Consecrate Yourself!

2 Chronicles 5:11 ‘The priests consecrated themselves without regard to their divisions.’

Consecration is about your heart, not your position. Sometimes people think only those who are senior pastors or those in great and influential positions need to be fully consecrated to God while the rest of us only have to be half-consecrated. Wrong conclusion.

In the passage above the priests consecrated themselves to God, regardless of what position or division they were in. The word consecration means to be set apart as holy for the purpose of worshipping God. Consecration isn’t a one time event, it’s a continual requirement of every follower of Christ.

Unfortunately, some of us are living off a past consecration for a past season. In every major season of our lives we need to be freshly consecrated to God. Romans 12:1 ‘I appeal to you, to present yourselves to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual worship.’ In light of who God is and what God has done, the only reasonable and rational thing to do is to throw ourselves at God’s altar and consecrate ourselves.

Consecration always happens in the holy place. The holy place from a new testament perspective is in the context of our personal relationship with God. We accept the invitation from God’s Spirit, to enter the school of the Spirit and be set apart for God’s purposes. It involves making a sober decision to leave the old nature behind, including some former ways of thinking, speaking and living, to embrace the new renewed nature of the Spirit working in us through the process of sanctification.

Joshua 3:5 ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow God will do wonders among you.’

Consecration always precedes God’s wonders. Before Israel crossed over the Jordan River to march into the promised land, they had to consecrate themselves to God. Before the fire of God’s glory could fill the temple, the priests had to consecrate themselves. Before God wonders become a living reality in your life, you need to consecrate yourself.

Humbly posture your heart in prayer and worship and hand the keys to the door of your heart and future over to God and let him in to occupy every square corner of your life and you would have started the journey on the road of consecration.

The Oracle!

Don’t Miss God’s Voice!

Acts 13:27 ‘For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognise him nor understand the voices of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him.’

Have you ever thought about how much of the bible is made up of prophecy? Approximately 50% of Scripture is prophetic literature. A lot of OT prophecy is contained within the Gospels themselves, with Jesus quoting the prophet Isaiah, more than any other OT prophet.

For believers who are planted in a local church and hearing God’s Word regularly preached, are we really hearing God’s voice and obeying it or are we so distracted by our own stuff that we, like Israel, miss His voice?

There is ‘The Voice’ in the prophets which may be missed, a meaning not apprehended. The ‘voices of the prophets’ in Acts 13 implies something just beyond mere words but the very voice of God. It’s the ‘VOICE’ of the prophets we need to hear. Big things hang upon hearing God’s voice above all the other voices.

Failure to hear may lead to irreparable loss, such as it did for the Jews when Paul announced in Acts 13:46 that he was turning to the Gentiles, due to the hardness of heart in Israel. The Gentiles response in Acts in V48 to Paul’s announcement is indicative of that fact that it is a great thing to hear and obey God’s voice.

I personally believe that the most important word in the bible isn’t love, faith or grace but ‘HEAR’. Everything in the kingdom is predicated upon how and what you HEAR. The Parable of the Sower emphasises the central importance of HEARING God’s Word.

Are you hearing his voice or are you present bodily but absent spiritually when the prophets are being proclaimed from the pulpit? I pray that God would give us an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church in this generation.

The Oracle!

Importance of Spiritual Authority

Hebrews 13:17 ‘Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.’

I think many of us in the church take the issue of spiritual authority far too lightly. There’s no doubt spiritual authority has been abused in the past and because of the brokenness of people, still will be but that doesn’t mean we throw it out the window and deem it unnecessary or irrelevant.

I’m coming to understand so much more the importance and significance of coming under Godly spiritual authority no matter what stage of life or ministry we are at. We imbibe of the spiritual authority we are under. The grace and authority God gives to the people who oversee us is critical to our spiritual vitality and ministry influence.

As goes the leader, so goes the ministry. We reproduce who we are. Leaders, your ministry is a reflection of you. This might be the cause of great anxiety for you because we all have things God is taking us through, to help us mature and grow in him but I can’t expect to see fruit in a particular aspect of my ministry if I’m not personally growing in that area myself. My life and leadership is a lid on others and if you want those you lead to excel in life and ministry, then you need to excel as well.

Apostles play a key role in the area of spiritual authority, especially, as it relates to prophets and all the other ministry gifts within the body (Eph 4:11-12). Apostles are sent of God to a region or regions to carry spiritual authority to establish and build the church, as well as, father people in the faith and release people into their ministry. Apostles are especially gifted to carry the weightiness of churches and have exceptional capacity for church expansion. We can learn a lot from the ministry of the apostle and they are integral to the exercising of spiritual authority in the church across entire regions.

Whose spiritual authority are you under? Do you have any oversight speaking into your life?   I have learnt so much and gone far further through the blessing of oversight, than I have on my own. You will too.

Your Life is Your Message!

Too often we try to share a message rather than become the message! In a world of competing brands, you are the best brand you could ever get. The Scriptures suggest, ‘our lives are a letter written to the world.’ When people read your life, what do they read?

In the Holy Scriptures, the prophet’s entire lives became God’s message to his people. A prophet was an active extension of Yahweh. Hosea married a prostitute to proclaim a message to Israel about it being a ‘whore’ in their relationship with God. Isaiah walked around barefoot and naked to communicate what was going to happen to Israel if they continued to rebel against God. Prophets didn’t share something external to themselves, they became God’s message and shared their lives with the people and this gave them authority to speak what God wanted his people to hear. As you can imagine, a tough calling to carry at times.

We can share a lot of things with others but we have no authority to speak on something we haven’t first lived out ourselves. What message are you becoming? What authority do you walk in, to share out of? You and I must become the message before we deliver the message. When you and I become the message, the impact of it will be far greater in the lives of people around us.

Embrace what God is doing in your life right now. Don’t try to run ahead and force his hand according to your desire. The Lord is writing his story onto your heart each step of each day. Your spiritual authority is directly connected to your relationship with your Heavenly Father and his power at work in your life.

The Ancient Ministry of the Prophet!

The prophetic is the only one of the 5 offices that has a long and scripturally detailed history reaching back into the early origins of the Old Testament and God’s people, Israel. Understanding the historic origins of the prophet helps us understand how we are to operate in this ministry today.

There is a vast difference between one who stands in the office and one who prophesies in the moment. When God gives someone a word for the moment, the person is not responsible post the delivery of the word to stand in the office but a true prophet is called to wear a mantle that cannot be removed.

The word prophet comes from the Hebrew word nabi meaning ‘speaker’, one whose mouth has been touched to speak for God. Some think that a prophet is one who only foretells the future or speaks of things only God could know.The truth is, when prophets are called to speak, it is about anything God wants to address, the past, present or future, revealing things hidden or merely speaking of what is mundane and well-known.

The word ‘prophet’ was first mentioned in Genesis 20:6-7, describing Abraham as a prophet, in the context of healing. After Abraham we see the prophetic office established in Moses ministry, as the purpose of prophets was revealed: to listen to God for the people.

Today, it is still the same. God wants to have fellowship with his children and he wants us to listen to him. But some will not and others seemingly find it very difficult to hear God and this is where prophets are needed, because in God’s wisdom he speaks to his prophets on issues that he does not reveal and discuss with every one of his people. Until that time in the future when the perfect one comes and all will know him, from the least to the greatest, prophets and their office are necessary.

Don’t despise the Lord’s servants, the Prophets and their prophetic utterances but hear what the Spirit of God is saying to the churches.