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.
Prophecy is a revelation of God’s heart and mind. The OT prophets became the message before they delivered the message. On the revelation of the OT prophets and the Law depends the greatest revelation God could ever give to us.
We often hear about how much God loves us and for good reason. Our flesh and the enemy of our souls tries to pull us away from this profound and central truth but there is no greater revelation and commandment than God’s call to us to love him with all of our heart, soul and mind.
The sort of love God is calling us to is characterised by sacrifice. Jesus said, ‘Whoever would save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life will save it.’ True love is demonstrated by what you are willing to give up for it. Every time God’s called me to embrace something, he’s asked me to let go of something else. You can’t go up in God, if you don’t give up something.
The greatest act of love is what Jesus did for us on the cross. Jesus left heaven. The word became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus lived a sinless life. He was persecuted even though he was innocent and he was ultimately killed for his obedience to his Father.
The tragedy is in the last days the love of many will grow cold. Our affections have become more for this temporary world than for eternal things. The western church says, ‘What’s the least I can do and still follow Jesus?’ It doesn’t work like that. That’s an oxymoron.
Following Jesus requires everything. Empowerment comes from dependence upon him. Dependance comes from attempting that which only the Holy Spirit can achieve. The more out of depth you are, the more dependant you are and the more dependant you are, the more empowered you are.
You can’t clock on and clock off with God. You’re either all in or you are taking up space. God wants to be God alone in your life. It’s not God and my career or God and my hobbies or God and my house. It’s just God.. period. He’s a jealous God and he wants you and the affections of your heart.
All the Law and the Prophets depend on this one primary thing = Love God with all of your heart, soul, strength and mind. This speaks of whole-hearted devotion. How much we love God will be determined by our level of sacrifice, the affections of our heart, the passion of our soul and the content of our thinking.
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.
One of the principle weapons Satan uses to disable God’s people is discouragement. Every person I’ve ever met and conversed with about their personal life journey have got reasons to feel discouraged enough to want to quit. Sadly, some people do quit and give up. Thankfully, others refuse to lie down and inspire us by their example.
We live in a fallen world that is characterised by selfishness, doubt, pessimism, discouragement and darkness. The kingdom of God is counter-cultural and is marked by generosity, faith, optimism, hope, encouragement and light. If your life is going to reflect the kingdom of God more than the kingdom of this world, you will have to be intentional about it because your flesh will naturally default to the spirit of this age.
I wrestle with discouragement a lot. It can come over me like a dark cloud and blanket me in such a way that it feels oppressive. The only way I break through it, is not by positive self-talk but by pressing into the sanctuary of God’s presence. In his presence I’m reminded that nothing is too hard for him. In his presence, my joy returns and I find the strength to keep believing, keep moving forward and keep positioning myself for greater things to come. God’s presence is a tower of strength and when we distance ourselves from him, we become a target for the devil to take us out with discouragement.
Too many of us accept the lies of the enemy too readily. Too many of us allow Satan to steamroll us with a barrage of condemnation and accusation, as if we were utterly powerless. But the truth is, we are powerful in God and his purpose for us (Ephesians 1).
I encourage you to draw a line in the sand and make a decision to stop entertaining the discouraging string of ideas Satan sends your way. Stop the broken record of wrong thinking and renew your mind with God-Truth. Life is fleeting and days pass by so quickly. Don’t give your best thoughts and years to the enemy of your soul. Your better than that and Gods calling on your life is too precious to let go of just because you’re in a season of discouragement. Refuse to lie down.