Athletes train for success. “For although I am free from all people, I have made myself a slave to all, in order to win more people. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the law, like one under the law—though I myself am not under the law—to win those under the law. To those who are outside the law, like one outside the law—not being outside God’s law, but under the law of Christ—to win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by all means save some. Now I do all this because of the gospel, that I may become a partner in its benefits.
Do you not know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly, or box like one who beats the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”
(1 Corinthians 9:19-27 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)
Athletes work – they compete for a prize. “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. To please the recruiter, no one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of everyday life. Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hardworking farmer who ought to be the first to get a share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”
(2 Timothy 2:3-7 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)
We need to be prepared for succeeding in our callings by doing all that we can to learn more of who our God is, more of who He says we are, and what He declares to be our purposes in the earth. He is the Judge of the race. We want to hear His voice saying “Well done.”
Brace up. Get ready. Run!
In events recorded in what we call the Old Testament, men and women were moved by the Spirit of God for supernatural strength or revelation that were temporary manifestations of being filled by Him or having Him fall on them. It resembled His hand in the earth donning a glove for a job.
Jesus purchased a new way of sending His Spirit on the cross. He then fulfilled “the Promise of the Father” (Luke 24:45-49) by sending the Holy Spirit to fill His brothers and sisters, making us powerful. That power includes making us able to manifest some ability that God has and wants to use through us in the earth to do works. These are individual works, and things that we do together.
It also includes the power to manifest His character. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fullness of faith, gentleness, and self-control.
As we learn to give the Holy Spirit the master bedroom in our hearts, or the steering wheel and gas pedal in our lives, it is costly. It isn’t just when ministry needs to happen because someone near us has a need. It is all the time. It is costly: our entire lives. It is broad – every dimension of our lives. It is long – the rest of our lives.
What could be more awesome?
He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then He gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out, and your feet did not swell these 40 years.
(Deuteronomy 8:3-4 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)
Expect some words to come to you from the mouth of the Lord.
As preparation for that, expect to get hungry. And don’t complain about it. Let it remind you to look for the words.
This is a list of tools and what they are good for: BIBLE STUDY TOOLS.
They can help with the part of your preparation that includes learning what the Scriptures say. Most of them are available online freely. I have all of them on my phone.
If you need help finding any of them let me know.
The processes by which we receive things from the Spirit seem to be a little different, depending on the gift: we gain knowledge, but we discover truth. We obtain abundant life. I think that there may be an indication there of which things come by standing in the right place at the right time, compared to which ones must be carved from a mine with a pick or a drill.
Sometimes it maybe is just at an appointed time that the blessing comes, like when Pentecost had fully arrived, and the Holy Spirit rested on the head of each person who was present in the upper room. Other times, Jesus’ instructions to pray and never faint, like the persistent widow make clear the only path to gaining what we want or need.
As always, the deduction I make is, “Ask the Spirit.” He will show you how to gain what He has prepared for you to possess. Ask Him how to pray. Ask Him what to do, or where to be, or with whom. Then do what He says.
Like the king’s servant in the story of Esther, He knows what pleases the King, and how to approach Him with your plea. He wants you to be the best you there ever was or will be. Ask Him how to be awesome.
… for although the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(John 1:17 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)
Jesus told a parable (Mark 12:1-12) about a landowner and a vineyard that he leased to some vinedressers. These tenant farmers tried to take the farm for themselves, but Jesus said that it was going to be taken from them and given to other vineyard keepers. The chief priests, the scribes, and the elders knew that He was telling the parable about them, but their response was to proceed to bring the story to life by killing the land Owner’s Son, not by repenting.
A change in management is coming soon in the ministries of prophet and teacher in the Church. Teachers will be appearing soon who are able to discern two very important things. One is that they should stop looking for information about the Church in the parables that Jesus taught, and look instead for revelation about the Kingdom. They will at last realize that He usually started them with the phrase, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…” because He was teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven, not the family of the King of Heaven.
The second thing they will realize is that previous teacher-invented products like the “Left Behind Series,” and “Prophecy Conferences,” even though they have generated much revenue and hype, have done nothing but distract the Church from the ministry of invading the earth with manifestations of the Kingdom. This second revelation will include the acknowledgement that teachers don’t get interpretation of prophecies; prophets do.
As they step aside from trying to tend to that work, and encourage their brothers and sisters who are prophets to begin doing it, prophets will become proficient at interpreting current events in light of words that are proceeding from the mouth of the King, and by revelation that brings light to Scriptural prophecies. Prophets will lead their coworkers in many areas of influence – not just the Church. Just as Daniel and Joseph were installed in governments to lead prophetically, this new group of tenants will lead in any office or business they are called to.
Pray for it. Look for it. Fan its flame when you begin to see it.
I have talked to a few people recently who were surprised when I told them that when there is a Scripture reference in a blog post that is a different color than the rest of the text, you can click it and go to biblegateway.com and read the Scripture there. It may be more convenient than having to open your Book or your Bible program and look it up. Those links look like John 7:37-39. Click the reference and you can read it.
Other times, I share links to articles that are on the second section of my website (riversfill.us). They look like this.
Many blessings – much agape…
You don’t have to always reap what you sow, even though that is the normal state of things.
One day, Father sowed His Son. You can reap What He sowed. There is probably more fruit from that available than you have harvested, no matter how much you have found so far. Look for more.
Our work in the earth regarding others’ lives is not to make better behaved people of them.
People need to know the difference between right and wrong. More important, though, is to know the difference between Life and death. Leading them to abundant life by introducing them to Life Himself will improve their behavior. Pointing out their mistakes and failures might not.
Jails are full of people who knew they were breaking the laws that got them arrested. Heaven will be full of people who met the Person Who served their sentence on the cross.
The Bible doesn’t change us. It reveals Christ to us. It reveals to us what we really look like – like a mirror (James 1:22-25).
When we memorize it, and meditate on it, when we use it as a map instead of a rule book, the Holy Spirit will use it to lead us into our destinies of leading the people around us into life and out of death.