Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Serving Others

Sunday morning I spoke @ the Halifax Metro Vineyard on becoming servants of Jesus. Like Philip in the New Testament did everything from passing out lunches to disgruntled widows, to healing paralytics and driving out demons (see Acts chapters 6 & 8), every follower of Jesus is called to a life of practical and empowered service.

See, we’re called to do all of it:
Wash the dishes, cut the grass, help out our neighbors, lay down our rights, forgive people who offend us, get prophetic words, heal the sick, and cast out devils! Whatever is in front of you in the moment is the area of ministry God has for you.

After the message, we made space for the ministry to break out. A large number of words of knowledge for conditions like cold sores, TMJ, misaligned tailbones, arthritis, dental problems, thyroid disorders were given, and then everyone engaged with praying for the sick. The power of God was touching people all over the room.

During ministry time, I noticed a guy in his twenties with power coursing through his body. A few of our young adults were praying for him. He had suffered with a jaw condition for a long time that caused severe pain and limited his range of motion. As the Holy Spirit touched him, we spoke to the condition, commanding it to leave and his jaw to return to the way God designed it to be. His pain disappeared and he exclaimed- “It hasn’t felt this good in months!”
In addition the physical healing as the kingdom broke in, God grabbed his heart in a fresh way and encouraged him with a sense of His deep love. I got to speak prophetically to him about his destiny as a friend of Jesus, and he was deeply moved.

This is what God has told the Church to do when we come together: Worship Jesus, teach His Word and serve each other with the spiritual gifts He gives in the moment. When we catch this vision as a movement, we’ll witness this unstoppable force called the Kingdom of God advancing in ways that transform our world.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Regional Camp Update

The weekend of Sept 18-20th was our second annual Atlantic Vineyard Regional Youth Retreat @ Malagash Camp on the North Shore of Nova Scotia.

Everywhere I go recently I’m talking about making disciples. It is so crucial to call the next generation of the Vineyard Movement to embrace Jesus and His kingdom as a way of life. In typical Trevor style I talked for nearly an hour on this (Yes I lost track of time!), telling healing stories and speaking prophetically to different ones God highlighted.

During the ministry time, a large group of teenagers and young adults responded to Jesus’ call for their lives. Some came to him for the first time ever; others re-focused their direction and decided to pursue a lifestyle of obeying Jesus’ words and doing His works.
God visited many with power, encountering them through words of knowledge, prophetic ministry, healing and deliverance.

This whole thing of announcing Jesus’ kingdom reminds me of the parable of the Sower:
We throw the message out to people everywhere and it either takes root and grows, or it gets stolen away before it gets a chance to reach maturity. I’m going for thousands of people who want to become deeply rooted followers of Jesus, doing His works in this next generation.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Impact in the West

This past weekend in Calgary, Alberta went phenomenally well.
I arrived Friday night to a wonderful welcome, and taught the first session on “Becoming Apprentices of Jesus” on Saturday morning. The whole theme was that Jesus not only calls us to obey His words, but also to do His works (announce the kingdom, heal the sick, drive out demons, demonstrate authority over nature, care for the poor, speak words from God, raise the dead etc). Ministry time kicked off right away with both teenagers and adults being touched by the Holy Spirit in powerful ways. The sense was that God was opening up the environment to prepare people for all He was going to do that weekend.

The next session was a practical talk on healing and how we get started. During the ministry clinic, some youth received words of knowledge for physical healing and we found some victims!
A lady was there who had had severe arthritis in her hands for 8 years. She had also suffered a previously fractured knee, and was dealing with complications from that. She was in constant pain. A 13 year old girl got a word of knowledge for pain in the hands, and as the group began to pray, the power of God instantly hit this woman. She began weeping and shaking as power coursed through her body. Her arthritis pain immediately disappeared, giving her a full range of motion, and her knee was healed on the spot as well. She actually jumped up, ran outside and went for a run! She was so grateful to Jesus for bringing his rule to her, and days later, she had no sign of pain.

Asthma, allergies, depression and all sorts of pain disappeared as the kingdom of God broke into this world and touched various people.

The next session was on the gift of prophecy. The whole room engaged to give words to certain people, and the presence of God fell in tremendous ways. Some incredibly significant words were given to people, and you could see the Spirit of God visibly stirring their hearts.

By the end of the weekend, a number of people devoted their lives to this call to follow Jesus and to do what He does. God set up divine appointments and prophetic events all throughout those 4 days. It was a tremendous time of kingdom impact!
I’m looking forward to going back sometime soon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ministry Trip

I fly out to Calgary, Alberta this weekend to spend a few days with the North Calgary Vineyard, teaching on doing the ministry of Jesus. The sense of expectation for breakthrough is almost tangible.

You know when you get that surge of absolute confidence that God is going to do something big? That's what the author of Hebrews calls "faith"; the confident expectation that what we hope for will actually happen.

I'll be speaking at 4 different sessions on becoming disciples, doing healing, advancing the kingdom and growing in prophetic gifts. The whole goal is to equip others, who will equip others to do this stuff.

I'll post an update when I get back after Labour Day. In the meantime- invite the kingdom to come with me this weekend!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Divine Reflection

Have you ever wondered what the Creator’s like? How would you describe his personality, his emotional chemistry, his desire for his creation?
Philosophers and theologians have discussed the ontology (the nature of being) of God ad infinitum, and yet the New Testament gives us a vivid illustration of who he is:

The Son reflects God's own glory, and everything about him represents God exactly… Hebrews 1:3

When I read this again a couple of days ago, the words seemed to jump right off the page into my spirit, energizing me in an incredible way.
Jesus is the reflection; the exact representation of God at work in the world.
So, if you want to know what God’s like, or what his will is, or how he feels about people, just look at Jesus in action:

-The Jesus who spends his Saturday nights healing entire towns of sick people and driving out their demons (see Mark 1:32-34)
-The Jesus who loves when a group of friends tears apart a roof to get to the healing power of God (Luke 5)
-The Jesus who extends mercy so freely all throughout the Gospels-

This Jesus is the exact representation of the Creator’s personality.

So, when we talk about the will of God as it relates to healing, forgiveness, deliverance from evil spirits, or any other issue, our first point of reference must be Jesus. What do we see him doing as we read the Gospels?
From there on out, being in God’s will is simple- just join up with Jesus and do what he does. Enough talk- go do the stuff.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Stirring the Waters

We had a great time yesterday morning at Valley Gate Vineyard in the Annapolis Valley.

They had invited me to come and speak on vision for the next generation in the Vineyard Movement, so during the teaching, I talked about the ingredients for what Ed Piorek has called “Classic Vineyard.”
Those 3 main ingredients are:
1) The manifest Presence of God among us in worship
2) Teaching the Word of God (specifically the themes of the Kingdom and Mercy)
3) Doing the Works of Jesus (healing the sick, driving out demons, prophetic ministry etc)

After the teaching time, we made space for a ministry clinic to learn to do the works. Well, on the drive out to the Valley, I had asked the Holy Spirit what specific conditions He wanted to touch that morning. God gave a list of about 10 or 12 things that I wrote down and shared during ministry time.
We saw people with melanoma, bursitis, drug addictions, severe depression, infertility issues, slipped disks etc, dramatically touched by the power of Jesus.

One of the words of knowledge was for a man who was struggling to give up cigarettes; he wanted to quit but kept feeling the pull back to nicotine. A young man about 21 years old responded in amazement- saying that he had just been talking to God the night before about wanting to quit and he actually decided to come to church that morning to get people to pray for him. When I shared the revelation that God had spoken, his faith was elevated dramatically. He knew God cared specifically for him and was listening to his prayers. We prayed for him and had a sense the addiction was broken. We’ll see what happens with his progress.

The Kingdom of God broke in with power, as God was touching people all over the room. Many conditions completely disappeared or were partially healed.

A woman came up in agonizing pain from bursitis in her shoulder. As teams prayed for her, tremendous heat began to radiate from the area. The pain disappeared and she was able to move freely. We also got the opportunity to speak prophetically to her about the things God had placed in her heart. She was overwhelmed with the love of God and began crying as she encountered Him in a significant way.

Another home group leader was struggling with an intense sense of depression that would follow her around like a dark cloud over her head. She had a powerful call to ministry, but every time she would try to advance, the depression set in and sidetracked her. This power was broken as teams spoke to her condition, and she experienced a wonderful freedom.

The response from the church pastors and leaders was that their community needed this fresh injection of expectation and the renewal in the ministry of Jesus.
I was reminded again yesterday how close the dynamic rule of God is to each of us. I never get tired of this stuff! What a great way to spend a weekend…

Monday, July 13, 2009

In the Moment Ministry

At its best, the Vineyard has always been about looking for what God is doing in the moment, and going with that. From the very early days of our movement, John Wimber modeled what it means to look for those little nudges of the Holy Spirit and take the risks to obey.

Sometimes joining God in His work comes with a distinct sense through a word of knowledge, an impression or a strong leading of the Spirit, while at other times, you seem to sort of stumble into something great, almost by accident, a la Forrest Gump.
I suspect that God does it this way sometimes just to remind us that this whole power ministry thing has been His idea all along. He’s actively reaching out to the people around us, even when we don’t have a clue what’s going on.

A couple of weeks back at the Halifax Vineyard, I prayed for a woman who had been experiencing such a profound heaviness and discouragement that she had basically checked out of life. As I recall, “the ministry” was a very simple prayer with no particular signs of power associated with it at all. We took authority over the discouragement and depression and commanded it to leave, invited God’s Spirit to fill her, and then wrapped up. I told her to check back and let me know how she was doing.

Well, yesterday morning she came to me and reported that since we prayed that day, she has had such an amazing sense of life. Her relationship with God has been revolutionized, and she is moving forward with great energy.

You never know when the most “un-anointed” prayer, the simplest prophetic word or the most basic act of faithful obedience will absolutely transform someone’s life. So let’s look for the leading of the Holy Spirit and step out to obey Him both when we sense great unction, and when we’re simply being faithful to what Jesus has called us to do. Keep going for the kingdom!