Archive for January, 2015

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A grandfather typically is interested in enjoying and spoiling his grandkids.  He leaves painful things such as confrontation and discipline to the children’s father.  And if we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that we tend to want God to be more of a grandfather than a father.

As C. S. Lewis said:  What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like, “What does it matter so long as they are contented?”  We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a Grandfather in Heaven — a senile benevolence who, as they say, “liked to see young people enjoying themselves” and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, “a good time was had by all”. 

It has been said that this present generation is a fatherless generation and suffers greatly from a lack of fathers.  And that is very true — tragically true.  Many men have abandoned their wives and children and fled from their responsibilities as fathers.

But there is another, less-talked about reason that the father/child relationship in our culture is so dysfunctional.  And that reason is that many of us do not really want to be fathered — we want to be grandfathered — and because of this, many have chosen to reject a true, biblical, father/child relationship.  And until we embrace ALL the fatherly aspects of God, we will be greatly handicapped — in the spiritual realm as well as in the natural — and suffer from all types of confusion and dissipation that can only be corrected by a firm, loving, wise Father.

“My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” (Proverbs 3:11-12)

“If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:8,11)

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It will never be easier for you to take risks for God and his Kingdom than RIGHT NOW. 

This is ESPECIALLY true for single 20-somethings. You may think that later, somehow, things in your life will be more conducive to serving and adventuring with God.  But the longer you live, the more likely it is that you will invest your heart in the things of this world.  And as you do this, you will feel like you have more and more to lose by running after Jesus.  It will seem like you have fewer and fewer options.You will NEVER have fewer hindrances (in the natural) to adventuring with the Holy Spirit than RIGHT NOW!!!

SO GO FOR IT! When you look back from Eternity, you will be INFINITELY more happy with this choice!

“The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22-23)

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Among other things, the Church is a HOSPITAL — a place of healing. But it’s not a civilian hospital — it’s a MILITARY HOSPITAL.  Part of us would like to think that God wants to heal us so we can go hang out at the mall and just “be happy.”  But His plan is to heal us so that we can be better, more effective soldiers — soldiers in an ongoing spiritual WAR OF LIBERATION. And only by entering into this war — as dutiful, loving soldiers of the Cross — will we find TRUE HAPPINESS.

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Don’t trade your calling from God for ANYTHING!

Don’t allow the vision He has given you to be hijacked by the busy-ness and trivia of the world and the path of least resistance!

Return to your First Love — and to the adventure of Love He has called you to!

Don’t let the Flame go out!  Rage, rage, against the dying of the Light!

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“Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him.” (Psalm 105:19)

Often, when God speaks a powerful word of destiny over our lives, it will seem that the exact opposite is happening, and that instead of smooth sailing, we run into storms. The above verse is about Joseph. He had a powerful prophetic DREAM about being put into a place of great authority — and then for years, it seemed that the exact opposite was happening. This was part of God’s plan. The trials he went through were actually meant to PREPARE and MATURE him, so that when the word came to pass, and Joseph was lifted up to a place of great authority, he would have the maturity and humility to move in that authority effectively. The same pattern happened in David’s life.

So my dear friends — do not be discouraged if the DREAM God has given you seems far from realization today. Continue to hope and wait upon the Lord. IN HIS TIME, HE MAKES ALL THINGS GLORIOUS!!!

“And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience INHERIT THE PROMISES.” (Hebrews 6:11-12)

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And the good and effective thing about how Joseph believed and trusted is that even while in prison, he did not give up hope, but rather chose to minister in his gifting where he was, and in God’s perfect timing, he was lifted up and vindicated.

 

A lot of people and churches are freshly focusing
on prayer for the new year. 

Here’s a short little vid I made that could well be
the glorious breakthrough to your prayer life!

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He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah.  And He is anything but tame.  We cannot “manage” Him.  We cannot dazzle Him with our “brilliance” and we cannot baffle Him with our BS.  It is either His way or the highway.

And this AWESOME (the word “awesome” should really not be used to describe anything else but Him) Lion loves you with a burning, undying, all-consuming passion that cannot be quenched — and cannot be controlled.  The only possible, sane option (as far as eternity and reality are concerned), is to give in to this Fire and let Him have His way with you.  It may hurt at times.  It may burn up some things that you have held precious.  But it will inject true, glorious, eternal joy and adventure and purpose and fascination into your life…to the degree that it will seem as if you never really were alive before you met Him.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29)

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“Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. (Hebrews 6:1,2)

A dancer spends many long hours learning the fundamentals of dance, including the basic moves and combinations of steps.  The goal is to have these fundamentals so ingrained in their minds and bodies that they begin to be intuitive — so that when they hear music, it is no longer dance steps they are thinking of, but the music and how it moves them — moving beyond craft and into the realm of art.  And I believe that is what God wants for us as well.

But it seems to me that there are two different and opposite problems highlighted by the above verse: (1) Many in the Church are continually going over and over the fundamentals, and never go any further. (2) And others try to move into the more intuitive realm without really understanding the fundamentals — and their improvisations can take them into dangerous places, theologically, making sometimes harmful assumptions that are not of God.

The Truth in this matter is not either/or — it must be both. We must truly learn the fundamentals — and we then must have the faith and courage to go further.

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It has been said that love is a CHOICE we make. And in many ways, so is HOLINESS. Yeah, Jesus did the heavy lifting (on the Cross) — and the Holy Ghost lives in us and empowers us — but He did not make us ROBOTS who always do the right thing, no matter what. We are continually being given the GRACE we need to walk in holiness — but we must CHOOSE to walk in that grace at every crossroads — and each choice has its own unique set of CONSEQUENCES, good or bad.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)

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“Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.” (Proverbs 4:7-9)

TRUTH often seems non-intuitive to the natural mind. There was a time when the world of atoms and molecules seemed like a fairytale to minds and eyes that could not see (and therefore disbelieved) them. In a similar way, God and the realm of the Spirit can seem like mere religious myths to a materialistic, naturalistic, unredeemed mindset that cannot perceive and/or receive revelation.

That is why we need to often unplug from electronica and pop culture and have our minds renewed. That is why we need to intently and regularly study the Scriptures. That is why we must cry out for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Because we have been called to abide and navigate in a Kingdom and Realm whose physics is very different than that of this natural world. And our success in that Kingdom and that Realm depends on this transformation of mind, if we are to know the will of God and accomplish it.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)