Sep 30 2016

Get ready

Over the past few weeks the Lord has begun to speak to me in a new way and show me things he hasn’t shown me before. It seems that September has brought some shifts and I feel like the Lord is saying many others are going to begin to hear him in a new way. Don’t expect it to be the way you are used to, and if you feel like you have never heard his voice before, get ready to hear it clearly now. This is not for everyone; it is for those who are sincerely pressing in to listen to what is being said. God wants all us to hear his voice, he is not remaining silent. But we often let everything else around us drown out his sound. If you listen, you will hear him. Here’s the great news; we can all press in, we can all hear him speak, there is so much he wants to say to us. Set aside some time, listen closely, and get ready to hear him in a whole new way. I also feel like we are moving into a season of divine encounters and of increased supernatural activity. Keys that are needed to open up new doors are being released and the ones who have been waiting outside of those doors are going to see the doors open very soon and others are being released into the destiny that has been waiting for them for a long time. Get ready for something amazing!

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Sep 23 2016

Act One

One of my favorite prophetic stories in the Old Testament is the story of Elisha taking over for Elijah when the time came for God to take him off of the earth. Most believers know the story about the supernatural events that took Elijah to heaven but it’s not the fiery chariot or falling mantle that strikes me as so interesting; what interests me is how Elisha acted after his promotion. On Elisha’s first day on the job, his very first act as the Prophet of Israel was to part the waters of the Jordan river. Just a few minutes after receiving Elijah’s mantle he immediately performed a miracle. He didn’t wait a few years to grow into his position. He didn’t wait for more training. He didn’t seek out a bunch of great leaders to find out if he should do what Elijah used to do. Somehow, he recognized that his identity included the ability to operate in the supernatural realm and he went right to the water with an expectation that it would divide in front of him.

This is the attitude we need to have today. It’s so easy to think that we need to grow into our giftings or wait for God to show up in some powerful way before we can actually go out and have an impact on the world around us. Jesus said “these signs will follow those who believe…” so the very instant that someone gives their life to Jesus they take on a new identity and every promise of Jesus is instantly available to them. A brand new Christian can go right out into a group of sick people and expect miracles to happen. Moving in the supernatural becomes our birthright the minute we are born again. Do we need training? Of course! There is much we need to learn but at some point we also have to step out in faith; part of the learning process in using the gifts of the Spirit is to actually use them. Elisha stepped right into his position and I think that’s a good model for us to follow today as well.

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Sep 16 2016

Shift-tember

A few weeks ago I heard the Lord say that this month is Shift-tember. He renamed the month to represent the finalization of the shiftings that have been happening in many of our lives and ministries. I feel like we have finally entered into a season where all the shifting and transitions that have been occurring for several years are starting to come to an end and that we are going to start to see the plans of the Lord solidify in our lives. Many of us have been waiting for major breakthroughs in different areas like finances, health, or restored relationships, and I feel like we are entering into a season where the things we have contended for in prayer are starting to break through and manifest in our lives. Hold strong! Don’t give up or give in! There is nothing the enemy can do to stop the promises of God. If you have been holding on to promises for a long time, as we have, know that the time is here for some and will be here very soon for others. God’s timeline can be very confusing; we often find ourselves wondering why things are taking so long or why God hasn’t just instantly decreed something to happen in our lives. But there are so many pieces to his plans that we cannot see and we have to trust that he has everything in control. Many times, God is aligning other people to come alongside of us but we have to wait until they are prepared before those connections happen. Your patience will pay off! Your persistence will pay off! Your pursuit of what God has called you to will pay off! The payoff will come in ways you don’t expect it so keep pursuing and keep pressing in. It’s easy to lose hope, but stay focused on what God is doing and you will see his hand move you into the place you need to be. Shift-tember is here.

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Sep 9 2016

Find your own Calcutta

Mother Teresa was canonized this past weekend by the Catholic church for her life’s work in helping the poorest of the poor. One of the rules in Catholicism for declaring someone a saint is that the person must have performed at least two verifiable miracles. One of those miracles involved a woman who was healed from a stomach tumor and another was a man who was healed from multiple brain tumors. And as amazing as each miracle is, her focus was not on the miraculous, but on loving the people society had rejected. Isn’t it interesting that a young woman can go to the poorest of the poor to share God’s love in a tangible way and when she did, God showed up in ways she probably didn’t even expect. She was often asked by others what they could do to have the same types of impacts that she was having and her response evokes the same sentiment I often have. “Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering, and the lonely right there where you are, in your own homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools. You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have the eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society, completely forgotten, completely left alone.”

We can go to the other side of the world to help the poor, or we can drive to that spot in our own city where the forgotten members of society live, and show them how valuable they really are, how much they are loved, and how great an impact they can have on the world. It doesn’t take much, just a willing heart and unconditional love. The forgotten part of every city in America needs what God has placed inside of us. And how cool would it be if revival broke out in a parking lot in the poorest part of town instead of in a church building? The Azusa Street revivals started in an impoverished part of the city, wouldn’t it be great if it happened that way again? If you’re looking for me, you’ll most likely find me in these types of neighborhoods. They are my favorite places to minister. And they can be your favorite too, give it a try, you just might find out that Jesus loves to show up and show off amongst the people who have lost all hope.

Go find your Calcutta.

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Sep 2 2016

Celebrate

I’ve been to a lot of churches during my life. Some have been quiet, some have been loud, some have included flags waving through the air, and others have included people running laps around the building when they got excited. I think I can safely say that I have seen a wide variety of activities within churches and, oddly enough, I have learned to be comfortable in a lot of different church settings. But one thing I have trouble understanding is why some churches try to control the activities within the church to the point where no one is able to freely express their worship and thankfulness to God.

Some people think flagging is weird, others think laughter in the altar should never happen, and some don’t like it if you shout when you get excited. And yet, if I go to a football game, I’m sure all of these same people will be quick to scream their approval for their teams, proudly wave the teams logo through the air on flags and towels, jump out of their seats when a great play is made, then shout and celebrate throughout the game. Why are we so comfortable celebrating at a sporting event and so uncomfortable celebrating God? Shouldn’t the God who has welcomed us into an amazing relationship receive at least the same level of excitement we show for a group of people running up and down a field?

Don’t get mad at me, I get it, I know that some people prefer quiet reverence to excited worship. And I think there is a time to sit quietly before the Lord to reflect on what he has done for us and to listen to what he has to say. But there should also be a time for celebration; God actually established feasts and festivals for the Jews as times to celebrate, David commissioned 24-hour worship after the ark of the covenant returned to Jerusalem, and the elders around God’s throne are in a constant state of overt worship and praise. Maybe we could take those examples and apply them to our own lives because we seem to lose track of something when we trade in celebration for quiet reflection. God has done amazing and great things, let’s celebrate it!

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