Cultivating a Vibrant Spirit

What vision stimulates your heart as you follow Jesus? What do you hope your life will look like a year from now? How about ten years from now? Do you hunger for signs & wonders? Prophetic anointing? Wisdom? Boldness, favor and zeal to proclaim the gospel? A richer expression of the love and character of Jesus? This teaching is about responding to the Holy Spirit’s invitation to look deeper and higher within His beautiful, burning heart: to see and understand the high vision that He has for the people of God in this hour of history.

Living with a vibrant spirit is God’s vision & passionate desire for every believer.
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing to declare that the Lord is upright. (Psalm 92:12-15)

The Hebrew for flourish is Dash’na’immeaning: “vigorous ones”, or “illuminated ones”. The OldTestament also uses the word when referring to stalwart warriors. God is saying, The right order for all those who believe is for them to grow up vigorous and vibrant in spirit.
• they shall flourish
• they shall be planted
• they shall still bear fruit in old age
• they shall be fresh and flourishing
• they shall declare that the Lord is upright and faithful

Those that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our GodThis doesn’t mean that the person is always in the building or organization of a House of Prayer. It speaks of the reality that’s cultivated in the courts of intimate fellowship with the Lord. Vitality needs to be thoroughly enculturated with physicality and intentionality now so that the person can return to the secret courts of the Lord within their own heart perpetually and immediately.

“in old age” speaks of an undimmed spirit through the entirety of one’s life, regardless of the intensity of the season; presumably even within those who are present when the Lord returns. In a great and terrible day, the dash’na’im shall declare that the Lord is upright and there is no injustice in what He does.

Jesus, the true Light Who enlightens every man (John 1:9) encourages each believer: “You have the capacity to be filled and wholly enlightened by My vibrancy and vitality.” 
If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light. (Luke 11:36)
The path (or the way) of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day. (Proverbs 4:18) [NASB]
Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament. And those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:3)And the glory which You gave Me I have given them… (John 17:22)

To cultivate a brilliant spirit is to mature in our Christ-likeness. Jesus is the most alive and glory-filled person in the world. To become more and more like Him is to become more and more vibrant.
We all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. (Romans 8:29)
that we… may grow up in all aspects into Him Who is the head – Christ. (Ephesians 4:15)

The invitation to cultivate a vibrant spirit is the companion invitation to cultivating wholeheartedness. As we increasingly love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30) our spirit will become illuminated by the One Whom we love.

A vibrant spirit is living with a heart that is fully and eternally alive; the condition in which we are allowing the seven longings of our heart to be wholly satisfied by Jesus and His righteousness. (See

The purification of our spirit is us taking personal responsibility for the bride making herself ready (Revelation 19:7) It is also the dynamic process that Paul is speaking of in (Ephesians 5:27) when he describes a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemishIt is also cultivating the illuminated witness that Jesus saw in John the Baptist when He declared: He was the burning and shining lamp, (who was full of) light. (John 5:35)

Living with a vibrant spirit is our consummate destiny.
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (1 John 3:2,3)
We were built for righteousness! It’s deceit to believe that believers will find any true satisfaction apart from living in righteousness. RIGHTEOUSNESS is how heaven spells FULFILLMENT of the desires we’ve been hard-wired with, and the purposes for which we’ve been created.

Confusion: An honest lack of understanding about what a vibrant spirit is, how vibrant we can be in this age, what we may do to cultivate it – and that we don’t have all day to cultivate it. The western church’s standard is not for vibrancy; but for status quo. The enemy is bent on corrupting individuals, communities and generations.

Compromise: Once the way has been discerned, many still fail to Count the Cost simply because the way requires so great a sacrifice of the consolations, values & applause of this world. Believers face great temptation to become apathetic and unassertive; to withdraw from spiritual violence, andto draw back from spiritual zeal. We easily lose a sense of urgency; for God’s ideal for ourselves; our families, and our communities.

Comparison: It’s the “norm” to pattern our spiritual vibrancy after the relative vibrancy of those around us rather than on the eternal vibrancy of Jesus. Resist the deception of living according to the curve, knowing that all will be tested according to His glory and righteousness; the Absolute.
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:3)

They have corrupted themselves. They are not His children… they are a crooked and perverse generation. (Deuteronomy 32:5) [This comes not as an indictment of a present-tense circumstance, but as a prophecy.]
Put off your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.  (Ephesians 4:22)
…that you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the worldthrough lust. (2 Peter 1:4) the unjust… promise liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome,by him also he is brought into bondage. (2 Peter 2:9,19)
Those individuals and families who do not set themselves on a path to cultivate the vibrant spirit will make themselves vulnerable to the corrupting power of the great end-times onslaught of immorality. (Revelation 19:2)

It’s so critical that we close the doors to the alternatives which so easily ensnare us (Hebrews 12:1) and help others do the same: a.) perpetually filling our MIND with God’s understanding of how vibrant a spirit can be in this age, b.) settling the issues of compromise and committing our HEARTS to pursue an increasingly vibrant spirit for decades, c.) establishing a steady vision, of one thing (Psalm 27:4) gazing into the brilliance of His image; fixing our EYES on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (the attitude that empowers us as we pursue that vibrant spirit). (Hebrews 12:2)

We need to know, and be daily attentive to the condition of our personal, spiritual vitality. Our spirits do not automatically move from dullness to brilliance. A soul that does not diligently attend to it’s vitality will soon find itself in a lackluster condition.
For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed… (Matthew 13:15)
all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5)

We need to establish a determined will to not live with a dim spirit. It’s not safe to live with a dim spirit in this age. It’s dangerous to be a believer and walk with a dull spirit. It’s impossible for a forerunner. In Joel 1 and the book of Lamentations God describes the fearful and degenerate state of a people who allowed their spirits to grow more and more dull, barren and corrupted.

We need to understand what makes for a dull spirit. If we are determined to have a vibrant spirit, we will pay attention to the creeping deceit of those symptoms and attributes that cause hearts to grow cold and spirits to grow dim. Here are several questions to help us remain sensitive to our vibrancy:
1. How may I be despising the Lord or the Word of the Lord?
2. Where am I operating in self-sufficiency?
3. Where am I exalting my self?
4. How am I allowing my mind to be debased, or earth-bound in it’s thinking?
5. Where is my heart growing cold, lethargic and/or apathetic toward Jesus?
6. Where am I tolerating an identity built on self-evaluation rather than God-evaluation?
7. Where am I pursuing faithless, self-satisfaction?
8. In what way(s) am I excusing myself from having the cross being applied to my life?
9. Where can I not break free from sin; and where am I in bondage and addiction to sin?
10. Where am I forcing my own way?
11. What are the self-deprecating thoughts that nag my thinking?
12. Where has my spirit entertained and given in to fear and phobic thinking?
13. Where is my love for Jesus growing cold?
14. How am I withdrawing from experiences of intercession and prayer with God?
15. Where have I let timidity rule my heart instead of bold love for Jesus?
16. Where are my thoughts about God becoming stale, small and narrow?
17. Where am I harboring fear, suspicion and anger?
18. Where am I growing content in remaining insensitive toward God’s Spirit?
19. Where are my investments of faith in God becoming weak, bland and meager?
20. Where am I turning a blind eye to compromise with the Word of God?

How do we guard against the stealthy creep of stagnation in our spirits? The first step is to ask God for grace to remain attentive to our condition. Then we may pay attention to some common symptoms that accompany an increasingly dull spirit. Here are seven:
1. A loss of hunger for the “Word of God”
2. A waning sense of wonder and awe regarding the person of God Himself
3. An increasing numbness in the act of worship, whereby the holy and the glorious is treated as common  
4. A gnawing desire for isolation; from other believers and from being honest and authentic before God
5. Prayerlessness – a lack of intimate conversation
6. A persistent attitude that emotionally questions the wisdom of taking Him at His Word and faithfullyinvesting in His Kingdom
7. A wretched loss of longing, affection for & enjoyment of the person of Jesus.

Which of these symptoms threaten to short-circuit the vibrancy of your spirit today? Keep in mind, that one symptom will infect and affect the other aspects of our heart. One dimension of a diminished spirit, if left untreated will inevitably dim the others. It is essential that we vigilantly tend to the issues that dull our spirit. Each of us need the illumination of the Spirit to accurately discern the condition of our own spirit. “The heart is deceitful above all things , And desperately wicked; Who can know it? (Jer. 17:9) How the gold has become dim!” (Lamentations 4:1) We also need/want a spirit of humility & brokenness in order to receive and respond to His revelation of the condition of our spirit. We want the Spirit’s illumination to prove beneficial and fruitful. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)

The believers of Sardis had developed a reputation of having a vibrant spirit and an alive heart, but they were living in a deceived state. Their brilliance was pretense and image. It was not rooted in eternal reality. It was profound kindness for Jesus to pierce their illusion and set their record straight.
I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. (Revelation 3:1)

Here are four things that a vibrant spirit is not!
1. A vibrant spirit is not a flamboyant personality.
2. It is not a lifestyle of spectacular sensational stories and adventures.
3. It is not mere fiery, alarmist or holiness verbiage.
4. A vibrant spirit is more than heightened human intelligence, ingenuity, creativity, cleverness or wisdom

Below are fifteen qualities of vibrant righteousness that reside within a heart that is alive, in love & responsive to the tangible, present reign of our Lord, Jesus. What other marks of vibrant righteousness would your add to this list?
1. A heart and mind that is tenderized with AWE over the WONDER of Who God is.
The Lord is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, who dwells on high, Who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth? (Psalm 113:4-6) Let the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. (Psalm 33:8)

2. Exhilaration at SEEING GOD being ENJOYED, HONORED & His glory being ACCLAIMED on earth. This characteristic is actually a supernatural quality of agape love:
love rejoices in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6)
All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, and Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, and talk of Your power, to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom. (Psalm 145:10,11,12)

3. A consuming zeal to SHARE GOD’S yearning, weeping, burning HEART-VISION for His people
Zeal for your house has consumed me (Psalm 69:9) also (John 2:17)
What was it that both David and Jesus were zealous for? It wasn’t merely that blocks would be set on top of each other and there would be a building where God could be worshipped. Zeal for the House of God was a yearning, weeping passion for the people of God to be filled with the spirit of intimate prayer and worship. Who will see – who will understand and who will share God’s zeal for His people to be His House of Prayer? It’s also to weep with Jesus while He is outside of the temple; and outside of Jerusalem. (Luke 13:34)

4. A holy FEAR, REVERENCE and DREAD at HIS otherness
Moses was a man who knew close intimacy and friendship with the uncreated God. And yet, as he engaged God Moses himself was so frightened by the Being he encountered that he said, I am terrified and trembling. (Hebrews 12:21) Should we imagine that engaging His reality should produce less dread in our own lives? How does a created, limited, faulty, weak being stand before the eternally perfect, uncreated, all-powerful God Who fills 300 billion galaxies?
Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm signal on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land shake with fear, for the day of the Lord is about to come. Indeed, it is near! (Joel 2:1)
Tremble, O earth, before the Lord – before the God of Jacob (Psalm 114:7)

Jesus Himself asserts that the greatest joy a man or woman can know is to keep and obey the commandments of the Father. This is not our nature. We must cultivate a responsive heart in cooperation with the work of the Spirit in our lives. As we grow in our responsiveness, we will experience greater and greater measures of deep joy. This is the promise of living wholehearted in righteousness.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:10-11)
Your obedience is known to all and thus I rejoice over you. (Romans 16:19)

6. We need the body (safe, significant brothers and sisters in our life) who will love us enough to help us deal honestly with these enemies of our spirit – in a spirit of grace and celebration.
Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ. (Eph. 4:15)

7. A HUNGER to receive, understand and be shaped by the WORD of GODYour words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16) (1 Thessalonians 1:6; Luke 19:6; Mark 4:16; 2 Peter 1:17) This is a multifaceted craving to experience the power of the Word of God, so that it accomplishes all that God means for it to accomplish within our lives. It’ an increasing desire and compulsion for the Word of God to forge us and shape every aspect of our lives: our heart, our will, our reputation, our dreams, our standard of living and our thinking.
Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things from your law… My soul is crushed with longing for Your judgments at all times. (Psalm 119:18, 20)

This is the gloriously preeminent objective of our relationship with God. The work of the cross, and the power of the Word under the loving leadership of the Holy Spirit is designed to bring us into vibrant Christ-likeness.
And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, let us also bear the image of the Man of heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:49) As the believer yields to the (John 3:30) lifestyle, the Holy Spirit uses every life situation we encounter for
the good 
of being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.
We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. (Romans 8:28, 29)

One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. 
(Psalm 27:4)
The burning desire of the man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) was to be in constant communion with God. David cultivated a vision of deep intimacy with God and became a picture of a spirit that is fully alive to the human pursuit of intimacy with God. The very mature apostle Paul expressed his own zeal for communion
with God in Philippians 3:10 when he cried: “I must know Him!”

Cultivating the priority of increasing in your love for God through all circumstances is the one dynamic that will cause your walk with God to grow deeper, and more brilliant, and more powerful than any other relational dynamic in the Kingdom. Love Him, beloved! He is worthy of great love. Jesus lists this as the first and greatest commandment. More than anything else, our God esteems and favors great love in the human heart.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. (Mark 12:30)

11. A spirit of HUMILITY and MEEKNESS
In Philippians 2 Paul begins by speaking of Jesus’ astounding humility He humbled Himself… and ends with the mind-bending fact: and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Revelations of the eternal God operating in meekness and servility stir our hearts with a sense of awe and clothes us with incarnational strength to be like our Lord, Jesus.
But it is impossible for this quality to be developed by some internal human desire. Humility is the oil that arises in our spirit as we obey Matthew 16:24 If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take
up his cross, and follow Me. 
The fountainhead of all humility is rooted in the crucified life, which is the foundational posture we embrace in our covenant with Christ.
You have died, and your life is now, hidden in Christ. (Colossians 3:3)
Increasing love, increasing humility, selflessness and death: These qualities cause us to grow in grace and the beauty of the things of God.

12. An escalating APPRECIATION for the MERCY and GRACE of GOD
Oh, you that have passed from death to life, you have reason indeed to be thankful! Remember what you once were by nature—dead. Think what you are now by grace—alive. Look at the dry bones thrown up from the graves. Such were you; and who has made you to differ? Go and fall low before the footstool of your God. Bless Him for His grace, His free distinguishing grace. Say to Him often, “Who am I, Lord, that you have brought me to this time? Why me? Why have you been merciful towards me?” – J.C. Ryle
The more we see the wickedness of our own heart, the pernicious curse of this world, the horror of hell, Jesus’ astounding cost for our atonement, the inheritance of His Kingdom, and length of eternity, the more and more grateful we should be.
“Every day my conscience makes confession relying on the hope of Your mercy as more to be trusted than my own innocence.” – Augustine of Hippo, Confessions (397 A.D.)

This is an uncommon work of faith that increases all the more as a believer acts upon the Word of God. As we increasingly invest our lives, values, wealth, energy, creativity and dreams in Who He says He is, what He wants to do and how He wants to do it our brilliance grows in goodness, confidence and peace.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Mat. 6:33) An abiding, LOVING COMMUNION with the SAINTS and the household of God It is inconceivable that we should be filled with the love of the Father and not also have love for His children. Patient love for the church is essential if one is to walk with a vibrant spirit. This love is a reflection of the Father’s agape heart and it’s a witness of the reconciling power of the Father to bring such disparate sons and daughters together under the reign of His Son.
So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith. 
(Galatians 6:10)
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. 
(John 13:35)

14. A passion to participate in JESUS’ active COMPASSION for the poor & the lost.
Everyday – all day, the Lord’s mission statement is to redeem humanity. His heart for the lost is a yearning urgency that extends, reaches, gives and provides a refuge to all in need of being rescued from the curse of sin.
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15)
When Jesus saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. (Matthew 9:35-38)

15. A ZEAL to see JESUS ENTHRONED and EMBRACED by every person, and in every sphere of our society. When we know the perfect goodness of the Lord’s ability to lead and we know the depth of the need of humanity it’s good and right that we should pray for, and yearn for every aspect of our world (families, individuals, governments and the arts) to embrace His life-fulfilling leadership.
The Lord rules forever. He rules in a just manner…Sing praises to the Lord, the One Who rules from Zion. Tell the nations what He has done! (Psalm 9:7 & 11)
You, O Lord, are enthroned forever. The fame of Your Name and Your glory endures forever. (Psalm 102:12)

1. It PROTECTS US in the Day of the LORD.
It’s wise for us to cultivate vibrant spirits before the hour of crisis. The virgins who took extra oil in their lamps had hearts and lives that were prepared to “enter into” God’s suddenly
…the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps… and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 
(Matthew 25:4, 10) 
Those who live with a dim spirit will be easily enchanted by the great deceptions to come in this life. Vibrant righteousness is the “end-times defense” against hearts that grow cold (Matt. 24:12) and a stable refuge in
the day of delusion. The name of the Lord is like a strong tower; the righteous person runs to it and is set safely on high. (Proverbs 18:10).

2. A Vibrant Spirit MAGNIFIES GOD
The illumination of the human person (emotions, sensitivity, intelligence, relational abilities, heart attitude, etc.) through the magnification of the indwelling Holy Spirit is the most worshipful & honorable expression of our humanity unto God. It magnifies the grand extent of God’s plan to reach, redeem, elevate and beautify sinful and weak creatures.
Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all day long, and IN YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS THEY ARE EXALTED for You are the glory of their strength (Lit. Hebrew = for the splendor of their strength is You) and in Your favor our horn is exalted. (Psalm 89:15-17)

3. Vibrant Righteousness is the MOST EXHILARATING WAY TO LIVE
It is the most stimulating & fulfilling way to live. “The biblical view of happiness is not based on circumstances but having a vibrant spirit in the midst of any circumstance.” Mike Bickle 
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart. (Proverbs 15:30)
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. (Psalm 19:8)
“As our soul awakens to the holy love of God through spiritual pleasure and fascination, we are empowered to set our heart to love and obey God with all our heart. When we set our hearts to live in 100 % obedience, our emotions are significantly and our heart is spiritually vibrant.” – Mike Bickle

4. Vibrant Christ-likeness is a RADIANT WITNESS in this hour
Living with a brilliant spirit is the most certain, convincing and thorough witness to the transforming power of Jesus Christ. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Cultivating a vibrant spirit will help us make the most of God’s grace as He daily dispenses it; month by month and year by decade. Every effort to engender vibrant spirits will be profoundly rewarding, both now, when the Spirit magnifies His activity within this age (revival), and in the age to come, when every cup of cold water  (Matthew 10:42) will be seen and appreciated according to Jesus’ estimation.

Regardless of how bright or dim we are, God is phenomenally committed to overcoming our dimness with increasing measures of righteousness and vibrancy. The Holy Spirit is the relentless opposition to everything that threatens my heart from being fiery and vibrant.
The crushed stem will not be broken by him; and the feebly burning light will he not put out, TILL HE HAS MADE RIGHTEOUSNESS OVERCOME ALL. [BBE] (Matt. 12:20)
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. (2 Thessalonians 5:23,24)

The Holy Spirit longs and groans for my spirit to become vibrant and fully alive. He is jealous for vitality and holiness to be firmly established in my life because His first name is “HOLY” – and wherever He is, He cannot be anything “less”. If I want Him in my life, I am giving Him authority to bring my unholy, unvibrant self into submission to His beautiful holiness (Psalm 110:3). The Holy Spirit has unwavering, 24-7 zeal to accomplish this within me! (Halleluia!)

The Holy Spirit has grace for weak, and dim believers to successfully undergo the process of transformation into vibrant Christlikeness. Though our capacity to become vibrant is weak, His capacity to not break our frame and cause us to become bright and shining lamps (John 5:35) is perfect.

He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My STRENGTH is made PERFECT in WEAKNESS. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

JSB • October, 2016


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