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!

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!

Heaven’s message… “Humble Yourself”!

I am captivated by the way Jesus always sided with the one who longed to communicate with God… to connect with heaven on earth. Have you noticed that throughout the story recorded in the Bible, the highest value is placed on our being quick to respond when God reaches out to us?

I love the prophetic because it is all about receiving and sharing the living word of God. God’s messages have power because they originate with him. When he sends a message, things change.

The deeper I trust and believe that God is always sending heaven’s message into earth, the better I will receive it. The whole point of the word becoming flesh in Jesus Christ was to make communion between God and humanity accessible. God’s plan is for the kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven in partnership with us.

There is a clear call to humble ourselves before God so that he can then lift us up in his time and his way. To all of us who long to see Jesus honored and worshipped in all nations and generations, heaven’s message is, “humble yourself”! If we will, I believe we will stand in awe of how loudly God is speaking into our world.

Prophetic voices are beginning to declare across the church that there is a coming together of the prophetic with people returning to Jesus as Lord around the world. We can be part of that movement! It begins with asking God to open us up once again to his voice and his living word.

It is incredible to imagine what could happen if we believe that God is pouring out his Spirit on all humanity in order for us to know him deeply. How would your day change if you knew God is sending a message of love to every person you meet? I believe he is doing just that.

The dream that God has put in my heart is that the Church will live overwhelmed by the living word of the Lord. There was a day that Jesus literally shouted out for everyone to hear, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37-39) He is still making it loud and clear. How amazing that we get to partner with him through the prophetic!

May God help us to humble ourselves and rediscover his heart for every person to know his voice and experience his life. He is still writing the same story. He is still siding with the ones who long to communicate with him… to connect with heaven on earth in Jesus’ name.

You are a blessing!

The Prophetic is Anchored in Love

A few days ago, I posted this prayer online, “Father, keep changing my heart with the love you have for Jesus so that your voice fills my voice and your words fill my mouth.” It was inspired by the prayer of Jesus in John 17:20-26. For the past decade, the Holy Spirit has taken me into deep connection with God through my surrender in agreement with his prayer.

Jesus is praying for the love that our Father has for him to be in us. Over the years, this prayer has become an anchor for my life. Recently, a “prayer warrior” friend of mine gave me an anchor pendant that now hangs on my desk lamp. She explained to me that she asked the Lord to show her someone she could bless with this gift as a sign that they are an anchor for others. I was so honored that she was led to give it to me.

The credit for any anchoring dynamic to my life goes to Jesus’ intercession for me and the fact that I have been invited into his relationship with the Father. My ability to bring glory to God in any way comes from being rooted by his grace into their unity. Any fruit that is prophetic in any way comes from being driven deep into the love shared by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The prophetic, for me, is perceiving, receiving, and sharing the living word of the Lord. It comes from revelation… God reveals his truth to those whose spiritual perception has been opened to see and hear. As powerful and life-altering as the prophetic is, it is contained and fueled by love.

But, it has not been human love that has unlocked and empowered the prophetic for me. It hasn’t been a type of love that I could figure out or strategize or attain. It is a gift that I had to ask for and wait for according to God’s response.

In his faithful way, the Father has changed my heart by giving me his love for Jesus, the Son. It has become a deep desire of my heart to move in the type of prophetic that shakes the world around me through a relationship with God… one person at a time… starting with me and with you.

Will you join me in ongoing prayer for the Lord to keep changing our hearts with his love?

You are a blessing!