A transatlantic flight was denied a landing strip at Heathrow Airport London. The captain was advised to keep a holding pattern that took the plane over the highlands in Scotland. The pilot reported a golden eagle was flying alongside the cockpit of the massive jumbo jet. In amazement the captain looked at the gauges, the plane was flying at 32,000 feet, at a ground speed of 550 miles an hour. The golden eagle had its wings fully stretched out, majestically catching the jetstream flying at over 550 miles an hour without a single beat of its wings.
How did the golden eagle manage to do that? When the bird finally got into the jetstream it had to change its tactics. Yielding totally to the wind it unfurled its wings and pitched them to catch optimum velocity. The decision the bird had to make was, should I beat my wings and be in control or should I open my wings and commit myself to an unseen force?
Yielding to a higher power.
As Christians we have a right to go higher because of what Christ did for us.
“3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”
“6.And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”
Yet we still have not come to the reality of our inheritance. As an 18 year old young man I asked the Lord to forgive me of my sins and take control my life, and He did. Yet at the age of 20 I felt a great lack in my life. The teachers and preachers around me told me that I received it all when Christ came in, however, there was a great hunger within driving me to know more. The Word of God revealed to me,
“2.He (Paul) said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.”
At that point I realized there was something more than believing. I needed to receive the Holy Ghost! An evangelist and a pastor laid hands on my head, and prayed that I would be filled with the Holy Ghost and fire. I was, and so much love and confidence came flooding in my heart, it was like fire in my chest. And it empowered my life.
Yet there is more!
Have you come to the same understanding as the writer of the book of Hebrews yet?
Let us go on.
“1.Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection (spiritual maturity); not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2. Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3. And this will we do, if God permit:”
It is imperative that the foundational teachings are taught in our gathering places in order to have a true foundation for the new believers, whether it be home group,church, chapel, synagogue or temple. But let us not forget the more advanced believers. If you don’t use them you will lose them. And when you use them, afterwards they will need to be encouraged and built back up again.
When Jesus talked to Peter in the gospel of John chapter 21 he asked three times if he loved him and the Greek word he used was ‘Logos’ which is a sacrificial love. He replied, “You know I love you.” The Greek word Peter used was ‘philéō’ which is a friendship kind of love. Peter had to come into a deeper walk with the Lord before he could be trusted in the ministry God had planned for him.
Commitment is the key element to any promotion.
Jesus spoke into his future.
Even though Peter was not at the level he needed to be, Jesus showed Peter what it would take to be able to fulfill his calling to the saints. In verse 15,16,and 17 Jesus uses two different Greek words to instruct him.
The first one is bóskō
portraying the duty of a Christian teacher to promote in every way the spiritual welfare of the members of the church.
The second one is poimaínō.
to feed, to tend a flock, keep sheep
to rule, govern
to furnish pasture for food
to cherish one‘s body, to serve the body
to supply the requisites for the soul‘s need.
The lambs only needed bóskō but the sheep needs bóskō and poimaínō
Why? Because the sheep go out into the world and suffer the onslaught and rigors of the world.They need more than just teaching they need furnishing with power gifts to be able to be a witness. When they come into the church they need encouraging, strengthening and building up so that they can be salt and light in their area.
After the Holy Ghost fell on the 120 people in the upper room Peter finally got his promotion. He no longer valued his own life, but he was willing to stand up and speak for the Lord. He defended what was taking place before thousands of people and 3000 were saved that day.
Peter thought he was dedicated but then he denied Christ three times.
Sometimes we fail in our walk with the Lord, only to find our weakness.
It was in Peter’s failing that Christ could challenge his commitment.
Turning our negatives into positives.
When we admit to our failure, we are allowing God’s wind to lift us into a higher level, and we shoot forward by his grace and mercy. Old things do pass away and a new page begins.
Why don’t you turn your negatives into possibles! Jesus dealt with our doubts and failures when he was on the cross. Open your wings and soar into heavenly places. Let go and let God take you in His jetstream far beyond your ability.
Power of the believer
The disciples only did exploits when they knew who they were.
“17.And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
18. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
19. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Over all the power of the enemy!
Did I just read that correct, over all the power of the enemy? Wow, that is powerful! But I can hear some people saying, we don’t have that kind of authority. Take a look at what Jesus said to his disciples.
“Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
The only reason the disciples could not cast the evil spirits out was because of unbelief. Doubt will render your faith useless. Stop scratching around in the dirt and start soaring with the eagles.
Love Y’all !!!
Keep under the spout where the glory runs out!!!
Pastor Terry Thompson.
We Have The Power To Change Our Surroundings
Noun Feminine i-ray‘-nay Greek
Quit Trying to Be Big…and Just Be
By Lee Grady
Our culture says bigger is better. But in the kingdom of God, less is often more.
There’s nothing more disheartening to a preacher than to see empty seats in a church service. I’ll be honest-I like meetings where you have to pull out extra chairs and put people in the aisles. Why? Because I assume if God’s blessing is on a meeting it will be packed. I like numbers because, in my carnal thinking, crowds are more significant.
Our culture puts value on things depending on how popular they are, and we are guilty of applying this rule in the church. We like big. We even rate churches based on size. We know that the three largest churches in America in 2013 are (1) Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, (2) Andy Stanley’s North Point Ministries and (3) Bill Hybels’ Willow Creek Community Church. The assumption is that these churches are leading the way in making spiritual impact.
But God doesn’t evaluate us based on numbers, nor does He rate our effectiveness by comparing us to someone else. Many pastors of small or mid-size churches get discouraged because they evaluate their ministries by counting the number of rear ends in seats or the amount of money in offering plates. But God’s ways are not our ways! Remember these kingdom principles:
Less is Sometimes More
Jesus attracted big crowds, but the numbers didn’t impress Him because He knew many who were healed in His meetings wouldn’t follow Him to the cross. He even told one of His crowds that the gospel seeds He was sowing would be eaten by birds, scorched and withered, or choked by thorns (see Mark 4:3-8). Only a small percentage, He said, would bear fruit. Jesus was looking for quality, not quantity.
In the end, after thousands heard Jesus’ messages and ate His free lunches, only 120 of His followers gathered in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost. That is not an impressive number, and today’s church growth specialists might say Jesus failed to break the 200 barrier within three years of ministry!
Follow the Cloud, not the Crowd
There are a few crowd shots in the book of Acts. But most scenes of the early church are less impressive. An Ethiopian is converted on a desert road. The Holy Spirit falls on members of an Italian family gathered in a home in Caesarea. A woman named Lydia comes to Christ at a small prayer gathering by a river in Philippi. She becomes the first convert in Europe.
Why are these seemingly inconsequential stories highlighted in Scripture? Because God moves as powerfully in one-on-one conversations and small group gatherings as He does in big meetings. When we follow the cloud of His presence, He often leads us to the one instead of the many.
The book of Acts ends with a scene of Paul ministering quietly to people in a small apartment while he is under house arrest (see Acts 28:30-31). Paul certainly didn’t measure His impact by large buildings, big mailing lists, media exposure or book sales. (His writings didn’t become popular until he was dead!)
Make Disciples, don’t Entertain Audiences
Every man’s work will be tested by fire, and every ministry will be evaluated not by church-growth experts but by God’s holy standards. Sitting in a church does not make a person a faithful follower of Jesus. Don’t confuse disciples with pew-warmers. He will not evaluate us by how many people were in attendance, or even by how many danced in the aisles or shouted when we preached, but by how many disciples we made.
Stop Trying to be Popular
The three largest concerts in history were performed by (1) Indian singer Babbu Maan, who recently attracted 4.8 million fans; (2) raspy-voiced British rocker Rod Stewart; and (3) French New Age composer Jean Michel Jarre. If you asked, “Who in the world is Babbu Maan?” then you prove my point. Crowds or fleeting popularity do not determine significance.
Justin Bieber has more Twitter followers-37.3 million-than anyone on the planet. He is followed by Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. We are supposed to be impressed, because in our culture, value is determined by star power. But you have to wonder: Is this 19-year-old pop singer the world’s most powerful man? No, because in the light of eternity the size of Bieber’s fan base, is as meaningless as how frequently he changes his hairstyle.
Let’s stop evaluating our own effectiveness-and each other’s-by crowd size. Be faithful with the people you have, whether it is a home church of seven, an office Bible study of 10, a rural congregation of 30 or a mega church of 2,000. Whether you are ministering to a handful of inmates, a roomful of Alzheimer’s patients, a dozen orphans or one depressed friend, forget your need for the spotlight. Just let Jesus use you, and make Him popular.
God Did It Before & He Will Do It Again
10:00AM EST 1/19/2016
God showed His mighty power by parting the Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites. He wants to show that power again, but it’s up to us to proclaim it. (Lightstock )
On the morning of December 24, 2015 I dreamed for hours with God speaking the same thing to me over and over. He would say, “If you will show up, I will show off!”
In the dream I saw different scriptural scenarios in which this occurred. Jesus showed up at the pool of Bethesda and showed off God’s power to heal. Jesus showed up at the tomb of Lazarus showing off God’s power for resurrection life. In 2 Chronicles 20, God told Jehoshaphat that they would not need to fight in the battle, but that they still had to show up on the battlefield and He would show His power to destroy the enemy that had them surrounded.
I heard a second phrase in these dreams. … “If I did it then, I will do it again!” Every miracle we have ever read about in the Word, every revival or awakening from a past season, every example of a city or nation turning towards Christ becomes a foreshadowing of what God desires to do again!
In the dreams I was also reminded of Exodus 9:16 where God says that He raised up Pharaoh to show His power and that His name would be declared in all the earth. The word ‘show’ means to show or present oneself. In Egypt God first presented Himself and declared who He was to all the earth. God used an obstinate, hard-hearted, impossible situation to demonstrate His goodness and His power to His people. God partnered with Moses and Moses partnered with God to see a nation set free so that the whole world would know God’s name!
The Lord says “I will cause heaven to partner with earth in a new way in 2016. My people, if you will show up, I will show off! There are “Pharaohs” and “Pharaoh situations” that I have raised up which I will use as examples to demonstrate My power in the earth and make My name great.
As Moses showed up before Pharaoh, I showed off with signs, wonders and miracles that caused My people to be set free, the enemy to be destroyed and the wealth of Egypt to be released. I brought a divine reversal, out of slavery into freedom, out of besiegement into Jubilee, out of poverty into wealth. If I did it then, I will do it again!”
What miracle that God did THEN would you like to see Him do AGAIN?
Pastor Jane Hamon is a gifted teacher and storyteller. She has written three insightful books including Dreams and Visions, The Deborah Company, and The Cyrus Decree. She and her husband, Tom, have been in ministry together for more than 30 years and are the senior leaders of Vision Church and Christian International Ministries.
If we follow Jesus’ example then powerful works follow. Soulishness is when the soul initiates the action. It is when the soul of man for whatever misguided reason initiates the “works of God”.Remember, anything the Spirit can do through a person the soul of man can counterfeit. Anything! When it is initiated in and comes through the soul – it brings death…even eternal death.
When it is initiated in and comes from the Spirit and then through the soul it brings life.
Just because you can prophesy, or cast out devils, or do many mighty works does not mean it is from God. We are commanded to test the spirits. Every time you prophesy, every time someone prophesies over you, you must test the spirit.Sometimes a false prophet will be at work. Sometimes it will be the soul at work. Sometimes it will come through the soul of a person who is operating through the Spirit of God.
Either way we are commanded to test the spirits and it applies to every ministry attempt we undertake.
Test everything to make sure it is from God. When you have heard Him speak, then unleash your soul to manifest the works of God.
Give Me A Sign
by Nan Smith
In the past couple of weeks I have been seeking the Lord on what to teach and I was noticing the construction going on this time of year. When I would go past some of it I would hear the words “Highway of Holiness” every time!
The verse is found in Isaiah 35:8 which says:
A highway will be there, a roadway and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it. But it will be for him who walks that way and the fools will not wander on it. (NASB)
Then the Lord showed me that often we get a little confused about holiness and righteousness. It sounds like the same thing, but it’s not. There are different root words for each.
Holiness is being set apart as sacred. Righteousness is right doing (which none of us have ever completely done that or we would not need Jesus). And righteousness must be given to us as a gift by God through faith in Jesus so that we can walk in His righteousness and do what Jesus would do because He is in us doing it!
This highway of holiness is a place in our heart’s attitude where we are walking with the Lord in the way He wants us to go. We are set apart for Him. But we have to grow in it, too. Like the fruit of the Spirit it’s not automatic, it’s something we choose and sometimes struggle with and become mature as we struggle.
God began to show me that there is a correlation with road signs on our journey on the Highway of Holiness. When we are young in the Lord we want a sign for this and a sign for that. The truth is God gives us lots of signs. We often do not perceive them. We want nice smooth highways where there is no trouble. Isaiah 35 says that there is no “dangers” on the road we are on. I believe this may refer to the dangers of going to hell, of losing out on eternity (as long as we stay on that road!) That does not mean there aren’t twists and turns and choices to make on our journey. It does not mean there are no issues in our own lives to work out.
Here are some signs God may be giving us along the Highway.
1. This is the first sign we may see even before we give our lives to the Lord. It tells us there is but one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
2. Then we may see a sign that looks like this and we know we have come to a place where we have to surrender to the Lord. Our life is going nowhere fast and it’s time to do something else.
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
3. Then when we get on the road we might see something that looks like this:
And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.
4. Then God talks to us about learning how to YIELD. That means we don’t always get our own way. We learn to walk in Love.
1 Cor. 13:4-8
Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
5. As we are learning to yield to His direction, there comes times when God will lead us to a STOP. Things we used to do won’t feel right anymore, places we used to go we cannot go there anymore. Or God might just tell us to stop and rest because we tend to think we have to work for His approval and we don’t. He already loves us! We are His! So this STOP sign may be just a time to rest.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
6. Sometimes we will see something like this up ahead of us. And we know that we have to be led by the law of Love.
Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
7. We will notice that on this Highway there is a hedge up around us for our safety.
Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
8. We are beginning to sense God leading us one direction or another.
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
9. And we are learning how to war in worship. This means God uses us to lift up a standard.
When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him and put him to flight.
10. We begin to see a sign like this on the road. God only wants us to go RIGHT!
If you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep all His commandments which I command you this day, to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord your God.
11. There may be some BUMPS in our road and God will warn us ahead of time. The problem in my life has been that I often did not realize He was warning me. I would get a dream or a sense of something but I did not know what it meant so I had to learn how He was trying to warn me so that I could follow through with it.
As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
12. God will often keep us going at a relatively slow pace for what seems like a long time. So there are speed limits He seems to put on us until we are mature enough to go a little faster.
And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
13. Just about the time we think we are doing fairly well we might see a sign like this: SCHOOL BUS STOP AHEAD. This means that we sometimes have to wait for younger Christians to catch up with us in our understanding. They may feel they can’t do something that we feel we can do. We are not condemned by it. But we don’t want to encourage them to violate their conscience so we don’t do that in front of them. Paul describes that situation with the eating of meat sacrificed to idols.
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
14. As we walk on in our journey we may come to a place that looks like this. This happens because of various hardships and our reaction to them. As God teaches us more and more not to react badly to what happens to us, we don’t have as many pot holes of unforgiveness, angry bitterness, discouragement, and so on. But we might still have hurts that seem to slow us down.
I am weary of my life and loathe it! I will give free expression to my complaint;
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
15. That is when we will start to see a sign like this. God is doing heart work on us and so our road is going to change for a while to keep us walking in holiness we have to have some road repairs.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
16. We may come to a sign like this.
God is not taking us in the way we expected Him to, but we are going another way. Yes we will get there but it may take a little longer than we hoped. We did not forsee the detour. God did. Your detour may look like this one but MY detours usually looked like this:
For this one I think of Joseph and all that he had to go through before he was ready
to be put in that place of honor and respect to be a blessing
to all of his brothers as well as the whole land.
17. As you go down the highway you’ll see this. The Lord will begin to narrow you.
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
18. If you go through certain parts you may find a sign that looks like this:
God will tell you that you need to simplify and stop stressing about worldly things.
Matthew 6:31 (KJ21)
Therefore take no thought, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘Wherewith shall we be clothed?’
19. You could see a sign like this: HAWK’s NEST. A hawk is a preditor. If you see a hawk in a dream from God it means there is an evil spirit, a sorcerer, or person who is for war. This is an attack from the enemy. God will warn you when you are in danger like he warned Joseph to take Mary and Baby Jesus and run.
And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
20. You may begin to notice things like this: GUARD RAILS. God puts angels around us when there is danger. Sometimes he will allow us to see them and sometimes he won’t but either way we know they are there because His word says so.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
21. After the road work God has done we may find a sign that looks like this:
We can breathe a sigh of relief and continue down the road that should look a little more like this:
But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
22. Wherever we go on our journey with the Lord, we know that we have a choice:
and it all depends on following ….