And He said to them, "It is written,'My house shall be called a house of prayer,’…”
Matthew 21:13 NKJV

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What are GOD’S Appointed Times?

Pastor Larry Booth, Our Father’s House, April 6, 2010

What are GOD’S appointed times? To answer this question we must take a look at Leviticus 23. It is the only chapter in the Bible that gives us an explanation of all 7 of the LORD’S feasts in one place.

Every culture and religious system on the planet has special days and traditions that are recognized as important to the people. The seven feasts of Israel are the only holidays or feast days in the world that were given by Almighty God and referred to as HIS days or HIS feasts. In other words, this was God’s idea!!!

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are MY feasts.’” (Leviticus 23:1-2)

These seven feasts had special appointed times keyed to the Hebrew calendar of months. The very celebration itself carried a special connection to Almighty God. I believe that as we align ourselves with God’s appointed times and seasons we are posturing ourselves to maximize our understanding of what GOD is doing in the world today. I see this for the simple reason that each of the seven feasts of Israel have their fulfillment and true meaning wrapped up in the life of the Messiah, Jesus, the Son of the Living God.

This very week we are entering into three of the feasts of the LORD; Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits. All of which are ultimately fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ, who is our Passover lamb, the sinless sacrifice (no leaven), and the first one to conquer sin, death and the grave and be raised to immortality in resurrection life and power.

So…God’s appointed times matter. May we line ourselves up with these marvelous expressions of the work of Christ and in doing so be enriched in our faith and hopeful of a better tomorrow!!!

Most of us have a hunger to understand the prophetic and to be praying in as much alignment with heaven as we possibly can. I believe a proper understanding of the seven feasts of Israel will place us in maximum alignment with what the Spirit is saying to the church today in our world.

At Wits End

Pastor Gary Stebbins, COTR- Melbourne, March 30, 2010
We have all heard people say that “God is a crutch to those who are weak.” For many Christians when they hear this, the hair on the back of their neck bristles and they immediately want to defend their belief in God. “After all, just because I believe in God, that does not mean that I am a weak!” However, in one way, the statement is quite true. For those who recognize that their own strength, wisdom, and resolve are not enough turn to God. They come to the end of themselves and recognize their need for God.

To take it a step further, it is often desperation in the human heart that causes someone to cry out to God in prayer. Oswald Chambers says it like this, “It is not cowardly to pray when we are at our wits’ end; it is the only way to get in touch with reality. As long as we are self-sufficient and complacent, we don’t need to ask God for anything; we don’t want Him. It is only when we know we are powerless that we are prepared to listen to Jesus Christ and to do what He says.”

Are you experiencing difficulties in your life; does what is happening in the world today scare you? These are great reasons to turn to God in prayer.

Remember, prayer is not so much about getting something from God, as much as it is getting to know God. Prayer is the food that nourishes the life of God that is within us. We must pray if we want our relationship with God to flourish.

Again, in the words of Oswald Chambers, Christians “need to concentrate more on how prayer changes us and less on how it changes things. Prayer is getting ourselves attuned to God, not getting God attuned to us. It is developing the life of God in us, not self-development.”

As God said to Paul the Apostle, “my grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Paul’s response to God’s Word, “therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

I am not ashamed to say, “I am weak and therefore I need God.” In my weakness I pray and seek the face of my God. Prayer is a vehicle through which I get to know God and the power of His life that lives within me. Prayer brings me into alignment with God’s will and releases the provision of heaven for my life.

When I am weak, I PRAY, and He proves Himself strong. What about you?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Despise Not

Tim Franklin, Freedom Christian Center, March 18, 2010

I Thessalonians 5:20 "Do not despise prophecies. " (NKJV)

  • A simple definition of prophecy is: God communicating His thoughts, His will and His intentions for his people. What an honor! God speaking to us! David said of His voice, Psalms 29:9 "The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth, And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everyone says, "Glory!""(NKJV) Oh, the awesomeness of His voice! It shatters the cedars of Lebanon, twists the mighty oaks, and yet in the stillness causes the deer to give birth. How majestic and splendid is His voice and He speaks to us!

    I want to remind the MyHOP community of a prophetic word that came at our last gathering. “My unction and my power in the Spirit is increased in you tonight!” For those who were there and heard this word, and those who are reading this today: What was/will be your response to His voice?

    I Thessalonians 5:20 exhorts us to not despise the prophecies. The word ‘despise’ in this verse means: to make of no account, to reject, to cast aside. The Amplified Bible says, “Do not spurn the gifts and utterances of the prophets [do not depreciate prophetic revelations nor despise inspired instruction or exhortation or warning].” If we heard and are not responding to that word we have despised it. The reality is, if we have not believed or prayed into this word beyond that evening we have cast it aside and made it of no account!

    Now for the good news, if you have fallen into the ‘guilty’ category, don’t stay in the place of guilt. Simply say, “Forgive me Lord!” Pick the word up and with a giant “YES!” in your spirit say, “Amen! I agree!”

    God by His word desires to increase His anointing upon us. He desires to increase His power in us. The prophetic word hangs in the realm of the Spirit waiting for us to pick it up and run with it. Declare it! Believe it! Walk in it!

    Father, I thank you for increased anointing in Your House of Prayer. I thank you for increased power in Your House of Prayer. I thank you that you are strengthening the place of prayer in our lives and in our region! May your church agree and may we walk in all that you have given to us!

    If you picked this word up today let me hear from you.

    Ps. Don’t forget our next MyHOP gathering April 2 at Freedom Christian Center. It will be a healing service!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Should we pray more for our leaders?

Pastor Larry Booth, Our Father's House - March 10, 2010

That should be a “no brainer” for any serious follower of Jesus…right? Let me say that as a pastor, I can always use more prayer support in the ministry I’ve been called to by the LORD.

The Prophet Zechariah was given an amazing glimpse into the spirit realm that should help motivate us to pray more for our spiritual leadership in our churches. “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the LORD said to Satan; ’The LORD rebuke you Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?’” (Zechariah 3:1-2)

The insights we can gain from studying the prophets of the Bible will often give us a more complete picture of the spiritual conflict and nature of our adversary. Think about this particular example. The prophet of GOD is given a supernatural revelation of what is unseen to the world and often unseen to the people of GOD in general. He sees the level of resistance and opposition the priest of GOD is experiencing in his service to the LORD. We are not talking here about just a priest, but the high priest of Israel, the one responsible for going into the holy place. What do we see here? We see a level of resistance and opposition that is beyond the human in nature. Satan himself is standing at his right hand resisting and opposing what Joshua is trying to do in his ministry to the LORD.

How intense is this kind of conflict? From the text we can gather several amazing insights into the intensity of the battle. The LORD Himself enters into the picture and rebukes Satan, not once, but twice. A double rebuke reveals for us the magnitude of the battle we face every day in ministry. Another interesting insight we see in this text is the filthy garments that Joshua was wearing. (Zechariah 3:3-5) Perhaps his own sin issues opened the door for a major spiritual attack from the enemy? This could be a warning to all of us…to live out our walk with CHRIST 24/7. Thankfully, the LORD intervenes here, cleanses HIS servant and restores the proper order of ministry in the house. Aren’t you glad as well, that when we miss it and fall into the world’s traps, we have a REDEEMER GOD who rescues us and restores us. Hallelujah!!!

So…back to the opening question. Should we pray more for our leaders?

Most of the pastors in our region that I speak with on a regular basis would say that they sense the dial up of warfare over the region. I would agree. Our level of prayer and intercession must exceed the level of resistance and opposition or we will not gain any ground in the territory. So…if Satan is dialing it up…then the people of GOD must dial it up more to gain ground!!! That makes perfect sense to me. How about you?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Do It! Now!

Gary Stebbins, Church on the Rock, Melbourne, FL - March 4, 2010

As I was re-reading the story of Jabez recently, I was impressed with the prayer that this man offered up to God. Our only insight into the life of Jabez is found in two verses in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 …
"Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, "Because I bore him with pain." 10 Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!" And God granted him what he requested. " (NASU)

The fact that Jabez was born in pain may refer to actual physical pain in child-birth, but it might also reference a general time of difficulty and adversity in the life of Jabez and his family, or perhaps even the nation of Israel at that time. In light of the adversities that Jabez was experiencing, as he grew older, he “called on the God of Israel.” In other words, he prayed. He cried out to God and asked God to change his circumstances. This was a bold prayer.

I do not see this as a prayer that Jabez prayed one time, but the cry of his heart as he was growing up and coming into his own. I can see Jabez going before God time and time again making his requests. Jabez asked God … to bless him, to enlarge his borders, that God’s hand might be with him, and that God would keep him from harm.

Now God is God, and He is not required to answer every prayer request we make of Him, and this was certainly a bold request that Jabez prayed. However, in the same way, God cannot answer a prayer that we do not pray. Jabez had the faith and the courage to pray bold prayers before his God. As a result God granted him his request. If he had never prayed, he may never have received what God was ready and willing to grant him.

Certainly, if Jabez could persistently present his prayers to God, so can we. The writer of Hebrews, in talking about Jesus Christ in His role as our High Priest, makes the following statement … "Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need ." (Heb 4:16, NASU).

As those who know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we can, “draw near with confidence”, to God. The word confidence, or boldness in some translations, means to be unreserved in speaking or to have no fear in speaking. In other words, we can go before God and speak freely to Him about our needs, our fears, our desires, and even our sin. In fact, He encourages us to come to Him … “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." (Mt 11:28).
As did Jabez, may we learn to call on our God in prayer. This is the time; now is the hour. Regularly and frequently cry out to God in prayer. Do it! Now!

Were you tagged by today’s post? Did it stir you to go deeper in the place of prayer? Share your thoughts, I want to hear from you.