“God hath had it much on His heart, from all eternity, to glorify His dear and only begotten Son; and there are some special seasons that He appoints to that end, wherein He comes forth with Omnipotent power to fulfill His promise and oath to Him: and these times are times of remarkable pouring out of His Spirit, to advance His kingdom; such a day is a day of His power.” – Jonathan Edwards
You can be enthusiastic without being anointed. Don’t confuse the two.
God pours His Spirit out where Christ Jesus is exalted.
If someone gets up to preach and exalts himself- no matter how inspiring the message, no matter how much he has done for the Lord- rather than exalting Christ , then that is not of the Holy Spirit.
It is always the flesh versus the Spirit. Flesh will exalt Self. The Spirit will exalt Christ.
There is a trend to put down doctrinal truth nowadays – ‘God is not doctrine, He is bigger than that’. Let’s just talk about experiences.
Yes there is absolutely a place for sharing testimonies and stories about what God has done or is doing.
The problem is when doctrinal truth is thrown away then so is the exaltation of Christ. It becomes all about Self. My experience, my exploits. Me, me, me. Thus there is no witness and no anointing of the Spirit. Give me a person who knows the Word of God, and thus the God of the Word, any day over someone who is simply enthusiastic about what they’re going to do for the kingdom.
You will find that it is the one who seriously and deeply seeks the God of the Word, who it is that really knows Him and that that is the one that shall be strong and do exploits.
Sensitivity to the Spirit of God is driven primarily by being able to hear Him.
“The Lord God has given Me
The tongue of the learned,
That I should know how to speak
A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear
To hear as the learned” Isaiah 50:4
Again, sensitivity to the Spirit of God is driven primarily by being able to hear Him.
“He awakens my ear to hear as the learned”
This hearing happens within our spirit. This can be sometimes channelled through our physical ear as we listen to a sermon, or someone gives us an encouraging Word, but not always. But it is always through our human spirit.
What do I mean by our human spirit? When we are followers of Christ, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell in our human spirit and quickens (or makes alive) that inner part of us which was previously dead through trespass and sin. With our spirit now alive to the Lord and His Spirit dwelling within us we have the ability to hear His voice.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” John 10:27
Whether we hear a sermon, read something or feel a prompting in the spirit, we know it is of the Spirit of God when it bears witness with our spirit.
Sometimes you may listen to a whole sermon and nothing registers in your spirit. It could be an intellectual masterpiece, or it could stir our emotions, but if it doesn’t penetrate through the realm of our soul and into the spirit it is simply the flesh and profits us nothing spiritually. Another time you may hear a couple of words, a line of a song, read one verse and your spirit suddenly jumps. You know like you know that that is a Word for you. That is the Holy Spirit speaking, bearing witness to your spirit.
When that happens we need to slow down and listen. We need to allow it to really sink in and take root in our hearts because the Spirit of God is trying to tell us something. We need to wait on God. But even more than that, we need to be so intimate with Jesus that we are constantly in a pose of listening to Him. Remember Mary sitting at His feet… We are with Him where He is so that when He speaks a Word, or wants us to do something we are so close to Him that we know like we know immediately.
“He who has ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches”
Jesus said something similar to this multiple times through the gospels and also repeatedly to the churches at the beginning of Revelation. Since He repeated this phrase so often there must be a reason for it.
Hearing in the Spirit Leads to Speaking Forth in the Spirit
Notice in Isaiah 50:4 it says “The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary…”
The hearing in the spirit and the speaking forth of a word in season to those around us are connected. How do we speak forth with the tongue of the learned into people’s lives in order to minister and be a blessing? By having our ears awakened to hear as the learned! We need to hear from Him first or else we will have nothing to offer others.
The deaf-mute man whom Jesus healed in Mark 7 is a picture to us. This man could not hear, thus he could not speak. Jesus first touched the deafened ears, then spat and touched his tongue.
“Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”
Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly.” Mark 7:34,35
Are you wondering why you have nothing to give others? Do you not know what to say when someone comes to you for help? Do you feel like you have failed them?
You need your ears opened by the Lord. Go wait on Him. Confess your need, confess your desire to be able to feed others with the Word and ask Him to open your ears to the Spirit. Then when He tells you to do/say something, do it. Prompt obedience to the Lord is a sure-fire way He will keep speaking to us.
It was an iPhone and contained my life on it – emails, access to this blog, photos, contacts etc. I saw the young lady touch my phone and I knew in my spirit that she was going to take it, but while I preached it didn’t even concern me, it simply left my mind.
But when I had finished it hit me that she had disappeared and so had my phone. And then I got annoyed, frustrated and concerned. Identity-theft, violation of privacy, indignation at her audacity all these thoughts and emotions were swirling around in my mind while I searched for her within the building and outside, all in vain.
And the other thing in my mind: that I was already being tested on the very thing I had just finished preaching about. I had spoken about broken-ness being the qualification in God’s kingdom for ministry. God’s breaking of the power of the flesh, the crucifixion of it. How He wants us to no longer react from the soulish realm, the realm of emotion and intellect, but instead to walk in the Spirit and live in His kingdom of love, forgiveness and mercy.
So we traced my phone by GPS and saw that she had walked down the road about 10 minutes and got onto a train. After that we lost trace of her.
I was mad, I won’t deny it. How dare she steal my phone? I was also mad at myself. Why didn’t I retrieve my phone when I saw her touching it?
I tried to call my stolen phone three times and she ignored it. She sent a message to one of my contacts telling them to tell me that I am not getting my phone back. I began to imagine all sorts of revenge scenarios. What I would say to her had I the chance! Thank God He didn’t let me talk to her then.
One of the things I had just preached about was how the natural man wants revenge and to “get his own back”.
I went home and changed all my passwords on everything. Then I sent her a message. A message to my own phone which was now hers. I knew her name because we had chatted before she stole my phone.
I told her that I forgave her for breaking my trust and stealing my phone. I told her I prayed she would find peace and blessed her and I shared the gospel with her over text. I prayed that God would convict her and bring her into His kingdom.
The next day we disabled the stolen phone and I got a new phone. Because the old phone was disabled I was now able to re-use my old number. That’s when the phone calls began.
A blocked number rang the first time and I answered. It was a guy asking who I am? I wouldn’t tell him but asked who he was. Then cursing and obscenities down the phone from him and a female in the background. I hung up. They rang back, my husband answered this time.
They proceeded to ring all through the evening and even through the night. We obviously stopped answering the phone and rang the police. They advised me to change my number, which I have now done.
All I can say is that the devil was obviously very stirred up and was trying to provoke a fleshly reaction from me. If I had given in to it surely it would have been a defeat. But if we react in the kingdom way, of love and forgiveness, of blessing those who curse us, of praying for those who spitefully use us, then we will always have the victory over the works of darkness!
What this generation needs more than ever is the Prophetic Voice.
A prophetic voice under the anointing of the Spirit to cut through the clouded numbness that has settled over the Church.
A prophetic voice to divide truth from confusion. But even more than that: the prophetic voice to speak forth the oracles of God.
Don’t you see? We are now so bogged down with questions and confusion. What to do about/with homosexuals, how to deal with transgenders, how to appeal to the youth, how to stop people leaving our churches.
To hell with all that! What we really need is prophetic voices raised up.
Don’t you see? We are now in a period the church has never seen before. A time of such manifest wickedness and gross darkness. The things we’ve been busy with in church over the last few decades ain’t cutting it anymore. How are we to answer these things? With endless discussions, conversations and conferences? There’s no time anymore to mess around. If you’ve been waiting for God to do something then I am here to tell you what it is:
He is telling you to lift up your voice now, and be not afraid.
Now more than ever we need those who are unafraid to stand in the midnight hour. We need men and women with the courage of their convictions to speak forth the Word of truth. Once again we need WATCHMEN TO STAND ON THE WALLS. To take up the Sword of the Spirit in the power of the Spirit. To cut through the crap! I’m sorry but that is the least offensive word I can use for what I see.
I see the Church bowed down under a weight of confusion. I see a Church struggling to cope and turning to the wisdom of the world. I see a Church in its sad desire to be pleasing to this world ultimately conforming to this world and losing its witness. I see a Church in the depths of horrendous spiritual adultery.
I see a Church turned in on itself. I hear more messages about Self than about Christ. I hear the psycho-babble of heathens infiltrating the pulpit. I hear calls to “find yourself” from ministers of the gospel. The Spirit is grieved and my heart breaks.
But there is a cry from His heart that is breaking forth amongst the remnant. That cry is for the Sword to be picked up again. To be wielded in the courage, power and strength of the Holy Spirit.
I have seen it I tell you. When the Word of God goes forth in power a cry rises up from the Church. She recognises her Master’s voice and she is desperate and hungry to hear it again. I’ll tell you something else: the world also recognises it. They may reject it, but when there’s an anointing they know it and they respect it.
“Lift it up your voice with strength
Lift it up, be not afraid” Isaiah 40:8
Lift it up! Lift it up in your homes. Lift it up in your work place, lift it up in your church, lift it up on Facebook, lift it up on Twitter, lift it up in the streets. Lift it up be not afraid, lift it up!
Holy Spirit bless this word to go forth, in Jesus’ Name Amen
The battle field is empty
The soldiers all gone
Unused, forgotten, alone
A tired old banner hangs,
sad and forlorn
And I stand and look and wonder:
Where have all the warriors gone?
The belt of truth, I see
It lays forgotten in the field
Look, at those brave soldiers’ boots
That used to tread out
The gospel of peace
What to make of this?
What on earth has happened?
I look beyond the hill
And I see the enemy-
He still advances
His banners read “Peace
We want no war with you”
put your feet up
And we will leave you alone”
Alas I now can see it:
The warriors – why they’ve gone,
They’ve believed the propaganda
And they’ve all headed home
These are the only things
For which the “church” will fight
In this last generation.
The sword is at my feet….
What can one person do?
And (the big one):
What WILL they think?
in my mind, these make a to-do
I don’t care anymore
I’ll do it!
I lift up the sword!
In my hands it is powerful, alive
The eternal Word of God
As I lift it up
Those ancient words
In my heart revive
“for to whomsoever i shall send thee
Thou shalt go
And whatsoever i command thee
Thou shalt speak”
The fear of man all gone
In its place – the fear of God
It surrounds me
And propels me forward
Where those before me trod.
“Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.” John Wesley
I met him on the street and shared the gospel with him. Weeping bitterly on the street, not caring who saw him, he seemed to genuinely repent of his sins. The next time I saw him he seemed completely different, happy, in control. To me that demonstrated the “fruit” of true salvation.
How wrong I was.
One may wonder if it is even possible that somebody could pretend to be a Christian. Yes, it’s definitely possible. Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:13
“But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived”.
So here are some things that I learnt from 4 confusing, consuming months with an imposter:
- That it is so important to be able to recognize other people after the Spirit, rather than according to the flesh. 2 Corinthians 5:16.
- That we need to be able to test the spirits. (1 John 4:1) Even though someone may have amazing “revelations”, quote scripture, do all the right things, seem spiritual, this can all be a facade. We need to listen to the Spirit. Is there a check in our spirit regarding this person? Ask God for the gift of discernment.
- Never to put any human being EVER before my own children (yes, sadly I had to learn this lesson)
- To listen to my husband and my father, especially because they are Christians. Sadly, as Eve was deceived by Satan, it does seem to be easier for women, in general, to be deceived than men.
- That my desperation to see “results” of my work in the gospel had opened the door to the enemy. Christ should always be the centre – not our ministry, not results, not fruit.
- That I should not be too quick to trust, but at the same time, not become hard and cynical. Trust needs to be earned.
- That the devil seeks to consume us. Consume time, energy, spiritual life, emotional well-being. Any way he can destroy us through exhaustion/burn out he will attempt it.
- That God is not the author of confusion nor disorder, but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33). If there is confusion, disorder, if things seem to becoming undone and out of control then the situation is not of Him.
(On this note, God gave me a dream around this time:
In the dream I invited a new friend to my home I believed to be
spiritual. Suddenly and unexpectedly this friend started throwing furniture around my home. It was scary, confusing and out of control. This is exactly what the devil will do if you give him right of access in any way.)
- That an imposter can have a lying spirit and so will tell you things that they can’t possibly know without some sort of supernatural help. What this guy told me I thought was from God, when his source was actually Satan.
- That because God knew my heart was sincere towards Him and that because I really did seek God’s will for my life, God did not let the situation go any further or for any longer than He had pre-determined according to His sovereign will. In a period of 48 hours God exposed the lies and deception of the imposter completely and entirely.
- That God is kind. I mean really so KIND. Even when we make mistakes and mess things up. He was so gentle with me during this time, especially during the period that He removed the veil of deception from my eyes. By this time my body was steeped in physical exhaustion, my emotions were all over the place and my faith was flagging. God knew, and He was oh-so gentle with me. He upheld me and I will never, ever forget His gentle kindness towards me – His imperfect, erring servant.
- That God is still in control in the chaotic situations of our lives – IF we are truly yielded to Him.
- That God used this situation to teach us so much. Discernment, wisdom, knowing others after the Spirit can unfortunately only be learned through hard-experience.
The hard and confusing thing about this situation was that we really did love this guy. We sincerely wanted to see him saved. We truly wanted to be used of God. We had a zeal for God, but not the wisdom to accompany it.
Even though this was one of the hardest times I have experienced, God used it and taught us greatly and abundantly. Now years later, I see the fruit and depth of that experience in us and blessing others. I pray that this post will speak to someone who may be going through a similar situation. I pray others will learn through my mistakes. May God bless you with His kindness, wisdom and discernment.
“I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people out of your hand, and they shall no longer be as prey in your hand. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad…” Ezekiel 13:21, 22
Do you look back at all the times when you were alone with Him in His presence? When He had called to you “Come away” with Him and you hearkened His voice and went?
Do you have a “secret place…in the clefts of the rock
Where He can see your face,
Where He can hear your voice;” ? (see SoS 2:14)
Do you remember those times when you sat at His feet and wept?
When you sat there like Mary and learned of Him…?
When He shared Himself with you and He was revealed…?
When your eyes were opened to His beauty and glory…?
When He unfolded the work He has for you…?
Do you have a golden thread running through the tapestry of your life?
Times that you look back on with almost painful joy….
When the household was dark and quiet, asleep, but you were there on your knees wrapped up in the glories of heaven, tears streaming down your face?
All those times in the dark quietness of the prayer closet, where your roots went down deep. Where you were established. Where nobody else saw.
Only your Creator.
It is those times spent with God, where nobody else sees – where if you were to try to describe it to another that words just woudn’t do justice – that is the place where your relationship with Jesus is rooted and established, like the roots of a tree. That is where true Holy Ghost ministry is born. That is where His life is imparted to you and to me.
A secret history with God is necessary first to establish roots in each of us. Once the root system has been established below in the dark then the tree is able to begin its slow emergence up into the sunshine. This is the realm where others can see the result, or the fruit, of the work of the unseen deep.
“Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls…” Psalm 42:7
The result of your time spent alone with God.
Get alone with God.
Spend time with Him. Don’t count the minutes.
Just be unhurried…
The secret is unhurried prayer.
God bless you friend.