Buried Blessing!

new-life“Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7)

Everything in God’s creation, He created by the words of his mouth with the only exception being us. He created us by reaching down into the dirt of the earth and forming us in his image. Thus, every one of us have God’s fingerprints all over us. Dirt doesn’t seem very appealing but when you plant a seed in it, that seed will eventually produce life. God has planted seeds of blessing in every one of us. You may not be able to see the blessings God has planted on the inside of you but the seed within you has potential within it to produce life. It’s just buried at the moment. You need to water it, nurture it and have the courage to let God bring the seed forth out of the dirt of your life.

Growing your Gift!

Proverbs ‘A mans gift makes room for him.’

Your calling is about your identity. I hear people say they don’t want to build their identity upon their calling but I actually think God does exactly this. Tell me, where does one start and the other end? Calling is inextricably linked to who you are. Jesus was called by his Father to be the messiah and lay down his life on the cross. His identity was completely wrapped up in his relationship with his Father and the course of life the Father destined him to fulfill. My identity is established in my relationship with Father God but his calling on me is fundamentally apart of my relationship with him that I don’t know where one ends and the other begins.

Your anointing is about your purpose. God has created everyone of us fearfully and wonderfully (Ps 139). I believe every person on the planet has received an anointing because we have been made in the image of God but the power and potency of this anointing is determined by our relationship with the Holy Spirit. The anointing on your life will ebb and flow according to your relationship with God. The anointing is the expression of the person and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Whilst all humans are made in the image of God with a deposit of Gods anointing in their DNA, the anointing is actually fully alive in the person surrendered to God and filled with his Spirit. God anoints you for a specific purpose. You are clearly anointed for some things and not for others. A key to success in life is to discern early what it is you are anointed for and run hard in that very purpose. Remember, it’s never too late to start today.

Your gifting is about your ability. The gifts and call of God are irrevocable, meaning without repentance. God’s not going to call them back from you but they can be undeveloped and underutilized. We are all responsible to develop our gifting. God will give you the raw material but you need to develop what has been given freely as a good deposit into your life. Your gift will bring you before prominent people in your field. Your character will sustain you in the space, your gifting creates for you. Spiritual gifts are evidence of Gods grace. Spiritual fruit is evidence of Gods sanctifying work in us. The Holy Spirit distributes as he wills (1 Cor 12:11). You and I are to enjoy using the gifts God has given to us, whilst earnestly seeking after the higher gifts (higher gifts are those that are in greater need in our lives than others depending upon the circumstances we are facing).

Growing your gift most commonly takes place in 5 key ways:

1. Use it – Start serving someone or something or somewhere today and your gift will automatically grow.
2. Mentor it – Seek out a mentor already established in your specific gift and learn from them.
3. Read it – Read everything you can on your gift and your knowledge will inform your use of it.
4. Pray it – Prayer will partner with the Holy Spirit to inflame the gift within you to be powerful and effective.
5. Focus it – There comes a point in your life when you must stop dilly dallying around and start to focus on doing what only you do best. There’s a time for doing secondary tasks but as you go on, you must focus on your key area of gifting or stay frustrated for the rest of your life.

The Oracle!

The Gift of Prophecy!

I bumped into the prophetic ministry the first time I preached as a teenager. During and after my message, God showed up and revealed himself powerfully through the prophetic word with dramatic results. For me prophecy is very intuitive and for many years, I just had the ignorance and the boldness to share with people what I saw and heard God saying. Since those early days I have grown in my understanding and maturity in operating in the Spirit of prophecy.

Prophecy is a gift, not an award. The Holy Spirit distributes individually as he wills, not as we earn (1 Cor 12:11). The fruit of the Spirit is evidence of our spiritual maturity. The gifts of the Spirit are evidence of God’s grace lavished upon us.

Prophecy is to be earnestly desired. Paul exhorts us, ‘Earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy’ (1 Cor 14:1). Anyone who is saved and baptised in the Spirit can receive grace to prophesy.

The purpose of prophecy is to encourage the church. ‘The one who prophesies speaks to people for their edification, encouragement and comfort’ (1 Cor 14:3). Edification means to build up. Exhortation means to call near. Comfort means to cheer up. We’ve got to prophesy the answer, not the problem.

Prophecy is both foretelling and forth telling. Foretelling is to know the future  as in Acts 11:28 when Agabus prophesied a famine before it actually happened. Forth telling is to cause the future as in Ezekiel 37 when the prophet prophesied to the dry bones and a creative miracle took place. Prophecy has power within it to create that which has been declared. A word of knowledge is not the same as a prophecy as it is a revelation of supernatural knowledge about the past, or present or an unknown fact.

Prophecy reveals God’s heart and mind. Prophets are known as God’s friends because God shares his secrets with them. Prophets are associates of God, an active extension of Yahweh himself. Too many people look for a word from God, rather than a relationship. Look for a relationship with God and the word will take care of itself.

3 parts to Prophecy = Revelation is the first part. God’s revelation comes through a variety of ways (dream, vision, words, angels, creation, scripture, tongues, impression). Interpretation is the second part and is often the part that the prophesier won’t always get. The last part is the application, so what? What is the person to do with what they have received.

Revelation 19:10 The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.

The Oracle!


Determining the Strength of your Gift!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

The Oracle!

Come out of the closet!

There will be no surprise confessions today but simply a call to come out of the closet with the gifts that God has given to you. Stop hiding them away and use them.

The manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:7)

Your gifts and talents are not given to you for private admiration but public demonstration. The Greek word for manifestation is (phanerosis) and it means revelation or manifestation. When we use our gifts publicly to serve others, we are revealing or manifesting the presence and power of God to the world around us.

Spiritual gifts aren’t God giving something external to himself, like you would give a present to someone at Christmas time. Spiritual gifts are God himself manifesting an aspect of his presence through your life. God manifests himself through us in a variety of ways and we are to celebrate the unique way God has wired us up.

Unfortunately, the western church has privatized God. We have made faith in God a private matter. Rubbish… The gospel is meant to be heard and God’s power is meant to be witnessed to (Acts 1:8). Stop being a secret agent for God and start being the city on a hill God has called you to be. The church is the Spirit’s public. You are the mouth, hands and feet of the Holy Spirit sent to the world.

Grace!

Power of the Spirit!

Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”

When I was 6 years old I had an encounter with the Holy Spirit that changed my life. Since then I’ve had several supernatural encounters that have been eye-opening and life transforming, both for me and for others. One thing I’ve observed in our culture is the deep spiritual hunger people have. This is seen particularly in the rise of movies and TV shows centered on supernatural themes. I read a survey recently that said more people believe in aliens and ghosts than God. This is an unfortunate reality check for the church because as a believer I think we are called to manifest God’s power in a tangible way in our daily lives, and clearly there is a misrepresentation of God taking place.

One of the most important things to understand about the Holy Spirit is that the core manifestation of his presence is POWER. Jesus could have said, ‘You shall receive PEACE when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.’ Peace is a fruit of the Spirit and the Spirit works this character quality into our lives but Jesus didn’t emphasize the role of peace when he talked about what we would receive when he came upon us. Jesus could have said, ‘You shall receive TRUTH when…’ But he didn’t, he said, ‘You shall receive POWER’. You get the idea!

YOU can receive the power of God. God’s power isn’t just for so called ‘Holy’ people or ‘Preachers’ only. If you are a believer in Jesus, you have received an anointing that abides in you (1 John 2:27). God’s power is supernatural strength, ability and capacity to affect something or someone for the glory of God. God’s power manifests as boldness to proclaim the Gospel. It also manifests as spiritual gifts to meet needs in people’s lives and in the church.

The power of the Spirit is given for a PURPOSE. God never does anything without purpose. He is incredibly intentional, especially when it comes to giving us his power. To be honest, I think most believers have all the power they need. What they lack is purpose. Make sure you are directing the power of God towards the purpose for which it was given in the first place. To be a witness of Jesus Christ in the earth. You can only witness to what you’ve personally experienced. Do you have a vital and growing personal relationship with Christ or are you distant and aloof to the things of God. Maybe there is a lack of witnessing because there is a lack of personal first hand revelation to actually knowing God.

PRAYER gives birth to God’s power. Devotion to prayer always precedes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Prayer is 2 way communication with God and God’s power was never meant to be used separate to a personal relationship with God. Power is a byproduct of intimacy with God. In particular, speaking in TONGUES releases God’s power in a our lives very effectively. Tongues has been under assault from both within and outside the church over the years but the bible clearly states that, ‘The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself’ (1 Cor 14:4). The Apostle Paul went even so far as to say, ‘I wish that you all would speak in tongues’ (1 Cor 14:5). Regularly speaking in tongues releases revelation knowledge into our Spirit and empowers our witness to the world. I’ve personally experienced an impartation of supernatural knowledge about people, churches and events that came directly out of time spent praying in the Spirit.

God’s power is available for you because His Spirit dwells on the inside of you, if you belong to Christ. Author and Evangelist Dave Roberson once said, “The very measure of God’s power in a believers life is dependent on how much of his life is ordered by the Holy Ghost.”

Insight!

No Ordinary Gift!

“No Ordinary Family” is a TV show about a family who were traveling to their vacation spot when they encountered a storm and after they crash landed they discovered that they had somehow received extraordinary powers. Apart from being an entertaining show, the story line taps into our innate desire to be more than we are and possess some extraordinary power that would separate us from the crowd.

The truth according to 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 is that every believer is empowered with supernatural ability. Spiritual gifts are supernatural ability given by the Holy Spirit to everyone who belongs to Christ. The gifts of the Spirit are not for everyone. They are the unique possession of spirit filled believers. However, one of the reasons why the church doesn’t see more miraculous power moving through it is because I don’t think we have a full revelation of the power of the Spirit dwelling within us.

Jesus said, ‘You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you’ (Acts 1:8). This power of the Spirit is tangible and it is received and activated by faith. The power of God isn’t a circus trick, it’s the genuine article that enables you to live the Christian life in a supernatural way, not limited by our flesh or circumstances. One of the core expressions of God’s power through us is the manifestation of spiritual gifts. Often we are tempted to compare our gift with someone else’s and perceive what we have been given as ordinary but:

There is no such thing as an Ordinary Gift! Don’t despise the gift God has freely given to you. You didn’t do anything to deserve the gift(s) God’s given to you. I wonder if you have ever received a Christmas present that was sort of like, ‘ordinary’…? You know what I mean, maybe a packet of hankies to blow your nose on or a placemat to put your plate of dinner on… and you are like, ‘Well, thank you… thank you very much. Just what I’ve always wanted.” God doesn’t look for the cheapest gift he can find and hand it to you like he just got it from the $2 shop.  God doesn’t do ordinary, he only does extraordinary. 

Insight!