Lighting fires of revival
Hunger is powerful. The level of our passion is displayed in the intensity of our hunger. Deep in us is a God-driven hunger for things that would fill and satisfy the deepest cravings of our heart. It is hunger that drives us to the ultimate source of everything we ache for: God Himself.
King David lived his life with ONE ULTIMATE HUNGER – the Presence of God. He wrote, ‘One thing (not many) I have desired (hungered for) that I will seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to BEHOLD the beauty of the LORD and to INQUIRE in His temple.’ Ps 27:4
The depth of our desire is demonstrated in the intensity of our pursuit. ONE DESIRE expressed in ONE PURSUIT. David hungered to DWELL in the house of the Lord for a lifetime. Not a five-year or a ten-year sized desire. It’s for a lifetime. More than a casual and temporary VISITATION, he ached for HABITATION. He wanted to live where God is dwelling. His hunger transcended time and space. No wonder his psalms and his life are life-giving fountains for those who are in a hot pursuit for more of God.
There is a motive for every desire. David had a CLEAR reason for his pursuit–to BEHOLD His GLORY and to INQUIRE in His temple. He wants to encounter Him who is eternal. He desired to SEE His Face and to HEAR His Voice. This is intimate LOVE. This is a holy passion. Love IS the greatest motivation for our pursuit of Him. And it is hunger that paves our way into deep LOVE ENCOUNTERS with God! This is David’s secret into His Presence. He kept his heart hungry for God.
Deep hunger attracts heaven. Hunger can take us from a place of paralysis into the realm of possibilities. Hunger makes us come alive, dream, dare, risk and be free because it ultimately brings us to the very Source of Life–God. In His Presence we receive FULLNESS of everything we ever long for. Hunger brings us into the MORE of God.
Drained. Tired. Discouraged. Are you feeling life is being sucked out of you? Are you trapped? Isolated? Paralyzed?
Pause for a moment. Ponder. Selah!
Take a deep breath. And receive the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit! He is the Breath of God. He is the Gift of the Father to us. And through Him we cry, “Abba, Father”. And in a heartbeat we are one with the Father. And we receive His peace.
Confused. Dreams shattered to pieces. No hope. No help. Locked up in a world of fear. The disciples felt powerless. He’s gone. Jesus is dead. It’s over. Feeling lost. Isolated. Orphaned.
Then He came back. Passing through man-made walls. He broke through every fear and unbelief. Needing no invitation. Love broke through. Grave can’t keep Him. Doubt cannot stop Him. Jesus came back for His family. He returned for His friends. Love came back for the beloved. This is covenant. This is family. This is the Kingdom. Unshakeable. Unstoppable. Unchangeable. This is God’s Love.
Face to face He breathed in them the Holy Spirit. ‘Peace!’, He declared. Then the raging storm of confusion and pain suddenly ceased. The Shalom of heaven invaded their hearts. In a moment, heavenly joy, peace and rest overwhelmed their souls.
Then heaven filled the room. The atmosphere changed. It’s a new season! Just one breath of God. Everything is changed. The new have come. The old things gone.
Now He is calling you. Stop for a moment. Yield. Receive the Holy Spirit.
And from His innermost He declares to you, ‘Shalom!’
Life is a race. An endurance race that is. Not a sprint. But a marathon. Starting well is as important as finishing strong.
We get a glimpse of this amazing race of life in Hebrews 12:1 that says,
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
To run well and finish strong we have to be free.
Total freedom is found nowhere else but in the Kingdom of God. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:17, “…where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.” God designed us to live in freedom. Freedom is living in His Presence.
Hebrews 12 gives us valuable insights to freedom. To appreciate this chapter better, let us briefly look at Hebrews 11. In this chapter we learn a profound description of faith. Faith sees the unseen. The rest of the chapter unfolds with heaven’s list of the heroes of faith—men and women of old who dared to believe God against all odds. They risked everything. They faced resistance, mockery and persecution. They stared death on the eyes. They never wavered. They believed. They lived in total freedom.
Living for God is true freedom. A life of faith is a life of freedom. Total freedom comes from risking it all—all for Him.
The baton is on us. We are running the race. The last verse of Hebrews 11 says, “God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.” (Heb 11:40)
This is both encouraging and sobering. God has provided something better for us. Christ in us is the difference. The heroes of faith, glorious as they are in their exploits for God, are waiting on us to complete the race. They are made perfect with us. Together we are glorious.
Hebrews 12:1 gives us three important keys to living in freedom—to run free and to live free.
1. Look up. Live from the view of heaven. Live your life through eternity’s sight. That realm is influencing our realm. We are not alone. The heavenly cloud of witnesses is watching us. They have paved the way. We are riding upon their momentum. And all of heaven cheers and encourages us to finish the race set before us. We are part of the unfolding of God’s glorious eternal plan. Look up and be free from all the limitations of this life.
2. Let go. There are two things that quickly entangle and ensnare us—weight and sin. These two traps hinder and stop us from finishing the glorious race. Weight would represent baggages, issues, struggles, lies, unforgiveness, offenses, fears, anxieties, worldly concerns, wrong beliefs, wrong choices, habits, lifestyle and thought patterns that often slow us down and sabotage our faith. ‘The sin’ represents not just the sins that we do, it is the law (principle and the life) that we live from. Paul wrote, “walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” To live in the flesh is death and decay. To live by the leading of the Holy Spirit is life and freedom. Let go of these entanglements and live free in the Holy Spirit.
3. Endure. The value of our freedom is revealed in the battles we fight. There will be testings. There will be pain. The race is long. But grace is available to sustain us to the end. Faith increases our capacity to endure. We experience His faithfulness as we remain faithful to Him and His promises. Endurance brings out character, maturity and glory. Those who endure are free. Like freedom, endurance is a choice to make before the race begins. There are no other options.
Run free and live free.
We are destined to transform the world. Our Father God intends to fill this world with “the knowledge of the glory of the Lord just as the waters cover the sea.” And we are the ones He has commissioned to carry out this heavenly mandate.
God is inviting us to co-labor with Him in bringing heaven’s reality to earth through His Love and Power. This is our Kingdom assignment. We are God’s chosen agents of transformation. He has called us to pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” And He intends to answer that prayer with “more than we could ever ask or imagine.”
His Kingdom comes first in us and then through us. He transforms us deep within so we can transform the world without. We are transformed to bring transformation.
Co-missioned with Christ
Before Jesus ascended to heaven He declared to His disciples, “As the Father sent Me, I send You.” This commission (co-mission) is for all believers. The Father sent Jesus as His Representative Son to show the world His Glory, His Purposes, His Love and Power. Jesus came to reveal the Nature of the King and His Kingdom. In the process He destroyed the works of darkness, eliminate the curse of sin and death, reconciled mankind to the Father through His death and resurrection. He brought heaven to earth.
We are co-missioned with Christ to reveal the Father as His representative sons and daughters. Like Jesus, we are to expand His Kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.” From our perspective, this is a colossal task. Certainly, one individual or one church, or one movement can’t do the job. It will take a Family—the family of God, to finish it. And we all have a unique part to play.
Living in a New Reality
The greatest demonstration of the Father’s Love is the sending of His Beloved Son Jesus to die on our behalf. Through Christ we are now in His Kingdom and His Family. We are secure in Him and eternally inseparable from the Father’s Love. We have a new identity—sons and daughters of God. We live in a new reality—we are in Christ and He is in us. And by the Holy Spirit all of these become a present-day reality that we have the freedom to live in.
We have access to all of heavens because we are His beloved sons and daughters. Wrapped with our Kingdom identity is our inheritance, authority and destiny. How much of these do we want to access? By the Holy Spirit it is possible to access the more of God. It is the nature of the Kingdom of God to increase from glory to glory—in us, through us and amongst us.
The Cry of all Creation
There is a cry in the heart of creation. Paul writes, “For (even the whole) creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known (waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship).” Romans 8:19 AMP
This is the cry of the nations. They are aching to see God’s sons and daughters arise and shine. They want to see the glory of the Father through us—His children. We are commissioned to change the world that is hungry for the revealing of our glory as sons and daughters of the King!
The Father’s Dream
Transforming nations begins with the revelation of Who He is—Abba Father, and who we are in Him—beloved sons and daughters. To see the glory of God invade the earth, we are called to embrace our identity and to fully take ownership of our inheritance—the nations, all creation and all of heaven. This is the Father’s dream for all of His children. This is what I live for. This is my reality—transform the nations with His love and power and bring heaven’s reality to earth.
“I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.” Psalm 2:7&8
We are God’s beloved sons and daughters. Let me establish that fact first.
I John 3:1a says, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are.”
We are born of the Spirit and we are God’s children, bought and redeemed by the blood of Jesus. We need to know who we are and whose we are, both are inseparable aspects of our identity.
Why is there a need to know about our kingdom identity? Our identity in Him is the bedrock, the foundation and platform on which the purpose of our existence, our God-given assignment, stands. The right understanding of our identity aligns us rightly with the Kingdom of God. When we align to His will, we are released and empowered to do our kingdom assignment. Our freedom to do what we have been designed to do and to be on this earth flow from our kingdom identity. What we do for Him comes from the overflow of who we are in Him. Thus, our BEING comes first before our DOING.
Alignment Before Assignment
In other words, it is alignment first before the assignment. Our identity qualifies and positions us to receive and experience the fullness of the glorious spiritual inheritance made available by the Father in Christ. Through this we can walk in freedom and victory with consistency and progressively enabled by His grace to accomplish our heavenly assignment here on earth.
When our heavenly identity is not clear our heavenly assignment becomes vague and we live without meaning. We have that gnawing sense of emptiness, reducing us to merely existing, slaves to other men’s opinions and expectations. The sense of purpose is lost and consequently the sense of fulfillment in life.
Identity brings stability. People who have a clear, inner grasp of their identity in the Lord live the most stable and productive lives despite the odds and challenges they have to face everyday. Joseph, Daniel, Nehemiah, Esther, David; these are overcomers that have displayed rock-solid confidence, courage and an overwhelming faith in the One True God. Jesus himself faced countless oppositions and threats, angry mobs, even the devil but He triumphed over all of them because He knows that He is the Beloved Son of God.
In I John 4:4 it says, “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
This is the truth, we overcame him, because of the once-for-all victory of Jesus over sin, sickness, death and the devil and all his minions. Anchoring our identity in the finished work of Jesus positions us in authority, power and the divine ability to execute the judgment written over the enemy two thousand years ago.
When we come in complete agreement with what He has made us to be–His dear children through what Jesus paid for on the Cross, then we will be able to live victoriously, far above limitations and fear. We will fulfill our task to expand His Kingdom, destroy the works of the enemy, and bring the reality of His heaven here on earth with all passion and courage.
I heard Dr. Lance Wallnau say that SMALL is the NEW BIG in the Kingdom of God. This is a very profound statement. It reveals God’s way of invading this earth with Heaven’s reality.
To mention a few examples of this: God planted the Garden of Eden (heaven on earth) for Adam to steward, rule, manage and expand to the rest of the earth; God called one man, Abraham and blessed him to be a blessing to all nations; David a shepherd boy grew to be a greatest king of Israel; Jesus, born in a manger, the Savior of the world, King of all Kings and the list goes on. The parable of the mustard seed (Matthew 13:31-32) illustrates that SMALL is BIG in the Kingdom. Here’s what I got from this beautiful parable of Jesus.
First, the seed of the Kingdom is SOURCED from another world (Heaven’s perfect realm). And like the mustard seed the BIG POTENTIAL (power, nature, life, influence, increase, blessings, etc) of the Kingdom is hidden within a small package.
Secondly, it MUST BE SOWN in the RIGHT SOIL. In the parable of the sower and the seed the soil refers to the heart and the same is true here. These Kingdom seeds come to us in different ways- a word from God, an encounter of His Presence, a prophetic promise, a divine insight, a thought, an idea, a desire, a hunger, a longing, or a quest for meaning and significance, etc. Heaven never cease to sow the seeds of the Kingdom in the hearts of men. I fully believe that right this very moment there are countless ones out there who have been faithfully nurturing the mustard seeds in their hearts that would soon become the trees of the Kingdom filling the earth with heaven’s influence in the coming days. It is so crucial to know the things we have received from Him so we could steward them properly. What seeds are you nurturing in your heart? How’s the growth of each of them? What have you done to cultivate them?
Third, there is a PROCESS of growth. We cannot force growth. But we could hasten its process by providing the right soil, environment, nutrients and care. Each stage of the process is essential. We see this in the lives of Moses, David, Joseph and Jesus. All of them went through a process. The PROCESS that we go through prepares us for the PROMOTION that’s coming. Our responses to the processes and tests determine our growth, capacity, influence and authority. It is the process that brings out our true value. To illustrate this, a diamond is rare and valuable because of the process it has to go through before it is sold in expensive jewelry stores.
Fourth, the seed will grow to its FULLNESS. In the parable the mustard seed became a huge tree and the birds of the air came to nest in its branches. This is wonderful, the seed becoming a tree- A MOMENT becoming a MOVEMENT and a PROMISE in your life becoming a PLATFORM of BLESSINGS for the next generations. This is the CONVERGENCE of what God has called us to BE and to DO. At that point, the mustard seed in us becomes a tree that attracts others to come. And like the birds nesting on the branches, people will find shelter, rest, productivity, sustenance, and a higher perspective (from heaven to earth) in life from what we have done and what we have become in Him. I believe this is how we influence the world with heaven’s reality.
Have a moment with the Father today. Ask Him what Kingdom seeds you have within your heart? Do you recognize the stages of growth for each of them? What does the future look like for you once these seeds become Kingdom trees of influence to the world?