Psalms 2:8 “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.”
We fail to possess because we fail to ask. God is the giver of not just good things but extravagant and abundant gifts. God delights in doing exceedingly and abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think. There are things available to us that we’ve missed out on simply because we haven’t asked for it. We have thought to ourselves that ‘I’m not worthy enough to ask’ or ‘God wouldn’t give that to me’. But the Psalmist prophesied God’s heart, “Ask of me and I will give you the nations as your heritage and possession”. Everything in the kingdom is received by faith, not by us performing for God. Dare to ask God for what reason says is impossible. You don’t have because you don’t ask. Selah!
Genesis 3:6 “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.”
In a culture of shallow spirituality and surface level living, it’s easy to be deceived by the appeal of the glitter and sparkle of vain things. Our original mother, Eve, found herself in a conversation with Satan on such matters and listened to the voice of deception, rather than the voice of discernment. She looked at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and approached the fruit in 3 ways: 1) She saw it was good food for her stomach; 2) It was a delight to her eyes and 3) It was a fulfilment of the desire of her heart. Eve failed to trust in God’s goodness to provide all three for her, took matters into her own hands and acted independently of God. If we aren’t discerning of the lies of Satan , we will end up distrustful of God’s goodness and grace in our lives, and become victims to the deception of sin. Not everything that glitters is gold. Ask God for greater discernment in your spirit and sharpen your spiritual awareness through God’s Word, and you won’t fall prey to the lies of the enemy. Hebrews 4:12 says, “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Selah!
Acts 9:33-35 Peter found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralysed. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
The Apostle Peter was on the move, preaching the gospel and ministering healing and freedom in Jesus name, wherever he went. In the town of Lydda, Peter encounters a paralysed man, bedridden for eight years. The reality of the situation is intimidating for anyone of us but Peter doesn’t appear to miss a beat. He pray’s a simple but powerful prayer of faith in Jesus name and commands the man to get up. The bible records the man immediately rose up from his paralysed state and started to walk. I’m challenged by Peter’s faith and simple prayer. I’m confronted with the fact that although, I too have seen miracles in other’s lives through the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus name, and yet I hunger for more of God’s love, grace and power to flow through me into the lives of other’s, helping them to be restored into a place of freedom, healing and purpose. Where is the power of God? God’s power is found in a revelation of the name of Jesus Christ. God’s power is found in the expectation of faith that believes God will move in any given situation, no matter how intimidating the circumstances. God’s power is found in the daily pursuit of relationship with Jesus where a greater portion and awareness of his presence grows with each prayer and step of faith. I encourage you to not settle for the comfort zone of your life but to seek God and step out in faith, releasing God’s power into the lives of the people around you. Explosive Insights!
Acts 3:6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
The context of this event in Scripture is the profound momentum of the early church. Souls are being saved, lives are being changed and miracles are a common occurrence. Two key church leaders, Peter and John are walking to the temple at the hour of prayer when they encounter a lame beggar, asking for money. Peter responds, (paraphrase) “I don’t have any money on me but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk.” Peter acknowledges what he doesn’t have but simply gives out of the 4 things he does have: 1) A revelation of the name of Jesus Christ; 2) The anointing of the Holy Spirit; 3) Faith for healing; 4) A love for people. Peter possessed something far more valuable than riches, he owned a tangible faith in Jesus Christ. Money would have sustained the beggar temporarily but what Peter passed on transformed this man’s life forever. You can only pass onto others what you own for yourself. Frustration arises when we try to pass on what we haven’t cultivated in our lives. Too often we see needs around us but lack the resource material or spiritual to help the situation. Rather than letting these moments go by passively, we need to adopt a posture of personal growth in God to become a solution to someone else’s problem. You can’t lead others where you haven’t gone and you can’t help bring transformation in others where you haven’t grown in authority to do so. I encourage you to grow in a revelation of who Jesus is and what his name can do in people’s lives. Spend time in prayer and grow in a greater measure of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Increase your faith through hearing God’s Word and be ready and willing to reach out to others through practical demonstrations of God’s love. Explosive Insights!
Genesis 16:1-2 “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, ‘The Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.’ And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.”
I love the story of Abraham and Sarah’s journey of faith because it mirrors what many of us go through in our own lives. When we face the delay of Gods promises being fulfilled, most of us take matters into our own hands. This is exactly what Sarai and Abram did after 10years of not seeing the fulfilment of God’s promises. When Abram should’ve kept listening to the voice of God, he listened to the voice of doubt and retreated from the life of faith. When we can’t see in the natural what we are expecting from God in our timeline, we often look for other options to bring the promise to pass. Unfortunately, our efforts to secure what God wants to secure for us indicates our lack of trust for Gods timing and purposes. 2 Corinthians 5:7 calls us to “walk by faith, not by sight.” Faith hears the rhema inspired word of God and stays focused on it regardless of what the natural circumstances might be indicating. When Abram took matters into his own hands, he only delayed what God always intended to bless him with, the promised son Isaac. Whatever your Isaac is, God wants you to trust him with the timing of the promise. Guard your heart from doubt and run back to the rhema word of God. Your Isaac is coming your way. Explosive Insights!
Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness..”
Faith is often seen as a GIFT but not necessarily as a FRUIT. A gift is given freely by God whereas the fruit of the Spirit is cultivated into the character of a person over a long period of time. Faith as a FRUIT is cultivated into our lives through faithfulness. Faithfulness is a product of a decision of our will to trust God and be found trustworthy by God. To attain the best of the fruit of faith, we must cultivate trustfulness through the investment of time, skill and labour. To the degree that we cultivate trustfulness in our character is a good measure of our spiritual maturity. Faith as a fruit is a steady, unwavering trust in the goodness, wisdom and faithfulness of God. The outward expression of this kind of trust is stability and reliability in not only our hearts but everyday lives. We can’t say we have developed the fruit of faith unless our practical lives bear the resemblance of stability and reliability. I encourage you to be intentional about growing in the fruit of faith and develop a robust trustworthiness that God can entrust with greater and greater Favor and kingdom responsibility. Explosive Insights!
Acts 13:12 “Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.”In Acts 13, Barnabas and Saul are on Cyprus ministering but Elymas the magician, demonically inspired, is opposing their ministry and leading the proconsul away from hearing the gospel. Paul, filled with righteous indignation curses Elymas with blindness for a season and immediately darkness falls upon him. The proconsul witnessed first hand the miraculous power of the spirit and the demonstration of authority through the apostle Paul. Not only was he astonished in his teaching but he believed that Jesus was the Christ. No one wants resistance in life but opposition is often the catalyst for supernatural intervention. Many of us pray for miracles but miracles are needed because of the contradictions and paradoxes we encounter in life. Growth in the supernatural is often birthed out of an encounter with opposition that drives us closer to God in faith and prayer. See resistance from Gods perspective and watch God move mightily on your behalf as you boldly step out in faith. Explosive Insights!
Life is a collection of defining moments. If I was to ask you what is a moment? I’m not sure you’d be able to define it by a certain period of time (a second, a minute, an hour or a day) but you would be able to define it by the significance of the experience you had in that moment. Life defining moments aren’t always what you’d expect them to be. Graduations, anniversaries and award ceremonies are significant but I would suggest the truly defining moments in life are often those behind the scenes that seem very ordinary at the time.
Jesus Christ had moments in life just like we do. In John 4:1-42 we read of Jesus stopping on his journey at Jacobs well because of fatigue. What appeared to be a very ordinary moment turned into an extraordinary encounter with a woman who got more than she bargained for. Jesus is more accessible to you than you think. Sometimes we get these unhelpful ideas about God that portray him as very distant and very angry with us and yet He is more accessible and more tangible than most of us realise.
The moments that appear most ordinary can be the most extraordinary. A well in ancient times was a place of encounter, similar to what cafes are for us today. The Samaritan woman in this story was engaged in a routine task that turned into an extraordinary encounter with Jesus. Your place of encounter might be on the train into work or in a lecture theatre, on Facebook, a storefront or in a hair salon. I want to encourage you to be faithful with your present moment because with God a 10c moment can turn into a $100 opportunity.
Just 1 moment with Jesus can change your life forever! The Samaritan woman had a thirst that multiple relationships with men and illicit sex couldn’t satisfy. Her thirst was spiritual, not physical. She had a thirst that could only be satisfied by living water (metaphor for relationship with Jesus). The culture around us anaesthetises us with distraction (entertainment, $, sport, career) but all it takes is one moment to reveal what’s truly missing in your life. This woman had one encounter with Jesus and her life was never the same.
I think one of the reasons we see little life change in people’s lives is because we are trying to introduce people to an idea of Jesus rather than the living breathing reality of Jesus alive inside of us. Colossians 1:27 says, ‘Christ in me, the hope of glory.’ When I meet people, I don’t want them to get an idea of Jesus, isolated from me, I want them to meet him by meeting me. Jesus lives in me and acts through me.
The amazing thing about having an encounter with Jesus is that your moment can become someone else’s defining moment. 1 person’s testimony can affect many people’s destiny. The Samaritan woman couldn’t keep her moment to herself. She got her whole town in on the action and in one moment revival came to an entire city.
I encourage you to approach life from a different perspective. Just one moment with Jesus can change everything. Today could very well be your one moment!
This thought has gripped me the past few hours, ‘What legacy am I going to leave my kids?’ As I pondered this question, I thought about the legacy my parents have passed onto me. Here is a list of things:
- A faithful marriage that endured the storms of life
- Personal relationship with Jesus Christ
- Life must include the fun factor
- Passion for Gods presence
- Commitment to the local church
- Love for the Bible
- Ability to preach
- Ability to connect with people
- Faith in God’s sufficiency
- Love people not based on performance
Wow! As I pondered this list, gratitude filled my heart and made me appreciate my parents investment into my life. I love them loads. I realised that much of the same list of qualities my parents have passed onto me would be what I want to pass onto my kids. I have added a couple of things to my own list but it does show you the impact your upbringing can have on you.
Proverbs 13:22 ‘A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.’
We carry into our own parenting what our parents have instilled within us. Being a parent is one of the most sacred responsibilities God could entrust to someone. I pray everyday that God would make me an honourable father to my 3 kids. I love them so much.
So, it’s time for you to do some thinking and write down your own list. What legacy was passed onto you and what legacy do you want to pass onto your kids or the people closest to you?
Romans 12:6 ‘Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith.’
Through grace we receive the abilities of the Holy Spirit. These abilities equip us to work in the harvest. Grace is not just undeserved favour; it is also the operational power of God.
Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
I think we underestimate the power of impartation through the laying on of hands. Paul said to Timothy by way of reminder to ‘stir up the gift within you, which you received through the laying on of hands.’ Although the gifts are imparted through the laying on of hands, you still must receive them from the one who imparts them to you by faith. 2 key things will determine the strength and flavour of your gifts:
- The proportion of your faith determines how much grace you receive to operate in the gifts. The greater amount of faith you have inside you, the stronger the gifts will operate through you.
- The type and level of grace that is resident in the one who is imparting the gift to you will determine what gift is given to you.
Kris Vallotton shares, ‘Grace and faith works like bringing an empty cup to a coke machine. The coke machine determines the flavour of the drink, just as the grace on a person’s life who imparts the gift to us determines the grace we receive. The amount of the drink we are able to receive is determined by the size of the cup that we bring to the coke machine (our faith). ‘ (Basic Training for Prophetic Ministry)
It’s imperative that we stay within the boundaries of our own faith and not try to copy another person’s faith. When Peter stepped out of the boat, he operated in faith. If the other disciples attempted the same action based on presumption of Peter’s faith, then they would have sunk into the water immediately. Think soberly of yourself, according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned to you.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not awards! We cannot earn them. Because the gifts are not a mark of maturity, we do not have to wait for our lives to be in perfect order to receive them. Nonetheless, we are instructed to earnestly desire which means, to passionately and intentionally pursue them.