Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Pillar of Fire by Night and Cloud by Day

This is part two of Wisdom for a Fresh Move of God by His Spirit Today. The Pillar of Fire (preparation and readiness) ready to wait and ready to go. Ex 13:19-22; Neh 9:11-12; Neh 9:19-21; Ex 16:10

When we look into this example of God's Supernatural intervention into the events of human history we are tempted to only see these obvious or stated truths.
1. The people were to make themselves clean before they left Egypt.
2. They had to be ready to go at all times.
3. The people were protected and comforted by the power of God demonstrated in the Pillars majesty and by the visible demonstration of God presence of with them.
4. The people were organized by tribes but it was the priest-levities who watched for any changes in the status of the pillar and blew the Shofar to announce that God was on the move or that He was stopping.

The facts that might escape us are.
1. Moving approximately 3.5 million people took time and patience. Once the first tribe arrived at the new destination it would be a while before the last of the last tribe arrived. This is true of any new work that God does among His people. Their are people who are aware of God move and respond quickly and while there are others who get there at a latter time. God's people must allow other people to go through the same processes that have given us awareness that God is on the move. We must also be aware that people no matter how dedicated and committed move at different speeds in following the Lord. There are also some who will refuse to move at all and while we may be concerned for them we cannot disobey God and refuse to move at all.

2. Waiting at the appointed place may take more effort and strength than moving ahead to the next big or little thing God is doing for many people. It is the our responsibility as His people to and train and mend one another when they have reached that next stopping place or plateau and help each other to grow in God and be ready to go or stay as called on by God.

3. Miracles, Signs and Wonders are given as God directs and not as we might desire in the flesh. They are also not to be denied as a part of God's provision and direction either. Since He is a supernatural being we should expect Him to be and act supernaturally.

4. There is a purpose to the Supernatural manifestations of God and while they are not for entertainment or fleshly fulfillment of His people we must seek God who is supernatural and expect Him to work supernaturally. If we fail to remind each other of the whole counsel of God to His people we will never attain the full level of maturity he desires. Eph 4:12-14.

5. Proclaiming that He is and works supernaturally must continue. We must not shrink back from declaring the wondrous and glorious ways in which God has and does work when we are waiting for a long season for the pillar of Glory to move again. Or for a fresh outpouring to be given. As we shall see in the book of Acts, there were many fresh fillings or outpourings of God's Spirit among His people then and latter throughout Church History.
We may not hear about them because their impact may have been limited geographically. We also may not have heard about them because those who wrote the history may have not understood or have been threatened by them. There are many times when God has poured out His Spirit on people only to have that outpouring of fresh fire hindered by the church, the ineffectiveness or corruption of the people involved or the lack of favor a particular movement had during a certain historic period. History after all is written by the victors.

6. There is a danger in wanting to camp out or constantly be in the glory or experiencing a fresh outpouring of God's presence at a certain level. There is work to be done. These times of God's manifest presence are meant to change and motivate us as we shall see when we examine the mount of transfigured experience.

Questions for Believers _________________
1. Are you seeking the majesty and wonder of God? Read Job 38-42 and Rev 1-4.
2. Is your walk with God blessed with fresh manna or stale bread?
3. Have you tried to store up manna or hoard it so that you do not have to seek it daily only to find it rotten?
4. Do you tell others about a supernatural God without having a fresh and supernatural relationship with Him?
5. Are you seeking the signs and wonders or the giver of the wonder?
6. Has the pillar been stationary in your life and church for a while?
7. When the Pillar is in one location are you getting mended and mending other people?
8. Are you getting trained and training others to bring in and mend other people so that when the pillar moves, His work in you and them will be done?
9. Have you lost your zeal for the fresh and living waters? We can wait for others to lead us or we can be growing in God as mature followers of Jesus Christ.

For a leadership article on this subject with questions for leaders click below

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wisdom for a Fresh Move of God by His Spirit Today

EQUIPPERS NETWORK Notes from our January 2006 meetings.

We need, 'Wisdom for a Fresh Move of God by His Spirit Today.' When we examine the history of revival movements and the outpourings of the Holy Spirit in Church History we see that God has poured out His Spirit and moved among His people continually in every generation since He began to pour out His Spirit on the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts. We can also see in scripture that God has supernaturally interacted with His people throughout history and that we have many examples in the scriptures both in the Old and New Testaments.

The interactions of God with His people throughout scripture serve as both examples and wisdom for us as we seek to be apart of what God is doing in the earth today. I have had the priviledge of experiencing the supernatural work of God among His people several times in my 36 years as a believer and know that every new supernatural outpouring of God's Spirit carries with it great blessings and challenges for those who are blessed to be a part of it. These notes from our January meeting are designed to provide Biblical truths that will allow us to chart a course during these times when the river of life runs both deep and often fast. A course that take us into greater growth and helps us to allow the deeper encounters with God to produce good fruit for His kingdom among the people we live around and minister to. Church history has examples of those who allowed the fresh outpouring of God's Spirit to grow His kingdom and them and those who were shipwrecked when an outpouring of His Spirit was mishandled and produced error and destruction. Since history tends to be written by the victors, those who were shipwrecked were often seen as heretics and the work God began in them is seen as error as well. We shall discuss some of these in latter articles.

To read more and see more from this teaching click on this link

This article was to be part two of the Encampment of the Lord article but has grown beyond that title.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Equippers Tool Box is Ready

The Equippers Network has expanded again! This time there is a separate Blog for the Resources that are available to Equip the people of God and those who are called to Equip them. I have selected this picture called 'Dad's treasures' because our heavenly father has poured a great deal of His wisdom into us, His kids so that we might grow up 'mature in Him.' Stop by the Equippers tool Box and check the latest article.
Read my recommendations for Bibles you might want to read through and use for study in 2006.

The Equippers Tool Box is at Check back weekly!
The equipper

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Why People Do Not Like Church Part Two

Let me start this round of discussion by saying, "I love Church", or I love getting together with God's people for worship, the Word, prayer and fellowship! This getting together is both a continuation of the New Testament pattern and a command , 'to not forsake the assembling of our selves together.' If you have read the New testament you know that early believers met from house to house and that there were common elements to those gatherings, which are listed in Acts 2:42 -47. These house churches were the earliest type of get togethers by believers to build up and grow together in the continuing their efforts 'to do what Jesus to do and teach.'

Throughout Church History believers have sought to obey this command by gathering together in all sorts of places, from caves to ornate buildings built and set apart for the purpose of having a place to gather as a people who follow Jesus. There are certain 'Church' or getting together formats I like better than others. Some would say the format in which they hold church meetings (get togethers of believers) is Biblical, while others would say that it is a matter of culture or personal taste. Some think that church is a building while others understand that it is merely a place to gather and 'do the work of the ministry.'

Second let me add that 'having a Church service 'or getting together with other believers is Biblical and even necessary to maintain a healthy personal walk with God and to keep us as believers 'Doing the things Jesus began to do and teach Acts 1:1.' We are said to be His body in I Cor 12-14. The Word also says that as a body we affect each other. If one is wounded we are all affected. If one rejoices we are all blessed.

Third, if we have received Jesus according to John 3:16 and if we are to be obedient to Jesus and continue to do what He has commanded us to do, 'Make Disciple of all people groups (nations),' then we must have Church organizations of some type to get this accomplished. We are according to the Bible, His Church.

I believe that people do and do not like 'church' for a variety of reasons.

There are reasons to dislike a particular church which might include, the way we do church meetings, the style of music, the type and content of preaching, various styles and methods of praying, the content of these things, as well as, where and when we meet. If these are your reasons for not liking Church, there are plenty of other groups out there doing Church differently. You can find one that fits your needs and preferences in these areas without rejecting the gathering of ourselves together as believers.

There are other reasons to not like 'church.' These might be lumped into one sentence, 'people who are still imperfect act like Christ has not set them free or forgiven them of their sins.' This may be revealed to others in many different ways which demonstrate our imperfections.
The way that these negative experiences impact us is my greatest concern for the following reasons:
1. Jesus came to give new life to people.
a. To forgive our sins, to allow us to live a life pleasing to God.
b. To be set free a from bondages that come with sin, as well as the shame and the results of sin. c. To be able to live and enjoy our life in Him free from these things is awesome and marvelous!.

This freedom and the blessings that come with new life can get turned into a bless me and never let me suffer or experience any hardship in life 'message,' that is not Biblical.

2. Individual believers as well as leaders can do or say things that harm people. We understand that as imperfect people that is going to happen as we interact with each other as we seek to grow in the grace and power of God. It is also important that we work on doing all we can to 'build up and encourage one another' as parts of the same spiritual body and as a demonstration of Christ-Likeness. This does not mean that we are wanting peace at all cost either.

3. We can not excuse bad behavior in others or ourselves but we can change ourselves so we are doing our part and 'building up one another. We can also seek to build relationships with others that will encourage them to live like Christ has set them free and paid the price for their sins and its results in their lives.

We all must learn to forgive those who have wounded or mistreated us if we are to go on in health and grow in the things of God! Along with forgiveness there is also a need to not allow ourselves to be manipulated or wounded repeatedly. This would be the same as submitting to an abusive person over and over again in our daily lives. It is unhealthy and we should not continue to put ourselves in the control of such people.

Let be say again, 'I love getting together with God's people and having a believers gathering where we can celebrate, learn and have healthy relationships.'

In every generation God is working to accomplish His work in the people of the earth through a variety of groups and structures. It is important for us as believers to do our best to serve Him with all of our mind, heart and strength. We must also seek to be a part of doing His will among His people as well as communicating His message of life to a broken and hurting world.

In the process of seeking to please Him we may say and do things that bring hurt and pain to others. When we realize we have done or said anything that hurts another person we should repent and ask forgiveness as well as change our ways in the future.

It is interesting that Jesus saved all of His rebukes for the self righteous religous people of His day who thought they did not need a savior. Let us not be counted among them.

I also find it interesting that when the disciples found others proclaiming Him he asked them a question; "What is that to you?" We need to spend more time trying to please Him than judging others for their short comings. They are after all responsible to jesus and not us.

When He is our true focus and priority people will find it easier to, LIKE CHURCH.

In closing I was told once, "if you find a perfect Church, don't go you will ruin it." That was a way of saying that no group of believers is perfect while on earth. We do also have the freedom to pick from a lot of believers gatherings (Churches) and therefore need not submit to abusive or seriously unhealthy situations.

We may find reasons to not like 'church', but there are many reasons to Like Church (gatherings of God's people), which benefit us and other believers!
You and I Have Choices to Make

1. Will you make the choice of being a person of people who can make the difference!

2. Will you show others the good reasons for 'church', or will you complain about what others are doing and have done or will you forgive and move on.

3. Will you sit in the seat of the scornful or will you move on to the streams of Living water and bring others the joy and life that the Living Waters bring!

Ps 1:1-31:1 BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous, and
enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly
[following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and
inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest]
where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.
2 But his delight and desire
are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the
teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by
night. [Rom 13:8-10; Gal 3:1; 2 Tim 3:16.]
3 And he shall be like a
tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth
its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything
he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. [Jer 17:7,8.]

Art Work 'Worship Service by Tinkler: