Leadership Blog

04 Nov The Unconstrained Holy Spirit – Part 2

If you have followed this blog for any length of time or attended one of our Holy Spirit Rallies or Ignite & Unite Conferences, you have heard me state “TODAY is the day of the Holy Ghost!” To me, this is one of the most powerful declarations that I can announce. TODAY is His day. He is still in the Book of Acts business.

If today is truly His day (and it is), then why aren’t we seeing demonstrations of His presence and power? The answer is quite simple.  You don’t have to be a theologian or cemeterian (I mean seminarian) to see the answer. It’s obvious that we have become quite proficient in constraining the Holy Spirit.

This week, I want to share the first of three common areas of constraint. (This will be one of those amen or oh me revelations.)

Constraint #1 – The Not Me Constraint.

Simply stated, the Not Me Constraint is a misguided perception of who is supposed to flow in God’s might and power. Many of those with this constraint have relegated the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit exclusively to the “super Christians”. You know who that I am talking about … a television preacher, traveling ministry gift, pastor … anybody and everybody but themselves.

The Not Me Constraint isn’t new. When God appeared to Moses (Exodus 3), Gideon (Judges 6), and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1), they listed their self-imposed “legitimate” issues that disqualified them from being used of God. In their minds, they were convinced that God could find others far more qualified. Then, the Bible tells of another extreme form of the Not Me Constraint … the others-imposed constraint. This was seen in the lives of David (1 Samuel 16) and Jesus (Matthew 13). The strong opinions of the bystanders and nay-sayers were obvious. David heard “isn’t there a brother more qualified?”. Jesus heard “isn’t He the carpenter’s son?”.

Now let me be personal. I not writing to the masses. Right now, I am writing directly to you. Have you bought into the Not Me Constraint lie? Are you just sitting on the sidelines with your arms folded and occupying space on the earth? Have you disqualified yourself? Are you constraining the Holy Spirit?

This may seem too bold of a statement but I will share it anyways. As much as I love men and women of God like two of my favorite ministers, Jentezen Franklin and Joyce Meyer, they can’t and never will be able to do what God wants to do through YOU. Your pastor, as great as they might be, can’t do what the unconstrained Holy Spirit can do through YOU in your family or workplace or neighborhood.

I challenge you to circle this day on your calendar. It is a new day. As of TODAY, Constraint #1 is history. The question of who has been forever answered. Resolve that the Sent One (the Holy Spirit) provided by the Father will be allowed to “shall” to and through you (John 14:26) as He uses your mouth, hands, and feet to boldly, mightily advance the Kingdom. These are officially Book of Acts days in and through YOU!!!

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28 Oct The Unconstrained Holy Spirit – Part 1

I have never been more excited in my life. In fact, I am beside myself with excitement. (Note: Never say that you are “beside yourself” while boarding an airplane. They will try to charge you for an extra seat!) This is the greatest time in history. Why? Because God is moving in an unprecedented way all around the world. And, this massive outpouring of God’s Spirit is being seen in what I call the 31 “flavors” of Baskin-Robbins Christianity. I am hearing reports coming from churches and individuals that are Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, Catholic, Lutheran, Mennonite, Episcopalian, Pentecostal (should I keep listing the types of churches?) telling of outpourings of the Holy Spirit just like we read about in the Book of Acts. It’s not just one “flavor”. Again, these are exciting days!

These are incredible days. What we are witnessing around the world is a present-day fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy.

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” Joel 2:28-29

While ministering in South Florida a couple of weeks ago, I shared a message that focused upon this move of God. In this sermon, I mentioned that if these are the prophesied days (and they are) and if the prophesied “all” includes all of today’s believers (and they are), then why are so many believers not seeing the prophesied results? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I could even make the question more personal. Why aren’t you seeing the prophesied results?

I want to see the prophesied results happening in your life and church. So, in the next four blog posts I am capsulizing The Unconstrained Holy Spirit sermon that I preached in South Florida. Though the thoughts are simple, I believe that you reading and applying these thoughts will cause you to experience what was experienced in that service. Hindrances will be eliminated. God’s power and gifts will begin to flow. Book of Acts results will become a way of life.

I’ll pick up with the first The Unconstrained Holy Spirit teaching next week.

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21 Oct Do You Need an Official Title?

Have you noticed that many people today are so into titles? So many claim to be or want to be a prophet or prophetess, apostle or epistle (is this the female form of apostle?), bishop or bishopess, … I’ll stop because I am confusing myself.

I’m not into titles (especially self-given titles). So, for me, I have come to this resolve. Whenever I get my next batch of business cards printed, I want to simply list my name, contact information, and the two words “Door Opener”. I don’t need any fancy schmancy title or position. Just give me the opportunity to open up the door for the Holy Spirit to do what He wants to do, when He wants to do it and I will be one happy man. 

Here is the great thing about being a door opener. This engagement with the Holy Spirit isn’t limited to a particular day of the week (AKA Sunday) at a particular location (AKA a church service) with a particular group of people (AKA church-goers). Opening up the door and being available for Him to bring heaven to earth is a 24/7/365 any time, at any place, to any person privilege. At Walmart? Yep. While shopping (dodging the falling prices), door openers will boldly open up the door for Him to demonstrate His power. On morning or evening walks around the neighborhood? Yep and double yep! God will strategically place people in the door opener’s path that are waiting for a word that will set them free or bring life and healing. 

Oh … one more thing about this business card idea. Can you imagine the reactions and questions coming from those reading the business card? That in itself will open up the door for life-changing ministry.

Write me (billy@billyburns.com) to let me know what you think about being a door opener for the Holy Spirit.

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14 Oct Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 18

Of all of the types of blog posts that I write, without question, the Praying in the Spirit Illustrations posts are among my favorites. Why? Because I believe that each and every illustration is providing a much-needed, simple, understandable, visible help to communicate the importance of praying in the Spirit. This brings us to illustration number eighteen. 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 18 –We Have an Outward Expression of an Inward Work

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,
and began to speak with other tongues,
as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Acts 2:4

For this illustration, you will need a Bible and either a slide or video clip obtainable from Google of an outdoor water meter.

Before I go any further, I need to forewarn you that I am about to show you a slide/video of something so ordinary, so everydayish (is that even a word?) that will cause you to be totally unimpressed. (Show slide/video of the outdoor water meter.) See? I told you so! I knew that this would happen. Immediately, your mind looked at the picture of the outdoor water meter and did a ho-hum. Am I right? We all know what a water meter does. It is a utility used to enable us to see and monitor an activity that is happening elsewhere at the given moment. The numbers spinning on the meter is reminding that water is passing through the pipes and is being used inside of your home. You are being informed that something is happening in places that you don’t immediately see.

So, why in the world would I be talking about an outdoor water meter today? Let’s read today’s scripture. (Read the scripture.) This verse tells us of an activity from heaven that took place in a room occupied by 120 people. That activity was the Holy Spirit being sent by God to move inside and work inside of the Jesus-loving people. It was definitely an “inside”, unseen action. In other words, the Holy Spirit didn’t appear in a physical form, announce who He was, and then move to the inside (spirit) of these believers.

Here is the exciting part of this scripture. Let me go back to mentioning the outdoor water meter. The meter was an outward way to know or evidence that an unseen activity was happening. From standing at the meter, you can’t physically see with your eyes water moving. But, the gauge or numbers spinning gives you knowledge of what is going on. When our heavenly Father poured out His Holy Spirit, He provided an outside witness or evidence that showed that He was working on the inside of these individuals. “They began to speak with other tongues …” From this scripture and others throughout the Book of Acts, we can know that God is at work … our evidence is seen when we pray in our prayer language!

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07 Oct Let’s Get Personal

In reading through the Bible, there are many, many promises that are what I call “general” promises. In other words, they are “everybody” promises. We see these with the scriptures that use words like “whosoever”, “all” and “every one”. But, in addition to the “general” promises, there are some very specific promises, ones that I call “me” or “personal” promises. 

Here are just a few scriptures that list God’s promises concerning my personal relationship with the Holy Spirit … (the underlining is my emphasis)

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever—” John 14:16 (Amplified Bible)

“The Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you.” John 14:17 (Amplified Bible)

“But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.” John 14:26 (Amplified Bible)

“But when the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, He will testify and bear witness about Me.” John 15:26 (Amplified Bible)

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you].” John 16:7 (Amplified Bible)

“But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth [full and complete truth]. For He will not speak on His own initiative, but He will speak whatever He hears [from the Father—the message regarding the Son], and He will disclose to you what is to come [in the future].” John 16:13 (Amplified Bible)

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts 2:38-39 (Amplified Bible)

Did you catch what was said? The Holy Spirit has been sent from the Father to personally …

  • Be my Helper.
  • Be with me and live in me continually.
  • Teach me.
  • Impact my memory.
  • Confirm for me that Jesus is God’s Son.
  • Give me the advantage.
  • Be in close fellowship with me.
  • Guide me and also show me what lies ahead.
  • Reveal to me the heartbeat of God.
  • Be heaven’s gift to me and my children.

Thank God for the personal Holy Spirit!

 

 

 

 

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