Sunday, January 17, 2016

Watchmen on the Wall

Some people believe God has assigned them as watchmen on the wall. In that assignment they feel their primary job is to announce what is approaching.  Isaiah the prophet wrote just the opposite. He said, "O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night continually." (Isaiah 62:6) The watchman’s primary assignment is prayer. 

In this season of Church history we are doing a lot of announcing.  Some of this announcing has been without inquiring prayer. Inquiring prayer will actually reveal the substance of the word the Lord wants you to announce from your place of prophetic insight. Prayer that accurately discerns a Kingdom reality brings forth the discernment required to craft a wise announcement.

If you are called as one who stands watch on the wall, make sure you spend the majority of your time in prayer seeking the heart of God.  You may find yourself standing silent in the darkness while other watchmen are shouting unfounded warnings based only on moving shadows of suspicion.  In the end, when you finally speak, your prayerful announcement will carry the authority and wisdom of God because it will separate truth from error and suspicion from fact. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Spiritual Grease

God intends every tight and pressing spiritual passage to be followed by a release into the wide and expansive place of His goodness and provision. Some of these passages take longer than others to accomplish. Some take only a moment or a day. Others can take weeks, months or even years to navigate. 
When you feel constricted in a passage keep trusting and believing. These two elements are the spiritual grease that will make the passage less painful. Trusting and believing will keep you from getting stuck in a place that was only intended to be a temporary and passing experience.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

We All Need An Editor

I am thankful for two gifted editors in my life - Anna Elkins and Julie Smith.  They help make sure the content of what I write is not lost in sea of bad grammar, sloppy structure or misleading content.  Behind the scene is my wife, Jan, who reads the heart of what I write. Writing is not for the faint of heart!

There have been times when I did not want to hear the editorial input I was given. In fact, some of it left me wondering why I had opened my life up to outside input in the first place. Without these faithful editors a writer can become a lone ranger, isolated in a very small world of personal insight.

In the end, none of this is about us.  We are simply transmitters of truth. We cannot live our lives alone and expect to remain emotionally and spiritually healthy.  We all need life-editors who will examine our lives with love and honor and offer their insight. 

Today, invite some editors into your life who have permission to examine the content of your life so that it matches the message you have been asked to release. At first this won’t be easy, but in the end, after God has worked on the content of your heart, it will leave behind a life-message that can be easily read and applied.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Drawing of an Unexpected Curtain

Last night at the Elijah List conference in Albany, Oregon we entered a profound experience in worship. As worship deepened, I heard the Lord say, “I am drawing an unexpected curtain.” The curtain had the words, “3:20”, written across the front. Immediately, I knew the numbers referenced Ephesians 3:20 where Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
The curtain parted, revealing blessings, victories and solutions so profound we could not even consider their possibility. These unimaginable answers to prayer began to walk out among the conference attendees. As they walked among us they began to settle on people as a signal to the beginning of a season of fulfillment.
As this experience in worship continued to unfold, I shared what I was seeing with Steve Shultz, the founder of Elijah List, thinking the word only pertained to Elijah List and a new season of exponential growth that ministry was about to experience. Later that night, the Lord reminded me of the word and let me know the word was actually for His larger Church. He began to expand my understanding of what I had seen in worship.
We have entered an astounding moment in the history of God’s Kingdom. The prayers we have prayed in previous seasons were not the frontier of what God is about to do. We have entered a place where answers to our prayers will be beyond what we might ask or think, even in the depths of our most intimate prayers. The Spirit is taking our prayers and depositing them into places we do not yet see. At the command of God, a curtain has been drawn and unimaginable answers to prayer will begin to visit our lives with a fulfillment so profound we will only be able to fall down in an awe-inspired expression of worship at God’s goodness and provision.

Friday, January 8, 2016

You Always Have A Word Of Hope

One of the most powerful things we can do is speak a word of hope no matter what is taking place in the world. We can speak these words of hope with confidence because God is always winning and His Kingdom is always advancing. A word of hope is birthed from that understanding because it comes from a realm not held hostage to fear, doubt and cynicism.

Do not allow your words to be taken hostage by the fear of other people, news outlets or the spirit of this age. You have been raised up in this time of human history to dispense hope into every circumstance of life where a positive resolution seems impossible. Every significant breakthrough has been saturated with words of hope before the breakthrough took place. This is the realm of miracles.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Meeting Your Other Self

At some point in our lives we will cross the halfway mark of our personal longevity where we will come to realize our remaining days are less than those that came before. This is a line whose date and position is known only by God.  Somewhere in our approach to age 40, give or take a few years, a distant reality begins speaking to us.  We begin to think in longer terms about our plans, investments and relationships.  We think of how we want to finish this life. While processing our end is good and can help us make plans to finish well, it is limited in its scope.  Planning our life based on the timeline of a natural lifespan will not produce the best result for how we choose to live out our remaining days.

What we need to bring into this thought process is another reality. When the day does come and you experience the end of this life you will burst into eternity to see another person, the other you who is currently seated with Christ. You have been in that place since the first day you agreed to receive new life. This other self is at peace.  Without pain, sorrow and disease. No longer worried about controlling the outcomes of life. Free from dishonor and shame – a person who is forever alive in the fullest measure.

So, as you look at your halfway mark, either behind or ahead, there is something you can do with this unstoppable migration of time.  You can begin to invest in this life to become, as much as it is possible, the other you who now sits with Christ at the right hand of the Father. Bringing Heaven to earth is not just a ministry assignment. It needs to become a personal of assignment in your life planning that reminds the current you of the future person who awaits your arrival into the peace and joy of timeless eternity.  Allow eternity to begin defining your remaining days. This will be your personal application of the scripture that says, “on earth as it is in Heaven.”

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Magnetic Kingdom Alignments

This week, as I prayed for the leaders of churches, denominations and religious organizations, I saw them coming together in a most unusual way.

As the image developed, I saw the Lord imbedding magnets of fellowship in one shoulder and plates of receptive steel in the opposite shoulder of each willing participant.  When these individuals took a step of faith and risked coming together, in some cases taking these steps of faith in the face of historic opposition to such unity, God began to do something new and unusual. Those who took a step of faith found themselves being joined together, shoulder-to-shoulder, in an unexpected work of magnetic Kingdom unity.

In the coming months don’t be surprised or resistant to what is about to take place when uniquely different ministries and individuals join together for a greater expression of Kingdom expansion. Let their union become a cause to examine your own heart to see what obstacles of judgment might need to be removed in order for you to celebrate and join with this new work of God.  Like any work of the Spirit where new alliances are formed, your step of faith may require you to step over the disapproval of others and risk the relational jeopardy these new alliances will produce.