Wednesday, December 3, 2014

HOW ARE WE TO BE AN EFFECTIVE APOSTOLIC PEOPLE IN THE FACE OF OPPOSITION : Ray Lowe | THE HUB 2014

This message was preached by RAY LOWE at THE HUB , the annual conference of Regions Beyond, an apostolic sphere that is a part of Newfrontiers, an international family of churches joined in apostolic partnership.


HOW ARE WE TO BE AN EFFECTIVE APOSTOLIC PEOPLE IN THE FACE OF OPPOSITION – RAY LOWE
Acts 20:17-38
We were in Clarence which had gone through a tough time with Steve Oliver left to come to Dubai. People left, leaders had fallen. It was not easy.
In Acts 20 it’s an emotional meeting taking place. There were riots in Ephesus because of the church.

“You know” is a phrase that comes many times. Paul and Peter warned the church of impending trouble. Paul warns if wolves in sheep’s clothing, people with their own agendas. Whilst we don’t wrestle with flesh and blood, opposition does come in the form of flesh and blood.

Many people have come to Christ in Ephesus – temple prostitutes, those who practiced occult, black magic etc. The riots Paul understood were demonic opposition. Don’t be surprised by backlash. Elders watch out- Peter says the devil is like a roaring lion – resist him. All over the world your brothers are facing the same thing.

The early church knew that the protection under the Roman government was coming to an end and there would be persecution.

We must not anything that will give Satan a foothold. We must understand this that God and Satan are not equal- that was unmistakably demonstrated on the cross.
Tom Wright quotes – we are in the victory of Calvary, but there are battles to be fought. Paul was not just a preacher/teacher but he was a role model. This letter Paul writes is not a letter of correction but a reminder. Peter does the same thing.

1. Eph4:1-6 Paul is emphasizing – of genuine unity and oneness. Our calling is not our ministry but to be in Jesus and within that there is a call.

“I urge you” Speaks of priority, urgency. We are to work as one – this is what keeps the devil from getting a stronghold.

“Be completely humble” – this is not an option.

Make every effort” this has to be worked at, it not easy.

We have 2000 years of history that is not good. It’s fraught with lots of division. So many heroes of faith fell out on doctrine. What might have happened if these guys got it together?

Luke writes of the “temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.  Jesus was weak in body but powerful in the Spirit. Satan tempts him with bread. If Jesus gave in there would be no trinity!!  “Father make us one even as we are one . Satan’s ploy has always been to divide. HE did it in the garden between man and God. With Jesus he failed. But the church has fared miserably on this. We need to preserve the unity in the bond of peace.

2.The key role of leadership is another thing he emphasized.
Leadership is key- whether in business, church. If leaders don’t get it right people won’t. We are to keep watch over ourselves. Eldership has to be friends. We need openness, honesty, accountability. If we can’t talk about something we have opened the door for Satan.

Eldership is not a job- it’s the Holy Spirit who sets them apart and it’s an awesome calling.

Paul spent 2.5 years in Ephesus- the men were pagans, polytheistic and yet in 2.5 years he had elders. That should tell us something. Don’t need to wait forever!!Paul was not in for personal gain. He has a good conscience before God. Paul labored among them and from house to house. Paul was not just an example of integrity but an example of a man of the Holy Spirit.

He knew that his job was to turn Ephesus upside down for Jesus. He knew he could not do it alone. He knew he needed the people full of the Holy Spirit.

They learned from Paul’s example. We are slow to learn from one another’s life these days.

We have become very forensic with scripture that we loose what’s there. If the Holy Spirit wanted to say more he would have instructed Luke to write more!!!
In conclusion- Scars and struggles make you grow up. What you need is the Holy Spirit. We grow up and we find out who we are.

All this is so that we can go into the world and not so that we can get better.
God wants fire!! We need to be biblical but do not do anything to limit the power of God. We need the Holy Spirit. Keep being filled with the Holy Spirit.