Posts Tagged ‘upon His shoulder’

Grace Platforms

The Ministry of Christ is a ministry of grace! His message was the Good News of a Kingdom of grace flowing from Heaven into Earth. It would bring forgiveness, peace and freedom from sin. Yet the deliverance and freedom experienced in the life of a disciple can only be attained and measured by the transformed mind. Real Kingdom mysteries require us to change the way we think about everything pertaining to God, Church and life on this planet (Mt. 4:17). Jesus has stepped into our natural reality and He brought His world with Him!

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His Kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isa. 9:6-7)

Ministry on Christ’s Shoulder:

The five-fold ministry gifts are examples of how “grace has been given” as Christ distributes (Eph. 4:7). All ministry is simply the manifestation of Christ expressed through the believer by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, as the “Christ” is our Apostle (Heb. 3:1), Prophet (Lk. 24:19), Evangelist (Mt. 9:35), Pastor (1 Pet. 5:2-4) and Teacher (Jn. 3:2). He emulated these offices and distributes the mantles for individuals to function in them, so that the Church carries His anointing for ministry (Jn. 14:12).

“…the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So…they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:2-3)

Selected and Sent:

The five-fold leaders are not self-appointed, nor are they simply pastors of a local church. They are clearly defined ministries that have an impact on the Church as a whole and its witness in the world. By nature, their scope of ministry is wider than the local church. They are grace ministries of Christ to the Church at large. Whether its from inner city pulpits or in the bush lands of Africa, the heartbeat of 5-fold ministry is the discipling of the nations… its our Great Commission! (Mt. 28:18-20).

Two things are required for a five-fold ministry gift to come into its own: 1) Recognition by the wider Body of Christ and 2) Functional Ministry to the wider Body of Christ. Jesus said that the fruit of a person’s life is the best way to recognize their identity, character and anointing. Prior to these two conditions being met, someone may potentially have a five-fold ministry gift, but will not yet be moving in the scope and authority of that gift. Jesus gives the grace for each gift to be released into the Church.

“…God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief Cornerstone” (Eph. 2:19-20).

Foundations:

The foundation of the Church is Jesus… the revelation of “Christ – the Son of the Living God” (Mt. 16:16). And yet there is this unique platform of the apostle and the prophet team (Eph. 3:4-5). This platform carries the role of unveiling the mysteries hidden down through the ages, yet revealed in Christ and by the Holy Spirit to the sons and daughters of men. I believe these two mantle gifts still serve that ministry role (Eph. 4:12-13), so it is vital for us to understand how this works in leading the Body of Christ. We must remember that proper buildings are held up by proper foundations. I would propose; that when grace flows into ministry and functions properly, under the headship of Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit, it will result in the growth and supernatural health of the Church worldwide. It is the will of God to set this in order and accomplish it through His apostle and prophet teams (Isa. 9:7)… by grace.

The Key of Humility:

The Apostle James and the Apostle Peter wrote specifically about how to receive grace (Jms. 4:6 & 1 Pet. 5:5-6). The humble person receives grace and more grace even as they maintain their humility in the midst of difficult circumstances. Jesus said “Blessed is the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 5:3). The humble person; who lives selflessly in ministry, will receive a flow of resource from heaven according to the gift Christ has given them. Their anointing will be in proportion to their faith, assignment and their need.

The Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). The ministry teams made up of Apostle and Prophets like Paul, Barnabas, Silas and Timothy served to accomplish great things in advancing the Kingdom of God. They were set apart by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2), helped in the midnight hour (Acts 16:25-26) and anointed to do incredible miraculous signs that accompanied the preaching of the Word of God (Acts 19:11-12).

Restoration is needed: In order for the Church to see what God is after today, our impact must set the captives free! We must rely upon the flow of ministry grace… like the dry ground soaks up the rain.

Ministry of Grace

The Ministry of Christ is a ministry of grace! His message was the Good News of a Kingdom of grace flowing from Heaven into Earth. It would bring forgiveness, peace and freedom from sin. Yet the deliverance and freedom experienced in the life of a disciple can only be attained and measured by the tranformed mind. Real Kingdom mysteries require us to change the way we think about everything pertaining to God, Church and life on this planet (Mt. 4:17). Jesus has stepped into our natural reality and He brought His world with Him!

  • “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His Kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isa. 9:6-7)

Ministry on Christ’s Shoulder:

The five-fold ministry gifts are examples of how “grace has been given” as Christ distributes (Eph. 4:7). All ministry is simply the manifestation of Christ expressed through the believer by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, as the “Christ” is our Apostle (Heb. 3:1), Prophet (Lk. 24:19), Evangelist (Mt. 9:35), Pastor (1 Pet. 5:2-4) and Teacher (Jn. 3:2). He immulated these offices and distributes the mantles for individuals to function in them, so that the Church carries His anointing for ministry (Jn. 14:12). 

“…the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So…they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:2-3)

Selected and Sent:

The five-fold leaders are not self-appointed, nor are they simply pastors of a local church. They are clearly defined ministries that have an impact on the Church as a whole and its witness in the world. By nature, their scope of ministry is wider than the local church. They are grace ministries of Christ to the Church at large. Whether its from inner city pulpits or in the bush lands of Africa, the heartbeat of 5-fold ministry is the discipling of the nations… its our Great Commission! (Mt. 28:18-20).

Two things are required for a five-fold ministry gift to come into its own: 1) Recognition by the wider Body of Christ and 2) Functional Ministry to the wider Body of Christ. Jesus said that the fruit of a person’s life is the best way to recognize their identity, character and anointing. Prior to these two conditions being met, someone may potentially have a five-fold ministry gift, but will not yet be moving in the scope and authority of that gift. Jesus gives the grace for each gift to be released into the Church.

“…God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief Cornerstone” (Eph. 2:19-20).

Foundations:

The foundation of the Church is the apostle and the prophet team (Eph. 3:4-5). I believe, these two ministries still continue in that foundational role (Eph. 4:12-13), so it is vital for us to understand how this works in leading the Body of Christ. We must remember that proper buildings are held up by proper foundations. I would propose; that when grace flows into ministry and functions properly, under the headship of Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit, it will result in the growth and supernatural health of the Church worldwide. It is the will of God to set this in order and accomplish it through His apostle and prophet teams (Isa. 9:7)… by grace.

The Key of Humility:

The Apostle James and the Apostle Peter wrote specifically about how to receive grace (Jms. 4:6 & 1 Pet. 5:5-6). The humble person receives grace and more grace even as they maintain their humility in the midst of difficult circumstances. Jesus said “Blessed is the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 5:3). The humble person; who lives selflessly in ministry, will receive a flow of resource from heaven according to the gift Christ has given them. Their anointing will be in proportion to their faith, assignment and their need.

The Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strenthens me” (Phil 4:13). The ministry teams made up of Apostle and Prophets like Paul, Barnabas, Silas and Timothy served to accomplish great things in advancing the Kingdom of God. They were set apart by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2), helped in the midnight hour (Acts 16:25-26) and anointed to do incredible miraculous signs that accompanied the preaching of the Word of God (Acts 19:11-12).

Restoration is needed: In order for the Church to see what God is after today, our impact must set the captives free! We must rely upon the flow of ministry grace… like the dry ground soaks up the rain.    

Transition Vision

"Sometimes transition looks like chaos" - Market place in Webuye

 The first day in Uganda was a day of transition. A new nation, a fresh Word from God and a mountain of unknown sights were accompanied by a large storm. The Kenyan Pastors came to Ron with huge smiles, calling him “Pastor Wafula”.  They were remembering the last trip to Kenya in May when it would rain all day and then stop for the evening crusades. At that time, pastors nicknamed Ron - “Pastor Wafula”. The name Wafula means “one who is born in the rainy season”.   

Seasons require revelatory vision… 

When you have a revelation that comes from your history with God, vision is transformed and Godly perception kicks in. From the very beginning this trip seemed different. Our journeys have been fruitful experiences with huge impact for all involved. That being said, things were different this time around. It required us to see differently. 

Beyond the Natural Limitations:

First of all, Ron had originally set this trip up for the end of August and then our travel agent and Pastor Wycliffe encouraged Ron to set it back about a month. That seemed good to us in that we believed it would give us more opportunity to raise funds. Little did we know it would require us to see more than just natural reality. We would need to come into a revelation of God’s timing far outweighing our schedules. God’s timing is based on opportune time and must be clicked into the divine ordering of His plans. Each step that the righteous takes is ordered by the Lord according to the psalmist (Ps 37:23). We needed that and appreciated it when it was made visible to us.

Beyond the Personal Apprehensions: 

Ron would be in Africa well over 3 weeks this time, compared to no more than a couple weeks in other trips. A unique challenge to the family certainly, but more specifically to me as the one who would carry most of the responsibility at home. What God would show me seemed incredible. He showed me through my sons a line of defense that I had never seen before. The second day after Ron’s departure, the car broke down. While we were in the service station to have it fixed, the mechanic spoke to me and out of the corner of my eye I could see my three tall, strapping boys surround me with their “fathering’ presence. They didn’t even know they were doing it, but it spoke to me of how God would surround Jerusalem with His fathering love like the mountains surround that city (Ps 125:2).  I needed that revelation.

Beyond the Spiritual Challenges:

Perhaps the biggest challenge was that Ron was ”hearing” in his spirit that this trip would be accompanied by more spiritual warfare than any prior trip. Yea, just what I wanted to hear. Yet, nothing was beyond God’s power to overcome. I found myself in agreement with God’s purposes even in the midst of uncomfortable circumstances.

Sometimes hearing confuses our seeing.

When Ron shared with me that he was doing one of his messages out of Deuteronomy 11:11, my thoughts immediately went to the Biblical meaning of the number 11. The Hebrew meaning is transition, shift or chaos. My thoughts were… OK God, I’m ready to see what You have for me in this season of transition. It sometimes feels like I’ve had just about as much transition as I need in life, but this time will be significant! I was about to see transition as a season of mental and spiritual alignment that would increase my awareness of His Presence everyday!

God’s up to Something: 

I love the thought that God is shaping our future for greater impact, but I would like for it to happen without some of the drama. I have discovered however, that when we see the momentum of spiritual activity properly, it becomes a time that makes the adventure worth the journey. The wonderful truth is that when I stay in alignment with God’s heart, we see all He is doing to advance His Kingdom.  

This made me look up the number “12″, which means completeness, order or government. God has been setting a pathway for His purposes to be seen in my life through my spiritual alignment. The government of Heaven will find my heart more welcoming at His appointed seasons.

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, Upon the throne of David, and over His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

    Being in the midst of transition is always a challenge, yet when we align our vision with God’s zeal – He is able to turn every season into something beautiful.

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