We will gather at the Barrett home on Sunday, April 7th, beginning at 10am. We continue to experience wonderful times of fellowship and tremendous encouragement when we gather! Please feel free to invite others to join us if you feel to do so by the leading of the Lord. We look forward to seeing you on the 7th:)
Also, you can listen to any of the audio messages given in our gatherings which are posted on this site, both immediately below and in the right hand section of the homepage or in the Media Resources drop down menu on the home page by clicking on the message title. These resources are provided to be a help to the body of Christ. Please feel free to encourage others to utilize the resources we make available on our site.
In Psalm 119:32, the scripture says, "I will run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou shalt enlarge my heart." The Hebrew word translated here "when" is a word that indicates a "causal" relationship or a consequence. David is saying to God, "the thing that gives me the ability to run in Your commandments lies in the consequence resulting from the experience of Your touch, which has enlarged my heart."
Everything that the Lord requires from you, He always furnishes to you! Christianity is not a do-it-yourself kit. Christianity is not a do the best you can life. Christianity is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians ). The power of the Christian life is found in the reality of Jesus Christ living His life through you, not you living your life and hoping (or what is often begging) for Him to bless your best effort.
The Lord has recently been speaking to me about how to wait for and expect His initiation. If the work of the ministry is God's work, then we must understand some things about His initiation. If we are to be expected to walk in our destiny in God, then it is imperative that we have God's Divine Initiation! After all, the way our Lord Jesus walked out His earthly ministry was simply, He only did what he saw the Father doing and He only said what He heard the Father saying.
A companion verse to Psalm 119:32 is found in Isaiah 60, verse 5. This text reads, "Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee." Notice that the last portion of this verse says, "because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee." This word "because" is the identical word found in Psalm 119:32, translated "when." Again we see that the result of "seeing, flowing together, our heart fearing and being enlarged" is all a consequence of Divine Initiation.
He must, I must or I must, He must?
In the 3rd chapter of the book of John, in verse 30, we read that John the Baptist said, "He must increase, but I must decrease." There is a great key to powerful Christian living and working found in this text. However, the human tendency is to get this key twisted around so that this verse reads, "I must decrease, and He must increase." Is there a significant difference in these two thoughts? Profoundly different! It is impossible for me or you to will, or by the strength of any human agency, to get more of Jesus without Divine Initiation.
The order of of this increase requires Divine Initiation. As Jesus increases, I naturally decrease. To attempt to decrease without the work of the Holy Spirit cannot produce the Spirit's fruit! This is the law of displacement. Something new takes the place of something old. The Holy Spirit and His fruit take the place of my natural, carnal life.
Jesus said, "No man comes to me unless the Father is drawing him." (John 6:44) This is the quintessential picture of Divine Initiation. A person cannot even get to Jesus in a saving way unless the Father draws that person. This is really why so much of traditional evangelism doesn't work. If there is no drawing, no real work of the Holy Spirit, then the best that can happen is some kind of intellectual conversion, which is nothing more than a mental agreement and cannot and does not produce the power of a real new birth experience.
The Work of God
The disciples asked Jesus what they needed to do to work the works of God. Jesus responded by saying, "This is the work of God, that you believe on Him who He has sent." (John 6:28-29) Our work as believers or as followers of Christ is to believe. Believe what? Believe His word to us. We must become more and more a people who are in fellowship with the Lord and are hearing His voice. Faith begins where the will of God is revealed. How can we know what to do, how to do it or when to do it, unless we are hearing the Lord's voice? We cannot!
The very reason that there has been such an emphasis on the prophetic in the last 15 years is that there has been a clear imperative for the people of God to know how to hear the voice of God. One strategy of the enemy against the Body of Christ has been to keep the gift of the prophet out of true functional relationship to the Body. As long as the enemy can successfully keep the prophet out of relationship to the people of God, the grace to hear will not be imparted to God's people. If we can't or don't hear, how are we to be expected to believe and follow?
Romans says, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." To be led by the Holy Spirit implies that the Holy Spirit is moving. This is Divine Initiation. The Lord moves and we respond. The Father speaks and we respond. We become a person who does less and less without Divine Initiation. The Father initiates and we respond. The Holy Spirit initiates and we respond. This sounds more like the way Jesus lived and worked than a lot of what I've experienced. This kind of lifestyle opens up a true supernatural way of living, with signs following.
We are living in the most exciting time in the history of the Church. These are the last days. These are the days of Joel 2 and Acts 2. These are Isaiah 60 days. I believe I am hearing the Lord say that this year, 2004, will be a year filled with Divine Initiation. There will be untold opportunities to share the gospel, pray for the hurting, minister to the oppressed and equip the saints this year. The key to knowing who, when, and how will be Divine Initiation. Who is the Father ministering to? When is the Father ministering? How is the Father ministering? Know this and you will see signs, wonders and miracles like you have never dreamed. Start today to learn the way of Divine Initiation.
Father, in the name of your son Jesus, I pray for my brothers and sisters. Lord, would you grant to each of us by your grace a greater capacity to discern your initiation. I ask that you would increase in us and give us more of Jesus, Father. We want to truly be a Holy Spirit led people this year more than ever before. We want to work the works of God and see your kingdom come to the earth. Teach us your ways, Lord. Raise us up so we can follow you. We want to be found hearing your voice, doing your will and giving you all of the glory. In the name of the matchless Son of God, Jesus Christ, I pray!