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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Prevailing in Prayer

(The following is an outline and notes from a recent Bible Study class I taught at His Place Worship Center, Marion, North Carolina.)

I. Introduction. A survey to see if we need to hear today's lesson. Raise your hand if...
  • You always know what God's will is when praying about a situation?
  • You always know what to pray for and how to pray for it?
  • You always get results when you pray?
  • The consummate scripture on prayer is ...
    Philippians 4:6-7. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
A. Topic: Conditions for Prayer- Back in September while reading through my Study Bible, I saw a note in the margin for two scriptures in I John. That note made it clear that there are certain conditions that have to be met to see God answer our prayers. That note inspired me to do some more research on “conditions of prayer” and discovering what kinds of things could hinder our prayers from being heard and answered by God. 
 
Prevailing in Prayer” is the title of today's message.The definition of prevail is: to be superior in strength, power or influence; to succeed, to become dominant, win out; to use persuasion. Synonym- to overcome. Wouldn't you like your prayers to be powerfully influencial and help you be an overcomer in this life?


I John 3:21-22. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.   Condition: If our hearts do not condemn us, means there is no unconfessed sin in our hearts.

To quote Charles Finney-- in order to prevail in prayer, we must have “a conscience void of offense toward man and God.” We must let go of all grudges, unforgiveness, bitterness, envy and every other thing that would bring offense into our heart. These things will hinder our prayers and are an open door for the enemy to attack.

I John 5:14-15.  This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. Condition: if we ask according to His will. And if we ask for something that is not according to His will, God won't even hear our prayer.

Right away these two scriptures came to my mind regarding prayer:

Psalm 20:4, May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
Psalm 37:4, Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Taking delight in the Lord-- is a condition for receiving the desires of your heart. What does that mean? You delight in loving and obeying God's commandments. You delight in being in His Presence during worship and spending time in His Word and in prayer.

So then I began my search of more understanding on what other conditions might be hindering our prayers. Different scriptures came to my mind surrounding the topic of effective or prevailing prayer. The first point that came to me right off was that ...

B. Our hearts can be deceived.

Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
God has to give us a new heart and a new spirit to be able to know the will of God. And that happens over a lifetime, as we obtain healing and deliverance, and become mature sons of God. This is the new covenant we have with our Father God through Jesus Christ. 
 
C. Inquire of the Lord & Follow His Instructions. Just think back on the numerous stories in the Bible where the Lord gave people specific instructions to carry out and when they obeyed the answer came. Getting help from the Lord was contingent upon them following His very specific instructions.
  • Joshua and the battle of Jericho. Joshua 5
  • David fighting the Philistines,told to wait until he heard “the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees”. 2 Samuel 5:24
  • Hearing from God and obedience brings results!
D. Knowing God's will is extremely important to prevail in prayer.
Since God speaks in a still, small voice, it can be difficult for the untrained ear-- to hear and know His will. We have to spend quality time in prayer asking to know His will and waiting to hear His answer. After all, prayer is suppose to be two-way communication with God. How do we know what God's will is?

1. The revealed will of God can be found in the Bible which is the “logos” word (the written word). The Ten Commandments, instructions found in Leviticus for the civil and moral codes, relationships, tithes, offerings and even food. In the New Testament, we are told to love our enemies; men are told to love and respect their wives. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. The greatest commandment is to love God and love our neighbor as ourself.

For other situations, we have to use common sense, wisdom and be guided by the “rhema word” of the Holy Spirit speaking to us. God expects us to use wisdom when making everyday decisions. However, some decisions require a “rhema word” before we take action, or we'll miss out on knowing God's will.

2. How does God speak to us outside of scripture?
He speaks to us in many ways. With a still small voice in our spirit, through nature, family, friends, pastors, spiritual leaders, pictures, analogies, dreams, visions, a word of prophesy, discernment, a word of knowledge and a word of wisdom. If the gifts of the Spirit are missing in a congregation, the people of God are left without the much needed edification, exhortation, encouragement and comfort.

II. Biblical Examples from Scriptures:
We can look at illustrations from Joshua's and David's life. They understood the importance of “inquiring of the Lord” on major decisions and then obeying His instructions to the letter. When Joshua failed to do that, he messed up really bad. Example: dealing with the Gibeonites. Chapter 9 tells us the story of the Gibeonite Deception.
  1. Joshua 9: 14, The Israelites sampled their provisions, but did not inquire of the Lord. 15 Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.
  2. Samuel 23:4, Once again David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him, Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.
When these men of God inquired of the Lord what to do, they were given specific instructions or a strategy for how to do it. When they followed God's instructions, they were successful in overcoming their enemies.



III. Derek Prince- Bible Study Course- questions from the chapter on “Worship & Prayer”. Please look up the scriptures referenced as they are not quoted below.
  1. What kind of prayer produces great results?
    James 5:16. The effective, fervent (fiery, with power) prayer of a righteous man. Righteous means being in right standing with God. The quality of being right, because of the grace of God.
  2. If we wish God to hear our prayers, what two things must we do? John 9:31. a. Worship God. b. Do God's will.
  3. Upon what two conditions may we ask for what we will from God? 
    John 15:7 a. If we abide (live) in Jesus. b. His words abide (live) in us.
  4. List four things that will hinder the answer to your prayers: 
    Ps. 66:18, James 1:6-7, James 4:3, I Peter 3:7.  
    a. If we regard iniquity in our hearts (cherish sin in our heart). b. If we doubt and do not ask in faith. c. If we ask amiss (with a wrong motive) for our own pleasures. d. A wrong relationship between husband and wife. The “right motive” in prayer is for God's glory, not to gratify our own lusts. The answer must bring glory to God; not ourselves.
  5. In order to receive the things that we desire, what must we do when we pray?
    Mark 11:24. Believe that we receive them at the time of prayer.
    How do you “believe to receive”? That's the tricky part! Do we just find a promise in the Word and stand on it? “Name it and claim it” used to be a popular saying. I've observed many times people were “pretending to believe” because that is what they thought they had to do. Yet, they had doubt in their heart. In Mark 9:24, the boy's father cried to Jesus, “help me overcome my unbelief!” To believe to receive, you have to hear a clear, rhema word from the Lord.

    How do we get rid of doubt/unbelief in our heart that is hindering our prayer in faith? The simple answer is to: confess it as sin, repent of it, renounce it and do self deliverance to remove the demonic stronghold. We also recommend asking a trusted minister to pray with you using the power of agreement and their spiritual authority to obtain your freedom.
  6. If we pray according to the will of God, of what two things may we be confident?
    I John 5:14-15. a. That God hears us. b. That we have the petitions (requests) that we ask of God. According to His will- is a condition for receiving answers to prayer.
  7. When we are weak and do not know how to pray rightly, who helps us to pray in God's will? 
    Rom. 8:26-27. The Holy Spirit. Meaning with the supernatural help of the Holy Spirit; not just our own will, strength or understanding.This scripture means we have to speak the words the Holy Spirit gives us to speak if we want to see results. Our human thoughts may be sincere and loving, but they lack the power or the anointing to accomplish anything. We have to speak the words the Spirit gives us to see results.

IV. Derek Prince's book, The Holy Spirit in You.
A. Derek teaches us that the indwelling Holy Spirit helps us in our prayers. Rom. 8:14, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” Being continually led by the Spirit enables us to mature into sons and daughters of God.

Romans 8:26-27. … “the Spirit helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

According to Derek Prince, our weakness is ... we do not know what to pray for and we do not know how to pray. If we try to pray with our natural understanding of a situation, we can pray amiss and our prayers do not get answered. We can draw our own conclusions and form presumptions about a person or situation and not pray what needs to be prayed, or pray a prayer God will now answer.

The word 'weakness' in this passage literally means dullness of perceptions and inability to achieve results. We lack spiritual perception and discernment on how to pray. Therefore, we need the Spirit to pray through us as we yield our tongues to Him. Praying in tongues (prayer language) or praying in the Holy Spirit is a powerful weapon of spiritual warfare (Potts, p.123).

The key to effective praying is learning how to be so intimately related to the Holy Spirit that we can submit to Him. Then we can let Him guide, direct, inspire, strengthen, and many times actually pray through us.” (Prince, p. 67).


B. Four ways the Holy Spirit helps us to pray:
  1. Through His intercessory prayer for us. A sacred experience, spiritual travail that leads to spiritual birth or breakthrough. Not your casual, on the spot let me pray for you type of prayer. This kind of prayer takes place in the prayer closet. Romans 6: 26-27.
  2. He illuminates our minds. He shows us what we need to pray for and how to pray by giving us a word of knowledge, discernment, prophetic pictures or a scripture. Our minds have to be renewed first before we can know the will of God in many situations. Romans 12: 1-2. Ephs. 4:23. “That you be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”
  3. He puts the right words in our mouths often unexpectedly. When we are in prayer and seeking to know His will, His words come out of our mouths. Like prophecy, we don't know in advance what we need to pray, but He supernaturally speaks through us.
  4. He gives us an unknown language, one the natural mind does not know, a prayer language. With this supernatural gift, we pray to God and utter mysteries with our spirit. I Cor. 14: 2, 4, 14-15.
    With our prayer language, we are: a. speaking to God, not to men. b. speaking mysteries. c. building ourselves up. d. praying with our spirit and with our mind. We receive the interpretation and pray in English what needs to be prayed.
 
V. Praying With Authority and Power written by Barbara Potts, chapter on “Prevailing in Prayer” (p.43).

James 5:16, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
The word avail means accomplishes much, to be of value or profit. Wouldn't you like your prayers to be of value in the kingdom of God?
 
A. Barbara points out that there are eight conditions of prevailing prayer or another way to say this is-- things that can hinder our prayers from being heard by God.
  1. Preparing our heart. Ps. 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Ps. 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart...and see if there is any wicked way in me.”
  2. The Attitude of Humility. I Peter 5:5-7, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humbles yourselves, therefore, under God's might hand that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”
  3. Praying in Faith. James 1:6-7, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.”
  4. The Strength of Abiding. John 15: 7, “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.” Abiding means having an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, having His word hidden in our heart, being able to hear His voice when He speaks to us.
  5. The Call to Obedience. I John 3: 21-22 (quoted already). Obedience to the Lord's commandments keeps our heart pure and without offense.
  6. The Need to Persevere. I Thess. 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” Luke 18: 1-8, “men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” (don't give up). Called “praying through” until you see results. Necessary to achieve a breakthrough in the spiritual realm. There can be spiritual resistance, demonic forces hindering your prayer. May involve conducting spiritual warfare in the heavenlies to overcome the power of the enemy attacking you.
  7. Having the Right Motives. James 4:3, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” The prayer for a silver BMW with leather interior will likely not get answered.
  8. The Power of Praise. Phil. 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Being anxious about whether God is going to answer our prayer-- the way we want Him to-- is sin. That's being afraid we want get our way in a situation. That's a manifestation of our old man, our self-will that needs to go to the cross and be crucified. 
     
    I Thess. 5:16 and 18, “Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”
“Thanksgiving refocuses our affections upon the Lord, resets our minds on His goodness, and prepares our hearts for what He wants to do in our lives. Giving thanks to God in all situations honors God, opens the door to answered prayer and releases the blessings of Heaven into our lives” (Potts, p. 50-51).
VI. Confirmation Before Action.
2 Corinthians 13:1, “This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” Actually, there are fourteen scriptures that say situations need to be confirmed by two or three persons before we take action. We don't condemn anyone to death without proper witnesses giving testimony. We don't receive accusations against another believer. And we don't make major decisions until the Lord has confirmed His will for us beforehand.

A. Why should there be two or three witnesses? To eliminate confusion, to avoid condemning someone with false accusation, or to confirm something the Lord wants us to do. Practicing the principle of “two or three witnesses” can save us from missing the Lord's will. When we are faced with an important decision, we should consult two or three objective believers who can hear from God. If one says “Go” and two says, “No”. Then you don't take action. You stay put until you get confirmation from the Lord.

B. “Witnesses” can be people: our spouse, our pastor, an elder, parents, someone with spiritual authority over us who can remain neutral, but also can be other sources like: a sign from God, a rhema scripture given by Holy Spirit to us, a prophetic word given by a trusted prophet, or a fleece like Gideon used to be sure He was hearing correctly from the Lord. Our God wants us to hear clearly and not have any confusion about his directions. So He will confirm His directions to us in two or three ways. 

This method of confirmation is reserved for really important or major issues. We will need to take some time waiting on the Lord to send the confirmations through various sources. Involves us putting our desires on the altar and leaving the results up to God. We have to remain neutral, trusting God for His will to be done. Use this method of praying when you've got several weeks or months to hear from God on a matter and you are not in a hurry.

C. Huge mistakes Christians make that I've observed in 30 years of ministry.
  1. Operating in presumption. Presuming to know God's will in a matter when we don't know it. We just use natural logic and understanding.
  2. Not taking the time to inquire in prayer so they hear from the Spirit in the first place. That's where faith coming from, hearing God speak to you personally.
  3. Saying “God told me ...” when He didn't. They are mistaken and that handicaps others from being able to speak into their situation, because their mind is made up.

D. Personal Illustrations of God's divine direction while prevailing in prayer.
  1. In 1980 we made the decision to go into ministry and needed to know whether to enroll in a seminary or a Bible school. So we asked four Spirit-filled friends who did not know each other to pray and ask the Lord to give them the name of a school where we should go. Three of the four came back to us with the same place: Liberty Bible College, Pensacola, Florida. We went down to visit the campus and asked the Lord to confirm if that was the place for us. We asked Him to confirm it by the “mouths of two or three witnesses.” We made a list of three things we were looking for at that school. In the weekend we were there, all three conditions were met. We had our confirmation! Also the Lord brought a buyer for our property back in Georgia the very same day we placed an ad in the newspaper! In only a month's time we were packed and on our way. 

    2. Later that year when Tommy could not find a good paying job, we started running out of money. I was six months pregnant with our second daughter so I could not look for a job teaching. We prayed, fasted and got the homegroup to pray-- and nothing opened up. Even the jobs Tommy tried to do on commission did not bring in any income. We signed up for food stamps so we had the basic necessities in the house. Needless to say, it was a very humbling season in our life. God was using our circumstances to teach us to trust in and build our character in Christ. 

    In prayer one day, Tommy asked the Lord why He was not answering our prayers? God responded that we were been tested by our circumstances-- to see if we would serve Him no matter what the hardship. He was using our circumstances to train us in righteousness and how to trust Him in difficult situations. I guess we passed the test, because eventually a fantastic job opened up and Tommy went to work with a lighting company. God will put us through tests in order to prove what is in our heart-- before He answers our prayer.

    VII. Review.

    Key Points to Remember:
    1. Knowing God's will is a key factor in seeing our prayers answered.
    2. Getting God to confirm to us what His will is by 2-3 witnesses before we take action.
    3. Being in right standing with God (no sin or impure motives in our heart).
    4. Being continually led by the Holy Spirit.
    5. Trusting God for the outcome; whether it is positive or negative.
    6. Always praying with thanksgiving and praise, grateful that God is working His purposes in our lives.
    7. God is not so much interested in making us happy, as He is in molding our character to be like Jesus and maturing us into His sons so He can trust us with His kingdom.

    Bibliography:
    1. Barbara L. Potts, Praying With Authority and Power (Hagerstown, MD: McDougal Publishing, 2004).
    2. Derek Prince, Self-Study Bible Course (New Keningston, PA: Whitaker House, 2005).
    3. Derek Prince, The Holy Spirit in You. (New Keningston, PA: Whitaker House, 1987).

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Don't Get Left Behind- the Next Move of God!

"Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). "See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them" (Is. 42:9).

We've heard the revival stories of old: Great Awakenings. Welsh Revival. Azusa Street. Latter Rain. The Jesus Movement. The Chinese Underground Church explosion. The Argentine Revivals. Toronto. Brownsville. But for the last 15 years or so it's been pretty quiet in America and things have taken a turn for the worse spiritually, culturally and politically. However, there is a tremendous storm gathering on the horizon. The wind has shifted, and the people of God need to get ready! For the Lord is on the move again. 

 What are the prophets saying?
Here is a short list of some of the more notable prophetic voices. You can go on-line to read these articles and watch the videos to have a more complete picture.
1. John Kilpatrick. The Wind Has Shifted. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wWyjlPFUsc&feature=youtube.

2. Cindy Jacobs. "Word of the Lord For 2016: The Year the Tide Turns". Elijah List, February 5, 2016 and at http://www.prophetic.tv/watch/watch.php?ID=25. From the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders conference in November, 2015.

3. Patricia King. "There's Revival in the Air!" Elijah List, 2-4-16. http://www.elijahlist.com/index.php.

4. Chuck Pierce's Conference with Dutch Sheets. Nov. 27, 2016
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04UqtxnseSE&feature=youtu.be.

5. Tom Hamon. “God is Raising Your Profile” Christian International, Vision Church, Santa Rosa Beach, FL. January 4, 2016. http://www.flowprophetic.com/tom-hamon-wol2016/

 
Keys to the Kingdom
Dutch Sheets, a forerunner in the body of Christ for decades, is calling Christians to pray for revival as the only solution to the mess we're in as a nation. His An Appeal to Heaven prayer rallies and PRAY 15 prayer app for your Iphone are motivating people to pray for 15 minutes each day. The Lord gave Dutch two scriptures that would release revival in our nation. He is encouraging millions of Christians to ask the Holy Spirit to give us the keys to revival.

Isaiah 22:22,I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.”
In biblical times, literally the door keeper was given the key to King David's household which was the city of Jerusalem. Each morning the door keeper would open the doors of the city and each evening, he would close them for the night. The door keeper held a position of rank and authority in David's army and was responsible for the welfare of the city. Other door keepers held the keys that locked and unlocked the doors of the prison cells, the treasury, any important strongholds that belonged to the King.

 Matthew 16:19, I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Spiritually speaking, we know it is King Jesus who holds the keys to the kingdom. There is a spiritual principle which says, as it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual realm. Jesus gave his disciples and therefore, the church, the keys to the kingdom to do greater works than even He did. He has given mature, Spirit-filled believers the authority in Christ to bind up demonic strongholds and loose the people of God and situations from Satan's grip. When we do our part, the angels will carry out the actual binding and loosing in the spiritual realm. 
 
Doug Addison wrote a book called 2016 Prophecies. Doug says, “Keys of authority are being reassigned. There are spiritual keys that have been given to people that unlock and lock doors in the spiritual realm in and over people and regions.”
Revelation 3:7b:These are the words of Him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open."

Patricia King experienced a “prophetic encounter” at 5:55 on the morning of January 31, 2016. She was taken to a corridor in heaven with doors that were shut. The Lord's voice spoke: "I am taking you to new levels.... I will show you things that you know not. I will reveal Kingdom mysteries to you in this season. I will demonstrate My power and there will be a great harvest as the river of revival goes to the nations. Partner with Me for I desire to pour out My Spirit in a new wave upon the earth in this hour.
On one of the doors was a sign which said, "REVIVAL" An angel stood outside the door guarding the room. People approached the door, but could not enter, because they did not have the right key. One person approached the angel showing the key called FAITH-FILLED PRAYERS. The angel's face lit up and proclaimed, "This is the key that will open the door" ...And the door opened. 

She saw a river of revival flow through the doorway, flooding the corridor and moving rapidly into the earth. Individuals who had no keys in their hands previously, were being swept into the current of the river. Some were elated and others were shocked and in wonderment. The river was unstoppable. She saw the river break off into tributaries...many tributaries. The river was filling the earth! The Lord said, "I have prepared a revival for you, an outpouring of My Spirit that will be filled with My glory, My fire, My love. Birth this outpouring with the key of FAITH-FILLED PRAYER.

2016 Prophecies can be characterized as a season of:
  • Shifting seasons and “suddenlies”
  • New assignments and re-alignments
  • Increase in supernatural gifts, miracles, salvations
  • Heaven will partner with earth to produce a great awakening
  • River of God will bring healing, deliverance. Position yourself in the river!
  • A rise in prophetic evangelism: prophecy and words of knowledge
  • Angels waiting for the Church to rise up and press the battle to the full. 
    • Dynamic release of power to accomplish the purposes of God
    • Radical move of God that occurs outside the current church structure
    • Keys of authority that will open and close doors in the spirit realm
    • A year of kairos opportunities- an appointed time to seize the moment
    • Many prodigals will be coming home this year. 

Keys for Being Involved in the Next Move of God by Pat James.
First of all, here are the people who will be left out of the next move of God and may even work to oppose it. These characteristics come from Revelation chapters 2 and 3 in the letters to the seven churches. Those who:
  • Forsake their first love for Jesus Christ. Serving Christ is not a priority in their life.
  • Are afraid of persecution, slander and rejection by others.
  • Have compromised their walk with God through the influence of a secular society or other world religions.
  • Practice sexual immorality, false prophets, or have tolerated the Jezebel spirit.
  • Have a reputation for being alive, but are actually “dead” or spiritually “asleep.”
  • Lukewarm Christians- compromised their faith with the world for wealth or success; who are apathetic, passive, lazy, content to just be a “sinner saved by grace.”
  • Refuse to give up doctrines of men, old mindsets and opinions that interfere with new revelations brought by the Spirit today.
  • Have blasphemed the Holy Spirit by saying what the Lord is doing is demonic or a work of Satan.

    Then, here are the kinds of Christians who will be included:
  • The church at Philadelphia- Rev. 3:7-8, “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
  • Those who have spiritual eyes that see, and ears that can hear what the Spirit is saying to the church today.
  • Those who are spiritually discerning the times and the seasons of God.
  • Those who “will embrace the pain of change” in order to crossover into a new season.(Doug Addison's prophesy for 2016). Includes being rejected by others and being re-positioned for God's purposes and advancement.
  • Those who “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called (them) heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-15).

Key Scriptures for the Body of Christ
1. Stir up the gift of God in you. (Acts 1:4, I Tim. 4:14, 2 Tim. 1:6) 2 Timothy 1:6,  "For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands" (NIV). The “gift of God” is the power of the Holy Spirit in you. Have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with "the gift" of tongues according to the book of Acts?
2. Pray in the Spirit. Eph. 6:18, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit." Jude 20. “But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit.” This means praying in the power of the Holy Spirit with the prayer language given to you by the Spirit.
3. Live in the Spirit. Romans 8: 4,5,9 and 11.
Galatians 5:25. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
  • Be spiritually minded, versus being naturally minded.
  • Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading, conviction, wisdom.
  • Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit- Romans 14:17
4. Take captive every thought.
2 Corinthians 10:5, We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Every thought! Of course, we understand how important it is to take captive thoughts that are evil, but in these last days, we will also have to take captive those that are natural, logical or even rational. Being naturally minded will interfere with our being able to hear what the Spirit of God wants us to know. Scripture tells us that the carnal mind in enmity toward God and does not discern the truth (Rom. 8:7).

Key Prophetic Words 
Through out the month of January, I have been praying and asking the Father to give me the message He had for our lighthouse this month. On several of those occasions between 4:00 and 5:00am in the morning, I heard the still small voice of the Spirit speaking a clear word.

I am bringing in the people and the resources you will need for this new season. I will fulfill My purposes for this lighthouse. I will supply all your needs to accomplish the purpose I've given to you. Look to me constantly for I am Jehovah Jireh, your Provider.” (and on another morning), “I am coming with the fresh wind of the Spirit to fill your sails with power that propels you into your purpose. Stay focused on your purpose, position and power."
 
Over the course of the next weeks, I kept hearing these three words: purpose, position and power. God is speaking to all of us that we need to know what our kingdom purpose is, we need to get in the position He wants us to be, and so He can release supernatural power like we've never seen before. A mighty river of living water is going to be released from heaven that will bring about the greatest awakening the earth has ever experienced. 

Purpose. Definition- a. the reason for which something exists or is done, made or used. b. a goal, something one aims to accomplish. Romans 8:28- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. Ephesians 2:10, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

The purpose of HAL is “to reach people with the life-giving message of Jesus Christ that they might become transformed into His image as sons and daughters of God.” Our purpose is NOT about getting people “saved” so they can escape hell and go to heaven. It's a message of transformation so they can help build the kingdom of God here on earth. HAL is called to be a hub, a central meeting place in our community, where people from different churches and backgrounds can meet in UNITY to worship God, to receive from Him and to be supernaturally changed by Him.

Life in the kingdom of God is all about serving the purposes and plans of God; not our own lifestyles, ambitions, interests or desires. We belong to God now; we are not our own. We have become His sons and daughters. He wants to know that He can trust us with the keys to His kingdom. What is your God-ordained purpose in life? What has He called you to do for His kingdom? 

Position ourselves. One meaning of the word position is your location. To catch the wind of the Spirit, we may need to relocate, change churches, change jobs, align ourselves with a ministry that is going where we want to go. It's time for a re-alignment and a new assignment so we can fulfill the call of God upon our lives.

Biblically and spiritually speaking, the word position means to position ourselves IN CHRIST. We have to have our identity firmly established in who we are in Christ. Our old nature has to be crucified. We reckon ourselves to be dead and buried. Jesus Christ lives in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are sons of God, the bride of Christ, carriers of His glory. How does God see you? That's what matters the most!

To quote Dutch Sheets, “Position yourselves to have FAVOR with the King.” Doug Addison said, “Positioning is very important. It is crucial to align with the right people and places this year. It is important to look at the lives of those you are aligned with. What is the fruit of their ministry or efforts? Are they producing fruit for the kingdom that will last?”

Power by the Holy Spirit. In a prophecy by Armstrong & LeStrange, it is written I began to see in my spirit creative miracles and power gifts coming forth on a level that I have personally never witnessed. I sense the Father urging a generation to contend for higher levels of miracles and to carry greater mantles” (Elijah List, 2-6-16).

Bobby Connor prophesied that “The Holy Spirit is truly anointing the Body of Christ in an unprecedented manner in these days. Believers are realizing that they cannot fulfill their role in the purposes of God unless they have His power.” (Elijah List, 1-24-16). 

During the third watch of the morning, I (Pat James) heard the Spirit say, “I have given you a new mantel of authority to help you do the work of the ministry and an angel to assist you in the spirit realm.” As a matter of fact, a group of angels has been assigned to our lighthouse to do warfare over us, and to carry out the process of opening and closing doors in the spirit, and to bind up demonic spirits and loose the captives into freedom! With God and His angel army on our side, who can stand against us!
 
How are we going to accomplish all this? By trusting totally in the plan God has for our life. We have to trust the Lord to take us sailing in deep waters of the open ocean leaving behind all that is dear to us, our secure surroundings, possibly our family and friends. We have to be willing to forsake all-- for the eternal joy of loving and serving our Lord, according to the path that He chose for us. Remember, God chose us first to love and to serve Him. It is up to us to respond by choosing to do His will for our lives and surrendering our own self-will.

Today the Spirit spoke these three key words to us: purpose, position and power. Here are some key questions you need to take before the Lord in prayer and wait on Him until you hear the answers. Let him who has ears to hear, hear what the Spirit is saying.
  • Do you know your personal purpose in the kingdom of God? What has God planned for you to do for Him?
  • Are you in the position where God wants you to be? Or do you need to re-locate?
  • Are you ready to partner with the Holy Spirit to release His power? Or do you always have some excuse not to go deeper in God? 
If the answer is YES, then you need the keys to the kingdom of heaven to do that! (Is. 22:22 and Matt. 16:19).
  • Key strategies that will defeat the enemy and lead to breakthrough and miracles.
  • Keys of authority to open doors and to close doors, to bind and to loose.
  • Keys of anointing to do the greater works of God.
     
Prayer for Today. Abba Father, I thank you that You have chosen me to be your child and have given me a purpose in Your kingdom. Forgive me for all the ways I have not surrendered to the call of God on my life. Forgive me for not living according to Your kingdom principles. Give me now the grace and the power to do Your will and to fulfill my destiny in Your kingdom. Give me Your divine enablement to continually live in the Spirit, pray in the Spirit, stir up the gifts of the Spirit and bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. I love you, Lord, and thank you for hearing my prayer today. I thank you for baptizing me in the Holy Spirit so I can serve you with my whole heart, soul and spirit. In the precious Name of Jesus, Amen.

This message was given at the Hickory, NC, Aglow Lighthouse meeting on February 13, 2016 by Pat James, President. Tommy & Pat James founded Tree of Life Ministries in Morganton, North Carolina and serve the Lord by providing private confidential counseling, speaking at local churches, discipling individuals and couples, and writing Christian books and articles for publication. www.tolr.org.