Leadership Blog

05 Aug Showcase His Power and Might

Let me share a powerful scripture that I read last week …

“Now also when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed
thy strength unto this generation,
and thy power to every one that is to come.”
Psalm 71:18 (King James Version)

I especially love the way that this verse is rendered in The Passion Translation …

“God, now that I’m old and gray, don’t walk away.
Give me grace to demonstrate to the next generation
all your mighty miracles and your excitement,
to show them your magnificent power!”
Psalm 71:18 (The Passion Translation)

Let me be up front with you. While I can’t identify with the being old and gray (I am still a semi-young man), I can echo David’s heart’s cry when he told God that he lived in a generation that desperately needed to see His mighty power. Did you get that? People needed to see God’s power. Because hearing alone wasn’t sufficient, David longed to make it possible for the next generation to see and have undeniable evidence that the miracle-working El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty) hadn’t changed. (Malachi 3:6). Earlier in the Old Testament, we read that Job also recognized the importance of going beyond hearing when he wrote …

“I had only heard about you before,
but now I have seen you with my own eyes.”
Job 42:5 (New Living Translation)

Do you want to be available to impact the next generation? If so, it can begin right now. It’s not a long, drawn-out, arduous process. First, make your petition known. I whole-heartedly believe that God has been waiting for you to ask. Be specific. Ask for demonstrations of His might and that it flow through YOU. Secondly, know that God will respond. Walk through your day and EXPECT God to present opportunities for His “mighty miracles and excitement” to flow through YOU. (I am writing specifically to YOU!!!) EXPECT God to use YOU to see many people come to the saving knowledge of Jesus. EXPECT God to use YOU to see many people receive divine healing. EXPECT God to use YOU to see many people baptized in the Holy Spirit. EXPECT God to use YOU to see many homes be restored. EXPECT God to use YOU to see many people set free from bondages and strongholds. EXPECT God to use YOU to see many people receive God’s joy and peace. And then finally, as the need presents itself, EXPECT and OBEY God’s promptings. In other words, confidently, boldly do what God tells you to do. As you EXPECT and OBEY, the results are guaranteed by God!

I’ll look forward to hearing your testimony as you work together with the Holy Spirit. Write me at billy@billyburns.com to tell of God’s mighty deeds.

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29 Jul Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 17

For the new followers of this blog, let me share the importance of this blog post. Over the years, I have observed that many pastors, teachers, and parents struggle when trying to teach about the importance of praying in the Spirit. Perhaps you are one of these leaders or parents that know that praying in other tongues is scriptural but just feel uncomfortable or unable to teach on this subject. Because this subject is far too important to ignore, I occasionally share blog posts to provide simple-to-use, simple-to-understand helps to enable you to confidently share the numerous benefits associated with praying in other tongues.

This brings us to illustration number seventeen. Once again, I will give a brief, skeletal overview of the illustration. Then, with the Holy Spirit’s help, you can personalize and modify the illustration to become a powerful teaching tool.

The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues
Part 17 –We Pray in Obedience to God’s Word

“… and do not forbid or hinder
speaking in [unknown] tongues.”

1 Corinthians 14:39 (Amplified Bible)

For this illustration, you will need a Bible and, if possible, slides showing pictures of signs instructing “No Parking”, “No Parking – Fire Lane”, “No Exit”, “No Entry”, “No Swimming”, and “No Trespassing”. It is important for you to choose signs that have the word “No”. These images are readily available on Google. You may also want to create a “NO Stop, NO Block, Keep Speaking in Other Tongues” slide to use at the end of the teaching.
NOTE: While the King James Version provides a tremendous translation of this verse, I believe that the Amplified Bible makes it just a smidgen clearer. 

Before we look at today’s Bible verse, I want to show some pictures of different signs that you should readily recognize. (Show slides of the signs.) Because you already know the message that is being conveyed in each of these pictures, it should easy for you to tell me why they would use the word “No” in each slide. (Allow the audience to explain the “why” of the posted messages. For example, a “No Parking” sign might be located in front of your school to keep cars from parking and blocking where students would be dropped off and picked up at their school each day.) In each sign, it is important to understand that the word “No” must be obeyed because there is a reason or benefit for obeying the instructions.

Now, let’s look at today’s scripture. (Read verse.) While I love how the Bible shares this verse, if I were to make this verse into a sign, it would simply read “NO Stop, NO Block, Keep Speaking in Other Tongues”. Just as in the signs that we read earlier, the word “No” or “do not” is important. The author of this letter to the Corinthians believers, the apostle Paul, wasn’t adding “do not” (or NO) just to use extra ink. It was a command/direction telling these Christians that praying in other tongues is so important that it must not be stopped or blocked.

Are we stop praying in our heavenly prayer language? No. No. No. Are we to block others from praying in their prayer language? No. No. No. It is an act of obedience on our part that, as we have in previous illustrations, opens the door for us to receive God’s blessings (heaven’s benefits) each and every day. (Allow the audience to share some of the benefits that have been shared in previous lessons.)

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22 Jul The New Testament Normal

Mister Dictionary is here with the definition of three important words for those longing to see a move of God …

Normal – (adjective) – conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
Subnormal – (adjective) – not meeting standards or reaching a level regarded as usual, especially with respect to intelligence or development.
Abnormal – (adjective) – deviating from what is normal or usual, typically in a way that is undesirable or worrying.

Next, let’s add this powerful quote from one of my spiritual heroes, F.F. Bosworth …

“If you want to know how the Spirit acts now, just read how
He did act when He had full possession of the Church.
The Book of Acts is a blueprint by which the Holy Spirit
wishes to work throughout His dispensation.”
~F.F. Bosworth “Christ the Healer”

This statement tells us that the Book of Acts outlines the normal (conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected) ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Church and lives of the New Testament believers. Let me pause right here and tell about His day-to-day actions. The blueprint tells us that, beginning with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, He …
* Continually brought salvation to the multitudes (Acts 5:14)
* Continually filled believers (Acts 2:1-4; Acts 10:44-46; Acts 19:1-6)
* Continually put His might and ability on display (Acts 5:16)
* Continually challenged the confines and restraints of religious tradition (Acts 4:1-2)
* Continually used ordinary people to confirm the Word (Acts 4:13)
* Continually ministered through His Gifts (mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12) to His Church (For example, a Word of Knowledge – Acts 5:3-11; a Word of Wisdom – Acts 5:29-33; the Working of Miracles – Acts 3:6-16; etc.)

Did you notice the constant use of the word “continually”? Over and over again, we read that the Holy Spirit displayed heaven’s power and ability. (For brevity’s sake, I have listed only a few of the many verses alongside the actions.)

Here is the reason for this blog post. I want to remind you that today’s date on the calendar and changes in the culture haven’t altered one iota the Holy Spirit’s blueprint for today’s Church and believers (that’s you and me!). He is a today Holy Spirit. We must avoid the danger of relegating His power and ability to bygone days. Minimizing and restricting what He can do today will produce a subnormal (not meeting standards or reaching a level regarded as usual, especially with respect to intelligence or development), powerless, ineffective Christianity. It is not abnormal (deviating from what is normal or usual, typically in a way that is undesirable or worrying) for the Holy Spirit to do everything that we read about in our blueprint through people EXACTLY like you  and me. And, about your church, it should be normal (conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected) and not abnormal (deviating from what is normal or usual, typically in a way that is undesirable or worrying) for the Holy Spirit to powerfully demonstrate His presence and might in each and every service!

Are you ready for a today Holy Spirit to do what He wants to do in your personal life, home, ministry, and church? Will you allow the His normal (conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected) to be your normal (conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected)? It’s so easy to do. Simply cast aside any restraints previously placed upon the Holy Spirit. It might be church tradition or a personal fear. Yield to Him. Ask Him to be a today Holy Spirit. Book of Acts results are waiting. That’s a promise!

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15 Jul The Holy Spirit is a Talker!

It PAYS to listen to the Holy Spirit. I was reminded of this truth as I recently read Acts 10. It is in this chapter that we read that the Holy Spirit spoke to Peter about an upcoming journey into uncharted waters. Consider this … the Holy Spirit was:
* Specific – (verses 19-20) The Holy Spirit told Peter that three men are looking for you and they are downstairs right now.
* Direct – (verse 20) The Holy Spirit told Peter to not hesitate or doubt but go with the three men because He has sent them to get Peter.
* Accurate – (verses 21-22) When Peter went downstairs, God’s plan began to unfold as EVERY detail outlined by the Holy Spirit came to pass.

What was the outcome of the work of the Holy Spirit? As Peter obeyed and stepped out into uncharted, never-before-done waters,
* Peter was changed. The man who previously declared that he wouldn’t touch things considered to be unclean became the proponent of God being a boundary-breaking God. (Acts 11:16-17)
* Cornelius’ home was changed. This God-fearing man along with his family became born again, filled with the Holy Spirit, and the first Gentiles to enter into God’s family.
* The New Testament Church was changed. The Jews-only boundaries were eliminated and the gift of salvation was now recognized to be available for all. (Acts 11:18)
* The Gentile world was changed. And now, some 2,000 years later, you and I are the recipients of the good news of the gospel being preached to the Gentiles.

Let me state again, it PAYS to listen to the Holy Spirit. The One who spoke to Peter longs to whisper the secrets of the Father to you. (John 16:13). Ready for this? The 100% accurate Holy Spirit seen in Acts 10 is still the 100% accurate Holy Spirit today. Ask Him to speak to you to reveal the heart and plans of the Father. Listen to His directions. And lastly, yield and obey His instructions. Like Peter, in all likelihood, you won’t get the whole plan in this conversation. Peter only heard step number one. It is in your act of obedience that the next step will be revealed. Then, obeying step number two will open the door for the next part of God’s plan to unfold. 

Starting today, spend time dialoguing with the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to speak to you and then make time to hear His voice. Get ready. He’s a talker! But, be forewarned. What He says to your spirit may be far more than your peanut-size brain can handle. The 100% accurate Holy Spirit will have specific, direct words from heaven that might well launch you into actions that you have never previously taken. But, rest assured. The One who spoke to you will empower you. Know that you know that you know that your obedience to His voice is guaranteed to be supernatural, life-changing, boundary-breaking, and history-making. Hallelujah!

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08 Jul He Ain’t Finished Yet!

I know that you already know this, but sometimes we need a reminder about what we already know to be true. So, get ready for a NON-revelational reminder. Here goes … the Holy Spirit who ministered mightily through the New Testament believers wants to work mightily through you. In other words, everything, everything, everything (do I need to add more “everything”s?) that we read about the Holy Spirit doing in the past, He is more than capable and willing to do today through you. You see, He hasn’t changed one iota from being the Holy Spirit that we read about throughout the Book of Acts. 

Consider this quote from a Welch evangelist name George Jeffreys who worked closely with the Holy Spirit and continually saw Him do what we read about throughout the Book of Acts …

“If the supernatural was in evidence during the dispensation
of the Father, and again in the dispensation of the Son,
what reason is there to suppose that miracles were
to cease during the dispensation of the Holy Ghost?”
~George Jeffreys “The Phenomena of Pentecost”

Pull up your calendar on your smart device and look at today’s date. As I am typing this blog post, it is Sunday, July 7, 2019. Today and tomorrow and the days to come are still within the dispensation or age of the Holy Spirit. 

TODAY IS STILL HIS DAY. Contrary to the beliefs of some well-meaning people, the days of the Holy Spirit aren’t over. When the last apostle died, God didn’t tell the Holy Spirit that His miracle-working, life-changing days were done. You can’t find a single scripture to indicate that God told the Holy Spirit to withdraw His gifts from the Body of Christ because they were no longer needed. The signs and wonders written in the Word and needed in the days of the early Church to …
* Bring healing and deliverance to people (Acts 3:1-8; Acts 8:6-8)
* Validate the preaching of the Word (Acts 4:16)
* Cause the Good News to spread throughout the city and region (Acts 5:12-16; Acts 9:33-35; Acts 9:36-42)
… are the same mighty displays of heaven’s power to …
* Bring healing and deliverance to today’s people 
* Validate the preaching of the Word to today’s world 
* Cause the Good News to spread throughout your city and region 
In other words, pardon my grammar, He ain’t finished yet

Do you remember this statement from the first paragraph “everything, everything, everything (do I need to add more “everything”s?) that we read about the Holy Spirit doing in the past, He is more than capable and willing to do today through you”? He IS capable and willing. The question and reason for this blog post is to ask if you are available and willing for Him to minister through you just as He did throughout the beginning days of the New Testament Church? Selah!

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