Posts Tagged ‘supernatural’

Anointing and Increase

“Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘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.’” (Luke 4:14-19)

“…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

Jesus was anointed by God… indeed “God was with Him” in increasing measures by a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. His example is designed to be our model of spiritual discipline. It was Jesus’ experience even as a youth to increase in His favor with God and man (Lk 2:52). Yet even in the transition of Jesus into His Earthly ministry, we can see a direct connection between a lifestyle of prayer and fasting and His increasing anointing (Lk 5:12-13)(Lk 6:12)(Mk 9:29). This reality is both inspiring and instructional.

Notice how God moves Jesus into His public ministry:

  • He is baptized in the river Jordan, where He is filled with the Holy Spirit and hears the voice of His Father from heaven (Lk 3:21-22).
  • Immediately (it would appear to me) Jesus establishes a posture of prayer and fasting as He is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil (Mt 4:1-2).
  • While in the wilderness, Jesus feels the challenges of the Devil, the hunger in His body and the threat of wild beasts. He becomes aware of the ministry of angels as well as the strength given by the Words that proceeded from the mouth of God (Mk 1:12-13).
  • He experiences increase in the anointing and breaks through the challenge victorious, because the Devil left Him until a more opportune time (Lk 4:13).
  • Jesus would return to Galilee in the increased anointing and power of the Holy Spirit bearing evidence with signs following, because people give Him glory and praise for His teaching ministry (Lk 4:14-15).
  • Now that the temptation was over His ministry would begin with a journey to Nazareth and an announcement of how He was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach, heal, bring deliverance and freedom to the captive heart (Lk 4:16-19).

Defining the Anointing:

The anointing is God being “with us” or God’s Glory manifest upon our lives. Glory is defined best as God’s “Weighty” Presence or abiding spiritual power made known through our fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I have often said the anointing is God’s hand of favor upon our lives for the advancing of His activity in the world around us. We see this in how Jesus carried the anointing. He went about the Judean countryside advancing the Kingdom of God, because the anointing was on His life. God was with Him, empowering and leading Him, breaking the grip of the Devil and advancing the activity of His Father’s heart.

Why Prayer and Fasting:

Prayer and fasting increases our ability to know and sense the supernatural Presence of God, by awakening our spiritual senses and diminishing our emphasis on flesh desires. His power and His Glory begin to increase as we meet with God and experience fellowship in an unhindered way. God’s will and His ways become more recognizable when we are sensitive to His heart. I would describe the anointing as an actual physical experience whereby we feel the internal warmth of His Presence upon our body. That is why it increases as we pray and fast. By yielding our hearts in greater measure to the Holy Spirit’s activity we can welcome and value the anointing and make room for increase in our lives. It is like a signal that God sends to us saying that He is with us. He is showing Himself to us and approves of what we are saying or doing (Jn 14:21)(2 Cor 1:21).

There is nothing so important to our Christian walk than our faith in God (Heb 11:6)! It pleases Him when we step out in ways that give Him greater opportunity to reach the world through us. It is my desire to encourage prayer and fasting so that we may increase in the anointing of God and be more effective as Kingdom Agents in the world around us.

We are ambassadors for Christ {The Anointed One} as though God were pleading through us… Be reconciled to God! (2 Cor 5:18-21).

Leaders Believe

What is your definition of a leader? Many people talk about this topic today, but few clearly state what they mean when they use the terms leader and leadership. When I speak about leadership, I often think in terms of growing Kingdom Ambassadors. People with a passion for God and a heart that believes in God’s answer for humanity. I am talking about redemptive people, who see the way God sees and commit their lives to burn for more than a ministry title or a desk to sit behind. It feels wrong to me to discuss leadership without defining what we are attempting to develop. So, here are some of the most important values I feel we need to uncover and release in godly leaders.

1st) Christian Leaders are Servants:

Jesus specifically addresses servant leadership in Matthew 20:25-26 and John 13:1–17. He defines a servant leader as one who humbly pours out their life on others, based on their love for them. Its not a natural love, but something supernatural that flows from heaven… a resource of the Holy Spirit. In the Apostle Paul’s teaching about the 5-fold ministry model, he tells of a grace that has been given to each of us for the purpose of leading (Eph. 4:7). A grace that empowers leadership and causes the leader to equip the saints for the work of the ministry… is by nature supernatural. Its impossible for a person to give what he does not have; but Christ has given us grace and power to fulfil all that has been asked of us as yielded vessels. Leaders understand how to receive from God and release that power to flow through their influence in other people’s lives.

2nd) Christian Leaders are Godly Servants:

This is in reference to Christ-like character. I try to encourage leaders that although their gifts might make room for them and give them a voice for a season, it will only be their character that will offer them a platform of influence for a lifetime. Teachability, integrity and transparency are real platforms that inspire and train our hearts as well as the minds, hands and hearts of those in our sphere of influence.  Though many in the business world acknowledge the importance of character, the goal seems to be about pleasing a boss or corporation. Leadership that offers real influence is accountable to God and becomes transformational as the leader is bearing the evidence of their own character changing and growing.

3rd) Believing Leaders Know Where They are Going:

This involves the leader’s direction. Leaders need both a ministry mission and a ministry vision. The ministry mission is “the goal”, which for every leader is the Great Commission (Mt. 28:18-20). The ministry vision is the personal picture on the inside of what they will look like as they effectively accomplish the Great Commission.

It is important to note, that the Great Commission is about a delegated authority to disciple nations, emersing followers in experiences with God and teaching them how to obey all that Jesus taught and modeled. Its not buildings and programs… its people and Kingdom influence that shapes the nations. Its more than what we believe, its the opportunity to experience the supernatural life of the Spirit and model it for the next generation of believers.

Finally, Christian Leaders have Followers:

Leadership implies followers. If a person has no followers, he is not a leader. Followers are not just those who mimmick our words, study our theory or obey our commands. Jesus called His servants up into friendship so they could hear more keenly the secrets of His heart (Jn. 15:9-17). A friend is offered access and knows the motivation of the heart. Good leaders know how to train their followers to step into new levels of authority. Those willing, chosen and appointed followers bear fruit that remains as a pleasing and joyful expression of Kingdom influence… God’s influence ruling in the life of the leader.

Unusual Miracles

Preaching the Word of God

Preaching the Word of God

“Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.” (Acts 19:11-12)

I love the expression ”unusual miracles”. I’ve personally seen firsthand the extraordinary impact signs and wonders make as they accompany the preaching of the Word of God. Do we truly understand what Kingdom Advancement implies? The Apostle Paul did… and if we are to become ministry leaders who do the unusual in the eyes of the world, we will need to put on a lot more courage and tenacity.

In the city of Ephesus, a shift in the Spiritual Realm was occurring. The Kingdom of God; which is the government of heaven, was gaining influence over all areas of life from the religious practices to the daily routine. Beliefs were changing and faith was being engaged in unusual ways as people stepped into the supernatural, as if unleashed from natural law. Jesus said when you abide in My Word, you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free (Jn. 8:31-32). The Apostle Paul; like Jesus, was pulling them into revelation rather than letting them stay bound to natural limits.

Whom the Son sets free is free indeed (Jn. 8:36). Freedom implies the ability to move, without hindrance or limitation and it brings fresh perspective on the future. Unusual miracles change the way you think about your reality, limitations and possibilities.

Conflict with Darkness:

The immediate result of the Apostle Paul’s experience however, was that evil spirits were driven out into the open. Conflict is first and foremost a spiritual battle that makes every leader do an inventory of their gifts and training. Are they equipped to handle the battle? Their experience and character set the standard for how they will address visible opposition in the spiritual realm. Perhaps most important is a person’s awareness of spiritual authority. Some do well, some flounder, but every leader must get their skills sharpened by their identity in Christ and their experiences in the field.

“Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches. Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, over powered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” (Acts 19:13-16)

This account is like a backhanded compliment. In effect Satan’s agents were saying, ‘This preacher is achieving something’. Yet, the victories of our advancement must be maintained and enforced by radical followers who know who they are and what they carry. These sons of Sceva were trying to be helpful without the tools or experience.

Paul’s preaching was breaking through and crushing the occult practices in the city of Ephesus. What also seemed to be happening was that many people became very nervous about the incredible beating those without spiritual authority had just experienced. Believe me when I say the word gets out. But God will get the last word, if we are truly doing unusual miracles by His hand.

“This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified, And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.” (Acts 19:17-19)

Even in the church world today, we see a lot of folks having one foot in the Kingdom of God and the other in the enemy’s camp. These folks need to see the reality of these kingdoms in conflict. When the Apostle Paul preached, the believers brought the books and tools of their witchcraft and burned them publicly. What an impact that would make on a region. The value of the books was fifty thousand pieces of silver. Each silver coin was a day’s wage… this is estimated at $2,500,000 in today’s market.

Unusual Miracles are only unusual in the sense that they reveal an extraordinary shift from the natural limitations we consider normal. When we begin to see through the eyes of faith, what seems common will change and the impossible will become ordinary.

Wings of Faith

“You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.” (Ex. 19:4)

When I think of eagle’s wings, I consider them to be parables of our ability to soar in faith. Faith is a heart issue… where we press into the Lord, while the winds of His Spirit lift us into flight. Notice that it was God who “bore the Hebrew people on eagle’s wings”. When we release our faith, we are vigorously exercising the wings that work by love (Gal. 5:6). Believing God’s Promises and trusting in His purposes engage our upward thrust. When we soar, its like we are setting our trust in the Lord and letting Him carry us amidst the surrounding terrain. Our perception is influenced by our altitude!

Soaring Transforms Vision:

Recently, I was praying about the concept of soaring with wings as eagles and I heard the Lord say, “I want you to abide in Me… and soar with Me!” Wow, this took me back for a moment, as I considered what that would do to my routine, my formulas and my personal agenda. Those weights and burdens would need to be left behind. Most important though, was that I discover the ultimate destination… God is bringing us to Himself! He wants me to see as He sees and soar with unhindered faith and victory!

Soaring Positions Us:

The eagle’s flight teaches us how to soar and not just fly. When catching the wind of the Holy Spirit, we gain the strength to soar. Getting weary and tired is natural, but soaring is supernatural. “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They shall mount up (or soar) on wings like eagles…” (Isa. 40:30-31). The Lord teaches us through hope, how to “mount up” and rise above difficulties and trials in our life. We learn the value of rising high enough to gain fresh perspective on what is below. The wings of faith position us in such a way as to allow our thrust to be quickened by trials, rather than hindered by them.

Soaring Renews Energy:

Sometimes I think we try too hard. We fight battles we don’t need to be fighting. When turbulence comes, God has a position for us – faith! Faith is the only position that offers a partnership… God Promises to lift us up! Perhaps we need to stretch out our wings, relax and allow God to help us glide on the “wind”. Soaring will remind us that even the wind obeys Him!

Unmasking Idolatry

“And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:14)

The issue of idolatry in the Body of Christ creates an enormous distraction from the True Light of God’s Love. We are told in this Scripture that the Devil masquerades as an angel of light. His goal is to bring confusion and hide himself in the stuff God values. He wants to destroy the Truth with lies and pervert the grace of God with false promises, false leaders and false worship. What makes Satan hard to defeat is that he appears as attractive, engaging and persuasive …but its all poison.

  • Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Cor 10:14)

Here Paul is saying that we should avoid any sort of idolatry – run from it. We must not be involved in loving or valuing anything more than God. We often think of idolatry as wicked things we actually worship in place of God; but I want to propose to you that anything that impresses us more than obeying God is an idol. Things can carry influence and give Satan access to our heart.

  • Let me repeat: “…anything that impresses us more than obeying God is an idol”

Take notice of the stuff you protect (1 John 5:21).

The fault does not fall only on the leaders of our congregations. When we esteem others more highly than we should, idolatry has taken root. Priorities can get out of focus and prevent us from hearing or seeing with clarity. Our organized religious model often promotes leadership as those who “hear from God”, give teaching and fight the spiritual battles for us. We tend to enjoy the role of spectator… “service” has been turned into a word that means “entertain us” and we sit rather than do much of anything spiritually.

Called to Do as Jesus Did!

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” (Jn. 14:12)

Being a Christian is a calling to become an ”anointed one” and live in relationship with Christ, The Anointed One (Jn 14:6). Jesus is to be the supernatural resource of light that shines through us. He is the One we emulate and want to reflect to the world around us. Our faith is not about rituals or traditions or relying solely on teachers or pastors. In fact there are no buildings, pews, alters or communion cups that offer deliverance from sin or power over the Devil. The Bible tells us it is the anointing that is given by the Holy Spirit that breaks the yokes of bondage (Isa 10:27) and teaches us all things (1 Jn 2:20).

  • Trusting Christ is the best way to flee from idols!

Do we need accountable relationships? Absolutely, but only Christ offers the power that overcomes darkness and brings peace in the midst of the storms of life. Trust that is not placed into God’s hand is misplaced and falls into the grasp of convenience, neglect or worse… idolatry.

Archives