The enemy is completely void of this power and he cannot defeat the goodness of God: the kindness, gentleness and love of Jesus. At Acts 29 we can walk through the city as more than conquerors because we live and move and have our being within the one who loved us (Rom 8:37, Acts 17:28). That love is so explosive that it destroys every barrier, overcomes every obstacle and conquers every enemy. We have been accepted in the beloved (Eph 1:6) who has crushed the devil beneath his feet, and delights in using us to enforce His victory here on the earth: here in Hamtramck.
For the Muslim fundamentalist, the drug addict, the prostitute, the greedy, the proud, the downtrodden, the religious and the scattered, Jesus pours out His love and mercy. The bondage, drugs, false religion and powers of darkness may prove a challenge for our plans, our strategies, our pride, our flesh or our activities, but they pose no threat to the character and goodness of Christ released through Spirit-filled men and women. We are called in holiness to apply the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony to continue Christ’s destruction of the devil’s work (Rev 12:11). We are not alarmed by our opponents (Phil 1:28), because the Holy Spirit has poured His love into our hearts and there is no fear in love (Rom 5:5, 1 John 4:18). Love destroys the works of the devil. Please pray for me as I desire not only to enter the enemy’s camp and take back what he stole from me but to take the captives with me in the mighty name of Jesus.
Read the rest of the June 2011 Newsletter.
I was not caught off guard when I was solicited and was ready with gospel tracts and a bold witness, but I realized I had grown reliant on a tailored approach that worked in the context I was used to, but was not what God wanted me to speak in this situation. They didn’t need a revelation of their sinfulness and their need of salvation. They knew their need. The woman was old and abused, tired and worthless in the sex market, doing her best to earn commission off others. They needed a way out, a revelation of the nature of God the Father.
The encounter was brief, and I know that God will answer my prayers and enable me to meet them and speak to them again. Even though I was caught off guard there is more to the story that encouraged me and validated my witness, but I walked away with a revelation and a challenge from God.
We are called to the ministry of reconciliation. God has already reconciled the world to Himself. Jesus already drank the wrath and judgment God had prepared to pour out on us and there is not a single drop left for us in this life. I am a minister of a God who is not angry, who has no current judgment for the unbeliever, but holds it separate in His Son, our Advocate, only to be revealed at the end of days.
God is not angry with the wicked today (Psalm 7:11). Today His thoughts toward us are precious. His goodness and kindness are towards the world because He sees them as a reconciled body: unredeemed but reconciled by the precious blood of Christ. I am called to be the voice of that reconciliation.
Psalm 139 states, “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand.” God’s thoughts are more than all the sand on all the beaches and in all the oceans of the world and they are precious: thoughts of kindness and goodness, thoughts of love and compassion, grace and forgiveness, healing and transformation. God’s desire is that we reach out in the Spirit and pick out a grain of sand for the lost and the dying around us. To give the abused and hurting, who are trapped in their own sin and vileness a glimpse of the Father’s unconditional love and His vision for their own transformation in grace. Can I speak the truth with love from the heart of the Father to the fatherless? I desperately want to be the voice of the Father to this generation.
Read the rest of the May 2011 Newsletter.
We possess the glory of God, but we have this treasure in earthen vessels, jars of clay (2 Corinthians 4:6-7). We carry the glory and the knowledge of Jesus Christ within our hearts, but it is contained in our fleshly bodies and human frailty. It is when this vessel is broken that the “surpassing power” pours out. It is the breaking of the outer man and the release of the Spirit. When we are humbled and submitted and our foolish pride and fleshly identity is broken before God, the power and knowledge of Christ and His glory flows from our lives. He does this to display that the origin is from Him and not our own lives. Pride would claim the power and glory for ourselves. It must be broken before the power can be released from within our hearts, where Christ sits on the throne.
When Gideon defeated Midian in Judges 7:16-20, the Lord drastically cut down his army and ordered them to surprise the enemy in this weak condition. The orders were not to attack with weapons or brilliant strategy, but with a pre-emptive shout of victory: a cry of faith in the midst of fear and immense opposition. The symbol of their faith, their noisemaker and the object of their proclamation were torches contained in jars. With a shout, they broke the jars revealing the flaming torches and throwing the enemy into chaos. The enemy was routed and their camp was plundered. When these jars were broken, the fire was released. In our lives the jar of clay, the earthen vessel, our soulishness and flesh, must be broken for the fire to be released. Our personal pride, strength, independence and all other fleshly obstacles must be broken to release the powerful fire of God. In the same way, when the outer ore is purged away in the refining process the true gold is left exposed. Please pray for me as I face many daily trials, but persevere in the promise that in the breaking of my outer man, the fire of God’s glory will be released in my life. The enemy will be routed and hell will be plundered. In the light and heat of the refining fire I look forward to the fire of the Holy Spirit’s work. Let the God who answers by fire be God!
Read the rest of the April 2011 Newsletter.
That radical encounter with the Holy Spirit changed lives forever. There were hours of tears, hours of yearning, hours of discipline, but we saw God change lives.
Now I pace and yearn and wonder what it will take, not for a few young men to be changed forever, but for an entire city to find salvation. What does it take for the Holy Spirit to come again? And again? And again? Today I long not for a few friends, but for 27,000 people who will fall into an eternity of God’s wrath if the Holy Spirit does not come again.
At Acts 29 it’s easy to see the vast experience represented; it’s easy to see the incredible gifts present; it’s easy to see the amazing strengths that God has provided; it’s easy to see the preciousness of the men and women God has called to the city of Hamtramck. But beyond all of that there is the vast impossibility of what we are called to do. We are truly poor in spirit. We are truly dependant on the riches of our Father. We are truly dependant on the ministry of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin and righteousness and judgment. Our experience won’t win the city. Our work won’t win the city. Our method won’t win the city. Only the ministry of the Holy Spirit will convict this world of sin and righteousness and judgment. Only the ministry of the Holy Spirit will grip the hearts of our city and confront the souls of the lost with the undeniable presence of a holy God. We are in a place of great need, of great desperation. The task is beyond us. Come, Holy Spirit. Come, Holy Father. Come, Lord Jesus. Take Your glory.
Read the rest of the March 2011 Newsletter.
The gospel is the power to save for those who believe. It has that power intrinsically, in itself, because God designed His word and His plan of salvation to vibrate with the life and power of His word. The same power that created light in the darkness with the command “Light, be!” is present in the gospel message as we declare it. Our belief in God’s work through His word and our dedication to preaching the gospel will make all the difference.
I find myself hungry to see the power of the gospel manifested, not only in our good words and works, but in a God-produced and miraculous witness, in a divine visitation, in a time when the Holy Spirit supernaturally grips the hearts of the lost. Our city cannot be won by human effort, but only by the power of God.
In the same way that Hannah gripped God in her prayer at the altar in 1 Samuel 1, we must grip God at the altar of prayer, knowing that we are favored but acknowledging that we are barren.
I believe that only then can we see God bring a new generation of believers to birth through us. I’m determined to grip God and to dedicate the fruit to God and to His glory. Pray that this hunger will increase and that I will be able to get a hold of God in prayer to the awakening of our city by the power and presence of the Spirit.
Read the rest of the February 2011 Newsletter.