Jun 12 2020

New Structure

During this past month, I have been having an ongoing conversation with the Lord about what is happening in this season, about what he is doing behind the scenes, and about the change that he is going to bring about within the body of Christ. A few days ago, the Lord took me in a dream, to an old cathedral in Europe and began to show me that there is something missing within the structure of the body of Christ—something that has been missing for a long time, and that he is about to fill that gap. Within the dream, I saw an old stone wall that had been split open and the gap between the two pieces was filled with a new material that could provide greater structure. I was able to move back and forth through time to see the before and after of this change and was amazed that the structure did not collapse during the process.

The following morning the Lord told me that he is adding a missing element into the belief system of the body. This is not about individual congregations or denominations. This is about a change to the entire body of Christ. Something new is coming, something we have been missing, something that we need in this season that will give the Kingdom of God a greater influence in the earth. Our job in this is to stay focused on what our King is doing, to shift our perspectives so that they line up with what he is releasing, and to be willing to make a change anywhere in our lives, ministries, etc. so that we are in perfect sync with him. I am always excited to see the Lord do something new, and even more excited by the idea that he is restoring something that was lost hundreds of years ago. This journey is never boring. Stay focused on him and watch the amazing things he starts to do through you!

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Jan 3 2020

Be Resolved

Many people create a New Year’s resolution at the beginning of each year with a desire to start doing something new, change a lifestyle habit, or to refocus their attention in a way that is more beneficial to their lives. There are a lot of great reasons to do this, and I would like to suggest that there is one thing all of us can do better that will benefit every area of our lives. Something I often find among followers of Jesus is a compartmentalization of faith where following Jesus is in a separate category of life instead of allowing our relationship with Jesus to infuse every area of our lives. It’s the idea of private faith vs public faith, and it’s a practice that I think keeps many believers from ever fulfilling their full potential. But there is an easy way to correct this problem.

There’s a great piece of advice in Colossians 3:2 that instructs us to focus on things above (what is happening in the kingdom of heaven) instead of focusing on what is happening around us. When we intentionally and regularly focus on what God is up to, it shifts our perspective to see everything from his perspective. This was the regular practice of Jesus. On at least two different occasions, Jesus shared a revelation that he only did what he saw his Father doing and only spoke what he heard his Father speaking (see John 5:19 & John 12:49). When we have God’s perspective, every other perspective becomes irrelevant.  

I came across an idea several years ago that has helped me tremendously with maintaining a focus on things above and it is a simple practice anyone start right away. Here’s how it works: Set an alarm on your watch, phone, computer, or whatever device you choose to use that will prompt you at regular intervals to pause everything you are doing and spend a few seconds focusing on God. Make this time about praise, thankfulness, and asking God to give you his perspective. You might think this will be a distraction from what you need to accomplish, but it is actually the exact opposite, because you are actively inviting God to spend time with you all day long. I have my alarm set for every 15 minutes and I have found that I am able to consistently focus on the things of God throughout the day which gives the enemy no room to distract me.

Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you!

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Dec 20 2019

Audience of One

Have you noticed that popular culture today is a little too wrapped up in the opinions of others, what other people think, how many likes we get on a social media post, and this weird anxiety about having to participate in the latest online trend. It’s sad to me that our society has ended up in this place where we are constantly striving for someone else’s approval. I get it. We all want to be liked and feel like we belong. But do we really need to focus on comments, likes, and happy faces from people we don’t even know in order to feel liked or accepted? Galatians 1:10 asks us a very pointed question on this topic: are we seeking the approval of people, or the approval of God?

I would like to suggest that our perspectives need to change. When we focus on the ideas of the world, our perspectives become skewed, and we fall into these traps of seeking false approval. What we need to do instead, is focus on what God is focused on, and on his opinions about us. I live for an audience of one. I decided at some point in my life that I really don’t care what other people think. The only opinion that matters to me is the opinion of my Father. Any idea that disagrees with him is an idea that isn’t worth my time. His approval is unequaled by anything or anyone else. The approval of others should never determine our value or self worth. His approval is all that really matters.

Here’s the great thing. When we stop caring about what other people think, we become less susceptible to being offended by people’s actions, being “triggered” by some event, or living in a place of unforgiveness towards others. There is only One whose opinion matters. Focus on His opinions and you’ll find that everything else will become less important. Live for an audience of one!

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Dec 13 2019

Season of Hope

We are in the midst of the season of celebrating hope coming to the world. Actually, it’s a celebration that has continued for followers of Jesus every day for more than two thousand years, and the rest of the world simply joins in on the celebration at this time each year. But there are many people who have not yet experienced what true hope feels like, which can easily make this season feel like a time of hopelessness. It doesn’t have to feel that way. One breath from the King of Kings can cause all hopelessness to disappear.

Hope covers the mistakes of the past.

Hope reveals our true identity.

Hope gives us a future.

Hope destroys the devil’s kingdom.

Jesus is hope.

Jesus is the hope of the world.

When we stare into the eyes of the one who embodies all hope, the hopelessness melts away. It cannot exist around him. The closer we are to Jesus, the more intentional we are about being in his presence, the less all the things of the world can impact us because he becomes the greatest impact in our lives. There is no better hope than that which comes through following the creator of hope. Stare into his eyes for just a few seconds and you will forever be caught up in his hope.

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Nov 29 2019

It’s all for you

Did you know that everything Jesus promised is for you? Did you know that you have access to everything in his kingdom? It’s hard to keep track of every word Jesus has spoken, everything that he has promised and everything that has been made available to us. It’s a really long list! As I ponder what I am most thankful for in this season, the promises of Jesus easily are in a category all by themselves at the top of my list. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these” – John 14:12
  • “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” – John 14:13
  • “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” – Acts 1:8
  • “whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” – Mark 11:24
  • “your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom” – Luke 12:32

It’s important for all of us to constantly remember what has been promised to us and to live with the realization that these promises are not just for a few chosen people, but for everyone who chooses to follow Jesus. Everything in his kingdom is available to us right now. You don’t have to wait to get to heaven to have joy. You don’t have to wait until eternity to receive peace.

It’s all for you! It’s all part of your inheritance! You don’t have to wait until heaven to experience all the goodness of God. It’s for now. Right now!

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Nov 22 2019

Shiny Distractions

The world is full of shiny distractions. Everywhere you look, there is another thing, idea, or perspective that can distract us from where we should be focusing our attention. We have found that in today’s environment of having everything at our fingertips, it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking for quick fix solutions instead of going to Jesus–but he is the best one we can ever go to for advice. We meet with different people every week who have questions about their faith, questions about how to navigate current culturally popular topics, and questions about what they should or shouldn’t allow in their lives. These are all important questions and sometimes, we as believers, need someone else to confirm that we are headed in the right direction, or help to point us in the right direction. Often times the only advice we need to give comes in the form of a simple question: Why is Jesus not enough?

Sometimes we get distracted by the systems of the world which can cause us to look to those things to discover who we are, to find solutions for problems, or to receive advice. But why isn’t Jesus enough? I have found the simple answer to this question is that it is easy to be distracted when our focus is not on Jesus. But the more we focus on him, the more we focus on who he is, the more we focus on who he says we are, the more we realize that everything we need is in him.

I had a conversation with Jesus earlier this year about his attributes and I asked him to reveal his different attributes to me in a way I haven’t experienced in the past. His answer was simple and straightforward. He told me to read the book of John; so, I did. As I read through each chapter, I intentionally looked for anything that stood out as one of his attributes and wrote each one down. My list quickly grew to almost 100 different attributes that are revealed in this single book! Here’s just a few of the ones I found:

  • He doesn’t apologize for the truth
  • His truth sets people free
  • His words are eternal life
  • He desires for us to be with him
  • His words bring peace
  • His questions pierce our hearts

The more I learn about him, the more I am attracted to him! Have you ever thought about what it is that attracts you to Jesus? Have you wondered what is it about Jesus that makes you want to follow him?

I encourage you this week to think about these questions and go on your own journey through the scriptures to discover the attributes of Jesus. He really is enough for us!

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Nov 15 2019

Intense Focus

Throughout our lives, we tend to focus on the things that are most important to us in any given season. Sometimes we are focused on getting through school. Other times we may be focused on finishing up a project at work. We focus on relationships, we focus on life goals, and sometimes we just we focus on survival; focus is a great because our focus helps us to achieve our goals. But what happens if we shift our focus to view things through the eyes of Jesus? What happens if we ask our King what he is intensely focused on, and reorder our priorities to have the same intense focus on what our King wants accomplished in this season of our life? Of course, this will be different for everyone because our roles in the body of Christ are different, but when our focus is in alignment with His focus, our impact increases exponentially. It’s easy to get sidetracked on the current popular thing or the shiny new idea we see in the culture around us, but we need to remember that focusing on the systems of the world takes our eyes off our King. I am confident that there is a supernatural solution to every problem on earth, and those solutions are in the heart of our King. Part of our job as followers of Jesus is to align our perspectives, ideas, and focus with what he is doing, so that we can partner with Him to accomplish the work of His Kingdom being established on the earth. Because when His Kingdom shows up, everything else immediately bows before the King of all Kings. I want nothing more than to see the Kingdom of God firmly established on the earth. That should be our primary focus, because it is His primary focus.  

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Nov 8 2019

Inheritance

I tend to put followers of Jesus into two categories. One is the everyday Christian who lives a good life, goes to church, and volunteers in different capacities, but never fully realizes who they are in Christ. The other is the Christian who does all of these things, but also goes after everything that God has for their life and refuses to settle for mediocrity because they recognize the only thing that can transform the world is the power of God working through believers. Have you ever thought about the inheritance available to you as a follower of Jesus? Ephesians 1:11 tells us that we have obtained an inheritance; some people think that is just talking about heaven, but let me tell you, it is so much more that what you receive after you die. Romans 8:17 tells us that we are co-heirs with Christ. Heirs receive something after someone dies. When Christ died, something amazing became available to all who chose (or will choose) to follow him. Salvation is the major component of what we receive, but there is so much more. We become ambassadors of Christ. We step into the role of representing our King to everyone we meet. When Jesus told us in John 14 that those of us who believe in him would do greater works than he had done, he was talking about us! Our inheritance is more than heaven. Our inheritance is a new identity that only God can give to us. It is an identity that, if we fully grab hold of it, positions us to heal the sick, raise the dead, free people held in captivity by demons, release the goodness of God, and the list goes on. There is no such thing as a mediocre Christian life in the mind of God. We were created and destined for so much more. Many viewpoints have stifled the work of God through believers in the name of good theology. Well, some theology is actually bad and should be thrown away. Especially the pieces that lie to believers about their true identity in Christ. The body of Christ has the answer the world needs. We need to stop allowing the systems of the world to influence us, and instead, take the systems of the Kingdom of God into the world to influence and transform everyone else’s way of thinking. The Kingdom of God will not stop advancing. We can choose to play an active role or passively sit on the sidelines. I choose to be active. Come join me. Let’s change the world together.  

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Oct 18 2019

Discipleship, identity, and accountability

There are 3 primary issues within the church today that need to be transformed if we want to see greater moves of God in our cities and around the world: discipleship, identity, and accountability. And if we can fix discipleship, the other two will no longer be issues. You see, good discipleship teaches us how to follow Jesus in every area of our lives and how to avoid traps that get us off track. Without it, we are in danger of not knowing our true identity in Christ. Now, some people may cringe at the idea of accountability because it sounds a little like judgement. So, let’s deal with that right up front. The Bible is very clear on the responsibility of believers to hold each other accountable. We see this in Galatians 6:1, Luke 17:3, and Matt 18:15, and we need to recognize that it is important because it puts us in a place to protect each other’s souls and keep each other moving in the right direction. The prophets had the responsibility of holding believers accountable in the Old Testament, because they were the ones the Spirit of God rested upon. But in the New Testament, that role expanded to all believers because the Spirit of God is inside of all of us. If I am headed in the wrong direction, I want someone to tell me so that I don’t end up in deception and veer off into territory that is ungodly. But I also realize that good discipleship can eliminate many of the accountability issues because believers can more easily parry the enemy’s tactics when they are grounded in the truth.

That brings us back to discipleship, and the major problem I see is that there is not a lot of real discipleship in churches today. Unfortunately, the fear of offending someone has crept into the church and caused many of the week to week teachings to be surface level teachings that are not equipping believers to fulfill their purpose, which Ephesians 4 tells us is the primary role of pastors, teachers, etc. I was in a gathering with other pastors a few days ago and several prominent long-time pastors in our region mentioned that we need to do a better job at discipleship. They were encouraging the other pastors in the room to be more proactive at discipling others. I was so happy to hear this because it is something the Lord put on my heart more than a year ago, and something we are very focused on doing every day. I believe that if we properly disciple people, the church will line up with the model our King gave to us, believers will come into a realization of their true identity, be actively equipped to change the world, be postured to partner with God in supernatural ways, and be will accept the need to remain accountable to fellow believers. Good discipleship can fix the other two issues and put the church back in a place of impacting society instead of the other way around.

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Sep 20 2019

Perspectives

Have you ever wondered if you are missing some important piece of Christianity? Have you ever thought about why following Jesus today doesn’t quite look like what we see in the book of Acts? Why don’t we see more followers of Jesus doing the things he did? Is it for a select few? Or is it simply that we don’t understand who we are? Do you know that Jesus resides inside of every one of his followers? 2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us very clearly that Christ is inside of us, and Galatians 2:20 takes it even further to state that we are not even alive anymore; the only thing that gives this body life is Christ within us!

When we encounter hopelessness, we need to know that the Hope of the world is inside of us.

When we encounter chaos, we need to know that the Prince of Peace is inside of us.

When we encounter sickness, we need to know that the Great Physician is inside of us.

When we encounter despair, we need to know that the One surrounded by joy is inside of us.

And the list goes on.

It doesn’t matter what we encounter or where it comes from. Jesus is truth. Anything that disagrees with him is automatically a lie and cannot stand before him. It’s all about perspective. We don’t need more of Jesus, we need to have a greater revelation of who Jesus is and that he is already inside of us! We are called to change the world. We are ambassadors for Christ sent to represent him and his kingdom. But we cannot properly represent him if we don’t fully understand that he is living inside of us.

And it starts with love. The more we fall in love with Jesus, the less we care about the things of the world. The more we look into his eyes, the less we look into the eyes of any storm. The more we focus on loving our King, all the things that disagree with him no longer stand a chance to influence us. The third chapter of Ephesians ends with a prayer for believers to “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” When we know his love, the revelation of who is living inside of us will start to burst out into our everyday lives.

So, my challenge to you is this: study the scriptures about the attributes of Jesus and ask him to give you a greater revelation of who he is, so that you can represent him in even greater ways.

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