Sunday, December 31, 2017

Downshift



We are entering a time when there will be great acceleration in the gifts and ministries God has given. This means you! God is getting His people ready to do some powerful things in the earth. However, there may need to be a downshifting first. In a vehicle, downshifting is necessary if you are in too high of a gear for your speed. When this happens, the car sputters and stalls. This can be very frustrating. Especially if you really want to go somewhere! Do you feel as if there has been some sputtering and stalling out in your life and call? You might need to downshift.

Downshifting means you pull back from doing things. You slow down. Oftentimes, we get so excited about what God has called us to, and rightly so, but we try to go out and do everything all at once. We know we're supposed to be flying down our life's road at 80 mph, but we keep stalling out! What's happening is that we're trying to do it in our own strength. We have great motivation to do what we're called, but we don't have the power of God backing us. We need to slow down, get into His presence, and allow ourselves to be driven and empowered by Him.

You may have a great desire to move in a higher gear of the Spirit, but take the time to sit before the Lord so you can become motivated, driven, and led by Him. Get rid of all the attempts to self-accelerate. You might have great ideas and plans, but you'll stall out if they are not in alignment with the heart of God. Be led and driven by the Spirit (Romans 8:14).

Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness (Mark 1:12). We need to allow ourselves to be driven, led, and motivated by the Spirit of God. It's great that we have desire and passion to do what we're called to do, but we also need His drive in order for us to accomplish what we need to. If we are so stubborn that we keep trying to accelerate while in too high of a gear, we will encounter failure over and over again.

Think of it as the speed you are going is the motivation and passion of your call. You are called to do a certain thing, at a certain speed so to speak. The gear you are operating in is like the motivation and passion of God. If your speed is not in sync with His gear then it won't work. You'll stall out. If you're trying to fly forward without the heart and passion of God driving you, then you won't have His power backing you. This really is a good thing because without His heart and power motivating you, you could be dangerous.

However, once you align your passion and call with His heart and nature, then you can accelerate quickly. You will be able to shift gears at the proper time, your speed in alignment with the heart and power of God. Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power and went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him (Acts 10:38). The Spirit of God and power of God always go together. The fruit of the Spirit reveal God's nature (Galatians 5:22-23). Because Jesus had the Holy Spirit, He had the heart of God, His character. Along with that came the power, and He was able to go about and "do" what He was called to do.

Line up the passion for your call with the nature and character of the Spirit, and you'll have the necessary power to fulfill your ministry. You'll be in proper sync and timing, and will accelerate at just the right time without the frustrating process of stalling out!




Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Throne is Not Empty!


"Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16
I suppose I could call this Faucets of Grace part 2, (with part 1 being here), but I like the title "The Throne is not Empty" better instead. That's how the Lord got my attention for this blog, was by saying that to me. I was in the kitchen and He said, "The Throne is not Empty!" I love how He gets my attention. How does He get yours?

Anyway, after He got my attention He began to talk to me about His throne of grace once again. He showed me that when we come to the throne, it is not an empty throne. On it is a living and loving God who is able and willing to meet our every need. Let that sink in a bit. In fact, I'll say it again.
When we come to the throne, it is not an empty throne. On it is a living and loving God who is able and willing to meet our every need.
 What He emphasized to me, besides the fact that the throne is not empty, is that He is not only able, but WILLING to meet our every need. He is. God wants to give you everything you need. He is not withholding.
"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11
Are you walking uprightly? It doesn't say, from those who never slip up or make a mistake. You are the upright--the righteous--if you believe in Jesus Christ. If you have been washed in His blood, then you have been made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21) and God is not withholding anything good from you!

So if we approach His throne for help, mercy and grace for our every need is flowing. But we must approach the throne. Go to Him. He will help.

As the Lord spoke to me about this, He showed me that many people are envisioning an empty throne. Some won't even try to approach it because they don't see Him sitting on it. They see an empty throne. They expect that nothing will happen if they go there. They don't see Him as being able and willing to help. They don't even see Him there! Others will at least approach the throne, but they still see it as empty. They just hang out like they're waiting for something to happen. They're waiting for Him to show up when He is right there in front of them waiting for them to ask Him for help!

God is not withholding, and He is not hiding from you. He is not a vacant or absent Father. He is a good God. He is a good, good Father. That's who He is. Approach His throne confidently. Do it by faith. Stand up, take a step forward and tell Him you're there. "I'm here daddy!" See Him there. Don't see an empty throne. See Him giving you what you need. He is not withholding. He sees you through the righteousness of Jesus Christ.



Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Faucets of Grace!


And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 2 Corinthians 9:8
There is a grace that God gives that enables us to have "all sufficiency." This sufficiency means that we are self-sufficient, or that we are not dependent on others to take care of us. Not only are our own needs taken care of, but we have an abundance so we can give to others. Paul is talking to the Corinthians about giving to the needs of the saints when he says this. He goes on to say that God supplies both bread and seed. Bread for you to eat, and seed for you to sow--or give to others.
Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 2 Corinthians 9:10
There may be a time and place for sacrificial giving, such as the widow who gave her last two mites (Luke 21:1-4), but there is a grace that God gives which brings abundance, so that your needs are taken care of and you have extra to give. This is what I call sufficient grace.
My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness... 2 Corinthians 12:9
This grace comes from God, and we can approach His throne to obtain it.
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
The reason we can approach the throne of grace confidently is because of Jesus, our High Priest, who took our sin upon Him, purchasing with His own blood the right for us to approach this throne. We don't have the right to approach based on our own righteousness, but because of the righteousness Jesus provided for all who believe in Him. At this throne of grace, we find help in our time of need. This help is not limited to what we can supply for ourselves. This help is based on the riches of God in Christ Jesus.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
It's important to know that this grace to help us is not in response to our need. It meets our needs, but it doesn't come just because we have a need. It comes because we approach the throne of grace. It comes because we are looking to Him, and not at our problems.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
All of our needs are taken care of when we get our eyes off of them, quit fretting over them, look up to the Lord, and approach His throne confidently according to the righteousness Jesus has provided for us. We go to His throne and we stay there until we receive His sufficient grace.
To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He is gracious to us. Psalm 123:1-2
We look to Him until we receive His grace--His sufficient grace which brings an abundant flow into our lives! Yes this may have to do with priorities, but its more than that. God is trying to teach us to walk in the ways of His kingdom. He wants us to be more mindful of His glory and grace, His provision and righteousness, His plans and purposes, than being overcome with worry about our bills. We drown in our need when our eyes are on them and our own ability to meet them. We need to get our eyes on the Lord and receive His grace.
...it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace... Hebrews 13:9
Grace strengthens your heart. If your heart is weakened by worry, grace will strengthen it. Lift up your eyes. Approach the throne of grace. Receive His grace which is not only sufficient for your needs, but brings an abundant overflow for you to bless others with! His sufficient grace gives you both bread and seed.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.  Malachi 3:10
The Lord Himself will open the windows--the floodgates--of heaven and pour out an overflowing blessing on you! You can test Him in this by bringing your tithe into His house. Bring it to the throne of grace as an offering as you approach Him. These blessing don't flow just because you have a need. You have a part to play in it. You need to approach Him. You need to turn on the faucets of grace!



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Call of the Wild



The wilderness is not what it used to be. It’s shrinking, in both size and appeal. There are not as many pieces of land to explore, and discover, the secrets of survival. The desire to go there is not as strong. Yet, the hearts of some still long for it, for God drives us to it. He drives us away from the familiar and comfortable so we may explore, discover, learn, grow, enjoy, teach, and rest. 

The solitude of the wilderness refreshes us, yet, we can’t have the wilderness to ourselves. Nor, deep down, do we really want that. We want family and community--someone to share our wilderness with.

One says, “I can do it! I can live off the land by myself. I can survive, without help, without others, without cities, and conveniences.” But, when another, who is surrounded, no drowning, in conveniences sees this one, they laugh. “Why?” They ask. “Why do you do it?”

“Because. Just because. I can. ‘I can’ makes me happy. It makes me…alive.” They laugh again, and so I ask myself why. Do I turn away from conveniences just because they are convenient? No, for even in the wild we learn that some ways are ‘better’ than others if it makes survival easier.

So, where to draw the line?

Should we draw the line when conveniences become a snare, and cause us to lose our skill, making us dependent on them? But who, or what, do they make us dependent on? With almost every convenience comes a little more dependency on others. Ask yourself, who is it you are becoming dependent on, and what is the cost—the real cost? The reality is, we are all dependent on others to a certain degree—some more than others. Somewhere between total independence and total dependence is…life. 

Adam and Eve were told to fill the earth, with people. And with people come skills, art, sharing, community, and conveniences. Dependency, or trust in others, enabled us to do more, and do it better. Yet, some wonder, is this right? What about the tower of Babel?

The exploring, expanding, pioneering heart is in all of us. God put it there. But when the earth is filled, then what? Where do we go? What is calling us, driving us to fulfill that desire to explore and expand? All is full. Do we go back to the overcrowded cities, and save people from that jungle—those who are caught in the snare of too much, or wrongful, dependency? Do we choose a simple life, enjoying some conveniences, but refusing the ones that steal our skill, our art, our life? Just because we can, some say, doesn’t mean we should.

So where does this leave us? Do we abandon our quest for the wild and return to settle in the land of our ancestors, or our birth, is that now our calling? We all come from the same place originally, so yes, we find purpose when we return to the God of our creation spiritually, if not geographically. Yet, in this vast earth where do we settle? Do we settle, or do we press on, continuing to seek out some wild place to explore? Our hearts long for a land. For in our land we find the buried treasure of our purpose. We find home.

The fathers looked forward to the other-world country. They longed for it here knowing it is a land that satisfies. God truly is preparing a place for those seeking His kingdom--our true and permanent home. Until then, some here on earth look for the most original version of what God made. The most “untouched by humans” place. For too many people in a small space tend to make a mess of things. 

Everyone wants their own space, and when too crowded, we lose that feeling of “ownership.” Our home feels suffocating instead of refreshing, and we don’t value it as much. The land becomes stripped of its beauty when we don’t value it, care for it, or cultivate it properly. So many leave the cities and if they don’t go to the untouched wilderness, they at least search for that new suburb that will satisfy.

Yet, some find purpose in the cities, surrounded by people. Architectures that build in a way that enhances the natural beauty of a region, instead of spoiling it, have truly found their land and their purpose. Cities are full of people and within people is a “land.” Our bodies come from the earth, and we are to care for them, and see the value in them. But this includes caring for our gardens—where we live and work—for that nourishes our bodies and gives us purpose. Is that really the appeal of the wild—purpose? In the wild we rediscover the joy of simple living, and don’t take anything for granted—food, clothing, shelter, people, and the grace of God.

Listen, wherever God is calling you, go. Go to that land and meet Him there. Listen for the voice crying in the wilderness, your wilderness. Go and live in that land. Breathe, explore, and expand by teaching the next generation, as there is joy in watching the young learn and discover. As you teach children to settle in the wilderness you pursued and survived, they will build upon that. Teach them to value their land, no matter how big or small, no matter how populated or wild.

God knows when the earth is full, when the time is right for this age to end, and for the heavenly city to come. Until then, listen for the call of the wild, and settle there.



Friday, September 8, 2017

The Pillars that Stopped the Wordicanes (Hurricanes)



The other morning, as I woke up, I had a dream-like vision. I saw something happening to the words people spoke. There were people speaking words, which were words of death. These were not life-giving words, but words which would bring destruction. At first, these appeared to be fairly "harmless" words that people casually spoke. As these words were spoken, God would send them out over the seas--oceans--to prevent destruction from coming on people. The power of these words had to go somewhere, so by His mercy He sent them out to the waters. There they would swirl around over the waters until they died out and stopped. At first they were small swirls that didn't hurt anything too bad.

But then, I saw many words--a multitude of words. Words of death and destruction. Particularly from the hearts of people in turmoil. With violent turmoil in their hearts they would speak these words of death. Others would join them and repeated their words. This was a serious problem as others joined them--those who didn't have the same extent of turmoil in their heart--but they agreed with them and spoke their words. These words were also sent out to the seas and swirled around, but there were too many. They gathered and created a storm. Their mission was to accomplish the death and destruction they were sent to do--particularly in America. They rose up as storms--hurricanes--over the waters.

As the "wordicanes" (hurricanes made from words) raged, I saw pillars begin to form. Cloud pillars began rising straight up through the hurricane clouds. They were the prayers of the saints. As these cloud pillars rose up they slowed down the hurricanes over the waters. The more pillars that popped up, the more the winds slowed down. Even though the pillars were made out of clouds, they were thick and strong pillars that interrupted the flow of the hurricane. The pillars were prayer and repentance. Repentance for the words of death, and more. There were several strong ones at first, and then some smaller ones began to pop up too. All of them helped stop the force of the hurricanes.

After a bit, I saw the hurricanes flatten out, getting thinner and thinner. Then I saw rainbows coming down from them. The rainbows, as it says in the Bible, were a reminder of God's promise that He would never again destroy the earth by flood. Reminded by God's rainbow promise there was repentance for sin, particularly sexual sin--the LGBT movement that uses the rainbow as a symbol of wickedness, throwing it in God's face, testing His mercy. This may have also included any mishandling of God's mercy--taking advantage of it by accepting what He does not accept. Repentance for accepting the homosexual movement, as well as repentance for spoken words of death, were the pillars that stopped the storm.



Monday, August 28, 2017

Dissolving Racism at The Call

The Call 11/11/2011
Almost six years ago, I went to The Call--Detroit which was a 24-hour prayer meeting held at Ford Field. It was a time of addressing racism in many forms. There were a few instances during the meeting that really touched me. One was the Indians. A group of Indians (sorry I don't remember which tribe or type) were on stage in their dress having a time of celebration with white people, some who were the leaders of the event. It was a lot of fun, yet part of it included a time of repentance for taking their land.

Next, there was a time of repentance from white people towards the black people represented there, for the slavery our ancestors inflicted upon them. It was very touching, and a little surprising to me when a young black minister repented to the white people for the grudges he held against them, causing racism in his own heart. You could see an older black minister surprised by this, and trying to process the whole idea himself. At one point, I made I saw him watching me (I was in the front row) and made eye contact with him as he saw me talking and laughing with the black girl next to me.

The most powerful time, I thought, came when a former Muslim terrorist was on stage with a Jewish Rabbi, and got on his knees to ask for forgiveness for his hatred and treatment of the Jewish people. The Rabbi sobbed uncontrollably and the moment was a powerful one.

These public displays of repentance caused the Indian girl standing near me to approach me. As she said who she was I immediately asked her for forgiveness personally, to which she replied, "No, I have people ask me for forgiveness all the time. I forgive all of you. What I need is for you to forgive me for the attitude I've held against the white people." It was a moment of awareness for her, and a very humbling time for me.

The whole event, with all of the walls coming down, and repentance and forgiveness flowing both directions, was amazing. I pray we stir up this time of attitude in the church, flowing out into the world, so the love of God can touch every heart.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Proclaim His Word with Authority



As the ekklesia, the governing body of the Lord in the earth, we are called to steward His Word here. He has already spoken His Word, and it's up to us--His body in the earth--to continue to speak it so it reverberates throughout the earth. God's Word doesn't die. It's still alive and powerful, and He is watching over His Word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12). When His people speak His Word with the authority He has granted to us, He sees it, and His power backs His spoken Word, to bring it to pass. When you proclaim His Word, He's watching over it, and He will do it.

The Bible also tells us,"This is the confidence which we have before Him that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us, and if we know that He hears us...we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him (1 John 5:14-15). We have to know that He hears us, and we will know that He hears us if we know that what we're asking for is His will. So when we ask for something, when we pray, when we make proclamations here in the earth, we need to know that what we're saying aligns with the Word of God, which is the will of God. His Word is His will.  And when we speak the Word of God, He's listening. We have His attention. The eyes of the Lord go back and forth across the earth and when someone speaks His Word from a confident heart, knowing that it's His will, He hears and He answers. He needs His Word to be spoken from someone with a believing heart in the earth, in order to back it with His power from heaven.

So when we pray for America, concerning the condition of our government, our schools, etc. we want to pray according to the Word of God, we want to be releasing the Word of God into the earth--proclaiming it with authority--and declaring what His Word says into the atmosphere. This is what it means to be the ekklesia, the church, the governing body. We release His Word into the earth, and as we do, He is watching over it to bring it to pass.

Any issues of concern in your life, in your family, you community, or country, pray, proclaim, speak, and believe according to the Word of God. Jesus said all authority in heaven and earth has been given to Him, and then He said for us to go in His name. He's given us authority in the earth. (Matthew 28:18). If we take that authority, and believe, having faith in His Word, knowing that it is His will, then we will be able to pray and proclaim accordingly. But if we begin to doubt that this isn't His will, then we're not going to be able to receive anything from the Lord (James 1:6-7).

He needs us to speak and release according to His Word, but he needs us to do so in faith, confidently knowing that this is His will. In order to do this we have to know His Word, so read the Bible. Start by praying and proclaiming the Psalms over the earth, your country, your state, and your community. Know what His Word says, so you can release it confidently, with authority, in the earth.