May 21, 2013

Lessions From The Eagle

Deuteronomy 32:11-12
As an eagle stirs up its nest,
Hovers over its young,
Spreading out its wings, taking them up,
Carrying them on its wings,
12 So the Lord alone led him,
    And there was no foreign god with him.

Job 39:27-28
Did you command the eagle’s flight,
and teach her to build her nest in the heights,
28 Perfectly at home on the high cliff-face,
invulnerable on pinnacle and crag?

The eagle builds his nest high upon a mountain. They will at times pick a location that’s 10,000 feet above the ground. The nest that they build can weigh up to two tons and stretch to as much as eight feet across. The eagle carries limbs that are up to four inches in diameter to the nesting area, as they build a nest that can be as deep as two feet. The core of the nest is supported by huge limbs. The outer edges of the nest is lined with soft leaves and vines that are actually woven together by the eagles before they lay eggs. The leaves cover the rough sticks that would puncture the soft fur of the baby eaglets.

In addition to the soft bed of leaves, shortly before the eggs hatch, the mother eagle begins to pull the soft downy fur from her own body to shelter and warm her young. As the small birds are attempting to free themselves from the egg shells, the mother never helps them in their struggle. Because if she did, she would hinder their own survival. After about six to seven months, one day the mother eagle swoops in and begins to stir or basically wreck the brooding area of the nest.

She pulls out the soft leaves, tosses the fur from her own body to the winds, and removes the long vines that once provided comfort. The young eaglets then try to stand and balance themselves in the nest that has just been stirred. It’s something that they have to do, because lying down in the nest would cause cuts in their bodies because of the limbs in the nest. They must learn to balance themselves, and also get used to using their small stubby talons that have started to grow. Learning to balance will help the young eaglets later with flight, and the talons will assist him in the catching of prey for hunting.

God does similar things to us. He disturbs OUR nest and causes US to reach toward him. Thank God for the stirrings that He sends our way.

●Every Apostle has had their nest stirred.
●Every great reformer and revivalist has had their nest stirred.
●Every man of woman who has ever longed to accomplish their purpose in the Kingdom of God has had their nest stirred.

They had to move forward toward a new calling. They had to leave the familiar for the unfamiliar. They had to leave the ungodly and move toward the godly. They had to leave the shallows and reach for the depths. They even had to break some current relationships, and change the way they thought about some things. What we need to realize is that it’s God that’s stirring our familiar surroundings to stimulate our growth.

God was the one who built a nest in Genesis 47 for the children of Israel. Their herds increased, they had prosperous times, and they had favor. But then Joseph died and the favor that he was giving the children of Israel also died. The favored became the despised. They were sent to hard labor. Their nest became very uncomfortable, but at the same time there was something on the inside of them that wanted to rise up and go to the Promised Land.

So how does God create the stirring of our nests?

●He allows someone or some things to come into our lives to cause us problems.
●He allows us to suffer under the effects of a heavy burden.
●He allows our emotions to be attacked with over-whelming feelings of not knowing what to do.
●He grooms us with a restlessness that cannot be quenched with nothing but Himself.

And since everyone is different, God knows exactly what stirring each of us needs. The stirring that God allows to come into each of our lives, is custom designed by God, to stir each of us in such a way, that the stirring causes us to run to God who can change our life and destiny.

When the nest is stirred many things start to take place in our lives. Our carnality is displaced with spiritual hunger. Self-righteousness begins to fade, and die out to godly desires. Complacency gives way to fiery passion for the things of God. The compassion of God begins to increase on the inside of us, and that compassion leads toward a giving of ourselves. 

Also through the stirring, many times brokenness takes place. We see this brokenness taking place in God’s greatest saints all through-out Scripture. Everything that is of self must go and everything that is of Jesus must shine forth in greater power.

Well getting back to our story about the eaglets, one day the eaglets experience the shock of learning how to fly. There comes a day in the life of the eaglets when their mother returns once again to the nest. But this time she begins to flap her wings over the nest with forcefulness.

The small eaglets began to scream in terror as she pushes them closer and closer to the edge of the nest. The nest is up in the cliffs of the mountains about 5,000 to 8,000 feet above the ground. And from that height, the eaglet is pushed from the nest and begins to fall. And as he begins to fall, something takes over, called, the will to live, and the struggle to survive. The desire to fly is all ready on the inside of that little eaglet, but because it’s never tried to fly, or had a reason to fly, it doesn't know that it can fly.  

As the eaglet gets kicked out the nest, it screams. Not screams of power, it’s screams of terror. But out of that situation comes the will to live. So he begins to clumsily flap his wings. During the free-fall, he beats at the air without success until exhaustion leaves him almost totally unable to move. Then right before falling to a certain death, the father eagle swoops down, catches the young eaglet, and returns it to the nest for the next lesson that will come on the next day. That’s repeated over and over again until the young eaglet can fly for himself. But the flying lessons come without warning. Suddenly the mother eagle appears at the nest and starts the training of flight.

Spiritual growth and maturity occurs in much the same way. Without warning we find our lives wrapped up in a situation, that could even be a situation where every thing is at stake. Our home, our family, our job, or our health. Everything is Falling, falling, falling. At that point it seems like hundreds of questions race through our minds.

One of those questions is always “God, Why”? And God’s answer is, “You can’t learn to fly in a church pew, or on the back of a pastor”. Then the next question we usually ask is, Why am I falling for so long?. And once again God answer is, “You needed a long time, so you could learn to fly”. God knows if He takes the struggle away, He takes the strength away. If He removes the thorn, and He removes the grace.

God’s greatest men had to struggle with the frailties of their own flesh.

●Abraham had to struggle with de-ception.
●Jacob would war against worldliness.
●Moses would be terrorized by a horrible temper that would lead to murder, and to striking the rock.
●Elijah was burdened by his faith-less despair.

Elijah hid in a cave thinking he was the last Prophet alive. Elijah told God in
1 Kings chapter 18,
I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”

●Then there was David who was involved with lust and then murder.

When we’re going through a trial, it’s not a fun thing to go through. And it’s not something we've prayed for. After all, very few people pray for things like:

●A lion’s den.
●A fiery furnace.
●An almost impossible task of building an ark.
●A a Judas’ kiss.
●A Cross.
●To be mis-understood.
●To have to endure pain of slander.

We don’t pray for those things, because those things hurt. But in the hurt, there’s a healing that happens. And the healing creates within us a vision, a desire, and a passion for God that ordinarily would never exist. When we’re right in the middle of a trial, we pray that God will give us some kind of relief. We pray that God will give us a way of escape from the trials and the difficulties of life. We pray that our life would not be filled with hardship and difficulty.

But the changes that needs to take place in our heart, and our soul, will never ever take place. Unless we go through an intense struggle, that makes us stretch the wings of our soul. A struggle that causes us to go higher, and to hunger more for God. God can take a struggle and work with it, in a way no one else would even think of. God works under different laws than what men and women work with. Then when we rise from our struggle, we often find ourselves stronger, and looking more like Jesus. 

Psalms 103:1-5 says,
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2Bless the Lord, O my soul,
  And forget not all His benefits:
3Who forgives all your iniquities,
  Who heals all your diseases,
4Who redeems your life from destruction,
  Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
  So that your youth is renewed like the

It finally happens. The day that the young eaglet will finally stop his screaming and start his flying. It’s sad but there are those in the church who do not know the call of God to go higher with Him. Some men and women have never understood the joy of God calling them to a higher walk with Him. They never realize the reason why they were created. They age in years, but they grow little in God. And just like a natural muscle, the lack of resistance creates an atrophied spiritual muscle. But praise God there ARE men and women who would rather go after God, than the material world around them. Their spirits soar high with God, instead of conforming to the desires of those around them. They hunger for the things of God. Their desires are for more of God. . . The spirit of the eagle stirs within them. . . . .

The Apostle Paul described them in
Philippians 3:14
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

They can be described as the great men and woman of God.

Isaiah 40:30-31
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

No other birds have the ability to fly as high as an eagle does. An eagle is not a bird that will fly with a flock. Someone said, “The eagle is solitary in his conquests. His purpose is single-minded”. Other birds may call to him, but there’s something about an eagle that causes it not to associate with lesser birds. So he remains alone.

In our lives, there’s a mighty power that WE can receive when we’re alone with God. It’s in the hours of loneliness that God does some of His greatest works in our lives. 

●It was in loneliness, that Elijah heard God’s voice.
●It was in the lonely path of faith that God came once again to Abraham.
●It was in the lonely hours following failure that Peter found God.
●It was in the lonely midnight hours that Jacob had his wrestling match with God.
●It was in the loneliness of the mountain that Moses would get the Ten Commandments from God.
●It was in the loneliness of her barrenness that Hannah prevailed.
●It was in loneliness that Daniel received his great vision from God.

It was in the loneliness of the pit and prison that Joseph felt God continuing his dreams.
●It was in the loneliness in the garden that Jesus labored in prayer while His disciples were asleep.
●Mary also found loneliness in a stable in Bethlehem. Then she found loneliness once again when she stood and looked at her son Jesus on the cross.

God uses the schoolhouse of loneliness to teach His servants. Another thing that God uses is the storms in our lives. Most animals have been equipped by nature with the ability to sense the coming of a storm. Some by smell, some by sight. And when they sense a storm is on the way, they will run for shelter. The rabbit will find it’s burrow, the bee will flee to it’s hive, and the deer with seek the comfort of it’s place of rest. But the eagle, because of it’s great ability of sight, can see the storm approaching from a great distance. Because the eagle is a territorial bird, it will remain in it’s home area until the first few drops of rain begin to fall. The eagle will begin to fly and to ascend in a spiral manner upward. Upward until it has found it’s way into the sunlight above the storm. Other animals, when the storm starts to approach, they have a tendency to run and to hide.
But the eagle has no fear of the storm. The winds can be hard and fast and often destructive, but the eagle is challenged by the storm.

You and I need to let our desires for more of God challenge US during our storms of life. That desire for the upward call. That desire, that hunger, that restlessness in our spirits needs to challenge us for more. All of these things need bring us to the heights that God desires for us to go to.

Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The greatest men of medicine, business, and merchandise were those men who struggled with opposition until they reached their goal.

Robert Louis Stevenson battled with tuberculosis, but at the same time he wrote some of the classics of literature. 
Helen Keller struggled with her own obstacles of being deaf and blind and turned negative circumstances into the positive.
Handel was paralyzed on his right side, all his money was gone, the creditors were going to imprison him, but he rebounded and composed the greatest of his works called the Messiah.

Acts 16:25-26
At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

Paul and Silas’ Hallelujah chorus was born in a jail cell.

We need to soar on the winds. Reach for the heavens. Why? Because the hand of the Lord is upon us.

It’s all a matter of perception. From time to time our spiritual lives take on a course of struggles:

Paul said it this way in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

New Living Bible says,
For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.

Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 
8Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

The eagle who is built for the heights, is not content to stay on this earth. Because you’re a child of God, there will come a day when God is going to stir your nest. For some of you, God may be stirring your nest right now. He’s not doing it because he’s mean, He’s stirring it but because you need to grow strong.

For those of you that seem like you've been kicked out of the nest, and feel you’re your falling, remember your heavenly is watching, and knows just how much you take. He is teaching you how to depend totally on Him.

September 30, 2010

First Month

We have just finished our first month of church services at the Quality Inn. I have to admit I was a little hesitant to move our church to a motel after having services in a building that looked like a church setting, but the Lord moved us, so I was willing to follow His leading. And I have to tell you that I have gone from hesitant to loving it. The Sunday before we left our building we had a prophet and his wife speak at our church by the name of John and Judy Kolb. John prophesied that when we moved to the Quality Inn we would see increase and not only increase, God would do a quick work. During our first month we have seen more increase than I ever imagined we would see. God has definitely done a quick work. God You are so good. I think what we have experienced our first month can be summed up in Isaiah 1:19.

Isaiah 1:19
If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the good of the land;

Thank you God for Your bountiful supply of the good of the land! I can’t wait to see what He’s going to do in October. God’s glory is getting so thick during our services it’s amazing. We’re also seeing the prophetic increase, along with many healings and one changed life after the other. God you are so good.

April 25, 2010

A Recipe for the Anointing

As Pentecostals we know the anointing is something very special. We often talk about "the anointing". We pray for the anointing of God on our lives, our ministries, our activities in everything we do. We realize that we need the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives every day. And we also realize if we don’t have the anointing, our ministry is really kind of useless. Really WORSE than useless because if we are attempting to minister in our own strength alone it’s worthless.

I’ve been there. I’ve both preached a sermon without the anointing and I’ve tried to minister without the anointing and it’s like you might as well give up and go home because nothing going to happen. We must depend on God. Zechariah 4:6 – “It’s not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord.”

We know we must minister in the power of God - under the "anointing" of the Holy Spirit, but have you ever wondered, what is "the anointing". We talk about it all the time. We desire it. We pray for it. But what is it exactly? The most simple definition for the anointing is to think of it as a "setting apart". When God anoints something He sets it apart - it’s "holy" - separated for His use.

When a new king was anointed in Israel the prophet would take a horn full of oil and pour it over his head, and it would run right down his clothes. They would do the same thing when there was a new High Priest. The symbolism was that this person was "set apart" - to be God’s man; God’s instrument.

When we say someone "preached under a real anointing", or "that was an anointed song", or "an anointed moment" - it means it was set apart by God. God had His hand on that preacher or that song or that place. The anointing isn’t a "force" (like electricity), and it’s not just an emotion, although the anointing may produce emotion. The anointing is really nothing other than the presence of God in favor.

In the Old Testament the Tabernacle, and all the furniture and utensils used for worship in the Tabernacle, had to be anointed before they could be used. And they didn’t anoint with just any old oil - they had special oil for this anointing, made from a recipe that God gave them ... We read about it in Exodus 30:22-30.

The first ingredient was liquid Myrrh. Myrrh was used to prepare bodies for burial. But to get its beautiful sweetness you had to crush it. Myrrh speaks of death. And you know there is no anointing without death. If we want to know God’s anointing we have to die to ourselves. Die to the old person that we once were. Die to our own agenda - our own desires and dreams, not born of God. If we’re going to depend on God we have to die to our own abilities and resources.

The second ingredient was Cinnamon. Cinnamon was used for flavoring, and it gave off a very pleasant smell. Its fragrance was beautiful in the Tabernacle because it counter-acted the stench of the animal sacrifices. Cinnamon speaks of sweetness. If you want God to anoint you to use you, there has to be a sweetness about your life. God will anoint you and use you if there’s a sweetness about you. The sweetness of Jesus. This is what the fruit of the Spirit is all about that we can find in Galatians 5:22-25.

The third ingredient was Cane or Calamus (Kalamos). The Calamus plant grows in muddy or murky soil. To get this plant to smell you had to beat it. The more you beat it the better it smells. All of that beating reminds me of a school that I heard about.

There are many great universities in our land. Everyone knows about Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. In England there is Oxford University. But I’m thinking of another school. This other school has had more students and more graduates than any other school that ever existed. Its tuition fees are the most expensive on earth, but the lessons that are learned at this school do more for it’s students than those in any other school. I’m talking about the University of Hard Knocks.

God’s anointing is able to increase in your life the more you pass through the school of hard knocks, and God is able to fashion your character. Along with Paul I would imagine all of us at one time or another have been through some hard knocks? Some are harder than others aren’t they. But they are working in our character. As long as we respond to them as God wants us to. He’s fashioning each of us for anointing.

The fourth ingredient was a spice called "cassia" - kasía. This spice grows only at elevations above 8000 feet. You’ve got to get up on the mountain to get it. If you desire God’s anointing - you’ve got to reach up to the heights. Get on the mountain with God. There’s no shortcut to the anointing - we’ve got to seek God in prayer. Jesus lived in the anointing of the Spirit – and the price He paid for that anointing was that He maintained a close walk with His heavenly Father in prayer at all times.

Finally all the ingredients were mixed with olive oil. And it was a mixture that was called "holy". Over and over again in the Bible, oil symbolizes the Person of the Holy Spirit. In so many ways, in so many types and pictures, oil represents the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the principle character in the anointing of God. Of the three persons of the Godhead, anointing is primarily to do with the work and moving of the Holy Spirit. When God anoints, it is the outpouring of His Spirit.

Now look at the picture we have here. All these ingredients mingled together with oil produced the anointing compound that was called “holy”. Verse 25 says, Blend these ingredients into a holy anointing oil. The Lord will combine all the good and difficult things in your life with the oil of His Holy Spirit. A sweet anointing will form in you, and He’ll be able to use you in incredible ways.

November 24, 2009

A Glimpse of His Glory

Last Sunday I talked about a time when God allowed three of Jesus’ disciples to have a life changing supernatural experience. We found out that what God said during this experience can have in impact on our lives today as well. We looked at Matthew chapter 17 when Jesus was transfigured before His disciples. The word "transfigured" in the original is the word “metamorphoo”. And according the Expositor’s Bible Commentary the word metamorpoo, “suggests a change of inward nature that is outwardly visible”. That sounds a lot like what happens to us when we become born again.

We looked at Matthew 17 verse 5 that says:
"While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"

God the Father told the disciples to just do one thing: “Hear Him” or we could say that God told the disciples to “listen to Jesus”. So how do we listen to Jesus today? In addition to Jesus speaking to us in our spirits, we also hear Jesus today by reading God’s Word – the Bible.

That’s where we can hear the voice of God today. That’s where we see the words of Jesus. That’s where we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit and have Him do something in our lives to make us more like Jesus. We simply need to get into the Word of God if we want to hear from Jesus today. And you know what will happen? God will transfigure each one of us. God will do what He did to Jesus. He’ll change us on the inside so that it shows on the outside.

July 13, 2009

The Fire Of The Holy Ghost!

Last Sunday I spoke on Holy Ghost Fire. I need it, you need it, our church needs it, and the body of Christ needs it.

We took a look at what the Fire of God is all about, and then at the end of the service we came together to pray for the Fire to burn in us like never before.

In Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist said,
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

John the Baptist came preaching that the one that would baptize with the Holy Ghost was coming. Not only would He baptize with the Holy Ghost but with Fire.

In Acts Chapter 4, Peter and John were entering the temple to pray when they passed by the crippled beggar. It was the power of the Holy Ghost within them that had transformed these disciples from fear to having the boldness to speak to the beggar these words, “In the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk.”

It was the power of the Holy Ghost that moved upon the disciples and it was the power of the Holy Ghost that moved upon the beggar to heal him and give him strength to begin walking and leaping and praising God. And we as Christians, must have Holy Ghost Fire if we want to have POWER and BOLDNESS to witness, to preach and to minister to the lost.

The Fire of the Holy Ghost melts the heart of stone, and turns it into a heart after God. Like the heat of a volcano on molten lava, our heart begins to flow with the guiding Hand of God to follow the paths that He has made for each one of us. That’s why some people might now want the fire because when fire starts burning, it destroys everything in its path. The fire of God when turned loose in our life will make some changes. The Fire of the Holy Ghost will bring to light the dross or the (filthiness) of our soul and cause us to repent of the sin in our life. Little by little, the Fire of the Holy Ghost burns away those things that are on the inside of us that shouldn’t be there.

The Fire of the Holy Ghost will light a fire on the inside of us after God’s own heart and kindle a love for Jesus Christ that we never knew could be possible. Just as the fires of passion in a marriage relationship should never grow cold, the Fire of the Holy Ghost will keep our love and passion for Jesus fresh and new and growing.

Deuteronomy 4:24 says,
For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

The all-consuming Fire of the Holy Ghost will consume our life and immerse us in service for the Lord. God is a jealous God, not like men are jealous, but His greatest desire is to see each of us enter into our reward in the Kingdom of God. In other words, enter into the exact calling on our lives. Exactly what God has called us to do.

Church, we need a fresh Baptism of the Fire of the Holy Ghost more than ever before. The days are getting more and more evil and if we don’t have the power of the Holy Ghost and Fire within us we won’t be able to stand in these last days.

Salvation is only the beginning. Getting saved only just puts us at the starting line. There is so much more to do. God can only use us in a limited way until we are prepared for the Master’s use. Each of us needs the refiner’s Fire of the Holy Ghost to prepare us.