INCREASING YOUR ABILITY TO WAIT ON THE LORD (Part 3)

“For John truly baptized with water but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:5).

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you” (Acts 1:8).

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).

The Christian life is not difficult. It is only difficult for those who’ve not been transformed by the empowering grace of God. And as great as being born again is, it is still not enough. Jesus left us with more than the new birth and forgiveness from our sins. Your degree of effectiveness in prayer and as a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ is severely hampered without the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.

Jesus told His disciples not to depart from Jerusalem until they had received this baptism of power (Lk. 24:49). Why would He tell them that if they could be effective without this power of the Holy Spirit?

Our churches have gotten away from prioritizing this sacred baptism.

The baptism in the Holy Spirit was an essential in the early Church. It would have been surprising to the early apostles and believers to find someone in their assemblies without it. They didn’t wait to pray and minister the baptism in the Holy Spirit to new converts.

For instance in Acts 8 Philip the evangelist was conducting a great soul winning campaign in Samaria with power and miracles. Many believed on Jesus and were born again and baptized in water, but then Peter and John came down to Samaria to minister the baptism in the Holy Spirit to the new converts (Acts 8:14-17). Half of the Church has been hoodwinked by the devil and man’s traditions thinking they can minister effectively and live a consistently victorious Christian life without the power of the Holy Spirit.

When one receives the power of the Holy Spirit he also receives his prayer language of tongues. That is the pattern in the early Church (Acts 2, 8, 10, 19). “They shall speak with new tongues” (Mk. 16:17b). Those tongues are the language of the kingdom of God. A brand new kingdom needs a brand new language.

Before Pentecost in Acts 2 there were officially no citizens of heaven. Paradise was below the earth until Jesus trans-located it to the third heaven after His resurrection and ascension. The disciples all received the power of the Holy Spirit after Jesus’ ascension. The tongues came with this power and is a personal expression of the Holy Spirit for our personal edification.

Why am I saying all this?

It is very difficult to wait on the Lord without this supernatural language called tongues. (If you’ve not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit go back to the end of Part 2 and watch the video and receive.)

Praying and singing with tongues is the greatest vehicle to get you in the Spirit. Believers who don’t pray in tongues have no longevity in prayer, no breakthroughs spiritually, and no empowerment. They live from crisis to crisis and life’s circumstances rule them.

The more you pray in other tongues the more you will walk in the Spirit and accelerate in your life and calling, especially as you get established in the Word. The more you utilize your prayer language the more fluency and diversity you will obtain in it. I’ve met many Spirit-baptized believers who are stuck in their prayer language – stuck on the same few syllables they’ve been praying for years. There’s been no advancement in their prayer life because they haven’t practiced praying at length in other tongues.

There is a higher walk and a higher path all saints are called to – a path that transitions you from the carnal mind to the mind of the Spirit. With every hour you give the Lord, especially in praying in other tongues and worship He will begin moving you there.

Praying in tongues and worship will increase our ability to wait on the Lord.

THE LOST ART OF WAITING ON THE LORD (Part 2)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths” (Pr. 3:5-6).

Everything, absolutely all the will of God is locked up in this verse. Everyone wants the last part of that verse – “He shall direct your paths” but they don’t know how to fulfill their part.

The Bible reveals the general will and plan of God, but the specifics of our lives must be personally received from the Lord by taking the time to wait on Him.

“Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary , they shall walk and not faint” (Isa. 40:31).

What does it mean to wait on the Lord? Somebody once said that it means to just remain stationary doing nothing until God visits you like He did the 120 disciples in the upper room. I cannot really agree with that. First of all, the 120 were not just sitting quietly doing nothing. They were in prayer and supplication (Acts 1:14).

How did they pray? After witnessing the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ and receiving His instructions to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit, Luke’s account gives us insight into how they prayed.

“And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God” (Lk. 24:52-53).

Most of their prayer time was taken up in praising and blessing the Lord. That is a big part of what we do when we wait on the Lord. We minister to Him. That is when His plans begin to come into your heart and you will usually receive direction.

“As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said…”(Acts 13:2).

To minister to the Lord means to focus your powers of concentration on just loving and praising and worshipping Jesus. Saul (Paul) and these other ministers also added fasting to their time of ministering to the Lord for the purpose of seeking God in a more concentrated way.

The challenge with most believers is that they don’t wait very long because they don’t feel God’s presence. They give up when they don’t get a quick breakthrough. Here is a word of encouragement for you: Don’t listen to teachings that tell you that just because you don’t feel His presence that He’s not there, or He’s not pleased, or that you’re doing something wrong. The dry process you may feel is nothing more than change you’re going through.

What makes you think that just because you don’t feel Him that He’s not receiving your worship? This has nothing to do with whether you’ve broken through or not. In fact, some of the times you feel His presence less are the times you’ve actually broken through more, because you’re dealing with things that kept you from it before. You are changing realms of operation.

For example, as you begin to wait on the Lord, you may sense very little of His Presence at first, but as you continue on in faith and in the light and knowledge you possess, you will start to pass from the natural realm into the spiritual realm. You will be lifted up into the realm of the Spirit where you are more conscious of the Lord than you are of yourself.

As you go on in your times of waiting on the Lord your spiritual senses will be sharpened, and you will begin to understand the love and desire the Lord has toward you and toward all humanity. But it is essential that you first go through a “processing” time where the desires of the flesh and distractions of the soul decrease so that your spiritual desires will increase. When this starts to happen you will experience the release of spiritual life from the Lord. He will become your delight, and ministering to Him will actually become addictive.

Let me say this another way. As you wait on the Lord to receive this impartation of spiritual life and strength that is so necessary to your overall spiritual development and well-being, there must also be a parallel crucifixion of your natural, soulish life. This is accomplished through a direct firm committal to the cross and anything you have knowledge of that is contrary to God’s will in your life. Included in this would be anything that would hinder your times of waiting on the Lord.

Let me admonish you, though, that it will be more difficult to wait on the Lord when you have not been initially baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. That is the gateway into the realm of the Spirit and the door to being able to commune with the Lord in supernatural utterances.

Personally when I wait on the Lord most of my time is spent speaking mysteries in tongues and then ministering to the Lord in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs as I sense the unction of the Spirit. As you fine tune your spirit by praying in tongues at length there will come a bubbling up from inside of you that needs to be released through speaking or singing forth supernatural inspired utterances.

Paul said that he prayed and sang with his spirit and with his understanding also (1 Cor. 14:15). This means that Paul actually interpreted what he spoke or sang. These utterances and songs are not from a song book or rehearsed, but they flow from your own heart to the Lord by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18-19) (Col. 3:16).

As you pray with your spirit in tongues at length you will eventually get to a place where you hear a word or phrase in English or whatever your native language is. As you speak that word or phrase out in faith more words will come by the spirit of prophecy. The words will usually be a scripture or a particular theme or thread from the word of God.

As you develop your spirit in these things you will come to a place where you will get in the Spirit quicker, and you will begin to see and know things supernaturally. Oh, you will be quickened and renewed with the life and strength of the Lord, your peace will be great, and your joy shall be full.

Until next time, be blessed and enriched with the life of the Lord, beloved.

(If you have not yet received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, below is a video of my good friend Joel Crumpton giving excellent instructions on how to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit).

(We also plan on conducting a school of the Spirit via video real soon to help believers enter more fully into this wonderful life in the Spirit).

 

THE LOST ART OF WAITING ON THE LORD

“You’d be appalled if I were to show you how few ministries worldwide are on the path of life.” (Holy Spirit inspired utterance)

This statement floored me. It shook me to the core. It put the fear of God in me because it left me to ask, “Am I among those few, or am I on the outside looking in? Am I on the path of life?”

The path of life does not refer to being born again or baptized in the Holy Spirit. It has more to do with this statement: “Unless the LORD builds the house,
they labor in vain who build it” (Ps 127:1). Is what I’m doing in life and ministry at the direction of the Lord?

Any labor not in line with the Lord’s direction in ministry is vain or futile. Any plan, agenda, or will apart from the Father’s will is wood, hay, and stubble. It won’t survive the Judgment Seat (1 Cor. 3:12-15).

Jesus is the pattern Son. His life and ministry are the perfect example for all of us to follow. While it is good and profitable to have earthly mentors in our lives, let us not forget that Jesus is our primary mentor. He is the Head of the Church and is to be the Lord of our lives.

Here is how Jesus lived His life: “Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner’ ” (Jn. 5:19).

Our problem has been that we don’t really believe this. I mean, we believe that Jesus lived this way, but we don’t believe we can live this way. Without Him we can’t, but let me submit to you that is exactly the main reason He sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

Jesus knew we could not do it on our own. So why do we even try? Again, isn’t it because we don’t believe we can have the same relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit as Jesus did? But think logically now; would Jesus give us any less than He had to do get the job done?

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth” (Jn. 14:16-17).

The Greek word for “another” is allos, which means “One besides Me and in addition to Me but One just like Me.” And here is the part I love seen in the margin of my Bible. “He will do in My absence what I would do if I were physically present with you.” In other words, the Holy Spirit’s coming assures continuity with what Jesus did and taught.

Do we really believe that? And if so, why do we see so little of the Spirit’s operation in life and ministry today?

Honest answer: Because we don’t know the Comforter. And why don’t we know Him?

Honest answer: Because we don’t spend time cultivating communion with Him. In a word, we don’t wait on God.

Waiting on God is a lost art to this restless generation. Yet it is our greatest need.

Let us be foundational and realistic for a moment.

Without knowing the written Word of God and walking in the light of it we can never progress in our life with God. The more we get to know the voice of the Word the more we will know the voice of the Holy Spirit who inspired that Word. We can never get away from this foundational truth. People have gotten weird attempting to do so.

I encourage young ministers to build their life and ministry on the Word of God, not on the anointing or the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, the Word without the Spirit is dead, so they do run hand and hand. Without a Holy Spirit inspired ministry and His gifts young ministers will become like every other preacher – lots of talk but no demonstration and power (1 Cor. 2:4-5; 4:20).

For example, a Christian who has never been baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues is at a great disadvantage in life, and their spiritual progress will be seriously hampered. Without the baptism in the Holy Spirit much of the evangelical world will stay dry. Similarly, without the strong foundation of the Word much of the Charismatic/Pentecostal world will be too sensational and even weird. I am sometimes appalled at what passes today for the Holy Spirit in Charismatic/Pentecostal circles.

Once again, the number one problem we have in Christianity today and the reason for every failure among those who claim His Name is we don’t know Him. You know Him through His Word and His Spirit.

We are not talking about a general knowledge of Him. Of course, when we are born again we come into new life in Jesus and we know Him as our Savior. Thank God that we receive eternal life and an assurance of our salvation. But to intimately know Him will move us into another realm of the Spirit’s operation in our lives.

What have you done with the eternal life of Christ that is in you? The majority of the Christian world has sacrificed that life on the altar of their carnal mind and their own will. Many have never yielded that life within them to the Lordship of Jesus and the Spirit’s direction.

Do you understand that it was unthinkable to Jesus to attempt ministry without the direction of the Holy Spirit? Just as it is unthinkable for a man to produce a baby without a woman so it was unthinkable for Jesus to minister without the co-laboring of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus understood that He was not on the earth to do His own will but the will of the Father. He also understood that He was not here to do His own will in the Name of the Father, which is the common error of today.

The first step toward knowing God intimately is to surrender the life of Christ within you on the altar of the Father’s will. The reverse is what most Christians do. They sacrifice the life of Christ within them on the altar of their own will. They have life in their spirits but the direction of their lives comes from their own will and carnal mind resulting in works of the flesh.

This same pattern is also true in ministry today. Thus the reason the works of man are plentiful today while the true works of the Father are rare.

The word of the hour for the body of Christ is that this message would come to maturity – that believers would learn to commune with the Holy Spirit and minister to the Lord until they hear and know the mind of Christ for their lives, situations, and ministry.

This is what the Lord is putting more emphasis on for our ministry this year – to teach, train, and demonstrate to the people how to get in the Spirit, be continually filled with the Spirit, and receive the mind and counsel of the Lord.

To be continued…stay tuned.

THE WISDOM OF MAN HAS NO MARKS OF THE CROSS

The wisdom of men is popular and appeals to the flesh. The wisdom of God is hidden and must be searched out.

The wisdom of men glories in the might, power, and riches of men, but the wisdom of God glories in the Lord.

The wisdom of men often has the appearance of good and smart while the wisdom of God esteems the foolish and weak things of the world that most cannot see or discern.

Here is a description of the wisdom of God:

“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Cor. 1:26-29).

The wisdom of men is aligned with the will of man and looks pretty, and sophisticated, and smart, but in truth, it is actually more aligned with the glory of this world.

The wisdom of God is aligned with the will of God and has the marks of the cross on it – humility, brokenness, and sacrifice.

Many times the wisdom of men will even masquerade itself as a great opportunity for more influence, power, and money, but again it has no marks of the cross.

Here are three examples of men who understood the wisdom of God and refused such good and glamorous opportunities in order to obey God.

1. Many years ago Dr. Billy Graham was offered 6 million dollars by someone to build a university. He rejected the offer because it would have interfered with his evangelistic calling. Sadly, most ministers today would not have refused it. Dr. Graham loved souls more than mammon, and obedience to God was most important.

2. Mr. J.R. and Carmen Goodwin, affectionately known as Dad and Mom Goodwin, pastors of an Assembly of God church in Pasadena, Texas in the 1950s and 60s, were offered television time to widen the influence of their prolific and supernatural ministry. They prayed about it and the Lord let them know that this was not His will for them.

Most ministers today wouldn’t even pray about such an opportunity but would automatically assume that it was a promotion from the Lord. After all, how could such an opportunity to reach many more people not be from the Lord?

The Lord’s ways are not man’s ways. The Lord’s wisdom is not man’s wisdom.

3. Then there’s the late Kenneth E. Hagin’s reluctance to build a Bible college, even though the Lord directed him to do it. He begged God to let someone younger than him do it to no avail.

He never wanted to be a prophet. He never wanted a big ministry. For a man that is widely known for teaching faith, prosperity and healing, few know of the spiritual stature and maturity of this general of faith. Unlike multitudes of ministers today he never wanted the limelight. Here is a direct quote from him that has blessed my life:

“I could care less if God used me. I wish He’d take me off the platform. I’d be perfectly happy in a prayer room never being seen or heard. If you want to be seen or heard you shouldn’t be on any platform. The people don’t need to see and hear you, but Jesus anyway.”

How refreshing are these statements in a day when so many are insatiably covetous for more power, more influence, and more money, and are always endeavoring to climb higher in ministry. We need reluctant ministers, in a sense, who are still willing and obedient to the Lord, but have been stripped of selfish ambition.

Jesus was taken up high by the devil who offered Him all the kingdoms of this world and all its glory if He would only worship him (Lk. 4:5-7). Jesus refused it and so will all those who truly love the Lord and bear the marks of the cross in their lives.

Oh people of God, resist those men who have no marks of the cross in their lives and preaching. Resist those voices that are diabolically aligned with the spirit of this world. Beware of men who constantly strive for higher positions, bigger and better possessions; the finer things of this life, more and more success and popularity. Flee from them!

If we all did this we could shut down every huckster and charlatan ministry in America overnight. The landscape of Christianity would be cleansed.

Instead find that preacher whom the devil has taken to the top of the mountain and offered him all the things of this world – and he turned it all down. Find that man and listen to him. Or better yet, be that one.

May God give us such men of no compromise in this hour who are not only known in heaven but in hell as well (Acts 19:15).

The world is waiting for them.

THE GOSPEL OF “ME” AND THE CURSE OF TRUSTING IN MAN

The first order of life for every minister and saint is to put your trust in the Lord – to keep your eyes on Jesus. That’s easy to say, easy to agree with, but so many fail to see the importance of such a simple statement and the transformation it can bring to our lives.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord” (Jer. 17:7).

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man” (Jer. 17:5).

Modern Christians do not understand the distance of contrast between those statements. “God helps those who help themselves” is about the only verse many can quote concerning this theme. Oh, wait a minute, that’s not a Bible verse, is it?

American Christianity is infamous for what it has been able to do without God. We know how to make money and raise money; we’re slick with our sales and know how to promote our product or service; we know how to market our churches and ministries and on and on it goes.

We are experts on almost everything, or at least we think and act like we are. We boast in our accomplishments. We love to talk about things we know, experiences we’ve had, our own status, important places we’ve been to, and important people we know.

Many are not happy unless they are talking about themselves, seeking for others to recognize them, acknowledge them, and be impressed with them. We are always trying to project and maintain a positive image of ourselves and hide that which we don’t want people to see about us. When that positive image is threatened or challenged we are so quick to defend ourselves – always careful to put ourselves in the best possible light.

Why is looking good and impressing others so important to us? If we can identify and extract that root of pride we will have won a major victory and increase our chances 100-fold of staying on the path of life.

The world and so much of our American culture breed self-centeredness into us. We glory in ourselves. We worship man. Image is far too important to us. That is why God has chosen to reveal Himself through foolish things, the weak things, the base things, and the things that are despised. If He didn’t, we would glory in our flesh (1 Cor. 1:26-29). There’s a reason Jesus was born in a stable where animals are and not in a palace. There’s a reason he was raised in the despised town of Nazareth. There’s a reason he chose unlearned and uneducated men to train and commission.

Jesus said, “He who speaks from Himself seeks His own glory…” (Jn. 7:18a).

Another way to say that would be, “he who speaks from himself glories in man and trusts in man”.

The wisdom of man dominates our thinking. We think being smart is the wisdom of God. The American way and the American gospel has taught us that. But ‘smart’ is often in conflict with the true wisdom of God. ‘Smart’ may even be ugly, sensual, and devilish because it can be so man-centered. The wisdom from above is not self-seeking (Jam. 3:14, 16).

Let me simplify this even more for you. The beginning of the wisdom of God is when you fear the Lord and are not wise in your own conceits (Pr. 1:7, 3:7). Paul was a very learned man but put no confidence in his own flesh or ‘smarts’. The fear of the Lord produces that in a person and is manifested when your eyes are fixed on Him and you put your total trust in Him. That is how you get saved and that is how you are to live. That is so easy to lose sight of. That is so easy to forget.

What troubles and heavy burdens would be released from us if we would simply learn to keep our eyes on Jesus. Much of this has to do with our projections and pretenses – projecting a positive image, pretending to be someone we’re not, and always seeking to impress.

The wisdom of God affects how we relate to man. Most people, even Christians, govern their fellowship with man based on what they can get from them, not what they can give. Here’s a great truth: Eyes on man binds things up; eyes on the Lord looses things in people’s hearts and lives, and in our times of assembling with other believers.

Yes, as the body of Christ we do receive from one another, but our faith and trust is in the Head of the body, Jesus. You don’t put pressure on people or manipulate them to meet your needs. You don’t position yourself to receive some favor from them. You don’t even do that with your spouse. This especially happens in ministry all the time.

When I was younger I’d go to conferences and catch myself trying to get close to someone influential or of financial means in hopes they would help me, support me as a missionary, or promote my ministry in some way. I’d see others exchange their business/ministry cards and play the ole game of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. When the Lord would let me see what I was doing it was all so ugly to me. These things are all a manifestation of putting our trust in man.

Through the years I’ve swung in the other direction of making it hard for man to help me or promote me, not mentioning or even subtly hinting of my personal needs to anyone unless asked, and just being content with a hidden life in God.

Oh, what peace comes when your motive is no longer to be seen or heard – when you just don’t care about whether men recognize you, promote you, or favor you – when all you care about is being known by God and walking in obedience to Him. Oh, how I wish I had learned that lesson better, earlier! But God is gracious, patient, and long-suffering with each of us, isn’t He? That’s why I love Him so much.

Something very simple as not placing your total trust in the Lord is the reason for so much of the strife, division, and competition in the body of Christ and among ministry peers. That’s why in some cities there are churches on every street corner. It is also the reason your mind has no rest or peace. It is all because men seek their own and not the things which are Jesus Christ’s (Phil. 2:21). They’ve got their eyes on man, and on themselves.

Have you ever asked yourself this question: Why do most people desire to minister in their gifts above their personal relationship with God?

Why do people esteem talent above character? Isn’t it because they desire an honored reputation above relationship? Isn’t the root of this a desire to be seen by men and honored by men rather than a private life with God as Jesus first taught (Mat. 6)?

These things are all a by-product of the “gospel of me” heard in the West and our self-centered culture. It is rooted in trusting in man. It is a departure from the Lord and making flesh our strength.

Read Jer. 17:5-8 very slowly and allow the peace of God that comes from His wisdom to fill your heart and mind today.

To be continued…

THE SUPERLATIVE VALUE OF OUR PRIVATE USE OF TONGUES

At the end of 2001 I was in a dry place spiritually. It was an unfamiliar place to me and one I was not used to. I got desperate and decided to set time aside in the New Year to seek the Lord.

In the early part of January 2002 I began praying in other tongues at length. I have always made a private practice of praying in tongues quite regularly, but during this period of time I indulged in it on a daily basis. After praying for about 2 ½ months this way I then added some extended fasting for several more weeks.

Before this extended time of prayer and seeking God I had become quite frustrated with my life and ministry and a lack of certain results. At this juncture in my life I was teaching students and training young ministers on an international platform in a Stateside school of revival. I was doing everything I’ve always dreamed of doing. I was teaching and preaching, traveling both nationally and internationally, mentoring young students, and even found time to do some writing. My family and I were as comfortable as we’d ever been. Our finances were better than they ever were. We were in good health. We enjoyed great friendships. I had every reason to be happy and satisfied, but somehow I was not.

In my heart I was not fulfilled. There was an internal struggle. I did not have peace. I was not walking in my authority as a minister. Somehow and somewhere I was knocked out of that position of authority and it was affecting every area of my life.

Even the mentoring times with students that I so looked forward to were no longer enjoyable. After these mentoring times I would walk away emotionally and spiritually drained. I was hearing a distinct call in my spirit, “Be with Me.” And so at the direction of the Lord I made a determination at the end of 2001 to put a halt to my mentoring groups, stop all extracurricular activities, limit my travels, and deepen my fellowship with the Lord.

When I first started praying in the spirit I kept having this impression of a glass ceiling over my head. On the other side of this glass ceiling was the glory, the power, the favor, the increase, and the anointing I was seeking.

While I was gazing intently at the ceiling, however, God began to deal with me about the floor, my foundation. Here are some of the first words of wisdom I heard from the Lord:

“Take away ‘ministry’ over the last 17 years and what do you have? Your character has not been sufficiently dealt the death blows that it will take to properly develop it to where I can impart to you the mind of Christ. You need more mortification to receive the mind of Christ.”

After hearing this word is when I made the decision to add fasting to my time of seeking the Lord. After all, when combined with the Word of God, fasting is the quickest route to mortification and character transformation.

To tell you the truth, I thought my foundation was just fine. I had been in the full time preaching ministry for about 15 years. I had been a faithful missionary. I had seen God work healings and miracles through my life. I had ministered to thousands of people in evangelistic crusades and Bible school settings and made some faithful disciples along the way. Why was the Lord directing my attention to the floor and to my foundation? The ceiling is where I wanted to go. That is what I was thinking and praying about. If I had not been in a position of humility through prayer and fasting, I would’ve missed it again. Thank God for His patience and long-suffering.

After several more weeks of seeking the Lord and praying, especially in other tongues, revelation began to open up to me concerning my life and ministry. It was as if the Holy Spirit was now helping me to interpret the many mysteries I had been praying out for months. For several weeks I heard beautiful words. I wrote them down and later published them in a book, The Journal Of A Journey To His Holiness (found here on this website [www.holy-fire.org]) or on Amazon. God gave me a blueprint of His more perfect will for my life and ministry. He spoke to my character and He spoke to my calling.

TONGUES ORGANIZES AND ORDERS YOU LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

1 Cor. 14:4 says, “He who speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself “. An old Webster’s dictionary from the 1800’s defines one meaning of “edify” is to organize and order. When I began to pray in other tongues at length I was organizing and ordering my life in the Spirit while edifying myself. I was accessing certain mysteries of my life and calling, and God put me on the fast track because of the time spent praying forth those mysteries. My understanding, however, was unfruitful until the interpretation of it came weeks later. Wise ministers and saints will build their ministries this way.

There is an organization and an order in the Spirit that come as a result of the leading and direction of the Lord that you receive through prayer especially praying in other tongues.

The apostle Paul also penned these words: “I thank my God I speak in tongues more than you all; yet in the church…” (1 Cor 14:18-19a)

As the principle writer of the New Testament, Paul’s private use of speaking in tongues was his key to revelation knowledge and to his understanding of the mysteries of God. The same applies today. Time spent praying in other tongues will give you the needed wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of God’s more perfect plan for my life.

Praying in tongues is both a purifying fire and a devouring fire. As you pray in other tongues the fire of God will devour your works of wood, hay, and stubble while at the same time purifying your works of gold, silver, and precious stones. This will save your works at the judgment seat of Christ and cause you to enter into a sure reward.

How does this happen? It happens through the interpretation processes of revelation and precise instruction from the Holy Spirit. The Bible says that we should pray to interpret our heavenly language of tongues (1 Cor. 14:13). The key is to locate the channel by which the Holy Spirit speaks.

LOCATING THE CHANNEL THROUGH WHICH GOD SPEAKS

Most Christians have a difficult time distinguishing their spirit from their intellect. Your conscience is the voice of your spirit. The Holy Spirit is more closely associated with your conscience than your intellect. As you pray in tongues you are praying from the channel of your conscience through which the Holy Spirit speaks.

Our problem is that we are more accustomed to looking for God’s voice in our intellect. Our intellect is generally an unsafe guide because it is usually clouded with a mixture of the world’s thinking where much of our decision-making is based on our best interests. Most Christians have a difficult time hearing from God because their soul, which comprises of their intellect, is clouded with self, mingled with the world, and yet has some Word in it.

Praying in other tongues will broaden the channel by which God speaks. In my case I prayed so much in other tongues that eventually those tongues seemed to turn to English at times, and the Lord began to give me revelation and instruction concerning my life and ministry.

Praying in tongues also aligns your heart with the motives of Jesus Christ especially as you spend time meditating on the life and words of Jesus in the gospels. This will strengthen your conscience. The conscience will then translate those motives into thoughts and order your soul in it through the revelation and instruction you are receiving from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s purpose is to re-align your soul with the motives of Christ so He can begin to make a real bond-slave out of you. That is real character transformation which is what the Lord is after.

It is time to double up and triple up praying in other tongues, and to get the order and organization of your life and ministry from the Spirit of God. Let Him speak to you and give you clarity.

FIRE STARTERS FOR THE NEW YEAR: GREAT QUOTES FROM REVIVALISTS

I want you to burn for Jesus in 2016. I’m praying for the Church of Jesus Christ to burn brightly this year with the fire of God.

When I was interviewed by Sid Roth many weeks ago he asked me to come up with 31 revival quotes as part of a package called “House On Fire” that his ministry would make available on the broadcast Sid Roth Interview. In case you did not get to watch the interview or purchase the package, here are the revival quotes. Every time I read these quotes I get stirred with the fire of God. I trust they will do the same for you. Be blessed!

1. “Revival is a renewed conviction of sin and repentance, followed by an intense desire to live in obedience to God.” Charles G. Finney

2. “A revival can be expected when Christians have the spirit of prayer for a revival.” Charles G. Finney

3. “The spirit of prayer and personal revival will be gained in direct proportion to your pursuit of Christ.” Bert Farias

4. “There is something there from another world. You cannot say whence it came and whither it is going, but it moves and lives and reaches for you all the time.” William T. Stead, a London newspaper editor, describing the Welch revival

5. “Revival is always a revival of holiness.” Duncan Campbell

6. “Think not that thou shalt attain the highest in God until within thine own soul a heavenly longing to be like Him Who gave His all for us possesses thine own heart.” John G. Lake

7. “Revival is when the saints return to normal, when the Holy Spirit becomes their oxygen, when a hunger to know God is the norm, when being conformed to His image is their focus, and when evangelism and discipleship become a lifestyle.” Bert Farias

8. “The way into the glory is through the flesh being torn away from the world and separated unto God.” Smith Wigglesworth

9. “If there is anything of power in my ministry today, it is because God has all the adoration of my heart, all the power of my will, and all the influence of my life.” William Booth

10. “When God brought me into a deeper experience with Him He spoke by the Spirit making me to know I had to reach the place of absolute yielded-ness and cleansing so that there would be nothing left.” Smith Wigglesworth
11. “There is going to be a great spiritual awakening in the world, and it is going to come from plain, simple people who know – not simply believe – but actually know that God answers prayer.” George Washington Carver

12. “God is going to take the do-nothings, the nobodies, the unheard of, the going to give to them this outpouring of the Spirit of God.” Tommy Hicks

13. “A burning heart will find for itself a flaming tongue.” Charles
Spurgeon

14. “Repeat in your heart often, ‘baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire, fire, fire.’” Smith Wigglesworth

15. “You never have to advertise a fire. Everyone comes running when there’s a fire. Likewise, if your church is on fire, you will not have to advertise it. The community will already know it.” Leonard Ravenhill

16. “No Christian is in a right condition, if he is not seeking in some way to bring souls to Christ.” C.H. Mackintosh

17. “If you’re not interested in the salvation of others, you’re not saved yourself. Be sure of that.” Charles Spurgeon

18. “Nothing, it seemed to me, could be put in competition with the worth of souls, and no labor, I thought, could be so sweet, and no employment so exalted, as that of holding up Christ to a dying world.” Charles G. Finney

19. “Give me one hundred preachers 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

20. “Revival is when the Holy Spirit comes and makes everything new, fresh, and alive again.” Bert Farias

21. “A true revival means nothing less than a revolution, casting out the spirit of worldliness and selfishness, and making God and His love triumph in the heart and life.” Andrew Murray

22. “I have revival everywhere I go because I live full.” Smith Wigglesworth

23. “Being full of God is the condition for God’s perfect working in your life.” F.F. Bosworth

24. “I believe that the first essential of a real Holy Ghost church and a real Holy Ghost work is to begin to surround the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the reverence due an experience so sacred and so terribly costly.” John G. Lake

25. “If you can be fascinated by anything else in the world you don’t have what God wants you to have.” Smith Wigglesworth

26. “To hunger and thirst after righteousness means that nothing fascinates us so much as being near to God.” Smith Wigglesworth

27. “A time out of Christ’s glorious presence is two deaths and two hells for me. We must meet. I am not able to do without Him.” Samuel Rutherford

28. “I have only one passion; it is He, He alone.” Nicolas L. Zinzendorf

29. “How can believers move up higher in God? They need to pray long enough in other tongues to get over into that realm of prayer where the anointing starts flowing by the unction of the Holy Ghost.” Kenneth E. Hagin

30. “The Lord told me that there is a depth of prayer that will be lost unless we who are experienced in prayer somehow get those truths over to this present generation of believers.” Kenneth E. Hagin

31. “Prayer begets revival, which begets more prayer.” Jim Cymbala

32. “All revival begins, and continues, in the prayer meeting. Some have also called prayer the ‘great fruit of revival.’ In times of revival, thousands may be found on their knees for hours, lifting up their heartfelt cries, with thanksgiving, to heaven.” Henry Blackaby

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 53,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 20 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

2016 MISSION: LET’S MAKE THE AMERICAN CHURCH GREAT AGAIN

Borrowing a slogan from Donald Trump’s campaign I want to inspire every Christ follower and preacher to do your part to make the Church great again in 2016. As Mr. Trump says concerning our nation, I say concerning the Church: “We don’t win any more! We use to be great. We use to be the leader of the world, but now we’re losing. It’s time to make the Church great again in 2016!”

It is no secret that America is no longer a Christian nation. You don’t have 57 million abortions in a Christian nation. You don’t redefine gender and legalize gay marriage in a Christian nation. You don’t favor Islam in the various sectors of our society and disdain Christianity in a Christian nation.

We are no longer a Christian nation mainly because we are no longer a vibrant Christian Church. We must bear the burden of this blame.

Just at the time when radical Islam is subtly infiltrating and forcefully invading our nation, much of the Church is floundering in passivity between light and darkness and seems to be doing her best to actually water down the gospel and purge it from our midst. What a recipe for disaster! It’s the perfect storm. In a time when the Church should be the strongest and burn the brightest we are weak and worldly.

While the Titanic is sinking we have churches and preachers more concerned with having the best party on the deck. Can you imagine Noah on top of His Titanic strutting and swinging his hips and declaring to the people below, “Your Daddy God is getting ready to bless you and favor you with riches and honor!” Such has been the denial and party mood of much of Christianity today.

Woe to the preacher who seeks fans, approval ratings, and popularity while the nation drowns in a cesspool of iniquity and a flood of immorality.

Woe to the preacher who in plague-time lives in luxury and ease when so many are expecting his help in life and death situations.

Woe to the Christian who stands by and sees sinners gasping under the pangs of death and dismisses himself without doing anything to rescue them.

No, I have not lost all hope in our nation, and more importantly in the Church. I have also not lost in preachers or my fellow Christians, because I know that there is a strong godly remnant still left in America. Can I tell you that I believe there is still time to turn the tide of evil and see revival in the Church and an awakening in the nation?

Statistics say that there are approximately 500,000 preachers in America. If we would just begin in all earnestness and sincerity to apply 2 Chr. 7:14 to our lives and lead the people God has entrusted to us in it, I am sure we would see a sudden shift in our churches and even the political mood of the nation.

Making the Church great again begins with humility, brokenness, and confession of sin. There must be a cleansing and a purity before the real power can be manifest.

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God…” (1 Pt. 4:17)

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chr. 7:14).

My friend Dr. Michael Brown recently ministered in one of India’s fasting growing churches. According to his observations from a recent article he wrote with Charisma, 7 Lessons From the World’s Fastest-Growing Congregation, one of the big keys to this church’s greatness is the emphasis they place on prayer and fasting. Brown reports:

“When they were about to embark on their building project, Pastor Satish called for 40 days of prayer and fasting, with believers fasting and joining together in corporate prayer as much as they were able to.

“The problem was that he called for this during the rainy season, a time when it is unbearably hot and unbearably wet. Yet night after night crowds of thousands gathered on the empty property to join together for hours, sitting with their umbrellas up as Satish preached in the pouring rain (without an umbrella). It made for quite a sight.

“When they came to the end of the 40-day period, he called for another 40 days of prayer and fasting, and when that ended, he called for 40 days more—so, 120 consecutive days of corporate prayer and fasting. It was then that he received the word to build the entire facility in 52 days. The building miracle and the church growth miracle are directly related to prayer and fasting.”

Additionally, Dr. Brown reports in this article several other key factors that are attributes to the quality growth and success of this church: 1) Solid preaching on vital themes of the Bible including sin and repentance; 2) Caring for the flock in many sacrificial ways; 3) Exercising supernatural faith; 4) Standing with Israel; 5) Having a strong work ethic; 6) And using media wisely to spread the gospel.

In these days of church growth fads, when leaders are looking for the latest gimmick or technique to bring in the crowds, it’s refreshing to see how these attributes are bringing supernatural and extraordinary growth to one of the great churches in India. Let us do likewise.

These attributes are practical, and simple things that flow from the heart. When the Spirit of God begins moving and breathing on humble repentant hearts then the simple things become dear and precious. The basic doctrines of Scripture become new to us. The joy of meeting together in worship, in prayer, and in the Word becomes a pure joy. Gladness and gratitude for our salvation fills our hearts, and compels us to tell others of our wonderful Savior.

When the familiar things of our faith are touched by heaven they lose their staleness and become fresh again. Here is a beautiful quote from Winkie Pratney that speaks to this:

“The things that touch us in a true revival are not strange and mysterious things made clear, but plain and simple things made central and old things made new. In revival, do not seek new things from God but seek to see God through new eyes.”

Be encouraged brother and sisters. This is the time when the Holy Spirit wants to make everything new, fresh, and alive again. If we cooperate with Him this can be our finest hour.