By: Martin Cisneros
By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. (1John 4:13)
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me...If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:4,7)
For a branch to abide in a vine means that it's going to share of it's same "Spirit" and it's same "Water". A branch cannot bare fruit outside of the vine that it's a part of and neither can a vine enjoy the appearance of fruit before it's Gardener unless it READILY shares it's abundant resources with it's branches that are in union with it. Jesus rules over all by serving all. And that's the pattern that He's declared to be our pattern of entering into walking in the fullness of our authority.
Service of all means the bestowal of life upon all and not being their doormat! Have you ever seen a tree with branches that soon began to grow branches from themselves? We are the servants of the world, but not in the sense that they have the right to bully us and extract from us all of the usefulness that they can for the fulfillment of their purposes outside of our own.
St. Paul never said in any of His letters that our baring fruit was in our saving souls and neither did he or any other New Testament writer liken any won souls to a "harvest". The fruit of the spirit are very plainly spelled out for us in Galatians. Countless lives are saved throughout the world in this generation and in the generations to come by virtue of the world being able to partake of our "fruit", which each have very powerful, almost metaphysical(for lack of a better way of putting it)
2Peter chapter 3 says that the longsuffering of our Lord IS salvation. And Peter indicated that that was the point of Paul's writings! Therefore, the salvation, or deliverance, of others that we've been looking for will come about through a Biblically based cultivation of New Testament longsuffering.
You're going to have to do a study on the fruit of the spirit, the Greek words that get translated in our English Bible as the various fruits, and then run your references through an exhaustive concordance of each word being used throughout Scripture and meditate on their implications on the newness of life of each believer and the prosperous outflow of resurrection life that's been abounding towards creation through Christ since the resurrection of Christ.
Have you ever spent extended periods of time ministering to God or to other people and honestly came out of it depleted? Your fruit's been plucked from you, as if you were a literal branch and you're going to have to get back into the Word of God and feed on it as if you'd never heard it before until your inward resources are rebuilt and even step beyond that, until fruit starts growing from within you towards the outward perimeters of your life!
Everytime you're edifying someone else, your "fruit" is being plucked from you. That's not a bad thing, that's a really good thing. But, you must keep the flow of New Covenant life being ministered to you at all times to stay ahead of the demand on your life.
If you abide in Him, and His Words abide in you, you can ask anything you dare to ask that's in keeping with the growth of His Word and the power of it flowing through your life, and you'll immediately experience Jesus summoning all of His angels in your behalf and anything else pertaining to the meeting of this need/desire that it takes to get you from where you are to where you need to be.
Learn to expect the gifts of the Holy Spirit to come into manifestation as you're summoning all of the provisions of the New Covenant through Jesus's High Priestly ministry because very often there will be something that'll flow through your mouth and/or through your hands to begin taking care of the situation(s) of your life as you stand before the Lord in New Covenant obedience, sanctification, and readiness to do all of the will of God that the Holy Spirit within you reveals to you.
As you abide in Him, and His Words abide in you, your mouth, your mind, and inevitably in your dreams as you continue and continue to partake of the grace of God through faithful worship, will begin to be taken into higher and higher demensions of the plan of God for all of creation.
There are aspects to the revelation of God's Word in the earth that are sovereignly revealed and then there are times that as you keep being edified on the promises of God's Word that the Father as the master Gardener over creation will begin to suppliment your diet with His "miracle grow plant suppliment" and your own growth in strength, over time, will take you up into revelations of the Word of God that you couldn't bare in previous moves of the Spirit in your life, but which others through God's sovereignty might have experienced as a gift, to where they don't even know why they particularly know some things of the Bible, except that it's just the plainest morning star that they could have ever seen!
Nothing is by chance. As we move through God's Word by faith and minister to the Father in intercessory worship through the High Priestly Ministry of Jesus, there are spiritual dynamics at work that'll cause people all over the world to begin to see truths of God's Holy Word that they can't understand WHY they're able to see something so suddenly and completely, but those around them can't! Many of us have ancestors that have gone on to heaven that interceded by faith for the fullness of God's word to be in the earth and we're partakers of their labors.
When you know something and don't know why you know it because there wasn't anything in particular about your faithful abiding in the Lord to bring that revelation in your own life about, then you probably have relatives that are either presently on the earth or have gone to heaven generations ago that have cried out to God in your behalf.
I'm persuaded that there are times when people have gone to heaven and their eyes have suddenly been opened to things more fully that a cry has arisen in many of their hearts over what they now view as something that they could have known all of their lives and taught their children while they were on the earth if they had only been more faithful to worship and to staying in their Bibles until they heard from God during those times of extended worship and perhaps occaisional fasting before God. How many times have each of us received a revelation of God and almost immediately with the newfound joy came a flash of Godly sorrow for others to know this same wonder of His Glory?
I want to share with you something that God shared with me September 13, 1997 and I believe you'll be encouraged by it. Because of the constant flow of the High Priestly ministry of Jesus in showing me things through His Holy Spirit and ministering angels within the Word of God, I haven't spent nearly enough time meditating on this and letting this work in me what Jesus wanted me to have when He shared it with me.
And God is able to make all grace abound towards you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2Corinthians 9:8)
And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." (2Corinthians 12:9)
Here we have two references to the fact that God's grace is "sufficiency" rather than "unmerited favor" as the Amplified translation of the Bible would have us to believe. I want for us to deal with this, briefly, and consider the sufficiency of the gospel of Christ. What I want us to do from now on is to remember the above two verses any time we see anything in scripture about the grace of God and to begin to meditate on the implications and ramifications of God's sufficiency that's being discussed and applied to our lives through God's Holy Word.
God's grace is sufficient! For what? What are the limits of that? What are the provisions in that? Where's God's sanctifying power in revealing to us that His grace is sufficient? Is it possible to grow in this "sufficiency" that's been announced to us through the writings of the Apostle Paul? How do we draw upon this resource? Exactly how powerful is it?
14. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace (or in God's Blood as we shall see later), without spot and blameless. 15. and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation -as also our beloved brother Paul, according to
the wisdom given to him, has written to you 16. as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 17. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18. but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ....(2Peter 3:14-18NKJV)
Here we have it plainly before us, that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ -His sufficiency- is something we can grow in with knowledge! What are a couple of examples of what this grace/sufficiency will do in our lives?
5. Likewise, you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives "sufficiency" to the humble". 6. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7. casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8. Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10. But may the God of all sufficiency, who called us to His age-enduring glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
There is a sufficiency of God manifested in and imparted by the Scriptures through Jesus's High Priestly Ministry to enable the younger to submit themselves to their elders and to enable all of us to submit ourselves to one another that is intended by God to keep us from being run over for our stand of faith by unreasonable and wicked men who don't as yet have faith, according to St. Paul's writings.
You can call upon the sufficiency of God that's promised in the above scriptures to the humble and obedient before God and FULLY EXPECT God to protect you from deception and from abuse through those that God has asked you to submit yourself to as a testimony to them of God's calling upon your life, upon their life, and of the intensity of the approaching manifestation of the kingdom of God in fullness in the earth!
The above verses of Scripture can't be divorced from the rest of this book of 1Peter because in the earlier chapters God had already spoken through the mouth of His Apostle about our being submitted to God through the Scriptures and being sanctified to God through the Blood of Christ. The first chapter of 1Peter had already called us "obedient children" of God by faith and had already accounted to us world overcoming faith.
When you see an implication and ramification of the grace of God -- the sufficiency of God -- in a verse of scripture for you and God makes it clear to you the power, the sufficiency that He's endeavoring to minister to your life through your abounding faith in the High Priestly ministry of Christ and stand on His promises, always make sure that you go back and see how that insight -- that particular insight that you've seen -- reintroduces to you that particular epistle or book of the Bible. Because very often what will happen is that things that never made sense to you before will come to the surface by the revelation of God's sufficiency and God will answer you in ways you never expected. Ephesians 5:13 says that whatever makes manifest IS light.
You therefore, my son, be strong in the sufficiency that is in Christ Jesus. (2Timothy 2:1)
How do you become strong in the sufficiency that is in Christ Jesus?
There are five ways through which this sufficiency is to become available to our lives: by partnering with anointed ministry (Philippians 1) in the advancement of the gospel, by coming boldly to the throne of sufficiency(Hebrews 4:16), by staying in the written Word til Jesus in His High Priestly Ministry ministers it to you through His Holy Spirit through the written Word (Acts 20:32), by speaking in edifying ways of the redemption that we have in Christ with each other (Ephesians 4:29), and lastly by praying for your enemies as powerfully as you pray for your own soul because there is no greater love than that one should lay down his life for another person, particularly an enemy!
St. Paul told his partners at Philippi that because of their ongoing commitment to the furtherance of his ministry through their prayers and the gifts that they never stopped contributing to his ministry that they were partakers of the sufficiency of God that was upon his life for the confirmation and defense of the gospel.
And that as a result of that and what the rest of the Bible declares about that, they had access to every revelation and every manifestation of God, the gospel, the angels, and the provisions of God that was at work in his life and ministry to see to it that his course was completed with joy! That same system of partnership is available to us today to empower all of us in the sufficiency of God to reach the furtherest areas of creation with all of the depths of the gospel!
Hebrews 4:16 says to come boldly to the throne of sufficiency so that we may obtain mercy and find sufficiency to help us in our times of need! If all of us are a part of the same family of God and all of us consider ourselves to be concerned about the things that concern God, then all of us have the same need of getting the gospel out to every nation and every manifestation of creation on the whole earth with the peace/blood of God.
So, stop thinking $832 a month or $1330 a month, or whatever your particular income is as what you have need of. All of that times ten is insufficient for reaching our neighborhoods with the good news of the soon return of Jesus Christ who will judge the living and dead at His appearing and His kingdom (2Timothy 4:1)!
Paul said: So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the Word of His sufficiency, which is able to build you up and is able to give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)
The precious, precious Holy written Word of God is able to give you an inheritance of healing and of anything else that you need from God, particularly His wisdom so that you won't lose your healing and everything else He gives you by sufficiency through faith. The Word is able to build you up. And the Word is able to build you up so that you'll be able to receive God's inheritance for you through faith.
Most importantly, as we read in St. Peter's writings, it's God's Word that'll give you the sanctification so that you'll be worthy of your inheritance(see: Colossians 1:10 on walking worthy of the Lord and study that whole prayer carefully). Sanctification is not only separation unto God but is also separation unto that inheritance!
The sanctifying power of God's Sufficiency will teach you how to get closer to God, how to get closer to your fellow Christian brethren, and it'll teach you who you need to stay away from either for a little while, or for the balance of this age.
In either case, whether it's people that you are supposed to love from a place of New Covenant Biblical intimacy or from afar, it's the sufficiency of God that'll be there to help you pray for them and do all that God would have you to do to send them on their way on a properous journey of faith wherever God has for them to be, in whatever relation or nonrelation to you that they're supposed to currently have.
You are responsible to pray for all of mankind, according to 1Timothy 2:1! It's the sufficiency of God that'll teach you about that, how to do that effectively, and what the Biblically-based hope of all Christians is regarding those prayers being answered.
Ephesians 4:29 says: Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart sufficiency to the hearers!
Every man, woman, and child is called to the ministry of edification and encouragement until we all receive everything we've ever had need of from God!
Every man, woman, and child is also called to the ministry of fasting and praying for their enemies with the same faithfulness and exuberant passion as if you were praying for your spouse or a beloved child! If you want a failure-free existence, that's the missing link between the extravagent promises of God and your realization of those benefits and extravagent power being realized in your life!
It's one of the few genuine things that crucifies the flesh, outside of reading your Bible every day. You'll not experience the perfections of love in it's fullness without a diligent continual intercession in the behalf of your enemies pouring forth from your heart on a daily basis!
Do you honestly believe Christ prays for the enemies of the gospel less fervently than He prays for you? If so, then you've not come to experience total intimacy with His Holy Spirit and learned of the passions, pains, hopes, and beliefs of His heart! Praying for His enemies is ever foremost before Him!
My prayer for you and yours today is that you would know the abundance of peace and joy in Christ Jesus that He poured His Blood out for you to know and that the healing power of the Holy Spirit would be a present tangible reality in your life this day and everyday until Christ Jesus returns. Overflowing with thanksgiving I take this as your portion from our loving Heavenly Father, today, and I minister it to you by the faith that overcomes the world, in the name of Jesus,
In talking about the sufficiency of God's grace and remembering that it says in both 2Corinthians 9:8 and in 2Corinthians 12:9 that God's grace IS sufficient, I think we should have a closer look at the New Testament and refresh ourselves in a few New Testament truths that many of us have not looked at in this light.
To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Sufficiency, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you-- (Titus 1:4-5)
Can there be any doubt as to God's intended supply abounding towards Titus for the fulfillment of his mission to "set in order the things that are lacking"? Wouldn't it be great if more Christians in their prayers for others and in their confessions of faith, based on the redemptive work of Christ, if we would begin to say over others "Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior"?
And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked..(Acts 4:33-34)
Ephesians 2:8 says that it's by the sufficiency of God through faith that we've been delivered. Hebrews 4:16 says to come boldly to the throne of sufficiency and obtain mercy and find sufficiency to help in any time of need. Acts 20:32 says that it's the Word that ministers His sufficiency to us, builds us up, and enables us to receive our inheritance among all of those who are sanctified.
For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will REIGN in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17)
2Corinthians 9:8 says that God's able to make all grace abound towards you. This passage in Romans says you reign by the grace of God. Therefore, your reign in life is in direct proportion to the amount of God's grace at work in your life.
Again, there are five ways through which this sufficiency is to become available to our lives: by partnering with anointed ministry (Philippians 1) in the advancement of the gospel, by coming boldly to the throne of sufficiency (Hebrews 4:16), by staying in the written Word 'til Jesus in His High Priestly Ministry ministers it to you through His Holy Spirit through the written Word(Acts 20:32), by speaking in edifying ways of the redemption that we have in Christ with each other(Ephesians 4:29), and lastly by praying for your enemies as powerfully as you pray for your own soul because there is no greater love than that one should lay down his life for another person. Particularly an enemy!
St. Paul told his partners at Philippi that because of their ongoing commitment to the furtherance of his ministry through their prayers and the gifts that they never stopped contributing to his ministry that they were partakers of the sufficiency of God that was upon his life for the confirmation and defense of the gospel. And that as a result of that and what the rest of the Bible declares about that, they had access to every revelation and every manifestation of God, the gospel, the angels, and the provisions of God that was at work in his life and ministry to see to it that his course was completed with joy! That same system of partnership is available to us today to empower all of us in the sufficiency of God to reach the furtherest areas of creation with all of the depths of the gospel!
In talking about partnering with anointed ministry, I am speaking inclusively of your financial gifts towards the furtherance of anointed ministries, in addition to your daily prayers for them, your regular studying of their materials (when available), partnership with them in getting their materials dispensed to as many people as possible for the furtherance of the Word of God with the greatest speed possible, by speaking well of them(seeing that words have tremendous power and there's probably plenty being said negatively about them irrespective of the sincerity of their motives and the purity of their outreaches), and in any other area that God reveals to you as you ask God how you can be of the most powerful blessing towards those who are feeding you God's Word.
Sometimes that'll be with a note of encouragement in addition to a fat check. Many many times that'll be in fasting and praying for them and by faith with them that obstacles facing their ministry would be dealt with by the Lord's angels and the High Priestly Ministry of Jesus speaking a word of finality to the situation (wrath coming upon the enemies of the gospel at last, as St. Paul would say with regard to the fact that the Lord neutralized his critics and robbed them of their power to hinder him).
Your careful attendance to the Word of the Lord, your prayers for the salvation of all men and the furtherance of the anointed ministries around you, and your diligent prayers for your enemies that God's inescapable, never failing, love would overtake them -- those three things -- are a powerful three-fold cord that can't easily be broken in the heavenlies. Things will really start to ease up on you in areas where you've felt that you were facing more than your fair share of persecution and/or judgment in your life.
I personally feel that in much of the prosperity gospel that's been taught that as the Catholic Church got into the error of selling "indulgences" a few centuries ago that perhaps a little more emphasis has been placed on our gifts than is Scripturally warranted and that perhaps that's been a major distraction to dealing with the above issues.
A lot of times the "indulgences" for a prosperous move of the Spirit of God in one's own life hasn't been emphasized out of the love of money as it's been an accidental side-stepping of many of the issues I'm raising with regard to covering the whole spectrum of the prayer responsibilities of believers that I've outlined here.
To live a failure-free existence, you must come to terms with the fact that fasting and praying for your enemies is NOT an option and is not something you're to do merely on a part-time basis! 2000 years ago, the question posed to Christ was "who is my neighbor?" and many of the saints of God still haven't learned that lesson yet!
Another question that needs to be addressed is "who is my enemy?" because a lot of Christians don't have a clue regarding who their enemies are. And many Christians don't think that they have any enemies! A lot of Christians don't want to acknowledge that they've got enemies because they're doing their best to not live in enmity towards anyone. Being a peace-loving person does not exempt you from having enemies.
I've heard one famous minister say that he doesn't have any enemies. I've heard him go on to say that there are a whole lot of people that can't handle him, but that he doesn't regard them as an enemy. And his attitude is that any problem that they have with him is their problem and not his, thereby unwittingly shying away from the ["perfected"] love of God where his enemies are concerned and shrugging off his prayer responsibilities where they are concerned!
Anytime we're walking in the sincerity of our convictions before God, walking in all of the light that we have and pressing ourselves towards releasing the fruit of the spirit that St. Paul outlined for us in Galatians 5:22-23 and there's STILL a clash with certain people -- people we may even honestly love with all of our hearts -- then as far as the gospel is concerned, they're an enemy of ours.
Any person in your life that ABSOLUTELY ALWAYS, almost always, or frequently robs you of your joy is an enemy. Any person or group of people that you KNOW are spreading lies or half truths about you that is making you uncomfortable in certain places in your life, like at your job, your church, or where ever -- that person or group of persons is an enemy!
Bottomline: Friend-ship is not based on emotions and enemy-ship is not based on emotions. An enemy is anyone who works against your patience, peace, time, resources, and reputation. In contrast (to see this illustrated by it's opposite expression), a friend is anyone who works with you for the highest good of your patience, your peace, your time, your resources, and your reputation. An enemy disregards or tries to manipulate to their own ends your patience, your peace, your time, your resources, and your reputation.
What you want to begin praying over them is that God would strengthen their spirits to know Him, remove the blinding influences from their lives that are blinding them to His finished work in Christ, and grant them His wisdom and repentance. You want to pray for their healing because what they're reacting to is more than likely more in them and their situation(s) than around you.
And you want to continually pray for their peace and joy to abound because when peace and joy are abounding, in all honesty, who really wants to pick on or harass anyone? Strife and spirits of revenge are opposites to contentment! And you always want to conclude all such prayers with thanksgiving and worship because that is what God will turn back around on you and use towards your own emotional, mental, and spiritual healing from this distressing situation or group of situations. It's hard for you to stay mad at someone that you're continually giving God thanks for because you're seeing them through the finished work of Christ and the culmination of the abolishment of death.
Remember that the fast that God has chosen is to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you would break every yoke, according to Isaiah 58:6! When you've accomplished this in the behalf of your enemies in prayer, then the rest of Isaiah 58 goes on to declare that THEN your own health will spring forth speedily, you'll cry out and you'll immediately hear the Lord's pledge of His presence and voice in your life. You'll be carried on the wings of His firey anointing over all of the circumstances of your life into a good land that flows with nourishment and sweetness to your whole soul, and to that of the creation around you!
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. (Psalm 91:1 from the Amplified Bible)
You'll experience the Peace that God has fashioned as a garment for you out of the raw materials of the Blood of Jesus Christ. That Blood will [begin to] meet every need that the system of your life has had and will carry away all of the things that have been poisoning you from within. Your youth will be renewed as that of an eagle's(Psalm 103) and your life and that of the many will be delivered from destruction.
God will be exalted in your life and you'll be able to confidently affirm in the presence of all, "my God meets my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus!"(Philippians 4:19) That is what laying the foundations of the beginnings of a failure-free existence is all about. This is how you do it! It's a cross to get on, on a daily basis. But the rewards of resurrection power flowing through your life are worth any price.
The rewards of resurrection power flowing through your life are worth far more than the cost anyone could possibly create in your life by their gossip and/or malicious speech to you and/or about you. And this is how you prevent their words of discouragement, frustration, intolerance, pain, and licentiousness from building a nest within you, that otherwise would be ever present with you from now on to sting the sensitive areas of your heart and life.
This is how you (re)establish the order of the Kingdom of God in your life, regardless of how ever out of control things may presently seem! Peace, patience, grace, and purity will exalt you and propel you to all of the ends of the earth. These deeds and gifts of unquenchable righteousness will reveal the glory of the Lord and all flesh SHALL see it TOGETHER!