Category: Newsletter

November 9: Til Christ Be Formed In You

righteousness-header-e1351008913390

The Formation of Christ in our lives is a journey that everyone who accepts the salvation that Christ has to offer immediately finds themselves on.

For some that is good news; they’re up for a challenge. For many though, that journey has challenges and barriers that they believe they have to overcome before they can continue on that journey.

Another way of looking at it is to suggest that they think that they have to change things in their life, in their own strength, before they can join the journey of making changes with God and through God’s own ability in us.

 Consider it this way: Let’s say you’ve spent the whole day working in the garden,you’re sweaty, dirty and you think a little smelly. I am driving by your place on my way to the river, for a swim and a cool down. I ask you if you’ve finished your work (which you have) and ask you if you’d like to come down to the river with me and cool off.

Sound like a good idea to you?

However, instead of saying Yes! I’ll be with you in an instant. You say: “Nah! I need to go and take a bath before I could do that.”

Does there appear to be something wrong with this picture?

Well, if the truth be told, this is the way many Christians view their relationship and how they perceive themselves positionally with God.

They have the belief that after asking Jesus to be their Lord they need to spend THEIR energy and time, for the rest of their lives trying to EARN what they have been given FREELY, BY GRACE, as a FREE GIFT.

The problem is that the belief that you could ever do enough to earn the Grace of God is beyond reason. Even going to the extent of giving your life for someone else’s, as noble as that sounds, it would not be enough to pay for the Grace of God and for the FREE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS that is given to ALL who call upon his name.breastplate18g

You see the biggest confusion lies in the concept of what Righteousness actually is. Many, in the church, have taught that it is a method of behaviour. It is the conduct by which you order your life. However, it isn’t that at all. Righteousness is a STATE OF BEING. It refers to your position, with God, as a member of His Family.

I’m by no means suggesting that Christians should stop trying to do the right thing; stop being the express image of God in this world. However, if you get this concept settled deep down on the inside of you, If you can, through the renewing of your mind, by the Word of God, grab ahold of the standing that Christ has given you.

You will be empowered to do those things in God’s own strength and ability, in a way that will bless the recipients to an even greater degree because you are finally doing those things in the same way that Jesus himself did them: With an understanding of who he WAS and IS as The Son of God and YOU as a CHILD OF GOD.

I Like the way Brother Kenneth Copeland says it in his message; “The Force of Righteousness.”

He says:

“Righteousness is not Conduct. It’s not the goody goody way in which you act. It will produce Conduct. But, Righteousness is your Right-Standing with God. 

You know that you not only have a Right to Pray, you have a Right to be heard when you do pray!”

Now for some ‘religious’ folk that may be a little difficult for them to swallow. But, the truth of the matter is that by accepting Jesus’ sacrifice and by making him Lord over your life, you have become a part of him and have inherited ALL of the benefits that he is entitled to; simply by virtue of the fact that you are in his body.

cross-and-jubilent-arms-upliftedHowever, God, being the sensible and Wise Father that he is, doesn’t just hand a toddler the massive toolbox and send you on your way. He doesn’t give you access to all of that power to weild, by yourself, without being there to lead and guide you, by his Holy Spirit. In fact, as you grow, by faith, more and more into the image of God in you, you find he trusts you with more and more, as well as trusting you with more and more responsibility.

We are called to Grow Up In Christ. We are called to come to MATURITY IN HIM. Physical Age is irrelevant as far as God is concerned and just because someone who has been a member of a church congregation for 40 years, it doesn’t make them an Elder in the church. I’ve seen young people come to maturity, in Christ over an 18 month period way ahead of some who’ve been around churches all their lives.

Knowing your position in Christ; once you wake up to the truth that you have been given a whole BRAND NEW set of Spiritual clothes and are a whole new person (1Cor 5:17). Once you wake up to the truth that you are who God says you are. Then you will find that your behaviour will modify to meet that image; the you you want to be, IN HIM.

You will never see the image of Christ in your life, on the outside. Until first of all you get the image of Christ living and Alive in you on the Inside water_falland that is the work of renewing the mind, by the washing of the water of the Word of God that Paul speaks of in Romans 12:2  and then in Ephesians 5:26.

This message is one of my favourite messages to teach. Because, of a truth, it is one of the most transforming messages that any believer can hear. As I grew up I believed that as a Christian I was a failure. That I was worthless and even though I believed in and truly loved God I couldn’t understand why God would want to know me.

I pray,  that as you listen to today’s teaching, you open your heart up to receive everything that the Spirit of God has to say to you about just how precious you are to him. This one took me way off of the notes that I had prepared. But, it is truly a message from the very heart of God himself.

To download this week’s important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online.

Til Christ Be Formed In You

 

Please consider becoming a part of the blessing of this ministry and sowing your seed gift through the methods listed under our Giving menu. Your gift will enable the ministry to continue to be a blessing offering these messages freely each week.

I Pray: That God bless you and your family as he continues to provide for all of your needs through His riches, In Christ Jesus. Amen!

Praise the Lord!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: SUNDAY NOVEMBER 16

PRIDE THANKSGIVING SERVICE

SUNDAY 16 NOVEMBER

SPECIAL PRIDE EVENT

Dove Rainbow 2

Open Arms Fellowship: Perth’s ONLY GLBTIQ  Welcoming and Affirming  Pentecostal church Invites ALL GLBTIQ People; Their Families; Friends and Supporters; to this special PRIDE service.

Members and Ministers/Priests of other  GLBTIQ welcoming churches throughout Perth are welcome and encouraged to attend this Official PRIDE event.

This Service will take place at our regular venue, the North Perth Lesser Hall; 24 View St, North Perth.

This special service will be held at 3.00pm and will include Music, Prayer,   Holy Communion, a Short Message and an opportunity for fellowship afterwards over Tea and Coffee.

An offering will be taken up during the meeting to cover costs.

If it’s a while since you’ve stepped inside a church because you felt you were not welcome please take this as an opportunity to meet with people happy and willing to support and Love you for who you are. Not for something they want you to be.

We Look forward to seeing you!

GDM

 

Pastor Graham Douglas-Meyer

November 02: You Shall Eat The Fruit Of Your Lips

Life and Death

 

Proverbs 18:21 AMP

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].

This is not the only passage that speaks of the need to watch our words. The instances where the people of God are instructed to guard their mouths are numerous.

The true nature of our heart is revealed by the words we speak at the  moments of the most pressure in our lives. Jesus himself said that a spring cannot bring forth both sweet and bitter water and that we would be judged by every loose word we speak.

James, the brother of Jesus, instructs us that one of the most important tasks we have is to guard our mouths. To ensure that we attempt to control our tongue which can, like the rudder of a ship changes the direction of the ship, determine the outcome of our lives.

We should by no means take this instruction lightly. A word study on the power of the tongue is encouraged. Since our mouths can get us in, or out of difThe Tongueficulties we will face this is one area where it is worth spending some time.

There is a wealth of material that can be found on this topic, not the least of which is a book by Charles Capps that I have promoted previously “The Tongue a Creative Force.” However, for those who want somethingWORDS to pop into their pocket I seriously suggest the minibook “WORDS” by Kenneth E Hagin.

To download this week’s important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online.

You Shall Eat The Fruit Of Your Lips

October 26: Faith – What is it and How does it Work?

ABC logo OA Faith

 

Of all of the subjects discussed in Christendom there are perhaps 3 that stand out as being misunderstood the most. They are Righteousness, Humility and Faith. Over the next few weeks we will take each of these and develop a better understanding of what the Word of God actually has to say about them.

I say this because, for some reason, religion, well really I should say, Religiosity; something that’s been taken out of context, or popularised because it sounds holy and is based on “Our tradition.” (the way it’s usually presented is surrounded with statements like: “Well, that’s the way my Grandpa always did it!” Or, “That’s the way we’ve always understood it!” Or, even better: “That’s what my pastor, church, religion teaches!” Then they all end up saying: “So, that must be it!”)

Religiosity tells people, in churches: “God put that sickness on you to teach you something!”  The person may even say it about themselves when they’re around the rest of their ‘churchy’ friends on Sunday. But, come Monday morning they’re down at the doctor’s office wanting them to give them something to get rid of whatever it is.faith B

Obviously, by the time Monday comes around they’re no longer interested in what God’s trying to teach them. Or, they’ve decided that they might skip that lesson; whatever God wanted to teach them couldn’t be that important after all.

Now, before you go running off and saying that I believe Christians shouldn’t be going off to see Doctors, or use medicine. Or, before you go off saying that I’m teaching people that God uses sickness and disease to teach people you’d better hold your horses. Because I’m not saying either  one of those things.

I do not believe that God is the author of sickness and disease. I do not believe that God puts sickness ON people to teach them ANYTHING. HOWEVER, I do believe that God can and will use the circumstances a person is in to teach them and strengthen them for the next time a struggle comes there way. I believe that God get’s the glory when people get healing from any and all sickness and disease.

leap-of-faith_724_482_80I also believe that God gave human beings a brain and a desire for knowledge. As a result medicine has made incredible advances in the treatment and management of diseases and conditions that once would have denoted a death sentence for a person receiving a diagnosis of dysentery. However, even today doctors will admit that they cannot heal anyone; all they can do is provide medication and advice that creates an environment for the body to heal itself.

That, in a slightly round-a-bout fashion, brings us to our topic dealing with one of those three subjects; namely Faith.

The word has been misused through modern application to denote what kind of belief system you follow; Catholic, Protestant, Moslem, or Jew. But, that use is a long way from the real meaning of the word and it has watered down the effectiveness of what is an essential part of the life of every person on the planet.

Every person, who lives on planet earth uses faith every day of their lives. Even the most ardent of those who refer to themselves as atheists use the force of faith just to face each and every situation that touches their life each day.

Faith is not a static unchangeable thing. Faith is dynamic, flexible, able to be developed and also something that can grow. Much like the muscles of the human body, Faith is comparable to being a muscle of the human Force_of_Faith_imagespirit; the real you. If it is not used it atrophies. If fed, challenged and nurtured it will grow and increase in strength.

Since it is impossible to please God without Faith (Heb 11:6) understanding its acquisition and development, along with its application are vital to the health and development of the believer.

To download this week’s important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online.

 Faith – What Is It And How Does It Work?

October 19: We Have The Victory

Sunrise in Space

The fervent desire to be effective in prayer is admirable, achievable and absolutely essential for the person who believes they are called to be involved in Intercession; that is
ALL of us; as well as those who are called to take this art to the next level; to take on the ministry of an intercessor.

As a Pastor I rely, first of all, on the call of God and the anointing given by the Holy Spirit to stand in this office. Added to that is the additional confidence that I have, in the knowledge that there is a team of intercessors and others in the church who feel led to intercede on my behalf, and on the behalf of the church I have the privilege to pastor.

All of the ministries and work done by the body of Christ in the world has to have its basis firmly based in prayer that has given birth to that work well before it has even begun to become physically apparent, to a single person, that anything is happening. It has been given birth in the spirit through the work of intercessory prayer.

This is no insignificant matter. The outcome has serious consequences on an eternal level for those who are in dire need to hear the Gospel and to be brought into salvation; not simply a hope that they might make Heaven. But, that they may enjoy the benefits of that salvation here in this life as well.

For the Sick and the Maimed this is a matter of health and healing. For the Poor it is the provision of their needs being met. For the Lonely and the Widowed there is comfort and peace; all of those things that Jesus proclaimed he had come to provide when he read the scriptures from Isaiah on the day he began his public ministry. (Luke 4:17)

Jesus’ ministry, no simple act, of God Stepping down into the world. It was the culmination of prophesies and prayers and intercessions that had been made for centuries before Jesus was ever able to be conceived, birthed and grow in stature as a man. A man, who was then anointed at his Baptism, with the Holy Spirit and with the power required to fulfil the initial stages of his earthly ministry.

All of this was achieved and brought to fruition based on the prayers and intercessions that were built on the promises made to Abraham by God. A faith that was accounted to him, and to those who followed in his footsteps, as righteousness. A Faith that produced a confidence and an attitude of victory, that the battle was already won, because he who had promised was and is faithful to do what he has said (Heb 10:23), even centuries before it was to come to pass; Faith and Patience working together.

In the New Testament the church, the body of Christ in the Earth, is informed that their position is even better than that of those men and women of God recorded throughout the Old. Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit informs us, on more than one occasion, that we have been raised up to the position of Victory. But, we have to renew the way we think and look at the world around us and, to recognise the true nature of the work; the battle we face to bring this spiritual victory into the physical world around us.

If we come to recognise that we have the victory, before we begin, and that we build our confidence upon that victory, we will face the task with a very different attitude to the one we would have if our eyes are fixed upon each and every struggle, fall and defeat that we face along the way.

This is by no means denying those difficulties. But, as every champion knows, you have to keep your eyes upon the prize, the goal ahead, or be overwhelmed by what it takes to get there. In spiritual matters this is even more important as we recognise that what we see, feel and sense in the world around us had its beginnings in the realm of the spirit first of all (Heb 11:3).

Before we enter the prayer closet we need to recognise that we already have the victory and we are to help to bring that victory to fruitThe Tongueion in the world.

I highly recommend this book for your reading and study in this area: it is by Charles Capps and called “The Tongue – A Creative Force. It is one of the foremost comprehensive books to deal with this subject and is invaluable to growth, spiritually. Follow the link on the image to go directly to the Capps Website, or check out your local Christian Bookstore.

To download this week’s important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online.

We Have The Victory

October 12: The Covenants We Make – The Words of Our Mouths

When considering spiritual warfare we need to be aware of the covenants that we may have made in the past through a lack of understanding of the power in the words we speak.

Not so many years ago it was not uncommon to hear someone declare that their word was their bond. People had a habit of keeping their word Word Bond bluein agreements, or promises they had made.

Even today a verbal agreement can be held to be binding, in a court of law, most especially if there were witnesses to that agreement being made.

A covenant was made with words: vessels, or carriers of power, or authority, that convey messages, or meaning between tow parties. We are informed that “by Faith God spoke the worlds into existence.” So too we create the world around us with the words we speak; both to and over other people. But, particularly over ourselves and our own lives.

SYATTZig Ziglar, one of my favourite motivational speakers has been quoted over and over again, saying: “the man who says he CAN and the man who says he CAN’T are both right!” The biblical principle that he is espousing here is as effective today as it was in the 1970s when he made this statement initially.

The word covenant is a legal term still in use. It refers to contracts and agreements that have been made between parties. In New Testament times the understanding about the power of covenant agreements was well understood; they usually involved the shedding of blood and the declaration of the benefits and the penalties attached to the covenant.

As I said earlier, words are carriers of power, energy, meaning and authority. If we are people who keep our promises and do everything in our power to ensure that such promises are NOT broken; even if in so doing we inconvenience ourselves; we become known by other people and more importantly, to our own souls (our mind, our will and our emotions) as a person of integrity.

Additionally, we develop an ability to be able to depend our own words, so that when we pass a compliment, or describe a sunset, we know we say what we mean and we mean what we say.

Such covenants were binding between families up until and in many cases well past the deaths of the two making the original covenant. A Will, the document that is read after a person dies is a covenant agreement. It is also referred to as the Last testament of the person who has died. It is the reach of that person, from the grave itself often placing a range of expectations swell as benefits upon the survivors of whom the testator has named.

So how does all of this have anything to do with Spiritual Warfare?

The principles of interacting with other people on a natural level have implications for ourselves and others on a spiritual level as well. We need to realise and be aware that Faith, the substance that takes the place of those things unseen (until they appear; Heb 11:1-2) is released through words. Likewise Fear, the opposite spiritual force to Faith, is also released and empowered to produce results by being released through words.

When we consider the Ziglar equation of “Can and Can’t” then it begins to become apparent that our own words create the environment, in our lives that can spur action or, feed inaction and increase our inertia.

The book of Proverbs, usually attributed to King Solomon, still regarded as a wise, if not ‘the’ wisest man to walk the Earth has a lot to say about this very topic:

²You are snared with the words of your lips, you are caught by the speech of your mouth. Prov 6:2 AMP

Another translation says it slightly differently:

²Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth,
thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. 
Prov 6:2 KJV

Further in, there is even more wisdom:

20A man’s [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil].21Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].Prov 18:20-21 AMP

To Moses, God said:

19I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live. Deut 30:19 AMP

In this last example we see, very plainly, that the words that we speak will either bless our lives and may even affect the lives of our descendants.

There are numerous examples throughout the New Testament (there’s that word) as well. Jesus demonstrates the example and then teaches the disciples about the power of our words in Mark 11:23-24; Matt 8:23-27. James tells us that our tongues are like the rudder of a ship, that can change the course of our lives, or the outcome of a situation, through the use of words of power.

sword_doveThe Deuteronomy reference is particularly important because God chooses to use words specific to the establishing of covenants: “Life, or Death; Blessing and Cursing.” We need to realise that at the spiritual level we are accountable for every word we speak. Jesus even said that we would be held to account for the words that we have spoken (Matt 12:33-37).

Bringing this principle into the realm of Spiritual Warfare and in particular to Intercessory Prayer, it is very clear to see why the ability to pray in the Holy Spirit, to pray in “Other Tongues” (Our personal, private, perfect, prayer language), to avoid our ability to carelessly curse, when the intention was to bless the person, or situation we are praying for.

As an additional weapon in our arsenal, Jesus demonstrated just how effectively using the written word of God; the principles, promises and the statements contained within the scriptures themselves; “It is Written” (Matt 4:1-11). The Word of God in written form (logos, in the greek) is powerful. But, when it is spoken, it becomes the rhema (gr), two-edged sword, the sword of truth outlined in the study of the Armour of God in Eph 6:11-18.

That is why I continually recommend the book “Prayers that Avail Much” by Germaine Copeland of Word Ministries Inc. I remember PTAMit from the 1980s and see that it is still selling well today. A lot of the hard work has already been done for you as Germaine has researched the scriptures required to pray blessing and Life into a multitude of situations and circumstances that can come up in either your prayer time; or in everyday life. Follow the link on the Image to see what she has available.

This weeks message looks at this subject and I believe that the Holy Spirit can provide you with revelation knowledge as you listen. Ensure you have your bible with you when you listen and see the scriptures themselves right in front of your very own eyes.

To download this important Spirit-Filled message click on the following links and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online.

 The Covenants We Make – The Words Of Our Lips

One more book that I highly recommend for reading in this area is by The TongueCharles Capps, called “The Tongue – A Creative Force. It is one of the foremost comprehensive books to deal with this subject and is invaluable to growth, spiritually. Follow the link on the image to go directly to the Capps Website, or check out your local Christian Bookstore.

October 5: Knowing How To Pray

Ok, you have on your Armour. You have decided to pray. But:

      • Who do you pray for?
      • What do you pray for?
      • What do you pray about?
      • What do you know about the situation you are going to pray about?
      • What is God’s will in the situation?
      • How can you pray in line with God’s will?

These are all valid and important questions that need to be addressed to be effective in the spiritual battle that prayer actually is. James tells us that: “the effectual, fervent prayer of as righteous man availeth much.”

The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. James 5:16b

Sadly, this dynamic, explosively powerful dimension of prayer has been lost to the majority of the institution ‘the church’ has become. The ‘exercise’ has become ritualised and even though, at times, earnest (at least at the emotional level), sadly it has been relegated to the concept of  ‘religious’ activity; a matter of “going through the motions.”Meeting

In taking up the role of intercessor, a christian is accepting the challenge to step into a role that imitates Christ in his present role ever interceding on our behalf.

To step into this role, as a prayer warrior, requires an individual to learn to be supple and sensitive to the unction of the Holy Spirit (a deep spiritual yearning, as opposed to being emotionally driven) when and how He (the person of The Holy Spirit) directs.

To this end it is important to spend time and effort in developing that sensitivity which involves a certain level of both intimacy and familiarity. One of the most effective ways to do this is by praying extensively in the Holy Spirit, in your personal prayer language, usually referred to as “praying in other tongues.”

In 1Corinthians 2:14, the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul tells us that:

But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognising, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated.

This is why if a person has not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, as demonstrated in every instance in the book of Acts, they are unable to make an appropriate judgement regarding the importance of this form of prayer.

Am I suggesting that a person cannot be involved in intercession and intercessory prayer without being able to “pray in the spirit?” Most certainly not. But, if after a while, in prayer, you find you come to the limits of your knowledge about what to pray for, in the situation, this is where the ability to pray in other tongues becomes invaluable, if not crucial.

The Apostle Paul says it this way:

So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.
And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will. Rom 8:26-27

The Holy Spirit, himself, comes along beside us to help us in those areas where we are restrained, through a lack of knowledge of how and what to pray for. He helps us, our spirit, to pray in line with the will of God.

The intercessor needs to be open to working in and moving in the other spiritual gifts to follow directions as the spirit leads. The individual’s personal prayer gift, as opposed to the public gift of speaking in tongues, is the intimate doorway into the dimension of the Holy Spirit and the other spiritual gifts as outlined in 1Corinthians 12; all of which can be extremely useful to the work of the intercessor over time.universe

Added to this mighty arsenal another way to  pray in the understanding, in a way your mind can be involved so that you can pray in line with the will of God is to proclaim, or pray the scriptural promises over the life of the person. Praying for another Christian you can use Paul’s prayers from Ephesians Chapter 1 and Chapter 3 as well as the prayer for Christ to be formed in them as he said to Timothy.

One of the most effective resources I have ever found to do this kind of praying is Germaine Copeland’s (No relation to Kenneth and Gloria) books “Prayers that Avail Much.” When I first started 30 plus years ago there was only one volume available. PTAMSince then there have been another 2 volumes as well as a range of different formats with prayers specific to different groups. If your local bookstore doesn’t carry them they are very easy to order online, as well as in electronic form.

Stepping into the role of intercessor has been one of the most privileged things God has ever had me do. If for no other reason, the fact that you get your eyes off of yourself and your own situation and onto God and by his direction into the position of praying his blessings and will into the life of another person, it is a wonderful way to get to know and understand the heart of God.

The intercessor is trusted with information about people that is sacred and intimate about the life of another person. To this end anyone stepping into this work will be required to mature and grow spiritually in a way that is worthy of that trust. The example of Farther Nash, that I’ve shared with you previously was known simply as “a quiet fellow.” He wasn’t known for smalltalk and chit chat; because an intercessor must gain control of their tongue more than anything else.

Revivals begin in the prayer closets of intercessors long before they are ever advertised publicly. Churches are formed in intercessory prayer. New Christians are given birth in the prayer closet before they make their public declarations of faith and Christian maturity is attained by virtue of the work of someone else, on their knees, before the throne of God, on your behalf.

Every Pastor, anyone in public ministry, needs a team of intercessors praying on their behalf. For every person led to receive Jesus as their saviour by an evangelist, or someone doing the work of evangelising, the heavenly reward is also accorded to the intercessor, or intercessors involved in the process.

Intercessory prayer is a great calling; a wonderful experience; extremely fulfilling and an amazing adventure. You may be asked to pray for someone you know, or are related to. Strangers who you have been involved in praying for may come into your life at some stage. Yet, there are more often more people and situations you will be involved in praying for that you will never meet, nor know the actual outcome for, in this life. That is why as you grow in intercession, so too does your faith. I can highly recommend taking up the privilege.

Intro Interc Also, I can highly recommend this book by Pastor Dutch Sheets (Yes, that is his name), called “The Beginner’s Guide to Intercessory Prayer.” It is one of the most comprehensive books for someone beginning to investigate the world of intercession  that I have read in a long time.

Please, as you listen to this week’s teaching, be blessed by it. Graham

To download this important Spirit-Filled message click on the following links and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online.

Knowing How To Pray

September 28: Personal Protection – The Whole Armour Of God

armor-of-god 2Therefore put on God’s complete armour, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm- footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people). [Eph 6:13-18]

In-keeping with the intent of this entire section of Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians (Chapter 6 verses 10 to 19) the selection above reminds us that there is a need to ensure that before we enter the prayer battle we concern ourselves with an appropriate level of preparation.

The call for those in Christ to take their place in the battle to ensure that the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus, for all people, is able to continue to be spread throughout the world is an imperative in this part of Paul’s letter. He wants all believers to recognise that there is a warfare of super-natural dimensions that must be fought, not only to make it possible for hearts and minds to be able to receive the Truth, but to make it possible for those, called to bear that truth, to have the way made clear for them to do so; that all obstacles be removed, or at least kept at bay.

angel-warrior

Before the sharing, the preaching of the “Good News”, the Evangelisation of the Gospel of Salvation through Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ can take place there is a whole work of intercession and intercessory prayer that must be done as a precursor

19th century, would have whole cities and towns shut down to attend his meetings and a great swathe of people came to a personal relationship with Christ through his public ministry. However, weeks before Finney would arrive in town an unassuming man known only as “Father Nash” was known to precede him. Nash, a quiet man by nature, would spend his time in prayer and intercession for the hearts and souls of the people of the town in preparation for the public proclamation that Finney would bring.Charles Finney, one of the greatest revivalists of the 

Nash, much like the gardener who spends time and effort preparing the soil, tilling the ground, clearing the weeds and removing the rocks before sowing the precious seed, was doing the same thing for the work that Finney became famous for. Finney never balked at acknowledging the essential work “Father Nash” did, in going before him, to prepare the way when asked if he knew him.

Many know of the name and work of Charles Finney. But, only those who actually take the time to look more deeply at his wonderful work will also know about the mighty warrior Father Nash.

I have said before that The call to be an actual intercessor is a high calling. However, as I have also said, every believer is called to the work of intercession, standing in the gap, to pray in the behalf of another person; be they a family member, friend, or even a stranger you know to be in trouble.

For this reason it is important that each of us knows that the enemy will take whatever opportunity he can to attack and undermine us in the battle. But, more importantly, there is the need to know what is available to you for your personal protection before going into that battle; the Whole Armour of God.

Put on the Armor of GodIn this week’s message we look at the importance of each of the individual  pieces of what Paul describes as essential equipment before entering the fray. We consider what spiritual protection is required for the spiritual battle we face and what each element does to fulfil that task.

Too many Christians are either unaware of, or are ill-advised about what equates to being their uniform for a spiritually successful life. Many face the struggles and attacks from the enemy, in their life, and are effectively naked in the field (the majority of those don’t even know they’re in a spiritual battle and have been ‘taught’ to take the struggles as lessons sent by God; or, the punishment from God for past behaviour). Most of them either only know the basic bible stories, or have a very sporadic knowledge of their bibles. That is the main reason for the level of deception and unbelief in the church today.

This is essential teaching for the whole church, especially at this time, to ensure that we can take our place in the field of battle, as mature believers, in this time of unrest. We are charged to ensure that we get involved so that, as Paul says to Timothy: that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way. [1Tim 2:2b]

The question is: Will you take your part?

To download this important Spirit-Filled message click on the following links and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online.

Personal Protection – The Whole Armour Of God

September 14 & 21: Know You Enemy (Part 1&2)

As we continue our examination of Spiritual Warfare there is a serious need to remind ourselves of the what we are faced with.

In Ephesians 6:12 Paul tells us that we need to remember that our battle is not with other human beings. That Our war is in the spirit realm, the realm from which the things that we feel, see and touch (that world we encounter with our five senses) was made from that same spirit realm. That by coming to an understanding of that reality we can begin to see that we are called to a higher, a more effective and a more important battle than any warfare being performed by any physical army.

Heavenly Battle

Heavenly Battle

Instead of attacking the men and women that are used as pawns in the greater battle, we go into battle with the forces, the rulership, the ideologies, the governing powers behind the move to distract from the real agenda being played out. In 2Cor 10: 4 Paul reminds us that the weapons of our warfare are spiritual in nature. They are not weapons that are aimed at flesh and blood referred to as ‘Carnal’ in the King James. Instead Our weapons are mighty, weapons provided by God himself, that can affect the required defeat of those aimed in what is truly a spiritual attack.

We are commanded to turn away from those thoughts and agenda and ideologies that would set themselves up as a substitute for God; or as a denial of the very existence of God; or, for that matter the presentation of a false god. But, to be able to do that with any certainty we need to understand how our enemy works.

There is a much clichéd saying: “Know thy enemy!” But, the fact that it is a cliché does not change the truth behind it. The best way to understand what an enemy does is by understanding how and why they act (their motivation). How they react and respond to certain stimuli. If you know what sets your enemy off, or you know what effect a move you make will have either on their actions or thinking, you are in a much better position to be able to anticipate their next move


teen-devil-costume G
Satan has allowed himself to become a cliché in the minds of the majority of churchgoers across the globe. Little devils associated with fun and being kinky. Angels as weak little babies with wings and a bow and arrow firing love darts. So much so, that it is not uncommon to see ‘christian’ youth in devil costumes and horns for Halloween. One poor old churchgoer is quoted as saying “The devil has been after me. Bless his holy name!”

They either believe that he devil, or Satan doesn’t exist, or that he is capable of doing them harm, so much so, that some of them will fight you if you begin to talk disparagingly about him; they start to talk in whispers, as if they’re afraid he might hear themteen-devil-costume B

Add to that the incredible global lust for horror films that depict devils and demons as powerful entities. I read this as a yearning of the human spirit for the supernatural. A recognition that there is more to this life and to this world than what we can see feel and touch.

This obsession with Satan though is more due to the lacklustre display of churches more interested in their religious displays and affectations than any reliance on the importance and the reality of the supernatural; Christ’s body, here on the earth is called, in fact commissioned to walk as a world-changing supernatural force for good in this world.

Instead of hero, Christ is seen as a wimp. Instead of changing the circumstances church goers are controlled by them. Prayer, even among many members of churches, is seen as the last resort, the action of the desperate. With those that say they are Christians accused of needing a crutch.

Instead of acts of healing churchgoers have come to believe that God has made them sick to teach them something (yet come Monday morning they are off to see the nearest doctor, or attend their local pharmacy to avoid the lesson). Instead of welcoming those whom Christ himself declared he came to save.

Churches have become “members only” clubs that have dress and behaviour codes that place unreal expectations on the sick, the lame, the drug addicted street kid, the young teenage girls and boys caught up in prostitution and any of the homeless and unwashed. Their acts of piety take precedence over service. The poor are an afterthought and the pantry shelves are filled with tins of baked beans.

The wars and battles around the globe fill the newspapers, television RSS feed and Facebook with ‘christians’ calling for the worlds armies to go in and decimate whichever group “Our Team” is against, this time. The suggestion, that the work of the church is on its corporate knees and face before God in intercession, is greeted with aggression, accusations of cowardice; greeted with disdain as the last bastion of the weak and impotent.

Religion, in fact it’s more a case of ‘Religiosity’ has blinded the minds of the church and the body of Christ, in general, to the true nature of their Authority, their power and their position of victory here in this world. Religiosity has taken the fundamental act of Prayer and disempowered it through repetition of childhood prayers and rote rituals that mock the very dynamic nature of the most effective weapon that the church, as the very Body Of Christ, has at its disposal.

Religiosity has taken the force of Righteousness in the life of a believer and diminished its effectiveness by tying it directly to the individual’s actions alone. The suggestion that it is the measure of your behaviour, rather than the declaration of your standing, as a child of the living God, has robbed so many Christians of the very force that would have helped them to become the living examples of that relationship they profess to be in, yet fall short of at every turn.

It is no wonder the rest of the human race, those outside of the church, have regarded us as a laughing-stock for so long; that they want no part of what ‘religion’ has to offer.

These are the very wiles of the Devil, the very deceptions that beset the members of the body of Christ who do not know who they are as a result of their relationship with Jesus. It is also the reason why Paul calls us to renew our minds, to bring our thought life into captivity, to “Put on the mind of Christ.” In the process of doing just that the believer’s awareness of how they have been deceived grows and a familiarity to the tools and deceptions of the enemy become apparent.

We were NEVER promised a life of ease, floating on a graceful cloud of life without trouble. We were warned that we would face tribulation, attack and have to learn to avoid the traps that the enemy has placed in our paths. If you were told otherwise someone either lied to you.

Satans_Defeat

Satan’s Defeat

Or, assumptions were made that were unrealistic. Jesus himself said: “Don’t worry about tomorrow, there’s nothing you can do about the troubles that it has in store. Instead, concentrate on the task you have at hand today.” Matt 6: 34 (paraphrased)

You are a supernatural creature (1Cor 5:17), you operate in a physical world and can be bound to only operating within your own strength reserves. But, you are also capable, as a human being, of operating in that super-natural world.

In that world you, as a Christian, as a believer in Christ Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit and guided by the Word of God are capable of so much more than your limited human resources. When you learn to rest into that power, that anointing, that you have on your life, as a part of the Body of Christ, you will discover how effective and powerful your prayer life has the potential to be.

It simply takes a decision, on your part, to believe that it is so and to act on that belief. A decision to accept that you are more than your limited imagination has the capacity to contemplate until you take that step.

To download these important Spirit-Filled messages click on the following links and save the linked file to a directory of your choice, on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online.

Know You Enemy (Part 1)

&

Know You Enemy (Part 2)

September 7: The Heart of the Intercessor, The Father’s Heart

Intercessory Prayer is a truly honourable role for any member of the body of Christ to be involved. In fact at some stage  in our life in Christ we will find ourselves in the position of interceding for someone; praying for those unable to pray for themselves. Intercessory prayer requires strong faith and a strong knowledge of the Word of God.

Faith, because on many occasions you may never actually see the outcome of the prayer you’ve been praying; especially if you are praying for the lost, or you find yourself praying for someone you’ve never even met, on the other side of the globe.

A strong, working knowledge of the Word of God is needed, because God will Never contradict himself, or his word. Since we are all in the school of learning what the word has to say we can be confident that we will never be challenged above our Word level. As Jesus said “His Yoke is easy and his burden is light.” Matthew 11:28. In truth though he will give you a burden to the extent that you will need to rely upon him.

Over the coming weeks as we look at the role, the task and the work of the intercessor we will discover the wonders that God has in store for those who will be attentive and supple to the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit in this work.

However, before we even begin to venture into that space, it is essential that we spend appropriate time in preparation. We MUST get our priorities right first.

For the Christian called to intercession the first priority Must be to seek an intimate relationship with God; to know him, in the way Jesus himself knows him and modelled for us when the disciples asked him “Lord, teach us HOW to pray.” Luke 11: 1. Jesus’ response was to introduce the approach of a child to its Father.

The word he chose to use was not one of a rigid dictatorial “FATHER;”  the image Baby in his handof an Edwardian parent who believes in the adage that “Children are to be seen, not heard.” Instead we understand that the word translated, from the Greek work ABBA, would better compare with the term “Daddy” in English. It is that simple, loving, intimate, endearing image of a child full of Love and a very approachable parent.

In fact Jesus made that quite apparent when he was asked whether God gives evil or good. His response would have created a silence so deafening that the sound of the crickets would have been enough to bowl yoou over. He said:

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:9-11

So the first priority is that intimacy with God, much like the relationship that Jesus so often repeated when he was asked why he did what he did. He responded saying:

I only say what I hear the Father say” John 12:49 and “I only do that which I see the Father do.” John 5:19.

For Jesus to be able to say these things demonstrates the intimacy and the intensity of his prayer life. It is recorded numerous times throughout the 4 Gospels that Jesus took himself aside to pray and by the results we can see that they were by no means ‘ritual prayers’.

IMG_0025You may well exclaim “well that was Jesus, he was God after all.”  However, you would be wrong in two areas there. Jesus did not operate as God while he was in his ministry on the Earth.

Instead, as we study the life of Jesus, the prophecies about him and also the writings about him in the Epistles we discover that Jesus came to show all of humanity how they could get to the Father AND how they were to act as his representatives in the Earth until he returns as the Living Christ.

But, seriously, Jesus did tell his disciples:

“the works that you see me do, you will do and greater than this, because I go to be with the Father.” John 14:12.

He instructed the disciples that he would no longer be with them, but IN them. That the comfor
ter, counsellor, teacher, guide, standby and Intercessor that he would send them (paracletos) would show them things to come and lead and guide them into all truth. Add to this one of the most essential descriptions of Jesus in the Book of Acts

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; who went about doing good and healing all those oppressed of the devil.” Acts 10:38.

Jesus operated in all 5 of what we now refer to as the 5-fold Ministry Gifts of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher, as he was required to by the Father.

I digress only to help you realise that Jesus NEVER did anything without first of all knowing the Father’s heart. His intimate relationship with the Father helped him to know how the Father would respond in any situation. What words of comfort, instruction, or rebuke would be needed, in what time, as well as just How to deliver them.  And, as he said on numerous occasions, “I have come to show you the Father.”  As well as: “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”

Even if we were never called into a time of intercession, in and on the behalf of another person, or a situation, our life in Christ, as Children of God would be so much better for the lived experience of that intimate relationship with the Father; with Daddy God.

As Andrew Murray taught, for so many years, we need to learn to “Practice the Presence of God.” and as St Paul reminds us in his letter to the  Ephesians: “Like children learn to imitate your Father.” You can’t imitate a Father that you don’t actually know.

To download this important message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice, on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online.

The Heart Of The Intercessor, The Father’s Heart