We Are Family

I had missed this when it came in my email. I just now read it, but I think it makes a good follow-up to yesterday’s post about the fifth step in the Five Steps to a Supernatural Life. It really describes the first half-step, knowing who we are in Him. Read this to help establish your understanding of your right to expect answers to your prayers. As surely as God answered Jesus’ prayers, He will answer yours.

David Wilkerson Today
June 17, 2011

Claiming the power that is in Christ’s name is not some complicated, hidden theological truth. In my library are books written solely on the subject of Jesus’ name. The authors wrote them to help believers understand the deep implications hidden in Christ’s name. Yet, most of these books are so “deep,” they go right over readers’ heads.

I believe the truth we’re meant to know about Jesus’ name is so simple, a child could understand it. It’s simply this: When we make our requests in Jesus’ name, we’re to be fully persuaded that it’s the same as if Jesus himself were asking the Father. You ask, How could this be true? Let me explain.

We know that God loved his Son. He spoke with Jesus and taught him during his time on earth. And God not only heard but answered every request his Son made. Jesus testified to this, saying, “He heareth me always.” In short, the Father never denied his Son any request.

Today, all who believe in Jesus are clothed in his Sonship. And the heavenly Father receives us as intimately as he receives his own Son. Why? It’s because of our spiritual union with Christ. Through his crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus has made us one with the Father. “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us…I in them, and thou in me” (John 17:21–23).

Simply put, we are now family—one with the Father, and one with the Son. We’ve been adopted, with the full rights of inheritance possessed by any child. This means all the power and resources of heaven are made available to us, through Christ.

Praying “in the name of Jesus” is not a formula. It is not the phrase that has power in simply speaking it. The power is in believing that Jesus takes up our cause and brings it to the Father on his own merits. He is the Advocate—he is doing the asking for us. The power is in fully trusting that God never denies his own Son and we are the beneficiary of the Father’s utter faithfulness to his Son.

Five Steps to a Supernatural Life: Find Out Your Purpose

Step 5: Ask God to show you what your purpose is, and find out who you are in Him.

I just added another part to this step, so I guess this is a two-step now!  This series is now Five-and-A-Half Steps to a Supernatural Life. 🙂

It’s important that we know who we are in Christ. There are many scriptures that contain the phrase “In Him”, and we need to study those and make them a part of our being. They clarify who we are in Him.

There’s a little mini-book by Kenneth Hagin called “In Him” that contains many, many scriptures that tell us who we are in Him.

I used to own it, but I don’t have it now. I just found it at Nest Entertainment and ordered it for $1.20. (While I was there I ordered the New Testament DVD’s for my kids. I can afford them now, PTL!)

But I will start a little list here with the help of the Online Bible.

Acts 17:28* For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

2Co 5:21* For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

2Co 13:4* For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

Php 3:9* And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Col 2:6* As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Col 2:10* And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

2Th 1:12* That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1Jo 2:6* He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

1Jo 2:8* Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.

1Jo 2:27* And the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone teach you. But as His anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and as He taught you, abide in Him.

1Jo 2:28* And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

1Jo 3:24* And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1Jo 4:13* Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

1Jo 5:14* And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

1Jo 5:20* And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Here are a couple of “with Him” verses:

Ro 8:17* And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

2Ti 2:12* If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

And here are a few verses that use the words “In Christ”.

Ro 8:1* There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2Co 2:14* Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

2Co 5:17* Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Eph 1:3* Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Eph 2:6* And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Eph 2:13* But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

And here are a few more verses about who we are in Him and what He has given us.

1Co 2:16* For who has knowledge of the mind of the Lord, so as to be his teacher? But we have the mind of Christ.

1Jo 4:16* And we have seen and had faith in the love which God has for us. God is love, and everyone who has love is in God, and God is in him.

1Jo 4:17* In this way love is made complete in us, so that we may be without fear on the day of judging, because as he is, so are we in this world.

Ro 8:37* Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Take a little time and meditate on a few of these verses and let God speak to you about who you are in Him.

Then get more specific, and ask the Lord to show you what your purpose is in life. Take all the time you need to hear from Him. It may take days or weeks for Him to reveal to you what He is calling you to do in this season of your life. Just keep asking and listening. Ask Him to direct your thoughts so that you can see clearly what you have been doing that is from your own reasoning or desires and is not producing good fruit or bringing fulfillment to your life. You may have to prune some things from your life. Ask Him for wisdom. Ask Him to reveal to you talents that you didn’t even know you had.

I know my calling now, but it took several years for me to find out. When I was a young mother, I kept trying to find fulfillment in things outside of my home. I did lots of things in church. I tutored and homeschooled other children. I did homeschool assessments. I sang in a quartet. I found my identity in many of those activities. The Lord slowly whittled everything away until I was left with only my husband and my children. Slowly the light dawned that my ministry in this season is to my own family. When I did all of those other things I was always neglecting my ministry at home.

Now I have accepted my calling for this season. I am much more content and confident in my calling. I feel fulfilled in my role as a wife and mother. And I know that God is pleased with my work.

I am raising my children to live a supernatural life. We are believing as a family for miracles, signs and wonders so that God’s name will be glorified and the works of the evil one will be destroyed. It may not look like much now, but our ministry will be powerful to set the captives free and heal the brokenhearted.

So what about you?

Do you know what God has called you to do as an individual? As a family?

All you need to know is His will for you for this season. He will most likely tell you the next thing when the time comes for a change.

Seek Him and find out. He wants to tell you. But He wants you to come to Him and ask.

Get lined up with His will, and He will do supernatural things in and through your life.

Five Steps to a Supernatural Life: See Yourself As God Sees You

Step 4: Ask God to show you how He sees you.

Now that you have been set free and delivered from every chain that had you bound and you are starting each day by putting your spirit above your soul and living by your spirit instead of your soul. And you are learning to trust God and look at His Word and His promises instead of circumstances, what is the next step to living a supernatural life?

Now you should ask God to show you what He thinks about you.

The Lord had to work on me for a long time before I even thought to ask Him this question. He kept nudging me toward it, but I was hard of hearing.

When I was in my early 20’s, I was a church camp counselor, and one night I saw young children receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. I had been praying for that experience for myself for several years but had never received it. I felt a little bit upset about not having received it yet, when these little children were receiving it so easily. I knew that it was probably because of fear blocking my ability to receive. But it made me really determined to seek God and do my best to clear the way so that I could receive it. I stayed at the altar for a long time that night just asking God to help me get over my fears and inhibitions so that I could receive everything that He wanted to give me.

Another counselor who was older than I am came and started praying with me. I told her what I was praying about and she prayed for me to be able to receive anything that God wanted to give me.

Then she suggested that we go somewhere quiet because she wanted to really be able to share and talk with me. We went back to my cabin, and she comforted me and built me up with scripture about how much God loves me and wants to answer my prayers and bless me. The main scripture she read to me that caused me to sob and feel His love in a way I had never felt before was Isaiah 43:1,2

But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:

“ Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.

There was such a strong anointing on those verses in that moment that I felt His love for me – for ME – I really felt it. I knew that He was calling me by my name. I knew that I was somebody to Him and that He was trying to communicate His love and care for me.

When I got that revelation, I suddenly started saying a three-syllable “word” that was not a word that I knew while I was trying to thank Him for loving me. Then I felt an overwhelming sensation of love flow through me. I felt loved, and I felt love for everybody, even those I didn’t really like that well. She took me back to the chapel and told people what had happened, and I went around hugging everybody there, which was not the way I usually behaved! I just felt so much love I wanted to hug everyone on the planet.

Well, that was wonderful and it really impacted my life in big ways. I started singing in front of people and doing things that I never could have done before because of fear and shyness.

But I still had some issues of inferiority and insecurity that needed to be dealt with.

Life went on and I met my True Love and married him. We had a child, then another and another and another… My life became very busy with learning to be a mommy, a housewife, a wife, along with tutoring and homeschooling and doing homeschool assessments for about 100 families every year. My spiritual life was put on the back burner for a while.

We were still going to church, but I couldn’t get much out of sermons because I was usually in the nursery or helping with other kids’ classes, which was expected because I had kids in the program.

One night as I was alone in the van (a rare occurrence) headed home from a class I needed to take to renew my teaching certificate so I could continue to do homeschool assessments, I sensed that the Lord was trying to tell me something. I had asked Him to speak to me now that I had a minute alone. It took about 20 minutes of really listening to understand that He was saying, “Penney, I delight in you.” I was floored. I couldn’t believe that He would delight in me. I didn’t feel worthy in the least. But I was sure that was what He was saying. I pondered on that all the way home.

It changed the way I viewed myself. It changed the way I viewed God. It revealed to me that I didn’t have to be perfect for Him to love me in such a deep way that He would describe it as delighting in me. I felt loved and special.

It was several years later that He showed me in His Word Psalm 18:19 “He delivered me because He delighted in me.”

I knew that verse was talking about me. By that time, He had delivered me and was about to deliver me from some pretty scary situations!

I got the revelation that He always will deliver me, because He delights in me. I can count on His deliverance. I can also count on His delight in me. Not because I’m delightful, but because that’s just how God is. That’s just how God sees me. He delights in me in spite of my failings, my issues and my problems.

After that revelation, He kept dropping into my spirit little hints about how He feels about me. He showed me through my little baby who was just learning to walk that He saw me the same way I saw my little baby girl. He felt the kind of tender love and compassion and pride in me that I felt for my little baby girl who was trying so hard to walk in spite of fear or failure or pain.

I came to a point where I understood that I needed to really know how God feels about me. I had some preconceived ideas from the teachings I had heard all my life. I had a view of God as a father who loves all of His children and takes care of them en masse. I had to deal with this kind of thinking as I mothered my children. I realized that I was treating my children as a group instead of individuals with different needs and personalities. The Lord helped me to see them as more than a responsibility that often got in the way of things I was trying to accomplish. I used to herd them from one place to another without taking into consideration what they really needed or wanted. I assumed that my plans were good for all of them, never thinking that some might benefit from less activity and others from more.

As I began to understand that I was wrong to think of my children as a herd, I realized that God doesn’t think of us in that way, either. He taught me that He loves me all by myself. I’m not part of the collective that He takes care of in a generic way. He cares about me and loves me and knows my name. He knows how I feel. He cares about what I care about. He is crazy about me!

Now I knew that I needed even more revelation of how He feels about me. So I intentionally prayed the prayer, “Lord, show me what You think of me. Show me how you feel about me.”

Ever since then, He has been speaking to me through prophetic experiences where people have prayed over me and prophesied that He is happy with the way I have taken care of my children and the way I have protected them and taught them about the Lord. He has turned my husband’s heart toward me in such a way that I feel God’s heart for me through him and the way that he expresses love for me.

The first prophecy contained phrases from Song of Solomon and Isaiah and other scriptures that were personalized for me:

I am His chosen one
His princess
His Esther
His queen
His favorite
No more shame
No more desolation
No longer forgotten
My land shall be married
He is ravished with my beauty
He has given me beauty for ashes
He delights in me!
Change the DNA of my heart – what I think about God and myself
I have His favor
He has put His robe on me – a robe of righteousness and a ring on my finger, and a crown on my head
Sing over her. Let your winds blow on this fragrant garden.

God spoke to me so profoundly and ministered to my heart through these words.

Now why do we need this knowledge and revelation of how God sees us? Because we can’t really know Him unless we know how He feels about us.

Ephesians 3:16-21

16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,

17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—

19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

When we know His love, His love for us individually, we will be filled with all the fullness of God.

With His fullness in us, we can live this life the way it was meant to be lived.

Five Steps to a Supernatural Life: Trust God

Step 3: Trust God absolutely.

Our nation’s coins proclaim “In God We Trust”. We got that motto from the Bible and the final stanza of our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. “And this be our motto ‘In God is our Trust.'”

As Christians, we also proclaim that we trust God. But how many of us really do? Especially American Christians.

Do we trust God or our jobs?

Do we trust money or our Provider?

Do we trust our bank account or our Father in Heaven?

Do we trust our intellect and reason or His will for our lives?

Okay, let’s say we do trust God.

If we do trust God, how much do we trust Him?

Do we trust Him when everything seems to fall apart or it looks like it’s about to?

From my observation, the answer is “No” for most people, even most Christians.

But our Father wants us to trust Him in the same way we, as earthly parents, want our children to trust us.

Faith and trust are synonymous. The definition of “Faith” from Merriam-Webster.com:  (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof   (2) : complete trust

God gives us examples of the kind of faith He’s looking for in His Word.

David Wilkerson said in his devotional from June 3, 2011:

“Being not weak in faith, (Abraham) considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb” (Romans 4:19).

The essence of true faith is found in this single verse. God had just promised Abraham he would have a son, one who would become the seed of many nations. Remarkably, Abraham didn’t flinch at this promise, even though he was well past the age of siring children. Instead, when Abraham received this word from the Lord, we’re told he “considered not his own body now dead (nor)…the deadness of Sarah’s womb.”

To the natural mind, it was impossible for this promise to be fulfilled. But Abraham didn’t dwell on any such impossibility. According to Paul, the patriarch gave no thought to how God would keep his promise. He didn’t reason with God, “But, Lord, I have no seed to plant. And Sarah has no life in her womb to conceive. My wife is past the ability to bear children. So, how will you do it, Lord?” Instead of entertaining such questions, Abraham simply “considered not.”

The fact is, when God is at work producing a faith that is tried and better than gold, he first puts a sentence of death on all human resources. He closes the door to all human reasoning, bypassing every means of a rational deliverance.

The faith that pleases God is born in a place of deadness. I’m speaking here of the deadness of all human possibilities. It is a place where man-made plans flourish at first and then die. It is a place where human hopes bring temporary relief but soon crash, adding to a sense of helplessness.
Have you been at this place of deadness? Has it seemed you have no options left? You can’t call someone to advise you. The heavens are like brass when you pray, your requests falling to the ground.

I declare to you, this is God at work. His Spirit is working to get you to stop considering the impossibilities—to stop looking to human ways and means—to stop trying to think your way out of your situation. The Holy Ghost is urging you, “Quit hunting for help from some man. And quit focusing on how hopeless you think your situation is. Those are hindrances to your faith.”

The Lord worked through many circumstances and trials over a period of 10 years or so in my life to establish my trust in Him.

I had to learn to take my eyes off of the circumstances and only look at His word. No matter what was happening or what was being threatened, I had to rely on God to take care of us. No matter how devastating a situation seemed, I had to keep believing that God was working everything out for our best. When we lost our house after believing God to keep it for us, I could have gotten angry at God (or at my husband), but I chose to keep believing that it was part of God’s plan, and that He was going to use it for His purposes, and that it would end up being for our good. And it did!

God taught us so many things. He changed us through the situations that we went through. He gave us a whole new perspective and foundation for our beliefs and values.

We now know what it’s like to be homeless, hopeless, helpless, uncertain about what tomorrow will bring, cast out and rejected, unable to take care of ourselves, unable to make decisions because we didn’t have anything to do anything with. We experienced God’s care and provision in supernatural ways. When we were in a strange place where we knew not a soul, the Lord provided money and food and lodging for us. When there was no way we could survive, He provided abundance for us.

Our help came from the Lord! He preserved us and sustained us when nobody else could or would.

So believe me, I TRUST HIM! He never let us down. We clung to His Word.

Psalm 37:25 I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken or His seed begging for bread.

Psalm 121:2 My help comes from the Lord who made Heaven and Earth.

Psalm 27:10
When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

Psalm 27:13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Psalm 18:19 He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.

Many, many Psalms were my lifeline. And many verses from Isaiah. Such as:

Isaiah 54:11-13 O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of crystal, and all your walls of precious stones. All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.

I didn’t understand what that meant, but it comforted me and let me know that God was doing something beautiful in my life and I just needed to wait on Him and trust Him and He would make all things new and good – better than ever.

Isaiah 30:20, 21 And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.

There were many others. Every time I opened my Bible during the heat of the battle, a verse would pop out and comfort, encourage and strengthen me to keep trusting Him.

He is still fashioning and forming us into what He wants us to be. But He has added so much more beauty to our lives. And He has cultivated in us an appreciation of who He is and how real He is and the greatness of His power and love.

So now, my personal motto is “Trust God – Absolutely!”

Five Steps to a Supernatural Life: Live By Your Spirit

Step 2: Live by your spirit instead of by your soul.

There is a difference between your soul and your spirit. You are a spirit. You have a soul. You live in a body. The Bible speaks about dividing between soul and spirit. (Heb. 4:12)

Your soul is the part of you that interacts with this world. Your spirit is the part of you that interacts with God and the spiritual realm. God is a spirit and we are made in His image. And we are told that if we want to worship God, we must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Your spirit can communicate with the Holy Spirit. He speaks to you through your spirit. Your spirit conveys to your soul what the Father is saying to you. That’s how you hear from Him. Your spirit is who you really are. Some people call it your conscience.

Your soul is made up of your mind, will and emotions. They can be controlled by your spirit, or not. If you don’t actively put them in subjection to your spirit, they are likely not being controlled by your spirit. Hence, they are not under the Holy Spirit’s control, either. You have the ability to lift up your spirit above your soul each day. You can choose to live by your soul or your spirit. If you live by your soul, you will make decisions and do things according to your physical senses and what your mind tells you is correct. If you live by your spirit, you will listen to the Holy Spirit and find out His will for each decision and every action. Your soul will do what your spirit says to do if you have put it in subjection to your spirit.

Most of us live by our souls. We were taught to live that way, because our families and churches didn’t know any better. We have lived by our own understanding, our minds and our emotions. When we get saved, our spirit comes awake. And at that point, we can start to live by our spirits. But, unfortunately, few of us are ever taught how to do that. We continue to live by our souls. Our souls are very strong and loud. Our spirits are young and not very strong yet. If we don’t exercise them, they stay that way.

You can exercise your spirit by putting your spirit above your soul each day. You tell the soul to get under the dominion of your spirit. You tune into what God is saying to you through your spirit. It takes getting alone with God and waiting to hear Him speak. (1 Pet. 1:22)

When Paul mentions the fruits of the Spirit, that’s just what they are. If we don’t have a strong connection with the Spirit of God through our spirits, we can’t have the fruits of the Spirit.

Isaiah spoke of the soul and the spirit separately in 26:9 and 57:16, and Job also separated them in Job 7:11.

In 1 Thess. 5:23 Paul gives us the correct order of importance of each part of our being. He says “your whole spirit, soul and body“, in that order. The spirit is to be above the soul and the soul over the body.

The Kingdom of God does not consist of speech, but of power. It is spiritual power – healing, miracles, signs and wonders; touching the glory and the presence of God; and casting out demons. Not just theology, philosophy or words that we speak. It’s the dunamis power of the Holy Spirit that we can tap into with our spirits, not our souls. (1 Cor. 2:4,5) The Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom. And we live in it by our spirits.

So when we need to know God’s will for our lives about a specific issue, we need to make sure we’re listening to God with our spirits. We need to put our spirit in dominion, so that we know we’re really hearing from the Holy Spirit, not our own mind. We can pray a prayer like this:

“Father, I put my soul and my flesh in submission to my spirit. And I put my spirit in submission to You, Holy Spirit. I bind anything demonic that would keep me from hearing from You, in Jesus’ name. I will only hear the voice of my Good Shepherd. Lord, bypass my soul and speak to my spirit. Speak loud and clear, Holy Spirit.”

And then present your question to the Lord. Ask Him to give you the guidance you need. If you need to know whether you’re supposed to do a certain thing, ask Him if you’re supposed to do it. And then listen to what He says to you. You may have to wait quite a while. If you don’t hear anything, ask a different question. Ask the Lord to guide you through it. He’ll help you to find out the answer He wants you to have. He may speak a scripture reference to you. Look it up and find out what it says and seek Him about how it applies to your situation. If you have put the question in “yes or no” form, you may hear a “yes, yes, yes” or “no, no, no” inside yourself.

God’s purpose for everything is to draw us closer to Himself. The thing that is most important is not really the guidance itself, but the time you spent with the Lord, talking to Him and listening for His voice. Any time you spend concentrated time with Him, He is pleased, and you have drawn closer to Him.

Heb. 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

1 Pet. 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit…

1 Thess. 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body

1 Cor. 2:4,5 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Isa. 26:9 With my soul I have desired You in the night, Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early…

Isa. 57:16 For the spirit would fail before Me, And the souls which I have made.

Job 7:11 I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.