Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas' Bitter Reality

When did getting a car become part of Christmas?  Christmas is an exciting time of year, no doubt about it, and it's not a surprise the deceiver would keep twisting it into something other than what it is.  The more he can avoid the reality of what Christmas day represents, the more he can continue in his darkened version of life and not face the bitter reality - yeah, how about that?! Christmas Day is a bitter reality for him!!

So, because I think God Himself would like to remind that devil of the bitter reality of the meaning of Christmas, I think I'll join Him in recalling the details of ALL that day 2000 years ago signified.

First, let's remember the angels that night.  God sent them to shepherds.  Well, He sent ONE to some shepherds, but then, a whole host of angels couldn't contain themselves and just burst through Heaven and into this world of three little dimensions to shout and sing of the Glory of the King they worshipped eternally...  

Here was a demonstration of Love never seen before. The eternal God, creator of men who fell into Satan's grasp, was setting aside His Glory in Heaven to enter the world He created... as a baby.  Oh, I'm sure the angels knew why He was doing it.  He was going in to rescue men from the darkness in which they were chained.  He was going in to show, for all to see, just who had the authority here, and to take His own back from Satan's grasp.  

...more to come

I WAS going to add more about the story of Christmas... but I think this year I'm going to stop there and just relish the reality of the dawn of a new era.  Christmas Day was the beginning of the end for satan. ..and WE are the bitter reminder of that end for him.

So bless the Lord this Christmas.  Share the Love of God, say Merry Christmas to everyone, heal the sick while your at the mall, sing your favorite Christmas songs, cast out demons... you know, share the Christmas cheer! Its C-Day!

Isaiah 61: 1,2 - "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, and He anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the broken hearted... 
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God..."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Back from Redding III

This post has some pre-blog thoughts from November about loving and being loved by God.

Nov 5, 2010 

So I'm asking God to show me how much He loves me. I can't believe I've never asked to experience this from God- to experience His love for me every day.  To wake up and not even start the day without asking to see my Father God's love for me during the day.  I've ignored any need for this until now. I'm just gonna write it all down.

Nov 10, 2010

I was so impressed with people I met in Redding, and how good their relationship is with God.
I haven't actually beeen able to grasp it.  Today I suddenly realized it's not that  they have this really. really. good. good. relationship with God.  Its that they are absolutely, unashamedly in love with God!  

Its exactly like watching someone the day they realize they're in love with someone, and they find out the other person feels the same. Its a giddy, "I can't tell you how excited I am about this" expression on their faces and in their prayers and conversations.    It's being in love.  Wow.  It makes me want what they have. Who is this God that makes them so happy?  

But being giddily happy and in love?  Being touched and touching God in a close intimate way like someone who has met their soulmate?  God, my soulmate.  I can't say I've even considered giving Him access to my heart in that way...  Here we go!

Dec 5, 2010

I sure have a lot of words to say, and a lot of theory.   Right now, I'm ready to pitch it all.  
If we're in love with God, and stop for one person every day and love them, we'll be living lives with eternal, eternal value. 

1Cor 4:20 - "the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Back from Redding II

This post has some of my pre-blog thoughts from November about loving and being loved by God, and I'm compelled today and tomorrow to post this from the airplane ride back from California and other days from November.


Nov  4, 2010 - God is good, and He's in a good mood, and He wants to do do good things today, right now.

I'm flying back from a leader's conference at Bethel Church, Redding California.  Everything I've come to believe about God's plan and purpose for us and for this planet, I saw not only being lived out, but lived out with enthusiasm, convinced of His Love and His authority.  In fact, all my "just dawned on me" thoughts have been fully developed, are in action, and being built upon. They have a vision for expanding the kingdom of God on earth. The leadership team is rock solid and believe Jesus didn't come to take sides, but to take over.  I could go on for a long time about what I saw and learned, but it all comes out of this one thing.  Coming to experience how much God loves you, and what that makes you.  Everything flows out of that, and there is a LOT to everything at Bethel!

I suddenly feel that, if I'm going to invite anyone into what I've experienced of God, that I'm not really experiencing a great relationship with God as my Father and me as his son.... What I mean is its not that Jesus hasn't washed away my sins, He has, and there is nothing like becoming a new creation in Christ.  But on a daily basis, I don't live in the love God has for me, or out of a great relationship with Him as my Father and me as his son.  In fact, I have never asked God to show me how much He loves me. To be honest, I've actually treated that subject like something you dont' really need.  But I think I really do. It may be pivotal. 

So, this is what I've decided to do, and I don't know exactly where it will end.  I'm asking God to show me how much He loves me, and who I am to Him.  I'm expecting this to be important and I wanted to use this blog to make it public.  I think God wants to be known for who He really is, and I'm asking Him to show me His love.  I have no idea where  this will lead.

The second thing I want to do differently is to begin being generous. This is because generosity is like Love. Its just like love, you give it away... to someone.  Its going to start with paying for other people's meals when I'm at a restaurant, or for the groceries of someone behind me in line, or at the truck stop.  This is another thing that I think is going to be important so I'm also going to include it in this blog.

So, I don't think I'll have any more "just dawned on me" revelations of why the earth and man were created.  That seems settled in my mind. I've seen everything I've written about- and more- already being modeled on the streets and in emergency rooms in Redding CA (seriously- emergency rooms!).  The next step is on God.  And here is where I'll be writing about what he does with and through me...

1 John 3:1 - "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God." 


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

...and we're back

...a brief hiatus due to the power cord for this netbook being stolen along with my 40" flat screen TV on Thanksgiving. ...I decided to take the opportunity to give up TV for a while.         

I was thinking about Luke 12:32 today, "your Father took delight in giving you the kingdom." Now that I read the direct greek translation I automatically have a theory about it.  You could make a case that when Lucifer got uppity and rebelled, what he really wanted was to take God's kingdom for himself.  

Well, Jesus said to his disciples, "your Father took delight in giving YOU the kingdom" like... INSTEAD of Lucifer.  Cool, huh?  Yeah, I like makin stuff up like that, just so I can say... MIND... BLOWN!  Well kids, stay tuned, cause today's blog will light it up- don't read ahead though, 'cause I really thought this all out.

About giving us the kingdom, I believe we'll be set into places of authority to administer God's kingdom one day- in an official way,  and I think God will do that while Satan is watching. As we're being preciously beloved by God, and He's freely and happily giving us His kingdom, Satan will watch and be galled as he spends forever in Hell, away from God- LOL... ROFLYSST (rolling on the floor laughing, yet somehow still typing).  Hehe!

OK, sorry, but I'm getting the picture that God has no qualms about doing this in direct response to Lucifer's prideful aspirations, and his challenges to God in who He is. I'm thinking it could be that God answered Lucifer that very first day, and He took delight in giving His kingdom to men. PSYCH! 

As if God said, "I'm not owned by anything. Even my kingdom is mine to hold or to give away. When Lucifer wanted to take it, that was sin. And He challenged Me in all the aspects of my nature.  Well in this one aspect, its my pleasure to give my kingdom away.  But not to Lucifer- I have something else for him.  I'll make a new creature.  I'll make him in my image- male and female. And they'll be sons and daughters to Me even as Jesus is the Son.  I'll give them my Spirit, and with pleasure, I'll give them My kingdom.  In fact I'm going to do that right now." And then He did it. He created mankind- to be sons and daughters, and to be the recipients of His Love, His Spirit, and His kingdom. He made us for that- to be His people, and He to be our God.

...the game is changed

So, I've come full circle on this subject.  Why did Jesus die for me? Its not only Him dying for me, its Him being Love and dying to redeem us, and on top of that, giving us His Spirit, and on top of that, giving us His kingdom!  It's His response to Lucifer's challenges to the nature of God. Is God indeed loving? Oh, you have no idea!  In response, He displays the greatest love- setting His love on man; man who had fallen into Satan's lies and even joined his ranks. Yet God, in His love, unafraid, reached out to rescue man from Satan's deceptions.  With ultimate sacrifice, He took men back from Satan and showed what the Love of God is!  And, if you're able to believe it, He continously offers you more love than you can take, today, right now, where you are, all day long. For you, and everyone you ever loved.    

And beyond that, He predestined us to be conformed to the image of Jesus, that He would be the first born among many brethren. What?! Yes, there it is, man was created to become as Jesus is and to be set as heirs of His kingdom.  This work has already been done since the beginning.  We are heirs, and have inherited the administration of the whole kingdom of God. This is in fact what we were made for!  To receive the great outpouring of God's love and so, prove His loving nature forever, and to receive God's kingdom because He took delight in giving it to us.

...Brace yourself

So, what does it mean to be given His kingdom?  THAT is the great part of our lives here on earth. To have the joy of bringing the kingdom of Heaven to earth. That's for us to enjoy.  I started doing this recently- walking into the mall or post office, and seeing someone with a cane or in a wheelchair, and ask to pray for their healing right there. I can easily say that I've never prayed for more strangers in my whole life as I have in the last month. I expect to start seeing people getting healed right there in public.  Bringin' the Kingdom.

And here's another thing.  I also started to pay (not pray) for people's groceries in front of me at the checkout line, or for their donuts at the Krispy Kreme drive up window... in Jesus' name (11 PM "Hot Donuts NOW!"  Yeah!). I'm praying for my city, Raleigh, to be changed.  

That's where I'm starting when it comes to bringing the kingdom.

It totally matters that Jesus said "Your Father took delight in giving you the kingdom." I want to see what it looks like for God's will to be done at Walmart as it is in heaven.  And I want to know how much He loves us.  I want to see it all- His abounding love, and His kingdom come.

I've been totally inspired by Catherine, Dustin and Stef, who prayed for so many people at the mall the other night, I lost track. ..yeah we're doin that stuff.

Then there's THIS little gem! She's doing the last two minutes of Kim Walker's song. I LOVE IT!

-Romans 8:29 - "...those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren"

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I've recently finished reading  a book called "The Release of the Spirit".  Its not about crazy,  wild things we've all heard of.  Its a book about the ways of the Spirit, the ways of God and His purposes in the world.  How His work in us is a work of brokenness.   

Few of us, even as believers, come to understand the ways of God.  We've been at it for two thousand years, but so little progress.  We should be growing in the understanding of the Nature of God with every generation.  Instead, history shows that we tend to camp out on some good doctrine rather than moving with the wind of the Spirit.  I've decided to sequester myself from any outside messages other than those of my pastor and friends.  In this time I've been pressing in for more knowledge of God...knowledge that will satisfy me, that will answer my questions.  

This word of brokenness has in it a freedom that no other message has brought.  A precious sister in Christ has recently shared her own brokenness- seeing her own prodigal nature and the abundant grace of God toward her.  She is in a unique position to understand God's nature that most of us never see.  

In brokenness there is something in us of the nature of God that touches God. Remember the spirit He put within when we first believed?  Remember being made into a new creature? One that had never existed before- free, free, free?  -There's something of the same stuff as God in us who have received Christ into our hearts. He washed away our sins and made us new. He put a new spirit in us- one of the same stuff as Him.  But its only in brokenness that the selfish and boastful, the wasteful and ugly outer man is silenced, and lets the spirit within us touch God, respond to God, hear from the heart of God and know His purposes and His will.  Maybe that's why we know so little about God's true nature. We're so in the way. 

I have to confess that it grieves me to hear people misrepresent God.  Let me say right now that God does not have a 2 by 4 to hit you upside the head. Why do we sacrifice true knowledge of His gentle grace for that stupid illustration. Its because we're not broken enough to talk about the gentle nature of God and the mountainous power of that. That's somehow reserved for sermon illustrations.  When will we learn to speak the language of disciples who have been disarmed by his purity, his knowledge of us, his true nature?  It's not a theology to write in a book or cliches to repeat on the radio.  Its a breath of the spirit to be caught.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Nice Scaffolding!

Jesus once said, "My kingdom is not of this world."  And at the end of time He says to His righteous ones, "Come, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." 

So, he prepared for us a kingdom that is not of this world, and His own kingdom is not of this world.  ...but He did make the world.  Why?  

The bible says in several places that this world is passing away... in one moment the heavens and earth will cease to exist.  So, He only intended for them to be temporary. Like a temporary structure used only until the intended structure is complete. (by the way... WOW! this is an amazing universe to only be scaffolding!)

So the big Question is that if this world is temporary, and if our inheritance doesn't even have anything to do with it, then what are we doing here?

He made a temporary, finite world, and placed man in it- man who would eventually inherit a kingdom not of this world, but of the infinite world of Heaven.  My growing belief is that the purpose of the world is that its the finite, temporary place for Satan to bear the fruit of his evil thoughts.  We, beloved by God, are horribly the chief recipients , and vehicles, of those deceptions. But those who live in faith in the Creator, and in His Christ will prove the perfect wisdom and knowledge and power of God over all of that.

Godly wisdom like "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me...  
As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." -Matt 25:35

- All the best lies of Satan in this world can't come close to the goodness and freedom of the true nature of God.  

POSTSCRIPT: I think its interesting that He refers to "these, My brothers"  Jesus calls those who believe in Him His brothers...  He is the first born of many brothers...  He's talking here about ministering to believers.  Naked, thirsty, sick imprisoned believers.  I'm challenged by this. There are so many in this corrupted world who are putting their faith in Christ and suffering for it. 


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Satan Gets Punked

This title cracks me up! See if you think this post matches the title. This is my second post about the fall of man being the plan of God from the start (see "as planned"). This may not be your interpretation of the events in the garden of Eden, but I think it's worth a look.

Most people say the garden of Eden is where Adam and Eve blew it for all of us. They did the ONE thing God told them not to do, and then God had to get us out of this predicament.

I propose that the events of the garden were a well set out table, arranged especially for Satan, to carry out on earth what he attempted in heaven. It was not only God's intention that man would fall under the deception of the evil one. It was God's intention that Satan would deceive man and take his authority over creation- and subject them to his corruption - it was His plan for Satan.

Warning: If you feel that God putting man through injustice and pain is out of character, you may not like this post. But I feel that God is primarily about something beyond man's comfort at this time.

Irresistible Man
This world is part of God's response to Lucifer's rebellion. So far, we've seen it include creating new dimensions, creating the universe, creating time, creating earth and man. Whew! And all of these were done with God's unmistakable mark- perfect in beauty, marvelous in wonder, dreadful in power, unsearchable in love and wisdom.

Among all this, He made man, such a small, weak being, and placed him on the earth. He took special care in creating man, and said wonderful things about this most favored creation. ...and Satan took special care in noting what God was doing. He saw the heavens and the earth God had just created - with a word. And how could he miss God spending time loving on Adam and Eve ...enjoying them ...sharing in their wonder ...walking and talking with them ...and giving them authority over all the brand new things He had created! Wow!

These new beings were so innocent and weak!! God had made them, fearfully and wonderfully, in His own image, and was bestowing His great love on them... He was giving them authority over all the stuff of the earth, and over these new heavens as well... This was an amazing treasure, and growing in desirablility with every moment. 

Satan could never resist the chance to defile it all- to steal it all.

Satan Snared
Then the time came when God allowed Satan access to them. Of course Satan did what he could not resist doing- what God knew He would do. - He spoke to the beloved, vastly wealthy, and incredibly vulnerable man with his lies. And he took man and all he had. Authority over all that God had created and poured into man now belonged to Satan. Satan siezed this jewel and was not going to let go. It was his ...and it was so easy. ...hmmm.

It was so easy. What was God up to? He was the ruler of thousands upon thousands of glorious, fiery and mighty warrior angels. Satan and his crew had only a fading glory and not the strength they were made with. God's mighty cherubs in heaven had already fought and prevailed at the first rebellion and Satan and those fallen angels were driven "from the mountain of God and from the fiery stones."

But this time, with man, God let down His guard entirely. He left man, and the heavens and the earth, like a jewel out in the open, unguarded. And Satan took it. I think that made Satan like a monkey with his fist in a cookie jar.  Thrown down from heaven, he now has a place- here on earth- stolen - where he can display his wisdom, his understanding, and raise his ugly head up against the knowledge of God.

And, this is the hard part, not only did he now have a place, but he who only steals kills and destroys now had a race of beloved creatures to deceive, and to bring into corruption. (that would be us.)

Things that make you go, “hmmm”.

Civilians turned Combatants
Man was innocent of the things that had gone on in Heaven- the rebellion, the affront, the battles that had taken place, the war that was underway.

He was about to have his innocence destroyed, and in a painful reality, be made aware that there is a battle going on. That he has an enemy who steals life and health from him and those he loves. And that God has an enemy- one who breathes lies about His trustworthiness. ...When a man comes to Christ, and tastes the freedom from Satan's corruption, he finds that he has been lied to and stolen from. ...And at that time, he finds that the Lord is standing faithfully by him, ready to give him His Spirit... oh, it's on now!

*John 14:12,13 "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father."

I'm just sayin'
So, Satan got punked because, in this world he stole, he's about to find out just how weak and powerless he is against the will and wisdom of God.  This new creature, man- so weak when compared to any angelic being, including Satan, so easily corrupted with the simplest of lies,  and so easily taken and owned by Satan- will, with faith in Christ, walk free from Satan's hold- and there's nothing he can do about it.  This same weak and meager Man will exercise God's own authority and dominion in Jesus' name, and overcome any of Satan's works, small or great, and so, bring glory to the Father. ...and shame to Satan.

The power he thought he had over this jewel of a world, and the authority he thought he had over mankind, dissolves against the believer and the beautiful Body of Christ who calls on the Lord in faith. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Man - God's Weapon in Eternity

OK, I've mentioned that this world was created with the reconciliation of the great conflict in heaven in mind. That somehow the world and us are part of the way God will reconcile the rift in heaven caused by the fallen cherub Lucifer and those who joined him.

How the world and us are part of bringing an ultimate judgement upon those fallen ones and that this world is not the place where, if we just get good enough at understanding God, we'd get back to the garden....

So I'm raising these questions because we haven't answered them as a corporate body of Christ. It has gotten into my blood and it bothers me. We are currently on some kind of romantic notion of God's love... I understand the personal intimate touch from God that heals, that disarms and just makes you cry with How pure it is. I love a God of personal touches, not one of all business.

But this is a matter that just needs attention. The earth is a battleground where we are fighting the good fight of faith and taking ground from the enemy. Its so lacking that I have to say that I have never heard anyone talk about it. I'm afraid sometimes that I'm off the reservation. But I bring these thoughts to my pastors and I think they are with me... though we may not hear a message entitled "Man- God's weapon in eternity" any time soon... :)

*Rev 21:2,3 "And I John saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, come down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, 'Behold the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.' "

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What's God Doing in the World today?

It's what He's been doing since the beginning of the world.

Really? You mean He isn't done yet? What's taking Him so long? And what IS He doing anyway? And when is He gonna be done?

I've spent some time trying to understand the big plan from beginning to end.

So what is it?

Aside from expressing His nature and His redemption individually to people... and displaying His dominion over this finite physical realm... God is, for a time yet, adding people to His kingdom. People who worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, and who, even amidst their pain, continue in faith in their God. He is answering their cries for help, wiping away their tears, and best of all, taking back ground that had been stolen by Satan. This is a big part of what He is doing.

I believe He is also looking within that group for warriors in the battle with Satan. I say that because He has been building this in me recently. I've never understood the messages about putting on the armor of God and doing battle with the enemy. But recently I've been peeling back the big questions, and the answers are revealing that this whole world is a battle ground where the dominion of God over Satan is to be displayed. Its the work of the believer to bring the kingdom of God into the world... on those terms.

Taking Ground

That changes the whole game for me. I suddenly see myself as a fighter. Not a lover. Well, not the emotional, empathetic puddle kind of love. But a strong love that is uncompromising and refuses to give any ground to Satan. My friends will keep their marriages together because that is God's will and He is about TAKING ground from Satan, not losing it. That's what God is about in the world today.

Jesus' words, "I only do what I see the Father doing." are most dear to my heart right now, and I am seeing what the Father is doing. When the need is oinment for pain, He can give me a word for the hurting (this requires such humility of spirit, and for my outer man to be broken). If one is deaf, He will show me Himself healing their hearing. If one is frightened, He will give me the words of encouragement and how to say them.

This vision for ministry is not entirely new to me, but I'm more convinced now that it is an act of warfare- of taking ground from Satan... It's all ground he's stolen, and while he held it, he marred it with pain and suffering. Now I'm here to take it back. And under the Lord's care, make it beautiful again. I want to be careful not to sound too big. I prayed for Cindy's hearing last Friday night (she's had a loss of hearing her whole life). It was a step of faith and I'm not daunted in the least that she did not miraculously hear perfectly (and neither is she). It was launching an attack on an enemy stronghold. There will be more.

He's in the world today

The Holy Spirit is in the world today and He is here to teach us to pray. Pray, and then learn from the Holy Spirit what He is saying to you about praying better next time. It's about bringing the kingdom of God into the earth, and displaying the dominion and glory of God.

Perhaps we can improve in how well we pray, and how often we see answers to our prayers. I think we can learn to know the mind and will of God with growing discernment and accuracy. Don't just keep praying.... Get better at it!
Here's my test case. I think I can get better at (1) hearing God (2) sensing His Spirit (3) getting my dumb self out of the way (4) discerning His will and (5) letting His Spirit rule the day.

I know I'll misstep, misspeak, pray and not see immediate changes... But I'm also sure that I'm practicing and getting better at it. With each step of faith into the battle, I'm following the Father into what he's doing, and He's the Lord!

1 Sam 14:6 "...let's go over to the enemy's outpost... perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf..."

Yeah, them's fightin' words....

Sunday, August 15, 2010

How lovely are the feet...

This week 10 Christians were murdered by the Taliban in Afghanistan. They were returning to Kabul after spending two weeks giving medical care to people in a remote town. Several of the Christians murdered had been serving the Afghan people for 30 years. They were accused of spying and trying to convert Muslims to Christianity and were killed on the spot.

Heather Mercer (you might remember her story of escape from the Taliban in 2001) says Christians should continue to pray and bring the gospel, because without Christ, there is no hope for Afghanistan. She also said "I don't know that those who died would have been surprised that this might be the outcome someday. ...they had already given their lives for the Afghan people.
They didn't just give their lives the day they physically lost their lives."

*Isaiah 52:7 "How lovely on the mountains of Afghanistan are the feet of them that bring good news."

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Stuff my Dad says

Watchman Nee states "God will never circumvent our own spirit by His." He's a gentleman, never forcing His way on us... So, what DOES he do then? If He's not forcing Himself into our decisions or smiting us for our misdeeds, how DOES He speak? What IS He doing?

I think He is being Himself - True. Altogether wise. Loving. Utlimately powerful. Patient. Gentle. Kind. These are quiet qualities, yet, from Him, mountainous. Unscalable in their magnitude.

I think this because of stories like this one. I had been driving for two hours, growing more and more upset at other drivers in a mad hurry, behaving like children jumping in front of eachother in line, etc, etc, etc...

My temperature was rising, and I'm saying things like, "What an idiot that guy is!" or, "How can they be so stupid!" etc, etc, etc...

And then I hear quietly in my ear "Oh, you mean people?"

As in, "People? ...I love people. ...I poured my life out for people..."

In a moment I am transformed from a frustrated and growingly angry driver to a humbled, quieted, contrite... and free... person, who has heard from a patient, gentle, and wise God. One word, one moment forever changed my thoughts while driving, and maybe more than just while driving. THAT is mountainous! And it is kind.

Perhaps then, He only ever speaks or acts out of His very nature. - And I have evidence that His nature is kind. He is patient with us. And I think its true that God is love.

*1 John 5:20 '...the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true...'

Thursday, July 29, 2010 planned

And God placed man upon the earth He had created, and gave him dominion over it, and said be fruitful and multiply, and God walked with man in the cool of the day.

And, as planned, man would go on to fall to the deception of the evil one, bringing all of mankind and creation into corruption.
[sound of record scratches here]

Wait! It started out so good! Why did you have to go and ruin it?!!

Fixing Heaven

Its the "as planned" part that is worth writing about. It seems to be seldom mentioned, but it's important in understanding God's redemption plan. The bigger redemptive plan is not only about saving man, but about fixing heaven. Oh yeah. Heaven's broken right now! And God is not about to let that stand.
(I realize this may be a new idea to some, so feel free to chew on it for a while, but Satan rebelled and took a third of heaven with him. That's not fixed yet!)

Isn't the fall of man always described as the big mistake Adam and Eve made? And how God's original plan was for the earth to be a wonderful place full of abundance and fellowship with God?

I could not disagree more. The earth was not made to be a wonderful place for man to enjoy daily walks with God. If you're going for that, you will fail in your search.

But, you will say, the bible clearly describes how Adam walked with God in the cool of the day. God gave him interesting and stimulating things to do like naming all the animals, and studying the world, and discovering all the secrets God built into it. That sounds like a wonderful place of discovery and fellowship with God. And so it was.

And, as planned, man would go on to fall to the deception of the evil one.

Did Adam blow it?

So man never stood a chance? He was pre-destined to sin? No. That is too small a question. What man is going through every day in his struggle with his own flesh, with the sin and sickness in the world around him, and in his own fight with satan (if you think of it in that way), are part of something bigger than you or me or even this world.

Would you agree that God was not just happily passing the days with Adam and Eve when all of a sudden they did the one thing they must not do and ruined everything? I mean did Adam just ruin everything? No, he did not!

But wasn't man made for God to enjoy, and for man to know God and enjoy Him forever? Yes, but not yet. Remember the serpent in the garden? What was a rebellious, lying, hater of God doing on this perfect earth? This was no perfect world. There was an enemy afoot. And dealing with his evil and rebelliousness was the first order of business for this brave new world. The first order.

There would be plenty of time (at the end of time) for man to enjoy God forever. Time for rest and walks with God in the cool of the day. But it would not be before man played a key role in the reconciliation of the conflict in heaven. It would not be until heaven was fixed.

For now, beloved by God, fearfully and wonderfully made, man would suffer under the lies of the evil one. And creation itself would suffer decay under his evil corruption, thus setting in motion the events that would reconcile the great conflict of eternity. planned...

Earth the battleground

What I'm saying is that this world is not our home. Was never meant to be. The purpose of this world is that it's a battleground. That's what it was from the beginning. God made the heaven's and the earth to answer Satan's rebellion. Its where God would display the truth of His love, His dominion, His power.

Earth is where God would display His love and send His Son to lay down His life on behalf of those He would take back from Satan. In the end, those redeemed by God will add their painful testimonies to the final judgement of Satan and his angels. But in the meantime, God would give them Eternal Life- not a length of days, not heaven when they die, but a different kind of life to live out on the earth as well as into eterrnity, a life with a different quality than the life darkened by sin.

John 17:3 '...and this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent.'
1 John 5:11,12 '...God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.'

Those who know Him would know His will and ask things in His name, and recieve the things they ask for (I John 5:14,15). They would take back ground stolen by Satan. And they would display the love of the Father to men.

And in Satan's own kitchen, they would display- right in front of him- the power of the kingdom of God over the works of Satan, and the dominion of Christ over the things of this world that had fallen under his deception, and they would compel men to be reconciled to God by a love that is not afraid.

This world was not made to be a wonderful place of rest for man to enjoy daily walks with God in the cool of the day. We are not getting back to the garden. We are spending the remaining days of this age expressing the authority of God over every work of Satan, and displaying the truth about every aspect of His nature, and fearlessly bringing the kingdom of God's marvelous light into every dark place.  We're taking over in Jesus Name.

Beloved by God

Its not that the big picture is what's "really" going on, and our lives are less significant. Your pain is felt by God. That IS the battleground. That IS the injustice. The one who looks to God in faith, He will run to meet you and wipe away your tears. God loves you. Jesus walked the earth with dominion over all the things sin had broken- He healed the sick, and spoke peace to storms. Not only that but He walked right into hell and took back those who Satan thought he held captive. This is the Lord. He is in the world today and is near to you if you draw near to Him. He will heal your sick body, your sick soul, give you a new heart.

God had high thoughts when he created man. Never before had He created such a being. Made in His own Image, He put His own Spirit into man. He made man with the plan that he will one day share in the reign of His kingdom. More than any other being he had made before... He created man with vision and purpose and more of Himself, with more intentions to share more of what He had made, or WOULD make... making him an heir to the biggest inheritance ever imagined. Man is amazingly the recipient of the greatest love that will ever be shown!

*1 Cor 13:12 'Now we see as through a glass dimly, but then, face to face.'