The Impact of a Generational Blessing

by Kathy Giske

“I will make My name to be remembered in all generations” (Psalm 45:17).

Kathy Giske is a longtime friend of CFNI, a minister and missiologist. After she spoke at CFNI in March 2017, she was in prayer about CFNI and felt God speak something to her heart about CFNI’s legacy. Here is what she heard.

When God formed Adam and Eve, His intention was to create a family that walked with Him and emulated His creativity and goodness on the Earth, thus creating a legacy that would extend from one generation to the next. History reflects that, when one generation faithfully carries out its God-given mandate, God frequently continues their legacy through that family’s lineage, resulting in a generational blessing.

King David is an example of this. He used his God-given mantle of authority to faithfully carry out his mandate. After his death, Solomon continued to build on his father’s legacy, but his assignment had a different expression — that of building the temple, versus winning battles to establish Israel’s territory. When I observe the Lindsay family, I see this principle at work. Most training and academic institutions, Christian or otherwise, are usually founded by benefactors who desire to build an academic legacy for future generations. While Christ For The Nations seeks to offer academic excellence, its mandate is to also invest in future generations, creating Kingdom-minded warriors who influence culture in their respective sphere of influence.

Gordon and Freda Lindsay faithfully executed their God-given mandate through the vision of Christ For The Nations. When they were promoted to glory, their mantle passed on to Dennis and Ginger and the rest of the Lindsay family. But just like Solomon’s assignment took on a different expression, the mantle on the current Lindsay family also took on a new expression in keeping with the current move of God’s Spirit on the Earth. Meanwhile, Golan and Missy are now moving through the ranks to establish their place in the CFNI vision for their generation. As each Lindsay generation picks up the baton to continue Gordon and Freda’s legacy, they are perpetuating a generational blessing that impacts all who associate with CFNI. This includes staff, students, board members and financial partners.

When students register to attend CFNI’s training programs, they are not only benefiting from the academic and spiritual training, but they are also becoming recipients of a family’s generational blessing that is being stewarded by the Lindsay family. This is what makes CFNI unique from other institutions. When God’s people recognize how He manifests His blessing through generations, and are open to receiving it, it creates an added dimension of richness for their lives that honors God and His people. May God continue to richly bless the Lindsay family, and all who associate with Christ For The Nations.

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CFN Foundational Pillars: Integrity

By Dennis Lindsay and Missy Lindsay

WHAT IS YOUR RULER FOR MEASURING A CHRISTIAN’S GREATNESS?

MOM—HOW CRAZY CAN YOU BE?

I remember one weekend before Christmas, when I was about 12, I went shopping with Mom at a large department store, where she purchased a number of presents. The following week, Mom read in the Dallas newspaper that a robbery had taken place where we had been shopping. The manager made an appeal to customers, who had made purchases on the day of the robbery, to write another check to cover their purchases.

Mom looked at her checkbook and the receipts, realizing that her purchases were made on the day of the robbery. She wrote another check and mailed it to the department store. I thought, “Why would Mom do such a foolish thing because there was no way she would ever be accused.” However, I eventually learned that integrity is the same in the dark as it is in the light.

Much later in life, the IRS personally audited Mom, questioning her annual tax return because she had virtually given away her entire year ’s salary to charitable causes, living only on her Social Security. After several months of government scrutiny, Mom was exonerated from all suspicion of misrepresentation.

MY DAUGHTER MISSY’S MEMORY

“One of the great memories I have of Grandmother was when she called me over to her apartment to pray a blessing of impartation over me—she spoke of integrity. She said, ‘We pray, Lord, that you will set an example through her of her keeping her word. Let her word be her bond, so when she makes appointments, Lord, help her to steadfastly keep them.’ Since then I have always sought to keep my word, sometimes to a fault. I love what King David says about integrity. ’He who swears to his own hurt and does not change it.’ Integrity never changes. Grandmother wrote, on a yellow piece of lined paper, the very last words my father would ever hear from her, “Son, leave a legacy that no man can contest.” In other words, live your life above reproach. ‘For a good name is to be more desired than great wealth. Favor is better than silver or gold’” (Proverbs 22:1).

HOW DO YOU MEASURE A CHRISTIAN’S GREATNESS?

Is greatness based on a miracle ministry, with signs and wonders following, or is it dependent on those who lead large, prosperous Christian organizations, or those who have worldwide TV networks?

When we witness one who is anointed with power, authority and the gifts of the supernatural in operation, we tend to think that is all it takes. Jesus reminds us, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe” (John 4:48). The bottom line is greatness in God’s eyes is not just based on being one who performs miracles.

JESUS PROVIDES THE RULER FOR GREATNESS

In Matthew 7:20, Christ winds up His Sermon on the Mount by warning individuals about being caught up in the “glory” of the miracle workers, calling them false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing. He then gives us the “RULER” for discerning who is great and who is phony — “. . . by their fruits you shall know them.” He didn’t say, “Look for great signs, wonders, miracles or the spectacular.” He simply said that men are to be judged by who they are, not what they do. “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign . . . ” (Matthew 12:39).

This does not diminish the miracles of God or the gifts of the Spirit. However, the Bible never says we are to gauge a man’s spirituality, his greatness or sincerity by these power gifts. Miracles can be mimicked; gifts can be imitated. History is filled with these cases. Integrity and the fruit of the Spirit can never be imitated. The fruit crowds out all selfish ambition. Gifts are external, but fruit is internal. The basic test for any ministry is not the gifts that are in operation, but the character of the individual and the fruit in their life.

BE FRUITFUL

Five times God tells us to be fruitful in John l5:2, 4, 5, 8 and 16, with the last verse saying, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.” Fruitfulness here means character; furthermore, the seed comes from the fruit—not the breadth of the ministry, but the depth of the ministry.

HOW TO BE FRUITFUL

There are two basic principles for growing fruit in one’s life that are outlined in John 15. First, abiding in the vine — staying in the Word. There has to be a reciprocal relationship. The vine is dependent on the fruit, and the fruit is dependent upon the vine. Second, there must be pruning. This develops good fruit and is accomplished by obeying the Word of God. Discipline is better known as pruning. If we do not prune or discipline ourselves, then God will help us (Psalm 119:67, 71).

WHAT KIND OF A LEADER IS GOD SEEKING?

God seeks leaders with godly character. There must not be compromise. I’ve learned that there are three essential elements for becoming a great spiritual leader: Intelligence, Energy and Integrity. If you don’t have integrity, the other two will strangle you. Success is based solely on God’s assignment for you.

Gifts of the supernatural are not given because of one’s character, maturity or experience. Gifts are given because of one’s faith. There must be a balance between integrity and the gifts — without integrity it’s just a matter of time before you sink. “People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall” (Proverbs 10:9).

A CFNI PILLAR:  INTEGRITY

Dad and Mom taught us many lessons about integrity from the Word of God. My dad founded the ministry of Christ For The Nations on the principles of integrity. Dad’s integrity was that of promoting other ministries, rather than his own. He gave the platform to others, becoming the megaphone of their messages and miracles in the monthly magazine he published, The Voice of Healing, now The Voice.

As one secular author, David Edwin Harrell, Jr., in his book All Things Are Possible, describes,

“Lindsay was particularly wary of those evangelists who seemed to have an inordinate ambition to magnify themselves and those who seemed to hope to amass money for personal comfort. Lindsay clearly saw and certainly expressed more openly than any other man the destructive and divisive excesses in the movement.”

Integrity was the key factor in Dad’s influence on my life — not wealth, fame or power, but the Word of God and obedience to His will. He treated others with dignity and respect, no matter their gender, color or culture. His life was a life of integrity and fruit of the Spirit. This is the legacy he left to his family, to the Christ For The Nations ministry and to the world.

 

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An Unlikely Candidate

Giving God a Voice in the Government

By Maddy Hunt

How important is our “yes” to God? Can it change lives and impact nations? Carolanne Bassett didn’t know the impact of her “yes.” She viewed herself as an unlikely candidate, both for political office and to be used for God’s glory to affect her nation. But when the 2014 CFNI graduate said “yes” to God’s call, it led to her becoming Senator and the President of the Senate for her country, Bermuda.

Carolanne’s first “yes” to God occurred when she was only 8 years old at the altar during a Billy Graham crusade. Her relationship with God faded through her teen years, and as an adult she was in and out of church. While going through difficult times, she still achieved success in her professional career, including her promotion as a senior executive in her company. Yet, she could feel that something was missing.

It took some time for her to come back to the church, but in the midst of that gray area she still felt Jesus’ peace. One Sunday morning, she woke up at 7 a.m. and heard a voice telling her, “Go to church.” Carolanne shares, “I found something when I walked in that building. I found that the Holy Spirit was waiting for me, and He started to minister to me. That’s been 12 years ago, and I’ve kept the course ever since.”

WRONG NUMBER?

In 2003, 49-year-old Carolanne had plans to travel and settle down with her already-retired husband, Roddy, when she got an unexpected call from the Governor of Bermuda’s secretary saying, “The Governor would like to invite you to serve as an independent senator.” Carolanne’s immediate reply was, “I think you have the wrong person.”

carolanneAt that time there was another woman named Carol Bassett, and they had occasionally received each other’s phone calls; Carolanne was sure this had happened again. Much to her surprise, the secretary assured her that this was no identity crisis. Arriving for her appointment at the Government House, Carolanne said that it took her 30 minutes to work up the courage to go inside. “During that half-hour I thought about every reason why I shouldn’t do it, because I really had not been interested in politics.” When she finally made it to her appointment, Carolanne politely but firmly turned the opportunity down. Her stated reason was simple. “I’m in the midst of some family issues, and I don’t want to open up the newspaper one day and see my family issues spread out in the newspaper.” The governor replied, “Senator Bassett, that’s exactly why I’m asking you — because you’ve been where a lot of families are.”

In the middle of telling the Governor “no,” Carolanne heard the Holy Spirit speak to her heart. He reminded her that she had just promised Him that she would do whatever He wanted her to do. Convicted, she agreed as an act of obedience. She has now been a senator for over 10 years.

In 2008, the President of the Senate retired and to Carolanne’s shock and surprise, she was nominated for the position. She agreed and was voted in. “I knew in an instant that like no other time in my life, I was exactly in the will of God, and His hand was on my life.” She has been President of the Senate since 2008, the first female Senate President in Bermuda and is in her second term as the Senate President.

POLITICS AS MINISTRY

Though walking in God’s will is rewarding, saying “yes” doesn’t come without its challenges. Even as the plan of God protects us, and we delight in walking out our purpose, we are often stretched by the circumstances that our “yes” puts us in.

Carolanne had not pursued a career in politics. As the President of the Senate, she found herself in a position of power and authority without knowing quite how to fulfill all that was required. The temptation to let arguments and disrespect slide into the senate meetings came as a challenge to her leadership. She found that when she didn’t address these issues, they escalated and changed the entire atmosphere of the Senate. However, taking her place of authority also changed the atmosphere, positively.

Carolanne has learned to listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice and not allow the fear of men to influence her actions. Instead of an atmosphere of self-promotion and contention, Carolanne uses her authority to set an atmosphere of respect and honor in the Senate, making a lasting contribution to the leadership of her nation. She believes that to be the most effective leader, you have to spend time in the presence of God. “We can get so busy doing that we lose the connection to the Holy Spirit. Those are the times I would go home or go to my church, lay on the altar and just weep because I felt like I had let Him down, and that I had not stood for righteousness.” This desire to do what God wants her to do has allowed God’s influence to pervade the Bermuda Senate and broaden her influence in her country. Her obedience has given God a powerful voice in her country’s government.

YES TO CFNI

Saying “yes” to an unexpected career in politics didn’t keep Carolanne from growing in her ministry and more fully understanding her calling. After learning about CFNI through a missions team that ministered in her church, Carolanne visited the Dallas school for herself. She was “blown away by feeling the Holy Spirit in the classes” and knew she wanted to be a part of what God was doing at CFNI.

As a young woman, Carolanne had laid aside her desire for higher education to shoulder the responsibility for her family. So, studying at CFNI was the culmination of a longtime dream. Though it wasn’t easy to balance being a Senator and a student in two different nations, Carolanne says she felt God’s grace and saw His hand in her situation. Amazingly, unusually long breaks between Senate sessions allowed her time to fly between home and her classes at CFNI in Dallas for the three years she attended.

Now an alumna of CFNI, Carolanne has solidified her understanding of her calling. Instead of waiting for God to give her a ministry, she understands that God has created a place for her to be an influence for His glory. As long as the opportunity to represent God’s voice in Bermuda still stands, Carolanne will serve in the Senate and be a shining light of how obedience — an unconditional “yes” — can change your world.

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Updates From CFNI Partner Schools

By Celeste Groomer

40 YEARS OF GOD’S FAITHFULNESS

June 12-14, 2015, the 40th anniversary of Glaubenszentrum was held under the theme “Meeting— Remembering—Networking.” More than 600 alumni, staff members and guests from other nations celebrated, describing the various ways that God’s kindness and faithfulness have been seen on its campus.

God’s Heart For Germany

More than 43 years ago, God delivered Bob Humburg from alcohol and gambling, and set him and his wife, Emma, on a new course. They left New York City to attend Christ For The Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, and while at CFNI they received a call from God to begin ministry. Their daughters, Kay and Lynn, and a friend had also attended CFNI, and upon graduation they traveled to Germany. God had stirred these girls’ hearts for Germany, and they prayed for revival to come to that land.

After much prayer and intercession, Kay and Lynn called Bob and encouraged him and Emma to travel to Germany and begin a Bible school. They felt the girls’ request resonate within their spirits, and they answered the call to impact and influence the next generation of Germans. It was from this humble beginning that Glaubenszentrum became one of CFNI’s associated Bible schools.

Glaubenszentrum (CFNI Germany)

Glaubenszentrum has been located in a couple of different places. The current location has had the greatest impact on the school’s worship and prayer ministries. The buildings and property that house Glaubenszentrum were built by Adolph Hitler and were formerly used to train Nazi officers. Because Hitler chose a high hill in the city of Bad Gandersheim, Germany, to build his army barracks, there was a dark spiritual oppression over the region.

Glaubenszentrum Campus
Glaubenszentrum Campus

Glaubenszentrum took over the former Nazi training camp and began to lift extraordinary praises to God, as well as do battle in intercession for the region. This led to a shift in the atmosphere for righteousness. Now, Glaubenszentrum brings hundreds of people in for Bible conferences and exceptional nights of worship to the Lord. What the enemy meant for evil, God has arrested and turned for His glory!

In Only 40 Years

As the school celebrates an amazing 40 years since its formation, Glaubenszentrum is becoming stronger. It has schools in discipleship training, church ministry, worship and missions. The graduates have gone on to impact many nations with the Gospel. Glaubenszentrum continues to influence their region, the nation and the world.They train and equip the youth of Germany, as the school stands as a city on a hill, letting its light shine.

In the cornerstone of the main office building, Hitler buried a copy of his famous book and manifesto Mein Kampf. Because it was buried in the foundation of the building, they were unable to remove it. So, each day when the leaders and students pass by that corner of the stairwell, witnessing the date the building was completed, they rejoice as they declare that in Christ there is victory over even the most heinous enemy.
In the cornerstone of the main office building, Hitler buried a copy of his famous book and manifesto Mein Kampf. Because it was buried in the foundation of the building, they were unable to remove it. So, each day when the leaders and students pass by that corner of the stairwell, witnessing the date the building was completed, they rejoice as they declare that in Christ there is victory over even the most heinous enemy.

Dr. Dennis Lindsay, President of Christ For The Nations, Dallas, Texas, spoke at the 40th anniversary celebration, bringing congratulations and support from CFNI in Dallas. The event was filled with thankfulness towards God and awareness that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone and foundation of Glaubenszentrum.

A LIFE WELL-LIVED

Christ For The Nations lost a friend, missionary and pioneer on May 6, 2015. Dave Brunk passed away after a 10-year battle with cancer, leaving behind his wife and partner in ministry, Janis Brunk, and his four children — daughters Jennifer and Angeline and sons Joel and Joshua.

Dave and Janis attended CFNI together, graduating in 1991. They then moved to Belarus to find out how to meet the needs they saw there. In 1994, they opened Christ For The Nations Belarus (CFNB), which is now the largest Bible school in the country. They launched annual praise and worship symposiums that gathered thousands of worshippers from Russian-speaking countries and set up a professional recording studio so they could produce contemporary worship music.

brunksThey also committed to help meet physical needs by partnering with overseas humanitarian organizations and local governments. The Brunk’s investment in Belarus continues as CFNB still trains worldchangers despite their being driven out of the country in 2008 by threats of arrest from the KGB. Many consider CFNB the first step toward having a Christian University in the former Soviet Union. The impact Dave has had there is incalculable.

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Kingdom Influence in the Marketplace

by Will Ford

My father once told me the story of a man who went to Nelson Rockefeller to make a business offer. Rockefeller decided not to take the deal, but as a consolation, he offered to allow the gentleman the opportunity of walking with him on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. When Rockefeller walked on the floor of the exchange, everyone took notice of the person walking with him. Rockefeller lent the credibility of his trustworthy and powerful name to this man; as a result, people who would not listen to him before were suddenly willing to hear what he had to offer. Rockefeller added importance and weight to this man, who was now able to find investors for a multi-million dollar deal.

Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is more desirable than great riches.” The reason being that a credible reputation carries “weight.”

THE WEIGHT OF GOD’S GLORY

One definition of weight is the sense of someone who conveys importance just by their presence. When someone influential walks into a room, people take notice.

The primary Hebrew word for glory in the Old Testament is kabod, which means “weighty presence.” When Solomon dedicated the Temple, we see that the glory of God fell and the priests could not stand in order to minister (see 2 Chronicles 5:14). The priests fell to the ground, coming under the literal weight of God’s presence. Kabod was carried by those who had weight or importance. As they made decisions for their culture, their decisive words had weight because of their fellowship with God. The weight of His glory empowered their authority, and God released His influence through them to advance His Kingdom. With His glory, God bestowed upon them His importance.

WE CAN CARRY HIS GLORY

In the book of Acts, we learn that we are to be partakers to a degree of the same glory. According to Acts 1 and 2, 120 disciples spent 10 days in obedient fellowship with God in prayer. Much like their 120 priestly forerunners in 2 Chronicles 5:12–14, when the glory of God fell in the Upper Room, these “priests” had a hard time standing up as well. As a result of their intimate fellowship with Christ, when they used Jesus’ name, He backed them up. You see, it is one thing to walk with a Rockefeller, but it is another thing altogether to walk with the Rock of Ages.

Not only could everyone recognize that these believers had been with Jesus by their words, they also saw that He still walked with them through the person of the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ followers had the influence of heaven because He gave them the credibility of His name. This was possible because they had an intimate relationship with Christ.

As Christ’s followers walked into the room, so to speak, the whole atmosphere changed. People recognized their importance to God as He worked with the believers, performing signs, miracles and wonders. Lost people understood their importance to the Lord through the disciples’ message of Christ’s love for them. The weight of His glory produced incredible results. They spoke and ministered in great power and authority, and people received what they had to say. On the Day of Pentecost, about 3,000 souls were added to the church (see Acts 2:41).

Paul was by no means a spiritual gunslinger, but he definitely threw his weight around in the right places. He did not throw his weight or influence around earthly men first; he initiated it first in the heavenly places through prayer. He was known there because he walked with God. From the example of Paul and the other disciples, we learn a powerful truth regarding the weight of Jesus’ name and our relationship with Him. It is simply this: When your name is written in heaven, Jesus gives you His glorious name to write history on earth.

The apostles’ intimate fellowship with God resulted in His glory being released through them. Cities and entire regions were changed because the weight of God’s influence empowered the believers’ Kingdom message.

TODAY’S MISSION FIELD: BRINGING GLORY TO THE WORKPLACE

Just as God used those early disciples to transform the world, He wants to use His disciples today to transform the workplace.

My friend Falma Rufus is an awesome woman of faith and prayer whom God has used powerfully in the workplace as an intercessor. She was working in a corporate office when God began speaking to her about her co-workers. Falma started going to work early every day to pray for them, anointing their chairs as she did so. On occasion she fasted for them as well.

Doors began opening for Falma to share God’s love with her co-workers. People shared their life circumstances with her. Some came to her office for prayer for physical ailments and were healed. Before long Falma’s office had developed a reputation that she was not even aware of. She would come back from meetings or from lunch and find people sitting in her chair. She finally asked one of her co-workers what was going on. Her co-worker replied, “Oh, I thought you knew. People call your chair the ‘healing chair.’ We come into your office because there’s a presence here.”

The weight of Christ’s influence changed the atmosphere of Falma’s work group. Believers and unbelievers alike were drawn to her office, and many lives were saved, healed and changed because of her relationship with God. God also blessed the work of their hands, as Falma’s group was among the top performers in their company. And because Falma proved herself to be a woman of integrity, God also gave her influence in company decisions. Her superiors held her in high regard, and Falma’s words had substance because she walked into work with the Rock of Ages.

When you go to work, does the atmosphere change when you walk into the room?

If you wholly set yourself apart and abandon yourself to God, He will use you — as a carrier of His glory — to change the atmosphere of your home, neighborhood, workplace and region. When you fellowship with God in worship, fasting and prayer, people will begin to look around and say, “Who just walked into the room?” Then you can introduce them to the influential Person you are walking with: Jesus.

Do you feel called to bring Christ into the marketplace? Go to cfni.org to learn more about CFNI’s Marketplace Leadership Major.

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Impact the World in Our Generation

By Michelle Ofori-Ansah

“You are unique in all the world. Just as you are the only one with your unique fingerprint, you have a unique purpose you were born to do.”

Dr. Wilson, President of Oral Roberts University, spoke to the students at Christ For The Nations Institute, telling them that they were created to make a difference and impact the world. “You are unique in all the world. Just as you are the only one with your unique fingerprint, you have a unique purpose you were born to do.” This purpose is what we were created for, a dream bigger than ourselves.

Even if we recognize this unique mission, calling and purpose, we often don’t know how to take our destiny from possibility to reality. Acts 13:36 says, “When David had served God’s purpose in his own generation he fell asleep.” How do we get from where are to fulfilling our purpose and truly impacting the world?

UNLIKELY CANDIDATES

Wilson has good news for those who feel they cannot possibly be the best choice for accomplishing God’s purpose. God is fond of using unlikely candidates, such as Dr. Wilson himself. He shares his background of coming from a broken home and small town with few prospects for greatness. From that humble beginning, God brought Wilson to a place of prominence as president of a Christian university and head of a global ministry.

This is a pattern seen throughout the Bible. Listing the various unlikely instruments for God’s purpose, Wilson describes Moses, the great deliverer who couldn’t talk, and Gideon the fearful, whom God called a mighty man of valor. “Daniel was an exiled slave who would see visions that would change the world. Esther was an orphaned girl who would step forward at just the right moment to save her people. Mary from Nazareth was a backward girl, a nobody from nowhere, going nowhere it seems, until God visits her with an angel and she changes the world,” shared Wilson.

One of the most unlikely people used by God, Saul of Tarsus, was an active persecutor and murderer of Christians. The journey Saul of Tarsus made from chief persecutor of Christians to the world-changer Apostle Paul contains four truths that will help you make a lasting impact on your world.

PURPOSE

The first thing that is necessary in order to truly have impact is to determine your purpose. Apostle Paul’s purpose is found in Acts 9:15. “But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go, this man is my chosen instrument to proclaim My name to the Gentiles and their kings, and to the people of Israel.’” It wasn’t until Saul surrendered to Christ on the road to Damascus that he discovered his purpose. So the first step is complete surrender to Christ.

Wilson explained, “Your purpose is found in Christ. You may not discern it, you may not understand it, but when you surrender to Him, you are carried away in the purpose of God. And then He is given the liberty to make you into what He intended for you to be.”

PERSISTENCE

The second requirement to fulfilling your purpose is persistence. You must be determined and get tough in order to do what God is calling you to do. Apostle Paul had an extremely high level of persistence. Second Corinthians 11 describes the tortures, beatings, imprisonments and near-death experiences he had. Yet he remains able to say, in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Wilson shared, “This is what I like to call spiritual savvy – when things get tough, the spiritually savvy don’t quit but rather they find a way to get the job done. Now the truth is, on the way to my purpose I have felt like quitting 1,000 times.” The difference between persistence and quitting is often simply not letting go of what God has said. Wilson continued, “Don’t quit, don’t give up, don’t back off, don’t run from the fight. Stand firm, keep going, move through it, and God will help you do what He’s called you to do.”

PREPARATION

The third requirement for accomplishing all God has for you is preparation. Many people skip this step or shortchange it, thinking that their calling means that they don’t need to take time to learn, grow and prepare for their purpose. But Apostle Paul knew the importance of preparation. Acts 22:3 states, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city (Jerusalem). I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.”

Wilson explained the importance of this statement by describing Gamaliel. He was the most influential Jewish man of his time and led a school that believed in studying not only the Hebrew scriptures but also the Greek and Roman culture of that time, enabling them to defend the scriptures in their current cultural context. “When God was looking for someone that would defend the Gospel before Caesar for the first time, and when He was looking for someone who would stand on Mars’ Hill across from the Parthenon, and defend the Gospel at the highest places of learning and Greek culture, He did not choose Peter the fisherman. When God was looking for someone to impact society at the highest levels, He found someone who was prepared and who knew what he was talking about.”

According to Wilson, the level of influence you have is dependent on your preparation. Moving from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree and then a doctorate didn’t increase his anointing, but it did increase the number of people who listened to him. “My degrees opened doors to me that could not open any other way. In the same way, Paul, who was to stand before kings and power-brokers, needed to be fully prepared.”

POWER

Finally, Wilson declared the most important thing you need in order to see God’s purposes fulfilled in your life is power. “Paul, with all of his learning and all that he had been equipped to do, with all of the brilliance that we see reflected in the New Testament, did not depend on that alone but on the Holy Spirit.”

In order to access this power, you have to spend time in the presence of God, allowing His sanctification process to knock off all your rough edges. That time in the presence, on the altar of God, is what will sustain you and ensure you accomplish God’s plan for your life. “If you’re going to make a difference, get all the education and all the knowledge you can get, for whatever God has called you into, whatever field of study He’s called you to pursue. But when you are fully prepared, make sure to be fully full of the Spirit of God!”

The road to truly radical impact requires all of the above: a knowledge of purpose found in surrender to Christ, persistence so that you will never give up, preparation so that you have the knowledge needed to fulfill your purpose, and finally the power of the Holy Spirit. Wilson had one final thing to share. “No one in the world can do what God has in mind for you to do. The real question is, at the end of the day, will you have done what God designed you to do?”

Dr. Billy Wilson is the fourth president of Oral Roberts University. He has also fostered unique global partnerships as co-chair of the Global Council of Empowered21 — an initiative launched at ORU that brings together ministry leaders, scholars and next-generation voices from the Spirit-empowered movement.

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Discipling Culture Changers

By Bob Long

The foundation of the Great Commission is the authority of Jesus. The “Christ Event” did not end at the resurrection. It was fully completed only when He ascended back to heaven, was seated on the throne of David at the right hand of the Father and was crowned King, where He was instructed to remain until all His enemies were defeated. In the meantime, the Father declared that King Jesus would now rule “in the midst of His enemies” (Psalm 2; Psalm 110; Ephesians 1:18-23).

All authority in heaven and earth, that is to say, all the authority in the entire spiritual realm and all the authority in the natural realm now belong to King Jesus. Everything in every realm is subject to Him, and the Great Commission is the mandate and the delegation to the Church to disciple the nations of the earth. If we are going to fulfill that, we must be much more intentional about how we develop leaders! Our goals as well as our methods could use a fresh, more strategic approach.

We must recognize the calling, intentionally develop it, then wholeheartedly commission, ordain and send specific leaders into business, government, journalism, media, arts, education, science and every other arena of culture that shapes the thinking of the peoples of the earth.

We must take Acts 13:1-3 as our model. The Church is commanded to intentionally train five-fold leaders (apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists) whom God can supernaturally call into any sector, arena or aspect of any society, any culture in any nation!

1. Spiritual Identity (Ephesians 4:11) 

We must recognize that biblically defined apostles, prophets, shepherds, teachers and evangelists are to be intentionally and systematically developed, prepared and trained to go outside of Church culture. They need to be sent and supported into every part of secular culture. We cannot transform an arena we are not involved in.

2. Spiritual Discipline (2 Timothy 2:15) 

There are two overarching areas of spiritual discipline to develop: individual, disciplined, planned study of the Word and prayer times (Acts 6) and corporate fasting, prayer and prophetic strategy (Acts 13).

In addition to our craft skills, we must pay the price in the study of the Word and for a passionate prayer life. The nations are not in need of any more highly intelligent but selfishly ambitious leaders. Cultural transformation requires both supernatural signs and servants!

3. Spiritual Authority (Acts 13:6) 

We must impart deeply to our emerging leaders a revelation of the authority of Christ and His ecclesia in the earth. The Church in this hour needs a fuller revelation of the King and His Kingdom that is increasing in the earth and of the unstoppable Church He has brought forth (Isaiah 2; Matthew 16).

A powerful example of this is found in Acts 13:6. “They found Bar-Jesus, a Jewish false prophet who was with Sergius Paulus, the proconsul, an intelligent man.”

Paul confronted the false prophetic and the false supernatural that was deceiving the regional official of the Roman civil government. He confronted it with a much stronger display of raw, supernatural, spiritual power rooted in the Truth of who Jesus is. In verse 11, Paul demonstrated Great Commission authority to release physical blindness upon the one who was supernaturally operating in the dark arts to bring spiritual blindness upon the leadership of one of the “7 Mountains” of culture! The assignment of the false prophetic to block civil government from seeing the Truth was broken. Spiritual blindness and deception upon governmental leaders never leads to moral policies and laws in the land!

This is a model of the leaders we must be and that we must train. We must accept all that Christ Jesus has delegated to us if we are going to liberate nations and fulfill the Great Commission.

Do you want to become a culture changer? Visit cfni.org. 

Pray: 

1. Pray for a fuller understanding of the Great Commission in your own life. Embark on a fresh study in your Bible.

2. Pray for a generation of leaders to emerge that has a vision to lead cultures, not just influence them.

3. Pray for prophetic strategy to be released that will reveal new paradigms for mentoring and training key leaders to be sent into every arena of culture.

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Developing A Supernatural Family

It’s important not only to have faith for special days, but to have faith for turning a normal day into a special day, interrupted by the supernatural power of God. 

By Chris Estrada 

Estrada Family I AM A FATHER OF THREE WONDERFUL CHILDREN. My wife, Erica, and I made a conscious decision as parents that there is no junior Holy Spirit. We decided to believe that our beautiful, oh-so-human children could be just as led by the Holy Spirit as the most spiritual adult could be. You see, I believe that God is raising up young revivalists — 9-year-olds who can prophetically “read your mail” and 12-year-olds who can speak a word of knowledge at a What- A-Burger that will shut the whole place down.

Many families become intimidated by the thought of developing a supernatural family. But I believe it is both more important than many realize and also easier than they imagine. The greatest gifts I could give to my children are how to hear the voice of the Spirit and then how to obey that voice to change the world around them. You see, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is alive in your 2-year-old, is alive in your 7-year-old and is alive in your teenager. There’s no limitation in the Spirit. As my wife Erica describes, “We teach our children that they can hear the Lord. We teach them to have a connected relationship to God. Then, they can hear Him.”

We really feel the Word drives us to live this kind of lifestyle and the scripture that most speaks to our approach is Deuteronomy 6:4-7: “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”

What is God saying? You are to carry this example in every area of your life. “When you sit down” could be dinner time and “when you walk along the way” refers to your coming and going throughout the day. I find that the best moves of God come in the normalcy of my day. It’s important not only to have faith for special days, but to have faith for turning a normal day into a special day, interrupted by the supernatural power of God.

Developing a supernatural family starts with our walk, because more things are caught than are taught, especially in a family. I am not the thermometer; I am the thermostat. I decide how deep my family is going to go into the things of the Lord. I set the precedent; I set the example. In my family, we put a high value on having the Presence in our home. I want Him to feel like He is welcome. I want Him to remain. We want to host the presence of God in our home and everywhere that we go.

One of the ways we do this is to ask our children, “What is God saying? What is He doing? What is God’s heart this morning?” Erica says, “I teach my kids that the first thing when they wake up they should get tuned into the Holy Spirit. On the way to school, I will ask, what is God saying to your teacher today? And sometimes they say, ‘I don’t know,’ and that’s OK; you don’t force them at all.”

But one of the best ways we cultivate the presence of God is something called a Treasure Hunt. This is based on Acts 9, when Ananias received a word of knowledge regarding Saul of Tarsus, specifics such as name, location and a personal detail (he was blind). He also received more revelation as he went; by the time Ananias got to Saul, he had been told that God wanted to heal Saul. A word of knowledge is basically information you couldn’t have ascertained yourself that you received through your spirit man.

EstradaFamily-5751So, as we follow this model, a treasure hunt is where we get together and pray as a family. After about 5 or 10 minutes, we will ask, “What is Jesus saying?” For the treasure hunt, we ask God for five things:

•A place to go: Where do we need to be? 

• A name: Who are we praying for? 

• What does the person look like: What are they wearing? 

• The word to share: What do they need prayer for? 

• Abstract things that come from a creative God: What is unique about the environment or person that sets it apart (such as Saul was blind)? 

One of the key factors to a successful treasure hunt is that you have to learn to hear the voice of God, which is what we’ve already been training our kids. They are foundational when it comes to moving in the supernatural and treasure hunts create a lifestyle where you are constantly hearing the voice of God. We have many testimonies of how this has impacted our family, but one was at Red Robin. Our 5-year-old, Jasmine, was coloring as our waitress came up to take our order. She looked up at her and there was strength in Jasmine’s face I had never seen before. She stood up on her chair, looked at this lady and said, “You will never end up in hell. Jesus loves you too much,” and then she went right back to coloring. The waitress, you could tell she wanted to cry but she kept her composure, and she said, “Thank you, I needed that.”

Another story is of my son Elisha. While he was at school, a boy hurt his arm on the playground. He was crying and Elisha walked over to him and said, “Jesus, put your healing power in my hand,” and then he laid hands on the hurt boy, in the middle of all these other kids, and said, “Be healed.” This boy stops crying, says, “I feel better,” and Elisha replies, “Yep,” and just walks off.

Now, I want to be very clear, our kids are normal kids. We have the same issues and concerns as other families — Elisha loves to tackle Jasmine, and Jasmine loves to play tricks on Elisha. We are still a normal family; we’ve just made it a very, very important part of our life to make sure that our family is operating in the anointing. We’re facing things that most people are facing right now, except we’re tapping in and asking the Lord to give us a word, give us counsel and give us wisdom on how to handle it. And we just try to keep modeling how to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit to our children, and let God handle the rest.

To impact the next generation of youth for Christ, go to cfni.org for more information about the CFNI Youth major. 

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An Unexpected Choice

by Missy Lindsay 

We all resonate with the movies where the social misfit, the one mocked and ridiculed, is chosen for something great. We love to cheer for the underdog who, against all odds, conquers something significant that the naysayers couldn’t overcome. We love it, because deep down, we all long to be chosen, to be overcomers. 

The good news is that it isn’t just in the movies! One of God’s favorite things to do is choose the forgotten one, the discards of society, for something extraordinary. 

In 1 Samuel 16, God does just that! We find a poor, hardworking shepherd who’s rejected, mocked and scorned by his brothers; a boy whose own father doesn’t seem to think much of him. He even excludes him from important social events, yet parades his brothers before famous society including the most significant event yet, when the revered prophet Samuel visits their home to choose the next king. It’s like the president coming to your home. The town’s been buzzing and tidying up. Inside the home, it’s a joyous occasion where all the best food is served and finery is on display. Yet David is hidden alone in the fields, smelling like the sheep he shepherds. But suddenly, in one life-changing moment, someone summons David from the dusty fields. Shortly thereafter, he is anointed the next king of Israel. This completely shocks everyone! 

NO QUALIFICATIONS 

David did not look the part of the next king. He had no special upbringing, no university degrees or formal training. Without any titles or success to speak of, he hadn’t accomplished anything great. He was not “head and shoulders” above everyone else like King Saul. All David had was a harp, a slingshot and some sheep.

WHAT DISTINGUISHED DAVID? 

So why did God choose David to be king of Israel? First and foremost, we know David was a man “after” His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). He wrote 450 songs and 3,600 psalms to the Lord. While David’s brothers were out seeking titles and position in the king’s army, fighting big and impressive battles, David was alone in the fields, seeking the heart of God.

INTIMACY 

An intimate love relationship with the Lord is what catapulted David to the top of God’s list when he was searching for a king. David may have been an absolute nobody, but his intimate relationship with the Lord elevated him above every other man in the nation and brought the prophet to his house.

In the same way, intimacy with the Lord will distinguish you above every other person applying for the same job, just as David’s brothers were. Others may have all the talent and look the part, but it’s that deep, intimate relationship with the Lord that will distinguish you above everyone else. So keep seeking your savior. Others may have “forgotten” you, but He hasn’t. Your time will come.

CHARACTER 

David had also proven himself to be a man of character. David’s true character was evident in his life long before he ever became king. In the mundane, monotonous, uneventful, day-to-day operations, David served his father faithfully, caring for the family sheep with whole-hearted devotion, even putting his life at risk to care for those “few sheep” (1 Samuel 17:28).

Charles Spurgeon makes this comment, “Exercising the care and art of those who watch for the young lambs, David followed the ewes in their wanderings; the tenderness and patience thus acquired would tend to the development of the characteristics most becoming in a king. The care that David took of the lowly sheep was an indication of how he would take care of God’s people.”

God watches everything! How we fare in the seemingly little tasks God gives us serves as an indication of how we will fare in the big things God wants to give us.

SKILLFULNESS 

David’s skillfulness, his spirit of excellence, elevated him above those around him and brought him to the attention of the leaders of the land. From his beginning as a shepherd boy, David disciplined himself to develop and perfect his skill and ability in the little things.

Making good use of his leisure time, he practiced long hours on his harp, perfecting his playing ability, the talent that first gained him national recognition. David also mastered the use of his sling while shepherding, which aided him in his victory over Goliath and elevated him in the esteem of the people as a hero.

Oswald Sanders said this, “Many have missed God’s best through the misuse of leisure.” David’s faithfulness to develop and perfect his skills, shepherding little with excellence, prepared and positioned him to shepherd the nation of Israel in the future.

God, in His search for leadership, looks for and promotes those individuals who are faithful to develop and hone their skills and talents for the purpose of becoming excellent in their work or life’s calling. In the parable of the talents, God demotes the man who was not faithful to cultivate his one talent (skill) and promoted the man who strived for excellence and endeavored to expand all 10 of his talents (skills). So, if you need to read some books, spend time with experts, or just put time aside to hone your skills in specific areas, keep putting the time in. It will give more place for Him to use you for His glory!

In the end, like in the story of David, it is God who promotes, not mankind. Psalm 75:6 declares, “For not from the east nor from the west nor from the south come promotion and lifting up. But God is the Judge! He puts down one and lifts up another.” You may be the least in the eyes of man, but if you distinguish yourself before the Lord Almighty, whose favor alone has the power to distinguish you, you may find yourself at the top of God’s list, the one who becomes the unexpected choice!

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Generational Synergy

Principles for Expanding the Kingdom of God

By Jim Hodges 

About 15 years ago, I heard someone ask, “Where is the next generation?” His question hit me like a ton of bricks! Our leadership team believed in the importance of raising Kingdom leaders from the upcoming generation. We had reasonably good theology on the subject. However, I realized that from a practical point of view, we were doing very little to implement our theology. From that moment on, we began to pursue the task of purposefully joining leaders from different generations, which is a necessary key to bring about the fulfillment of God’s plans on the Earth.

While I was experiencing some generational synergy with my spiritual sons, our leaders and I intentionally started to pursue the enlistment of third generation leaders who were mainly in their late 20s and early 30s. I eventually labeled them as spiritual grandchildren. As every grandparent knows, grandchildren are grand!

The biblical reference we emphasized was Psalm 105:8-10. It reads: “He has remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations, the covenant which He had with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac. Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant.” This continuity of three generations brings forth a world changer in the fourth generation: Joseph, who saved his people and all of Egypt from famine.

Generational continuity and synergy extends the Kingdom of God in history, while generational breakdowns and gaps greatly hinder the progress of the Kingdom in the Earth.

SYNERGY AND SUCCESSION

Generational succession is pictured clearly in the relationship between Moses and Joshua. Joshua was mentored by Moses and experienced the Exodus with him. He lingered in the tent of meeting in the wilderness where Moses met the Lord God (Exodus 33:11). Moses selected Joshua, laid his hands on him, and commissioned him as his successor (Deuteronomy 31:23; 34:9). Clearly there was some synergy working between Moses and Joshua as well. This could be illustrated in the desert war with Amalek (Exodus 17:8-15). Moses and Joshua teamed up, or synergized, in this way: Moses, on the mountain overlooking the battle, held up his arms, while Joshua, in the valley, won the battle over their enemies.

Another Old Testament example of generational succession is found in the familiar story of the prophets, Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 2). After Elijah had confronted and defeated the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, he moved toward his next assignment. He found Elisha plowing in a field and cast his mantle over him. This was Elijah’s way of identifying his successor. From there, Elijah mentored Elisha while Elisha ministered to Elijah. We assume Elijah took his own mantle back, because it was not transferred to Elisha until he went up in the chariot. Elisha succeeded Elijah as the major prophetic voice in Israel after Elijah’s departure.

THE SHIFT TO GENERATIONAL SYNERGY

In the Old Testament, generational succession was primary; generational synergy was secondary. In the New Testament, synergy became primary and succession became secondary. The classic example is the synergy at work in the lives and ministries of Paul and Timothy. test2

Their generational connection is obvious. Paul recruits Timothy in his hometown of Derbe. Paul mentors and trains him in ministry. He guides him through the complicated issue of Gentile status in the Church. He relates to Timothy as a spiritual father. Some are hesitant to use the term spiritual father or spiritual sons, but in 1 Corinthians 4:15, Paul writes that in Christ Jesus he became a spiritual father. Spiritual fathers bring wisdom and guidance to their spiritual sons. Some call this discipleship or mentoring. Timothy, however, did not have to wait until Paul died before he operated in the mantle of Paul. In other words, Paul did not pass the mantle of Kingdom leadership to Timothy just before his death in prison. Timothy, after a period of time, shared Kingdom leadership with his spiritual father. There was not a “passing of the torch;” there was a sharing of the torch!

This is what the younger generation of leaders is yearning to experience. Let me quote one of them. Eric Reeder writes in his book, Generational Synergy: “Generational synergy is the combined action of generations. Their synergistic effort for a cause gives a fuller, enhanced result than what a generation could provide individually. Generational succession brings forth what an individual generation can provide and waits for that one to end before a subsequent generation can bring forth what they have to offer. It’s like starting over with each generation. Succession has the opportunity to be focused on the predecessor more than the successor. Succession seems more about extending what a predecessor has done, versus bringing forward what another generation has to offer. Synergy is not an either or, but a both and. I like to say that we must move beyond the mentality of passing the baton, and move into a mindset of running as one.”

SYNERGISTIC RELATIONSHIPS

Practical application is not a quick push-button approach. In the Great Commission, Jesus admonishes the disciples to disciple the nations (Matthew 28). This is a long-term commission and requires long-term investment. The primary ingredient is building relationships. All methods of discipleship do not appear the same way. There are many types. As I look back on my life and ministry, I see the fruit of my investment into the upcoming generation. We are now in relationship with spiritual grandchildren all over the globe, and we often do ministry together.

A FEW IDEAS FOR CREATING GENERATIONAL SYNERGY: 

Purposefully build relationships with second and third generation leaders. Let them get to know you and learn from your successes, as well as the learning opportunities you’ve been through.

Look for the greatness that God has placed inside of them and help pull it forth and provide encouragement on a regular basis.

When possible, provide connections or opportunities to allow them to move forward into the ministry you see the Lord has placed inside of them.

Understand that the bulk of promises the Lord has promised to you may actually come forth through your spiritual descendents. We must be happy when others go beyond us to do greater things — this is the correct Kingdom mindset and what Jesus displayed.

The covenant of the Lord is from generation to generation. The Kingdom of God is from generation to generation. The Kingdom is ever increasing, and it has no end.

May the power of generational synergy be increasingly expressed and experienced in the Body of Christ!

Jim Hodges is a beloved alumnus instructor of Christ For The Nations Institute, Dallas, TX. He is a graduate of Wheaton College and Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Kansas. 

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