Sunday, April 30, 2017

Your Supernatural Propulsion is Coming

Jan and I were driving home after five days on the road. Ahead of us on the freeway, I saw the flashing yellow lights on two escort vehicles. One escort was in front and the other at the rear of a diesel truck towing a large lowboy trailer. Atop the trailer was the largest ship propeller I had ever seen. It was at least I0 feet tall and wider than the trailer. It was wider than the traffic lane. The trailer had a sign at the rear warning passing vehicles with the words, “Oversize Load.” I could not imagine how large the vessel was the propellor was destined to propel.

As we passed the truck and the image of the propeller disappeared in my rear view mirror, the Lord began to speak to me using the propeller as the metaphor for another image.

I saw a follower of Jesus in a boat that seemed too small and too slow to accomplish the task to which they had been called. From my overhead drone-like view it seemed as if they were dead in the water because they were going so slow in such a large body of water. Then a huge propeller, like the one I saw on the freeway, appeared and attached itself to the rear of the small boat. All of a sudden the little boat began to move at an unusually high rate of speed across a large ocean. Under the previous power and level of propulsion, it would have been an impossible span of water to cross in such a small craft.

Up ahead a dock appeared. Across the front of the dock was painted the name of the destination. It read, “Accomplished.” This was a dock the person driving the boat never thought would appear because they knew in the natural they were underpowered to cross such a large expanse of water. The journey would have been impossible had not the huge propeller arrived.

God wants to supernaturally empower your best efforts. Your best efforts do not contain the level of propulsion needed to cross the distance of impossibility that is before you. You have listened to the putt-putt sound of the best of your underpowered human efforts for a long time. You have almost given up the journey a few times but something is about to change - dramatically. Your huge propeller is coming and along with it the engine of God’s Spirit that will propel you toward your place of accomplishment. When you dock at your destination and accomplish what to many seemed impossible, you will know it was God who made this happen. That realization will be far more important than the destination itself.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

You Will Pass The Test

This morning, I recalled something that took place 40 years ago. I had just awakened and was turning on the coffee maker getting ready for a morning of writing when the memory paid a visit.  When the memory came a word I believe may apply to some of you.

Forty years ago, I was interviewing for a job. The interview took place in a boardroom of a city hall. My interviewers sat along the sides of a large rectangular oak table that was about 20 feet long. The person leading the interview team sat at the opposite end of the table from me.  The room was sterile and very clean. Nothing was out of place.

When I sat down I saw a single paper clip. It was placed right in front of me on the table where my hands would rest during the interview. The paper clip was out of place in such a pristine environment. Nothing else was on top of the table. Immediately, I knew the paper clip was a test. It was placed there to see if I would pick it up and play with it during the interview as a form of nervous relief.

As soon as I sat down, I reached out and slid the paper clip into the middle of the table while looking the primary interviewer in the eyes as he watched me from his seat at the opposite end of the table. As I slowly pushed the paper clip out of reach, I gave him a barely perceptible smile. I did this to let him know I knew what was taking place. He smiled in return knowing I had discovered the test. The mood of the interview changed. I got the job.

As I mentioned earlier, when the Lord brought this memory back to me He also shared a word of encouragement I want to share with some of you to whom this word might apply. The Lord said, “I have given you the discernment required to navigate a coming moment of questioning. The questioning is a test. It is a gate you must pass through in order to receive what I have prepared. You do not have to worry. No trap placed in front of you will remain hidden. I will reveal to you what is taking place. That revelation will release the favor you need to move forward.”

The Lord has your back. He has gone ahead of you and prepared the way for whatever is coming. Do not try to prepare in your flesh. This will be a work of God’s Spirit. The Spirit will direct your steps. Trust Him.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Last Eight Words

Here are the last 8 words spoken by a business just before it begins to die while still attempting to produce an outdated product, “We have never done it that way before.” These are last 8 words a church will speak just before it enters a lifeless expression of faith, “We have never experienced God that way before.” These prohibitions, whether in a business, a church or in your personal life will need to be confronted and dismantled if we are to continue moving forward deeper into the purposes of God. The coming reformation of the Church will help us dismantle some of these restricting fences of disbelief that have held us back from experiencing new levels of revelation. What is coming will be truly miraculous in its ability to advance the cause of Christ on the face of the Earth. You have never done before what is about to arrive. Get ready. Reformation is in the air. Winds of change are blowing across the face of the Church.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A New Book is Coming

The Lord has birthed a new book in my heart. Several months ago, my friend, Denny Cline, invited me to speak at the Northwest Reformation Summit in Albany, Oregon. We just concluded the final conference session last night. What a powerful time!

In the months of prayer and study leading up to the conference, I began to hear a word about a coming reformation in the Church. What God is planning has created a fresh sense of expectation in my heart. The coming reformation will be both simple and profound and will shake the mountains of culture.

The book should be in print this summer. The title is - The Sound of Reformation. I am putting this information out today on my social media accounts to ask you to pray as we fine tune the final manuscript to make it ready for publication.

God is releasing the sound of reformation through His Church and that sound will transform our culture. Every follower of Christ will have a part to play in this coming reformation. The world is waiting to hear the unique sound you are about to release. I am excited for you!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

God's Clock of Life

Maybe it's time for you to rethink how you process time. Your life is rapidly compressing and squeezing out every remaining moment of free time. In the end, this squeezing can leave you empty of real substance and filled only with the demands produced by your unhealthy schedule. The is something more to discover.

A clock in the clock tower in Salisbury, England contains what is considered to be the oldest continuously working clock in the world. It dates back to 1386. It doesn’t look like our modern idea of a clock. It is a large and simple machine. It has no face to display, second, minute or hour hands. It was only created to make a loud sound on each passing hour. People living in 1386 were only interested in knowing the hour passage since their lives were not so micro-managed as our lives are today. When this clock sounds on the hour it makes a loud racket, so loud the people in town and distant farmers could hear its announcement. In between the hourly sounding, people went about life not dominated by the concern created by a passing second not assigned to some task.

In the middle of our ever-increasing busyness and obsession to fill every moment of our lives with a slavish assignment to produce, God is processing the passage of our time in a very different way. His “clock” is more like the clock in Salisbury. He is not another pressure producing presence that demands all our seconds are occupied with something. He is the God of the moment. The God of the quiet stroll, a welcomed pause, a soft breeze gently passing over our face reminding us that we don’t have to be run by a clock, only the impulse of the Spirit.

When our clock of life becomes more like the clock in Salisbury, we can slow down and take a breath and actually smell a rose. God does make announcements when He needs to, but they are rare and not needed if you have learned how to live in the moment.  Instead of a continual stream of nervous alarms, He is the God of peace and tranquility – that is how He processes our passage of time. 

Maybe it is time for each of us to remove the emotional minute and second hands from the clock of our lives and simply chill out. If we don’t, the culture will set our life-clock and have us so occupied with the unrelenting task of keeping a schedule that we will no longer hear God's voice, only the sound of another alarm.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Prophesying Prayer - Turning the Tables on Hell

Our prayers need to contain an element of prophetic release. When you pray for a difficult situation don’t limit your prayers to only petitions.

Your prayers need to contain the creative potential of prophecy. God is waiting to hear you pray prophetically and call into being the answers you seek. This kind of prayer is not limited to asking. It is declarative. It is creative. It is imaginative.

These prayers contain a variety and specificity that makes it more difficult for hell to work against you because you are calling forth things not present in your obvious suffering. Your prophetic prayers will invite a multitude of answers that demonic powers must now devote their time and energy to in order to impede their delivery. They will become like confused jugglers with too many objects in the air to juggle effectively.

Today, make it hard for hell to oppose your petitions in prayer. Prophesy a new future that will release new solutions. Call forth a variety of breakthroughs. Let your God-empowered imagination run wild exploring and declaring a panoramic display of answers to your prayers. Confuse the enemy. He has too long confused you and now it is time to turn the tables on him.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Release is Coming

Last night, I was teaching a prophetic class in the school of ministry at Life Church in Salem, Oregon. Jan and I met some wonderful people who are hungry for God. Normally when I speak somewhere, my books are made available for sale. A kind woman from the church offered to manage the book table for me.

After teaching and greeting some of the students, I walked back to the book table. It had been about 30 minutes since I finished my teaching. The woman working the book table looked troubled. She let me know she sold a lot of books but was concerned the credit card sales did not go through. We use something called Square. Square gives a person the ability to use a credit card to make a purchase anywhere a Wi-Fi signal exists.

I was shown the iPad we use for the credit card sales and sure enough, it had not been logged onto the Internet. The woman was afraid all the sales had not gone through. She began to offer to make it right and I told her that is not how we do life. If a mistake took place it was just that – a mistake. We would simply assume God was gifting the books.

I finally was able to log onto the Internet and checked the status of the sales report. As I checked, one after one, the sales made when the unit was not connected to the Internet began to appear. The sales were held “somewhere” and finally registered once the connection was made with Square via Wi-Fi.

Some of you have felt like my Square account last night. You have felt disconnected from the results of your labor. Nothing has seemed to register when you prayed. The solutions you hoped for have not materialized. In this time of disconnect, God has not forgotten. He has kept each prayer and each act of obedience safe and secure in His heart. He has not let them disappear. They have been waiting for release in this time of renewed intimacy with God. 

 God did not hold these answers back as a form of punishment. He simply wanted you to reconnect with Him at a deeper level of intimacy so that when the answers and solutions are finally released and begin to flood your life, your new intimacy with God will have created the capacity required to contain all that He has planned. Nothing was lost. It will all arrive at just the right time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Watching the Bobber of Your Faith

Something is about to take place with the promise you are ready to abandon. Hang on and wait just a little longer. The promise is coming to the surface.

When I was a kid my father took me fishing. One of my favorite ways to fish was with a bobber and worm. A bobber is a small red and white plastic ball a fisherman attaches to their line a few feet above a worm. The bobber floats on the surface of the water waiting to alert the fisherman that something was bumping the bait.

What I loved about fishing with a bobber was the anticipation it created. On a windy day, when small waves hit the bobber, it would move like a fish was nibbling on the worm. That produced a lot of false alarms and a premature jerking of the pole in an attempt to set the hook on a fish that was not there. On a calm day, the smallest bump of a fish would send out little ripples across the glassy water letting you know a bite was imminent. The ultimate excitement in bobber fishing is when a fish takes a serious bite on the worm and the bobber completely disappears under water. At that moment all doubt is removed and the fight is on.

Some of you have given up on a word of promise because you have not seen any activity around your bobber of faith. You walked away and thought nothing will ever happen. It was like the time I walked away from my bobber after an hour of inactivity. My dad said, “Son, keep your eye on your bobber!” I didn’t and went back to the truck. A few minutes later dad yelled, “Garris, you have a fish on!” Down the dirt bank of the lake I ran to find the tip of my pole bouncing up and down and the bobber nowhere in sight. After a few minutes of playing the fighting fish, I landed a nice bass.

Your Heavenly Father prefers to have you wait and watch with Him like my father wanted me to do with him. In the waiting, I had the best conversations with my dad. God wants the same kind of time with us. The promise is not the reason He wants to wait with us. We are the object of His love. He wants this time together because He loves us more than a fulfilled promise. God’s love is so great that even if you have abandoned your place of promise, He will be faithful to call you back when the action starts. He will call you back because He wants to share your excitement. It will be just like it was the day my father let me know a fish was on and my bobber had disappeared. When I finally landed my fish, I looked over at my father. He was smiling and said, "Good job, son!"

Monday, April 17, 2017

Intercessors - God's Spiritual Line Sitters

There are people who make a living as professional line sitters. These line sitters stand in place for people who don’t want to wait in line for the release of a new product or for tickets to an upcoming Broadway performance.

One man in New York who was waiting in line to purchase a new iPhone was paid $14,000.00 for his place in line. That sparked an idea. Now the man manages 20-30 line sitters in the company he started. They average $2,000.00 week.

As I read about this innovative business idea, I thought of some of you who have felt like spiritual line sitters. You have stood in faith for weeks, months and even years in prayer for people you love. You have stood believing when they refused to believe. You spoke words of hope when the ones you love spoke words of death. You have slept on the dark streets of spiritual conflict and weathered the storms of your place of faith all the while praying and believing.

In the Kingdom of God spiritual line sitting is not the same as the actual business I described. God has not called you to this place of faith to turn the fruit of your labor over to someone else like a line sitter would give a product or ticket to the person who hired them. You will not walk away empty handed from your labor of prayer.

While you have been waiting in the line of faith, God has also been at work in you. He has been at work in your heart performing something as equally profound as the object of your prayerful waiting. As you stood in line, God was deepening your trust in Him. He has been transforming you as you inched forward step-by-step in prayer toward the reward of your faithfulness. When God finally releases the fulfillment of your prayers, He will show you the other reward - the reward of a faithful intercessor. Once you experience this reward for the first time, a joy will rise in your heart the next time this assignment comes about. It will no longer be seen as a boring and tedious wait in line. It will become a place of expectation that God is able to perform what He promised.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Spikes of My Faith

This morning, as I worshiped with family and friends, I reflected on the truths and principles that have guided my life. These personal words have been like railroad spikes driven into the soil of my life that have kept the tracks of my faith aligned and secure. Here is a partial list of some of those truth-spikes. What are some of yours?

God’s ability to lead me into truth is greater than the devil’s ability to lead me into error.

A second chance is always available.

The way forward is revealed by a word of hope, not judgment.

God’s goodness is always present, even in the most painful moments.

I want to be found in Him discarding those things that are temporary and embracing those things that are eternal.

I am seated with Christ at this very moment at the right hand of the Father.

Forgiveness is the first step of healing in every challenging relationship.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A New Vocabulary for a New Season

Each new season of life and ministry will create a new form of language. Learning a new language will require a new vocabulary from which to draw our definitions. God releases this new vocabulary to help us define what He is about to release. The introduction of a new vocabulary creates hope and anticipation of what is to come.  

Seasons of transformation are preceded by a new sound. On the Day of Pentecost, a sound was heard like a mighty rushing wind. Riding on that wind was a new vocabulary for a New Covenant. That new vocabulary was used by the early disciples – the first new creations - to define the beginning of something so strange and unusual that before the wind came it would have seemed as if the hearers were listening to a foreign and undiscernable language.  When God sends us a new vocabulary He will also send us a fresh understanding. Ask God to help you hear the new sound of His Spirit. That sound will carry with it the vocabulary of revival and reformation.

"Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!" Matthew 11:15