Posts Tagged ‘training’

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).

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.

Humbled & Hungry

“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut. 8:3)

Wow, here is an interesting reality. Imagine, you are an Israelite, recently freed after a lifetime of slavery! You just experienced the frightening miracle of the Red Sea… and you come out safe and dry on the other side! You turned to watch as the same walls of water which gave you protection, close to offer you security – by an amazing drowning death on your enemies! You joyously celebrate and dance at God’s victory and deliverance! You feel invincible, knowing God is on your side! Never again will you doubt the One who proved Himself so mighty and faithful!

But now the scene is different, it is a few days later and you are tired, thirsty and hot. You are not at the threshold of the “promised land” yet. Instead you are wandering aimlessly in a desert filled with serpents and scorpions. Now you are feeling tested! Will you trust and believe in the God you have followed?

The Faith Dimension:

Do you believe God mightily delivered you from the power of the enemy to leave you wandering through the desert of confusion and silence? Was this His purpose? Just as the Lord led the children of Israel out of Egypt into the wilderness… so He leads you! The devil did not lead you… God did! It was the devil’s goal to enslave you! We must be people of faith, realizing there is a purpose in the midst of dry times!

Hunger does something to the human soul!

  • (1st) God humbles us.
  • (2nd) He causes us to hunger.
  • (3rd) Then He feeds us with manna – “Angel Food”.

Choose to Pass the Test:

Praise is what Angels do best… it is a release from their well fed experience – in Heaven’s Glorious atmosphere! Indeed the “Holy, Holy, Holies” are a response to what is seen and heard in the Presence of God! Praise will awaken your faith, its the heart’s spiritual quest; to hunger feed on the riches of God’s Promises! This is our spiritual reality as believers…  to praise the Lord in the midst of the wilderness, the worship and sing in the midnight hour and to come to the heavenly table in the season of hunger. We are in training, baby! All along He is teaching us, bringing us to a place where we discover the true nature of our hearts, the true passion of His heart and… the true riches of His Glory.

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)

Jesus said to His disciples, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” (Jn. 4:32)

Humbled & Hungry… Because “…man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the Mouth of the Lord.”

God’s Point of View: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exod. 19:4-6)

Accessing Resource

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)

You have much to say and yet you also have great need… but can I tell you that to become a disciple of Jesus means you will overflow with resources more than words. In our Training we teach you how to use the privileges given to you by God (as a son or daughter) to access heaven and get your needs met and the needs of your ministry met in the Glory Realm.

According to the Apostle Paul we see a bold declaration of Kingdom resources. We know its true, because of how Jesus taught us to seek first the Kingdom of God and all other things that we need, that is correct… all things would be given to us as a “Father’s Blessing” – provision… that is supernatural. There are riches in the Glory Realm of the spirit in Christ Jesus… can you access them? You are supposed to know the provision of the Father as a Kingdom Blessing (Mt. 6:33)… do you know this? This is basic to discipleship! And Jesus taught us to ask, seek and knock… (Mt. 7:7-12) to believe for the provision is a matter of basic family privilege (Jn. 1:12). We are called by Jesus to disciple the nations and to obey Him… not ask for money or rely upon the wealth of others.

All Things in Common:

When a disciple is nurtured in the spirit of generosity… all things come as community “all things in common” and in Communion with the Father! This was the blessing that the Early Church carried (Acts 2:42-46 & 4:32-37), because they made themselves aware of the Glory of God and nurtured themselves in the Apostle’s doctrines… Kingdom Truths. This is the same reality of lifestyle Jesus modeled and taught so often. Give and it will be given to you (Lk. 6:38 & 12:32) …with greater measure – multiplied blessings come when they are filtered through the heart of the Father.

Notice Where Resource is Located: You need to go after it in prayer!

  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3)

Doing the Unusual

“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. The Apostle Paul understood what Kingdom advancement implies… ministry leaders are called to do the “unusual” in the eyes of the world! If we are to become what we see in the Book of Acts, we will need to put on a lot more courage and tenacity. It requires us to be found doing the unusual!

Shifting our Thinking:

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. We must change the way we think in order to advance into a ministry known by unusual miracles!

Conflict with Darkness:

The immediate result of the Apostle Paul’s experience 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. The spiritual battle is real!

“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.

Doing the unusual reveals an extraordinary shift in the way we think about ministry. We must encourage a new definition of “normal” that moves us away from natural limitation and begins the unusual, supernatural… walk by faith – not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). Jesus wants to redefine reality: seeing is no longer the key to believing… now believing is the key to seeing!

When we begin to see through the eyes of faith, the impossible will become ordinary!

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