Posts Tagged ‘vision’

Prophetic Preaching

Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent Me.” (John 7:16)

Jesus consistently preached under the anointing of God, as we see in the above verse. Yet the key to being prophetic is that Jesus’ message carried the weight of supernatural creativity, breakthrough and fulfillment.  A prophetic preacher may use the gifts of teaching, exhortation and prophecy in a variety of ways; but the power of the message itself, will shift the atmosphere (Rom. 1:16-17). That is what makes it prophetic!

“And take the … sword of the Spirit, which is the word [rhema] of God” (Eph 6:17)

Prophetic Preaching contains a ‘Now’ Word:

The prophetic gift is employed to make known the thoughts, purpose and intent of God. Prophetic preaching has a sense of immediacy. In the New Testament, the Greek word ‘rhema’ primarily refers to the spoken word that carries power in its ‘utterance’, whereas ‘logos’ primarily refers to the written word, the logic of God or His thought process. Prophetic teaching and preaching releases the rhema of God’s “Spirit-breathed”, current Word. It is designed to reveal the Father’s “Now Word”, making known something that if believed would come forth. It answers the question, ‘What is God’s Word to us in this season?’

Example: The Apostle Paul said, “the word is near you even in your mouth and in your heart, that is the word of faith that we preach” (Rom. 10:8). He goes on to say that if you act on it by confessing and believing, you will be saved… You will be transformed!

What happens in prophetic preaching is that we are drawn into an experience by the conviction of the Holy Spirit as well as the will to believe and step into its power. It sets a Kairos moment… the opportune time for change and transformation. Prophetic preaching opens doorways into heavenly blessing, revelation and assignments.

“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” (1 Cor 2:13)

Based on Spiritual Revelation:

Prophetic preaching is inspired by the Holy Spirit through the means of revelation. The word ‘revelation’ in the New Testament Greek, apokalupsis, means an ‘uncovering’ or ‘disclosure’. In other words, God is revealing something by His Spirit that is not known by natural means… its a mystery. There is often a call to action or a need to respond and activate the Word received by the hearer. This is why we place a high priority on seasons of prayer or altar times, to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts when the atmosphere has been shifted in a room or auditorium. This may be to align one’s heart or actions, to pay attention to a timely warning or submit to guidance. When we do not position ourselves for God’s present or future plans, we often miss our opportunity. The consistent results of the prophetic instructions of God are for transformation and breakthrough.

Notice these two examples:

  1. “The children of Issachar, who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel should do… and all their brethren were at their command” (1 Chron. 12:32)
  2. “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” (Mt. 7:28-29)

Prophetic Preaching Carries Authority:

This authority is not based upon the preacher’s gift, but on the basis of being entrusted with a message from God Himself. Throughout Scripture, the instruction given through a prophet brought breakthrough for God’s people. This included strategic guidance in a time of warfare (2 Chron. 20:14-17), a word of action in crisis (Gen 41:25-46) or a specific declaration of breakthrough (2 Kings 7:1-2). Prophetic preaching is of great value when a shift is needed to bring the Kingdom of God and push back against the darkness that floods our vision.

Empowering the Church:

“Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers.”  (Acts 15:32)

The outcome of prophetic preaching, just as with all prophetic ministry, is that the Church and its leadership is built up, strengthened and empowered. (1 Cor 14:3-4)

Valiant Laborers

“And the Word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region.” (Acts 13:49)

“Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand.” (Ps. 149:5-6)

We mount our assault on the portals of hell and against us they shall not stand! The valiant of heart are those whose laborers are noted by courage, passion and alignment to the Word of God. These marks are the standard where soldiers emerge and warriors take shape. Indeed, the character of heaven is revealed in no better way than when God’s Saints are clothed in the power of the Holy Spirit and accompanied by angels. The advancement of the Kingdom of God is a violent overthrow of the works of the devil! It requires God’s anointing and the character to follow His heart!

No matter how we define a move of God in our day or in the days of the Early Church… we must not miss the prophetic reality of following God’s heart. One of Luke’s purposes in writing the Book of Acts was to tell the real story of the remarkable growth of God’s Kingdom. Amazing things took place in the years that followed the birth of the Church. An outpouring of the Holy Spirit clothed the Apostles with power to become witnesses in the world (Acts 1:8). Although, persecution and struggle shaped their character, never do we hear the cry of retreat. This was the work of God! Humanity’s greatest discovery was how to be filled with the Holy Spirit… and walk as carriers of the Glory of God!

This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel (or any servant of God):
“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,”

Says the Lord of hosts. (Zech. 4:6)

A Valiant Vision:

To see entire regions waiting, cultures and people groups ready to be reached with the love and power of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Our call, requires a company of valiant laborers with fresh eyes… with a vision to disciple the nations (Mt. 28:18-20). We must be found teaching and building bridges of opportunity for generations to walk in God’s destiny for their lives. Should we not stand willing and ready to risk it all for the purposes of God’s heart? Yet in order to risk it all, it will require a vision of how God sees and what God wants to accomplish.

The Prophet Habakkuk said it this way: “For the Earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14)

God is Speaking!

These are New Days in almost every culture of the world, and the sound of a spiritual trumpet has gone forth. Many with an ear to hear have already begun to assemble. To some its a whisper and to others a shout, yet there is no mistaking its purpose in this season. Its God’s invitation that is being proclaimed on the battle field and in the vineyard. Our Father has a voice that echoes on every high place… causing the nations to give birth. He is calling the weary, the lost and forsaken. His sound summons the alien to come sit at His Throne (Heb. 4:16). And from this motley, misguided lot; He will redeem and restore and revive. This is the day of the harvest, a season of in-gathering as in the time of first fruits. And the valiant rejoice in the pleasure of God. They celebrate with heaven in what is witnessed in their generation, because it was birthed in the Father’s heart long ago! (1 Pe 2:9-10)

Father, Your Valiant Laborers Stand Willing & Ready!

Loving What Emerges

This post is from the start of the very first Apostolic Training Center…….5 years later God is still up to amazing things.

Sometimes we put our hands to work and we are very aware of the outcome… and then there is the ministry. Its the work of God’s hands! He is the Ultimate Potter, we become the clay and the emerging masterpiece is of His craftsmanship. I love it, I love watching it and being part of it.

The Quest:

There is this wonderful vulnerability where grace, tears, risk and adventure come together. Its like there are no blueprints, no plans to follow. Its just faith in God’s power at work that shapes the mission. We have a vision of where we are going, but there is no quest on earth that so yields itself to the will of another. Not just any “another” but “The Another” - God, Himself holds our attention, our heart beat and our foot prints. And somehow a ministry emerges from our efforts that brings Him pleasure, while at the same time transforms a culture. Wow, what a life changing opportunity to join God in this quest.

Mission Uganda:

In my resent journey into Uganda there was one specific goal that God seemed to be emphasizing over and over; opening the Apostolic Training Center. Our teams on the ground were set and ready to move and I have never seen such passion for God’s Word to be taught. Pastor Francis Wanyama met me at the airport with my schedule in his hand and a fire in his belly. Our driver was not about to waste time with small talk; for he was a pastor as well, already engaged in the process of mobilizing a network of laborers. I could tell this was not an ordinary day… a New Day was emerging in the hearts of these people and all I could say is, “Its just the beginning!”

Apostolic Training Center

March 2012

A Grand Opening:

My schedule was filled with conferences and teaching sessions, but the one event that stood out was the Grand Opening of our Apostolic Training Center. I arrived at about 9 am to about 125 students of all ages, hungry and waiting. Blessed and energized by what I was experiencing, we stepped into the process together… all of us knowing nothing of where God was taking us. One thing we were all in agreement upon… we would not have wanted to be anywhere else. There was a buzz in the room that assured us almost immediately that this was a New Day and that God was doing a New Thing.

The Emerging Wineskin:

For the next 4 days something wonderful began to emerge. A wineskin of sorts was beginning to take shape. It was filled with spiritual substance, Holy Spirit stuff like joy and laughter, hope and expectancy; as well as some tough questions about truth… God’s Truth. And no matter how difficult we imagined this challenge to be, God seemed to be offering a resource. He was doing something I have watched Him do time and time again, governing by peace (Isa 9:6-7).

Just the Beginning:

Now, with over 150 people carrying a dream that no man on earth will be able to sustain. All I know to do is love what emerges. It looks a lot like the vision we had in our hearts when we heard from God, but we could never have taken credit for how it felt to us. It was God’s dream first and it thrills me to have brought Him the glory!

Ministry is like that… its the work of God’s hands. When its all said and done we realize, we are His workmanship and He is shaping our hearts (Eph 2:10).

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!

Priority for Prayer

Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” (Mk. 1:35-38)

Early in Jesus’ ministry, He experiences great success. His fame is spreading through Galilee as He casts out demons and heals many sick people. After one particularly busy day of healing, Jesus pulls Himself away. I want to highlight this moment, because I believe its a key that unlocks the doors we so often find frustrating in the ministry.

Three Observations:

1. Jesus prioritized prayer as the way to effectively minister to people.

He didn’t use busy-ness or success with people as an excuse for neglecting prayer and solitude with God the Father. He realized that in order to meet people’s needs, He personally needed time alone with God. I need this reminder often in the ministry! If we neglect prayer for the sake of ministering to people a breakdown will eventually come. I find my words becoming idle and even critical when prayer is not my highest priority. I hear of pastors and leaders suffering from burn out, or becoming proud of  “success”. True spiritual power, the kind that brings hope and spiritual transformation must come to us as God’s resource. Somewhere along the way we must pull ourselves into a quiet place and find prayer and fellowship with the Holy Spirit to be our refuge in the midst of life.

2. Jesus’ prayer was done in solitude, away from distractions.

Jesus needed to focus on the voice of His Father and seperate Himself from outside voices veying for His attention. This is why Jesus woke up very early in the morning, while it was still dark. He knew everyone else would be asleep and He could be alone. Jesus tells us that when we pray, we should shut the door behind us and meet with the God who hears in private (Mt. 6:6). That is so valuable… we must shut the devil out and shut our hearts in with the Holy Spirit.

3. Jesus’ time of solitude and prayer with the Father enabled Him to stay focused on His calling… to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom.

While everyone was looking for Him and while He had experienced amazing acceptance and success; He left that comfort to focus on His calling to the Gospel of the Kingdom. Maintaining a “vision” requires nothing less than our undivided attention to the highest priorities. Through prayer, Jesus was able to stay focused instead of being enamored by success. Human success and Kingdom success are not the same thing. The only way to discern the difference is to find our identity in the prayer closet. Valuing our time with the Father will help us stay on track with a passion for the Kingdom rather than a desire for popularity. Powerful things are accomplished for those who stay loyal to the heart of God. In prayer the Holy Spirit reveals a Kingdom heartbeat and renews our mind with dreams that resonate in heaven (1 Cor. 2:9-16).

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6)

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