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.

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!

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?”Β 

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!

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!

Surrendering The Engine of Desire

We understand what love is because Jesus laid down his life for us (1 John 3:16) Experiencing eternal life comes only by knowing God. The overwhelming gospel is that God has invited us into the closest of all intimate relationships with him through faith in Jesus.

Being prophetic or growing in the prophetic is all about going deeper with Jesus and allowing him to go deeper with you. There is a beautiful moment where we see Jesus and the disciples during what is known as the Last Supper. It is the moment when Jesus reminds them of the nearness of the Spirit.

In John 14:16-17, Jesus teaches that the Holy Spirit will be with us and in us. Receiving and declaring the living word of the Lord is where I come alive. The Lord has taught me over many decades that I will find him only when I seek him with my whole heart.

At the central part of me is my core engine of desire. Something bigger than life is activated when by the grace of God, that engine of desire is surrendered to intimacy with the Holy Spirit.

I do love receiving and sharing messages from God. I do love the prophetic. But, my true passion as God’s child is being close enough with Jesus that we are able to hear each other’s voice.

Hearing our Shepherd’s voice and following Him is more precious to us than what he says and where he is going. The point of being prophetic is experiencing the One who will never leave us and will empowers us to stay with him.

You are a blessing!