Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Servant Leader

The Servant Leader by Ken Blanchard & Phil Hodges

Effective leadership starts on the inside. Are you a servant leader or a self-serving leader? From the creators of Faith Walk Seminars comes a thought-provoking look at a management style modeled by Jesus Christ: servant leadership. This book is a tool to help you to take God out of the spiritual compartment of your private spiritual life and give Him free reign in all your daily actions and relationships, especially your leadership roles. Beautiful hardback cover makes this a great gift.

Best-selling author of The One-Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard, along with Phil Hodges, reveals the meaning of servant leadership modeled after Jesus Christ. Based on Blanchard's and Hodges' Faith Walk seminars, business leaders come to realize that teams are more powerful than the sum of the individuals and to recognize their people as appreciating assets.

Servant Leader summarizes the Four Dimensions of Leadership:
the head
(leadership assumptions and methods)
the hands (application and leadership behavior)
the heart (edging God out)
the habits (solitude, prayer, study of scripture, unconditional love, etc.)

The thousands who have attended his seminars witnessed the transforming power of this unconventional approach. Readers seeking to grow as leaders and business executives will find Servant Leader nothing short of life-changing.

A more detailed look can be found at the link below.

Thomas Nelson Ministry Services

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

He Has Not Given Us the Spirit of Fear

Each morning when I wake up I am thankful to God for a lot of things.

Things like:
1. New Life in Christ
2. My family
3. God's grace, favor and continued work in and through my imperfect life.
4. The wonder of His creation and beauty of each new day. Along with my ability to enjoy these things.

There are days when I stand in awe of God and His ways. Today is one of those days when I am also amazed at how small and fearful we can be as humans and as Christians.

I have had an email conversation with a person recently who is passionately fearful that certain believers are being deceived by certain leaders and people who claim to be working for God. This person strikes me as truly passionate about helping other believers but also as a person who is consumed with fear that somehow these other believers might miss out if they follow certain 'false Teachers.'

What grieves me and I believe the Holy Spirit is that we as Christians spend so much time promoting fear instead of trusting God and believing that He is more than able to protect us from any teaching that will keep us out of heaven or even from accomplishing what God wants in our lives.

The book of 2 Timothy 1:7 says 'He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound or well ordered mind. '

The book of Job shows (the last several chapters) us that God is much more powerful and knows far more than our little minds can comprehend.
1 Co 13:12-1312 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. NASU

There is such a thing as Godly fear of the Holiness and Majesty of God as demonstrated in the Old Testament Isaiah 6:1-8 and the Book of Revelation 1:17. But fear is more often a tool of the devil than of God.

It is said that Godly fear brings conviction and that ungodly fear brings condemnation. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin.
It is the devil who would condemn us and make us believe that there is no forgiveness of din or escape from its shame.

If we a Christians could use the passion and resources God has given us to build up those who are in His Kingdom and do the work of the ministry instead of using these things to protect the saints from anything that is different from our worldview of the Kingdom of God we might have won the world by now or at least have made more progress at getting the Gospel to every tribe and people group.

We do have a responsibility to let people know when someone is teaching another Gospel or Messiah but we can keep more people in truth by teaching it and modeling Christ like passion for winning, restoring, teaching and equipping people to fulfill Ephesians 4:11-14 than by constantly pointing out all those we might believe to be in error.

I have been a believer for 38 years and seen many new movements come and go. But I have never seen a person permanently deceived when they did not want to be. Some have been hurt and taken up an offense which leads to anger and bitterness which some times leads them away form God. This however is their choice and not the other persons or doing of God.

It comes back to seeking to have more each day of;
1. The mind of Christ
2. The heart of the Father
3. The power and working of the Holy Spirit.

Most of all it comes back to you and I trusting God and allowing others to follow Him according to the understanding and conviction of their own heart. This does not mean that we ignore obvious sin or doctrine that is not Biblical. We need to focus on Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.

There will come a day when all believers are judged and our works will be determined to be of value or not so valuable.

The spirit of Fear is not God's way of getting us to live a life that is pleasing to Him so let us put off childish things!

1 Cor 13:11-13
11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. NASU

Monday, September 10, 2007

Wisdom for a Fresh Move of God (part 2)

Wisdom for a Fresh Move of God by His Spirit Today Part 2
This article is a continuation of our series Wisdom for a Fresh Move of God by His Spirit Today. Today we will examine having the Pillar of God's Fire leading us and abiding with us. Often I hear about people who are praying and diligently seeking God for His fresh fire, for Him to be with them and lead them without considering what that will mean if and when it happens.

The sending of the Pillar of Fire that was with and led the people of God in the Old Testament can teach us much about having God awesome power and Glory among us day after day.

The Pillar of Fire (preparation and readiness)
God calls on us to be 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 the 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 made real by the Pillar’s 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 to the leaders of each tribe that God was on the move or that He was stopping.

Some of the truths that might escape us as we look into this part of our study 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. There are those who are aware and move quickly and those who get there at a latter time. The Leaders of God's people must lead as good shepherds, realizing that God may be leading but that we as leaders must allow the 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 and make every effort to encourage them to participate in what God is doing we cannot disobey God and refuse to follow Him if they will not.

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 responsibility of leadership to minister to and train God's people when they have reached that next stopping place or plateau and to help them 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 seek the whole counsel of God for His people we will never attain the full level of maturity He desires. Eph 4:12-14.

5. Teaching that God is supernatural and that He works supernaturally must be a continuous element in the instruction, training and everyday life of the believer in Christ. We must not shrink back from teaching 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 outpourings or moves of God's Spirit among His people then and 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. 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 Isaiah 6:1 and the verses that follow and the mount of transfigured experience recorded in (Matt 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36)

Questions we need to ask ourselves.

1. Are you seeking the majesty and wonder of God?

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 proclaim or say you believe in 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 at you church or in your life for a while?

7. When the Pillar is in one location for a longer period of time are you getting mended (made whole) and helping others to get mended as well?

8. Are you growing in your relationship and knowledge of Him so that when the pillar moves, His work among you will be accomplished?

9. Are you seeking the fresh and living water that flows from His presence?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

God's Unfolding Battle Plan

The Spiritual Warfare Movement is not as visible or as distinct an element in the christian seminar circuit as it once was. Now, it has become part of the mainstream of the Third Wave, New Apostolic, Charismatic, Pentecostal, Prophetic Movements and many Evangelical Churches. We now understand the Battle that rages for the souls and cities of the Earth in a greater way. Knowledge of the importance of prayer walking and strategies for taking cities back from the evil one are well known. But, what is God unfolding now and in the days ahead? What do we need to know and do in the days ahead to be completely useful to the Lords plan to establish His kingdom in the lives of people and in the Earth in the days ahead?Chuck Pierce's new book will have you crying out for more of God and for His grace and wisdom to take your place in establishing the Kingdom in the exciting and powerful days ahead!
God's Unfolding Battle Plan by Chuck D. Pierce
In this season of war that we have been living in, the Lord has released much revelation.
A people without knowledge perish. God's Unfolding Battle Plan and the revised Future War of the Church will help you understand how to stand in victory in the times we are living in. God's Unfolding Battle Plan: A Field Manual for Advancing the Kingdom of God will point you into an understanding of the warfare we are presently fighting and what is ahead for us in the future.
In God's Unfolding Battle Plan, Chuck Pierce continues to empower Christians to face the exciting present (and future) for the Church that he began to lay out in The Future War of the Church. Yes, we are in the midst of a battle that will only increase in strength, but the victory has already been promised. Outlining the next seven-year period of spiritual war (2008-2015), Pierce shows how God will advance His Kingdom, causing the faithful to rise up and God's will to be done here on Earth as it is in heaven.
God's Unfolding Battle Plan offers a glimpse into what's ahead as well as encouragement to triumph over the attending forces of lawlessness, hopelessness and violence.
Discover what God has said to Pierce about the upcoming period and learn how to prosper through strategic intercession, worship warfare and a powerful new weapon of intercession: the four watches of the night.
Remain hopeful, knowing you are a part of God's unfolding battle plan and that the best is still ahead. This book will also give you great insight through the next 20 years and beyond!
The chapters are:Chapter
1 - Becoming a Warrior in a Season of WarChapter
2 - The Mind War: Critical Times Require Critical ThinkingChapter
3 - The Blood War: Empowered in Soul and SpiritChapter
4 - The Time War: Praying to Reorder Your DayChapter
5 - The Presence-and-Glory War: Is Your Lampstand Burning?Chapter
6 - The Power War: Who Are You in Agreement With?Chapter
7 - The Wealth War: Defining Your BoundariesChapter
8 - The War of the Nations: Will the Real Ruling Nation Please RiseChapter
9 - The Harvest War: Keep Praying and Prophesying

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Wisdom for a Fresh Move of God Today

What do we need to understand to have Wisdom for a Fresh Move of God by His Spirit today?' Part 1

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.

Recommended Reading:
History of Charismatic Movements and History of Revival Movements: How has God interacted with His people in history since the New Testament times and what were the results?
1. 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity by Eddie L Hyatt Strang Communications Company
2. Dynamics of Spiritual Life, An Evangelical Theology of Revival by Richard Lovelace, published by IVP
3. Revival by Winkie Pratney published by Whitaker House
4. Rivers of Revival by Neil T. Anderson and Elmer L. Towns published by Regal

Personal Experience:
I have had the privilege 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. Some of these moves of God had local, while others had national and international impact.
This study is 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. This course should 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 His life 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.

Let’s look at some Biblical examples of God’s supernatural interaction with people.

1. 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
2. Isaiah in the Temple (Fresh fire, fresh revelation, fresh humility and holiness, Fresh call)
Note Isaiah’s state of mind. Isa 6:1-9

3. The Mount of transfiguration (Let’s build three tents and camp out here) Does the experience lead to deeper call and greater commitment as well as new power for ministry? Matt 17:1-9
4.The Baptism, Fillings and Outpourings of the Spirit; Starting in the Upper Room Conceptual Illustration (Getting pickled or dyeing a garment takes more than a single dip)
The baptism brings us to a new level and the fresh touch (fillings) make us more continually useful as vessels of His Spirit and Glory. Luke notes that people were “filled with the Holy Spirit” (2:4; 9:17), that “they received the Holy Spirit” (8:17), that “the Holy Spirit fell upon (them)” (10:44), that “the Holy Spirit had been poured out on (them)” (10:45), and that “the Holy Spirit came upon them” (Acts 19:6).
These quotes are from the Spirit Filled life Bible.

Finally, (supernatural encounters of God with people have certain elements).
1. What are these elements?
2. What else do you see?
3. Is there a formula and pattern to follow or are they not always in a set sequence?
4. Is there Pattern to Follow or Common Elements to note?
Your study should note.
Preparation for Gods Spirit to Work or the results of His working can include: Cleansing, Repentance, Holiness, Revelation of Man’s imperfect state in light of God’s majestic nature and holiness, a Willingness to die to self and serve God, or making ourselves available for His call. Please read the scriptural accounts listed and ask your self these questions during the coming days.

1. What lessons or truths can we discern or observe from each passage?
2. How do these truths apply to outpourings of God that you have heard about or been a part

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Key to the Fresh Fire of the Spirit - Humility

What is it that happens during an encounter with the Most High God that causes such an impact in our lives? What common deeds open the door to people's hearts that causes them to desire this encounter with the creator Himself? What attitude of our hearts prepares the way for His work in us?

These are but some of the questions I was asking after attending three days of meetings held at a local church in a community near me.

These meetings were led by a humble woman whose former ministry assignments looked overwhelmingly tough and whose resources were small and did not seem up to the task at hand. She used humor to poke a little fun at her own short comings and to tell her story of God’s calling on her life and to reveal the strategy of the King to establish His kingdom in people to whom she ministered. God had sent her to some very desolate lands where the Gospel had been forbidden in the past to plant churches with little more than a heart for God and the Fresh Wind of the Spirit. When she arrived she found many poor and down and out people or so we might call them, but God called them His hidden treasure! She began to feed and cloth them and as she did she shared God's message of the Good News about Jesus. She would stay up all hours of the night caring for the people and prayed day and night for the outpouring of the power of God, as they used to say in Pentecostal circles.

This was not your typical church planting strategy, but it was God's plan for this land. Today from among those who were once alcoholics and street people are anointed ministry leaders whose lives God had transformed. When she finished recounting the working of God, it was as if the people with one mind and one heart said, Wow! Lord you make magnificent works out of very ordinary people and circumstances.

There was a sense of anticipation in people’s hearts of what God could do through their lives if they would give themselves completely to Him. The anticipation in the peoples hearts was well founded and revealed as our speaker stood to ask if they would come to the edge of the platform and surrender their hearts and plans to God. Slowly a few came and then a few more came to the front of the church for prayer. Our speaker and the ministry teams began praying with them and those who had come forward began to sob and cry out to God.

Then, in what seemed to be a great wave the people in the church began to run to the edge of the platform. They humbled themselves and were crying out to God and confessing there sins out loud for all to hear for more than two hours. This humbling of themselves and crying out to God for a fresh touch and for His fire and mercy was the beginning and the breakthrough required for the outpouring of the Spirit that went on for three days and nights. During these gatherings of believers there was a significant work of God accomplished in many people from a variety of Churches. There was a very intense anointing present throughout every gathering and people experienced a true outpouring of the living water both in the meetings and outside of the scheduled gathering times as well. The impact of those meetings is still working today in the live of the people who were there.

When I began to reflect on these meetings and the magnificent and powerful presence of God which worked in and among the people attending, I began to look in scripture and back both at church history and my own experiences for other times when God has manifested His Glory among His people. I was drawn in the Bible the last four chapters of Job and the first four chapters of the book of Revelation, as well as, Genesis chapter, and John chapter one. In these scriptures we see the majesty, splendor and wonder of God revealed to people.

When we look at Church history both in and out of scripture it is this breaking forth of God’s majesty and power that has continued to capture the minds and hearts of people and kept each new generation crying out to Him and standing in awe of Him!

Lots of questions arise after such encounters with God. How can I experience more of the majestic and wonderful presence of God? Why don’t we experience more of these outpourings? What is of God and what is of man during these encounters? When God does work so powerfully what are or should be the results? I believe the answers start with the material below.

The first step is for us to humble ourselves.

Chronicles 7:14-15; 14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 "Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.

When we have humbled ourselves God will respond and make us ready to be used by cleansing us and then extend an invitation for us to be a part of His plan.

Isaiah 6:1-8 Isaiah 6:1 In the year of King Uzziah's death bI saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory." 4 And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. 5 Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said, "Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven." 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

There are Three Keys to Experiencing a Fresh Move of God Every Day

1. Remember: By the Blood of Jesus we have been transferred out of the Kingdom of darkness and in His Kingdom. Col 1:13-14
A. When is the last time you remembered the joy of your salvation?
B. What are you doing with and about it?

2.Consecrate yourselves Josh 3:1-6
A. Every day and in every situation
B. A humble soul and spirit is His goal, because this provides good soil for Him to work in .

3. Choose you this day whom you will serve Josh 24:13-16
A. Death to self and your ways, plans, goals etc.
B. Lay down your gifts, calling and assignment and submit to the master's direction.
C. Say yes to God's opportunities Is 6:8

We will experience all of the majesty and glory He desires for us to encounter as we make ourselves available to Him and His unfolding of His will, which includes His Times and seasons! In the process we may be called upon to do some very ordinary things which open the hearts and doors he desires to open and which are necessary to accomplish His majestic plans.

Artwork from: