True Worship

Let’s talk about worship for a moment. As Christians, we are raised up and taught that worship occurs on Sunday or Wednesday during the worship part of service when there’s music playing and someone leading us in worship. Or perhaps in the car with your favorite worship song. We aren’t taught how to worship the Lord with our hearts. We were taught to follow a program, but a program isn’t what Jesus said He was looking for.

Jesus said that the day would come when the true worshipers would worship in spirit and in truth. There is no program to worshiping in spirit and truth. This kind of worship is intimate, personal, and radically different than singing some worship songs that give you goose bumps. This kind of worship can’t be led by a worship leader.

Wait. What’s wrong with worshiping to music? Absolutely nothing. In fact, music serves its purpose in many areas of worship. It’s just that true worship isn’t activated by music. It isn’t activated by someone else. It’s activated by your deep desire for the presence and glory of the Lord. Music can compliment and even open dimensions of Heaven, but true worship begins not with a note played but with the condition of the heart.

So let’s talk about the condition of your heart. The condition of your heart is determined by your desire for the Lord. If there is anything you desire more than Him, then the condition of your heart can be tarnished. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t fighting a stronghold. It means that even in the midst of your stronghold, you desire the Lord more than the stronghold and you are willing to keep fighting until you are free from that which is keeping you from a deeper relationship with Father. This is the kind of desire that is found in deep, unconditional, childlike love. In the midst of whatever you’re facing, are you pursuing God first or are you pursuing an answer, an object, a circumstance, a person, or anything else other than God? If you are, then you are operating in idolatry, and you need to do a heart check. A pure heart doesn’t pursue anything more than it pursues God.

How do you worship, I mean really worship? Well, think about who God is to you and what He has done for you. Begin to express that out loud. Keep doing it. Don’t stop. This causes your mind to begin to focus on God. It won’t be long before your heart will follow suit. As you do this, there comes a time when your mind, heart, and spirit begin to worship in unison. That’s the beginning of worshiping in spirit and in truth.

Perhaps as you’re reading this, you’re thinking something like, “I can’t do that! Someone will hear me! They’ll think I’m crazy or a fanatic!” That thought process is a whole other issue that we will deal with in a different post. For now, until you become comfortable worshiping out loud, do this in your private prayer time. If you don’t have a daily private prayer time, you need to make this a priority habit. More on the importance of daily personal prayer time on another post.

For now, focus on building a relationship with Father through honest, true worship. Think of it like this: you have a relationship with God, and you need to cultivate that relationship. Relationship experts relate how all good relationships have a mutual positive exchange. The parties spend time together and offer affirmations to each other. This helps build trust and intimacy in the relationship. Well, the same God who designed relationships to work this way is after the same relationship with you.

Worship is that time you spend with God speaking out affirmations of who He is and what He has done for you. The more you enter this kind of worship, the more you begin to trust Him. True worship leads you to a place of intimacy with Father that you won’t get in any other way.

I’ll do a follow up post, but for now, begin to practice worshiping. No one can really teach you how to do this. It’s something you have to learn to do. Practice this. Yeah, it may be uncomfortable at first, but soon, you’ll find that you are stepping into it and there’s nothing like it.

Stop the Battle

We have been so trained throughout church history to fight battles ourselves. Father never intended for you to fight any battle yourself. He intended that you have the authority to stop the battle in its tracks. No fighting on your part. No striving or strategizing on your part.

Did your mind immediately go to the verses that tell you to put on your armor? Why would you need armor if you’re not in a battle? I didn’t say you’re not in a battle; I said it’s Father’s desire that you stop the battle in its tracks. Look at Ephesians 6:11-13 (NKJV).

 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

In putting on the whole armor of God, you are to STAND. In standing, you resist the devil and he flees (James 4:7). You use your armor to quench the fiery darts of the enemy – the lies, the trials, the temptations. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God cause the enemy to flee. Hold fast to these, and you will stop the battle in its tracks.

As a son of God, you have the authority to command the enemy. You are God’s son and the devil’s master. When you speak the truth of God’s word and will, Heaven agrees and Hell obeys. You’ve been so busy running from and fighting the devil that you haven’t thought about commanding him.

Take a look at Matthew 10:7-8 (NKJV).

7  And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Do you see verse 8? Show me where it says we are to fight. It’s not there, because it was never intended for you to fight. It was intended for you to take your rightful place in the Kingdom and command with the authority Jesus gave you. When you speak with the authority of Jesus, the sick are healed, the diseased are cured, the dead live, and the demons leave. It’s not a battle; it’s an overthrow.

Back to the armor for a moment. Satan knows if you ever step into your true position as God’s son and learn to exercise the true authority Jesus has given you, he won’t be able to do anything. He sets out to stop you before you figure it out, and if you do begin to figure it out, he will set out to try to change your mind about it. Your armor – the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit – allows you to recognize and stand firm against his attacks.

Now, if you stand in your position and authority with your armor on, with Jesus by your side, you will never actually fight the battle. Rather, you’ll command according to the authority Jesus gave you and stop the battle in its tracks. No, it won’t stop Satan from trying, but it will stop the battle in its tracks.

Now, let me address for just a moment the one thing that gives Satan the LEGAL right to attack – sin. Paul said in Hebrews 12:1 that sin can easily ensnare us. Sin is agreement with the dark kingdom, and when you are in agreement with anything of the dark kingdom, you give Satan legal right to operate in your life. So, when you are standing and and feeling like you’re being beaten down, ask the Lord what has given legal right to the enemy. The moment He shows you, be quick to agree with the charge and to repent for it. Then apply the blood of Jesus to it and give thanks for God’s forgiveness and mercy. Then get back to your standing.

Beloved, Father gave you the right of a son in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus, who has been given all authority in Heaven and Earth, has delegated authority to you, making you an ambassador of the Kingdom of Heaven. Satan, who was defeated by the One with all authority, must bow to the command of an ambassador who speaks in the name of Jesus. Don’t fight the battle; stop the battle in its tracks.

Prophetic Word 2016

Welcome to 2016. This year has been called a year of victory, of restoration, of breakthrough, of hope.

While in prayer, I saw many great battles taking place. In the end, it was the children of God – the ones who didn’t give up, the ones who persevered, the ones who were willing to stand and fight – who let out the victory cries. The Lord is your victory, but you will have to stand your ground and not give in or give up. I heard the Lord say, “I know the battle has been long, and I have seen you stand in the face of everything that has come against you. I know that you are weary, but stand firm, for the victory will be yours.”

This year, we can expect many things to shift and change. For many, this year will bring forth victory in areas where they have been fighting for restoration, breakthrough, and hope. For some, the victories will be life-altering. For others, they will be faith building. Don’t give up, don’t give in. Stand firm, because this is a year for hope, for restoration, for breakthrough, and for victory!

Word of Faith, Work of Faith

Do you know the difference between word of faith and work of faith? I’m sure you’re thinking, “Duh!!” because it’s so simple. The word of faith is spoken based on faith, while the work of faith is action based on faith. Words of faith are necessary.

We need to speak words of faith, because they remind us of the truth of God’s word. These are the encouraging words that lift spirits and have the potential to pierce the lies of the enemy. When you speak a word of faith, you open the door to destiny.

Faith is the evidence of things hoped for. If faith is the evidence, speaking the words of faith is declaring that sufficient evidence exists to sustain the hope. In every situation, look at the truth of God’s word concerning it and speak the words of faith. Keep on speaking the words of faith until the light of hope is once again rekindled. When the desire (hope) is paired with sufficient evidence (faith) it will begin to ignite passion, and passion leads to works of faith.

Now, works of faith are an interesting and crucial thing. You see, you can do works without faith, and those works are of your own doing. You can do works of faith, and those works are infused with the passion and revelation of God.

How do you know the difference? When works are of faith, the will come from a revelation, vision, or inspiration of Holy Spirit. They won’t be a burden. You won’t feel like you’re striving. Striving is not a Kingdom principle; God never called you to strive for anything. He called you to do the work of the Kingdom in joy and faith. If you don’t have faith for what you’re doing and the joy in it is missing, you probably aren’t doing a work of faith.

Works of faith are also backed by revelation. Faith is the evidence of hope, and works of faith are the evidence of vision and revelation. Listen carefully: if God did not give you the vision and revelation for the work, doing it is not doing a work of faith. It’s striving to do something for the Kingdom rather than finding out what you’re supposed to be doing and working on that. Yes, God will bless the works of your hands if it’s for the Kingdom, but when it’s the work God has for you, not only will you have peace and joy in doing it but you will see an exponential increase in the fruit of your labor.

When you feel like you’re striving, check your work against your revelation. When your spoken words aren’t producing, check your words against the truth of God. Words of faith are the truth of God spoken out over any situation or circumstance, the sufficient evidence of the hope in you. Works of faith are carrying out of the revelations and visions of the Lord, the fulfillment of the work to which He has called you. Both bring peace and joy. Both produce good fruit that advances the Kingdom of God.

Sonship

Above all else, you are a son of God. Your gender is irrelevant; both daughters and sons are wrapped up in sonship. Your identity as a son of God began the moment you said “yes” to Jesus. In that moment, your spiritual DNA was marked by the DNA of Jehovah, making you forever a son of God. Nothing can ever change that, either, just as nothing can ever change the DNA you carry from your birth parents.

As a son of God, you are afforded privileges of a son. These privileges include such things as a guaranteed place in Heaven, all the provision and resources of Heaven at your disposal, and the inheritance of a son. You are given a direct line of communication with Father – something no one outside the family is given. You are given attendants who guard over you and minister to you as you go. You are given a delegated authority to rule and reign in the earth. You have an inheritance only given to the sons of God.

You have all the privileges of being a son, but you are also expected to live as a son – in obedience to your Father. Father never asks you to do something that will hurt you. The principles, laws, and boundaries He sets up are for your protection and growth. Never – I mean not ever – does God ever set out to harm you, nor does He accomplish doing so. He does, however, discipline His children. His discipline, though, is peaceable; it doesn’t harm but corrects and causes growth. Because He loves you and expects you to obey Him, when you decide to do your own thing, He allows you to suffer the consequences of your choice. He doesn’t put it on you; He allows you to experience the natural consequence of your disobedience.

The only thing you did to affect your sonship was to say “yes” to Jesus. Beyond that, no amount of good works, good words, good thoughts, or anything else you could do has any affect on your sonship. It cannot be stripped from you. You cannot walk away from it any more than you can walk away from the DNA of your biological parents. Your sonship simply is, and you can do nothing to earn it.

The enemy would have you believe that you must constantly work to maintain your sonship, but the love of God and your connection to Him as His son is not affected by anything you do. The enemy would have you believe that you must somehow become worthy of Father’s love and so must somehow earn sonship, but God says otherwise. God loves you as a son because He made you, not because you can or can’t, have or haven’t done anything.

Stand up, lift up your head, and remember who you are. You are the son of God, dearly loved, not because you have done anything, not because you have become anything, not even because of who you are, but because of who God is – He is your Father. You have been given all the rights and privileges of a son because He loves you. Now, begin to take on the responsibility of a son. Begin to listen and obey Father’s voice and take heed to His boundaries. In doing so, you begin to affect those around you because of who your Father is. In Christ, you can!!