Change the Channel

Change the Channel

by Steve Backlund

 

Radios are incredible machines – they have the ability to tune into communication that is already in the atmosphere. Right now, all around us, are radio transmissions we can’t hear unless we have the right equipment and tune into the right station. This is true both spiritually and physically – we are all tuned into something in the spiritual realm, similar to a radio wave or channel.

Frequently, many of us accidentally tune into the wrong channels in the spirit, like:

  • “The accuser of the brethren” channel

  • “You are who your past says you are” channel

  • “Don’t get your hopes up” pessimism channel

  • “You are a victim” channel

But God has life-giving, identity-releasing channels for you. How do we know if we are listening to the wrong channel? We can check ourselves with a quick hope self-test. If what we are listening to doesn’t give us hope for ourselves, for others, for our nation, or for our circumstances, then we are listening to the wrong channel.

Also, if our interpretation of Scripture doesn’t give us hope, then we are listening to the wrong channel in how we interpret the Bible. For example, we can perceive the Bible from an old covenant perspective that causes us to fear punishment. We can listen to the “you’ve been disappointed” channel and our past hurts can also cause us to interpret the Bible in a flawed manner.

If we’re not interpreting Scripture with hope, we’re listening to the wrong channel.

Romans 15:13 says, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” The moment we believe truth and properly interpret the Bible we should abound in hope; it should overflow from our mouths as our first response.

It says in Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” So the more that we believe that God is faithful, the more hope-filled we will be. I’m not into positive thinking, I’m into biblical optimism.  Continuing on in Hebrews 10:24-25, it reads, “Let us consider one another and stir up love and good works, encouraging one another all the more as you see the day approaching.”We must first encourage ourselves, and be encouraged by what we are hearing. We have to make sure we’re listening to the right channel, one that stirs the desire in us to rise up and overcome.

There are so many people in the Bible that changed channels in the spirit to hear something else. Gideon was listening to the victim channel, to the “I’m stuck” channel, and the “I’ve got to protect myself” channel. But he chose to tune into something different when the angel of the Lord began speaking identity over him, calling him a “mighty man of valor.” Jacob was also listening to the wrong channel and in Genesis 32 wrestled with the angel, saying he wouldn’t let the angel go until he blessed him. This blessing was a revelation that his name, and identity, would be changed from “deceiver” (Jacob) to “Prince with God” (Israel).

Jeremiah was also given an assignment and a calling but he was listening to the “I’m only a youth” channel, so God asked him to change channels. Abraham changed channels several times, including in Genesis 17 where he received a name change from “exalted father” (Abram) to “father of many nations” (Abraham). This new name tuned Abraham into his biblical identity, not based on his past, but based on God’s promises over his life.

Are the channels you’re listening to giving you hope? If not, some channel adjustments need to be made.

Listen to these stations instead to restore your hope based on God’s truth and His perspective:

  • Your true, biblical identity

  • You are not who your past says you are

  • You are forgiven and in right-standing with God

  • God will finish what He started in you (Philippians 1:6)

  • God is going to change and grow what needs to be changed in you

  • You have a future and a hope because vision for the future gives power and purpose for the present

Today, I bless you to recognize any stations you may be tuned into that are robbing you of your true identity and God’s perspective of your life. You can do it. Tune in to that which gives you hope.


Upcoming Opportunities to Ignite Your Hope


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ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Extracting Life From Your Challenges

Extracting Life From Your Challenges

by Steve Backlund

 

In 2 Peter 1:4, it says that we have been given exceedingly great and precious promises. Through these promises, we might participate in the divine nature and a supernatural life.  One of the greatest of these promises is Romans 8:28:

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

This scripture has special meaning to all of us.  It says that whatever happens to us, whether it is a choice that we made or something out of our control, God can turn it to incredible good when we commit ourselves to His purpose.  What a blessing!  

This applies to:

...difficult childhoods

...addictive behaviors

...things that happen to us or around us

...things happening in our nation

...and many more

In general, this scripture brings hope that something good is going to happen!  What would happen if we tried "working out" this belief in life?  At Igniting Hope Ministries, we have developed what we call Beliefs Trainers.  We especially use them during our Negativity Fast and Positivity Feast, which starts on February 14, 2018, for 40 days (scroll below to learn more). 

My vision is that the world would catch a hold of the passion to work-out our beliefs and that this passion would exceed even the discipline of exercising our physical body.  Bodily exercise is so important, and our physical, emotional, and mental health definitely profit from the workouts; but what if exercising our beliefs could be even more profitable to our overall health?  What if exercising our beliefs has even more value because it also positively impacts our descendants?  

I’ve been thinking about what beliefs to work out.  We understand from physical weight-lifting, that as we push against resistance, we build muscle and increase strength.  What if the same thing holds true for our belief-systems?  Muscle is built in the spirit realm when we experience resistance against our joy, resistance against our dreams, resistance against our abundant life.  Those things in themselves have something in them.  All things work together for good.  So, what I’ve been doing is taking inventory of my emotions when I wake up in the morning.  When I find areas that I feel fear, worry, or frustration, I flip my mindset to see them as something that I can extract life from. The key is to ask, “Lord, what are you doing in me that is connected to that?”  “What can I extract out of this challenge in life or in my emotions?”

For example, what if I wake up in the morning and I feel like a failure?  Maybe I have a situation in my life that says I am failing, but the Word says that I am:

...more than a conqueror

…going to prosper in all things

…can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

By pressing against that negative feeling of failure, I have an opportunity to extract powerful good from that circumstance.  I make war with scriptural truths.  I make war with scriptural truths.  Resisting, then, actually strengthens my faith muscle.

One of the keys to successful living is to ask God these two questions:

  • What are you doing in me that is related to the frustration, fear, or negative emotion that I am having?  
  • And what truth are You building in me that is going to be so good for my future? 

Remember, there are no hopeless circumstances, there are only hopeless people.  Once people get true hope, the circumstances can’t stay the same.


Join us for 40 days of hope-infusing beliefs!


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ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

5 Reasons to Celebrate Your Progress

5 Reasons to Celebrate Your Progress

by Steve Backlund

 

Just as we celebrate a toddler who is making progress learning to walk, we are to celebrate our own progress.  With toddlers, we focus on what they are doing well, instead of dwelling on what they are not doing.  The same strategy will work well in learning to step into new areas of growth in our lives. Our gifts will get stronger.

 

Why don’t we normally celebrate progress?

1.  We might believe that if we don’t use guilt and condemnation to motivate ourselves, we might think we are okay and stop working on things.  However, these motivation tools will not have a lasting effect.

2.  We may fear that celebration would only lead to pride.  Pride doesn’t mean that you don’t think you’re great; it means that you think you are greater than other people.  But we all need to think we’re great and rise and shine for our light has come.

3.  We also might believe God is not celebrating what we are doing, so why should we? (Galatians 5)  God is celebrating that Jesus died and took our place.  Just as God celebrated Jesus on earth, He is celebrating those who believe in Jesus right now.

 

Here are five momentous reasons for celebrating progress in your life:

1.  It opens your eyes to where grace is manifesting in your life. (Philippians 1:6)   Paul is confident that He who has begun a good work in you, will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.  I don’t have faith in my ability perform well, I have faith in God’s ability to complete what He started in me and through me.

2.  It helps silence the accuser’s voice of condemnation toward you. (Revelation 12:10; Romans 8:1)  The accuser is cast down, and in Jesus, there is no more condemnation.  One of the greatest weapons the enemy has is to tell you who you are not.  As we celebrate progress in who we are, we silence the enemy.

3.  It creates momentum in your life and something to build on for the future. (Philippians 3:12-14)  When David is fighting Goliath, he rehearsed his victories and celebrated his progress – through this, he gained momentum in his life for the battle that he was facing at that moment. We can celebrate simple things like – Wow! I didn’t get angry as quickly this week at my co-worker.  Try it, and you’ll start to notice negative cycles being broken and positive growth trajectories created.

4.  It increases the joy of the Lord in your life. (Nehemiah 8:10; Proverbs 17:22) As we see the joy of grandparents watching toddlers learn to walk, we can realize the atmosphere of encouragement in which we are designed to thrive.  We need strength in the middle of the journey, not at the end.  Try encouraging yourself in the middle of the journey in your 2018 goals, and see strength build through joy.

5.  It will increase your celebration of others. (Hebrews 10:24)  Love your neighbor as you love yourself.  If we celebrate our own progress, we will celebrate the progress of others. We will notice and celebrate the good things that they are doing.  We are called to speak life and encourage others.

 

Try starting 2018 off by having a conversation with God about all of the things He is celebrating you for in 2017.  You’ll be surprised how long your list is, and how good you feel about yourself and your relationship with the Lord afterward!  


Join us for 40 Days of Spiritual Growth

Registration is now open for our 5th annual Lent Negativity Fast!


Steve 2016 2.jpg

ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

2018: 4 Things We Must Believe This Year

2018: 4 Things We Must Believe This Year

by Steve Backlund

 

What we believe is largely going to determine what we will experience. Romans 12:2 says, "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." If we only renew our minds with our experiences and our feelings, then we will most likely only repeat our experiences and emotions. With that in mind, here are something not believe this year: 

  • Things will only get worse.
  • Our prayers are not working. 
  • We are not significant. 
  • We don't have what it takes. 
  • We are a victim of what others are doing. 
  • We cannot overcome our past.
  • God has given up on us. 
  • We will not be provided for. 

The nature of faith is to believe truths and promises higher than what we are experiencing. There will never be a convenient time to do this. As we approach this year with its unique opportunities and challenges, I believe there are four crucial beliefs every overcomer needs to intentionally renew our minds with to 2018 be a year of great transformation. 

1) We Are Significant and Have a Significant Assignment – As a younger leader I prayed, "Lord, I cannot wait until I can do something great for You." In response to this, I heard, "Steve, instead of waiting to do something great, why don't you do what you are doing right now with great faith, and it will become great." This changed my life. We all are a significant part of the body of Christ, and all have a significant assignment. As we open our eyes to it and "arise and shine" in it, we will experience purpose in a great way. 

2) We Can Do It – The story of the twelve spies in Numbers 13 reveals that those who think they can, and those who think they cannot, are both right. Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." A life of faith not only believes in God but believes God in us removes all limitations off of our lives. 3) The Kingdom is Advancing All Around Us – One of the goals of the overcoming Christian is to see life through the promises of God and through the past prayers they have prayed. They focus on what God is doing rather than dwelling on what He appears to not be doing. They value testimonies of divine intervention and provision because they know it contains the spirit of prophecy for them (Revelation 19:10). And continuing to believe the kingdom is advancing all around us will cause us to see this advancement in greater ways. 

4) It's All Going to Be Okay – No matter what happens in 2018, we are going to be okay (actually better than okay). We can believe this because of promises like I Corinthians 10:13, Philippians 1:6, John 16:33, John 11:25, Isaiah 54:17, and many others. Sometimes it is good to "bottom line" things and face the worst thing that can happen. As we do, God's grace will help us remove the fear of that, and then we can build our faith from that point for the higher things that God has. 


Hear this Message on our Podcast

If you would like to hear Steve share more about this message on our podcast, click here or the button below.


Beliefs Boosters as you enter the New Year


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ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

 

4 Christmas Season Lies Not to Believe

4 Christmas Season Lies Not to Believe

by Steve Backlund

 

The Christmas season often creates an atmosphere where lies concerning relationships, our circumstances, and ourselves often sound more believable than at other times of the year. The contributing factors to this include: 

  • Busyness
  • Disappointments from the year
  • Missing family members at Christmas time
  • Being out of routine with our normal schedules
  • Uncomfortable dynamics in family gatherings
  • Financial pressures
  • Differing Christmas priorities with loved ones
  • Spiritual gas tank on empty

In I Kings 19, Elijah ended up in a cave. What he thought was true was not true, even though it felt really true. Many of the things we feel to be true are not. Like they did for Elijah, these feelings will pass. 

Remember any area without great hope in our lives is under the influence of a lie. 

There are many lies I could mention, but here are four common ones to plan to resist this holiday season:

1. Lie #1: You Are a Failure – December is a time of reflection. It is a time where unmet goals can be very real. Also as we interact in family gatherings, hear a barrage of media messages about what true success is, and feel like another year has quickly slipped away, we can move into negative comparisons that lead to feelings of being a failure. 

2. Lie #2: A Good Christmas Must Have Expensive Presents – Many of the best Christmases I have had are when we did not have money for "good presents." Many reading this can agree because it forces us to value heart connections and creativity in developing powerful memories for our families (not based on material things but on those things that are truly important).

3. Lie #3: You Are Not Good At Relationships – The holidays usually put us in contact with family members we don't normally see. This can create awkward moments and reminders of unresolved relational issues in our families. As this happens, there is often a desire to withdraw and to believe relationships are hard for you. This belief as actually a bigger problem than what is happening in relationships. As with any area of life, if we are going to change what we are experiencing, we first must change what we are believing. 

4. Lie #4: You Are Too Busy to Adore Jesus – Declare with me right now: I am going to have a great time connecting with Jesus this Christmas season. Take time to ask the Lord right now for great ideas of to spiritually connect with God and others like never before this year. 

If you want to hear more on this message, listen to my podcast here. 


More resources for Overcoming Lies


Steve 2016 2.jpg

ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

5 Ways to Become Thermostatic Instead of Being a Thermometer

5 Ways to Become Thermostatic Instead of Being a Thermometer

by Steve Backlund

 

Thermometers diagnose the temperature, while thermostats set the temperature. Influencers are "thermostatic" people who create a higher level of experience for those connected to them. Here are five things to know to activate the thermostat within you.

1. Know the faith walk is first to believe, and then to see – I used to only believe that something was true after I had experienced it through circumstances. For instance, I would not believe I was an influencer of nations until I actually saw that I was influencing nations. God told me, "That is not how this all works. You must believe to see, not see to believe." Faith is believing something is true even before we see it in our experience.

2. Know things don't immediately change when you set a new temperature on your thermostat – It would be foolish to say, "This is not working!" only thirty seconds after you set a new temperature on the thermostat. It takes time for the environment to catch up to the new setting. Likewise, our experiences will catch up to our beliefs and the waiting time is called "faith."

3. Know we cannot get our beliefs  from our feelings or our past experiences  – These are the two main ingredients of "thermostatic living": 1) We don't deny the past, but we cannot get our beliefs from it, and 2) we acknowledge the facts of what is happening, but we believe in truths that Holy Spirit guides us into about what He is doing in the situation.  These truths are actually higher than the facts of our experiences.

4. Know that what we renew our minds with today radically influences what we will experience tomorrow – Romans 12:2 says to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind."  How we renew our minds now creates future experiences. If we only renew our minds with what has happened, we will repeat what has happened. Thermostatic people intentionally meditate on and believe the promises of God even when their experiences are saying something totally different.

5. Know "life is in the power of the tongue" – Those who don't upgrade their language will have more difficulty being thermostatic. Our words are containers of life or death (Proverbs 18:21) and they become a directing force in our lives (James 3:2-5).


recommended resources

Transform your beliefs, transform your life.


Steve 2016 2.jpg

ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Learning to Receive

Learning to Receive

by Wendy Backlund

 

In wrapping up Feasting on the Spirit last week, we wanted to continue the momentum by sharing a chapter from Wendy's book Living from the Unseen on learning to receive from God. We pray it deepens your ability to receive from our good Father and connect with Him in new, life-transforming ways.

 

“The people who know their God shall be strong,and carry out great exploits.”

– Daniel 11:32b

Our perception of God will limit our reception from Him. For many years, I only saw God as my Master; therefore, my reception from Him was limited to hearing Him tell me what to do or hearing rebukes for not doing something correctly. During that time, I lost not only the ability to dream, but I also lost any concept of my own identity. Even though I had been uniquely made with love, I thought God wanted me to symbolically disappear and become just an obedient slave. Slaves do not dream about the future because they are in bondage to someone else’s dream. I was thinking I was a slave to God instead of His friend. When we perceive God only as Master, it will prevent us from receiving all the love songs He sings over us (Zephaniah 3:17). 

It will also prevent us from walking in His delegated authority to use the gifts of His Spirit. On the other hand, when we receive Him as our Father, a whole new world opens up for us. 

As we begin to realize that the God of the universe is our Father, then we will be able to receive from Him, not just as a wealthy philanthropist, but as our loving, caring, giving, dad. A philanthropist gives an occasional handout, but a good dad gives constant nourishment to the body, soul, and spirit. He takes responsibility for every aspect of his children. 

God is the perfect Father. He gives identity, love, and training so we may prosper in all things. I am enjoying my Christian life so much more ever since I enlarged my perception of who God is to me. Now, I am learning to laugh, dream, and receive blessings and encouragement from Him. I can relate to Him as a beloved daughter and am able to receive things from Him that I didn’t earn through performance but received through relationship.

Another perception that hindered my receiving was based on the religious belief that God holds back blessings of success, anointing, and finances until we have proven ourselves as faithful or worthy enough. Because of this belief, I was unable to stand in faith for anything that took me beyond my current experience in life. I lived from miracle to miracle rather than in the constant blessing of God. I unconsciously kept my success at my perceived level of worth or value. Since the view of my worth and value were distorted, I was never able to move on into the full destiny of my calling. When we seem to become stuck at a certain level of breakthrough, it usually is not because we are doing something wrong - it is often a belief issue. 

For many years, I perceived God as the One who forgives but not as the One who empowers. I was constantly begging for forgiveness because I did not know He could empower me to change. If you are struggling with receiving the empowerment of His Spirit and think He is holding out on you for some reason, I suggest you read John 20:21-22, where 

Jesus breathed on the disciples and said, ”As the Father sent me, I also send you. Receive the Holy Spirit.” This means that since the Father sent Jesus who was fully empowered with the resources of Heaven, so also Jesus sends us with the same empowerment. We must understand that He desires to empower His people. 

We often make receiving more difficult than it should be. Matthew 10:8 says, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” I have read that verse a thousand times, but it didn’t seem to be manifesting in my life. I found myself constantly begging for His anointing. One day, Jesus interrupted my prayer by telling me it wasn’t that hard to receive the anointing. This confused me until He added, “Even a handkerchief can do it!” He reminded me of Acts 19:11-12, when aprons and handkerchiefs soaked up Paul’s anointing to heal the sick and deliver people from evil spirits. If a handkerchief can perform Matthew 10:8, then surely we can! 

Now when I am in His presence, I pretend to be a handkerchief and soak up His anointing. While soaking, I like to think about the effects of a person being out in the sun. We may not feel as if anything is happening, but within a few hours, the manifestation of a tan or sunburn will be evident. With this in mind, I remind myself that it is impossible to be in His presence and not be changed! 

There are so many more aspects of God to receive than we are currently experiencing. What would the Body of Christ look like if we were to perceive Him correctly? First John 3:2 says, “When we see Him we will be like Him.” That process begins here on earth, not just in heaven. Every new revelation of Him transforms us and enables us to attempt exploits that go beyond our natural abilities and talents.

Let me provoke you with a question. Is God holding out on you or is your perception limiting your reception?

APPLICATION

Spend some time waiting in God’s presence. Pretend to be a handkerchief and soak up His love and anointing. For more information on soaking, read this blog I wrote, or check out my soaking MP3 / CD called Encounter: An Activation of Your Spirit (more info on this is below).

DECLARATION

I easily rest and receive in His presence.


Encounter: An Activation of Your Spirit

A 38-minute guided soaking encounter with Wendy Backlund

More Resources from Wendy


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ABOUT WENDY BACKLUND

Wendy Backlund, along with her husband Steve, is from Bethel Church in Redding, CA. Wendy and Steve have a unique ministry that ignites hope, passion, joy, victorious mindsets and healthy relationships. They were senior leaders of renewal churches from 1991 to 2008 (Round Mountain, Nevada, and Weaverville, CA). The Backlunds travel regularly ministering to churches and leadership teams. Wendy has a passion for setting Christians free from their past and empowering them in their walk with Christ. She is a revelatory speaker, author, and teacher, enabling people to see life from a supernatural perspective.

Learn more about Wendy and her teaching at wendybacklund.com.

The Two Most Important Words in the World

The Two Most Important Words in the World

by Steve Backlund

 

This Thanksgiving, I wanted to share this excerpt from my book, Victorious Mindsets, about overcoming looking inward to focus looking outward and upward in our lives through thankfulness. After reading this blog, I encourage you to say "thank you" to a few important people in your life.

 

Recently, I sensed the Lord say to me, "Steve, the two most important words in the world are THANK YOU." What do you think about that? Did I hear right? Let me try to make my case. 

The Bible says, "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving" (Psalm 100:4). A gate represents an entry into a different realm. We are to enter into these gates with thanksgiving. Psalms 100:4 tells us that whenever we are preparing for a new level in life or ministry, we can accelerate things by radically increasing our thanksgiving to God and to the people in our lives. 

Jesus also stressed the importance of thanksgiving. Once when He healed ten lepers and only one came back to give thanks, He asked, "Where are the nine?" (Luke 17:17). Thankfulness reveals to God (and to discerning people) that the appreciative one is ready to be entrusted with more of the abundance and glory of the kingdom. 

Abundant gratefulness is a sign of a flourishing soul. Those who regularly say thank you have their eyes focused outward and upward (healthy focus) rather than inward (unhealthy focus). Prioritizing thanksgiving will help increase our inner health. 

Thanksgiving also increases our faith level concerning life's uncertainties and God's promises. In Philippians 4:6-7, we are instructed to not worry, but to pray "with thanksgiving" about anything in which we are tempted to be anxious. As we do, we will experience "peace that passes understanding." This peace comes from deep faith that has been established by thanksgiving. Even if circumstances have not changed, thankfulness will alter our perspective (from doubt to faith). We can take the viewpoint even higher by giving thanks concerning things prayed for in the past. As we do, we will come to the place of being fully convinced (like Abraham) and see God's promise manifest before our eyes. 

What are the two most important words in the world? I say they are, "Thank you." Let's increase thankfulness and see doors open, faith increase and our souls get healthier. Amen! 


More like this from Steve


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ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

4 Keys to Living a Lifestyle of Thankfulness

4 Keys to Living a Lifestyle of Thankfulness

by Steve Backlund

Scripture regularly reminds us of the importance of thanksgiving. Here are 4 keys to jump start your thanksgiving today:

1. Thank God for past prayers prayed that you are still waiting for to see the answer manifest – It builds your faith toward that issue (Mark 11:24) and helps defeat worry (Philippians 4:6-7).

2. Thank God for impartations you have received (Deuteronomy 34:9 and Romans 1:11) – Be as specific as possible. This too will build your faith and help bring the impartation into your experience in a greater way.

3. Publicly thank at least one person in meetings you lead – It is amazing how gratefulness can positively affect lives.

4. Never leave a meeting without thanking someone for who they are and what they do – Those who participate in the specific thanksgiving of others will have a much easier time living a prophetic lifestyle of calling out the gold that is in people.


More Keys from the Backlunds


ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve 2016 2.jpg

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

How to Access Your Spiritual Inheritance

How to Access Your Spiritual Inheritance

by Steve Backlund

 

Read this excerpt from Divine Strategies for Increase to learn more about accessing your spiritual inheritance. Learn how you can use the spiritual law of inheritance to work for you (or against you), and how it can cause us to enter into greater intimacy with God. 

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Prov. 13:22) 

This law is revealed in the Bible in passages such as...

  • “...visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments,” (Exodus 20:5-6).
  • “Therefore the LORD said to Solomon...‘I will surely tear the kingdom away from you...Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David,” (1 Kings 11:11-12).
  • “Now Joshua...was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him,” (Deuteronomy 34:9).
  •  “I (Nehemiah) . . . confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You,” (Nehemiah 1:6).
  • “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward,” (Matthew 10:41).

This law will work for us to cause increase and blessing if...

we by faith “pull on” the good deposits made in the spirit realm by our ancestors. Honoring God’s laws creates blessings to “thousands” of generations (See Exodus 20:6). Generational blessings are more powerful and long lasting than generational curses. Renouncing generational curses may be a good step, but it’s more important to have the Spirit reveal to us the force of generational blessings.

We can also receive inheritances from key people who are in our lives now. Just as Joshua received wisdom because Moses laid his hands on him, we can receive things we have not worked for. Matthew 10:41 gives insight on how to receive this kind of inheritance: “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet receives a prophet’s reward.” The inheritance (reward) comes when we do not allow offense to cause us to dishonor a person’s gift (See Mark 6:1-6).

This law will work against us to restrict and impoverish us if...

we don’t believe that Jesus became a curse for us so that we can be free from such things as generational curses. Yes, we may need to take specific actions (forgiving, seeking forgiveness, renouncing, restitution, etc.) to help eliminate the root of the curse in the spiritual realm, but believing in and receiving the finished work of the cross is the most important thing we can do to be free from generational curses.

This law will bring us into a greater intimacy with God because...

it causes us to discover that we are already joint heirs with Christ Jesus of all that He deserves as God’s only Son. (See Romans 8:17.) More importantly, we realize that God Himself is our inheritance. Jesus has opened up a way for us to be with Him in glorious intimacy forever!

I delight in this law by joyfully declaring: I receive right now my generational blessings from Jesus and from my ancestors.


More on strategies for Increase


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ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Shout, for the Lord Has Given You the City!

Shout, for the Lord Has Given You the City!

by Steve Backlund

Read this excerpt from Steve Backlund's Higher Perspectives about the power of partnering your faith with prophetic acts (even creative or unorthodox ones) that the Lord has given you to step into your destiny.

But it came to pass that on the seventh day, they rose early...and marched around the city seven times in the same way. On that day only, they marched around the city seven times. And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: 'Shout, for the Lord has give you the city!'...And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city."
Joshua 6:15-20

LOWER PERSPECTIVES

Joshua could have concluded: 

  • Prophetic acts are only symbolic and have no physcical effect. 
  • God would never use a creative, unorthodox battle plan. 
  • They should wait for the walls to start crumbling before shouting. 
  • They should have a back-up plan ready with more men and better weapons because this was likely not to work. 
  • This was probably a test from God, and He would be more pleased if they circled the city 10 or 15 times instead of only seven. 
  • Joshua should not make this bold of a declaration because maybe nothing would happen. 

ELEVATING TRUTHS

  1. Prophetic acts are powerful – All through the Old and the New Testament, God instructed His people to do prophetic acts that brought a dramatic shift to the circumstance. In 2 Corinthians 10:3 it says, "For though we walk according to the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh." Often the real battle isn't what we see in front of us; the battle is in the spiritual realm.
  2. God will only lead you into battles He has positioned you to win – There isn't a single story in scripture where God sends His people into battle, and did not give them a strategy to win. Just like an earthly father wants to watch his kids succeed in life, how much more would God position His children for victory? 
  3. Revelation of what we already have in Christ will bring the shout of victory – Romans 8:37 tells us that we are "more than conquerors." Believing we are victorious is often the most important part of the battle. The essence of faith is to believe something is ours before we have actually experienced it. Let's believe now that we are victorious in Christ! 

GIVING GOD SOMETHING TO WORK WITH

  • Lead a group of people in a prophetic act. 
  • Approach an obstacle with a creative solution. 
  • Make a bold declaration over a seemingly impossible situation in your life. 
  • Speak up in a group of people with a bold declaration. 

DECLARATIONS TO CREATE HIGHER PERSPECTIVES

I am positioned for victory.

My prophetic acts shift circumstances.

My faith declarations demolish strongholds.


click for more "HIGHER PERSPECTIVES"


Steve 2016 2.jpg

ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

I Run at My Goliaths!

 

I Run At My Goliaths!

by Steve Backlund

 

Read this excerpt from Victorious Mindsets about running at your Goliaths (overcoming procrastination): 

“So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:48).

David’s passion was demonstrated when he ran at Goliath. He did not hesitate, but aggressively confronted the obstacle in his way. He ran at his problem and not away from it. He understood that procrastination would just make the problem bigger (and Goliath was pretty big already!).

I have a question for you: Are you running from things or to things? Those with victorious mindsets are learning to run at those things that are difficult to face. They know that procrastination drains power from life. They know that it usually won’t get easier later, so we must “bite the bullet” now and face our giants.

People who chronically procrastinate are more prone to depression because there is a constant awareness that responsibilities have not been met. This depression causes more things to go undone, which causes more depression and so on. Many would feel better (and have more strength for life) if they developed the habit of running at things that should be done.

There can be many different reasons and roots for procrastination (fear, distraction, etc). We thank God that there can be healing for all of them.

Some helpful ways to bring this healing and to move toward the fear and distraction include:

  1. Making lists of things that need to be done and getting in the habit of doing harder things early in the day.
  2. Communicating with people about things needing closure (for example, money owed, promises unfulfilled, thanks or apologies not given, etc.)
  3. Ask the Lord why you are procrastinating, and then get His perspective and strength to overcome it. 

"There is always a solution"

More messages on hope and joy from the Backlunds


About Steve Backlund

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

5 Keys to Jump-Start the Prophetic in Your Life

5 Keys to Jump-Start the Prophetic in Your Life

by Steve Backlund

 

"Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy" (1 Corinthians 14:1). This is such an amazing verse. It tells us to pursue the relational love discussed in 1 Corinthians 13 for our lives, and then to desire spiritual gifts to operate through us. The word "desire" comes from the Greek word meaning "to burn with zeal." We are literally to have a fiery zeal for spiritual gifts to flow through us. (See 1 Corinthians 12:7-10 for a list of gifts to desire.) Why does God want us to desire these gifts? So we can be a super Saint? No, the best reason is so we can be a conduit for someone else's miracle. We are called to bring supernatural encounters to other people.

1 Corinthians 14:1 goes on to say we are to especially burn with zeal to see prophesy flow through us. Why is this the case? One reason is this: If something is going to happen, something must be spoken. This principle started when God said, "Let there be light" in Genesis 1. 

What can we do to see the prophetic flow through us in greater ways? Here are five ways to jump-start the prophetic in your life: 

1.  Be the most encouraging person you know – 

New Testament prophetic ministry is based on 1 Corinthians 14:3: "But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men." As we purpose to encourage people with the good things we see in their lives, we create a great foundation for healthy prophetic ministries. 

2.  Ask God to supernaturally anoint your encouragement to others – 

"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:13). When we ask the Holy Spirit to enter into our encouragement, He will prompt us with thoughts directly from Him. 

3.  Be overflowing with the Bible – 

The strongest words we can speak are Bible promises and proclamations of biblical truths. "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). It is a powerful thing to share an encouraging truth from the scripture that is burning in our hearts for a person.

4.  Be natural in your delivery – 

Don't use King James language or become weird in your prophetic ministry. Simply say something like, "As I was thinking and praying about you, I heard something I believe will be a blessing to you." Avoid overly using "God told me to tell you this" or similar phrases. 

5.  Trust the impressions you get – 

Take note of unusual coincidences, pictures in your mind, feelings that you get, or Bible verses that come to mind. If you get something that seems a bit bizarre or too good to be true, you could preface what you say with, "This may sound a little crazy, but I am hearing this." 

Our prophetic words should never rebuke or expose the faults of someone, but it is to call out the gold we see inside of them. For more information on the prophetic ministry, we recommend Kris Vallotton's book Basic Training for the Prophetic Ministry.


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ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Believing In Jesus Vs. Believing Like Jesus

Believing In Jesus Vs. Believing Like Jesus

by Steve Backlund

 

In preparation for Wendy and my upcoming School of Victorious Living, a powerful one-day conference in Redding, CA focused on renewing your mind with truth to live from victory, here's a powerful excerpt from my book Victorious Mindsets about John 8:31-32 – "The truth shall make you free":

“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’” (John 8:31-32). There is a difference between believing in Jesus and believing like Jesus. Our Lord told those “who believed Him” that they needed to “know the truth” in order to be free in their life experience. Knowing the truth leads us to believe like Jesus. I desire and receive prayer from anointed people who can give me an impartation of power, miracles, integrity, blessing or breakthrough.

This is an important part of my personal growth plan. It accelerates my life in Christ. The benefits of such prayer, however, will only last if I believe truth in the area that I was prayed for. Ultimately, what I believe is more important than the beliefs of the one praying for me. Many experience freedom in a special meeting but cannot maintain it consistently in life because of wrong beliefs about God, others, themselves or their circumstances.

Many are hoping to be “zapped” by an anointed “Super Christian.” Again, there is great benefit in receiving prayer from stronger believers, but there must be greater emphasis placed on changing our mindsets in key areas. Unless we do this, we will be enslaved by lies – no matter how many great meetings we attend. 

Jesus said, “The truth shall make you free.” These words are revolutionary. Jesus was free because He believed truth in every area of His life (provision, identity, health, power, personal habits, relationships, etc.) We too are to renew our minds to believe truth in each aspect of our lives. As we do, we will take our freedom beyond a meeting and live it out consistently in our lives.

Truly, victorious mindsets will make us free.


pursue a life of inner victory!

Join Steve and Wendy Backlund on Saturday, November 4 for a one-day intensive in Redding, CA!


Steve 2016 2.jpg

ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Healing From Hurts in the Church

Healing from Hurts in the Church

from The Culture of Empowerment by Steve Backlund

 

Many Christians have had negative experiences with church leaders. Instead of being empowered, they were not honored for who they were. These situations cover the spectrum of small irritations to major abuses. Whatever the situation may be, God’s love and power can “heal the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1) to experience hope again, and His love can “restore our soul” (Psalm 23:3) to emotional wholeness.

If this has been the case for you, I would like to repent before you on behalf of any hurt you have experienced from church leaders. I have written a brief letter to you representing your past church leaders, expressing this repentance, and then asking for your forgiveness. I believe God will use it to bring healing to the hearts of many.

Before I share this letter, I want to clarify that some of the hurts that people believe leaders caused them actually could have resulted from their own wrong perceptions of what was actually happening. I have been a church leader for many years, and I have had various situations where people accused me of being unloving or controlling, but it was actually not the case at all. These perceptions of me resulted from the person’s own unresolved issues, and often from a lack of understanding concerning the many factors church leaders have to consider in making decisions or creating policies. With that said, in other situations, I realize that I was insensitive to the people around me.

Also, this letter is not meant to be a substitute for any needed personal interaction in dealing with offense and conflict, but for cases where that’s not possible, it can provide a powerful step in internal healing and give freedom from past hurts. Even if you’re able to meet in person with a leader who has hurt you, going through this forgiveness process will be very beneficial.

 

Dear Beloved,

I am so sorry that I hurt you. Please forgive me for not believing in you more, for being insensitive to your needs and feelings, for saying hurtful things, for not apologizing when I was wrong, for sending you the message that you were a failure, for making you not feel valued, for not trusting you, for not hearing your story, for being abusive in any way, for focusing more on what you could do for the church than on how I could help you thrive in every area of life, and for letting my fears and insecurities affect how I treated you. I’m sorry if any of these things caused you to live a life of feeling unsafe under leadership, caused you to believe you must perform well to be loved, caused fear in you, or caused you to be restricted in anyway from being fully you. I regret these things very much. Again, please forgive me.

Love,

Steve Backlund

 

Now it is your turn. We recommend taking some time with the Lord as you read through this letter. It is a powerful thing to acknowledge your pain with God in remembering the situation, the people involved, and how you felt. Let the words of the letter impact your heart as you read it. If there is forgiveness to release on your part, use the prayer of forgiveness below to help you release it. If you would like to, you can choose to imagine the person standing in front of you to assist in engaging your heart with the process.

Here is a prayer of forgiveness for you to pray concerning past leaders:

__________________ (Say the name of the leader you believe has hurt you in any way), I forgive you for hurts I experienced under your leadership. I release you from my judgments concerning this. I pray that you will be blessed in your relationship with God, in your family, and in your ministry.

In Jesus’ name,  Amen.

After you have completed this forgiveness process, ask God to fill you with His love for this leader. Ask God to reveal to you how He sees that person. Then release a prayer of blessing over them. We are also aware that one of the prevalent mindsets that can be established under apparent disempowering leadership is the victim mindset. This mindset believes we are the victims of another’s leadership, a victim of their choices, and that our future and destiny is determined by them. We can break free of victim thinking by renewing our minds with the truth. One way to do this is to make Biblically-based faith declarations.

We are so thankful when healing takes place through forgiveness. And we also rejoice that God not only heals, but also He powerfully turns all things for good in our lives. We are believing that for you on your journey to greater wholeness and increased influence. 


ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve and Wendy 2016.jpg

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

5 Common Lies Leaders Face

5 Common Lies Leaders Face

(and Declarations to Take Their Place)

by Steve Backlund

Enjoy this brief and powerful blog post written by Steve Backlund for church leaders on January 12th, 2015. 

1. I am the only leader in the world who feels dishonored by those they lead. ha ha!

This is a classic, "I'm the only one!" lie. Whatever you are facing, you can be sure you are not alone. In place of this lie, declare, "I live a life of great honor which causes the people of our church to honor everyone including me."

2.  Our church must not be a safe place if there is conflict. ha ha!

Here is a great declaration for a pastor facing a conflict with people in the church, "I consistently turn conflict into Kingdom growth for others and myself."

3.  The only way I can be respected is if my people think I do not have any weaknesses – Let's give an extra laugh at that! Ha ha!

Leaders say "My humility and transparency is a powerful aspect of my ministry. I have wisdom for what to share and what not to share."

4.  As long as a person is anointed in a church service, it does not matter what choices or attitudes they have outside of the ministry setting. Ha ha!

Here is a powerful belief: "I process information given to me about others in a healthy way. I have and give away keys for success in everyday life."

5.  If someone isn’t happy with my preaching, I must be doing something wrong. Ha ha!

Even though we always want to remain teachable and grow in our gifts, the only people who aren't criticized are those who are doing and saying nothing. Great leaders say: "I am confident in what God has called me to do and say.


Other Leadership Resources from Steve Backlund


ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve 2016 2.jpg

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Praying in Faith

Wendy wrote the following blog post on April 2015. In addition to the blog, we have also shared a testimony from Jessi about the power of renewing your mind. 

Praying in Faith

by Wendy Backlund

"Prayer...avails much" (James 5:16).

As we battle spiritual forces, it is important to distinguish between the burden of the Lord and the weight of unbelief. We must take inventory of our emotions as we pray. Is there a spirit of fear, anxiety, or hopelessness present? Do we feel under the circumstance that we are praying about? Are we consistently begging for God's help? If so, the heaviness we are feeling is probably not about the circumstance we are facing, but from our own beliefs about God and life. 

These emotions are not going to go away just by praying longer and harder or fasting. We also cannot pretend these emotions are not there. We need to confront them and rebuke spirits of unbelief, fear, and hopelessness. We can start this by repenting of wrong core beliefs that hinder confidence in the power of our prayers. Then we must turn our eyes to God's faithfulness and worship Jesus until we get a revelation of His goodness and love for us. The battle is first in us and then in our circumstances. 

Declare: Fear and doubt are my main enemies. I am not a victim to these emotions. I replace the lies fueling them with the promises of God. I trust in the goodness of God.

Here is a testimony written by Jessi on February 23rd, 2015:

Momentous Mind Renewal

"I grew up in an abusive home where all I knew was fear. I grew up hating myself and having no hope for my future, even to the point of harming myself. I was an alcoholic, drug abuser and diagnosed with bipolar, schizophrenia, severe depression, and chronic pain. I was in and out of psych wards with no life left in me. I had completely given up until God got a hold of me. I started reading Steve’s book ‘Lets Just Laugh at That’ and began the process of renewing my mind. I started fasting negativity and making powerful and truth-filled declarations over my life. I started to laugh more and experience a new freedom like never before. I am now completely set free from all my past struggles and continue to see myself the way God see’s me. I am so thankful for Steve and Wendy and the message they carry, It is such a breath of fresh air." – Jessi


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ABOUT WENDY BACKLUND

Wendy Backlund, along with her husband Steve, is from Bethel Church in Redding, CA. Wendy and Steve have a unique ministry that ignites hope, passion, joy, victorious mindsets and healthy relationships. They were senior leaders of renewal churches from 1991 to 2008 (Round Mountain, Nevada, and Weaverville, CA). The Backlunds travel regularly ministering to churches and leadership teams. Wendy has a passion for setting Christians free from their past and empowering them in their walk with Christ. She is a revelatory speaker, author, and teacher, enabling people to see life from a supernatural perspective.

Learn more about Wendy and her teaching at wendybacklund.com.

For more resources from Wendy, click the links below:

Ministry Update | September 2017

Dear Igniting Hope Family,

Welcome to those who are new to our Igniting Hope newsletter.

As I pray for you today, I am hearing these words: GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS OVER YOU. Hebrew 10:23 is one of my favorite verses. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." We at Igniting Hope are not into positive thinking, but we are proponents of biblical optimism, and it our prayer that this hope-filled perspective will influence you to do what you never thought you could do. We bless you with increased hope today. 

Igniting Hope Team Update

A lot has been happening on our team. Here is an update:

  • We said good-bye to two Igniting Hope employees – Heidi O'Brien (our daughter) and Julia Graham (a spiritual daughter) both left us in August. Heidi has worked for us for three years and has done a tremendous job as our business manager. She is now working for an accounting office in Redding so we will still see her a lot. Julia, who has served Wendy as her project manager for two years, just got married and has moved to the Seattle, Washington, area. She took Wendy to new levels and will be missed. 
  • Welcome Sarah Gerber and Connie Jones – They are both Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry graduates and are now staff members of Igniting Hope. Sarah works for both Bethel's Global Legacy and Igniting Hope to oversee our calendar and the eleven third year Bethel students who serve our ministry. Connie will oversee travel and our resources They join long standing employee Megan Cotton (IH project manager) as the staff who serves you and our ministry. It is a great team. 

Personal Updates

  • We took a lot of time off in July and did a staycation in Redding. It was so good. 
  • We have had some good family time (especially with our grandchildren).
  • Duncan, our dog, got sprayed by a skunk recently (third time that has happened)
  • Steve has golfed a lot this summer (13 times in July alone). It has been therapeutic. He now seems fully recovered.
  • Wendy has been doing some improvements to the interior of our house (something she loves to do).

Ministry Notes and Happenings

  • Wendy's book Victorious Emotions has been the most popular book we have ever released (according to initial sales).
  • Steve's July trip to Turkey was so impactful to him as he interacted with the people there and got to experience places where great Bible events took place. 
  • We are working on a new website. It should be done in a few months. 
  • Upcoming travel includes: Nevada, Texas, Colorado, Alberta, Toronto, Connecticut, Oregon, South Africa, and Kansas. 

Upcoming Events

More info will be coming on these:

  • Wendy's Feasting on the Spirit will happen again this November. 
  • Redding's Steve and Wendy School of Victorious Living – It will be an all day event on Saturday, November 4. 
  • Annual Negativity Fast + Positivity Feast starts on February 14. Many individuals and groups have done this each year. 
  • Culture of Empowerment event – Join Steve Backlund, Phil Backlund and Melissa Amato (authors of The Culture of Empowerment) for a two hour teaching session on Thursday night October 12 at Bethel Church. 

Did You Know?

  • Most of the Backlunds' books are on Kindle. 
  • You can order books, clickers and other products at bulk prices by emailing connie.jones@team.ibethel.org
  • Igniting Faith in 40 Days is available as an audiobook
  • Steve releases a weekly podcast message (5 to 10 minutes) that will ignite hope, joy, and increase your influence. 
  • Let's Just Laugh at That for Kids 2 is being completed now and should be available in November. Check out our first children's book here.

Thank you so much for you love and support to us. 

Love, 
Steve and Wendy


Steve and Wendy 2016.jpg

About Steve & Wendy Backlund

Steve and Wendy were senior pastors for seventeen years (including at Mountain Chapel in Weaverville, CA) before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. They are developers of leaders, authors, joy activists, and train people in the power of biblical mind renewal. They travel extensively throughout the world through Bethel's Global Legacy and through their own ministry, Igniting Hope Ministries. Steve and Wendy have three children, six grandchildren, a dog named Duncan, and cat named Mr. Mittens.

 

 

5 Kingdom Responses to Natural Disasters

5 Kingdom Responses to Natural Disasters

by Steve Backlund

 

In response to the flooding in Houston and Hurricane Irma touching down in Florida, Igniting Hope Ministries is praying for supernatural healing, provision, and restoration over the communities, families, and businesses affected by these terrible natural disasters. We pray in this time of grieving, those affected would experience the love of the Father, the comfort of the Comforter, the healing of the Healer, and the power of our mighty God who restores all things. 

We pray this blog strengthens the spirits of those affected with great hope as you rebuild, and encourages the Body of Christ to express God's love in their support of these communities, and to give insights into how to decrease natural disasters in the future. 

1.  Weep with Those Who Weep – Jesus wept. He wept with Lazarus' family even though He knew He would raise Lazarus from the dead in three days. Death and destruction is not from God. He can resurrect life and redeem the effects of loss.  Job had only 6 months of intense loss, yet hundreds of years of intense abundance. The 6 months of loss were from the enemy's attacks, the hundreds of years of abundance were from God's goodness & recompense toward a righteous man and his family line.  Let us not be like Job's friends who tried to find any fault in Job that could have brought the destruction upon him. God rebuked them sharply, but gave recompense to Job. 

2.  Go to the Depths and Invite Holy Spirit In – Do not run from pain or turn to false comforts. Give God the fullness of your pain, and He will give you the fullness of His goodness INSTEAD. Isaiah 61 promises that Holy Spirit comforts those who mourn and gives them both personal comfort AND the keys to rebuild In their cities and families after devastation.  If we want to know how to access the miracles of God, it is through asking for His supernatural compassion.  He will let you experience His very heart for His people, which often manifests with a miracle to break through any walls between Himself and His people.  Let Him set a feast of His goodness before you, in the midst of the enemy's attacks on our loved ones and our land.

3.  Jesus Was Not Passive About the Storms He Faced, Neither Should We Be Passive – “Then (Jesus) arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39). In John 14, Jesus said we would do what He did, and even greater things. He protected life by using His spiritual authority, so must we. 

4.  We Cannot Use Experience to Create Our Doctrines or Identity Beliefs – “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Matthew 11:23). If we conclude that seemingly unanswered prayer is because God actually wanted there to be a hurricane, then we will become fatalistic and passive in our spiritual lives, and not make the difference we are called to make. We are all growing into the place where our words and faith cause disasters to cease (and lives and property to be protected).

5.  As the Kingdom Advances, There Will Be Fewer Disasters Such as Hurricanes – Jesus instructed us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). There are no disasters in heaven, so we are to expect a decrease of them as we pray this prayer (just as there will be a decrease in crime, sickness, family dysfunction, etc.)

It is challenging to speak to the topic of disasters in a short blog like this, but I trust this has been helpful. My books Divine Strategies for Increase and Cracks in the Foundation will give greater insight to the thoughts I share here. 



Steve 2016 2.jpg

ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.

Four Higher Levels of Thinking

Four Higher Levels of Thinking

by Steve Backlund

 

"Set your mind on things above" (Colossians 3:1). We are not to be conformed to the thinking of this world (Romans 12:2), but we are to pursue higher thoughts about God, ourselves, others, and our circumstances. When we understand we cannot trust any thought or conclusion that does not have hope attached to it, we are ready for elevated thinking and the transformation it brings. 

James 1:2-12 gives great insight into how to change our thought lives from fixating on problems to focusing on advancing the kingdom. Here are four higher spiritual realities revealed in these verses.

1) A Higher Perspective – "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing" (James 1:2-4). Our response to something is almost always more important than the something. When we choose to rejoice in the Lord, incredible forward movement in our lives begins. 

2) A Higher Strategy – "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." (James 1:5-8). There is always a solution for every situation we face (I Corinthians 10:13). God has supernatural wisdom (strategies, ideas, etc.) for breakthrough in us and around us. As we believe God will give us these higher strategies, He will. Start thanking Him right now the divine insight being revealed to you.

3) A Higher Identity – "Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation" (James 1:9). Negatively comparing ourselves to others is a lower way of thinking. We may not be as gifted or outwardly blessed as some others, but we are unique and have greatness in us. In Christ, we are a new creation. As we think higher about ourselves by believing who God says we are, it propels us to greater influence. In Numbers 13 the ten spies believed they were like grasshoppers in their own sight. Their interpretation of themselves created their beliefs about the world around them. If we don't embrace our higher identity, then we will perceive ourselves as victims - and thus believe we are powerless to bring change. 

4) A Higher Purpose – "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him" (James 1:12). A crown of life indicates authority has been given us. Whatever area we have overcome in our lives is an area where we have authority to bring life to others. Most people's greatest anointing comes from something they battled; therefore, your current struggle is not just about you, but it is about the people you will influence as you overcome. Your purpose in life is not just to fix yourself, but to be a life-releaser and a great influencer. 

God loves to take people from crisis to radical influence. These four higher things will help you get there. 

If you like this blog, then you will like my book Higher Perspectives. It is probably my best devotional to help in practically setting your mind on things above. 


Set Your Mind On Things Above


Steve 2016.jpg

ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve's iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.