In the year's last episode of Chosen Generation, I join Pastor Greg Young in taking a prophetic look back at 2014. What were the biggest issues in the church and what does that mean going forward? What can we expect in 2014? Click the headline to access the audio.
The setting was festive with Christmas décor and cookies but the discussion was holy. I was sitting in the governor's mansion with about 75 pastors and leaders from around the country—including Mike and Cindy Jacobs, Pastor Jim and Rosemary Garlow, Paul Tan, and E.W. Jackson—to hear what was on Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's heart about the United States of America.
Although he's a successful politician, Jindal understands that leadership in America will not come from a politician or a movement for social change. After sharing his powerful testimony of how Christ found him, Jindal pointed to the need for a "spiritual and transforming revival" that would help us recapture the vision of American pioneers who on the Mayflower signed, "In the name of God and for the advancement of the Christian faith."
With that Jindal invited us—and Americans across the country who are crying out for mercy over judgment even in the face of a brittle economy, raging immorality and an uncertain future—to join him at The Response in Baton Rouge on Jan. 24.
I believe prayerlessness is the greatest sin in the church—and unfortunately some leaders are propagating this sin and discouraging those with prayer burdens from cooperating with the Spirit of God to bring His will to the earth.
I've seen for years how prayer is lacking in many churches. Even churches that do have prayer meetings often relegate intercessors to the back of the church lest their effectual fervent prayer offend the lukewarm saints. But a recent message I received on my Facebook page really took the proverbial cake.
A precious and confused saint wrote: "Can you please give us clarity. I hear pastors say God did not call intercessors and you can't find it in the bible. He said only Jesus can intercede. Thank you."
Of course, hundreds of people sounded off to refute this claim. Some pointed to 1 Timothy 2:1-3 where Paul instructed his spiritual son to "make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for everyone." Others pointed to Acts 12:5, when the church "prayed to God without ceasing" for Peter when he was in prison. Still others pointed to James 5:14 where Christ's brother instructed the sick to "call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord."
I've said it many times: Radical "Christian" activists can be just as nasty as radical gay activists in the culture wars. The Westboro Baptist Church certainly proves my point with its bona fide hate speech and repulsive funeral protests.
If this Kansas pastor's claim is true, though, traditional marriage supporters have gone way too far—way, way too far.
Jackie Carter, a pastor at First Metropolitan Church in Wichita, Kansas, says she's getting death threats for performing gay weddings. Carter has been holding the ceremonies since a federal judge struck down gay marriage there in November.
Let's be clear. I strongly stand against Carter's decision to perform same-sex marriages, but breaking windows in her church and making literal death threats are not the way to share disagreement over her choice to officiate these sinful ceremonies.
Pockets of revival and awakening are springing up in America from coast to coast. But this next move of God will not look exactly like the last one. Where does prophetic ministry fit this emerging movement? How can you position yourself to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in this hour?In this free telephone seminar, Ryan LeStrange and Jennifer LeClaire bring apostolic and prophetic revelation about what God is doing in the earth—and how you can be part of it. Topics of discussion include: the role of prophetic ministry in the emerging move of God; how to discern your prophetic calling; exploring the divine partnership between the prophetic and apostolic; why this new move carries a prophetic spirit; how to embrace the prophetic ministry in a healthy way; the value and importance of prophetic mentoring. Click the headline to get the page with the audio link.
I was sitting on the edge of a worn-out bed in a foreign city with my head in my hands trying to shake off a flood of disturbing emotions. I knew I couldn't effectively minister until I got to the root of the issue.
"What is wrong with me, Lord? I have absolutely no reason to feel this way. What is going on?" I pled with the Lord to reveal the root. I felt like my world was coming to an end; like there was no hope for a better tomorrow; like quitting and giving up. I started praying in the Spirit and then entered another plea.
"What is happening, Lord?" This time, He replied.
"It's despondency. This is how the people of this city feel. I want you to pray for them."
Merriam-Webster defines despondency as feelings of extreme discouragement, dejection or depression. And that nailed it. That was exactly how I was feeling—only it wasn't me. It was a prayer burden from the Lord.
Wondering why it always seems like you are under attack? Are you weary from the battle? Need to hone your spiritual warfare skills? You are not alone—and you are an overcomer.
1 Peter 5:8 says the enemy roams about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and 2 Corinthians 2:11 warns us not to be ignorant of the devil’s devices. Clearly, there are prophetic spiritual warfare strategies and weapons we can wield to enforce the victory Jesus won on Calvary in our lives. Join Clay Nash and Jennifer LeClaire for this telephone seminar where we’ll discuss spiritual warfare from a practical and revelatory perspective. You’ll walk away encouraged and ready to run to the battle line! Click the headline to access the page with the streaming audio link.
There is a lot of confusion regarding the call into prophetic ministry. Many Christians are looking for confirmation. "How can I tell if I am called to be a prophet?"
This is an important question. In order to walk worthy of your calling, you first need to be confident God has called you. Once you are sure, you can count the cost and decide whether or not to embrace the spiritual battle that lies ahead. Although I generally discount "checklists" that tell you whether or not you are an apostle or prophet or operate in some other ministry gifting, there are practical ways for believers to confirm a prophetic calling in their own hearts. In this prophetic roundtable teleconference, Clay Nash and Jennifer LeClaire will share Scriptures and practical experience about how to discern God’s call into prophetic ministry. Click the headline to access the page with the streaming audio link.
"Give me the reins." I'll always remember when the Holy Spirit spoke those four words to my heart. It was clear He wasn't asking for one "rein" he wanted all my "reins."
Of course, I immediately thought of a horse's reins. The rider uses the reins as a restraining influence to control the animal with his guiding power. That example coupled with Scripture offered me insight into what the Holy Spirit meant—and delivered me into a new level of freedom in Christ.
When David invited Jehovah to, "Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart" (Ps. 26:2 KJV), he was speaking of his emotions. The Hebrew word translated reins in this verse means "seat of emotion and affection."
David, the man who asked one thing from the Lord—to dwell in His house all the days of his life and to gaze on His beauty and seek Him in His temple (see Ps. 27:4)—was confident in who he was in God. Despite the warfare, despite the betrayal, despite the rejection—despite it all—David submitted his emotions to God.
If perception is reality, then a godly perspective of your trials and tribulations can deliver you from your worst enemy: your own unrenewed mind.
I can't tell you—and, in fact, I'd probably be embarrassed to admit—just how many times I've allowed the perspective of my unrenewed mind to dictate my thoughts, feelings and emotions in the midst of what I perceived as overwhelming pressure. I can't tell you how many times I didn't think I could take another step; how many times I felt like giving up, calling it quits, throwing in the towel—and moving to some remote tropical island where the devil was less likely to find me.
Then after completely discouraging myself (instead of doing what David did and encouraging myself in the Lord), I discover that the pressure isn't as pressing as my perception of reality made it out to be. I was foiled by the enemy that is my unrenewed mind. I took the bait—hook, line and sinker—by looking at the smoke and mirrors of circumstantial evidence through eyes weary from the spiritual battle. (Can I get a witness? Surely, I'm not the only one.)
Why We Need God's Perspective
Of course, later I realize that things weren't really as bad as they looked with my natural eyes. That's why I have asked the Lord over the years to teach me how to quit looking at things through my natural eyes and begin looking at them through eyes empowered by a mind that is set on the things of the Spirit. Paul put it like this: "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Rom. 8:5-6).