Leadership Blog

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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01 Jul My All-Time Favorite Blog Post

The beauty of the longevity in writing this blog is that I have had almost twelve years to write about so, so many aspects of the person and work of the Holy Spirit. The negative side of publishing a blog post week after week is that, oft times, the truths and revelations shared months and years ago become buried and rarely read again. New readers won’t discover the truths from the earlier posts.

Twelve years of posts? How important are these blog posts? I know for a fact that I could take three to four minutes to read any one of the over 600 posts and then walk into an auditorium to preach or a classroom to teach and use the content of that post and/or series of posts to minister for 45 minutes to an hour on that subject. 

What is my all-time favorite blog post? To be honest, they are ALL my favorite. To me, the blog posts are like the old Lay’s Potato Chip commercial, “No one can eat just one.” For example, consider these posts … (This is so difficult. There are dozens and dozens of posts that I want to list. The following posts were randomly selected.)
> 2019, June 17 – He’s the “Five W” Holy Spirit
> 2013, September 20 – Lessons Learned from Eli
> 2019, March 4 – Holy Spirit 101, The Basics
> 2018,  April 30 – How’s This, Mister Spiritual Hottie Tottie?
> 2015, April 20 – The “Secret” of How I Minister
> 2019, April 22- The Supernatural Power of Communion (This is the first of a four-part series.)
> 2016, March 21 – One of the Greatest Roadblocks to a Move of God
> 2014, April 21 – Can Children Be Used of God?
> 2018, January 1 – A Ministry Revolution – The Introduction (This is the first of a ten-part series. If allowed, I would teach this in EVERY Children’s Ministries conference.)
> 2010, May 17 – Six Reasons EVERY Child Must Be Baptized in the Holy Spirit (This the first of a three-part series. Again, I’d teach this in EVERY Children’s Ministries Conference.)
> 2017, May 7 – Answering Questions About Speaking in Other Tongues (This is the first of a four-part series.)
> 2013, August 5 – The DNA of a Holy Ghost Ministry (This is the first of a four-part series.)
>  2017, June 12 – Afraid of a Supernatural Demonstration of the Gifts of the Spirit?
>  2018, October 8 – Praying in the Spirit Illustrations (This is an on-going, sporadic series. I am currently on Part #16.)

So, how do you access these posts and the six hundred other posts? First, go to my ministry web site (www.billyburns.com) and then click on the link for BLOG. Next, click on the title of this post (My All-Time Favorite Blog Post) and it will send you to the page listing the archived posts. It’s just that simple. 

One last question? After reading the blog posts, do you have a favorite?

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24 Jun Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 16

The apostle Paul admonished the Ephesian believers “Praying always with all prayer and supplication IN THE SPIRIT …” (Ephesians 6:18, emphasis mine) and then later the apostle Jude wrote “… building up yourselves on your most holy faith, PRAYING IN THE HOLY GHOST.” (Jude 20, emphasis mine). To many, these two phrases “in the Spirit” and “in the Holy Ghost” are a complex theological mystery. Thankfully, there are preachers, teachers, and parents/grandparents just like you who are opening up God’s Word to explain in simplicity this beautiful way of communing with the Father.

Let’s look at the next illustration to teach one of these benefits that comes from praying in the Spirit. 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 16 –Discipline Our Will to Pray God’s Way

“What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray
with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit,
and I will sing with the understanding also.
1 Corinthians 14:15

For this illustration, you will need a Bible, a bag of clothes pins, and a pair of tennis shoes.

Before I teach today’s lesson, I might need to go around the room and give each of you one of these clothes pins (show bag of clothes pins) to place upon your nose. Why? Because in a matter of a 60 seconds, I am going to show you a pair of my running/walking tennis shoes. (Pass out a few clothes pins.)

Ready for the shoes? (Show the running/walking tennis shoes and pretend that they have an odor.)  I am showing you these shoes because they are the greatest way that I can think of to teach about the word “will”.  You see, each and every day, I take off my regular shoes and then put on these shoes so that I can walk/run and get my much-needed exercise. Now let me be perfectly honest. Do I want to walk/run every day? Absolutely not. There are days when I am so excited to walk/run. But there are also days that I have to make a decision to do (whether I want to or not) what I know is extremely important. Putting on these shoes and then doing my daily exercise is a matter of my will.  Walking/running is a daily discipline in my life that is both needful and beneficial.

In today’s scripture (open up your Bible and read the verse), we see the words “I will” four times. (Share the four “I will” phrases.) In other words, praying/singing in my heavenly prayer language and also praying/singing with my understanding is a matter of my will. It is a choice and a daily discipline. Just as in the case of my putting on my shoes (show shoes) to walk/run, my feelings can’t determine whether or not I will do what is for my benefit. The answer each day (show Bible) is “I will” do a spiritual exercise (discipline) that is both needful and beneficial.

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