Holy Spirit, You Rock!

I love the freedom and grace of Holy Spirit.  He is our biggest fan, our encourager, our teacher, comforter and so much more.  He is the epitome of freedom and the complete opposite of religion.

Holy Spirit loves it when we step out and try, when we take our toddling steps towards our destiny.  He gives us the room to experiment, to grow, to move in our motivations from His love without condemnation, fear or punishment.

His love is corrective, nurturing, growing and disciplining; in that He motivates and enables us to step up into a higher plane of relationship with Jesus Christ.

Religion teaches that we have to have a skill, way or thinking or characteristic before we learn it putting the cart before the horse but, the Holy Spirit teaches us and enables us through His power to walk through experiences that build concretely the in-depth truths of these skills, ways of thinking and characteristics that are quickened into our hearts forever becoming a “living truth”.

This is what it means to marry the “Word of God” to the “Spirit of God”.  We have to move out of the confines of religious, dogmatic, theological thinking.

It reminds me of stories I have heard that people I have worked with have told me about in regards to engineering.  There is a definitive difference between textbook theory and real world practical application.  While both have their place, there is a relationship that exists between the two to bring about the “real truth”.

Recently a dear sister of mine gave me a prophetic word that said “Your Joy and Strength are found in letting go of your preconceive notions”.  It was for me, a call to embrace the openness of Holy Spirit that cannot be contained in our finite understanding.  When we understand we don’t have to have it all figured out, have a formula for everything or put everything into nice little boxes so we can feel like we are smarter or more righteous and holy than someone else, we become free of the stifling confines of our own intellect and feeble minds.

Holy Spirit wants us to experience the Word, not just be able to recite it.  By that, I mean we have the opportunity to embrace and believe for every promise, blessing and every spiritual gift that has been afforded.

While many denominations will teach that James 1:22 refers to “outward works of righteousness”, for me it gives much broader connotations; that we should embrace ALL of what the Word of God has for us and walk in the fullness of that, not merely what we can seemingly accomplish in our own strengths.

James 1:22

22 But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].

We allow Holy Spirit to birth creativity, wisdom and the Mind of Christ in us and without having to carry all the baggage of convincing ourselves that we have control or a monopoly on what God is thinking or saying.  It is liberating and it is joyous.

It is impossible, yes impossible, to live the life of Christ and embrace our supernatural existence as a believer without knowing and having the Holy Spirit. For the flesh can only give birth to the flesh and the spirit must born of spirit.

We must endeavor to listen, see, feel and experience everything Holy Spirit has for us.  It is only through Him that the understanding of who Jesus Christ truly is becomes alive to us, that the living Word comes alive to us, that our identity and destiny comes alive to us.

I want more of Holy Spirit in my life, to live in a place of perpetual baptism of His love, power, grace and wisdom.  This is how we enable and live the abundant kingdom life.

Holy Spirit, you rock.

Strength Made Perfect in Weakness

Some Christians would have you believe that the ability to go deeper in God revolves around you and your ability to discipline your flesh.

While it is important for us to present our body as a living sacrifice, submission is not laborious; in fact it is the exact opposite.

The trap in much of Christianity, is that we must work and be busy to show that we are “sincere” and “truly believe” or “really love” God but, God never requires us to do anything more than to submit to His leadership and be obedient to what He directs us to do.

That is quite a departure from the long laundry list of requirements some would have us believe we must do to become more intimate with God.

This is not to say that we should not pursue the Lord in our own strength and commit our efforts to growing more in love and in revelation of His will for our lives however, it is freedom from the lie that if we do not produce it in our own strength we will never see it or that we are not sincere in our hunger for more of God.

Intimacy is not a job, in fact Jesus made it very clear that intimacy simply comes from sitting at His feet rather than laboring and working to earn a higher or deeper place (as some would say) who in doing so effectively exemplify and identify themselves with Martha who was offended at the one (Mary) who did not labor in an attempt to position herself in better standing with Jesus and prove her dedication.

If you struggle with unbelief, listen to the Word of God until it becomes belief.

If you struggle with weakness and unbelief confess the truth and promises of God’s Word openly with your mouth until your heart aligns with your mouth.

God responds to our cries in weakness and desperation that are full of truth and desire, even when we cannot help ourselves.

God is not hindered by your weakness but is totally motivated by your desire. HE and HE alone can and will help your unbelief, weakness or lack. It is HE who gives faith and revelation by HIS Spirit alone. He does not need your works to give His good gifts and love.

He gives it freely. If we are so busy working trying to prove to God that we deserve more of His love, we miss out on an opportunity simple to experience and receive direct impartation of His love by HIS doing:

Mark 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

It is true that the mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart, but if there is a great desire for something even in the absence of it in our heart, our mouth can proclaim truths and be empowered (quickened) by the Holy Spirit that can fill our heart in agreement, making it a truth as truth has never been before in our hearts.

Don’t wreck yourself trying to convince God and others of your belief, trust that He loves you so much that He will help you overcome your unbelief so that you can love and trust Him as your heart truly desires to.

Zephaniah 3:17
“The Lord your God is in your midst,
A Warrior who saves.
He will rejoice over you with joy;
He will be quiet in His love [making no mention of your past sins],
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.

The Power of Worship

Recently I came across an article published in Charisma online.  I normally try to stay away from controversy and argument because it is not edifying however, this is an issue that I felt needed to be addressed because it is robbing Christians of a powerful truth that is available to them.

There are people in the Christian church that want to keep worship squashed and make comparisons such as this not because they are correct or even led by the Holy Spirit. It is because they themselves don’t have the first clue about how to engage the Lord in Worship.

Jesus told the woman at the well that the day was coming when believers would worship in spirit and in truth.

I have include the link to the article at the conclusion of this blog for anyone who would like to read it for themselves.

David ironically was a worshiper and understood it’s importance. Had Saul been a worshiper himself, he would not have struggled with demons but the worship of David drove those demons away temporarily – it did NOT soothe them.

Worship is vitally important because you encounter the “Living Word” when you do.

The bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 3:18

18 And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.

When we encounter the Lord we are transformed into His image.

Christians are failing to realize that “The Word” is not merely a book but a living person and His name is Jesus Christ.

Without knowing the “Living Word” the written Word is just that, a written book of words.

Worship does not “soothe” demons, it sends demons fleeing, it gives deliverance from demons and oppression. In fact the very presence of God inhabits our praises.

For too long many teachers and pastors have downplayed worship and the power and importance of it in the life of the believer. But this does not come as a surprise as we see more and more Christians and Christian leaders embracing world views, systems and ways of thinking forfeiting a relationship with the Holy Spirit and refusing to embrace the gifts and fruits that He has given to us.

The bible tells us that this is to be expected in 2 Timothy 3:5

5 For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].

Friends, this supernatural existence we have as “sons of God” is not about works, intellect, research or positions.

We have to marry the spirit and the word together. If we do not bring the two together, we are missing key and vital areas of our Christian existence.

You cannot neglect studying God’s written word and as a minister I cannot express that enough but as a child of God who’s highest calling is to minister to God first, I cannot begin to explain the importance of praise and worship to our Heavenly Father and the honor we need to bestow on Jesus Christ and the connection we need to have to the Holy Spirit.

If our relationship and our ministry to the world and believers as Christians and as ministers and leaders is not built upon worship and intimate connection to God empowered and operated by love, then it is nothing.

Without this connection we will utterly fail and will begin to operate in our own strength and flesh.

Do not sacrifice worship and praise or look at it as secondary to anything else. It is the primary reason for our very being.

God is raising up a movement to restore the hearts of the children back to the Father and it will come through praise and worship that ignites intimacy and will lead to a burning in our very bones for the truth of God’s word to be consumed by our hearts that have been set ablaze by His.

http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/63318-are-the-millennials-the-saul-generation

 

Grace

Grace,  it does not enable sin, it frees you from the power and confines of sin and empowers you to live a life apart from sin.  Saying grace gives Christians a “license to sin” is the same as saying “accepting Jesus Christ as your savior gives you a license to sin”.

Grace is not simply redemptive, in fact it is power at work through us by the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Grace gives us full righteousness so that we are not bound by the condemnation of sin and gives us a new nature by which we live through Jesus Christ and produces the ability by its power towards us to abstain from sin and practice righteousness in our flesh.

No amount of behavior modification or will power will ever bring our flesh into submission, for what must be produced by the spirit cannot be birthed in the flesh.

We must understand that living under the title of “Son of God” is wrapped up in learning how our Father sees us.  To understand His love for us, being confident in that love and having wisdom and revelation concerning the grace of Jesus Christ.  In that, knowing that it provides our irrevocable righteousness and the supernatural nature of our relationship with the Holy Spirit

Declarations

It is always amazing how God speaks things into our hearts about things we are dealing with or growing in.

As Christians, we know that our “confession” is very important and through reading and understanding God’s Word, we can see by example that we can make “declarations” about our lives based on the promises we have been given, whether it be about our daily needs, our healing, our finances or whatever situation we may be facing.

There is an interesting thing to declarations that God began to show me. When we make declarations, the result might not be immediate, but it makes known to all especially the “enemy” where we stand and what our intent is.

When the Colonial Americans wrote the “Declaration of Independence”, it was a bold statement to the enemy as to what their intentions were, what beliefs they held and what they were willing to do to see them realized.

Even though the “declaration” was made, the results and demands of the declaration were not immediately evident. There was a period of war, fighting, claiming territory, hardship and pain.

Through all of it however, one thing remained: The declaration stood and so did the people who made it.

In the end, there was a complete victory over a much larger and powerful enemy.

From that initial declaration, America went on to become the most powerful and greatest nation in the world.

So, what can we take from this? Make your declarations based on what the Word of God speaks over you and your life, agree with it, be tenacious about it. Don’t be discouraged if the results are not immediate because there may be war happening in the supernatural that is bringing you to the conclusion of your outward declaration to the enemy.

Sometimes battles are won swiftly, but sometimes it takes time to take the day.

No Plan B

Sometimes we don’t know what to say, sometimes we are too heavy to speak.

This can happen when we are weighed down by life’s concerns, when we are broken and hurting and when we are confused about our life and do not know what to do or what direction to go.

With our Heavenly Father, there is no pretentiousness, no need for formality.  We can sit without a word, without a song, without a scripted prayer and simply acknowledge God.

Our weakest and most broken connection captures and ravishes the heart of Jesus. In our weakness His strength is made complete, and His strength completes His work in us and through us.

Worship can begin as a broken silent cry in our hearts when we unable to speak, as a whisper when we cannot talk, as a word when we cannot yell.

Wherever we are His Spirit will bring us to the top of the mountain with the roar of a lion in the face of the enemy.


He is faithful, always, and He WILL finish the good work he has begun in you regardless of where you are, what your reputation has been or how the world sees you.

God has no “plan B” for your life and He is able to resurrect and carry out His “plan A” for your life’s calling. The gifts and callings of God are irrevocable.

The Greatest is Love…

Christians sometimes will argue over what is the singularly most important aspect of serving God and being a Christian however, for me the answer is simple. What do I feel is the single most important elemental and fundamental revelation in serving Christ? Simply…Love…

I am not talking about an infatuation love or a romantic love, but the Agape love of God himself birthed in us by His Spirit.

Love in the essence by which all things are accomplished. You may ask, “Are faith and hope important?” “What about the gifts of the Spirit?” Of course, but what is the motivation for these things? Love.

The gifts of the spirit are for edification, strengthening, healing etc. all given for love’s sake.

1 Corinthians 13:13 Amplified Bible (AMP)
13 And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.
So, love is the greatest? Make’s sense love being the very fabric of God’s essence.

1 John 4:8 Amplified Bible (AMP)
8 The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]

But what about faith? Isn’t faith how we accomplish things by the Spirit? Well, yes, faith is important for it is impossible to please God without faith…

Hebrews 11:6 Amplified Bible (AMP)
6 But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.

But how does faith work? How do we increase our faith? How does faith cause things to happen in the supernatural, what is the catalyst that ignites faith? The revelation of God’s love.

Galatians 5:6 Amplified Bible (AMP)
6 For [if we are] in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but only faith activated and expressed and working through love.

If we want to see more of the gifts of the spirit, if we want to see miracles, if we want to see healing, if we want to see power, authority, destinies realized, we need to understand God’s love for us. For only in our understanding (revelation) of God’s love by the Holy Spirit for us can we begin to rise in our confidence and faith in who we are in Christ and how our Heavenly Father truly sees us and has made us. It will give us the ability to love each other with the love that Christ has for us.

This love gives us the ability to no longer regard people according to their flesh but rather, to see them as they can and will be through Jesus Christ.  Love, gives us prophetic eyes to see people as they are at their absolute best when they are at their absolute worst.

This is the reason why sinners were drawn to Jesus and ultimately why they left their old lives and identities as sinners.  Jesus loved and treated them in a way as if they were already precious, favored and loved and in doing so gave them something they desired more than what they had.

John 13:34-35 Amplified Bible (AMP) 34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you [a]love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”

Ephesians 1:15-19 Amplified Bible (AMP)
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers; 17 [I always pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may grant you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation [that gives you a deep and personal and intimate insight] into the true knowledge of Him [for we know the Father through the Son]. 18 And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people), 19 and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe.

How do I get this revelation of God’s love? Simple. From the Word of God and the teaching of the Holy Spirit. What man cannot do in of himself, God will do it in His perfect strength and by His Holy Spirit. Through a submitted and yielding heart to say yes to His leadership, we grow in the grace, love and revelation that comes by the Spirit of God. The illuminated Word of God becomes a treasure that resides with the Holy Spirit in our heart and becomes our treasure. The overfilling of the revelation knowledge, love and Holy Spirit in our lives pours out into the lives of others
.
Luke 6:45 Amplified Bible (AMP)
45 The [intrinsically] good man produces what is good and honorable and moral out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart; and the [intrinsically] evil man produces what is wicked and depraved out of the evil [in his heart]; for his mouth speaks from the overflow of his heart.

Begin to ask God today to give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation concerning His love for you and for those around you and watch what God begins to do!

A Supernatual Existence

Matthew 5:43-47

43 You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy;

44 But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

45 To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike].

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that?

47 And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that?

 

I have at times read the above scriptures and thought about them and wondered why would Jesus give a mandate to love those that hate us and to pray for those who despise us and persecute us?

I think in a lot of Christian’s minds it’s a benchmark that Jesus set for us to “work” towards being “holy” or Christ like.

While I won’t argue that it is certainly “Christlike” I don’t think that is the singular thing that Jesus intended for us in making such a statement.

In fact, I believe that the main reason was less about us striving to be able to behave in a certain way and more about us understanding the power we have inside of us to break the strongholds of the enemy in the lives of those around us and to tear down the “gates of hell” the enemy has laid to keep us from taking dominion over that area.

I believe that the enemy is clever and can trip us up even as we read the Word of God keeping us on a merry-go-round of works, making us prideful when we think we have kept the commandment better than another and then making us feel powerless and unrighteous when we don’t.

Keeping us so engaged on the work that we miss the real way that such is accomplished and what it actually produces and what damage it does to the kingdom of the ruler of this world.

We must begin by seeking a spirit of wisdom and revelation.  In addition to that, we must begin to believe and to understand the power that is given towards us that are in Christ and stop reasoning with a carnal mind, laying aside those things that are of the natural and embracing the supernatural existence we live.

That what is impossible, becomes the possible and even the inevitable because of who God is and who and what He has made us through Christ.

By opening ourselves up to be changed by the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to produce such fruit in our lives, by giving us the ability to love unconditionally, we affect our world in two major ways;

  1. We impact the life of those we love and pray for by releasing the Kingdom of God into their lives.
  2. We shift our way of seeing people in our natural eyes to seeing them through the eyes of Jesus.

 

All of what Christ taught in this respect always yields productivity several fold over and in many facets.  We can certainly glean from this one teaching that by following these instructions Jesus gave that we change the people and the world around us and we also change ourselves and gain revelation by simply putting ourselves into a position to be obedient to Holy Spirit.  It all begins with a willingness.

When we begin to come to the understanding by revelation that Jesus does not instruct us in these ways simply to give us spiritual assignments or homework in order to feel like we are doing something worthwhile in pursuit of holiness but rather, we are learning how to walk with power and authority and to release that into our environment we will see the fruit of it in those around us and in our communities.

If perfect love casts out all fear, then when we walk and display love that is unconditional and motivated by the heart of God, demons will shriek with fear when they see us coming into their territory just as they did when Jesus walked near the graveyard where legion possessed the man residing there.

What would begin to happen in our world if we began to see people no longer according to the flesh as Paul described but rather, we began to see them as Christ sees them.  Not only that they are loved and worthy to be redeemed but to see them as they can be in Christ as if they are already such!

We see them by faith through prophetic eyes.  This is why Jesus could see us as His inheritance and went to the cross, suffered and died and did so with joy in His heart.

Imagine the things we would declare and speak over people if we could begin to see them this way.

Imagine the things we would declare over our children even when they are rebellious and seem to be running from God  or over their future spouses, our future grandchildren if we began to see them in this way.

This is why we don’t have to waste our time with condemnation or judging the world.  How else can we expect someone to act who is under the influence and leadership of the ruler of this world?  But, when we introduce love and we speak with authority in prayer over those that seem to hate us and persecute us, we are not simply following some moral code or obligation that Jesus gave to keep us busy trying to look like Christians, it was the ability to offer a counter attack on behalf of those who are caught and enslaved by sin and the world’s system of thinking and cannot defend themselves.

More and more it is imperative that we seek revelation knowledge in these areas, to see ourselves not as people who try to keep busy with religious activities but understand the power and authority we have and the very nature of our existence as something that is supernatural.

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How Big Are You Thinking?

The scriptures tell us as believers we have the mind of Christ. This is not merely for “religious” thinking, but rather that we can begin to think with a kingdom mentality, to begin to see and think on a scale and with the scope of God’s mind for our lives, our family, our finances, our calling and our destiny.

God wants to give you God sized dreams, visions and goals, not man sized. We must begin to open our hearts and minds to imagine what God sees for us.

1 Corinthians 2:16 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

16 For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.