Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

The Need for GOD’s Anointing of the Holy Spirit

Is Christian Revival around the corner? I sure hope so… But if it is, we’ll need plenty of help to manage it.

Revival and the Holy Spirit

Are we in need for GOD’s Anointing of the Holy Spirit? Why wouldn’t we be?!

Jesus said, ‘I go that the helper may come’ (John 14:26). How does the Helper help? By anointing us for service, giving us power through His presence: to move hearts toward GOD and to pull down strongholds.

If we want revival — and most of us who follow Jesus do, in some measure at least — we must allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and follow His lead.

There are those in the church who say that the supernatural gifts of GOD are passed. Some suggest, ‘We have the Word now, so we don’t need the supernatural.’ I say rather bluntly, this is a cop out. I think it is borne of the fact that the speakers don’t personally see the manifestation of miracles and therefore they reckon they don’t exist. They might quote, “… pass away but my Word shall not pass away…” (Matthew 24:35) But that scripture is taken out of context. Jesus, as the Word of GOD, was resurrection life that will never pass away. But He left the earth so that He could send His Spirit to fill each of us. It is by the Spirit that I have been transformed: through GOD-given faith and His conviction. I experience transformation and demonstrate it because of His supernatural attendance to me and His infilling within me.

Others who accept the Holy Spirit presence but resist the power, say undignified behaviour is manifested and therefore such cannot be a move of GOD. I say Jesus accepted the undignified, preferring their behaviour to the pride and superficial dignity of His contemporary pharisees. I was once accused of being a pharisee. Me? But I love the LORD! was my immediate response. And yet, over time I realised the religious spirit of the pharisees had affected me. My recognition and rejection of it was instrumental in my maturity and freedom.

Holy Spirit – active today

What I testify is this: The Holy Spirit is the LORD within us who enables us to surrender our lives; He gives us leadership showing us how to engage with Him and with others about Him. He is the evangelist, the pastor, the teacher, the prophet and the apostle within (Ephesians 4:11) And He enables the fruits of love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience and self control (Galatians 5:22-23) to grow and supersede our own will and natural inclination to rebel. And it is through Him that miracles are manifested (1 Corinthians 12:8-9). He is the power and the presence of GOD, without whom we have neither His power nor His presence. He has not changed any more than has the Father or Jesus. GOD does not change.

Vocabulary that promotes the undignified

“Hallal” means praise! We are called to join in a manifestation of high praise, ‘flashing forth light like!’ Cymbals crash! King David danced with joy to his LORD, practically naked. GOD is to be revered but He does not control us. He brings liberty. Dignified or noisy, this is the celebration of GOD.

Jesus’ word about the Helper

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26)

For centuries, the power of GOD was squashed with religion. Protestants have blamed the Catholic faith, and it may largely be true that the manifestations of the Spirit were full-on during the early church but were largely wiped out by organised religion. But the chains have fallen off! And so should there be room again for the Spirit, so that we can “live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)

We need the anointing

Recently, I was in a worship service and tears began to flow as we ministered to the LORD, not only in song but in spiritual warfare, praying for the nation. This began with the steadfast commitment of the worship leader to sing to the LORD but also to pursue Him. In so doing, the anointing came and remained. A call from the congregation for prayer came and then the engagement: spiritual warfare through a unified force amongst the brethren of believers, to bring GOD’s kingdom onto earth “as it is in heaven”. I don’t believe this could have been done without the anointing. But with the anointing, there was faith and a unified voice in worship and prayer. All the glory goes to Him through our passionate pleas to Him.

Abandon

GOD is full of grace and love. We are to revere Him. But we do not have to be religious. Rather we are called to be “like little children” (Matthew 19); children are not self-conscious.

Decorum matters between one another, as does common sense and respect. But sometimes, as the LORD’s presence manifests, so too does the demonic. This is not to be shunned nor embraced, but to be recognised, deliverance* to be undertaken, and freedom to be received (*to protect all involved, deliverance should only be undertaken under specific conditions and by those trained and experienced).

Sometimes there is joy and dancing: David danced; it pleased the LORD! (and led to the barrenness of David’s wife because she mocked him)

The Spirit is unpredictable. The Spirit is free. He does not give us licence to be irreverent but irreverence is not the same as lacking dignity. Sometimes, we need to be met with unpredictable abandon to be set free.

I pray that those who are reading this have either met with the Holy Spirit and have been baptised and anointed by Him, or will pursue Him with their whole heart until they are. The Spirit is no less GOD than is the Father or the Son. There is power from the Creator. There is power in the Word. And there is also power through the Spirit. Embracing Him is what Jesus calls us to do. And we ignore this at our peril.

Implosion of the World

While science is fast becoming debunked by those who preach “whatever we feel is real” and religion in Western society has all but passed away, common sense, fact and reality are becoming as rarely inspected as history. This is the time for Faith to arise. Let us not copy what has gone before: a narrow religiosity that has the imitation of Truth but not the power of it. Let us endorse and whole-heartedly embrace the full Gospel: that we are saved by Faith in Jesus, both for our eternal future but also for our present. Jesus saves, delivers, restores. He is found both in Word and in Deed. And we ignore either at society’s peril.

GOD bless you. In Jesus’ name. May you receive the power and presence of the Lord Jesus, Yeshua, our Messiah, by His Holy Spirit. Amen.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Expect More: it’s time!

Do you think it is time to expect more from our prayers? I do.

I think it’s time to expect GOD to actually move to heal, to deliver, to renew minds. It’s time for His transformational power to MOVE. How does that happen? When we believe.

Doubt is our enemy.

James 1:5-8 says, 

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been tossed and blown as much as anyone, and I’m fed up (with myself) with accepting unanswered prayer. Surely, GOD is waiting for us to believe and trust the words we pray!

Let us take hold of our passion, compassion, and determination to see GOD’s power, to experience His presence in the lives of our loved ones, strangers on the street, anyone for whom we feel led to pray.

Father, give me faith!

Matthew 17:18-20 gives an account of a boy being set free.

“Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” 

Give me, give us mountain moving faith, LORD. May Your will be done, today, now, in Jesus’ name. 

We cannot whip up, stir up our faith…. or can we?

Paul writes in 2 Timothy 1:6, “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”

And so we can proactively seek to build up, stir up, drive up our faith. Let us do so, all to the glory of GOD, that we might see Him move powerfully to transform lives in these days.

Let’s expect more, much more, of GOD’s transformational power and manifest presence, that healings will take place, hearts and minds will be moved, and more of GOD’s glory will be revealed.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

24 Hours alone: a poem

Last night the LORD left me. 

I was in despair

In despair, I didn’t know He’d left

I just felt despair.

Last night I sought the LORD

He was quiet, I was fraught

I sought the LORD 

and He did not reply.

After weeks of calm

Methodical detachment and trust

I was emotional:

Angry and afraid.

But I did not flee

Nor blame or denounce

I did not succumb to my flesh

But clung to His Spirit in me.

His grace is enough

His love is sufficient

His truth is all

And I am bathed once again.

Know this: we grow

Then we are tested

When we have a choice,

We yield and are saved

All over again.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

God’s Word, yes, but also His Presence

We need to be in God’s Word, yes, but also we need to be in His Presence.

Word and Holy Spirit together

2 Timothy 2:15 urges us to”Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

And Jesus before his accession to heaven told the disciples, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if depart, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)

How safe is the prophetic

It is easy to reject all prophecy and the prophetic because of some people who are in error or who seem to seek attention through a building of their ministry. BUT GOD. He sent His Holy Spirit, not just to intervene in the salvation process, activating our Spirit, but also to walk, live, breathe, share, comfort, convict and guide us daily. 

We must no longer live as empty vessels, occasionally to be filled with inspiration from God’s Word BUT ALSO we must allow the Holy Spirit to infill us and dwell with us, the aim being that we are filled constantly with God’s presence through His Spirit in us. We need the Word but that is not enough. We need the baptism of the Holy Spirit so that the understanding of His Word is complete.

Perfect Love, not Fear

We are not to fear the things of God, but to discern. Yes there are false prophets, most of whom may well not know they are false. But not all prophets are false. And we need the Holy Spirit’s discernment to distinguish the false from the true. Most of all, we must follow Yeshua, our Lord Jesus to the Father. Following him is perfected only through time spent with him directly, not seeking the prophetic from others, but seeking the Lord for ourselves. Then, as we dwell intimately with Yehovah, God’s Word, and Yehovah God’s Spirit, we may well receive His prophetic word. All this is what Jesus left us for… and sent to us.

Expect the Holy Spirit

I am not writing a theological argument. Many may well argue over the matter of the Spirit within us. The Word and the Spirit go together. Jesus said he must leave in order for us all to have the Helper. I believe he meant it.

I believe and have experienced (“you shall know them by their fruits” Matthew 7:16)) that as I surrender to God, as I am still before Him, as I rest and wait for Him, He comes. He comes in Spirit and in truth. His presence is for all, today, and He expects us to receive. Is it all-or-nothing: full surrender or not? We each choose. Time is short, so I ask you directly: which will you choose?

How to find His Spirit

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

So we shall wait… be still and wait… Ask and receive the fullness of the Spirit in your walk with the Lord, and expect Him to fill you with His presence (there is much more in scripture about this, and there is a discussion about baptism to be had also, but these are digressions from my point today… Depending on Jesus’ timing, there is fuel for Future blog posts).

We do not fear

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.” (Matthew 7:11)

I urge us all, that we take nothing for granted, knowing His love and His presence. Let us then be ready… for anything.

God bless.

Sarah Tun

Categories
Examining Biblical Scripture

In His Presence examined: The Church needs to Change – Part 5

When I wait upon the LORD He renews my strength (Isaiah 40:31) . Hallelujah!

What about everything else that needs doing in life?

Following on in the Series “Church needs to Change”, I address the second point on the list, that of engaging with GOD’s presence.

I Corinthians 1:29 says, “that no flesh should glory in His presence”.

Basking in GOD’s presence is a glorious experience: a spirit to Spirit encounter as ours meets with His.

But is it for its own sake? As we spend time with the LORD and when He chooses to anoint us by His Holy Spirit, is it only to draw closer to Him? Is it not also to walk under His direction, to offer solace to others, or healing, or words of wisdom… as and when He may direct us?

In Psalm 119, the Psalmist asks, “Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me.” Amen.

Our Walk is Revelation

Jesus loved both Mary and Martha, but it was Mary who sat at his feet, whom Jesus defended against Martha’s criticism that her sister did not help with the practical household duties (Luke 10:38-42).

I have been “sitting at Jesus’ feet” of late — or to say more accurately, I have been spending a lot of time reaching out for GOD’s presence, and receiving. But it has meant I’ve had little else on my agenda. Indeed, I didn’t even post a newsletter last week (as those who usually receive it will be aware). Am I being distracted? Or perhaps it is simply that the LORD has my full attention, at last.

It is difficult to navigate the matter of seeking GOD’s presence. Society is busy and offers plenty of duties and distractions. Covid-19 Lockdown across the world has offered GOD’s children time to spend with him. How have we spent that opportunity, or what, in this regard, can we do going forward?

Day Jobs, Family Ties, Responsibilities and Choices

Paul of Tarsus built tents for a living. He did receive some payment for his preaching and teaching, but by and large, he supported himself — he had a day job. He encourages all who can to work, to be self-respecting and self-sufficient, and in turn to support those who cannot work.

He has also written to us about family ties being a blessing, though singleness he sees as better, being without the distractions of spousal obligations (1 Corinthians 7:34-38).

We all have our responsibilities, yes, and we can make our own choices. There is, after all, “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1)

But…..

Luxury of the presence of the Holy Spirit

But my current thinking is, we cannot afford to ignore the opportunity of GOD’s presence in our lives. Spending time with the LORD and resting in His presence is a luxury; it is a luxury we must take. How else can we grow and walk continually “according to the Spirit”? How else can we become more like our shepherd, Jesus?

When I rest in His presence, I find my experience sometimes daunting, sometimes sleepy, sometimes like a wave (or waves) of His glory pouring over me. Sometimes I sense peace, other times I gain wisdom. Always it is a bit scary yet totally lovely. I do it for the sake of intimacy with Him, and then I seek to encourage others.

Baptism of Holy Spirit

We all must work out our own salvation “with fear and trembling,” as Paul writes (Philippians 2:12). But our journey needs to have encounters with GOD personally, sometimes through His word, but also through the intimacy of His Spirit.

Jesus prayed. He did nothing His Father did not direct him to do. He is our model.

Jesus said, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26) And he said, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of me.” (John 15:26)

Jesus departed so that the Spirit might come to us. He told his disciples, “…if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7)

We need the active presence of the Holy Spirit in our day-to-day lives

Let us no longer engage in our journey without the Spirit of GOD… not only as He resides in us through the act of our salvation when we made our commitment to Him, but also through His repeated anointing, infilling and indwelling, to lead and guide us.

Questions remain

I am aware I’ve not answered my own question about how we use the anointing He brings. I believe it is all dependent upon Him. As He engages with us, He’ll let us know where we walk and when, how we proceed with others. Nothing is meant to be in our flesh, not by our will but by His.

I think we are to wait as long as we can, listening, abiding, allowing Him to fill us.

As for me, as I manage to live in His presence, then my next steps will be directed by Him. That too will no doubt be daunting, exciting, peaceful and enriching. For in His presence “is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).

May we all drink deeply of Him, abide with Him, and grow in Him, Amen.

 

 

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Intimacy: Seeking the Presence of our Creator GOD

I read the Bible, I read books, I am inspired by music too.

But most of all, I seek His presence

Yet push him away, I do.

That’s a little ditty that describes my heart versus my behaviour.

Seeking Intimacy

If I could spend all my time with the Father, I feel sure I would. And yet, when time and stillness are available,
I realise I have yearning but also hesitation. I do seek Him, but I don’t always give all my attention.

Why do I hesitate? He comes gently, carefully, peacefully. And yet, I am afraid, even quivering a little as He draws me to His presence.

I am discovering, as I meditate on scripture and am inspired by others who share their experiences*, that although I have been encompassed by His presence in the past, I am still learning about Him and know Him so little.

“I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23) comes to mind and I wonder, does he think that of me?

I look up the scripture in its entirety, “And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practise lawlessness.”

The Word gives me solace.

In our walk with Jesus

There is total surrender when we commit our lives to Jesus. We say the words but to what degree do we practise “total surrender”?

We are imperfect, made perfect in Jesus’ sacrifice for us, so this isn’t to lay a guilt trip on anyone, and in fact I’m sharing in the way that I am, personalising this, because I want readers to have the sense that it’s okay not to be perfect, even though we are called and are responsible to give our all.

We can rest assured his work is finished and his salvation sure. And yet, I don’t want to take this for granted.

The days are closing in

There seems to be endless speculation on the timing of Jesus’ return. Some say we will first be raptured, others say we go through the tribulation just like everybody else, as witnesses to the reality and goodness of GOD. What seems to be agreed is that these are unprecedented times and as the world and its systems and human beings spiral out of control, we who love Jesus hope there will be an end to the way things are. So whatever an individual believer’s End Times theology, I think most readers will be on the same page: the world is in bad shape, we are called to witness goodness, and must not take that call for granted; time is short!

And in our remaining short time, we are to mature into His likeness and to witness to others His goodness and truth. I believe we can no longer do this without the manifest presence of GOD: His Holy Spirit working in and through us, not any longer.

For centuries, it seemed the gifts and callings for the Holy Spirit were dormant. There may have been pockets of outpourings and a peculiar few anointed, but by-and-large the traditional denominations operated outside of the manifestations of the Spirit until Azusa Street (1906-1915) in California and the birth of the Pentecostal movement.

Now now now now, we need the Holy Spirit and we need Him fully. True surrender, as I understand it, is to allow Him to fill us to the brim and to operate in His call. The anointing comes to us for ministry and His presence fills us. We need the Spirit to operate in signs and wonders, to build the body of Believers and to surprise and delight others to discover GOD for themselves.

The Cost of Intimacy

But it does cost. I am learning that to ask the Holy Spirit to fill me requires courage and patience to wait for Him. It isn’t just allowing Him to fill me when His circumstances permit, but to ask for Him to dwell in me always, then yielding when He does, seeking to live in His presence always, placing the illusion of control at His feet.

It isn’t romantic. It isn’t fleeting. It’s always. And for an independent person like me, that’s hard.

But without Him, am I even on the narrow road? Without willing to surrender fully, am I truly available? Am I truly committed? Taken literally, if I have committed to give Him my all, then what does that look like?  And am I doing all I can to live for Him, for my Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith?

What is our need

I write this today out of compulsion to yield and to encourage others to yield to Him. GOD will not give us a serpent or a stone when we ask for bread. Jesus is the bread of life. But he returned to the Father in order to send to us the Holy Spirit: comforter, presence and power of GOD, not only for salvation but for anointing as well, to live as Jesus did whilst on the earth, and to be as Jesus was whilst on the earth. I certainly cannot fulfil this call in my own strength. I need His Spirit, not only to dwell within me but to be ignited within me, leading me, transforming me, inspiring me to “be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

Will we surrender?

Taking everything into account: the cost of surrender and the reward of His presence, can we do anything else?

As David the shepherd wrote long, long ago, “He restores my soul;… He leads me in paths of righteousness… For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me… You anoint my head with oil [of the Holy Spirit]… Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (excerpts from Psalm 23)

My prayer

Oh Father, lead me into Your way everlasting,

Amen.

 

* Most recently, I’m in the process of reading Terry MacAlmon’s 30 Seconds in His Presence… will change your life forever! as shared with me by a dear sister and prayer partner. Graham Cooke is also someone whom I also find inspiring — urging us to draw closer to Our LORD Yehovah GOD, Creator of this whole entire spectacular universe.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Fresh Beginnings: a reflection

FI am seeking a still and deeper relationship with Holy Spirit…. not funky or flakey, but real, deep and true. I am seeking to walk in the Spirit 100% of the time.

I’ve experienced moments, and once a 5-day blessing of GOD’s Holy anointing upon me — not because I’m more worthy than anyone else, nor less, but simply because I asked and He granted it to me.

This is September. It is a time when autumn prepares for winter by means of the hibernation of animals; leaves fall from deciduous trees to allow them to be dormant for winter. But it is also the season of new beginnings, such as for educational institutions in my neighbourhood and country. And for me — perhaps in part because I am a former teacher — this season is also for me more about beginnings than endings.

I am seeking GOD’s Holy purpose for me for this season. I am searching for a deeper identity with Him. I am holding on to Yehovah, Father, Creator, so that the times — which are darkening — do not darken me.

I will find fulfilment as I spend time in the Word, spend time in Worship, spend time in stillness with my GOD. I will find because He promises: He is present, and in His presence is fulness of joy. (Psalm 16:11)

What will you seek this new season? What will you search for? What will you hold dear?

I encourage you not to wait one more moment, but to contemplate: to seek Him and allow Him to envelope you with His presence and His love, so that you can be that whom He has created you to be.

It is September 2019. We have much to learn and much to do. The master teacher, our Yeshua/Jesus will show us the way, when we wait and trust and follow his lead, for “He who waits upon the LORD shall renew his strength; he shall mount up with wings as eagles, he will run and not be weary, he will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Blessings…