Got your sail up for 2010?

Have you caught the force of God’s wind for you for this year? This decade? While I think that vision and plan like an airline itinerary is probably the exception, I do believe that because God wants us to regularly come to Him for loving communion and Kingdom direction that He gave us times and seasons. They are a gift to us propel us in regular movement towards His heart; into His embrace; forward in Kingdom advancement, etc.

So, for me the turn of the year is a special time of anticipation to catch the wind of the Spirit for the coming year and to more fully understand the year that just passed. What did 2009 make possible? What does 2010…indeed the whole decade…hold for us?!

In addition to hearing directly from the Lord Himself, our Father desires that His children listen to each other…(that’s what friends and brothers and sisters do…it’s called relationship). So, I’m a big fan of regular listening to voices that I know are pressing into the Lord’s heart. They have keys that will help me unlock doors.

If you don’t already have your collection of sources that speak to you, you’re welcome to mine!

Here’s a message from Bill Johnson called “The Power of a Promise” speaking about Isaiah 45:1-3 and the life that God puts on a word that He give you. This is a passage that Bill feels is important for this year. Then there are several blog posts with various prophetic voices and discussions about 2010 and a link to the archives of the OneThing conference that happens at the turn of every year in Kansas City. Why don’t you post links to sources that have spoken to you in the comments? The wind of the Spirit is blowing for 2010. Get your sails up!

The Power of a Promise by Bill Johnson (MP3 17.7MB)

2010: from Paul Leader

2010, oil, and all things related 2010 and the year of the Lord’s freedom

What lies ahead?So what about 2010?

which way the prophetic directions for 2010? The new year, snow and fresh communication routes…

onething’09 Conference Archives

Oh my gosh! Got Bickle?!

I am so excited!

IHOP just did something truly fabulous and incredible!!! (yes The Prayer Room web stream is now free…which is totally cool…but that’s not it).

I have to back up a little bit…

In 1999, we did our YWAM training (DTS) in Hainichen, Germany. Almost every morning during our DTS, as part of my personal devotions, I’d listen to one side of a cassette tape of a 20-part Bible teaching series. The series was The Life of David by Mike Bickle. I don’t think I can overstate how much that impacted me as a teaching and as the beginning of a powerful habit in my life…listening and re-listening to very good and deep teaching messages…almost daily. Then it was on cassette and I relished long car rides when I could listen to several in a row and just get lost and immersed in the subject matter. Now it’s while I do the dishes every morning using the mp3 player on my cell phone.

After the Life of David, I discovered two other 20-part series by Mike Bickle: The Song of Solomon and The Bride of Christ Later I collected CDs and DVDs of mp3 teachings. Most were from IHOP. Then I discovered some other good sources on the Internet. Then Bethel came along. Morningstar is in there too….but it all started with these teaching series from Mike Bickle. They made me the junkie that I am today…and along the way they helped to transform me as they transformed and energized my theology and my spirit.

I’ve had my copies, collected over the years and carefully stocked on my computer. As I’ve come across individual teachings that have impacted me, I’ve tried to place them here on this blog as a way to share them. I always hesitated to put the whole 20-part series up though. IHOP trumpets often that their “copyright is the right to copy” and certainly they’ve been extremely liberal with their teaching notes. But I was never quite sure since they’ve continued to sell a good percentage of their teachings from their site, and never posted their longer series… until now!

Now, all these great, in depth, transformational series are on-line for free access at a new IHOP sister site for resources specifically from Mike Bickle.

So, I urge you to head over to Mike Bickle’s Teaching Series page and begin…somewhere! Anywhere! Start to listen. Re-listen! Then download the notes and go through them in your personal study time. It will change your life!

Don’t return to your regularly-scheduled programming! Make 2010 different! I know that the last decade, with liberal doses of these teachings for meditation, has changed me radically. I think the next one will change me too. I encourage you to jump on the bandwagon!

Happy listening!

A corporate anointing on a company of people to change a city

This is the time of year when we reflect and hear from the Lord about His heart for the coming 12 months. (God Himself is not bound by time, but He gives it to us as a gift to keep us on the journey with Him and to help us move “from glory to glory” [2 Cor 3:18]. So, while time is not necessary for Him, I believe that it is necessary for us and important for us.)

While it’s not a new message, I feel that for our assembly of believers, EGLISE JOSUE in Guebwiller, France, 2010 is a year in which we are called to come into a new revelation and experience (words that actually should be inseparable, but in Western thinking are separate):

  • of our corporate identity
  • in order that we could carry a corporate anointing
  • in order that we could come along side our city (Guebwiller and the surrounding area)
  • in order that we would bless the city
  • in order that the city would become a blessing to the nations

In this audio teaching from Bethel Church in Redding, CA, Bill Johnson explains how God needs a company of people, as opposed to an individual, in order to pour out a blessing and an anointing sufficiently powerful to facilitate transformation of a city or a region. The level of blessing and anointing necessary would crush an individual, but a company of believers who are walking in unity of honest heart relationships can successfully steward such a measure of grace.

I encourage liberal quantities of this teaching while praying for your church and your city. I think this is a word for us specifically, but the same Holy Spirit is undoubtedly saying the same thing specifically to many believers around the world. Start praying and proclaiming the end result now: Jesus, make name-your-city a blessing to the nations!

Practical Steps to Change the World (mp3 9.5Mb)

Oral Roberts: a Wide Swath

Oral Roberts: R.I.P 1918-2009

I graduated from Oral Roberts University so my connection with Oral Roberts is perhaps slightly more direct than most people’s. I have a little more context to understand this fairly enigmatic man, but I believe it’s what I’ve been learning in the last 5-10 years that has given me a greater appreciation for him. His methods have often put him at odds with many people, but I believe his impact for the Kingdom has been undeniable and is worth honoring.

In recent years I’ve become interested an excited to greater and lesser degrees by various movements an teachings. Here is a sampling:

  • 24/7 prayer
  • Making the supernatural a natural part of life
  • God is a good god in a good mood
  • Sowing and reaping
  • Christian education
  • Healing
  • etc.

As I look back at Oral Roberts, I see that, while the language and practice might have a different “look n’ feel”, he pioneered all of these things in a big way LONG before I ever got on the band wagon.

  • ORU has had 24/7 prayer in their Prayer Tower since well before the world-wide “prayer movement”
  • “Expect a Miracle” was a foundation slogan of Oral Roberts’ ministry. It was even printed on the basketball court in the arena at ORU! (and sometimes miracles were needed there…and sometimes they happened!)
  • “Something good is going to happen to you” was the theme song of Oral’s TV show. Expectation in God’s goodness was an integral part of what he was about
  • “Plant a seed to meet your need” was another famous Oral Roberts slogan. Sure the “prosperity gospel” muddied those waters somewhat, but Oral’s main book “The Miracle of Seed-Faith” could easily have been written by some recent teachers that I have heard and respect.
  • Right now we’re amongst “pioneers” in Christian Education in the Francophone world. Having a “Christian University” is in our vision here and is considered as the pinnacle of the vision. Oral Roberts University was preceded by MANY Bible colleges and seminaries and many Evangelical colleges and universities existed before ORU, but ORU was probably the first liberal arts university where the Holy Spirit was honored specifically and encouraged to move freely. Sometimes messy…but hey, God’s creative activity often is!
  • Hello! Healing?! Well, duh! Actually, it’s not been until recently that healing has been “redeemed” in my eyes. But one cannot deny Oral Roberts’ place in paving the way for praying for the sick and watching God move powerfully.

Many have said that the era of the “big name” ministries is coming to an end and I think that I agree with that in general. I do think, however, that there are “Paul Bunyan” types who make a way for others to follow. They don’t “walk softly”, which means their faults are also out there for all to see and if you’re cynical, you’ll have plenty of fodder to work with. They do, however, make an impact. They swing their ax and clear a path and take new territory. Many people benefit from their efforts. We don’t realize the debt we owe to so many pioneers.

Oral Roberts was such a man.

The Power of Paradigms

As one with a motivational gift of “teacher”, I’m always analyzing ideas and, a little like really smart physicists, I like to find ideas that help make sense of many things in life at once…unifying theories if you will. My unifying theories tend to be theological ones as opposed to scientific or even philosophical. In my book, God is what makes everything make sense. That’s still a bit broad though. So, when I hear a truth that helps make sense of life in a broad and profound way, I try grab a hold of it and hopefully integrate it into daily life.

Often times one will hear a teacher/preacher say that something is the key concept to embrace. I’m one, however, who sees nuances and shades as opposed to black and white distinctions. Therefore, I think it’s highly unlikely that anything is the key when it comes to God…who He is…how He moves…the Kingdom of God…etc. In fact, my perspective of God and His Kingdom is that it is so incredibly vast, deep, profound, etc. that while there are certain truths that are probably more foundational than others, we cut ourselves off from further understanding of God and His Kingdom when we decide that we’ve found the key. My feeling is that God does give specific revelation to specific people to study, experience, and share deeply. They become the “equipment distributors” of the Kingdom (“equipping the saints…very similar to the concept of Ephesians 4:11). I find it frustrating, however, that some “equipment distributors” find it necessary to tout their equipment as the most important. Let’s let God decide that and announce that. God is so vast that we need to be celebrating how He’s moving everywhere and in so many ways throughout the earth! We need all his equipment distributors.

This series of 4 teachings by Richard Hays, and American missionary living in Mexico, gives a pretty good overview of “Kingdom keys” that he’s been studying, experiencing and sharing. I say overview because they have a series of in-depth training courses at their church in Mexico that obviously dig much deeper. The keys/paradigms/unifying theories that Richard has been entrusted with are righteousness and identity. I recommended repeated listening to help get the multitude of good points he makes and to be able to experience the power of these paradigms.

He’s speaking in English and it’s translated to French, so it’s also a good practice for learning French or English.

This link will take you to the page on our church’s site where the 4 teachings are.

Forerunners get filled early

Yesterday, several of us who are involved in leading worship at our church had a time of targeted prayer for a worship team of junior high students at Olivia’s school. This was the 2nd such time of prayer that we’ve had for young worshipers in the last few days. We laid hands on them and spoke what the Lord gave us for them. It was a powerful time and we’re recognizing that God is moving on them specifically, but on younger and younger people in general. I mentioned a bit about this in the recent post about the Elijah Generation teaching by Steve Freeman.

This morning I was re-reading the most recent post in the monthly European intercessor’s blog, The Daywatch, by Roger Mitchell. In it, he’s studying the work of the Holy Spirit, using the book of Luke, to help us understand who the Holy Spirit is/what He does so that we can better recognize what He is doing NOW (and follow Him…duh!). The first thing mentioned in what I was reading is that the Holy Spirit is the Preparer. Roger underlined this by noting that it was the Holy Spirit who literally put the embryonic Jesus in a teen-aged girl.

As I’m studying German now (yea!), I thought reading through Luke 1 in my German Bible would be a good connection to this whole topic. Reading your Bible in a foreign language that you’re in the process of learning is a fabulous tool…not only for the language acquisition, but for opening up spiritual insights. You are forced to read at a different pace and frequently, you’re faced with translation differences that give you pause…to…reconsider…what…you…think…you…already…know.

This morning my (exceedingly) slow paced reading, and the focus of the work of the Holy Spirit caused me to stop at Luke 1:15 where the angel tells Zachariah that John the Baptist would be filled with the Holy Spirit in his mother’s womb. It’s not clear when exactly this happened, but in Luke 1:41 it says that John the Baptist lept in Elisabeth’s womb and that Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit at that time.

I’m guessing that John got the Holy Spirit before Elisabeth and that his reaction to recognizing Jesus was the key for his (aged, barren) mother to get filled. I think this is a pattern for our times!

Through listening to Mike Bickle and teachings from IHOP, I’ve been familiar for awhile with the concept of the Forerunner and the spirit of the Forerunner coming on a whole generation and seeing people getting on fire at younger and younger ages. That’s typically been filed in the “yes-Lord,-I’m-glad-you’re-doing-that-somewhere-on-the-earth” folder. Well, I think what’s already raining down in different places on the earth is starting to sprinkle here!

If John the Baptist is the obvious model for the Forerunner, I think the “younger and younger” manifestation is probably the normal progression. Watch out pregnant women!!!

Stewardship – God’s original plan?

I’m not quite sure where all this topic will go, and I’ll probably write a few posts about it as I think it requires a multi-faceted exploration. These musings were provoked by some blog posts by Martin Scott a couple of months ago. He posited stewardship as the appropriate governing perspective (my terminology) for the Body of Christ over against nationalism and patriotism. I really liked that idea straight away as it put words to the uneasiness I’ve often felt with patriotism; particularly in the way I’ve found it expressed within the Body of Christ.

Simply questioning patriotism in many circles is unheard of and indeed negatively provocative. I’m less interesting in stirring up a hornets nest however, by attacking patriotism, per se, than I am in exploring what stewardship could really mean in its fullest expression. My thought is that for the follower of Jesus, living a full expression of stewardship would make patriotism a lot less energizing.

Obviously the working definition of all these words can be hard to pin down and can lead to a fair amount of heated discussion. I’ll try to explain my terms as I’m using them as I go. That doesn’t mean everybody has to agree with me, of course.

I titled this Stewardship – God’s original plan? because I believe this really begins back in Genesis 1:26,28 with God’s creation of the cosmos and man. I believe that God gave Adam (and then with Eve) a small (?) parcel of land to steward (Genesis 2:8,15). I tend to think that the Garden of Eden was a “partially tamed” land to teach mankind some essential truths about how this whole thing – life, creation, relationship with God, etc. – was supposed to work…with the idea that these experiential understandings were to be applied to the rest of God’s creation. What was it that they were to understand? Certainly a lot more than I can imagine, but here’s a short list oriented to what I’d like to discuss:

  • God’s creation is a living gift
  • The gift is given, with love, by our Heavenly Papa to us
  • Like all life in the current created order, it needs investment to flourish – a lack of investment will either kill it or cause it to grow malignantly/incorrectly
  • God provides for us
  • One of the chief ways that He intends to provide for us is via the creation He gives us as a gift

To summarize, He set up Creation and Man in Creation to have a symbiotic relationship. Man helps Creation flourish and Creation’s life becomes life-giving for Man. All of this is intended to be in a context of a growing relationship with God as Father. The joyful, probably limitless, treasure hunt that God has instilled in the created order is there to provide us and Him joy as we seek His heart and and He reveals clues to us as to how His Creation works. He desires that we mature and become more and more creative and loving just like Him. I also happen to think that this maturation process is part of preparing a Bride for Jesus…i.e. a creative Body of Christ to be equally yoked to the Creator for eternity…but that’s another story! 😉

More next time…