Until our outward man--our soul--is broken, the fragrance of Christ in our inward man cannot come forth.
Anyone who serves God will discover sooner or later that the great hindrance to his work is not others but himself. He will discover that his outward man and his inward man are not in harmony, for both are tending toward opposite directions.
He will also sense the inability of his outward man to submit to the Spirit's control, thus rendering him incapable of obeying God's highest commands. He will quickly detect that the greatest difficulty lies in his outward man, for it hinders him from using his spirit. read more
HERE ARE SEVEN AREAS FOR TARGETED INTERCESSION FOR OUR NATION'S LEADER.
Not long after the multiple tragedies of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush was asked what he would like Americans to be praying. His reply was revealing. He said, "That there's a shield of protection, so that if the vile ones try to hit us again, that we've done everything we can, physically, and that there is a spiritual shield that protects the country."
Clearly, Bush is a man who understands the power of intercessory prayer. He recognizes that there is a realm beyond the seen, a spiritual realm, that influences human events. He knows that prayer has power in this realm and that a praying people erect a "spiritual shield" that can withstand attacks of every kind. read more
NOBODY IN MY FAMILY watches Desperate Housewives. My wife and I are raising four teenage daughters, so the last thing we need is a sleazy prime-time soap opera about suburban women who consider adultery an acceptable way to cure boredom.
No thanks. I'll change the channel.
On the other hand, I do want my girls to grow up to be desperate. Not like the women who live on the fictional Wisteria Lane, but more like Hannah--the Bible's original desperate housewife. We could use a big dose of her desperation today. read more
If you are especially burdened to intercede for governmental authorities, it's possible you've been anointed for a special assignment. Who can forget the memorable Wednesday night in January 1991 when television viewers watched with astonishment as the Gulf War unfolded before our very eyes? The war appeared to be a struggle over Kuwait's crude oil. However, oil is symbolic of power, both physically and spiritually.
Saddam Hussein did not count on the fact that God's people would gather throughout the land to pray. Not unlike the prideful Goliath, Hussein was swiftly defeated and made the laughingstock of the entire world. God honors the prayers of His government intercessors! read more
In obedience to Jesus' explicit command, 120 believers waited in the upper room for the promise of the Father, and while they waited, they travailed in prayer. For 10 days they gave themselves to intercession.
Luke records their steadfast spiritual labor: "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication" (Acts 1:14, NKJV). This is a key fact that reveals that intercession was an integral part of the birth of the church.
In that miraculous moment, the Holy Spirit fell in power. Peter preached Christ, and suddenly 3,000 souls believed, repented and were born anew (see Acts 2:37-41). The travail of the 120 brought forth new life for many. This is the calling of God's interceding forerunners everywhere. read more
The local weathermen warned us regularly in spring 2006 about the dreadful hurricane season Florida residents were facing. The two previous years had been record-breaking in our state and across the Gulf region for damage due to hurricanes. In Orlando, where I live, three storms hit within six weeks.
At a conference I attended in May 2006, several leaders discussed the dismal forecasts. As we talked, it became clear that the Holy Spirit was prodding us to do something. After all, Jesus has authority over the winds and the waves (see Mark 4:39), and He gave His authority to us. By the end of the discussion, three of us who have intercessory prayer networks totaling about 10,000 people committed to take a stand in prayer against the storms and their probable devastation.
During the next month I connected with several other leaders whom God was also directing to stand in prayer regarding the storm season. We began to ask the Holy Spirit for His strategy and were amazed at how specifically He directed us to pray. We decreed: "No storm of hurricane strength will hit American soil."
IN THIS HOUR, GOD'S HOLY PURPOSES ARE BEING REVEALED AROUND THE WORLD. I BELIEVE IT IS A TIME OF GREAT SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE FOR ISRAEL.
It was July 2000 and in Israel not only the political climate was hot, but also the temperature--the thermometer was well over the 100-degree mark. Despite the blistering heat, I and 450 fellow Aglow women traveled to the Holy Land just as peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians began at Camp David.
It was more than just a sightseeing trip; we were on a mission ordained by God. For the next several days we traveled through Israel, praying, worshiping and loving the people. We proclaimed the love of God and the holy purposes for His people, those whom He calls "the apple of His eye" (see Zech. 2:6-8). read more
My wife gave me an iPod for my birthday last July but I waited until Christmas to open it. Of course I appreciated the gift. But I avoided opening the box because I didn't want to tinker with another new form of technology.
I have reached my limit. And I am not the only one suffering from high-tech fatigue.
I see this condition everywhere. People talk on cell phones while driving. Some use their phones while e-mailing from their laptops. I see guys chatting in airport restrooms using their remote earphones. (No thanks. I'll call from the gate area.)
I've even watched two people sit together in a restaurant while they phone other people at the same time. What we've lost in real connection with human beings we've made up for in increased broadband speed, sound quality and added video features. After all, who needs the lost art of conversation when we have TiVo, BlackBerry devices, Bluetooth headsets and smaller, sleeker MP3 players?
There is a substantial difference between being filled with the Holy Spirit and not being filled. The apostle Peter went through a period of stumbling, defeat and insecurity. But Jesus had promised the disciples they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came on them, and they would be His witnesses.
Peter lived that experience in the upper room where it says: "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 2:2-4, NKJV).
For three years, Peter walked with Jesus and saw the most glorious moments of the Lord's ministry. But when Peter had to make a stand for Christ, he refused to do so. In the upper room, when he received the fulfillment of Christ's promise, the fullness of the Holy Spirit enabled him to become a faithful witness.
We do not change because we witness miracles and wonders, nor do we change because we attend a beautiful worship service. Only an upper room experience can transform us--a personal experience with Christ through His Holy Spirit. read more