Heaven’s expanse and limits

One of the keys to the unprecedented renewal movement of God on earth is surrender to the ruling presence of God. I have done a lot of wrestling with religious rules and standards over the past 50+ years… both breaking them and keeping them.

In great frustration, as an eighteen-year-old boy, I came to a crisis moment of surrender. I prayed a simple but gut-level honest prayer; “Lord Jesus, I don’t know if this pleases you or not, but you are stuck with me because I can’t live without you.” I didn’t realize it at the time but from that moment, the Holy Spirit was able to establish God’s authority in my inner world. My allegiance shifted from a set of earthly, religious rules to a living, moving “alignment” with God’s presence.

Do you trust God’s presence to govern and renew all things including your being and doing?

Following Jesus means allowing the living, dynamic presence of God to rule in your heart. It means that your whole being and doing is governed by the peace and message of Christ. You will be forever blessed by both the expanse and the limits of God’s judgments. (inspired by Colossians 3:15-16)

It’s still a narrow path

Today I was drawn into thoughts about moving forward in spite of challenges. I remembered that Jesus said something about the narrow path. One of the more difficult realities we face is that freedom is a narrow path. The most empowered people are wise enough not to demand their own way.

I decided to search “the narrow way”. I landed in Matthew 7:12-14. There, Jesus taught us about a narrow path and a small gate that only a few even find. THAT sounds hard. He explained that life involves choosing which path you will walk… same circumstances, same challenges, different paths.
What is the mindset of someone who is on the narrow path? Well, first of all, it is tough-minded. It is intentional and pre-meditated. According to Jesus, it is all about staying awake to the way you want to be treated and then giving others what you want for yourself. He said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

My mind goes to another place where Jesus said that loving others as you love yourself and loving God with your whole being sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40) I am left with this; The life I am starving for is a narrow path, the narrow path is love, love is DOING to others what I would have them DO to me.

Or… I can shut my eyes, block my ears and take the broad path and be a trainwreck.

Considering my choices, once again I realize how grateful I am for the sound of the Spirit of God knocking on the door of my life, asking to come in and join me. Every day is about grit, grind, and grace. And because of all that Jesus has done, we have access to everything we need for the narrow path.

So, my friend, if the only option you see in front of you is either blind and deaf denial of reality or facing the narrow path, don’t buy the lie that you have uniquely broken your life, that everyone else is on the better path, or that there is no hope.

Instead, join those who have discovered deep friendship with the only One who can provide all that I need to make it all the way through… Jesus!


The Open Door

There is always a massive reserve of wisdom available to us with Jesus. More than ever before, I am aware that God has reconciled all things to himself in Christ. Reconciliation is a gigantic word.

The unseen things are eternal and what is seen is temporary. It has taken a lifetime to learn, but I am convinced that I wouldn’t last a day without the Spirit of Truth connecting me to life. Somehow, I understand that it’s okay and that He is not in a hurry for me to learn all the lessons.
It is time for us to engage life with a spiritual vision. There is an eternal dimension in every moment of this day. In the simplicity of our routines on earth, heaven is colliding with us. Jesus became the open door for God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. The jaw-dropping reality is that somehow He wants to prove it by showing up through you and me today in every ordinary thing we do.

So, maybe today I will more consistently let go of the anxiety connected with propping up my world in my own strength. This I know for sure… Jesus is the one who pulls it all together and He is our open door to more than we could ever imagine.

Miraculous, not Magical

I order to live a story surrendered to God’s appointment you need grit, grind, and grace every day. It is miraculous but it’s not magic. It requires living on earth tapped into the resources of heaven.

“But you, my delightfully loved friends, constantly and progressively build yourselves upon the foundation of your most holy faith by praying every moment in the Spirit. Fasten your hearts to the love of God and receive the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us eternal life. Keep being compassionate to those who still have doubts, and snatch others out of the fire to save them. Be merciful over and over to them, but always couple your mercy with the fear of God. Be extremely careful to keep yourselves free from the pollutions of the flesh.” (Jude 20-23 TPT)

In Christ, you are a blessing!

Prophetic Give and Take

I am gaining a much greater appreciation for our need to gain skill in the “give and take” of the prophetic in our relationships. I have focused most of my attention on learning how to hear from God and deliver prophetic words to others.

But, Jesus opened the way so that I can also receive powerful blessings through others as they deliver prophetic messages from God to me.

This two-way communication with other believers in Christ requires me to learn how to both receive from and give to others through the gift of prophecy.

Because of all that Jesus accomplished as our Saviour and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh (see Acts 2), we have the incredible blessing of relating prophetically. The same power of Christ that frees us to deliver a prophetic word also empowers us to receive a word responsibly from another believer.

I have a sense that the Church is going to greatly increase our ability to receive words from others with the Holy Spirit’s help. Powerful days lie ahead of us as we learn to lovingly judge the words others deliver to us in a healthy way.

The Lord Jesus is still building his church. The best is yet to come. Don’t squander the opportunities available to you to practice the prophetic in your relationships.

In Christ, you are a blessing!

Why do you exist? Write it down.

Have you taken the time to write your life mission statement? I am referring to a one or at the most two-sentence statement that answers the question, “Why do I exist?”. If not, please make it a priority to ask the Lord about it. In Christ, you have access to come before the throne of grace and ask for revelation on why you were created. God longs for you to see and know His design in you. As you ask him for help in knowing what you were created to do, listen and begin to write out what you hear. Let it unfold even as you write. Eventually, you will be able to get it into one or two sentences (preferably one sentence that is easy to repeat and share.)

Recently I was remembering my mission statement. I wrote it a few decades ago. Here it is… “I exist to help young people discover their God-designed life mission and give their whole lives in order to see it fulfilled”.

With some coaching, I began to envision what that would look like, praying for God’s help in order to get it done. It is amazing to me how that small beginning as marked my journey from then until today.

Writing down and pursuing my mission statement locked me into a partnership on earth as in heaven with the Holy Spirit. It broke up the ground in my life so that the prophetic could be planted and nurtured in me. I am eternally grateful for the grace released to my life story through that one important exercise.

Maybe it is your time to beginning asking the Father to show you your mission. If so, do yourself, all of us, and all of creation a favor and mark it down, covenant with the Lord over it, don’t change it, live into it, and we will all glory with you as God produces heaven’s fruit through you as a result.

In Christ, you are a blessing!

Unlimited Provision… Unlimited Systems

In the middle of a conversation yesterday with an apostolic friend of mine, a word rose up in me… Unlimited provision is waiting for unlimited systems. Prophesying involves taking action, sending a text, making a phone call, saying hello to a stranger, telling someone that you are learning to listen to God for the sake of blessing others, etc.

A system is “a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method.” (Oxford Dictionary) For too long, the objective of our system for the prophetic has been to protect the exclusivity of who gets to prophesy. In other words, we approach prophesying as something reserved for those special ones among us. This has been so limiting to the kingdom of heaven being experienced on earth.

There is kinetic power in the prophetic. Kinetic energy is what a body possesses by virtue of being in motion.

This is what I have learned about being prophetic… the more outlets I create for prophesying, the more it flows from me. Prophecy is receiving AND declaring the living word of the Lord. The more you step forward and risk creating another outlet, the more results you will see.

We all have systems (ways that we operate on a daily basis). Do a gut check to see if you intend to release the kinetic power of the prophetic today. It could be as ordinary as choosing a name from your phone contacts, asking God to release an encouraging word through you to that person, and sending a short text to reflect what you received from the Father concerning his love for them.

Unlimited provision is waiting for unlimited systems. I am speaking that word into my own space today. Maybe that is a good word for you as well.

I truly believe that as your actions create more outlets for the prophetic, you will experience the kinetic energy of God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

In Christ, you are a blessing!

Playing dead… cowardice

Playing dead in life is cowardice. Staying awake in everything you do is brave. Those who are stuck in a lifestyle of playing dead have no idea about the difference between the two ways. Jesus became human to awaken us so that we never need to play dead again.

Drive your roots deep into the truth in Christ, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

In Christ, you are a blessing!

Live worthy of the Lord

I’ve been doing some intense personal work lately. Over the past few years, I have been introduced to the Enneagram. It has been a great discovery. I am a Type 9 with a Self-preservation instinct. Basically, an Adaptive Peacemaker whose instinct is survival, physical safety, material security, wellbeing, and comfort.

God knew what he was doing when he created me. He was intentional and I first existed in God’s mind before I was even conceived. (Psalm 139)
I’ve been working on paying attention to my feelings of anger, dissatisfaction, and frustration. My go-to behavior in life has been to numb out to those feelings as quickly as possible. But, with the Holy Spirit’s help, I am learning more about what I actually believe in my heart and allowing the word of Christ to reform me.

There is a calling in the Bible that has for a long time pursued me. It is to “…live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…” (Colossians 1:10)
This morning I was pressing in on the challenge of stoking my desire to live a life worthy of Jesus’ name. The jarring and fearsome truth is that because I have entrusted my life by faith in him, the Spirit of God now lives in me as spiritual fire. I don’t actually provide the fire.

My job is to fan it into flame. So, for me, my daily work has to include going to the desire that dwells in me because of Jesus. Honestly, if I hadn’t started this habit a few decades ago, I would still be numb and asleep to the furnace room of God’s desire deep in me. I realize now more than ever my need to shoulder my responsibility to do whatever it takes to craft a life worthy of the Lord.

Don’t hear me wrong, it is totally in submission and profound partnership with Christ who lives in me. But, there is no other human that is going to do my personal work for me. You and I are here, alive in this era, to go today to our plot of land in our Father’s vineyard and work it on earth for the glory of heaven. And, it begins in our hearts.

God sees you as worth every effort because of the One in you.

In Christ, you are a blessing!

You are Worth Restoring

Have you considered why God pursues us? He is making all things new… restoring everything. You are worth restoring. In Christ, you are eternal and ultimately unstoppable. Nothing can separate you from his love. You are a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit… designed to host God’s presence. You have a problem, however. Your heart lies to you. It is easily distracted. Whenever the immensity of living on earth as in heaven feels too big or the cost seems too much, you distractyourself. Your distraction may even seem innocent, but it is a roadblock designed to avoid the challenge of the glory of Christ in you. Don’t lose heart, though. This is a new season for you. King Jesus is incomparably persistent in pursuing us… his Eternal Love and Companion. We are his Body, the fullness of him who is our Head. So, it is time for you to renew your trust in how the Father sees you. If you will daily surrender your heart to him, that same heart that is prone to telling you lies, the Spirit of Truth will speak messages to you that can only come from heaven. And hearing him will keep changing you from glory to ever-increasing glory. He is faithful and you can rest in his promises. You may never understand why God pursues you. But, you can, by faith, experience the incomparable journey of restoration. He has chosen you as worthy of knowing him.

In Christ, you are a blessing!