Exhaustion; that’s the best word to describe how I’ve felt for the
past three weeks. And there is no natural reason for it. I’ve been
sleeping plenty. Drinking lots of water. Getting plenty of exercise.
(Enjoying more than my quota of Starbucks!)
Yet the morning I
penned this article—despite sleeping nine hours the night before—I went
back to sleep for two hours after taking my daughter to school. And when
I woke up, I was still exhausted—and disgusted.
I was starting to wonder what was wrong with me. And then I got a friendly reminder revelation from the Holy Spirit: It’s witchcraft. Wicked witchcraft. How could I forget? It caught me off guard. Now I'm warning you. read more
This week I’m ministering at Trinity Christian Centre, one of Singapore’s largest
churches. It is led today by Dominic Yeo, but for 30
years it was pastored by Naomi Dowdy, a brave American
missionary who grew the church from about 250 believers in 1976 to more than
4,000 members in 2005. The Pentecostal congregation has grown even larger since
then, when Dowdy set Yeo into his pastoral role so she could do more traveling
Dowdy is a friend and a spiritual
mother in my life. I’ve ministered with her in Malaysia, Nigeria, Venezuela,
Ukraine and other countries. I’ve gleaned from her leadership skills, benefited
from her counsel and been inspired by her zeal for missions. I view her as one
of the planet’s best examples of a female church leader. When I consider her
amazing legacy I’m grieved that we don’t have more women like her.
The primary reason we have so few
Naomi Dowdys today is that the church does not encourage trained and anointed
women to step into leadership. A second reason is that many women have either
disqualified themselves from taking on such roles, or they aren’t willing to
face the criticism that inevitably comes when a woman defies tradition.
I agree with the makers of the 2011 film Courageous
that Christian men should demonstrate integrity, sexual purity, family
values and moral courage. But isn’t the same response needed from women? For
every brave Abraham, David and Mordecai in the Bible there was a fearless
Sarah, Abigail and Esther. God’s women don’t just sit around waiting for the
guys to act when things get tough. read more
Throughout biblical history you will see that God used young people,
even children, especially when adults became spiritually redundant and
the only progress was to recreate history, or "bring back those good old
days." Looking back has its rewards but unfortunately creates feelings
of nostalgia and morbidity.
You have to be dissatisfied with your present conditions,
surroundings and supply of joy, peace, happiness, etc. before you will
really look forward. So inevitably, God will allow things to run their course and people
will become dissatisfied. Suddenly what was once exciting, fresh and
tantalizing is now boring and repetitious. You are dull and the
self-environment is uninteresting, dim and blunt. You can either sit and
complain for as long as you can, or you can change it.
Make war with repetition, be at odds with dullness, spit out
lukewarmness and start a fight with blah, blah, blah. You weren't born
to be satisfied with "just enough" to keep you going. Once you've tasted
of the better that is to come you never want to go back. Imagine driving a car forward, while looking in the mirror, hoping that what is behind you will assist your progress. read more
When I was praying about the year of 2012, I kept hearing the Lord speak to me about grace. In fact, when you observe the year 2012 and actually add the numbers—two plus zero plus one plus two—it all adds up to five. Biblically, the number five is the number for grace. Therefore, when I heard the Lord begin to minister to me concerning this year and He continued to speak of grace, I really got encouraged when I added those numbers together!
Most of us are aware that grace is unmerited or undeserved favor. I believe this year we will revisit the gift of grace and gain greater understanding of God's goodness. Because God's grace is undeserved, this means that God's goodness is not expressed to each of us because we are good; it is given to us because He is good!
Sometimes it's hard to even wrap our minds around this fact. This is because most of us have, in reality, believed that grace is based upon performance and our religious works. However, receiving grace from God has absolutely nothing to do with our performance at all; it is completely based upon undeserved favor. Think about this for a minute. If God's favor were based upon our ability to do right and perform well, then we would not need His grace, would we? We would then believe that because of our own abilities we have been blessed. This is such a deceptive lie of the enemy. read more
I was raised in spiritual warfare. By that I mean, soon after I got saved I plugged into an apostolic church that vowed to run to the battle line to wrestle spirits of Jezebel, witchcraft, religion—and whatever else was opposing the purposes of God.
My church home was akin to a spiritual war zone. We were always on red alert through prophetic warnings, dreams and visions about the next attack. Indeed, spiritual warfare was a consistent thread in most of the praise, worship, equipping classes, Sunday morning sermons and leadership lessons.
You might call it “extreme apostolic.” We hunted down the demon(s) behind every doorknob like a child with a sweet tooth hunts for chocolate Easter eggs. Looking back, it seemed at times like a contest to determine who could present the most detailed dream or vision about the enemy’s impending plan. Once the enemy was spotted, a shouting match with the principality or power ensued that left you with a sore throat—and no respite from the warfare.
I was in a spiritual warfare ditch, where the enemy and his plans were ultimately exalted over God and His plans. Don’t get me wrong. I believe wholeheartedly in spiritual warfare. But we can get into a ditch with any principle if we take it to the extreme. So we have to ask ourselves: What causes us to take biblical principles to the extreme? read more
One of the greatest revivals of all time began at Azusa Street in Los
Angeles in 1906. The wretched former stable burned so brightly with the
glory of God that for a time it was called “the second most famous
address in the world.” God can do it again, and will, if we want it
Every revival in history seems to be the result of a few
people becoming so hungry for God that they wanted Him more than oxygen.
Those who have such hunger will not be denied. It’s time to seek a
revival that becomes the most famous address in the world. It’s time to
seek a move of God that won’t quit moving.
I’ve seen in visions and dreams the destruction that is
destined, especially on our West Coast. This has caused some to say that
I have a hatred for our West Coast, which is not true, but rather the
opposite. I really can’t help what I dream, and though a psycho analyst
might say it is the result of deep feelings, I know these are prophetic
dreams. They never leave me pleased, but rather I’m grieved enough to
take all of the heat for sharing them with the hope that people will
listen, repent, and they will not have to come true. read more
If you find
yourself more drawn toward prayer than promotion, more toward humility
than hype, you are being prepared by the Lord for the glory of God. What
He is working in you is typical of what God is establishing in
thousands of other believers.
the Father ultimately reveals Christ as Lord over the earth, He will
first reveal Him as Lord over the church. And while we should rejoice,
we must also take heed. For until we are standing face to face in glory
with Jesus Himself, we are going to be in transition. To each of us,
Christ's call remains, "Come, follow Me!" (Luke 18:22). If we will walk
with Him in obedience, He will take us into the fullness of His
can be frightening. The uncertainty of those passages between spiritual
plateaus can hold us hostage to yesterday's blessings. Let us recall
with godly fear that the bronze serpent, which brought healing to Israel
in the wilderness, by Hezekiah's day had become an idol that had to be
Our hearts must
bow to God alone, for even spiritual gifts, when isolated from Christ
the Giver, can become idolatrous. Therefore to successfully navigate
this season of change, the Lord will require of us a fresh surrender to
His Lordship. He will demand that our preconceived ideas and
expectations be submitted to Him. For if we are continually telling the
Holy Spirit where we expect to go, we neutralize our capacity to hear
where He wants to take us. read more
As we move along into the new year, I wanted to share 25 key
initiatives that I feel are significant for every believer. I am hopeful
that these will confirm some things the Lord has already been showing
you as well as encourage you to pray into these initiatives for your own
lives, and for the body of Christ.
I pray that each of us would ask the
Father to reveal to us our part in the body and that we would seek Him
for guidance for His will to be done through us. May the Lord kingdomize
your life in amazing ways in 2012 to further expand His kingdom and His
glory upon the earth.
1. Give to Caesar (government) what is Caesar’s, and give to God what
is His, which are our very lives. Jesus was consumed with His Father’s
Kingdom being brought to the earth. We must focus on Christ and His kingdom rather than being overly concerned with political processes and
government foolishness. We pray for governmental change, but we must
look to God and not government to provide for us.
2. God is raising up new leaders who will stand for righteousness in
the realms of government. This generation of Daniels and Josephs will
continue to take their place in leading nations with Father’s influence,
presence and wisdom in governmental offices. read more
As I have prayed about the coming year, I’ve sensed three clear directives.
Some people are
terrified of 2012. They worry because the Mayans of ancient Mexico
mysteriously ended their 5,126-year-old calendar on Dec. 21, 2012—as if
they expected the world to end that day. This silly hypothesis became
the basis for several New Age books and a goofy disaster movie, 2012,
in which actor John Cusack avoids meteors and earthquakes just in time
to get his family aboard the modern version of Noah’s ark (built in
China!) before the rest of the world is destroyed by a tsunami.
I’m not afraid of 12/21/12 because (1) Ancient Mayans never actually
said the world would end in 2012—and even if they did, they didn’t have
an inside track to God; (2) Doomsday predictions have never been
accurate; and (3) Jesus holds the future in his hands. As long as I’m in
relationship with Him, it doesn’t matter what happens on earth. I’m
Despite strange weather patterns, global terrorism and the specter of
an economic crash, I’m actually optimistic about where we’re headed in
2012. And as I have prayed about the coming year, I’ve sensed these
three clear directives: read more
While I was praying over 2012, I received impressions about many
things—some warnings and some promises. But what burned most on my heart
to share with the masses wasn’t a list of predictions or a prophetic
directive. What burned most on my heart to share are four simple words:
Revival begins with you.
We yearn to see signs, wonders and
miracles manifest today as they did in the book of Acts, don’t we? But
are we willing to pay the price the early church paid? Are we willing to
die to self? Are we willing to relinquish control to the Holy Spirit so
He can move like He wants to move? Are we willing to repent for the
character flaws that hold us back? Are we willing to walk in love and
unity with true believers who don’t believe exactly the same as we do?
Are we willing to war against the spirit of compromise that is raging
against the church in this age? Revival begins with you.
of Acts never fails to fascinate me. It is the Holy Ghost in action, the
gifts of the Spirit made manifest, a charismatic believer’s delight.
Indeed, many of us want to see the Holy Ghost move in the church—and in
the world—like that again. Well, I beseech you to consider these four
words: Revival begins with you. read more