Posts Tagged ‘shepherd’

Revelation Knowledge

“For You will light my lamp, the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, and by My God I can leap over a wall.” (Ps. 18:28-29)

The Hebrew word for light, “owr” means to be or become light, to shine, to be illuminated. It carries the meaning of spiritual revelation. When God shines His glorious light into our spiritual journey, we experience the sensation of a real awakening. Something is being turned on and destroys the dominion of darkness that surrounds our understanding.

Revelation is an Unfolding of Reality:

This “aha” moment causes us to see things for what they really are. Being enlightened simply opens our eyes to what is already there, but hidden from our understanding. God often hides things for our discovery! He wants us to come into Truth with a commitment to obey and abide in it. When you and I become aware of spiritual things and possess a fresh understanding about life in relationship with God, we are walking in the spirit of revelation. You receive revelation knowledge by drawing near to Him, not simply by getting information about Him (Jms. 4:8-10).

Another place in Scripture we see this little word (owr) used is in Psalms 119:130. The Amplified Bible says, “The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light (owr); their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple”.

Revelation Transforms:

We must realize the impact of revelation knowledge. At its entrance and unfolding; discernment and comprehension come to even the most simple minded man. We can and need to walk in revelation knowledge everyday, because our enemy, Satan is like a prowling lion looking for the moments of blindness in our lives, so that he can pounce and drag us into deception (1 Pe. 5:8). With spiritual revelation comes wisdom from God and intuition about spiritual things. Our greatest thoughts, visions or strategies for life are yet to be revealed in us, yet they give us the advantage God offers His Children.

We must train our spirit to receive revelation knowledge or we will find ourselves walking after the patterns of this world. Its not wrong to have natural knowledge (the world’s wisdom), but it is a more limited form of discernment. When we walk in spiritual revelation our understanding is not limited by our five senses; sight, hearing, feelings, smelling or tasting. Living under the influence of what God is revealing is the definition of the renewed mind (Rom. 12:1-2).

Tapping into Deeper Revelation:

It is by the Holy Spirit that the deeper things of God become available to our perception. Therefore, we need to be taught how to open ourselves to the ministry of the Holy Spirit and how to recognize what He is imparting to us on the inside. Our spiritual growth and effectiveness in ministry depend upon the ability to hear a current word from God (Rom. 10:17). The more the Word of God renews our mind and the Holy Spirit positions our heart toward obedience, the more clarity we receive in the spirit realm. Its no different than if we turn the dial on a radio and hear the variety of music styles in the air… tuning in offers clarity.

What Revelation Knowledge will do for you.

  • 1)  Change your perception…
    a. of God – (1 Cor. 2:10) says “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.”
    b. of yourself – (2 Cor. 3:18) says “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
    c. of your purpose – Moses before the revelation of God saw himself as a shepherd to Jethro; and nothing more, but when the Lord spoke to him, he understood that his purpose was to set the children of Israel free. (Exod. 2-3)
    d. of your destiny – After meeting with Christ on the way to Damascus Paul’s perception about his destiny was totally changed (Acts 26:15-18).
  • 2)  Activate Faith – In 2 Kings 4:9 that woman had to take action to make sure that they prepared a room for the man of God. The knowledge that she had was coming from inside so she could not rest until she had fulfilled what the Spirit had told her.
  • 3)  Deeper Discernment – The Apostle Paul would not know of his future until he got a revelation of what was about to happen. After that he knew they were going to survive and was able to deliver such a message (Acts 27:22-25).
  • 4)  Clarity of Focus – There was great focus in Paul’s ministry because he had a revelation of God.
  • 5)  Increased Passion – The Apostles Peter and John ministered with passion and had little distractions from the vision for ministry. Paul further says to live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil. 1:21). That kind of life can only be lived by people with a revelation of Christ.
  • 6)  Release A Pioneering Heart – With a word in your spirit from God nothing can stop you from doing what the Lord would have you accomplish (Lk. 1:37).

Lamp of Revelation Knowledge

“For You will light my lamp, the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, and by My God I can leap over a wall.” (Ps. 18:28-29)

God has made a promise to “light my lamp”… my spirit is alive with His revelation knowledge! The Hebrew word for light, “owr” means to be or become light, to shine, to be illuminated. It carries the meaning of spiritual revelation. When God shines His glorious light into our spiritual journey, we experience the sensation of a real awakening. Something is being turned on and its this “lamp of revelation knowledge” that destroys the dominion of darkness that surrounds our understanding.

Revelation is an Unfolding of Reality:

This “aha” moment causes us to see things for what they really are. Being enlightened simply opens our eyes to what is already there, but hidden from our understanding. God often hides things for our discovery! He wants us to come into Truth with a commitment to obey and abide in it. When you and I become aware of spiritual things and possess a fresh understanding about life in relationship with God, we are walking in the spirit of revelation. You receive revelation knowledge by drawing near to Him, not simply by getting information about Him (Jms. 4:8-10).

Another place in Scripture we see this little word (owr) used is in Psalms 119:130. The Amplified Bible says, “The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light (owr); their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple”.

Revelation Transforms:

We must realize the impact of revelation knowledge. At its entrance and unfolding; discernment and comprehension come to even the most simple minded man. We can and need to walk in revelation knowledge everyday, because our enemy, Satan is like a prowling lion looking for the moments of blindness in our lives, so that he can pounce and drag us into deception (1 Pe. 5:8). With spiritual revelation comes wisdom from God and intuition about spiritual things. Our greatest thoughts, visions or strategies for life are yet to be revealed in us, yet they give us the advantage God offers His Children.

We must train our spirit to receive revelation knowledge or we will find ourselves walking after the patterns of this world. Its not wrong to have natural knowledge (the world’s wisdom), but it is a more limited form of discernment. When we walk in spiritual revelation our understanding is not limited by our five senses; sight, hearing, feelings, smelling or tasting. Living under the influence of what God is revealing is the definition of the renewed mind (Rom. 12:1-2).

Tapping into Deeper Revelation:

It is by the Holy Spirit that the deeper things of God become available to our perception. Therefore, we need to be taught how to open ourselves to the ministry of the Holy Spirit and how to recognize what He is imparting to us on the inside. Our spiritual growth and effectiveness in ministry depend upon the ability to hear a current word from God (Rom. 10:17). The more the Word of God renews our mind and the Holy Spirit positions our heart toward obedience, the more clarity we receive in the spirit realm. Its no different than if we turn the dial on a radio and hear the variety of music styles in the air… tuning in offers clarity.

What Revelation Knowledge will do for you:

1) Change Your Perceptions:
a. of God – (1 Cor. 2:10) “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.”
b. of yourself – (2 Cor. 3:18) “…beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, (we) are being transformed… from glory to glory…”
c. of your purpose – When the Lord spoke to Moses, he understood that his purpose was to set the children of Israel free. (Exod. 2-3)
d. of your destiny – A meeting with Christ on the way to Damascus Paul’s destiny was totally changed (Acts 26:15-18).
2) Activate Faith: In 2 Kings 4:9 that woman had to take action to make sure that they prepared a room for the man of God. The knowledge that she had was coming from inside so she could not rest until she had fulfilled what the Spirit had told her.
3) Deepen Your Discernment: The Apostle Paul would not know of his future until he got a revelation of what was about to happen. After that he knew they were going to survive and was able to deliver such a message (Acts 27:22-25).
4) Clarify Your Focus: There was great focus in Paul’s ministry because he had a revelation of God.
5) Increase Your Passion: The Apostles Peter and John ministered with passion and with fresh vision for ministry. Paul said, “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). That kind of life can only be lived by people with a revelation of Christ.
6) Release A Spiritual Boldness – Its the Pioneering Heart! With a word in your spirit from God nothing can stop you from fulfilling your destiny (Lk. 1:37).

The 5-fold Minister

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ.” (Eph. 4:11-12)

The Apostle Paul believed in the government of the Kingdom of God as it rested upon the shoulders of Jesus (Isa. 9:6-7). His teaching promoted Jesus alone, as the Head of the Church and “under-shepherds” as gifted leaders, anointed to equip believers in each city or region. So if you were a Christian in a certain city or region in the Apostle Paul’s day, you would be expected to fellowship and become equipped by the 5-fold ministers around you. All the 5-fold ministers were to model a unity of Spirit even as they traveling across regions of the country and the believers were to embrace their gifts according to the measure of Christ’s anointing upon them. 

The Challenge of Kingdom Ministry:

I believe every disciple and every local body of believers need access to the 5-fold ministry in order to mature as spiritually healthy and effective Christians. Today our challenge is training that advances the Kingdom of God. Instead of receiving from all five ministries, we generally find only the leadership of one or two gifts carrying influence in the local body… for instance; the pastor led church, the teaching church or the evangelistic church. These groups might emphasize a balanced message, but they find themselves limited in their ability to release breakthroughs over their city or region. This is because Jesus has given “grace keys” to each of the 5-fold ministers individually and they are designed to equip and release authority in the spiritual realm (Mt. 16:19). Its the “Christ Anointing” that opens doors, breaks yokes and brings down spiritual strongholds over a vicinity. The corporate anointing that advances Kingdom authority has five keys or mantles… apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Any model of Church leadership will suffer when one gift is emphasized over all others.

The Apostle:

An apostle is one chosen and sent with a special commission. The 12 apostles chosen by Jesus were witnesses of the resurrection (Acts 1:15; 4:33), but there were many other true apostles (Acts 14:3-4; Rom. 16:7; 1 Cor. 15:5-7; Gal. 1:1 & 19). The ministry of an apostle includes planting new churches (1 Cor. 9:2; 1 Cor. 3:6), grounding the Church in truth (Col. 1:25), preserving unity in the Body (1 Cor. 3:3-5), laying foundations in the Church (1 Cor 3:10) and setting things in order (Titus 1:5). They are involved in opening spiritual doors and fostering a vision beyond the local congregation (2 Cor. 8), fathering new ministries (2 Tim. 1:6) and releasing unusual demonstrations of breakthrough such as miracles and signs and wonders (2 Cor. 12:12).

The Prophet:

The ministry of the prophet involves being “moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21) in prophetic utterance, which can be:

  1. Predictive (Acts 21:10-11; 11:27-28)
  2. Directive (Acts 13:1-3)
  3. Corrective (Acts 15:22-23 & 27-32)

There is such a thing, however, as a false prophet (1 Jn. 4:1), and so God sets clear guidelines: Prophecies should be time-tested (Acts 11:28) and their words judged by church leadership (1 Cor.14:29). Any prophecy should be confirmed independently (2 Cor. 13:1) and should line up with Scripture, “the sure word of prophecy” (2 Pet. 1:19-21).

The prophet operates best in teamwork with the apostle, like we see in Paul and Silas. A prophet is not just someone with a prophetic anointing, but a recognized ministry to the Body at large. Scripture speaks of three levels of prophecy: the word of prophecy – limited to “strengthening, encouraging and comfort” (1 Cor. 14:3 & 31); the spirit of prophecy on a group (1 Sam. 10:10) and the ministry of the prophet (1 Cor. 12:28-29). All believers are encouraged to move in words of prophecy, but only a prophet should exercise the authority of predictive, directive and corrective prophecy and even then, only within clear protective guidelines.

The Evangelist:

The evangelist sees the harvest. They are ”soul-winners”, who preach good news and extend the influence of God’s Kingdom. This is primarily a stirring and awakening gift, but their unique anointing is in persuading the lost that they need a Savior. The ministry of Philip is a powerful example (Acts 8:5-40). They are co-workers with pastors and extensions of apostolic ministry as ground breakers (2 Tim. 4:5; 1 Thess. 3:2). Although they carry great influence in the harvest fields; because of how they see, they also are helpful in imparting evangelistic training to the Body of Christ over all. The ministry of an evangelist is often very effective in regional impact, deliverance and signs and wonders.

The Pastor:

The pastor is the carrier of cool water, that soothes the soul. Our Greek word for pastor, poimen means “one called to tend sheep or care for flocks” (1 Pet. 5:1-4; Jn. 21:15-17). Its interesting to note that, this word is used only in Ephesians 4:11. Elsewhere in the New Testament, other words are used: “shepherd”, “elder” and “overseer”. A pastor is not simply a leader over a local church, but has a Body-wide expression of ministry. As one of the five-fold ministry, a pastor is more accurately a “pastor of pastors” or a “pastor among elders” beyond the local body. A pastor’s emphasis in ministry is in relational networking. They are nurturing leaders, who offer healing, encouragement and comfort. Following the example of the Chief Shepherd (Jn. 10:1-16), a shepherd’s ministry is to feed (vs 9); protect (vs 12), guide (vs 3-4) and love (vs 15) the sheep.

Just to clarify, an elder is not simply someone older in the faith. The title ”elder” seems to focus on the 5-fold giftings with an emphasis on their functioning role of “shepherds” or ”fathers” to the Body (2 Jn 1; 3 Jn 1). “To the elders among you…Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers…” (1 Pet 5:1-2). 

The Teacher:

A teacher is not just someone who teaches; we are all encouraged to teach (Col. 3:16), but they are the ones who bring a standard of instruction to the Body at large. One such example is the Apostle Paul’s description of Apollos as a ”watering” ministry, for the purpose of stimulating growth (Acts 18:24-28; 1 Cor. 3:2-10). Teachers hold a high value on the accurate and practical ministry of rightly dividing the Word of God. They are establishers and strengtheners and carry a specific anointing for helping people become rooted and grounded in the Truth.

The Pattern Within the Early Church:

“So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed and fasted, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.” (Acts 14:23)

We see that the pattern for Church government was to establish 5-fold ministry elders in every community of believers. We never see the language of one elder or the appointment of one superintendent over a people. There was accountability and strength as Christ governed His Church by the power of the Holy Spirit. Notice, the freshly appointed elders were prayed and fasted over and then commended to the Lord in whom they had believed. Christ Jesus carries the authority of His Church and it is our responsibility to listen and trust His governing headship.

A Soul’s Thirst

What do you long for? What is it, that would really bring you joy? More than just happy to experience something… I’m talking about a deeply satisfying joy that would last a lifetime.

David longed for God:

 “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You, in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and glory” (Ps 63:1-2).

David’s desire is obvious. Notice how he describes his longing for God, as a soul thirst. Kneeling in the Judean desert, he reflects on the barren, parched conditions around him and said in effect, “This is the condition of my soul without God’s Presence”. This is what woke David up in the morning and kept him seeking the Lord throughout his lifetime. He longed to be with the Lord more than anything in life. God alone would satisfy his thirst. 

Spiritual Health:

Passion for God indicates spiritual health, because it knows what to do with its brokenness! You see knowing what to do when your soul is thirsty is of greater significance than any other issue in life. Natural things may offer temporary relief, but deeply felt emotions like fear and betrayal are connected to spiritual realities. They embitter the heart and defile our perception. Passion is the only remedy, passion that has become motivated by a supernatural revelation of God.

Some Context: 

David is out in the desert, most people believe this is when he was on the run from Absalom. And the psalm speaks about David’s soul longing for God, thirsting for Him like a body on the edge of death, longs for water. Many of his people had turned on him. His own son had turned on him. The desert is where he was physically, but it was also where he found himself spiritually. On the run and far from his home, his city – Jerusalem and the Tabernacle. He could feel the crushing of his peace and the loss of his joy.  But he was a worshiper and he had knowledge of a sight in God’s Sanctuary. Notice the phrase… 

 ”So I have looked for You in the Sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.”

David is saying he had seen God’s power before and in this moment it would once again become the strength of his journey. God makes Himself vulnerable to the thirsty soul. David had a history with God as a shepherd boy against a lion and a bear, as a youth against a giant named Goliath and as a sinner against the greatest enemy of all, flesh. None of these could match what he had experienced in the Sanctuary – in His Presence. Such knowledge… God’s power and His Glory satisfies the soul’s thirst once more.

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