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Apostolic Insight


The Apostolic Heart as written by Casey Lawrence Downing

     "Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked;  a night and a day I have been in the deep;  in journeys often, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness - besides other things, what comes upon me daily:  my deep concern for all the churches."


             Paul the Apostle -- 2 Corinthians 11:25-28


     There is something that God has put into every man, woman, and child -- something that most never come near to obtaining, a prize worth fighting for, a jewel worth selling all to have.  Occasionally, in all of us, it shows up in unexpected ways.  You can see it in a mother's eyes as she holds her newborn baby or in a father's grip as he embraces his son or daughter.  Suddenly, showing up in the dreadful news of a parent or child with a terminal disease, it expresses itself with fervency and determination, with compassion and commitment, like Samson's drive at his final victory conveying a necessity for the overcomer sounding something like:   "Lord, if I have to die, so be it, but I want to see all your enemies fall!  Whatever I have to do, Lord, just spare my child's life!  Father, take me instead!"  It is that which causes all of us, if for only a moment or a season, to put someone else's life above our own, to put aside our own agendas, and to put another first!  It is the essential ingredient for every good parent, minister, leader, and citizen.  It is the apostolic heart.


    Many of our leaders today, inside and outside the Church, are motivated by their own vision of the corporate ladder of wealth, fame, and power.  While there is nothing wrong with wealth and fame if handled appropriately, many are using these things for their own glory rather than God's.  While there is nothing wrong with power if handled appropriately, many are using it to build their own kingdoms rather than God's.  After all, God is able to give us the power to make wealth.  He can choose to give us fame for the dispersing of His glory.  His power is an incredible tool to be used for the destruction of His enemies.  However, many are in positions, not because God put them there, but man.  While all authority comes from God, some are in positions that look like authority, disguised by titles, words, looks and charisma.  Though there is nothing wrong with titles, words, looks, and charisma, there must be character to make those things effective tools for God's Kingdom.  Charisma without character kills while character with charisma heals.  Real authority will be backed up with a spirit of humility.  A person who walks in the real authority of God will not have to say they have authority, but rather radiate it with a Godly confidence, a broken spirit, a contrite heart, yet with a joy and peace that passes all understanding.  Others will know that they know their God, and those that know their God will do mighty exploits.  Therefore, not everyone and everything that calls itself authoritative and authority is.  Test the spirits to see if they be true.  The only way to know for sure is to know them as Jesus said to.  You must know them by their fruit.  Is the fruit of the Spirit living, residing, and expressing its flavors through the person's life?


     What is the apostolic heart?  It is the character of God that only comes about through much suffering, dying to self, staying absorbed in the presence of God, and realizing it is He Who lives in us, and apart from Him, we are nothing.  It sounds so simple, but living it can be tough.  So much of what we see and hear through the media and the Church is nothing more than self-absorbance.  We have enough self-help books, motivational tapes, and biblical diets to sink a ship. You may ask, what's the problem with those things?  There is nothing wrong with those things if they point towards, concentrate upon, worship and acknowledge the crucified, dead and buried, then resurrected,  presently residing at the right hand side of the Father, and to come back again  Jesus Christ, the only answer to every problem we will ever face.  Unfortunately, many of these types of books, tapes, diets, and other items out there are focused on what will never help us in a permanent way.  Many of these things are focused on us, and not on Him, on the flesh, and not on the Spirit. There is coming a day when those that worship Him will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth as Jesus told the Samaritan woman.  It is the day of reckoning -- a day when every demonic force is going to be trembling at the sound coming from His spotless Bride.  Paul speaks of a gathering together in the dispensation of the fullness of the times in the book of Ephesians.  I believe that dispensation is to occur before the second coming of Jesus Christ, a gathering together of all things in Christ.  In other words, every anointing, every move of the Spirit, everything that has been in Christ since the beginning of creation -- from the first prophetic word spoken from God to man in the Garden of Eden to the wisdom of Solomon, from the beauty of Esther to the sword of Gideon, from the stone of David that slayed a giant named Goliath that was spewing out satanic threats and mockery against the One True Religion of that hour that dared to say,  "There is only One God!," to the staff of Moses -- will be gathered together with fullness in visitation upon one generation, Generation Christ!  David dared to be the mouthpiece for an entire nation of people.  David dared to take on an enemy that others were afraid of.  David had an understanding of the hour he was living in.  He understood that the stone was not what would kill Goliath, but a revelation of the One True God of Israel.  Like the time David lived in, we have the same opportunity to rise to the occasion, to understand that God gives us a Rock, and that Rock is a revelation of Who He is in us, and when we get a revelation of Who He is in us, Satan is already defeated even before we go into battle, because His presence has already preceded our person.  How does one acquire that type of revelation?  Most were too afraid to face Goliath.  Why?  The reasons are simple.  These reasons are the same today as they were then. They were more concerned with their own lives rather than the desecration of God's Holy name, and disbelief.  Our faith in God must not just be worth living for, but worth dying for as well.  There is such a thing as Holy Jealousy...


P.S.  With all of my heart, I love you Body of Christ!


In His Love and Sincerity


Casey Lawrence Downing

Copyright, Casey's Music, Inc., @May 30, 2008