Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Two Promises

My wife, Jan, said something if understood and lived out would offer us tremendous freedom and peace of mind. Jan said, “We are only promised this moment and eternity”.

Understanding the reality of that simple statement would remove much of the fear and angst we carry in our lives. The first disciples lived within that reality and their lives were a witness of great faith and hope. We have the opportunity to walk forward with that same kind of faith and hope if we do not live in fear of a future that has not yet arrived or in the prison of the painful mistakes from our past. The moment is a where God promises to encounter us. It is in this moment where He is speaking comforting and encouraging words if we will listen.

What shows us whether we understand this or not is expressed in our ability to trust God.  Trust is powerful. It has the ability to cast out fear from the present because we know our future is secure.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Crossing Over - From Dream State to Reality

Over the years, I have had unusual dreams. I once had a dream where I was speaking fluent German and understood each word of a two-way conversation. In another dream, I was flying a high-performance military jet aircraft completely comfortable and confident performing the duties as the pilot-in-command. I yet another dream, I was walking between tall skyscrapers and simply leaned forward to soar high into the air as a human flying without wings. I could go on listing the various dreams I have had over the years that allowed me to perform tasks in the dream I could never perform in waking life. At some point, when God is involved, we can actually experience a crossing over from a dream state into reality. This is where our faith is either stretched or abandoned.

I have heard the stories of missionaries sent out in the early years of revival and God literally gave them fluency in the language of the nation to which they were sent without any previous language training. I wonder what some in the Early Church thought of Philip’s testimony of being supernaturally transported to Azotus? If we believe in the God who is able to do the miraculous – profoundly miraculous things – then why would we join the ranks of religious cynics who roll their eyes at the mention of such a possibility?

When miracles and unusual demonstrations of God take place it is the result of His alignment of our lives with His timing. When natural time is short, God steps in and releases supernatural acceleration and placement of his people to serve His purposes. He doesn’t wait for a cynical spirit to come into agreement with the plan of God before He moves. He looks for willing people who possess a childlike faith.

If you have been experiencing unusual dreams don’t dismiss them as having a slice of pizza late at night or the result of an over-active mind. God could be revealing to you the supernatural exploits He has planned for your life in the coming season. God may be asking you to believe in His ability to perform what He reveals and not be held back by your lack of training or the need to possess a measure of faith larger than a mustard seed.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Discovering Your Spiritual Sensory Perception

In the small town where I live there are several very good restaurants.  One of those restaurants has an Italian name and serves continental cuisine. In the middle of the morning when the chefs are prepping for the day they begin to melt butter and sauté garlic. I know this because I can smell it when I walk by the kitchen. By mid-morning when breakfast is becoming a distant memory that smell is torturous to a hungry soul. I have come to realize anything can be made into a gourmet dish with enough butter and garlic and imagination.

God gave us our senses as receptors. Each one can receive a natural message and each one has the potential to be used by God to transmit messages from the Spirit. A human sense is a physiological ability that provides us input for perception. Each of our senses, sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing can be used by God to alert us to an incoming message from Heaven. He put all five of our senses in us at the moment of our original creation for a purpose larger than just a natural way to perceive our surroundings. On the Day of Pentecost, a sound was heard that caught the attention of those assembled and helped them see the Spirit being manifest like flaming tongues of fire. Throughout Scripture, human senses are used metaphorically to help us understand God and interpret our surroundings.

There is another level of perception that is available to us when God uses our natural senses to convey a message or alert us to something beyond the obvious. I have smelled the effects of demonic beings in a room. I have felt the physical pain of a person I was praying for before they shared its presence with me and used that input to know how to pray.  I have seen supernatural script appear on the foreheads of people telling me what bondage held them captive. Our entire being is a communication tool that can be used by God if we will simply pause long enough to ask Him if there is more going on than just smelling garlic and butter being cooked.

Today, as you walk through the familiar sensory perceptions that will come your way, ask God to help you understand if more is being transmitted to you than just a smell or a sound or a touch from a natural source. You will be surprised at what you sense if you sense it in the Spirit.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Message from a Departed One

I am waiting for you
in the glory.
They are all here,
those who left before us,
the ones we loved.
I look so much different now than
you could ever imagine.
Whatever that perfect age was
in the Earth-life
I am there and more.
I am forever young
in an eternal way
perfect in a time
that will never end.
As I watch your life
through the eyes of God
I am experiencing such peace.
I have come to realize
that my time of prayer for
you is now finished.
I am in a place
of complete and absolute fulfillment,
a place without need.
I see your current struggles
but they are not overwhelming
because I see them through
eternal eyes.
When you finally make the passage
the first face you will see
will be His
followed by mine.
Until then
believe the best.
Never allow despair to have a place
in your life.
What is waiting for you
and for us,
is far beyond
all that we could ever have
dreamed, hoped or expected
in our wildest imagination.

Adapt and Prosper

Empty chairs in a sanctuary are not always an indictment against a church or its leadership. Empty chairs can actually send a message to leadership that people are finding a meaningful church experience outside the walls of a passing model that no longer meets their deepest needs.  On the other hand, never allow yourself to think that a full sanctuary is an indicator that you are in the middle of God’s will. Leadership is not for the faint hearted. Change is your only constant. Adapt and prosper.

A Total Eclipse of Hope

On August 21 a solar eclipse will cross the United States from Oregon to the Carolinas. Darkness will cover the cities in its path for over 2 minutes. Viewing a map of the United States and the eclipse path it appears as if someone took a large marker pen and drew a line diagonally across the nation.

In the west-to-east path, this eclipse will enter our nation at the Pacific Coast in Oregon and track eastward. Predominate cities in this moving display of complete darkness will be found along the path of the cities of Salem, Idaho Falls, Casper, Kansas City, St. Louis, Nashville, and Charleston. 

As I viewed a map depicting the eclipse route, I saw something else that will take place in the Spirit. As natural darkness moves across our nation, I saw angels following the trailing edge of the eclipse event planting the seeds of unusual demonstrations of God’s presence in the hearts of people. These angels carried seed bags on their shoulders and sowed the seeds in wide flowing arcs like ancient farmers moving across a freshly tilled field. The seeds began to sprout as the darkness passed and the full light of day returned. The ebbing darkness and returning natural light will be a signal in the heavens to begin the germination of the seeds.

The angels were careful. They picked out uniquely created seeds with distinct regional assignments that would germinate and sprout into great moves of God. The seeds contain a specific spiritual DNA that will come to life within the unique spiritual soil conditions of each region where they are planted.

I saw believers standing in the darkness. Rays of supernatural light surrounded them as the eclipse passed over and darkness descended. This will be a supernatural demonstration of Heaven’s light on Earth. Those who see this light will reestablish their faith in the God of wonders. When the darkness passes over them they will experience firsthand what the Psalmist meant when he said, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet” (Psalm 119:115).

Begin to pray and position your life for this coming event. When the natural darkness takes place you will hear the cries of fear and dismay coming from people overwhelmed by the darkness. As the eclipse deepens they will see your light and will begin to move in your direction. Be prepared to release the testimony of God's hope that you carry. Hope is the only light with the power to eclipse darkness.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Rituals of Love

Every marriage has little rituals. One of our rituals takes place every morning. Each day, I rise a few minutes before Jan to start the coffee and get set up in my writing chair. When Jan walks into the living room I stand and we hug. I usually kiss her on the neck and say something about my love for her and make a short declaration over our day. If for some reason Jan gets busy in another room, I go looking for her to collect what I call, “My morning hug”.

These small rituals of love program our lives and give us a sense of stability. Their expression is not limited to marriage. They are the essence of all healthy relationships. Any relationship that attempts to exist apart from these love rituals is in jeopardy.

There is a huge difference between rituals of love and rituals of law. Law says you have to do something or else. A ritual of love is an act of freedom. You don’t have to love - you get to love another person.   

We are surrounded by ritual.  The sun rises each day as a form of ritual. Seasons come and go in a God-ordained ritual. The rhythms of life follow a ritual of expression. We were created and placed in a world of ritual. 

A healthy relational ritual provides a record of our willingness to love beyond self. When these rituals breakdown and cease to exist it is the evidence that something in the relationship has stumbled. That is the reason why we need some form of ritual in the expression of our love. It helps us see where and when we stopped expressing love. It also exposes the falsehood that says love can be something we experience without involvement and practiced commitment. Embrace the God-rituals in your life. Inside that embrace will be a person waiting to feel your touch of your loving commitment.