Expanding The Kingdom Through Passion by Kevin Dedmon
Are you expanding the Kingdom through passion? Get Firestarters today and start living out your destiny with God in passion!
Many Christians pray for years that revival would come to their church, community, and personal lives. They are devoted to praying for God’s presence to come in power. They are part of prayer meetings that cry out for God to bring the fires of revival to their land. They continually contend for God “to do it again” for their generation. And on and on it goes without experiencing the breakthrough they long for.
I believe that it is time for us to experience “the more” that God has for each and every one of us, as well as in our churches and communities. I believe that this is a “Now” time for the fires of revival to spread across our land into every heart.
I believe God wants to equip, empower, and activate Firestarters to receive and release the presence and power of God in revival fashion that engulfs our nation and the world.
"God wants us to have an encounter, so that we become an encounter, so that others can have an encounter."
In other words, God wants to consume us in His fiery passionate love, so that we look, speak, and do, what He does — representing Him fully through a demonstration of signs and wonders, miracles, healing, and prophetic insights, that represent His kindness and love that leads to repentance and transformation.
So, how does one go about starting a fire that will become a wildfire that will bring about the level of revival that we desire? How do we become a Firestarter?
A fire can only start where there is enough fuel to get it going. We need wood in order to start a fire. We need resources. Too many attempt to start a fire with what they currently have at their disposal. Sure, reading Scripture, prayer, attending worship services are instrumental in providing a foundation for a fire, but we also need the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
On the day of Pentecost, the early Church was conducting a worship service, praying continually and reminding themselves of the promise of Scripture for revival, but it wasn’t until the Holy Spirit showed up that the fire started.
Sometimes that requires traveling to collect what is not ready available in the place where we live. Bill Johnson points out that, “Wise men still travel.” The wise men who searched for Jesus on that first Christmas, realized they did not have enough where they were – so they went to go get it — Him.
I’m not suggesting that you leave your church or community in search of some revival hot spot. On the other hand, I am encouraging you to go and visit a church or city where revival is taking place, collect some of their wood/resources, and then bring it back to start a fire where you live.
Places like Bethel Church in Redding, California, Harvest Rock, in Pasadena, California, Airport Christian Fellowship in Toronto, Canada, IHOP in Kansas City, Missouri are just a few of the places where you can find good revival wood to burn with.
Attending schools like Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, Global School of Supernatural Ministry, Harvest School of Missions, as well as conferences in which revival themes are taught and practiced are essential in getting the resources you need to start wild fires where you live.
The oil of joy/gladness is the best fuel for lighting fires (Hebrews 1:8,9). Cultivating revival is best done in and through God’s presence — not a program. In His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). It makes sense then that God is going to respond to His children who are welcoming Him with celebration, laughter, and thankfulness.
Nehemiah was adamant on this point when he told the Israelites to stop mourning and grieving in their pursuit of God, but rather, celebrate with party foods and drink. He commanded them to laugh because the joy of the Lord is where our empowerment comes (Nehemiah 8:1-13; Psalm 126).
I want to encourage you to try and get happy in God’s presence the next time you are praying for revival as though God really does want to show up and do good things in your midst. He is smiling on you, dancing around you, and enthusiastically happy to reveal His goodness by healing, prophesying, and setting people free to know their true identity and destiny.
Applying laughter to your prayers is a sure way of lighting the fire of revival.
We will never have a fire without risk. At some point we have to light the fire. God has given us the catalyst for revival, but we must do our part in striking the match. Mike Bickle once said, “Christians are oftentimes taught well beyond their obedience.” We can talk about revival until the second coming, but until we take some risk to release revival in our midst, we will never experience the fullness of God’s presence and power that we so desperately want and need.
Striking the match looks like prophesying over someone even when you don’t feel the unction or ability to do so. I can’t tell you how many times I have begun a prophetic word with, “I believe the Lord wants you to know…”, and then get the download for the rest of it.
Too many times we are waiting for the word before we step out into a revival lifestyle, when God is waiting for us to step out, strike the match, so that He can light the fire.
1. Collect as many revival resources as you can to add to your fire.
2. Add the fuel of joy, gladness, and laughter to your revival prayers
3. Take some risk in striking the match to release revival by prophesying or healing someone
I would love to hear some testimonies about how you have started some fires in your church and community. Happy Firestarting! To purchase the Firestarters program today click here!
Christians are normally either motivated my guilt or passion. Guilt says, “You have to be a Firestarter.” Passion says, “You get to be a Firestarter.” Becoming a Firestarter is not succumbing to a guilt trip, but pursuing passion – a hunger and thirst for the “Fire” of God – His presence starting a fire in us. Firestarters is not a “have to,” but a “get to.” Being a Firestarter is simply allowing His fire to grow in us everyday. It is cultivating passion. Joel Osteen observes that, “One of the main reasons that we lose our enthusiasm in life is because we get so accustomed to his goodness it becomes a routine..” Firestarters stay hungry and thirsty for God’s goodness to become manifest in them and through them.
If we aim at nothing, we will most likely hit it. Rick Warren states that,“Without a purpose, life is a motion without meaning, activity without direction, and events without reason. Without a purpose, life is trivial, petty, and pointless.” Becoming a Firestarter is simply focusing on the fire. Firestarters are not more gifted, anointed, “holy,” or pure, than anyone else. No, Firestarters are simply pursuing the fire. Firestarters have made their purpose pursuing God’s presence demonstrated in practical signs and wonders, miracles, healing, and prophetic expressions that communicate God’s powerful and passionate fiery love.
Firestarters seek to demonstrate God’s love the way that Jesus does – through a demonstration of power that proves His love and care. Bill Johnson says, “We owe the world an encounter.” Firestarters are possessed by an encounter of God’s fiery powerful presence that releases an encounter of God’s fiery powerful presence to others around us in supernatural ways that help them.
Competency only comes through continual, persistent practice. Firestarters are not perfect, but are willing to continue to take risk in starting fires. The pathway of risk is the primary way we step into our supernatural destiny as Firestarters. Firestarters do not give up when they have setbacks or disappointments. No, Firestarters continue to learn and grow in a supernatural lifestyle. Jack Hayford once said, “We don’t fail when we fall, but we only fail when we fail to get back up.” Firestarters get back up and try again.
Disappointment and discouragement are two common reasons Firestarters are sometimes detained and derailed from their supernatural destiny. Firestarters have pledged to make the Firestarter Curriculum a lifestyle rather than just a class event. Certainly the Firestarter Curriculum is essential in providing the foundation for stepping into supernatural ministry, but pledging to persevere in spite of setbacks and obstacles is key to becoming a life-long Firestarter. Anyone can do something for a season, but Firestarters have chosen a life path. That’s what I love about people like Heidi Baker, Mother Theresa, Reinhard Bonnke, and John Wimber. They pledged to persevere.
Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Fruit, however, does not grow overnight — it must be cultivated over time. Similarly, the fruit of joy must be cultivated daily if we expect to see it produced in our lives. Like any fruit-bearing tree, once a seed is planted, we must subject ourselves to the constant watering of the Holy Spirit, being continually filled with His presence in order for the fruit of joy to mature in our lives (Ephesians 5:18).
We have a part in cultivating the fruit of joy in our lives. In Psalm 103, David declares, “Praise the Lord, O my soul.” David was basically saying “Soul, I know that you do not want to praise God right now, but you are not in charge of my life — I am. So, I will bless the Lord.” Everything we do in the Kingdom is done by choice through our will. We love, forgive, serve, give, and praise God by choice, through faith, with the grace that God gives us to be able to do it. This is true for joy as well. Joy is not an optional fruit of the spirit that we can just forget about.
Many places I travel, people have a difficult time with the issue of joy; however, the subject of joy is not lacking in the Bible. In fact, Jesus was anointed with the oil of gladness above all his companions. I have come to see that a glad Jesus really messes with people’s theology. It is interesting that we will focus on Jesus through the lens of turning the tables over in the temple or rebuking the Pharisees, but the very thing that He came to accomplish on this earth involved being an embodiment of the fullness of joy. Jesus is joy manifested in flesh, and we are called, like Jesus, to carry and release the joy of the Lord everywhere we go.
Are you still having a tough time with the issue of joy? Here are some verses to saturate your life with the truth about the power of joy.
Nehemiah 8:10- The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Psalm 16:11- In His Presence is fullness of joy.
Romans 14:17- The Kingdom of God is not eat or drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
As you go throughout your day today, meditate on these verses. Give yourself opportunities to grow in the joy of the Lord by getting in His Presence and soaking it all up. What you spend your time putting in is what will come out. If you are so focused on your circumstances or that problem in your life that you don’t allow yourself to experience the joy of the Lord, then I have a suggestion for you- Take a BIG drink!
Joy is the medicine from Heaven provided to help us live full and well lives. It is God’s nutritious Heavenly fruit to overcome the affects of sin and death. It is important, then, to take our daily dose of joy in increasing measure to ensure that we are carrying His presence and power.
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Treasure Hunting is an exciting model for witnessing that uses words of knowledge as the clues to find people God wants to bring into His Treasure Chest––His Kingdom. The Holy Spirit has highlighted on the Treasure Map, people who need a divine encounter of His kindness expressed in signs and wonders, miracles and healing. Treasures may be hiding in your family, friendship network, neighborhood, and workplace!
As believers risk finding the lost Treasures, churches are springing up in Muslim countries, as well as many other parts of the world. Missionaries in the Far East are using the Treasure Hunt to find and remove child prostitutes then showing them the love of God.
So, don’t wait another day to become a Treasure-Hunter fueled with TNT. As you begin your training, you will be empowered to step out of your comfort zone, cross the chicken line, and give it a try!
Following are the top April Fool’s Day pranks ever played on the public:
1957: The respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a huge spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, “place a strand of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”
1996: The Taco Bell Corporation announced it had bought the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Hundreds of outraged citizens called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell was housed to express their anger. Their nerves were only calmed when Taco Bell revealed, a few hours later, that it was all a practical joke. The best line of the day came when White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale. Thinking on his feet, he responded that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold. It would now be known, he said, as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
1998: Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a “Left-Handed Whopper” specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The following day Burger King issued a follow-up release revealing that although the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich. Simultaneously, according to the press release, “many others requested their own ‘right handed’ version.”
1976: The British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 AM a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur that listeners could experience in their very own homes. The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would counteract and lessen the Earth’s own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment that this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation. When 9:47 AM arrived, BBC2 began to receive hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman even reported that she and her eleven friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.
2008: The BBC announced that camera crews filming near the Antarctic for its natural history series Miracles of Evolution had captured footage of Adélie penguins taking to the air. It even offered a video clip of these flying penguins, which became one of the most viewed videos on the internet. Presenter Terry Jones explained that, instead of huddling together to endure the Antarctic winter, these penguins took to the air and flew thousands of miles to the rainforests of South America where they “spend the winter basking in the tropical sun.” A follow-up video explained how the BBC created the special effects of the flying penguins.
1975: Australia’s This Day Tonight news program revealed that the country would soon be converting to “metric time.” Under the new system there would be 100 seconds to the minute, 100 minutes to the hour, and 20-hour days. Furthermore, seconds would become millidays, minutes become centidays, and hours become decidays. The report included an interview with Deputy Premier Des Corcoran who praised the new time system. The Adelaide townhall was even shown sporting a new 10-hour metric clock face. The thumbnail (found at TelevisionAU.com) shows TDT Adelaide reporter Nigel Starck posing with a smaller metric clock. TDT received numerous calls from viewers who fell for the hoax. One frustrated viewer wanted to know how he could convert his newly purchased digital clock to metric time.
No one knows the exact origin of April Fools’ Day – lots of theories
The Enemy is constantly trying to pull April Fools pranks on us:
Jn. 8:44 – Jesus pointed out that satan is the father (originator) of all lies
Gen. 3:1-5 – we find satan tempting Adam and Eve: “Did God say…”
Matt. 4:1-11 –satan tried to fool Jesus in the wilderness – – “If you are the Son of God” (2x) – challenging His identity
If the enemy can “fool” us into thinking that God did not really mean what he said, then he can derail us from our destiny.
How we deal with the lies will determine how we live out our destiny
2 Corinthians 2:10,11
“I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes…”
Jesus used the Scriptures to counter the lies being told him – 3x He said, “It is written”
Jn. 8:32 – Jesus said,
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist”
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
Following are what I think are the top ten lies that the enemy has used to try and fool Christians:
1. God made you sick, injured, impoverished – causing you suffering –April Fools!
The truth: That would be the devil causing these things
John 10:10 “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy – I have come that they may have life!”
1 John 3:8 “For this reason Jesus came – to destroy the works of the devil”
Isaiah 61:3 – Jesus came “to proclaim the Day of Vengeance of our God”
2. God is sending an earthquake, floods, tornados, or hurricanes to judge people – April Fools!
The truth: God stops storms that the devil creates
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world…” – He still loves the world
3. God is in a bad mood – April Fools!
The truth: God is in a good mood
Ps. 119:68, “God is good and all that He does is good”
4. Your prayers are not working – April Fools!
The truth: Your prayers are powerful and effective
James 5:16 “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective”
You are righteous because Jesus has become your righteousness
5. I can’t overcome this character flaw, habit, addiction, sin – April Fools!
The truth: You are powerful in Christ
1 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
1 John 4:4 “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
We are more than conquerors
Romans 8:37 “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
6. You mess up, and the enemy says that, “you are disqualified” –April Fools!
The truth: God takes junk and turns it into gold
Rom. 8:1, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ”
1 Jn. 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse of all unrighteousness”
7. You are not making a difference in your environment – April Fools!
The truth: You are a world changer
Matt. 5:13,14, “Your are the salt of the earth… the light of the world”
8. You’re not gifted – April Fools!
The truth: You are anointed by the Holy Spirit, and with that anointing comes giftings
1 Cor. 12:7 “To each one is given a manifestation of the Spirit”
1 Cor. 14:1 “Desire the gifts, especially prophecy” – we can have them all
9. God is going to be mad at you if you take risk, and it doesn’t work out well – April Fools!
The truth: God rewards risk not performance
Heb. 11:6, “Without faith it is impossible to please God…”
10. God does not like it when we laugh in church – April Fools!
The truth: Laughter is part of our inheritance
Ps. 2:4, “He who is enthroned in the heavens laughs”
Lk. 6:21,“Hugely happy are those who weep now, because they will laugh”
So then, don’t be fooled on April Fool’s. Know who you are, know what God thinks and says about you. Counter the lies with the truth, and like Jesus, we will fulfill our destiny as world changers and history makers.
Our job as leaders in revival is to empower people to take our ceiling and make it their floor. In other words, to equip them to be able to do “greater works” than us. I love hearing testimonies of healing from people who I have prayed for, but I get way more excited over hearing testimonies of people taking what I have invested in them, and then activating what they have seen and heard, so that they begin to expand God’s Kingdom where ever they go, in what ever sphere of influence God has called them to live and work in.
Following, is a typical letter describing what happens in the Church after a Supernatural Lifestyle Conference, or a Firestorm Conference. This is a smallish Church of around 300 in a smallish town in Minnesota, but they are now making a huge difference in there community. We saw many miracles during the weekend conference, but more importantly, there are more happening as the people have been activated to affect the community around them through miracles, healings, and prophetic insights just like Jesus did. Following is the letter I received. Remember, this is possible for you and your Church to live in as well!!
Hi Kevin; again, just a note of thanks for your time here in Elk River. There was an incredible impartation and much excitement continues to stir in our hearts here. The testimonies just keep rolling in of ordinary people doing the works of Christ. One quiet 50ish lady was at McDonalds and noticed an employee cleaning tables was in pain. She offered to pray for her and the pain left instantly.
My wife’s aunt, who just a couple of years ago would have walked out of that type of meeting, was healed of severe back pain. She’s had it since I’ve known her, about 30 years. She went home that night and realized she hadn’t received prayer for artheritis in her neck, which was painful also. She laid hands on herself and was instantly healed.
Our sound man’s wife, who is new to healing and radical Jesus stuff, (newly married) had her rotocuff healed. (I just talked to him a couple of hours ago and he says there is still no pain). My sister in law, who goes to a church about 25 miles from here, e-mailed us that the “fire from the conference had spread to her church.” Her pastor had also attended. A young gal in her sunday school class was on crutches with an injury to her foot. Jan prayed for her several times, and later, after they’d left, her younger sister asked to play with her crutches. She gave them to her and put weight on her foot and realized that her foot had been healed. The girl testified in church and her pastor had her pray for others with foot problems. Another lady from that church who had been at the conference went home with pain in her knees. Since nobody was there to pray for her, she laid hands on her knees and was instantly healed.
On Monday at church, one of the gals that helps out there, said she had a splitting headache. Before I knew what was going on, my secretary laid hands on her and within 10 seconds the lady exclaimed “its gone!”
One lady, while going through one of the fire tunnels over the weekend, said that a lady in a blue shirt laid hands on her and she felt, as best as she could describe it, like a white sheet departing from her. Immediately she knew that an emotional pain from 30 years ago had been healed. She started laughing so hard she had to be helped to a chair, where she laughed for an extended time.
When I asked last Sunday how many had been healed in the meetings, about 1/3 of the congregation’s hands went up. (maybe 50). I asked how many felt more equipped to do the work of the ministry than before, and just about everybody responded. Mind sets are obviously shifted and people are constantly telling me that since the conference, they see people with “issues” as “targets.” That’s a poor way of putting that, but you know what I mean.
I’ve had a few leaders in the community that weren’t at the conference tell me that they’d heard how good the meetings were. I’m believng that every church and business in the city will reap the same reward as those who were there. A couple of months ago, the Lord had spoken a word to my heart that we as a church and in the city were at a “tipping point” and that evangelism was the thing that would tip it over.
I, personally, have known that supernatural evangelism was the real key, and am seeing people excited and full of the kind of faith to walk it out. At least one guy is going to start a home group with the purpose of doing treasure hunts. That, along with a number of people with renewed interest in the treasure hunts we have been doing.
We had an elders meeting last night, and the guys were really excited about the release in the Spirit and we talked a lot about stewardship and release and vision. We’ll be starting a Friday night meeting with Presence, healing, and miracles boldly taught and demonstrated. Mainly going for the hungry youth in the city.
These are a few of the testimonies, but, to me, the biggest change is in the atmosphere and how people are seeing themselves as powerful sons and daughters of God with a job to do. The body is being the body, and that’s exciting! I do feel like we need to do something in about 6 months again, because many leaders from the community weren’t in a place to take the risk. I believe that the change in the city will be so evident, that next time they won’t be able to stay away.
Again, I’m believing that although they couldn’t cross the river this time, They’ll share in the booty along with us-for the sake of the Kingdom. Much more I could share, but I think you get the picture. We were very blessed and will continue to walk in what was released. Until next time, get drunk, get others drunk, and stay drunk! Blessings…Dave.
I hope you enjoyed that! Remember, you are also a world changer! Blessings
It is important for us to realize that when we declare God’s Kingdom coming, we are releasing Heaven to earth with our words. In fact, the Bible tells us that we have the power of life and death in our tongues (Proverbs 18:21, James 2). The reason Jesus warned us that we would be judged according to the words we speak is that our words make a difference in people’s lives and circumstances — our words can either curse or release the Kingdom to bring blessing.
Recently, I was backpacking in the Tahoe Desolation Wilderness area with some of the other pastors of Bethel Church. As we arrived at the trailhead, we were told by a group of guys who had just finished a week in the wilderness that we would not catch any fish. Everyone they met had shared the same sad tale. Without hesitation, I declared, “But we have favor!” Everyone laughed.
Amazingly, when we arrived at the first lake, the first cast produced a miraculous 14-inch rainbow trout! In fact, we caught so many fish every day that anything under 12 inches was thrown back. They were so plump that we were able to filet them into trout steaks. Each delectable bite resulted in rowdy rejoicing as we were reminded of the extreme favor we had experienced from God through a simple off-the-cuff declaration.
It is important to keep in mind that our words, like those of Jesus, have authority. Often, Jesus simply spoke to a situation or circumstance and Heaven invaded and brought change. In Matthew 8:26, He spoke to the storm, and the wind and the waves stopped. The disciples responded, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
The Roman centurion understood the authority Jesus carried when he said, “Just say the word and my servant will be healed. Jesus declared, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would (Matthew 8:5-13).”
Jesus spoke to the paralytic, saying, “Pick up your mat and walk,” and the man did so and was healed. Jesus stood outside Lazarus’ tomb and spoke, “Come forth,” and Lazarus was raised from the dead. Our words (our declarations) create an avenue by which Heaven’s resources and power are released.
I’ll never forget an occasion in which a woman, who was completely bald and gaunt from many radiation chemotherapy treatments, approached me at a conference at Bethel. She explained that the doctors told her that they could do nothing else for her, and that she had approximately one month left to live. I immediately looked her in the eyes and declared, “I don’t even need to pray for you. The glory of God is all over you, you’re going to be just fine!” I went on to explain that my declaration over her was in response to a gift of faith that had come to me as I heard about the destiny of doom the doctors had declared over her.
Five months later, at another Bethel conference, a shorthaired woman approached me with a grin from ear to ear. She jubilantly shared that she was the woman I had declared life over. Thanking me profusely, she shared that not only was she obviously still alive, but she had no cancer in her body to the amazement of the doctors!
As royal priests, representing God on earth, our declarations make a difference. Our declarations determine our destiny and the destiny of those around us. Our declarations unlock Heaven.
I was playing golf with a pastor in Yuma, Arizona, along with a medical doctor friend, who was very skeptical of the reality of supernatural divine healing. The pastor had arranged for us to golf together so that I could share testimonies that would convince the doctor otherwise.
By the sixth hole, we had not made a whole lot of headway in convincing the doctor, despite sharing several testimonies of people being healed in God’s presence. The pastor teed off on the par three hole and hit a great looking shot headed right toward the flagstick. Amazingly, and sadly, his ball struck a bird about twenty feet in front of the pin, causing both the ball and the bird to fall onto the green!
At first, we were joking around about the pastor getting a literal birdie, but after realizing that the bird was lying on its side with it’s wing fixed straight up without moving, we became concerned that the bird was dead.
Meanwhile, the doctor and I hit up onto the green, while the bird continued to lie motionless. As we drove our carts toward the green, the other birds landed near the dormant bird. Once we got to the green, all of the birds flew away, except for that one bird, still lying on its side.
Observing this, the doctor pronounced the bird dead, to which the pastor expressed that he should dispose of it since being a doctor he seemed the most qualified to deal with the carcass. At that, I responded, “No way. Let’s raise it from the dead.” I then declared, “I release you into new life.” Just when I got to “re,” the bird jumped up and flew away!
The doctor looked at me in total shock, as he witnessed the supernatural power of God first hand, as the bird was seemingly raised from the dead! Regardless of whether the bird had been dead or just knocked out, the reality was that as I declared God’s Kingdom come, the bird recovered, and the doctor had no more problems with the issue of supernatural healing.
God is just waiting for us to co-labor with Him in releasing His Kingdom. Living naturally supernatural is simply unlocking the doors leading to breakthrough with the Kingdom keys we have received. Partnering for breakthrough, then, requires us to take responsibility to release God’s presence, power, and resources into every situation and circumstance in which people need His intervention.
That is the power of partnership. When we pray (declare), He comes.
We Have the Keys!
We have been given the keys to the Kingdom to be able to unlock Heaven whenever we need His presence and power. In Matthew 16:19, Jesus promised, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom….” In other words, we can unlock the door to the resources of Heaven to get whatever we need, whenever we need it. That is an amazing privilege!
I oversee several ministry responsibilities at Bethel Church, which require that I have several different keys to access needed rooms and resources. There are several people on my leadership team who need to have the same access as I do. There was a time, however, when I was the only one with the keys.
Each time one of my team needed to access a room, he or she had to come to me and borrow the keys, and then afterwards would have to bring them back. Sometimes, he or she would forget, and I would have to go out of my way to track him or her down when I needed to access something. It got to be such a hassle trying to juggle one set of keys between our entire team that I finally wised up and got them their own keys!
Jesus did not say, “I will lend you the keys.” Jesus gave us the keys, meaning He no longer has them. It is now up to us to open up Heaven so that His presence and power can be released through the opening we have made for Him to come.
How often do we hear Christians pleading with God to open up the Heavens and rain down His power to intervene, when all along, God is pleading with us to use the keys we have been given to release His rule so that intervention can come? We cannot expect God to do what we are expected to do in the partnership.
When we do what is expected of us to unlock Heaven, then He faithfully does His part. It is His good pleasure to give us the Kingdom (Luke 12:32).
Often, as I begin a conference, I announce that there will be many miracles and healings. The reason I am so confident is that I have been given Kingdom keys to unlock Heaven in order to access the resources needed. In reality, when I pray, He comes, and when He comes, He does good things because He is a good God in a good mood!
The natural question, then, is if we have the authority and power to represent and bring God’s Kingdom to earth, why don’t we see more breakthroughs in the miraculous?
Many Christians wrongfully believe that God just sovereignly intervenes in our lives whenever He chooses, or does not. Their response is, “Well, I guess it was just God’s will that I remain sick, debilitated, or dying.” As a result, many Christians do not pursue divine intervention or they stop short of getting the breakthrough they desire.
Many Christians believe that God chooses (predetermines) who will be healed and who will not be healed. They state that God is sovereign — that He is in control of everything — and therefore, nothing happens outside of His predestined will.
Therefore, if someone becomes sick, it must be God’s will because nothing happens outside of His sovereign control. As a result, the prayer, “Your will be done…” is a concession to accept whatever God has sovereignly predestined, instead of a declaration: “…on earth as it is in heaven.”
People all around us are waiting for Heaven to come to earth. God is waiting for us to bring Heaven to earth. I want to encourage you that you have the ability to make a difference in someone’s life and the world around you. Your declarations make a difference!
It is true, drunk people do crazy things. They will say the craziest things to anyone who will listen (even if they won’t listen). They will laugh out loud, oftentimes for no apparent reason, and without any sensitivity to their surroundings whatsoever. They will dance, fall on the ground, sway as they walk, and completely sacrifice their personal dignity. Why? Because they are drunk.
They are not concerned with what people think about them at the moment. They have lost all fear of man, not concerning themselves in the least with the aftermath of humiliation that is sure to follow their actions. They therefore express themselves freely. They will even attempt the dangerous, like driving a vehicle or jumping off cliffs into shallow water, crazy things that they would never even dream of doing if they were sober. Why? Because they are drunk. Drunk people do crazy things!
In Ephesians 5:18, the Apostle Paul gives this instruction to Christians: “Do not get drunk with wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (NIV).
This word “debauchery” means to be so influenced by the effects of alcohol that one loses all inhibition, so that they do things of negative and evil consequence that they would not do if they were sober. In other words, debauchery is doing crazy things that you are really ashamed of the next morning.
Being filled with the Spirit, on the other hand, causes one to do crazy things, but the difference is that those things are things that you are proud of the next morning. Interestingly, the phrase, “be filled”, is not a one time event. In the Greek, this is a present tense verb, which has a continual sense associated with the action. So, more accurately, Paul is instructing the Church to “be continually filled with the Spirit”; to drink everyday, the “new wine” of the Spirit. Why? Because drunk people do crazy things!
On the Day of Pentecost, in Acts chapter 2, the Church was filled with the Holy Spirit. In verse 13, the crowd made fun of them and said “they have had too much wine”. Peter’s response to this accusation is found in verse 15: “These men are not drunk as you suppose…”. Notice, he does not deny the fact that they are drunk, or at the least, acting drunk. He simply lets them know that they are not drunk in the way that they think that they are drunk. The source of their drunkenness is not due to the wine of the world, but rather the new wine of the Holy Spirit. He explains all of this in verse 17, as he outlines the fulfilled prophetic promise of Joel that God would pour out His Spirit on all people.
Notice that Peter got out of the box, crazy, as he found the courage to stand up to address the crowd of onlookers. This is the same Peter that denied the Lord three times! And now he has unabashed boldness to preach the Gospel to the same angry crowd that had earlier crucified Jesus. The only thing that can explain this uninhibited behavior is the fact that he was drunk. Drunk people do crazy things. And I’m sure he was very proud of his actions the next morning, especially when he realized that 3,000 people had been saved as a result of his boldness under the influence of the Spirit!
Jesus has commanded us to do crazy things like heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons; to preach the message of the Kingdom (Matt. 10:7,8). He has commanded us to be His witnesses in the whole earth as his ambassadors (Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20). He told Ananias, through a supernatural vision, to go to Saul’s house on Straight Street and lay hands on him to receive his sight, which was a crazy proposal given the fact that Saul was arresting Christians and giving approval for their executions (Acts 9).
I used to never pray for the sick. Not because I didn’t believe in healing. I taught on healing. I just didn’t believe that I had what it took to pray for people for them to be healed. I used the excuse that I just didn’t have the “gift”. Interestingly, after learning to let the Holy Spirit influence my mind, I began to live under the influence (LUI), I began to do things that I would ordinarily never try like praying for someone to be healed. Amazingly, people started getting healed. I started to drink and drive, and when I would get to my destination, I would find supernatural boldness to step out and take crazy amounts of risk to pray for the sick at supermarkets, airports, or at family gatherings. And guess what? People started getting healed.
I have found that most people have a hard time stepping out in risk in the Kingdom because they are too intimidated by what others will think. I want to suggest that you try getting absolutely drunk on the Spirit of God until you have no inhibitions left, and just see what kind of great “crazy” things God can do through your life. Remember, drunk people do crazy things!
Many are familiar with the phrase “yada, yada, yada,” made popular by the long-time sitcom, Seinfeld. In the context of the show, the catchy phrase is used to imply, “O.K., enough already, get on with it, get to the point,” and is usually accompanied with one’s head tilted back and eyes rolling up for dramatic effect. It refers to people being redundant, monotonous, or verbose. It is also used as a fill in the blank phrase for details that are either unimportant or obvious to everyone. That is how most of us have come to know the term “yada.”
The term “yada” is found throughout the Bible, although it has a much different meaning than depicted on Seinfeld. In Genesis 4:1, we are told that, “Adam yada’d Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. Some Bibles translate this word, yada, as “Adam knew Eve…,” while others translate it as, “Adam lay with Eve…”
Both translations are correct, but there is more to this word, yada, than even these two translations depict. Yada is a Hebrew word found in the Old Testament that means to “know” in five distinct dimensions. Importantly, all five aspects, or dimensions, are essential in comprehending the full meaning of yada. The Greek word, ginosko, in the New Testament has a very similar interpretive connotation to yada, and is used in place of yada in the Old Testament Greek Septuagint version.
The first dimension of yada is to know something or someone in complete detail. It means to study, analyze, or investigate something until you know something or someone completely. It is to know something like a detective would seek to know the details of a mystery.
How much more of God is there to know? How many of us have a complete revelation of His nature, personality, attributes, and ways? How many of us have read the same scriptures over and over for years, and then have a truth jump out at us that we had never seen there before?
I call these “Waldo encounters.” When my son was growing up, the Where is Waldo books were very popular. Of course, the object of the book was to find Waldo hidden in the pages of crowds of people. Invariably, my son would bring his new book to me, asking me to find Waldo. After my unsuccessful search, my son would point and excitedly exclaim, “There’s Waldo.” Immediately, Waldo became 4 feet by 4 feet on the page to me. I had received a revelation! From that time forth, every time I would turn to the page where I had discovered Waldo, I could immediately point him out as though I had known where he was my whole life.
In Ephesians 1:17, the apostle Paul prays that the Ephesian believers would have a “spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better”. In other words, they needed more detail in order to yada/ginosko God better. Furthermore, even though they already knew God, there was still more to know. Therefore, they needed a spirit of wisdom and revelation. They needed repeated Waldo encounters. Yada, yada, yada
The second dimension of yada is to know something technically. It is to know how
something works technically. It is part of the wisdom that Paul was praying for in Ephesian 1:17. It is not just knowing that something does work, but also how it works. Wisdom is knowing how something works in all of its aspects.
During my first ministry staff position in 1982, we were given a car. About a month later, the engine blew up. The rest of the car was in pretty good shape, and we did not have the finances available for a new car, so I decided to save some money and fix the engine myself. I figured that since I had a college degree, although it was in biblical studies, I should be able to follow the manual step by step with no problems even though I had no previous experience working on cars.
In all of my wisdom, I decided to take off each part of the engine and place the parts in chronological order on the single shelf that I had tacked up around my one car garage. I figured that I would just put all of the parts back from the opposite side of the garage — how hard could it be. Well, after almost blowing my head off, singing my eyebrow hair and top of my head, from pulling off the air-conditioner hose full of compressed anti-freeze, the unthinkable happened. Just as I had most of the engine parts on the shelving, the weight sent all of the parts in a heap on the garage floor.
By the time I got the engine back in, I had brackets, bolts, and parts that I could not recognize and/or manage to replace, so I just left them out or bent them to fit. Of course, when I went to start the newly rebuilt and installed engine, it would not start. Over and over I tried to no avail. Finally, I had to call a mechanic friend to come over and help. After five minutes, he just shook his head and said, “Kevin, you have completely destroyed this engine. I’ll have to take it out and redo the work, and replace it.” By the time he finished rebuilding and replacing the engine, it cost twice as much as if I had have just taken the car to a certified mechanic in the first place!
A lot of people know about God, but how many actually know God so well that they know the intricacies of how He operates, the keys that unlock His presence in our lives? Yada is not just knowing the details about God, but also knowing His ways, as Moses prayed in Ex. 33:13, “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you (yada) and continue to find favor with you.” Yada is being able to understand God’s ways, so that we can take out of Him what we need, as well as putting back into Him the things He desires from us to further our relationship. Yada, yada, yada.
The third dimension of yada is to know God by personal experience. A lot of people know about God, but God wants us to know Him through encounters in which we personally experience His presence.
If I offered to take you to Hawaii on an all expense-paid vacation, would you get a little excited as you thought about the white, sandy beaches, the coconut aroma on the tropic breezes, and the mesmerizing waves lapping towards your lounge chair as the rest of the world is washed away? Well, what if I told you that I was going to be flying the plane, and that I had never actually flown a plane, but I had read the manual and know everything there is to know about flying. Would you still be excited about going to Hawaii with me?
If you answered “yes” to that question, then you are crazy! You should never fly with someone who has never actually flown a plane! Yet, how many suffice to just read the manual (the Bible), thinking that doing that alone will enable them to have a personal relationship with God. And then we think that the world is going to want to fly with us to the Kingdom of God, when we have no personal experience.
God wants us to have an encounter, so that we become an encounter, so that others can have an encounter. Yada is experiencing a personal encounter with God, so we become a habitation of His presence, and then “leaking” His presence to others around us through signs and wonders, miracles, healings, and prophetic insights from His heart, so that they have a personal encounter with His presence.
In the first two chapters of the book of Habakkuk, Habakkuk is asking God for the solution to the world’s problems. His complaint was basically that it seemed like the enemy was winning. God’s answer is found in chapter two, verse 14: “The knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the seas.”
For years, I quoted this verse as “The glory of the Lord…,” leaving out “The knowledge” (yada). There is a huge difference between the glory of the Lord covering the earth, and our experiencing the glory that is covering the earth. God wants us to personally experience His glory in our lives. He wants us to have a personal Waldo encounter.
In John 8:32, Jesus said, “You will know (yada/ginosko) the truth, and the truth will set you free. It is only as we have personal encounters with God (the truth) that we will be set free to set others free and see the glory of the Lord cover the earth as the waters cover the seas. Yada, yada, yada.
The fourth dimension of yada is to have a face-to-face encounter. It is one thing to encounter God’s goodness expressed in physical healing, forgiveness, intervention, provision, or blessing, but God desires an up-close and personal face-to-face encounter. Our heavenly Father does not desire an absentee relationship with His children in which He just sends the things we need and desire from afar. No, His desire is to reveal himself to His children every day.
When my children were growing up, we would often play “hide and seek.” There was an excitement in my children’s voice every time they would plead with me to hide just one more time! There was an excitement in the anticipation of finding me hidden out of sight in the closet or behind a door. Of course, if I hid myself so well that they could never find me, they would eventually give up and not want to play anymore, but because I wanted to be found, I would hide in such a way that they could find me as they searched. Our heavenly Father wants to be found. In Isaiah 55:6, we are encouraged to “Seek the Lord while he may be found.” In James 4:8, we are reminded that if we come near to Him, He will come near to us. Yada is drawing near to God for a face-to-face personal encounter.
A lot of people know about God — they know what He looks like; they can recognize His works demonstrated in miraculous, interventionary acts, but do they actually know the person they can recognize? I think I could recognize George W. Bush anywhere, but I do not have a face-to-face relationship, primarily because he wouldn’t know me from Adam. I have no access to George W. Bush, and therefore, do not know (yada) him; we are not close.
Moses had a face-to-face relationship with God – he yada’d with God; he had a close, personal relationship. The people, on the other hand, chose to distance themselves in Exodus 20:21. So, the people got the law instead of relationship. Religious performance is always the substitute of personal face-to-face encounters with God. Conversely, God’s heart is to deliver us from the law, offering personal relationship as He continually stands at the door of our heart knocking (Revelation 3:20). Yada, yada, yada.
The fifth, and final dimension of yada is sexual intimacy. Some may even say that this fifth dimension cannot be fully experienced until a person has comprehensively satisfied the first four dimensions. The aim of yada is intimacy. God’s desire is to have a comprehensive, personal, face-to-face, intimate encounter with each one of us. God wants to yada with us every day.
Certainly, the Song of Solomon is a depiction of God’s desire for intimacy with His people. In the New Testament, we are described as the “bride of Christ,” and in 1 Corinthians 7, Paul correlates the relationship of Christ and the Church to a husband and wife in marriage. In 1 Peter 1:23 and 1 John 3:9, we are reminded that God’s seed is in us. The Greek word for “seed” is sperma, from which we get the English word, sperm. In other words, God has deposited His Holy Spirit inside of us as an ongoing commitment to intimacy with us.
Furthermore, just as Adam knew (yada) Eve and she became fruitful, bearing a son, so too, God desires us to be fruitful in bearing spiritual children. Fruitfulness, however, is born out of intimacy. That intimacy is born out of knowing God in detail and technical wisdom, leading to a personal face-to-face encounter.
God wants to use us to change the world. We are the answer, the solution for the world— “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Before God’s glory can flow through us, we must experience His glory, His presence in us. The supernatural lifestyle flows out of a yada relationship with God. In John 15:5, Jesus said, “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
I want to be like the Apostle Paul, who in Philippians 3:10, exclaimed, “I want to know (yada/ginosko) Christ and the power of His resurrection…” in that order. The signs and wonders are needed to convince the world, but the object is a growing, personal, intimate face-to-face encounter, not only for us, but for all of those who so desperately need a yada encounter with God.
So, I want to encourage you: YADA, YADA, YADA