Posts categorized great faith
The Bible reveals a solid link between fasting, prayer, and prophecy.
- Biblical prophetic promises
- Contemporary prophetic promises
- Personal prophetic promises
God is speaking His promises in the past, present, and future. Francis Schaeffer captures this truth in the title of his 1972 book, “He is There and He is Not Silent.”
From my perspective, fasting and prayer accomplishes the following in relation to God’s prophetic voice:
- Fasting and prayer, demonstrating humility and commitment, catches the attention of God and He responds by desiring to release His voice to you.
- Fasting and prayer, demonstrating humility and commitment, aligns my whole being with the ‘frequency’ of God and I hear what He has already been speaking.
- Fasting and prayer, demonstrating humility and commitment, helps silence my competing wills, and aligns me with the will of God and the process of hearing what He is saying about His will.
- Fasting and prayer and aligning myself with the will of God to hear the voice of God precedes the actions of God.
2 Chronicles 20
After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites,[a] came against Jehoshaphat for battle. 2 Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom,[b] from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi). 3 Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 And Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.
5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, 6 and said, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. 7 Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 And they have lived in it and have built for you in it a sanctuary for your name, saying, 9 ‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment,[c] or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you—for your name is in this house—and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.’ 10 And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy— 11 behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit. 12 O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
13 Meanwhile all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. 14 And the Spirit of the Lord came[d] upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”
18 Then Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. 19 And the Levites, of the Kohathites and the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
20 And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.” 21 And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say,
“Give thanks to the Lord,
for his steadfast love endures forever.”
22 And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.23 For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.
Our systems are perfectly designed and implemented to get us where we are. We can’t blame others or bad luck. We built our systems and then our systems built us.
If we are only one play short of total victory, maybe small incremental and minor adjustments would get the job done. Not gaining ground year after year isn’t a demand for a simple tweeking, it is a shout for a total overhaul.
In talking about those who have not yet heard the Good News and God’s call upon our lives to reach the regions beyond, I became aware of many folks willing and even eager to make minor adjustments to their lives for the cause. This feels like just enough activity to sooth the conscience and reduce the volume of the Spirit’s voice.
What if the only thing that will get the job done is deep change? Moving from;
- Tithing to giving away everything?
- Giving away an hour or two each week in ministry to giving all day, every day for the rest of your life?
- Selling your skills for a paycheck to investing your skills so others benefit?
Maybe the commonly held benchmarks for success in the American Christian life are more determined by the system than by the Person, Jesus Christ.
Maybe “blessed are the poor” really means that the poor are blessed?
Maybe “My kingdom is not of this world” really means that God’s kingdom isn’t of this world?
Maybe “I am crucified with Christ” is an invitation to live dead?
Maybe “Go into all the world” really means that we should go?
Often the system honors and blesses the not the poor, but the wealthy; not those who live for the heavenly kingdom, but those who are building their own kingdoms; not those crucified with Christ, but those who seem fully alive in the natural; and not those who go, but those who stay.
The system we built now builds us.
Deep change anyone?
Sometimes things mean more than it seems.
In my Christian experience Acts 1:8 is considered the Great Promise.
Stephen by Giacomo Cavedone
“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
From my earliest remembrance I have asked God to empower me to be his witness. My deepest longing is to be an effective witness for Jesus and of Jesus.
The word translated, in Acts 1:8, as “witnesses” is μάρτυρες. “And you will be my martyrs” is precisely what Acts 1:8 declares. Etymologically, at the time Acts 1:8 was penned, μάρτυρες meant witness or witnesses. In particular the meaning of a witness was someone who testified to a fact of which she has knowledge from personal observation.
However, within the life time of the Apostles, a witness was not simply one who testified to a fact, but one who suffered death rather than deny the Christian faith. Thus, six chapters after Acts 1 we have Christianity’s first witness/martyr who suffered death rather than deny the Christian faith.
The heart of the witness is identical to the heart of the martyr.
Dave, Becky, and Ephraim are leaving MCA Church, and I couldn’t be happier!!! Well, I am not happy they are leaving but I am overjoyed that they are following the call of God upon their lives for ministry in the Philippine Islands. MCA Church is infused with great people from the Philippines. I can not imagine leading our assembly without our dear Filipino and Filipina members.
The Taylors are a huge part of the MCA Church. Their ministry among us has been tenured and varied. Currently Dave and Becky are ministering as the Service Leads of MCA Church’s Greatest Hits. They are EXTREMELY helpful.
For many years David and Becky have been preparing to participate in Church planting in the Philippines. They own a home, are connected with a local assembly, and have already begun the church planting processes.
Sunday evening, April 22, Dave and Becky will talk with our congregation and then we will call the Elders of the church and those assembled to officially send the Taylors from Anchorage to the Philippines. We already have Missionary Associate, Sean Gordon, in the Philippines and look forward to sending more folks, as God leads.
Our leadership team is pursuing the benefits of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done.” His productivity system is simple, effective, and beneficial. For further info, please direct your web browser to www.davidco.com.
There are two questions that productivity coaches can not answer for us. 1. What is the best thing for me to get done? 2. What are the most important things for me NOT to do?
As a general rule, it seems to me that the answers to these vital questions are discovered in the realm of morals and morality. It is not a stretch to realize that the principles of productivity can be applied by both moral and immoral people.
These questions can generate great fear. What if deep, personal, life change is necessary in order to do the things that are best for me to do? If you can’t serve the Lord at your current place of employment, then a job change may be a good decision. You may make far less money, miss seeing your co-workers, and regret not being able to reach your full potential in that job, but you will have the confidence that you have character, integrity, and morality.
I am praying that the readers of my blog will not only be “Getting Things Done,” but will be getting the right things and God pleasing things done.
Today I said, “Are you thankful for your jobs?” Many people responded exceptionally positive.
After service my good friend says to me, “Pastor Kent, what are the unemployed supposed to say to that question?”
Thanks for the reminder.
In the USA unemployment has been rather consistently above eight percent and below ten percent for a couple of years.
May God help us to create jobs, find jobs, and keep jobs.
Be blessed as you seek employment and as you serve the Lord through your place of employment.
I was blessed to travel to American Falls, Idaho to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Linfield Crowder. What a joyous occasion. Dr. Crowder looked strong, healthy, and was full of his usual quick wit.
In addition to celebrating his birth, Dr. Crowder launched his new book, “The Therapeutic Value of Speaking in Tongues.” There are only 250 copies of this book in circulation, but more will be published soon.
I am hoping to have a case or two available for our Conference on the Holy Spirit in January 2011.
Our 2011-2016 MCA Ministry and Business Plan is on the docket for preparation and finalization. Prior to our final preparation of this strategic, dynamic, and life-giving conceptualization, I wanted to accomplish several things:
1. Before we can give strategic and life-giving direction, we must be assured that our best people are in the place of their best influence. One author suggests that the right people should be on the right bus and in the right seat on that bus. (Collins)
2. Before we can give strategic and life-giving direction, the right people, in the right seat, on the right bus, must have the right information.
Getting the right information is more challenging than it first appears, yet we believe the Holy Spirit has been leading us into the ‘truths’ we need for the strategic planning that is ahead. Part of gaining the right information is the teaching of Billy Hornsby. Your MCA ministry team will be digesting, for many months, Billy Hornsby’s teaching. Immediately we plan to put into action several of the components of Life-giving churches, as taught by Billy.
Additionally, we are applying the timely message of “How the Mighty Fall: and why some companies never give in (Collins),” to the strategizing, dreaming, planning, and implementation phases of our ministry.
Dale Fick, MCA Chief Operations Officer, is gathering the best ideas, from the best thinkers and practitioners, and preparing this living, breathing, and growing statement.
To listen to the four training sessions presented by Billy Hornsby, please direct your browser here.
Just in from Jael Cox……………