01 You Shall Receive Power

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8 If you were studying the topic of American government, you would probably: Want to learn about the American colonies. …

The Heart of an Intercessor

The most telling test of brotherhood is coming to the aid of a brother in need. When the need is severe, brotherhood takes the form of intercession. The highest expression of brotherhood is that of sacrificial substitution. Love has no higher expression.

The True Test of Brotherood

The true test of brotherhood is in desiring the best for my brothers and rejoicing in their blessing, even when my own blessing has not arrived. Brotherhood is how the spirit of envy and jealousy is defeated. When families pull together, a blessing of one becomes a blessing enjoyed by all. We compete against self and the enemy; we should not compete against our brothers.

When Jacob Gets the Best of Israel

There is a difference between striving to be all that you can for the Lord and trying to take the place of your brother. “Success” in life has nothing whatsoever to do with being better than another. Having success in life means allowing God to do as He desires with you and make of you what He wants you to be.

Confronting the Past

While individuals within the family might find a position of fruitfulness, it is impossible for God’s family as a whole to fulfill our call as long as we maintain conflicts with one another. We must be willing to confront the thinking and attitudes that cause conflicts if we will ever achieve the position of blessing God wants us to step into. Your relationship with others and in particular others in God’s family will either enable or hinder the fulfillment of your calling. As painful as it might be, complete reconciliation to those we have wronged includes confronting the causes at the heart of our conflicts. It is not enough to poke with a stick the nastiness that causes division; we must grab it by the lapels and look it in the eyes.

The Path to Reconciliation

Forgiveness is completely independent of other people. Joseph forgave his brothers even though they didn’t know if he was still alive. Forgiveness is completely independent of our circumstances. Joseph woke up every morning in prison and forgave his brothers again. Forgiveness is completely independent of our feelings. Joseph remained hurt, lonely, confused and many other things, but he forgave and continued to forgive. Forgiveness is not about how we feel, but how we think. Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a decision. And it is a decision that must be repeated over and over and over and over.

Fruitfulness in the Land of Affliction

God ministered the healing that allowed Joseph to forget and be free from the convict mentality. So often people are set free from prison only to live life as a former convict, complete with the victim mentality. Without inner healing we will never be free from the past. We will view all the most important relationships in life through the memories of those who hurt us in the past.

The Revealer of Secrets

God often uses our “gift” as a tool to bring us out of prison, yet the gift is what God develops as we allow Him to strengthen our spirit and impart His understanding. You can never teach others a lesson you have not yourself learned.