Feb 16 2018

Stay Woke!

Have you ever noticed how, at times, the Bible is very direct and blunt? Some scriptures seem friendlier than others, and some kind of punch you in the gut. One example that comes to mind is James 4:4, where we are told that being friends with the systems of the world makes us enemies with God. That’s kind of intense, and I can’t imagine using that scripture in a conversation without someone becoming offended. But it’s also very true. We have been called to live a lifestyle that influences the world, not the other way around. And we have to be willing to let scripture redirect our lives when we get off track, even if the truth is uncomfortable. I have noticed a recent trend of Christians pursuing teaching and methodologies from other religious belief systems, instead of looking to Jesus, or his word, for what they need. This is not only unwise, but also very dangerous. Satan was very crafty when he deceived Adam and Eve, and he uses the same tactics today. He will often mingle a little bit of truth with deception to trick believers. We never want to end up in a situation where we give the enemy influence in our lives, so we have to constantly be on guard for any kind of deception and ask Holy Spirit to give us the discernment to recognize when something should not be a part of our lives. As long as we keep our focus on God, anything that is not of him is more easily recognizable. The key is to stay in his presence. Sadly, there are many spiritually unhealthy practices that are common in our society. Some have already become regular practices of believers, and others are now making their way into the church. Many people use Yoga as a form of exercise, but they don’t realize that most of the poses are designed to offer worship to Hindu gods. Some believers have developed supernatural healing models based on Reiki energy healing, which is a Buddhist supernatural healing method. And then there is the Enneagram personality tests which were developed by mixing beliefs from a handful of Eastern religions and Christianity, and have a stated goal by the organizations current president of offering people several different paths to God. These are just a few examples of practices that look healthy and helpful on the surface, but have their roots in religions that directly contradict the word of God. We have to be careful here. Adding the word “Christian” to something or sprinkling in a little bit of truth doesn’t suddenly make that practice safe. Our very first allegiance has to be to our King. He is the one we look to for supernatural healing, he is the one and only path to the Father, and the one true God is the only one who deserves our worship. Any idea, and principle, and any practice that puts itself in the place of God should never play a role in our lives. If you have fallen into one of these traps, talk to Holy Spirit about it, he will show you the way out.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8

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Feb 9 2018

Spiritual Tension

We live in this tension between physical and spiritual. We live on the earth, and at the same time, are connected to the spiritual realm. Navigating both at the same time can be confusing, especially if you have been given a gift of discernment or prophecy. Having the ability to see into, or sense what is happening, in the spirit realm, and then correlating that with what is happening in the physical realm can be unnerving at first. Knowing what to do, or how to respond, in those situations is definitely something that takes practice. We have to grow into our gifts and into our callings. And that growth typically doesn’t happen overnight. It is usually a process of development over time. I have experienced seasons of acceleration in my life where God caused gifts to grow exponentially in a really short amount of time. But I think that actually increased the tension because I had a lot to learn about what he had given to me. So, we live in this tension and we learn as we go. The great thing is that Holy Spirit is an amazing teacher, and since he is the one who gives these gifts to us, he is the best one to teach us how to use them effectively. Ask him to show you how to use what he has given to you. I often advise people to pray for a gift of discernment so that they are able to know what to be involved with and what to avoid. But I have come to realize that great discernment requires a measure of wisdom to know what to do with what has been revealed. Pray for wisdom to know when to speak and when to remain silent. We can all use a little more wisdom in our lives as we navigate this tension.

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Feb 2 2018

Outcasts are Coming!

I was watching a movie last week, and right in the middle of the film, Holy Spirit began to speak to me about what he is doing this year with a particular group of people. It’s kind of funny, but Holy Spirit talks to me a lot when I am in a movie theater. I’m not entirely sure why he choses that particular time, but it happens often enough that I have come to expect divine encounters while munching on popcorn in front of a large screen. Anyways, this move was filled with prophetic messages, even though I doubt the actors or directors were aware of it.

Holy Spirit began to show me that this is the year when outcasts will be brought to the forefront and recognized for their value to society. There are different groups of people of have been rejected and outcast from society simply because they are different, and they have been deeply wounded as a result. This is the year that God will begin to restore them to their proper place, and in the process, bring an abundance of healing to their lives. It won’t look like what we expect, and some of it will even seem counter to Biblical values on the surface. But people must be brought into the light before the healing can begin. I expect that we will see this play out in a variety of ways. We see, and minister to, so many broken people every week who fall into this category, so I am excited to see how God orchestrates these changes.

The movie, if you are wondering, and I know you are, is The Greatest Showman. Go see it for yourself; maybe you will pick up on the same message.

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