Posts Tagged ‘Spirit’

No Name Like Jesus

What have we labeled “IMPOSSIBLE”?

There is a name like no other… its above every name that can be named among men (Phil 2:9-11). Its the name of “Jesus” that allows access into heavenly resources, breaks through in difficult circumstances and pulls the believer into new seasons of influence. The name, “Jesus” on the lips of the believing heart is the most amazing force in the universe… for in that name is power and authority.

Access – Breakthrough – Purpose:

Jesus said, “All authority has been given unto Me in heaven and in earth“ (Mt 28:18). “In My name they shall cast out devils” (Mk 16:17). He literally gave us His own authority when He gave us His name. An authority to deal with the Devil. Every act of stealing, killing and deception is now abruptly held to a new standard of authority. The authority of the most recognized name in Heaven, the most powerful name on Earth and the most significant name in history… has been delegated to our use.

Authority is delegated power.

A person’s authority is only as great as the power that stands behind them! The police officer directing traffic in the middle of the street is wearing a badge that represents the power of the governing laws that he enforces. A large truck could easily crush him in the middle of the busy street, but because the driver understands the power of the badge, he quickly yields his will and submits the power of his large vehicle to the authority of the badge.

The Name of Jesus is like a “Badge of Authority”!

God knew that you needed a weapon of defense against all that the wiles of the Devil (Eph 6:16). What we must come to understand is how to use the name to our benefit. His name represents His person, His position, His seating, and His influence over all things. His promise to the believer is clear, ”If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (Jn 14:14). Jesus’ name can accomplish things that might feel impossible in the natural; yet when we live in intimacy with Him, we experience a growing awareness of how the natural is dominated by the Spirit.

Faith-filled and Lead by the Spirit:

The early Church recognized the incredible power they carried in the name of Jesus. Look at how Peter and John address the crippled beggar at the Gate Beautiful of the temple, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). The beggar immediately received strength in his feet and ankle bones and as Peter grabbed his hand, he leaped to his feet with joy and praise to God. Later Peter needed to explain the miracle to some critics saying, “It was His name, through faith in His name, that made this man strong whom you see and know.” Amazingly the critics were familiar with this beggar and all of Isreal knew him, because they had passed him daily going into the temple. Yet this was a new day and demonstrated a new authority, where faith in the name of Jesus was confronting what they had seen as normal.

Confronting Normal:

God was and still is, breaking in at the very gate of all that humanity has labeled impossible; simply because we have adjusted our seeing. He has handed the world an opportunity to experience the “New Normal”, where the name of Jesus offers access to all the authority of Heaven. This new normal confronts all that we see as familiar, impossible and overwhelming. But it offers hope, beyond the limitations. The new normal is living by faith in the name of Jesus.

Evidence of Glory

What transpires as humanity moves toward the culmination of all things… is it disaster or restoration?

Scripture reveals that the Kingdom of God will come in all of its fullness… that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the LORD and culminate in a great awareness of His Presence and Preeminence. Our God shall come enthroned saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

And He who sits on the throne will say, “Behold, I will make all things new.” (Rev. 21:3-5)

The Bible reminds us that the great tragedy in the Garden of Eden was not just sin, but separation and the fact that man had “fallen short of the Glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Although many, professing to be wise; have “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made like corruptible man – and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (Rom. 1:22-23)… this tragic estrangement was never God’s intent. His delight is with man, sharing fellowship in the brilliance of His Glory (Gen. 3:8)(Ps. 8:5).

Man was created for experiences in God’s Glory (Isa. 43:7). The Children of Israel saw the Glory of God in the cloud (Ex. 16:10), and on the mountain (Ex. 24:17). The same Glory that shaped the hearts of Moses, David and Solomon; was seen filling the tabernacle (Ex. 33:7-11 & 40:34-35) (2 Sam. 6:2) (2 Chr. 5:13-14). Both Isaiah and Ezekiel saw visions of God’s Glory. From the earliest of days until now, the knowledge of God’s Glory has been a topic of prophetic importance (Hab. 2:14). The Hebrew prophets envisioned a day when God’s Glory would increase; impacting the nations and transforming the fabric of cultures and governments. For example, Isaiah prophesied the following decree of the Lord, “I will gather all nations and peoples together, and they will see My Glory” (Isa. 66:18). Ezekiel proclaimed, “The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and behold, the Glory of the LORD filled the temple” (Ezek. 43:5). Each of these Old Testament people insisted that the same Glory they had experienced, would be manifest on the earth.

Just listen to these words: “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)

Overlooked by many, this reality began to emerge during the time of the New Testament. Jesus came as the Glory of the Father (Jn. 1:14), announcing the coming of the Kingdom of God (Mt. 4:17). Through the person and work of Jesus, a great shift took place. Strongholds of darkness were torn down. God’s Presence was increasingly experienced on a level that rivaled ancient encounters in the Garden. Reflecting on this wondrous reality, the Apostle Paul boldly declared: “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” (2 Cor. 3:18).

It appears that many are looking for more… driven by concerns about darkness and fear. They’re not cognizant of the ever-increasing glory. They’re blind to the fact that they’re actually living in the age that the prophets longed for. Everybody keeps asking when we’re going to experience God’s Glory? Not realizing that the day of the Lord’s Presence has already begun. Jesus said, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe, you would see the Glory of God?” Therefore if we, who believe; would only open up our hearts, we would finally discover the desire of the ages.

Just look into the eyes of Jesus… and there you will find the knowledge of the Glory of God (2 Cor. 4:6).

Going After 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 Your glory. Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.” (Ps. 63:1-8)

3 Truths About the Power of Thirst:

  1. Thirst stimulates the flesh… and motivates behavior!
  2. Thirst awakens the soul… and shapes imagination!
  3. Thirst places a demand upon the spirit… and causes hope to arise!

David understood how thirst sharpens the human heart to focus on God… and to go after God without hesitation. He speaks of how the chase for satisfaction aligns his desires and causes him to do spiritual things, like looking in the sanctuary, praising God vocally or lifting up his hands to celebrate the memory of God’s loving-kindness! Thirst is an essential part of our relationship with God! Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Mt. 5:6). Thirst leads to fullness… to satisfaction! When we search for the right drink, look in the right places and go after the right Person… our lives get filled. In fact, going after the living water Christ provides, is how love is discovered and keeps us coming back for more… its spiritual intimacy.

Love is Always Being Tested:

It is a sure thing that our commitment to Christ will be tested, but we can trust our Heavenly Father to deliver on the Promises of His Word. Seeking releases the Holy Spirit’s Presence in our lives so that true fellowship can be experienced and joy can come bubbling to the surface. Jesus said that when we abide in His love we would experience His joy (Jn. 15:11). This is the Spiritual Man’s greatest resource in Christ! As we process life on spiritual levels; our hearts are aligned and behaviors are adjusted and affirmed by a sense of the Presence of God. The Peace of God and the joy of Christ rule our hearts like nothing else can.

Talk about it!

Tell somebody of God’s great love for you! Testimonies help us feel encouraged and strengthen our resolve! We need not be anxious about our future, because God is with us. He has proven Himself in times of trials and our trust is set by our knowledge of His loving care for us. We can rejoice and be thankful through all things. There is an abiding peace which passes understanding, guarding our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus; and we are able to experience the stability of love in storms or struggles (Phil 4:4-7). Nothing can stand against us! Nothing can overwhelm us! Notice what arises out of David’s meditation from his bed:

A resolve to rejoice beneath the shadow of God’s wings and a willingness to follow close behind Him no matter what comes or goes.

The Stirring of God

“The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and put it in writing” (Ezra 1:1).

King Cyrus was not a believer! He did not know God, but God knew him. Cyrus would speak about God by name, calling him ‘the LORD’ (Ezra 1:2-3), but knowing the name or knowing some theology; does not make you a believer.

Yet… We must Trust that God has a Plan!

I too, struggle with fear and anger over the direction of the American Culture… and our World. I hear the news and hate the liberal spin. I am concerned about a presidential process that seems to limit the voice of conservative followers of Christ. I am fed up with government and terrorist threats. I also find myself wrestling with fear over the economic future of my family. I want change… but I hate how we are changing!

…But God!

Here is the powerful reality I often forget – God is at work in the “Big Picture!”

Listen to what God says about this man 200 years before he was born: “I call you by your name. I name you, though you do not know Me” (Isa. 45:4). God says, “You don’t know Me, Cyrus, but I know you!”

What we see in the Book of Ezra is the stirring of God, pointing out once more; that nothing is beyond His reach! Here is Our Amazing God, proving that He alone is able to fulfill His great purpose in the Earth… and for His people.

  • What did Cyrus do? “…he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and put it in writing” (Ezra 1:1).
  • Here is what that proclamation said: “The LORD, the God of Heaven… has charged me to build Him a House at Jerusalem… Whoever is among you of all His people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem… and rebuild the House of the LORD” (Ezra 1:2-3).

Some Context:

You might remember: the old Babylonian kings took people by force from the lands they had conquered and forced them to worship their Babylonian gods. That was what we see as we read the book of Daniel. Daniel and three godly young men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were deported to Babylon and pressured to worship the Babylonian gods. But they said, “We’d rather go into a fiery furnace than worship your gods. We worship the only true God, the God of the Bible.” And then along comes this new king, Cyrus, who saw that this kind of suppression would never match the power of Jehovah… the God who was bigger than a fiery furnace! It would be better to let these people live in their own lands and worship their own gods. So in his first year, with his heart being stirred by God; he made a proclamation allowing God’s people to return to their own land.

Scriptures says something amazing was going on… “God was stirring the spirit of Cyrus!”

Behind all the events that took place and all the motives that may have been in the king’s heart, God was at work by His Spirit. God works by stirring up hearts, and God can move in the hearts of people who do not even know Him. No heart is beyond the reach of God. Who would have imagined that a great work of God would begin in the heart of an unbelieving king? This is the greatest encouragement for prayer and for witness… ask yourself, “is anything too hard for Your God?”

This is our testimony – “Our God is Bigger!”

Continuous Praise

“My mouth is filled with Your praise and with Your glory all day long.” (Psalm 71:8)

If your mouth is full of praise, then your life will be clothed in glory as well!

When you continually praise and worship the Lord from the heart, you will find it difficult to be critical and negative. Praise and thanksgiving transform the human reality by negotiating the atmosphere around us. There is spirit; realms of dominion, that when we set our hearts upon God, surround and cover us in Glory. Should we not prefer this atmosphere than all others?

The Spirit-filled life is a praise-filled life! The Scripture says, “Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:18-20)

Praise releases the life of God into your present reality, into your relationships and into your destiny. Praise releases the benefits of the New Covenant to you. Have you any need? Praise releases God’s victory into your situations and circumstances. Praise puts the angels to work!

When you’re in the midst of a test or trial… and heaviness and sorrow try to overtake you, remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength! (Neh. 8:10).

Put off the spirit of heaviness by putting on the garment of praise and you’ll walk in victory all of your days… beginning today! (Isa. 61:3).

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