Entries tagged with “Divine Appointments”.
Did you find what you wanted?
Mon 1 Aug 2011
Noun: The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
Two years ago, I wrote my first post and Enliven Blog was born.
At the time, I was in transition, slowly emerging from burnout, without any idea of what lay ahead.
I did not know then, that within six months The Hunk and I would have a fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit and be launched into a year of supernatural intervention.
I did not know that within 18 months, I would be joining the ministry team at David McCracken Ministries.
I did not know that within two years, Enliven Blog would reach thousands of people all around the world and have hundreds of subscribers.
With my limited vision, all I knew to do was to take the next small step.
The Trial of Transition
All of us experience transition with regard to the promises and purpose of God for our lives. In fact, it is likely that you will be in transition right now in some part of your life, big or small.
I used to have this idea that transition was like a waiting room—you stay in there for a while, and then you are released.
But many times, transition is like a roller-coaster. Just when you think you are on the way up, down you go again!
It is reassuring when we see how many people in the Bible also experienced times of transition. A few examples of these are:
- David in the wilderness on the run from Saul (1 Sam 21-31)
- Esther’s 12 months of preparation before she was brought before the king (Esther 2:12)
- Elijah at the brook Cherith (1 Kings 17:3-7)
- Paul in Tarsus (Acts 9:30, 11:25)
When we read their stories, we can see how they responded and be encouraged by God’s faithfulness in bringing them through to the fulfillment of His purpose for their lives.
Ruth’s Response to Transition
Ruth left her family and culture behind her in Moab to follow her mother-in-law Naomi to Bethlehem, Naomi’s hometown, following the death of their husbands.
In one of the Bible’s most moving speeches, Ruth pledged to follow Naomi and come under the protection of the God of Israel. (Ruth 1:16-17)
But transition did not stop with their arrival in Bethlehem.
Ruth is known as ‘the foreigner,’ or ‘the Moabitess.’ And Naomi seems a stranger to her own people. Ruth is probably experiencing culture shock. They have no personal resources, only faith in God and the hope of a better life.
Ruth did not know then, that she would marry Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s late husband and that the family’s inheritance would be recovered.
She did not know that she would bear a baby boy and lay him in Naomi’s arms.
And she did not know that her son would be the great-grandfather of a King—or that one of her descendants would be the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
All she knew to do was to take the next small step.
The Next Small Step
The greatest temptation during a season of transition is to become discouraged and give up. Sometimes, this is a result of spiritual warfare—the enemy wants us to become stuck in the place of transition.  God’s purpose for our lives is being contended for.
It is vital that we keep moving forward.
And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” Ruth 2:
Ruth’s response to the situation is proactive
- She is not sitting at home waiting for spiritual guidance or provision to come to her
- She is not relying on her feelings
- She is serving Naomi
- She is being faithful
- She is simply doing what she knows to do, step by step, starting with the small things.
In times of transition, I cannot see the future. But as I trust God, I can take the next small step, and I can find the strength for one small step at a time.
Following Biblical Principles
Sometimes when we are in transition, it is very difficult to see the road ahead. But we have God’s Word; Biblical principles to guide us.
We see that Ruth had not only converted with her mouth to faith in God, but also with her heart.
In the book of Leviticus, 19:9-10, God makes provision for the poor and the foreigners in the land of Israel. He commands those who are harvesting their fields to deliberately leave leftovers around the edges of the fields to provide for those who have no means to look after themselves. It is called gleaning.
And this is what Ruth does. She is starting to move into God’s provision, and as she does so God is about to break things loose on her behalf.
As someone has said, we need to comprehend what the NTS is—the next tiny step—and do that.
As we do the next thing, take the next tiny step, walking and faith, God and directs our steps and we find ourselves landing on His space of grace for us.
Divine Appointments and Holy Spirit Set-ups
Naomi said to [Ruth], “Go ahead, my daughter.” So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she found herself working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelech. (Ruth 2:2-3)
I love the wording here—‘as it turned out,’ or in another translation, ‘as it happened.’
The Hunk and I have a name for these seeming coincidences, which are God-incidences, we call them ‘Holy Spirit setups.’
We see that God is guiding Ruth and Naomi’s steps.
So, Ruth happened to be gleaning barley in the fields of Boaz, a relative of Naomi, who happened to be, in the laws of Israel, a ‘Kinsman Redeemer,’ having the ability to take Ruth as his wife and restore Naomi’s family line and inheritance.
If Ruth had not been faithfully following God’s word and provision in the little things, she would not have been positioned for the miracle.
Our response to transition determines our destiny
 I have written a number of posts on my journey through burnout. Here are a few of them:
Spiritual Renewal: How To Receive An Impartation Of The Holy Spirit
When You Hit A Wall In Your Ministry
No Longer An Orphan: How I Discovered The Father’s Love
 See also the following post:
Prophetic People And Spiritual Warfare
Do you have any experiences or questions to share on this topic? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the comments box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.
© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog
On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church
Wed 26 Jan 2011
The simple chorus, ‘He Is Lord,’ has been a popular praise song since my early days as a Christian.
My pastor led the song at our church staff meeting last week. It was my final meeting after being on team for nearly 7 years. 
In the context of saying farewell to a group that has been like family to me—in order to pursue God’s call to serve elsewhere—the chorus was a reminder of what Lordship means: hearing and obeying God (Luke 6:46).
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once [Peter and Andrew] left their nets and followed him. Matt 4:19-20
As Jesus call to His first disciples illustrates, His Lordship (leadership) means three things:
1. Relationship—and in particular, hearing His voice (in this context, receiving instruction)
2. Releasing—leaving our own agenda in favour of pursuing His priorities
3. Responding—acting in obedience to His word, His call, His will.
Jesus’ Lordship is more than making a one-time commitment to Him, and it is more than asking for His guidance for important decisions in our lives.
The meaning of ‘Lordship’ is that Jesus is our leader. We may call Him Lord, but for Him to actually BE Lord, that means we are following Him—on a moment-by-moment, and daily basis.
The Joy of Following Jesus
I have come to realise that responding to Jesus’ leadership is neither a hardship to be feared, nor a duty to perform.
In the past, I had trouble with the concept of Jesus’ Lordship, fearing Him to be a hard taskmaster, when He has actually promised me a life of rest and joy. (Matt 11:28-30, Rom 14:17) 
Now I know that Jesus’ Lordship means following Someone whom I love and want to be with more than anyone else in this world.
Jesus’ Lordship in Our Daily Lives
‘Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.’ Rom 8:14
Recently, I have been meditating on what it means to live a supernatural Christian life. The bottom line is this: empowered Christian living is about relationship.
Our life with God should not just be a devotional appointment, but a dynamic living relationship with Him.
He wants to speak to us: not just in the context of
- Personal prayer, Bible study and devotions, or
- Ministry at our church or from teaching elsewhere
but also as we go about our everyday lives.
He does this through the Holy Spirit, whom He has sent to help us know God’s will. (John 16:12-15)
The Leadership of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit lives in us, and wants to communicate the Father’s purposes to us.
As we follow His leading, we can live like Jesus did—seeing people around us changed and impacted by God’s love.
So, what does this look like in practical terms?
Firstly, we need to remember that the Spirit speaking to us is not like a person speaking.
When we talk about ‘hearing God’s voice,’ we are using an earthly expression to describe a heavenly concept. We simply do not have a framework to understand it.
You and I use words, speech and body language to communicate. However, the Holy Spirit has endless ways that He can communicate with us.
7 Ways the Holy Spirit can lead us in our Daily Lives
Over the past year, the Hunk and I have seen some amazing things happen in our lives and in those around us.
Here are some of the things we have learned to pay attention to, as we go about our daily living:
1. Living in the fruit of the Spirit
It is important to realise that we do not need special guidance to live in the fruit of the Spirit. (see Gal 5:16-25)
In other words, when a situation arises that provides us with an opportunity to respond in a loving (patient, joyful, etc) way, we can just do it—asking for His help.
2. A thought, or ‘urge’ from the Spirit
The Spirit leads us through ‘promptings.’
Sometimes these can be subtle. We may have an urge to go somewhere or speak to someone and it is only afterwards we realise it was the Spirit leading us.
At other times, He is leading us to do something other than what we have planned personally to do. When this happens we need to be intentional about obeying Him.
3. A Difficulty Arises.
When a problem occurs, whether it is in our lives, or in the life of someone around us, it is an opportunity to bring God in on the scene through prayer.
We need to become more familiar with responding to a need immediately with prayer. This may mean offering to pray for someone who has a need.
4. An Opportunity Presents Itself (Col 4:5-6)
This can include:
- An opening in conversation gives us an opportunity to share an aspect of our faith
- We have an opportunity to express God’s love through practical assistance when someone is in need.
‘Seize the Day.’
5. Divine Appointments
A Divine appointment looks like coincidence at first.
We can probe a ‘coincidental’ meeting to test whether the Lord has arranged it.
For example, you meet an acquaintance while out walking, or at the shops and you pause to greet him or her.
It may simply be an opportunity to quietly pray for them as you part ways. But if they express a desire to connect further, or share a problem they are facing—explore the opportunity.
6. Prophetic Revelation
Prophetic revelation can include such things as spiritual dreams, symbols, visions and words and thoughts from God. 
7. Unique Ways
Ultimately the ways you hear from God will be unique to you.
In the same way that the voice of a friend becomes familiar over time, as we grow in intimacy with God we learn to recognise His voice.
Even though it can be helpful to look out for the above things, don’t forget that the Spirit will speak to you and lead you in many different ways. It’s not about finding a formula, it is about relationship. 
Remember, too, that when it comes to matters of hearing from God, especially in relation to prophetic experiences and decision-making, it is vital to have accountability in place—safe people we can check our guidance with. We never ‘outgrow’ the need for Christian leadership and being in a healthy church community.
When we get it Wrong
‘Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?’ (Luke 6:46)
We won’t always get hearing and obeying God’s voice right. I know that I often miss opportunities to respond to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
When this happens, I can confess my shortfall, receive God’s forgiveness, and move on, secure in His love.
Our walk with God is not one of perfection, but of grace (Rom 8:1-4). What is important is that our hearts are open to respond to Him and to grow in this area.
Do you have any experiences to share on being led by the Spirit in your everyday life?
I would love to hear from you. Leave a note in the comments box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.
 From 1 February 2011, I will be on the ministry team at David McCracken Ministries. You can read about it here: http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/2011/01/20/annnouncement-and-article-by-david-mccracken/
(and yes, while there is a little bit of sadness at letting go of my previous role, there’s a whole lot of joyful anticipation at what is to come. Thank You Jesus!)
 This response can be a sign that we are still struggling with an ‘orphan mindset,’where we don’t comprehend who we are or Whose we are. You can read more about it here:
 You can read more about receiving prophetic revelation in the following posts:
 Here is a post about having an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit:
© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Publishing
Wed 10 Nov 2010
Have you ever declined to do something because you are ‘not gifted’ in that area?
‘I’m not gifted in that area’ is an apology that I have used often, especially when it comes to things like hospitality or evangelism.
And this can be a very good thing!
In the church environment particularly, it is vital that we serve where we are gifted and passionate and called.
‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.’ (1 Peter 4:10)
But—what about in my relationships and my everyday life? Does ‘I’m not gifted in that area’ work as a reason to not speak to someone about Jesus, or not to pray for a family member who is sick, or not to provide hospitality when it is needed?
Don’t be Intimidated by Others’ Spiritual Gifts
We will never truly be fulfilled until we step into the fullness of life that we are designed for—and be comfortable with our own unique expression of spirituality.
I have an old Toyota Camry, which is a vehicle that serves my family and me well. If I am driving and alongside me a hot, turbo-charged Ferrari pulls up, I don’t say, “What is the point of me being on the road? My car is not as powerful as that one.”
My car may be ordinary, it may not go as fast, but it is the only one that will taxi my children around, carry my family’s groceries and get me to work.
In the same way, we must not allow the fact that we do not have a spiritual gift of prayer, prophecy, healing and so on, intimidate us, or stop us living the supernatural life that is our rightful inheritance as Christians.
You and I will connect with people in our everyday life that the pastors and gifted people in our church will not, and occasions for prayer will arise when there is no one present but the Lord and us.
Where is the evangelist when the opportunity arises for you to discuss your faith with a neighbour, or work colleague, or lead your child or grandchild in a salvation prayer?
Where is the prophet when you or someone near you is struggling in your daily life, and needs direction or breakthrough, and could benefit from an encouraging word from God?
A Spiritual Gift, or a Characteristic of Christian Living?
It is vital that we grasp the difference between what a spiritual gift is, versus what is a basic characteristic that we should be exhibiting as followers of Jesus.
For the most part, spiritual gifts are turbo-charged, Holy Spirit-boosted versions of attributes that should be present in the life of every Christian believer.
- Every Christian is a witness and can share the Good News about Jesus (Col 4:5-6). However, a person with a gift of evangelism will see more people make commitments to Jesus through his or her ministry than the average Christian.
- Every Christian can pray (1 Thess 5:17, Eph 6:18). In fact, prayer is foundational to our relationship with God. Some Christians will pray more, and experience more miraculous results, because they have a gift of prayer or intercession
- All Christians can prophesy (Acts 2:17-18)—i.e., hear God’s voice for themselves and others. Some people can prophesy more powerfully, with greater accuracy and at a higher level, because they have a spiritual gift of prophecy
The same is also true of other areas such as healing (James 5:16), helps (Mark 10:43-45), giving (Rom 12:13) and hospitality (1 Peter 4:9).
This is why, in Ephesians 4, Paul describes the 5-fold (‘Ascension’) ministries—not as exclusive ministers in their area of giftedness—but as those whose primary calling is ‘to equip God’s people for works of service.’ (Eph 4:11-12)
The Basis for Supernatural Christian Living is Not a Spiritual Gift
It is true that some people do have a higher degree of giftedness than others in prayer, healing, prophecy, and so on.
But having a gift is not the basis for you being able to share with someone about Jesus, or pray, or receive a message from the Father for yourself or someone else.
Your ability to hear God’s voice is your right as a son or daughter in His Kingdom.
The source of your authority is the Name of Jesus Christ. What He has accomplished on the cross, and the authority that He has given to you as His committed follower, is the basis of your prayer power.
Further—and this is amazing—you and I have the same Holy Spirit indwelling and anointing us, who empowered Jesus to go about His life and ministry in the Gospels.
I have come to realise that there is NO ONE more qualified than you and I
- to hear from God
- to offer a prayer
- to have a Divine appointment
- to be involved in leading someone to Jesus
wherever we are in our everyday world.
Some Questions to Consider:
- What spiritual gifts am I aware that I do NOT have?
- Have I used the absence of a spiritual gift as a reason to not expect that God could use me to help love and lead people to Jesus, or to pray, or to believe God for miracles in my everyday life?
Father, I want to be fully alive—to be all you have called and designed me to be.
Help me to be comfortable with my own unique, down-to-earth expression of spirituality and to not be intimidated by the spiritual gifts and strengths of others.
Thank You that Your Spirit anoints and empowers me to be a supernatural Christian in my everyday world—to live a life for which Jesus is the only explanation, and to love and lead people to you.
In Jesus’ Name
Do you have any thoughts or experiences to share on this topic? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the box below. If the comments area is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.
How To Be A Supernatural Christian: Turning Your I Can’ts Into I Cans
The Secret Of Living An Undivided Christian Life
The Greatest Evangelist In The World Today
© Helen Calder 2010 Enliven Publishing
Now on team with David McCracken Ministries