- Being sure of who God has made us as people enables us to more forward
- If as the pace picks up we are not firmly clear on whom we are then we will become unstuck
- This morning I am going to remind us of whom we are
- This will mean that when the spotlight is on us we will be able to respond with boldness
Five points from Acts 13:1-4
- Church history tells us that at its height 1/3 of the people of Antioch were Christians
- We together are to be a People of the Spirit
- You only find prophets where the Spirit of God has been poured out
- Examples of people who are saved because they recognize Gods supernatural presence in our churches
- There is a flow in the topics between these three seminars
- It is essential that people in our churches are filled with the Spirit
- Sometimes people come because they like the worship
- The heart of what we are in churches is a gathering of individual people who are baptized in the Holy Spirit
- This is the doorway that opens the gifts of the Spirit
- What is the function of the HS as we gather?
- Where do we get our ideas from? As much as possible the Holy Scriptures
- John 4:21 a huge difference between the Old and New Covenants
- This is a radical new way of worshipping
- Our meetings have to be Spirit led and so there is spontaneity
- There is not a rigid structure for worship. We have moved from form to the unknown
- 1 Cor 14:26 whenever you come together, each one has a...
- 1 Cor 12 lists gifts of the Holy Spirit (I am concerned when there are no gifts being manifested)
- The HS has a massive role in our lives. We cant do anything of any value without him
- God has said, the earth will be filled by the glory of God as the waters cover the sea
- What was the apostles strategy?
- He established a base church in Gods timing
- He said to the church at Thessalonica that the testimony had gone out from them
- Previously he had been prevented by the Holy Spirit from doing this!
- The timing must be prophetically led
- Paul left Aquilla and Pricilla there in faith
- He ensured that key values were established in the core group
- He noticed a serious deficiency in the disciples
- One of the weaknesses that occurs is a failure to establish core values in the base group.
- Consistent teaching of apostolic revelation
- Paul taught so powerfully in the Hall of Tyrannus that it was spread out throughout the province of Asia
- Apostolic foundations
- The Big Picture, from Genesis to Revelation, showing them how they play a part in it.
- This takes people away from a felt needs philosophy of the Christian life
- I have a problem with the teaching that God does nothing except in response to mens prayers. How did he great the universe
- Nevertheless he does respond to faith initiatives
- Jesus seems to be totally controlled by his fathers initiative
- Other times it looks like he is being directed by the faith impulses of mortal men (e.g. Jairus)
- Then the woman touched his garment and he focused on her
1. Be honest with God that you dont have the faith to heal those in wheelchairs
- The doesnt mean it is not the will of God.
- Jesus says, all things are possible to them that believe
- Often we need to learn how weak and needy we are before God will help us. It is not that we are strong and just need a little help, but we have no strength
2. By exercising the Spirit of Faith
- Story of a blind woman he prayed for. Not healed, but he did try!
- Peter sank, but at least he got out of the boat!
- He started exercising his faith, and later on his shadow was healing people
- Story of a blind baby who was healed a short time afterwards
- The book of Joshua is an account of God bringing his people into their inheritance.
- He takes them across the Jordan, into some big battles
- At the half way mark, chapter 13, the page is turned and there is a new phase
- For the first half there is a new leader and a real togetherness
- 10:29 then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on
- Same kind of language in v.31, v.34, v.36, v.38, v.43, 11:7, 12:7
- 13:1 begins the new phase when Joshua is well advanced in years
- Joshua is old and there are still large tracts of land to take
- He gives them a new plan: the land and the people are distributed
- They all receive their allotmenttheir area to conquer
- If Israel was to hold on to all the land that had been won during their together exploits, there needs to be a dividing up and putting things in place.
- This second phase of Joshua is pivotal to any ministry in the church
- Otherwise we run a risk of HQ ism, leading to frustration
- Presence of the Spirit is of massive importance
- The manifestation of his presence, not just singing good songs.
Acts 1:8 they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came.
- When we are helping people to enter into the Baptism of the Spirit, it is very important that they be theological comfortable with it.
- There is no point in praying for people who dont believe in it!
- Never just pray for them. Even if they are blessed at the time, they may experience a backlash of doubt afterwards.
- the more you are assured from Scripture, the better.
- When Jesus said You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you they had an O.T. background for understanding this.
- The Spirit coming upon people was not a strange thought for the Jewish mind.
- David, the 70 elders in the wilderness, Judges.
- Joel said there would be an end-time outpouring
- John the Baptist introduces him as the baptizer in the Spirit
- Jesus didnt immediately talk about this, but said that first he must have his baptism of fire.
- The Joy of the Lord is our strength. Why will the trees of the field clap their hands? The whole of creation is waiting for the sons of God to come into their joy, and that is when they clap their handsthey are waiting for us to get it!
- Joy always brings noise!
- But all of us have had faith failures. We measure ourselves by some unfair standard when we read the history books about the great men of faith.
- Religious traditions are blockages that hinder our faith.
- He is the one who anoints us to lift the yokes and burdens from our shoulders.
- Our people must know that we love pastoring them!
- Every day we need to get into the anointing. To get our first love back every morning.
- We need to deal with these issues of the heart, cynicism and skepticism, which is a barrier to the anointing.
- He is the one who has the burden of the nations, not us!
- One of the great supernatural signs will be ministers who are not under a burden because his burden is light!
- Lets take a moment to all stand and spend a moment asking God to free us from all strongholds of cynicism.
- I felt very drawn to this passage as I was preparing.
- We have a sense that God is turning a new page for us
- He is using many ways of communicating this to us, some of them quite unusual
- God loves our new initiatives, but when he does something new, it is altogether different.
- We will look at some principles from Joshua 1
2. It requires fresh faith
- Joshua is going to have to start this new era by doing a miracle
- Our God is fundamentally a supernatural God. If we are going to work with him we have to be part of this
- God says Behold I have given you Jericho but they have not taken the city yet!
- Our training programs often focus on providing information, but it is more important to provide a call to faith
- We are called to faith exploits. God wants us to get to know him and to put on show how trustworthy he is.
- Cross the Jordan! Come on a journey of faith! Challenge your people to faith so they have stories of what God has done!
- (At this point he told some stories of people in his church.)
I am at the Brighton Leadership Conference right now and will try and post a report of each session as soon as it has happened. So far we have had sessions from Stephen van Rhyn, Rob Rufus and Terry Virgo. All three of them were excellent and as soon as I can get time on an internet connection I will upload the reports.
Today I preached on Psalm 90
At first sight this seems like a very depressing Psalm:
- Yes, we are consumed by your anger,
and by your wrath we are terrified.
Not very encouraging. Let's see how it continues...
- You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
...But it gets worse:
- All our days pass away under your wrath,
we finish our years with a moan.
- The length of our days is seventy years
or if we have strength, eighty;
yet their best is but trouble and oppression;
for they quickly pass and we fly away.