Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Forgiveness Precedes Your Next Level

Unless You Release others You won't be Released

"Forgive, and you will be forgiven" (Luke 6:37 NIV).

Today I want to focus on the all-important subject of forgiveness (including repentance). My trigger for this was something that I came across via the Internet, a joint interview (back in January 2013) between Todd Bentley and the Founders of the God Channel, Rory and Wendy Alec. It was totally unpredictable that I would be moved by such an interview, because I had previously been quite indifferent. However to my surprise it stirred something in me, regardless of any prior misgivings about the Lakeland revival and its controversy.

All of us as believers should be interested in what God is doing in the earth today, how He is doing it and who He is doing it through. On a personal level, I am willing to lay down any preconceived notions about anything, especially if I can see God moving. Regardless of what has gone before. I refuse to be trapped by my comfort zone, which keeps me from seeing or hearing God. If any leader/believer is more loyal to his comfort zone, than to God, he/she will always feel on the outside looking in.

I learnt early on in my ministry that controversy was the rule rather than the exception. I accepted this once I realised that Jesus' ministry was never free of controversy - then or now. The loss of reputation is not rare to the ministry nor is being misunderstood or misrepresented, it comes with the territory.

However there is a spiritual law that cannot be revoked anymore than gravity and that is the law of forgiveness. Scripture is absolute when it comes to forgiveness. IF we forgive, THEN we are forgiven. It's that simple but no one said it was easy! Nonetheless, forgiveness can be likened to a spiritual key that unlocks spiritual doors and opportunities! "He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens" (Revelation 3:7 NKJV). Or as one other translation puts it: "The One who possesses the key of David, which opens the possibilities so that no one can shut them. The One who closes all options so that no one can open."

When we forgive, a RELEASE takes place that can catapult us into our future and our destiny. But vice versa is also true. All of us remain in bondage when we refuse to forgive. We self injure and self-destruct when we choose not to forgive.

After Lakeland, most folks could not hear of Todd Bentley anymore, his tattoos or anything else for that matter! Putting such things aside, I found myself being moved by the Spirit after seeing Todd, Rory and Wendy openly discuss, repent and forgive one another before the entire Body of Christ during that interview. The "conviction" that I was left with was that God was definitely in that interview and was doing something new with them all, including the God TV.

Such repentance will affect a lot of people globally and usher in a new revival. Today Todd Bentley is being used in revival once again, this time in Pretoria South Africa and God is certainly moving, plus Todd has added maturity and wisdom these days.

In the same way we too can experience a personal revival in all that God has promised for us, as words that have brought curses are broken. We must never underestimate the significance of forgiveness. There is a release of power when forgiveness takes place, both corporately and individually.

On the other hand precious people all over the world, remain in bondage today, because of the words of their own mouths, spoken negatively over themselves or others. The truth is they will never experience personal revival, all the while they are not willing to forgive.

THE GOLDEN RULE

In his book "The Secret Kingdom" Pat Robertson wrote about the Law of Reciprocity:

One simple declaration by Jesus revealed a law that will change the world: "Give, and it will be given to you." Eight words, they form a spiritual principle that touches every relationships, every condition of man, whether spiritual or physical. They are pivotal in any hope we have... Jesus expanded the universality of this theme throughout His ministry, varying subject matter and application. His point was so encompassing that it demanded many illustrations. In the discourse from which we get the eight words, we find this expansion: "just as you want people to treat you, treat them in the same way." And from that, of course, came what the world describes as the GOLDEN RULE: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Jesus went on, putting a frame around the eight key words in this manner:

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. And do not pass judgement and you shall not be judged: and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap, For whatever measure you deal out to others, it will be dealt to you in return.

By putting this together with the world's greatest teaching on love, repeated from the Old Testament by Jesus as the heart of God's will, we establish the perfect "law" for conduct: "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF."

THE ANOINTING FLOWS DOWN NOT UP!

It has been 5 years since Lakeland collapsed and a genuine RESTORATION process began. Yet this public show of humility was a good example to set before the Body. Leaders are obligated to lead by example and from personal experience I can verify just how effective such a time of open repentance and forgiveness can help to lift spiritual blockades that develop over time - due to sin, division, hurts, burn-out, wrong heart motives and more.

God can't move in any place where there is sin in the camp (where there is no repentance) or unforgiveness at the helm. "Precious OIL POURED ON THE HEAD RUNNING DOWN on the beard, RUNNING DOWN on Aaron's beard, DOWN on the collar of his robe" (Psalm 133:2 NIV).

NOTICE HOW THE ANOINTING RUNS "DOWN" NO UP! The same is true for the Church. The anointing is first poured on the HEAD. This denotes Christ, but also leadership, then to the rest of the Body. So if the leadership do not have their acts together, so that the anointing can flow, this will cut off the flow for the rest of the Body. In vice versa if those in leadership are right with God, then everyone else benefits from the anointing that flows down. It can never be the lay people's fault that the anointing is not flowing as it should. The responsibility rests with leadership. NEEDLESS TO SAY, WHEN LEADERS ARE RESTORED, IT'S IN THE BEST INTEREST OF EVERYONE! WE MUST NEVER RESIST RESTORATION.

Following this interview anyhow, I found myself for the rest of that day (with the leading of the Holy Spirit) pouring over hours of research. Going through old and new footage, listening to more interviews and much more; praying, thinking and contemplating my previous stance, and seeking God. I concluded with a renewed sense of humility towards all that the Holy Spirit is doing in the earth today, particularly through the prophetic and apostolic moves. I am fully convinced that such a mood of repentance and forgiveness is necessary and relevant right now for the entire Body of Christ.

So much RESTORATION is needed, in so many different quarters, right across the board. We simply won't get by without it, corporately or individually. And for such leaders to openly repent, globally, not only in front of select viewers but the entire Body of Christ, was a very healthy new beginning and makes way for the Latter Rain. In other words, THE BEST IS YET TO COME! And this is not limited to what the God Channel or Todd Bentley are doing, but all about what God is doing. It just so happens that God, is using them to reach millions of souls for Christ and this end time harvest needs its labourers. The destroyer comes, but God rebukes the devourer and restoration takes place. Only the Body must not turn against the head (leadership) and refuse restoration. This would be detrimental.

The adversary capitalizes on our ignorance, which is why so many of GOD'S PEOPLE perish for the lack of knowledge. "MY PEOPLE are DESTROYED for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6 KJV). What is the knowledge they lack? It is the knowledge of God Himself! (His person, His agenda - what He is doing in the earth and how He is doing it).

MY PEOPLE ARE BEING DESTROYED BECAUSE THEY DON'T KNOW ME. SINCE YOU PRIESTS REFUSE TO KNOW ME, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children (Hosea 4:6 NLT).

RESTORATION RELEASES NEW HOPE

I also came away with a renewed respect for Rory and Wendy Alec. I am not so much interested in the opinions of others, as I am with God's WILL on this subject! HIS WILL IS ALWAYS ONE OF "RESTORATION." We must never lose sight of the fact that the working of the Holy Spirit includes the ministry of RECONCILIATION AND RESTORATION. In fact in many ways this is the lifeblood of the Body of Christ, without it, we cannot corporately move forwards in any real or sustainable way, regardless of what has gone-on before - we are all the wiser for it!

Benny Hinn recently reunited with his ex-wife. Lots of "debate and chatter" flies around such events. Whether approval or disapproval, judgmental or critical - and it spreads right across the global Internet like a contagious-virus! Even still, I am utterly convinced that people still want to see the power of restoration in demonstration, despite their doubts. It gives them hope in their own situations. Most people would be willing for the time it takes for restoration to be fully effected, so long as restoration takes place and restoration takes TIME. But during such TIME God can do many mighty things!

I have learnt and re-learnt in my own ministry, that when nothing seems to be happening, often that's when most is happening! Like Hosea 4 told us, we must KNOW our God. We must know how His Holy Spirit is on the job 24/7 and technically there is never a time when God is not working, moving, hovering, brooding, fixing, answering... but it is only as we trust Him that RESTORATION can take place and His perfect will fulfilled in our lives, (see Psalm 125:1; Isa 40:31; Jer 17:7-8; Pro 28:25). The only people who qualify for all the promises of the bible are those who actively TRUST God everyday of their lives. WE ONLY QUALIFY IF WE HAVE A LIVING TRUST IN GOD.

I WILL SAY OF THE LORD, HE IS MY REFUGE AND MY FORTRESS, MY GOD; ON HIM I LEAN AND RELY, AND IN HIM I [CONFIDENTLY] TRUST! (Psalm 91:2 AMP)

MY REFUGE, AND MY BULWARK, MY GOD, I TRUST IN HIM (Psalm 91:2 YLT).

The message of restoration is all powerful because it totally rebuffs hopelessness, which is very important since hopelessness can cause heart-sickness; "Hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Proverbs 13:12 KJV). RESTORATION SENDS OUT THE UNMISTAKABLE MESSAGE THAT GOD IS BIGGER THAN ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE OPINIONS OF MEN, EVERY SPIRITUAL OPPOSITION AND HOPELESSNESS. A message worth preaching! We MUST therefore be willing to see people properly restored, (with accountability and with much wisdom). The following scripture reveals the exact attitude that God wants us to have towards RESTORATION:

Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and RESTORE AND REINSTATE HIM, without any sense of superiority and WITH ALL GENTLENESS, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also (Galatians 6:1 AMP).

PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father thank You that I can walk in forgiveness today. That I have the power to choose and I choose to treat others the same way I would want them to treat me. Through Christ I have freely received and I choose to freely give. Father help me by Your Spirit this day, to walk in unbroken forgiveness, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
The law of reciprocity exists just like gravity. As I measure out to others, it's measured back to me. Mercy was given to me and is mine to give. I do that today in Jesus name.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Faith to Live by...


"...The person who has God's approval will live by faith. But if he turns back, I will not be pleased with him." We don't belong with those who turn back and are destroyed. Instead, we belong with those who have faith and are saved (Hebrews 10:38-39 GW).

In Galatians 2:20 Paul the Apostle said, "I live by the faith of the Son of God..." as so we must. It's worth noting and considering that just as Jesus provided all things for us to overcome He also provided us with HIS OWN FAITH! Now that's a thought! We have Christ's faith. No longer do we have to think that we have "little faith" as He often told His disciples. I guess compared to His faith, ours is puny!

"Is not all faith the same?" You may ask, but the answer to that question is simply "No!" Sure every human being has the ability to operate in "natural" faith but not everyone can operate in "supernatural" faith. Take for instance business men or mere sports champions who all realise their goals and achievements via their "natural faith" but obviously not, "by the faith of the Son of God!" Therefore, it can be said without any doubt that both NATURAL and SUPERNATURAL FAITH co-exist. However without Christ we are restricted to operating in "natural" faith alone.

Having separated and defined both types of faith it must be said that a lot has been achieved through "natural" faith alone and those who have dared to operate in this natural faith have been some of the world's greatest achievers! And still they have not known Christ. So although limited this natural faith evidently packs a punch regardless! When people exercise faith in anything (being totally convinced), then it's hard to shake them off, discourage them or dampen their spirit.

The significant difference between the two is that "all-things-natural" are also wholly "temporal" and for this reason it would be correct to say, "Futile is every effort that starts and ends in the flesh" because they are entirely restricted to the natural realm. That which is spiritual however can transcend and operate in any realm; giving "all-things-spiritual" a clear advantage over those things that can only operate within the one realm!

To accomplish spiritual goals therefore, such as our chief commission given to us by Christ (see Mark 16:15-18) simply nothing other than "supernatural faith" will suffice, in fact we need what Paul had, the very "...faith of the Son of God!"

Once again, on several occasions Jesus told certain individuals "Oh ye of little faith..!" (See Mathew 6:30; 8:26; 16:8; Luke 12:28) this was not a mere criticism but an actually "fact." Why? Because Jesus Himself knew that our "natural" faith was puny in comparison to His and wholly inadequate in achieving heaven's mandate! Personally I believe that Jesus was purposefully and continually provoking His disciples to rely on HIS FAITH rather than their own. Once we master this, we too can echo Paul and have "...the God kind of Faith" mentioned in Mark 11:22 and Galatians 2:20!

If there be doubt left about the need to separate faith from "natural" to the "supernatural" 1 Corinthians 2:4 says "...your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." Once we achieve this we can truly become the "history makers" of our generation.

Smith Wigglesworth once said, "Only believe! God will not fail you, Beloved. It is impossible for God to fail. Believe Him. Rest in Him, for God's rest is an undisturbed place where heaven bends to meet you. God will fulfil the promises made to you in His word - believe it!"

While looking into the dynamics of faith, we could hardly bypass the subject of "trust." Faith can't exist without it, in fact they are synonymous (indelible, intrinsic elements of the same thing!) Which of us can have faith in a God we can't trust? Even so, there are elements of faith that go way beyond mere "trust" (even if "trust" in part remains at faith's central core).

In the Old Testament certain scriptures use faith in conjunction with trust; found in such scriptures bearing the Hebrew words châsâh and bâṭach; generally taken to mean; have confidence in, trust, make refuge. For example Psalm 36:7 "How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God therefore the children of men put their trust [châsâh] under the shadow of thy wings." Also in Proverbs 3:5 "Trust [bâṭach] in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

The entire list of "heroes of faith" found in the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews (to whom New Testament believers look for inspiration) were made up of individuals who simply put their TRUST in God! As God "partnered" with them, He added His "supernatural" element to their trust! All faith is a gift.

However in the New Testament faith is considered both a supernatural "gift" and a "fruit." Yes anything "given" by God is technically a "gift" but we are talking in context with the supernatural "gift" of faith (an endowment) and then the "fruit" of the spirit (of character) as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:9 & Galatians 5:22; the significance between them simply being "power" and "life style!" One works supernaturally, the other is "outworked" in our personality by the Holy Spirit.

In his book, "Faith to Live By" the late Derek Prince wrote, "Fruit then, expresses character. When all nine forms of spiritual fruit are present and fully developed, they represent the totality of Christian character, perfectly rounded off, each form of fruit satisfying a specific need and each complementing the rest. Within this totality, the fruit of faith may be viewed from two aspects, corresponding to two different, but related, uses of the Greek word pistis. The first is trust; the second is trustworthiness."

There we have it! Trust coupled with supernatural faith vs. trustworthiness coupled with character. I prefer to say that faith is actually "supernatural trust" on a level that the natural is incapable of. And trustworthiness is part of the "divine nature" that must be outworked in our lives; as we're naturally incapable of being trustworthy in character without the Holy Spirit!

"Now the just shall live by faith (pistis): but if any man drawback, my soul shall have no pleasure in him" (Hebrews 10:38). This word pistis (pis'-tis) is the Greek word used for FAITH in Hebrews 10:38 and Romans 10:17 - which helps take things to another level!

This is where "faith" goes from being simple "trust" (or confidence) to actually focusing on "getting the job done" or "achieving the goal!" This little Greek word πίστις (pistis) is taken primarily to mean; persuasion, moral conviction (especially reliance upon Christ for salvation); assurance, belief and fidelity. "Without pistis it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6). Although it did not say "without trust it's impossible to please God" pistis could literally be translated as the "the ultimate level of TRUST."

Nevertheless just as rhēma and logos are "partners-inseparable" the same is true of faith and trust; yet whether we discuss supernatural or natural elements of faith and trust our dependability rests on God. Without Him we achieve nothing sustainable. In partnership with Him our lives can be limitless! 

PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father thank you that I can operate in the very faith of the Son of God! You have provided everything to take me over in order to be a winner in this life. Because of Your faith I can operate in a "supernatural" trust and walk with You in such a way that every mandate upon my life can be fulfilled. In Jesus Name.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I confess that Christ's faith belongs to me. All things are possible because I live by His faith! I have more than mere assurance; I have His supernatural faith. Therefore I will achieve all that God has ordained for me. I will fulfill His plans and His purposes. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Faith Acts Like We Believe!

Only Faith in TRUTH - in the Superseding Spiritual Fact - will move God to answer your Prayer and Move Satan to Flee from you as he should.

"...for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4).

Brother Hagin often used to say, "...we need to act like we believe it!" Act free; not bound again to slavery. Satan knows whether you know - your legal rights or not - by the way you live your life and the words you speak! If we act like we don't believe it - Satan knows that probably we don't! Those who have been justified act justified. They are no longer under the sentence of death but have been acquitted and found not guilty.

Note: The prosecution has no more defence against us - no more argument. IF and again I say IF we are in Christ.

Romans 8:1, "no condemnation for those who are in Christ."

The just shall live by faith. This is our legal way to live - by faith! Which include the fruits of the spirit - against which there is no law. Everything about this life has spiritual reality, whether atheists choose to believe that or not, it remains fact. And it is all about legalities. What's lawful and what's not etc... and we as Christians need to know that and not live a life of continual ignorance; for God plainly stated that, "...we perish for the lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). Even though He called the foolish things to confound the wise - He didn't expect those foolish things to stay foolish!! On the contrary we are ever encouraged to have the eyes of our understanding opened and to gain the spirit of wisdom and revelation (Ephesians 1:17, Proverbs 4).

Precisely, we are not called to a life of perpetual ignorance but a life of revelation - as true disciples - accountable to truth and living it out as it's revealed. The term "Progressive Revelation" refers to the fact that by grace we are endlessly permitted to "learn obedience" and grow in our faith - as the young Christ did in his earlier years (Hebrews 5:8). We too have to "grow up" spiritually - which requires us growing from "faith to faith, glory to glory" (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 1:17) it's a process of learning/growing/changing and correction - a time of much needed grace for our ignorant and somewhat innocent mistakes! (Psalm 44:26)

Court of Law
Legal: Prosecution/Defence

Satan as said before is a legalist. Like the best smartest lawyer or prosecution available to "appose" the saints as in Zechariah 3:1, Revelation 12:10,

"...the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the world of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."

Some say that since the time of the book of Job (considered one if not the oldest books of the bible - but not in chronological order) Satan has not been able to oppose the saints directly in the presence of the Lord, like we see in Zechariah 3:10 and other - but we see here in the NT Revelations 12:10 the word accused is used in the "PAST TENSE." So one may want to conclude that he is no longer allowed to accuse us day and night in the direct presence of God perhaps (throne room) but we do know for sure that he could for a season of time.

However notice in the same chapter verse 17 its says,

Satan is not after the "Convert"
He's after the "Disciple!"

"...and the dragon was enraged... and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

To continue the theme of the court room further - let's consider the fact that the Amplified bible calls him an "evil genius." (John 16:11)

It helps to know what you're up against..!

You need not to be ignorant of your opponent (2 Corinthians 2:11). Satan is not ignorant of the facts! Just imagine in a court of law - if one day the "prosecution" or "defence" in a high profile case decided to violate the court, the law or the Judge only in a wild attempt to prove their case! - Their means would only serve to disqualify their end! (They would be thrown out of court even if all their evidence were true!) A Court of law MUST be taken seriously and MUST only be based upon the proven or otherwise disproved FACT; but never on emotional blackmail or feelings. Someone can only be acquitted or put away "on the grounds of reasonable evidence."

Whether directly or indirectly Satan is still an ACCUSER (Revelation 12:10); in fact we can see clearly that he no longer stands in the direct presence of God to accuse us anymore - the conflict is far more direct. "...he went to make war..." Remembering that he was thrown out of the presence of God "...has been cast down" verse 10. Down where? To the earth; "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time." (verse 12)

Jesus' combat with Satan in the wilderness was face to face! Word to word... (Mark 1:13) And the wrestling of Ephesians 6 involves direct contact, "Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes..." (verse 11)

"...they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony..." (Revelation 12: 11)

As Derek Prince once said, "this was direct, (not in-direct) conflict..." mentioned there in Revelations 12:11 but also in Ephesians 6:12 where it tells us what we don't wrestle with (flesh and blood) before it goes on to confirm that our direct conflict is with ranking powers of darkness..!

"For WE DO NOT WRESTLE against flesh and blood, BUT against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" Ephesians 6:12.

Taking accusations to an "accuser"
Is like taking coal to fire!!

The Master Accuser: It's safe to say, that one must not assume to go after an experienced accuser and try and beat him at his own game! Taking ("railing") accusations to an "accuser" is like taking coal to fire!! (We must overcome evil with good, Romans 12:21) One accuser to another creates a common ground. If Michael had attempted to achieve his aims outside of his (delegated/authorised) boundaries, he would have usurped his own authority - thus usurping the Lord.

TRUTH is:
The Superseding Spiritual FACT

There is not meant to be any common ground between light and dark, truth or lie. So we come against Satan as Jesus did - with TRUTH the superseding spiritual FACT.

A dear saint who had been gloriously healed of breast cancer, shared of her struggle, and in her testimony she made this statement, "all my petitions, all my crying, failed to move God to compassion or Satan to flee! In fact none of my self pity, not any one of my emotions, my piety, nor even my virginity or holy living could move HEAVEN OR HELL - EXCEPT MY FAITH!"

She found out -

only through living it out - that the ONLY SUBSTANCE ABLE TO MOVE HEAVEN or HELL - WAS HER FAITH! God is not moved by many words (see Matthew 6:7) or favouritism - works - just by FAITH. That's why only faith pleases Him because He knows that it's the only way we can obtain His blessings made available to us through Christ. (Matthew 21:21, 1 John 5:4)

Only Faith in TRUTH - in the superseding spiritual fact - will move God to answer your prayer and move Satan to flee from you as he should. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Jesus only used truth - He did not accuse Satan. He used his only weapon - TRUTH.

There is no truth or love in Satan, like there is no light in dark. There was no common ground, because Jesus was using the truth, with the truth in his heart (rightly divided 2 Timothy 2:15). Whereas Satan was misusing the truth, in order to deceive. The motive was not the same. Jesus used the truth, not just to save or gratify self, but to save others.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord I pray as Paul prayed: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but
Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by "the faith of the Son" of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20 KJV). In Jesus Name.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Father God you never required us to clone ourselves nor strive to fulfil another man's destiny. Therefore I will keep my eyes on You to hear Your guiding voice. I possess sufficient faith this day to fulfil my divine destiny without any limitations. You have empowered me to walk with You in obedience. I will not come short in any area and I trust you this day to lead the way to success that comes from living in willing obedience.

Monday, 6 July 2015

The Best School of Prayer is on our Knees


"Do you know what prayer is? It is not begging God for this and that. The first thing we have to do is to get you beggars to quit begging until a little faith moves in your souls" (John G. Lake).

Hello! In today's "Truth for the Journey," we are going to begin looking at the whole subject of "prayer & intercession."

Just to live as a family with peace in the home, takes prayer! Discussion helps too of course, but much can be accomplished through prayer. In fact much of what we want to cast onto others, the Lord tells us to cast upon Him (1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 55:22). In this context John Wesley famously said, "I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it." And Abraham Lincoln said, "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go."

We can only be free of our burdens, once we learn to "cast" or "roll" them onto the Lord - a discipline that benefits ALL who apply it, not just those with heavy responsibilities like Wesley or Lincoln. As we will discover, prayer is NOT just for the few. Whatever our station in life, we all need prayer. In fact no measure of success or prosperity can ever be "enough" or "fulfill" our basic need for intimacy - something that can only be found on our knees before the Lord.

So over these next weeks this is going to be the subject matter for our "Truth for the Journey" articles. I trust you will enjoy them and be much inspired to have an individualized revival of your own! Let fresh "revelation" flood your heart and rebirth the desire and urgency for prayer, as you once knew it - in the beginning of your walk with the Lord.

No matter who we are, the cares of this life seek to "crowd-God-out." This alone makes prayer a "discipline" not a "recreation!"

 
Below are some quotes that share this conviction to pray:

* Pray, and let God worry. Martin Luther
* Wishing will never be a substitute for prayer. Ed Cole
* Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire? Corrie Ten Boom
* A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray. H. MacGregor
* Some people pray just to pray and some people pray to know God. Andrew Murray
* There is a mighty lot of difference between saying prayers and praying. John G. Lake
* There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him. William Law
* Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work. Oswald Chambers
* The shortening of devotions starves the soul; it grows lean and faint... William Wilberforce
* In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart. John Bunyan
* Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, pray for powers equal to your task. Phillips Brooks
* We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul. A.W. Tozer

The most basic element of prayer is "relationship." That is the essential starting point, from which all other types of praying proceed. A rich and intimate relationship with God, not unlike what E. M. Bounds was referring to when he spoke, "Those who know God the best are the richest and most powerful in prayer. Little acquaintance with God, strangeness and coldness to Him, make prayer a rare and feeble thing."

Yet even the seemingly "successful" ministers of today, who preach regularly in their own pulpits, admit lacking a decent prayer life! E. M Bounds would rightly comment on this phenomena by saying, "The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men... men of prayer."

With this in mind it definitely seems to me that just about everything in life is designed to take us "away" from praying. Not least modern technology! Take the latest pet-gadgets for example such as the iPhone or iPad. While they are great "tools-for-the-job," it's too easy to turn them on first thing every morning. Or even take them to bed, for that last "fix" before we close our eyes! It can be days; even weeks before we realize that "intimacy" is missing, through neglect of the Word or lost opportunities in the presence of the Lord.

The hope is, that this "void" which builds up within, eventually stops us in our tracks and convicts us back to our place of prayer. Where unhindered and "unpretentious" worship flows and where our inner-man feels most at home!

To continue however, besides this personal and "relational" aspect to prayer, there exists the "responsibility" of prayer, which is the main focus of this next series of "Truth for the Journey" articles that you all enjoy so much! However to clarify right at the onset - intercession is NOT a selective ministry for the few. We are ALL initiates! It is no secret society solely for self-confessing martyrs! EVERY believer has the right and the calling to stand in the gap for others. With a life style of constant "preparedness" so that when the opportunity arises and the need beckons - they are "ready" to pray. Such a readiness can only be "developed" into a person's life that intercedes continually.

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:1-5)

Finally however we must be "skilled" intercessors, as Spurgeon well pointed out, "There is a general kind of praying which fails for lack of precision. It is as if a regiment of soldiers should all fire off their guns anywhere. Possibly somebody would be killed, but the majority of the enemy would be missed" (Charles Haddon Spurgeon). This takes knowledge of the Word and how to rightly "divide" it. Jesus used it expressly in the wilderness to fight Satan; so must we (2 Timothy 2:15; Matthew 4:10). 

PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father, You gave Your Son Jesus to stand in the gap for me. The intercessor of all intercessors, who still intercedes today! Let me know what is on Your heart. Lead that I may follow. I want to allow Your Holy Spirit to pray through me. Help me take my rightful place in the ministry of prayer. In Jesus Name.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
I thank You Lord for the spirit of intercession. I receive a fresh impartation and revelation in Jesus name. I AM AN INTERCESSOR, EQUIPPED AND TRAINED TO DO HIS BIDDING. Lives WILL be changed. History WILL be altered. Prayer changes things. Prayer changes people & Prayer changes ME!
 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Revival is A Living Sacrifice (Python Series, Part 4 of4)

Revival is A Living Sacrifice (Python Series, Part 4 of4)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship (Romans 12:1 AMP).
 
 
Welcome to this edition of Truth for the Journey! Today we continue with the series, "Divination and the Python Spirit" but today we focus on "Revival is a Living Sacrifice." This series is a long one, because much is involved. In previous articles in this series so far, we have already looked at, "Divination and the Python Spirit" and explained the nature of this spiritual attack that targets the apostle and the apostolic ministry, (its finances and its operation).
 
Then we looked into "Spiritual Weariness and Exhaustion are not Age Related!" An article where we discuss the nature of python and how it looks to ware out the saints, especially the apostle. Then lastly we looked at "The Culture of Extreme Selfishness" which brings definition to the nature of narcism which has infiltrated the culture and even the Church.
 
 Todays article builds on the last, by focusing on the life style of the believer. Something that I am a great advocate for and even named my university "LifeStyle International Christian University." Without life style, we cannot emulate Christ and words are cheap when it comes to being an example, if we lack the life style to back it up.
 
Hopelessness
All those used in revival in the past [including now] - were emptied of themselves. Those individuals, who God used, knew that revival is not all about self - but what God's doing. The yolk destroying power is in the presence of God. Only when we remain in His presence, can our life styles be changed and then we'll see true revival. When it comes to revival (and leadership) - life style - is everything.
 
Jesus called us to a life style of prayer and fasting - not narcism. When people pray and don't get results, they grow very restless and hopeless, because they pray with wrong motives and hidden agendas - to furnish their narcissistic desires.
 
We see this in James 4:3: "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts" (KJV). "You do ask... and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives..." (AMP). "...you know you'd be asking for what you have no right to. You're spoiled children, each wanting your own way (MSG)."
 
For those who have lost hope, I say to you, we will never have a future in God when we focus on ourselves. We have to die to self. Lust is never satisfied. But when we are full of God - lust and self - are taken care of. In Christ we lose everything, to gain everything. "Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it" (Luke 9:24 NIV).
 
Life Style is Everything
Going back to our main focus of today, revival surrounds godly life styles, I want to look once again at our opening scripture from the Message bible, were it reads:
 
Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you (Romans 12:1 MSG).
 
We're not here to blend our lives with the culture. We're here to live the life style of God's Kingdom - in front of the culture - not the other way around! Instead we must lay the dictates of this culture down, once and for all.
 
Laying it all Down
A living sacrifice means trust. We are not meant to work everything out like one giant [spiritual] algorithm, but to trust God with our lives. Usually revivals plummet once division sets in. When division happens, get the unity back. Love stops division. Step back into God's love and lay everything down. We say that we want the anointing to destroy the yolks of bondage in our lives, but we must remain IN the anointing and not in the flesh. We must learn to move as He moves. It's a whole new life style.
 
In his book, "Hosting the Presence" Bill Johnson writes, "I realise that we are not to live by feelings. Emotions are wonderful, but not reliable indicators of God's Presence and moving. But there is a feeling that goes beyond emotions, and quite frankly can work regardless of our emotional state. It is the mood of the Holy Spirit Himself that we can become so in tune with that we move as He moves" (137). One of the greatest declarations of the bible is this, "When you draw close to God, God will draw close to you" (James 4:8 TLB) regardless whether we feel anything or not. His closeness creates new life-style in us. Where we are willing to change, to meet His expectations.
 
Subduing Appetites
One area that God's influence in our lives helps to change is our appetite. Fasting is a conviction, [not a brooding apathy!] and is a place where we learn to subdue the appetites of our flesh. What we don't need is more information or teaching. What we need is more revelation. Manna stank the day after. We need fresh Rhema every single day. "Give us this day our daily bread..." (Matthew 6:11 KJV), not only refers to physical food but to revelation. Even fellowship with the Holy Spirit must be daily or it will stink (metaphorically!) We need to develop an appetite for fresh manna. The now Word of God.
 
Divination and the python spirit will always draw us into idolatry and false worship [through our appetites], especially self-worship. For instance, I believe in abundance and the abundant life. I believe too in prosperity [and I don't want to upset anyone when I say] but we were never meant to worship abundance! We must worship the one true God (of abundance), Who gives us abundant life, through Christ. We don't hoard wealth, so that we can build ourselves big golden calves to worship!
 
What are your appetites? Do you hunger for fame and big ministry? When I listened to Joyce Myers recently, (and I've not listened to Joyce for a long while), I noticed that everything she said, was all about helping others. It was not all about making her ministry bigger or about how great the latest meetings were! Instead after many years of ministry Joyce has learnt, that it's only as she lays big-ministry down, that God has given her a big-ministry! I only use her as an example. So many in ministry today, are actually worshiping their ministries and the size of their ministries or churches- rather than God! What a bizarre state of affairs. Perhaps they were sincere to begin with but somewhere along the way, agendas got swopped and they - lost the plot!
 
Self-Help v Self-Sacrifice
Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead... SELF-HELP is no help at all. SELF-SACRIFICE is the way, my way... (Luke 9:23 MSG emphasis added)
 
If I had to put sound advice into one sentence, I would start by saying: "Get into the glory and don't work it out!" Like I said above - this is not a spiritual algorithm! We'll never be able to work it all out. Instead with supernatural words of knowledge - given to us by God - all questions are dispersed and there's no debate. In fact when God touches our lives, all the questioning stops.
 
We stop questioning because we become too overwhelmed and excited with His presence. Our focus changes. We begin supernaturally trusting God to reveal what we need to know at the right time. Then we apply our lives to the right pursuits rather than exhausting ourselves by trying to be clever and working everything out by ourselves. We are not God!
 
People who soak up the glory all the time are beaming, happy and radiant people [to be envied!] Those who don't share the same experience on the contrary are often cynical and jealous of the experience they witness in others. They are close to the spout but they are not getting wet!
 
We must stop working it out and get into the presence of God and let Him work it out. Wherever the glory is, that's where God is speaking, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee" (Isaiah 60:1 KJV). And we must sacrifice self-will so that we can enter His presence. As priests of our own soul - we must sacrifice self-will every day. "Not my will but yours be done," (Luke 22:42 NIV). "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23 NIV).
 
We make sacrifices on the alter of our own souls so that we can enter into God's presence. If our worship is not helping us achieve this, then it's not worship. "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks... (John 4:23-24 NIV).
 
Finally have you ever noticed how 100% tennis players are? They are ALL-IN and SOLD-OUT  individuals. They are so focused, to win. We must be the same. ALL IN - BELIEVERS. But for tennis players, it's all about the tennis and not about themselves. In fact they deny themselves many luxuries, to fulfil the demands of their sport. Equally so - it's all about Christ and not about us. If tennis players can deny themselves to follow sport, we can deny ourselves, to follow Christ!
 
If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also]. For whoever would preserve his life and save it will lose and destroy it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he will preserve and save it [from the penalty of eternal death] (Luke 9:23-24 AMP).
 
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father help me to deny myself today to follow Christ. I want to preserve my life in Christ and not lose it on myself. Help me lay all my selfishness down so that I can live the life style of Your Kingdom. In Jesus name. Amen.
 
CONFESSION OF THE DAY
I soak up the glory. I arise and shine because the glory of the Lord is upon me. I am radiant with the glory of the Lord. My life style is Christlike not selfish. I consume the fresh Rhema of God's Word. I fellowship with God's Holy Spirit. My hope is in Him. I am not hopeless but hopeful. My tank is always full because I remain thankful!