Leadership Blog

25 Sep How Important is the Anointing?

How important is the Holy Spirit’s anointing? The answer is best given by a man who was a powerful theologian and educator, used mightily of God in healing crusades, and the founder of my alma mater Southwestern Assemblies of God University, P. C. Nelson.

Without this anointing it is possible to get up suppers
and bazaars, 
rummage sales and entertainments,
to give addresses on religious, 
moral, philanthropic,
literary and current events, and other themes,

but not to exercise a ministry even remotely
comparable 
to that of Christ and His apostles.”
~ P.C. Nelson “The Baptism in the Holy Spirit”

Satan laughs at man’s efforts and formulas but trembles when he sees a person walking in the Holy Spirit’s anointing. It is the anointing’s wonder-working power that destroys the yoke of bondage and sets the captive free. (Isaiah 10:27).

Thank God that the “Spirit of the Lord is upon me …” (Luke 4:18-19) anointing is still readily available today. It hasn’t diluted in strength or diminished in quantity since the days of Jesus and His apostles. The anointing is accessible today to deliver heaven-empowering, Satan-crushing, freedom-bringing, joy-producing, body-healing, life-changing results for all who will work hand-in-hand together with the Holy Spirit.

How important is the Holy Spirit’s anointing? Satan is terrified that you will discover the answer to this question. There is a world waiting for a person like you that will learn to flow in this anointing. Be that person and go turn your world upside down. (Acts 17:6).

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18 Sep Explanation Is Needed

Some time ago, I had a pastor call and tell me of another church whose pastor had to explain to the congregation about a demonstration of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the Sunday morning service. The pastor calling me thought that it was strange and unnecessary to explain about the workings of the Holy Spirit to a Spirit-filled congregation. Little did this pastor expect that I would side with the need for taking time in the service to explain what had transpired.

Here is what I told this pastor. Explanation is always needed …

  1. FOR THE SAKE OF THE UNBELIEVERS OR THE VISITORS In today’s culture, the way of “doing” church differs greatly from the Book of Acts New Testament Church. What was normal when the Holy Spirit had full control of the Church is considered in many churches today to be abnormal or weird or even foolish. Why is this thought to be strange? The manifestation of God’s Spirit is always, always, always supernatural and goes way beyond the natural way of thinking. Consequently, just as on the Day of Pentecost, there will always, always, always be the need to briefly biblically explain to the “what meaneth this” (Acts 2:12) crowd what is seen and heard (Acts 2:33) in a New Testament Church.
  2. FOR THE SAKE OF THE BELIEVERS The manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit needs to be biblically authenticated and validated to the believers. Those within the congregation need to be routinely reminded from the scriptures that what is seen and heard is the New Testament “norm”. Briefly explaining what has been seen and heard builds confidence within those cooperating with the Holy Spirit, stirs believers to seek to be used by the Holy Spirit with His gifts, and serves as a reminder that the working of the Holy Spirit always, always, always lines up with the Word of God.

This behooves us as leaders to know what the scripture says about the Holy Spirit and how He shows His presence in a gathering. It is imperative that we memorize scriptures or references that tell of Jesus promising that the Father would send another Helper and that He is still in the Church today. Also, we must be able to very BRIEFLY biblically explain about the gift of the Spirit manifested in that particular service. It isn’t a sermon or a theological exegesis. At most, it should last a couple of minutes. And lastly, it is important to emphasize that Paul admonished believers to desire to be used in these spiritual gifts.

To paraphrase a Ricky Ricardo quote from the I Love Lucy television series, “Leader, you’ve got so ‘splainin’ to do!” So, let’s do it and do it often.

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11 Sep Tired of Satan’s Input?

Probably just a few of this blog’s readers are old enough to remember something called a party line. For all of the youngsters, a party line is not a bunch of people line dancing at a party. So, what is a party line? Until the 1980’s, most of America’s phone systems consisted of multiple homes sharing a telephone circuit and thus creating what was called a party line. Because of the shared circuit, it was common to pick up your telephone to make a phone call and hear one of your neighbors speaking on a phone call originating from their home. To make your phone call, you would have to hang up your telephone and wait until they finished their conversation and hung up their telephone. If the truth be known, this was a great resource for gossipers. Often people on a party line would listen in and eavesdrop on their neighbor’s conversations. Eventually, the telephone companies phased out the party line and created direct circuit lines to each and every phone.

I am sharing this information about a party line to let you in on a secret. When we pray with our understanding, we are praying what I call party line prayers, prayers that allow Satan to eavesdrop on what we are saying.  Through these prayers, Satan gains information that was previously unknown to him, information that he can twist and misconstrue to use against us in his attacks. I know that you can identify with what I am saying. You’ve had this happen over and over again, right?

How do we kick Satan out of the loop on what is being said in our conversations with God? The remedy is quite simple. Start praying in the Spirit. You see, when we start praying in our heavenly language, we turn our prayers from being a party line conversation into a direct secure line conversation that only God the Father can understand. According to the apostle Paul …

“For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not
unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him;
howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”
1 Corinthians 14:2

Did you catch it? Praying in the Spirit allows us to pray heaven’s secrets directly to the Father. I love how the James Moffatt Translation renders the verse … “he is talking of divine secrets in the Spirit.” The Weymouth Translation reads “Yet in the Spirit he is speaking secret truths.” The Translator’s New Testament states “he speaks secrets by inspiration.” So, when Satan starts to input his lies, it is the opportunity of all opportunities to say, “Excuse me devil. Your lies aren’t needed or welcome and so, beginning right now, the Father and I will leave you out of this conversation as I begin to commune with Him by the Spirit” and then begin to pray the secrets of heaven as you pray in other tongues. It will quiet the enemy!

While there are so, so many reasons for praying in the Spirit, I’d pray in the Spirit for this one reason alone. Let’s daily use this direct line praying as a powerful weapon against our enemy and keep him out of the prayer conversations and his nose out of the knowledge of heaven’s secrets. I guarantee that it will change your prayer life!

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04 Sep There Must Be More

One of the greatest dangers within the Body of Christ is found when a believer experiences God in a real, tangible way and then decides to pitch his tent on this one experience and never move on in his journey of the Spirit. These individuals are ones who lose the passion to go after more of God, to experience God in new, fresh ways, and explore the riches of His glory. Here is how one of my all-time favorite spiritual heroes explained it …

“The majority of people throughout Church history never move beyond
their first blessing from God – the salvation experience. When John Wesley
began to preach sanctification – the cleaning up and discipline of your
life – many denominations did not even look around. They said, “We’ve
already got it all.” Once the average believer gets in a groove,
that is exactly where he or she dies. We are creatures of habit.
We move ahead in almost everything except God. I think the
primary reason is because the devil does not want us to move forward.”
~ Lester Sumrall “Pioneers of Faith”

My prayer for you is that you be one of the “there must be more” saints that are constantly journeying into the previously untraveled realm of the heavenlies and exploring new depths in the land of the Spirit and daily experiencing the glory of God. I pray that you are not a “parker” but rather a traveler that moves from glory to glory to glory to glory. That’s your Father’s greatest desire!

 

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28 Aug The Holy Ghost Lottery?

When Vickie and I lived in South Florida, I would see each day on my way to and from the church a large billboard that advertised the Florida lottery and its possible payout. At times, that payout would be in the tens of millions of dollars and others times in the hundreds of millions of dollars. To many Floridians, this was quite tempting, so tempting that thousands and thousands of people each week spent their hard-earned money for what might equal a one chance in 150 million of walking away with the lottery prize. Think about this … a person would walk into a 7-Eleven and spend $5 or $10 on lottery tickets knowing that their chances of winning were next to none. Did that stop them? Nope … and the State of Florida was all the more grateful for the weekly generous contributions.

A couple of weeks ago, God showed me that the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost was not a Holy Ghost lottery. In other words, at this great outpouring in the upper room, God didn’t say that He would pour out the Holy Spirit upon the man sitting on the third row, second seat and then ignore the persons sitting to his right and left. It wasn’t a baptize one person and then skip four people lottery. It couldn’t be said that the Spirit baptized individuals were the ones that beat the one in 120 odds in the Holy Ghost lottery. No, no, no. The pouring out of the Holy Spirit was for all.

Immediately after reading this blog post, I challenge you to take the time to read the account of this great outpouring found in Acts 2 and pay particular attention to the number of times that the word “all” is used. I know that you’ve read this chapter many times, but read it one more time and notice the great emphasis that God placed upon each and every one (all) of His children being filled to overflowing with His precious Holy Spirit. Acts 2 makes it perfectly clear that God didn’t bypass or ignore some individuals while pouring His Spirit on others. Understanding this will give all of those desiring to be baptized in the Holy Spirit a confidence that this gift from heaven was theirs for the asking!

So, please help me spread the word. While 44 of our states in America have a state lottery, as far as heaven is concerned, there is no such thing as a Holy Ghost lottery. Based upon what we read in the Book of Acts, all who ask can and will receive the baptism in the Holy Ghost. That’s shouting news!

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