Apr 23, 2017

Why is the Church so judgemental?

John 3:17  For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.

2 Corinthians 5:19   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).

The Gospel is Good News and Jesus made it possible.   He said "I came to give to give life and life more abundantly.   The gospel simply put is salvation from sin.  The word salvation comes from the word sozo ...

  1. to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health
  2. to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue

In Hebrew, it comes from yasa (to save, help in distress, rescue, deliver, set free) 

I often see preachers looking quite angry when they preach about sin, as if their anger will change the sinners heart. An often used cleche is "love the sinner but hate the sin", so they go after the sin with the assumption that by doing so, they are loving the sinner.

Preaching hard against sin does not change a sinful heart nor does it stop people from sinning.   The truth is even the world famous ministers today are capable of sinning and in fact sin often.   We cannot categorize sin into big or small sin.  There are 18 works of the flesh and if we yield to them, we are in sin.  But their are nine fruits of the Spirit that are the antidote to the 18 works of the flesh.

The bible says "Galatians 6:8   "For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.. "  

So the key is not to make people feel guilty because of sin, but to introduce them to the life changing power of God and to help them walk in a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit, so that He can convict them of sin, righteousness and judgement and be their teacher, comforter and guide.

There is no "one size fits all"    Every person on earth faces challenges and temptations and each has strengths and weaknesses.  But there is only ONE who understands them perfectly because He looks at the heart and not the shortcomings.  People can hit the altar dozens of times, but without the Power of the Holy Spirit in their lives, they remain weak and open to temptation.

That is why the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are so important.  They are Heavens link to humans on earth and provide us with edification, exhortation, comfort.  But most importantly, they must be accompanied with the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit.

Paul said 1 Cor. 2:4  "I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony and evidence or mystery and secret of God [concerning what He has done through Christ for the salvation of men] in lofty words of eloquence or human philosophy and wisdom;    ..... 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, 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],"    1 Cor 2:1 and 4 Amplified.

It was not his lofty words and human philosophy and wisdom the changed the Corinthians.  It was the "demonstration of the Spirit and Power of God" operating in him and through him that persuaded them.

There has come such a shift in the morals of this world and people are living their lives with all sorts of immoral things that bring self gratification.  More now that ever, will we need the intervention and demonstration of the Power of God in the lives of believers in order to counter the onslaught against the minds of those who love the Lord.   The power of God that sets men and women free from the yoke of bondage of sin.

  • It's the fire of God that purges us.   
  • It is the wind of the Spirit that blows away the smog that has accumulated and 
  • The rain of the Spirit that waters the dry and thirsty soul.

Feb 5, 2017

Burnout Remedy - The Secret Place.

I have read several interesting articles all analyzing why people are leaving Church in droves. The articles in essence suggested that there could be methods or activities that would reverse that trend.

The one fundamental fact they all left out, is without a personal, deep relationship with God, we all feel unfulfilled, unsettled and a void inside. When the programs and activities have run their course, the void is still there. As a teenager, reading the bible was a chore and most sciptures did not make sense to me.  Attending Church was boring, and a waste of time in my youthful mind.

At age 17, I had a powerful life changing encounter with the Holy Spirit. At the Church I was attending, there was great worship and powerful preaching, and a lot of legalism. But, they were passionate about the Holy Spirit and the anointing. They allowed the Holy Spirit to move in each meeting. It made me hungry for more of the Spirit.

The night I had the encounter with God, it was not speaking in tongues, that came several weeks later. It was an infilling of the power, fire and electricity of the Holy Spirit. That's the only way I can describe it, and the experience lasted for hours. My desires changed and suddenly the bible began to make sense and I could not read enough. I wanted to be in every meeting. I wanted to serve any way I could and I did. I drove the church bus, greeted people at the door. Taught children's Sunday school class. Became youth leader, played guitar in the band, and even played the church organ for a few years. We held open air meetings and did street ministry till early hours of the morning..

It was not the building, programs or good preaching, but the life in the Spirit that changed it for me. It was the Pastor and leadership of the Church that encouraged and allowed the things of the Spirit that made me hunger and thirst for the presence and power of God.

I am now 67 and still loving my relationship with God. The bible says " walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh" Gal 5:16.   The root meaning of lust is "a strong desire of any kind whether good or bad" It is the good or bad desires of the flesh that take us away from God's plan and purpose for our lives. It is the desires of the Holy Spirit, when we yield to them, that make whatever Church God has us in, profitable to us and a blessing to others through us.

It was that experience in my youth, and the subsequent implantation of the Word of God in my heart, that was the foundation for all that God has accomplished in our ministry over the past 50 years.

So my word to Pastors and leaders is, if you want growth in your Church, "you" must be full of and led by the Holy Spirit. You must have a heart full of His word and you must allow the Holy Spirit access to your congregation. You must foster a strong desire in the hearts of the believers for the things of the Spirit. Will they all embrace it, most likely not. But you will profoundly touch the lives of those that do and they will go on to do the same. You may not have quantity, but you will have quality.

There is no such thing as the perfect Pastor.  We all face the challenges that life presents and some people are stronger than others.  However, nothing can replace a personal life changing relationship with God.   He is our helper, comforter and guide and His anointing will destroy yokes of bondage that try to overcome us.

If you are feeling dry and burnt out, stop what you are doing, go to a quiet place, and wait on the Lord.    Don't spend that time telling God what is wrong and telling Him how to fix it up.  Give Him opportunity to fill you, refresh you and pour into your spirit fresh vision, purpose and direction.    Every one of us need that time alone with God.

God bless you all richly.

Gil Howard-Browne

Oct 20, 2015

Revival is God’s direction for man’s reception

Revival is God’s direction for man’s reception.

"When an Immortal God visits mortal man, something big will happen."

Psalm 85:6-8(KJV)

Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation.
I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

Sometime in the mid 1990's, we had  just completed forty four meetings in 36 days in London, Ontario, Augusta Georgia, and Winchester Virginia, and had seen God do some wonderful things in the lives of people.

A woman who attended an aerobics class at a church where we were holding revival, was invited to go directly to the meeting in progress. The Holy Ghost came upon her strongly, and she got filled with holy laughter. She had been extremely depressed and beat down through years of marital abuse. Her husband had recently died and left her penniless.

As she staggered out of the meeting, greatly uplifted and very intoxicated, she wanted to know what had happened to her. The lady who invited her, told her that God had visited her to show her how much He loved her. She immediately said that she wanted to come back the next night.

The next night, she got an even greater touch from God, and lay on the floor laughing for about an hour. Then she sat up and began to cry. I walked over to her and sat on the floor and asked her if she had ever committed her life to Christ. She said no, and I led her in the prayer of salvation. She cried and laughed her way to salvation as she met the Master. What a change came over her countenance.

The point I am trying to make here is that God is God, and He can use any method He chooses to reach a lost and dying world. Many object to the disorder of revival, but we have seen great fruit in the lives of people who have been touched in the almost 4,000 meetings we have done over the past 22 years. Similar things happen in every church we go to.

The revival has caused a stir, both positive and negative, all over the world. It has blessed many, frightened some, and bewildered others. When the "devout and God fearing" Jews (Amp), witnessed the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, they reacted with astonishment, bewilderment, amazement, and were confounded and in doubt, at what they saw. Some thought the disciples were drunk and mocked them.

We can debate this passage all we want, but the fact is that the upper room experience was of such a magnitude that it grabbed the attention of the masses. The bible says, when it was noised abroad, the multitude came together. We know that God was working supernaturally, because 3,000 souls got saved that day. (Acts 3:41)

Revival is an attention getter. It will shock people out of their tradition, lethargy, complacency and doubt and unbelief. In the process, there will be those who question whether it be of God or not. In the bible, one such a man was Job. He said in Job 42:2 "I know that You can do all things..." Most Christians will admit that God can do all things. Job continues ".. and that no thought or purpose of Yours can be restrained or thwarted." Again, most Christians will agree with that statement. Nothing can stop God’s plan and purpose from being carried out. But as long as it is contained in writing and remains a profound thought, it is acceptable. As long as man controls the words spoken or written about the power of God, it is ok. But when God manifests Himself to His people, it becomes a different matter.

God’s reply to Job is a rebuke. "Who is this that darkens and obscures counsel (by words) without knowledge?" Words without knowledge, speaks to me of ignorance. There are many who are ignorant of God’s ways, who are trying to direct His kingdom. Job’s confession is "Therefore (I now see) I have (rashly) uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know." Don't rashly utter what you do not understand. You may receive a rebuke from God. The things God is doing in the earth today, are too wonderful for us to fully comprehend.

My prayer is, "Lord, send the flood. Make it impossible for people to doubt Your works. Let the Glory flow over every church and denomination in the world, so that there can be no excuses. Let the world see "things too wonderful to comprehend" coming from You to them.

"Please send a wave of Your Glory to cover the Earth, Lord."

God bless you.

Gil Howard-Browne

Feb 8, 2015


Isaiah 8:11-13 Amplified Bible  
  • 11: For the Lord spoke thus to me with His strong hand [upon me], and warned and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying,
  • 12: Do not call conspiracy [or hard, or holy] all that this people will call conspiracy [or hard, or holy]; neither be in fear of what they fear, nor [make others afraid and] in dread.
  • 13: The Lord of hosts—regard Him as holy and honor His holy name [by regarding Him as your only hope of safety], and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread [lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him].   
Every century in history has brought fearful possibilities for Christians worldwide.   Many thought those were indications of the soon return of Jesus.  But it never happened.   

Yes it is true the times we are living in are uncertain and there could be serious ramifications.  But we certainly don't know and only God knows what is truly going on.   Sadly, millions of Christians all over the nation and other parts of the world live in fear and trepidation because of a report or comment made by others.

The dictionary definition of "trepidation" is "a feeling of fear that causes you to hesitate because you think something bad or unpleasant is going to happen"    Don't look at something someone else posts or comments on and immediately believe for the worst.  Let the peace of God in your heart be your guide.  God knows and can warn you if there is something you need to do to protect yourself.  

People say you can't hide your head in the sand.  But we are also commanded by God's word in Proverbs 3:5-6 (AMP) to "Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding." vs 6 "In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. "

According to Isaiah 8:13 The Lord of hosts—regard Him as holy and honor His holy name [by regarding Him as your only hope of safety],"  God is our only hope of safety.   "and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread [lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him]."    We offend God by not trusting in Him.     

The bible says, in the last days men's hearts will fail them for fear.   Fear is the total opposite of faith.  We cannot have fear and faith at the same time.  We need to encourage one another to have faith and trust in the Lord.  

One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 91.

Vs.1 "He who [a]dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]."  Vs.2 "I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!"
Vs.3 "For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.."   

God bless you as you stay in His presence and trust in the Lord God Almighty. 

Gil Howard-Browne

Feb 5, 2015

Two Life Changing Words

Micah 7: 18-19 
"Who is a God like You, Who forgives iniquity .... You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea."

Psalm 103:11-14 Amplified Bible
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great are His mercy and loving-kindness toward those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him. [with reverence, worship, and awe]
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father loves and pities his children, so the Lord loves and pities those who fear Him [with reverence, worship, and awe].
14 For He knows our frame, He [earnestly] remembers and imprints [on His heart] that we are dust.

Matthew 18:21-22   (AMPC)
21 Then Peter came up to Him and said, Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? [As many as] up to seven times?
22 Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven!  (490 times)

- - - - - - -  

There are two words starting with the letter F that have life changing results for us all. They are "forgive" and "forget" which God's word commands us to do, but are so hard for us because we have memories. 

The memories of hurt, betrayal, desertion, trauma, danger etc. are attached to emotions like anger, resentment, fear, discouragement, loneliness and more which are also stored in our brain's large capacity memory cells.

Things we encounter daily, like a comment someone makes or an event we see or hear, can trigger those memories and the associated emotion and cause us to experience that moment again, even if it took place years ago. That is why forgiving and forgetting is so important for our well being which we will have to do frequently.

It could be a friend or family member or worse, a spouse or child that caused you hurt and each time you see or hear from them, the associated memory and emotion rises up and immediately, we have to exercise forgiveness. The truth is, even the person you are trying to forgive will have memories and emotions of negative things that took place in their lives that require them to exercise the two F's regularly.

The question is, how do we overcome these negative memories. The answer is to build many more positive memories and emotions than their are negative ones. The scriptures tell us "be transformed by the renewing of you mind, by it's new ideas and attitudes." (From the Amplified version) The ideas being new positive memories and the attitudes are the associated positive emotions of love, peace, joy and goodness. Over time, the negative memories fade and our lives take on a more positive direction.

The minute a negative memory arises we forgive, and immediately redirect those thought processes to to what God says on the matter, by quoting a scripture or singing and making melody in our hearts and praising God. Don't start rebuking the devil. He is not all seeing, all knowing and all powerful. Only God is and the devil does not control your thoughts, you do. Christians have taken "resist the devil and he will flee" to extremes, where they are resisting the devil almost every day for things he had nothing to do with and could not possibly do even if he wanted to.

In fact, God's word is full of recommendations of things that we can do such as ...
  • "let the peace of God rule in your heart." Col.3:15.    
  • "Have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins. 1 Pet. 4:8. 
  • "The joy of the Lord is your strength" Neh. 8:10. 
  • "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thes. 5:18
You cannot be full of joy and anger at the same time. 
You cannot be full of peace and fear at the same time. 
The fruits of the Spirit dispel the works of the flesh. 

These are things we have to submit to daily and allow them to enter our hearts and minds. God does not and cannot force them into me because of my free will, but I can embrace them and open the door of my heart to allow peace, love and joy to come. When they come in, anger, resentment, fear, discouragement and loneliness leave.  The reason is simple.

If you find yourself dealing with negative memories and emotions, quickly forgive the person involved and ask the Holy Spirit, who is your comforter, teacher and guide, to help you, then begin to praise and worship Him and yield to God's presence and power.

Fill your mind with good anointed worship and listen to good preaching and teaching and spend time in fellowship with God and His word.

Be encouraged today.

God bless you richly.

Gil Howard-Browne

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. 

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 urge to worry or get distressed about a situation, immediately begin to change your 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 

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 renew our minds with the Word of God, the more our minds begin to think positively.    

                          Garbage in, garbage out.        Goodness in, goodness out.   

Let us agree to encourage each other.  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