Friday, January 30, 2009

Change the Atmosphere

God seems to watch over the earth, looking for certain places to manifest His presence in unusual ways. This is clearly illustrated throughout Scripture as the Lord chose where, when, and through whom He would perform great wonders.

Today, as much as ever, the God of creation desires to pour out His Spirit and manifest His glory in the earth. And although the creation showcases His wondrous works and displays His glory, it seems God chooses specific times and places to demonstrate His presence in unique and powerful ways.

The Spirit of God moves more freely where His presence is neither despised nor hindered. As a result, we, as God’s ambassadors on the earth, can cultivate an atmosphere where the Spirit moves freely and God’s glory is manifested in a greater way.

If we, the people of God, are going to take seriously the need to create an atmosphere where God’s Spirit can freely move, we must engage in some personal examination and scrutiny.

God’s anointing is poured out where unity is found (Psalm 133).

The Psalmist makes clear that the oil of God’s anointing is poured out where His people dwell in unity. The oil is seen flowing down the beard of Aaron and continuing down to the hem of his garment. Thus, the entire body is covered. In addition, there is a refreshing that comes as the anointing freely flows. There has never been a time in history when there was a greater need for such anointing and refreshing than there is today.

With this in mind, let’s consider the following:

Strife and division hinders the anointing, or the pouring out of God’s Spirit. Apostle Paul makes a remarkable statement to the believers at Corinth in his first letter to the Corinthian church.

“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).

This strikes me as one of those near impossible biblical injunctions. There was clearly some degree of discord in the house of God and the lives of God’s people. It seems this has always been the case. Yet, Paul writes that believers were to think, speak, and act in one accord. How could this ever be accomplished?

The only way men could ever hope to think, speak, and act in agreement is when they drink from the same source of knowledge and wisdom. Only when the Word of God becomes the basis of judgment and information can the Church hope to walk in such agreement.

The apostle even cited specific cause for strife and division in a later portion of the same letter.

“For you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men” (1 Corinthians 3:3).

Paul addresses the issues of envy, strife, and divisions. He states that the people were “behaving like mere men.” The implication is that as citizens of God’s Kingdom, we are no longer to conduct ourselves as mere carnal or earthly men. Rather, we are to walk according to the Spirit and in subjection to the Word of God. Much of this carnal behavior can be attributed to a lack of true spiritual discernment and sound biblical judgment.

Romans 12:1-2 becomes all the more clear when we consider that God has not recreated us in order for us to continue to think, speak and act as those who have not experienced regeneration.

In order to know and do the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God, we must be transformed through the renewing of our minds. Believers must come to a place of submission and surrender to both the Word and Spirit of God. As we put away childish disagreements by receiving the wisdom of God, there will be a change of atmosphere in our hearts, homes, workplaces, and even our churches.

Let’s purpose to walk together in subjection to the Word of God and put off carnal thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. As best as we can, let us walk and live in peace. This means experiencing peace with God, ourselves, and those around us. Let’s make an effort to cultivate an atmosphere where the Spirit of the Lord can freely move and miracles can take place.

In Him,

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Time Of Our Lives

What an exciting time to be alive and serving Christ here on the earth! Throughout history there have been periods of unique challenges and opportunities. We are living in such a time today. The year 2008 is behind us, and a brand new year lies ahead. If we look around, it is clear that we are experiencing some new and different things. Government and business leaders seem to be scrambling in an attempt to correct the course and bring some stability to a very uncertain situation.

Yet, all the while, God is hardly mentioned or even acknowledged. We can be sure that the Lord still upholds all things “by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). Regardless of how much mankind attempts to ignore God, He is still Almighty and the only Sovereign One.

We, as citizens of God’s kingdom, have a wonderful opportunity in the midst of apparent chaos. The Spirit of the Lord is moving in near unprecedented ways. We must not allow our lives to be captivated by world events or even personal challenges. It is in situations such as these that God desires to do exceedingly great and awesome things.

Our intent is to create an atmosphere where God’s presence can dwell and His power can be more fully released. Throughout Scripture, we see the Lord of Hosts moving in times of adversity and despair. Now is a perfect time for God’s people to seek Him and yield our lives more freely. Now is a perfect time for God to arise and cause His enemies to be scattered (Psalm 68:1). In fact, it is a perfect time for God’s people to erect a holy habitation for the glory of God here on the earth.

Let’s seek to create an atmosphere where the glory of God can be revealed and His miracle power can be released. A few things we can do:

* Submit our lives (spirit, soul, body)
* Believe God for miracles
* Pray with boldness
* Praise God with confidence
* Worship God sincerely
* Thank God daily

As believers step up and move out, a fresh wind will blow, and God will pour out His Spirit. The knowledge of God’s glory will be revealed in and through the glorious Church.

Habakkuk 2:14: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

In Him,