Leadership Blog

04 Dec Keep It Simple

After one of our Holy Spirit Rallies a few weeks ago, the pastor of the church in which we conducted the rally posted the following comment on my Facebook page …

“It was an awesome day at Calvary Midland with Evangelists Billy and Vickie Burns. I am not sure that if in over twenty years of ministry that I have ever heard somebody teach and minister on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with such simplicity as Brother Billy. The altars were full in both services with people being filled with the Spirit of God. Thankful for all that God accomplished today at Calvary Midland!!!

After reading and thinking about the comment for a few minutes, I could see that the pastor was giving me the compliment of all compliments when he said, “I am not sure that if in over twenty years of ministry that I have ever heard somebody teach and minister on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with such simplicity as Brother Billy.” He was saying that I made the message so simple that everyone could understand and respond. The end result was “The altars were full in both services with people being filled with the Spirit of God.”

Many years ago, I heard Charles Capps make the following statement, “The Gospel is so simple that we need a lot of help to misunderstand it. And, we’ve had all of the help that we can take to misunderstand the Gospel.” Keep it simple. Keep it very simple and understandable and you will see the altars filled with individuals that want what the Holy Spirit has to offer.

 

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27 Nov Why Pray in the Spirit?

Several years ago, Vickie and I attended a high school class reunion in my hometown of West Columbia, Texas. If you don’t know where West Columbia is, it is exactly three miles west of East Columbia, Texas. It was a great time of reconnecting with former classmates, people that I hadn’t seen since our high school graduation. The joy of seeing old friends was only surpassed by the incredible Texas barbecue.

I have a couple of distinct memories of the reunion. First, my biggest memory of the night was made when I discovered that the invitation’s B.Y.O.B. didn’t stand for “Bring Your Own Bible”. (Just a joke!) The second memory was made when I walked from table to table to talk to my former classmates. I’ll never forget spending time at a table with a guy who was known back in our high school days for his enormous love for beer and marijuana. After a few minutes at his table, I could see that things hadn’t changed. It was evident that the beer that he was drinking wasn’t his first bottle of the night. After a few minutes of conversation, he asked asked about the type of work that I do. Here’s the funny part of the memory. When I told him that Vickie and I were ministers, he immediately tried to cover his drunken condition and lifestyle by telling me that the bottle in his hand was the first beer that he had consumed in years. It was easy to see that this was one Texas-size lie. Mind you, I hadn’t said a single word about his lifestyle or what he was doing and yet just my presence made him uncomfortable. No sermons were preached or Bible verses quoted. It was my presence that caused him to know that things were wrong in his life.

I didn’t share this story to place me on a pedestal or berate my friend. The story is just a great illustration that shows the importance of recognizing the abiding presence of the One sent to forever live with and in us. (John 14:16). Brother Kenneth E. Hagin said it best …

“Continuing to pray and worship God in tongues helps us to
be ever conscious of His indwelling presence. If I can be
conscious of the indwelling presence of the Holy Ghost
every day, it is bound to affect the way I live.”
~Kenneth E. Hagin “Why Tongues”

If you have ever wondered about the importance of praying in the Spirit, you have found your answer in Brother Hagin’s statement. Praying in the Spirit brings a constant awareness of the constant indwelling presence of the One sent to abide with and in us forever (John 14:16), produces a lifestyle pleasing to the Lord, and keeps the enemy in his place … under our feet!

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20 Nov Open the Door into the Supernatural

Here’s a confession … I love having the opportunity to minister in our Holy Spirit Rallies. It is my greatest joy to preach about the Father’s desire to give the Holy Spirit to all who ask and then see the altars filled with individuals wanting to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. The one thing that I struggle with about our Holy Spirit Rallies is the reality that for many of those who respond to the altar call and are Spirit-baptized, they will turn what was intended to be the beginning of a new intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit into an experience that they can write into their diary. Because of a lack of teaching, these individuals lose out on the benefits that come with a daily infilling and refreshing of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, they return back to their natural way of living. I believe that Smith Wigglesworth said it best with this statement …

“Our only safeguard from dropping back into our natural mind from
which we can never get anything, is to be filled and yet filled again
with the Spirit of God and to be taken on to visions and revelations
on a new line. The reason why I emphasize the importance of the
fullness of the Holy Ghost is that I want to get you beyond all
human plans and thoughts into the fullness of vision, into the
full revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
~ Smith Wigglesworth “Ever Increasing Faith”

What a powerful statement. Wigglesworth is telling us that this ongoing daily relationship with the Holy Spirit transforms us from a natural way of living into a supernatural realm that sees and receives the things of the Spirit. He is encouraging us to reap the benefits that come as we implement what the literal Greek translation of Paul’s letter to the saints at Ephesus says … “Be filled and filled again and filled again with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

Let’s heed Wigglesworth’s counsel. Close this blog, turn off the computer, and begin right now with what hopefully will become a daily discipline of asking the Father for a fresh infilling of His precious Holy Spirit. Don’t just read this blog. Do it so that beginning today the carnal mind will be held in check as we open the door into the supernatural.

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13 Nov The Holy Spirit @ Walmart

I seriously doubt that are too many people in our country that haven’t at one time or another seen one of the most famous tag lines in modern tourism marketing “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas”. Believe me when I write that I’m not sharing this tag line to promote Las Vegas or the what happens in Las Vegas mentality. I mention it only because, unbeknownst to many in the church, they have adopted this same mentality. To many, what happens in church, stays in church. Consequently, the world isn’t being impacted by their lives.

God isn’t a fan of this mentality. In fact, He sent the Holy Spirit to combat and destroy this mentality! We see that upon the Holy Spirit’s arrival in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit radically impacted the believers and then immediately launched them out into the mission field. The 120 believers left the upper room taking what had happened in their service with them and saw some 3,000 people come into the Kingdom

Jesus was definitely not a “what happens in the synagogue stays in the synagogue” Savior. After being baptized in the Spirit (Luke 3:22; 4:1) and launching His ministry, the majority of Jesus’ ministry was done outside of the synagogue (church). In reading through the Gospels, we find that only three of Jesus’ 37 recorded miracles were done inside of the synagogue. (Luke 4:33-36; Luke 6:6-8; Luke 13:10-13). We never read of Jesus seeing a need and telling the individual to meet Him in the synagogue on the next Sabbath. The Holy Spirit living inside of Jesus was always ready at any time and place to meet any and every need.

I’ve written about the 120 in the upper room and also Jesus’ ministry. Now, let me write directly about you. Ready? This may seem too strongly worded, but it is true. If you have the what happens in church stays in church mentality, I will guarantee that you have one frustrated Holy Spirit living on the inside of you. When the last shout is done and the last amen said, the Holy Spirit is ready to walk out of the church with you to impact your Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth. (Acts 1:8) Put Him on display at Walmart as you’re shopping and dodging the falling prices. Allow Him to show that He is with you when you are standing in line at Burger King waiting to get your Whopper. The Holy Spirit living inside of you is always ready at any time and place to meet any and every need. Let’s give Him that opportunity this week!

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06 Nov Do Miracles Still Happen?

While preaching this past Sunday in one of our Holy Spirit Rallies, I shared that the greater works that Jesus promised (John 14:12) are made possible because “I go to my Father”. In other words, Jesus’ return to heaven and the ensuing sending of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16; 16:7) opened the door to the greater works (Acts 1:8). I also mentioned that churches all across our land have shut this door. Sadly, pastors are standing behind their pulpits preaching that the outpouring of God’s Spirit and the days of miracles are long gone. I learned a few days ago of one of these churches located in our area. So, today I visited that churches’ website and read on the page listing their core beliefs that believe and teach that the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit was given to certain individuals in the early church for the sole purpose of confirming their ministry. Evidently, they like many other churches believe that the days of the supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit was limited to the early church and ended when the last apostle died.

Thankfully, I have found the opposite to be true. No where in the Scriptures can I find a single verse that even half way implies that the Holy Spirit withdrew the casting out of demons, the speaking with new tongues, the rendering of poison harmless, and the healing of the sick when the last apostle took their final breath. The door into the miracle-working power of the Holy Spirit is still wide open.

To those who question if miracles still happen today, let me close out this blog post by sharing this powerful insight from George Jeffreys …

“It seems almost impossible at times to impress them with
the fact that the Christian religion is essentially a religion
of the miraculous … Let me emphasize here that the Christian
who denies the miraculous, denies Christianity: the Christian
who rejects the supernatural, rejects the religion he professes
to embrace. The whole structure of the Christian religion
is based upon the miraculous …”
~ George Jeffreys “The Phenomena of Pentecost”

Let’s tap into the miracle-working power of the Holy Spirit and see and do the promised greater works.

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