FIRST—Check out a NEW podcast about three ‘spirits’ we need to be paying attention to regarding heresy in the church and prophecy:
- A Jonah spirit
- A false-Berean spirit
- The Spirit of Revelation
Listen here: http://www.cinchcast.com/praytherevolution/68620
Tonight AND tomorrow I’ll be training out of my book Six Enemies of Fulfilled Destiny at the Teen Intensive at the International House of Prayer East Detroit.
Their address is: 19136 10 MIle Rd, Eastpointe, MI 48021.
I’ll teach the first half tonight, and the rest tomorrow evening. It starts at 7pm both nights.
Here are the six enemies we’ll be dealing with:
- Common Sense
- Felt Needs
- Human Desire
- Generic Dreams
- A Belief in Fate
- Reliance on Man
Here’s a sample from the chapter of the book on Reliance on Man:
As New Testament believers, it seems as if we should live our lives by a different code and in a different dimension. The rules are different here. If this is the case, why do we so quickly look for practical and logical solutions to life's problems and goals? Even in the church planting world, the most common discussions on how to be successful revolve around structures, theories, success stories and effective programs. Of course, such discussion can be educational and helpful, though I'm concerned at the overwhelming lack of balance. Where are the discussions on faith? Are people still discussing the power of prayer? Throughout the bible, as has been stated, story after story, principle after principle, truth after truth perpetuates the idea of stepping out into the impossible. Peter did it on the water. Moses did it at the Red Sea. Gideon did it with the Mideonites. David did it with Goliath. The stories are seemingly endless. If this is the case, why do we so often choose to err on the side of safety? On the side of practicality? On the side of logic? The bible clearly directs us to lean NOT on our own understanding.
I don't know how many times I've made a step of faith and people have either murmured or stated directly something like, "That doesn't make sense". Or, "You need to do what has been successful in the past". Or, "Where did you come up with that crazy idea?" Or very often, "You really should gain a consensus, wait it out, don't rush to a decision". Now, in certain instances some of those suggestions would certainly be valid. As has been stated, there is a very important place for Godly wisdom. However, the closer we get to God, the clearer his voice becomes, and the more urgent a decisive response becomes, the more confident we can be in making some radical decisions. In this situation, as we are clearly hearing God's voice, it becomes critical that we err on the side of faith rather than safety. Too many times, human logic has caused one to ignore a directive from Heaven.
An age old question we can ask ourselves is, "What do I have to lose?" If the answer has to do with the loss of respect, loss of friends, loss of safety, loss of comfort, etc., then the answer should be easy. Simply listen to God, capture his heart, and leap in faith! Really, this is an obedience issue. If we choose to err on the side of safety, or the side of maintaining a reputation, then we very possibly may be disobeying God. To be a New Testament believer, as we will see in a later chapter, requires us to live a miraculous life just to be obedient! A New Testament life is an impossible life. So, it only makes ‘sense' to expect most of our key decisions in life will require faith to be successful. We should expect faith to be required. To avoid situations that require faith truly may require disobedience! The bible makes it very clear that, when confronted with a difficult decision, or any decision for that matter, that we are to make a step of faith as opposed to one guided by sight. What we see is not as real as what we cannot see.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV) 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Matthew 8:26 (NKJV) 8:26 But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
I can hear the arguments now, "Well, you should only make such a faith step that defies age old wisdom if you know that you know that you know that God has told you something. Otherwise, you should side with wisdom."I agree! This is an interesting point. It may seem as if I'm supporting a haphazard lifestyle. I am not in anyway. Foolishness is not an option. If we are not hearing God clearly, then we must gain some solid wisdom from some pillars of the church. Of course, the Word of God is always the final authority. But, the argument that is being made is really not against the seeking counsel. What is most often heard is a subtle chuckle and smirk when the idea of hearing God is raised. Most people don't truly believe that God speaks clearly and continually to those who are listening! Since they have learned to make their own way, and since they don't subscribe to the idea that God is in constant communication with his people, they believe those who make radical steps of crazy faith to be foolish.
Mark 5:35-36 (NKJV) 5:35 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue's house who said, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?" 36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not be afraid; only believe."
The unbelievers in the crowd (note they called Jesus ‘Teacher', they were ‘in the church crowd') were highlighting the obvious- the girl was dead. They were saying, "Give us a break! It's a done deal. She is gone." However, faith prevailed. Jesus instructed the man to take a faith step- to fear not and to believe. This step resulted in a miracle. Whatever you do, don't let fear of man stop you from being confident in your relationship with Jesus! The Holy Spirit is active and God is speaking. He will give impossible and radical directives to those who are willing to listen and obey. If we desire to be average Christians, we can err on the side of logic and safety. But, those who wish to venture into a different dimension, into a place of miracles and risk and big dreams then, every day, listen to God, hear his dreams and err continually on the side of faith.
Fear of Man
An entire book could be written on this topic, and, in fact, many have been. Let’s approach this from the perspective of a dreamer. To have a dream is deeply personal, unique and specialized for the person who has received it. A dreamer, or a visionary, who is spending countless hours in the presence of God and who is burning in their spirits to see their vision fulfilled has an important job to do- advance!
They are with God constantly and have heard his voice. The goal is clear. The stirring is endless. However, the process very well may not be clear, or at least it may not be easily communicable. Any visionary who has ever done anything worth writing home (or a book!) about has had to advance, to a large degree, alone. Why is this? The more impossible the dream, the more radical the approach must be. The more radical the approach is, the more it is scrutinized.
Few people ever understand what goes on inside prophetic people who see with spiritual eyes. Therefore, especially if they are in close relationship with the visionary, and ESPECIALLY if they are under the influence of their leadership, their lack of comfort in the process can easily result in a visible lack of support.
They certainly see point A. They see where you are, your weaknesses, your limits and your general situation in life. They may even be able to see point B. The goal may be a great one. There may be agreement on the value of it. It may even generate some excitement. The problem lies on that seemingly never ending dotted line between point A and point B. People who haven’t directly received the vision will, out of frustration or even pride, attempt to offer their two cents on how to fulfill the mission. To them it seems obvious. Maybe they have done it that way in the past. The problem is that they haven’t been given the dream. It’s not theirs.
To further muddy the waters, the visionary may truly not understand the process either. It’s at this point that living a Spirit-led life becomes as critical as life and death itself. The visionary may be receiving a steady stream of ideas, concerns, opinions and pressure from well meaning, and sometimes not so well meaning, people. This type of situation seemingly highlights brightly the weakness and apparent lack of the visionary. The visionary doesn’t know how to proceed and the critic has any number of ‘great ideas’ to offer.
At this point the person who has been entrusted with the precious and sensitive dreams of God must be absolutely free from the fear of man. Fear of scrutiny, of weaknesses being exposed, of murmuring, of not knowing how to defend your position- it all must be broken in our lives.
There are many times in my life where I will receive counsel from well meaning people, and I know in my spirit that I am not to proceed in that direction. Of course, there are times where I seek out counsel from people that the Lord directs me to. There are experts out there who have both practical and spiritual insight that is important to grasp. However, whether I am seeking counsel or whether it’s simply offered to me, I must hear the voice of God myself. Confirmation in my spirit is non-negotiable.