It is God’s place of power and promise for all believers.
But it is not enough to just sample God’s provisions for his children. He wants us to develop a lifestyle of walking in the supernatural Kingdom of God.
We all start from a place of ignorance. Quite often, we just don’t know what we don’t know. But when we master the basic spiritual concepts, we build a foundation and gain confidence to move forward.
As we prepare to engage in ministry, let’s examine five distinct steps which lead us into a pathway of perpetual power. Each successive step moves us towards a lifestyle of supernatural service.
5 Steps to Perpetual Power
1. Knowledge.This is the first step. We begin by recognizing that we are somewhat ignorant! It’s not that God’s ways are complex; they are simple. But sometimes we need instruction because the kingdom of heaven functions differently than the world in which we live.
In the natural realm, we know that if an apple drops from the tree and hits the ground, it illustrates the Law of Gravity. But do we recognize that although they are unseen, God has created spiritual forces and they are also at work?
Many of us have not grown up in a Christian culture where the power of God is normal; it is not second nature to us. Discovering true spiritual knowledge reveals possibilities that were foreign to us. Sparks begin to fly!
If this is new to you, don’t be discouraged. Even the first disciples needed training. They lived alongside Jesus for a period of over three years. During their training, they grew to understand the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “why” of service to their Lord. Not only did Jesus teach them, but he allowed them to gain hands-on experience along the way. They observed. They ministered. They grew. Knowledge laid the foundation for their future actions in ministry. They understood who they were in relationship to Christ.
For several years, I trained traveling teams for a collegiate Christian ministry. Each weekend, these teams traveled across the Southeast preaching, leading worship, and inviting their audience to respond to the message. The ministry team would then pray for those specific needs. After one training seminar, I had the opportunity to observe the group at a local youth outreach. The ministry was amazing! The students didn’t hesitate to boldly pray with power and authority. Many were saved, immersed in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and received healing. The training had catapulted these young men and women into a new dimension of ministry where they were confident of their ability and position in Christ.
In addition to the nuts and bolts of practical knowledge, we must also “know” our Lord. We must become familiar with his nature and his word which dictates his will. We may need to ask ourselves the familiar question, “What would Jesus do?” How can we answer, if we aren’t familiar with the compassionate nature of our Lord? As we grow in understanding and the knowledge of him, we will gain insight into his ways.
2. Confidence.The second step is confidence. The practical and spiritual knowledge we gain gives us the courage to step out of the proverbial boat.
Remember Peter’s experience walking on the water? He had seen the miracles of Jesus and was confident of Christ’s power to uphold him on the waves. Yes, Peter took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink, but he was the one disciple who ventured out of the boat and actually did defy natural law. Peter actually walked on the water!
As we develop confidence in who we are and what God has invited us to do, we are no longer wondering whether we should or even could offer spiritual assistance. We become assured of what we know, and now have the certainty to proceed forward. Our faith is energized and that confidence produces action.
3. Action. With a foundation of knowledge and confidence, we become Christians in motion, active for the Kingdom of God. We are able to pray with others whenever and wherever the Holy Spirit prompts us. Ministry isn’t always confined to a church setting. In fact, God is on the move within our community, workplace, school, and neighborhood.
One day in Border’s bookstore, I was simply sipping coffee and flipping through a magazine to pass the time. A young lady sitting to my left began to share about an upcoming operation, and I could tell she was distressed. I used the opportunity to pray with her and asked for God’s peace to surround the situation. The effect was immediate. He was faithful to answer my prayer and respond to her need. I left Border’s encouraged by the fact that God had used me. She walked away knowing there is a God who loves and cares for her every need. It was a divine appointment.
As we become more in tune with our Heavenly Father and his will, our actions become consistent and reliable. We move from the active phase into the fourth step. Consistent actions produce positive habits.
4. Habits. This fourth step is a result of faithfully responding to God over a period of time. It generally takes about six weeks of consistent behavior for any new physical action to become a habit. Spiritual habits are developed in a similar fashion. With commitment and practice, our ministry habits will last a lifetime and touch the lives of countless hurting people.
Consider how a sprinter trains.The runner exercises and develops his muscles, practices his starting stance, and perfects his running strategy for the upcoming race. When the starting gun sounds, he doesn’t hesitate or fumble off the blocks, but moves smoothly into the actions he has trained his body to perform. It has become second nature to him.
As representatives of God, our actions should become second nature as well. Of course, there will be challenges, missed opportunities, or seeming “failures” as part of the learning process, but it is habits…good habits performed over a lifetime…that birth the final step. We all desire to be successful!
5. Success. Jesus has sent us into this world to make disciples, pray for the sick, and deliver the oppressed. Success in the eyes of God embodies these characteristics. At the end of our lives, we all want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Ministry is no longer limited to the church and the altar. God is at work in neighborhoods, job sites, schools, and anywhere the Holy Spirit finds a need. Many of my future posts in this series will equip, guide, and assure you that you have a place in God’s plan. Follow the pathway to perpetual power. God wants to use YOU!
Look for the release of my upcoming book, Empower, which is a training manual for active ministry.
From Genesis to Revelation, God has always wanted connection and intimacy with his people. He wooed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He dwelt among the Israelites in the Tabernacle of Moses. Jesus lived his life among the Jews. And at the end of the Bible, God promises to once again reside in the midst of his people.
Connection and empowerment are two sides of the same coin. If we connect to God, his power will flow through us to others. Conversely, power is the product of a vibrant relationship with God. This is the beginning and foundation of all ministry. We act in cooperation with what heaven already wants to do.
When we walk closely with God, we begin to recognize his prompting and respond. Our hands and words become a channel of his goodness towards others. Without him, we can do nothing:
I am the vine; you are the branches…If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:5-7
Peter and John understood the power and authority given to them. They knew their assignment. One day as they approached the temple, they saw a man lame from birth at the gate called Beautiful. Peter spoke these words to the cripple: Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. Peter took him by the hand, helped him up, and the man walked, jumped, and praised God. (Acts 3:1-10)
When we connect to God, we become sensitive to the way he operates. We begin to see with his eyes, hear with his ears, and act with his hands.
In my experience, I have seen God respond to three things…faith, need, and expectation. When any or all of these are present, God is ready to act.
Faith is an important concept, a necessary component of effective prayer. It is the confidence of what we hope for and the assurance of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1) Some believe that the person receiving ministry must attain a certain level of faith before they can receive from God. But that viewpoint does not agree with scripture.
In Mark 2, it was the faith of a few friends that prompted them to lower their sick companion through the roof. Many came to Jesus believing he could heal, but sometimes it was Christ’s faith that activated the power of God. Faith is an essential part of the process, but it is not limited to the one receiving ministry.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
God also responds to Need. There have been times when my presence and ministry are an answer to someone’s prayer. A mother or father may have asked God for intervention, and I found myself as the vehicle that provided God’s reply.
When I worked as a tutor, I was called to assist a young man who was flunking his freshman year of high school. It was Spring and he had just broken his leg in a skiing accident. My assignment was to help him complete the school year. Although nothing was ever said, I sensed that his mother had prayed desperately for an answer to the dilemma. God answered by sending me. In just two months, God reversed the situation in a miraculous way. The young man finished his freshman year with A’s and B’s and went on to be very successful in high school and then college. The compassionate heart of God responded to the need and the heartfelt cry of a mother.
Finally, Expectation is the third component which triggers a response from God. When someone asks for prayer, they anticipate a touch from God. Their expectant hope becomes the connecting point to the power of God. It elicits a reaction and he moves on their behalf.
During times of ministry, I have seen firsthand the difference that expectation makes. Those who come forward with high expectations are much more likely to receive from God. When their hopes are centered on God as the source and not a person, he responds. Their confidence becomes the bridge that joins the natural to the supernatural realm.
And I pray that you…may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God…who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…Ephesians 3:17-20
Connection to God is the basis for all ministry. It makes us sensitive to his leading and empowers us to act. How do we stay connected? The Apostle Paul instructed the church to be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18) The verb tense here actually means to be continually filled. Once is not enough. When we connect to God and walk in his fullness, the overflow will impact the lives of others.
As the clock winds down to the appointed time of revival, my question has to be…are you ready for a move of God? God is working across the globe stirring the hearts of his children. I hear of churches in the most isolated of places coming alive. Worship is reaching new heights in Sunday services. People are being roused from their spiritual slumber and God is the one sounding the alarm clock!
Scripture cautions us to be alert during the upcoming harvest season. As the time for massive revival approaches, the church needs to awaken, arise, and then align with the plans and purposes of God. Proverbs 10:5 warns…
…he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.
In a famine, we gather food and store it ahead of time. During a financial crisis, we discover creative ways to barter and pay for goods and services. But how do we prepare for a spiritual move of God?
In many ways, we can’t. The manifestation of God’s power will be sudden, supernatural, and sovereign.
The answer is we cooperate with God in the preliminary stages and equip ourselves with the basics. In the very near future, there will be so many babes in Christ and a pressing need for spiritual parents. Each of us will be called into service and into a discipleship role. What is the best way to anticipate this surge of the supernatural? Familiarize ourselves with spiritual foundations and get empowered to minister.
Lighting a Spiritual Fire
As a former Camp Fire Girl, I built my fair share of fires. I remember the many twigs, sticks, and logs laid one upon another in some “teepee” or “log cabin” shape. From the littlest of branches to the larger limbs, each piece had its place in starting the fire. If I arranged the twigs correctly, I only needed one match to ignite the entire pile. In a matter of minutes, the stacked dry wood became a blazing inferno.
Amazingly, I have seen God use the same technique in his church. In this case, however, the sticks that make up the fire are not pieces of wood, but Biblical concepts. When knowledge, understanding, and faith combine, it only takes one touch from the hand of God. A single spark from heaven ignites the spiritual fire within us!
My soon-to-be-released book Empowered offers both the raw material and the flint to ignite the spiritual flame. It is a compilation of the many seminars and training sessions I have led over the years. I have already used the concepts found within these pages to train church teams, ministries, and travelling collegiate groups in a variety of settings, age groups, and cultures.
As the second book in the Foundations of Faith series, Empowered equips the reader with fundamental Biblical concepts that lead to active ministry. I designed the book for use in one of two ways. First, it provides a solid foundation for the training of altar workers. I use this term to describe those people designated to pray for their congregation during ministry or prayer times.
Second, it is an introduction to practical ministry for every Christian who wants to be used by God. To those who hunger to see the power of God in their everyday lives, Empowered supplies the basic knowledge for activating that desire. For those of us who anticipate a sovereign move of God’s power, it becomes the catalyst for preparation.
Over the next several weeks, I will be sharing excerpts from my book. It is my hope that Empowered will advance the kingdom of God by preparing believers to act on their faith. My heart’s desire is to see the Church equipped, prepared, and fully functioning at its highest level of excellence.
Whether ministry occurs within the church, in the marketplace, or community, God is ready to touch lives and transform people. He is on the move. We need to be ready to move with him!
In a new series of posts, Hyatt deals with improving personal productivity on all levels. In this first installment, he speaks about FOMO (the fear of missing out) and the harmful effects to our work output.
In today’s society, it is difficult to say no, turn off social media, or decline a social invitation. What if we miss something? But the fear of missing out drives us into excess. We spend our time focusing on “good” things instead of the “great” things that are more in line with our destiny and goals. So we say “yes”…
to new clients because we fear missing out on income opportunities.
to your boss because we fear missing out on praise or leadership.
to new training because we fear missing out on learning a new skill.
to lunch invites because we fear missing out on key networking.
Leaders value growth. They are constantly sharpening their skills in a variety of areas…organizational development, vision, goal-setting, team building, and especially relationships. Leaders are learners.
My husband and I attend the Global Leadership Summit every August. GLS is an international meeting simulcast across the world. Every year it impacts over 260,000 leaders. If you are unfamiliar with the summit, it consists of two days packed with best-selling authors, CEO’s, and renowned leaders from across the globe. From pastors, to ministry leaders, corporate heads, and politicians, the GLS offers inspiration and information to take you to the next level of leadership.
I recommend that any growing leader attend the GLS. But you don’t have to wait until August 2016. I can offer you an alternative. The next best thing.
GLSnext is a new App available on both Google Play for android devices and iTunes for Apple products. And here is the best news…
GLSnext is free!
GLSnext is available to anyone, even if you have never attended a Global Leadership Summit. The app is an opportunity to learn from world-class leaders like Bill Hybels, John Maxwell, Patrick Lencioni, Melinda Gates, Bishop T.D. Jakes, and Dr. Henry Cloud.
The official GLSnext app presents videos from past summit faculty, a leadership library at your fingertips. With the GLSnext app you can instantly watch as many leadership videos as you want, as often as you want, anytime you want.
The categories include Church Leadership, Interpersonal Leadership, Organizational Leadership, Self Leadership, and Visionary Leadership. As of this post, sixty-two faculty members contribute to the videos. The videos range from short segments of a few minutes to a full presentation at the summit. Great for on the go, waiting at the doctor’s office, driving your car, or having a cup of coffee!
The GLSnext features include:
Instant access to hundreds of leadership training videos from your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Create and share your own custom playlists with friends and colleagues.
The 6 by 6 Tool to accomplish your most important leadership goals with 6×6 goal management tool.
Browse videos by keyword, topic, speaker and category.
Bookmark and save your favorite videos to reference back to at a future date.
This year there is a new option…GLSnext Premium. You get complete access to high-impact full session videos from the latest two years of The Global Leadership Summit. 2016 sessions will be coming in September. And it’s only $99, less than the admission for one summit.
Feed your leadership potential with top-notch teaching. Get a taste for the Global Leadership Summit and grow to the next level of leadership.
Download the GLSnext App and share it with friends and fellow leaders.