Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ministry Update - April 12, 2010

A NEW OPEN HEAVEN

The Cave of Adullam school is just a few days away and we sense an excitement in the heavenlies. Robert Duran and Carlos Perez were recently at a youth conference where Robert preached and shared about the school. During the conference, I received a call from Carlos. He explained to me that He had awakened that morning with such an awareness of God that he literally became frightened. He quickly went to Robert's room and soon they were both raptured into the Lord's Presence. This lasted for the remainder of the conference. Robert shared that evening and felt wired into a heavenly computer that was downloading spiritual principles and concepts he had never considered before.

Carlos also mentioned that the Holy Spirit was very evident during a worship song entitled "Holy." The following evening our family was driving down the road, speaking about the things of God, when the CD player unexpectedly turned on and started playing by itself! The music that poured out was the same song, "Holy." Unbelievable!

LESSONS BEING LEARNED

Robert has a strong sense God is doing something different from what has been done in the past. As Moses had no one to teach him how to lead a nation from one country to another, so we will not be able to find precedent for what God is asking us to do. This requires total trust and sensitivity to Him.

In this season, we have a much greater awareness that God is the Alpha and Omega. We often talk about coming off our thrones and making God number one in our lives. We appear willing to be number two or three. However, if God is the beginning and the end then there is not much room for number two or three either! I believe so much of His plans are based on our willingness to die to our desires and live only for His. This is much more difficult than it appears. Most people would like to be successful in man's eyes. It is so tempting to use a move of God to validate a person's ministry or suggest special favor from God. However, it has never been about us - it is about Him. He alone is the King and it is His Kingdom. He alone is worthy.

During this fresh encounter, Carlos has received insights into another important spiritual principle. James 3 is a familiar chapter regarding the dangers of the tongue. However, we often overlook the last part of the chapter, which speaks of the importance of honoring one another. We believe this is a key component to spiritual transformation in our communities.

"Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor" (James 3:17-18 MSG).

A related commandment is, "Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you" (Deut. 5:16). Notice, this commandment does not say to honor only those parents who live honorably. To honor is not necessarily an endorsement of conduct. It is showing respect to those in this particular position of authority. This command has a spiritual as well as physical application. When we honor our spiritual fathers and mothers, we are showing honor for their position. This is critical if we want revival to go well and last a long time.

Soon after this was impressed upon Robert and Carlos' hearts, the Lord led them to call and honor a spiritual father who had fallen on hard times. There was tremendous reconciliation and an outpouring of God's power and anointing!

NEW MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES

Recently, I stumbled upon a coffee shop overlooking the town square here in Jerez. I was impressed with the number of young people who were there chatting and doing occasional Karaoke. I met the manager who spoke a bit of English. She was extremely cordial and welcomed me back. On a later visit, I mentioned that I was a minster and once ran a coffee shop that reached out to drug addicts and troubled youth in South Minneapolis. She then asked, "Could you do that here?" I was shocked! I then mentioned that I knew of a ministry in Minneapolis that did a weekly Bible study in a secular coffee shop similar to hers. She then asked, "Could you do that here in my coffee shop?" She then went on to offer to pay to be able to attend the Bible study herself. I assured her that there would be no charge and that she could attend anytime. Please pray for Shelly, the manager and her husband, Victor. I believe God is reaching out to their open hearts. Shelly is currently reading my book, Consuming Love.

Finally, a facility has recently become available that would be ideal for the school. It is strategically located in the city and would also supply space for the church. The owners have given us very reasonable terms and we are praying for the necessary finances. Please pray that all the financing and logistical issues come together quickly.