Archive for the ‘global’ category

Fresh oil coming to the body of Christ

October 2, 2010

As I was waiting on God, I saw a large lorry going over an ice road carrying large quantities of oil. The lorry had to stop as the ice was getting thinner, and the sheer weight would cause it to sink. In season the ice had hardened up, was deep and secure, and the lorry was able to continue its journey to its destination. I asked The Lord about this and He showed me that the immense amount of oil was not to be carried by one or a few individuals but a whole body of believers but only when the foundations were secure, and the field to carry His power to was the world. In the natural in recent times, we have already seen the consequences of wasting oil. God does not want us to waste what He pours into our lives. (See Proverbs 21: 20)

We read about the dietary staples in the Old Testament of Israel, giving a picture of our complete dependence on The Lord, and foreshadowing what is available to us now through Jesus, the bread of life, and Holy Spirit living in us giving us the new wine of His presence and anointing oil:

Psalm 104 verse 15 “ Wine that makes glad the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread which strengthens man’s heart.”

Without the anointing of Holy Spirit and the presence of Jesus Christ we have nothing beyond the temporal to offer those outside the church. Jesus reminds us of that:

John 15 verse 4: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

The Greek word for fruit is karpos which is used not only in the context of the fruit of trees, but also it refers to someone’s progeny and posterity. The greatest commandment is to love God “with all our heart, soul and mind” (Matthew 22 verse 37), but the greatest legacy we can leave are the people we have touched with His love and truth, believers and unbelievers alike. God wants to shine forth His glory through The Church because as the darkness grows in the Earth in these days, His light must come forth speedily:

Isaiah 60 1-2 “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.”

We need wisdom and discernment to shine His light into those dark places. As we read the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 I believe we are given a paradigm for harvest for these days through the symbiotic flow of mercy and miracle ministry:

Luke 10 verse 33-34 “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”

Here we see how oil is connected with healing. People can be touched by the wine of His presence and the anointing oil of His Spirit through believers and be set free from their sicknesses, sorrows and sins because The Church has risen up to be “the fulness of Him who fills all in all.”(Ephesians 1 verse 23)

RELEASING HIS OIL IN LOVE

The Lord reminded me of the aga cooker we had when I was a child. This required coal to be ignited. If there was oil in a pan ready to cook food it would be productive only when heated up. When we are truly ignited by God’s love the anointing oil that we carry will be most productive (see Matthew 14 verse 14-21) . When we have His love and compassion for people the miraculous can be birthed very quickly. Miracles demonstrate more than the reality of Jesus Christ, but flow out of the very heart of God, the intense unquenchable passionate love that He has for each individual. This is what people must discover through us.

A SECURE FOUNDATION

I believe that The Lord has much fresh oil ready to pour into His Church. Some is available now, but there will be much more after He has built an even stronger and more secure foundation of love, intimacy and identity in Him, faith, mature character, a culture of honour, and apostolic relationships so that the anointing will be carried responsibly in alignment with His plans and purposes. He is continuing to strip away what can be shaken:

Hebrews 12 verse 27 “And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.”

When this secure Kingdom foundation is in place, we can believe that The Church will arise with the oil of anointing and horn of authority:

Psalm 92 verse 10 “But my horn you have exalted like a wild ox: I have been anointed with fresh oil.”

When this happens it could span a whole generation rather than just be a temporary visitation as in former times if previous mistakes are not made. In a number of moves of God there became an excessive focus on one individual, usually the evangelist so people opened themselves up to deception and even idolatry. Believers must take responsibility not to miss Heaven’s blueprint, to enter His timeline for harvesting, not leave it just to those in platform ministry. In Ephesians 4 verse 12 we see too that an evangelist has a responsibility not just to the lost but must use their office and gifting “for the equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
What was omitted previously does not need to happen again so visitation can become habitation. As we treasure Him above all else we treasure His presence more than the air we breathe, and He will entrust us with more:

Psalm 92 verse 13-14 “Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing.”

The Hebrew word for fat in verse 14 is dashen which can literally mean full of sap and is also used in the context of trees as in Jesus’ discourse on the vine in John 15.

A HABITATION OF HIS GLORY

God wants to tabernacle with us, the many not just one or two, as we prepare a holy habitation for His glory to abide in. In John 1 verse 14 we read about Jesus, the living Word becoming flesh and tabernacling among us. Numbers 11 verse 8 tells us that the manna provided in the desert to the Israelites tasted like oil. Jesus is the bread of Heaven, and He is literally the anointing oil because He is Christ, the anointed One and His anointing! Rather than just reside in a tabernacle made with human hands, God wants to tabernacle with us on a personal level. It is our ultimate destiny as believers! (see Revelation 21 verse 3)

What starts as a trickle can transition into a torrent if we lay hold on all He has for us. It is interesting that the Jewish new year 5772 which runs from September 2011 through to September 2012 contains the Hebrew character “bet” for two which is also Hebrew for house. Jacob had a dream where he saw a ladder from Heaven to Earth with angels descending and ascending. When he awoke he named the place “Bet-el” which means the house of God and anointed his pillow, a large stone, with oil. Today many believers dedicate a new house or church to the Lord by anointing the doors with oil. Oil is used as a point of contact between Heaven and Earth.

God is putting His House in order, in apostolic alignment, and building a strong foundation for corporate divine authority where Heaven is released on Earth. In many churches worship is going to new levels, and corporate prayer is intensifying. Churches that treasure Him, that treasure His presence above all else can believe for more signs, wonders, healings and miracles within meetings. He is restoring the Tabernacle of David (Amos 9 verses 11-12 and Acts 15 verse 16-17) which means a restoration of intimate communion with God through a lifestyle of worship and intercession. We can become more of a habitation of His glory. Consequently God is allowing His House, His Church to carry His glory to impact the world in increased measure. Just as church buildings house His glory, and many are healed in the atmosphere of worship during corporate meetings, and that is vital, so too we as individuals must house His glory.1 Peter 2 verse 5 exhorts us to be “built into a spiritual house.” We must be a habitation of His healing and delivering presence, carrying the anointing that breaks yokes.

LAVISHING OUR LOVE ON JESUS

Consider Mary in John 12 verse 3 anointing the feet of Jesus with the costly oil of spikenard so that “the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” When we lavish our love on Jesus sacrificially and unconditionally not to get anything out of Him we end up getting more of Him! Consider the widow in 2 Kings 4 verse 2 with “nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” She gives it to Elisha out of obedience to God then gets many jars full of oil to put into her house in return. To those who have been faithful, He will give more oil to be housed and released!

He wants to saturate us with Himself because He loves us, but people can soon discover that we have been in His presence ( see 2 Corinthians 2 verse 15 and Acts 4 verse 13 ), then they no longer see us, but Jesus. Through being intimate with God in the secret place being soul winners for Jesus Christ is not something we do so much as who we are therefore. We have learnt to house His glory as we have surrendered our hearts wholly to Him. As laid down lovers of Jesus, touching others with His love and power is merely a by-product of intimacy consequently.

OUR INHERITANCE AND LEGACY

People must experience Jesus both inside and outside the church. We carry the anointing oil in greater measure when we are truly carrying Him! That is why we can take Jesus at His Word:

John 14 verse 12 “Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do He will do also, and greater works than these will he do, because I go to my Father.”

If the next move of God can be sustained through a generation because it has been built on a secure foundation, we can leave a legacy for our children so that our ceiling can truly be their floor, so this is a time to press into God and all that He has for us, and believe for as high a ceiling as possible!

It is the body of Christ’s inheritance to receive fresh oil. Romans 8 verse 17 tells us that we are co-heirs with Christ, or to put it another way co-heirs with The Anointed One and His anointing! Distractions, discouragements and doubts can limit the flow of anointing, but as we seek His face just because we love Him, and He alone satisfies the deepest desires of our heart, so our faces will shine radiantly with His oil as we reflect His glory to the world. In Romans 8 verse 19 we see the potential that can be realised as a body of believers walk in their full inheritance:

“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.”

Why not this generation?

As you align yourself with God and His purposes for you, be ready for fresh oil to touch your life!

Richard Steel October 2010

Oil photograph: m_bartosch
Oil on hand photograph Darrel Stott Ministries
Used by kind permission

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2009: After global shaking, God maturing the body of Christ.

January 3, 2009

After the outpouring in Dudley and elsewhere  in 2008, what does 2009 hold? I truly believe that God wants to do even more, but that He plans to mature the church this year so that we can be carriers of revival, and enjoy the habitation of God rather than just visitation.

The Lord led me to John 21 where there is a threefold commissioning of Peter. Three times Jesus asks him whether he loves him but the Greek translation “agape” is used. In telling Jesus that he loves him, The text uses the word “philio” for love. What’s the difference? Agape is a mature love, a sacrificial love, whereas philio is associated with affection. Its interesting to note that when The Holy Spirit brought a fuller understanding to Peter of agape, we see that word used no less than nine times in his writings. The threefold commissioning occurs after each time that Jesus asks Peter about the depth of his relationship with Him. Peter is called to “feed my lambs” “tend my sheep” and “feed my sheep”. A significant part of Peter’s ministry was to be pastorial and as a teacher.  How would this be most effective? Through intimacy. How will any ministry be effective?  Through intimacy, the intimacy of intense passionate “agape” love for The Lord where we will do anything for Him whatever the cost.

At the start of 2009 I believe He is asking the same question to you and me. How much do we love Him? What price are we prepared to pay in following Him? Romans 8: 19 says “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” The Greek word for revealing is “apokalypsis” which is defined as what was hidden now being manifest. The church has been hidden, but it is now time for her to be revealed to the world. People might say this is ahead of schedule,  but this is what we must press in for because the world is getting darker and more people are getting deceived by the enemy to pursue a path that leads to a lost eternity. With global economic meltdown and voices already calling for one world government there is clearly a shaking of the nations, yet as we read in Haggai God says “and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of all Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory.”  It’s interesting too that in verse 9 God doesn’t just promise the greater glory, but peace as well. We can’t put our trust in the economy, the politicians, our jobs, and people. Peace only comes through our relationship with Christ. He IS our peace. In Exodus 14 verse 14 Moses exhorts the Israelites by saying: “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” I believe that as 2008 has seen many battles and tests, for those who have been faithful there will be great favour to overcome.

What a glorious opportunity for the body of Christ! We must not waste it. As it becomes more clear that the answers are not found in world systems, for those who put their trust in God I believe there will be the rich reward of revelation direct from Heaven, the kind of wisdom that can only be spiritually discerned. We can expect to get new divine strategies as Jesus uses us to build His Kingdom. I want to see greater power on the streets too this year, I believe this will happen, and also more of the body of Christ taking a risk to reach the unsaved outside of the church walls within their divine sphere of influence.

I am not in any hurry to rush out into the streets this week with the weather so cold, but will still look for divine appointments. There is a time to pursue intimacy with God in the secret place so He can be more glorified through our lives, and for me that time is now.  Paul says in Philippians 3 verse 10 “that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to his death.”  It’s not even about knowing Him with an agenda, just because we love Him with an everlasting “agape” love as He loves us.  It might seem paradoxical though, but as we crave more of Him, more of being with Him and in His wonderful presence, when we sit at His feet He won’t let us stay there for too long even if that is all we want to do. Like Peter, He has commissioned us. Let’s draw as close as we ever have to The lover of our souls, The King of Kings, and be obedient to all He asks us to do in 2009 for the sake of love,  for the sake of His Kingdom,  for the sake of the lost, and most of all for His glory.

Worship, intimacy, and the levitical inheritance

October 10, 2008

Today I want to look at the single most important key to seeing miracles, intimacy with God. James 4 verse 8 says “Draw near to me, and I will draw near to you.” What attracts God to us most? I believe it is praise and worship. I’m not just talking about the songs we sing on a Sunday, important as that is, but a whole lifestyle of worshipful consecration unto The Lord. 1 Peter 2 verse 9 says “but you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” I want to talk first about how praise and worship can release the atmospheric realm of God’s glory where sickness and disease have to flee in His Holy presence, and then the whole area of consecration where we as part of the royal priesthood live for Him alone where like the levitical priests, HE alone is our inheritance.

Psalm 22 verse 3 says “But You are Holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.” God inhabits the praises of His people. We are to worship Him “in Spirit and truth” (John 4: 23-24). We cannot do that without the precious presence of The Holy Spirit. As we honor Him, give Him the glory due to His name so we forget about ourselves, even who’s ministering in music or who wrote the song we’re singing but we just focus on the beauty majesty and glory of Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, and The Father, we surrender our hearts and our whole being to God. As we love upon Him, there is wonderful divine exchange that comes where He comes and touches us. Andy Park, worship leader and songwriter once said that we don’t worship Him to drum up His presence, we worship Him for who He is, but God is attracted to our praise and worship. Benny Hinn has learnt this, and that is why worship is so important in his miracle service meetings, and why many people get healed during worship without anyone laying a finger on someone sick to pray for them. Likewise many people got healed in the atmosphere of worship in Lakeland Florida without the leader praying for someone. So too at Revival Fires Church Dudley, my home church many people have been healed in the atmospheric realm of His glory during the worship time and signs and wonders have happened too as gold dust and precious jewels have manifested. Worship releases angels into the atmosphere too, and God uses these angels as “ministering spirits” (Hebrews 1: 14) to bring His healing and deliverance to people. Recently my pastor Trevor Baker interviewed our worship leader Ryan Baker-Barnes about how important worship has been recently during the Dudley outpouring which is still going. See this:

I also want to highly recommend a new CD to you of live worship from the recent Firestorm Gathering which was broadcast internationally through God TV which features original songs by Sharon Baker and Ryan Baker-Barnes. You can get more details about this and information about upcoming outpouring meetings and conferences at http://www.revivalfires.org.uk

Before I go out to the streets to minister I like to spend some time in praise and worship, and even when I’m there in town I start quietly praising God as well as praying because I believe that this can and does release more of Him, and therefore more of Heaven into the atmosphere. Sometimes when the outreach has been tough going and I’ve starting thinking negatively, I will start praising Jesus and declaring His Lordship and His victory over darkness and disease. We must never forget that miracles point to Him, and they are for His glory alone. God wants us to love Him first and firemost, more than miracles, more than ministry, more than anything He must take first place in our lives. If we focus too much on what comes from His hand, and even the vessels He uses we will miss it in God.

Worship and intimacy go hand in hand because they are about close relationship. Good relationships take time. Like seeds sown into good soil, they need to be cultivated. As we spend time with The Lord we get to know Him, and His oil can come to saturate us. When we minister out of the overflow of being with Him, the wineskin of our characters become strengthened so we can contain more of His new wine, more of His glory to touch people’s lives. We become purer vessels for Him to work through us as He refines us and burns away the dross out of our lives. Deuteronomy 10 8-9 says “The LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today. 9 That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as the LORD your God told them.” Just as The Levites were consecrated to The Lord, so He wants us to be consecrated to Him, but we obtain the fullness of our inheritance when we do! We have an even more wonderful inheritance than the Levites had though and that is Jesus Christ and His fullness in our lives. Jesus came from the tribe of Judah. Let’s look at Hebrews 7 verses 14-16 “For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.” Is there a limit to the power that He wants to pour through us? No, but the key is intimacy and consecration. With intimacy comes trust, and trust releases faith to see The Lord break through into people’s lives. I do want to stress again though that we are all works in progress, we all fall short, I know I certainly do, but God can still use us to win the lost through His miraculous touch on people so we shouldn’t come up with excuses to not go after the great harvest of lost souls that need Jesus.

When God is our inheritance we can trust Him to meet all our needs (Philippians 4 verse 19). We have seen the global economy crash. We can’t put our trust in world systems. In fact world events point to Jesus coming soon. Those secure in God will have their needs met. Matthew 6 verse 33 says “Seek first The Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” I believe that we will soon see a wealth transfer to the body of Christ (Proverbs 13 verse 22). Tithing and giving into good soil are essential at this time therefore.

Summary: Our highest calling is to minister to Him. Ministering to people is good, but it should never compete with our ministry to Him which is worship, especially the lifestyle of worshipful consecration to Him through intimate relationship. When we put Him first we discover how much His heart beats for His lost children. With intimacy comes more of His presence in our lives. So we can expect to see an increase in signs, wonders, and miracles because The King of Kings is abiding in us, working through us, and for Him absolutely nothing is impossible!