Thursday, August 22, 2019

When God Reaches Down

The fears we live with made their initial appearance when we chose to listen to their lies. In moments of fearful uncertainty, is where hell can speak its deceptive script in the most effective ways. These lies will always contradict God's truth about our redeemed past and the hopefulness we should have about our future.  God is not locked in time like we are wondering what will happen next. 

Scripture tells us “Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens, his mighty voice thundering from the sky” (Psalm 68:33). God rides back and forth across history – across the ancient heavens - without the limitations of time and physical space. He sees history as a whole, not in part. He sees time outside the bookmarks of our earthly beginning and end. He is the all-knowing God of all things.

If you want to know the way forward or where to place your foot for the next step in your journey, the answer will not found by examining your past, present, or future. It will be discovered in our heart. “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” (II Chronicles 16:9). 

This God is the One who rides back and forth across the heavens looking for hearts that are completely His. When He finds such a heart, He reaches down to touch the carrier with the intent to release things not possible for those whose hearts are compromised by fear and unbelief. The evidence that we have experienced the perfect love of God is seen most clearly when love's presence in our life is actively expelling the very things that compromise the full expression of love.  

Examine your heart. If your heart is entirely His above all else, the God of Heaven will find you. He will reach down and touch you to let you know you are not alone. By that touch, you will know you are being supported by the God of all time and eternity.  That touch will heal the sorrow of your past and give you great confidence and hope as you move forward into the future. You will move forward with new freedom because in your heart you now carry a new level of faith in the unfailing love of God.




Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Retreat Into Your Future

There will be times when people invite you to advance with them – to move forward into something new. Advance, accelerate, and breakthrough are some of the words typically used to craft this kind of appeal. 

In some instances, when you receive these invitations, in your spiritual gut, you will know your assignment is not to move forward but to retreat into a place of isolated intimacy with God. When faced with that decision, always choose the retreat. 

The anxious crowd who issue these advancing invitations believe the best is always ahead of them, never in the present moment.  It will take courage to say no and let them move on without you. When you make the decision to retreat, you will discover a place of rested revelation not available to those who equate constant motion with a healthy and vibrant faith. As the prophet Isaiah said, “In quietness and trust is your strength.” 

Retreat to that quiet place, and you will be refreshed and empowered for a journey only the rested ones can make. A soul that has rested in a place of retreat with God has gained the strength and endurance required to move forward into a future not seen by weary eyes.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Where the Real Battle for a Nation's Soul is Fought

On Saturday, the eyes of the nation were focused on the protests in Portland, Oregon between the anarchist group Antifa and several opposing factions. The possibility of chaos and destruction was significant. 

My friend, Ty Bottler and a team from The Father’s House in Portland gathered in the middle of the protests to worship and pray with a mission to shift the atmosphere. If you don't think witchcraft is in play as an attempt to steer the destiny of our nation, please read the following excerpt from Ty’s Facebook wall where he gave a detailed report of the event.

“As I watched Antifa initially come into the Square, a small group of them sat down in a circle just off to the side and started performing their witchcraft. This was their attempt at shifting the atmosphere so that the whole group would come under the spirit of chaos. Because of the Kingdom atmosphere that we had already established through our prayer and worship, the witchcraft had no seed of chaos to grab hold of. And because of this, after about 15 minutes of aimlessly walking around, Antifa left the Square for different ground.”

It is too easy to dismiss the real spiritual conflict that is taking place on Earth as the overactive imaginations of religious zealots. This is just where the enemy of our soul wants the Church to park her thinking. We are in a spiritual war with dark forces. While voting and being active in civic and social issues is important, those are only responses to the real battle. 

Something shifted in the spiritual atmosphere in Portland, Oregon on Saturday. As that shift continues to expand and transform the spiritual atmosphere of our nation, I pray it will also awaken the Church to the spiritual reality of this critical moment in our history. 




God's Prophetic Fire Hose

We had a massive forest fire just north of our area. It has been contained and the remaining crews are in the mop-up stage. It was called the Milepost 97 Fire referring to milepost 97 on the I-5 freeway in Oregon. I read an article posted by a weather agency that stated the fire crews had just finished rolling up all the fire hose used to fight the fire. If all the hose sections were put together, it would stretch out for 39 miles. That is a lot of hose!

Reading about all the sections of hose made me think of how the gift of prophecy can work. Many times people try to attach value to a prophetic word by the amount of drama and uniqueness contained in its content and delivery. While that can be true at times, much of prophecy is not. The words we deliver are merely a section of a much broader word the Lord is laying out piece by piece to get to a specific person or place in time. When all the sections of a word are finally connected, the content of that word can be delivered to extinguish a work of hell that just a single, isolated word might not accomplish.

If you are feeling like the words God gives you lack a place on a glossy magazine cover or an invitation to prophesy from the platform at a prophetic conference, please take heart. God doesn’t see the delivery of prophetic words like we see them. He is only focused on who is available and willing to speak in His name no matter if its one section of the prophetic hose or the whole thing. 

Remain faithful in what God asks you to speak no matter how large or small. If you are willing to be that kind of prophetic servant, you will find Him sending you into cultural hot zones to be part of a larger effort whose mission is to prevent death and destruction. The Lord will do this because He can trust you to connect your section of prophetic hose to the flow of the larger word He wants to deliver. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

A Reversal of Misfortune

Today was one of those days when I had nothing planned to write. I sat in my writing chair empty of content and prayed, “Lord, is there something you want me to write.” It would be fine with me to not write anything if He had nothing for me to say. As soon as I prayed that simple prayer, an image came to mind. It was an image I have seen several times in the last week. I knew at that moment what I was to write.

Earlier this week, I saw the image of a massive wave approaching a populated landmass. The wave was higher than the tallest buildings along the shore. As the wave approached, it was obvious the wave would overwhelm the area and bring great destruction and death. I prepared to run but realized that trying to run away would be a futile effort, so I turned around and faced the approaching wave. As soon as I turned around, the wave reversed course and began to return in the direction from which it came and then the image was finished.

Interpreting what I saw, I understood it on two levels. The first was that something significant was approaching us on a cultural level, and the other would take place personally for some of you reading these words. Even though they are different in scope, both will have the same outcome, and both will be remedied in the same way. 

What seemed impossible to turn back, as represented in the wave, will suddenly reverse course when we turn around and face the wave. At that moment, our stance of faith will become a testimony to the world that  God is our only source of deliverance. When the wave reverses course, it will return to its point of origin and decimate what caused the wave to initially mount up and begin to move forward on its destructive journey. 

There are some things in life that we cannot pray away or teach away. These are things that can only be reversed when we have no hope apart from the intervention of God. This is where the greatest miracles and reversals take place. In these situations, all we can do is turn around, face our fear in faith, and trust God with the outcome. 

There are things approaching our culture and our personal lives that are so immense in their destructive power that only an intervention by God can save the day. When these things approach don’t turn and run away in fear. Turn around and in defiance to the wave of fear hold your ground and watch God do something amazing and awe-inspiring.



Sunday, August 18, 2019

A Revival of Scripture

The only trusted way to know how to interpret this life is to bring our opinions to Scripture and let God’s truth evaluate the quality of our understanding. If we bring Scripture to our opinion and allow our opinion to override and reinterpret what truth is, we will open our lives up to error and deception. This is not new in Church history. It has taken place historically just before a revival or reformation when the truth about an aspect of our faith is rediscovered.

I am beginning to see more pastors and teachers returning to the simple preaching of God’s Word in public gatherings. This is not a robotic form of teaching without creativity or the ability to adapt the delivery of the message to a changing culture. This kind of teaching creates a stable platform upon which to build our lives. It also helps us disciple our emotions and opinions under the instruction of God’s Word.  

For several decades increasing numbers of people within the Church have allowed human opinion to supplant Scriptural truth, and the by-product has been everyone doing what is right in their own eyes. We are about to experience a revival of Scripture. That revival may be one of the most significant revivals in our lifetime.

Perfection

You can always do a transition better. No transition will ever be perfect. “Perfect” is not the goal. 
We have an unrealistic tendency to want our life transitions to be perfect. We need to revisit our definition of reality. In retrospect, each one of my transitions could have been done better, but people were involved. The human element changes everything. 
If a “perfect” response to the plan is your goal, you will actually miss the heart of God in the plan. Whenever God relates to human beings, he builds into his plan recourse for human error. He understands your weaknesses. God can actually do more through your weakness than through your strength. His love doesn’t operate through our inflated ego. God has chosen to work through the place of human weakness where the only thing we can bring to him is our humility. 
“Perfect” is a strict, non-human attribute. Only God is perfect. If we require perfection as the goal of our transition, we will lose friends in the process because people will be people and end up failing us at some point. Because perfection is the person of God, not a goal, we can call upon him, the perfect one, to help us when we stumble. 
 (An excerpt from the book, A Good Place)