Tag: anointing

NEXT STEP: ministry team

Recently, I was sharing with a trusted friend about how God seems to always show up whenever I share my story. To elaborate a little on this, what seems to always happen is: when I testify about God, He shows up and confirms my testimony about Him. So, my friend simply said to me, “Well, that’s what you need to be pressing into.” At first what came to mind was that I needed to start pressing into my network and seeing where and when I could find more opportunities to share my God story. But now, I’m sensing that to really “press into this” means also forming a ministry team to accompany me when I speak, in order to maximize transformation.

Let me explain, God moves in very supernatural ways in my life and every time I’ve been given the opportunity to share about this, He shows up in supernatural ways to confirm my testimony. I often hear from people that when they hear my God story, it stirs in them hope, faith and a longing to draw near to God. What comes to mind is the woman who had an issue of blood, “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed'” (Matt 9:20-22). To many people, when they hear my testimony God’s grace, love, mercy and power becomes tangible enough for them to reach out and touch. So what ends up happening is people get saved and healed. God’s kingdom breaks through into people’s hearts and lives bringing eternally lasting transformation.

What this means for the 420 Prayer Movement is that people who are actively moving in the “phanerosis” (manifestation) gifts of the Holy Spirit of 1 Corinthians 12:8-10: message of wisdom, message of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning spirits, tongues and interpretation need to be part of this ministry team. I understand that this may be limiting, but my heart on this is about “pressing into” how God moves when I share my testimony. I also believe that the 420 Prayer Movement ministry team can also help equip and empower existing ministry teams at the various locations that God calls us. This way, the 420 Prayer Movement ministry team can encourage and build up the whole Body of Christ.

So, please be in prayer that God would form this ministry team, that He would draw together those He desires to be a part of this team. God has been continually reminding me that this is His work and ministry in which He has entrusted to me. So, I want to be as faithful a steward as I can. As Jesus told His disciples when He sent them out to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt 10:8 NIV). I’ve taken this to heart and believe that the supernatural ministry of the 420 Prayer Movement ministry team must always be held as a gift that is freely given away. Thanks & Peace, Gerry Ching.

What does it mean to be a prophetic voice today?

” ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ What goes through your mind when you read Peter quoting Joel in Acts 2:17-21?  Two questions should come to mind: 1) Are these the last days? And 2) Has God poured His Spirit on all people? More specifically, has He poured out His Spirit on this generation? Now, if you believe that God has poured out His Spirit on all peoples and believe that this generation is included in this pouring, than you should then also believe that we are living in the last days where all peoples will have the potential to be a prophetic voice to the world for the Kingdom of God.

If you spend anytime on the Internet than you know that there are so many people out there who have something to say. Whenever I go to “You Tube” I get bombarded by video after video of people speaking up and speaking out about anything and everything. Blogging is also gaining even greater popularity. Not to mention Twitter and Facebook which are the king and queen of social networking. People in this generation have a lot to say. Now, to be honest a lot of what’s out there is just people seeking to be funny or inventive or shocking, but there are those who are genuinely sharing the passions and convictions that they hold in their hearts. If I take a step back and take a broad view of what’s going on, what all this says to me is that there are so many people out there who are or have the potential to be a prophetic voice for this generation. But, in order to be a prophetic voice to the world our focus needs to begin to change from being on ourselves to towards the world around you. This means, taking the time in discerning the times that we live in.

If we look to the Old Testament, there are two references that point to the importance of seeking those out who had insight into the times. In 1 Chronicles 12:32 we read that among those listed to join David’s army after he became King over all of Israel were 200 men of Issachar, “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” We also read in Esther 1:13 that King Xerxes consulted with “experts of the law and justice, and he spoke with the wise men who understood the times” before making important decisions. In both examples, we see the value set on those who understood the times and how kings sought them out for counsel. Though it’s not directly stated, we can safely assume that the men of Issachar were a key component of those whom David sought counsel from.

In the New Testament, we see that Jesus also addressed the importance of discerning the times when He accused the Pharisees of not being able to interpret the signs of the times. In Matthew 16:1-4, we read that “the Pharisees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.” But, Jesus said to them, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away. We all need to hear and receive this same rebuke that Jesus gave the Pharisees and Sadducees and begin to “interpret the sign of our times.”

Have you ever really sat down and taken a closer look at the times that we live in? As I spent some time really thinking and praying about the times that we live in, these are some observations that has God impressed upon me. We live in a time where there is the decline of the Church and the rise of humanism. We live in a time where there is the rise of a pornographic culture and the decline of the family. We live in a time where there is the rise of tolerance, but the decline of a genuine love. We live in a time where there is the rise of greater avenues of communication, but the decline of real connectedness between people. We live in a time where there is the rise of technological advances, but the decline of personal meaning. We live in a time where there is a rise of medical advances, but also a rise of more psychological and physical dysfunction. We live in a time where there is the rise of information availability, but the decline in the ability to process information.

God gifts and anoints people unconditionally. Meaning, He blesses people with gifts and talents and then allows us to use them at our discretion. This is seen throughout the Old Testament, Samson the judge or King Jeroboam I are good examples of this. They were both called and anointed by God (His Spirit was upon both judges and kings), but they used their gifting and authority abusively and selfishly. Fast forward to today, we also see this sort of abuse going on all over the Church at large. (I will refrain from naming any names here). So, the question may not be about having the ability to be a prophetic voice to this generation. But, more so about how well are you being a steward of God’s anointing on your life in being a prophetic voice to this generation?

preaching within the anointing (revised)

I just recently went to visit a church (which will remain unnamed) where I heard a sermon preached on the importance of the having a firm grip on the Bible. The preacher talked about how the Bible is our road map through life. At first, I was in agreement. Yes, we need to be listening, reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on God’s Word which combined helps us apply it to our lives. But, then the preacher said, “…and Jesus is our compass.” Why this concept of Jesus is disconcerting to me is that Jesus is not a tool that we use to give us direction, but a Person with whom we are in relationship. Sure, I get the point he wanted to make (Jesus gives us direction), but reducing Jesus to a compass? I know that Jesus Himself, referred to Himself as living bread (John 6:51), as the light of the world (John 8:12), as the door (John 10:9), as the resurrection (John 11:25), as the true vine (15:1), and  as the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). But, in today’s mindset where efficiency reigns supreme, preacher’s need to be careful that they don’t indirectly convey that Jesus is a tool at our disposal.

Afterwards, what further struck me was that there was no mention of the Holy Spirit’s role. Now, hear me on this, I believe that God desires worshippers of Spirit and Truth (John 4:23, 24). So, He has given us both a road map (the Bible = Truth) and a tour guide (the Holy Spirit = Spirit). If all that is taught is the road map, then what this indirectly teaches is that people can find their own way through understanding the Bible which is misleading. Sure, we may be able to intellectually and morally grasp some truth. But, to be transformed by God’s Word, this comes only from the ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-11). He is the One who brings conviction about sin and the need for repentance (v.9). He is the One who reveals the way of salvation through Jesus (v.10). He is the One who demonstrates Jesus’ victory over satan (v.11) because greater is the One who lives in a believer than the evil one of the world (1 John 4:4). I believe it is also the Holy Spirit who cultivates the soil of a person’s heart into the good soil that hears and accepts God’s Word, so that they bear abundant good fruit to the Father’s glory (Mark 4:20). Bottom line, the Holy Spirit is the One who makes the things of Jesus known to us (John 16:14): without Him how can we truly know Jesus?

As a preacher, I am further convinced that I need to be sharing the Gospel in a way that makes room for the Holy Spirit to move in power. There needs to be both the proclamation of the Gospel (preaching God’s Word) and the demonstration of the Gospel (releasing the anointing of the Holy Spirit). (This means of course I will need to wrestle with my own fears on this which is a topic is for another day, but it looks like I’d be in good company with Paul.) In 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Paul tells the Corinth church that he didn’t come to dazzle them with his amazing intellect, but he came to them in his brokenness. He says, “When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” What strikes my heart hardest is the last part of Paul’s plea: “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”

Paul’s words challenge me all the more to lean into God’s anointing, rather than my skills as a preacher. When I preach, am I helping people put their faith in my explanation of the Scriptures or in a direct encounter with the living God? To put it another way, am I preaching for transformation where people are opened up towards an encounter with the living God (through the proclamation of the Gospel) and where the Kingdom of God comes near to people (through the releasing of the anointing of the Holy Spirit)? I need to take to heart Paul’s words that say, “…knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes” (1 Corinthians 8:1b-3 NLT). Love is more important than knowledge. Too often, knowledge can produce arrogance and an overly inflated sense of importance, but love listens because love is a relational concept. For love to be fully realized and expressed in fullness, there must be a relationship in place. The way to truly know God and gain knowledge of Him is through loving Him. The more I live out the Christian faith, the more I am convinced that it is through an encounter with the love of the Father that changes everything. Preaching needs to be towards an encounter with the living God where people experience more of the Kingdom of God and where the Father’s love breaks through in greater measure in a person’s life. 

Jesus is pivotal in this. Jesus is the Gospel. Without Jesus, the Gospel is emptied of its purpose and power. Jesus meant it when He said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). But, we must always remember that Jesus walks with us as He shows us the Way, that Truth is a Person, Jesus, whom we can love and get to know through a relationship and that we gain Life because Jesus actually lives His life in and through us. He is more than just a compass. Jesus also made it a point to make sure we understood that He was sending us a Helper, the Holy Spirit, who is more than a spiritual force, but who is also a Person (John 14:15-31; 16:5-16). Too often, preachers forget to remind us that we are not alone in this, that we have a real live tour guide (Holy Spirit) to help us understand the road map (God’s Word), even to actively guide, lead and empower us on this journey of faith through the varying terrain and storms we will be confronted with in this life. I don’t know about you but that’s Good News.

living in the anointing

These days, I have been challenged more and more by God to be fully reliant upon Him everyday and in every way. That I am to fully embrace the reality that I live, move and have my being in Him (Acts 17:28). For me this means I need to be consciously engaging with God throughout my day. This doesn’t mean that I connect with God in the morning and then reconnect with Him before meals and then a quiet time before I go to sleep. No, the way I understand this truth is that I need to be in continual and constant contact with God all day, everyday. This may seem like a tall order, but what helps me stay connected with God is the understanding that:“Sure I could probably make it through an average day without too much of a stretch, but life to me is more than just getting through the day. A full and abundant life involves making an eternal impact in this world for Jesus. And for this to happen, I need to be seeking out the specific Kingdom impact that Jesus wants to make  for each moment of the day.” This means that I need to humbly admit that I don’t have the answers, nor the power to achieve this and that I need God to actively lead and empower me if I am to be of any use to Him.

If that’s not enough, Scripture says, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength” (1 Corinthians 1:25). How I understand this verse is that God is not interested in what we have to offer Him, He is more interested in letting us know what needs to happen and how it needs to happen. Furthermore, Paul continues on to say, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (vv. 27-29). Again, God is in the business of showing us what’s what. Not, the other way around. The last thing we should be trying to do is impress God. Remember, God is the Creator of the univese. impressing Him just won’t happen. The quicker that we admit that we need God’s direct and active guidance in our lives the greater intimacy we will have with Him and the greater impact we will make for His Kingdom here on earth.

Jesus is the good Shepherd who speaks to His sheep because they know His Voice (John 10:4). If we are not use to listening to Him speak to us, then it may take some time to recognize our Shepherd’s Voice. But, we must trust that Jesus knows us and we know Him (John 10:14). Furthermore, I believe that the only way to  consistently recognize Jesus’ Voice is through our dependency on the Holy Spirit, who loves making the things of Jesus known to us (John 16:14) which means He helps us not only know about Jesus, but also to encounter Him. Too often, good intentioned believers shy away from a more experiential (even mystical) approach to encountering Jesus because they are fearful of being deceived and led astray. Now, I can be compassionate towards them and understand where they are coming from, but this is what I have to say to them: “Trust that God is able to sovereignly keep you from being deceived as you pursue to encounter more of Jesus. Don’t you think the Father would bless your pursuit to know more of His Son? Don’t let the fear of being deceived stop you from encountering more of King Jesus in your life and having His Kingdom break in greater measure into your surroundings.”

Living in the anointing means that I am doing all I can to press into the grace that Jesus has apportioned to me (Ephesians 4:7) all day, everyday. This means I am actively seeking to hear His Voice in my life. Jesus, the Anointed One (which is the meaning of Christ),  lived His life fully in the anointing of the Holy Spirit while He walked the earth. Believers today can do no less. We must seek to live in the anointing of the Holy Spirit on each of our lives. I am more and more convinced that what is lacking in the Body of Christ is that believers are not walking in the fullness of God’s grace for them. I believe if we were, the Church truly would be the unstoppable force that Jesus envisioned (Matthew 16:18) because every believer would be living in their God given anointing. So this is my prayer: that the Holy Spirit would impress upon every believer’s heart to consciously pursue walking in the fullness of God’s grace, that He would unshackled their hearts to receive this grace and that He would give them a hunger and thirst to seek out the righteousness of God by empowering them to claim the anointing of God on their lives. In Jesus Name, Amen.

character and anointing

God gave me a vision in the International House of Prayer’s prayer room (12/29/09) of my whole body engulfed in flames. There have been numerous times that people have prophesied over me that I will bring light into dark places. I’ve always interpreted this as meaning I would carry the light of the Gospel. After the vision, God said to me that I will literally be this light because my very life embodies the Gospel. I have been tranformed by God’s Word and Spirit and the fire of the Gospel continues to grow within me. But, I need to be continually fanning this flame of His Word and Spirit by stoking the fires within through love and obedience. God has anointed my life with a fierce and fiery love which demands intimacy with God. He has poured out His unconditional love upon me and He desires my unconditional love for Him in return. God will settle for no less and neither should I. This will take consistent sacrifice and faithful commitment to being about the Father’s will. Just like Jesus, I need to be doing the things of heaven, the things that He saw the Father doing (John 5:19) here on earth and proclaiming that the Kingdom of God is here!

I love this next passage of Scripture where Jesus further expands on the oneness of Him and the Father to Philip: “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves (John 14:6-11)

God has been working on my character since the first day He saved me, so that I can bear the weight of His anointing on my life. For awhile I struggled with feeling like I’ve disqualified myself and that maybe God had taken His anointing from me because it has been such a rocky road of sanctification and such a hard process of character building. Trust me when I say that when Jesus saved me, I was pretty much characterless. I was a drug dealer and addict who would do just about anything to satisfy my lust for drugs, money and sex. But as Jesus says, “What is impossible with men, is possible with God” (Luke 18:27). Truly, my life is a living testimony to the truth of Jesus’ words. 

So, as God has once again met me, He has reaffirmed His anointing on my life and let me know that His Hand has never left me and that He is holding back the fullness of His anointing on my life, so that He can work on my character and in many ways bring healing and restoration to my life. He has impressed upon me the great importance of first seeking His Face in intimacy and then seeking the release of His Hand of power through His anointing on my life. Heidi Baker sums this up well when she says, “Fruitfulness is born out of intimacy with God” in which I whole-heartedly agree. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it (John 14:12-14). To do what the Father is doing in Heaven demands that I be near enough to Him to actually see what He is doing. This demands an intimacy that comes only through Jesus (John 14:6).

I have been encouraged recently by Bill Johnson who says, “When promotion comes too soon the impact of our gift brings a notoriety that becomes the catalyst to our downfall” (When Heaven Invades Earth, 2003, 61). I have already experienced this in my own life because of my arrogance where I became puffed up with myself due to my lacking character. So, God gave me over to my lustful arrogant pursuits, but only to teach me lessons of submission and humilty. Bearing God’s anointing demands that a person be fully dependent on God’s strength through His Holy Spirit. Jesus modeled this perfectly with His own life. Character and anointing are intertwined. God does not want to see me fall, so as my character increases so will His anointing. Men of God disqualify themselves because they don’t have the character to bear the anointing. Or they never truly walk in the fullness of the anointing because they lived in their own strength, rather then God’s. I need to humble myself under God’s mighty hand and He will lift me up in due time (1 Peter 5:6) in His strength. Thank you Lord, for bringing greater clarity to what You have been doing in my life and for releasing my heart to love You in greater love and measure and for giving me a renewed fervor to pursue integrity. It’s all coming together as Your story in me continues…