Restoring The Flow

The Lord wants to bring a word of comfort and restoration today. He is restoring the flow of the oil of the Spirit.

Psalms 34:18 (NIV) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

It seems almost daily that I am hearing about more people going through challenges in every possible area. Whether or not difficulties are increasing, I’m not sure – but the past few years have certainly been extremely tough for many.

Let’s get real. There are times as believers when we feel on fire, full of passion and life, and energised about God’s kingdom and His purposes. Then there are other seasons when we feel dry, discouraged or hurting. That abundant life can seem unattainable, and our joy can get squashed.

The wonderful news is that the same mighty God who rules with great power and justice also tenderly gathers up His family when they need care. I was recently drawn to this scripture in Isaiah:

Isaiah 42:3a (NIV) A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out.

This scripture gives us an image of a smouldering wick – an oil lamp in which only an ember or slight glow remains. The verse speaks of one whose zeal might be waning, yet it highlights the tenderness of Jesus, the Good Shepherd caring for His flock. Jesus does not cast aside those who are bruised or struggling. Our Father speaks to us as His loved children, those he cares for deeply.

The Lord gives us insight into His intention in the spiritual realm through what we can understand in the natural or physical realm. If we look at a candle, we tend to see the wick as the part that is burning. But in fact, it is the candle wax that provides the fuel. This is the same principle as an oil lamp. The wick is soaked in the oil, and as the oil draws up the wick, the oil burns at the end of the wick.

In an oil lamp, the wick can burn out too fast – because the wick itself is being used as fuel, rather than the oil. And if a wick is too long or too short, the flame will smoulder or go out. A poorly trimmed wick will result in a flame which is dim or smoky. A wick must be close to the oil and well soaked in order to burn. And of course, an oil lamp needs to regularly have the oil topped up.

The Lord is gently leading you today to lighten the load and to remain close to the source. God doesn’t need us trying to add more fuel in the natural. We don’t need to strive or do things by natural efforts – we need the Spirit of God to pour out fresh oil. Father wants to lead us to rivers of living water, that we would receive life for ourselves, and that we would overflow with that living water to others. He is restoring the flow.

Revelation 7:17 (NIV) For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”

John 7:38 (NIV) Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

If you are feeling bruised or broken, the Lord’s desire is to refresh you and strengthen you. For those of you who feel like your spiritual passion has been waning or your flame is smouldering, the Lord’s desire is to breathe new life into you. He has the power to restore the flow of oil and to rekindle your flame.

The Spirit of God is hovering over you, and His desire is to comfort you. The Lord is present to restore hope for your disappointments and hurts. The Father is here to remove guilt – for those who have been far away, as well as those who have been soaking in the oil yet wondering why you don’t feel connected to the Lord. The Spirit is present to breathe life and fresh oil into your reservoir.

When that wick is smouldering, there are two ways that ember can come back to flame. Firstly, some gentle blowing can bring that ember back to life. Take time to allow the wind of the Holy Spirit to refresh you and minister to you today. His breath gives life. Secondly, another source of flame can also help spark and nurture the fire. God created us for relationship, and there is a beautiful strengthening that occurs when another believer comes alongside us to encourage us, pray with us, and comfort us.

If you are feeling thirsty or dry, then the Lord has fresh rivers of living water for you. If you are feeling like you have been trying to constantly add more fuel, then Father invites you to soak in His presence and receive some fresh oil. And if you need someone to stand with you, then reach out for prayer and encouragement. The Holy Spirit is ready and waiting to restore the flow.

 


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Discipleship

Discipleship is an essential part of being a follower of Christ. But what does it really look like to be a disciple – or to make disciples?

Matthew 4:18-20 (NIV) As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

There is a call to be a disciple of Jesus before we are commissioned to make disciples.

  • “Come” – leave your position.
  • “Follow” – let me lead.
  • “Me” – shift your focus.

“Come follow me” is a calling out. “And I will send you out” is a calling out that results in a sending out. “To fish for people” is a calling out that results in a sending out on a spiritual mission.

To be a disciple is to be a student, a pupil, and a learner. You can’t be a disciple if you are not teachable. And you won’t be teachable if you think you know best. A disciple is marked by humility, surrender and discipline. Discipleship is not about life skills – it is about spiritual growth. So, how closely do you follow Jesus? How completely do you follow Jesus?

The call to be a disciple precedes the commission to make disciples. We must follow before we lead; and we must follow as we lead. The commission to make disciples will always be the result of the call to be a disciple. There comes a point in our spiritual journey that if we are not making disciples, then we are not being a disciple.

MAKING FRIENDS OR MAKING DISCIPLES?

God created us for relationship, and friendships are important. Yet within the Church, and within groups of believers, friendship can easily rise to the forefront of our focus and intention, and discipleship can get neglected or ignored. One of the main reasons that we may not be making disciples is that we focus too much on being liked.

If we are doing what God has commissioned us to do, not everyone will like us. We need to settle this issue. Have you read about the life of Jesus and the early apostles?! The world won’t always like us.

John 15:18-19 (NIV) If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

But Jesus likes you, and Jesus calls you friend! Jesus commissioned us to make disciples, and He chose us to go and bear fruit that will last. There are certain things that you won’t say or do if your primary focus is on making friends rather than making disciples. The moment we make it more about making friends than making disciples, we lose our way.

WHAT DOES MAKING DISCIPLES LOOK LIKE?

Making disciples is walking with people towards God. Making disciples involves corporate learning and private learning. Making disciples involves baptising people into the fullness of who God is.

Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Discipleship should explore the question, “Who do you say God is?” Discipleship involves talking about the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Making disciples includes teaching people to obey everything God has commanded.

  • Explore questions such as, “What has God said about…salvation, righteousness, sanctification, justification, atonement, forgiveness, grace, faith, love, purity, spiritual gifts, eternal life, etc.”
  • Look together at truth that matters from the Word of God, and look at present issues through the lens of what the Bible says, not through what other people are saying.

The primary commission of a godly leader is to make disciples, not to lead a department or to make decisions.

Discipleship means that every believer is:

  • Equipped to have a deepening relationship with the Father
  • Equipped to be a more accurate reflection of Jesus
  • Equipped to have a greater dependence on the Holy Spirit

WHO ARE YOU BEING DISCIPLED BY?

  • Being discipled is not vague, it is intentional and relational.
  • Discipleship means giving someone authority to speak into your life.
  • A disciple submits to their teacher’s authority, and receives insight, training, and correction from them. Submitting to authority is God’s protection in our lives – it helps us to see our blind spots, and therefore, helps us to walk in greater freedom. Submitting to authority guards against pride and helps us to walk in humility.

WHO ARE YOU DISCIPLING?

  • Discipling others takes time and intentionality.
  • Discipling others involves living a life worth following.
  • Discipling others involves speaking prophetically into God’s intention for them.
  • Discipling others involves direction and correction when necessary.
  • Discipling others is always fueled by love and by a holy sense of divine commission.

Imagine what the church globally would look like if every believer picked up the commission of discipleship! The Church is Jesus’ bride. We want to be prepared for the return of Jesus – and our role as believers and disciple makers is to prepare as many others as possible to live in the divine power of the Holy Spirit and to walk in spiritual authority.

REFLECTION:

What is the next step that Father wants you to take on your journey of being a disciple?

What is the next step that Father wants you to take on your journey of being a disciple maker?


HEAR STEVE SPEAK ON DISCIPLESHIP HERE.

Memorial Stones

Father gave me this word to bring to you:

‘Celebrate memories that will empower your future!’

Memories can either empower you or disempower you. They can either build your faith or destroy your faith. And the memories we carry into our future are the fruit of choice. That’s why it is vital to tomorrow’s success that we choose wisely which memories we starve and which memories we feed.

In Israel, God had his people erect memorial altars. These altars were to remind them, in days of challenge and overwhelming odds, that the God who had supernaturally intervened yesterday was still the God who could supernaturally intervene today and tomorrow. The same God who brought down the walls of Jericho.

Joshua 6:20

So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

This is one of the greatest miracles in the Bible! It’s a miracle that led to the Israelites going on to possess the land of promise. But it was so illogical, so unreasonable that it required such enormous trust, not only in God, but in that Joshua had heard from God!

Joshua 4:1-3

And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying: “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.'”

Joshua 4:6-7

That this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”

The context of these memorial stones was a celebration of God’s divine intervention. A miraculous day which birthed a new era for God’s people finally possessing the land of promise. When the Israelites faith began to waver at Jericho, at the impossibility that God asked them to do, all they had to do was look at those memorial stones and know that ‘our God parted the river Jordan at flood time… these walls are coming down!’

Later, in their future conquests, when confronted by the united armies of five kings, all they had to do was look at those memorial stones – ‘Our God parted the river Jordan at flood time… these five Kings are going down!’

My friends, make today a memorial!

A memorial is for two purposes:

  1. A celebration of the past: gratitude and thanksgiving.
  2. A faith-building for the future: that infusion of courage when vitally needed!

The stones speak to us of memories.

Each one was taken from “the place where the priest’s feet stood firm”. In blind obedience to the word of the Lord, through Joshua, those priests stepped into a raging torrent of water at flood time… carrying the ark! Imagine the guys up front. It was an act of incredible courage. And it led to an amazing miracle. That’s what those stones of memory brought back into focus for decades and generations to come – they served a God of the miraculous!

Which brings us to today, a memorial.

When you look back on years of Father’s faithfulness and grace, for many there has been occasions when awesome, supernatural things have happened. But there have also been times when in the midst of impossibility, it required a standing firm. Times when everything around you screamed “IMPOSSIBLE!” This is a time to remember Ephesians 6:13: “having done all, to stand!”

Thank God for the mountains, but they are only made possible by the valleys.

Thank God for the victories, but they are only made possible by the battle.

Thank God for the miracles, but they are only made possible by the challenge.

In those times when nothing makes sense – stand firm. Those times when the loudness of the opposition seems to drown out that inner voice of peace. Those seasons when the breakthrough seems to linger, and linger, and linger. Those days when you must smile and minister to others despite desperately needing someone to minister to you… “having done all, to stand!”

In the middle of Jordan, stand firm and see the miracle of God!

We should all be celebrating the miracles of His grace that have triumphed to bring us to this day – those incredible memorial stones. As an individual, as a family, as a business, as a ministry, we should develop a culture of gratitude and worship, constantly acknowledging our Father’s amazing interventions. If we do not celebrate yesterday, we will not anticipate tomorrow!

Which brings me to tomorrow! The reason the Israelites crossed that Jordan was to possess the land that God had promised them. And I want to declare over you, that you stand poised to possess the land of promise. A place that, for generations to come, there will be the witness and demonstration that Jesus is alive and that He has a heart for your community and a heart for the world.

Joshua had to encourage himself for the battle by remembering those memorial stones. In the same way, you need to record and remind yourselves of the miracles of yesterday, so that your faith might soar to new heights as you embrace the challenges of faith, tomorrow!

It honours our Father when we experience the mountains and valleys, war and peace, and yet keep our integrity intact. Oh, how that causes the angels to sing and the demons to cringe. Above all, it represents Jesus to this world, and it positions you in the spirit world to carry the authority of the Christ into the days and years to come.

With much love,

David.

What Do You See

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we just leapt from one glorious mountain top to the next? Birds singing, sun shining, flower blossoms and the sweet smell of summer… Then you wake up!

The valley is real, the clouds are real, the birds sometimes just squawk, and you start to question the seemingly perpetual winter. So, how do you handle that? How did Paul honour God in the prison?

For me there are many keys, but today I wish to share one of them:

  • What fills your sight, fills your heart.
  • What fills your heart, determines your future!

The truth is that restrictions & darkness are God’s opportunities! So, the real question is not your circumstances, but what do you see? Are you looking through the eyes of your humanity or are you looking through eyes anointed by the eye-salve of heaven, the Holy Spirit? What do you see? What is it that fills your sight, your perception, your worldview, your focus, and your vision? It is what you see with your natural eye that will seek to intimidate you; but it is what you see with your spiritual eyes, anointed by the Holy Spirit, that will empower you!

You might say, “But David, we live in the midst of restriction and contradiction – that’s reality!” My friends, restriction and contradiction have never been able to restrain a God that can open prison doors and bring Lazarus out of the tomb. Restrictions and darkness are His opportunities!

My friends, it was in the darkness of Gethsemane and the cross that Jesus brought redemption to mankind. Why? Because of what He saw! His eyes were not fixed on the agony of the Cross, although He was acutely aware of it. His eyes were focused on the atonement of mankind.

Heb 12:2 (NKJV) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

JESUS triumphed! Why? Because of what filled His sight. Jesus triumphed because of what He chose to focus on. He was not focused upon the rough sawn timbers nor the spikes in His hands, but He was focused on the hope set before Him. It was because of what He saw! Jesus never surrendered his spiritual authority for a single moment. The cross did not take His spirit, He offered it up when HE was good and ready!

The darkness of Satan’s intention has always provided our Father an opportunity to work miraculously for His own purpose. Right now, in the midst of your circumstances and the unrelenting barrage of news on your TV, what is it that you choose to focus on? Yes, that’s right! What we focus on is a choice! Satan may have his objective because he so hates mankind, but I assure you, GOD has HIS objective. Not only for the planet, but for you, for your family, and for your life! This is not a moment to be intimidated, this is a moment of potential destiny for you – if you can but see it!

My friends, the Bible is full of men and women who refused to be intimidated by their circumstances, and their courage was because of what they saw, that which they chose to focus upon.

DANIEL refused to obey a royal decree and continued to pray to God. It was in the darkness of the lion’s denthat Daniel was used to change the heart of a king and turn a nation to God. Why? Because of what he saw! His courage was because of that which filled his sight. He saw the supernatural capacity of his God to protect him and prevail over every opposition.

MOSES was confronted by the red sea in front and the Egyptian army behind, but he was not intimidated. Consequently, he walked in the authority of his God. An authority that could not be shaken!

JOSHUA was confronted by the impregnable fortress of Jericho, an impossible task, but he was not intimidated. Consequently, he walked in the authority of his God. An authority that could not be shaken!

DEBORAH had to accept the role in Israel of prophetess, judge, and warrior leader in a time of great oppression and evil against God’s people, but she was not intimidated. Consequently, she walked in the authority of her God, an authority that could not be shaken. She shattered the forces of hell and evil!

PAUL faced many persecutions. It was in the darkness of the storm and shipwreck that Paul brought redemption to Malta. Why? Because of what filled his sight! Not the rocks and the waves, but the unrelenting pursuit and intervention of God to keep him on assignment. Paul knew that God had a purpose for him, and that is what he chose to focus upon. Consequently, he walked in the authority of his God. An authority that could not be shaken!

JOHN WESLEY in the mid 1700’s, rode on horseback through sleet and ice in an English winter. He was violently opposed by churches and society at large, often isolated, abandoned by many members of his family, and without support of any kind. And yet he brought revival to England and the world. Why? Because he was not intimidated! The circumstances did not fill his sight, the greatness of his God and his commission filled his sight. That’s what he chose to focus on. Consequently, he walked in the authority of his God. An authority that could not be shaken!

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Because of the risen Christ, you and I now possess a spiritual authority that cannot be shaken. But we also must understand (see Hebrews chapter 12) that shaking and severe testing of that authority will come! The cross and the tomb were a reality.

Will the storms come? Yes! Will the shaking of opposition and circumstances come to us all? Yes. But we must settle the issue once and for all. We do not walk subject to human frailty and vulnerability, rather we walk under the divine command of a King who is absolute in His power. In the spirit world, right now, there is no dispute about the absolute power and ruling dominion of Jesus as absolute king.

Some of you right now, reading my words, need to identify those areas that have undermined your faith, shaken your convictions, or intimidated your decisions, or qualified your future expectations. You need to reach out and receive His divine grace, a fresh infilling of His divine power, a moment of truth and revelation, a re-alignment of thinking so that your anticipations come in line with His prophetic intention for your life, your vocation, and your calling. It can only come by the Holy Spirit.

Join with me and declare that you will embrace and obey everything that Father gives you to initiate! He wants to give you bold, faith-filled initiatives!!

“I walk under the divine command of Jesus, King of Kings!

And HIS authority, which now becomes MY authority, cannot be shaken!

I embrace decisions of faith!

I embrace future expectations of the miraculous!

I will not be intimidated!”

Love and God Bless,

David.

Watch a one-minute video from David: ‘What Do You See’.

Prophetic Declaration To The Body Of Christ

Dear Friends,

It has been only on very rare occasions that I have claimed to make a declaration, as a Prophet, directly on behalf of my Father to the Body of Christ. But today is one of those days.

Matthew 5:1-12 could not be clearer. God has promised indescribable ‘blessing’ (HIS choice of words) to those that love Him and hunger after Him. And yet there are non-negotiable statements that qualify who can access such supernatural grace and provision.

The divine interventions and favour of God (which He so longs to bring to us) belong to those of a humble, dependent, pure, and merciful heart. It is does not belong to the proud, independent, impure, or the self-governed.

The ‘Kingdom’ (authority… realm of the King’s rule) belongs to those of a pure, fully surrendered heart and a speech that gives evidence of that inner beauty.

We all know that there are and will continue to be matters of biblical command and conviction that we cannot, and must not, compromise. We must be men and women of unswerving biblical conviction and the truth. Having now clearly stated that…

This world is filled, as never before, with arrogant attitudes and endless arguments. Men and women showing anger, negative reaction, and resentment; declaring their frustrations, declaring their arguments and opinions. It should not be so among those who claim to represent Jesus!

The Body of Christ needs to cast off the spirit of this world that leads to arguments and endless opinions. It must realise the anger of God at those Christians who attack other Christians simply because they will not champion the cause that they have established as their own bias. It is the engagement of such defiling attitudes and conversations that have cut so many off from receiving the divine intervention (blessing) of God. The more ‘human’ the attitude and response, the less we receive from the Holy Spirit within.

This COVID era has provoked us all. But it is not reserved for ‘The Covid issue’. It is unrighteous legislations, controversial decisions, theological debates, and issues of morality.

Christians have been swept up in theories and are buying into the many and varied offences that abound. Debates and angry social media statements have gladdened the heart of the devil and saddened the heart of our Father. Christian is divided against Christian, and all try to justify their anger and pride with the claim that it is ‘their personal conviction’. 

We state that we ‘have our rights’, that it is ‘only human’. Exactly! It is the fruit of non-surrendered flesh (in that moment). It is not the overflow of Father’s Spirit and intention from within. The Holy Spirit comes to bring humility and unity, Satan comes to bring anger and division. 

My friends, if a conviction is forged within us by a word from our Father it will, undeniably, show the fruit of HIS Holy Spirit. But I feel a deep cry from God’s heart that He has had enough of those who claim to represent Him showing the same attitudes (or worse) than the unsaved community around them.

We have all needed to repent of such moments. Myself, more than once.

With every ounce of love from His heart and mine, I urge us all to no longer allow our purity (uncomplicated beauty and humility) of spirit to be robbed. In so doing, we allow ourselves to be robbed of Father’s empowering grace and miraculous Holy Spirit working in us and through us. His ‘Kingdom’ ceases to operate in us when our heart becomes a hostile environment.

I urge you to read Matthew 5:1-12.

My prayer: “Father! Rid my heart of judgement against a brother / sister. Open my eyes each new day to see the beauty and wonder of your own intention and flow through me in your inexhaustible supply of humility, love, forgiveness, grace and mercy. For in such, those around us will wonder at YOUR wisdom revealed through our fully surrendered hearts.”

Please pass this word on.

Love to each and all,

David.

Christmas – More Than A Season

Christmas. It is one simple word that conveys a lot.

Christmas is a common word that denotes a season that happens every year. Regardless of what else is happening in the world, Christmas is never cancelled. Yes, the expression of it may be amended, but December 25th will always be Christmas.

Christmas is synonymous with family and friends, with eating and celebration, with gifts and stockings. Christmas is referred to as the festive season.

Christmas is a great opportunity to take a break, to have a rest and to go on vacation. Getting away from normal life is an anticipated escape for many. But Christmas is so much more than all of these wonderful things.

Christmas is the time of year when the world is pointed to the birth of Jesus Christ.

More than a season, and more than just a baby being born, Christmas is about a Son who was given. The eternal Son of God stepped down from heaven and took on the form of a man. He submitted Himself to the very people He had created.

Christmas is a defining marker in the history of the world. Everything changed from the birth of Jesus onwards. What had been was about to change. And not just slightly or for a short time. Forever. Completely. Eternally.

The Creator became human. The Divine became like us. The Eternal limited Himself to the natural.

Jesus marked the transition from the law to grace, from the old covenant to the new covenant. Jesus was the fulfilment of what had been prophetically declared.

Matthew 1:22-23 (NIV) All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Jesus was the very image of God on the earth, the radiance of the Father’s glory. Jesus embodied what God is actually like. Jesus was the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world. Jesus was the atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Jesus was the way for all of us to be reconciled to God.

Jesus lived perfectly. Jesus died horrifically. Jesus rose triumphantly. Jesus ascended victoriously.

And Jesus will come again! He will split the sky and He will ride in on a white horse. The dead will be raised, and we who are alive and remain will be caught up to meet Him in the air. Once again, everything will change. Forever. Completely. Eternally.

And this can all be traced back to one starry night, in a little town called Bethlehem. In a stable, surrounded by animals who find their origins in Him. Humbly. Unremarkably. Easy to be overlooked. A virgin and her husband. Alone. But in the very presence of Emmanuel; God with us. Their son. The Saviour. The King.

This is Christmas. This is Jesus. This is Life.

Do Not Be Intimidated

My dear friends, what an incredible hour we live in! It is no exaggeration to say that the Church is now the last ray of hope for a planet that hell has decided to take over and control. And yet, when I listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit, I hear him thundering out the battle cry of God, “Do not be intimidated!”

I want to declare right at the beginning that at no time am I referring to people, politicians, or movements of any kind. I speak about a spiritual warfare!

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV) 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.

But in order to control this planet, Satan and his hordes must first intimidate its people into a conformity and submission to his own agenda. Satan cannot rule the minds of those he does not first intimidate! But the blood-bought, Holy Spirit empowered Church of royal sons and daughters now raises its voice to loudly declare, “We will not be intimidated!”

We speak it into the cosmos, we speak it into the heavens, we speak it into the unseen spirit-realm! “We will not be intimidated!” Why? Because Jesus has made us a promise:

John 14:27 (NKJV) “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The dictionary tells us that ‘peace’ is “freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, intimidation or obsession; to be in a state of tranquillity; serenity, of mind.”

Take note of ‘freedom of the mind’. My friends, there is a spirit let loose in our planet right now that seeks to imprison the minds of God’s people. It seeks to rob us of our peace, our faith, our initiative, and our boldness of spirit.

You have to see what is behind it: Satan fears you! He fears the initiatives of faith and conquest that God is giving His people to possess in their vocations, their places of influence, their cities, and their nations. He fears the initiative of God in YOU!

And so, he has let loose the spirit of intimidation. Which he must first establish in order to impose a spirit of manipulation and control. Your spirit, your heart, cannot be manipulated and controlled unless you have first been intimidated. But Jesus has powerfully declared that we are not subject to that spirit.

John 8:36 (NKJV) Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Spiritual freedom is part of our inheritance as a believer.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

The spirit of darkness speaks intimidation to you. But Jesus declares freedom to your spirit, to your heart, and to your mind! Tragically, many Christians today are being subtly affected in both the decisions that they are currently making and the vision that they are embracing for their future… the faith initiatives of tomorrow! Satan’s goal is to shut down your faith initiatives, your spirit of conquest, and the taking of new territory. But he must not succeed!

Let me give you some words that help identify that the spirit of intimidation is at work.

“However!” “But!” “If?” “Maybe?” The introduction of a question, “Has God really said?”

These four words try to qualify that which God has clearly told us to do.

The message I have been given to declare to you today, as a Prophet, is twofold:

  1. Do not be intimidated – in either your present decisions or your future vision.
  2. Realise that any shaking that God does allow, if correctly responded to, will always result in a greater spiritual authority, for the believer, for that church, than previously ever experienced.

Hebrews 12:28 (NKJV) Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

It is important to understand what this is saying. The Greek word for ‘kingdom’ is the word ‘basiliea’. Literally this means ‘the authority to rule over’. We need to be reminded of the incredible spiritual authority Jesus gave all those who are fully submitted to His own authority.

My friends, the kingdom of God has always, and will always, operate on a very simple principle: “The authority you are under determines the authority you carry”. Every demon of hell knows that!

  • Circumstances do not determine your spiritual authority! (your ‘kingdom’)
  • The opinions of others do not determine your spiritual authority!
  • The prevailing opposition against biblical truth does not determine your spiritual authority!

The kingdom of God CANNOT be shaken. Regularity of meetings for Christian activities may be shaken, perceptions of how we do church in any given season maybe shaken… but the kingdom of God (the authority of Jesus to rule over) can never be shaken!

And if we so choose to walk in daily submission to the lordship of Christ, we also carry an indestructible, undeniable authority that the vast bulk of Christians totally under-estimate.

The degree to which we carry that authority and exercise it effective is now, and will always be, determined by the degree to which we are fully submitted to the lordship of Christ and the truth of His unqualified Word. It is only as our decisions are an obedient extension of Father’s own will and purpose, that His authority is granted to us to execute that task!

But that kingdom authority itself cannot be shaken. We need to be reminded of this today!

The kingdom authority of God that we carry, is eternal, omnipresent, global, and it has existed from before the beginning of time and will continue beyond time as we know it. It emanates from the throne of heaven and fills our hearts by the Holy Spirit. It cannot be shaken! It’s the authority of God, it’s the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ that we carry!

My friends, under the authority of the King, arm yourselves with His written Word and stand tall in the authority He has given you.

 

Watch a four-minute video where David shares about An Indestructible Authority.

 

A United Voice

A United Voice

A united voice is powerful, whether it is for good or it is for evil. The Bible gives us a clear and contrasting example of both.

THE TOWER OF BABEL

In Genesis chapter 11 we read the story of the Tower of Babel. The starting point for this story was that ‘the whole world had one language and a common speech’ (vs 1). This was God’s intention and it was a good thing. But then man’s desire for self perverted God’s intention.

Genesis 11:4 (NIV) Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

There is so much power in a united voice, as we can see by God’s response.

Genesis 11:6-7 (NIV) The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So, God stopped the building of this tower by confusing the language of the people and scattering them all over the earth.

However, the New Testament gives us a very different and wonderful example of the power of a united voice.

THE DAY OF PENTECOST

On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were all together in one place out of obedience to what God had told them to do. This is such a different reason for their unity than the people at the Tower of Babel. And so God blessed them with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:4 (NIV) All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

The people at the Tower of Babel were trying to build from earth to heaven to make a name for themselves. The people on the day of Pentecost had heaven invade earth, and it was for the spreading of the good news of the name of Jesus Christ!

Everything that happens on earth finds its origin in language, whether it is for good or it is for evil.

In the times we live in, certain people are taking over legislative rule because they have one language and are standing together with a united voice. These people have the same spirit that we see at Babel which means confusion by mixture. The result is an increasingly confused society that is stepping away from the plans of God.

However, it is the church of Jesus Christ that is called to have the greatest united voice. The sad reality is that the church is at risk of losing the battle for influencing society because we have gone quiet and we do not have a clear united voice. If nothing was impossible to the united people at Babel, how much more for the united people of God?

It’s time for the church to find her voice again; a united voice of uncompromising truth! This is what the Holy Spirit yearns to do in us as the Body of Christ.

Listen to Steve’s message on ‘A United Voice’ on Apple Podcasts

 


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Dreams On The Shelf

Dreams On The Shelf

I have a bowl of coins sitting on the shelf in my cupboard. The coins have value, and I could easily use them, but I stopped carrying them in my purse because they were heavy. I didn’t want my bag to be weighed down. So, there they sit, unused, waiting for someone to pick them up.

Just like these coins, we may have dreams on the shelf or gifts that we have placed on hold. While there are seasons in the Lord when He directs us to wait for certain things to come to fruition, we need to be honest with our hearts. Has God shelved that dream, or have we? Is God asking us to be patient, or has the fear of man, fear of the cost, or other worries and distractions caused us to put God’s calling on the shelf?

Some of you have put aside a dream because it feels too heavy to carry. Perhaps there are gifts and callings that are on hold because it appears they cost too much to use. The responsibility seems weighty, but the Lord says that His burden is easy, and His yoke is light. There is sacrifice involved in carrying out Father’s purposes, but when we lose our life for Christ’s sake, we will find true life in abundance.

Matthew 11:29-30 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

The Lord declares that it is time to partner with His will and intention. It is time to act. If your gifts are sitting motionless, remember that they have no ability to move on their own. Now is the moment to pick up that gift and allow the Holy Spirit to breathe life into it. Prophesy to those dry bones and see them take form.

One of those coins on their own might not seem like much. But when combined with other coins, there is weightiness and worth. Don’t put those prophetic promptings aside because they seem of little value. Don’t believe the lie of the enemy that what God has for you is only a small thing. God has good and abundant gifts for every believer, and value must be measured in light of eternity, not from a temporal perspective. The worth is not in what we can do; the value is when we surrender as a vessel to be used for His glory.

Hebrews 13:20-21 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Peter said to the lame man that he didn’t have any silver or gold, but he gave everything he had. He carried the presence and power of the Holy Spirit and saw a miracle take place. As believers, we have each received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Don’t discount what seems to be insignificant. With only a mustard seed of faith you can move mountains!

It is time to take that dream off the shelf.


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Understanding Seasons

Understanding Seasons

In the natural, we live life differently in summer than we do in winter. We are the same person, but what we wear, where we go, the sports we play, and the holidays we take are all subject to the season we are in.

As the natural seasons significantly impact our lives, so too do the spiritual seasons. The good news is, God doesn’t make the seasons difficult to recognise.

Psalms 1:1-3 (NIV) Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.

This scripture tells us clearly that you can be a blessed person who meditates on God’s Word day and night, and yet only yield fruit in season. In other words, there are seasons when blessed and biblical people do not see the fruit that they have sown in the form of seed!

And then it goes even deeper by telling us that godly people prosper in whatever they do! Do you see it? You can be in a season that is not producing fruit, and still be prospering in every area of your life. God wants to change the way that we measure outcomes in our lives.

In the natural, a farmer only plants seed in certain seasons. That same farmer also only reaps a harvest in certain seasons. A farmer knows that you don’t plant seeds in harvest season, nor do you harvest a crop in seed time.

Proverbs 20:4 (NIV) Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.

If a farmer does not understand what is required in the different seasons, then frustration, disappointment and unfruitfulness is the result. How much more so for the people of God when it comes to kingdom matters! Understanding the seasons is made clear for us in His Word.

Not everything is budding and sprouting new life and growth all the time. Sometimes the season we find ourselves in is a season of preparing the soil, planting the seed, watering the seed and pulling out the weeds. The shift of measurement for many believers is this: These seasons are just as important as the seasons when we see the fruit, and we can prosper in God just as much in these seasons.

Is it possible that at times, the lack of fruit in our lives and ministry is because we have not ploughed in ploughing time? If we don’t plough, we won’t see a harvest. If we don’t plant seeds, we won’t see a harvest. If we don’t water and fertilise the seeds, we won’t see a harvest.

If we don’t become people of prayer, we won’t see a harvest of miracles. If we don’t become people of God’s Word, we won’t see a harvest of a transformed mind. If we don’t become people of faith, we won’t see a harvest of pleasing God.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV) There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

Not recognising the season that we are in can be tragic. We all know that King David committed adultery and followed this up with murder. It is one of the most devastating stories in the Bible. But how did it start?

2 Samuel 11:1-2 (NIV) In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful.

David stayed home at a time when kings went off to war. As God’s appointed king, David was meant to be on the battlefield. Instead, he was at home resting. It was in this ‘out of position’ season that David was tempted and made some terrible decisions.

There are obvious indicators for us to recognise the natural season that we are in; we don’t have to strive to work it out. When it’s continually cold, it’s winter. When it’s hot all the time, it’s summer.

In the spiritual, God speaks clearly to those who position themselves to hear. People who humbly surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and continually saturate themselves in the Word will hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. Those who have a posture of heart that declares, “Not my will, but yours be done”, will know what season they are in.

If there is any doubt, the greatest way to discover the season is to focus on God. It might take some time, but that is because God is enjoying the time with us and He knows the power of having our attention on Him.

It’s time to be wise discerners of the seasons. It’s also time to be diligent to do what is needed in the God-ordained season. Understanding seasons empowers us to honour God and to flourish in life.

So, what is it the season for in your life?


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The Year To Build

The Year To Build

2021. A new year dawns and with it the promise of new beginnings.

For those of you for whom 2020 was a most difficult year, I want to declare the absolute certainty of a fresh start as you receive Father’s wonderful love and grace, releasing you from any disappointments of yesterday.

For those of you for whom 2020 was a year of fruitfulness, I want to declare that this is a new year with new horizons and that it is not a year to ‘maintain’ but a year to build!

1 Corinthians 3:10  (NKJV) According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.

Friends, God holds us responsible for the lives and the destinies that He has given to us.  He requires faithful stewardship of our calling, marriage, family, finances, energy and ministries. The question is not IF He wants you to build, but WHAT He wants you to build.

So… how and what are you building this coming year?

Possessing your God-given destiny is all about building successfully as the responsive partner in your partnership with Him. He is the Divine Architect, you are the executor of His plan and purpose.

  • My friend, do you have an anticipation of the future?
  • Is today pregnant with potential because of the Master Plan to which you walk?

Take time to listen, take time to hear Father’s commissioning voice clearly, take time to plan and strategise, as He directs. Take time to put values and boundaries into place that will keep you rested, fresh, energised, and sensitive to Holy Spirit’s whispers.

And take time to be filled with a renewed revelation of your authority as a royal son or daughter. Let that so fill your heart with increased faith that the mundane will flee and the excitement of new conquest will burn brightly within you.

As you listen to His voice anticipate a new and bold future of enlargement, increase and adventure! There is a new destination waiting for you.

2021 is not a repetition of last year, it is a year to build on all that Father has already accomplished in and through you.

I pray that every day will be filled with His wonder and your own inner delight at bringing Him celebration and joy.


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A Christmas Miracle

There are many things that come to mind when we think of Christmas. Christmas trees, Christmas lights, Christmas dinner, the gifts, and spending time with family. Let’s not forget Christmas carols, Christmas cards, and the excitement (or trepidation) of Christmas shopping. Even in many non-Christian communities and families around the world, Christmas is celebrated with enthusiasm.

For believers, it is a time to focus on the celebration of the birth of Jesus. It is a season of joy, of gratitude, and new life.

The Christmas story is full of miracles. In fact, without the miraculous, there would have been no Christmas story. The power of the Holy Spirit came upon Mary to allow a virgin to conceive and give birth to the Son of God (Luke 1:26-33). The wise men were directed by a star to come and worship Jesus after He was born (Matthew 2:1-2). The angel of the Lord warned Joseph through a dream so that their family could escape from Herod and go to Egypt (Matthew 2:13). Supernatural wonders were demonstrated again and again throughout the conception, birth, and life of Jesus.

The word miracle in the Greek is the word ‘dunamis’. This word means power, miraculous force, or mighty strength. When we see a miracle, it is God’s mighty power becoming evident.

While all miraculous stories centred around the birth of Jesus are incredible, one of the greatest Christmas miracles is something small and unexpected. Something we can all have, but often need more of. A conviction which is freely available, but regularly comes under attack. And that Christmas miracle is BELIEF.

For the Christmas miracles to come to pass, ordinary people like you and me had to believe. They had to take God at His word. People had to trust that the signs they had seen, and the dreams they had received, were true. God needed men and women to partner with Him. Mary needed to believe what the angel Gabriel told her, and she came into agreement with God’s plan. Joseph had to believe that his betrothed was indeed impregnated – not by a human being, but by God himself. Mary’s cousin Elizabeth believed that she was in the presence of the Saviour the moment that her own baby in her womb leapt with joy.

Belief is a simple word, but such a powerful concept. It means to place confidence in or to credit as true, even when we don’t have proof. It shouldn’t be surprising that those who profess to follow Christ are called believers! To have faith in an unseen God is a necessary foundation of Christianity.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Belief is necessary for the miraculous, but it also unlocks blessing. Luke 1:45 tells us that Mary was blessed because she “believed that the Lord would fulfil his promises to her.” After his death and resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples and says to Thomas:

John 20:29 “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

We are blessed to be called children of God. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing. Yet through circumstances and disappointments, our faith can diminish. Even when we still believe in God and His Word, our belief for the miraculous can waver.

For many of us, this year has been filled with challenges and difficulties. Our faith has been tested like never before. But as we look forward with anticipation to Christmas, it is time to believe for new things. It is time to expect the miraculous again.

Your own Christmas miracle is not out of reach. It might seem impossible, illogical or even crazy, but our God is the God of the impossible. His miraculous power is available to us. If he can part the Red Sea, then he can make a way for you. If Jesus can raise Lazarus from the dead, He can bring that dream back to life. If Paul and Silas can be freed from prison and lead the jailer and his family to salvation and baptism, there is still hope for your unsaved family and friends.

If a coin can be found in the mouth of a fish, then the Holy Spirit can direct you out of that financial challenge you are facing. If God can provide manna for the Israelites, He can put food on your table this Christmas.

Keep praying and keep believing for your Christmas miracle. Keep coming into agreement with God’s Word. Together, let’s expect the unexpected for this next season and for the New Year.


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Transition

One of the most challenging things in life is being confronted with the need for change. Transition can be so difficult – yet it is common to us all.

The world is filled with disillusioned and broken people that did not understand the nature of transition and the changes that it brings. We all experience transition, but understanding the nature of change is critical to us continuing to run this race with honour and a sense of destiny.

Billy Graham once said: “Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.”

A valley is but a place of transition between two mountaintops. It is that necessary terrain that takes us from the height achievable yesterday to the greater height achievable tomorrow. And yet, as we pass through it, it is there and there alone that the strength, the preparation, the enlargement of heart and spirit, the forging of deep inner strength necessary to scale that greater height is gained.

The definition of transition from the online dictionary is movement, or change from one position, state, subject, season, or concept to another.

It is in the transition of the valley that the fruit is grown, and the spirit of conquest is forged that empowers that person to scale the greater height. They do not scale that greater height in spite of the valley but because of it. That transition is a vital insert of time that empowers them for their future task. To be thankful for it is to gain from it that for which it was designed, to resent it is to gain only disappointment. Transition is empowering when embraced.

The Insecurity Of Change

Transition often means days of questions, of feeling insecure, days when you desperately need to refocus on God’s faithfulness and God’s integrity.  Your trust in Him must go to a new level in times of transition. Why? Because transition takes us from the familiar to the unknown, from the secure to the vulnerable. Psalm 23:4 tells us that God is with us, even in the darkest valleys and the most difficult times.

The reason why so many avoid transition rather than embrace it is that transition is scary! But transition is inevitable if we are to grow.

Transition touches all our lives at various moments and can touch every area of who we are and our personal world. It must. It is about the preparation of your heart for the new season of God. It is about your enlargement of spirit and faith, the creation of a deeper well of potential within you. Transition is about increasing your capacity for life!

If your season seems to have been unduly long or hard and you know that you have walked in intimacy with God and integrity with others, be encouraged with the knowledge that it is only longer because the commission is greater. It is not a time to allow discouragement but to look up with an expectant heart for the new chapter that God has been preparing you for.

Remember, the One Who holds your future, now directs your path. The Author of your change will also become your empowerment and sufficiency for that change. Your loving Father does not lead you there to see you struggle but to reveal Himself to you in a unique way. As you turn your gaze from the perplexity of the questions to the security of His love, you will find there is always that grace available for each new day.

 

God's Design

God’s Design

The creation of the whole world began with God and His design. You and I also started with God’s design, and our significance was noted before we were born. We are the result of God’s intention, not just the plan of our human parents. We were conceived in the mind of God before we were formed in the womb of our mother.

My life is not an accident or the result of some chance circumstance. And neither is yours. Our lives are significant.

Psalm 139:13-15 For You (God) created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body.

God created us. God knit us together. We are God’s design!

The phrase ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ literally means distinguished or different. Our lives are unique; we are one of a kind. There is something in us and about us that no one else has. Our uniqueness is based on the sovereignty of God’s design.

When David writes the Psalms, he shares his confidence in God. He is convinced that God made him, not as a casual afterthought, but as a beautiful creation. David had a personal relationship with the Lord, and states that he knows that all of God’s works are wonderful.

All of God’s works includes you and I as well, as everyone who has ever existed and everyone who is yet to be born. Do you know that you are created uniquely by God? Do you know that your uniqueness is foundational to your significance? Do you know and accept fully that God did a great job, a perfect job, when He created you?

God made us profoundly wonderful. As the Master Designer, He also has a plan for our lives.

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.

Our significance is connected to being a child of the living God. Our confidence comes from knowing His purpose, and then living the life God has pre-ordained for us to live. God’s purposes are to give us “a hope and a future” and his plans are to prosper us (Jeremiah 29:11). It’s not just about us doing good things. It is about us doing the works that God has prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Every day is lived best when we understand our significance and when we know our purpose. But we cannot have either of those things unless we have relationship with God. To know Him is to hear His voice. When we hear His voice, we receive His heart of love towards us and we understand His purpose for us.

God’s design is never unintentional. We are called to live purposeful lives. Will you commit to living a significant life? The best life we can have is the beautiful life of God’s design!

 

Ambassadors For Christ

Ambassadors For Christ

This world desperately needs to see Jesus as He really is. And this is where you and I come in! To be ambassadors of Christ. An ambassador speaks of a representative who will reflect the official position of whoever (or whatever) they are representing.

At David McCracken Ministries, we have a passion to see the Church Triumphant accurately and powerfully representing the Lord Jesus Christ in every nation.

As His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) we are the ones that God has chosen to declare His Son to this world. As His Church, we are not called to demonstrate a religion nor an organisation, we are called to be a supernatural people, living a supernatural life, declaring a supernatural Christ. We are called to declare a Message that declares His absolute authority over sin, sickness and every Satanic oppression.

In Matthew 24:14 we are given our Commission to take this Gospel of The Kingdom into ‘all nations’.

The objective is not just to make converts. It is to bring a ‘witness’ of Christ to that nation. That means raising up a body of believers that are true ‘Ambassadors’ of the King. It means we represent Him in everyday living, in our families, in our vocation, in our recreation, in our corporate gatherings, in our involvement in society. Our calling is to live like The Christ, talk like The Christ, act like The Christ. We are called to be ambassadors of Christ who are empowered, significant, and relevant.

For such a community to be established in ‘all nations’ (literally in every language group), the whole Body of Christ must be involved. An ‘all nations’ commission demands an ‘all saints’ policy of involvement. Why? Because, as Ambassadors, His agenda must become our agenda; His heartbeat must become our heartbeat; His passion must become our passion. And His passion is for ‘all nations’ to see Him accurately and fully represented.

Friends, if we are all His Ambassadors, then we will share His vision, His heartbeat and His passion. His vision is that in every language group on the Earth, there shall come the living witness of an all-conquering, miracle-working, compassionate, redemptive Christ that has all authority to set them free and give them a new life.

True humility is seen in our worship, our adoration, and obedience to the Supreme King of our heart and in our accurate representation of who He is, and in carrying out of His will on the Earth as it is in Heaven. Let’s honour Him by fulfilling the royal commission He placed upon us: to be His ambassadors who exercise His spiritual authority to ensure His will is done on the earth as it is in heaven!

In such a Cause we are all called to serve. This is the call of God on our lives!

Let this be the year you discover your own personal role in seeing His Vision for ‘all nations’ become a reality.

 

Beyond Understanding

Beyond Understanding

As human beings, we are naturally curious. We like to know things and understand them. But is our ability to understand everything essential for spiritual growth and the development of spiritual gifts? No. In fact, a sign of spiritual maturity is an acceptance that there will always be things that are beyond our understanding.

Job 36:26 (NIV) How great is God—beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out.

A willingness to not understand is a sign of humility.

God knows everything, we do not. It’s good to remember that Gods ways and His thoughts are so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). It’s also good to not think of ourselves more highly than we ought (Romans 12:3). Humility is more necessary for spiritual growth than understanding is.

Humility is equally required in our spiritual gifts. Even when Father reveals something to us, we only get a part of the picture or story.

1 Corinthians 13:9 (NIV) For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

A willingness to not understand is a sign of trust. 

Proverbs 3:5 (NIV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

Completely understanding something often eliminates the need for having to trust in someone. God wants us to trust in Him completely, yet too often our greater trust can be in our ability to understand something.

When it comes to receiving a prophetic word from God for someone, we don’t always understand what it means. This can be a scary step of faith, because if we had a little more understanding, we could be a bit more confident. But the truth is, these are the very times when our trust in God is to be greater than our trust in our understanding.

If there is an item of technology that you completely understand and you know from experience it works, your confidence is in the item. However, if you don’t understand an item and you don’t know if it works, your trust in it is connected to who tells you about it. If you trust the person, you can trust the item.

When God speaks, we can trust Him completely. If we don’t understand what He says, we can still trust in Him because He is always trustworthy.

A willingness to not understand keeps us from distraction.

Many people have spent many hours trying to understand something. While understanding in and of itself is not a wrong pursuit, the problem is when the time given and the thing pursued is taking you away from time with Father and what He wants to show you.

When the disciples asked Jesus about the times and seasons, He redirected them to His present commission to be His witnesses (Acts 1:6-8). If the disciples had stayed focused on what they wanted to understand, they would have been off track with what Jesus was initiating.

It’s important to note that the disciples weren’t asking a question about something grievous to God. The question itself and the desire to understand the times and seasons was not wrong, but it was not Jesus’ focus at that moment. Their ability to move beyond understanding did not distract them from the powerful day of Pentecost and the birth of the early Church.

A willingness to not understand is an invitation into deeper intimacy.

Ephesians 1:17 (NIV) I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

When it comes to knowing God and walking with God, there will always be an element of mystery. There is both the reality that God is infinitely larger than our natural minds can ever comprehend, and the invitation to search for Him more intimately.

Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV) You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Finding God on deeper levels is not connected to natural understanding but to divine wisdom and revelation. This is about finding God in our heart and our spirit, not just in our minds. It is knowing Him as Abba Father. There is something beautiful about knowing someone, and because of what you know, your desire to know and love them further grows stronger over time.

A willingness to not understand is an invitation into deeper peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

We often bring our requests to God because we do not understand something. Our way of doing things would be for God to give us the understanding to our requests and that peace would be the result of understanding. But this is so often not God’s way and it is for a very good reason.

If understanding is the ultimate goal of our prayers and it is the guaranteed outcome, our peace is attached to our understanding. But when we are growing deeper in intimacy with the One who loves us unconditionally and completely, our peace is found in Him and it is experienced even deeper in the absence of understanding.

Beyond Understanding

Job 37:5 (NIV) God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.

We should desire to know God better and to understand His ways more. But this understanding is a spiritual revelation from the Holy Spirit, not an accumulation of facts from studying books or from life experience.

So as we lean into God more and desire what is on His heart for us and for others through us, we are called to be faith-filled people who have a confidence in God and a willingness to live beyond our understanding.

Abba Father

Abba Father

The word ‘father’ brings to mind different meanings and memories for each person. For some, a father evokes positive or happy thoughts. For others, the memories of a father may be difficult—for any number of reasons. But what is our perception of God the Father?

I believe that it is God’s desire that everyone receive a personal revelation of God, not only as our awesome God (and He is) but as our warm, loving, caring Father!  A Father that wants us to talk with Him daily. A Father that desires us to live a life of intimacy and deep affection with Him; a life that will embolden us to become men and women of significance in our world.  The scripture describes our loving Father in this way:

Romans 8:15 (NKJV) For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of adoption and by Him (the Spirit) we cry Abba Father!

This phrase ‘Abba Father’ is a term of endearment or affection. The Passion Translation of this scripture describes God as our ‘Beloved Father’.

In Galatians chapter 4, the apostle Paul writes that when we become believers, we move from slavery to sonship. The word ‘sons’ used throughout this chapter is not a reference to an exclusively male invitation, but a reference to the nature of the relationship that God offers: that of full, total adoption. This spiritual adoption is available for each person, both male and female.

Galatians 4:6-7 (NIV) Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

God is indicating the type of the relationship that He intends us to have with Him by talking about the tradition of the day. It was the custom of full adoption, in which an adopted person took on all the rights, privileges and authority of his new ‘father’ as his rightful heir. It was an awesome moment in a person’s life when whatever limitations previously part of their life were replaced by their whole new identity of power and authority granted to them by their father. With that full adoption moment came an amazing new life with freedom and potential never dreamed of previously.

When we have a personal revelation of true fatherhood, we have the security of knowing that:

  • We are totally loved
  • We are unconditionally accepted—and never have to strive for that acceptance again
  • We are a recipient of the Father’s provision
  • The authority of the Father now fully rests on us as His heir
  • Father is guiding the steps of our lives
  • Father is always and only motivated for our good
  • Father is the all-powerful Creator of Heaven and Earth—and He is greater than all of life’s opposition.

Friends, the marks of one living with a revelation of having God as our personal, intimate, affectionate Father is SECURITY! An impregnable, unshakeable security. We can go through life totally assured of His love and acceptance. 1 John 4:18 declares, “Perfect love casts out all fear!” The revelation of God as my affectionate, protecting Father conquers all fear. My intimacy with the Father is what empowers me.

When we are secure, we don’t compare ourselves with others or become intimidated by others. A revelation of Abba Father dares us to dream impossible dreams because our God is not restricted to our humanity. We become capable of bold initiatives because our driving force is to please Him and bring Him honour. It is never too late to experience a new and intimate relationship with Father.

Spiritual sonship is God’s intention for all of us! Father gives an invitation to enter in to such a relationship. He now offers you a life of far greater intimacy and potential than you have previously known or dreamed of. Ask Him today for a revelation of His heart and get to know Him as your personal, affectionate Abba Father.

End Times

A Word About The End Times

People love to speculate on the End Times. I have heard many opinions from different people. Some have fought for the truth of their convictions, while others hazard a guess at what might possibly be. Many predicted dates for the End Times that have since come and gone… and we are still waiting.

Does God have anything definitive to say about the End Times? Is there a prophetic word of encouragement for us all today?

While having my own devotional time with God recently, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to go to a certain scripture reference that I did not know by heart. In obedience, I turned to it and the following is where He led me. I believe it is God’s perspective for us about the End Times.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 NIV Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

God’s word to you for the End Times is “Live ready!” God is not going to make the date of Jesus return clear to any person. It is a mystery and it will remain a mystery. Our responsibility is not to work out when, but to live ready now.

When Jesus says “Come” are you ready to go? Here are three things the Holy Spirit spoke to me. Each point is relevant for every person that wants to be ready when Jesus triumphantly returns as King of kings and Lord of lords.

  1. Live in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:8 is often quoted when it comes to receiving the Holy Spirit, and it is a very powerful verse. What is not often stated is the preceding verses which give the context to which Jesus spoke. Let’s take a look together.

Acts 1:6-8 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The disciples of Jesus wanted insight into the Father’s timeline of when certain things would happen. Jesus response is to be our focus today. In effect He said, “Don’t focus on trying to work out when my Father will do what He said He would do. Rather, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and through Him, be my witnesses all around the world.”

The instruction hasn’t changed. We are all called to live full of the Holy Spirit and to be witnesses of who Jesus is. The Father will do what He said He will do and He will do it in His time, but this is not to be our focus.

  1. Live with your bags packed.

When we go away to another place where we are going to stay for a while, we pack a bag. In it we take what we need for where we are going. We don’t pack things that we need in our present location. We pack what we need for our intended destination.

This life is not our final destination. Yes, God provides for our needs here on the earth, but they are physical things that we cannot take with us. They are important in this moment, but they are not the most important.

The things of the Spirit and the things of the Kingdom are most important. Doing the will of our Father now is what we are to pack into our bags for our ultimate destination. Living for the glory of God now is an item worth packing for eternity. Passionately loving God and selflessly serving people will also travel well – we should most definitely pack these!

Here’s what the Bible says:

Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 16:24-27 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

Is your focus on accumulating what you want for here and now, or is it on having what you need for all eternity?

  1. Live with your affairs in order.

We are called to live right with God. We are also called to live right with people. One of the things that empower both of these principles is our commitment to keep short accounts. 1 Corinthians 13:5 tells us to ‘keep no record of wrongs’. When it comes to relationships, don’t put off until tomorrow what you should do today.

Ephesians 4:26-27 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

2 Corinthians 6:2 For he says, “In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.

We have today. In fact, the only guarantee we have is right now. Therefore, the focus of the One who holds the times in His hands and who knows the beginning and the end is for us to live ready now. Jesus is coming again – of that we have no doubt. When? Well, this is what Jesus said:

Matthew 24:36 But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Let God do what He said He will do, and let us do what He has called us to do. It’s time to live ready for the return of the King!

The Call of God

Don’t Postpone the Call of God

The call of God is anything God asks us to do; it’s God’s will.

There are general calls: come to the Father through Jesus, talk to God in prayer, discover God in His Word, love people like Jesus loves us, be gentle, patient and kind, be self-controlled, live life according to God’s Word etc.

Then there are specific calls: God may have asked you to go somewhere in particular, call someone to encourage them, forgive someone who has hurt you, or change careers. Father may call you to go to Bible school, lead a home group, get involved in youth ministry or children’s church, give a certain amount of money to a specific cause, stop something you have been doing for a while, or start something new.

Do you know what God has asked you to do? What is your commission? And are you postponing the call of God?

The word postpone means “to cause or arrange for something to take place at a later time than that first scheduled.” (Lexico online dictionary)

The first thing I notice is that when we postpone, there is an intention to do the thing which is asked or planned. Many people have the thought that they will do what God has said…but just not right now. There’s a thought of “I will do it…one day”. However, the longer we delay, the more likely we will disobey.

Why do we postpone what God asks us to do? Might I suggest that it’s because we don’t really trust Him. I’ve learnt that to know the Author is to trust the Author. God’s Word shows us that when God calls us, He enables us to fulfill that call. Therefore, I’ve learnt I can always trust Him!

GOD IS A GOOD GOD:

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

GOD IS A GOD OF INVITATION:

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.

GOD IS ALWAYS WORKING FOR MY GOOD:

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

The enemy tries to convince us that by postponing the call of God we are protecting ourselves from bad things. The truth is, when we delay obeying God’s will, we are keeping ourselves from God’s best. But we need to understand that obeying the call is not always easy.

God’s Will

God’s will comes at a cost – to God and to us

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.”

  • God’s will doesn’t come at a convenient time – to God and to us

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Luke 9:59-62 He said to another man, “Follow Me.” But He replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

  • God’s will in our lives will be contested

God’s will is contested through contradictions (Joseph and his God-given dream)

Genesis 45:5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.

God’s will is also contested through disappointments (Job lost almost everything)

Job 1:21 He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

I have a conviction that we cannot lose when we do God’s will at the time He asks us to do it.

On your way to discovering God’s specific will for your life, commit to being faithful with God’s written will which is found in His Word. We have a call to be about our Father’s business: “Not my will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42) We also have a call to be a part of God’s family: “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9) We are adopted as sons and daughters, dearly loved children, friends of God.

The Lord speaks to us in the book of Jeremiah about His wonderful will for our lives. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”(Jeremiah 29:11) God’s will is always the best place for us. God will always bring His good work in us to completion. There comes a time when we must make God’s will and His call our first and greatest priority.

The Birthplace of Your Miracle

The Birthplace of Your Miracle

Easter is all about a cross, a cave and a resurrection. Easter is all about the birthplace of a miracle.

When Jesus triumphantly emerged from the tomb that was a cave, He was the ultimate declaration of a Biblical principle that touches the life of us all. Jesus is the resurrection and the life! (John 11:25)

As the sun was darkened and the cruel reality of the cross seemed to annihilate His ministry and His call, it seemed like it was all over. And then came the darkness of the cave.

  • For Elijah, the cross was the persecution of a woman named Jezebel. It drove him into a cave. (Read the story in 1 Kings 19)
  • For David, the cross was the murderous pursuit of Saul. It drove him into a cave. (1 Samuel 22)
  • For Lazarus, the cross was a fatal illness. It drove him into a cave. (John 11)

But, my friends, it was not final! When you serve the God of resurrection, your cave becomes the birthplace of your miracle.

  • Elijah emerged from the cave as one who appointed kings.
  • David emerged from the cave as a man ready to rule as king.
  • Lazarus emerged from the cave as a man who had conquered death because of the command of the King.
  • Jesus emerged from the cave as the King of Kings!

Let me encourage you: the next time you find yourself in a dark place or a cave, look up with anticipation. It is the place where kings are forged! Why? Because it is not final!

As you respond to Father with a fully surrendered heart, the darkness of that cave becomes the birthplace of an infinitely greater season. For many of you reading this, this is resurrection morning. This is the birthplace of your miracle! It is never too late for God!

A New Destination

A New Destination

Father wants to put fresh, new spiritual destinations in your heart, along with a compelling purpose for pursuing them. God has a new destination for you – this is a time to be listening!

Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

The Hebrew word ‘wilderness’ means, ‘a vast open field where cattle are driven’, ‘uninhabited land’, or ‘large tracts of open land and pasture’.

The picture is of someone herding cattle like a drover and discovering uninhabited, vast plains of land that are virgin territory. However, the thought is not that of dryness. Quite the opposite! ‘A road in the wilderness’ speaks of a place where there is an abundance of food for cattle. Settlers can come and prosper in a new land. The ‘wilderness’ speaks of new territory. Expansive new territory – a new destination!

Father clearly spoke to me one morning a number of years ago and said: “I want the rest of your life as a blank sheet of paper.” I was amazed, as I sincerely considered that was the case already. However, over a period of a few weeks He showed me how subtle the nature of our desires can be. Indeed, our view of the future can be influenced by our knowledge of the past. I had to discover a place of complete surrender, with no qualifications attached. What an incredible sense of anticipation then flooded my heart!

So, if you feel as though you are facing a wilderness, take courage. The promise of God is that He will give you a ‘road’ that will cause that wilderness to become accessible and a place of great fruitfulness.

Can I encourage each one of you to take some time aside to present yourself afresh before the Lord to hear from Him.  Bring your own blank sheet of paper to see what exciting new things He would write upon it for your future. Of one thing I am certain: He has a remarkable and fruitful new era for each one of us, if we dare to embrace it.

Influence or Success

Influence or Success

God is calling us to be people of greater influence. We are all called to be godly influencers, regardless of our calling or title. We cannot make disciples without influencing others! But we can easily lose our focus on influence and instead look towards success.

The world’s focus is on success, and this focus is on self.

Success means: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, the attainment of popularity or profit, a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.

One of the evidences of success is growth; you have more of something and its bigger and better. This was not Jesus’ focus nor His example to us. It says in John 6:66, “From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.”

Jesus had many disciples and when He began to share some challenging thoughts, many left Him. His many followers got whittled down to twelve. Of those twelve, one repeatedly cursed and denied knowing Him, another was characterised by doubt, others were known to argue with each other about their importance and who would get the best seat in heaven, one was stealing from the organisations finances and ended up betraying Jesus and committing suicide. At His point of greatest need, they all deserted Him. He was not, as man would define it, a person of great success!

However, God’s focus is on influence, and this focus is on others. Consider these scriptures:

Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.”

Mark 8:36 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”

Matthew 20:28 “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Influence means: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself, the power to shape policy.

While success equals gain, influence equals change. Jesus came to influence people’s lives, not to be a successful person. Leadership and influence are about us adding to others by giving, while success is about us achieving for ourselves by getting.

Jesus saw the problem in people’s lives, and He added the solution!

Jesus saw death so He came to add life. Jesus saw worthlessness so He came to add value. Jesus saw fear so He came to add love. Jesus saw worry so He came to add peace. Jesus saw hopelessness so He came to add hope.

Jesus literally changed environments, cultures and people’s lives by influencing them – by adding to them by giving.

The woman caught in adultery was feeling condemned. Jesus saw this and added acceptance, and by doing so, removed condemnation. The Samaritan woman at the well was feeling unworthy to be loved because five men had left her. Jesus saw this and added love and honour, and by doing so, subtracted unworthiness. After denying Jesus three times, Peter felt disqualified and unworthy. Jesus saw this and added acceptance and a fresh commissioning.

Like Jesus, we are always adding to or removing things from people’s lives. So, what are you adding to people’s lives and what are you subtracting? There were times in difficult conversations with others that I added frustration, anger and careless words, and by doing so, subtracted honour, respect and value. The reason I did this was because I felt I was right; therefore I focused on achieving for myself by getting the upper hand. I wanted to be successful in this argument.

But there have also been times when I added gentleness, honour, patience and respect. When my focus was on adding to others and selfless giving, I removed anger, frustration and hurt. I wanted to be influential in this conversation; to love them like Jesus does.

God is calling us all to be people of greater influence. So, in your everyday life, when you see a lack in people’s lives, add the opposite. When you see criticism, add some encouragement. If you recognise hopelessness, add some hope. Look to be influential, rather than successful. When you go up – that’s success. But when you help others go up – that’s influence.

God's light breaking over the horizon

God of Light

God is a God of light, not a God of darkness. In a world where so much darkness abounds, this is a much-needed truth that we need a revelation of. We need to get our theology from God’s Word.

1 John 1:5-7  This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.

God is a God of absolutes. This scripture says that ‘in Him, there is no darkness at all’. There is far too much dilution, pollution and contamination when it comes to our view of darkness and light. It is not politically correct to talk in absolutes, but it is biblically imperative and theologically accurate. It’s not about being dogmatic – it is about truth.

God is a God of light, not a God of darkness. It says that if we walk with God, then we will not continue to walk in darkness. This is not talking about people who made a decision once or prayed a prayer once. It is describing people who actually walk in fellowship and friendship with God. It is not talking about having moments of making wrong choices. It is talking about people who continually walk in darkness.

Jesus is the Light of the World, and if we are truly walking with Him, we will walk in the light.

1 John 1:8-10 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word is not in us.

This scripture is a good reminder that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). To claim to not sin is pride and this displeases God. Acknowledging our sins ‘as sins’ is imperative to walking in freedom. Ignoring them or watering them down is always to our detriment.

Our freedom comes, not from perfection, but from Christ, the anointed Son of God. And that freedom is released through taking responsibility for our sins and asking Jesus to forgive us. Yes, we have all sinned. This is a reality. But we also all have a Saviour who wants to forgive us, cleanse us and give us life to the full!

Praise God that He is the God of Light and that we can walk with Him in the light.

One Handful or Two

One Handful or Two

God asked me one day, “What do you have in your hand?” Not literally in my hand, but what was I juggling in my life? And when I answered the question honestly, I realised that it was not just one handful that I was carrying, but actually I had both hands full. And my hands were full to overflowing. I was so busy doing things for God that I had been distracted from chasing after God himself.

I have found myself at times chasing many things. And they may have been good things – related to family, ministry, or church life. But as a bit of an over-achiever, I can easily find myself with too much on my plate. I say yes out of enthusiasm to help others, which can result in feeling worn out or depleted.

Ecclesiastes 4:6 Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.

When I was younger, my Dad used to have a bit of fun when offering us certain foods – such as a slice of cake or slice of cheese. He would ask whether we wanted a one-handed slice or a two-handed slice. Of course, if my friends were around, they would always ask for a two-handed slice – it sounded like it was going to be so much bigger and so much better! But in fact, a two-handed slice was so thin and fragile that it needed to be held with both hands. It would crumble at a moment’s notice. The one-handed slice was the one you really wanted – it was thick and stable and easily held in one hand.

When both our hands are so full of stuff in our lives, it is like that two-handed slice. Life seems like it will be so much better when we have two hands full – but in fact, too much and our lives feel thin and as if things would easily crumble. We end up chasing after the wrong things, and it takes all of our energy to ensure that things don’t fall apart. But we don’t want to drop the ball or let people down, so we keep straining to juggle our many responsibilities. As a result, our life feels unstable and uncertain.

When I chase after many things that are not in God’s plan, I lose my tranquillity. I forfeit that inner state of being calm and settled. I end up toiling and working so hard I lose my joy. And if we are honest, amidst the many good things in our lives, we can end up a slave to what seem to be good things. But too many seemingly good things are not always right if they are not in God’s plan.

Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Jesus teaches us not to worry about tomorrow, and to seek Him first. God’s ways are always higher than our ways. If we stick to one handful of the things in life, we have the other hand free – to hold God’s hand. To allow Him to lead and guide us. To ensure that we have the margin and space in our day to hear His voice and be led by the Holy Spirit. With one hand full, our lives are stable and secure in Him. And with just one hand full, we also have the other hand free to help others along the way as He directs.

So, allow Father to speak into what you have in your hands. Don’t get caught up in meaningless toil – live your life with one handful, not two.

Philippians 1:6 (TLB) And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.

The Anointed One

The Anointed One

Jesus Christ is the anointed one. He is the Messiah, our deliverer, our Saviour, and our King.

Matthew 1:1 in the NKJV states, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.” When we look at the name Christ, it mainly points to two words and they are ‘Messiah’ and ‘anointed’ (Strong’s g5547).

In the Oxford Dictionary, the word ‘Messiah’ is defined as ‘the promised deliverer of the Jewish nation prophesied in the Hebrew Bible’. It goes further than this and names Jesus; ‘Jesus regarded by Christians as the Messiah of the Hebrew prophecies and the Saviour of humankind’.

This is true – Jesus is the Deliverer and the Saviour – but this is not predominantly what the word ‘Messiah’ means in the Bible.

The word ‘Messiah’ only appears twice in scripture (Daniel 9:25-26), and it means ‘anointed’ (Strong’s h4899). The word ‘anointed’ appears many times in scripture, and it is the primary meaning of the name ‘Christ’. Why is this so important?

The following verses are what Jesus said about Himself when He quoted Isaiah 61:1-2:

Luke 4:18-19 (NKJV) “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”

The word ‘anoint’ here, when referring to Jesus, means ‘through the idea of contact; to smear or rub with oil, i.e. by implication, to consecrate to an office or religious service’ (Strong’s g5548). This is powerful!

It also means ‘consecrating Jesus to the Messianic office, and furnishing Him with the necessary powers for its administration’ (Strong’s g5548). Wow! Jesus was sent from His Father to be the ‘Messiah’ (everything contained in the name ‘Jesus’) He was empowered to do everything He did because He was anointed by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 10:38)

Jesus is anointed with power and spiritual authority. He is The Anointed One!

We Shall Reign

We Shall Reign

Although entering the Promised land was a wonderful, long-awaited day for Israel, there was one snag; the giants were still there! Why?

Was there a reason God did not destroy these giants after seeing His people wandering in the desert for forty years? Why risk yet another generation being turned back by their intimidation and size? Surely God knew of the battles that would have to be fought, the constant challenges to faith that His people would be presented with. The sword and the spear seemed to be such a contrast to a “land flowing with milk and honey” as promised.

This is where we must understand God’s objective, for it is the same today with all of us. From the very beginning of time, God has always had the power to destroy the devil and his hordes. There has never been a time when the Lord and His angels could not have hurled every demon into the lake of fire and left them there. Our God is sovereign, and His authority is absolute.

Why then has He tolerated this sin-infested world and the demons that so ravage it?

The answer is found in knowing God’s ultimate intention for those of humanity that have chosen to serve Him as undisputed Lord. If we are ever to be the overcomers that we all desire to be, that will not be because the Lord has removed the potential of conflict from our path. It is quite the opposite. It is the very process of being confronted and having to decide to exercise our God-given authority in prayer that develops that spiritual dominion within us.

Consider the clear declaration of these scriptures:

Revelations 5:10  And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.
Revelations 20:6  …and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
2 Timothy 2:12  If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.

The capacity to reign, the spiritual authority to rule, is not a gift; it is a developed spiritual muscle. It is only as we exercise it that it matures. If we see this clearly, we realise why it was so necessary for those giants to be left alive, awaiting God’s people. Let me declare it simply and plainly: Our adversaries exist to be conquered by you and I! They are our fuel for growth.

It also tells us why Jesus did not remove all evil from the Earth at the time of His triumph at Calvary. There is no dispute that Our King utterly annihilated Satan’s legal rights to rule and express evil on the Earth.

Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

It is in the next statement in Matthew 28:19 that says it all: “Go ye therefore”! In other words, Jesus is saying, “I paid the price to purchase all dominion and rule, but you must now enforce that and see it acknowledged on a daily basis by the enemies of the kingdom.” The legal document that guarantees us our potential victory over the flesh and the devil is the declared Word of God. It alone is the truth.

Our past failures and the accusations of the enemy can be highly persuasive, and they are often very convincing lies. But the tragedy is that everything that is human in us reaches out to accept their logic and the apparent reasonableness of their suggestions.

At times it can be a major challenge to believe in God’s integrity and that of His Word, turn your back on all that persuasive human reasoning, and declare: “we are more than conquerors through Christ!”  (Romans 8:37) and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens [empowers] me.”  (Philippians 4:12-14)

Does it take faith? Absolutely. But He has already placed that faith within you. It is by your decision that you must draw upon that faith and determine to live by it. It is as you cry out to Him in prayer and claim the power of His Word that faith is released. Such an overcoming life is not for a few elite superstars but for everyday followers of Jesus like you and me.

Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!

Humility and Righteousness

Humility and Righteousness

What is the connection between our humility and our righteousness? Let’s look at the life of Jesus.

Matthew 3:13-15  Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptised by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptised by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.

The Eternal Word and Son of God came to his natural cousin to be baptised. What a picture of humility!  John understandably kicked back against this because he knew that Jesus was far greater than who he was. John had received a revelation that his cousin was the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. But Jesus knew that this was His Father’s will; that this needed to be done to fulfil all righteousness.

For each of us, humility declares “I am not good enough in and of myself. I need God.” For all of us, humility is an essential doorway to walk through and lifestyle to live if we are going to truly walk with God.

For Jesus, humility was a little different because He was good enough; He was sinless, and therefore, He was perfect. For Jesus, humility was putting aside His will, His desires and His rights for the sake of His Father’s will to be done. For us, this is also an essential element to humility; a submission of our will to our Father’s will. But how is humility connected to righteousness?

The word ‘righteousness’ means ‘a condition acceptable to God, the state of being as we ought to be’ (Strong’s g1343). Jesus knew that being baptised by His cousin John was His Father’s will. Therefore, submitting to His will and doing what His Father said was an expression of His righteousness.

Now let’s lean back into the fact that Jesus was baptised by His natural cousin, and combine it with the following statement by Jesus:

Mark 6:4 But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.”

Jesus knew that people often miss God speaking and moving due to over-familiarity with the vessel through whom God is speaking and ministering. This happened continually with Jesus. And this is why it is so powerful that Jesus was baptised by His natural cousin John. Jesus saw John as His Father saw John, not just how His natural childhood experiences saw him. John also saw Jesus as He was, not just as His cousin. This shows the humility of John too.

Is there someone in your family or in your close friends that is Father’s intended vessel to speak to you and minister to you? Are you missing out on Father’s will because you see “them” as “just them”?

Humility is needed for all righteousness to be fulfilled in our lives. It was true of Jesus. It was true of John. It is true for all of us.

Just Three Words from Jesus

Just Three Words From Jesus

God is speaking all the time. He speaks in parables and stories, in statements and prophecies, in mysteries great and unsearchable. But Father also speaks with clarity and precision. And just three words that God speaks can be the very declaration that we need to hear right now.

We are all called to live a prophetic life. And the description of living a prophetic life is to hear God clearly and communicate Him accurately. But when we consider the prophetic, are we missing what God is saying because we are overlooking what God is placing right before us? Are we looking for a great and mighty prophecy and missing His voice because we mistakenly believe that the lengthier something is, the more impacting it will be?

Some of the most powerful moments in Jesus’ life were summed up in just three words. At the start of His ministry, Jesus finds Simon Peter and Andrew fishing, and with just three words His command changed the direction of their lives: “Come, follow me.” While being tempted in the wilderness, Jesus rebukes the enemy with just three words, “It is written” and uses the power of the Word to overcome temptation. When a man with leprosy comes to Jesus to ask if He will make him clean, Jesus says just three words, “I am willing” and then heals him. While the disciples are freaked out by the wild weather which has blown up on the lake, Jesus calms the storm with just three words, “Quiet! Be still.”

Upon the cross of Calvary, Jesus, who was giving up his perfect, sinless life for the salvation of humanity, says just three words, “It is finished.” Peter, wonderful impulsive Peter, who loved Jesus so much and yet who also disowned Him before He was crucified, was given his calling and purpose for life in just three words, “Feed my sheep.” And many of the simplest, yet most profound commands we hear from Jesus are summed up in three words: “Love one another”, “Remain in Me”, “Do not judge”, “Watch and pray,” “Do not worry”.

Focusing on just three words is not a principle to be followed or a rule to measure whether God is speaking or not. Jesus spoke for three chapters non-stop in Matthew when delivering the Sermon on the Mount. The entire Bible, all 66 books which are inspired by the Holy Spirit, is God speaking to us. It says in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” The length of how many words God says to you in a particular moment is not the point. The point is that God is always speaking – through His Word, through the Holy Spirit, through other believers, through creation.

When it comes to hearing God’s voice, He will speak to us with exactly what we need. Never underestimate the power of what God is saying because of the length of the words or the vessel that it is delivered through. In fact, the simplicity of just three words can burn in your heart and come back to your mind time and time again when you need encouragement in your faith.

Whether it is three words, a paragraph, or a chapter – Father is always speaking. So, when the Holy Spirit whispers something to your heart, don’t discount it just because it appears simple. When a phrase is highlighted to you from the Bible, meditate and press in to hear His voice. When you receive a word of encouragement or a scripture from a friend, listen to what God is saying. Bigger is not always better. Longer is not always loftier. God knows best – let’s allow His Words to change our lives.

Never Too Late

Never Too Late

There are times when we feel like God is too late. Our challenges have become overwhelming, and that answer to prayer still hasn’t come. There is a depth of experiencing God in pain and travail that transcends anything we know in times of rejoicing.  These are the ‘wells in the desert’; the ‘treasures discovered in darkness’. These are the moments in which all pretence and all insincerity are stripped away; and in a state of spiritual and emotional nakedness, we stand before God unashamed and desperate for His love.

The intimacy possible in such times does not depend upon emotional highs nor sensations of well-being; it is a deep inner awareness of being loved by our Father, of being held in His embrace of unconditional acceptance and care.

When no argument is convincing, when no evidence is apparent, there comes the assurance of an unreasonable faith: ‘My Father loves me!’ The beauty and depth of character forged in such times will remain with us forever and will become a well of life for others to drink from, others who are questioning their time of difficulty or transition.

Friends, all of life is made up of seasons, and seasons demand a transition from one to the other, that insert of scary vulnerability.  Perhaps some of you can identify an area in which you are undergoing such a transition right now: vocation, marriage, ministry, finance, relationships, or even in who and what God wants you to be. For all of you, I have a word of encouragement from the Lord; and I want you to keep it before you.

It is never too late! You are birthing a new day of promise! God has not forgotten you, and you are going from bearing fruit to bearing extravagant fruit. Your promise is on its way and it is God’s intention that it will come right on time.

Jeremiah 33:1-3 (NKJV) Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the prison, saying, “Thus says the LORD who made it, the LORD who formed it to establish it (the LORD is His name): ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

Now, for some of you that feel your difficult season has gone on for a little too long and the devil has suggested it is too late now for you. In John 11, we read about Mary and Martha’s grief at the loss of their brother Lazarus. They thought it was too late!

John 11:21 (NKJV) Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

It appeared that this was one transition that had gone on too long.  The subject had died! Martha is saying, “If you had only intervened earlier, we would not have gone through this death experience.” But Jesus declares that it is NEVER too late! Mary and Martha were about to witness a resurrection!

The Lord allowed this delay because Lazarus had not only a message to deliver but a message to become.  Jesus knew that when he came out of that tomb, he will be the message!  A message no one will be able to refute nor deny.

Friends, God always has a purpose.  We must learn to trust Him. It is never too late.

Stillness and Silence

Stillness and Silence

Sometimes when the pressure of decision is very real, there is a place that I like to go.  It’s a place in which stillness and silence reigns, where the beauty of God’s handiwork is seen so clearly.  It’s so easy to love a place like that for so many reasons: the quietness, the beauty, the serenity of nature’s touch.  But most of all, for me, it is a place where I find my Father’s heart.

Psalm 23:2 is such a well-known scripture – He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

His silence is still golden. In an age where the pressure of decision seems to be an ever-present adversary, we need to know a place where we can find our solitude.  A place uncluttered by the affairs of man and the tension of the time clock ticking our moments away. A place where we can hear God clearly.

In my quest for such a place over the years, I have often found some beautiful and wonderful spots.  Places that still linger and minister to my mind.  But not always so.  There are times when such a place, is not to be found.  For reasons many and varied, our search for solitude remains an unfruitful one.  For too many this moment becomes a time of crisis.

It is in such moments that the reality of the Holy Spirit is such a comfort.  I have discovered that we can find a place of haven, wherever we are.  It’s not a place of trees, and soft waters in the natural, but rather a place where our minds are at peace and our hearts are ministered to by His love.  The Bible says that the love the Lord Jesus Christ can give is a love “beyond all understanding”.  He speaks of a peace which is above all ability to reason or comprehend.  It’s a peace which knows no limits and has no barriers.  It’s a peace not borne out of the efforts of man, but has upon it the sweet touch of the Divine. A place of stillness and silence where the loving heart of the Father ministers to us by the Holy Spirit.

When people question me concerning the reality of the Lord Jesus Christ, there are things I can refer to.  The miracles, the healings, the transformed lives, the sheer joy in our services from people who have previously only known despair.  But perhaps one of the greatest evidences of all is that ever present peace which is greater than my understanding.

The peace of which I’ve written, is a peace freely available.  But will never be found in the strife and struggle of physical or intellectual endeavour, for it is spiritual in nature. By coming to the Lord Jesus who is its Source and Supply we can receive in a moment that which may be the quest of a lifetime.

My prayer is that you will find your haven of stillness and silence soon, for I know how much I value mine.