Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Atmosphere Change’

The Closet II

In our previous blog we noticed that the closet mentioned in Matthew 6 is a “secret place” where we meet with God. We also saw that we are with the community of believers when we are there in the closet whether we realize it or not. We discovered that it is this closet is the place from which the anointing flows. Our challenge is to learn how to live in that place rather than merely going there occasionally.

I am presently on a quest to discover how to minister from that place consistently. In my 40 years of teaching on college campuses I have had that experience several times. I have many memories of students falling to the floor weeping while I was teaching. I am no longer satisfied with experiencing God’s presence occasionally. I am not looking for the weeping aspect as such; I want the presence of God that is manifest in those times. So I ask myself, “What are the elements present when I am in that place that are not with me when I am only teaching the academic content of the truth?”

Recently I was teaching on prayer in a church and used my personal experience as an example. For many years I would catch myself singing or humming “Amazing Grace” every day. That is not something I decide, it just happens. I suggested that these songs are in my heart, in the closet with Father. I went on to say I have have been singing Because He Lives, for several weeks now. It has not replaced Amazing Grace but this is also something I don’t intentionally do. I just catch myself in the act. The songs just bubble up out of my heart.

As I was teaching I felt led to sing the song for the congregation. That is something I have never done before. Since it was not planned I had to sing a cappella. To my surprise many in the audience began to weep as the truth of the song was sinking into their spirit. I was actually singing from the Secret Place and the Holy Spirit was touching people’s hearts. The atmosphere in the building changed.

This is obviously not a magic formula; one cannot “use” this to get a response from people. It is also not something anyone can do. Each of us needs to discover what “happens” in the secret place and learn to do enter that event in the public arena. I believe it worked for me at least that one time because the song was with me in my private time without my conscious choice. When I began to sing it I immediately found myself in the closet with Father. Perhaps he was singing with me, I don’t know, but it was profound. I was not actually singing to the people; I was singing to the Lord.

This is my preliminary conclusion. I will be experimenting with the concept to discover what is actually happening. If any of you have had similar experiences, share your story for others to read. It may be that we will find the “Secret” together. Please respond with a comment.

On Word Ministries is a contribution based ministry. We have no salary from a church. Any offerings you send will help us continue to do what we do. You may donate online at http://www.onword.org by clicking the “Donate” tab, or you can send your offering to On Word Ministries, 106 Ashford Ct. Myrtle Beach, SC 29588.

Thank you for your consideration,
Fount Shults

Advertisements

My Vision Revisied

05/28/2015 2 comments

I was meditating on my financial situation and felt I need to share publically what I heard.

First, I will give a background so you will understand my heart. For many years I have refused to promote myself and my ministry. I thought that would be self-serving. I firmly believe that when Father guides, he provides. That has proven to be the case for me through my whole life. For example, Father prompted me to finish the Dissertation for the PhD and not to seek employment until it was done. It took me about 18 months to finish. Even though I started with only about two hundred dollars, all my financial needs were taken care of without my asking anyone for help. We had our fourth child during that period. The Doctor was paid in the fifth month and the Hospital bill was paid before we went. People didn’t even know I was unemployed.

Various leaders in my life have told me I need to promote myself if I want others to support me. My response is always the same, “I can’t do that.” The reason is not that I am unable; I cannot bring myself to self-promotion without losing my sense of integrity. Others may have permission form Father to do that; I do not. As a result, I have lived ‘hand-to-mouth’ as long as I remember. I am ok with that, but I have a vision beyond what is presently coming in to On Word Ministries. I firmly believe the vision is from God.

My Father has provided for every ministry trip I have made to train leaders in developing nations. Sometimes that provision came from others; sometimes I had enough to do it on my own. That is evidence that the vision is from God as far as I can see. I have hesitated to ask for funds for my personal livelihood as a missionary based in the States. I know that all of you have your own needs. So I have not asked even though the leaders who are close to me have encouraged me to ask. “You have not because you ask not,” they say. I know that is biblical, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Why?

This is what brought me to the meditation I mentioned above. “If the vision is from God,” I ask myself, “then why are finances so tight? Father has provided for my needs without my asking even when I was unemployed. What is different here and now?” As I was in the presence of Father with these questions, the following came to me:

“People don’t give to needs, they give to vision.” I remembered this statement which I have heard from leaders who are very successful in raising funds, and I believe it’s true. But I sensed there was something else. So I waited. “This is not about what I need; it’s not even about what I do in training leaders in other countries. It’s about vision.” However, I have made my vision very clear on Facebook and on my blog. Working with Nation 2 Nation Christian University and with Harvest Preparation International gives me an opportunity to do what I’m called, commissioned and sent to do. So what’s missing?

This is what I heard, “People give to what they believe in. They give to what they feel is worthwhile.” There are two things here: the belief system and the feelings. The belief system is in the head, the feelings are in the heart. People will say they believe in the vision, but if they don’t feel connected, they don’t give. If what I believe resonates with what others believe, their heart will feel what my heart feels. This brought me to a personal challenge: “What do I really believe? What do I really feel?”

I believe that the living and active Word of God will change the social and political atmosphere when it is spoken by the Spirit. I have over 50 years’ experience speaking the Word and changing the lives of young people on college campuses. I believe this world-changing Word which the Father has given me will begin to do for nations what it has done for students. I believe this Word will continue to influence nations through the video recordings long after I have passed over to the other side of reality.

That’s what I believe and that’s what I feel. I believe it and feel it so strongly that I have been willing to go on several short-term mission trips at my own expense even when that left me short in my personal ‘bottom line.’ I have a passion to see leaders in developing nations receive the training they need but can’t afford. I will continue to do what I do because I believe what I believe and have a passion to see it happen.

Our website is being updated to reflect this passion. It will be up and running as soon as we get it built. Meanwhile, feel free to visit the website and listen to the free teachings available on the ‘listen to Fount’ tab. We are serious about keeping it free.

Looking forward,
Fount Shults
President and Founder: On Word Ministries
http://www.onword.org

The Turning Point

08/01/2014 3 comments

With his shaved head and white robe, he answered calmly, “God confirmed to me that Hare Krishna is the right way.” His peaceful demeanor was impressive.

That was 1968, very early in my theological journey. I had invited the local Hare Krishna monk into my graduate cubical at The University of Texas at Austin. We had a conversation that lasted about four hours. He demonstrated a profound peace that I’d seen in few Christians. His inner stillness was inviting, fascinating, intriguing. He was able to maintain his calm confidence in face of some very challenging questions.

The challenge that elicited the above response was my statement that God had come to me personally in a very real way in Japan in 1957. God came into my barrack room in the form of liquid love and, for the first time in my life, I knew I had a Father who loved me.
My expectation was that this Krishna follower would be impressed with my testimony and ask me to share more.

To my surprise, he didn’t even flinch. He told me how his personal spiritual journey had led him to a retreat center in Canada where God had spoken to him and confirmed his choice to pursue the way of Hare Krishna. Inwardly I asked myself how I could bring him to question his experience since he thought it was God who spoke to him.

I mentioned the miracles of Jesus and the Apostles. “Miracles are cheap,” he responded as he told me of several signs and wonders performed by yoga masters in India.

Our discussion continued in this way for several hours with my challenging him and his calm, peaceful responses. “The real issue,” he said, “is to learn to accept the world as it is and come to peace and rest within yourself.”

I know inner peace is a good thing, and it certainly should be a goal for all of us. “But there’s an element missing in him,” I thought, “and I can’t seem to find the key that would open him up and expose the missing link.”

Finally, after about four hours, I asked him, “How do you deal with the resurrection of Jesus from the dead?” With that question, he was visibly disturbed. For the first time there was restlessness in his demeanor. He had no answer. He promptly excused himself and left my office saying there was something he had to do.

I thought about this experience many times after that. As I consider the implications of his inability to handle that question, I saw that the real difference between Christianity and world religions hinges on the reality of the resurrection of Jesus. Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, and others all died. They are still in their graves. The mere mention of victory over death had shaken the peace this man was carrying.

I never saw him again, so I don’t know if the discussion had any lasting effect on him. I know the experience did have an effect on me. The question bubbled up within me, “What is the power behind deception that causes people to shut down to a discussion when a serious challenge rises?” I’ve seen that happen many times since.

Two Scripture came to mind after the conversation. By definition, people who are deceived really believe they’re right. Paul spoke of the false signs and wonders and wicked deception that would overtake those who refuse to love the truth but take pleasure in unrighteousness (II Thess. 2:9-11). So, the first problem is a refusal to love the truth.

Yet this Krishna monk insisted he loved the truth. He certainly appeared to be seeking the truth. According to Scripture, however, he was under a delusion. Paul added, “Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false” (II Thess. 2:11). If a person is unwilling to change, he has no guarantee that deception will not overtake him. He will really believe he’s right.

As I continued to consider this problem over time, another Scripture came to my attention. Jesus said, “If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority” (Jn. 7:17). Up to this point in my journey I identified myself as a truth seeker. Something in me shifted when I read this verse with new eyes.

To my surprise, the key was not a desire to know the truth but a desire to do the will of God. Seeking truth is certainly a necessary venture, but it has no value without a desire to do God’s will. Some people learn a lot of truth but do nothing with what they learn. It appears that one is susceptible to deception if he or she is not seeking to be personally involved in the advancing kingdom of God.

That experience was a turning point in my journey. I began to realize the importance of allowing the Holy Spirit to lead me to all truth, as Jesus promised. This new openness on my part prepared the way for a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. The guidance was actually unconscious at first, but a series of encounters and experiences brought me to a conscious awareness of the Holy Spirit’s work in my life. But that’s another story.

The point of this blog is simple: learn all you can learn, but focus on obedience to the voice of Father God. Those who are satisfied with head knowledge often resist any idea of the Holy Spirit’s involvement in their daily life. After all, if they begin to listen to his voice, they would have to change their way of doing life. I did.

What is he saying to you today?

Looking forward,

Fount Shults, President
On Word Ministries, http://www.onword.org

Dethroning Intellect

07/12/2014 4 comments

“Jesus is the sweetest name I know,” I was singing in the van on the way back from a conference on deliverance. That was 1974.

In the previous blog I mentioned a phone call from Jimmy Darnel, a pastor I worked with from 1973 till 1981. Our conversation caused me to reflect on days gone by. The ride back from that conference came to mind. As I sang, “He’s just the same as his lovely name,” it suddenly dawned on me; there’s no inconsistency between what his name claims and who he is. “His name is Wonderful; and he is. His name is Counselor; and he is,” I spoke those words out loud as tears rolled from my eyes.

The presence of the Holy Spirit filled the van. We had to pull over to the side of the road and regain our composure before we continued our journey home. That was one of the most meaningful times of my early experiences with the Holy Spirit. It was heavy, and it was sweet.

At the conference I had responded to a ‘generic’ altar call. “If you want more of God,” the pastor said, “just come up front.” Well, who wouldn’t want more of God? So I went to the altar. I heard the pastor was praying blessings on everyone as he approached me. But when he came to me the atmosphere changed. “I command that intellectual demon to leave, in Jesus name,” he said.

I literally felt something like a band break from around my head. I had picked up an intellectual demon while studying on various campuses and didn’t even know it. I had just finished the coursework for toward a Ph.D. in the Hebrew language at The University of Texas at Austin. When he prayed for me, all of a sudden I no longer needed the credentials. The discipline of learning stayed with me, but the certificate of graduation no longer had meaning for me.

The reality of the new found freedom had come to conscious awareness in the van while singing that chorus. Intimacy with our Father and with his Son by the Holy Spirit was a new experience for me. After that prayer I no longer related to God with my reason. My heart had come alive in him. I understood what Solomon meant when he said, “Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the issues of life.”

Since that time touching people’s heart with Father’s love has been a priority over academic standards. There’s no longer a need to impress people with how much I know. That was the beginning of a new leg of my journey. The only thing that motivates me now is the advancing of the kingdom of God in the lives of individuals and church communities.

Moments like that don’t come often, but they always mark a change in the way we do things; a new focus comes in with the experience. Father had visited me in 1957 and changed my plans to remain in the Air Force till I retired. In this visit he set me free from a drive to prove myself as a teacher.

The challenge before all of us is to allow the experiences of life to bring us to a deeper place in Father’s bosom and a more impassioned involvement in advancing his kingdom. Church is boring when there is only the presence of the pastor and worship team. We need the life-changing presence of the Lord of Glory.

Fount Shults
President, On Word Ministries
http://www.onword.org

Your Light has Come

It’s night in the church at large in America. Many are walking in the light of torches lit by the flesh. They think they’re in the light, but it’s a human light. Things are rapidly changing in our world as the light of Father God’s love is rising in the hearts of many. The glory of the rising Sun of Righteousness will far surpass the light of human torches. Faith will become sight for those who, like Abraham, “hope against hope” for the coming of the glory of our Father upon the American church. Arise, Shine!

Even though many in the church  lie prostrate on the ground, overcome by the sleep of self-security, the promise of the our Father God is that she will rise again. The night which brought her to the ground, intoxicated with dreams of greatness as she sleeps, that night of the so called “enlightenment” is now at an end. The words of Isaiah are appropriate for our day, “Arise, Shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.”

The paradigm of Modernism, the paradigm of man’s self-importance, is shifting as the light of the dawning of a new day is already glowing on the horizon. Those who are still sleeping do not see this light. They are enamored with the dreams of their own human light as they sleep. But the rising of the glory of our God will become so bright that it will wake them from their slumber. Those who refuse to change will wake to resist the new thing; those who desire more will wake to enjoy Father’s manifest presence.

The renewed church will itself become a light to the nations as Isaiah said. This is already happening in China and in the Arab world. This light will bring unity and wholeness to all who walk in it, but those who are intoxicated with self-importance will walk away from it to avoid exposure. Those who walk away are exposed anyway, for they have rejected the the Father who loves unconditionally. This light of Father’s presence is a light that exposes us all in our weakness. It will continue to shine in a world in spite of the darkness that fills the earth.

It’s time to choose light. It’s time to reflect the light. It’s time to choose to love our neighbor. It’s never enough to have a doctrine of loving; we must actually do loving things for those our Father brings into our path. The light of righteousness is the light of love.

You can sign up to receive these blogs as they are posted. Just enter your email address above to the right.

On Word Ministries is a not for profit organization dedicated to training and encouraging church leaders worldwide. Like all such organizations, we depend on the offerings of those who partner with us in this vision. We covet your prayers, and we use all finances to fulfill the vision. If you share our vision, you can make a donation on our website, http://www.onword.org

Please forward this blog to any of your friends who you think will be blessed by them.

Fount Shults

President of On Word Ministries

Journey to Freedom 4: Victory over Automatic Responses

In our previous blog we said the first step to freedom is to recognize the internal conflict, and the second is to forgive and release the offender. Those acts set us free on one level, but living life in this new freedom is a challenge because we have developed self-defeating habit patterns. Situations continue to trigger the internal memories of being victimized. In this blog we will address the issue of overcoming on a day-by-day basis.

We all know Paul’s pronouncement, “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of love, power and discipline.” The word translated discipline (literally a healed mind) refers to the “mind of the heart,” or the subconscious as we call it in our culture. It does not refer to the mind of information, logic and analysis, but to the internal “programs” that produce automatic action. When we say something we didn’t intend to say, it was the heart-mind that reacted.

Solomon said, “Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life.” The activities (issues) of our life flow from the internal programs of our subconscious, especially those actions that automatically respond to situations without thinking. So our success as an overcomer requires that we reprogram our heart-mind. How do we do that?

We access the heart-mind by monitoring our internal dialogue, the things we say to ourselves about ourselves, about others (or to others when they aren’t there), about how things work in the world (what I have to do to succeed) and about God (like, “God doesn’t love me as much as others”). Our internal dialogue was originally programmed by words spoken or implied by important others in our life.

As a young boy, when I made mistakes on the jobsite with my dad he would say, “You’re dumb. You’ll never amount to anything.” Those words continued to be my self-definition long after he passed on. I said those words to myself every time I messed up. They became my identity: “I AM dumb,” I would say to myself. Those words plagued me for years until I began to understand the inner-workings of the heart-mind.

To reprogram our subconscious we simply change our self-talk. Yes, it’s simple; but it’s not easy. Our old programs fight to remain in charge because in them we think we have safety. To counter those thoughts, we must replace them with empowering thoughts. I began to say to myself what I read in Scripture about myself as a new creature in Christ.

“I am more than conqueror through Christ who strengthens me,” I would say over and over until I began to experience it. “It’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me,” was a mantra until I felt its truth deeply. I would say, “I can do all things through Christ.” Saying, “The eyes of my heart are enlightened to know…,” helped me to begin to see the mysteries of the kingdom. As I continued to speak thus, the “spirit wisdom and of revelation” became a reality in my life.

The old adage, “Say it till you see it,” is true, but only if you are saying it because you know it’s true. If you’re trying to make it true by saying it, your self-talk won’t work. This is the problem of positive affirmations: they don’t work unless you already believe. So we must go one step deeper and monitor the deeper self-talk that occurs while we are talking to ourselves. The deeper level of self-talk exposes the lies we believe, lies we allow to influence our behavior.

Phrases like, “Not really; this won’t change anything,” will pop up. It’s necessary to correct those phrases immediately before we continue the affirmation. Confront the contrary phrase head-on. Counter it by saying to yourself, “It is true, because God said it. My present experience does not change the truth.” As you continue this over time, the truth will change your experience, your triggers will become weaker and your life will begin to change.

If these blogs are meaningful to you, share them with your friends and invite them to sign up to receive them automatically when a new one is available. Have them go to http://onword.org and click on the “blog” link. There is a place in the upper right-hand to enter their email address.

Looking Forward,
Fount Shults
President and Founder
On Word Ministries

Make a Sound 9: Learning to Hear 2

10/19/2011 1 comment

The “Bible Out-Loud” event is this Saturday, October 22. Find a friend to read with you and let’s do this. People from at least 36 nations are on board with this event.

We have considered the significance of the human voice and the effect of sound waves on our environment. In our last blog we shifted the focus to our need to listen. We spoke of listening with our spirit by allowing Father to dig us an ear. In this blog we will take that thought one step farther.

Jesus said, “Take care then how you hear, for the to one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away” (Lk. 8:18). Notice the word HOW. This statement is in the context of Jesus explaining the parable of the sower and the seed. The seed is the word of proclamation that comes to the ear through the human voice. Remember Jesus was human as well as divine. The Pharisees heard Jesus’ words as the words of a man, not as the word of God.

There is a way of hearing the word that increases your ability to receive more word. That is a good thing. But there is also a way of hearing that will remove the word you think you have received. Most people assume that they have the word when they hear it or read it. However, many have even memorized Scriptures but only have it in their minds. The word that affects our life is the one that’s in our heart (Prov. 4:23).

Paul helps us here. He was thankful that the believers had received the word of God he (a man) had spoken to them. “You accepted it not as the word of man but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers” (I Thess. 2:13). Notice, Paul says the word does the work. When we hear the word of God as a word of man, we must work into our own lives apart from the Holy Spirit Helper. It will not be an effective word. It can at best be a word of man that brings legalistic bondage.

When we are listening to the reading while our own or another’s interpretation is in our mind, we are listening to the word of man rather than the word of God. Our interpretation may even be accurate and our thoughts may be good thoughts. But there is no power to work it into our lives if we don’t hear it as what it really is, the word of God.

“Take care HOW you hear.” The voices of a men or women will be articulating the word as they read. But that word will only change your life if you are hearing it as a word from our Father by the Holy Spirit. The word of God has the ability to transform you; the word of man does not. Our own thoughts about the word are not the word of God. The words in our mind are the words of man unless the Holy Spirit quickens those words.

Here we can simply repeat what we said in the last blog: listen with your spirit to the reading of God’s word.

http://www.readthebibleoutloud.org

Fount Shults