On the Road Again

I like the song by Willie Nelson “On the Road Again” as it is my informal theme song. Tomorrow I am on the road again as I leave for Ukraine where I will be spending 2 weeks working with three different churches watching God do amazing things. I will come back to that comment. First, if you are praying and the Holy Spirit should lead you to pray for Ralph Howe Ministries here is where I will be and what I will be doing…

This Friday the 29th of January and Saturday the 30th – travel
Early flight from Regina to Calgary
Mid-day flight from Calgary to Frankfurt, Germany
Mid-morning Saturaday flight from Frankfurt to Kiev
Five hour car ride from Kiev to Kirovograd and settling in to my first living quarters

January 31 – Sunday services in Kirovograd city This will involve teaching on prophetic prayer in the morning service and ministering prophetically (4 hour service) and then after a brief break – a meeting with 60 leaders to discuss what I am sensing prophetically for the local church and the city/nation

February 1 to 3 – The Gifts of God Conference in Kirovograd city – daytime attendance 150 – night time attendance 250. This is a terrific seminar taking those involved from the concept of salvation with repentance and godly sorrow, renouncing things keeping them in bondage and finding freedom, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the Motivation Gifts of Romans 12, the Charismatic Gifts of 1 Corinthians 12 and the Five-Fold Ascension Gifts of Ephesians 4 as well as a day on “everyone can prophesy”. Every session will include prophetic ministry.

February 4 – Travel day to Ordzhonikidze city with my interpreter and his wife (also going to be interpreting for me from this point in the trip onwards) and a team of 8 young apostles and prophets who have been ministering since Sunday with me and are travelling to our next ministry situation. Five hours on the road – party-time.

February 5-6 – Conference for leaders and people from a number of local and regional churches being held in and sponsored by Word of Revival Church in Ordzhonikidze city. Two sessions a day (topic: “The prophetic and the Local Church”) with a morning meeting with the local pastor as we make plans for future ministry opportunities. Each session will include prophetic ministry as we speak the Word of the Lord over people’s lives.

February 7 – Sunday service (5 hours) in Ordzhonikidze city and then a late afternoon meeting with the pastor and a 2.5 hour drive to our next localtion. Our team of young apostles and prophets will leave us at this point as they will not be needed in the next location due to the nature of the ministry.

February 8-9 – working with one church in Dnepropetrovsk city – in the daytime we will be working only with the leaders and people from this local church as we look at their future together and deal with some fairly pressing issues. One evening we will hold a public service where the main emphasis will be prophesying over people.

February 10 – Travel to Kiev. Train leaves at 6:30 am and arrives at 1:30 pm and then we will wind our way through the city to where we are staying (with one of my young team members and his mother in their apartment). A quick shower and then we are “out on the town” doing a bit of shopping and having a meal in a western-style restaurant (my treat) – TGIF’s Steakhouse. Early in the evening – we actually try to sleep.

February 11 (Thursday) – Flights to Regina (2:00 am drive to the airport and arrive home 7:00 am next day body time which is mid-afternoon same day – actual time … 29 hours in travel time).

These are always challenging trips with much that stretches me personally and I feel that I grow in both my calling and my giftings each time I take one of these trips overseas. It’s like I go to minister and I am ministered to. God is so neat.

But the highlight is always the prophetic. We speak into people’s lives – people whose names I don’t even know and have to ask them for it – and the words spoken over them are life-changing. I hear afterwards what people thought, felt, sensed, and what the words meant to them. God is amazing. I have begun to ask for testimonies from people – and have received a number of really neat ones which I will be sharing in the revised and redesigned e-newsletter for this ministry. I then correspond with a number of those called out to be part of the new five-fold ministry that God is raising up … I currently have 100 emails from young men and women all over Eastern Europe that I will be answering during the flights tomorrow and Saturday. This week alone I have answered an additional 150+ emails from people whose lives have been totally changed (transformed) by the Word of the Lord. It is exciting and an honor to be a part of what God is doing.

So, if the Holy Spirit should lead you to pray for us – please remember Miroslav and myself and our team of 8 to 10 young men and women and ask for God’s continued blessing upon all we place our hands to … the things listed above as well as all the spontaneous meetings and ministry that happen over meals and after services where a lot of great ministry actually goes on.

Greatly appreciated.

As always – as time permits I will write and post a daily blog of events and what is happening.

The Real Question

I write a lot about evangelism. I believe that we need to be out on a daily basis seeking and saving the lost as Jesus did; taking every opportunity to share Jesus with others; entering into this wonderful adventure of evangelism and soul winning that Jesus has given to the Church to accomplish. I believe we must be intentional about talking to others about Jesus or it never happens. I am passionate about it and I talk about it and do it all the time – daily, in fact.

I also write and teach about hearing Godprophecy. I love to prophesy over people and tell them what is on God’s heart for them – their past, present, and future. I think prophesying over people is exciting and, most certainly, life-changing. A walk of faith for myself as the one ministering the prophetic word and for the person receiving – a giant step forward in their walk of faith should they chose to believe the Word and walk it out in daily life.

I read and write and teach a lot about the ministry of apostles and prophets (and other five-fold ministry topics). Again, a cutting-edge topic for the Church and the Kingdom and one that I am, most certainly, deeply involved in and for which I have dedicated the last few years of my life and the next 20 years of ministry that I have left in me. Exciting stuff as we see God establishing a whole new order of ministry.

And the Church – it goes without saying that this too is central to my beliefs and my ministry. I believe all ministry arises out of and is centered in the local church. Again, I have given my life for the local church since 1969 when I first entered seminary and began to work in a local church and preach. I have planted a number of local churches that continue to preach the Gospel and I have been ministering in one of those churches now for 30 years on the 1st of February.

The Bible! Anyone who knows me or hangs around with me knows this is my book. I have read it through many times (an average of 4 times a year every year for over 33 years). I love to read it, study it, write about it, see new truths, watch it transform people as it brings life-change to my own life and the lives of others (from the inside heart level out to everyday behaviour and actions).

But the real love of my life – the reason all of this and much more is so, so important – is Jesus. He saved me and healed me and set me free. He has given me purpose and direction. He loves me, accepts me, and forgives me. He is the real love of my life; the purpose for living.

I was thinking about all this – and much more – the other morning (early morning around 2:00am) and read the verse in Jeremiah that says: “…who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?”(Jeremiah 30:21b NIV). And, I instantly knew the answer, and said it with great love, “I will. Me Lord!”

This is the very foundation of everything I teach – the Church, prayer, the Kingdom, prophesy, apostles and prophets, the Bible, evangelism – Everything we have and everything we do must arise out of a personal, daily, ever-deepening, dynamic, unique, personal love relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ, empowered and enabled by the Holy Spirit… This is the key to life itself. This is the center of all we are and all we will ever do for the King and the Kingdom.

So here is the real question: “…who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?” And your answer today is…

Do You Want to Super-size?

I was thinking the other day – you know it’s good to think and contemplate once-in-a-while and not simply run on automatic pilot all the time – I was thinking that it doesn’t cost extra to dream big – to dream super-sized dreams. I believe that. Too often Christians tend to dream too small and thus are really underestimating God and what He is wanting and willing to do with one individual life wholly dedicated to Him – YOUR LIFE – YOU!

I also believe we have entered a season in the Kingdom when God is wanting His children to super-size everything … to dream big dreams and believe God for great things. I believe that we are entering a new season in the Christian faith when God is wanting His children to believe for big things … yes, it would be nice to lead someone to the Lord – super-size that…lead 15 to the Lord and start a weekly discipleship group in your living room. It would be nice to go on a short-term mission trip and influence another nation and people group for God – super-size that…. go to another nation and impact the nation with the power and presence of God establishing a permanent Kingdom presence. It would be good to see the power of God touch lives as you pray for people – super-size that…. it would be good to walk in and experience the power of God constantly throughout your day and week all year and into the rest of the decade and beyond. You get the idea.

We think too small – we believe too small. We have a big God who is able to, willing to and eager to move supernaturally through His people. And would – if His people will release Him to do so. Now is the time – God is touching hearts and speaking to His children around the world urging them to believe big. Let Him – ask Him – to touch your heart and mind so that you too can be counted as one who will stand up and believe God for big things in 2010.

Believe big. Apply your faith towards something substantial and nation-changing. Don’t settle for the normal, the natural, the every-day. Enter the adventure that is known as the Christian faith. Afterall, we have a relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ and so we are walking with and talking to the Creator … so think and believe big and wonderful things because truly “all things are possible to those who believe” and He has certainly never though small – just look around at all that He has created – big and getting bigger as His universe continues to expand at the speed of light…

So, my question to you today: What are you believing God is going to use you to do in the coming days and weeks? Good – got it? Now super-size it. Think bigger – even bigger than that. That’s it – never underestimate God.

The Basics – PRAYER

Prayer is not God up there and us down here with us trying to get His attention in the hope that He will give to us what we are begging for.

Prayer is not taking a promise of Scripture and speaking it out loud over and over again until we convince God that we have the correct amount of faith and He grants us what we are confessing or speaking.

Prayer is not confessing something that we have heard God say and so forcing Him to grant it – willingly or relunctantly – because we have confessed it we can now possess it.

Prayers don’t have to travel to Heaven and so the feeling that your prayers don’t reach the ceiling and are not being heard or answered is totally that – a feeling not based in biblical fact.

Prayer is the Holy Spirit speaking within us, bearing witness to our spirits, that we may know the mind of Christ. Then we pray in line with what the Holy Spirit has revealed and because we are then praying in line with the will of God we have what we ask for (1 John 5).

Biblical prayer is the believer listening for the voice of God and then responding to that voice by standing in agreement with what God has spoken and thus releasing it upon the face of the earth.

Biblical prayer is an exciting involvement in the will of God – coming to know what He is planning to do, lining up with His plans, and then walking with Him – watching the plans and purpose of God unfold throughout your day.

Much of what passes as prayer today is not vital and dynamic but is simply religious routine that amounts to absolutely nothing. As Paul the apostle states … why, having begun in the Spirit, are you now trying to do this Christian thing in the flesh? And, much that passes for prayer today is simply the flesh.

As a result many wonderful believers spend little time “praying.” And very few ever learn to “cry out to the Lord” as Israel did in Exodus 14 when needing God to intervene in their current situation and do a miracle on their behalf.

I believe that the people of God need to renew their relationship with the Lord and rediscover the joy of listening to the voice of the Lord – the Holy Spirit speaking in their spirit. It is time to take the religion out of our prayer time and remember that we have a relationship with the living God. It is time to place a priority on prayer done the biblical way and for God’s people to become directly involved in what God is doing by responding to what we hear Him saying during our not-so-quiet “quiet time” with Him in the morning (or evening).

And do this – not trying to gain God’s approval, not to release God’s blessings, not so we can experience revival, and not so we can then have whatever we ask for. We are to do this simply to have a relationship with Him who saved us – a relationship built on a biblical format with the foundation being our love for Him as He has seriously demonstated His love for us by His death upon the Cross.

Time to get back to the basics in our walk with Him.

The Unexpected Adventure

Bored with your Christian faith? Lacking a sense of urgency and no longer a serious priority in your life? Devotional time with the Lord in a slump and no longer dynamic and something you look forward to every morning? Bible reading lacking zeal and no longer fulfilling and no longer feeding a need within you? Maybe you are not feeling spiritually hungry or thirsty and so are not even desiring to read your Bible. Are you at the place where sleeping in on a Sunday morning is often more exciting than attending the assembly of worship and worshipping the living God with others?

No, you are not having a crisis of faith! You are simply missing one of the keys to having a dynamic relationship with the Lord … one of the foundations upon which a dynamic walk with Jesus is built … one of the keys to the Christian faith being an adventure – at times, an unexpected adventure…even a daily adventure. What is it that you are missing? Telling others about Jesus!

Yup…that’s what is missing. You are all intake and no output. You are like the Dead Sea that is located in modern day Israel which receives fresh water in the north from the Jordan River but has no outlet to allow water to flow from it. So, the life-giving water that flows in becomes stagnant and void of all life just like the body that it flows into. So, the principle is “life in – life out”. If you have life-giving forces coming in … worship, Bible reading, prayer, devotional time … but have no outlet for this life – evangelism – then you will find the Christian faith restrictive, boring, and uninviting.

So, I have the answer for your problems! Yes, I most certainly do. The answer is a question…. and this is the question and it is for you – just you. What is stopping you from telling others about the night and day difference that Jesus has made in your life?

No night and day difference – simple – repent with godly sorrow and get saved or born again. Anyone who has truly been born again and had an encounter with the living God experiences change – immediate and on-going.

You have experienced a night and day difference and simply don’t tell anyone. Repent. Yes, repent and tell the Lord you have sinned and want His forgiveness. What is your sin? Rebellion and disobedience. Reaching the lost and telling others about Jesus is not an option – it is a command. Then, having been forgiven … ask the Lord to let you know how much He loves you and begin to truly love Him in return. Remember we love Him because He first loved us. And, now walk in that love and tell others about Him. See, Jesus said: “If you love Me, you will obey Me.” So, your rebellion and disobedience is rooted in the lack of a true experience of His love and thus the lack of a deep love relationship with Him.

If you are simply afraid and wonder if you would ever be bold enough to open your mouth and tell someone else. Pray for boldness and hang on … once when His followers prayed for boldness the building they were located in literally shook like it was in an actual earthquake – but instead it was in a God-quake.

I could go on and on – there is never a valid reason for not telling others about Jesus and what He has and is doing in your life. So, why not ask the Lord to forgive you, give you more love for Him along with a good dose of supernatural boldness and begin the adventure of a life-time. It is an unscripted adventure that is full of daily surprises and brings great excitement into your life moment-by-moment. This adventure allows you to live expectant of seeing God’s power show up and touch a life at any moment which, of course, leaves you excited as you anticipate an invasion of the Holy Spirit as you share.

You see – personal evangelism is the answer to your stagnant faith and your boredom with Christianity. Telling others about Jesus – personal evangelism – is an adventure that gives excitement, fulfillment, and ultimate purpose to a life of faith. By saying yes to telling others about Jesus you enter immediately into an unexpected adventure each and every day … and on a good day two or three unexpected adventures as the Lord suddenly invades your space and the conversation and you find yourself telling others about the life-changing message of the Gospel.

I know this to be true because it was something I learned 33 years ago when I was first born again. And, during certain periods of my life over those years, I have settled for less than a dynamic adventure because I allowed my priorities to become all mixed up. Telling others about Jesus was, for one or more reasons, no longer a daily thing I looked forward to and prayed about. But each time I returned and did what I suggested above … repented and prayed and God forgave and I got back on track walking out this unexpected daily encounter when God suddenly invades – in unexpected ways and when I least expect Him to. You see, I simply never know when it is going to happen … just that it will. Count on it.

So, now I am intentional about the unexpected adventure of talking with others about Jesus. I quickly learned that living on this evangelistic edge amplifies every detail of the Christin life:

My Bible study becomes much more intense as I read to gain fresh insights and wisdom to reach others

My prayer life becomes even more focused as I talk to God about the lost and dying – especially my loved ones and my part in bringing them to faith in Christ

My worship becomes increasingly heartfelt because I realize how much God loves people including my friends who are still lost in sin.

My dependence upon God reaches new heights because I know that apart from the Holy Spirit nothing will happen as I venture into the world and share Jesus with others.

This is the missing ingredient in so many Christian lives. Those Christians living out the unexpected adventure found only when you evangelize are the ones who are enjoying the most fulfilling relationships with God. And, it’s free to all who want it and will walk in it. Wow!

Can I invite you to come along with me and enjoy the daily unexpected adventures that being a soul winner always brings – and, by the way, your Christian faith will no longer need to be on life-support as new life will flow into it and, oh yes, out of you into others.

At the Edge of Expectation

I was sitting in a vehicle in the parking lot of a local hospital waiting for my wife who had an appointment in the medical wing of the hospital. I was taking advantage of an hour of peace and quiet, of an hour to just be still and even do some reading. I had a new book that had arrived in the mail a month or two earlier and began reading it. Did not stay ‘still’ long.

Normally I would head in to the hospital and find the coffee shop, buy a coffee and find a person sitting alone and ask if I could join them at their table. As the coffee shop there is always crowded and very busy this is an acceptable thing and most say yes and conversations are fairly easy to start at that point. People in hospital or visiting loved one who are in the hospital are eager to share their story. But this day I just felt it would be good to read and spend some time in my favourite passtime – reading. Just leave me alone and let me read. I was not interested in challenges and living on the edge being out there witnessing another time (as much as I enjoy witnessing). I was feeling overwhelmed and this was going to be a calm harbor in a stormy season of life for this small ship.

But I brought the wrong book if I wanted to simply be still and chill out. It was a book on evangelistic principles based on experiences that the two authors have had since they were saved and began telling others the exciting news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Experiences – the good, the bad, and the ugly ones. Some of their experiences (adventures – as they call them) are really funny and some are profoundly moving. The principles or lessons they draw out of the experiences they relate to the reader of the book are always profound and practical, doable.

I realized shortly after cracking the cover (harder to do when it is a paperback) that this was a seriously dangerous book – dangerous to the devil and his domain and to my current fleeting (pun intended – fleet – ship in harbor) desire to “just chill” for a while. It was going to be a life-changing book – one that motivates, encourages, and sets the reader on fire with fresh passion and determination.

Here is what one of the authors wrote right near the start of this wonderful book…

“At the edge of expectation is where we are meant to live life. When we tell God, “Please surprise me with opportunities to tell others about you,” we can have the confidence that he will take us on white-knuckle adventures that will make an eternal impact on others while at the same time giving us the thrills of a lifetime. It’s the difference between a numb life of predictability and an exhilarating series of divine ‘coincidences.'” (Lee Strobel – page 14 The Unexpected Adventure)

Recently I have lived, in many ways, a “numb life of predictability.” Too many demands and too much work and so little, if any, time to engage others in a discussion about the Lord and all that He has to offer. Oh, if the opportunity is really there – I mean, this comment or encounter is really too good to pass up – fine, I’ll share and jump in. But, I have not been praying for more opportunities, daily opportunities. I’m busy – overwhelmed – and its all important stuff. Deadlines and due dates, meetings and appointments, events, activities, responsibilities, a crisis here and there… so, if the door really opens I will walk through and tell others about Jesus but I was not currently praying about God opening doors. I was not daily seeking for opportunities to tell others about Jesus. Nose to the grindstone, get the work done that needs to be done. A “numb life of predictability.”

Well, I have come to understand myself a lot more as I have read this book – and I have almost finished the 300 page book in the last three days. I no longer want to be predictable. I am no longer happy with routine and being a ship in a calm harbor. I was made for the open seas. I was made for adventure. I was made for – I want – to experience “an exhilarating series of divine ‘coincidences'”. I want to experience more “…white-knuckle adventures that will make an eternal impact on others while at the same time giving us the thrills of a lifetime.” I am tired of the same old, same old.

I wrote those last words in my personal journal just five days ago … a Monday (not a good day for a preacher to be journaling). I wrote down a lot of the things that I was facing in my ministry – desk work, appointments, teachings, preparations, and on and on and after each “thing” I wrote “same old, same old”. Honestly, I did. Then I listed the feelings … too little time to write, too much administrative paperwork, no time to be seriously creative… the list is very long. Complaints but reality. And after each one I wrote “same old, same old”. Then I looked back at previous journal entries over the last year and realized I had written similar entries before. Same old, same old. At the bottom of the page I had written: “time to seriously rethink and start over”.

God took my comment and feelings seriously. There were many books I could have picked up to read. I have probably hundreds that I have purchased and want to read. But this one jumped off the table where many of them are simply stacked in tall piles. It was yelling “read me, read me”. So, it was the right book at the right time and my “chill time” became a prayer time when I asked God to take away anything and anyone – everything – that would prevent me, in the senior years of my life, from allowing God to take me “on white-knuckle adventures that will make an eternal impact on others while at the same time giving me the thrills of a lifetime.”

I am now living at the edge of expectation

Spiritual Maturity – Dare We Dream?

In North America we have some fantastic teaching of the Bible. We have some seriously good media preachers (along with some who should go off the air immediately, if not sooner). We have some great books being written giving tremendous insights into the timeless Word of God. We even have some valid revelations coming forth from the prophetic side of the Church of Jesus Christ – although it is sometimes hard to spot them in the midst of the thousands which are a result, I am sure, of too much late-night pizza. However, there is apparently so little Christian maturity in the body of Christ on this continent.

You would think with all this great teaching, insight and revelation that we would be wise and mature in our walk with the Lord and that this would spill over into the actions of the Church. But, apparently, it hasn’t.

I think about this a lot. As an apostle my task is to help form a proper foundation upon which Jesus can build His Church, to teach basic doctrines, as well as defend the faith once deliverd to the saints (Ephesians 2:20, Acts 2:42 and Jude 3). And as I, and many others, do just this we were expecting (maybe just hoping) that the Church would become mature; that believers would grow up. Does not seem to be happening. So, I question why! And, I ask God if there is something He could show me to help me understand.

The other day I read a statement by Perry Noble – he works with NewSpring Church, Anderson, South Carolina – and some lights began to come on and flicker a little. I believe I have the beginning of some fresh insight. Here is what this pastor wrote that grabbed my attention:

Spiritual maturity is not only measured in knowledge; if that were the case, then the devil would be more spiritually mature than any pastor on the planet, because he knows way more than all of us! But maturity is developed when people do what Jesus did by serving others.”

You see – we have a rational approach to the Christian faith. We want to know more, understand more, be taught more. We read the Bible to learn the stories and understand various truths contained in the 66 books of the book (Bible). Instead we should be reading the book to come to know the Author – God – who reveals Himself in the pages of the story. We read to become more like Him (character) and do more for Him (behavior).

Knowledge, knowledge, and yet more knowledge. We want to know what the future holds for us (Word of Wisdom). We want to know what is happening in world banking, politics, and the spiritual realm and how all of that fits in to the last days and the book of Revelation (prophecy). Bible knowledge for the sake of more knowledge. This does not make one either wise or mature, it seems. Just well versed on the verses and full of more knowledge then we will likely ever use in a lifetime.

Maturity comes when we take what we are reading and apply it to our lives. The Word of God is truth and Jesus said that the truth will set us free. Not just knowing the truth (knowledge) but applying, living, and walking out the truth. Someone once said that “the truth will set you free – but first it will make you miserable”. True IF you apply His truth to your life because, when applied, truth will always bring about change (and that can and usually is painful).

strong>Ah! This is the secret to not just freedom; it is the secret to maturity as well. Maturity comes from simply applying the truth; taking what Jesus teaches us through the local church and many of the media preachers…taking what we read and learn on our own … taking what is spoken as a Word of Wisdom or a prophetic word and applying it to our lives. Being doers and not hearers only. Being obedient because we love Jesus. Afterall, He did say: “If you love Me you will obey Me.”

So, dare we dream? Dare apostles believe that one day the Church will grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ (Ephesians 4:15b). Dare we dream that then the whole body will be able to build itself up in love (Ephesians 4:16b) and become mature and then move on to fulfill her divine destiny? Yes, I believe we can as we have a generation of young men and women coming into the Church who understand that simply knowing truth is not enough. They want to experience God (Truth) and live out the adventure – not just sit in the pews and become spiritually overweight (see I didn’t say “fat” as I’m diplomatic). They are wanting to know God and will not settle to simply know about Him. They want to walk with Him and work with Him and actually experience life change and become part of all that God is doing. They want a significant spiritual adventure and are willing to do whatever it takes to experience this spiritual reality.

Yes, we can dream! And we will wake up one day and find it to be reality and no longer just a dream. Thank you Jesus and let it be soon!

Having Been With Jesus

The Question: When you are among non-Christians, do they recognize that you are a believer and that you have a living, daily, dynamic relationship with the Living Jesus Christ? Oh heck -let’s get down and dirty here – do other Christians recognize that you have spent time with Jesus?

In Acts 4:13 we read: “…And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” The disciples are standing before the Jewish religious authorities and being questioned about the lame man who use to be outside the Gate called Beautiful – an entrance to the temple. ‘Use to be’ because he was healed and could now walk (and leap, and run, and dance before the Lord with great joy and enthusiasm and was instantly telling others about what Jesus had done for Him … without first taking an evangelism class – wow!).

The disciples were not noted and noticed for their good looks, their dress code, the lack of piercings and tattoos, their university degrees, their soon-to-be worldwide ministry (well, the known world at least), their human wisdom nor their great preaching skills (although Peter did see 3,000 saved as a result of preaching his first sermon which I am sure was a great encouragement). They noted that “they had been with Jesus”.

I was asked recently “How do we release God’s power?” Well, I believe that the amount of power that we walk in is in direct proportion to the amount of time we spend with Jesus. We must have a seriously intimate relationship with the Living Lord enjoying our time with Him. This would be a relationship where we daily hear His voice, are instantly obedient to everything He says to us and where we involve Him in the daily details of our daily life. This will mean time in His Word – reading, studying, meditating on His Word and His majesty, seeking His face … and so much more. Whatever it will take for you and for me to have that dynamic, daily, ever-deepening, personal, unique, love relationship with Jesus.

I believe intimacy establishes our fruitfulness in the kingdom. I believe intimacy establishes the level of power that we are able to walk in. I believe intimacy determines the fruitfulness of our ministry – and the permanence of the fruit that we see.

I believe that we should not be seeking after the power or after revival or after a blessing or after a healing … we should simply be obeying scripture – verses like “seek Me and you will find Me when you seek Me with your whole heart” – not a heart divided between Jesus and revival, Jesus and power, Jesus and a healing – just seek God as found (revealed) only in Jesus the Christ. “Seek first the Kingdom … and all these other things shall be added unto you…” if that is what God knows you really need, of course.

So, here is The Point: Do people recognize you as “having been with Jesus”?

Do you spend enough time developing and growing your personal relationship with the Lord, listening to His voice, knowing His heart, as well as knowing and being a part of His plans and His purpose for your life and His Church? Are you actively engaged and being intentional in the development of your personal relationship with the Living Lord? Or, are you simply being passive and letting Him do all the work.

A friendship – any relationship – is only healthy and growing when both people involved in the relationship are actively involved – engaged – in coming to know each other and finding time to be together in all sorts of situations and circumstances.

The Point: What are you doing to develop an active and alive daily relationship with the Living Lord?

The Point: Is the Living Lord Jesus Christ having an impact upon your life? Are you daily growing more mature and more aware spiritually? Are you becoming more Christ-like?

The Point: When you are with others – do they know that “you have been with the real Jesus”?

One last comment to the last point. If they don’t know you have been with the REAL Jesus then either you simply look, act, talk and appear like one of them or you are a bit on the “superspiritual side” and you are making them uncomfortable which Jesus and His followers never did.

THE POINT: Let’s get back to the basics and do what Christians are suppose to be doing – relating to and walking with Jesus in an ever deepening relationship and simply spending time with Him so that then we can be recognized as having been with Him. Then we will, like the first church in the Book of Acts, flow in power and see miracle, signs and wonders.

I Work With Christians

I work with Christians as I am in full-time ministry. Here in North America and overseas in Eastern Europe I spend my time ministering to, teaching, prophesying over, and consulting with Christians and their leaders. It is a tremendous task that the Lord has given to me and I am thrilled to be involved doing what I do for His Kingdom and in His Church.

However, that means that if I want to fulfill the mandate of the Church – which is also the marching orders for every believer, because we are the Church – I have to be intentional about relating to and sharing with non-believers. I literally have to go out of my way to develop relationships with non-believers. And, of course, I do.

I meet non-believers everywhere I go. So do you. I talk with them while filling my car up with gas; I chat in line-ups waiting to pay for my groceries and then with the cashier who is scanning the order through the cash register scanner; the lady behind the counter at the post office (who made a donation to my work in Ukraine after hearing a bit about it); and every other place I go during the daily events of my regular life. But, I ‘m talking here about deeper and more permanent relationships that will allow me to share the gospel in word and deed on a regular basis and thus be more than a three minute interruption in a person’s normal routine.

Most Christians work with non-Christians and so see them every day and have frequent opportunities to chat about their faith and how it relates to current events and things that are happening locally. Of course, this takes being focused and one needs to be intentional in their approach and determined to bring their faith to work with them. However, I work with Christians so I need to focus even harder at finding places to connect to non-believers where building a long-term relationship would be possible.

For this reason – and for health reasons – I go to a gym every day that I am in my home city where, if you go about the same time every day, you meet up with the same people almost daily. This gives you a few minutes every day to build a continuing relationship … and, in my life, this has led to several more indepth “relationships” over a cup of coffee on a cold winter’s afternoon after finishing my gym routine. I have also managed several decent “locker room relationships” with an on-going daily conversation about spiritual things while changing, showering, dressing…

However, something I have discovered talking with non-Christians … they are quick to tell me that most people they know who call themselves believers appear less than “authentic” and are actually fairly boring to be around. They say this usually in a very positive way noting that I am coming across as a real person and not as superspiritual; as one willing to discuss issues of faith and not as someone who is pushing my beliefs down their throats. They actually tell me, at times, that they enjoy the conversations (and the coffee, I suspect, as I usually buy), and that I am “fun” to talk with. I take that as a compliment although I have been told by some Christians that I am simply too “secular” and should not be so comfortable and “at home” with those who are so worldly and who do not follow the Lord Jesus.

Here’s what I believe: I believe that it is time for true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ to become “real” so that they can relate to those around them in the hope of being salt and light in the world in which we live. I believe that Christians need to develop whatever skills are necessary to come across as being authentic and real – real people who are walking by faith in a real world. Afterall, that is what non-believers are looking for. I believe we need to become very “intentional” about this – studying what it will take, analysing what we do and how we live, speak, dress, act and interact. I believe that we need to work at being people that non-believers could enjoy being around – because, in general, we are not.

Have you ever noticed that most believers are boring? Yup! I really believe that. They are so heavenly-minded they are of little earthly good. Maybe it is because I was a pastor but most Christians spend most of their time telling others how hard life is and are often giving an “organ recital” – my bladder leaks, my liver aches, my feet hurt…” I simpy don’t find believers full of life and exciting to be around. And, if I have that problem as a believer – I am sure it is true for the majority of non-believers.

So, here’s my point… Do you come across as someone who is authentic and real?
So, here another point… Are you being intentional – building “authentic” relationships with non-believers?
And a third point… Are you someone others enjoy being around?

Honest answers and hard work to improve in these three areas would go a long way to seeing the lost won to the Lord – who was intentional, authentic and fun to hang around with.

And, by the way, if I am being too “secular” as some Christians claim – one wonders what they might say about Jesus who hung out with and enjoyed the company of prostitutes, tax collectors, and sinners of all kind.


I have been doing a study on Antonomianism … reading current material by well known “Christian” authors and television ministers from various streams of the Church as well as some of the writings of the ancient Church fathers about this issue that first popped up before the canon of Scripture was set and when the Church was still less than a few decades old (while the events in the Book of Acts were still happening).

I said “Christian” because it is debatable if they really are as this is really a very old heresy that actually promotes LAWLESSNESS. The word breaks down into “anti” which means ‘against’ and “nomian” which means ‘law’. So this heresy is “against the Law” or, in its most basic form, states that we, as Christians, no longer live ‘under the Law’ and therefore do not have to conform to any moral or ethical standards such as The Ten Commandments. Taking that just one step further and you end up basically against all authority in a person’s life and so a person does not allow such things as God’s Moral Law (The Ten Commandments) to dictate or control one’s behavior. As I said – lawlessness.

A side note: A great place for the Spirit of Jezebel to take control and destroy the local church.

The discussions and arguments fly back and forth and can become really complicated and twisted around. The issue or heresy comes under many titles – but basically the argument goes that we are no longer under the Law (Old Testament) but are now living by grace as we are in New Testament times. It is based on a number of partial and whole verses quoted out of context and totally misapplied and misunderstood.

But reader beware – those who teach this are popular, will deny that they are Antinomianists, can use and twist Scripture to suit their cause not following any of the tried, tested and accepted methods of interpretation and application. They are smooth and quote Scripture constantly making any undiscerning believer think that they are hearing truth explained. And it all sounds so good as it is really a “free grace theology” that puts no obligations, restraints or responsibilities on a person but allows them to be free. And, of course, the truth can “set you free” as the Bible states.

A life-long Marxist – looking at this tendency from a non-religious background – found that there is a readiness by the mass of people to have little sense of obligation to obey any set of rules that they consider arbitrary, or even just constraining, whatever its source. This may be facilitated by one or more of several changes. These include: the tendency to live outside settled communities; the growth of enough wealth for most people to have a wide choice of styles of living; and a popularised assumption that individual freedom is an unqualified good.

Bingo! Sounds like he is describing our society today – where people move frequently and thus have a tendency to not be connected to a “settled community”; we live individualized lives again not connected to the common societal good and thus think that we have the freedom to do what we want and that this is good.

So, those “Christian” teachers are simply floating downstream with the rest of society heading towards a deep, dark hole that we may never again come out of. These people forget that the Bible states that man’s heart is deceitfully wicked. And these teachers are simply tickling the ears of those who are floating downstream with them … as Paul mentions to Timothy when he states: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Paul had earlier stated: But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron… (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

So we have teachers and people floating downstream listening to heresy that sounds good, is taught in a very smooth and entertaining manner, and that makes people feel good giving them license to do whatever feels good. But remember, dead fish float downstream. I would rather believe the truth and struggle with the standards and The Ten Commandments as the moral law of God to be upheld and lived by – and thus have life and have it more abundantly – reproducing life (salmon swim upstream against the current to spawn).

My how easily we are deceived when we really are not good workman and no longer rightly divide the Word of truth.