May 29 2015

Living sacrifice

There’s a certain type of lifestyle that attracts God’s presence. Sadly, someone can be a Christian their entire life and only ever encounter God in the smallest of ways. Why is that? Because in any good relationship, both parties have to be involved and too many people treat their relationship with God as secondary to pretty much anything else in life. Yes, we all have responsibilities but we also tend to waste most of the empty space during our days.

God is attracted to a life that is wholly devoted to him and this is really the crux of Romans 12:1; when we posture ourselves as a living sacrifice it attracts his presence. I constantly find myself praying prayers like “let the life that I live attract so much of your presence that others around me will be impacted.” We were designed to carry his presence but we have to be intentional about pursuing a deeper relationship with him.

But that doesn’t mean being a hermit or never having any fun. It just means that we all need to balance our lives in such a way that there is always room for God in any situation. So what does that look like from a practical standpoint?

1. Intentionally carve out time in each day to spend with God; the more the better.
2. Learn to clearly hear and recognize his voice.
3. Be willing to do anything and go anywhere when God leads.
4. Love everyone you meet even when it is inconvenient.

When we learn to carry his presence it shifts the atmosphere everywhere we go and then we have the amazing privilege of giving people an encounter with God!

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May 22 2015

One encounter

I really believe that one true encounter with God is all it takes to see a person’s life completely transformed. It doesn’t matter what their lifestyle is before the encounter, it will be radically different afterwards. Look at Paul, he was taking a road trip to go persecute Christians when suddenly his encounter happened. I don’t doubt that many Christians would have been imprisoned or murdered if Jesus had not knocked him off of his horse on that fateful day. But instead of murder, a murderer was transformed into an apostle—and it all started with one encounter. I recently heard Leif Hetland teach about how we have to be able to look at Saul and see Paul, we have to be able to look at a terrorist and see what they can become, we have to see people through their destiny and not their history. We have the opportunity to give the world an encounter with Jesus. Gun control isn’t the answer to ending violence, Jesus is. Drone strikes are not the answer to ending terrorism, Jesus is. Jesus is the answer for every problem and situation so let’s get out there and give this world what they truly need. One healing, one prophecy, one word of knowledge is all it takes to reset a life back onto the path they were destined for all along. It’s time to stop playing church and start being the church Jesus described. Get out there and get Jesus everything he paid for!

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May 15 2015

Perspective

Perspective: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

In life, our perspective determines how we view and interact with the different situations we encounter. Some people have a positive outlook, others a negative one, and that outlook can make all the difference. In some ways perspective is just another word for faith. Do we choose to believe that God will do what he said, even if we don’t fully understand the when or the how? Or do we choose to give up all together? I believe that every person has a God purposed plan for their lives but more often than not we have to push into that plan by faith and if we go through life with the wrong perspective we will likely end up missing out on everything God has for us.

Here’s a few ways to keep your perspective in the right place:

Choose to believe God has a plan for your life.
Choose to view every circumstance (good or bad) as an opportunity to love others.
Choose to believe that God’s timing is perfect.
Choose to passionately pursue His presence above all else.
Choose to forgive yourself of past mistakes and focus on Jesus.

It seems to always be about perspective; shifting ours to match His is the best way to stay focused on the truth.

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May 8 2015

Gifts for all

Someone thanked me the recently for being true to the gifts God has given me and it made me stop and wonder for a second why people think that spiritual gifts are only for a select few. I get that God gives out greater levels of anointing and different callings to different people but what I see in 1 Corinthians 12-14 is this idea that there are a variety of gifts available to all believers and we are told to desire these gifts (14:1) so it seems to me that if more believers would start stepping out in faith we would see an increase in these gifts being used through everyone. That is why I love teaching others how to listen to what God is speaking and then taking the risk to share what they think they heard. Yes, some people will hear more clearly and some people will operate at greater levels in their giftings but that doesn’t preclude everyone from jumping into the pool. Everyone cannot be a pastor because we would all be preaching to empty churches and everyone cannot be an evangelist because we wouldn’t have anyone to win over but when it comes to healing, prophecy, etc. we can all ask for and expect to receive those gifts. Jesus told us at the end of the last chapter in Mark that believers would heal the sick and cast out demons (by the way, there is no “gift of casting out demons” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12) so let’s just go do what Jesus said and change the world one prophecy, word of knowledge, healing, and dead raising at a time.

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May 1 2015

Taking Territory

I was at a conference a few weeks ago and during the final night’s time of worship I noticed a large angry man militantly circling the inside of the room as if he was marching around territory he was preparing to plunder. I laughed at the first site of him because he looked a little ridiculous and it was real obvious that he wasn’t there to worship God but then I realized his purpose and that changed my response. I realized that while 1500 people were worshipping God, one demonically influenced man was circling them to claim the territory in an attempt to disrupt the worship. The enemy is not sitting idle somewhere twiddling his thumbs waiting for something to do. I think we get the wrong idea sometimes from God’s conversation with satan in the book of Job that he is just wandering around the earth. He is actively trying to take territory while many in the church are content to sit passively in their church buildings instead of stopping the enemies advance; at the very least we should be keeping him from taking territory. I tend to think that if more Christians started prayer walking around their cities to claim the territory of the city for God we would see a dramatic change in the atmosphere. Now back to my marching friend; he didn’t last long and ended up marching out of the room once a few of us caught onto his plan. Needless to say, his mission was a complete failure.

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