:

In this context, God is not speaking about money or wealth, He is speaking about peace or the path that brings us into victory. When we receive the prophetic voice we are enabled to prosper. The word prosper in the Old Testament is the same word as peace or success. Recently I heard someone describe it as a “smooth road”. When in the midst of anxiety and strife; it feels like a rough road, but along the journey of leaning on God’s Will there is a “smooth” road made visible.

Receiving is like Eating:

Jesus said we will enjoy the reward of the prophet, when we receive the voice of the prophet (Mt 10:41). The Greek word “receive” means to take hold of something with the hand, or lay hold of a person or thing in order to use it. It is not passive at all, but active. The starving man who suddenly finds himself receiving a banquet does not sit and wait for the food to jump into his mouth! At the mere mention of the Father’s thoughts; as spoken by the prophet, we are to respond like the starving man… the prophetic is our food and prosperity. We must receive the prophetic voice by taking hold of it and “eating” it (Ezek 3:3)(Rev 10:9). We boldly and aggressively embrace the prophetic, because it will activate faith in the Will of God and cause us to navigate safely through any difficult situation.

“Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)

Men of Valor

And David said, “Oh, if only someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem. You know the one I’m talking about, the one by the gate!” (2 Sam. 23:15)

What does it mean to be a Mighty Man of Valor?

What does it take? In the Old Testament, God gives us a perfect example. A story comes to us from the glory days of King David. Here is how the story unfolds. A garrison of Philistines had invaded the Valley of Rephaim and had control of the City of Bethlehem. King David and his mighty men were held up in a stronghold called the Cave of Adullam. And apparently, there was a particular well in Bethlehem that had some very good tasting water. Water that would remind the King of the true value of His homeland, for there was no mistaking the reality - Bethlehem was the City of David. 

You’ll Notice: King David didn’t order anyone to get him a drink of water. He wasn’t even talking to anyone in particular. He was just thinking out loud. He was hot and thirsty and wanted something cool to drink… from His home.

Not Mere Men:

Josheb, Eleazar and Shammah were lounging close by, probably trying to stay safe and out of the sun. Yet hearing the desire of their King; they moved as warriors and servants, not as mere men. As they glance back and forth between each other, they knew what was required. They look around… apparently no one else was paying attention to what their king had said. And without a word, they each quietly get up. They stoop to retrieve their weapons from where they lay close at hand. Slowly they make their way through the crowd; till at last, clear from the throng surrounding the King, their paths join. As they disappear over the crest of the rise, their heads are close together, quietly planning. No one noticing their departure.

 Three – Out of A Million:

At this time there were over a million warriors who drew the sword in defense of Israel. From out of all these warriors, thirty-seven earned a special place of honor, being immortalized in God’s Word for their heroism. Of the thirty-seven, three earned a special distinction for a specific act of selfless service to their King. God honored these three above all the rest, and it seems fitting to recognize their sacrifice and call them Men of Valor.

The Bible says they, “broke through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David” (2 Sam. 23:16).

As these three valiant men, reach their destination, one lowers a vessel into the cool depths of the well. When he brings it up again into the fierce heat of battle, it is cold and wet. Its dripping as he clutches it against his chest, the coolness soaking through his tunic. Once again his hand is free and he is able to swing his sword effectively. No drawing back and no moment to waste, for this cause was as sweet as the drink itself. To bring pleasure to their King!

Overwhelmed by the Act of Valor – Devotion!

King David’s heart explodes with gratitude and humbled honor at the devotion of these warriors who faced certain death. As they stood before him with blood still dripping from their swords. He cried out, “There is no way, O Lord, that I could drink this! Is this not the blood of the men who laid down their lives for my cause? And for what! So that I could have a drink of water?” And he wouldn’t drink it. He poured it out on the ground as an offering before the Lord. The water soaked into the soil with the blood that still dripped from the warriors’ clothing. These are the things that are done by Men of Valor.

What is required to become a Man of Valor? I would like to propose that it takes more than gifting or mighty exploits, more than courage and determination… It requires Devotion!

  • It is the way a person hears the desire of his King!

How did Josheb pick up his spear and slay 800 Philistines? It was the way he heard! How did Eleazar find the courage to defy the Philistines and single handily wipe out an army? It was the way he heard! How did Shammah stand in the middle of a field of beans and fight Philistines all day so there was a great victory in Israel? The Word tells us it was God who brought forth the victory (2 Sam. 23:12)! Devotion gains the favor of God. How could these mere mortal men accomplish such supernatural things? It was because they considered their own lives already dead. They lived only to serve God’s anointed King of Israel.

Something To Live For:

They were self-less servants with an ear for the King. Their motivation was to live and die a thousand deaths for God’s Anointed. These three Mighty Men of Valor didn’t have a death wish. They had just found something to live for that was more important than their next breath. They discovered that nothing in their lives could compare to the honor of serving God’s anointed King. Nothing they could do on their own brought them the fulfillment they received in serving their King. In sacrifice they discovered the key to really living.

And live they would… an example for all generations!    (Rom. 12:1-2)

The Hour, the Cup & the Cross

Jesus embraces the three most difficult realities of life. They are signified by three words Jesus chose to pull to Himself as though they were His destiny-the hour, the cup and the cross. 

Looking In:

We are given access to the most compelling and intimate moment in the life of the King of Glory and before we know what is happening… it has begun. Betrayed by a kiss and protected by a fisherman’s sword, all we can do is watch as the scene gets more tragic by the moment. Had we been there, perhaps we would have stumbled through it just like the disciples. What in the world is going on!

Servants & Friends:

It was only a few days earlier when Jesus seemed to be offering a promotion to the disciples. Now it would appear there would be no ministry, no future and worse yet no hope of their friendship lasting beyond the end of the week. “How could He have said that one of us would betray Him? How could we have fallen asleep when all He was asking was for us to pray with Him one hour? How could Judas… how could we just stand there and watch?”

Whirlwinds Shift Atmospheres:

I step back and see the whirlwind, I know in hindsight that Jesus was reshaping the atmosphere with every commitment He made. You see, He was giving Himself to the Father’s purpose… “for this hour, I have come into the world”. He was recognizing that although the cup would release a bitter taste, it was His to drink. Long before the creation of the world He was under an agreement that He had made with His Father. As agonizing as this was about to become, it was not a surprise and it was not something He was going to delegate. He would die upon the cross, just like He said and He would drink this cup as He had agreed. This was His hour!

But it was also the greatest hour in history!

It came as the hour that scattered the disciples, but resulted in the hour that overcame the world (Jn 16:32-33). It came as the hour that challenged all truth, but resulted in the hour that clarified God’s voice (Jn 18:37). It came with confusion and the shedding of innocent blood, but it ended triumphant with power over the grave (Lk 24:6-7).

The Victory:

When Jesus embraced the hour, the cup and the cross, He broke the power of sin’s grip over us. Jesus’ resurrection was a victory over death that changed the atmosphere and released the peace of God in the face of any storm. Satan’s head was crushed and his lies were laid powerless at our feet. No more bondage and no more shame for Christ has offered forgiveness and freedom from the accuser of the brethren.

“And they (the Believers) overcame him (the accuser of the brethren) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death”. (Rev 12:11)