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Prayer and Fasting

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Two new sermons on our website – on prayer and fasting:

http://treeoflifelondon.weebly.com/february-2010.html

Sermon on Fasting: THE BENEFITS OF FASTING

Jesus said that if we fast in private that God would reward us openly. In this message Benjamin talks about the many benefits of fasting along with some practical advice on how to fasting – and how not get into imbalance on this subject!

Sermon on Prayer: WHAT PRAYER IS NOT

Prayer is one of the most misunderstood parts of the Christian life because there is so much poor teaching about prayer based on experience and traditions, and not on God’s Word.

This message is the first of a four part series, and in it Benjamin clears away some of the rubble we have that are false ideas about prayer, to get us ready for the next few weeks as we find out what prayer really is.

Romans 1.10

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Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.

Paul is requesting that he might have a prosperous journey to visit the Romans. The NLT makes this verse very simple:

One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you.

Paul is praying for the Romans what he is praying for is the chance to see them. We all know Paul’s great hymns of praise (cf. Romans 11.34-36) and Paul’s theological prayers (cf. Ephesians 1.16-23) and they are beautiful. Paul was a deep man.

But just because someone is deep doesn’t mean that they are not a human! Paul is praying for the Romans – not for deep revelation, not for truth and life, for wisdom, for the will of God – no, Paul is praying that he can get a chance to see them and visit them.

It is perfectly acceptable to pray for things that you might think are mundane. Not every prayer has to be for a worldwide revival and power and glory sweeping the earth!

It is ok to ask for a parking space, to ask God that you would bump into an old friend that you miss, that someone in church would give you a lift home. That is great.

Notice as well that Paul did not know the will of God – here he prays that he would journey to them by the will of God (Paul was not asking for the will of God to be that his journey was prosperous, but that God would allow him to go!).

Paul prayed about things that he didn’t know what God wanted. That is fine. It is ok to say “if it by Thy will” when we pray.

Sometimes as faith people we get the revelation that when we are praying for something that the Bible clearly tells us is the will of God, then it is sin and doubt to pray “if it be Thy will”, and then we go overboard and never pray “if it be Thy will” again!

Listen if the will of God is clearly revealed in Scripture or by revelation, DO NOT pray “if it be Thy will”. The Bible says “By His stripes We Are Healed.” Never pray for healing “if it be Thy will” – what an insult to the stripes. Never pray for prosperity or joy “if it be Thy will” – pray the Word.

But some things we don’t know. Paul didn’t know at that stage if God wanted him to go to Rome or not. You might not know if someone is the right person to marry, or if a church is the right church to go to. At times like this there is nothing wrong with asking God “if it be Thy will, I want to go to Rome”, “if it be thy will, I will marry her/ him or not”, “if it be Thy Will, I will join this church”.

Or whatever. Don’t get silly about it, there is no need to pray for which breakfast cereal to eat. Grow up – remember God is our Father. If my children asked me to tell them what cereal to eat, I would be stunned. If I replied to such a ridiculous question it would be to say “Eat the one you fancy, it doesn’t matter”.

If at any point it did matter, I would let my children know. “Adam, the milkman hasn’t come, don’t have cereal because you will use all the milk, have some toast and a croissant.” He is my son – the lines of communication are open, so I don’t expect silly questions.

Some of ask God the most silly questions – I know someone who used to pray what socks to wear in the morning. Now if it bothers you, then He is touched with our infirmities. God is our Father and loves us – and that is fine. If you ask him “look, Father, which tie looks best with this shirt”, He will tell you if it matters to you. He knows what is important to you.

But in general, we should not be asking about trivial things – God expects you to just do them. Even in the street, people ask God should I talk to that person when the Bible says preach to every creature. If you are asking the question, you should be speaking to that person!

But for important things – which church should I go to, should I go here or there, where should I go on holiday – ask Him, and freely say “if it be Thy will”. By saying this you are letting God know that He is GOD! That if He says go to Rome, you will go to Rome. If He says don’t go, then you won’t.

Be that kind of person and you will very soon find out the will of God for your life. If you are prepared to do anything, you will quickly find the something you are called to do.

Romans 1.9

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For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

Let’s start with what Paul says first: he serves God with his spirit. This means that Paul is always serving God because he serves God from the inside.

He doesn’t need a crowd to listen to him to serve God, he can serve God chained up in prison. Sometimes we think that we have to do great things on earth to impress God – but God is impressed by our spirit, by us worshipping, praising and praying for people. Also – if you do mighty public works without your spirit being humble and pure before God you are wasting your time – you gain nothing (see 1 Cor. 13).

You can serve God right now – lift your hands to heaven and thank Him for making a wonderful day, pray for someone who has persecuted you and ask God to bless them and show them honour, then speak life over your family and your church. How easy it is to serve God!

Paul says that without ceasing he prayed for the Roman church. This word without ceasing is adialeiptōs in the Greek. This word is only used four times in the New Testament:

Romans 1.9 – without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers

1 Thess 1.2-3 – We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus
Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

1 Thess 2.13 – For this cause also we thank God without ceasing

1 Thess 5.17 – Pray without ceasing

Notice that this word is only used in the Bible in the context of our relationship with God. We should pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5.17), and incase we dismiss this command as an ideal and not reality Paul says clearly in Romans 1.9 that he prayed without ceasing for the Roman church.

Now this does not mean that Paul prayed non-stop for the Roman Christians. It does not mean that whenever you found Paul he was lying prostrate praying in tongues for the Romans.

Firstly, Paul slept, he ate, he drank, he was a worker, he was a preacher. You cannot pray non-stop and nor can I. There is no Biblical command to pray non-stop.

The devil likes to get in to these sorts of commands and condemn us for not praying enough. He misquotes the Scripture to make you feel like rubbish.

Listen when God convicts us it is always three things:

1) Redemptive
2) Specific
3) Achievable

If the Holy Spirit says “Every day before you leave the house pray in tongues for 20 minutes” that is probably God because it is redemptive (it is something positive), it is specific (you can easily tell if you have done it or not) and it is achievable.

The devil is the one that says “you must pray more” – he wouldn’t dare tell you when to pray or give you a method of prayer or a goal, he just wants you to feel like rubbish. You must be more loving is another one of his phrases.

You cannot pray non-stop so stop feeling guilty that you don’t.

Let me explain what without ceasing means: it means without an intermission. Have you ever been to the cinema (I know all you holy people have never been to the cinema!) when there is a long film with an intermission: it is a break where something else happens.

You should pray without a break where something else happens. It means without an interruption to your prayer. Look at Strong’s Concordance:

Adverb from adialeiptos; uninterruptedly
When you read without ceasing in your Bible, translate it in your mind to without interruptions.

When you pray, you should be operating in faith and love. What praying without interruptions means is that just because you are not in your prayer time, don’t drop the faith and the love.

Let me try and make it practical for you so you can grasp this. Imagine you are praying for one of your children. You know that prayer must be in faith and you know that faith comes from hearing the Word so you search the Scriptures for a Scripture for your child. Maybe your child is having difficulties or starting to rebel.

Imagine you find Isaiah 54.13, which says great shall be the peace of thy children. So you go to prayer:

Father, thank you for Bob. Thank you that your Word says that His peace shall be great. He is not controlled by fear but by peace. He shall not have a broken life, but a peaceful life. He is a man of peace, and brings peace with him. Amen.

Now to pray for Bob without ceasing doesn’t mean that you pray non-stop, no drinking, no thinking, no sleeping, no anything that stops you praying and never doing anything else. Imagine if Paul prayed for the Romans like that and if pray without ceasing meant that, then Paul would never have prayed for the Thessalonians because that would mean to cease praying for the Romans! This is clearly not what pray without ceasing means.

To pray for Bob without ceasing means that after you have finished praying, you don’t phone Sister Bucketmouth and say “Man, what am I going to do with Bob? I can’t get a handle on him, it’s getting worse.” If you say contrary to your prayer, you have interrupted your prayer. You have failed to pray without interruption.

You have interrupted your prayer of faith with doubt, fear, worry and unbelief. You are undoing your prayer!

Listen: Paul prayed (and gave thanks – read Romans 1.8 and 9 together) for the Romans without ceasing. When he finished praying for them and thanking God for them, he did not go:

“Well, those Romans, it is so tough being church in Rome, I don’t know how they have made it. I hope they keep making it, I better go there and sort them out… you no what kind of mess they will be in without me…”

No – he refused to interrupt his prayer. He didn’t pray for his bills to be met on Sunday and get up Monday and worry and fret – he never interrupted his prayer. He didn’t pray in faith for the church to be revived and then tell his friend what a bunch of unspiritual fools they were down at the church as soon as he said amen.

Paul didn’t quit being thankful and appreciative for the church when he finished praying. He didn’t take faith and love into the prayer closet and leave them in there.

No – God was and is His witness, he refused to interrupt his prayers.

My encouragement to you today is this:

Pray without interruption (1 Thessalonians 5.17, Ben Conway Translation)

Do not let anything interrupt your prayers. When you have offered up your prayer in faith and love, don’t go and speak something in doubt and hatred. Don’t interrupt your prayers.

God doen’t interrupt prayers, He answers them. But if in the process of that answer manifesting, you interrupt yourself, then you are the one stopping the answer from manifesting.

You don’t have to pray non-stop, you need to pray and keep the attitudes of faith and love non-stop.

I hope this clarifies for you and helps you realize that 1 Thess. 5.17 is a command you can obey, and should obey, I hope it stops the devil ever thumping you on the head with this Scripture!

But more than that, I hope it helps you pray the prayer of faith for yourself, for friends, for enemies and for entire churches and see your answers manifest because you refuse to interrupt yourself.

Glory and freedom,
Benjamin

Notes on Shaping History by Prayer and Fasting (Derek Prince book)

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CHAPTER 6: Fasting Intensifies Prayer

I. Christ’s Teaching and Example

a. Emphasizes motive and warns against religious ostentation for the sake of

impressing people. (Matt. 6:1-18)

b. Fasting is endorsed by Christ’s own example – Luke 4:1-2.

i. When Jesus went into the wilderness, He was already

ii. After fasting, He returned in the

iii. Fasting was the final phase of preparation through which He had to pass,

before entering into His public ministry.

II. The Practice of the Early Church

a. Fasting was a vital part in Paul’s ministry – Acts 9:9; 2 Cor. 6:3-10; 2 Cor.

11:23-27;

b. Early Church fasted individually and COLLECTIVELY – Acts 13:1-3; Acts

14:21-23

i. As a result, they received direction and power from the H.S. for

decisions or tasks of special importance.

III. How Fasting Works

a. Fasting helps a Christian to receive direction and power from the H.S.

b. It’s a form of mourning, in one sense.

i. Mourning is not self-centered remorse or hopeless grief.

ii. It’s a response to H.S.’s prompting to share in God’s grief over sin and

folly of humanity – 2 Cor. 7:10.

c. It’s a means to humble and chasten oneself.

i. Rightly practiced, fasting brings both soul and body into subjection to the

H.S. – 1 Cor. 9:27

ii. Fasting deals with barriers to the H.S. – self-will and insistent, selfgratifying

appetites of the body. (Gal. 5:17).

1. Fasting changes people, not God.

2. Breaks down barriers in man’s carnal nature that stand in way of

H.S.’s omnipotence.

3. With barriers removed, H.S. can work unhindered in His fullness

through our prayers.

d. Four Requirements in 2 Chron. 7:14:

humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear

from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

full of the H.S.power of the H.S.if my people, who are called by my name, will

i. Humble themselves.

ii. Pray.

iii. Seek His face.

iv. Turn from their wicked ways.

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e. Fasting will never change the righteous standard of God. If something is outside

the will of God, fasting will never put it inside the will of God – e.g.) David’s

fasting to save his son after he committed adultery (2 Sam 12).

f. Fasting is neither a gimmick nor a cure-all.

Fasting is not a substitute for any other part of God’s provision. Conversely, no other part of God’s provision is a

substitute for fasting (117).

Prophecy about Prayer (Kenneth E. Hagin)

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Prophecy about Prayer

By Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin

Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin delivered the following prophecy on April 28, 1983 where the Holy Ghost talks about prayer being fuel:

But here’s what the Holy Ghost—do you want to know what the Holy Ghost is saying? I’ll tell you what the Holy Ghost is saying.

“In this move, in this move, in this move that is about to come and even you’re in the edge of it right now. It will not be altogether something new that you’ve never seen. I’ll be a combination of everything you’ve seen put together and then plus a little bit more. This, in this move of God that is just about to spring upon you, there will be a manifestation of casting out demons that you haven’t seen yet. Now some have drawn back from casting out demons. And the Spirit of God said, ‘I began a move along that line a few years ago and men aborted the move, they mixed some of their own thinking in on it and they tried to control it, and do it according to pattern. And according to this way that we think it ought to be done.’ But you haven’t seen anything yet of what you’re going to see in dealing with demons. For demons are let loose upon the earth, they’re going about as never before. Because they know their time is short! And so in this multiplication, this advance of demon activity there will be the activity of the Holy Ghost. Demons that have harassed men, demons that have held ministries in check [hallelujah] will leave. And you have not seen yet what you will see in the area of dealing with demons, casting out demons; exercising authority over demons, and we’re about to step into it. Like you’d step through a door into another room.”

“And secondly,” saith the Spirit of God, “You have not seen the revival of divine healing that you’re about to see.” Oh yes, you saw those that I raised up. You’ve seen men and women, mightily used of My Spirit. I sent them forth as a pilot program to try to train you. But many just looked at them and lifted them up, and some of them were lifted up in pride and the anointing left them. And some became money minded and lost the anointing. But there will arise a group in this day that’s a brand new breed. They’ll not be greedy of filthy lucre. They’ll not be wanting to attract attention unto themselves. They would care less whether God uses me. They’d rather God would use you. And God’ll not just use ministers, He’ll use laymen. And there’ll be a revival of divine healing such as you have not seen in your life time, or read about, or heard about,” saith the Lord!

“And a revival of the supernatural, not only the supernatural in casting out devils. Not only the supernatural in healing the sick. Not only the supernatural in speaking with other tongues. But the supernatural in the realm of the seen realm. Men will see the glory of God; a cloud will hang over certain congregations, even the church building for days at a time. And everybody that passes by, sinner and saint alike will say, ‘Well what in the world is that? I’ve never seen any thing like that.'” Ha, ha, ha.

“And there will be in other places, there will be in other places fire of the Spirit that will actually become literal. Oh yes, in the spirit realm some of us have seen it. In the spirit realm we’ve been conscious of the fire of God. But the fire will actually come into manifestation. And there’ll be people sinners as well as saints that will see fire all over the heads of the people. There’ll be people driving down the street or down the highway and they’ll see fire on top of the buildings. And they’ll come and say, ‘What does all this mean?’ But you see the Lord will use signs of His presence to bring people in the last days, into the fullness of His Spirit, and into full salvation.”

“And signs, signs! What kinds of signs? Miraculous things in the realm of the spirit! And then they’ll be manifested in the realm of the physical. And the glory of God will fall. And the power of God will be in manifestation. And men will—and women too. Will even be transported like Philip was and found in another place. And great! GREAT! GREAT! Shall be the reward thereof. For the Lord God is the same God today as He was yesterday. His power has not diminished. And His Name is still the same. Today He can make the iron axe-head to float. Today He can divide the river just for two men to cross over on the other side. Today He can feed five thousand with a little boy’s lunch. He is the miracle Working God.”

“Brag on Him! Lift Him up! Draw attention unto Him! Tell about how great He is. Get up in faith and tell what great things He’s going to do. And He’ll move and keep His Word with you! And many shall be astonished. But the greatest miracle of all is that there’ll be so many fish caught in the net that the nets can’t hold them. There won’t be church houses enough to hold the people. Amen, Amen. For the purpose of it all is that you may be fishers of men. Hallelujah! Quit fishing, Hallelujah! Quit fishing in your bathtub. There’s not any fish in your own bathtub. Go out where the fishes are and throw out the net. Not the hook, the NET! And pull it in. Hallelujah. And bring them in. And the glory of the Lord shall shine. And the end time shall come. And you’ll stand in the place, yes many of you that stand here including myself, will stand in the place of ministry that you’ve not stood in before. And will stand in the place that’s been ordained for you from the foundation of the earth!” Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

And if it were to be—if it could…if it could… if it could be told you. If we were able to tell you in human language that which will transpire in some of your lives, and some of our lives who are here just now. Your mind would not be able to comprehend it. As you say speaking in the human vernacular, it would almost blow your mind. But you’ll see it! You’ll rejoice in it! You’ll be glad of it! It’s just out there a little ways in front of you. Be faithful, be joyous, and rejoice in the Lord always. And He’ll bring it to pass.

That’s what the Spirit of God is saying. That’s what the Spirit of God is saying. Let’s stand up everybody. Lift your right hand and close your eyes and say it in faith: I’m in agreement with you. I may not understand it with my mind. Even if it was told me I might not be able to comprehend it. But I believe it! I believe it! I commit myself to be one that will be used of God. I go on record tonight. I’ll pay the price. I’ll make the sacrifice. I’ll deny the flesh. I’ll walk in the spirit. I’ll be one who’ll walk in the flow of God and do the will of God. And the work of God. I will give myself to prayer. I will give myself to the Spirit of God. If He calls on me in the nighttime, I’ll be on my knees praying. If I’m never seen of man and am always just behind the scenes, I’ll be faithful. The will of God will be done. The work of God shall be accomplished.

Many shall go and tell the story, and His great glory show. The power of God in manifestation shall be the gifts of the Spirit, the manifestation of His Spirit. Into full potential shall come the ministry gifts, the apostle and prophet, the evangelist, and pastor and teacher too. Shall flow as one, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. And we as one, one body, in one spirit, hallelujah, shall go forth to conquer and to do His deeds. And great shall be the reward thereof. Now put your other hand up and thank Him. Glory to God.

Now let me give you a further word of wisdom and advice.

Being conscious of a mighty move in your spirit, wanting and desiring to do the will of God. But don’t try to do it yourself. Just learn to relax and to flow with the Spirit. Don’t try to figure out in your head, ‘What does He want me to do?’ Just learn to relax and flow with the Spirit, it’ll take care of itself you don’t have to worry. ‘I just wonder, I know there’s something, I know there is something He wants me to do.’ Fine, just keep on praying. And just flow with the Spirit. You’ll not come into the full potential of what God has for you tomorrow. You’ll not come into the full potential of what God has for you next week. You’ll not come into the full potential of what God has for you next month. Some will not even come into the full potential of what God has for you next year. Some will not for quite a period of time. But, as you’re faithful, and as you’re trained, and as you learn to yield, you’ll move eventually into that place, hallelujah that He had for you all along. Glory to God. Glory to God. Did you hear me? Did you hear me? Praise His holy Name.

But you see moving into that place of ministry or whatever it is, whether it’s full time ministry, or pulpit ministry, or personal ministry, or whatever your place is in the Body of Christ. Moving into that place is fueled by prayer, fired by the Spirit and ignited with His glory. Hallelujah to Jesus. Glory to God. I said, “Glory to God.” Glory to God. Glory to God. Hallelujah. Hallelujah, praise God.

But you see if there’s no fuel there, there’s nothing to ignite. Notice the Spirit said [I never thought of that, it came out of the inside of me] fueled by prayer, fired by the Spirit, ignited with His glory. You have to stop and analyze that, there’s a difference between firing, igniting. Yes, you see it’s like the furnace, you see? There’s a pilot light there that fires the thing. And then when the whole thing has become ignited then the heat flows out. Ha, ha, ha, can you see what He’s saying? Fueled by prayer, fired by the Spirit, ignited with His glory. Hallelujah. I never though of that. I mean it just flowed up out of my Spirit. But you see if there’s no fuel there, there’s nothing to fire. If there’s no fuel, there’s nothing to fire. Fueled by prayer. Hallelujah, hallelujah.

What will the glory covering the earth look like? No more pain, no more sickness, no more child abuse, no more barbed wire fences, no more animal abuse. The financial realm and the beauty will be there. No more prisons, no more children crying in the night, no more walls, no more racial issues when the glory is poured out. Can you see it? God can bring us to a place to see it in the realms of prayer.

When God shows us the beauty of His perfection it gives us more desire to pray for it.

(Taken by permission from RHEMA Bible Church , aka Kenneth Hagin Ministries , Tulsa , OK , USA.  www.rhema.org )

Help Needed For Wonderful News Crusade

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In no particular order, we need the following things for our Wonderful News Healing Crusade from 11-14th August 2009.

1. A worship leader

As anyone who knows me knows, I cannot lead worship and have very little musical talent.  Due to the fact we are in a library we are not allowed any amplification equipment.  We can have an acoustic guitar and we have access to a piano on the last two nights, so if you know someone who can lead for us that would be wonderful.  We need someone who is an individual (a band would be too loud), can play three or four songs that are upbeat, Biblically based (not begging and whining songs!) and who is a person full of faith and the Holy Spirit.  Please believe God with us that we will find someone.

2. Ushers.

We have a couple already, but we ideally want 4.  Again, people full of faith and the Holy Spirit.   Willing to greet people, be positive, and take names and addresses of people who are saved and healed for follow up.  Someone who is willing and able to lead someone to the Lord, lead someone into the baptism in the Holy Spirit and lay hands on the sick would be a bonus.  In the church we are teaching on healing and ministering healing throughout July on Sunday afternoons, so we would expect our ushers to attend a couple of services in July at least.

3. We need people to attend.

People are drawn to crowds, so if you are reading this, then think about making your way to Essex in August and come and join with us.  You will hear some great preaching (if I do say so myself) and see some great miracles (because God honours His Word!) and will be blessed.  If you need accomodation, don’t worry, we will sort that for you.

4. A Banner.

I want a 3′ x 7′ banner to put up outside so people walking past will know about our meetings.  I am going to price some up in the next week.  If you know companies that make excellent banners at good value, then please let me know!

5. Tracts.  We are submitting our plans to the printers and designers next week.  Please pray for wisdom for them that they produce something truly eye catching and anointed.

6. Bibles.  Thankfully a charity looks like it is going to be donating us 20 Bibles.  Please pray this goes smoothly.

7. 4 sermons.  Please pray for wisdom and revelation for me so I preach the Word of God and not tradition, with boldness and with humility and grace.

8. People help hand out leaflets.  Door-to-door and in the streets of Ilford and Barkingside and possibly Romford and Barking too.  If you can help for a few hours one evening or on Saturday, please let us know.

9. Advertising.   My goal is to advertise in the local paper and on local radio.  I would also like to advertise on Premier radio.  Please pray that I will be able to get through to the decision makers easily and get eye catching adverts in all these places.  Also, some money to get these adverts out would be lovely!

10. A Follow Up Plan.  I want to be able to hand out Andrew Wommack literature to everyone who attends, and some clear teaching literature to everyone who is born again or healed or baptised in the Holy Spirit.  I want to have a clear plan for collecting addresses and details of people who have their lives changed.  I am not looking to steal sheep from other churches in the slighest, but when people come, are born again and have their lifes changed, I want to be able to pastor them and help feed them and help them renew their minds over time.

11. Boldness.  Please pray we will have boldness to keep faithful to the Lord and His plan throughout the entire event.

Thanks in advance for your prayers and so on.  If you are praying for us, add a comment to this post and let us know.  We need encouragement too!

Blessings,

Benjamin

Yongii Cho Quotes…

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David Yongii Cho is the pastor of the world’s largest church.  Here are some wonderful quotes to build you up spiritually…

To Grow Out You Must Grow In


Growing in means the development of inner resources. When you build a tall building, the crucial aspect that determines success is the building’s foundation. To build high, you must dig deep.

A building’s foundation is not tested until the exact stress for which its foundation was designed comes to bear upon it. The foundation’s strength is then tested and the soundness of its construction is most crucial at this time.

Changing Your Attitude


The first place that God needs to work is in your heart. The heart is the major battle ground.

John 14:1-4 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Prov 4:20-23 “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.

How does one become successful as spiritual leader, as a businessman, or in any other profession? You first must change your heart attitude. How can you change your heart attitude? You must inspect your vision. If you have the wrong vision or if your vision is too small for the ability God has granted you, your heart attitude is also going to be wrong and you’ll find yourself discouraged, bewildered, and depressed.

Some cover up their failures by using catch phrases that sound spiritual. God wants us to grow and to grow in a big way. Being satisfied with smallness may reveal a lack of spiritual insight of God’s kingdom purposes. Or perhaps it is a lack of compassion for a world that doesn’t know the Lord or for believers that are struggling. How else can we serve God and help others unless we ourselves are successful. This is no time to be satisfied with the status quo in your life. This is the time that God will work in your heart for great growth both spiritually and materially. Don’t be fearful when you consider the possibility that God has great things for you. God has called you for special purpose. You must work on your heart to find His purpose for your life.

A Man’s Vision Will Also Limited His Behavior.

We can never be any more than we dream of being. As we set our eyes on God’s holy word and develop a deep fellowship with the Holy Spirit, our vision is changed. How can you change your vision? You can’t, but the Holy spirit can and will.

I had to be delivered from the concept that the Holy Spirit was just an experience and come to the realization that the Holy Spirit was a real, divine person.

As I began to wait upon him and talk to him, he then became very real to me and began to change my vision. In fact, as we set our gaze upon the Holy Spirit, he takes the brush of faith, dips into the ink of the Word of God and draws beautiful pictures upon the canvas of our hearts. After he gives us a new picture to strive for, we find a new internal motivation.

…there is no obstacle that can discourage a man who’s been given a vision by the Holy Spirit. One of the main obstacles to overcome is the opinion of those who say, “It’s impossible. It has never been done before.” What is their problem? They have never seen what God has shown you. Once God has granted you a vision, then you must learn to spend time dreaming over that vision.

Visions and Dreams


This is the essence of my philosophy. It covers all of the principles of congregational growth work. I call it “visions and dreams.” As I travel throughout the world, I’ve seen evidences of the fact that the application of vision and dreams really works in changing one’s heart attitude.

Most men I’ve seen are satisfied with the status quo. They have congregations of 30 to 50 members and since most tithed, they could live comfortably without expanding. So their congregations become exclusive little clubs. When this happens, the desire for growth will not develop.

Expand Your Vision


Sometimes our actions limit our vision. At times we find ourselves in a situation where we have to choose the level of money we’re going to spend for something. Perhaps you’re visiting a place and need to stay in a hotel. What kind of a room should you stay in? Does God really want us to stay in a nice place? Does he want us to stay in spartan surroundings so as to conserve money? This a difficult question, which only you can you answer. Yet sometimes, I’ve found that people don’t believe God for great things, especially when it comes to themselves. This may come from a sense of inferiority, or a false humility or spirituality.

That week I spent much time teaching the leaders to begin to expand their vision and dreams. As amazing as it sounds, it seems that our heavenly Father allows his representatives on earth to limit his activity through a lack of vision. I believe the same thing applies to prayer. God voluntarily limits Himself by our prayers. He can do anything, but He chooses to limit the scope of His authority by vesting it in us.

So here is how it works. Our heart attitude is changed by catching a fresh vision from the Holy Spirit. Once the vision is imparted, we must dwell upon it and dream about it until the vision comes into reality.

The Language of the Holy Spirit


Rom 4:16-18 “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed– God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

Abraham was a man who was not willing to stay in the status quo. He was able to leave the known and enter into a new place, the one shown to him by God. If Abraham looked only upon the circumstances he would not have listened to God. He would have stayed in Haran. Abraham possessed the quality of obedience which caused him to move forward despite every obstacle. He went through difficult times, when everything he did seemed to fail. Abraham was first obedient to God as evidenced by his leaving the known and being willing to enter into the unknown. Although he believed that God could do what he promised, Abraham had to “see” the promise come to pass in his spirit before he could actually set foot upon it. He first saw the reality in the dreams and by Holy Spirit-given vision. Cho believes that vision comes after a person has proven themselves to be obedient. Then once the vision comes, a person needs to dream about the fulfillment to the vision. That process of dreaming, thinking, and meditating about the vision, he calls incubation. We should incubate on the vision until it becomes reality–until God calls those things which are not as though they were.

God is Interested in Our Success


We must always remember that God is more interested in our success and church growth than we are. After all, it is his church. Our problem is that our hearts have not had the proper attitude because our vision has not been correct. We have not have the proper vision because we have not entered into a deep and loving fellowship with the Holy Spirit. All vision is revealed to us by God through the Holy Spirit.

What is our goal? Is it growth of God’s kingdom? Are we looking for increased numbers? Are we looking for increased spiritual maturity in people? If so, that we can be assured in our spirits that this is certainly God’s will.

Remember, you can listen to this talk or read a book on spiritual growth yet never see a change in yourself or the situation you find yourself in. Why? Perhaps it’s because your heart has not really changed. Nothing much will happen unless there’s been a heart change.

We are Spirit Beings


We are essentially spiritual beings, using intellect and emotion, all housed in a physical body. Our spirits are revived at the new birth, but they need nourishment and development. The Holy Spirit has been given to us as the comforter to lead us and guide us. He has the mind of God, even for your church. Once you receive his direction and vision, you change your heart attitude from failure to success. Now you begin to be motivated by a greater force than you have never known and you will begin to see results as you follow proper church growth principles.

You Need Vision


The greatest hindrance to the fulfillment of God’s desire to see growth is a lack of vision within the leadership. “It can’t happen here. This is too hard a field.” These negative statements must be put out of our vocabulary, once and for all. We are to begin using the language of the Holy Spirit and building a new success consciousness in the minds of all our people.

This kind of negative talk kills vision. Once you get a vision from God go with it. Put to death any negative statements. Of course, your vision must not contradict the Word of God and it must be in His will.

I’ve found that the safest course is to take counsel with those in leadership above you. They have been given by God to guard you from getting out of his will. Any true vision of God will stand the test of being brought before leadership. Even if those above you don’t understand or comprehend the vision God has given you, they’ll recognize that the Holy Spirit has indeed planted something within your spirit. you see, efficient is implanted spiritually and its communicated spiritually. You don’t have to fear that your explanation will not convey the divine nature of what you’ve received. Our spirits are commended to another’s spirit by the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes a failure to take counsel indicates a lack of trust in God. God works through leadership not in spite of leadership. Leadership is not an obstacle to get around. Fear that the leadership which God has entrusted to care for your soul will prevent you from walking out your vision is a terrible deception of the Enemy.

People can be deceived in regard to vision. This isn’t meant to discourage you, but vision is so powerful a tool from God that the Enemy can use false or distorted vision to get believers out of God’s will.

Have an Attitude of Success


To motivate others to succeed, we must have an attitude of success not only in our speaking but also in our lives. Many congregations have a non-growth attitude because the leader does not possess a high enough self esteem. This is a key in leadership.

The reason for your poor self-image may be one of the following: poor appearance, education, discipline, family status, ability, and health. This list is far from exhaustive but representative of the excuses given for poor self image.

Another thing that Cho is saying is that personal appearance is important. When he meets ambassadors of the world’s leading nations, one of the common traits they seem to possess is general good looks. They may not be young or handsome, but they seem to be in good shape. After all, are they not representing their particular country? Should they not try to present their best image? Yet, the kingdom of God also has ambassadors. They represent the king of kings and the Lord of the Lords. It is Cho’s opinion that a leader can change his self image by watching his diet and doing the best that he can with what God has given him. Are you doing the best with what God has given you–as Messiah’s ambassador? Are you presenting an image that other should follow? If not, it’s never too late to change. Once you start feeling good about yourself, you will find others will feel better about you too. People will first look at you before they listen to you. What they see affects how they hear.

Another important concept is learning. Success for people spend their whole lives aboard this is not limited by formal education. He has called us to a life of continual improvement. Educate yourself understand what you’re asking and go out and prove yourself.

Have Discipline


A lack of discipline is another reason why people have a poor self image. I’ve had appointments with leaders who show up one to 2 hours late. Traffic, business pressures and unexpected circumstances are poor excuses for tardiness. Make your plans with the provision for the unexpected.

Sin

Sin is one of the chief causes of poor self image. It is therefore, imperative for every person who God wishes to use in the building of his congregation to live a holy life. What you watch and dwell upon will affect what you become. If there is sin in your life, confess that sin quickly to God, repenting from it and asking for his Grace to live morally clean. Little success leads to great victories and soon you will find your self image has changed. God is a loving and forgiving God. If he expects you to forgive your brother, why should he not forgive you?

Change is Possible


I don’t care how low your family station is, God can change your self image. Remember that Yeshua was born into a very poor family circumstance and He is a son of God. As you get a fresh vision of God’s will for your life and ministry, you can overcome all of society’s barriers and succeed. Abilities may differ but success is for all. Our problem begins when we compare ourselves with other people. Some of you haven’t succeeded in school or in the job market and as a result you have poor self image. The way to overcome these past obstacles is to compare ourselves with the goal that God has set before us. He never leads us to do anything that He has not given us the grace and the strength to accomplish successfully.

Don’t judge yourself too harshly or too quickly. Even Einstein failed over and over again before he had success. Just because you’ve failed doesn’t mean you are a failure.

All successful ministries and leaders that I know have made mistakes. Making a mistake doesn’t mean you’re God’s mistake. Learn valuable lessons from your mistakes.

Health and Handicaps


You must cooperate with God in keeping your body fit. Exercise regularly, watch what you eat, rest as much as possible. Stress is one the greatest problems to keeping healthy. Oftentimes leaders collapse from exhaustion. Learn the secret of trusting other people. Realize that the kingdom of God works by others combining with one another. Trust other people. Trust that you don’t have to do everything yourself.

Maybe you have a handicap–a physical or mental limitation. We should take any handicaps that we have and turn them into assets. Believe God for your healing and restoration, yet move forward. Don’t wait for your healing to move forward.

Our Associations


Watch out for the type of people to associate with. Are they negative? Do they negatively affect our self image? By the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be set free from the disabling effects of negative people and surroundings. Read the Word of God. Find out what God says about yourself. If God did not believe we were of value, He would not have sent His son to die for us. We are called to special works. We have great value in the Lord. We’re able to do all that God has called us to do, by his Grace.

Pray and Do

Sometimes we pray that God would do something and then we stand back to see what God does. This is a great mistake. God will work through us. He works through you and me. This is why our personal resources are of utmost importance. What would we be like if we had the success we’re believing for? The answer to that question is very important. Our character is now being prepared for revival. We are being tested and we are finding grace to overcome the test. Why? Because God wants to use us.

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