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!

Are you shading your light?

The Holy Spirit has been reminding me that I have the ability to either let my light shine before others or hinder it. We all tend to act like we don’t really have much to say about whether or not the light of the world will break out from within us to the world. But, that is not what Jesus has said. 

This morning, I was reading Matthew 5:14-16. A mentor of mine recently suggested to me that I imagine Jesus sending me a note in order to encourage me. They asked, “What might he say to you?” 

As I wrote in my journal, I realized that I should share it with you too. Let it encourage you as you start into your week. Read it as a message from King Jesus to you. 

My joy is to shine with you and through you… as you. I am not playing games with your life, identity, or your well-being. Your place of security is always in life-union with me… “I in you and you in me”. You will feel much better in every way if you will forget about being safe as the world defines it. And embrace security as heaven sees it. 

When you allow your light (actually my light in you and for you) to shine in front of everyone all of the time, my security will overwhelm and empower you. 

The religious spirit tells you that you are offending me when you don’t hold back and instead let your blazing light fully shine. You have been deceived for too long that you are kept safe by shading your light. If you would only rest in knowing that I love you and I love shining with you and as you. The unique way we shine together is so fun for me. I do see your struggle to trust me. But, I won’t coddle you and let you stay shaded in your fears. I will keep insisting that you let your light shine. You were designed to let your light shine because your light is my presence in you. 

So here is my invitation… Make this day a fresh start. Own your ability to open up in my name and “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” 

You are a blessing! 

Say yes again

Dwelling on the open door of reconciliation that stands open forever because of God… Jesus came as the voice of God from heaven to earth. God has spoken clearly to us through the Son. And as he speaks, the invitation is always to receive reconciliation with him and with each other. The wild, captivating beauty of His Bride radiates with reconciling love. The power of our unity in Jesus is unprecedented. There is never a day or even a moment when heaven is not open for you and me to receive (eat and drink) eternal life in Him on earth as it is in heaven. Take a minute where you are and say yes again.

You are a blessing!

Stand Up! The world is waiting for you.

I heard a word from the Lord in a dream last night. It was, “Stand up! The world is waiting for you.” There were many of us gathered in a retreat type of event. The speaker was challenging us with those words. There was a profound sense that it was a moment of commissioning and sending.

Many of us need to open our spiritual perception to hear the Lord stirring us, awakening us to realize that while we “wait” for a special invitation or affirmation from an earthly source to step forward, the world is actually waiting for us to stand up and release our voice.

The Lord is putting His word in our mouths. It is time for us to hear his word from Jeremiah 1:17, “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them.” Often you will find that the terrifying ones will be the spirits who try to control and manipulate you with their approval or disapproval. You will encounter these spirits both outside and within the faith community. Walk in heaven’s wisdom! The Lord has promised us boldness, courage, power, and authority when we stand. The world is waiting for us.

You are a blessing!

Not easily threatened

How much are we limited and held back because of fear? When we feel threatened we tend to react in some way. The “fight or flight” instinct activates and what follows is not usually pretty or helpful. I have found that giving in to threatened feelings shuts down my spiritual perception.

I jumped in on a twenty-one day fast hosted by my church. We are giving God the first part of 2019 as a reminder that we will see his goodness break in on us throughout the whole year. The idea is to give up something good that you enjoy in order to receive the best thing, a deeper relationship with God.

The breakthrough I have been asking God for in my life, home, and church is in the realm of the miraculous. I want to partner with the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus in doing miracles, signs, and wonders. I also want those around me to do the same.

During my fast, the Lord has been making me more aware of the freedom I possess because I am in Christ. There is a reason that Jesus shared his freedom with me. Because I am free, I can live unafraid. I don’t need to act or react to anything locked up in fear. (Galatians 5:1)

Jesus lived in total freedom because he was fully aware that he was free 100% of the time. Whatever he did, he was in charge. Wherever he went, he was intentional and fully present. He lived on earth by the power and authority of heaven.

He could see and hear in the realm of the spirit because it was no threat to him. Because he was not threatened, he was willing to perceive all things in the seen and unseen realm. Now, because I am in life-union with him, I can begin to perceive what he sees and hears in complete freedom.

You and I will grow in our ability to receive and declare the living word of the Lord as we trust his presence in us. We are going to see more of his power displayed in 2019! Take courage in these words of Jesus, “And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!

You are a blessing!

Trying Harder is Toxic to the Prophetic

The Holy Spirit is training me to live in full acceptance as a son in the family of God. I did not receive the “spirit of religious duty,” leading me back into the fear of never being good enough. (Romans 8:10-17 TPT)

God longs for us to give ourselves to an intimate relationship with him. In Christ he transforms us into his friends and lovers. In order to move forward in receiving and declaring the living word of the Lord, we need to anticipate more amazement over who Jesus is in us.

Religious duty is not amazing! Nurturing an attitude of religious duty, of trying harder in my life is toxic to my growth in the prophetic. It is time for the Church (remember that the church is people) to come clean about our friendship with religious duty.

To be prophetic requires an ever-increasing fire of friendship with Jesus. Friendship with religion (trying hard to please God) is NOT friendship with Jesus. The first gift God gives us on our journey in the prophetic is friendship with him from the inside-out.

How would your life be different if you surrendered to his promise to never leave you or forsake you? What if never leaving you includes those times when you have sinned and/or deeply disappointed yourself as part of his family? Are you ready for a deeper surrender to his never-failing friendship with you? Talk to him about it.

You are a blessing!

God’s power all over us

I was leading a prophetic prayer session a few nights ago. A good friend in our prayer family shared a vision. She was seeing us standing in a narrow space between two walls. All of us had a hand on each wall and ready to push the walls apart.

She sensed that the Lord was inviting us to push the walls back in order to create space for his presence to rush in. The walls represented sin and/or evil mindsets with which we had grown way too familiar. It was time to name them, call them out and expel them in the power and authority of Jesus’ name.

One of the prominent evil strongholds that I saw was powerlessness. As our prayers began to heat up, we knew that we were moving with the Spirit of the Lord. The phrase, “having the appearance of godliness but denying its power” came to mind. 2 Timothy 3:5 speaks about us when we are powerless… “They may pretend to have a respect for God, but in reality they want nothing to do with God’s power. Stay away from people like these!” (TPT)

This morning as I was waking up, the Holy Spirit was stirring me to think about operating in the power of God. After I grabbed my coffee, I looked at 2 Corinthians 13:4. It talks about Jesus being “robed in God’s power”. You and I were put into Christ by God when we through faith received our adoption into his family. That means we are also covered in the awesome mantl/robe of his power.

I am praying today for the oil that cycles through the engine of the Church on earth. May God transform it into the fresh, golden oil from heaven instead of the sludge of recycled powerlessness. Most of us need a reawakening to the disrespect we show toward Jesus when we neglect his power. If we see it, our hearts will begin to break for change.

This is a new year and a new day. In Christ, you are robed in the power of God. That is a great honor and privilege. Don’t let selfish or lazy thinking cause you to take it for granted. You are better than that as a member of his household.

You are a blessing!

“Safe Hiding Place” or a “Place of Empowerment”?

The Holy Spirit knows what He is doing and He will lead us if we will stay humble, courageous and gracious toward each other….

The times we are living in, according to Bob Johansen of “Institute for the Future” (author of “Leaders Make the Future“), have produced a VUCA world…  full of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.  He goes on to predict that the next ten years are going to be an incredibly difficult and challenging time for leaders.

How should we as Jesus followers respond to the world culture where we exist every day?  Will our churches serve as a hiding place where people can escape from a VUCA world, or can we be a place of empowering for people to turn and lead movements of change and promise as they are drawn to embrace Jesus and His teachings?

These are times of wide-sweeping and fast paced change.  I am concerned that many in the church are resisting the idea that the changes have begun and our world will never be the same.  While we enjoy the benefits of having peace with God through Jesus and the closeness of our church family and the security of our religious traditions, there is a world all around us full of people who are uncertain and some even terrified about the future.

What are we doing to position ourselves to communicate the hope we have for stability in our VUCA world?

The hope we have is in the kingdom of God.  You and I will not capture the attention of our world around us if we don’t seek God for wisdom and a plan that will provide hope and leadership to a culture that Jesus sees as sheep, helplessly wandering around in search of a shepherd.

I hope you are investing time in God’s word with new eyes searching out the principles of Jesus kingdom and his ways of living life and serving people.  I am completely convinced that we need new methods, ideas, new revolutionary approaches to expressing the presence of God in our homes, friendships, businesses and culture.  It is our world’s only hope.

There is a movement of people right now who are seeking God’s help as they deconstruct what they have become so accustomed to as “church life“. By His grace they are rebuilding lives and church families that are ready to lead in a revolution of love and service in Jesus’ name, in whatever community in which they live every day.

Changes are here and they won’t be easy.  But the Holy Spirit knows what He is doing and He will lead us if we will stay humble, courageous and gracious toward each other.