Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Recovering the Axe Head of Genuine Anointing

Recovering the Axe Head of Genuine Anointing
By J. Lee Grady
editor of Charisma Magazine.

We've faked the power of Pentecost long enough. Let's set aside the imitations and reclaim the real deal.

Shortly after Elijah was carried to heaven in his fiery chariot, a group of young prophets asked Elisha to go with them to build new living quarters near the Jordan River. While one of the young men was cutting down a tree, the blade of his axe fell in the water and sank into the murky depths of the riverbed (see 2 Kings 6:1-7).

The construction project came to an abrupt stop. This was before the days of flashlights and sonar devices. These guys were in trouble.

"Let's ditch our counterfeits and our cheap substitutes, and ask the Lord to restore the axe blade. Let's cry to Him for a pure, unadulterated, genuine, life-changing, planet-shaking revival."
Knowing that his friends could not replace this expensive iron tool they had borrowed, the young prophet cried to his mentor Elisha for help. The wise prophet threw a stick in the water where the axe head had sunk. Immediately the heavy iron blade floated to the surface—defying the laws of physics and proving that nothing is impossible with God. Elisha's faith saved the day.

We can gain so much comfort from this story. It reminds us that God has power over the natural world. It also proves that He cares about the seemingly trivial details of our lives—and that He is even willing to bail us out of the messes we make.

As I have meditated on this passage in recent days I've also applied it to our current situation in the American church. It illustrates how desperately we need to recover what we've lost.

Perhaps you've noticed that our blade is missing. I don't know exactly when it fell off the handle, but it seems as if we've been trying to build God's house without the sharp edge of His genuine anointing. We've traded the real for the phony. We've cheapened Pentecost to the point that it's been reduced to dry religious programs and circus sideshow antics.

We've mastered the art of hype. We know how to fake the anointing. We push people to the floor during our altar times. We know how to manipulate music and crowds so that we can create the atmosphere of the anointing. But in so many cases the real anointing isn't there. In its place is a hollow imitation.

Some charismatic leaders today are even selling specially handcrafted oils that promise the Holy Spirit's power. Others sell scented candles that claim to bring God's presence. And last year one brother was traveling the country with feathers in a jar—claiming that these belonged to an angel with healing powers.

Lord, forgive us for our charlatanism. We need the blade back! We must cry out to the God Who has the power to raise iron from the bottom of a river.

We are not going to advance Christ's kingdom, or build His victorious church, using scented oils, fake charms, ear-tickling prophecies and goofy charismatic gimmicks. This is all wood, hay and stubble destined for the furnace. What we need today is the sharp blade of the Word that is empowered by the Holy Ghost and fire.

In my world travels during the past few years I have met humble Christians who carry the genuine anointing of the Spirit. I've spent time with Chinese believers who see miracles inside their prison cells. I've met an Indian evangelist who has seen six people raised from the dead. I've met a Pakistani apostle who regularly sees Muslims healed during outdoor gospel meetings.

Last week I interviewed an Iranian church leader whose ministry is leading 5,000 Iranians to faith in Christ every month. In the midst of persecution and political upheaval, a New Testament—style revival is erupting in that Shiite Muslim stronghold-all because the church in Iran is weilding the axe head of genuine Holy Spirit anointing.

Where is the God of Elisha? There is a cry in the American church today that resembles the cry of the desperate young prophet in 2 Kings 6. We have not been good stewards of the Holy Spirit's gifts, and now the precious power of God has eluded us. We dropped it. Yet we are beginning to acknowledge our blunder.

Let's fully humble ourselves. Let's repent of fakery and fraud. Let's ditch our counterfeits and our cheap substitutes, and ask the Lord to restore the axe blade. Let's cry to Him for a pure, unadulterated, genuine, life-changing, planet-shaking revival.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

21 days of consecration

21 Days of Consecration
Authored By Billy Wilson

Billy Wilson is executive director of the International Center for Spiritual Renewal and executive officer for Empowered 21: Global Congress on Holy Spirit Empowerment.

America's greatest need is spiritual revival. The United States has seen an awakening in every century of its existence—except this one.

In the 18th century, the First Great Awakening swept thousands of colonists into the kingdom of God, and the courage to break free from Great Britain germinated in the soil of awakened hearts.

The 19th century witnessed the Second Great Awakening, which shook the American frontier with dramatic results. Entire denominations doubled their memberships in just years.

In the 20th century, the Pentecostal-charismatic movement had a global impact. During the last 100 years, nations of the world have been touched, and more than 640 million people now claim to be Spirit-filled.

America's history has been informed consistently by significant spiritual renewal. However, we are now one-tenth of the way through the 21st century and, as far as we know, the U.S. has yet to experience a fresh awakening.

The ineffectiveness of the American church pushes us to ask some hard questions of God and ourselves:

Have we allowed ourselves to be preoccupied with political, social and peripheral issues more than with the nation's greatest need? Have we spent billions fighting political and social battles while losing the spiritual battle for the souls of a new generation? Have we chosen the easier way of carnal weaponry while neglecting God's more challenging way of spiritual intensity?

Have we picketed more than prayed, fought more than fasted and lashed out more than loved? Have we been duped into hoping that righteousness would be installed from the top down rather than recognizing that true awakening comes from the bottom up?

Does the church in America need to experience a fresh grace through repentance? Do we need a deep cleansing and renewal?

I believe that the answer to these questions is a painful and convicting yes.

Today's church is desperate for a deep and transformational revival that will change the spiritual landscape of our country again.

The question is, what would an awakening in 21st century America look like? What would happen if God shook this nation during the next decade? How would we know if revival and awakening were occurring?

Answers to these questions were discussed several months ago in Northampton, Massachusetts, during a gathering of more than 75 Christian leaders in the city once known as an epicenter of the First Great Awakening. These leaders identified 20 significant indicators of a contemporary awakening—10 in the church and 10 in the culture. You can read their conclusions online at

The leaders, who represented a broad spectrum of evangelical denominations and ministries, also banded with several hundred ministries in the Awakening America Alliance to seek God for a new Christ-awakening in the United States.

Now, as a way to pursue the spiritual renewal we need, we have an opportunity to unite at the start of this second decade of the century to humble ourselves through fasting and prayer.

The Awakening America Alliance has designated January 1-21 as "21 Days for a New Awakening" to answer God's call through the prophet Joel to "declare a holy fast" (see Joel 1:14).

Fasting from a pure heart with proper motives will help lead us into the brokenness required to receive God's next move in our nation. Fasting brings spiritual benefits because it helps us humble ourselves, presses us toward personal cleansing, focuses our hearts and weans us off earthly distractions.

It allows for heightened sensitivity to God's voice and positions us to bring deliverance to the captives. Fasting and prayer facilitate a personal renewal of our connection and intimacy with Jesus. His presence and pleasure become our reward.

Ultimately, the renewal of the church and of the nation will depend on people who respond to His call. True spiritual awakening in this century will be a grass-roots movement in which intimacy with Jesus is restored one heart at a time, producing the fruitfulness and freshness we all desire.

Why not let the 21st century awakening start in your church. More importantly, why not let it start in your heart?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Food Suggestions for 21 4 10 fast

Suggested foods for Daniel fast

Day 1 Liquids Only

Day 2 through Day 21
Suggested foods:

Whole Grains

Legumes such as: red beans, kidney beans, Black-eyed beans, black beans, Pinto beans

Fruit, Vegetables, Sprouts

Brown Rice

Soy Milk
100% vegetable or fruit juice

Foods to avoid:
Meat, poultry, white rice, fried foods, soda, preservatives, sugar, caffeine