Jul 17, '09 11:54 AM
By Regner Capener
Every Wednesday at 10AM (PST) or Noon (CST) we join Billye Brim via the Internet (http://www.billyebrim.org/events/live_prayer) at Prayer Mountain in the Ozarks for corporate prayer for this nation. There are tens of thousands of people who join this concert of prayer for a new Great Awakening -- not just in America, but around the world. I want to encourage you -- wherever you are -- to join us in this world-wide prayer event. Periodically Billye shares about past Awakenings that have changed the course of affairs for this nation and other nations.
If ever there was a time when we need to change the course of affairs, this is it! Although Barack Obama campaigned (and won) on a platform of "change" to America, the "change" he envisioned is not one sanctioned by the courts of Heaven; and some of it certainly runs counter to anything our nation's forefathers and founders envisioned when they paid with their blood to establish our Constitution.
We not only have the authority to bring change -- righteous change -- to this nation, we have the responsibility to do it. For that reason we have been gathering here at River Worship Center (in Prosser, Washington) every morning -- Monday through Saturday -- at 6:30 AM with a small group of intercessors for (as I write this) some nine-plus months as we fulfill our responsibilities as Paul outlined them in his first letter to Timothy:
"First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (I Timothy 2:1-4 NASB)
It was last fall when the elections were about to take place that the Holy Spirit spoke to Billye Brim and told her (and I'm paraphrasing), "It is not an election that is going to save this nation. It is not a political party that will save this nation. It can only take place by an awakening in the people to the Lord Jesus Christ." That's a fact, folks! We elect leaders -- I'm speaking in generalities -- whom we believe will serve this country's best interests. The problem with that philosophy is that we elect people in small increments; and when they wind up in Washington, DC they become contaminated by those entrenched in their positions of power and influence. The end result is that we get more of the same-old, same-old.
I'm not discouraged, my friends. In fact, I'm encouraged now more than ever. You may think I'm nuts, but I believe that God has permitted (not ordained) Barack Obama to be elected. Not since the days of Jimmy Carter (after he was elected) have we seen so many of God's people on their knees in prayer and intercession for the future of this great nation. Far too many believers have been sloppy in their prayer lives for too many years. There's too much at stake, folks! We cannot stand by and allow Satan's agenda to sweep across America like a flood of evil.
Isaiah prophesied, "So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him." (Isaiah 59:19 KJV)
We are that standard God is raising up! God is raising up an army of prayer warriors who know Him and His heart's desire; and they are praying in His will for this nation and other nations of the earth.
OK. Had to start that way today. It's been burning in me and I just needed to encourage you to join this army. Anyway, Good Morning, Folks! This is my first new Coffee Break on a new computer the Lord has provided us with.
My other computer had developed mysterious hardware faults that just seemed to move from place to place; and it kept crashing repeatedly making any cohesive work effort almost useless. We now have a new souped-up Dell Studio XPS with an overclocked 3.2 GHz i7 processor, 12 GB of RAM, 1 GB of Video RAM and 1 TB of Raid-configured Hard Drive space running the 64-bit version of Windows Vista Ultimate. Yup! It flies, folks! It flies! Now I can get some work done.
Let's see if we can finish up with our discussion on partnership today as it relates to Kingdom Economics.
Without quoting the entire event from Acts 16, let me remind you of how the Ekklesia in Philippi began. As the story unfolds, Paul and his ministry team/entourage have made their way into the city/colony of Philippi in Macedonia as part of his missionary endeavors. Finding out that folks in that city had a particular place by a river where they (and women in particular) gathered for daily prayers to the gods, Paul begins to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to the women who happened to be gathered there. It wasn't very many days that one of the women, who had a spirit of divination, began to follow after them. As they walked through the streets of the city, this woman would call out "These men are the servants of the Most High God which show unto us the way of salvation."
It became a serious annoyance to Paul and a distraction to the Word God had sent him to preach. After a number of days of this happening, Paul turns suddenly and rebukes the spirit of divination, commanding that spirit to come out of the woman. She was immediately set free. It was liberating for her, but a problem for the men in the marketplace who took advantage of her demonic powers for personal gain. Suddenly their source of income had dried up.
They filed false charges against Paul and Silas (Paul's prophet-companion) which resulted in severe beatings and imprisonment. During the night, Paul and Silas began to sing and praise the Lord. Their praise brought about an earthquake of no small proportions which destroyed the prison foundations and resulted in all of the prison doors being freely opened. The jailer, thinking everyone under his charge had escaped, prepared to commit suicide rather than face trial and execution by his Roman masters. Paul stopped him and assured him that no one had escaped or left the prison. It resulted in the jailer becoming the first official convert in Philippi, and his entire household followed shortly thereafter.
That remarkable event became the beginning of a real fellowship of believers in Jesus Christ in that city which grew in the Lord and in their spiritual walk. This fellowship of believers felt so connected to Paul that they determined to support his ongoing missionary endeavors with finances and supplies from that day forth.
As Paul begins his letter to the Philippian Ekklesia, he writes the following:
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now." (Philippians 1:3-5 KJV)
That doesn't exactly come out clearly in the KJV, so let me spell it out a little more clearly. The New Living Translation expresses it like this:
"Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now."
See it? From the moment they heard the Gospel, there was a quickening by the Spirit in them to partner with Paul in his ongoing ministry. He continues in his letter,
"Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need... For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you couldn’t do from far away." (see Philippians 2:25, 30 NLT)
Epaphroditus, therefore, was the courier from Philippi to bring Paul and his ministry team whatever they had need of in the way of finances, supplies and physical labor.Does partnership pay dividends? Watch next what Paul says to them.
"How grateful I am, and how I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but for a while you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.
"But even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty. As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. What I want is for you to receive a well-earned reward because of your kindness.
"At the moment I have all I need—more than I need! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable to God and pleases him. And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Now glory be to God our Father forever and ever. Amen." (Philippians 4:10-20 NLT)
OK. I quoted a rather lengthy portion there from Philippians 4, but I wanted you to see the context of chapter 4, verse 19. We are more familiar with the KJV translation which is frequently quoted -- and used out of context most of the time.
"But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus."Let's see if we can amplify this statement just a bit more from the Greek text.
"But my God shall liberally and abundantly fill up, make complete, totally satisfy and cram until you are running over, all of your lack, your want, your requirement and your demand, according to, out of and in direct proportion to His immeasurable riches, wealth, finances and material goods found in His glory, His praise, His honor and His worship through and by the anointing of the Anointed One Jesus." (Philippians 4:19 RAC Amplified Translation)
That's a mouthful, I know, but it is important to see this word in its proper context. Look at it in a partnership context.
Paul was sent by the Lord with an assignment. He was "apostleing" -- if you'll excuse my slang -- having been commissioned to lay foundations for the body of Christ. (That word, "apostle," by the way, is not a title: it is a function. The "charismatic" sector of the body of Christ has misused the Greek term "apostolos" and turned it into some exalted title or position. It is neither. The word "apostolos" designates someone who is "sent forth" on a royal mission with a specific assignment: an ambassador of the Kingdom, if you will; a representative. They are authorized and empowered by the Lord to represent Him in a specific function -- not to hold some Kingdom governmental power over others. [I'll discuss this more at length in a future Coffee Break.])
Paul was partnered with the Lord in his assignment. Because the Lord had sent him to lay foundations for the body of Christ -- and God always pays for what he orders -- the partnership agreement needed a financial extension in order for Paul and his companions in ministry to have the ability to travel and see every need along the way met. A partnership link was formed with the Philippian Ekklesia (and there were other partnerships Paul speaks of in some of his other letters at different times) in which the Philippians responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to liberally give of their resources, encompassing financial, physical, and human, in order that Paul could accomplish what God had spoken to him.
The Ekklesia in Philippi became partnered with Paul and with the Lord in this ministry. Paul couldn't accomplish what he needed to do without the necessary available resources. The Ekklesia in Philippi hadn't been sent by the Lord in person, but they could go with Paul on his journeys with the resources that made his ministry tasks possible. It was divine teamwork. It was an essential component of Kingdom Economics. The Word of the Kingdom -- the Gospel of the Kingdom -- went forth with Paul's preaching and discipling AND made possible by the finances and other resources contributed by Philippi.
Paul certainly was due a reward for his faithfulness in doing what God sent him to do. But Paul made clear in his letter to the Philippians that they likewise shared in that reward. Because their part of the ministry was the financial part, God was effectively opening the windows of Heaven to ensure that every need, every requirement, every demand of theirs was met -- and in abundance: Heaven's abundance!
Folks, that's the picture of how Kingdom Economics works! I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the kingdoms of the world -- Babylonian, if you please -- are based on "getting." The Kingdom of God is based on giving. God gave us His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus gave us Himself. He sacrificed His life for us so that the curse of the Law, the curse of death, the curse of poverty could be lifted off the human race and relationship with God restored to its pre-Fall basis: intimacy, relationship, fellowship, communion, love!
The entirety of the Kingdom of God and its Economics are predicated on agape love. That is God's love. It is boundless. It is endless. It has no limits. Agape doesn't "take." Agape is a totally giving-oriented relationship. Whether one deserves to be loved has nothing whatever to do with it. There is nothing we can do to "earn" God's love. It is freely available to all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
Jesus made his purpose clear.
"The thief comes only in order that he may steal and may kill and may destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance -- to the full, till it overflows." (John 10:10 Amplified Version)
Paul expounded on this somewhat in his letter to the Romans when he wrote, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." (Romans 8:2 KJV) It is that "Law of Sin and Death" that the thief, Satan, tries continually to foist off on the world -- and even more so, Christians -- who've been given their freedom from that law. That law is a thief, and it is exercised against us continually by Satan, who wants to keep us in a perpetual state of need, lack, want, poverty, death, sickness, disease, etc.
The Kingdom of God is the polar opposite, and the Economic System of God's Kingdom is "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus."
This is the fortieth chapter or discussion dealing with the Economy of God's Kingdom. Maybe there will be more added in the weeks or months or years ahead as the Lord brings more revelation by His Spirit, but I trust that the foregoing discussions have been an encouragement to you, and have brought more understanding to what we have available as heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.
See you again in a few days as we change topics entirely.
He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. (Sir Isaac Newton)
The Blessing of the Lord: it makes rich and He adds no painful toil and sorrow! (Proverbs 10:22)
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