December 11th, 2013 by Os Hillman
I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:10-11 – Acts 21:11-12
Paul understood his personal mission, which should be the personal mission of every believer in Jesus Christ. It is the one summary statement that best describes the purpose of our existence on earth and the goal of our Christian experience. It can be reduced to three important characteristics.
To know Christ.
To know and experience His power.
To identify with His sufferings.
All that flows from these three objectives becomes a by-product. Salvation is a by-product. Miracles are a by-product. Christlikeness is a by-product. Paul’s focus was on relationship. He understood that the deeper the relationship, the more power he would experience. He also understood that as he grew in this relationship, there would be suffering. Whenever the Kingdom of Light confronts the kingdom of darkness, there is a battle, and this often results in casualties. Christ confronted these earthly kingdoms and suffered for it. If we are living at this level of obedience, we, too, will face similar battles; it simply comes with the territory.
Does this sound like your personal mission statement? Is your focus in life centered on knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection? If not, press into Him today in order to begin experiencing Christ more intimately.
December 10th, 2013 by Os Hillman
God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. Psalms 53:2 – Acts 21:11-12
“I really don’t understand why I should come to this. How can I really benefit?” was his response. At that moment, I realized that I was wasting my time with this man on whom I had invested much throughout his Christian walk. He was often like a roller coaster-up one minute, down the next.
“You simply aren’t hungry enough,” I commented to my friend.
Whenever someone must always rationalize and examine whether the things of God are beneficial to them, you know that they are not hungry enough for God. I recall one time when I was in a difficult place. I received an audiotape from a man who gave me some insights into my problem. I was hungry enough to book a flight to a city 500 miles away just to meet him and find out more. My finances were at a very low point, so it took some real faith to do this. That meeting turned out to be a divine appointment and became a turning point in my life.
God is looking for men and women who hunger to know Him. When we believe that we know all we need to know, we are in a dangerous place. God has placed men and women in the Body of Christ who have had different experiences and gifts that can be helpful in our own spiritual pilgrimages. It requires humility of heart to realize that we can learn from others. We can easily rationalize our business pressures and time commitments to discount such opportunities.
December 9th, 2013 by Os Hillman
Coming over to us, he [Agabus] took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’ ” When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. – Acts 21:11-12
In my own personal spiritual pilgrimage, God has allowed me to come into relationship with those in the Body of Christ who are called to a greater level of intercessory prayer. God calls each of us to be intercessory prayer warriors, but there are individuals in the Body of Christ who are called to be frontline warriors and who are more skilled in the area of intercession. These individuals often can have a gift of prophecy as part of their intercessory anointing. Such appears to be the case of Agabus in the Book of Acts.
Agabus seems to have received a word from God, and by way of a physical demonstration, tied his belt around Paul to let him know that he would be bound in Jerusalem if he went to this city. Agabus and the others immediately drew a conclusion that he was not to go to Jerusalem. Paul disagreed and proceeded to Jerusalem where he was, in fact, bound and beaten after giving testimony to the people and religious leaders of Jerusalem.
God calls intercessors to the role of seeing. He calls leaders to the role of interpreting actions.
God allows intercessors to see a more complete picture. However, actions are never left for the intercessors to determine. Conversely, leaders need to get the spiritual picture of what they are dealing with. This is why they need gifted intercessors. They must not make the mistake of believing they can see the entire picture without the intercessors. Once they have the intercessors’ insights, they must determine the right course of action. This is their role. Conflicts arise when either tries to fulfill both roles.
Paul knew he was to go to Jerusalem, even if it meant being beaten. He did go and was beaten. However, we sense that he made the right decision based on Jesus’ comments to him in Acts chapter 23, verse 11: “The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, ‘Take courage! As you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.’ “
Pray that God will bring intercessors and leaders into your life. He wants you to have a complete picture of the situations you face each day and to know the actions necessary for fulfilling His will for your life.
December 8th, 2013 by Os Hillman
Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow My instructions.” – Exodus 16:4
When God took the nation of Israel through the desert, there was one thing the people simply could not do outside of God alone: They could not provide for themselves. They could not plant. They could not harvest. They could not manufacture. It was a place and time where nothing but complete dependence was the rule. God gave manna one day at a time. The manna spoiled the day after, so they could never store it. They could not go to the manna store to get more. They couldn’t start a manna business to capitalize on all the free manna. I can tell you from personal experience that when God takes you to the desert, there is nothing you can do to change it until He wants to change it, so do not strive against God in the desert place.
Has God taken you into the desert? Is He forcing you to depend wholly on His provision? Pray that you will learn the lessons God desires you to learn in the desert place. He will bring you out when He has accomplished all He wants to build in your life. Remember that it is a season; you will not be there forever. He understands that no one can stay in a desolate place forever.
December 7th, 2013 by Os Hillman
May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20 – Proverbs 13:12
Over 70 percent of our time is spent in a working environment, yet our training and teaching focuses on areas where we spend much less time. The workplace is the greatest mission field of our day, yet we do not train workplace believers how to effectively integrate their faith into their jobs. The wall between Sunday and Monday still exists. Most believers do not understand that all of life is spiritual, not just life on Sunday.
A recent study found that 50 percent of Christians have never heard a sermon on work; 70 percent have never been taught a theology of work; and 70 percent have never heard a sermon on vocation. Why do we focus on the fringes rather than the center where most people spend most of their time – the workplace?
God is removing the wall of separation by speaking to pastors and workplace believers all over the world. A pastor recently shared how his church ordains their workplace believers for their calling to the workplace. Another pastor described their church’s commitment to integrating training for their workplace believers on the theology of work. Another told how they began a workplace ministry within their church for their workplace believers, and even integrated Sunday school programs specifically geared to help workplace believers understand their calling in the workplace.
We are entering a new era in the Church when workplace believers are seen as a remnant of the Body of Christ who need to be mobilized and trained for the work of the ministry to their own mission field-the workplace. Are you one of the men and women God is raising up for this task? Pray that God will help pastors understand and affirm this calling, and that they will respond by training the people of their churches for their own ministry to the workplace. When we reclaim the 70 percent, the remainder will be reclaimed automatically.