Begin from where you are with what you have.

    Question: How much power do we need before we go?
    I’m all for more power of the Spirit and believe me, I pray almost every day to be empowered. However, I have been around long enough to know I have to be willing to begin to take steps of risk, steps of faith now, in this present time, in order to enter into the power of the Holy Spirit. 

    I’ve learned I often have to be faithful in the small things, and take small steps, before the greater is realized.

   Beginning in the natural often helps us to move toward releasing the supernatural. It’s bringing heaven to earth, as we reach out to people of our earth—our sphere of influence. 

    The power often comes when I’m living life, facing great need, and I sense my lack. It is in the very awareness of my lack, that propels me to reach out for more of His power. However, my lack of power does not keep me from reaching out and encouraging the people in sphere of influence.

     If I feel weak and small, I still push through my weakness and smallness. I still serve, I still love, and I still pray and declare.

     Sometimes I feel / I sense no power when I pray for people, yet amazing things happen.
    One lady recently came up to our group and said, “When Steve prayed for me I received not one job but two jobs. I was so grateful he took the time and listened to me and prayed for me. I just wanted to thank you all for being out here caring and serving us.” I wanted to say, “Woman. I who am speaking to you am he.” I remember praying with no fire-works, no great surge of assurance...I simply prayed.

    What was the power? Yes, there was an answered prayer. She received two jobs not one. However, this was not the only act of power she noticed. 

     “I was so grateful he took the time, and listened, and prayed for me.” The power, she defined was taking time, listening and praying. What did she notice? The power of love and care in action.
     Her excitement and her gratefulness encouraged me to keep on loving, keep going, keep serving, and to keep praying.

     Whether I’m aware of His power or not, good stuff still really does happen.

    The truth, as in most spiritual exercises, reaching others for Jesus begins as a spiritual discipline. A passion for outreach is often developed through our consistent practice. As we practice, outward focused-ness becomes a lifestyle.

    I often say, “You cannot begin to care, unless you first become aware. How do you become aware? By being out there.” 

    Study the great revivalists and healers of the past and present. Many began to serve, go, pray, heal, and reach people long before they had it all together or had received a greater measure of the Holy Spirit.

    Some of our hero's of faith saw hundreds healed and hundreds come to Jesus long before their power encounter. Yes, the power, and their experience with the Holy Spirit propelled them further ahead, and yes, more people were brought near to the Kingdom, but they, just like everyone else,
had to begin from where they were with what they had, as they leaned in for more. 

Everyone, has to decide to begin with what they have, from where they are.

    Bethel Church, in Redding, California is an example of a great church which has consistently served and actively loved their community over many years. Their city is changing, and they are leading many people to Jesus. Why?     
     They are passionately in love with Jesus and seek to honor His Presence as a lifestyle. 

     They encourage people to release what they have received into the lives of the people of their community, in their sphere of influence. 

     They have been actively going, serving, praying and loving the people of their community for many, many years. They, like everyone else, had to decide to begin to go from where they were, with what they had.

The early disciples traveled with Jesus for three years before the Holy Spirit fell upon them.
    Before the day of Pentecost, they were involved in healing the sick, casting out demons, and preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God effectively. Well, sometimes not so effectively.

     When the Spirit’s power came, they reached more and more people, and undoubtedly had greater success. Jesus knew this would happen and this is the reason He told the disciples to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit. However, the waiting for power did not nullify what they had experienced before their empowering. They began from where they were with what they had.

    We exist first and foremost to love Jesus, and to know and experience the presence of the Father’s love. We then learn to love what He loves. He has love for His world.
    We exist for His pleasure, for His Kingdom, and for the people of our world.
    As we are getting it together, we need to realize for whom we are getting it together—the people who are away from God’s presence. This is the will of the Father.

    The Church exists to reach our world.
    It exists to be a place where people can be added and discipled. The Church is where new believers learn to love and worship Jesus and where they learn to use their gifts to serve others. It’s where they can become conscious of His divine purpose. It’s where they receive power as they join others to reach out to their world.
    The Church exists to be a blessing to the Father, and to be a source of His love and power for His world. 

Excerpt from Go. Sow.

Revival Streams

Noticed ... there are many Revival streams... all are different... 

some don't like to mix with other streams... 
some think their brand is the only brand... 
some like to mix... 
some are loving... 
some are antagonistic... 
some believe signs and wonders... 
some do not... 
some think helping the poor short term is a waste of time... 
some think, long term helping the poor out of poverty people, don't care about immediate need... 
some think acts of kindness are pathways to peoples hearts.... 
some think acts of kindness are a marketing tool with no power... 
some think empowering people for life style evangelism is the way... 
some think big meetings is the way... 
some have the attitude our way is the only way... 
some believe prayer... 
some believe action... 
Many believe their version of the gospel is the right version...
I could go on forever...

I wonder what would happen if we laid down our stones, and rejoice however the good news that leads to revival is proclaimed?

Do you feel the mountains tremble? 

Did you feel the darkness tremble
When all the saints join in one song
And all the streams flow as one river
To wash away our brokeness.

Open up the doors and let the music play
Let the streets resound with singing
Songs that bring your hope
Songs that bring your joy
Dancers who dance upon injustice.

Philippians Chapter 1 NLT
(Philippians 2 pretty well describes our should be attitude.)

Paul's thoughts on the matter.
I pray that your love will overflow more and more,
that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.

For I want you to understand what really matters,
so that
you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.

May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy
and rivalry.
But others
preach about Christ with pure motives.

They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News.

Those others
do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ.
They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me.

But that doesn’t matter.
Whether their motives are false or genuine,
the message about Christ is being preached either way,
so I rejoice.
And I will continue to rejoice.

I wonder what Jesus thinks?
I think I'll take Paul's advice and rejoice and continue to rejoice.