Leadership Blog

13 Dec Did You Buy the T-shirt in Cowlick, Arizona?

Here is an incredible revelation. If Vickie and I had a limited amount of time to be away from our home to be in Lakeland, Florida with the most incredible kids and grandkids in the whole world (no brag, just fact!!!), we couldn’t leave our home in North Richland Hills, Texas and drive west to Cowlick, Arizona and then up to Chicken, Alaska and then east to Embarrass, Minnesota and then further east to Accident, Maryland and then south to Experiment, Georgia and expect to enjoy our limited time with our Florida family. No, a million times no. While visiting these cities might be incredible, I can guarantee you that, knowing that we have kids ready to see their parents and grandkids anxiously waiting for Papa and Nana, Vickie and I would look for the route that would mile by mile get us closer and closer to our desired destination.

Really, this is not too much of a revelation. In fact, it is a no-brainer. To get where you want to go, you must aim for the desired destination and don’t allow detours to keep you from getting there!

I know that many reading this blog desire to see an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their ministry. And yet, for some, that goal or destination isn’t being reached. Let me draw from the opening scenario and offer this suggestion. If you want to see people baptized in the Holy Spirit (your desired destination), lesson by lesson and sermon by sermon needs to move you closer to this outpouring. In other words, there is absolutely no room for detours!

I am constantly amazed when a children’s pastor calls me and tells me of their desire to see children baptized in the Holy Spirit and yet, when asked about what they are presently teaching, I learn that they are teaching a four-week series on dealing with bullying which will be followed by a three-week series on how to tell the truth. While these are great subjects, they are not moving you closer and closer to seeing the altars filled with boys and girls praying to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. The same holds true for pastors preaching to the adults on Sunday mornings or youth pastors ministering in their youth services. Many are ministering about family relationships and then moving on to a series on agape love and … well, you get the idea … great subjects, needed subjects, but not subjects that will get people baptized in the Holy Spirit and begin a relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Children’s pastor … youth pastor … lead pastor … if you are going to reach your destination and see the desire of your heart come to pass, better yet, if you are going to see the fulfillment of God’s prophesy through Joel (Joel 2:2:28-29) and the all-consuming passion of God’s heart (Luke 11:13) come to pass, you can’t take side trips and detours. Know and keep your focus aimed towards your final destination. Preach, teach, and demonstrate and then preach, teach, and demonstrate some more and then preach, teach, and demonstrate even more about the outpouring of God’s Spirit and the great command to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Service by service, move closer to your destination. In doing so, the end results will be incredible. You will see the promised “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh” come to pass.

Oh, one more thing. For those who have been detouring and passed through Cowlick, Arizona, did you buy me a t-shirt?

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10 Dec Here Is What God Said About Your Children

 

Each time that I read through the Bible, I am reminded again and again that God is not One to mince words. When God said something, He meant what He said and said what He meant. There is absolutely no flexibility in His communication. He said it, He meant it, and that’s that.

Case in point … when God told Joel that He would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, He actually meant your sons and daughters. He was talking about the children born to you … that’s right, the person whose eyes are fixed upon this screen and looking at these words … Y-O-U.  God didn’t say that some select children will be filled with His Spirit and speak for Him to their generation. He didn’t say that He was speaking only to preachers about their children. No, a million, billion times no. Before time was time, God had a great big “Y-O-U” on His mind and He saw the children born to “Y-O-U” passionately serving Him, being baptized in His Spirit, and moving powerfully in His anointing. There was and is no wiggle-room in His statement. Your children shall prophesy.

Why am I writing this? Because there are those who have bought into the enemy’s lies. At this exact moment, your son or daughter might be running as hard and as fast as possible away from God and bringing you disappointment after disappointment. You may have reached the point of throwing up your hands and giving up. But, God spoke to me earlier today. I sensed an urgency to remind you of God’s unalterable promise. He unwaveringly said the word “your” and He unmistakably had your children in mind when He spoke those words to the prophet Joel.

Here is the directive I sensed from God. Beginning today, go find your Bible and head to your restroom or some place that has a mirror. Once in front of the mirror, open your Bible to Joel 2:28. While looking into the mirror at the “you” mentioned in Joel, read aloud God’s statement and then tell yourself that God was speaking to the person that you are seeing in the mirror.  Declare, “God was speaking to me and said that MY _______________ (fill in their name) shall speak for Him. God meant what He said and said what He meant about MY _______________ (proclaim their name again). Period. Satan, there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. MY _______________ (say their name again) shall prophesy!” Do this again and again and again, day after day after day. Hearing God’s voice in your voice will cause your faith to arise. Why? Because God doesn’t mince words. His “your” was His final word about your son(s) and/or daughter(s).

Start planning the celebration party because God’s word will come to pass for YOUR children. That day will surely come.

Oh … one more thing. Share this blog post with other parents that have children running from God. They too need to learn how to prepare for their day of celebrating!

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07 Dec Are You a Spiritual Streaker?

A couple of months ago, the Holy Spirit woke me up around 4 AM and gave me the strangest thought. He brought to mind a story that I wouldn’t have thought of (especially in the middle of the night) in a million, billion years, The Emperor’s New Clothes. The only other thing that He told me was a scripture, Luke 24:49. Being 4 AM, I didn’t spend any time pondering about the childhood tale or the scripture. Surely, those thoughts could wait until a more convenient time. And wait they did. That is, until the Holy Spirit brought them back to my mind a couple of days ago. 

For those unfamiliar with Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale, I will condense the story into a few sentences. There was an Emperor who was obsessed with his clothes that was duped by two swindlers that promised to weave cloth of the most beautiful patterns to create a robe for the Emperor that would be invisible to everyone unfit for the job he held or who was very simple in character. Once wearing the new robe, the Emperor paraded through town oblivious of the fact that he was only wearing his underwear. All of those around could readily see that the Emperor wasn’t clothed. Upon hearing from his people that there was no invisible robe, the Emperor was upset, for he knew that the people were right. However, he continued the procession walking on in only his underwear. 

Before sharing why I believe that the Holy Spirit woke me up at 4 AM, let me share the verse that He brought to my attention.

“Listen carefully: I am sending the Promise of My Father [the Holy Spirit]
upon you; but you are to remain in the city [of Jerusalem]
until you are clothed (fully equipped) with power from on high.”
Luke 24:49 (The Amplified Bible)

Here is the revelation that I gained … as a Christian, we can be spiritual streakers! Like Andersen’s Emperor, we as believers/a church can be so obsessed with the ever-changing, big-results-promised wardrobe (the ways/methods produced by man) and buy into a deception that causes us to believe that we have on everything that we need. We can be so blinded that we aren’t able to see what everyone else can see, us as a naked (powerless) believer/church.

Here’s some great news. Unlike Andersen’s tale, I have a better ending. I know that you have read this many times in my blogs but it needs to be shared again. Thank God for the Holy Spirit. Thankfully, through the sending of the Promised One, Luke 24:49 tells us that we can be totally clothed (no more nakedness!) with the Almighty’s power.

Let’s not be spiritual streakers. Resolve that your unclothed procession through life and ministry is officially over! Be filled with the Spirit and put on heaven’s clothes. In doing so, I’ll tell you right now that you have never looked better! Now, Spirit-filled, Spirit-clothed believer, go show off your new wardrobe!

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04 Dec Have the Gifts of the Spirit Disappeared?


Do you ever wonder why we seldom if ever see the operation of the gifts of the Spirit in today’s church? Several years ago, I read a short essay penned in 1745 by the great revivalist John Wesley to the newly formed Methodist movement concerning this question. In this writing, Wesley offers this insight …

“It does not appear that these extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were common
in the church for more than two or three centuries. We seldom hear of them after that fatal period
when the Emperor Constantine called himself a Christian, and from a vain imagination of promoting
the Christian cause thereby heaped riches, and power, and honour, upon the Christians in
general; but in particular upon the Christian clergy. From this time they almost totally ceased;
very few instances of the kind were found.  The cause of this was not (as has been vulgarly supposed,)
“because there was no more occasion for them,” because all the world was become Christian.
This is a miserable mistake; not a twentieth part of it was then nominally Christian.
The real cause was, “the love of many,” almost of all Christians, so called, was “waxed cold.”
The Christians had no more of the Spirit of Christ than the other 
Heathens.
The Son of Man, when he came to examine his Church, could hardly “find faith upon earth.”
This was the real cause why the extraordinary gifts of  the Holy Ghost were no longer
to be found in the Christian Church — because the Christians were turned Heathens
again, and had only a dead form left.”

~ John Wesley “Advice to a People Called Methodist”

Wesley later added …

“It should not be reasoned that the absence of such in the church (eighteenth-century
Church of England) reflects
the reluctance of God to give, rather the
reticence of the church to receive.”

~ John Wesley “Principles of a Methodist Farther Explained”

There’s really nothing more that needs to be added to Wesley’s writings other than the word “selah” (pause to meditate and reflect).

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29 Nov I Have Some Confessions to Make


CONFESSION TIME – I love, love, love the Holy Spirit and I love, love, love having the opportunity to teach and preach about Him. This honestly is one my greatest joys in life! I love standing before a group of people to tell about the One sent by the Father to walk alongside believers and witnessing them begin a new-found relationship with Him. It’s a bit of heaven on earth!

THE CONFESSION CONTINUES – One of my greatest frustrations in life is, after teaching and/or preaching in a church, leaving the church and not having had the time to share more and more and more about the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. The 45 minutes to an hour given to me to minister on a Sunday morning provides me with barely enough time to impart a minuscule of what I would want to share.

THERE’S MORE TO CONFESS – My frustration is relieved by knowing that believers can take a simple three step course of action to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit.
1. Spend time with the Holy Spirit. While driving to/from work or taking a walk in the morning or evening, purpose to use that time to connect with Him. Dialogue … speak … listen.
2. Get to know Him through reading the Word.
3. Be a reader of books written by authors who intimately know Him and the benefits that come from having a relationship with Him. Please consider going to amazon.com and getting these “must-have” books.
The Holy Spirit and You: Working Together as Heaven’s ‘Dynamic Duo’ by Rick Renner
* The Holy Spirit: An Introduction by John Bevere
* Tongues: Beyond the Upper Room by Kenneth E. Hagin
* How You Can Be Led By the Spirit of God by Kenneth E. Hagin
* The Walk of the Spirit, the Walk of Power by Dave Roberson (available for free download on his website www.daveroberson.org)

ONE FINAL CONFESSION – Vickie and I want to provide an opportunity for believers at YOUR church to begin a relationship with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit Rally could be for a Sunday morning service OR a Sunday morning AND Sunday evening service OR even a Sunday through Wednesday series of services. For more information, email me at billy@billyburns.com.

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