Category Archives: Discipleship

Increased Faith

Prophetic ministry since Jesus gave gifts to His body includes three works:

  • Announcing the future (like Agabus predicted a famine in Acts 11:28)
  • Interpreting current events based on something God has said to the person prophesying, either through Scripture or by His Spirit (like Peter, interpreting the events on the day of Pentecost by quoting Joel, or Paul, interpreting an opportunity and instructions when He was given a vision of a man from Macedonia)
  • Commanding something to happen, or to stop happening (Like Jesus speaking to fevers and storms, or Peter speaking to the man at the gate called “Beautiful” and commanding him to stand up)

When Luke recorded Jesus’ disciples asking Him for more faith (Luke 17:5), he recorded Jesus’ response as three examples of prophesying: commanding a bush to be thrown into the sea, ordering your servants around, and being ordered around if you are a servant. A point Jesus made through those three examples of faith being exercised was that when we have authority, we should exercise it with faith.

We should expect to be obeyed, even when we are speaking to created things. Because the request is for increased faith, realize that He is saying that when they prophesied with what faith they had, when they spoke with faith-empowered authority, their faith would increase.

Spirit of Wisdom

Handing out free condoms to teenagers might protect them from some of the consequences of stupid behavior. It won’t make them smarter, though.  It will encourage stupid behavior, actually.

Jesus was tortured to death to protect us from the penalty of stupid behavior. Even that might not protect us from all of the consequences of stupid behavior. By itself, even that awesome act might not make us any smarter.

When He fills us with His Spirit, He is giving us the power to overcome stupid.

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. (Ephesians 1)

Go be awesome.

Fearing

Don’t be afraid.

The Kingdom of God is really here, where we obey Him. It really is real, here, where He does what He wants to do.

The things that have worked our in our lives really are the favor of the King of all Kings, not just luck or hard work or family members pulling us out of tight spots.

It is real. Our wondersful callings are true. We are not imagining. His salvation is not late.

Be irrationally joyful over difficulties and the clouds and storms they bring. They come to produce evidence that your faith is real. They come to produce patience. When patience gets through with you, you will truly be perfect, complete, and you won’t lack any thing.

It’s real. Rejoice!

Critical Advice

As we move forward in the development of our true identities and purposes, the more public we allow our work and intentions to become, the more criticism we are the subjects of.

We need to learn to listen to the “advice” under the influence of the Holy Spirit. We are never as bad as our critics say nor ever as good as our dogs say. We are exactly what our Father says. Sometimes He says something through people who have opinions that differ from ours.

If He says you are a dancer, but someone else says that you don’t dance well, find out what is true about your ability shortage and learn to do what you can’t yet do.

Take enough critical advice to find your weakness and use it to become awesome, not to become separated from your courage and faith.


 

RECOGNIZING BAPTISMS

Frequently we are rebuking demons for attacking us when God is baptizing us. We need to learn to ask Him what He is doing and what He wants to do next when things are looking bad in our lives, so that by cooperating with Him, we gain every benefit He is hiding in the situations we dread.

Some Criteria for Identifying Baptisms:
> There is a real danger of our destruction
> God intends to effect growth through the baptism, usually in one or more of three areas:
– Knowing our God
– Knowing who He says we are
– Knowing our purpose/ministry/destiny/calling
> We have to submit to our God and His fellowship in the baptism and in His intent in order to receive the blessing of the baptism becoming a prophetic act instead of merely being an empty ritual or pointless pain
> If we cooperate and expect our God to bless us in the baptism it frees Him to wash or burn away the influence or presence of our enemies
> Our landscape or environment for life or ministry can change through our baptism; we are taken to a higher place of provision, revelation, position, honor, authority

Here is a link to a detailed study of Scriptures that teach about baptisms.

The Journey

In my dream I see the lone figure of a man following a road. As the sun sets beneath the hills, a city comes into view. Nearing it, the traveler sees what appears to be a large group of churches. Spires and crosses pierce the skyline. His pace quickens. Is this his destination? He passes an imposing structure, a neon sign flashing “Cathedral of the Future.” Farther on a floodlit stadium supports a billboard boasting that fifty thousand people crowd into evangelistic meetings there three nights a week. Beyond this, modest “New Testament” chapels and Hebrew Christian synagogues cluster together on the street front.

“Is this the City of God?” I hear the traveler ask a woman at the information booth in the central square.

That is the beginning of “Escape From Christendom.” If you haven’t read it lately, here is a link to the entire article.

Valuable Mistakes

Ray Dalio is one of the most successful business men on the planet, if you count how much money you make as an indicator. His company has created $45 billion income since 1975. He currently has $14 billion personal net worth.

He says that PAIN + REFLECTION = PROGRESS.

It means something like: if you just study your successes (which we like to do), you are not really preparing for the future. You are already likely to do the same good stuff again and have the same successes again.

The valuable study to perform is, instead, lengthy, in-depth study of your failures (which we hate to do). You are likely to repeat them again with little or no preparation, too!

SO, if you want to change the future of your mistake-likeliness, study the failures to find out how you got fooled. Find out why you believed the lie. Dig until you discover what looked good that turned out to be poison. Who did you believe when you shouldn’t have? What do the teeth of the rake look like, barely hidden in the leaves, just before you step on them and break your nose with the rake handle as it flies up?

Israel had an astonishing success at Jericho. Then, they had an astonishing failure at Ai. When they found out what went wrong, they should have had an unending flow of success by always acting in light of the information they received from Yahweh about their failure.

Open UP

Jesus said that He is a Door.

He became that Door so that we could access His Father. He also became a Door to Father to give Him access to the earth.

He has sent us just as He was sent (John 20:21). You are a door, also.

Be lifted up, Eternal Door, and let the King of Glory come through into your home. Be opened in the place where you work – let the King of Glory come in through you. Be opened up in the presence of your most difficult family members! Let the King of Glory invade their lives through yours.

He is the Lord – mighty in battle – Yahweh Sabaoth: the Commander of the Armies of Heaven. He wants to manifest and be known through you.

Be lifted up. Be opened up!

A Profitable Servant

Lord, You are the meaning of my life.
I am the meaning of Your death.
I know You have called me
From the grave of who I was
And chosen me to bear
Your name and story to the nations!

Jesus, use me while I have a breath
To shout and blow the trumpet!
Jesus, use me to display Your power
To those who’d have me burned!
Jesus, use me to show those who hate me
How much love you have for them,
And let me be a sacrifice of joy!

Lord, You are a King without a start.
I love You, Lord, with all my heart.
Fill me with the faith of Daniel
And his three young friends.
Let me be a slave that brings You profit!
Let me serve You,

Jesus, use me while I have a breath
To shout and blow the trumpet!
Jesus, use me to display Your power
To those who’d have me burned!
Jesus, use me to show those who hate me
How much love you have for them,
And let me be a sacrifice of joy!

©2003 Douglas Thomas

HERE’S THE AUDIO LINK