Thursday, December 6, 2012

Where are the Next-Level believers?


My question now is - where are the songs?  Where are the believers of my generation, any generation, who are experiencing the life of loving and being loved by God, and who become something because of that?  Where are the bringers of the kingdom?

God is spoken of in hushed tones- leaving people untouched, unloved, unemployed
Why isn't there more knowledge of God out in the wild?  Why are we repeating the same lessons some 30 years after we all learned them the first time- where are the next level believers? Are they hiding? Why aren't they exhibiting the dominion of God in every place and in every way? Why is God spoken of in hushed tones- leaving people untouched, unloved, unemployed?  Where are those who are experiencing the love and power of God?  And why aren't they showing themselves and making God known on the earth for all His goodness and loving-kindness?  Where is the demonstration, and where is the discussion and the volumes written of what happens through a mature believer's life? Where are the books about the eternal life of knowing our God, and taking ground from the devil, making him look bad in the process, and transforming the culture with the Love of God?  Where is the revelation that what we're doing with the rest of our lives is expressing the overwhelming power of Jesus that always leads us into victory over the schemes of the devil? Go ahead son or daughter of God.  Hear and declare the will of God over your next challenge. Watch Jesus crush satan's head for you. Tell me that's not a kick ass life. You are God's weapon in eternity.

The expression being given was failing men.
I realize that the discontent in my heart is driving me to become the answer to my own question. In the same way Isaac Watts wrote new songs because he saw that the pure magnificence of Jesus Christ demanded a new expression. The songs of his day, the psalms, came from one man's heart, but he had songs in his own heart that needed expression.  And Luther, the closer he got to God, the more he saw the crying need for everyone to have this word. Watts "rebelled" against the constraints of a form that had grown stale - by writing new songs that refreshed and inspired hearts with faith. Luther rebelled against the church that misrepresented the true God by making Him known in all His loving-kindness. These two men were compelled to give a greater expression of God because the expression being given was failing men.  God is so much more than what I'm seeing and hearing - what passes for the knowledge of God out there in my culture. I feel the expression of God in America is failing man, and I'm about to rebel.

There's no escaping the fire in Jesus' eyes
For one thing, if we really read and believed the Bible, we would talk about Satan more. Because Jesus was in the world to tear down his works and schemes. The schemes he has spent all of time constructing to misrepresent God.  Well, I have the inside intel on those plans, and I believe God has a direct answer to all those "questions" Satan raises against God.  There's no escaping the fire in Jesus' eyes or the sword in His mouth or the blood dripping from His robes as He gives God's answers to all those so-called questions. I pray for THAT Spirit to fill me as I contend for my faith, and bring the truth about God's overwhelmingly loving nature. It's overwhelming.

He's the enemy of man,  the enemy of your baby,  and the enemy of God.  
Here's one example of what I mean.
"We prayed and things finally worked out, thank God" Thing's did not "work out"! You called on the One who has authority over your enemy, and He crushed Satan's head!!  You're not getting a nice life, you're taking ground away from your enemy. He's the enemy of man, the enemy of your baby, and the enemy of God.  You just called him out on his schemes, and the right man for the job stepped in and slayed your enemy.

Being awesome.
I'm rewriting American Christianity because it is wrong.  Its failing the culture it is meant to transform. It stops way before it makes any impact. Who's writing THAT script?  It's not biblical, I know that. Rewriting the songs, and the verbiage we all use to express God in our lives. I only want to use language of faith that I implement. Express faith that I see. And what I see is that God made us to declare and pray down the dominion of Christ on the earth.  Jesus is in the world, speaking to our spirits and giving us life. Through us then, He is expressing His dominion in a world currently run by satan, man's enemy, God's enemy.   Not being nice.  Being overwhelming.  Being awesome. Being Love...  Consuming the enemy, putting him on public display, and taking what he ruined and making it beautiful. That's the Love and Power of God, and it's what we were made for.







Monday, June 25, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Faithfulness


It would be a mistake to look at the few things out of a lifetime of a person, that they were credited with, and think that the rest of their days were more or less idle. 

I think guys like Moses weren't just idly milling about tending sheep when one day God broke in on their lives and everything changed.    Or think about Gideon.  What was he doing before God spoke to him in the barn?  Was he evil?  I don't think so . I think he was faithful, and pursuing to know God.  

His story is different than, say Boaz, who was a successful, God-honoring and beloved landowner, who paid attention to his workers' families and concerns. With a guy like Boaz, you could imagine he was a faithful man. 

Why wouldn't we think the same about these other men before their lives were used to change the course of history for a nation?  Why wouldn't we think the same about ourselves before our own lives were used to change a culture, or disciple a nation?  

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What I'm getting at is that I do believe God chooses the foolish things of this world- the nobodies- to accomplish His will in their day. And I do believe He draws them out of obscurity to do it. That's a big part of just Who He is.  

But I do not believe He chooses men who have settled into a mediocre life, who haven't dared to rock the boat with their questions, or worse, have no questions. Such men end up with little thought of God, and are fairly unmoved by the things of God.  That kind of man will die in his obscurity, and never change the world he occupies.  They are like sticks in a streambed- the water ripples, passes around them, and continues on its way, unchanged. 

But a man who has something churning inside him- some urgency, some discontent, some vision- that man, who wrestles and pursues God for what is stirring inside Him, will find God break in on his life, and see everything change.  Because that man is responding to the thing inside him that God put there to be answered. And as he finds answers for that path- which God is leading him on, by the way- he will not be able to help but breach the bank of that stream and redirect its waters.  His place in the world will be changed. And we will all be better for it.

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So, maybe my idea of faithfulness is different.  I say ask your questions.  This IS a journey of Discovery. God made the earth and mankind, and you, to express every aspect of His true nature  What is God wanting to express through you? I believe it has more to do with what unsettles you, than what gives you peace. Pursue your discontent with God, your indignance, your doubts. You will discover a real life God, and the answers you find will be a real expression of Himself- revealed to you, and to the world through you.  It's a daring, off-road journey. You'll be a discoverer. And the world will be changed.





Thursday, May 3, 2012

Colossians 3 revisited



Everything about God's intentions for mankind, and for your own life have now come to pass.  Now that you have invited the architect of all time and humanity to take over your life, you now have access to a whole new life.  You get to live for things you couldn't have even hoped for before.  You were stuck like a dog on a short chain, without any chance of chasing anything you really wanted. 





Now you've discovered that what you really wanted all along was to be connected to Jesus Christ.  You've been feeding an obsession, but you didn't realize that what you were really obsessing for was Jesus.  You've secretly longed for a day when you could have something better than your harsh responses and sinful choices that were your only options.  Well, your day has come.  With Christ in you, a new world has just opened up, and you're not that stuck person anymore.  In Christ you are now freed to go after the things that are only found in the kingdom of Heaven.  Things that give life real meaning, and hope, and joy.


So set your sights on the realities of heaven- where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand, where He has all authority, and where His ways and His will just happen all the time.  You've had a whole wasted lifetime of dwelling in the limited, optionless world of disappointing outcomes.  Now you have been freed to dwell on the things of heaven, so start dwelling there, and not here in this mess!  This world and its old ways have nothing for you anymore- you discovered your real life when you invited Jesus Christ into it.





Now you get to leave behind all that junk that was your only option before.  Now you get to start walking into what you were made for. 

Now you can put to death the sinful things lurking in you that were destroying you.  Now you can put on a whole new nature... and be renewed... and learn to know your Creator... and become like Him!  Woohoo!


You know why? Because God chose you. Yes, He really chose you. And what He chose you for is His outstanding, feedom-filled, joy-filled, holy life.  Now you can clothe yourself, not with the rags of sexual immorality, impurity, and lust; but instead with the robes of tender-hearted mercy, kindness, and humility.  


Now you can exchange things you were stuck doing when you had no other options- like your angry responses, rage, and maliciousness- for things of the kingdom like gentleness, and patience.  Isn't that what you really want, if only there was a way?  What I'm telling you is that it's not too much to hope for!  


Instead of your old knee-jerk responses of slander and cursing and lies, in your new life in Christ you have access to new responses.  Now you can make allowances for faults instead of judging them. That's freedom, dear one.  Now you can forgive those who offend you , instead of wishing they were dead.  


Don't laugh, you used to want that. And maybe you still do, but now you have access to Heaven, where Jesus is, where grace is, and you can have that, and find things like forgiveness for others.  By dwelling on the realities of heaven, when these things come up, bring them to the Lord in prayer.   He will answer you, and be strong for you, and you can start walking in the blessed, loving responses you secretly long to have. This is what you were made for.  To be like Him in these things.


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Now above all, brethren, clothe yourselves with Love, which binds us together in perfect harmony.  And let peace - that comes from Jesus - that you never knew before - that you now have access to - just completey, totally rule in your heart!


Here in the kingdom life... where Jesus is... Jesus is all that matters!  Huh... where Jesus is, He's all that matters... So how "here" do you want Him to be?  And it doesn't matter where you're coming from.  Whether you  think you're important or think you're nobody. Whether you're classy or a redneck. Whether you're slaving for the man, or you ARE the man... Jesus is all that matters.


So let this message about the new life in Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Talk about these things all the time with eachother, in the wisdom He gives.  Sing psalms, hymns and songs in the Spirit, with words from the Holy Spirit welling up from inside you. This is beautiful worship and praise to the Lord we love.  And in everything, give thanks through the Lord Jesus to God the Father.









Sunday, April 29, 2012

I believe in God


Are we saying we stand against atheism- that there is a God that exists? 
No. We are not. It is more than that.


Some say "What first comes into your mind when you think about God is what most defines you."


I say unless you are believing in the true God, then it doesn't matter what you think about when you think about God.  So go ahead and try this.  Close your eyes.  And picture God.  I'll wait for two minutes while you do this...  What do you see?  Where is He?  And where are you?


If you're not seeing the Father of us all, who directs history, holds kingdoms and nations in His hand, chooses His worshipers, rescues and restores crushed spirits, revives courage, and Who lives and dwells with His people who He loves... unless you're seeing THAT God, then it doesn't matter what you think about when you think about God.  


Because anything but the living God Who reveals Himself to you, will not make a difference in your life or in the world.  Only the true God, and not something contrived in our minds, can change the world, and can change you.  


If you aren't being changed like that, then you have yet to meet the true living God.  But knowing this God, as He reveals Himself, and responding in open, contrite, welcome and hunger, THAT is the pure unadulterated calling of your life!




"I live in a high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble,
I restore the crushed spirits of the humble, 
and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts."  
Is 57:15


"Do you not know? Have you not heard from the beginning?
The Lord sits enthroned above the circle of the earth...
He brings princes to naught, and reduces rulers of this world to nothing.
No sooner are they planted
No sooner are they sown
No sooner do they take root in the ground,
than He blows on them and they whither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff."
Is 40:12-14








Thursday, March 1, 2012

God's Plan for Your Life

 How much does God have a plan for your life 
and how much is your own free will?



I actually have a thought about that. 


If you understand God's plan for mankind... the way you interpret THAT will directly influence the decisions you make about HOW you do what you do, and I think eventually, as you make those decisions, you'll eventually have a plan that emerges. It will be your own plan probably but it will be directly influenced and shaped by the way you interpreted and implemented your understanding of God's plan for mankind.



If you don't have any idea about what God is doing on the earth, and throughout the history of mankind on the planet, even in a broad way, how can you have any idea what He would specifically want for your individual life?  And if you did have an idea for your individual life, how would you know if you were right?




My belief is that getting a handle on what His bigger plan is, His biggest plan- which spans from before the earth was formed, to long after the earth is done away with; which takes in all of the strife and suffering of this present darkness, and more significantly, His dominion over it as Jesus expressed it- understanding THAT, is what you need in order to have the right context in which to even ask such a question as what is His plan for your life.




How much does God care about what job you take, or whether you become a doctor or a coffee roaster or a nurse or a missionary.  In fact, just plan on being a missionary right now. OK, now that that's settled, what do you think God's plan is for your life as a missionary?  How do you even begin to answer that?  Well here's my first question. Do you think it has something to do with 
  • Who He is?
  • What He's about?
  • His plan for someone other than you?
  • How about His plan for everyone other than you?
  • How about His plan for every person who has ever been and who ever will be born?
  • How about His plan for Himself?


  • Could it be related to what Jesus did when He walked the earth?
  • How about His plan to reconcile the conflict that still rages in Heaven between Himself and Satan?
  • How about His plan for Satan and all his fallen angels?



Now what do you think His plan for your life might include?  Could it have something to do with His bigger plans?  Are you  a part of His plan for all of mankind?  I think you are, if you're a mankind :-)   Are you a part of His plan for Himself?  I think you are if He made you...




    I think if you have an idea of what He's doing in the big picture, then you can start to ask what He might think of what you do with YOUR life.  But without a bigger picture, I think your question will be unmanageable, I mean, you will never have any way of knowing if you were right or not. That's part of the problem in the first place- how can you even know?  


    I believe the question will answer itself when you see what He's done in making mankind, and understanding what that makes you...  


    Thus, this blog...