Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Many years ago, the Lord dropped this simple little concept into my mind. To plan for the desires of my heart…. I felt like God wanted me to plan ahead and make provision for the hopes and dreams that I held most dear.
As someone who was raised on a farm, I had a pretty good idea of what he was asking me to do – prepare. I knew that if a farmer wanted a nice crop in the fall, preparations would have to be made in the spring. In order to bring this vision of a bountiful harvest into being, real work would have to be done.
For the desires God had placed in my heart, this preparation took the form of studying and preparing myself for the work of the ministry. Over the years, I have come to realize that effective ministry is really hard work!
I knew from growing up on the farm that each year we would have to prepare the equipment, work the land, get the seed ready to plant, and then actually do the work of getting it in the ground properly fertilized and weed free. Only then could we realistically look forward to God’s blessings on our efforts and the work of actually harvesting, and then enjoying, the fruit of our labors.
Well, I have an announcement to make - it is springtime again, and it is time to plant!
What do you have on your heart? Do you have a vision of a bountiful harvest in some area of your life?
What do you think God is wanting you to do in this season in order to prepare for this particular blessing? What preparations would have to be in place for God to give you the desires of your heart?
My friends, I believe it is time to plant (prepare). Let’s make sure we all have our best seed in the ground.
Wishing you God’s very best!
Dr. Tim McKitrick
I believe God wants to pour out his Spirit in the earth, to reveal his glory among the nations. Our amazing and loving God, our Heavenly Father, wants to show himself strong to those who would call him Lord! He is faithful, and has said in his Word how much he wants to commune with His people. He wants to pour out revival in our hearts, our homes, our churches, and our nations!
I am hearing of a renewed hunger for the things of God among His people. Hunger for his presence, his Word, and the moving of the Holy Spirit, has always been one of the most reliable signs that a significant move of God is about to break forth in the earth.
So how do we prepare World Ministry Fellowship to receive this fresh outpouring of the Spirit of God?
We get ourselves ready:
- We prepare our hearts before our God and King
- We endeavor to come into unity with the body of Christ around us
- We enter into fervent prayer for ourselves, our friends and family
- We step into obedience to all He has told us about our circumstances
- We do our best to live ready, with our lamps lit, full of the Holy Spirit
- We seek God expectantly for the “more” he has promised
I ask you to join me in seeking God and preparing ourselves for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our midst.
As I write this email, I am processing all that happened at the WMF Regional event in Tulsa recently. Over fifty of us gathered together to talk about Emotional Health and Ministry, and it really was a wonderful time of ministry, professional development and of course lots of good food and fellowship! Our speakers - Nancy Cook, Paul Freeman and Jim McCool - did a great job, and we even got some of our guests in a picture! Click here to see some pictures.
If you would like to attend our Northeast Regional event in Maryland, April 5-6th, 2019 please click here for more information or to register. There is also a regional event for the southern parts of Texas to be held in Cleveland, Texas on April 13th. To register, click here.
Luke 12: 31-32 “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.
So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.”
Dr. Tim McKitrick
As I was praying about what to include in the February email to our WMF family, I heard on the news about yet another young pastor committing suicide in the last few months. My heart goes out to their families, and to the church community they leave behind.
And I wonder …. I wonder if these men had opportunity to talk to someone – and I mean really talk to someone - about what they were going through. I wonder if a deeper level of fellowship, a safe environment to share about their struggles with someone who honestly cared about them (and/or professional counselling), if it would have made a difference.
In his book, The Emotionally Healthy Church, Peter Scazzero points out that “the overall health of any church or ministry depends primarily on the emotional and spiritual maturity of its leadership.” Later on, he adds that “Sadly, for too long we have delegated ‘emotional’ issues to the therapist’s office and taken responsibility only for ‘spiritual’ problems in the church. The two are inseparably linked and critical to a fully biblical discipleship…. emotional and spiritual maturity are inseparable.”
This is why developing safe, honest, loving, life-long relationships through a fellowship like World Ministry Fellowship is so important. We learn to give and receive personal ministry in a context of ongoing fellowship. We learn what maturity looks like through the lives of those who we have allowed to influence us over the years. We need to have the opportunity to talk to one another, to listen to one another, to laugh, to cry, and to minister to one another!
Our Tulsa Regional event will be March 1-2, 2019 on the topic of Emotional Health and Ministry. I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to gather together and hear about emotional health in the context of ministry, to connect with your WMF ministry family, and to receive personal ministry. Dr. Nancy Cook, Dr. Paul Freeman and Jim McCool will be our speakers and we are looking forward to sharing this special time together with you.
Please know that you are not alone in the emotional struggles you face. Each of us as ministers of the gospel face challenges of our own on a daily basis. Let’s make sure we get together to support each other.
You are in our prayers, and we are here for you! Let’s get together soon – we need to talk!
Dr. Tim McKitrick
PS. Please register for this and other WMF events online or contact the office so we know you are planning to join us!
I love Christmas, and for many reasons, but particularly because it is about hope! Hope for God’s miraculous intervention, hope for God’s grace and forgiveness, and hope for a future full of love and joy. God has a plan for our lives and it is a good one. Each December I enjoy looking into the next year and anticipating the new things God has in store. Even so, this season presents a challenge to many.
For some, the holiday season can be a difficult time. I know that many of you feel like the year has not gone as you had planned, and that circumstances are truly overwhelming. Please know you are not alone. Your WMF family loves you, cares about what you are going through, and is praying for God to intervene on your behalf. And God is moving.
In the middle of all the noise of this busy season, I believe God would like to speak a word to you. This word comes directly from the Christmas story.
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matt 1:18-21)
This is what I believe God would like you to hear:
Even though the circumstances you are facing look difficult…
Do not be afraid, because what is conceived in you is from the Holy Spirit.
Even though you feel like you are at the end of your rope, and hope is gone…
Do not be afraid, because what is conceived in you is from the Holy Spirit.
Even though you feel like you are under attack…
Do not be afraid, because what is conceived in you is from the Holy Spirit.
Step into the fullness of your calling… because what is conceived in you is from the Holy Spirit.
Be encouraged! God has sent us hope! Jesus is Lord!
Over the last few weeks, especially at the recent Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri WMF events, I have felt led to encourage those around me to contend for the things that are important in their lives.
We must fight for a position of faith. We must fight for the victory and peace about the matters that concern us, our family, our ministry, our country…. To do so will mean to press into the Spirit of God until we receive an answer from heaven, a word from God, the faith and peace that means we have prayed through concerning the matters at hand.
We are in a battle, whether we are actively engaged in the fighting or not…. So, if we know we are being attacked, it seems only wise to keep up our guard, be ready, press the attack and make our efforts count. Let’s come out swinging! It is time for a preemptive attack! God promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church.
Our weapons are spiritual weapons, and they are powerful, but they must be deployed! Weapons left on the shelf aren’t doing any good. Let them fly!
Most of our spiritual weapons are released by the power of the words we speak. Words filled with faith – either positively or negatively. Let’s make our words count! If Mark 11:23-24 is true and we receive whatever we say, then we will want to make sure the words coming out of our mouth are what we want to come to pass!!! We can’t afford to have any thought in our head contrary to what God is thinking about us, and we can’t afford to let our heart speak anything contrary to the plan of God for our life. This is not about legalism, this is about the fight, about life and death. We know that the power of life and death is in the tongue.
I am asking you to aim your spiritual weapons carefully and fight for the things that matter in your life! Speak life over your circumstances and contend for the things that are important to you. God and all of heaven is listening to your words, waiting for your call, and waiting for the opportunity to intervene on your behalf.
You are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. You are an overcomer.
And I was praying for you today, because your victory matters!
We are so excited about the incredible events that are coming up in the next few weeks, that we wanted to use this email to encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to connect and fellowship with your WMF ministry family.
Please make every effort to attend one of the many state events scheduled over the next couple of months, and the Regional event in St Louis November 2-3, 2018. Dr. John Chasteen, author of Coaching the Next Generation, will be our main speaker, with worship by Kingsley Walker, and we are expecting more powerful ministry and times of refreshing as the Holy Spirit leads. Click here for more event information.
You are very welcome to attend any state or regional event, even if you are not from that geographic region. We put on these events, so you will have multiple opportunities to fellowship with your WMF ministry family throughout your year, especially if you are not able to attend each of our yearly Convocations in Dallas, TX.
State Directors, please inform the WMF office of your state get togethers so we can make sure and get them on the calendar for you.
I hope to connect with you at one or more of these upcoming events.
Wishing you all God’s many blessings,
Dr. Tim McKitrick
World Ministry Fellowship leadership is working hard to provide convenient and powerful fellowship and professional development events for WMF members.
- Jim McCool, Brian Sharp, Tim McKitrick are traveling to the Democratic Republic of Convo and Republic of Congo this month to represent WMF in ministers' conferences, ordination services and fellowship with our WMF family in the region.
- A NE Regional Event hosted by Benjamin and Jiji Ytac will be held in New York on September 22, 2018.
- Next Gen Cohort Consult October 19-20th - A number of younger Global Next Gen Ministry Leaders from both within and outside WMF will be gathering with WMF leaders for fellowship, discussion and consultation on future ministry, internship, outreach, and recruitment strategies for Next Gen leaders. The Net Gen Cohort at the WMF International Headquarters in Parker, TX (DFW Metroplex) is by Invitation Only. Please contact the office if you or someone you know would like to be invited to participate in these discussions.
- The St. Louis Regional Event will be held in the fall this year, November 2-3, 2018 in order to make room for something new coming in the Spring of 2019 - hopefully a regional event with even more to offer … We would love to share more, but we are still working out the details.
- We continue to hear rave reviews from our July Convocation. So many of you reported receiving a powerful touch from the Lord! It was such a privilege to fellowship in the presence of God with our brothers and sisters of like precious faith. Please make plans now to attend Convo 2019 at the Crowne Plaza in Addison, TX, July 10-12th. You won't want to miss this one!
Click here to register online or learn more about these and other events with World Ministry Fellowship.
Please keep these important events in your prayers! We look forward to connecting with you soon!
Tim McKitrick, D. Min.
Remembering & Looking Forward
Last year in July we had an amazing Convocation. The worship was deep, the Word and prayer time was life-changing and the fellowship was sweet. Here is a little taste of what happened ...
The arrangements for this year's gathering is getting closer to completion. The finishing touches are being added to make our time together very special. We look forward to catching up with you, connecting with our newest members and meeting with God together.
Register today - Click here for more information.
I hope to see you soon.
April saw the WMF team host another amazing Regional event, this time in St Louis. Many of you traveled long distances to attend and participate, and hundreds more from all over the globe viewed the event via Facebook Live (thank you for telling us you were tuning in).
I especially want to thank Steve and Catherine Hough, Pastor Kingsley Walker and Life Gate International church for hosting the event – it was a truly awesome experience! Our speakers – Terri Clark, Darrell Sutton and Fiifi Pentsil did a fabulous job. We heard from God, we saw God move, and many were touched because of their efforts. A big THANK YOU to everyone involved!
As I have been participating in the WMF events over the last few months, I can’t help but notice that the presence of God manifest in our midst seems to be increasing. It is like we are gaining momentum, and I am very excited about that! God is moving in and through WMF.
Because of this, I have a great sense of expectation that God will visit us in a very powerful way at this year’s Convocation. Please pray for a fresh touch of heaven on this event. I believe God wants to do something truly exceptional in our midst, and for you in particular. This is our special time to get together and meet with God, and I am asking you to pray into it with us here at the International Office.
Please join us for Convo18, we need you to be part of what God is wanting to do through WMF. It wouldn’t be the same without you!
Register today - Click here for more information.
I hope to see you soon.
Dreams and Passion
I want to encourage you to dream again.
One of greatest privileges of my life as a minister and leader is to listen to another’s heart felt dreams. I love to hear their hope, their passion for what they feel is possible! It feeds me!
It is more than just natural enthusiasm, our passion is an indicator of our level of faith, our spiritual temperature. And it is infectious, it feeds others’ hopes and dreams.
The enemy wants to keep you on the sidelines and out of the game (John 10:10). Don’t let him steal your dreams! Don’t let him steal your joy, your passion, your future victories!
Dream…Hope… Pray! Step into all that God has called you to become, and all that he has called you to accomplish! The people around you need to see your faith, your passion. Their future may depend on it.
Be bold enough to dream again. What is God showing you? What are you passionate about?
Remember Paul’s admonition to Timothy: “Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Tim 1:6,7).
Be strong my friends, have courage, think God’s thoughts, and dream! You can do this!
World Ministry Fellowship is not only a wonderful credentialing organization, it is first and foremost a fellowship!
It is important, especially in today’s fast paced society, to take time to refuel, to connect both with God and with each other. In light of these things, we have been setting up regional events like the one coming up on April 13-14, 2018 in St Louis Missouri. We are still receiving testimonies of how incredibly powerful our regional event in the Northeast was last fall, and we are expecting this one to be even more so.
I am asking you to make every effort to attend this very important and uplifting event. Come experience the presence of God and be refreshed!
Our speakers, Terri Clark, Darrell Sutton, and Fiifi Pentsil, are praying for a word from God for you! Come expecting a touch from the Lord!
Click here for more information and to register. Please let us know you are planning to attend.
We look forward to meeting you in St Louis,
Hope, Joy and a Small Request
I am excited! Why, you ask?
Because I have hope. Hope that God will cause 2018 to be a blessing to those who pursue Him.
Thank God, my hope and joy are not based on my circumstances, but on God’s promised faithfulness.
My hope rises from knowing God is good, and that it is his good pleasure to give us the Kingdom. It comes from knowing that Rom 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” To me, that means that even though our circumstances may be challenging, God is working on my behalf to make things better!
My hope also comes from knowing I am surrounded by amazing brothers and sisters in Christ, that I am part of a loving ministry fellowship. What we share in Christ and WMF is precious, let’s spread it around.
This morning I received word from a newer WMF member that three of his acquaintances have finished their applications for membership with more to follow. His passion for WMF is contagious!
People join WMF because their friends or acquaintances invite them – did someone invite you?
My request is simple. Please ask those you know in ministry with whom they are credentialed.
It has been my experience that many, especially those in ministry for years, are looking for what WMF has to offer. If they are interested, invite them to join us, invite them to contact the office or to go online and fill out an application.
Please share your hope in Christ and WMF, you might be surprised at what happens!
Let’s start 2018 with a growth spurt!
Integrity, Challenges and The Power of the Gospel
As I write this email, I have just finished spending a very challenging week in court on jury duty with a rather contentious case. In doing so, I was again reminded how thankful I am for the integrity of the people around me – my friends in the WMF Family.
I hope I can adequately describe how this challenging week has reminded me of the importance of what we are endeavoring to do at WMF – provide community and fellowship, credentials and oversight, professional development and empowerment.
The court case on which I served as juror showcased the effects a lack of positive influences, character and integrity can produce – personal challenges, divorce, bankruptcy, malice, hatred, accusations of embezzlement, fraud and a great deal of heartache – but we have something better to offer.
We have the answer to the challenges the world around us faces on a daily basis – a relationship with Jesus, and the abundant life he died to give us – righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit – regardless of the circumstances in which we may find ourselves.
I am so thankful to be part of a life-giving organization that promotes Christ and his Kingdom, and especially at this time of year. I pray God’s blessing on you and on everything you set your hand to accomplish.
Wishing all the friends in our World Ministry Fellowship great joy!
God’s Principle of Healthy Abundance
– proper use leads to healthy increase and growth.
God intends for healthy bodies to grow, prosper and reproduce. That includes you, your family, your business, your ministry, and World Ministry Fellowship.
In the parable of the talents, God reveals his intent that we increase by our good stewardship
. “For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance
” (Matt 25:29).
For years I only heard the negative aspects of this parable, the “use it or lose it” side of the message – which is also true. But by so doing, I missed Jesus’ revelation of his Father’s heart, and ended up more in fear than faith. I missed the point that God intended for me to increase
! By implementing God’s principles of healthy sowing and reaping, God wants us to expect growth, harvest and increase. I believe this applies not only to finances, but also to the gifts, the anointing, and ministry of the Holy Spirit.
I grew up on the farm, and no farmer would expect to harvest crops in the fall that they did not plant in the springtime. Who would think of such a thing? Farmers know they must get that seed properly planted in the spring if they are to expect a harvest and its resulting increase of that seed in the fall. Good farmers rely on the laws of sowing and reaping.
We can see from this line of thought that the key to increase is in the proper use of our resources. Let’s put what we have in our hand to work - Our gifts, our revelations, and our finances. We in the church should be the first to expect a harvest from God on the good seed we have planted through the years. It is right to expect healthy increase from God on those things over which we have stewardship. Be encouraged, its harvest time in the Kingdom of God!
As we prepare for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, it is important that we be thankful for the amazing things God has done, and is doing in our midst. I am thankful that our fellowship is filled with the kindest and most generous people on the planet. Please join me in sending a huge thank you to those who supported the hurricane relief efforts this year. Your generosity resulted in many people giving thanks to God for his help in times of trouble
In light of these things, I would like to ask you to consider remembering World Ministry Fellowship in your year-end giving. Click here to give online
. WMF is entering a new era of service to the Kingdom, and your giving can help us plant new crops in the year ahead.
Wishing you much joy in the journey,
I would like to use this blog to ask a very special favor of you.
It is so important, especially in these challenging times, that we not “give up meeting together …but encourage one another—and all the more as we see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:25 my translation).” We need each other.
After hurricanes, earthquakes, natural disasters, terrorism, and the daily bombardment of trauma in the news, we need each other more than ever.
Please make every effort to participate in the state or regional events available to you – they are listed under “Events” below. Even if you don’t feel like you need your WMF family at the moment, your WMF family needs you!
Also, thank you to the many who have given financially to support your WMF family who have suffered mightily from the hurricanes – your generosity has been astounding. Those funds have and are continuing to be distributed, and are greatly appreciated!
We comfort others with the comfort we have received. Let’s gather together whenever possible and minister to each other. Please find a state or regional event you can attend so you can enjoy what WMF does best – fellowship!
We are better together.
The Call to Maturity
I have been reading Strengthen Yourself in the Lord by Bill Johnson and wanted to share this quote with you.
An invitation is before us. We are living in days of revival in which God is bringing wonderful times of refreshing to His Church and drawing the lost to taste His salvation through mighty acts of power. But through this extravagant outpouring of grace, the Father is hoping to woo a generation of His sons and daughters to embrace the call to maturity, the call to contend in His strength for the personal breakthroughs we need to carry greater measures of His Kingdom power and love to the world around us. This is the race set before us. May we be those who learn to bring strength to ourselves, that we might run with perseverance!
I believe this word could not be more appropriate for where we are in our society, our nation, and our fellowship – for the church, and you and me in particular, to embrace God’s call to maturity.
We must learn to strengthen ourselves in the Lord, to become mature self-feeders, and live refreshed in the Lord enough to minister the life of Christ to those around us. I do not want to be forced to attempt another ministry effort from an empty well (lived that way for a while and didn’t like it). I am not talking about the times when, after giving of ourselves greatly, we are asked to give even more. God honors and supports that type of effort. I am talking about when we live empty because of the daily decisions we make that preclude us from taking the quality time necessary to receive a fresh word from God.
God’s mercies are new every morning, and he wants to give us our daily bread. He wants us so full of his presence that when we are squeezed, all that comes out is Jesus, the fruit of a life filled with his Spirit.
I have found it challenging over the years, but I know I need to regularly eat at God’s table, so when an opportunity presents itself, I will be able to give to others that which I have received from the Lord. Not that I have attained my goal, but I choose to pursue maturity in Christ.
Likewise, I believe we must work toward making WMF a fellowship that creates life giving content to help people encourage themselves in the Lord and grow. I will be sharing more about this in the weeks and months ahead.
This is why our theme for our NE Regional Event is Preparing Our Nets, and why I will be sharing on Communications, Media, and Building a Platform for Discipleship. Please pray about attending this event, you will receive greatly from Dr John Chasteen and Pastor Fiifi Pentsel - click here to register.
I have decided to accept God’s invitation to regularly dine with him, I hope you will too!
PS. Terri Clark’s new book Fanning the Flame: Reigniting Your Faith in God speaks to this very theme of avoiding and/or overcoming Spiritual Burnout. You can preorder here….it should be out soon!
I have news!
As I continue to process the awesome time we experienced at Convocation last month, I am very excited to announce that our next important event is coming together very well. Before I share all the details, however, I would like to give you a little background as to why we are hosting this event.
State Directors and others have asked the Executive Board to consider hosting events in other regions that would be an additional option for those who are unable to get to Dallas in July, or for those who would simply like to get together more often. Our upcoming Fall and Spring Regional Events are an effort to do exactly that – provide another opportunity for spiritual and professional development. Please don’t worry though, Convo will continue as usual, and we are asking that you avail yourself of all the events you can.
This fall’s Regional Event will be held in Bel Air, MD (just N of Baltimore) October 13th and 14th, 2017. This event is designed to pack as much as possible into four power packed sessions. Two Friday evening and two Saturday morning, with lots of fellowship included.
The theme for the event is Preparing Our Nets. Pastor and Executive Board member Fiifi Pentsil, myself, and WMF newcomer Dr John Chasteen, also known as “Hey Coach John” to Charisma readers, will be speaking.
Pastor Fiifi Pentsil - Preparing New Wineskins
Dr Tim McKitrick - Communications, Media and Building a Platform for Discipleship
Dr John Chasteen – Coaching the Next Generation
Most of you know of Pastor Fiifi and myself, but I would like to introduce Dr John Chasteen. Brother John pastored for over 20 years, is currently a chaplain, a certified Life Coach and Life Coach trainer, professor and former Dean of the Graduate Program at Southwestern Christian University, and author of “Coaching the Next Generation: 52 Ways to Unleash God-Given Potential.”
I cannot tell you how excited I am about this event, I believe it is going to be powerful. Please consider this your personal invitation to attend. You won’t want to miss it. Click here for registration and additional information.
Hope to see you there,
Well, as I write this on the Monday following our 2017 WMF Convocation, I am trying to process all the amazing things that I saw happen at this event. Oh my, what a spectacular time we had in the presence of God!
For those of you who were unable to attend, I am going to apologize in advance, because I know my description of what I felt and experienced last week will fall far short of all that God brought to pass. For those who were there, I trust you will be able to bear witness that God was truly moving in our midst!
Since this was the first convocation I faced as the Executive Director, I confess I approached it with a certain amount of apprehension. But we have great people, and God helped us accomplish much for the Kingdom.
The administrative boards all came together with tangible joy and unity. New members on the Executive Board (Fiifi Pentsel and Jim McCool) and the COC (Roosevelt Henry, Kendall Hetrick, Paul Freeman and James Barber) were introduced and began to pitch in immediately, with great effect. The Advisory Board and the Mission Board also made great progress toward the amazing future God has in store for WMF. You will hear details of these things in the days ahead.
The times of worship were off the chain (Thank you Paul Freeman and worship team)!
The speakers encouraged and challenged us to become mature and qualified, to step into the River, to finish strong, and to go beyond that which is our current experience in God.
The times of ministry around the altar were precious. New Members licensed and ordained, seasoned ministers encouraged and touched by the mighty hand of our loving heavenly Father. It never gets old seeing God touch his precious saints.
Simply put, what a privilege it has been to come into the presence of God once more. Thank you, Lord!
PS. I am so excited about our next events I can hardly stand it! Please plan to join us for any/all these you can attend.
Northeast Regional Event in Baltimore, MD October 13-14, 2017
St Louis, MO Regional Event April 13-14, 2018
2018 Convocation July 11-13, 2018 at the Crown Plaza in Addison, TX
For the past few months I have felt led to study on the presence of God. In doing so I came across Gordon Fee’s book, God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul.
At the same time, my wife Brenda and I have experienced an unexpected blessing. We have become actively involved, through our friends Dr. Nancy Cook and Dr. James Barber, with a ministry working alongside the local John 3:16 mission to provide food, church services, ministry and discipleship to the marginalized and homeless in the area.
For the last few weeks, from Passover to Pentecost Sunday (last Sunday), the church has been teaching about the ministry of the Holy Spirit from the context of the 3 major Jewish Feasts – Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles. Part of this teaching centered on Ephesians 1:3-14, where Paul teaches the Gentiles in Ephesus that God has “blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” And, “having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance….”
The intent of this line of teaching is to show that it is through the ministry of the Holy Spirit that we access our many blessings in Christ. It is only through the Holy Spirit that we can get our spiritual needs met.
Obviously, the people in the mission are needy. Only God is able to deliver these precious folks and put their broken lives back together. Sometimes we are given the opportunity to facilitate that, sometimes we aren’t. The reason we continue to minister to them is not because they all are transformed into functional model citizens, but because some have, and someone else might….
As a result of what we were teaching in church, when studying Paul’s message to the Ephesian’s (2:18), I found something Gordon Fee wrote most inspiring (please pardon the fact it sounds a bit academic). He wrote that the Holy Spirit, “is the eschatological fulfillment of God’s promise to include both Jew and Gentile in one body. If so, then ‘In one Spirit’ replaces the temple as the place of access into the presence of God” (Pg. 683).
It is through the ministry of the Holy Spirit that we have access into the presence of God, and as a result, unity with one another. “…God himself by the Spirit has chosen to be present in our world in the gathered church” (Pg. 690).
This reminded me of what Jesus said to the woman at the well in John 4:21-24.
Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem....Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is Spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.
Jesus came to prepare a place for us to meet with God. That amazing place is “in the Spirit.” We are now the living temple of the Holy Spirit. God is Spirit, and we fellowship with him through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and are being transformed into one body, the Body of Christ.
In watching the different reactions to the teaching and ministry of the Holy Spirit these last few weeks, I have noticed that it is often the degree to which we are able to help people press into the presence of their loving heavenly Father that they are able to get their spiritual needs met. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that these folks can get free of the addictions and strongholds in their lives that have brought them to this point – the mission.
While I understand and appreciate the intent of seeker sensitive services, I have to wonder how lasting change in the lives of hurting people can come about when the ministry of the Holy Spirit is intentionally minimized. The presence of God and the power to change a life come together in the person of the Holy Spirit.
As an organization, I love the fact that World Ministry Fellowship was founded by men of God because of their experience in and dedication to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
My intent in writing all this is to encourage you to continue to press in to discover the “more” that God has in store for you in His Presence, both for you and for those who will receive from the life you find there. Your ability to help others experience the presence of God may be the key to the miracle for which they are praying.
Keep setting the table, we are better together!
Wishing you all God’s best,
Anticipation – Eager expectation of something good.
Expectations are powerful things. They affect how we think, how we act, and how we interact with the world around us. Expectations affect every aspect of our lives, and flow naturally from what we believe about our current reality. These beliefs come from what we have come to understand about how things work, and are greatly influenced by our past experiences.
Sometimes, when presented with new information, our expectations change. The first time I ever experienced the manifest presence of God changed me forever. That experience presented me with new information, greatly adjusted my perception of God’s reality, and my expectations changed accordingly.
When talking about Biblical or spiritual issues, it is important to be open to new information – a fresh revelation of what God intends for us to receive through Christ.
Just because we have not experienced something, does not mean it is not available to us.
Listen to the heart of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:17-19 (NIV, formatting mine).
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know:
1. The hope to which he has called you,
2. The riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and
3. His incomparably great power for us who believe.
What is your hope? What are you expecting from God’s incomparably great power today?
I am looking to God for a fresh revelation, newly updated information about what God would like to do in our midst – fresh bread from God’s bountiful table made just for us.
Let’s inspect our expectations. I want to make sure I am ready to hear and receive from God today. His mercies are new every morning.
This weekend I had the opportunity to hear stories from an older pioneer of the faith. The context was just simple conversation around a large family dinner, but my heart was moved.
Spiritual things can be a challenge to describe with words, but my heart came alive as I listened to these amazing God stories. This man's story bore witness with my own. As the evening progressed, our stories wove together to form a testimony of how God brought him, and later myself and others at the table as well, into an understanding of the things of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Over time, God had orchestrated events so that this seasoned saint could experience the moving of the Holy Spirit through the ministries of Oral Roberts, Kathryn Kuhlman and John Wimber. It was through exposure to the presence of God in these ministries and others, that he received an impartation from heaven. What he caught (the impartation he received) in these meetings spread to his church as well, and the kingdom grew. That is how these things work.
I never tire of hearing how God moves, because this has become my story as well. People who received the things of God ahead of me, shared God's goodness with me and I received from what they experienced. I am the fruit of my predecessor's harvest, the product of their faithfulness to pursue and then share the things of God.
I have heard it said that sharing our testimony gives God opportunity to do for others what he has done for us.
As we share what God has done in our own lives, we create community and relationship with those of like precious faith, both with those who have gone ahead, and those who will eventually follow - perhaps because of our testimony.
This fellowship around the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the faithfulness of God is what created World Ministry Fellowship in the first place. It is still the most important thing that we do.
World Ministry Fellowship - Better Together