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!

Grace is not about my deficiency

Grace is not about making up for my deficiency. It is about the overwhelming goodness of God. In Christ, God completely shattered the intimidating forces of this world.

Grace goes before me in Christ preparing moments of display, signs, and wonders that show his glory. It is true that I have lived half a century with Jesus. And it is also true that I am still discovering how much the Father loves us. He loves the Son. When we receive his gift of adoption, we come into Jesus. Because we are in him, their love flows from within us out to the world.

The Holy Spirit constantly remains with us and in us because of grace. It’s not us! It is the goodness of God. Our grateful hearts explode with relief, peace, joy and the greatness of living any and every moment on earth as it is in heaven.

Because of Jesus, you are a blessing!

Burn the old, musty disguise…

When a child of God sins, their identity does not change. Becoming an orphan again is not an option… only role-playing. True change has come to us once we have opened the door to Jesus. We become daughters and sons at that moment. Untold damage is done when we keep the old familiar orphan self-perception around like a musty costume in the back closet. When you are a child of God by faith in Jesus Christ, you are never an orphan again. It’s just an old, dead, musty, role-playing disguise… Burn it! 

You are a blessing!

God chooses not to control…

God has chosen not to control things. Instead, he made humans to rule Creation in partnership with him for the glory of King Jesus. What begins to shake and shift in you in light of knowing God is not controlling things today, but instead is exercising dominion in Jesus’ name through his family on earth as it is in heaven?

Consuming Love for Jesus and His Legacy…

God’s dream poured into all creation through the prayers of Jesus is a unified love and the legacy of his family on earth as it is in heaven. (John 17, Matthew 6:9-13)

I will be forever grateful for having been born into a home and a church family who led me into God’s love. The legacy of God’s family is self-sacrificing love for him, each other and his creation.
Several decades ago I fell down on my face and prayed a prayer of brokenness that shifted the trajectory of my life… “Jesus, whether this makes you glad or not, you are stuck with me.”

The life-story we have written together is all about his relentless love consuming me. He keeps pouring it out even though so many times I am disappointed with myself. And, it’s not just for me. Somehow, he causes that same love to flow out of me to our wild world. When he planted me as his child, his intention and dream for me was a full grown, productive tree that has sent out deep roots and is not afraid of the heat and the storms. (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

The living word of the Lord for you and everyone in your life is that you are designed to be in Christ. By faith receive the fact that the Father loves you the way he loves the Son because you are in Christ. Your life has meaning and purpose because you became a part of God’s legacy on earth as in heaven by that same faith. You don’t live for yourself anymore. The consuming fire that started in your heart when you surrendered to Jesus is increasing with love for all nations and generations to embrace the same oneness you have with him.

God’s family, his household exists as a fulfillment of his dream and the answer to the prayers of Jesus to the Father. Take a few minutes today to ask the Lord to increase your capacity to receive and give more of his consuming love for all nations and generations.

You are a blessing!

Grace is better than details

Grace is a more valuable treasure from God to me than details. In my time of need, what matters most is remembering where to go. All of the resources of heaven are available to us on earth because of what Jesus has accomplished. Those resources are accessed at the throne of grace.

Last night I was with some prayer warriors from my church family. It was our weekly prophetic prayer night. Over the past few years, we have nurtured a prophetic prayer culture of surrender. When we get together, we lay down our individual agendas to move with what God wants and where He wants to lead us in prayer.

Receiving and declaring the living word of the Lord over the life of our church family is the lifeblood of our intercession. Last night it seemed that I was struggling to connect with what the Lord was speaking over us. Then one of our men prophesied, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

The word of the Lord began to stir me up and my soul came alive with hope again. I don’t need details from God’s throne. I need grace. Grace from God is an unlimited resource for us in Christ.

The prophetic is all about living with confidence. But, it’s not about always having the right details. Through our faith in Jesus, we have access to the throne room of heaven. He has brought us back to life from the inside out. We are perfectly designed to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. He dwells with us and in us.

That means his throne of grace is an inward journey. The hope of glory is within you. It is the living presence of Jesus in you that gives you confidence in your time of need. Colossians 1:27 refers to “the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Don’t believe the lie that you need to make an impossibly long journey somewhere outside of yourself in your time of need. The throne of grace in Christ is accessed from within you. In fact, you are hidden with Christ in God. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see it and understand what that means for you.

You are a blessing!

Some thoughts about you and our God who dreams…

Sitting by myself in Starbucks, drinking coffee. So, I wanted to just grab my laptop and start writing. I have no idea what you may want to do with this post. But, I guess I wanted to write something to encourage you and remind you that there is a design and you matter!

There is a dream in the heart of God that will come to into full view. He is fully committed to fulfilling it. It’s a dream that no human being or society has ever imagined. We have tried. But, we always end up back on our knees, willingly or as a result of the failure of our attempts to have the kingdom of heaven without the King.

There is a God who dreams, fully knowing that he can call all of it into being. We exist as a fulfillment of his beautiful mind. Every one of us designed by God before we were even in our mother’s womb.

We are born into an amazing, chaotic, intelligent, reproducing, terrifying, wonderful, living, wild world. Though we are unaware of the presence of God, his glory fills every part of our world and every world that exists or will ever exist.

The life of our God who dreams incomparable destinies is eternal and unseen and yet it produces the seen realm as well. He invites us into a lifelong journey of discovery. It is a quest of joining him in a covenant relationship with Jesus. We can trust him because he became a human being and dwelled here with us and experienced all of the same weaknesses that we do and yet was without sin. Then, he surrendered to death on the cross, took on himself the punishment for sin, died, rose again from the grave, and now reigns forever.

It was all part of the fulfillment of the dream of his heart. By saying yes to his invitation to eternal life as his closest companion, his bride forever, we enter into his dream. We discover that we are his masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works that God planned in advance for us to do.

Not one of us is a mistake, an afterthought, meaningless, or random. In Christ, we are actually a message, a testimony to the transformation God can accomplish with anyone who will trust him. Our battle, our journey is to keep taking the next step forward by faith.

So, wherever you are and whatever the state of your mind or heart, let me be a voice saying you are the dream of God as you trust in Jesus. As you take a step forward by faith you are becoming the real you. We are one in spirit and our kingdom is His and it is coming in fullness. Your next step is worth it.

You are a blessing!

Not Alone

There are days when it is only the momentum of my habit that carries me here. It brings me to this time of solitude where I am alone with God. Every morning he is faithful and never fails to reassure me with the living word.

I reconnect with meaning here in this space. It is an unseen garden where I walk with God. You could say it is the Father’s vineyard. He joyfully sends me to work here. (see Matthew 21:28-32) I long to hear his reassurance in my soul. I need to taste the living water as he reminds me that he loves my perseverance. He is blessed when I keep showing up to work the vineyard day after day for the glory of Jesus’ name.

As I think about you today, I am thanking God. The fact that you would take a few minutes to read these paragraphs is in itself life-giving. According to God’s living word, I don’t look at you from a limited, worldly point of view. I know that in Christ you are part of the New Creation work of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17) We thank God for each other because we are members of one body. Through the living presence of the Holy Spirit, we are formed into a temple where God dwells.

So, this morning was one of those times when it was only the force of habit that pulled me to be awake and alone with God. Thank you, Father, for good habits. We love your vineyard. Open our eyes to see that you have favored us by sending us to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17).

Thank you, friend, for encouraging my soul as you read what I have written. Let’s remember each other today and pray that by a miracle of God’s grace we will perceive heaven as it flows all around us in those places our habits carry us. He has promised to never leave you or forsake you. We are not alone.

You are a blessing!

Finding Our Sanity

Our new self in Christ speaks so powerfully that it overwhelms our life… our experience of the world. We each find our sanity as a branch grafted into the vine. Jesus is the vine and The Father is the gardener. Find yourself by staying in life-union with him and by allowing his living word to flow in you. (see John 15 TPT)

God’s relentless display of beauty… You (part three)

There is a resurgence rising up to engage with something more. People around us are experiencing a world that is cracking and crumbling around them. Everything from religion to politics is failing to deliver on their promise of an amazing life in an amazing world. As daughters and sons of God in Christ we possess an eternal something. 

My most prized possession is God’s living word. I had no idea how powerful his word would be when it was first being planted in me as a boy. It has been a relentless slow-burning fire in me. The Holy Spirit has pursued me thousands of times in my sin and rebellion using the prophetic. The prophetic for me is receiving and sharing the living word of the Lord. 

The prophetic is a powerful force alive with heaven’s glory. God uses it to infiltrate every nation with the truth that Jesus did not come into the world to condemn. He actually came to save it (John 3:16-17) He saves us by staying with us and relentlessly changing us into who we really are. His word is alive with the power to do that for every person in every nation. 

And God’s strategy is you. You are his masterpiece, work of art, craftsmanship, made for the glory of heaven here and now. When you are led by the Spirit to put your faith in Jesus, your eyes are opened to see that the Father has a purpose for you. He is designing you to love his glory and to live for his reasons (Ephesians 2:10) 

So, don’t allow the distraction of trends and hype to make you throw away the treasure of the prophetic. The living word of God is moving and shaping you. You were planted by God when you trusted Jesus with your life. He is intent on growing you into who you really are… and oak tree of righteousness. (Isaiah 61:3) 

You are a blessing!