Sunday, March 23, 2008

Back Home in Virginia

I’ve been back to Virginia for several days after arriving home at midnight this past Thursday. As I flew back to Virginia, I was looking over the city of Richmond while the airplane was about to land, a thought came to mind: I’m coming back to Virginia a different man. Something transpired in my heart during the course of my weeklong ministry assignment in Texas. I’m not sure if I can pinpoint exactly what it is that is different, but it is different. There are moments in our lives—what I term as kairos-emergences—that forever change the very landscape of our lives. It is precisely at these moments that life can never go back to the way it was before. Again, I don’t understand it fully, but I do know that the Lord has graciously change my life. I’m not the same man. I am more aware how the intense desire of the Father's heart to use humble, broken vessels (i.e., the "foolish things of the world") to perpetuate His kingdom.

Since coming back, I’ve had a few opportunities to sit down with people to share what has transpired during my trip. In the course of several dialogues with people, I’ve been pondering the following question, “What was the highlight of Jesus’ week?” As I reflect upon this, my mind is continually drawn back to the times when ministering to various individuals last week. God met these broken vessels in such a powerful way. In some ways, I wish I could relay all of these events to you, but I know these were holy, intimate moments with the Lord that shouldn’t be broadcast via the World Wide Web. Images of the week flash before my eyes as I ruminate upon the numerous hearts that were tenderly touched by a loving and merciful Father who longed to lavish His love upon the hearts of these contrite, broken men and women.

Many hearts were restored to fellowship with the Father as people came to the Cross and repented of their sin. Many lives were restored to the pursuit of the high call that is in Christ. Many hearts were ignited with a fresh passion to seek God like never before!

Without question I will be back to Texas. My heart was greatly stirred by what is happening in Austin. I am praying even now when the Lord would have me go back to that city on an assignment from Him. Something is brewing in that city in this hour. Also I know that I will be back in Temple to continue the work that was initiated at the Embracing God’s Glory conference in Temple. More plowing is necessary and I believe the Lord really wants to do a deep work in that region. We are going to go after the adulterous spirit that is prevalent among those even in the church in that region—and we’re going to attack the spirit of lust, greed, selfishness, and immorality that seems to permeate the region. We will not permit Temple, Texas to continue as it is. God is raising up a people in this hour who will refuse to allow their city to be a harlot unto the Lord. I use such strong terminology to expose the true nature of the church in that region. I believe that there is indeed a tremendous destiny upon the church in Temple, but there is much work to be done in the next few years.

For those of you who prayed for me during my trip to Texas, I want to say, “Thank you!” I am so grateful for those who stood with me in prayer. Often we didn’t get home until after midnight most evening. Then in the morning I was back on my face seeking God for a fresh word to share later that night wherever we were scheduled to minister. Often during the day, especially after the success of the conference, I was encountering tremendous spiritual warfare. It was vital that others stood in the gap to pray for me as I was trying to fulfill the assignment that the Lord had entrusted to me. The intensity became so great that I had to fast in order to devote ample time to seeking God’s face and to pray on the behalf of those to whom I was going to be ministering to. God is so good.

My wife and daughter are thrilled to have me back home. Need I say anymore! I love them dearly. My wife is truly the woman of my dreams, and more! I was amazed how much my little Simone had grown in just a week. She is on the verge of teething so she is constantly trying to put something in her mouth to “chew” on. She is adorable!

Much work is on the horizons for These Bones Shall Live. I believe in my heart that we’re going to see tremendous fruit in our day—what I am aiming for is to see a 3rd Great Awakening in our land. This is why we are launching The Circuit Riders this year, which will be a network of emerging evangelists, prophets, revivalists, and the like, who will proclaim the gospel with much authority and power. We are in desperate need of men and women who BURN with HOLINESS to proclaim an unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ. Initially these modern day circuit riders will be unleashed here in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC to preach on college campuses, pubs, bars, sporting events, tent meetings, public schools, marketplaces, Starbucks, locations where prostitutes loom, and possibly even a few churches.

I refuse to allow things to continue as they are. I refuse to turn a deaf ear to a lost and dying world that is being swallowed up by a decaying culture that is warped. I refuse to stand idle while others perish. This is the hour to seek the face of God like never before!

Well, I better go now so that I can spend time with the Lord before retiring for the night.

For the Cause,

Brian Francis Hume

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Texas Trip!

Greetings from Temple, Texas! It has been the most amazing trip thus far. I took off from Richmond before the crack of dawn (March 13) and I’ve been on the go since. Once I arrived in Texas, I found out that the opening speaker, Will Ford, for Embracing God’s Glory conference was unable to make it due to a bout with the flu. Instead Draper Smith and myself ended up prophesying over people that night after a phenomenal worship led by Beth Hislop. Beth is an extremely anointed worship leader from Fredericksburg, Virginia. Her love for Jesus proved to be a key component of the breakthrough that we experienced on Friday and Saturday.

I was scheduled to minister Saturday night and the Lord gave me much grace to minister from His heart. During the worship the Father permitted me to feel His heart for the people in attendance. I felt the absolute pain of God’s heart for anyone there at the conference who failed to walk in ALL that God had ordained for their lives. God broke me. All afternoon and evening prior to the service I had been crying out to the Lord for His heart-yet I felt nothing. I was a little nervous prior to the meeting due to the fact that I didn’t sense anything really burning in my heart. “What is going on here?” I thought to myself, “How can I possibly preach if I don’t feel a sense of passion about it?”

Well, the MOMENT worship started that service, the glory of the Lord came upon me. I could hardly stand; and I broke when God graciously revealed His heart because I had been praying all day for the people at the conference. God gave me a strong unction of His Spirit to preach with much authority and power. I went after the root of shame, selfishness, lust, and pornography. I didn’t hold back. Once I concluded the message, God met those who responded in a powerful way! The front was flooded with many who were either in a desperate, broken place or those who responded to the kairos emergence that they felt was near. Something that night SHIFTED at the conference. Thursday night was very difficult. The grounds needed some major plowing. Through continual intercession, extravagant worship, anointed proclamation of the Word, and precise prophetic ministry, we were able to see breakthrough Friday night. God’s Presence was so tangible. Then Saturday morning I was to speak at 10:00, but we didn’t end until 2:00. God came down and ministered to the hearts in attendance. I spoke on Cultivating the Inner Fortitude of Christlikeness and afterwards the Lord then had me prophesy over the people.

During the message, the Holy Spirit suddenly directed me to declare, “The King of glory is coming to Austin, the King of Glory is coming to Austin, the King of Glory is coming to Austin.” Each time I declared it, it came forth with greater authority. It was a prophetic declaration that was from the very heart of God. There were two women from Austin in attendance who were touched by this word and have gone back to Austin to share this with other ministries in Austin. I ministered Monday night in Austin and when I fly out on Thursday, I am planning to proclaim a message in the very heart of Austin concerning the apostolic function of restoring God’s glory to the church of Austin. Please pray for me in this regards. I’m praying and fasting now in order to fully hear God’s heart because it is obvious that Austin is on God’s heart in this hour.

Also I will be ministering Tuesday (Waco) and Wednesday (Temple) night. Please stand with me that I may deliver God’s word in authority and power. This past Sunday I ministered at a local congregation here and God made it very clear to me to go after the adulterous spirit that was in the church in this region. At the end I was able to minister to a number of people who were broken over this sin in their lives. God met them in a powerful way. Thank you Jesus!
I need to get going here to pray and seek God for what God desires to do. PLEASE stand with me in prayer for the remainder of my trip.

Broken to Change the World,

Brian Francis Hume

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Great Quote

The pattern for leadership in the years ahead is simple: leaders must be individuals whose burning passion is conformity to Jesus Christ. Is this not becoming the very passion of your heart, to possess the likeness of Christ? The issue with our churches is not merely one procedure over another; the issue is, will we become a people who are seeking hard after Christ?
Francis Frangipane, author and pastor

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Habits of Life or Destruction

Last weekend at the Awaken the Dawn conference, I conducted a workshop for men who were seeking to find victory in the area of lust, pornography and shame. It is my desire and prayer that my testimony may offer a glimpse of hope that could serve as a catalyst to bring about change in the lives of men reading this blog and beyond. Please prayerfully consider forwarding this link to men that you know so that they may be encouraged in their battle against sensuality, lust and perversion. This blog posting illustrates the necessity of taking our thoughts captive before they have the ability to become engrained habits that ultimately determine our destiny.

After sharing my testimony at a meeting for men, I encountered a broken man. This man was profusely weeping as he shared with me his struggles—I was the first person he had EVER shared this with after 15 years of losing this perpetual battle. My story gave him hope for the first time ever. As I heard this man’s brokenness, I silently said to myself, “It was worth the hell I went through to have victory in this area of my life, even if it was just for this one person to have hope again.” I’m well aware that there are many more men out there like this person, struggling within a silent prison—I want my story to be a means of hope for others who are struggling with these issues. Who do you know that needs to read this story today?

Habits of Life or Destruction

Is it plausible to suggest that the fulfillment of the calling upon your life is determined by the habits that you form? Habits are more powerful in determining long-term success and impact than simply our perceived intentions or motivations. Many have desired to change the world—yet few have done so in a manner that they intended to. Why is this so? One possibility: They didn’t have the necessary inner fortitude to bring about the God-ideal future into reality. Godly habits beget desirable outcomes that are in alignment with heaven’s will for our lives.

In fact I would venture to say that each single person changes the world based on their habits, whether they realize it or not. We all have habits. As the old cliché asserts, we are creatures of habit. However the question remains: Are my habits life-giving (reinforcing my God-ideal future) or are they impeding my desired long-term outcomes? Bad habits (i.e., elevating self at the expense of others, lusting in your heart, lying, negative self-talk, procrastination, laziness, etc.) will impede and undermine all that the Lord desires to do in us and through us. The world is changed for the better or for the worse as a result of the habits that we formulate—hence, the need for Spirit-inspired habits in our lives is paramount.

How do you define habit? Here is my working definition-in-progress: What you do consistently day-in and day-out that reveals and determines who you really are. I’m sure many of you have read the following that has proven to be so true in the course of history:

Your thoughts influences your choices; your choices will determine your actions; your actions will become your habits; your habits develop your character; and your character will determine your destiny.

Note the progression: Thought life-Choice-Actions-Habits-Character-Destiny. Furthermore, it can be rephrased: "Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” This is in alignment with the biblical principle of sowing and reaping.

There isn’t anything more devastating than a believer who has become passive and apathetic in the pursuit of the Lord. Often those ensnared in the vice of lust and pornography have become lethargic in addressing the call to holiness in their lives. I can attest to this from past personal experience. Think about it. It starts as a thought not to take action within a given context such as a quick glance (seemingly innocent) at a magazine rack or a commercial during a football game. Or possibly a double take when an attractive woman walks by at the mall or in the hallway. Or it could be an "innocent" click on a Foxnews "news" article concerning a celebrity. No harm done. Nobody even noticed.

Meanwhile the thought life is suddenly experiencing a barrage of enticing thoughts—it seems so harmless, just a quick, passing flashback about an immoral past experience. Over time you find yourself consistently drawn to scantily dressed women on the Internet. It seems that images easily trigger an adrenaline rush that is quite intoxicating. You feel so alive. Upon the completion of the lust binge, you quickly “repent” afterwards with much worldly sorrow, but fail to take measures to address the sin issue. Soon you are repeating the very thing that you vowed not to do again.

Disillusionment kicks in.

Shame becomes a constant companion as passivity reigns supreme. On “good days” you manage not to indulge in your secret habit—however, the constraint was aided by a desire not to be overwhelmed by shame. Callousness of the heart is evident. Ability to empathize with those hurting is compromised because the soul is bitter, numb, and passive. What was once something that you thought you had “under control” is now a habit that has taken on a life of its own—it now controls you.

In time your character is defiled. Lust abounds. Although suppressed when appropriate, your inwards rage all the more for the illicit, forbidden fruit of lust. When you do partake of it, it seems to temporarily relieve you of your misery—a moment of bliss—only to quickly abandon you when the time has passed. Lust is never satisfied—lust breeds more lust. The past echo of momentary pleasure rings hollow, exposing the shallowness of one’s vain pursuits—yet the pain of death never seems to subside. Again, you find yourself confined to hell on earth.

Interestingly, sleeping giants slumber within, awakened when confronted. The inner rage is at full tilt, tipping at the point when responsibility is demanded of the passive man. Without fail, passivity comes alive with a vengeance when confronted with the truth of the man’s sin. The hidden shroud of self-pity is fully exposed, thus it seeks to take shelter under the guise of a tongue lashing that spews venom. Now the destiny of the man is looming towards destruction.

However, it doesn’t have to end in a destiny forfeited. What was once deemed as impossible (a life of integrity and purity) can become a reality through the redeeming work of Christ. Hence, one must count the cost to determine if they are willing to pay the price for restoration, freedom, self-control, and character—namely, the inner fortitude of Christlikeness.

It is a process. It is grueling. It is painstakingly slow.

Foul thoughts constantly bombard the mind. Fantasies swirl uninhibited, bemusing its captivating strength to allure the downtrodden. The seemingly forsakened man trudges along in spite of the constant feeling of no hope. Over time thoughts are increasingly taken captive—slowly but steadily—as the soul in anguish cries out to God, "God have mercy on me!"

Despair and desperation lock head on—desperation in the grace of God prevails. The prayer of the subdued changes. No longer is the prayer to remove the temptation—rather, it is something of this effect, “Strengthen me to overcome the temptation!

Hell stands still.

No longer is the man passive, seeking the easy way out—instead, he has chosen to ask the Lord to give him what delights His heart: A life that possesses the inner fortitude of Christlikeness. It is a process to be conformed to the image of Christ. Inner strength begins to grow as thoughts are consistently taken captive. Slowly the desires of the heart began to reflect God’s desires. Albeit the change is the occasional stumbling, however, the righteous man is quick to get up with godly sorrow that brings about a heart of repentance. It is a stumbling forward facedown before the Cross.

It is a broken man, pliable in the hands of the Almighty.

Truly it is a confrontation of colossal proportions: broken, weak man in the strength of the Spirit of God confronts the giants that once loomed large in his life. The man who trembles before the Word of the Lord becomes the conduit in which all of hell trembles. The process of trembling is the very process of the Word becoming Incarnate in the man's life. The once passive man becomes a champion for the Cause of Christ, slaying the giants of perversion, lust, and self-centeredness that dominates the cultural landscape.

The image of the forbidden that once seared the conscience is now replaced by the image of Christ in the man. Shame has turned to delight; mourning has become joy; selfishness; and lust has been trumped by the love of God.

Choice after choice, day in and day out, begins to formulate the bedrock of humility, hope, faith, holiness, gentleness, and the like—it is the emergence of the image of Christ fully demonstrated in a weak, trembling man. It is the broken man who is able to overcome the temptations of the flesh because faith, hope, and love overcame him. Brokenness wrought forth in the once passive man reveals a stunning display of the triumphant God-man, Christ Jesus—“Christ in you the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)

My Closing Throughts

Today is the day to start moving towards this place of restoration. Don't be like the man that I heard about today. At the age of 89 years old, he was on his deathbed in the hospital. A young friendly, caring nurse attended to his needs to ensure that this man could die with a measure of dignity. Sadly, this man boasted to his family that this woman was flirting with him because she desired him sexually. Huh? He erroneously mistaken the actions of a gentle, kind nurse as some indicator of sexual attraction. This was a man who had given his life to a constant intake of pornography. Don't allow pornography to take you to your deathbed with a hellish grip on your life. May it be said that you lived well (i.e., set apart, consecrated, holy, pure, righteous) so that you may die well. Don't waste your life. Repent now and do what it takes to walk in victory over this sin.

For the Cause,

Brian Francis Hume

Here are two other articles I wrote on this subject that might be of interest to you.

Produce the Fruit of Purity

Is Lust Nullifying Your Voice?