Joy – Living from a Place of Victory (part 7)

Nehemiah 8:10 says that the joy of the Lord is my strength. How can it be my strength?

When we live life from a joy filled place, it is amazing what grabs our attention and what is no longer significant. What ‘burdens’ we can hold and what we can let go and not focus on.

When circumstances threaten to overwhelm us or take a turn for the worse, the joy of the Lord gives us the ability to stand firm and not be swayed emotionally or spiritually.

When the Joy of the Lord overwhelms you and becomes your new ‘go to’ or ‘live from’ place, then you find an incredible inner strength that changes your perspective.

Our burdens and grumbles turn into gratitude and blessings. Our outlook changes to focus on the good, not the bad. We focus on what Jesus is doing, not on what Satan is trying so hard to do to capture our attention and bring us down.

You may well say, “Jane, you don’t know my circumstances.”

You are darn right. I don’t know your circumstances but you also don’t know mine and how hard life has and can be for me. One of the biggest steps forward I have had in my life with God and my own personal growth was when I stopped focussing on my problems and started focusing on God’s goodness and giving thanks.

We begin to find things to be grateful for.

We change our perspective to how God sees the situation.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16, Paul said, “Always be joyful.”

Why?

Paul knew joyfulness is imperative in order to love the life God has given us.

But how do we do that when life stinks? When people hurt us? When circumstances seem hopeless? When our hearts are broken?

Paul then answers this question in the following 2 verses.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Never stop praying”. To be joyful, we need to stay connected to God in prayer, asking Him daily to fill us with joy based on our walk with Him — not our satisfaction with everything in life.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus”.

This can be hard to start to do and to develop it until it becomes a lifestyle. It can feel phoney. It can feel like I am not being honest with myself or with others. Am I trying to hide stuff instead of facing up to the reality of my situation?

Being joyful always doesn’t mean walking around with a fake smile on my face. It doesn’t mean ignoring reality. It doesn’t mean ignoring negative emotions.

It means getting a grip on our life and realising that we will never have the perfect life this side of eternity but Christ is in us and He is perfect. His will is for us to live with joy. To contend for joy. Not because we are perfect or false but because Christ is perfect and He is in us.

We are commanded to intentionally focus on the good, instead of the bad.

To count our blessings rather than our burdens.

To let our faith, not our feelings, dictate our joy.

To focus on Christ not on circumstances.

Lift your heads, my friends and keep your focus on God. Be grateful and watch the joy of the Lord fill you to overflowing.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Make cupcakes and decorate them by writing on them a word to encourage someone. Give them away to the appropriate people.

2. Group Activation: Ask people present to put their phones in a box in the middle of the room. Ask 5 people to come forward and each pick out a phone but not turn it on. Get those 5 people to prophesy over the owner of the phone they have in their hand. After they have prophesied, ask the owners to step forward to collect their phone.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to highlight a person to you whom needs joy. Ask God to give you an encouraging prophetic word for that person.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight a local business to you that is not prospering. Ask God what He would have you pray, prophesy and declare over the business and its future customers.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to show you where you can find a homeless person and what God would have you say and do and give to this person. Get prepared and then go and find this person.

Authority – Living from a Place of Victory (part 3)

Imagine your dad owned a huge company that employed many people. Over many years, your dad has been trying to implement a new method of operating. He has completed just about all the background work and it is nearly ready for the big day when it is going to be officially implemented. You have spent a lot of your time just hanging around your dad whilst he had been working on it. You weren’t an employee, you were the boss’s kid and so you had free reign where you went and what you did. You loved the smell of your dad’s office and being with Him whilst He worked. He often talked aloud of what He was doing and you were passionate about what He was doing since you just loved being with Him. Your dad included you in the brainstorming of the solutions to problems. Your dad often allowed you to implement the changes.

The big day arrives and unexpectedly your dad can’t make the official opening. He asks you instead, as His representative, to be there as His delegated authority. You know the workings of it nearly as much as He does because of all the time you have spent with Him and the intimacy of the working conditions. Your dad has complete faith and trust in you. He knows that you understand what is required to be done and how to solve many of the issues. Thus, he delegates his authority to you.

Imagine this is God and He is asking you to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, change nature. What is your response?

Knowing our authority and the manner in which we walk in it can change our life. It impacts the way we pray, how we pray, what we say, our actions, our lifestyle. In fact, it can completely change how we live our life.

 

                         Authority is delegated power.

 

Jesus has complete authority and He gave us authority to do whatever He did plus more. (John 14:12)

Last week I posted about identity and living from a place of how God sees us as that will always be more accurate and far better than how we see ourself. Out of our identity and our intimacy with Father God comes our authority.

When we have a faulty belief system, it definitely shows up here. How we view and believe what God can and will do, certainly impacts the authority we operate in. When we believe that God is always good and wants to heal and can heal anything, it changes the way we pray for people and what we pray.

I can remember being in a Board meeting of our Healing Rooms and the Director was sharing about a team member needing heart surgery and she went on to explain the condition. I was a Coronary Care specialist nurse for over 25 years so I knew what she was talking about. I just automatically went to the position of the operation would be the best outcome for that type of condition. As we prayed, I said, “Father God, if it is your will to heal this person without surgery…”. The Director stopped me right there and said, “Jane, we don’t pray that way.”. I was rightly reprimanded as that is not exercising my faith and authority as a daughter of the Healing God that we love and serve. God wants to heal everyone. Fair enough, some people’s healing does come through having surgery but we do not pray, “if it is your will to heal”.

I have had to intentionally grow my faith so that it is bold and so that I operate from a belief system that God can do anything, that the impossible can become possible with God.

Some of the ways that I have grown my faith have included:

  • I have intentionally blessed my spirit. I call my spirit to attention and bless it with increased faith. I bless it with knowing beyond a doubt that Father God can and will do the impossible. That Father God specialises in making the impossible the possible.
  • Personally experiencing miracles and healing.
  • Studying the Bible and what it says about faith, healing, God.
  • Surrounding myself with people of great faith, who know the Bible and live by the promises in the Bible.
  • Listening to great teaching about the promises in the Bible
  • Spending time with God asking Him the hard questions and growing in intimacy with Him.
  • Prayer ministry has been another way that has helped me to see some faulty beliefs that I had about God. When I now react in a manner that is inappropriate to a situation eg get angry, I try to take a few minutes to ask God, “Father God, can you please show me why I acted that way. What lie am I believing? After I have my answer, and confess that lie/belief to God, I then ask God, “What truth do you want me to know instead?”

Sometimes we don’t actually realise how much we have grown in a certain area until we are around people who have a different belief system to ourselves. This was very evident to me last week when I was asked to give words of knowledge at a healing course and then pray for people who came forward.  I was gobsmacked by how many people said, “My back’s killing me” and “I’m going blind and there’s nothing that can be done about it” or “God’s never healed me before”. It also struck me how many people assumed that the Doctor’s diagnosis of their condition was true and final.

One of the reasons I was astounded by these words were that I have realised that what we say out of our mouths has a direct correlation with what happens to us in life and whether or not we get our healing. (My next blog post will be on what we say and the impact it has.)

For us to see the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth, it will require us to go after it wholeheartedly. This is not for the faint hearted. Matthew 11:11 says, “And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the Kingdom of Heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force.” I am not advocating violence. Here it is talking about violence as chasing after it with zeal and intense exertion. To press into it with fervour resembling violence and desperation. It expresses the earnestness that we need to have to be rid of all sin and unbelief in our life and to rid this earth of all power belonging to Satan.

Do you want to see God’s Kingdom established here on earth, here in your life? Do you want to see healing restored back to its rightful place as part of the normal Christian life?

Jesus, towards the end of His time here on earth, tells His disciples that “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater than these” (John 14:12). Matthew 28:17 has Jesus saying, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore go…” He gives us the authority to do what He has been doing.

Matthew 16:18 says, “… I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.”

Are you chasing after bringing Heaven (& all that is in Heaven eg health, love, peace, joy, extravagance etc) to earth?

How could you change your life or your belief system so what Christ commanded us to do and be, actually occurs within your lifestyle?

When Jesus Christ was on earth, He gave His disciples authority over demons, nature/weather, death, sickness, sin, poverty and everything that wasn’t in Heaven. We are given the same authority but it seems to be unusual to see us exhibiting that same authority that the disciples had and used.

For us to operate from a position of authority requires us to have some experience in that area. Heidi Baker prays with authority for anyone who is blind as she knows that they will obtain their sight. When Heidi Baker first began praying for blind people, she did not see any difference though for the first 100 blind people she prayed for.

 

                         But she persevered.

 

She then saw breakthrough and she now operates in amazing authority whenever eye problems are an issue.

What prevents us as Christians from operating in that realm and with that same authority?

I believe when we spend time with God and are intimate with God and truly know the Father’s heart for us, then we can’t help but know that He wants people healed and has given us that responsibility and authority.

My prayer is that you will ponder these questions and, if need be, make some life changing decisions and actions.

Feel free to comment below with your thoughts.

 

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Draw an outline of a person on a piece of paper. Give a copy to everyone. Ask everyone to colour in or write or draw on a particular are of the body that God shows or tells them. Share what body parts are highlighted. Ask if anyone present has a pain or injury or needs healing for any of those body parts. Pray for those people, preferably getting the people who had the word of knowledge about a body part doing the praying for healing for that body part. If no-one present has an injury or needs healing, keep a look out for the next person you see who needs healing of that body part.

2. Group Activation: Get into pairs. Ask each person to listen to God for what to pray over their partner, particularly in the area of identity, intimacy with God and authority. Ask them to call their partner’s spirit to attention and bless their spirit with what God has shown them. Take turns blessing each other with this.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God if there is a lie you are believing about operating in your God given authority that you have as a Christian? If He reveals a lie to you, repent and ask God to show you His truth. Then immediately start believing this truth and making it a part of your belief system and life style. Step out in faith in one area this week using your God given authority.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you a person in authority who needs encouragement. Spend time with God getting a prophetic word for that person. Take time to ask God how (eg written or spoken) and when you are to deliver it to that person. Then do it.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to show you a new area and level of authority that He wants you to grow in. Ask God to highlight this to you and begin to contend for this in your life.

Worship – Living from a Place of Victory

Friends of ours live and work overseas and also have a house back here in Australia. They come back for a fortnight to Australia every 4-6 months. I will never forget my friend sharing how they always left Christian worship music playing on repeat in their Australian house when they returned overseas. My friend shared how they never had to worry about their garden as no weeds ever grew in it and she surmised it was due to the worship music saturating the atmosphere of her house and garden. One time, they had had someone stay at the house just after they had left for overseas. This person had turned off the Christian worship music whilst they had been at the house. They had not turned it on when they left. When my friends returned three months later, there were weeds two feet high all throughout the front yard.

Can worship make that much difference?

It seems totally absurb but our God is powerful and giving Him His worth through worship is extremely powerful.

I look at it from a different angle and say why wouldn’t it do that as worship changes everything.

When we worship, we give God all the glory and God can’t help but come and invade the praise of His people. With God present with us, our perspective changes, our actions change, and our problems seem smaller.

Worship changes atmospheres.

Worship changes our focus.

Worship helps us realise our identity and position in the heavenly realms.

I would rather be fighting from a position of worship and having ‘the joy of the Lord as my strength’ (Nehemiah 8:10) than be focusing on the devil and how to protect myself.

The devil will not co-exist with God and our worship. Thus, I much rather prefer to worship God and let the devil flee without giving him any attention.

When I was a young Christian, a lot of emphasis was put on “living a victorious christian lifestyle”. The only hassle was that it was all about living from a defensive position. The devil seemed huge and I had to build myself up and get rid of any sin in my life so as to be able to defeat him.

When I worship God, I am on the offensive, not the defensive. Worship becomes the first thing, in every situation. In fact, worship becomes a lifestyle. I love living from a lifestyle of victory and having the attitude and actions that we are coming from the position of the winning side. It changes my whole perspective.

We were made to worship God. If we are not worshiping God, then what are we worshiping? Whatever that is, it is an idol.

This is the first blog in a series of blogs covering living from a place of victory. This series will include blogs about the things we say and declare, living a godly lifestyle, changing atmospheres, blessing your spirit, spiritual ‘cleanliness’ before and after ministry, rest etc. If you are not a subscriber to this blog, I encourage you to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on part 2.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Buy an art canvas for each family member. Set up the paints and allow each person to paint their canvas background. When the paint is dry, grab some permanent markers. Write each person’s name in the middle of their canvas. Focus on one family member at a time. Brainstorm as a family the strengths of that person and the words that God would use to describe that person. Write these words on that family member’s canvas. You may like to hang each person’s canvas in their bedroom as a visual reminder of what God thinks of them.

2. Group Activation: Get into groups of 3. Elect one person to receive the prophetic word. The other 2 people in the group will play ‘prophetic table tennis’ – one person starts giving a prophetic word, the second person then carries on giving the prophetic word in the same vein of thought, then it returns to person number one to expand even deeper on that thread, then back to number two to expand deeper still. Try not to introduce any thing that doesn’t follow that thread. Instead, ask God how you can go deeper with just the one thread of thought. After you finish that one concept/thought etc, switch positions for someone new to receive a prophetic word.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God to highlight to you an area of your home that seems dreary or unproductive or somewhere that you prefer not to relax in. Leave worship music playing quietly in that area for the next week/fortnight and see if it ‘feels’ any different or anyone else notices any change.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God for an encouraging Bible passage for someone undergoing a difficult season. Communicate this to that person in a loving, encouraging manner.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to highlight an MK (Child of a missionary) or a PK (Child of a Pastor). Ask God for a prophetic word for that child. Write a letter to that child highlighting what God has shared with you about that child and how great God sees them.