Mar 31 2017

The impact of wisdom

Lauren and I are a little unique in the ministry world. A typical pastor or missionary has a degree from a bible college and the majority of their experience revolves around the activities, services, and administration of church. Our backgrounds are quite different. Our degrees are not in theological fields; computer science, hacking, social services, public administration, and military service are not common on pastoral resumes. I have actually struggled from time to time with how to merge ministry with our varied backgrounds and experiences. I love the ministry aspect of what we do but I also know that we have the ability to release the wisdom of God into other non-church arenas. The Lord reminded me about Solomon a few days ago, and highlighted the fact that Solomon did not limit the sharing of his wisdom to Israel, he shared it with anyone who came to him. 1 Kings 10 starts off with the story of the Queen of Sheba paying Solomon a visit and being greatly impressed with his wisdom. Later in the chapter we see that everyone in the known world at that time (my NASB version says “all the earth”) was seeking an opportunity to be in Solomon’s presence. What I love about this is that Solomon’s wisdom was not limited to the subject of how to be a good king. He had wisdom for any situation, subject, or topic. And he was willing to share it with anyone who wanted to listen. I think, within the church, we sometimes focus too much of our attention on “how to do church” and very little attention on the other arenas that we could be impacting. God’s wisdom is not limited to any one arena. Whatever field you work in, ask God to give you the wisdom to create new solutions, inventions, or whatever else is needed to make that field of work more effective. There is no limit to what the Kingdom of God encompasses and there is no reason why we can’t hear from heaven and release something new that has profound impacts on the world. I have been guilty of setting some of my skills and abilities on the shelf so I can focus solely on ministry objectives but I have realized merging it all together, instead of compartmentalizing it, will have a greater impact. And I tend to think that the “Your kingdom come” piece of the model prayer Jesus gave to us encompasses every area our lives touch. I think focusing in this way is one more piece to the puzzle of getting Jesus everything he paid for. And, by the way, if you are interested, I recently wrote an article on encryption for a hacking magazine and I am working on another article that will encourage hackers around the world to use their skills in the fight against human trafficking. You can read the first one in the Spring edition of 2600 magazine.

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Mar 24 2017

Excuses

I read a few things this past week that got me a little fired up about believers who don’t understand the current move of God and so they make excuses about why they aren’t seeing God move powerfully in their circles or they try to bash what God is doing in other churches/movements. It really breaks my heart that we have believers who, legitimately love Jesus, but are so focused on denominational theology and control that they are missing out on what God is doing. I love that Martin Luther shook things up a few hundred years ago and started the Protestant reformation. I believe his actions laid part of the foundation for where God wants to take us but there is still some more shaking up that needs to be done. I love the current move of God. I love that portions of the church are starting to realize the importance of equipping the believers to go out and do the work of Jesus as we see mentioned in Ephesians 4. I love that we are moving away from the model of only a few people being anointed to be used in miraculous ways and toward the reality that all believers can be used powerfully by God. I just wish we could get more people on this train and do it in a faster way. I love that churches, like Bethel, are taking it a step further to make sure their cities are safe by providing resources to the city that will fund a portion of police officer salaries; I have never heard of a church or denomination doing anything like this before. We are called to impact the world in a positive way. We are called to continue the work of Jesus, to do the things that he did, and even greater things! I am tired of seeing believers beat up on other believers just because they don’t get it. Jesus taught us to pray for the kingdom of God to come to earth. Why would anyone be upset about believers actually believing and praying for what Jesus taught us to do? Come on, Church, rise up! You have the tools to see poverty destroyed, sickness eliminated, and nations transformed. The old model of sitting on the pew and letting someone else do the work isn’t going to cut it anymore. It’s time for all believers to get in the game. Let’s stop making excuses, work together, and change the world.

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Mar 17 2017

Supernatural Encounters

I woke up one day last week and could feel a hand on each of my shoulders. An angel came to shake me awake and, I’m still not quite sure why, but I know there was something significant about that moment. I feel like we are in a season where supernatural encounters are going to become more common. I sense that we are right on the edge of God doing something new that is going to increase angelic encounters with people, and not just with believers. Angels were fairly common in the Bible; Abraham had regular encounters with angels long before Jesus set things straight with his sacrifice and angels must have also been common during the early church since the disciples dismissed the claims of Rhoda and told her she was seeing an angel after Peter was released from prison (see Acts 12:15). These are the types of encounters I am expecting to see increase in this season. Doug Addison recently prophesied that the glory of God that was on the earth during the Jesus people movement in the 1970’s was returning to earth on March 17th; that’s today! So many people turned to God during the Jesus people movement and it had an incredible effect, not just on the church, but across many areas of society. There was also a lot of creativity during the 70’s that we haven’t seen on the earth since that time. I’m excited about the possibility of seeing God’s glory poured out on the earth again like it was 40 years ago! I’m excited about seeing many more lives impacted and seeing the Kingdom of God released in a new way and seeing creativity return to the church. I’m mostly excited about what is going to happen in D.C. but, this outpouring won’t be localized so wherever you are, start asking God to show up in powerful ways during everyday events in your city. Pray for supernatural encounters, pray for outpourings of his glory, and pay attention to what he is doing so you can partner with him.

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Mar 4 2017

Reconciliation

Can you believe that God does not count our sins against us? 1 Cor 5:19 shows us that our mistakes are not his focus. He’s not looking for perfect people, he’s just looking for willing people. His focus is on reconciliation between him and people. Isn’t that amazing? God is not keeping a log book of every mistake we make. Jesus already died for the sins of the world so when he looks at us he can look past the mistakes and focus on getting us cleaned up and lined up with the mission he has for us.

But, it gets better because this same verse tells us that God has also given the task of reconciliation to us. It’s one more way we get to partner with God. We get to participate in the process of introducing people to our amazing Father and we don’t have to focus on the sin piece. We don’t have to judge. We don’t have to convict. We don’t have to condemn. We can sit with the hurting and broken with the same compassion of Jesus and demonstrate how badly God wants to be with them.

It’s so freeing to know that God isn’t focused on sin and we don’t have to be focused on it either. Walk in that freedom and carry it to others.

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