Leadership Blog

18 Feb Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 13

In reading Mark 16:17 ” … they shall speak with new tongues ..”, many believers today would ask, “Why would we need to speak in a new tongue?” Thankfully, there are people like you that are using these easy-to-do, simple-to-understand illustrations to give a solid, biblical answer in your teaching/preaching/sharing. Once again, I will give a brief, skeletal overview of the illustration. Then, with the Holy Spirit’s help, you can personalize the illustration to become a powerful teaching tool.

The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues 
Part 13 – Gain the Aid of the Great Helper

For this illustration, you will need a Bible and a hank of rope.

For today’s teaching, I need a helper that knows how to play a game called Tug of War. (Bring a young child, perhaps a six- or seven-years-old to the platform.) Tug of War needs little explanation. It is a contest in which two teams pull at opposite ends of a rope until one drags the other over a central line. In this teaching, we are going to play an imaginary game of Tug of War. I will give you the end of this hank of rope and we will pretend that you are playing the game with a bunch of your friends that are about the same age and height. (Give the child the end of the rope.) I’m going to ask my friend to show me how that they would hold the rope and how that they would stand while playing the game. (Allow the child to demonstrate.) It would be a fun game and a fierce competition, wouldn’t it! Now, let me add a twist to this game. What would happen if I came to stand behind you, wrapped my arms around you to grab the rope with you, and began to pull the rope together with you? (Demonstrate.) Bear in mind that I am older, much taller, much bigger, and much stronger than the kids on the opposing team. Who would win the contest? (Allow responses.)

The game of Tug of War illustrates one of the greatest reasons for praying in other tongues. The Bible (show Bible) tells us in Romans 8:26 that there are times that we are in a struggle and at a disadvantage (KJV – “our infirmities”; ESV – “weakness”) when we pray. (Have the child to hold the rope as though they are struggling in the Tug of War game.) It is in these times that the Holy Spirit (point to  yourself) comes alongside to help. (Walk over and stand behind the child.) The word “helpeth” in this verse actually comes from three different Greek root words. One root word means “to take hold together“; the second means “with“; and the third means “against“. When put all together, we see that the Holy Spirit “takes hold together with us against our enemy”. Just as we saw in our Tug of War game, while we are praying in our heavenly prayer language (KJV – “groanings”), the bigger-than-us, more-powerful-than-us Holy Spirit (point to yourself) steps into the prayer (KJV – “maketh intercession”) and supernaturally wraps Himself around us (stand behind the child, reach around to grab hold of the rope with them) to help us (act as though you together are engaged in Tug of War) make up for our weakness (KJV – “we know not what we should pray for as we ought”) by giving what is needed to bring about the victory (high-five each other) against our enemy.

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11 Feb Simple & Powerful!

I recently shared a series of posts with simple-to-do, easy-to-understand illustrations to help those wanting to teach/preach about the importance of praying in the Spirit (also known as praying in other tongues). I trust that you are enjoying and taking advantage of these illustrations.

I want to share just how easy it is to use these illustrations. A few weeks ago, I received a Facebook message from Tracey Zannini Guillory asking permission for her 10-year-old son, Austin, to use one of these illustrations, Holy Spirit Illustrations Part 12, in an upcoming Assemblies of God statewide competition. The Louisiana district had just added an Object Lesson category to their Fine Arts Festival. I gave a Texas-size YES to her request for two reasons. First, this series was posted to be USED!  Second, I love the Fine Arts Festival because it allows children and youth to showcase their God-given talents. These children and youth will be the future leaders of the church.

Was the object lesson simple? Yep. Was is powerful? Double yep! 10-year-old Austin nailed it!!! (And so can you!) Take a minute and view this short video that Tracey posted on my Facebook page.  

Way to go Austin. I know for a fact that the video of your presentation has been viewed around the world. Keep on teaching and preaching the gospel. You are needed.

If you missed any or all of these illustrations, you can find them at www.billyburns.com/blog beginning with Praying in Spirit Illustrations – Part 1 which posted on October 8, 2018. Here is a link to the illustration that Austin shared.



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04 Feb The Baptism in the Holy Spirit – Part 3

Because they heard your teaching (Part 1), prepared for and know what to expect upon receiving this gift (Part 2), this final part is easy (and exciting). 

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Part 3 – The Receiving

Let me first relieve you as the pastor/teacher/leader of any anxiety or fear by sharing the verse that we used in the first blog post in this series.

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children:
how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit
to them that ask him?”
Luke 11:13

This verse reminds us that there is absolutely NO pressure on your part. (Go ahead and let out a great big sigh of relief. ) You have nothing to do with this gift. You don’t have to create the gift. You aren’t the giver of the gift. And, you aren’t the one receiving this gift. All that you have to do is provide the opportunity for these believers to receive! (This would be a great time for another Texas-size whew!) 

Here are some simple steps to take during the altar ministry.

  1. Read or share Luke 11:13 to instruct that our part is to ask and His is to give.
  2. Read or share Acts 2:4 to turn on their “expectator”. (See Part 2)
  3. Ask for a Spirit-filled believer to stand with each individual. 
  4. After leading in a prayer asking to receive the gift, set the example by boldly praying and worshiping God out loud in your heavenly prayer language. Leading by example gives an assurance that the language that they have isn’t spooky or weird. 

I would be amiss if I didn’t close out by sharing this final bit of wisdom. Over the years, I have witnessed some really unbelievable things happen during these altar times. Let’s use a little brain power. Here are some things to not do:

  1. PLEASE don’t tell the seeker the words to say. I have witnessed well-intentioned people tell people to repeat words like these … “who stola the keysa to my Honda”, “tie a my tie, tie a my bowtie”. Don’t insult the Holy Spirit by creating a language that according to Acts 2:4 should come from Him. “… as the Spirit enabled them.”
  2. PLEASE don’t frighten the seeker by being loud and boisterous. The Holy Spirit is a Person, not an emotion. You don’t have to MAKE things happen by being loud and emotional.
  3. PLEASE don’t create confusion. Don’t beat them on the back and holler “hold on” while the person on the other side is saying “turn loose!”

Is this difficult? No. It this complicated? No. No. Is ministering on this subject pressureful? No. No. No. Again, to me this is the EASIEST message to preach because the Father is ANXIOUSLY awaiting the opportunity to GIVE this GIFT to EVERYONE who asks! 

If you have any questions, I am just an email away. billy@billyburns.com.

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28 Jan The Baptism in the Holy Spirit – Part 2

If there has ever been a day when it is of the utmost importance for believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit, it is today. Thankfully, God is raising up people like you that will make it possible for believers, be it children, youth, or adults, to be filled to overflowing with this promised gift from the Father. (Joel 2:28-29; Luke 11:13; Acts 1:4; Acts 2:39). 

I mentioned in the last blog post that I have found that there are those who struggle in knowing how to lead a person or group to receive this gift. So, with that in mind, I began a three part series that gives a simple overview on how to teach about this baptism. The three parts being shared are The Teaching, The Preparation, and The Receiving. 

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Part 2 – The Preparation

After establishing a solid Word foundation, it is important to prepare the way for the receiving. In other words, we must make known what the Bible says will happen when the gift is received. I call this getting their “expectater” (I know that this isn’t an actual word, but I can’t find a better word) ready. Here’s an example. When a ball drops from your hand, you can expect or know what will happen. It will ALWAYS fall down. When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, we can KNOW what to expect.

I shared in the last blog that Jesus said that our Father is anxiously waiting to give His Spirit to every believer who asks. (Luke 11:13) But, what’s next? What can we expect to happen when we are filled with the Holy Spirit? The answer is found in Acts 2:4.

And they were all filled [that is, diffused throughout their being]
with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (different languages),
as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out [clearly and appropriately].
Acts 2:4 (Amplified Bible)

Here is the “expectater” information:

  1. The Father gave the gift. “They were all filled …” (We ask and the Father responds is a GUARANTEE for our “expectater”,)
  2. The Father gave the gift and verified its arrival. “… all filled … and (all) began to speak” (Illustration – USPS certified mail form is the evidence of delivered mail.)
  3. The Father gave the gift and verified its arrival by an action on the part of the receiver. “they … began to speak” (An action on the part of the recipient is required. THEY spoke. The Holy Spirit didn’t force them to speak. Illustration – no water will come out of the shower nozzle UNTIL we take action.)
  4. The Father gave the gift and verified its arrival by an action on the part of the receiver that was supernatural. “… as the Spirit was giving them the ability in other tongues” (also refereed to as unknown tongues – 1 Corinthians 14:2 and also the tongues of men and angels – 1 Corinthians 13:1)
  5. The Father gave the gift and verified its arrival by an action on the part of the receiver that was supernatural and undeniable. “... to speak out [clearly and appropriately]” (All question marks are removed!)
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21 Jan The Baptism in the Holy Spirit – Part 1

One of the most common statements that I hear from Pastors and those ministering to children and youth concerns how to teach and then make it possible for people to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Perhaps you are one of those that has struggled on how to lead a person or a group into this gift that God has provided for each and every believer. With that in mind, I want to share a three part series that gives an overview on how to teach about this baptism. I will take what would be pages of teaching and instead share enough to give a solid, biblical understanding. The three parts to be shared are The Teaching, The Preparation, and The Receiving. 

And, one more thing about this series. If you have not received this promise from the Father (Joel 2:28-29), read these three blog posts and then simply ask the Father to fulfill His promise in your life. 

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Part 1 – The Teaching

The teaching is quite simple. It’s all wrapped up in one verse. Jesus (can you ask for a greater authority on this subject?) said,

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children:
how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit
to them that ask him?”
Luke 11:13

This one verse shares so much about the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

  1. This is a gift.
  2. This is a good gift.
  3. This is a good gift from heaven.
  4. This is a good gift from heaven for Christians.
  5. This is a good gift from heaven for Christians that the Father is anxious to give.
  6. This is a good gift from heaven for Christians that the Father is anxious to give to all that ask.

Want more? I could add just a few other verses about this gift.

  1. This is a necessary gift. Acts 1:4
  2. This is beneficial gift. John 16:7
  3. This is a powerful gift. Acts 1:8
  4. This is an ongoing gift. Ephesians 5:18
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