Jan 10, 2015

Are you a clone or an original.

Are you a clone or an original.

Psalm 139:14 "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."   

The fact is, you are an original, made uniquely by God.  God has an amazing plan for your life, which only He can perfect in you and through you. However, you may be under pressure to become a clone of someone's idea of how your life should be conducted. 

Don't get me wrong, we need strong believers in our lives who can encourage and admonish us, but the final result has to be a product of our deep relationship and fellowship with God and our submission to His word and will. The Holy Spirit dwelling within us has intimate knowledge of our strengths, weaknesses, hopes, dreams and desires. He knows how to direct us and correct us, to comfort us and quicken us, all within the boundaries of our will and our desire to yield to Him. 

I see people caught up in a false sense of loyalty to a Church or ministry, even though they may realise that something is amiss. They are being cloned into the image of a man or woman, not the image that God has for them. God genuinely loves you and cares for you and ALWAYS has the best blessing in mind for your life. God does not use and abuse people. He calls and equips them to be a blessing to the Body of Christ, but it is never by force.

If God has called you to serve in a local Church, believe me, you will blessed and be a blessing. But I have seen a lot of the "behind the scenes" of various ministries and I will tell you it's not pleasant. There is a lot of stress, anxiety and competition. 

Rom. 8:15 "For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!"  

Our Christian life is not and should not be a life of slavery to some man made cause, but one of purpose and passion, direction and dedication, all inspired by the Greater One who dwells in us and by God's word that has been hidden in our hearts. 

There is no point in being saved from a messed up life only to be caught up in another messed up life in the Name of Christ. Jesus came to give us a more abundant life. A clone is a copy of something else, that looks like and behaves like the original. We are to become more like the Master and full of and controlled by His Spirit just like Jesus was. 

Luke 4:4 "Then Jesus, full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led in [by] the [Holy] Spirit" The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, where He fasted for forty days and overcame temptation on three occasions. He was not distressed and did not come out of that experience, defeated and weak, but came out victorious and strong. Vs. 14 " Then Jesus went back full of and under the power of the [Holy] Spirit into Galilee, and the fame of Him spread through the whole region round about." He had received a fresh anointing in preparation for the next phase of the ministry that God had ordained for His life.

God is well able to make you into the vessel He wants you to be. But it can only happen when we yield to His direction and correction.   Jude 1:24 "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy," This scripture speaks volumes. He is ABLE to keep us from falling. That speaks of protection from the pitfalls, trials and temptations of life. To "present us faultless" does not suggest you and I will be perfect, but it speaks of being clothed in the righteousness of Christ. God is recognizing Christ in us the hope of Glory. 

2 Cor. 4:7 "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." The vessel is perfected by the treasure God put on the inside.   We are to stop feeling inadequate because we cannot meet the standard that others set for us,  but instead, "Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!"  Isa. 60:1 Amp. 

Jan 7, 2015

Is Dignity your Downfall?

Is Dignity your Downfall?

Sam. 6:16 " Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart."

Vs. 20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!”

Vs. 21 So David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the Lord.

Vs. 22 "And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight."

Worship in the majority of Christendom, has become staid and robotic.   We are presented by a list of songs chosen by the worship team and accompanied by skilled musicians and singers.  Great sounding worship, but I have often looked back across the audience to find stoic faces looking forward, with mouths hardly moving.  

What's wrong with this picture?   It is a lack of audience participation.  Having led worship for the past 44 years, I absolutely know you cannot force people to worship.  I have seen worship leaders berate the audience and even insult them in an attempt to get them to worship.

The problem is worship is something that has to come from the heart.  It is a desire to worship God and can only come from someone who has personally met the Master and had a relationship with God on the inside.    Worship is an expression of how we feel about God. " God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [[a]who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed]." 1 Cor.2:9 Amp.    "We love Him because He first loved us."  1 John 4:19   

The sad reality is that there are probably many Christians who love God and have had a personal relationship with Him, but are holding back because of their concept of "dignity"    Religion has taught them that they need to be dignified before the Lord.   The dictionary meaning of dignity is ... . the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect. -   a composed or serious manner or style.

With the dignified mindset, worship becomes composed and serious, rather than joyful and expressive.   Expressive worship is a wonderful thing and can lead to tremendous breakthrough in our demeanor.   Isa. 61:3  "To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit ... "  Amp.

The question remains ...  Is Dignity your Downfall?  Are you missing out on a heavenly blessing because you are locked in the human restraints of dignity.  

Over the many years of revival meetings, the greatest breakthroughs we have witnessed in the lives of people, was when they abandoned their dignity and allowed the Holy Spirit to fill them to the point that in the natural it looked silly.   Some were like that for days, but the outcome was amazing.  

I believe that dignity and pride go hand in hand. The word of God says "be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble" 1 Pet. 5:5    When we humble ourselves before the Lord, and allow His awesome glory to fill us, dignity will depart and victory will come.  

We call it ... getting lost in His glory ... Soaking in His presence  ... becoming saturated with His anointing.     The most profound breakthroughs in my life have not come from serious moments in God's presence, but powerful encounters with the Spirit of God that left me empty of self and full of Him.  

The Apostle Paul prayed for the Church daily ... Eph. 3:16 "May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality].   That is not some dignified experience but one amazing encounter.  

I am not saying we have to get silly in the presence of the Lord. But dignity will cause you to despise the lack of dignity in others, just like Saul's daughter Michal.   Victory does not come from a physical act but from a yielded heart. Dignity is a state of mind, but a yielded heart leads to a free spirit at which point dignity is abandoned and God's blessing flows.  

Let me encourage you to allow God to fill you to overflowing, and change you radically on the inside.   WE ALL NEED IT OFTEN.

Listen to this audio clip.  
God's richest blessing

Gil Howard-Browne

Jan 6, 2015

Overcoming Negatives

Overcoming Negatives

It is human nature to focus on the negative rather than the positive. The media and social networks, see to it that we get our daily dose of negative. We as believers are required to walk by faith. 

That means our trust in God overcomes the impulse to panic in the face of adversity. It's a learned behavior and gets easier over time as we witness the hand of God at work in our lives. 

The story of Jesus sleeping in the boat during a raging storm is a good example of how we should be. The antidote for worry and anxiety is the love, peace and joy of the Lord. No one has arrived at the place of perfect faith and trust.  It does not matter if you are in the ministry or not, the best preacher, or that you appear to others to be strong spiritually, everyone has to overcome the negative thoughts and situations that are part of our daily existence on earth. 

Today's victory is wonderful, but tomorrow is a new day with new challenges and blessings.  I have to remind myself daily to walk by faith expecting  life not death, blessing and not cursing.  Deut. 30:19 "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: "

The best way to overcome negative thoughts is to feed our minds with positive uplifting stuff. The mind is trainable and the more we put in the promise of God, which is the Word of God, the more our minds begin to think positively.    Garbage in, garbage out. Goodness in, goodness out.   

Phil. 4:8 "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things"

2 Cor. 10:5  "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"

When you next feel the flesh's urge to worry or get distressed about a situation, immediately begin to change it's train of thought.   Listen to good worship, and uplifting preaching.   If you can't pray in English, pray in the heavenly tongue.   It's God's gift to us " Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." Rom. 8:26 

Let us agree to encourage each other in 2015. Let us help each other focus on the goodness of God (Rom. 2:4) and the blessings of the Lord that makes rich and adds no sorrow. (Prov. 10:22) Let us focus on the "goodness and mercy that will follow us all the days of our lives".  (Ps. 23:6) God says I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth. I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isa. 43:19)      

God bless you richly,

Gil Howard-Browne

Dec 13, 2014

Gossip ... the disease of the Church

Ever heard the phrase "the Christian grapevine" I'm sure you have. It's the gossip that stems from hearsay that we as Christians need to guard against. All of us have indulged in this "disease" of the Body of Christ. Often the gossip is the truth, but the truth is hidden by the way it is delivered and subsequently passed on. It's the "fluff and stuff" that is added to the truth because of the way the receiver interprets what they heard and so the story gets muddied and tainted. The only way it can be stopped is when we check our own hearts and motives. Are we repeating what we heard out of a heart of compassion and a sincere desire to be part of the solution or because we derived some sort of pleasure in repeating the story.  

Eph 4:15 says "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" The "in love" part is a heart thing not just a mental assent and we will know the difference at the time if we are in submission to the Holy Spirit. I have found this to be true in my own life. In the course of a conversation, I was about to say something when I felt a check not to say it and immediately changed the direction. It was like the Holy Spirit was applying the brakes to prevent me from going there. Even though we may be talking to someone we trust, they may repeat it and pretty soon, the fourth and fifth generation have the story wrong.  

Sadly, gossip serves no purpose other than to divide the Church, because people are quick to take sides. I have heard the stories of friendships that have suddenly ended for no aparent reason, only to find out years later it was because of gossip. I have probably been a victim myself as I have had friends who suddenly stopped being friends. There is not much we can do to stop others from gossipping, but we can stop the gossip from being disseminated from our own lips. The buck stops here.    

When I was in my early 30's I was fellowshipping with a group of ministers and leaders and the conversation began to be about other ministers and what they were doing. The rumors and gossip began to flow and pretty soon I began to feel very uncomfortable. I excused myself and went for a walk. As I was thinking about the gossip I began to speak to the Lord about the experience. God showed me a vision of the group talking about people in other cities. As they were talking, it was as though webs were forming a canopy accross the country, that became thicker and thicker until it blocked the light of the sun and it got darker and darker.  

I asked the Lord what that meant and He said as we were engaging in gossip, the opposite of truth, it was preventing His glory from shining through. So I asked Him what we could do about this and He said, "begin to speak blessing over them" and He showed me another vision of us speaking blessing, life, love and peace over them. As we did that, the strands of web began to snap and the light began to shine through once again.

I went back and told the group and asked them to join me in praying for and blessing those who were gossipped about. There was such a breakthrough of God's presence in that place and repentant hearts. It was a lesson I never forgot and God has had to remind me of this from time to time. If you find yourself being dragged into a gossip session, remember "the buck stops here" Immediately ask those present to pray with you and you will see a change in the atmosphere almost immediately.

Eph 4:25 " Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another." Truth is something this Nation needs and when the Church begins to walk in truth and honesty, it will trickle down into the secular world and " his truth shall be thy shield and buckler (armor) " Psalm 91:4

Jan 9, 2014

The Purpose of the Anointing

1 Jn 2:27 "But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will[a] abide in Him."

Acts 10:38  "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."

Acts 1:8  "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

Many believers confuse the anointing that works through us with the anointing that works in us.  The first one enables us to function in our calling, to minister God's word and be used to touch people's lives via the Gifts of the Spirit.  The latter one is the anointing that abides in us and corrects, refreshes, heals, comforts us, and guides us into all truth.   

Jesus was anointed by God and went about performing miracles.  When He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness not to minister but to fast and pray, the bible says he was "full of and controlled by the Spirit" Luke 4:1-2   

Being full of the Holy Spirit, the anointing, the devil had a most frustrating time, as he tried several times to tempt Jesus and failed miserably.  Verse 13 says "
And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season."   It was the anointing in Jesus that prevented the devil from tempting Him, and as Isa. 10:27 (Amp) says, "The yoke shall be destroyed because of fatness [which prevents it from going around your neck]"  Fatness or oil as some translations read, is symbolic of the anointing.  The anointing in Jesus prevented the yoke of bondage from coming on Him.  

Our ministries are very important and much needed by the body of Christ.   But there would be no point if God anointed us greatly and used us mightily in touching the lives of others, but we were failures physically, morally and spiritually. God gave us the anointing, according to 1 John 2:27 to help us and teach us how to abide in Jesus.   

Anyone can preach and with the right training can be quite eloquent and articulate, but if it is devoid of the Power of God, then it is just more of man's wisdom and lacks the touch of God in the lives of the hearers that will bring them healing, love, joy, peace, and victory over sin, oppression, depression and the myriad human ailments that rule the lives of people everywhere.  

The Apostle Paul addressed this in 1 Cor 2  Vs. 4 "And my language and my message were not set forth in persuasive (enticing and plausible) words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit and power [[d]a proof by the Spirit and power of God, operating on me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them],  
Vs. 5 So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy), but in the power of God.

The demonstration of the Spirit and power,  is the anointing on Paul for ministry and it worked while he was preaching "stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them". 

Preach the Word of God by the anointing then allow the Holy Spirit to make that word real to the hearts of the hearers and let Him confirm His word with signs following.  The description "the most holy emotions" indicates that this was not on an intellectual level, but was emotional, working in the psychological part of our being.   

There are a lot of Christians with a lot of word in them but they are dead spiritually.  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 2 Cor. 3:6.  Without the anointing of the Holy Spirit in and through our lives, the ministry will depend on our ability, strength and personality. 

Without the anointing at work in me, changing me, correcting me, and bringing me into a deeper walk with God, I am going to eventually fail morally, physically or spiritually or all of the above.  If the word was the only thing we needed then it would not have been necessary for Jesus to  " pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; and be our teacher, comforter and guide. "  John 14:16   

If you diminish the role of the anointing of the Holy Spirit in your life, you negate the purpose of the Cross.  If Jesus did not pay the price for our sin, the veil of separation between us and God would still exist.   But His sacrifice opened the way for us to receive the indwelling of the presence and power of God, His anointing.   

Jesus final words to the disciples prior to ascending into heaven was Acts 1:8 "But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you"   The word power literally means, God's ability, efficiency and might.   The anointing that we receive from God gives us access to God's ability, efficiency and might in everything we do.  So when we have an ongoing relationship with the Holy Spirit, He will teach us all things that are necessary to fulfill the will and purpose of God for our lives.   "and ye shall be witnesses unto me"  speaks of God's anointing for ministry wherever and however He directs us.   

Paul prayed daily for the Church, in Eph 3  Vs. 16 "that He would grant you according to the riches of His Glory to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, ... "  The amplified bible explains it better.  "May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]."    

Paul speaks about the inner man or the spirit of man, being strengthened and reinforced.   We need that strengthening and reinforcing in us if we are to succeed in the ministry that God by His Spirit wants to work through us.  

"The Holy Spirit, Himself, indwelling in our innermost being and personality". This speaks of an intimacy that is life changing, affecting spirit and our personalities.  It speaks of a change of heart and desires.  

Vs. 19  speaks about being "filled with all the fullness of God. "  All of this prayer that Paul prayed daily for the Church, concerns us as individuals and has nothing to do with ministry.   God is vitally interested in making sure we are conforming to His will and purpose for our lives.

Vs. 20 concludes ... "Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—

Paul is describing the incredible role the anointing, the power of God, has within us and what it can do for us.  Every believer desperately needs to experience and be filled with the anointing. There are incredible things God wants to do in us and through us.  It is His anointing within us that will accomplish this purpose.

There is so much more that God has for us personally and through us for ministry. 

1 Cor. 2 vs 9  "But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed].
Vs. 10  Yet to us God has unveiled and revealed them by and through His Spirit, for the [Holy] Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God [the divine counsels and things hidden and beyond man’s scrutiny].
Who hold Him in affectionate reverence ... speaks of a deep relationship of worship and reverence.    " Promptly obeying and gratefully recognizing" ... speaks of an attitude that we develop over time as we yield to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to perfect and change us.  Spend time with Him.  Worship Him and reverence His presence in your life.  Allow the anointing to quicken (make alive) you, and to refresh, correct and direct you.   Gal. 5:16 "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."   The word "lust" literally means, a strong desire of any kind, whether good or bad.  We can have a good idea, but it may not be a God idea.  We are to be led by the Spirit in all we do.  It is a learned behavior, and over time, we get better at hearing the Holy Spirit speaking to us from within. 

Summing up. 

The anointing that abides in us is to help us in our personal lives, to overcome the works of the flesh and to develop the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.    

The anointing upon us is to help us to function in the ministry God has ordained for our lives. That anointing will enable the gifts of the Spirit to function so that we are not appealing to the intellect of the hearer but we become the vessel through which God works to touch the hungry, hurting and lost human race and reveal the very nature of God through us to the world. 

Gil Howard-Browne

Jan 5, 2014

Walking in the Spirit.

Recently there has been debate on facebook regarding the dangers of the "Hypergrace" teaching that is prevalent in the Body of Christ today.   It was sparked by an article by Dr. Michael Brown, in which he rightfully stated that this can lead to a large falling away believers from God.  In the article he spoke of how the pendulum has swung from the old legalism, to grace, to hypergrace. 

Hypergrace is indeed a serious problem in the Church today. But people fell away from God under the old "legalism" teaching, and under the "grace" teaching, and are still falling away from God under the "hypergrace" teaching.  In my 45 years of ministry, I have seen this happening in every decade in denominations across the board.   So what is the answer.  

I believe that if Christians don't ha
ve a life changing relationship with the Holy Spirit and learn to walk in the Spirit, they will get caught up in all these excesses. Our preaching should not be with man's wisdom, as the Apostle Paul puts it in 1 Cor. 2, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and Power. The amplified version says it well. "but they were in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit and power [[a]a proof by the Spirit and power of God, operating on me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them],"

Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh"   Galatians 5:16-26    The word lust is literally a strong desire of any kind whether good or bad.    When we live by the dictates of the flesh, we are carnal.  
Carnal preachers will produce carnal Christians. We need men of God who are sold out to God, who love the presence of God and will teach the people God sends them. how to walk in the Spirit like they do.

The fact that we can invite the Holy Spirit to dwell in us is a direct result of what Jesus did on the cross. He tore down the veil of separation between God and man and made it possible for us to receive the free gift of eternal life, but also the Holy Spirit whom Jesus said would be our comforter, teacher and guide. 

One of the last things Jesus said to His disciples before He ascended into heaven was the we would receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon us. The word power, from dunamis, literally means, God's ability, efficiency and might. 

Jesus last instructions to His people was to be filled with the dunamis, God's ability, efficiency and might. 1 Jn. 2:27 says, "the anointing (dunamis) which you have received of Him abides in you and will teach you all things even how to abide in Christ.. 

The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death. That's what Grace did for us. Grace made all of the above possible, so that we can live by the inward law's that God writes on the tables of our heart. 

It's not man's wisdom or man's ideas and doctrines, but God's life giving word made real to us by the power of the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us.

Mar 7, 2012

When my head is anointed, my cup will run over.

"...thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. " Ps. 23:5
I think the reason for the anointing on David's head is that his head was probably the thing that prevented his cup from running over.  Most of the time, our heads will get in the way of God's blessing. It is how we think that molds and shapes our lives. People with negative attitudes never really get anywhere. 

I have found that when my thinking is in line with God's word, my attitude towards Him and His purpose changes.    The word of God declares "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" 2 Cor. 10:5 

 We really need the help of the Holy Spirit in the area of our thinking.  Christians focus on negative things too much. Every year some new crisis arises that gives Christians reason to panic. Fear grips the church and stifles productivity. Doctrines are birthed out of those fears and people, who are gullible, believe in it and become tainted by those warped views.
  • We are the ones that need to do the casting down of imaginations and rampant thoughts that try to infiltrate our minds.
  • A good relationship with God will protect our minds.
  • An intimate fellowship with the Holy Spirit will keep us thinking right thoughts.
  • Seeing our problems like Jesus sees them, will transform our thinking and bring our thoughts into captivity in Christ.
After all, there is no problem too big for God to handle.  "For with God nothing shall be impossible " Lk.1:37  "And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." Mt.10:27 He has given us " ... exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature," 2 Peter 1:4  He said " ... and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Heb.13:5 

So if we have the promises, what is the problem? It is our thinking. People make the wrong decisions for various reasons, and then blame the devil and even God. We are responsible for guarding our hearts and positioning ourselves for the blessings of God. " Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23  We are commanded to   "...stir up the gift of God, which is in thee ..." 2 Timothy 1:6  "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;" Ephesians 5:19 

That is why we need the oil of the Holy Spirit to be poured upon our heads.
  • Natural oil has many uses.
  • It is a lubricant that will stop friction.
  • It can be used to stop corrosion.
  • It will stop a hinge from squeaking. 
We need the " ... oil of joy for mourning ..." Isaiah 61:3    When the oil of joy comes, your cup will run over and mourning and sorrow will have to leave.   An overflowing cup will result in others getting blessed. Too many Christians try to minister from an empty cup. An empty cup, no matter how beautiful it is, has nothing to give. It does not matter how much gold and glitter adorns the cup, if it is empty it is for show only.

When your cup is empty, you are dry and have nothing to give. You will resort to gimmicks and programs in order to satisfy the cup. None of that satisfies your hungry and thirsty heart. 

You yearn for much more. Your spirit cries out for more. " As the hart (or deer) panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God."   Ps 42:1. 
We need water of life to refresh us and the oil of the Holy Spirit to anoint us and the power of the Holy Spirit to equip us.  

God bless you richly. 

Gil Howard-Browne
www.revivaltimes.com   (Main Ministry Site)
www.podcast.revivaltimes.com  (Worship Podcast Site)

Feb 28, 2012

Is "Doom and Gloom" or "Abundant Life and Blessing" in your Future?

 Psalm 46:2-7  (Amplified Bible)
2 - Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas,   3 - Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling and tumult. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!   4 - There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.   5 - God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God will help her right early [at the dawn of the morning].  6 - The nations raged, the kingdoms tottered and were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.  7 - The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge (our Fortress and High Tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

I regularly receive an email from someone wanting me to view a video or article on how bad things are in the world and how we are facing great danger.  The frequency "doom and gloom" posts have escalated in recent months and I am being asked to comment on some conspiracy theory, or prediction of great impending doom.

Now I am not disputing the the fact that the USA and the rest of the world is facing some major challenges.  But consider for a moment, has there ever been a time in history when the world has been a perfect place.  Every century has had it's moments of calamity, disasters and wars.   Christians are particularly vulnerable because of our understanding or lack thereof, of the "end times" mentioned in the Word of God.   Many have  built whole ministries around end time prophecy.  But Jesus actually told us "take no thought for tomorrow" Matt 6:25  and "occupy till I come"  Luke 19:12-19

I remember back in the 60's and 70's, how many preachers were preaching about the soon return of Jesus and how wars, earthquakes, extreme weather,  were an indication that the second coming would happen in the next few years.  

There is a real danger in misinterpreting end time prophecy.  There are "end time" preachers who avidly believed that Jesus was coming soon, who have preached the message for 30 or 40 years of their ministry, and are now dead and buried, but life is still going on. The only problem is, thousands were influenced by their teachings and missed God's plan for their lives.  We have a great responsibility in spreading God's word and to "speak every man truth with his neighbour:" Eph 4:25

The fact is Jesus could come back tomorrow but He may only come back in 20, 30 or 100 years from now.  Who knows.    Jesus said "But of that [exact] day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father"  

Matthew 24:33-36  (AMP)    33 - So also when you see these signs, [a]all taken together, coming to pass, you may know [b]of a surety that He is near, at the very doors.   34 - Truly I tell you, this generation ([c]the whole multitude of people living at the same time, [d]in a definite, [e]given period) will not pass away till all these things [f]taken together take place.  35 - [g]Sky and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.  36 - But of that [exact] day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Don't get caught up in all the doom and gloom theories that are flying about these days.   If you take a close look, you will usually find, there is a book, DVD or some product for sale.  The article/video is designed to stir emotions and thus generate business.  

Towards the middle of 1998, I published to my web site a section on Y2K.  Read Article  My comments were "Non event, Hype and a money making opportunity."  I said "During the first week of Jan. 2000, a lot of "Feed the Hungry Ministries" would be birthed." 
Well, January 1, 2000 came and went with no sign of the dreaded bug.  What was all the hype about.   One answer . . .   Money!!!!    Money fueled the Y2K bug theory.   I believe many pastors and leaders were sincere in their efforts to warn their congregations, but  they were caught up in the hype of the Y2K bug info being divulged all over the globe.  People began to purchase survival supplies and purchased electricity generators. 

A lot of money was made by churches, ministries and secular corporations.  Fortunes were spent on supplies and bug fixes, sadly, most was not necessary.   For example, we were told that most desktop PC's would fail unless they were upgraded with BIOS fixes and other software upgrades.   Well all of my computers were working on January 1st, including a six year old computer and software.  Sadly, I met a number of people over the next 5 to 6 years who still had lots of Y2K rations stacked in a cupboard or box somewhere in an attic or garage. ( Read the follow-up  article I published the first week of January 2000)

We are not to put our heads in the sand and live in denial.  But we need to learn to trust the Holy Spirit, our comforter, teacher and guide to lead us and warn us if necessary.   Every year brings new challenges and opportunities.   But God has a plan and His plan will be fulfilled if we trust Him.   

Let's focus on this ... 

Ps 37:25  "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. "(KJV)     

Ps 23:1   "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. "(KJV)   

Matt 6:25-26   "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  26    Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? "(KJV)


Jan 22, 2012

What are you searching for?

2 Timothy 1:7  

"God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind" 

There are 41 posts on this blog covering a number of life issues that people face daily.  

About 70 percent of the visitors are being sent from Google searches and the balance from my own web site and a few others that link to my blog.

Listed below, are the top 6 most viewed posts.

These are the key words or phrases people are searching for, and it confirms where we are in the world today.  Recent polls in the USA show that the majority of Americans are concerned about the economy.  There are 40 million Americans on food stamps and unemployment is at almost 9%.
I posted the blog God will keep you in Perfect Peace. on March 11, 2011 and it has stayed at the top of the list since then.  People REALLY NEED PEACE in this time of history.  There is such a need in the world and many are suffering greatly because of lack of finances and in many cases, lost jobs.   

It is easy for me to simply say, "Trust the Lord"   But for the people facing the situation, it is easier said than done.  I can only speak for myself and say, I have been on both sides of the fence.  I have been in prosperity and at the brink of poverty.  The truth is, peace is needed in both situations.   

There are many extremely prosperous people who have no peace at all.  They have all the money the average person could only dream of, yet they don't have peace.  Peace does not come from material things and pleasure.   Peace is internal and is a "fruit of the Spirit"    Fruit has to grow and mature.

Peace starts in my spirit because of the presence of the Lord, and I have to learn how to yield my mind to that peace. I have been in the middle of a financial crisis so deep that I never thought I would ever recover.  But that was almost 30 years ago.  That crisis lasted about two years and I learned how the mind can conjure all sorts of bad scenarios that make you loose hope.  

But I also found out that none of those thoughts had any foundation at all.  In fact, none of the bad things my mind conjured up ever came to pass.  Out of that desperate situation, God brought one of the greatest blessings in my life and marriage I had ever experienced.   God made a way where there was no way. 

I discovered the Joy of the Lord is my strength.  I am not talking about a by faith "spiritual joy".  I am talking about a literal joy, where laughter takes hold and a "joy unspeakable" fills your entire being.  It's like God's anesthetic which takes your attention off of your situation and places it on His incredible joy.   It's a joy that mends a broken heart and puts hope back into a hopeless heart. It's a joy that takes the focus off of me and puts it on Him. 

The after effect of joy is His peace.   It's like knowing a good outcome, inside as opposed to a bad outcome, outside.   God's peace allows us to see His provision when our understanding sees the result of our bad circumstances.    It's like looking through God's eyes and seeing His plan and purpose unfolding, instead of through our eyes, that see only the circumstances surrounding us.

Now I am the first to admit, that we have had many difficult times since then where we have had to trust God to see us through.  But it is a lot easier now, as I have learned how not to let my thoughts get out of hand.

The word of God says "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind"  2 Timothy 1:7      Fear is the opposite of faith.  Fear is faith in reverse gear.  Fear overwhelms us and makes us doubt God's ability to deliver us from our situation. 


As soon as the negative thought comes into your mind, there are two directions you can take.  One is to give into the thought and dwell on it until fear manifests.  The other is to immediately say to yourself ... "I will not allow my mind to dictate the outcome, but I will trust God who has promised to deliver me and be my provider.  Immediately begin to re-direct your thoughts away from the negative.  God sees only blessing for your life and will always make a way of escape.  So I have to begin to think His thoughts which are to be found in His word.  

I love this old song "Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in his wonderful face.  And the things of the earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."

God bless you

Gil Howard-Browne

Jan 13, 2012

Peace that Passes Understanding.

Philippians 4:6-9 (KJV)
Vs 6  "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.   Vs 7  "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (See vs 8 at the end)

"Be careful for nothing"  Why would God's word suggest that, when there is so much in life we have to care about.  There is not a person in the world, rich or poor, famous or infamous, who does not have a care.  It's like asking us to be in denial, when everything around us seems to be the opposite.   

The clue is to be found in the latter part of Vs 6.   God is saying that the answer is "fellowship with Him" talking to him (prayer) and thanking Him for His goodness and provision.  God already knows what we are going through and what we have need of.  But it is in fellowship that we find the strength and direction that we need.  

The second key is to be found in Vs 7.   "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."    It's the peace of