During an outreach one of our guys helped a lady with her groceries and walked her to her location. When they arrived he simply asked, “How can I pray for you today?”
She replied, “I had a dream. My father was a pastor, he passed away years ago. In my dream my dad visited me. He stood still silently looking at me. In the dream I asked, “What do you want. He didn’t speak. He just kept looking at me. I woke up.”
She asked, “What do you think the dream meant?” He replied, “What do you think your dad was wanting to say to you?” She replied, “I think he was asking me to get right with Jesus. Can you help me?”
What a dream, and what a question!
She wanted to be forgiven and to follow Jesus. My friend encouraged her, prayed with her and introduced her to Jesus. He later told me it was the shortest discipleship course he had ever explained.
I find it interesting. God was at work long before we arrived.
Her dream reveals God’s passion and love for people. It also reveals how God never forgets our prayers for our family and our friends. Years had passed; the father had died, now the Holy Spirit was beckoning this daughter to Himself. He used a dream that opened her heart to the good news.
Dreams speak to the heart. Dreams give direction, encouragement, warning, and insight. There are many biblical examples. Daniel, Joseph had amazing dreams that saved nations and changed the hearts of men.
It is possible to live out of the overflow. Personal time with Jesus, private worship and prayer, and waiting in His presence are often the key investments we make as we keep our love for Jesus alive. As we position our selves to lean toward Him, He in turn, invests in us. As we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. His promises are true.
It’s a time investment that I am choosing to make toward Him. As a by product of this time I’m often refreshed as I experience His grace and His love as He leans toward me. I’m then able to pass on what I have received.
Over time I’ve noticed a change in my heart, and I’ve noticed that I have an increased awareness of His presence in my day. I’m not fully where I want to be but I am pursuing.
I’ve also noticed an amazing by product of my time leaning in, my steps are often so ordered that I bump into just the right person, at the right time and when I pray for a person they are amazingly touched and impacted by God’s Spirit.
I don’t press in for these things to happen. They just happen. I think it is similar to going to the gym. I go to the gym because I like to work out. As a result of going to the gym over a period of time I gain strength, I have better health and I am less stressed. It’s a by product of positioning myself.
One lady, after a simple spoken command, was healed of seventeen kidney stones. She had one kidney and she had a ninety percent chance of dying if operated on. Three days after we prayed for her she went back to the hospital. They discovered the stones were no longer there. All seventeen had vanished! She didn’t have a UTI, or any other issues. She was totally healed! I was amazed! It was one of our first major miracles.
My advice is to find a personal well where you can refill your fountain, a place where the Holy Spirit is moving.
You may want to take some time off to go a location where a well is flowing. There are hot spots all over the world where the Spirit is moving. Why not take a field trip? Go, worship, receive prayer and learn from others who are pursuing more.
In order for you to receive, seek to return to your first love. Position yourself to go there, to your well, to your place, wherever your place my be—with a hunger and thirst for more. Spend time in worship; rest in His Presence. Lean into the Holy Spirit. Make room for Him. It’s what is most important.
One day during a personal time of worship. I heard this question, “Steve, if this was the only thing you did, would it be enough?” I knew this question was asking more than its face value. I paused and said,”I don’t know. I’m so driven. I want it to be enough. Help me enter this rest. Help me to allow You, Jesus to be more than enough.”
Take a selfie. What do you see?
It’s interesting that God chooses to reveal His nature through imperfect people. He always will, and He always has. He chose messengers to embody and to reveal His message.
Amazing is this grace. Awesome is the responsibility. Joyful is the privilege.
We are stewards, entrusted ones, and great is His investment in us. He invests His love and grace into us in order to flow through us.
Notice, He didn’t say we would do witnessing, but we would be His witnesses and be witnesses with power.
A witness: a person who has seen, heard, or experienced something: to have personal or direct cognizance of a fact, a situation, an event or a person.
A witness is one who attests, authenticates, testifies (to), vouches (for), one who certifies as true. A witness is one who sees, declares what they have seen, heard and experienced.
The Disciples were experiential witnesses.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.
The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard,
so that you also may have fellowship with us.
And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
We write this to make our joy complete.
He was the Light, the Revealer. The disciples walked with Jesus for three years; at the end they still didn’t understand. They saw and heard what Jesus said and did. They saw His compassion, His anger, His love, His friendship, His power, and were soon to see His agony, then His glory.
Bottom line if we really see, behold, and experience Jesus, we see, behold and experience the Father’s love.
Last discourse with the disciples. A last meal. Last words of encouragement. Last action before the cross… Washing the disciples feet. Last command… Love well.
Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am?
They, (the words and works of Jesus) were written to encourage people to believe Jesus was the Son of God and pointed toward the nature of a loving Father.
The seven signs:
Jesus often went to a garden in the Mount of Olives to talk to His Father .
It was His custom… He went to the Mt. of Olives… He would leave crowds, slip away, spend time alone in His Father’s Presence.
When we pray for someone we reveal the love and care of our Father.
When we encourage someone we reveal the love and the care of our Father.
We in a very real way reveal the Father’s nature.
Our good deeds reflect the Father’s love.
For a couple of years I prayed daily. “Jesus, you reveal the Love of the Father, please reveal the love of the Father to my heart.” I also prayed, “Father, no one can come to Jesus unless you draw them. Father please draw me closer to Jesus.”
I was expecting an encounter that would come upon me and give direct revelation of the love of the Father. I thought the revelation would come during my worship time, or my prayer time or at a special meeting.
Recently, I’ve had several people stop me and thank me for praying for them. One lady told me I prayed for her over a year ago and she has had no pain or issues since. Amazing!
I marvel, “Wow! Father I see your nature. I see your love. You loved her so much that you met her need abundantly beyond all we could ask or think! You are truly a loving Father.”
God’s love for me was revealed not by some mysterious experience, (I’m all in for those) but by her need being met through an answered prayer… through me. He reveals His love as I serve someone, or when I stop for the one. Sometimes He reveals His love as I encourage someone with prophetic insight or by giving a gift to someone.
The message is the messenger. The messenger is the message. If you are in doubt, take a selfie.
What is God Space? It is a space that we create by faith. It’s an atmosphere or an environment where God’s goodness, power, presence, love, and kindness can touch another human being..
The messenger is the message.
My friend Marc Dupont often declares this statement. I’ve observed his life for many years and he attempts to live what he says. His message has power because he is the real deal. Marc, the messenger is the message. http://marcdupontministries.com/
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
I love this statement, “all Jesus began to do and teach.” I am so glad He is alive and doing amazing things among us, and teaching us today.
3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
The text implies Jesus showed up in their midst from time to time.
Imagine, you are with the disciples, then Jesus suddenly shows up. “Hi, guys.” Some probably wondered, “When will He show up? Will it be today?” I’m sure some were startled. Maybe someone said, “Jesus, you gotta stop doing this suddenly showing up. It startles me. No I didn’t know what I was saying. Please keep showing up.” I think we all love it when Jesus shows up and amazing things happen.
Acts begins by proclaiming the Kingdom of God and Acts ends with Paul continually declaring, and teaching about the Kingdom. The principle of first and last.
4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command:
“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Notice He didn’t say we would do witnessing, but we would be His witnesses and witnesses with power.
A witness: a person who has seen, heard, or experienced something: to have personal or direct cognizance of a fact, situation, event or a person. A witness is one who attests, authenticates, testifies (to), vouches (for), one who certifies. A witness is one who sees, declares what they have seen, heard and experienced as true.
A man receives healing when Peter and John were going along their way. It’s interesting most healing, miracles happened as people were simply going along their way.
One thing followed the disciples… trouble. Trouble from the religious. They are being warned, stop talking, stop healing, stop being. One aspect they did recognize, and they took note.
Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.
This is how people become a witness. In order to become a convincing witness we have to have first hand experience of being with Jesus.
John summed it up in his writing.
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life- and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us– what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. (1 John 1:1-4 NASB)
Jesus often said, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.” Why? Jesus often separated himself from the business, and busyness of ministry and went to be with His Father. Jesus had a habit, He often went to the garden to pray, and to the Mount of Olives. What He received from the Father He proclaimed and demonstrated.
The importance of Being.
The messenger is the message. We reflect who we are, and who we have been with.
This is why it is so important to receive first hand knowledge and experience from Jesus in order to Be.
The Father is the great investor. He invests into us because He loves us. He gives to us because it is in His nature to give. He wants to give to us. He gives us talents, abilities, skills, and gifts to exercise according to the faith He has given us
Matthew 7: 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you; sow who you are into others for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Pastors, leaders, and many believers often do, and do and do. It is most important that we position ourselves to receive, and have a hunger to receive more.
The reality: You can’t give away what you have not received.
It’s tied to the law of inflow, outflow.
Receiving and giving is like breathing. Living in… gaining strength, energy, insight, and grace, then living out… to share your strength, energy, insight and grace in toward the people of your world.
No inflow = no outflow.
If there is more outflow than inflow, it will lead to your downfall.
Matthew 10:8 (NIV)
Freely you have received; freely give.
The paradox: often we receive more when we give to others from our overflow.
Luke 6:38 (NIV)
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Context: Love, forgiveness, care. Giving and receiving is tied to stewardship. We are entrusted to steward what we have by giving what we have received
Give honor; you will receive honor.
Give love; you will receive love.
Give friendship; you will receive friendship.
Give life; and you will receive life.
Give blessing; and you will receive blessing.You are blessed in order to be a blessing.
Nations will be blessed because you are first blessed; if you give away what you have received.
Your consistent time worshiping, loving and receiving from Jesus is what is most important.
Over time we begin to serve and give out of our overflow.
Psalm 73:25 (NIV)
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
We don’t spend time with Jesus in order to have power, love and healing. We spend time with Him because of who He is. As we spend time with Him, we then begin to reveal Him.
The by product of our time with Him is often love, power, insight, and blessing in action.
One of my friends is getting ready to make a difference here in Dayton. He needs people to help him move into a new arena of service. One very influential man wants to help. Why? Seems my friend has been noticed and watched for over five years by the man. He mentioned that he had seen my friend in action. He saw his heart and his selfless lifestyle. He wants to get on board because the message my friend speaks flows from his life.
We are the message. What we have received we give. The messenger is the message.