The Value of the Mantle Part 2 The Power Behind the Mantle

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2 Kings 2:8-15

And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground. And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan;And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

Now the story picks up after Elisha has committed to following Elijah. He has dedicated his life now, to being as close to the man of God as possible. It is amazing to me, the amount of young ministers, and even saints for that matter, who have little to no respect for the man of God in their lives. We all desire the impartation of an elder, that moment when we can receive years worth of wisdom and knowledge. But impartation does not come from listening them talk, it comes from watching them walk! If you want to learn what someone thinks listen, however if you desire to learn how someone lives, watch them! What I say does not reflect my character, what I do does. In this hour if we are to receive an impartation from our elders, it will require that same diligence that Elisha possessed.

So here we find the moment of transition, Elijah is leaving soon, and he asks Elisha a very intriguing question. Before I’m taken, what can I do for you? In my opinion this is not the words of Elijah, but God speaking through the prophet. And Elisha gets bold, his request at first glance seems brash and over the top. I want double what you had! Oh Elisha you have asked a hard thing, but if you see me  when I am taken it shall be yours. And then it happens, chariots of fire roar out of heaven, Elijah is taken in this whirlwind of fire and glory….. and there it is….. the mantle…

elisha

I believe in my spirit that this generation of believers will be an Elisha generation. We have the potential to be apart of the greatest season of revival the world has ever known! After all Jesus is the one who told his disciples in John 14:12, “…he that believeth on me, he works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do…” Not only does God expect us to do what he did, his purpose for anointing a church was to raise the bar and to take this thing to the next level! But first we must believe on him! Daniel prophesied in Daniel 11:32, “the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” Notice the emphasis is not on the exploits, the emphasis is on knowing Him! These 2 passages reveal the will of God, He wants his church to be powerful, effective and full of exploits! But the undeniable truth is; without knowing God, and without believing in him we will never see this kind of power!

We must understand that Elisha never revived a double portion anointing until Elisha first fulfilled the duties of the mantle! Elisha understood, it’s not about the miracles, it’s not about the flash and the excitement, it’s all about Him! Notice Elisha after he finally holds that mantle in his hands, he walks to the last place Elijah ever operated in the gifts at, and he imitates what Elijah did and cries, “where is the God of Elijah!” If I don’t figure out what made Elijah who he was, this mantle will be powerless and ineffective! Before I can ever start my own ministry, before I can perform in the gifts of this mantle, I first have to have an encounter with the God of Elijah!

I fear where this generation may be heading without this mindset in place! being apostolic is not good enough, receiving impartation at a mantle program is not good enough; I don’t want to learn what they do, I want to learn what makes them do what they do! My prayer isn’t for the exploits of T.W. Barnes or J.T. Pugh; my prayer is where is the God that they knew! I want to experience God like they experienced God! The Lord really dealt with me about this topic at the first of the year and it has been one of the strongest driving forces of my ministry, the power is not in the mantle, the power is behind the mantle! The mantle symbolizes more than just a position, or an anointing; before God will release that anointing in this generation he first wants to know…

Do you Value the Mantle?

Are you worthy to carry the mantle? Elisha do you treasure what’s been handed to you? Do you believe in his doctrine? Do you trust his methods? Will you be willing to walk in the same direction he walked in? Will you pray like he prayed? Will you fast like he fasted?

Do not abandon the duties of the mantle in search of the anointing!

God has positioned the apostolic church with great heritage of Godly men and woman; they have shown us how to be successful and how to be powerful in ministry! My question is, if 3-4-5 fasts are what it took to get us here; and if all night prayer meetings are what it took to bring us this far; then why are we forsaking the duties of the mantle now? Prayer meetings are not extracurricular activities! Fasting is not reserved for a select few! Holiness and separation are not optional! Being apostolic is more than just radical worship!! There is a mantle we wear, and we must never corrupt the value of the mantle!

  • I still believe in Hear O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord!
  • I still believe in Jesus name baptism!
  • I still believe in holiness, and that without holiness no man shall see the Lord!

In Genesis 26, Isaac is on a journey to discover the wells of Abraham. As he uncovers these ancient landmarks of faith, he finds a new revelation of God, and builds his own altar and digs his own well. The only way we will discover new revelations from God, is by going back to the ancient landmarks of faith, and to start uncovering the revelations of old!

If your new revelation doesn’t come from the old revelation, it’s not a revelation…. it’s deception!

The Value of The Mantle Part 1 Answering the Call

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1 Kings 19:19-21

So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee? And he returned back from him, and he took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.

In this setting, we find young Elisha minding his own business when suddenly without warning the man of God, the Bible says, cast his mantle on his shoulders! Everyone in life will have this moment, when destiny comes calling! I can remember when God threw that mantle on my shoulders. There I was a young, insignificant and shy young man, just there to enjoy another church service. I wasn’t perfect at that time, in fact I will admit to you I was struggling. My brother, who is my twin and has always been my best friend and partner in crime, had stopped coming to church. I wrestled with who I was and who I wanted to be. I can still remember that first service, I never realized how much I depended on him, but the truth of the matter was I did. He was my security blanket, and when he was gone I had no one to lean on. I was standing at my pew, and the Lord spoke to me for the first time in my life….

Will you choose him or me….

It wasn’t a threat, a challenge or even a rebuke; it was a loving God reaching for a troubled young person. He encouraged me with scriptures of promise…

  • Proverbs 18:24 there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
  • Psalm 27:10 “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.”

All my life my identity, my strength and my hope all rested in my family. And now without warning I was launched into the world by myself! And the still small voice of peace whispered comfort to me in my conflict; I’m here for you.

It can be difficult after the call has been received, what do I do? What can I do? Who am I? Where am I going? The uncertainties of your future seem even more uncertain, and the struggle of separation really gets challenged. It was strange really, friends at school began inquiring of my weekend activities, began wanting to hang out more. Inevitably girls wanted to talk to me now, it shouldn’t amaze us that when the mantle is placed on the shoulders of a vessel, Hell will attempt to destroy that vessel. Do you think hell ever envisioned young David actually slaying Goliath? In the mind of Satan that giant should’ve destroyed that child before God could use him! This is how the enemy operates, he’ll launch an attack that is designed to absolutely destroy you! The biggest challenge in this point of your life isn’t the giant unfortunately. It is the abandonment of all your plans and goals in exchange for his purpose.

Look at Elisha, after he feels the pressure of the mantle resting on his shoulders, he immediately asks the man of God to give him permission to settle some things around the house first.

“Listen for the call of your destiny, and when it comes, release your plans and follow.”

-M Marti

There will always be things that need to happen first, there will always be things you need to do before you can allow yourself to completely give yourself to the calling of God. You will never be prepared for ministry; I relate this to the military, although training is invaluable, and the experience of this training can be the difference between life and death, that training does not simulate actual warfare! You will learn as you go and you will trust the voice of your commanding officer in that atmosphere! The same goes for ministry. While I firmly believe in the necessity of ministerial training, nothing will prepare you for the duties of ministry until you learn to walk in the fire. Did the 3 Hebrew boys learn how to survive the fiery furnace? Did Daniel learn how to survive a night in a lion’s den? Did David necessarily learn how to slay a giant? No! They simply trusted in the voice that called them, and they knew if God was for them, then it doesn’t matter what or who is against them!! Because the Lord promised in his word that he will never forsake us when we need him most!

My challenge to anyone reading this who is struggling with the call of God, let yourself go! Don’t allow all your inadequacies to hinder you; remember Moses couldn’t speak, David couldn’t control his lust and Peter couldn’t control his emotions! But these great men of God never allowed their inabilities keep them from being used of God! All God needs is your willingness, and your submission to his purpose will set you on a course of success, the world can’t even imagine!

“Your greatest ability is availability”

-Trent Dilfer

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I Hear You Calling, But I’m All Bound Up

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John 11:43-44

And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin…

In 1843, an African American man by the name of Henry Highland Garnet gave one of the more moving and heartfelt speeches of all time. It was during the National Negro Convention of 1843, Mr. Garnet gave a speech entitled, An Address to the Slaves of the United States. In his inspiring speech, Mr. Garnet made a radical call for liberty; challenging his fellow brothers and sisters to take a stand against the injustice of slavery. His purpose was to stir the hearts of slaves across the country, and encourage them that they could be more, do more and experience more! He Challenged his audience to invoke all of their resources, efforts and time to ensure that freedom and true liberty would be achieved, regardless of the price to be payed. But as his speech progressed the tone shifted; Mr. Garnet turned his attention to the real problem. He begins a plea for a mentality change…

You act as though you were made for the special use of these devils. You act as though your daughters were made to pamper the lusts of your masters and overseers. And worse than all, you tamely submit while your Lords tear your wives from your embraces and defile them before your eyes…

-Henry Highland Garnet

This statement, in my opinion, is one of the greatest statements ever spoken. Mr. Garnet revealed that the issue at hand isn’t slavery at all, but rather it’s the mindset of the slave! As long as a slave stays bound to the mentality of a slave, they will forever live under the bondage of a slave. This statement still rings today; how many of us live life as though we were somehow created for a life of bondage and persecution. And now you have simply accepted slavery as your life, and you have convinced yourself that you will never know anything better. This is a chilling reminder of the effects of bondage…

Bondage will destroy your will power, and cause you to submit to things that are weaker than you are!

bound

As we look at the story of Lazarus we see a man who has been dead four days, and his body had already began to decompose (made evident by Mary saying he stinks by now). ANd After Jesus calls him out of that tomb, the Bible illustrates to us that Lazarus was still bound. It says he was bound hand and foot with a napkin around his face.

His hands were bound…

His feet were bound…

His face was bound…

This tells me that Lazarus couldn’t work, he couldn’t walk and he couldn’t talk! And this is where the apostolic church is losing the battle; we’re so bound by things in our lives that we can’t work for God, walk with God or even talk to God!

Matthew 16:23

But he turned, and said unto Peter, get thee behind me, Satan; for thou art an offense unto me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those things that be of men

Wow, did Jesus just call Peter Satan? I thought Peter was his chosen disciple? Actually, if we look closer Jesus isn’t calling Peter Satan at all. The word savorest here is the Greek word fron-eh-o meaning mindset or thought pattern. What Jesus is saying here is that Peter’s mindset is from Satan; and that, Jesus said, is offensive! Jesus was giving them insight into Calvary, and Peter objected. His objection to the will of God caused Jesus to get offended. You see Peter had difficulty understanding the revelation, so he reverted to his level of comfort. We too have this tendency, if we feel intimidated by the direction God is calling us, we revert to our level of comfort, and camp out in a valley of normality. This is what Jesus said offends him! We have replaced our trust in God for trust in people. We have substituted our need for God with the need for people. We’re so caught up trying to win the applause of man, that we have lost the favor of God!

This is how Satan will attack you, he’s powerless against you so he will try and infiltrate your mind with what I call the less mess mentality. He’ll shift your mind, like he did to Peter, from the things of God to the things of this world. Now instead of realizing your potential, or seeing the potential your church has; you only see the problems. Instead of focusing on your talents and using them for God, you focus only on the talents you don’t have. This is where the less mess mentality is birthed. The objective of hell is to make you feel powerless; so he will bombard your mind with junk, so you will feel USELESS, WORTHLESS, HELPLESS, PURPOSELESS and HOPELESS! And so instead of actively pursuing ministry we have learned to accept our lives as slaves, and like those slaves that Mr. Garnet was reaching for we have learned to just live with it!

I struggled with this mentality at the beginning of my ministry. All my life I was reminded of how inadequate I was. If I had a dollar for every person who didn’t believe in me, I’d be a rich young man! Family members tried to persuade me not to attempt anything for God, they said I wouldn’t be able to provide for my family. That extended even to Bible College where I was quickly reminded by students and unfortunately Pastors and Instructors how I would never amount to any thing. But somehow all the noise was canceled out by a still small voice in the back of my mind….If God be for you!!!! If God be for you!!!

I learned quickly after that, the only person in my life who can determine my success or failure is me! If I believe I can do it, nobody can stop me! If I accept my limitations and believe the naysayers, nobody can help me!

Paul standing before King Agrippa, bounds with chains; said these chains do not define me! O King, I think my self happy!

Proverbs 23:7

As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he!

I challenge all who read this, begin to think yourself happy! Begin to think yourself into ministry! Begin to think yourself healed, delivered and set free! If you can think it, you can have it! Ever wonder why God told Moses to send spies out into the promised land? Because there is a principle we need to learn; you can’t posses the promise, until the promise possesses you! Like that children’s story of the little engine that could…..

I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN!!

i think i can

The Blueprint to Apostolic Revival Part 2 The 3 Keys of Revival

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In part 1 we covered the joy factor. We need joy in the church if we are to have any success in reaching our world. This part is going to deal with what I feel to be the 3 keys of end-time revival. We understand Joel’s prophecy concerning the last days, the last days church will be built round revival and soul-winning. Joel says that the last days church will be empowered by the Holy Ghost with visions and dreams. But if we lose our joy, all of those resources will wither and die. So now that we have a full understanding of our need for joy, let’s dive deeper into Joel’s prophecy and unlock the three keys to revival!

Joel 1:10
“…the corn is wasted, the new wine has dried up, and the oil languisheth.”

The Corn is wasted:

wasted corn
Genesis 42:1-2

“Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? And he said, Behold I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: Get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.”

We find here Jacob, the patriarch of God, embedded in a famine. It was so bad that all the sons of Jacob, were sitting there looking at each other wondering, what in the world are we going to do! But Jacob tells them, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt. Most of us understand the story of Joseph and how he ended up in Pharaoh’s palace; Joseph through all his trials found himself in the prison, where the Bible says Joseph worked. We must always be willing to do a work with God regardless of where we are in life! So Joseph interprets a couple of dreams, and now Pharaoh has a dream and they remember, oh there is a guy in the prison who can interpret dreams. So Joseph receives the dream, and understood the warning of God, a famine is coming. This insight and knowledge into the plan of God required Joseph to act with wisdom, vision and determination to implement a plan that would reach the world, and eventually save all the families of the earth.

Amos 8:11

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.”

We must understand that the famine of Jacob’s day was a foreshadow of the famine of the last days. God said there would be a famine in the last days, only this time it won’t be of bread or water; its going to a famine of truth! And now that we have been given access into this plan of God, we are now bound with an obligation like Joseph to begin to implement a strategy for world-wide revival! We may have truth, but unless we learn to utilize vision, determination and wisdom to make a way for all the ends of the earth to be reached; the corn will be wasted!

Proverbs 23:23 tells us to buy the truth and sell it not! We can’t just sit back and assume that truth will take care of itself! We had better learn to value the corn! We’d better take the time to make sure we’re teaching our children the word of God! When that famine hit the world in Joseph’s day, the people of the world abandoned their backgrounds, and all the things they believed in. Why? Not because of a new fad, but because the corn in Egypt was real! And if we want to be available for the floods of people who will swarm the apostolic church in these last days, we’d better stock pile some truth! The world is in need of truth, and we’d better make sure that there is still corn available in the apostolic church!

New wine is dried up:
Mark 2:22

“And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.”

Jesus said if new wine isn’t accompanied with new bottles there is a danger that the old bottles will not be able to contain the new wine; and the bottle will break, and the wine will be spilled. Jesus is referring to the Holy Ghost here; and the Holy Ghost will not dwell in an old vessel. Unfortunately, we see this often; people come to church and receive the beautiful gift of the Holy Ghost, only before they can make it back for another service, they’ve already lost what they received and now they’ve been wounded on top of it. Was the Holy Ghost not good enough? Yes it is! The danger comes when we don’t allow that spirit to change us! Yes the Holy Ghost will guide you  on the journey of change, but it must be your hands on the plow with determination to change regardless of what must go! But when Joel looked through the eyes of the spirit, he said that the new wine is dried up! What a dreadful sight!!

Paul admonished the Thessalonian church, “Quench not the spirit!” When truth isn’t valued like it should be, the people of God begin to desire the things of the world. And through the desire and pursuit of “worldly lusts” the spirit of God will be replaced with the spirit of flesh. The result? A church with dried up spirit. A Chruch that no longer responds with the spirit of God, but now through ritual and practice attempt to manipulate the spirit of God. My prayer in these last days is that the church would empty herself of all unrighteousness, and allow the new wine to fill us up like never before! If we want to be effective in these last days, we can’t depend on anything but the spirit of God! Don’t let the Holy Ghost dry up in your life.

The Oil Languisheth:
Isaiah 10:27

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.”

The anointing of God is a powerful asset to the church: with it we can do incredible things, without it we can do nothing! Jesus sad in Luke 18:27, “…the things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” The anointing will empower us to operate beyond our human ability, and to operate with His authority. With the anointing we are literally agents of God’s divine power!

When I read and study the life of Samson, I see a man who is a symbol of the apostolic church. He was set apart, he was anointed, he couldn’t do what every one else did. But Samson played with his anointing…Samson always ended up doing what was in his best interest, and never learned the value of submitting completely to the word of God. But the biggest mistake Samson ever made wasn’t marrying the wrong woman, it wasn’t going in to the harlot’s tent or even flirting with Delilah. No, the greatest mistake Samson ever made was in assuming that his power actually came from his hair!
And this is where I’m terrified; I’m witnessing a generation of apostolic people who thinks that their anointing comes from their obedience to our standards. So they play with their anointing, never sold out completely to the word of God. After all, they still “look” the part. But we have a culture now in the church, where people lilve how they want to live, and yet still expect God to show up when they need him to perform because of their “nazarite vow”. Listen I still wholeheartedly believe in our standards, I still try and live as far from the world as possible. But are we really presumptuous enough to think, that because we’re obedient to a list of guidelines that God is obligated to use us? Your power is not in your standards Samson, your power comes from God! What we need to understand in these last days is that…

…the anointing does not flow from your rituals, the anointing flows from your relationship!

What I’m saying is that we cannot allow our “Pentecostalism” to ever replace our relationship with God!

If we want the kind of revival that is prophesied in the book; then we must use these keys to unlock the door of revival! We need corn in the church, we need new wine that is fresh, and we must be able to operate in the genuine anointing of God! Without is, we’ll become tinkling brass and sounding cymbals…with it? We’ll discover a revival that will turn our world upside down!!!

The Blueprint To Apostolic Revival Part 1 The Joy Factor

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Joel 1:10-12        

“The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: Thew new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vine dressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. The vine is dried up, the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.”

withered fruit

Joel is a very interesting book, when we read his prophecy we immediately get the understanding that Joel is very connected with our generation. After all it was Joel who prophesied the last days church when he looked into the future with spiritual eyes and said, “and it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.” Joel is seeing with perfect clarity the end time generational church. Joel begins his prophecy in a very intriguing way. he paints the picture of a generation in which the field, or the people of the world, is looking for hope, searching for peace and longing for a change; yet when they come into “our” fields they find no corn, no wine, and no oil.

Now what strikes me at first glance is the condition of the tress that reside in the vineyard. All the trees of this field are withered, unproductive and fruitless, because the Bible tells us that joy had withered from the hearts of the sons of men. This assures me that the fruitlessness of our generation is not the result of poor teaching or poor leadership; although admittedly that may be a small factor. The fruitlessness of our time is the direct result of a joyless generation. It is to be understood that fruit and joy always walk hand in hand. There is no possible way to exhibit the fruit of the spirit without possessing first the joy of the Lord. Because without joy, the fruit cannot survive.

Unfortunately today our world has become a vacuum of self indulgent and self entitled people; people who spend all of their energy and all of their resources seeking some form or fashion of joy. They dedicate their lives, their money, their energy and all their hopes in finding that golden ticket to joy and happiness. The result? A world of unbridled searching for pleasure and self-fulfillment; and anything goes in this pursuit of happiness. As made evident by the various avenues of self expression in our world people truly have no idea what makes them happy. So through their searching for that joy and happiness we see a trail of heartache and devastation. Pain and poor choices have now left a trail of broken dreams and disappointment, and without question if you were to dig through the wreckage in search of what went wrong, you would come to the understanding that all of your efforts and all of your searching were in vain…

You see joy, that is true joy, cannot come from material possessions; true joy can’t be found in relationships or people; true joy can’t be found in the right career or business move; in fact, joy can’t be purchased at all: joy can only be found in one place as the Psalmist so eloquently puts it…
Psalm 16:11 “…In thy presence is the fullness of joy!”

Truth can be kind of shocking can’t it? Especially once we realize that everything we’ve been pursuing doesn’t possess that magical formula we hoped to find, or the key to a life overflowing with joy. I understand our careers are vital to happiness, our family is to be valued, time spent with our spouses and our children are to be treasured; but we cannot afford to mistakenly think that these things which can be taken from us tomorrow are the foundation of our joy. And sadly, the driving force in most lives today are these temporary “moments” of happiness that simply will not endure beyond the moment. What we need flowing in our lives is not happiness, what I’m talking about isn’t some emotion that can be altered by the events of your day; I’m talking about a joy that can sustain in the face of destruction and will allow you to face any challenge, conquer any foe and defeat any enemy! A joy, I believe, if ever allowed to flow in our lives and in our churches that will produce a “true apostolic revival”!

Psalm 30:5weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning”
How often have we quoted this passage when surrounded by the difficulties of life, as some far out attempt to comfort our fears and uncertainties?
But look at Psalm 126:5, “They that sow in tears, shall reap in joy”
Could it be that what the Psalmist spoke of in Psalm 30:5 means more than just holding on through the difficulties of night? Could it be that the avenue for joy might be found through weeping and through tears? Not tears for the bad things in life, but tears of sorrow, a Godly sorrow, that is rooted from a deep, burning desire to be changed! I am of the opinion, that if we ever spent the night paving a trail of tears; not because of how bad we have it, not because of bad things happening, but simply because we desired to be like him: I believe this passionate pursuit for change will give birth to a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory!

If we truly want to experience genuine joy, then we must be willing to pick up that old cross, deny ourselves, learn to live not after our wants, but after His will; and patterning our lives after the one who first said “not my will, but thine be done”! And on the other side of this conversion is a joy that will produce a true apostolic revival in our homes and in our churches….

Continue on part 2…

Overcoming the Mustard Seed Mentality

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Mark 4:30-32

“And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it GROWETH up, and becometh greater than all the herbs, and shooteth out branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

mustard seed

Jesus asked a question, what’s the kingdom of God like? The kingdom of God, he says, is like a grain of mustard seed. In this “mustard seed” parable Jesus begins to address one of the major mindsets of Christianity, what I call the mustard seed mentality. It’s not what you would think, you see Jesus was addressing a mindset that would cause man to struggle with their ministry; and would cause many people to fall short of their purpose. What Jesus is saying is that there will come a time in the life of every believer when, without question, you you will suffer from the “less than” syndrome. This syndrome is dangerous and has critical side effects. With this “less than” syndrome you will become a small thinker, and will never allow yourself to grow into your potential. This “less than” syndrome will handicap your future and dwarf your growth! This syndrome is birthed from the hearts of impatient people, who are quick to compare themselves to their counterparts; their mistake, however, is comparing themselves while still in the seed stage! This happens in churches as well as saints, we see others who are bigger, more successful, and seem to have more going their way; and we feel inadequate and useless. You begin to question whether or not God will actually use you, or whether or not your church will ever see revival. The mustard seed mentality begins to become who you are, and you just settle for “less”….

But notice Jesus continues the parable by saying that the mustard seed, when it is sown, grows to such a degree that the birds of the air can live in the branches. Although that seed starts out small and seemingly insignificant, if that seed will submit to the process of growth, it has the potential to become great! What Jesus is trying to tell these people, and what I feel Jesus trying to get His church to understand now is this; stop looking at what you are now! Stop looking at what you have now! Stop looking at what talent you have now! You may not see it now, your family may not see it now, your church may not see it right now; but God has a purpose for you, and a destiny reserved for your future! Your not destined to be small! You’re not destined to be less than every other church! God is wanting to release his presence in these last days, and if we’ll allow the process to grow us, we will become that tree of destiny, and the birds of the air will dwell in our branches. Let me show you the revelation…..

Genesis 8:8-12

“Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him unto the ark, for the waters were on the face the of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark: and the dove came unto him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.”

This story is a multifaceted story; it reveals the historical plot of Noah and the flood, yet also reveals a prophetic insight into revival. God showed me this passage some time back, and I couldn’t catch the fullness of what he was showing me until tonight. The dove that is sent out is symbolic of the spirit of God. The spirit is searching for a place to dwell. But as Noah soon found out, unless the waters subside and the trees grow up, the dove will always go back to the boat. What God is showing us here is an illustration into modern day religion. People are drowning in traditionalist doctrines, we are quick to hold to what the way it’s always been done, yet hesitant to grasp the reality of truth. God has released his spirit upon the earth, and he’s searching for a branch (church) to rest on! Only as the search progresses, the spirit is left without a habitation. What is happening is, people are conforming to the mustard seed mentality, and allowing the “less than” syndrome to define them. So instead of actively pursuing revival; they sit stagnant and never allow themselves or their churches to grow!

But, as Jesus taught his parable regarding the mustard seed, he reveals to us the grey areas of understanding. When, and only when, the seed allows itself to be changed by it’s environment, and allows the water and the sun to develop it into what it’s purpose is, will there be a habitation for the birds to rest in. This reveals to us a critical principle into the success of not only our individual lives, but also the success and eventual growth of a church. The Apostle Paul exposed this principle to the church of Galatia when he stated in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” In the NIV version it reads this way, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up!” Don’t allow your mentality to become small by the weariness of life! Do not allow yourself to be conformed to the “less than” syndrome, if you can avoid the desire to give up, if you can avoid the temptation to throw in the towel; if you can avoid the mindset of smallness and realize, my due season is on it’s way!!! Allow yourself to grow, and the harvest (birds) will find a home in your destiny!! and When God releases the dove (spirit) into the world, the dove will find a church to rest in!! And When the church is anointed by His spirit, and the people are empowered with determination and perseverance; we create an atmosphere conducive for a great revival, and a great harvest of souls!

Let’s not become small thinkers in these last days, let’s not judge our future by our present; buy into the vision of God, and allow yourself to be transformed into your purpose! Revival is looking for a home, the harvest is searching for a church, and within you is the ability to bring it into fruition! Remember no matter how small you seem, and no matter how small your church is; Jesus said the mustard seed is always the smallest in the beginning, but when God is allowed to have his way, the growth of that seed will exceed your wildest imaginations! For the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “…Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” In other words, your wildest imagination pales in comparison to the reality of the prepared destination!! It doesn’t say to the most talented, or to the biggest church, it says to those that love him! This revival is not limited to the parameters of talent or connection, it is dependent solely on the ability of the seed to grow!

The Influence of Sincere Prayer

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Acts 9:10-11

“And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said The Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And The Lord said unto him, Arise, and go unto the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth.”

sincere prayer

The story of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus to the Apostle Paul is well chronicled. It’s a fascinating account of the mercy, grace and compassion of God. Instead of killing the man responsible for wrecking havoc on the church, God instead reaches for his heart in an attempt to save his soul. This lets me know that it doesn’t matter where I’ve been, what I’ve done or where I’ve come from; God’s love is still reaching for me! Be encouraged friend, regardless of your plight in life, God still loves you! This story is of a man who is traveling down a road to Damascus, searching for even more power and influence; and is interrupted by Jesus along the way. I call this Mercy’s Intercession. How many times have you and I been traveling down the wrong road in life only to be blindsided by tragedy or hardships. In the moment we can’t see what’s just happened, but days, even weeks later you realize if it had not been for that moment; my soul might be lost! Where would we be today if it wasn’t for Mercy’s Intercession? What a beautiful revelation about the mercy of God!

But the part of this story that catches my attention doesn’t deal with the event described above; but it deals with the passage I opened this blog up with. Ananias is minding his own business, when all of a sudden God begins to speak to him. And I can almost imagine the look of his face as God tells him of what his mission involves. Seriously God? You want me to go look for Saul of Tarsus? You do know who this is right? I mean he’s made a reputation for himself for his abuse and destruction of Christians! But noticed the words of Jesus here, he speaks to Ananias to go to the house of Judas and to enquire of Saul of Tarsus. Why? Becuase he’s praying…

There is something powerful about prayer that reaches beyond the routine of “Apostolic Prayer”. We’re all guilty of this, we recite cliche’ after cliche’ loud enough to impress the people around us. But sincere prayer flows from your heart. And when sincere prayer is released God always responds! Recently my wife and I traveled to Lufkin to pick our kids up from my sister-in-law. We went to church with them that evening, and they asked me to testify. So I went through my notes and bookmarks in my Bible, and I found something I thought would go over good. As the worship began however, God began to speak into my heart. He showed me the face of a young lady who was in the service, and told me exactly what to say. I began to not just speak planned out words, but began to speak words of life! Not of myself but as God moved through me. I don’t use this story to build myself up, I was simply the vessel God used that night; the incredible part is the young lady who influenced God! We’ve all been in those moments of need, and have had people in our local church or our pastor speak to us, but we can sometimes write that off as inside information. But when God moves on somebody you don’t know, from a town you don’t live in to come the night you need a word; you’ve got influence! As God was showing me her face and revealing to me what to speak, I knew in my spirit, this girl has been praying! And the sincerity of her prayers were influencing the entire service! What a testament of faith! Never discount the power of sincere prayer!!

The text in Acts 9 reveals this principle. Saul without the Holy Ghost, without being baptized in Jesus Name, without having had time to prove himself as changed; influenced the God of glory with his prayer! It’s recorded that Saul spent 3 days alone; blind and hungry in the desert. I don’t know how long it would’ve taken for him to find Ananias on his own, but what I do know is that the moment that wretched man (his words) tapped into this dimension of sincere prayer, he didn’t have to go looking for the man of God, the man of God came looking for him!!!

I don’t know what your battling, or what kind of challenges you face; I don’t know how long you’ve been searching for a word from God, but I do know this, If you can tap into this dimension of prayer, that word of God will find you wherever you may be! Because God is always influenced by sincere prayer!