Saturday, May 30, 2009
When we see with the natural eyes upon these things, it really can breed fear, hopelessness, and even despair. My encouragement for those who are in the family of faith, and who are going through these challenges, Father is with you, and this has not caught Him by surprise. If you have been given a vision or dream from the Lord, it will be accomplished. Though it be delayed, continue to hold on to that promise. If you are bombarded by darkness, the light will come, and in the mean time remember that His light is within you, and He will never leave nor forsake you.
We must not rely on what we see, or even on what we may be able to do. We must rely on what the Father is seeing and what the Father will do. We are created in His image and because He is a creator, we are very good at creating. The difference is that Father designed us to be co-creators with Him. He wants to be acknowledged as partner in all of our lives and in the things He has planned for us.
This is a good season, a necessary season for all of us. He is causing some of the shaking, but is allowing all of the shaking for the good of all. Those who do not know Him, cannot rely on government as their Savior. For those who do know Him, he is stripping away all false foundations and bringing us to the only Sure Foundation, Himself.
Abraham had a promise from God and there were many years of waiting for God's timing before the promise was fulfilled. Abraham tried to manufacture his own way to fulfill the promise and it was not God's best. God's best is for us to be His people of faith on the earth. God's best is for us to believe Him, and His promises, no matter what we see around us, and how long we have waited.
We are all being disciplined, discipled into the reality of God. It is not fun, but it is what He is doing, and when we can understand the disciplines of God, and the rules of engagement in His glorious Kingdom, it is well and very well within our soul. There are challenges, and there is an enemy that makes things more challenging, but we who are of the faith shall not be moved by anyone, or anything, if we remain in Him, and hear His voice during this season.
We must live daily with the revelation of Father who loves, and who knows what is best for our journey. Our journey and our calling is not alike, so do not look at one person who may seem to prosper and wonder why it is not happening to you. You will not be moving objectively, if you are subjectively trying to figure out what God may or may not be doing in others. Rejoice in those who God may be bringing into a season of harvest, and also rejoice when He is weeding your garden.
I am not one who listens much to "blanket Prophecies" for the worldwide church. When I hear that this is a season of abundance for all of God's people, I cringe, because He is a personal God, and knows what is best, and the timing of what is best, for every individual. He would not be a good Father to give to one who has not learned to steward, and there are many other reasons for what God may do. His ways are so above ours, and why are we so consumed with figuring Him out, more than we are in obediently pursuing His will for our own lives?
We are looking for abundance in wealth and He may want us to be abounding in His joy. If our pursuit is wealth, joy will be hard to find. We may want abundance of fame and popularity, and yet He wants us to be abundant in humility. So if we pursue popularity and fame, humility will be far from us. The sadness of this last truth is seeing much in American branded Christianity, which now you can see in many nations, who looked to our leaders as examples. So the shaking continues until Father brings His alignment to us, so that through us, we can bring real hope to the world.
What is the revelation we need to become our reality to live by? Maybe we need to live as if everything we do daily is part of eternity, because it is. Father will show you if you seek Him and His Kingdom, but there are a few questions we must continue to ask ourselves. Here are a few of those questions followed by some potential answers, but the Lord will show you what He desires for you, if you seek Him through Jesus Christ our Lord...
Whose Are We? (Hint, we are not our own!)
Who Are We? (God's Kings and Priests, His children?)
What Are We Doing? (His will, or our own?)
Who Are We Pleasing? (God or man?)
What Will We Do? (Change and become more like Him, or remain unmoved?)
Now is a good time to live in His revelation, until it becomes our reality for daily living.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
All of you who have known us through the years know how much we value relationships. We encourage everyone to pursue relationship with the Father and each other in ever increasing ways. Loving God with all that we are, and loving each other as the Body of Christ regardless of Race, Creed, or Expression. We have friends in many streams who love God, and follow after Him with their lives and yet are very different in how they may express their faith. We know some who meet regularly in a church building and we know some that gather in homes, some who meet in coffee shops and some meeting each week to honor God in a business environment.
We see people walking uprightly before God and man in all of these gatherings and actually the most healthy ones we have observed relationally meet in a variety of places regularly. We see conversation, ministry, prayer, healing,, and transformation take place as the Spirit of the Lord is concerned about the hearts of His people. Father is concerned about people more than He is about a building or structure. He uses structure at times to create context and a conducive environment for His will to be accomplished
We can have all kinds of reasons as to why our expression and methods are the best, and we can create every reason and find ever scripture to prove it. The bottom line is, God is much bigger than our pradigms, and He uses many things that do not fit within them. Jesus was a rebel to the established religious community of His day. The Disciples were radical in their ability to bring in the New Covenant in the midst of the old. The truth is, we all need to open up a bit more, without compromising plumb-line biblical truth of love, honoring God, each other, and in bringing the Gospel of His glorious Kingdom to the earth.
In years past, there seemed to be a wide gap between Catholics, protestants, house church, and approximately 36,000 Christian denominations .The gap seems to be closing as His Spirit is being poured out and the Lord is converging His people unto Himself and one another. Those hearing His voice cannot remain exclusive any longer, and are becoming more inclusive in relating to others and their differences. We must hold true to Fathers foundations while accepting those who have a worldview that may be just a bit different than ours.
Regardless of structure or preference, there are those who are walking obediently and humbly before God and man, and there are those that are not. There are those who have moved on to new expressions because they may have been hurt by a previous system. Anyone operating from hurt rather than from a progressively whole position need healing and need to move from bitterness to forgiveness of those who may have caused pain. Regardless of the reasons why people choose the community of faith that they do, we must try and work with those we can, and accept one another as family in order to fulfill the Lord's prayer in John 17 of being one in Him.
Last year I was part of the annual House Church Conference. It was a wonderful experience and yet Joyce and I were asked by some if we were house church people. I shared with them that we were not house church people, but that we were obedient to gather as the Lord led which meant, sometimes in homes, businesses, or coffee shops, and sometimes in dedicated buildings. The answer I usually give is this, "I am a Kingdom of God person that includes everyone who is pursuing Christ and His Kingdom, regardless of how they may be led to do so". Through relational and organizational community, we can bring accountability to one another that challenges us to live God honoring lives.
Tony and Felicity Dale, the Founders of House 2 House Ministries are friends of ours, and we will be involved once again at the annual conference on Labor Day weekend in Dallas. We will be facilitating the Marketplace portion of the conference. I was very excited to hear from Tony that this year includes some main stream church organizations and leaders. This was such a thrill to hear this and see how God's people are coming together to find dialogue, and ways to connect with each other while building community. As our friend Bob Mumford says, "It is not about the system or structure, but about His people moving in His Agape ways while moving towards the center, which is Christ, and the Kingdom of God".
There are many in every expression of Christianity trying to find ways to connect with each other and those around them towards Agape life-giving relationships. For those of you who would like to experience this unique opportunity of smaller relational gatherings within a larger faith community, this is one conference to consider. There will be several workshops that are heavy in the participation and dialogue of all those attending. I will keep you posted on these workshops as well as the marketplace sessions that I will facilitate. There is an early bird special rate until June 8th and here is the link with the information needed.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
If you are a banker, it is spiritual because you are His in the day to day context of banking. If you run a business, Father is the Senior Partner of your very existence and therefore is the Senior Partner of your business. Are you asking Senior Partner for ways of bringing Him glory, and expanding His Kingdom family upon the earth? Whether it is music, or art, or whatever Father has called you to do and to be in everyday life, are you bringing Him glory? He is yours, you are His, and He cares about the whole of our lives. He desires that we acknowledge Him in all of our ways.
Thus everything is spiritual because the Lord made everything, and the Cosmic Christ wants to redeem everything back to the Father. Although full restoration will not come until Christ returns in the fullness of His glory, it is our calling to obediently bring restoration and Kingdomized influence to every sphere of life. And we do this "along the way" of every day living, understanding that His transformational presence is in us, and goes with us into every moment and every context of living.
This is a very tumultuous season we are in but we can confidently live, and move, and have our being, knowing we are loved. We are in fact His ambassadors and have a divine mandate of carrying His Agape love to the world. As we trust Him more and give over our fears, frailties, and imperfect ways to Him, He sets our path straight, and His glory is revealed through us to the world around us. Does fear or doubt come? Of course fears and doubts come; but we must remember that our life is in His hands, and that we have all the promises of His Word to stand on, not for just the future, but for today, and for every situation in life. Because we are His, we live to hear His voice and respond to Him as He navigates our steps for His will and purposes. He gives us the strength to overcome, as we disengage further from sin and other hindrances that can keep us from His best, and from His glory.
We must rid ourselves of the ancient mindsets of dualism that bring a false division of what we call sacred and secular. The worldview that limits the influence of God in all things is th primary reason the church has not been relevant to a creation that is eagerly awaiting the manifestation of God through His sons an daughters. It has kept God's people from the realization of a Kingdom coming upon the earth as it is in heaven. What gospel is on our lips? What gospel are we living?
Worldliness is seeing anything in life from a purely materialistic perspective - When we see the natural through natural eyes and not by His Spirit we can see why even believers have not been able to participate in bringing hope and transformational reality to others. Our worldview must be redeemed and enlightened by His Word to truly see what He sees, and to move as one with Him, and for His purposes. Father may your Kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, through your people, and in every aspect of their lives, their motives, and their interaction with you and with the people you call them to serve.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
God’s intended purpose for each of His creation was to birth an extension of Himself. A family, with a family business in mind, called “Almighty and Kids”. Can you imagine? From eternity past until now, God’s desire was to have a family called to Himself. So let’s break it down a bit and look at some of Fathers design for all of us who were created in His image.
• Father the Creator - Look all around and you will see a world full of creation by not only the Father, but by His children. A child of the living God created this computer I am using right now. Regardless of redeemed or not, we are not talking eternal family, that can only be accessed by Christ, we are talking about the Lord creating a wonderful family of creators in mankind, operating in the Fathers image to create…
• Father the Lover – Agape love in perfection, no agenda but love, and extending it to each of us. Look at creation, even in animals, and the nurturing that takes place in the animal kingdom. I remember when my sons were born, and how I would do anything for them. For my wife, my partner, the love is birthed in God and we can see glimpses of this love nature in most every nation and culture.
• Father the Redeemer – Forgiveness is a quality that comes from God. When we forgive, we operate in his nature, when we do not forgive; we operate against Him, His Kingdom family, and His design for humanity. This is an awesome quality and a necessity for those who want to be Kingdom of God dwellers with full inheritance rights. Of course Jesus, Big Brother to all creation, allowed us to have full rights and become full inheritance citizens in Fathers eternal Kingdom.
• Father the Giver – Father has given to His creation from the very beginning and called it good. What a wonderful world filled with amazing things the Lord has given us. It will be in His children’s nature to be givers, and once again, when we operate in greed, or horde for self, we oppose His nature.
• Father the “Do Gooder” – God is always operating in the nature of doing good to the world. Prior to His ultimate “Do Good” in Christ Jesus, He gave us principles, and eternal ways of family living so that we could in turn “do good” to those around us, protect the innocent, and allow His justice to flourish upon the earth. Healing and many other resources are the children’s bread and sustain us towards eternity.
These are but a few of Father’s qualities that he predestined us to live by. What religion does sometimes is allow us to narrowly focus on segments of life rather than the whole of life. Father desires that we be wholly His, everyday, every moment, and in every aspect of living. Religion often gets in the way of seeing His eternal truths for all of life.
In other words, how are we being like Father in our work? How are being like Father to our wives? Our children? Our neighbor?
Jesus said the world would recognize the Father’s family by our love for one another? Has our love waxed cold? Have we become so consumed with self that we have no tolerance, and even better than tolerance, real acceptance and love for one another?
We are all wired differently. Can we appreciate our differences, and see strength in our differences as part of the whole of “Almighty and Kids”? I have sought to do this, and failed many times, but continue to try and operate in Fathers love to all people. I ask the Father to continuously change me on the inside to be more like Him. I am maturing, so they say? Who are they that say so? Those who knew me when………….
Those who knew you when, can be very objective in seeing who you are becoming.
We must focus on God’s eternal intentions for us in the NOW.. Yes there was a fall, but before the fall there was a wonderful Creator creating a family to Himself. Part of the trap of self- centeredness is we are blinded to God’s perfect plan before, and His perfect plan now and for all eternity. Almighty and Kids bringing heavenly qualities upon the earth, to please the Father. The goal is to be Father pleasers through the transformational power of His Son to bring the lost of creation back to the loving arms of the Father.
Lord we want to become more like you, your nature, your ways, and we want to start today.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
As we look back at the goodness of God and His original intent, we can see a God who desired to create a people in His image, His likeness, and His nature. Father’s plan has always been to establish His Kingdom upon the earth, stewarded by a people who would manifest the goodness and truth of His intentions. We all know the story from Genesis where His plans became delayed. We chose our own way and rejected his original intent, and plans for mankind. The good news of eternal God is that His plans will come to pass with or without us, and thankfully He loved us to make a way for us to participate in the fulfillment of His plans.
As we seek to navigate through the times we are in, it is so important for God's people to engage like never before into the divine nature of Father. His ways are so pure and so clear that it shakes every foundation that gets in the way. Father’s divine qualities test the intentions of every heart, and bring standards to the daily choices of every life regardless of whether they are conscious of His inescapable presence. As we discover through the Word of God the supreme qualities of God's divine nature, we see a God who is absolute truth, and absolute love, absolutely.
What I have noticed as I look at my own life and the lives of those around me, I notice that we are all over the board in what we call truth and in what we call love, and yet many times we feel we are absolutely justified in what we have defined as truth and love.
The mind justifies what the heart has chosen
Father desires for us to become a people called to Himself, and are to become reflections, representations, and co-creators to His divine will and nature on this earth. By the grace of God and His immeasurable love through Christ, He has paved the way for mankind to willingly choose to come back to the reality of His original design for us.
The challenges for those who have chosen to follow the Christ, who is the fullness of God's love embodied, is that as co-creators, we often create realities that fall short, and at times, in direct opposition to His divine nature and power to manifest His Kingdom reality upon the earth. In other words, we create a reality that is not often God's reality and yet call it God.
In our humanity and often with the best intentions we will utilize logic, religion, and the manipulation of Scripture to package and control our own reality. When we become aware of these tendencies, we begin to see this all around us in what we call, Christianity. We must begin to disseminate between the reality we have created, with the reality of Father's original intent and desire for us. It certainly is not easy, as we have become pretty good at creating the life we want and having our mind justify it by our religion and worldview. We often miss the Fathers worldview and plan directed by Him, and for Him, and with only His will in mind.
Even though we have found "The Way" we are often not living "His Way", because we have created "Our own Way", and put His name on it.
The best way to see if we have exchanged God's purposes for our own is to recognize what we are getting out of it. What is our motivation? Is He being glorified in our choices, actions, and modality of life? Is His love being expressed, or is it only our perceptions of what love and truth is?
The best assurance of living as Christ to the world is to live every moment consciously in His presence. To live in His presence more fully is to die to ourselves by exchanging our life for His Agape life. We must pursue Him with all that we are to partake of His divine nature, and get back to living in His divine intentions. As we do, we become co-creators with Him so that His Kingdom comes to the earth in powerfully relevant ways all around us. As His presence captures our own hearts for Him, and for others, we will begin to see the supernatural release of His glory.
As we pray for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to overtake us, we will come to know the exceeding greatness of God’s power and intention for us, according to the working of His mighty power through Christ Jesus our Lord. We must believe that the mighty power of Christ is ever present and working through us. We must yield to His will by faith and allow Him to draw us into His life on earth as it is in heaven as He transforms the environments He leads us into. As we believe and walk in His reality and trust Him for all things, HE Himself will make it our experience and His reality.
Beyond the limit of words and images that Scripture gives; they are meant by God to become actual realities for our daily life and walk. God has given us such favor through Jesus so that we begin to live a reality of life beyond human reasoning, and a supernatural life empowered by Almighty God. His power begins to transform our minds and false realities so that the subjective realm turns into the objective resources of God. Our life matters little because His life has consumed us. Our cares dissipate because His cares become ours. Father, I pray that we all can get back to your plumb-line truth, which is expressed so majestically by your love for all creation, and your willingness for us to be catalysts of your intentions to the world for your glory.