Speaker: Mike Connell
Question & Answer
Can you share any secrets to how to keep your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit?
I also mentioned that I would talk about praying. To maintain sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, it’s a daily life with Him. So that requires prayer; and it also requires that you act on the little impressions the Holy Spirit gives. The more you act on the little impressions, the more sensitive you become, and the more you seem to receive.
In Mark 4:24 Jesus said: “If you have ears to hear, and you respond, then more will be given.” Listening and responding to the Holy Spirit helps develop sensitivity. In my prayer time daily, I pray a number of things. One of the things I pray, is that I spend time in worshipping and just loving God for who He is. I try to keep extending that time out. I’m just meditating in His presence, speaking in tongues, and just loving on Him. I’ve learned that you can speak in tongues, sing with your mind, and picture Jesus - all at the same time. You actually have the power to give yourself to Him in worship.
Then I also take a time in my praying, probably about 20 minutes or so, I consciously yield differently parts of my life to Him, and begin to speak over my life, what I’m believing for God to do. I’ll just give you an example - I’ll just show you how I pray:
“Lord today I yield to You my hearing. I yield the ears of my inner man and outer man to You. Thank you Lord I hear Your voice clearly today. My heart is sensitive to Your voice. Lord I hear what You are saying to me, and I respond immediately. I thank you Lord that You’re giving me a hearing heart, to hear people, to ask questions that probe right to the root of the problems. Thank you Lord that You’re giving me an ability to see what the problem is - eyes to see, ears to hear, ability to discern exactly what is happening.”
What I’m doing is, I’m picturing and declaring the life I intend to live. Now there’s a basis for this. I’ll give you a scripture - 1 John 4:17 - “As He is, so are we in the world.” As He is now, we are in the world. I want you to think about that one. I don’t have to make myself become something; the Bible says – as He is, so am I.
So what is He like? Jesus hears the voice of the Father all the time. Jesus looks right into people’s hearts and knows what is going on. Lord as You are, so am I in this world. I hear the voice of my Father clearly. I instantly respond. I hear the voice of people’s hearts. I see right into their lives.
You say, well, but actually you’re not living that way. No, I am building the future I intend to have. I’m beginning to declare the operation of His life through me. As I meditate in who I am in Christ, and what I can do in Christ, and believe that, it shows up in my life. This is the blessed life.
People try to work hard, to be able to get God to help them to do stuff. What if you already have all, you are complete in Christ? Everything you need, you have? How about this one: “We have an anointing, and we know all things”. I don’t know all things. No, but I have an anointing that knows all things - I need to be more conscious of the anointing within.
So, reflective prayer, prayer of meditation and affirming the truth is crucial to building your life with God. So you don’t wait until you’re in a ministry situation to become sensitive; you develop it day by day. It’s something you build into your life, and it manifests through your life.
I wish I’d know those things years ago. It would’ve made my life a lot easier! I just didn’t know what to do to see the reality of God moving - it’s taken me years to find it, because people who do - don’t tell. They just do - and everyone thinks they’re wonderful. You know there’s a magician and he shows off the magician’s tricks? That’s what I want to be! Show what the tricks are; but it’s actually a lot easier than you realise, when you understand the dynamics of the spirit man, and you begin to understand: I already am that new creation man. I’m already complete in Christ. As He is, so am I in the world.
So what is He like? So I meditate on Him - that’s what I’m like. Oh, I see. I begin to see Him, and say: that’s who I am, that’s what I’m like. Doesn’t the Bible say: we’ve been conformed into the image of Jesus? Trouble is, you look in the mirror, and you see what you think you’re like. We should look in the spiritual mirror, and see Christ, and say: “Ah - that’s who I am, everyday I’m more and more like that”. So this is not like working hard to make something happen; it’s like training the heart to believe the truth, through meditation and confession: I’m in the presence of God.
The last thing on that, in Hebrews 5:14 it says: “Having our senses exercised to discern”. So, you develop sensitivity by practice; not by reading about it - you just have to try. So ask God to send you plenty of people to practise on. Just practise, until you get the feel of the flow of His anointing on you.
There’s a lady with a question. There is this particular person in authority, in the office, like a manager. When this person deals with her, he has this huge rage inside. He gets really mad, and there’s a lot of anger. She can sense there’s a power behind it. He has no problem with anyone else, just her! Every time she prays, or speaks in tongue, or tries to control the situation. Now, she’s asking: besides prayer, is there anything she can do to deal with this situation?
It’s most likely that there’s a spiritual reaction going on. That sometimes happens. If he’s nice to everyone, and to you he’s very angry- either there’s something in him reacting to you, or there’s ways you’re operating that are irritating him very much. We’ve always got to be open that perhaps God wants us to grow in the situation.
So Lord, help me to overcome evil with good. Romans 12: 21 I think, overcome evil with good, don’t be overcome by evil. I would, in prayer, hold him up before the Lord. Get a picture, see his face, and begin to speak and take authority over the spirits that are operating behind him. I presume this is an unsaved person - this is why it’s such a big reaction. So speak to the spirits. Picture a demonic spirit got a hold of him and is manipulating him. Speak to that spirit. Command it to release him.
In other words, in prayer, assert your authority spiritually over the driving power behind it. Decree that you already have authority over it. Don’t fight to get the authority. Speak from the place of authority: I tread on serpents and scorpions, over all power over the enemy. Nothing shall harm me. No weapon formed against me shall prosper.
In Jesus’ name, I bind that controlling spirit. It’s controlling through anger, and it’s very intimidating and frightening - it’s a spirit of witchcraft. Take authority. Bind the spirit. Forbid its operation against you. Decree its power broken. Hold a place of strength over the spirit, in your prayer time.
Then you ask God for grace. To be able to love this person, and to be able to relate and connect with them well. You have to, first of all, get your heart right; address the spiritual power; and then you can deal with the person.
When the person gets angry, there are some things you can do. Here’s one thing. The Bible says – a soft answer turns away anger. One thing I felt has helped me, is when someone is very angry with me - I would just, in a quiet voice, ask questions to clarify what they’re saying. In other words, I just act a little bit thick (stupid), and juts ask questions to understand what they’re saying. When you speak quietly, and just enquire what they’re saying - they have to calm down in order to answer the questions. That is just one strategy I found has helped.
Another strategy is to be a little bit more direct; one of trying to manage it. In other words, to say: excuse me, I notice you seem to be very upset or angry with me. In other words, you bring to the open what is hidden there. I notice you seem to be quite angry and upset; is there something I’ve done that has upset you that I can put right? I really want to help you and serve you; I don’t want to be doing things that upset you. Sometimes you get: ‘I’m not angry!’ So, there’s a variety of ways to manage someone who is difficult in the workplace, but you have to work with God to find the best way through it.
First you have to manage yourself; then deal with the Spirit world; then learn some skills in handling someone who is angry with you. Use a soft voice, enquiring, clarifying, get the expectations clear; and if need be, say: I’ve noticed this, is there something I’ve done that’s upset you so deeply? Sometimes, just that quiet voice enquiring after the person, just can have a good calming effect.
Another thing is acts of kindness towards that person - acts of kindness can soften that person’s heart as well - a gift or card at an appropriate time. There are many strategies you’ve got to find. In some places in the west, they would actually take a more confrontational line; and actually stand up and say: you have no right to speak to me in that tone. That kind of response tends to cause a huge conflict, and employment laws in New Zealand favour employees, so bosses have to be more careful. I don’t think it’s the case here! So, therefore you have to carefully work out how to handle it.
The last thing in your situation, is that after such an encounter, realise you’ve probably been quite knocked. As you turn away from the encounter, “Lord, I just forgive this man, release him right now. Lord I ask for love to come back to my heard. Amen”. So it becomes an opportunity for you to grow.
You notice it’s a mixture of spiritual and practical - both are needed to solve the problem. In military, first you win the battle in the air; then you can win it on the ground. There’s always a spiritual pressure.
The spirit of idolatry is very strong in their family, both on the father’s side and mother’s side. For quite a few of them, they are full time temple workers, and some of them are even in the committee of the Taoist association in Taiwan - so they are a very high level in Taiwan. Even when she prays very hard, she tries all kinds of anointing in the house; still she is troubled by those spirits. So what can she do to break the power of those evil spirits in the household?
The first thing to realise is that Christ has defeated them. So here’s what I’ve noticed happens in Taiwan: people become very impressed with the devil, very impressed with the idols, and very impressed with demons; in spite of the fact that Jesus has defeated them! So, this is an issue of what you believe in your heart.
Now, I’m not minimising the reality of demonic oppression, and the high level this would be around family members involved in the temple. What you must realise, is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the blood He shed, the blood of a spotless King, is more powerful than any of their offerings, or any of their gods.
For example, I want to Taichung, and there’s the big temple there. I noticed that before I went, everyone was like: ‘Oh Taichung!’ I was thinking: Jesus conquered the demon! But in the belief system, there was an ascribing of power to these things, which they did not have. I said: ‘Let me get to Taichung quickly’! Then I said when I got there: take me to this temple, let me see what’s going on. I refused to be intimidated, because I recognised that everyone was intimidated. When I got into the meeting of church workers, they were some of the most depressed people I’d ever seen. Many were sick, and many people had died! So you either look at it and say: “Woah, big devil”. Or, you say: “Wow! Guys, rise up - you need to believe Jesus!”
So I decided the first night I was there, I will preach on idolatry. I will be highly confrontational. Not only that, it was the feast of Matsu. So Matsu’s coming through the streets with thousands of people - so, I will preach against Matsu as well, and I did! It was a very difficult heavy atmosphere, very oppressed. I spoke and preached, not to the people, but beyond the people into the spirit world - declaring the authority of Jesus Christ, the power of the blood.
We had a great deliverance meeting that night, lots of people got set free - wonderful. Then I read the news the next morning. That night in the temple, the temple committee had voting - and a fight broke out, which became so violent that the police were called, and everyone was dispersed. I realised then, how important it is, never to be intimidated. Arise in who you are in Christ - the demons are terrified of you; don’t be intimidated by them.
I’ll give you a couple of stories. I had a girl who had been dedicated to Sai Baba; and in the home, there’s a huge alter to Sai Baba. So she got massive deliverance. “But I got home and my father has this huge alter to Sai Baba, right in the house!” I said, “Don’t worry about Sai Baba.” I said: “Your room, that’s where you belong. Dedicate your room, make an anointment with oil. Decree no spiritual oppression in this room. Invite the Holy Spirit in. This room is my sanctuary. Play worship music. The rest of the house belongs to your father. So this is what you do: you don’t criticise, you don’t say all kinds of things against what they do, you honour your parents. Every time you go past Sai Baba, then you pray in tongues; and you make a declaration – Sai Baba shall decrease, Jesus shall increase. Every time you walk past that idol, every time you walk past that alter: “Sai Baba decrease, Jesus increase”. Not a big prayer, very easy prayer.
I come back one year later, I said how are you getting on? “I’m a cell leader now, doing very well.” I remembered her, so I said, “How’s Sai Baba doing?” “Not so good.” She said, “We had some financial difficulty. We had to move out of our apartment to a smaller apartment where there’s no alter - only a picture.” “Ah, very good - Sai Baba is decreasing! Keep praying.” So next time I went back, I asked how are you doing? “Oh, I have 3 groups now.” “How’s Sai Baba doing?” “He’s not doing good at all. The picture fell off the wall and got broken. Now we have a smaller picture. Sai Baba is definitely decreasing; Jesus is increasing”.
The point is this: you must not be intimidated. You are in spiritual places in Christ, seated with Him. What does it mean to be seated with Him? He’s done all the work! If I’m in heavenly places, far above every principalities and power, there’s no devil up here, the devil’s down there. It’s all in my believing. I encourage you to meditate in scriptures, and establish clearly faith in your hearts, that these are nothing – nothing! That doesn’t happen straight away. It takes time to build in your heart, that you are joined to Christ, the demon conqueror. You have authority over these things. As you speak to those things, each one will be subdued and go.
So in your prayer, firstly you arise in spirit in a place of worship near God. Put on the armour of God. Speak in Jesus’ name. Stand as a representative of this family. Counsel this wickedness and idolatry. Bind each and every spirit power. In Jesus’ name, I forbid your operation against me, against my family. Jesus of Nazareth has conquered you already. You are defeated.
So don’t fight against them; stand and declare your victory against them - it’s a big difference. The wrestling is to establish what is true. What seems to be true is that they have all the power; but what is true, is that Jesus has all the power, and you have also - but you do not believe that yet, and that’s why this thing affects you. The struggle is not outside you, it’s within you, to come to a place of total confidence over these things.
Obviously it’s brought grief to you; obviously you’re distressed about this. It’s a great chance for you to become stronger. The Roman Caesar, his house was full of idols, but they had a worship meeting in his house. I’ve learned you must never be intimidated; intimidation is the big weapon the devil uses against us. So it says, beware, the devil prowls as a roaring lion - big idols, big temples, little Christian - seeking to devour you.
It says: resist, steadfast in faith. When you start to resist like that, there might be all kinds of upheaval take place. Just let that happen, it’s part of walking with Christ. In City Harvest Singapore, when the young people came to Christ, their idol-worshipping parents often beat them! I can remember when Pastor Yi Ping Tsang was 18, when many of them were very young in high school, they’d come back and they’d been beaten up by their parents - but almost all that generation have seen their parents saved.
Pastor Kong, I took the meeting where his parents got saved. You have to believe that what we have is stronger; even if temporarily it doesn’t appear to be so. So you have what appears to be true; you have what is true. This one seeks to intimidate you and capture your heart; you have to come back into the place with confidence in God.
Part of that will be that you will bring your grief and pain to Him, bring your fear to Him, and undoubtedly there’d be some anger in all of this. You need to bring that to Him too and forgive your parents. Ask God to give you great love for them. Choose to be the great representative. I understand this is not easy. But that’s the journey we have in Christ. We have our challenges.
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