Four Stages of MANHOOD – Man Up!

Manhood – Part Two 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things   As you recall, we are talking about the development of men of God, generally in four […]

Manhood – Part Two

manhood man up

1 Corinthians 13:11

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things

 

manhood temper

As you recall, we are talking about the development of men of God, generally in four stages that were: boyhood, manhood, fatherhood, and the age of the patriarch.

 

No matter how great our earthly family may have been, we are now part of the royal family of God, training for reigning with Jesus!

 

As always, we begin and end with the Word of God!

 

Training and discipline can develop our soul, forge our will, but the Word of God has the power to change our very heart motives….

 manhood overcome desires

Ephesians 4:14

that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

 

1 Corinthians 14:20

Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

 

Hebrews 12:5

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

 manhood Tozer

Galatians 4:19

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you

 

Fathers in the faith, pray, for us to grow up spiritually, to embrace our manhood, to rise up to honor and responsibility in this fight of faith in this generation.

 

 

2 Timothy 3:15

and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus

 

We teach our children the Scriptures, but it is our life of honor that they watch!

manhood responsibility

 

Back in the days when I used to pastor, we used to do a ‘passage of rites’ ceremony with young men and women between the ages of 13-18. I took the idea from a book I read by an author named Craig Hill, where he teaches on the development of boys into men: http://www.promisekeepers.org.nz/bar_mitzvah.html

manhood do what you got to

 

I agree with Craig, as I have endeavoured to learn protocol, the traditions and cultures of the host peoples of North America, North American Indians. In many tribes, a boy becomes a brave or warrior, only after their initiation ceremony, where acts of bravery needed to be exhibited. In some tribes, a young man had to ‘count coup’ riding up to an enemy with his ‘coup stick’ and touching him without being killed, and riding away in victory, having ‘counted coup.’ In other tribes, there were ‘rites of passage’ ceremonies that included running through tunnels of pain, where seasoned warriors beat them with sticks, or culturally required acts of bravery, where they had to complete a vision quest, or spend a night blindfolded in the forest over night.

manhood patton

From what I understand in the Jewish Bar Mitzva ceremony, boys were expected to go to work with their fathers after school, to learn responsibility, earn money and learn how to manage it, and become men.

 

What we used to do, is plan ahead, and get either the fathers, uncles, grandparents or older men in a young man’s life to write a declaration of honor, love and respect to be read over the young man. We would tape a line on the carpet, and all the men in the church would come forward to the front side of the line. The young teens would stand on the outer side of the tape. I would read a proclamation declaring that this day, they were forever leaving boyhood, to become strong men of honor, embracing the risks and responsibilities of manhood in their community, standing strong for their families, against evil in society, as men. I would present them with some token of manhood (usually a pocket knife, although some dads gave firearms etc), and then had the prepared proclamations of blessing read over each one by their elders. I would then have them leave childhood forever, by stepping across the line. All of us men would then lay hands upon them and pray and proclaim blessing over each participant.

 

Saw dramatic change in young peoples lives! Young gangsters would suddenly leave criminal lifestyles, and often join cadets, or get job to help at home. Shoulders would square up, and chests would swell with pride, as they embraced the call to be men!

manhood tyrants

 

This is so needed today! With a 50-60% divorce rate in America, boys are not taught to be men, and we, the church must rise to the challenge, and become fathers to the fatherless, accepting, affirming, challenging, exhorting, and discipling and calling forth warriors of righteousness for this generation!

 

 

Whether it was the Jewish Bar Mitzvah ceremony, or getting ‘jumped into’ a street gang, it is clearly part of the process for boys to become men, warriors, through initiation ceremony by the men of the community or tribe.

 

Seems this has been forgotten in many sectors of North American society, but the hunger in the heart of every man will be fulfilled in battle, or the essential part of him dies…

Manhood look like

So much can be said here, but I will say this, after years in Promise Keepers, my childhood growing up on military bases as the son of a military officer, or in the various men’s ministries in which I have participated over the years, that boys must become men! Sure warriors get wounded in battle, but the church is the army of God! We have an infirmary, and there should be no man left behind, but make no mistake about it, we are an army, the army of God, called and commissioned to fight!

manhood battle with honor

Luke 19:13

And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

Matthew 16:18

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

 

manhood make myself

 

Recognizing the huge hole in this culture by fatherless families, I built and co-owned a construction company for many years simply, primarily, to take boys, and make men out of them.

Read a quote by another author I respect:

From a sermon entitled: ‘Fathered by God, by John Eldredge’

“In the lesson, John touched on some topics that he covered in his bestselling book Wild At Heart, such as answering the question that plagues all men: “Do I have what it takes?” But he also introduced six new stages of initiation that he has taken his boys through that have proved to be great steps for Christian discipleship.

 

According to Eldredge, all men have to go through these steps to become whole and holy men. It begins with “Boyhood,” where a boy learns that he is the “Beloved Son” and entirely delighted in by his father. Then, it moves into “Cowboy,” where the young man must experience adventure and danger (think: David’s teenage years of battling lions and bears as a shepherd). Following that, the boy becomes a “Warrior,” often leaving home to pursue a cause or a mission.

manhood chivarly

At roughly the same time (but hopefully not before) the man is learning that life is a battle, the Warrior must learn to fight for his beloved and become a “Lover,” but still remaining a warrior for the rest of his life. Many years later, with the right humility and direction, the Warrior-Lover becomes a “King.” That is, the man steps into true leadership and responsibility, guiding and directing the lives of others. And lastly, he finishes his latter years as a “Sage,” sharing his wisdom with other men and women, guiding them in their journey.”

If you haven’t read John’s book: Wild at Heart, I highly recommend it. http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Heart-Discovering-Secret-Mans-ebook/dp/B00527N04O/ref=dp_kinw_strp_exp_1_1

In short, John calls his stages of manhood by different names, but the principals are the same.

 

Let’s talk about the transition from boyhood to manhood for a minute.

I’ve noticed that boys all go through what John calls the ‘cowboy’ stage,  warriorhood.

I watch young men race cars, ride bulls, become soldiers, martial arts experts, hunters, adventurers, because I believe God created all men with this natural ‘wild side’.

Becoming a man is becoming a warrior, developing courage under control.  I watch young men all making their mark in the world, joining the military, oil industry, rodeo, construction, or any other rough and ready world. Testosterone going somewhere to happen, working long brutal hours in the face of real danger to life and limb, to make their mark on this generation.

Like David before confronting Goliath: 1 Samuel 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?

 

Yes, there is a cause! Freedom has never been free, just pick your battlefield, enlist in God’s army, and fight!

Whether in prayer, preaching, missions, business, education, military, cival services, finance, or media, truth is a sword, and there are battles to be fought.

No matter what stage you are at in your life, there are injustices to be confronted, but like the wise mentor of Willam Wallace in the movie ‘Braveheart’,  ‘First the mind, then the sword!’

Get educated, skilled, and choose your battles wisely, so that as you fight, you fight to win!

manhood educated

Seemed when I had my construction company, I would have to throw a rope on those often unbroken wild men, and teach them respect, responsibility, faithfulness, dependability, keeping your word, craftsmanship, and directed work ethic, without breaking their spirit, and still keeping the fire in them!

I am raising up men of honor, respectful, full of honesty, integrity, excellence, but when they look you in the eye, they look right through you, because there is still fire and steel there!

I’ve noticed this about myself: if I go too long simply keeping the schedule, making the deadlines, and punching the clock, I get to feeling like a hamster on a treadmill: running hard, but going no where.

There must be some mountain to climb, race to run, adrenaline pumping fast machine to drive, water-skiing, or some other impossible task or death defying deed in my schedule, or I quietly die inside. Gone through months of numbness, physically showing up, but not really alive!

manhood castrated

Do something radical! Go on a mission trip to a different country, language, culture – confront the oppression, the poverty, the ignorance and fight for the oppressed!

Maybe you are called as a soldier or law enforcement agent, to literally take on crime and the ‘bad guys’ on the front lines. Everyone hates a bully – don’t be one, but be strong enough to dethrone any merchandizing the weak – the drug lords, the child sex traffickers, the pimps and religious bullies who beat women and children. Dad served 32 years in the navy and his counsel is still valid:

Real Men don’t hit women, they stand strong in defense of women and children.

manhood no hit

Ok, enough sharing for a bit, if I go longer, you won’t take time to read it.

I’m pretty big on action so here’s some things you can do:

  1. If you have never been affirmed as a man, take this article to your pastor men’s group, and have them first of all affirm you, and pray that God complete you as a man, a warrior, and eventually as a husband, father, and responsible member of society.
  2. If you had a dad (what a concept!), and you have been through a ‘passage of rites’ type of ceremony, create one in your community. Deliberately reach out to teens and young men, and call them to excellence, warriorhood, responsibility, and honor. If your pastor is not interested, organize some sort of men’s advance (the army of God never retreats), and get in touch with me, and I will come preach and lead it.
  3. Not sure what the next men’s movement in America is going to look like. Promise Keepers in its day was a powerful force for good, full gospel businessman had a day in the sun too. Whatever it’s called, get involved, and get your business, family, and church on board too. Manhood means excellence, honor, holiness – Man up!Father, I come before you today with my brother. I ask You Father to do for me, what no man can do: put into me all the things a perfect father would have if he could have. Pour into me the courage, boldness, affirmation, strength, passion and fire I need to radically impact my world, and restore to me all the things I never got growing up. Cause me to walk in honor, free from profanity, bullying, cowardice, perversion, pornography, lying, and develop in me an excellent spirit, strong in You and the power of Your might. I ask Father, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”

manhood courage

Let’s Pray:

Father, I come before you today with my brother. I ask You Father to do for me, what no man can do: put into me all the things a perfect father would have if he could have. Pour into me the courage, boldness, affirmation, strength, passion and fire I need to radically impact my world, and restore to me all the things I never got growing up. Cause me to walk in honor, free from profanity, bullying, cowardice, perversion, pornography, lying, and develop in me an excellent spirit, strong in You and the power of Your might. I ask Father, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”

If forever reason, you have not come to God on His terms yet, here’s what He expects:https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

Email: chris.aomministries@gmail.com

donate

Donate on-line: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=95XHSDDXDS7MC

Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

 

Running Before the Gale…

Running Before the Gale The Storm at Sea Acts 27:13 When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. 14 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the […]

Running Before the Gale

gale

The Storm at Sea

Acts 27:13 When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. 14 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the island and blew us out to sea. 15 The sailors couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and let it run before the gale.

Running before the gale!

When I was young, full of fire and adventure, I spent nine months becoming trained as an underwater welder, and I decided to join a company out of Key West named Treasure Salvors, headed up by a flamboyant man named Mel Fisher who was hunting Spanish treasure ships off the Florida Keys: it was a great adventure.

Mel Fisher

Then, as God would have it, I had the opportunity to jump ship and join ‘The Illusion’ expedition, headed up by a man from Brazil. Tony Kopp had worked in the oil fields as a diver, and had built a 65 schooner, fully equipped as a dive vessal. He had been searching archives for many years, to unearth the plight of the many treasure ships that had sunk crossing the Atlantic. He had his eyes on a Dutch Schooner said to be sunk in the Madiera Island group off Portugal, and several other wrecks along the journey. So, not yet 21, I hired aboard this wild expedition, with two Swiss, a German, a French man from Gabon, Africa, a captain from Brazil, with his wife and two year old daughter, and two Doberman pinchers!

sail

We had many adventures, and some once in a lifetime experiences finding wrecks, spearfishing, and crossing the Atlantic under sail.

We got caught in a force 10 storm, with 50-70mph winds. All we could see was blowing foam, and seas mounted to 40-50’ waves, with the tops being torn off of them by the high winds. We had to keep the boat running before the wind, carefully slicing the waves, or we would breach, overturn, and I might not be writing this story.

For three days and nights, we could do nothing but hang-on!

No food, no sleep as the waves were too violent, and would throw you out of your bunk. Dark, starless night, blowing rain, foam, mist, with one thought on all of our minds, survive.

On the third day, the winds let up, and I ate a dry cracker, crawled into my bunk, and slept for a couple of hours. I was awakened to the sound of the baby laughing, with sun streaming through my porthole!

I stumbled out of my bunk, being flung side to side, the entire boat creaking and groaning, crashing through the waves.

I came above decks to behold a sight!

The wind had stopped in the night, but because it was no longer tearing the tops off of the waves, seas were now 65-80’ tall! Our little schooner would surf up one side of a mountain of water, and launch into the air, to come crashing down the other side of these monstrous waves. We would hit the bottom of the trough, and the bow would turn submarine, plunging the front third of the ship underwater, with hatches groaning, like a cork we would bob up again, and head for the sky again.

The baby was in her safety strap hugging one of the dogs, laughing hysterically!

toddler laughing

One of the Swiss had a camcorder, and he filmed that day: how I wish I had a copy of that video!

We all began to laugh! A celebration of life! We were alive to face another day, the sun was shining, and it was going to be alright!

Now, back to the Word of God:

You know the story, Paul the mighty apostle with a burning zeal and a passionate fire to see his people saved, and right with God. He has met Jesus, and he is going to Jerusalem, capital of the world, to tell them the good news of who Yeshua really is!

FAITH is Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him.

faith fantastic

Let’s read:

Acts 20:22

And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

Bound in the spirit,

Some question whether Paul heard the voice of God to make this particular trip to Jerusalem.

Romans 8: 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Spirit led1

Surely Paul is a son of God, and He heard God to go to Jerusalem.

Yet we see an interesting interplay here between the office of the apostle, and the office of the prophet.

Acts 21:11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

v 12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.

v13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

The prophetic word delivered to Paul was accurate, and for those around him that loved him, was interpreted that Paul should refrain from going up to Jerusalem. Yet, to Paul the apostle, ready to endure any hardship for the sake of the gospel, he was strengthened by the word!

courage Jesus

He hardened himself, recognizing imprisonment and a beating were in his future, but he did not flinch in the face of danger. Perhaps he read:

Isaiah 50:7 For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

So, as Paul Harvey would say, ‘and now for the rest of the story’.

He made it to Jerusalem, underwent imprisonment, and the foretold beating. Yet, though his path was hard, their was an audience of One that he sought to obey and please.

In His prison cell, that One, King Jesus showed up to personally comfort His servant:

Acts 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome

How is that for an encouraging word?

You obeyed me, now I am sending you to Rome – (in the belly of a slave ship) – running before the gale!

Jesus appears

So leader, the storms of life will come. You are either in one, finishing one, or headed into another one. It is the cost of the call, the price tag of leadership, the race run, before our audience of One.

The lonely times leave a mark upon your soul. Perhaps it was this time in Jerusalem that caused Paul to pen these words:

2 Timothy 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

Leadership can be lonely, perhaps you have read my article on it…

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/leadership-lonliness/

When we enter into the perfect, sovereign assignment of heaven for our lives, all hell may well break loose to prevent us getting to our goal.

faith

Jesus faced the storm on the sea of Galilee, Paul, Joseph in the pit, Moses in the desert…

Jesus suffered alone upon the cross…We who represent Him, will find ourselves alone with Him too.

While no earthly help may seem to appear, there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. One who knows, who cares, and who will never leave nor forsake you.

We did make it to Portugal, and discover the 1611 Dutch trader with 54 silver bars on its manifest. Another story, for another day…

You will make it too, if you are willing to abandon all for the sake of the call.

Like Mary told her servants so many years ago, at the wedding feast:

John 2: (KJV)

His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

obey whatever He says

In your hour of trial, HE WILL APPEAR, AND HE WILL SPEAK!

God speaks

Do not settle for the mere words of men, obey Him, and walk upon the water of His Word.

deep

Make headlines in heaven so that this question in the heart of Jesus be answered:

Luke 18:8 Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Let your answer to this question be a resounding YES! You won’t have to look any further Lord Jesus, for I believe!

faith1

Let’s pray:

‘Father, let me not shrink back for Your clear mandate for me. While the storms may rage, may I navigate them and run before the wind of Your Holy Spirit, running before the gale. In Your name and for Your glory I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

PS: If you would like to read another adventure story type devotion from my treasure hunting days: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/a-shark-story/

Just in case you think this kind of stuff only happens historically, here’s one from the week when our jeep was stolen: http://www.fox23.com/videos/news/video-teens-commit-tulsa-crime-spree/vDW5k2/

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

If you would like to help us in our missionary adventures, please make a donation on Paypal: https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/02/27/newsletter-aomministries-feb-march/

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/03/17/faith-sets-the-sail/

Angels – Go to Work!

For those of us who love Jesus, there are angels on assignment to help us do the will of God.

If you love Jesus, and have received Him as your Lord and Savior, you have angels watching over you! Today as we seek first Jesus for His will for our day, and read our daily Bible reading, these thoughts come to mind.

angels

God knew you would serve Him, and from the time you were born, angels, guardian angels have been assigned to your life, to report to heaven and await instructions on your behalf.

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
angels guardian

These angels are looking to the throne of God, for instructions on how to help you, and direct you into the plan of God for your life! They love you!

I remember hearing astronauts stating that their mind’s cleared in outer space, that they experienced a clarity of thought that was amazing to them.

Why?

2 Corinthians 4:4

in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

So, consider that no matter how brilliant we think we are, that here on this earth, evil spirits still work upon our brains, trying to keep our mind blinded from the eternal truths of the calling and destiny of God upon our lives, whereby angels see things from heaven’s perspective.

I believe that is part of the reason God gave us the Holy Spirit as a supernatural language when we speak in other tongues. (If for some reason you have not yet experienced this particular heavenly gift, please read:

In our heavenly language, we bypass our minds, and our heart of hearts, the place where Jesus lives, Christ in us the hope of glory, prays directly to our heavenly Father, without corruption.

It appears that sometimes the language we speak, though unintelligent to human understanding, is literally an angelic language:

1Co 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

Could it be, that as we speak, we are literally commissioning angels on our own behalf?

The Scripture is clear that angels are ministering spirits sent forth to work FOR those of us who love Jesus.

Hebrews 1:14 Are they(angels) not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

They are listening for the voice of God spoken through us, for their assignments in our lives!

angels on assignment

Ps 103:20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

 

Ever thought about praying in the Holy Spirit in other tongues?  1Co 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. In this verse, we are told to seek the gifts of the Spirit, but everything must work the love of God. While love is greater than spiritual gifts, let’s desire spiritual gifts.

tongues1

When we pray in other tongues, we: edify ourselves, we reveal mysteries, we pray the perfect will of God, and we make intercession for the saints, to name a few benefits.

Been thinking about angels though. We know they are with us, protecting, providing,and working for us, the perfect will of God.

Charles Capps, before he went home to be with the Lord, has brought much teaching on how confession of the Word of God, will commission angels, for they listen for and do the voice of God’s Word in the earth.

Yet, though I am a lifetime student of the Word of God, I am not God, and as I grow in Him over the years, see more and more my need of seeking Him in every decision.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing

 

Jesus Himself, fully relied upon the Holy Spirit to reveal the will of our heavenly Father:

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me
angels will

How much more, in using my authority to correctly assign and commission the angels of God dispatched to me, my office, ministry, family and calling. as I fear and greatly respect God, see this wonderful truth here in the Word of God:

When we pray in tongues, we can pray in not only other earthly languages, but also in heavenly ones, tongues of angels.

I believe we can literally spend time over praying in the Holy Spirit, and commission angels to do wonderful exploits for the kingdom of God.

What’s the bottom line. Deliberatly, on purpose, make time in your day, to confess God’s promises in faith and authority, then pray in the Holy Spirit in other tongues, and let’s see God’s kingdom advance!

Angels are on assignment, let’s give them something to do, for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ!!

angels guardian1

Here is a song to encourage you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOkImV2cJDg&list=RDqOkImV2cJDg#t=0

need-prayer

Prayer Requests: If you or your family need specific prayer for anything, please send us a prayer request. We as a family will pray for you today, and if you would, please let us know the wonderful ways God answers. This is a great encouragement to us.

Daily, I face the needs of not only my family, but the orphans we support in Karimnagar, India. It is our dream to increase this as there are very real excruciating needs in the lives of children around the world, and God loves them every bit as much as He loves my precious children. Any donation designated for orphans, goes directly to them, 100%. All donations will receive a tax receipt for your giving.

paypal

Donate on-line: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=95XHSDDXDS7MC

Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I am a five-fold ministry gift and office – this is my life – I pray, I hear, I write, and wonderful things happen. You have your job description, I have mine – this is mine….

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

If you want to know a little bit more about who we are: https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/01/20/the-purpose-of-this-blog-2/

Even miracles and God’s presence will NOT always cause a person to repent!

The Presence of God, and gifts of the spirit, will not change a human heart…. 1 Sam 19:19 And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah. 20 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over […]

The Presence of God, and gifts of the spirit, will not change a human heart….

chambers
As I read this passage, I am reminded of so many I have met over the years:

1 Sam 19:19 And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.

20 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.

21 And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.

22 Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah.

23 And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.

24 And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?

saul

Surely, we see a divine encounter with the kingdom of God here. Let’s think about what is going on here.

Saul disobeyed God, and the kingdom was stripped from him. The anointing of God was taken from him, and given to David, and an evil spirit came upon Saul. Saul, hates David, because he sees in him, that which he lacks in himself: courage, bravery, excellence of spirit, purity of heart, and a heart that is in love with God Himself.

Despite the fact that Saul has been throwing spears at him, and hunting him to kill him, David, on the run, refuses to take Saul’s life, and he continually cries out to God on behalf of Saul. Yet, Saul, determined to keep the kingdom, continually sends soldiers to attempt to kill David, and David, by hearing intimately the voice of God, is able to avoid them, every time.

david voice

Why did God allow David all those years in the wilderness running from Saul? I think it is because:

David had to hear God accurately, in life or death situations, if he was ever going to be fit to be king.

In this account, David has run for refuge from Saul to Samuel’s house, and they are having a revival meeting where the gifts of the Holy Spirit are very much in operation, so much so that when Saul’s soldiers come chasing David there, they are arrested by the Spirit of God, and find themselves prophesying under the anointing of God.

gifts

Saul does not want to hear this, so sends two more sets of messengers to Ramah, and each time, they too succumb to the power of God, and find themselves prophesying by the Spirit of God, and unable to apprehend David.

So, Saul Himself goes down to Samuel’s revival meeting, and what happens: v 24 And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night.

slain

Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?

So, you would think, after the Holy Spirit so humbled Saul, that he would repent, and begin again to serve the Lord, and leave David alone.

Yet, what did he do?

saul-spear

He went home, and again began to plot again how to murder king David!

Even after the presence of God had caused him to prophesy naked for a day and a night at the feet of Samuel!

revival
In Luke 16, we read the account of the rich man and Lazarus. Notice here that this is not an allegory or parable, but a true story Jesus is recounting. The rich man went to hell, and the poor beggar went to Abraham’s bosum or paradise (Jesus had not yet risen from the dead, so heaven was not open yet).

We see this rich man in hell, seeing father Abraham, and crying out that someone be sent to his family, that they not end up in the same place.

Yes, people in hell are praying that we share the gospel with their families!

Let’s pick it up here:

Luke 16: 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

listen

Notice what Abraham, in the afterlife said: that it is more important for people to hear the word of God, and repent, than to see miracles. In fact the implication here is strong: That if someone will not hear the word of God, even if they saw someone raised from the dead telling them of what was to come, they would not change!

chasm

So what is the moral of the story?

Simple: The gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the presence of God, will not change a human heart, unless that heart is willing to be changed.

I have heard it said:

that the only thing greater than the power of God in the earth, is the free will of man.

Saul might have been able to repent here, and be of some use to king David in his future reign, had he humbled himself, but he absolutely refused!

responsible1

It eventually cost him his life, and the life of his son, and many others.

The only safe prayer I see in all of this, is the repeated theme of my life and ministry:

‘Father, please grant me purity of heart and purpose. Please open my eyes, and deliver me from my own delusions of grandeur, my will, and my way. Jesus, you are the way, please become my way, with no other agenda, no compromise. May I serve and fully obey You, in spirit and in truth, whatever the cost, for your name and honors sake, Amen’

corruption

The Responsibility of Discipleship – A Word for Leaders

The Responsibility of Discipleship Some time ago, I attended the leadership portion of Word Explosion here at Victory in Tulsa, OK. A pastor that I had never heard of, who reported pastors a church of 15,000+ somewhere in the Eastern United States brought a word about the seasons of God in the church, and he […]

The Responsibility of Discipleship

disciple

Some time ago, I attended the leadership portion of Word Explosion here at Victory in Tulsa, OK.

A pastor that I had never heard of, who reportedly pastors a church of 15,000+ somewhere in the Eastern United States brought a word about the seasons of God in the church, and he was very articulate and relevant, in bringing out the various things Holy Spirit was accenting, decade by decade here in churches  in the United States.

From the Healing movement, to the Charismatic renewal, to teaching and the Word of Faith, to leadership, etc.

Then he made a couple of statements that confirmed things that Holy Spirit is screaming to me.

He explained that the day of a person simply accepting Jesus, receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and attending church, is not enough in this upcoming season of God, but that what must occur is discipleship.

He went on to say, that to the average pastor, you would look for someone saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, attending regular worship services, attending a small group, and then serving somewhere in the ministry as good indicators of what a disciple should look like, and I agree these are good indicators, but here is where he and I take a different path to the same objective.

I believe a true disciple of Jesus, is a person that is fully led of the Holy Spirit, all day, every day.

Historically, there has been grave excesses in what is called ‘the discipleship, or Shepherding movement’

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepherding_Movement

Yet, what about true discipleship?

Jesus said: Matthew 28:19

Go out and make disciples in all the nations.

YOUR Great Commission - Embracing YOUR Destiny!

I think back on my own discipleship experience with my pastor, where, for a period of 5-7 years, he had me read every book in his library, develop a strong devotional life and Bible reading plan, and had me serve in every area of the church for 3-6months.

Was that the end of my spiritual growth?

Was I fully prepared for ministry by this process?

No, but it was a great foundation.

And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?
faith believe sunrise

So let’s dig into this concept of discipleship a bit:

Let’s begin by looking at the definition of a disciple:

Full Definition of DISCIPLE

1

:  one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another: as

a :  one of the twelve in the inner circle of Christ’s followers according to the Gospel accounts

b :  a convinced adherent of a school or individual

2

capitalized :  a member of the Disciples of Christ founded in the United States in 1809 that holds the Bible alone to be the rule of faith and practice, usually baptizes by immersion, and has a congregational polity

 

For the sake of simplicity, I call a disciple ‘a disciplined one’.

For example, when I swam on the college varsity swim team, I was expected to make 7 swim practices a week, and we usually did 2 weight work-outs on top of this. In order to stay on the team, I had to be a full time student and maintain a ‘C’ average academically.

swim

What this meant, was that literally every minute of my week, seven days/week was scheduled, so that we could survive not only the training schedule, but the weekends spent on buses travelling to inter-varsity swim meets all over the province.

I was a disciple of competitive swimming and robotics engineering, listening carefully to my Olympic coach on how to make all this possible.

Obviously I survived and completed three varsity seasons, and completed my BSc in robotics, by being a disciplined one…

I was a disciple of robotics and swimming. No Jesus anywhere though.

Yet, we are called to follow Jesus…

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/your-great-commission-embracing-your-destiny/

So what does a disciple of Jesus look like in today’s world?

Here are some thoughts:

  1. Aggressively following Jesus, having established a morning prayer watch, deliberately seeking Him first thing, every day.
  2. Walking in the Word in deliberate Bible reading, confession, memorization, study, and meditation.
  3. Consistently demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit, with signs, wonders and miracles flowing in everyday life, in spirit-led days. Flowing in God all day, every day, not merely on Sundays, or in devotional times. Walking with Holy Spirit, one day at a time, fully submitted to Jesus Lordship.
  4. Consistently exhibiting the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our character, carefully watching over our words, that they be faith-filled, representing Jesus well, as an ambassador should.
  5. Consistently witnessing and sharing the gospel.(Here is a way to do this on-line:https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/)
  6. Consistently growing their families in the call of God, through their example, love, consecration, and recognition and fulfillment of their responsibility in their role in the home
  7. Consistently attending church, and seeking to serve and build it, growing in faithfulness and responsibility.  https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/why-go-to-church/
  8. Living a lifestyle of worship, singing, praying in the spirit, with an attitude of humility and gratefulness, demonstrating the acts of compassion the gospel commands: helping the poor, feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoner, the sick, clothing the naked, empowering the fatherless. https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/01/15/we-worship-by-serving-the-people-god-loves/
  9. Consistently seeking to grow in their gift and calling, spiritually, academically, and physically. https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/01/03/the-chinese-bamboo-a-parable-of-growth/
  10.  Consistently seeking to grow others in their gifts and callings, empowering, equipping, and encouraging them to hear and fully obey God in all things.
  11.    Consistently giving and growing financially, learning how best to keep money under the Lordship of Jesus as a good steward.
  12.    Deliberately seeking and pursuing our personal mandate, vocation, and assignment, individually, growing in responsibility levels, on purpose.

Jesus had 12 disciples.

These are simply 12 guidelines I seek to live by.

Yet, as I have meditated upon the concept of discipleship, I discover questions that have difficult answers.

I remember many years ago, an organization called Promise Keepers, encouraged us to find a Paul, and Barnabas, and a Timothy in our lives. The ‘Paul’ being a spiritual leader we could look to for leadership, mentorship, and instruction. The ‘Barnabas’ being a ‘son of encouragement’, another brother in the Lord we could look to for encouragement in the day to day battles of life, and the ‘Timothy’ being one we could pour life and wisdom into, one we were deliberately discipling.

This is a good start surely.

As we grow in our Christian walk, we surely need a pastor who can gently help us learn the basics of this Christian life and character development.

Through our growth process, God will bring the other 4 ministry offices to add strength and structure to the formation of Christ in us, the hope of glory.

Yet, as I have walked with God these years I see many of these ministers see the kingdom of God only through their particular ministry gift, and for humor I write:

The pastor:

GO TO CHURCH! Is it not written: Ps 122: I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”

Hebrews 10:25

not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Planted in the house of the Lord, They will flourish in the courts of our God

They are right! We all need to be part of a local church, https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/why-go-to-church/

The apostle:

Then we have the apostle, often called the missionary today, whose favorite verse might be

Romans 15:20

And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation

Kind like the old Star Trek television series, ‘To Go Boldly Where No Man Has Gone Before”

star trek

1 Corinthians 4:9

For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.

Since the greatest in the kingdom is the servant of all, the true apostles I have met over the years are often gentle, suffering, humble servants of Jesus, who almost glow when they walk, carrying great spiritual authority and power….

We call them missionaries….

The Prophet:

Then there are prophets:

Wild creatures!

Dreams, Visions, revelations, ‘This is the Way Walk Ye in It!’ people.

A couple of verses from the office of the prophet, you often hear, when they show up:

Numbers 11:29

Then Moses said to him, “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!”

Acts 2:17

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams

1 Corinthians 14:1

[ Prophecy and Tongues ] Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy

It has been my experience that true prophets stir up controversy by what they say, apostles by what they do

Evangelists:

Repent, and get saved!

If you are not winning souls, I question your salvation!

These are the great soul winners, those called to train and equip believers for the work of winning the lost.

Biblically, they usually demonstrate great miracles to draw the crowds to the gospel.

Acts 8:6

And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did

A perfect modern day example of a firely evangelist is Rhinhart Bonnke, or now Danial King.

The Teacher:

Then there are the teachers

2 Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon  precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

There have been great studies in the life of Jesus, showing how He is the ultimate apostle, pastor, prophet, evangelist and teacher, but what is the purpose of all of these gifts?

Here is a passage of Scripture I continually come back to:

Eph 4But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:

“When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”[b]

(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first[c] descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—

16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

grow

So we are given men and women of God, from God, to grow us in the things of God, that we can be delivered from the trickery of men, that we can take our place in the Body of Christ, our particular spot, gift, place and calling, that the whole Body of Christ might grow as we edify each other in love.

Been thinking about some what a disciple might look like in 2015, and I see questions, not full answers before me.

Since Jesus only ministered on the earth to His 12 disciples for 3-1/2 years before appointing them leaders in His kingdom in the earth, as His representatives, can we as leaders raise up people to send, in a similar three and a half year time period?

Yes, He promised that we would perform greater works than His, yet He lived with His disciples 24/7 for His entire earthly ministry.

time greatest gift

How many of us are willing to embrace twelve people, and lovingly live with, teach, train, equip, and work with for 3-1/2 years until they are raised up in their particular ministries?

As I thought about the church structures in place across the earth, I see churches that place pastoral staff on salaries, but then how are the other four ministry gifts supposed to ethically receive financial support?

Do they simply attend a strong local church, and then perform their particular ministries outside of it’s four walls?

Evangelists raising up evangelistic centers that receive donations from the Body of Christ to finance their living support, and to host the crusades and conferences that train and equip us in the work of evangelism.

Prophets, who host conferences, and produce books and teaching materials to train and equip us in the prophetic…

Missionaries who solicit support to GO and perform missionary assignments, and to raise their families on the missions field.

Teachers, who receive salaries for teaching in the various educational institutes where they are called.

Somehow all this must flow through the local church, and how I have seen cat fights over money!

Should never be. All of us should tithe where the Lord directs, and I honestly believe if the Holy Spirit is fully in charge of the finances of His people, there will be no lack in God’s work being fully supported…

I was speaking about this today with Richard Lyons, who pastors the church we are helping pioneer.

I asked him: ‘Richard, here, in 2015, what does a true disciple of Jesus look like?’

He replied:

John 13:34

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

John 13:35

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

So we see the fruit of a true disciple of Jesus, is true love exhibited in the earth, unconditional love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit!

love one another

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

[ Disciples’ Relation to Each Other ] “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

jesus_loves_you_the_path_to_heaven

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

wealth greater love

This I command you, that you love one another
God is love
and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears muchfruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

love stronger1
My Father is glorified by this, that you bear muchfruit, and so prove to be My disciples

So, as we deliberately seek to receive the love of Jesus, we find ourselves thrust out into this war-torn, sin-sick, broken world, with one great weapon, His love beating in our hearts.

This is the mark of a true disciple, loving people, with no strings attached, simply because He first loved us.

Love Loud Today Leader!

Love Loud0

All the evangelism, miracles, works of the ministry mean nothing without love…and love never fails!

Neither will you or I, as we deliberately love…

1 Timothy 1:5

Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

Come on disciple, let’s pray:

Father, I come to You today, knowing my needs! I need Your love, Your direction, Your strength and power to serve You in this, my generation. Flow through me to love loud today, those You have placed in my path today. I ask this, knowing I am loved and heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus! AMEN!

Running Before the Gale…

Running Before the Gale The Storm at Sea Acts 27:13 When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. 14 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the […]

Running Before the Gale

gale

The Storm at Sea

Acts 27:13 When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. 14 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the island and blew us out to sea. 15 The sailors couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and let it run before the gale.

Running before the gale!

When I was young, full of fire and adventure, I spent nine months becoming trained as an underwater welder, and I decided to join a company out of Key West named Treasure Salvors, headed up by a flamboyant man named Mel Fisher who was hunting Spanish treasure ships off the Florida Keys: it was a great adventure.

Mel Fisher

Then, as God would have it, I had the opportunity to jump ship and join ‘The Illusion’ expedition, headed up by a man from Brazil. Tony Kopp had worked in the oil fields as a diver, and had built a 65 schooner, fully equipped as a dive vessal. He had been searching archives for many years, to unearth the plight of the many treasure ships that had sunk crossing the Atlantic. He had his eyes on a Dutch Schooner said to be sunk in the Madiera Island group off Portugal, and several other wrecks along the journey. So, not yet 21, I hired aboard this wild expedition, with two Swiss, a German, a French man from Gabon, Africa, a captain from Brazil, with his wife and two year old daughter, and two Doberman pinchers!

sail

We had many adventures, and some once in a lifetime experiences finding wrecks, spearfishing, and crossing the Atlantic under sail.

We got caught in a force 10 storm, with 50-70mph winds. All we could see was blowing foam, and seas mounted to 40-50’ waves, with the tops being torn off of them by the high winds. We had to keep the boat running before the wind, carefully slicing the waves, or we would breach, overturn, and I might not be writing this story.

For three days and nights, we could do nothing but hang-on!

No food, no sleep as the waves were too violent, and would throw you out of your bunk. Dark, starless night, blowing rain, foam, mist, with one thought on all of our minds, survive.

On the third day, the winds let up, and I ate a dry cracker, crawled into my bunk, and slept for a couple of hours. I was awakened to the sound of the baby laughing, with sun streaming through my porthole!

I stumbled out of my bunk, being flung side to side, the entire boat creaking and groaning, crashing through the waves.

I came above decks to behold a sight!

The wind had stopped in the night, but because it was no longer tearing the tops off of the waves, seas were now 65-80’ tall! Our little schooner would surf up one side of a mountain of water, and launch into the air, to come crashing down the other side of these monstrous waves. We would hit the bottom of the trough, and the bow would turn submarine, plunging the front third of the ship underwater, with hatches groaning, like a cork we would bob up again, and head for the sky again.

The baby was in her safety strap hugging one of the dogs, laughing hysterically!

toddler laughing

One of the Swiss had a camcorder, and he filmed that day: how I wish I had a copy of that video!

We all began to laugh! A celebration of life! We were alive to face another day, the sun was shining, and it was going to be alright!

Now, back to the Word of God:

You know the story, Paul the mighty apostle with a burning zeal and a passionate fire to see his people saved, and right with God. He has met Jesus, and he is going to Jerusalem, capital of the world, to tell them the good news of who Yeshua really is!

FAITH is Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him.

faith fantastic

Let’s read:

Acts 20:22

And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

Bound in the spirit,

Some question whether Paul heard the voice of God to make this particular trip to Jerusalem.

Romans 8: 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Spirit led1

Surely Paul is a son of God, and He heard God to go to Jerusalem.

Yet we see an interesting interplay here between the office of the apostle, and the office of the prophet.

Acts 21:11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

v 12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.

v13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

The prophetic word delivered to Paul was accurate, and for those around him that loved him, was interpreted that Paul should refrain from going up to Jerusalem. Yet, to Paul the apostle, ready to endure any hardship for the sake of the gospel, he was strengthened by the word!

courage Jesus

He hardened himself, recognizing imprisonment and a beating were in his future, but he did not flinch in the face of danger. Perhaps he read:

Isaiah 50:7 For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

So, as Paul Harvey would say, ‘and now for the rest of the story’.

He made it to Jerusalem, underwent imprisonment, and the foretold beating. Yet, though his path was hard, their was an audience of One that he sought to obey and please.

In His prison cell, that One, King Jesus showed up to personally comfort His servant:

Acts 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome

How is that for an encouraging word?

You obeyed me, now I am sending you to Rome – (in the belly of a slave ship) – running before the gale!

Jesus appears

So leader, the storms of life will come. You are either in one, finishing one, or headed into another one. It is the cost of the call, the price tag of leadership, the race run, before our audience of One.

The lonely times leave a mark upon your soul. Perhaps it was this time in Jerusalem that caused Paul to pen these words:

2 Timothy 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

Leadership can be lonely, perhaps you have read my article on it…

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/leadership-lonliness/

When we enter into the perfect, sovereign assignment of heaven for our lives, all hell may well break loose to prevent us getting to our goal.

faith

Jesus faced the storm on the sea of Galilee, Paul, Joseph in the pit, Moses in the desert…

Jesus suffered alone upon the cross…We who represent Him, will find ourselves alone with Him too.

While no earthly help may seem to appear, there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. One who knows, who cares, and who will never leave nor forsake you.

We did make it to Portugal, and discover the 1611 Dutch trader with 54 silver bars on its manifest. Another story, for another day…

You will make it too, if you are willing to abandon all for the sake of the call.

Like Mary told her servants so many years ago, at the wedding feast:

John 2: (KJV)

His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

obey whatever He says

In your hour of trial, HE WILL APPEAR, AND HE WILL SPEAK!

God speaks

Do not settle for the mere words of men, obey Him, and walk upon the water of His Word.

deep

Make headlines in heaven so that this question in the heart of Jesus be answered:

Luke 18:8 Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Let your answer to this question be a resounding YES! You won’t have to look any further Lord Jesus, for I believe!

faith1

Let’s pray:

‘Father, let me not shrink back for Your clear mandate for me. While the storms may rage, may I navigate them and run before the wind of Your Holy Spirit, running before the gale. In Your name and for Your glory I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

PS: If you would like to read another adventure story type devotion from my treasure hunting days: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/a-shark-story/

Just in case you think this kind of stuff only happens historically, here’s one from this week when our jeep was stolen: http://www.fox23.com/videos/news/video-teens-commit-tulsa-crime-spree/vDW5k2/

If you would like to help us in our missionary adventures, please make a donation on Paypal: https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/02/27/newsletter-aomministries-feb-march/

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/03/17/faith-sets-the-sail/

Faith Sets the Sail! Adjust to the Wind!

Faith sets the sail! I still remember sailing across the Atlantic on a 65′ schooner when I was 21 years old. Though I had little interest in sailing at the time ( I was on a treasure hunting expedition, and I was pretty much the lead diver on the crew), I do remember learning that […]

Faith sets the sail!

faith sets the sail

I still remember sailing across the Atlantic on a 65′ schooner when I was 21 years old. Though I had little interest in sailing at the time ( I was on a treasure hunting expedition, and I was pretty much the lead diver on the crew), I do remember learning that though we had no control of the direction or strength of the winds, we could always change the set of the sail, and tack back and forth, to stay on course. 26 days after leaving, Key West, Florida, I was awakened one morning to the shout of ‘Land, Ahoy!’, as we came upon the cliffs of the Azores, one misty dawn.

During those 26 days, we saw some bright sunny days, and endured a severe storm, that kept us simply hanging on for dear life for three days and three nights. The winds and seas constantly changed, as as they did, we had to run up many different sets of sails, depending upon the wind that particular day.

sail set

Gravity, is like the law of sin and death, that drags you down, always.

FAITH – the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, lifts us up above the circumstances of life, just like the laws of thrust and lift under and airplanes wing, defeat the law of gravity.

In this life, we face both calm and stormy seas.

While enjoying the wonders of creation on the bright and beautiful days, wise people study and prepare their faith for the storms of life, for in the severe tests, only faith will suffice to weather the storm.

storms overcome

Like sailing, each particular wind required a particular set of sails, so each season of life, requires our faith in Jesus adjusted to whatever wind current is blowing that day, for the Holy Spirit is always moving, and we need to be sensitive and adaptive to what He is doing, and adjust our faith sails to maximize our eternal impact with our lives, that particular day.

This is not about salvation, rather joy-filled obedience, intimate relationship with Him, daily.

When life comes to us, to bring sickness or pain, that are never the will of our God, those of us that are wise have learned that a legalistic stand boldly claiming God’s promises of healing, become only the beginning sometimes, of a spirit-led walk leading again to strength, health and wholeness.

dont-know-hurt-you-1024x413

When I had my stroke in 2009, and found myself on the medical examination table with blood pressure 200 over 150, claiming: ‘By His stripes I am healed’ I was confronted by a brutally rough ex army doctor who read me the riot act. She told me in no uncertain terms what I had to do over the next year, in terms of reducing stress, changing my diet, getting actual sleep at night, and learning to exercise again, what I needed to do, if I want to live past what could have been my last six months on the planet.

I did what she said, cut my work day back from fourteen hours to nine or ten each day, signed up for the local YMCA, and over the next two years, lost 45 pounds, and found a new perspective and lease on life.

The sail that had built a million dollar a year company, was insufficient for the wind that blew that day, and by the grace of God, I changed, and am alive to tell my story.

The season had changed in my life, and I had not discerned it….

seasons of life

I have walked with the Lord now for over 25 years, and He is good!

It is too late to try to convince me that health and provision, are not part of the gospel – Jesus still heals, and He would that we all prosper financially.

Yet, money will not buy obedience, nor health. These are gifts from the Lord, and come as a result of a grace-filled life stemming from spirit-led obedience, daily, over years.

What we don’t know, can kill us!

During the good times of smooth sailing, dig deep into the Word of God, and learn about healing, diet, exercise, nutrition, finances, how to hear and become led by the Spirit of God, the principals of faith and confession, wisdom, because know this: there is a storm coming!

God doesn’t bring it, devils and people that serve them do, but this world is a difficult place.

It is tough to pour concrete in a tornado! The wise man built his house upon the rock, BEFORE the storm can!

concrete

The foundation you must have to survive the storm must be built in the calm, good times, when there is calmness to learn and learn to apply spiritual law that will dominate life’s circumstances every time it is applied.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law  of sin and death.

I pray you begin and end this day, in faith, fully led by Holy Spirit, rising high above every storm of life, by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus!

It can be done!

Stay in faith today, and SOAR with Jesus!

manhood eagleLet’s Pray:

‘Father, I submit to Your leadership in my life today. Holy Spirit, please speak to me, and help me to carefully obey, as I seek first You and Your kingdom, today Lord Jesus. Amen’