Faith Without Works is Dead

James 2:17-18 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

What is God stirring you up to do at this very moment in time? What are you doing for the Kingdom of God? If you are doing nothing for the Lord, you need to ask yourself are you really under the authority of the Holy Spirit? Are you really in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ?

The Spirit of God gives each one of us gifts to empower us in the spiritual realm, fruit to manifest the goodness of Christ and a ministry to establish his Kingdom in some way. That is just the way it is… The Holy Spirit will continually move each one of us to pray for, minister to or help others, daily. And if not, we deceive ourselves by thinking we are Christians.

We are then like the servant in Matthew 25 who hid his talent when he was too afraid to respond to the leading of the Lord.

Matthew 25:26-30 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Each day there are people departing to hell for all eternity and we are the antidote. We, the Church, are the only solution God has in place to stop this separation from abundant life. Yet some of us are worried that we might be rejected, that somebody might take offense, or that we are too busy…! There is no excuse; we are all called to do some works by the Holy Spirit. It may be the simplest of things; an act of kindness, a support to others, a powerful ministry or persistent, daily prayer… but our faith, if it is indeed alive, will be demanding something of us daily.

If you don’t have a sense of what to do, then you are too far away from the Lord to hear Him. Give up the social media, the television, the making of money and doing of business, the shopping and the pursuit of happiness. Spend some time in fasting, prayer and in the Word. Eventually it will come ever so clearly. God will move you and in so doing you will find your real purpose in life; your true happiness.

Don’t quench the Spirit by rejecting His advances. Don’t resist acting out in faith.

Prophetic Cursing

Do you know who the greatest threat to church leaders is? Its the false prophets. By false I don’t mean people who are not prophets, I mean real prophets that are being used by the devil.

Ezekiel 22:28 And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.

Jeremiah 23:30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.

Prophets are mature Christians, the have walked in the Spirit and been led of the Spirit. Yet somehow, like the Prophet Balaam they have turned astray, gone after money or the desire for position, power and relevance. Where they once waited on the Lord, received revelation and then interceded or gave a word of revelation; now, they now have become a tool of judgement. Where they once received a word from the Lord, they now receive it from others.

As they discern a weakness in the pastor or leader, either present or about to come, or they hear a word from another, what do they do? They fast and intercede, crying out for God’s intervention and mercy….? No! They speak it out, discuss it with the carnal, prophecy it and in so doing establish the very thing the devil is trying to bring forth. As the curse of their words and actions takes effect and the weakness becomes more evident, the prophet laments; “I warned that this was taking place” not realizing they have effectively hastened it to come to pass. The actions and words of these prophet are no longer tempered by the Spirit of God, but by the need for recognition, spiritual importance and relevance.

The devil loves to use those within the Body to break down the Body. It is the most effective means to bring about destruction “A house divided shall not stand.” And when the pastor or leader falls it affects the whole body of believers.

Its time for the prophets of the Body of Christ to regain their spiritual focus and purpose. Intercession, fasting and repenting for their leaders whom are under ongoing spiritual attack because of their headship role. And this is relevant not only to leaders of a fellowship; this is relevant for the wives who are the prophetic voice for their husbands who hold the headship role of the family; the leader of the company wherein the Christian is employed, the leaders of nations, schools and communities.

Long before evil becomes known to the average soul, the prophets and prophetess’s have seen it and have discerned the projected path ahead. Now is the time for Spirit led responses, the choice spoken words, the prayer to change destinies. Instead of cursing, accusing and biting with your words, turn your revelation out for good. Now is time for the prophets to come out of the pit and make straight the paths of those God has yoked you together with.

Lest the word spoke by Jeremiah 23:15 comes to pass; Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.

True Leadership

leadership

In the absence of Holy Spirit authority, carnal or demon inspired power will be exerted over you or through you. If you or the person exercising authority over you is not Spirit filled others will be in affliction, either continually or in part.

We are all in authority to some degree, be it over family members,friends, colleagues, companies, clubs, teams or even ourselves; we all exercise authority either continually or intermittently. But being in authority has a price and the devil will always seek to gain control over and work through those with the most authority, as this is also the route to the most damage. James 3:1-2 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.For in many things we offend all..

So what are the traits of Spirit filled leadership? Christ was the ultimate role model when it comes to leading people and it is worthwhile studying his actions..

Jesus prayed for others, the decisions he was to make and the people he needed to appoint. The people he chose to start the Church had something unseen that was relevant for the task at hand and only prayer reveals and opens us to those qualities. In any decision about appointing people to positions or roles within a company, team, organisation or family one should always prayer seek God’s guidance. Even then we may sometimes appeared to have made a bad choice, as Jesus chose Judas, but there is always a lesson or purpose in these seemingly ‘wrong’ selections. In these instances we may grow as leaders or others may benefit from the selection, but God has a plan for every decision made in prayer.

Jesus was not a respecter of persons. He did not favour the wealthiest, smartest most experienced or most respected, but he chose those that had character and the ability to rise to the occasion. Opting for experience above other factors may appear to be a smart move but the person may have carried out the same job very badly all their life and not been an asset to any employee. Better to find those with more valuable qualities – integrity, honesty, hardworking, non prejudicial, self motivated etc. These traits are very hard to develop in people, whereas information and work skills can readily be taught. And although the mavericks are hard work, as King David found out, they are also the people that add an extra passion and ingenuity to the tasks at hand. They are not ‘yes people’that offer little; they are zealous, they have opinions, they challenge, they make a difference.

If a leader is not insecure he/she can get the best out of a zealous Peter or radical Paul, both of whom played pivotal roles in the growth of the early Church. Weak leadership on the other hand is always threatened by those exercising a different viewpoint, which ultimately leads to conflict and can lead to breakdown in families or good employees leaving company’s. The clearest sign of weak leadership in a company is high turnover of employees. The damage of this kind of authority in incalculable. People are afraid to voice an opinion, add value or contribute for fear of reprisal and they ultimately leave. Unfortunately many company leaders with these weaknesses employ like minded people which leads to a culture being established. Likewise parents who are unable to let their children grow into adults making and learning from their own decisions end up with children who are demotivated, rebellious and unable to stand on their own feet. The true skill is managing the boundaries whilst allowing the children to mature into their fullest potential.

David was also an amazing leader. He managed to pull together the most unlikely group of rejects and outcasts and turned them into a powerful army. One can only achieve this if you are prepared to lead by example and not expecting more of your team than you would do yourself. This generally comes through empathy for others and is often birthed out of trial. Nothing typifies this more clearly in David than when he pours out the water his soldiers had risked their lives to get him, saying he could not drink that which might have cost the lives of others. The bigger message was sending was that he would not satisfy his thirst whilst his men had nothing to drink. Children, friends and employees identify with servant leadership and will stir them to do anything for you, to follow you along every path. Jesus had the same servant mentality, putting his disciples before himself, even washing their feet. In years to come those disciples would give their lives in return.

The way you treat those under your authority is the same way they(children) will treat you when you are elderly, the same way they(employees) will treat their subordinates and your customers. Choosing to lead by fear last for as long as you are present and has the exact opposite long term effective as that required. As you leave the room so too does their compliance leave. True leadership inspires and lift others up and impact long after the leader has moved on. Those under this authority become disciples and carry out the very things that inspired them. True leaders understand that people thrive and give their best work when they feel valued and respected. One choice word of support can establish loyalty and excellence for life, whereas a word out of season can destroy motivation and enthusiasm.

Never under estimate the power of your words as a leader. Great leaders speak life into those under their authority. They don’t curse or accuse them. They build up and inspire people, they give a vision, they move others on to greatness never feeling threatened by their subsequent success. Many a child is broken down by the harmful words of a parent to such an extend they they have no confidence to achieve anything great. Many sportspeople are destroyed by the destructive words of a delinquent coach and over often a new coach can bring players to great success or even destroy those that were previously ‘superstars.’ And in the workplace many employees never achieve excellence due to a boss that is continually undermining, criticizing and accusing. One study in the USA showing that only 25% of managers are having a positive net influence on the business, with 25% exerting a neutral impact and 50% having an overall negative influence on the performance of the business.

True leadership in a nutshell is this:The ability to identify the strengths and talents of those under your authority, to bring those gifts out into the open to benefit that person and all around them and to focus those gifts and talents on achieving the goals at hand. An inability to do such things contradicts successful leadership and the damage they inflict on others will be evident to all except the person them self. Unfortunately they will continue blaming and getting rid of others without recognizing the impact of their own destructive leadership.

And if you are seeing these destructive elements in your leadership of family, business or social world, repent, draw close to God in prayer and fasting and ask God to make you a leader of value of excellence.It may be a trying process as God breaks down the pride, arrogance and judgment, but the end result will be a blessing to yourself and others.