Apr 28, 2011

Thirst cannot rest until it is quenched.

Psalm 42:1 "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God"

In medieval times, the word "hart" was used for a fully grown red deer stag five years or older.  It was greatly sought after as a hunting trophy mainly because of it's it weight in meat and fat and the size of it's antlers.  These deer/hart were hunted down using dogs or other means and as such, they would end up running great distances to get away, resulting in great thirst and panting.  
 
David the psalmist, during his shepherding days, had probably seen a hunt on numerous occasions, and had noticed how the deer, fleeing the hunters, panted and thirsted for water.  Coming to a stream, it probably dropped it's head and drank long and deep, before darting back under cover.

"Lord I thirst after you just like this deer.  Lord I long for more of You."   
 
Thirst forces a desperate and deliberate decision.  Thirst cannot rest until it is quenched.   That's how we should be with God.  I am so hungry and thirsty for more of Him and His presence that I can't wait until the next time I have opportunity to drink from His river of life.   But why wait?  Jesus said "if any many thirsts, let him come unto Me and drink"   Jn 7:37

God makes it available.  It's His promise and all I need to do is make a decision to come and drink.   I don't have to pray, beg, plead or become despondant.  All I have to do is "come to the water and drink"  I spend time in His presence, that's where the refreshing is. 
 
What makes us thirsty?   The answer is simple "lack of water"   We become dehydrated, sleepy and irritable to name just a few things.  It sounds like the way we feel when we lose fellowship with God.   The truth of the matter is, we are a spirit, and we live in a body and we have a soul.   Our bodies need natural nourishment and liquid in order to live.  Our spirit needs to be nourished with the Word of God and His presence. 

Isa 44:3 says "I will pour water upon him that is thirsty"  When God pours water, you have to know it is going to be good and it is going to be plenty.   But He only does that for those that are thirsty.  God never forces His water on those that don't want it.   But He sees the thirsty heart and He will bring refreshing by pouring water upon us.  

He continues in that verse to say, "and floods upon the dry ground."   Not only will He refresh you but He will refresh all those that are around you.  There will be an overflow.   We don't realize how much people need our help.  If we are dry ourselves, we cannot help those around us.   

But He is not done yet.   He continues "I will pour My Spirit upon your offspring, and My blessing upon your descendants"    What a package deal.  Not only do I get refreshed, but my offspring ... my kids and my descendants ... my grand kids.    That is what's amazing about God.  He is so generous in His giving and loves His children greatly and has purposed to bless us beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams.  

Ephesians 3:20 (Amplified Bible)  "is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]--"


God is never done with us and He never get tired of blessing us.  That's what He accomplished through Jesus on the cross.  He always has something new and fresh for us.  We just have to be ready and willing to receive.  Don't make excuses like "I'm not good enough"   God it not blessing you because you are good, but because He is good. God bless you richly

Gil Howard-Browne

   Worship from one of our revival meetings. 

  http://www.revivaltimes.com/ 

Apr 25, 2011

Focusing on the "ROCK"


Psalm 61:2 "From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock [that] is higher than I."

It's quite normal to want to know the answer to everything.  We look for a word of encouragement or prophecy that may through some light on our situation.  But often, it's on a need to know basis and God is the only one that needs to know.

Many times we look for the answers in the wrong places. It's almost like the fellow who was looking under the street lamp at night for something. A passer by stopped and asked him what he was looking for. He said he had lost his car keys and pointed to a spot about 40 yards away. The passerby looked puzzled and asked him, why are you looking in this spot for your keys when you lost them 40 yards away. The man answered ... because there is no light there so I came here because I could see better.

Now that's a dumb joke but its a great illustration of how we are looking to the wrong source for the answer.   The Lord woke me up early one morning with this statement "God wants the Body of Christ to change the way we think, speak and act.

Troubles and problems are all around us, they are a fact of life. Troubles come to the strong in the Lord and the not so strong in the Lord.   It's often our first reaction to something that happens, or to something someone says, that determines it's outcome. That reaction becomes the foundation upon which success or failure is built.

For instance, when someone says something that hurts or irritates us, we need to pause before responding, to consider what outcome our reply will have on the issue.  My reply could either help the situation or make it worse.

This holds good for thoughts as well. The minute the thought enters our mind, what do we do with it?  Do we give into it with an emotional response, or do we consider the thoughts credibility in the light of what God's word says.

For example, when we feel a pain in our bodies, and a thought crosses our minds that we may have cancer, because someone we know had the same type of pain and they died of cancer.  Do we believe that thought or do we immediately steer our thoughts towards what God's word tells us. "By His stripes we were healed"

We are the masters of our own words and thoughts

If your focus is on the wrong thing it will lead you away from God's purpose.  Don't think every thing bad that happens to you is the devil.  Life is full of surprises. Both good and bad things happen to good and bad people. 

A lot of negative things come from bad choices we make. Some people get mad at God as if He had something to do with it. The truth is God has given us all of His promises and His anointing to help us succeed. Unfortunately, we are often so wrapped up in our own condition that we don't see the provision that God has made for us.

God is wanting a people who are confident in Him.


Paul says Phil 4:10-11 "I was made very happy in the Lord that now you have revived your interest in my welfare after so long a time; you were indeed thinking of me, but you had no opportunity to show it."

Vs 11 "Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am"

Paul experienced a lot of difficult trials and situations. But we very seldom hear him say it was the devil.  We hear him say "God always causes me to triumph." 2 Cor 2:14 and "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world".

The prayer Paul prayed for the Church in Eph 3:14-20, never once mentioned the devil or evil or problems. Instead it focused on the length, breadth, depth and height of the love of God.

God is looking for quiet in the midst of the storm.

Jesus focused on RESTING rather than on the storm.
Peter focused on the storm rather than on Jesus.
Is your focus on the situation or on the God of the situation?

The man at the pool of Bethesda focused on his inability to get to the pool when the angel stirred the water. Jesus never saw his disability but saw him whole. The answer that came from Jesus was " take up thy bed and walk"

He could have reacted negatively to that statement of Jesus. "What do you mean ... take up my bed and walk. Can't you see I am lame."   That's the emotional response based on what he had become accustomed to.   Many Christians are unable to trust God anymore because they are so accustomed to their circumstances.

Victory does not mean that all your needs met.


Victory is how we think, speak and act while we are waiting for our needs to be met. The lame man at the gate of the temple, was so accustomed to being lame that all he knew to do was beg for money.

Sometimes we can get so used to our condition that we become programed to react in the same way over and over again. This lame man saw Peter and John entering the temple. His first thought was ... I can get some money from them.

Getting money from people became his focus. If someone told him that he could walk one day he would probably have replied ... "are you kidding ... can't you see I am lame and have been since birth."

Peter's immediate reaction was "we don't have money but what we have is far better for you. It's called the anointing. The presence of God. Here have some", and took him by the hand and just raised him up.  The man went from the lying position he had been in since birth to walking and leaping and praising God in a second.

Your immediate thought may have been that both these men were lame.   You say ... "Their condition is so different from mine." But your situation has paralyzed you and kept you from walking in the blessing of the Lord. God can change that in a moment of time.

Make a conscious effort today to change the way you think, speak and act. If you don't see the result immediately don't despair and lose hope. Many people have problems that are an accumulation of mistakes they have made over years and expect God to change it overnight. But when those mistakes involve people, God has to work on their hearts first before we see the change.

But while you are waiting for that change to take place, God will fill you with His love, peace and joy and make it possible for you to be victorious while waiting for the circumstances to change.
  
Let the peace of God rule your heart bringing a quiet trust and confidence in the God that is more than enough.

God bless you richly,

 Gil Howard-Browne
Our main ministry web site is www.revivaltimes.com

Apr 10, 2011

When will the answer come ... how much longer must I wait, Lord?

Have you ever expressed, to the Lord or to yourself or to someone else, the thought "When will the answer come,  how much longer must I wait, Lord?"

I am sure you have.  Impatience is often the source of frustration.  But I have found, in my own life, that many of the answers God gave did not come in my time frame nor in the way I expected.

God promises us "He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation. "  Psalms 91:15 & 16

The heart of God is to bless us.  He is a loving heavenly Father and knows how to bless and keep us.  If he did not mean that, He would not have said it.  Jesus came to fulfill the will of His Father, by paying the price for us on the cross and making a way for us to have access to every promise of God.  

God says "If you call on me, I will answer you"    This promise is only conditional upon us "calling upon Him"  He says, if you call.  God of course already knows what is going on in our lives, but there is something about us calling on Him, that makes Him respond.  He is watching over His Word to perform it.  

I know there is a lot of teaching on  faith or the lack of faith.  I have seen people in bondage to "faith" rules and regulations.  Suddenly because they happened to think or say the wrong thing, their faith is nullified. A lady many years ago, came to us for prayer.  She had miscarried several times and was confused as her pastor told her that she did not have faith.

I immediately told her "you don't need faith to have a baby, God made it that way."  Billions of people have had babies without even know what faith is.  What she really needed was healing and not a guilt trip.   All the faith rules are complicated and based on my ability to impress God by being perfect.  I have seen God do miracles for total non believers.  I have seen people get healed who did not even believe nor were they expecting a healing.    

But Jesus said we only need mustard seed faith to move mountains.  That is tiny.  Just the simple act of calling upon the Lord, is in itself an act of faith.  I would not call on Him if I did not believe He would answer.  That would be dumb.  Remember, many miracles came to people to whom Jesus had said "oh ye of little faith" He says again in Jeremiah 33:3  "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." 

The act is "call unto me" and God's response is "I will answer you"  but not only answer you, but "show you mighty things that you did not know I was capable of doing".   Again, the only condition God places on this promise is "Call unto me" God delights in honoring His word.  He knows we are not perfect and He knows we never will be.  He knows we live in an imperfect world where things go wrong. 

You say, how do you know that.  Well look at all the imperfect people God has used over the centuries to do His will.   There are many great names today who are by no means perfect and have issues, but God is using them profoundly.  Let's take this over to the new testament and see what Jesus said.  (Matthew 7:7-8)  Vs. 7  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:   Vs. 8  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

That is not difficult to understand.  But if it is as simple as Jesus said, then why do we not get everything we ask for.   Well simply put, if God were to give us everything we asked for, our lives would be a mess.  Many of the things we think we need to change our lives, would actually complicate them and ultimately lead us away from God's perfect plan for our lives.  

So what did Jesus mean when He said, ask, seek and knock. Jesus clarified this earlier in Matthew 6:  Vs. 31 - Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?   Vs. 32 - (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  Vs. 33 - But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.   Vs. 34 - Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

Jesus says ... "there is a better way."   Seek  first the Kingdom of God ... that is God's plan and purpose for your life.  "for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things."   As we pursue God's things, all the things we NEED will be added to us.   There is an attitude of simple trust that we must learn to walk in.  I am not striving every day to get things from God.  Living for God is not a chore that I must do each day I wake up. He is part and parcel of my every day life.  I am aware of Him and I am confident that He has my best interest at heart.  I am living in expectation for the next God planned event in my life.  But I am also not phased if in the natural it does not look like much to others.    

The Apostle Paul learned that secret during his walk with Christ.  Phil 4:10-11 (Amplified) 11 - Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be [a] content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.  Vs 12 - How to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also haw to enjoy plenty and live in abundance.  I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. 

It's not that Paul is "satisfied and content" with his negative circumstances, it's that he is rooted and grounded in his trust in God's ability to cause him to triumph.  The thing he calls "secret" is simple trust.   It's not "21 steps to receiving your miracle".  It's trusting God each and every day, knowing that He loves us and His plan for our lives is being implemented."  Now obviously if He is talking to you about doing or not doing something, then obedience is also a key.  Trust and Obey.   

In many church communities, you could not ever say what Paul just said, without being chastised for speaking unbelief.   But Paul had learned to trust God during good and bad times.  His love for and faith in God did not waver because of the circumstances he found himself in. Then he adds ...  Vs. 13 - I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who [b]infuses inner strength into me; I am [c]self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].

It is Christ in me that makes a difference.  It is His ability, efficiency and might on the inside that makes a difference.  This takes the pressure off of me to perform ritualistically and puts the pressure on Him in me.

It's His life, power and ability in me that will make my life productive.  
It's His strength, wisdom, understanding, favor, and anointing 
that is conforming me to His image and His will for my life.
So stop beating yourself up and start leaning "not to your own understanding" but trust in what Christ accomplished on the cross.  He is presenting you holy and faultless and irreproachable to His Father. Colossians 1:22 (Amplified Bible)  "Yet now has [Christ, the Messiah] reconciled [you to God] in the body of His flesh through death, in order to present you holy and faultless and irreproachable in His [the Father's] presence." That does not mean we are just going to live any which way we want to, but when we get a revelation of what He has done for us, we love Him even more and we desire to live circumspectly before Him.   

Christ is presenting you holy and faultless and irreproachable before the Father.   Trust Him today and call upon Him.  If you don't get the answer immediately, don't get mad at Him, but keep on loving Him and through "Faith and Patience" you will inherit the promise.  (Hebrews 6:12)  Stay away from many "formulas" because they will lead you into bondage, but simply trust what God has said in His word.   

God bless you richly.

Gil Howard-Browne

Our main ministry web site is www.revivaltimes.com

Apr 7, 2011

The true meaning of "Easter"

Easter Friday is a sad day for the majority of the Christian all over the world as they remember the death of Jesus.  Churches have solemn services and sing sad songs.   But it should be a day of rejoicing, for if it were not for the death of Christ, we could not receive forgiveness for our sins and eternal life.  

We should have died and been buried, but Jesus took our place and bore our sin and iniquity so that we could be reconciled to the Father and have everlasting life. 

Easter for many this is purely traditional.  They will go to Church, worship the Lord, listen to an Easter message and go home and life will continue as normal.   For millions, it's just another holiday to rest and relax. 
It would be awesome indeed to see millions get a revelation of the death and resurrection of Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross of Calvary for us. 

It's not about the day or season, it's about a relationship made possible by what happened during the historic days of Easter, that can only come when He truly lives inside.  

The purpose of Jesus death was so that we could have life.  He paid the price for all our sin, shame, guilt, inhibitions, shyness, anger, bitterness, hatred, addictions, and every human imperfection you can think of. 

2 Cor 519  "It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor)." (Amplified)  

Because of Christ's death and resurrection, we have favor with God.  This favor is undeserved, unmerited, unearned and has nothing to do with anything I do other than receive.   "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOESOEVER believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Jn 3:16. 

The death and resurrection of Jesus made it possible for Him to send "another comforter" the Holy Spirit that He promised would "be in you" and that we would receive "power" (God's ability, efficiency and might - Act 1:8 Amp.) and be witnesses to others about Him.  In other words, people would know that there is something different about us.  We are in the world but we don't live like the world.  We walk according to another law, the "law of the Spirit of life in Christ" (Rom 8:2)  that sets us free from "law of sin and death" that we were subject to before.   

Romans 8:4 (Amplified Bible) "So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit]"

AN AMAZING THING HAPPENS ... 

But an amazing thing happens when we receive Him as Lord and Saviour and allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in us.   A transformation takes place inside that changes our desires, hopes and dreams.   Our focus changes from our will to His.  Sure we will never be perfect in this life, but our hearts cry is to be more like Him and to live according to His dictates via the Holy Spirit inside.   That's what God looks for and works with, our desire. 

And so begins a wonderful journey of discovery in Him.  Because He is our Shepherd, He looks after us, providing what we need when we need it..  Helping us to succeed when we should have failed.  Lifting us up when we fall and causing us to "triumph in all things"  
 2 Corinthians 2:14 (Amplified Bible) "But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ's victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere" 

We become trophies of Christ's victory and we spread the "fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere"  And after He rose, He was seated at the right hand side of God (Rom. 8:34) making intercession for us.   

Colossians 3:1 "IF THEN you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Vs 2: And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.

That's the true message of Easter. He did it all for me so that I don't have to work for it.

 I am so happy that I gave my life to Christ at age 6 
and He has been my friend ever since. 
Thank you Jesus for the true message of Easter.

Listen to this short audio clip "God is so Good"

If you enjoyed this, listen to more of our free "Worship Podcast"  CLICK HERE  

God bless you richly.


Gil Howard-Browne
Our main ministry web site is www.revivaltimes.com

Apr 2, 2011

Don't let the "storms of life" stop the FLOOD of God's blessing.


On Thursday March 31st. 2011, storms lashed Florida for the entire day, with gusts of wind up to 75 mph and in our area, up to 4 inches of rain fell. Thunder, lightning all day with a few tornado's touching down.  Fortunately there was no loss of life although several houses and buildings were damaged and at an air show several aircraft were destroyed.
It inspired me to write this blog.


"Don't let the storms of life stop the FLOOD of God's blessing"

Matthew 8:23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. vs.24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.   vs.25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. vs.26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
The disciples who witnessed this miracle of Jesus, must have been awestruck.  One minute the storm was raging, and it appeared that Jesus was so unconcerned that "He was asleep".   The reason why Jesus was sleeping, was He was in perfect peace, knowing the outcome by faith.  He had no doubt they would make it to the other side, and He had no fear.  The disciples on the other hand, were looking at the circumstances, and allowing the raging storm to affect their faith and it became their focus, instead of trusting the Lord to get them safely to the other side.

But in response to His disciples anxiety, Jesus took action and a great calm came over the entire area.   That's our God in action. He always causes us to triumph. 2 Cor. 2:14  He is always ready to honor His word and work on our behalf.  He will "make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert" Isa 43:20

With all the economic problems, violent storms, earthquakes and wars all over the world, there are a lot of people who are living in fear about the future.  That is not hard to understand.  It is easy to watch these happenings taking place, on our TV's, while we are in the comfort of our homes sipping coffee.   But it is another thing when we are actually experiencing the problem or difficulty. 

That's why having a personal relationship with God is so important.  It's because God knows all of our circumstances, successes, failures, trials, tribulations, difficulties, troubles and everything else about us, but His plan and purpose for our lives remains unchanged.

His plan does not include failure and He has an answer for everything.   But we have to deal with the evidence the five physical senses tell us, so if our focus in on those things, we will never hear what the Spirit of God is saying to us.   

When I look back on my life and see the many times that the Lord came through for us, I am overwhelmed by His goodness.  I am not sure what I would have done if I did not know the Lord in a very personal way. I can tell you with great confidence, that if you spend time in His presence, you will be able to deal with the storms of life in a different way.  His Word speaks about the "oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness" Isaiah 61:3  

Oil is symbolic of the anointing or power of God. God has an anointing of the oil of joy which is God's answer and solution to our human mourning. There is an anointing of joy available for us that is independent of all our human frailties.  It's an anointing that EVERYONE of us needs and it's very necessary in times of stress, discouragement, depression and all the things that assail humans in times of adversity.

But it's not just the Oil of Joy we need, but also the "Garment of Praise" which replaces the spirit of heaviness.   When we praise God, He responds and His presence surrounds us and we feel His love and peace all over us.   Praise also takes our focus off of our problem and centers it on God. 

Don't allow praise and worship to be clinical and traditional.  Let it flow from a heart of love and gratitude towards Him.   Do it will energy and passion and fervor.   There is amazing power and release when we worship the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords with all of our hearts, minds, souls and flesh. 

Above all, allow the Holy Spirit to minister to your spirit.  Become aware of His leading and obey Him when He corrects you, because out of it will come blessing. 

(listen to "Pour out your Glory Lord" while you read this blog)

Just ask Him now to fill you to overflowing.  Ask Him to fill you with His peace and Joy and new life.

Pray this prayer " Father, thank you for your love, mercy and goodness.  Thank you for your presence that fills me now.  Thank you that every bit of stress, anxiety, depression, fear lifts off of me now in Jesus Name.   I thank You for making a way for me where there is no way.  I thank You for being my provider today and I praise You and bless Your Name.  In Jesus Name I ask this, Amen"

God bless you richly

Gil Howard-Browne
PS: Listen to our free "Worship Podcast"  CLICK HERE 
Our main ministry web site is www.revivaltimes.com