Spiritual growth

The Illusions of Leadership

I was in worship, and in a moment of time the Lord showed me a vision depicting the spiritual state of much of the leadership in the contemporary church. Later, He said to me, ‘I am breaking the illusion.’

I stood on a cliff, high, but not at the top of a great mountain, and saw a vast plain before the sea. Far below was the leadership of the church, at ground level, with a scant few on small hills. They looked out to sea, and seemed unaware of the mountain at their backs. They had neither the courage to go into the deep, nor the awareness to climb the heights, but they stood there, some in smug satisfaction with where they stood.

The awful truth, hidden under many layers of pious phraseology, shallow theology, and a great many convincing but learned behaviors which can create an image of maturity, is that much of the leadership of the church has not matured, has not been delivered, and is not purified from many of the sinful influences of the world. Some of these influences are so pervasive, so subtle, that we are not only able to discern them for what they are, but we even embrace and defend them as inherent to our culture, character, temperament, or whatever ‘necessities’ we may conjure up to excuse ourselves from the inconvenient burdens of a guilty conscience.

God is again calling us to examine ourselves. We are often unable to adequately address the issues of our time and our culture because we are on the same level as the culture itself. We have not launched away from it into the depths, nor have we risen above it, and we are usually unaware that we are more submitted to culture than to Christ. There is a deeper repentance needed, so that we will realize where we have been, and that it is low. There is a further purification necessary to be able to address the culture from a heart uncluttered by that culture and unfettered by carnality.

Arise, repent, and be purified, so that you can become who God intended you to be. A lost and broken world awaits you.

Healing a Nation Requires Depth

Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me

Psalm 42:7

If you have ever been under a waterfall, you know for certain that you will surely get drenched. I’ve never stood under a waterfall, but I know a bit about waves. Many years ago, during a summer in California, I spent the day on the beach at Corona Del Mar. While I stood on the shore, a little boy started talking to me. I can’t remember what he had asked me, but I’ll never forget what happened next. As I stood there with my back to the ocean, that little boy’s eyes grew wide with fear as he backed away. Then I noticed that the sand at my feet seemed darked. It was only very slight, but there it was: the shadow of a huge wave that was cresting behind me.

I made the mistake of turning to see it, and the last thing I saw before I was driven to my knees was the massive curl of the wave above me. I was a powerlifter, freakishly strong, but even as I braced myself for the impact, I was completely powerless before the tremendous weight of the water as it clobbered me. When it passed, not only was I on my hands and knees, but I’d been driven sveral inches into the sand by the impact.

And here we are, leading God’s people when we ourselves have not truly been ovewhelmed and overpowered by the sovereign grace of God. We preach about it, we expound it so well within our neat and tidy theological frameworks, but is it evident in our lives? Have we truly been stripped of the sovereignty of our self will, are we truly so drenched in His grace that everything we touch gets wet?

The reason church leaders have been largely unable to heal the deeper wounds of our culture is that they lack the inner spiritual depth to even properly diagnose the root causes thereof. A further consequence of this lack of depth is a lack of the authentic love for God, His people, and the nation to even be trusted the kind genuine apostolic authority needed to break the spiritual strongholds that have made these issues so prevalent even within the churches themselves.

The Lord has had my focus on the issue of depth the last few days, and He has been highlighting to my that this lack of depth is pervasive throught church leadership. Not surprisingly, we reproduce our depth, or lack thereof in others.

I ask not how far you’re willing to go in God, as we are usually quick to make pious declarations of this, and usually it’s a combination of well-meant wishful thinking and presumptuous virtue-signalling rarely backed in our actions. Neither am I asking you to do more, or even to do anything at all.

Rather I ask, how far has God gone in you? How far are you willing to be swept away by His sovereignty, that He would mold you into precisely what He intended you to be?

Can you really surrender it all?

Restoration instead of Recrimination

We are now so morally and emotionally bankrupt as a society that we allowed ourselves to be conditioned to believe that the absence of dysfunction is privilege.
This is a strategy of the enemy to breed envy on one side, and resentment on the other, when we should have loved one another to build a better future together.
We can easily get caught up in this dynamic, and a clear example of it is the interactions in which one person says ‘Black lives matter,’ and the other person responds ‘All lives matter,’ as if this should be an argument instead of a conversation.
While that movement has been distorted by people with wicked, divisive motives, there is nothing wrong with the statement ‘Black lives matter.’ Within that statement is the cry of a piece of our society that is hurting, that may perhaps be articulated as ‘I’m hurting. Why doesn’t it matter to YOU?’
We can argue whether it matters to some of us or most of us, but the truth is we as people in general have a tendency to listen to RESPOND, and not to UNDERSTAND, so while some of us care, we haven’t always understood, because we haven’t loved one another to try to understand. This is true on all sides.
The answers, complex though they may be, must begin with REPENTANCE, and a genuine submission to the Lordship of Christ, that our hearts may be purified and we are thereby made better able to forgive one another and engage in restoration rather than recriminations.
Where we go one, we go all.

Is it really privilege?

I can choose to resent someone else for having a good childhood and loving parents if I see that as some form of privilege.

I can also recognize that I was raised by monsters and no one else should feel guilty that they weren’t.

Much of what we are being conditioned to believe is privilege are the way things would and should be if one or more involved parties were not dynfunctional, ignorant, misguided, evil, stupid, or some combination thereof.

Regardless of what’s happened to me, it’s still my responsibility to get my house in order.

Is Christ endless in YOU?

And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

Hebrews 7:15-16

We often speak of the priesthood of every believer, and perhaps too often we are taught to pursue it by mere carnal commandments and vain religious pursuit that is merely an outward display of piety that diguises our inner life. Is Christ’s life ENDLESS in you? How far does his influence reach in our actions, decisions, emotions, and innermost thoughts and desires?

Oh God, that you would stamp eternity on my eyes and heart!

Pick up your cross

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

What does it really mean to take up your cross?

At the time Jesus said this, if you saw a man carrying a cross out of town, you knew one thing for certain: he wasn’t coming back. Likewise, if we are to take up our cross, the man you were, the man you would be without Christ, that man your flesh wants you to be, must DIE.

This is not an option. It is not some ‘level’ of maturity or of special status in the kingdom, but rather it is the minimum requirement to follow Christ.. and it is good.

There are two kinds of people: those who are dead in sin, and those who are dead to sin. Which will you be today?

Faith vs. Presumption

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:16)

What do you really believe about God?

An honest answer to that question will tell you a great deal about where your faith is and it will also reveal the ‘why’ behind so much of your life and how you’ve handled it.For many of us, our perception of God becomes distorted or even corrupted by negative experiences because somewhere along the line we began to believe that faith means believing that God has to give us whatever we want.

Everything about the life of the believer comes through and by Christ, and so we must understand that if Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), God is only obligated to finish what He started. For so many of us, resolving a crisis of faith must begin with recognizing where we have exercised faith and where we have simply walked in presumption.

Once you can recognize the difference, frustration, confusion, despair, and every other thing that comes with a troubled faith walk must flee.

Are YOU willing today to own up to where you didn’t believe, but just presumed?

It’s not just about you.

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1 Corinthians 9:27)
 
Paul made sure to exert careful discipline in his own life so that he could never become a scandal to those who followed him. Understand this, little flock: your walk is never just about you. Just as your courage in your daily warfare may inspire others, so also might your cowardice cause others to succumb to the enemy’s wiles.
 
Today, I beseech you, brethren to stand firm in the face of whatever warfare comes your way.
 
Stand for Christ.
 
Stand for yourselves.
 
Stand for your families.
 
 
Stand for the brethren.
 
Stand for the souls who quietly watch you to see who your God really is.
 
Stand.

God made you a SON!

So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:7, ESV)

So often we get caught up in gifts, callings, ministries, and so much more, and we start to think that our gift or our ministry is our identity. When me mistake our calling for our identity, we call into the trap of working in that calling as a way of relating to or pleasing God. However, the truth is that no matter what your calling, that is your JOB, not your identity.

Whether I am a doctor, a plumber, a carpenter, or even a criminal, I would still be my father’s son. Likewise, your identity in the kingdom isn’t apostle, prophet, evangelist, etc., but it is SON. You might be a prophet for life, but you are a SON for eternity!

If you are a son, then you are no one’s slave. You are the heir! The promises of God are YOURS because He loves you. His favor is YOURS because He loves you. Everything Christ has, and everything Christ is, is YOURS, because you are a SON!

Shall we then neglect our calling? God forbid. Rather, our kingdom activity should be the fruit of our identity.

Do you want clarity in your calling?
Do you need direction for your ministry?
Do you need a breakthrough?

These things are already yours in Christ, because He made you a SON!

Therefore, let us focus on being the Sons of God.

When I was a little boy, I rarely asked my father for anything, and this puzzled him. The truth was that it didn’t occur to me to ask him for things for two reasons: I trusted him, and it was enough for me to simply be around him.

As a grown man, my father told me of all his children I’d honored him the most, and had been the greatest blessing to him.

Do you want to honor God, and be a blessing in His kingdom? Spend time with Him simply for the sake of fellowship. You may be surprised just how much He will reveal to you when you seek His face and not His hand.

Every answer to prayer, every breakthrough, every healing, every deliverance was already accomplished at Calvary. Allow God to grow you as a son, and these other things will be added to you.

Were you SENT?

‘I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.’ (Jeremiah 23:21)

It is never enough to be gifted, or anointed. To be effective, the prophet must be SENT by God after having heard from Him. We may notice in this chapter of Jeremiah that God never disputes that these prophets prophesied.

However, God does say that they prophesied by Baal (v. 13), they committed adultery and walked in lies (v. 14), and their vision was from their own heart, and not from God (v.16).

In our time, many of us have been taught that the prophets can prophesy whenever they want, but the truth is that the prophet must be SENT. Otherwise there is the very real danger that the prophet’s words have a source of inspiration other than God.

In this particular chapter of Jeremiah, we see that the prophets encouraged those who refused to depart from sin, and today we see a very similar patter in how so often ministries insist that prophecy MUST always positive and encouraging.

What are your motives in prophesying?

Why do you seek out prophets and prophecy?

Are you walking in truth while wanting to be the mouthpiece of God?

Moved by the Holy Ghost

“Because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:21)

What to do with a Prophetic word

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;

But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.

Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:3)


What to do with a prophetic word:

God never intended for us to chase after prophecies, and no, you don’t ‘need’ a word for every situation you’re in. The Bible says that the just shall live by FAITH, not by prophecy. I’ve got some heavy situations going on right now, and I DON’T want a word about it. I’ve decided I’m going to trust that God didn’t lie to me, that he hasn’t forgotten me, and that my appointed time will come. There’s a time and place for a word, and there’s a time for FAITH which produces works (see James 2).
What then, should you do with a prophetic word? Assuming you’ve tested it and it really was a word from God…

1. Wait for it to come to pass (Hab. 2:3)
2. Speak it back to God
3. Pray concerning it
4. Take action in accordance with the word
5. Ask yourself, ‘What do I need to be doing to position myself to receive what God promised?’ This is NOT in the sense of earning it, but rather in the sense of being ready to handle the responsibility of stewarding the blessing.
6. Ask God the same question.
7. Do what is necessary from #5 and 6.
8. Study scripture related to what God told you.
9. Keep your life CLEAN. The angels don’t cry ‘love, love, love.’ They cry ‘holy, holy, holy.’

The Love of Christ contrains us…

For if we be beside ourselves, it is for God; if we be soberminded, it is for your cause .For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge that if One died for all, then all were dead; and that He died for all, that those who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them and rose again. (2 Cor 5:13-15)

You cannot lead God’s people effectively if you don’t love them. Here Paul tell us not only that the love of Christ compels him to serve God’s people, but WHY it compels him.

They were all dead in sins and trespasses, and were now alive in Christ. Imagine for a moment if a dearly loved family member suddenly died, but then was brought back to life. How would you respond? How would you relate to them? Would you go on as if nothing happened, or would you want to make the most of your time with them because you got them back from the dead? Would you believe that they’d been returned to you for no particular reason or purpose at all?

Most likely you’d believe there had to be some purpose in it, and likewise, God has been purposeful in redeeming His people. Leaders, these people were brought from death to life! It is therefore of utmost importance that, as a leader, you do what you can to be sure that they can live unto Him who died for them and rose again. What can you do to help them in the journey to their God-ordained destiny?

God never resurrects something for it to be useless and without purpose. Remember this today, that there are no idle details in your life.

Little flock, you were dead, but now you live. Get busy living.

Should we practice prophesying?

Practice prophecy thread!

Just kidding. No one ever needs to practice prophesying.

Why?

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:21)

If you really could genuinely prophesy whenever you want, you could heal, work miracles, and cast out demons whenever you wanted, too.

There are quite a few reasons why so many who teach on the prophetic promote ‘practicing.’ The first and most obvious is that very often we may genuinely perceive something prophetically, and getting people to speak what they see or otherwise perceive is an easy way to get some kind of ‘results’ out of your teaching. However. not everything we perceive is intended to be disclosed.

Even the secular world understands this. Certain information is classified, and is not for public disclosure, and releasing it without authorization can have severe penalties. In Deuteronomy 18:20, the word says:

But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

There was a death penalty not just for a prophecy that wasn’t real, but for ANYTHING spoken in God’s name that He had not expressly commanded. Thus we must understand that for something to be real prophecy, God has to have expressly directed you to say it.

This brings us to the usual claims of ‘practicers’ that they are being led by the Holy Spirit. If indeed you are being led by the Holy Spirit, why then do you not rely on that leading for guidance? When then are you in 34 Facebook groups looking for a word when you could be following His direction into your destiny?

Prophecy has its place. It has a role, but we were never meant to live by it. Many of you are seeking prophetic words when all this time God has been giving you direction all around you, but you haven’t paid attention. You’ve overlooked His guidance because you didn’t trust Him to guide you in the first place.

Let him who has an ear hear what the Spirit is saying to the church: The just shall live by faith.

Direction requires correction!

Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellers they are established. — Proverbs 15:22

So many of the saints I talk to find themselves in a state of confusion, misdirection, or frustration, and very often they are members of seemingly thriving churches. They’ve spent years, or even decades, going to church, but have no real direction for their purpose. A few might even have a vision or known calling but still have no real idea where to begin or how to continue once they do.

So, what should they do about it? Such a situation requires a good honest look at whether you’re in the right environment to begin with. Now, that may sound harsh, but if church leadership hasn’t clarified your purpose at least enough for you to get started on it in ten years, it’s either poor leadership, or the wrong leadership for you, assuming you have been earnestly seeking God for yourself. You may need to find some new leadership. Even then, still need counsellors, advisors to move your purpose forward. Given what Proverbs tells us, it seems that the wie thing to do is to ensure we have advisors, and the right ones, to assist us in the pursuit of our vision.

The greatest athletes and entertainers in the world have coaches. In football, you have a head coach, offensive coaches, defensive coaches, special teams coaches, strength coaches, and so on. Great singers have voice coaches. They don’t mind spending a lot of money on all this coaching. Now I say this because very often one of the mental barriers that we often have when it comes to acquiring a Life Coach is we will think or say it’s too expensive.  Let’s examine this logic.

Let’s look at Scotty, who has some idea that he is called to be some kind of real estate investor with a prophetic evangelistic mission, according to several prophetic words he’s received over the last 10 years at 1st Missionry Baptist Church of Stuckville, Illinois. In 10 years at that church, Scotty has given $5000 a year in tithes, offerings, and other gifts. That’s $50,000.  But he’s stuck. he’s never had so much as ONE meeting with his pastor about his calling, or his pastor charges additional hourly fees for such meetings, which Scotty can’t afford because tithes, offerings and all the special giving has him tapped out. So Scotty has spent $50,000 to be stuck, without direction, frustrated and broke. Doesn’t that sound expensive to you?

What are you waiting for? Click here to schedule your Vision Strategy session.

What to do when a prophetic word FAILS to come to pass


 

Over the years I’ve run into many people who were disappointed, disillusioned, discouraged and disgusted because of how so many prophecies fail to come to pass in the church. So often when this is addressed, if it’s addressed at all, they are given excuses or are blamed for the prophetic word’s failure. But is it always the receiver’s fault?

Let’s talk about why prophetic words fail and what to do about it.

The Dirt on Church Hurt


 

I have heard so many leaders talk about people getting hurt in the church, but nearly all the discussion was limited to blaming the people who were hurt, ridiculing them, or making weak arguments as to why they just need to come back to the local church. Let’s have a real talk about why ‘church hurt’ happens and what we can do about it.

How to hande rejection of a REAL Prophetic Word

People aren’t always going to believe the Word of the Lord, and as prophets we sometimes struggle with the rejection that sometimes come from them. Let’s talk.

 

Romans 9 – The Sovereign Grace of God in Christ

Grace isn’t just forgiveness and forbearance, it is the divine influence which is intended to bring the Lordship of God into our life. You don’t have to live in defeat, because Christ provided not only forgiveness, but the power to become the sons of God. Let’s talk.

 

Romans 8 – Free from the Law of Sin and Death!

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)

What does it really mean to have been made free from the Law of sin and death? What does this imply for us as believers? Should our life consist of continual defeat and sin, or continual victory? Let’s discuss how Jesus Christ made victory possible, probably, even inevitable to those who surrender their life to God through Him.

My simple approach to Bible study for Spiritual Growth

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

One of the essentials of the faith is the study of the word. Why? Here are some of the benefits:

1. When we know the word, we are better able to distinguish the true from the false, the unclean from the clean. While some of this responsibiliy rests upon the shoulders of leaders who must teach God’s people (Ezekiel 44:23), it is clear we also need to study the Word for ourselves.

2. By knowing the word, we get to know God as HE has presented Himself, as opposed to knowing Him based on our own perceptions, opinions, biases, cultural influences, and traditions of men we were taught. Without this, it becomes very easy to be deceived by false prophets, false teachers, and false brethren.

3. It will become easier to hear from God clearly, because when you come to know the Word, you come to know Him, His nature, His character, how He speaks and what He does and doesn’t do.

4. Your prayer life and faith faith walk will have a firm foundation of knowing God as He really is, and this is crucial in times of trouble trial, persecution and sorrow.

5. You will be better equipped to communicate the gospel to others, and more useful to the Kingdom, as you can function from a position of knowledge instead of ignorance.

Now, before we go any further, I’d like to say don’t stress out over what books, materials concordances or whatever you’re going to need. Start simple. Many years ago a young man asked a great golf pro for advice on how to play like him. It’s said the golf camp asked for paper and a pencil. On it he wrote:

Buy a set of golf clubs.

Play some golf.

I admonish you likewise not to overcomplicate it. That having been said, I’ll share with you my own approach to studying the word, which you may find useful, and you may develop your own over time.

Relaxed, but reverent reading.

This isn’t any formal study, with notebooks and concordances and commentaries. Just read the word for its own sake, with no agenda. However, read it with the expectation that God is going to speak to you through the scriptures, and He WILL. One of the greatest revelations I ever received was the day I’d bought a new Bible and decided to read whatever turned up on the page the ribbon was on. It was Ezekiel 44:23.

There are also times when I’ll just pick it up and read it just for the sake of reading it. Relax, pick a book, and just read!

For the remaining approaches to the Bible below, it is best to approach studying purposefully. In these cases, set aside specific time for it so that it has your full attention free of distractions and interruptions if at all possible. It may be helpful to keep handy:

1. A reliable pen, preferably two.

2. Some kind of notebook, whatever you’re comfortable with

3. Something to hold pages with. I use little sticky tabs if it’s a detailed study so that I can go back and forth between passages if I need to, but just use whatever you’re comfortable with.

4. A concordance, or, if you prefer, a computer/tablet/phone with internet access for using sites like Biblegateway.com, or GodRules.net (which has Strong’s Concordance numbers you can click on). This way you can see the direct definitions of the Hebrew/Greek words used and gain further insight on specific Scriptures whenever the meaning seems unclear.

Yes, at the end of the day, God does give revelation, but at the same time He does intend for us to search things out. After all, Proverbs 25:2 tells us that it is the glory of God to conceal a thing, and the honor of kings to search it out.

Bible Versions

I use the King James Version of the Bible, since it is the only version which can stand up to the test of the Dead Sea Scrolls. For example, the KJV Book of Isaiah matches the 2200 year old Isaiah Scroll word for word. The NIV, for example has deleted over 60,000 words… enough to fill a 200 page book.

I can’t tell you which Bible to use, but I can tell you that the NIV is missing 200 pages. Another book its publisher produced is ‘The Joy of Gay Sex.’ I’ll let you decide whether such a publisher can be trusted to produce a faithful rendition of Scripture.

Other versions tone down the language when dealing with sin, or delete the word CHRIST from numerous passages. One thing to bear in mind when dealing with Bible versions is that most Bible publishers are not believers, so choose carefully.

 

Getting to know Jesus… and what He’s called you to do.

Back in 1997 the Lord led me to read and re-read the gospels for about a week. Some days I slept less than two hours, because I just HAD to get back to it. It was during this time that he revealed to me the specific call on my life, and through this repeated reading of the Gospels I began to see that the character of Jesus was in many ways different from what I’d been taught.

Because of this, I reccomend highly reading through the gospels several times before studying a particular epistle, or other book of the Bible. Even though we ‘know’ the Scriptures all point to Christ, sometimes our mind has a tendency to compartmentalize different parts of scripture, and this particular approach keeps Jesus fresh in our minds as we read other parts of the Bible. You might be surprised at what you discover when you try this.

 

Learning to Pray

I once heard someone say that if you wanted to learn how to pray, read Psalms. The Psalms are also useful in learning about worship, the character of God and how He relates to us. Read the Psalms aloud if you can.

Consider them in light of Matthew 6:9-13 (the Lord’s Prayer)… remember the disciples didn’t say ‘teach us to preach.’ They said ‘teach us to pray.’

Whenever I feel like my prayer life needs a boost, I spend some time in Psalms.

Developing Wisdom

The Book of Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, are great studies of wisdom from God’s perspective, and will help you in earning to deal with life and people. It was Proverbs 17:28 that taught me to keep my mouth shut unless I had something useful to say, and when I’ having difficulty dealing with people, Proverbs is often where I go in the Bible.

 

Intensive or Specific Study Approaches

 

Character Context Study. For this I may take something like Exodus, and then look up all references to Moses outside of the Pentateuch to gain a understanding of the principal character of the book, why God used him, and what his life and record mean for us in the New Testament era. In such a study I might also do some research on the history of the time to see what was happening both among God’s people and in the world at large at the time.

 

Topical Study. This type of study can go on for years. I may take a topic, like prophecy, for example, and study its history, study the individuals associate with that topic in the Bible, go through every OT scripture reference to that subject, and then see what the NT has to say about it. I do this because the early apostles taught from what we call the OT. Most of the NT hadn’t been written until decades after Acts chapter 1.

This can also be done in reverse: Find a topic in the NT, and then research the OT passages which correspond in order to understand where the NT writers were coming from. For example, on the subject of prophecy, there are 144 NT references to the subject, 123 of which are references to the OT.

 

Verse by verse study. In this approach, I might take the Epistle to the Romans and examine it verse by verse, searching throught scripture, historical references and so on to get a better picture of what is being said. Take your time, consider each verse, and think of it in relationship to the rest of scripture. Consider questions such as, If Jesus says something in one verse, where else did He discuss it? Did the apostles say anything further in their epistles? Who is it being said to? When? Where? Why?That’s pretty much it. I’ve never used commentaries much, so I can’t recommend any in particular, but I will close by saying that we should approach the study of the Bible prayerfully, reverently, and with both an earnest desire and expectation that He will speak to us.

 

Other resources:

1. Youtube has a lot of great recordings of people such as Leonard Ravenhill, AW Tozer, Derek Prince and others that you may find helpful.

2. The Sword Project – free bible software

Sometimes God’s ‘Yes’ is quiet.


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Not everything God does will necessarily be dramatic, prominent, or loud, and sometimes the most profound work done in us happens during His quiet and even His silence…

 

Judges 21 – When Being Right goes WRONG

It often happens that we begin with right motives, or we’re right about something, but then our pursuit of what’s right gets sidetracked by anger, pride, presumption and so many other things. In This chapter of Judges we can see how the other tribes of Israel went too far in dealing with the tribe of Benjamin’s defense of some men who’d committed a vile act. What can we learn about walking in God’s grace from their error?

Judges 20 – Misplaced Loyalties


Very often the loyalties we have come into conflict with what is right in God’s sight. In the previous chapter, a horrific sex crime was committed, and now the entire tribe of Bejamin rises up to defend those who committed it. Let’s discuss what this teaches us about our own loyalties and how they can easily lead us astray.

The Shift has begun – take a stand while you can.


So, the Pope has said that Jesus Christ failed at the cross. Let that sink in for a moment. Then remember that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that:
1. The Pope is infallible
2. The Pope is the incarnation of Christ
3. Anything the Pope says supercedes anything God has ever said or ever will say.
4. The Pope has more authority than God

Blasphemous enough for you yet?
Now, let’s talk.

Judges 19 – Enemies in the Flock


Sometimes the most dangerous place to be is among those who claim to be God’s people but are as far from Him as anyone outside of ‘church.’ In this chapter we see just how far one tribe had fallen from the righteousness of God, and the consequences it had on a casual and cavalier relationship.

Judges 17 – Have YOU Lost Your Religion?


One of the problems Israel had during the time of the judges was that they would pursue religion THEIR way and not God’s way, and the truth is that we tend to do the same thing now. Let’s talk about this tendency and how to correct it.

Useful Idiots


Let’s face it. Samson made bad decisions, and God used him in spite of his bad judgment and lack of reverence for what God had given him. Similarly, many of us are stuck on stupid in a lot of ways, and like Samson we end up thinking we’re doing well because God has used us…


Here we continue our study of Samson as a powerful example of what it is to be a useful idiot within the Kingdom. That may seem harsh, but close observatios of Samson’s decisions reveals some serious defects of character which we can readily see in today’s church.

When I was a kid, I thought Samson was SO cool, but as a man I think he’s a jerk! Samson was so arrogant and irresponsible that God had to use his mess to get him to actually USE what God put in him. Let’s talk about how we can avoid being a useful idiot in the kingdom.

The Living Water

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” – John 7:38

Few in the modern world understand the signficance of what is being said here. While indeed Christ speak of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the phrase ‘living water’ had a meaning to the people of His time that we tend to miss.

‘Living water’ also refers to what some call structured water, which has
has measurably different characteristics including: molecular stability, a negative electrical charge, greater viscosity, molecular alignment, and an enhanced ability to absorb certain spectra of light. It is believed that when water molecules take on this organized molecular structure, it has a significant impact on health and that it appears to be necessary for life.

What is important here is that God’s intention is for what flows out from you to be ordered, structured, and expressly full of HIS life. Very often the saints are gifted, and very obviously and powerfully so, but lack structure and order in how their gifts are administered, and there’s good reason for this. In the above scripture, ‘believeth’ is the Greek pitseuw, which implies continuing belief.

It is not enough to merely believe, but we must CONTINUE to believe in Him. This provokes the questin, ‘just how far do you believe Him?’ Many of will believe God to an extent, or we commit our trust in certain areas and circumstances, and in many ways we hold back and hold out on God, choosing to trust in circumstances, systems, people, ourselves, and even abilities, and all of this misplaced trust is very often what ‘blocks’ the flow of the life of Christ in us.

This morning, I challenge you to BELIEVE in Him! Believe Him for your healing. Believe Him in your work, beieve everything He said, believe that His will for you is GOOD, believe His every promise is certain, believe that He is LORD of EVERY part of your life.

BELIEVE, and His living water will flow out of you like never before.

BELIEVE!

TD Jakes – Time is Running Out!

Recently TD Jakes, in an interview with Huffington Post, said that his position on the LGBT movement and its place in the church ‘has evolved, and is evolving.’ He went on to say that the church needs to shift toward acceptance of ‘gay christians.’ Now, considering that Scripture in 1 Corinthians 5 specifically tells us that unrepentant immorality has no place in the church at all, his position is heretical at best. Let’s talk about why.