How God—that all-consuming, living flame of love—shows His unrelenting desire for people.
God’s love is an intimidating topic to grasp because it is the very subject of God Himself. He is love, and everything He is and does is love. He is a vast, shoreless ocean of love, and we have only heard the mere whisper of His passion. As a student of His love I feel too small to even begin to try and describe Him. But on one aspect, I’ll try.
As I began to study God’s love I found one of the characteristics that motivates me the most is His unrelenting love. His pursuit of my heart and His burning desire for me has changed my life entirely. I remember when I first began to see the God of burning desire—it was revolutionary. I was in a Bible school class in Kansas City in which Mike Bickle taught on the Song of Solomon. I’d never heard God described as one who had burning desire or a ravished heart for people. I had never heard love defined like that. read more
Initimacy with the Holy Spirit will ignite your ministry and change your life forever.
At the start of the 20th century, Wales was known for its music and entertainment, its independent spirit and its rich sports heritage, but something was terribly wrong. The bars flourished while the powerless and passionless churches dried up.
Gambling and greed were beginning to dominate virtually every activity and captivate the nation's middle class. Violent crimes increased so quickly that there were not enough police officers in the entire country to restore order.
According to noted revival historians, as the hunger for personal pleasure began to dominate the culture, Evan Roberts, then a coal miner, would carry his beloved Bible into the mines with him. For 13 months Roberts cried out to heaven in intense prayer and intercession as God birthed a desperate need for revival in his heart. read more
We must understand some basic things concerning the nature of the prophetic. Few, in fact very few, prophetic words are ever sovereign declarations that will come to pass without any conditions being met. Most prophetic words are invitations into a process of becoming. Often, the Lord is more interested in our becoming a word and not just getting, releasing or receiving a word.
The prophetic at its best is partial, progressive and conditional. That is not the fault of the prophetic person—it is the way it works biblically, historically and how it works today. read more
The word Pentecost has special meaning for more than 500 million Christian
believers worldwide. They not only joyfully tell the story of Acts 2 (called by
some "the most-read chapter in the Bible"); they also experience the Holy Spirit
just as the early disciples did.
Fifty days after Jesus' crucifixion, on the annual Jewish festival of
Pentecost in Jerusalem, God launched the church of Jesus Christ with a mighty
outpouring of His Holy Spirit. Here's how the Bible describes the event:
"When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in
one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty
wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared
to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they
were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as
the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:1-4).
When we spent three weeks in India in 1980, we agreed with our pastor and his wife that we would not visit any of the Hindu temples. We did not want to expose ourselves to the spirits that dwelled in these temples. We knew that even though man had made the idols in these temples, demonic spirits were all around them.
While we were in Madras, a man came up to us and asked us if we wanted to see a museum that had bronzes that dated back to the eleventh century. We agreed to follow him, and later wished we had not. As we entered the museum we felt the heaviness of demonic spirits and soon realized that all the bronzes were idols the Hindus worshipped. Some were so grotesque in appearance we wondered how anyone could worship such an image. Our pastor quickly made a beeline for the door and said, "We've seen your gods, but personally I prefer Jehovah God."
Psalm 115 tells us all about idols. Idols have mouths, but they cannot speak; eyes, but they cannot see; ears, but they cannot hear; noses, but they cannot smell; hands, but they cannot handle; feet, but they cannot walk. This psalm goes on to say, "Those that make them are like to them; so is everyone who trusts in them" (v. 8). read more
Ephesians 6:12 tells us that our struggles are not with other human beings but with the devil and his demons. Satan, the enemy of our souls, attempts to defeat us with strategy and deceit through well-laid plans and deception.
But the devil is a liar. Jesus called him "the father of lies and of all that is false" (John 8:44, The Amplified Bible). He tells us things about ourselves, people and circumstances that are just not true. He does not, however, tell us the entire lie all at once.
He begins by bombarding our minds with a cleverly devised pattern of little nagging thoughts, suspicions, doubts, wonderings, reasonings and theories. He moves slowly and cautiously. He has a strategy for his warfare—he has studied us for a long time. read more
Unleash faith's prevailing power and watch obstacles and hindrances fall away.
As I was walking to my car from the grocery store recently, I was swept along by several strong gusts of wind. They caused traffic lights to sway, flags to ripple and pop, and drivers to take extra caution. Leaves, paper and other loose items in the wind's path were helplessly tossed about.
Suddenly I realized how very much like faith that wind was. Driven by the potency of God's Word, the assurance of Christ's love and the power of the Holy Spirit, faith operates in much the same way. It sweeps past obstacles and hindrances, clearing debris such as fear, doubt and unbelief out of the way and taking authority over the circumstances and conditions that threaten to impede our promises. read more
In the early days of my developing a relationship with the Lord in worship, I frequently saw His feet as I bowed before Him. That seemed to be the extent of my faith in worship; but, as my faith increased, He didn't leave me there at His feet. Little by little the relationship grew until I stood in His presence and saw Him face to face.
We begin by knowing Him as King. That in itself is glorious. But He wants to take us further. He wants us to know Him, not only as King, but also as heavenly Bridegroom. He wants us to know Him as the Beloved, the Lover of our souls and He whom our souls love. read more
A third-generation Pentecostal’s take on staying Spirit-filled without the hype.
My roots in the charismatic-Pentecostal movement go very deep. My grandpa and grandma both became ordained ministers in the Assemblies of God (AG) following radical encounters with God. They dedicated themselves to preaching the gospel and planting churches across rural Oklahoma and Southern California.
My father, Hubert, became a traveling evangelist with the AG while still in high school. He and my mother pastored churches together in Colorado, Missouri and Texas. Dad served as a missionary in India after my mom’s death in 1991. read more
Meditating on the Bible is one way to find God's peace and contentment. Here are helpful verses taken from the New King James Version.
"When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands." -Deuteronomy 24:19
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." -Joshua 1:9
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. -Psalm 56:3 read more
Answering the most frequently asked questions about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
My life is filled with amazing people. Recently, a widow I know pointed to a midnight intruder and boldly commanded him to leave her house. He did! Another friend refused to panic when her teenage daughter ran away. As she was calling the police, the Holy Spirit revealed the girl’s exact location to her. Another woman—a shy single mom—overcame a 12-year battle with bulimia. Today she teaches a weekly Bible study to women with addictions. Are these people superheroes? No, they’re just ordinary Christians who have received the extraordinary baptism of the Holy Spirit.
When people are baptized in the Holy Spirit, they are filled with God’s ability. Natural people do supernatural things. Lives of chaos find serenity and purpose. Shy people become bold, and selfish people experience radical changes in their priorities. Sadly, many Christians today don’t seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit because they don’t understand it. They don’t know what they’re missing! Here are some of the questions I hear most frequently. read more
Without the symbolism it
would be difficult for you to know if your dreams were just dreams or a
dream from God. Below is a guide to interpreting some of the most common objects and symbols in dreams.
To decipher the meaning of objects and
symbols in the Bible, a principle of biblical interpretation called the
“law of first mention” can be used. It states that the first mention of
an object, number, color or symbol in the Bible sets up a pattern of
interpretation for it that holds true throughout the rest of Scripture.
Listed below are the verses where the symbolic words first appear. The
meaning or meanings provided for each symbol are based on the law of
first mention. Please understand—these may not be the only meanings.
Read this if you don't want your prayer life to become
Everyone has a different preference when it comes to
prayer and how he or she feels is the best way to connect with God. The
important thing is that you don’t want your prayer life to become
mundane and never grow or change. You want it to be fresh, exciting and
even explosive in the Spirit. We all want our prayers to be effective,
and anyone who is full of the Spirit has the anointing to pray powerful prayers that produce miracles.
We can pray in such a way that our
prayers just flow. We don’t have to force them. They can even become
prophetic—the heart of the Holy Spirit pouring out of our words and
Several years ago, we were praying at a
prayer meeting in our church, asking the Lord to use the ministry more
effectively to touch lives in our city. The Lord directed us to pray in
such a way that our prayers would have “bull’s-eye” accuracy.
We knew the Holy Spirit wanted to develop specific
prayers that were going to be like instruments of warfare targeted
toward building certain key parts of the church’s vision. After that
time of prayer, we were amazed at the number of breakthroughs we
experienced in our ministry.
As believers, we sometimes pray
randomly, repeating things—not really thinking about what we are
saying. To pray effectively, we must pray calculated prayers, with
biblical, Spirit-led accuracy.
These kinds of prayers are like swords
in the Spirit (see Is. 49:2-3). They shoot out, and something just
“clicks” when you pray them. You know you hit the target and don’t walk
away wondering if you received the answer.
James 5:16 tells us it is “effectual” prayer that avails much. The Amplified Bible says that is prayer that “makes tremendous power available.”
Effectual prayer is accurate, targeted prayer that is done with action. In the Greek, it is the word energeo, which means to be “efficient, full of energy, and to display working activity.”
In other words, when you hear someone pray with effectual
prayer, you don’t have to wonder whether it’s working because there is
energy behind it. You can sense and feel power on it.
One way to ensure you are praying
prayers that work is to pray according to the Bible. Rather than just
praying whatever you think, find out what God’s will is for the
situation and bring your prayers in line with it. God has a certain way
of thinking when it comes to things in our lives, and we need to align
Case in point: When you need prayer for
physical healing, you may feel terrible in your body and want to cry to
the Lord about how bad things are for you. However, a more effectual
way to pray is to find the Lord’s promises about healing from Scripture
and pray in agreement with God.
This doesn’t mean you cannot cry out to
the Lord in your time of adversity. What you need in order to stay
accurate in prayer, however, is then to refocus on trusting in God and
When you make a habit of praying this way, you will learn
to pray from the river of your spirit. You plug into the Holy Spirit’s
way, the source of power in you, because you are agreeing with the
Instead of trying to swim upstream, you are flowing with
the current. Remember that when the power of the Holy Spirit flows out
of you like a river, it contains miracles, blessings and answers to
prayer. Accurate prayer will help you flow in all those things.
Suddenly, instead of praying random,
disconnected prayers, you are grabbing hold of the blessing that God
has already placed in the river of your spirit. A new energy and
confidence will come to your prayer life, and you will have conclusive
results because you are targeting what you need with what God has
co-founder, with her husband, Hank, of One Voice Ministries and
co-pastor with him of Lord of Hosts Church in Omaha, Nebraska. She
ministers worldwide in conferences and churches and is the author of
several books, including The Supernatural You (Charisma House). read more
Our relationships become healthier when we remember the message of the cross.
In our relationships, it is important for us to remember that mutual love and respect are to be accomplished out of reverence to Christ. To the degree that each of us is subject to Jesus Christ, the Lord enables us to relate to each other lovingly and respectfully.
The reverse corollary is also true. To the degree that we are not subject to Jesus Christ, He will not rule our hearts, and forgiveness will not be built into us as a moment-by-moment daily practice. When we do not submit our wills to Him, we will be subject to one another, but to one another's selfish control rather than to blessing.
Good, bad or indifferent, each of us does relate to every person with whom we come in contact. We affect others in some way. In that sense, we cannot avoid being subject to on another.
Without the presence of Jesus in our lives, we will relate to others only according to the flesh and not by the Spirit. Only when the cross is present is the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ able to transform our relationships to produce blessing rather than harm.
Our distance from the cross of Christ, practically, in daily living, is the reason we have so many broken relationships and divorces today. People are paying lip service to Jesus, but they don't know how to walk with Him moment by moment. They can't maintain long-term relationships because the fire of unforgiveness burns within them.
When a man and woman enter the marriage relationship, the husband and wife often tend to counterbalance each other. For example, if one tends to talk too much, the other is likely to remain silent. If one is a strong disciplinarian, the other probably will be more lax.
When this tendency to counterbalance one another occurs, tensions develop between partners because one or the other is pressed to lean uncomfortably toward behavior contrary to his or her normal temperament or beliefs. This counterbalancing dynamic is also active among siblings, friends and business associates.
The key to overcoming this dynamic is in sensitive applications of the cross and forgiveness. We must evaluate what is happening in all our relationships and put our own ego in proper perspective.
Jesus said, " 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me'" (Matt.16:24, NKJV). We can take the practices of our relationships to the cross through forgiveness so that through the power of Jesus Christ our selfishness can be put to death and our wounded feelings healed. read more
In Genesis 13 (Read Genesis 13), Lot chose selfishly and moved his family
to the choicest land—near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, whose
inhabitants sinned greatly. Abram, Lot’s uncle, generously let him go;
and for his generosity, God blessed Abram and allowed him to settle his
family in a safe area.
Later, God used Abram to rescue Lot
from the evil cities before He destroyed them. Abram learned the
blessings of being generous and following God’s plan. read more
Divine healing is a gift from God, an act of His mercy and grace. Our part is to listen to Him and carry out His Word.·
The most fundamental skill required for healing is openness to the Holy Spirit, emptying oneself and receiving His leading and power. Frequently I encounter people who want a method for healing, a formula they can follow that guarantees them automatic healings. But divine healing is neither automatic nor dependent on our right actions; it is rooted in a relationship with God and the power of His Spirit.
Divine healing is a gift from God, an act of His mercy and grace. Our part is to listen to Him and carry out His Word.
When I speak of listening to God's voice, I mean developing a practice of communion with the Father in which we are constantly asking, "Lord, what do You want me to do now? How do You want to use me? How should I pray? Whom do You want me to evangelize? Is there someone You want to heal?"
Sometimes the Holy Spirit gives me specific insights about people for whom I am praying. These come as impressions—specific words, pictures in my mind's eye, or physical sensations in my body that correspond to problems in their bodies.
These impressions help me know who and what to pray for as well as how to pray. I do not imply that I have an infallible "hotline" to God, and that I always hear His voice and follow His leading. But I am open to God, listening to Him, confident that He wants to lead us to minister to others.
Our mouths were created to praise and worship the Lord. Every part of our being was created to glorify God here on earth.
Our hands are to lift in praise to Him daily. Even the trees of the fields rejoice and clap their hands. So often, however, we use these God-given, fearfully and wonderfully made bodies to do things that Satan wants us to do. Remember, Satan has no power to make you do anything, even sin. Sin happens in our lives because we are led astray by our own lusts. We learned earlier the way to keep us from giving into our own lusts and fulfilling them is to stay filled with the Spirit. One of the ways to stay constantly filled with the Spirit is to use our mouths to praise, sing spiritual songs and hymns, to give thanks and to make melody in our hearts. If we are busy praising and worshiping the Lord, we will not have time to give into our own lusts.
One of the ways I like to keep myself filled with the Spirit is to have good praise music and hymns playing throughout the day when I am home doing my chores. I sing along with the hymns, and I also love to play classical music that lifts soul and spirit. I mostly concentrate on Handel and Bach. The world tries to drag us down, and can easily do it if we set ourselves in front of the boob tube all day long or even have it playing while we are doing other things. Remember, Satan is the prince and power of the air. He loves to use TV and radio to gain an advantage over us.
Another way we can stay filled with Spirit is to refuse to allow anything to come out of our mouths that would wound or hurt others. Our mouths were created to praise God and also to praise and edify others. David knew his own weakness in the matter of the tongue, and he calls upon the help of God to set a watch over his mouth. This morning let's pray a prayer that David prayed. "Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight. Set a watch over my mouth, and may my mouth, be used today only to praise You and to edify and praise others."