Sunday, August 19, 2018

In Search of Religious Formulas

This morning, several hours before the sun rose, I walked out of my home and stood on the front lawn. I looked up into the night sky. Stars filled the black of night from horizon to horizon. As I stood in my bare feet looking up, I began to ponder God and His immensity. I was over-taken with awe. 

It is human nature to seek formulas to make life work or attempt to solve the mysteries of our faith. Some natural formulas, like scientific problem solving, actually work. In the realm of spiritual matters is where our formulas lose their consistency. They require no faith to see what has not yet arrived in this realm from beyond the veil. A formula can only work when we have available and visible components. 

People trapped within the confines of various forms of theology can reduce God and His Kingdom down to rational, human concepts. As a result, they produce religious theories that only work if the formula is properly exercised. In the end, this creates an image of God who comes and works only in response to our formulaic way of thinking. Doctrines and theologies are then crafted, and those who live outside the formula fence are considered ignorant to the truth and therefore easy to reject.

When we produce formulas regarding God, it reveals the end of our search of His depths and our pursuit of deeper understanding because we feel we have arrived at a place of final truth. 

I just read part of Psalms 139, and it reminded me of the God we serve who cannot be reduced to a formulaic simplicity. He is beyond the reductive thinking of formula.

“I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there” (Psalms 139: 7-8).

Early this morning, any semblance of formula dissolved under my bare feet as I stood on the dew-laden clover of our lawn looking up into the heavens. I saw no formula that could create the impression I was receiving. Only awe and wonder-filled my heart.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Sound of a New Season

A few moments ago, I heard a flock of Canadian geese fly over our home. They were heading south. To me, this is always the first indicator of the coming fall. Listen for the changing sounds of a new season, not just the natural sounds like geese honking, but the sounds of the Spirit that foretell of change. Those who are sensitive to the sounds of a new spiritual season will be able to position, and in some cases, reposition their lives and resources for the most impact once a new season arrives. 

The In-Between Revival

We talk a lot about bringing Heaven to Earth, and rightly so. That one experience can change everything. But, what are we going to do with Heaven once it arrives? Heaven and its accompanying glory do not arrive on Earth so that we can attend yet another impactful worship service or take part in an information-loaded conference without the goal of employing our transformed lives to the task of transforming culture. 

The arrival of Heaven on Earth in any form is a precious gift we need to steward well and then purposefully deliver that experience into each sphere of culture. The next time you walk into a worship gathering, ask these questions – Where will I take this experience once I leave the building and how can it be applied in the marketplace of my life-assignment? These two questions will break the cycle of standalone worship experiences that celebrate Heaven on Earth without an attached mission. 

Jesus said, “Go into all the world.” He said this to people who were already worshipping Him. They had the passion, but hey needed a mission. Right after uttering these words, this took place, “So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed” (Mark 16:19-20). This “preached everywhere” assignment was literally everywhere, in each sphere of the culture at that time.

Obedience to this “Go into all the world” mandate may actually be the revival many have been looking for – a revival of personal realization that happens in the in-between space when we leave an encounter with God and return to our place of influence in the culture. This revival of our thinking happens when we discover our unique place of partnership with God, “while the Lord worked with them,” to transform the kingdoms of this world into the Kingdom of our Lord. That is what Heaven on Earth looks like when an in-between revival of our thinking has taken place.


Friday, August 17, 2018

Following the Path of Our Wounds

 I remember the first time I responded to a shooting call as a rookie cop. A family disturbance turned into a violent confrontation. A husband shot his wife in the pelvis with a .22 revolver. Upon our arrival, my partner and I secured the suspect and the scene. We went back into service after the detectives arrived to process the evidence. 

Later that week, as the woman was recovering from her gunshot wound in the hospital, she unexpectedly died. During an autopsy, it was discovered the bullet had entered her pelvic region striking a bone and then glanced upward into her chest. When the bullet hit her pelvis, the impact chipped off a piece of bone pushing the bone fragment out of her lower back making it appear it was the exit wound for the bullet. A larger X-ray scan would have revealed the totality of the bullet’s path and where the bullet was actually lodged, but it was missed. A fatal assumption led the attending physician to believe the bullet had exited her body. The bone fragment was false evidence.

The assumed path of pain is not always the cause of emotional or spiritual death. A harsh word is like a bullet fired in rage, it enters the human soul and moves around looking for a place to create the most destruction. It requires Spirit-led discernment to discover the deadly course of these projectiles and the final destination where they are embedded in a soul. Undiscovered, they will attract lies that will create an infectious slow bleed that can lead to the death of a marriage, a dream or a person’s spiritual health.

Today, as you meet wounded people, make no assumptions based on natural sight or physical evidence. The first evidence is not always the most accurate evidence. Allow the Spirit to reveal the deeper wound paths that your natural sight cannot see. Like a skilled spiritual surgeon, once you see the hidden reality, the Spirit will guide your hand to make a gentle scalpel cut by speaking the truth in love. This incision of love will cut through the assumptions and false evidence to reveal the location of a deadly lie embedded in a person's life. Truth and the reality of God's love will dislodge these projectiles of darkness and allow the process of healing and recovery to begin.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Breaking Free

As I was praying, I saw the image of a pendulum swinging back and forth in long measured arcs. The metronomic sequence was limited in range by control barriers set at both ends of the pendulum's movement. 

As I continued to watch and pray, the pendulum approached the end of one its sweeping motions. When the arm of the pendulum touched the barrier, it broke through the restriction shattering the barrier into fragments. Bits and pieces of the barrier flew through the image in detailed slow motion allowing me to see each piece as they passed by. Once free, the arm of the pendulum became airborne like a hammer tossed by an Olympic hammer thrower. Off into the distance, the pendulum arm flew disappearing from sight. 

Restricting barriers are being crashed. Your pendulum mechanism is being dismantled and decommissioned. What was once a predictable barrier on both ends of your life-spectrum is about to be shattered by an unexpected work of the Spirit. You have lived and planned your life inside the restricting arc of this pendulum and been faithful to its measured vision. All of this will catch you by surprise because while you knew it was possible, you thought that possibility was for someone else. This is your time to break free from restrictions and limitations.

As you fly forward, you will land in a new space emotionally and spiritually. New instructions will come at the place of your landing. In your time of flight into the future, enjoy the ride. This is a work of God. He will determine the course of your flight and the place of your landing. You are in the hands of Goodness. He is delivering you to a good place.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Merging the Fires of Revival and Reformation

On July 15, 1,700 lightning strikes occurred in our region sparking fires that will most likely burn into the fall with no immediate end in sight. Two huge wildfires have now merged to create a conflagration of great concern. Our valley has experienced only a handful of clear skies, literally just a few hours each, over the last month. 

As I read the news account about these two merging wildfires, the Lord began to share with me about a coming merger of revival and reformation. Someone once said, “Revival is for the Church. Reformation is for the culture.” I have parroted that phrase myself without thinking it through. While it is correct on one level, it needs to be examined on a deeper and more critical level. 

Revival and reformation are not two separate things. A revived Church will become a reforming presence in culture. Until these two join forces, there may not be a fire of significant size to bring the kind of change required for cultural transformation. The revivalists need to move out of church buildings, conference halls, and stadiums because the culture that is waiting to experience transformation does not live within these structures. Those pursuing a reformation need the heart and passion of a burning revivalist, or they will not have the spiritual energy required to bring change to the controlling summits of the 7 mountains of culture. 

On July 15 when the 1,700 lightning strikes took place, some strikes found a fuel source and became a wildfire. Others struck bare ground where there was no fuel and petered out before they got started. So it is in our spiritual life. The Spirit can “strike” a life, but if that life does not offer God the tender of submission to a greater Kingdom agenda, no fire of revival or reformation will ignite. 

This is how a revival leading to a reformation takes place. Individuals burning for God come to realize they are not burning alone. Once ignited they seek to join with other burning ones to become a Spirit-empowered move of God, similar to the two large fires that merged in our area. Before the fires merged into something more substantial, they remained isolated without the potential of a major, region-wide conflagration.  

We are at a point in time when we will begin to see the merging of two fires sparked by the Spirit - revival, and reformation. This will be an indicator of a new season for the Church. When these two groups are burning toward each other, in the region where this burning merger takes place, something explosive will transpire.

The fire of God is cleansing His people from the underbrush of lesser things that occupy our time, energy and resources so that we will be ready to accomplish more than we ever imagined. Once this fire of revival leading to reformation begins to burn, the wind of the Spirit will move the fire into the streets of our cities and into the boardrooms of corporations and media empires. This fire will be so powerful it will jump the fire lines created by restrictive and fearful thinking and begin to burn in love within the cultural institutions that have remained untouched by the fire of God’s presence.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Seams of Significance

Even though I have been writing and speaking for many years, I am still surprised where my words, either in script or video, end up. With the advent of socil media, it is easy to create a “trophy case” displaying where some of these words have been delivered. That would feed my pride and if not correctly discerned could cause me to fail an integrity check.  When God wants to carry our words to a unique audience, He can find a seam through which the word can pass that no plan of human intellect could predict.

A seam is that place where two fabrics meet and are sewn together. Some of you reading these words belong to neither fabric where a word you shared is waiting to be received. God will give you access to these unfamiliar garments by allowing your word to find your unique seam of significance through which to pass and be received. When God does this, there is no tear in the fabric. When we are the ones doing this, our pride tears open the seam in an attempt to make a way for ourselves. 

This morning, I was shown one of these seams for something I wrote that entered a new audience field that surprised me. The Lord said, “Leave it alone.” In other words, it is not for public consumption. These moments can become integrity checks to see if self-promotion or Kingdom promotion is our priority. I am beginning to see with new eyes my own brokenness in this area. Just when I think I have a grip on it, another seam of significance is passed through, and I get, once again, a choice to choose what I promote.

God has significant and transformative things to say and accomplish through your life. Give God the reins of your significance and let Him lead your gifts and calling into unique and unexpected places. If you can learn to live this way, you will be amazed at where the fruit of your life is being shared and enjoyed. 


Sunday, August 12, 2018

When Life Gets Dry

When we moved into our home 16 years ago, our trees were not as large as they are today. One maple tree grows in the center of the lawn in our backyard. As the rotating sprinkler fans out its spray, the trunk of the maple tree blocks a narrow slice of the stream of water. Each time we water, the presence of the tree casts a waterless shadow across one portion of the lawn. That part of the lawn remains dry. It is most noticeable when the rest of the lawn is wet. 

The tree reminds me of our lives. Some things in our lives were not a problem when they were small and still growing. The demands of a career, the needs of the people we are called to serve, and even our individual calling in the Kingdom of God all seemed manageable, and each got watered. In those early seasons, life could work around them without any noticeable detrimental effect. But there came a time, as these areas of life continued to grow that we begin to notice a dry place developing on the landscape of our life. Some areas were starting to die in the dry shadow while the surrounding areas looked alive and vibrant.

If there is a dry place in your life, it may be time to add another spiritual sprinkler. The demands of life that are causing the dry places will only get larger over time and continue to cast an ever-increasing shadow of dryness in your life. God wants all of your life well-watered by His word, wise self-care, and relationships honest enough to point out your dry places. 

Every area of your life has been designed by God to live as a green and luxurious-looking follower of Jesus Christ, not a life of dry and brittle shadows. Do what you need to do to make this happen. Deal with the dry places, and new life will soon appear.







Saturday, August 11, 2018

Your Coming Moment of Lift

The season that is now coming to an end has been like an airplane gaining speed on a very long runway. You have been increasing momentum in the Spirit and have reached a critical point. Lift is about to take place. Unknown to you, God has been adding additional runaway in front of your faith to bring you to this moment of ascent. 

The wing of an airplane flies because of how wind travels over the surface of the wing. When an aircraft wing moves through the air, the air splits upon impact with the leading edge and then travels along the top and bottom of the wing to meet once again at the trailing edge. 

The top of an airplane wing is arched. The bottom is typically flat. Because of the arch on top of the wing, the wind on top has a longer distance to travel than the wind along the bottom. The air on top has to move faster than the air on the bottom to meet once again after the wing makes its pass through a section of the atmosphere. This is called, Bernoulli’s Principle of Fluid Dynamics. This faster-moving air atop the wing creates a low-pressure system that produces lift allowing an airplane to experience flight.

You have thought that high-pressure and stress would be what elevates your calling. God works in the opposite way. He moves us upwards, like the lift created by an airplane wing, toward a place of low pressure where peace, trust and rest create the spiritual lift that striving, doubt, and unrest could never create.

The end of this long runway season is in sight. God has been moving you forward toward a place of low pressure. In a Spirit-directed moment, you will experience a lift that could never be produced by adopting principles of life filled with the human-empowered, high-pressure efforts of striving and worry. Let go of those things, and you will break the natural bonds of Earthly wisdom and fly into the higher altitudes of calling and mission you never thought possible when you were still making your long takeoff run. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Spiritual Wildfires

God has stopped a spiritual wildfire you did not know was burning. He did this so you could continue focusing on your current assignment without interruption. God has been doing this throughout your life, most of the time without your knowledge of the pending danger. If you knew all God was continually doing to save and deliver you from peril, you might become overwhelmed at the scope of the surrounding and never-ending spiritual fires that swirl around your life. 

Earlier this week, during a hike in a remote part of a large abandoned WWII military base, I came across the remnants of a small fire that began to burn but had been extinguished. It had tremendous potential to burn hundreds of acres. It was stopped before it could mature into a major conflagration. What I noticed was a prominent fire line dug in the soil by firefighters who stopped the fire from advancing. I could also see the tracks from their emergency vehicles that sped across the grassland toward the developing fire. At the declared fire line the fire could no longer advance because the line dug in the dirt had starved the fire of its demand for fuel. At the fire line, the fire lost its flame.

The Lord has created fire lines in areas of your life where you have no knowledge that wildfires exist, let alone are currently burning. Angelic fire crews are always on alert to fight these fires at the direction of the Lord. Each of these hidden fires could take you out had not God intervened and declared, “This fire will burn no farther!” 

Today, live confidently knowing that God is at work in the spiritual realm protecting you and your loved ones. This protection is taking place behind the scenes and without your knowledge. You don’t have to be concerned by events that transpire that you cannot see. This creates worry and robs you of your faith. You may smell a hint of distant smoke, but don’t let it detract or derail your commitment to what God has assigned for your life. God has your back, and He is watching over you. Rest in His love and protection and keep moving forward.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

When the Demons of Culture Begin to Shriek

The initial indicator that a reformation of culture is actually taking place will not be the arrival of new business models, fair and unbiased news media, creative trends in art and entertainment and so on. These are all by-products of a deeper change. Listen for a change in the sounds coming from the summits of the 7 mountains of culture. You are about to hear a new sound - a sound of displacement coming from the spiritual forces that currently inhabit and control these spheres of cultural influence. 

This process of displacement will be a re-education for some in the Church who may have forgotten or dismissed Paul’s admonition that we do not fight against people or institutions but against spiritual forces occupying high places in the spiritual realm. These spiritual enemies have stepped from the second heaven to inhabit places of influence atop the summits of culture in our realm, the first heaven. From these positions of influence, they are administering a counterfeit authority contrary to the will of God. 

Carriers of reformation are scaling the slopes of these mountains bringing with them the transforming presence of God's love. A shift of influence is taking place, and with that shift, a chorus of desperate shrieks is being heard from the forces of darkness who are beginning to lose their grip on the minds of people. These sounds of defeat will be heard as an encounter with the overwhelming power of Jesus Christ begins to confront each controlling presence that currently sits atop the summits of cultural influence. 




Walk Away

Unrighteous conflict requires two parties to engage in a battle. Choose to not participate in these conflicts, and simply walk away. For the people whose life is an ongoing invitation to conflict, this will be your surprise attack of love. It is an indefensible strategy in spiritual warfare. These conflicts will become raging wars only if you remain present on the battlefield. When you walk away, take with you every negative thought and each prepared response of retaliation. This will be your victory.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Older I Get

The older I become, the more I am able to shed a quick tear over a country ballad. I find myself holding a special attachment to a pair of old weathered boots on their third resole. The memories of a faithful dog now gone and of friends whose relationship I hope to someday retrieve after things fell apart. Of a wife who grows more beautiful to me with each passing day. Each of these memories has a unique place in my life history.

There is a sweet surrender in the process of growing older. Somewhere in your future, it is my hope you will feel these tender embraces.  They put so much of life in a right perspective. 

In all the years I have lived, God has always been present in each passing moment wanting me to see what I see now so clearly. Open your eyes early in life to the goodness of God and to the goodness of life itself. It will change the taste and feel of your present, and it will make the journey into your future one of a profound and growing thanksgiving.

When Life is Always a Crisis

On both sides of the political spectrum, we are continually being told by talking heads what we are to be alarmed by. If you have no crisis in your life just tune into your favorite flavor of news commentary and before the first commercial break you will be knee deep in conflict with people you never met.  If you want to step into the arena of political opinion you must have enemies and agree with a list of crisis points in order to enter the conversation. In the Church-world there are entire movements created by and dedicated to the latest crisis in theology or how the Church is supposed to relate to culture. Some families have lived an on-going crisis mode in their family line for so many generations that a life of peace, when described to them, seems alien. Crisis and enemies sell. They also pollute the emotional and spiritual air we breathe.

In southern Oregon where I live, we are surrounded by forest fires. Our air quality has been listed as the worst in the nation. Week after week of smoke-filled skies has become a real health hazard. There appears to be no immediate relief in sight. The presence of smoke also begins to affect your psyche and how you see life. To look out where blues skies and green forests once dominated the landscape and now only see the muted colors of a brown and persistent haze can begin to affect a person on many levels. At some point, this can change a person’s perspective on life.

If you want a breath of fresh air in southern Oregon you have to get out of the area. Several of my friends have gone to the coast to breathe in some fresh air.  Some have looked at wind current maps and changed vacation plans based on the air quality. A change of location is the only hope of taking in a lung full of clean air. Fresh air has become the new vacation destination.

The prophetic voice of the Church in culture is under assault. The entities that continually create the next crisis have no power to steal our voice.  We have to give permission for this theft to take place. The thief is smart. He will simply bring in wave after wave of smoky air fueled by the latest crisis-fire of fear and despair and cause some to believe this is our unchangeable reality. He wants us to stay put in this hazardous air thinking we only have a single option. 

There will always be the presence of a never-ending supply of hazardous spiritual air fueled by the next burning crisis. We can get so surrounded by this deceptive smoke that we assume it is our lot in life. That is the masked lie we are being led to believe. That deception takes hold of us when we allow anyone but God to define our reality. 

It is time to change our emotional and spiritual location. The clean air of prophetic hope is waiting to fill our lungs. That fresh breath will fuel the sound and quality of our voice to those coughing in the unhealthy air of hopelessness. That sound will announce to a suffocating culture that hope is possible and available even in the middle of all the smoke.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Steel of Healthy Relationships

One of my favorite movies is Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. In the film, Morgan Freeman plays Azeem a Moorish warrior who is a companion to Robin Hood played by Kevin Costner. In one scene attention is drawn to the sword carried by Azeem. He comments it was made from the finest Toledo steel, referring to Toledo, Spain. For centuries the small city of Toledo produced some of the most battle-worthy swords in the world. They were known for their strength and durability in combat. “Toledo steel” meant a sword made of layered steel with an iron core. This gave the sword flexibility without breaking in battle.

When Jan and I lived in Europe, we traveled through Spain several times. On one trip, we visited Toledo. A goal of mine was to purchase a chef’s knife made by the craftsmen in one of the Toledo cutlery shops. The knife in the attached photo is that knife. I have been using it for over twenty years. It is of such quality that it appears to never have been sharpened though it has many times. It will last the rest of my life because of the quality of material and craftsmanship.

I shared the history and photo because they remind me of healthy relationships that last over time. There is a unique quality about these relationships, whether as friends or spouses. These relationships are not cheap stainless steel serrated edge junk masquerading as a quality chef’s knife. There is a quality in the materials of these relationships that give them strength over time and durability in seasons of intense use. They last a lifetime because they were crafted by people who honor each other and offer the gift of forgiveness and mercy repeatedly over a lifetime. Those relationships will be able to cut through any challenge that comes their way because they were forged with the steel of two hearts yielded to the will of God. Choose to be that kind of steel.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Mirrors of God's Glory

In the middle of all that is swirling around you – your emotions, your challenges and your doubt, and all that is taking place in the world – the sorrow, the suffering and the despair, you are reflecting the glory of God. You are mirroring the image of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. This reflection is offering to the world a glimpse of a future not imagined with natural sight and imagination.

The largest telescope in the world is the Magellan Telescope. Once completed, it will be positioned in the Chilean Andes. This will be a perfect location for the telescope offering clear skies, a dry climate, and almost no pollution from artificial light. The Magellan will be able to produce images 10X sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope. 

At the heart of the Magellan Telescope is an arrangement of 7 large mirrors. To make each mirror requires individual pieces of clear glass be positioned by hand atop a circular plate where the finished mirror will rest. Once all the glass is placed on the plate, it will be put in an oven to melt the glass forming the smooth face of the mirror. Each mirror will weigh 17 tons and span 24 feet across. 

When the melting process is complete, the mirror will need to cool for 6 months before the polishing process begins. It will take another 2-3 years of precision grinding to prepare the reflective surface of each mirror to make it ready for the telescope. Each of the mirrors will take 7 years to produce from start to finish. There is another kind of mirror that is infinitely more powerful than the Magellan and that mirror is currently in operation on Earth. 

Each follower of Christ is a mirror reflecting the glory of God to the world. We are mirrors who reflect a witness. The word “witness” in Scripture does not only mean a verbal witness of our faith. It can also mean, “to show forth”, “to display” like the reflective surface of a mirror. At the beginning of the expired old covenant, Moses came down from the mountaintop reflecting the glory of God to such a degree the people could not bear to look at his face. Consider the superior reflecting power of the new covenant we have with God in Jesus?

Your reflection of God’s glory infinitely dwarfs the most powerful technology that will ever be created by the most brilliant human innovation. Never underestimate the significance of the One who lives within in you and is reflecting His glory to the world through you. You are God’s mirror upon the Earth. Always live with that reflection in mind. It will change how you see the world.

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (II Corinthians 3:18).

Friday, August 3, 2018

Embrace the Change

Every season of life has an expiration date. Don’t fear the closure of a relationship, a ministry assignment or a season of life that has come to an end. Fully embracing our God-assigned reality requires courage and faith. As you face the challenge of change, never forget that God is able to open a new door into your future just as faithfully as He did when the doorway to this expired season first appeared. Trust Him. Let go and move forward. Your future is anticipating your arrival. 


Thursday, August 2, 2018

Winning the West - A Fresh Move of God

This month, Jan and I will celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary. Today, as we typically do each day, we took communion. Between passing the bread and the wine, I heard the Spirit speak the words, “Colt 45.” Immediately, I saw the image of a Colt 45 revolver. For those of you not familiar, the Colt 45 Peacemaker has been dubbed “The gun that won the West.” When Samuel Colt created his single-action masterpiece he could not have imagined the impact his revolver would have in the taming of the Wild West of the American frontier. I have always admired the Colt .45 for its beauty and power, though I have never had the privilege of owning one of these treasured revolvers.

When I first heard the Lord speak the words, “Colt .45”, I realized He was talking to Jan and me about the 45th year of our relationship and what our future holds. I got the sense that just like Samuel Colt’s revolver won the West in the natural something in the Spirit is about to be released to win the West to God. So much is taking place spiritually in this region of our nation. Revivalists are relocating here. National and international leaders in the Church are holding citywide meetings. God is stirring our region. 37 years ago, Jan and I planted our first church in Kalispell, Montana in the Colt 45 room of the Outlaw Inn. God was getting my attention about the number 45.

As I continued to ponder the number “45”, the Lord said, “45th Parallel.” When I did some research, I almost fell out of my proverbial chair. The 45th parallel on the Earth crosses the State of Oregon. I recalled seeing a marker along Interstate 5 near Salem, Oregon that states the following, “45th Parallel – Half Way Between the Equator and North Pole.”

2018 will mark the beginning of the winning of the West for Jesus Christ. A unique move of God’s Spirit is beginning to take place. Pay attention to the “small” things God whispers. Follow those whispers to a place of unexpected revelation where your faith will be strengthened as mine was just a few minutes ago during communion. God is on the move in the West!

When The Mean Dogs Come Running

Bicyclists who ride along country roads have a saying, “The biggest and meanest dogs are always waiting at the top of the steepest hills.” In essence, when a bicycle rider is tired and slowed down near the top of a steep climb, the biggest and meanest dogs will appear. At this point, the rider feels trapped and unable to escape and as a result, they are an easy target.

Some of you are in a long and steep climb into a new season of life, business or family relationship. You know that if you slow down, or worse, quit, the situation will chew you up. There is a problem. You are out of steam. Your natural abilities have been exhausted. 

There is a way over this steep section of the road without being consumed by what is lying in wait for your arrival. As you enter this steep and most challenging section of your journey, ask God for a second wind of His Spirit. Ask Him for a strength you do not naturally possess. In faith, once you ask, believe that you possess what you asked for and then place your trust in God. Faith coupled with trust will allow you to speed past the dogs of your defeat and eventually crest this daunting section of life’s road. Once you make it over the top you will be rewarded with a joyful descent filled with praise and worship for what God has accomplished.

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Season of Sifting

A sifting is taking place in the Church, especially among those who walk in the gift of prophecy. The voice of a prophet must be clear and refined by the Spirit free from too much personality or a pre-planned ministry agenda. It must be sifted of any corrupting presence able to pour freely into the mold of what God desires to reveal.

Bakers will sift flour to discover lumps. Sifting refines and aerates the flour. As a result, it is easier to mix with other ingredients. The more delicate the baked goods, the more necessary the sifting process becomes. The presence of unrefined lumps will affect the quality of the end product. This is not a problem for those who bake a cake from a prepared box of ingredients, but it is a problem for those who desire to bake exquisite creations. 

When God sifts the thinking of His prophets, He is sifting us to find out where our thoughts and methods have not yet been refined enough to be used fully and freely for His purposes. There are times when we might withdraw our permission for God to continue the sifting process. In fear or because of an assumption that we already operate at prophetic depth, we stop the process and withdraw our consent for God to take us deeper to a new level of personal refinement. 

The sifting can be so radical it may change the tone, content, and style of our prophetic delivery. Some fear this depth of sifting because those who are accustomed to the familiar sound of their voice and the style of their ministry will be put off by the change.  This becomes a turning point for a prophet. Unless we give God this permission, the prophetic gift we carry will become hi-jacked and compromised if it remains unsifted and unrefined in its present form. 

Let God have His way when He invites you into a sifting process. God sifts us in love. If you serve Him over the span of a lifetime, you will encounter His sifting on several occasions, usually just before a season of breakthrough. When the sifting is complete, the attitude of your heart and the sound of your voice will have experienced a transformation. It will not be easy, but it will be worth every shaking you experience during the sifting process. A new refinement and clarity are coming. Embrace the sift.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Disarming Hell

When I was a cop, I had to disarm people who wanted to kill an innocent bystander or me. As a Hostage Negotiator, I disarmed people using words crafted from proven negotiation tactics. When I worked as a street cop and later as a SWAT officer, I disarmed people at the end of my pistol or rifle barrel. To survive the mean streets, I had to learn how to disarm violent people on a regular basis, or I would go home in a body bag.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to disarm people spiritually. We do this by choosing to respond in a spirit opposite from the one being exhibited by our assailant. What disarms people and disempowers their harsh attacks takes place when we choose to love them instead of crafting a response in retaliation. We disarm hate with love and fear with faith. When we came to know Jesus, we holstered the spiritual weapon of God's unconditional love. God expects us to fire its power and beauty into the heart of every person we meet.

Like my Marine buddies say, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” Those of us who served in police work will say, “Once a cop, always a cop.” I would like to suggest a phrase for all who follow Jesus, “Once a believer, always a believer.” Don’t allow any situation in your life or another person’s negative response to disarm you and take away your love. Guard love with all your strength. It is the only thing you have that can effectively disarm any situation and help you come out the other side of the encounter spiritually alive and able to live another day for the glory of God.





Sunday, July 29, 2018

Soon, But Not Yet

Yesterday afternoon, I walked by clusters of grapes hanging from one of the vines on our property. Grapes grow well in this region. For the early French settlers, our valley reminded them of the south of France. We have excellent soil and a climate able to produce outstanding wine grapes. 

As I passed by the vines, the Lord drew my attention to a cluster of grapes still weeks away from maturity. When He had my attention, He spoke and said, “Soon, but not yet.” Immediately I knew what He meant. Some of us have promises that are hanging in plain sight ready to mature and be harvested. For the early French vintners, this would be the time of year to get ready for the harvest. Crushing vats would be prepared and barrels would be assembled. They would make sure they had enough bottles and corks to house their prized wine.

The promises of God in your life are coming to fruition soon, but not yet. In this short season of waiting, God will bring together all the elements required for a successful harvest. There are things you can do in the meantime. God will show you how to capture the goodness of your promise to enjoy for yourself and to share with others. The grapes of your promise may still be green, but God is beginning to change their spiritual chemistry making them ready for the time of harvest and future consumption. It will happen soon, but not just yet. Wait in confident expectation in this time of preparation, and soon you will taste and see that God is good.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Moment Just Before

Have you ever contemplated the moments in life just before everything changes? The moment just before you met your significant other or your best friend. That moment just before you lost a job or got a new one. What about the moment just before a loved one passed away or that moment in the future just before you leave this world and enter eternity? 

Life is filled with these just before moments. They remain unrecognizable because we cannot discern their existence before they arrive. Right now as you read these words somewhere out ahead of you is a “moment just before” making its way toward you.

Solomon wrote, “For everything, there is a season.” These moments are the precursor of change. Placed within you are the seeds of a new season that you carry unknowingly. Like a seed buried deep in the soil, you cannot fully know the moment your seed will sprout and break through the restricting surface to encounter the new season for which you were planted. 

One of the most powerful things we can do is live in each moment of life with expectancy. Living with an expectancy of God’s goodness and His faithfulness is what prepares us to embrace whatever comes our way with faith and courage. It shifts the environment of our waiting. In the presence of expectancy, fear will not find a place to dwell in the moment just before the next season of your life arrives. 

Friday, July 27, 2018

Finding the Peace

A lot of challenging and stressful things are taking place. An abundance of difficulty is moving across the lives of many people. I have friends and ministries in Redding, California who are being devastated by a fire that has been labeled, “Out of Control.” A friend is in Budapest, Hungary for routine surgery and due to complications from the surgery is now in jeopardy and could lose sight in one eye. Our culture is at war between groups who hold opposing worldviews. In all of this, we need to find the peace. The peace of God is not the resolution of these things even though we continue to pray for deliverance, healing, and calm. His peace is something we carry as we walk forward into these yet-to-be-resolved issues.

Like any family, Jan and I have our challenges. When surrounded by unresolved personal issues and the painful things happening to our friends, we do something that gives us a unique strength in the Spirit as we contend in faith. We take communion. As is our routine, we take communion almost daily. It is our time of marital devotion. It does not get rid of our pain or the struggles of others. What it does is help us gain a renewed perspective on the issues of life as followers of Jesus.

Are challenging things coming at you with unprecedented force or are you standing in the midst of the painful testimonies of your loved ones? Today, stop and take communion. As you receive the bread and wine, declare the goodness of God, decree the victory of Christ, and finally, open your heart to a fresh word of revelation that will guide your steps in the coming season. We are never without hope even in moments when it feels like all hope is gone. This is our time to commune with the One who is our Peace no matter what is taking place. The fruit of that communion will change everything.  

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Falling Dominoes

Yesterday some strange things began to take place in our home. I won’t go into detail, but after two events manifested, I realized hell was at work. I literally stopped what I was doing and commanded those things to cease and desist their activity. What was taking place finally stopped, and life returned to normal.

This morning, the event from yesterday came to mind. I saw an image of dominoes. These dominoes were not placed in a tidy straight line. They were on edge all across a table in what appeared to be a random pattern. The dominoes represented elements and institutions within our culture. As the image developed, I felt the tedious nature of the dominoes standing on edge. I knew they were about to fall. No one could predict which domino would fall first because the Lord held that domino in secret.

When the first domino fell it would appear to someone not seeing the unfolding event through the eyes of the Spirit as a series of random and disconnected acts, but I knew it was not by chance. It was a purposeful collapse. There was a heavenly design not only in the placement of each domino on the table but in the sequence in which the dominoes were assigned to fall.

The ignition point for this chain-reaction will be hard to detect. It will be like my rebuke of the interfering and frustrating spiritual presence in our home. I did not feel connected to anything beyond what was happening in our kitchen.  At that moment when I exercised authority over what was taking place, my domino fell. It fell along with others who were in that same moment releasing the authority of Heaven upon the Earth.

What is your domino? Don’t just go along with any work of hell in your life that is contrary to the will and heart of God. Do something with the authority God has given to you. Exercise it! Though the act of your obedience may seem small and disconnected from the larger scheme of things, it is not. Your individual role is important. Your falling domino will play a vital role in the Spirit-inspired sequence of the larger collapsing puzzle. When all the dominoes finally fall it will reveal the way forward not only for you but for the culture at large.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

I'm Going - I'm Gone

It is interesting to experience the tug in our heart when we visit a place that holds significance in our personal history. In 1981 as a young couple with two little kids and a couple of cats, Jan and I left a known life in Oregon to embrace a new and unfamiliar life in the Flathead Valley of northwest Montana where we planted a church. God took our naivety and what appeared on paper to be very insufficient funding and mixed it with His faithfulness and our growing faith and a church was birthed. 

Last week, Jan and I returned to Montana for a week on Flathead Lake. It was a time of rest. This was not our first return. We had returned many times before in the last 37 years. When we got home, I listened to Ray Hughes song about Montana. The song "just appeared" on a friend's Facebook wall. I thought the timing was interesting. One part of the song that touched me in a deep place had these lyrics, 

“I’m going, I’m gone, back to Montana. Where the pines stand like angels and point to the throne. I going, I’m gone where the sky is forever. You can stand anywhere and always hear home.”

As I listened to Ray’s poignant lyrics, memories flooded in as they had done on each return visit. Our time in Montana many years ago had moments of personal struggle and disillusionment. But those challenges were used by God to form us and prepare us for this season of life. With God, nothing is ever lost. Memories are never wasted when God has them in His hands. They become the extension of his fingers as He molds us for His purpose. 

Today, become aware of the things that stir your memories. Step inside them and let God show you what He sees. He is able to use a song, a poem or the song of a meadowlark to remind you what is truly important and memorable in this life. 

(If you would like to listen to Ray's song about Montana, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_Kc56fBGCc)

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

God Have Mercy

Nothing in a life of faith works without God’s mercy. Through the course of our lives, each of us will make both good and bad decisions. Some of these decisions will hurt others. The response to our failed choices can also wound us. No one will have a perfect track record on either side of a disputed issue. As the human will is exercised in imperfect ways creating painful results, each of us will have an opportunity to discover the powerful reality of God's mercy. Mercy has the power to make everything work out for the good if we choose to walk along its path of freedom. 

If you are questioning a decision you made, you are not alone. Everyone who has a heart will examine the quality of the choices they make. In the middle of the questioning, choose to shift your focus away from sorrow and regret to face in the direction of God's mercy. In that shift, make the choice to exchange your pain for the promises of God. This is only possible if you believe that God remains forever merciful even when you may have been the perpetrator of another person’s pain. In that shift and resulting exchange, you will find the elusive peace you wanted when everything began to fall apart. 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Overwhelming Power of Love

Learn the art of Godly influence. This is not an influence achieved by status or position, but a Spirit-empowered influence that seeks the highest good of an individual and a culture. It is the influence of love.

It was an influence gained by the power of love that allowed God to use the early Christians to cause the collapse of the Roman Empire. The failure of Rome was not achieved by a misuse of military might, a lack of funding or the loss of political dominance. It was achieved over time by the on-going and never-ceasing influence of love. 

Julian the Apostate, the last pagan ruler of Rome, said, “These Galileans (Christians) not only feed their own but ours also; welcoming them into their agape, they attract them as children are attracted to cake. Whilst the pagan priests neglect the poor, the hated Galileans devote themselves to works of charity, and by a display of false compassion have established and given effect to their pernicious errors.  Such practice is common among them, and causes contempt for our gods.”

It was the influence of love and loving acts over time that shifted the hearts and minds of Rome. This victory was not the result of military conquest or a political party gaining power and control. This love was so powerful it caused the citizens of Rome to consider the reality of the one true God. The influence of love is what changed the Roman culture, and it will be what transforms our culture for the glory of God. 

The dying words of Julian revealed the power of love's influence, “You Galileans (Christians) have conquered.” 

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Corral of God's Restoring Love

Jan and I just drove through some very remote sections of eastern Oregon. This is a place where the term “wide open spaces” could easily find its definition. You can travel for miles before you see any sign of human settlement. What I did see were roadside caution signs like, “Open Range – Watch for Livestock on Road”. I also saw remote wooden corrals with loading chutes and ramps. These corrals are used to round up cattle that have lived on open rangeland. The corrals are not abandoned. They are used at various times in the year for cattle ranchers to gather their herds.

After passing several of these corrals, I began to think of prodigal children, wayward friends and other disconnected relationships that God wants to restore. These disconnected ones have roamed freely in the open range of their free will yet they live in an unrealized bondage having pulled away from the ones they once loved.

God has placed a spiritual corral on the open range of these loved ones. He knows how to find them in the distant outback and round them up to corral them for a moment of restoration. God’s corral will narrow their options and in love allow their own choices and consequences to force them into a narrow loading chute and up the ramp to experience a reconnection of relationship. 

Get ready to be called by the Spirit to pull your rig up to God’s corral and experience a Spirit-led reconnection with those you thought were lost forever. God knows where the people you love are roaming in rebellion. He hasn’t lost track of anyone. He leaves the ninety-nine to find the one because the one matters to you and to Him.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Confronting Inadequacy

Not every dream we have makes sense. Some dreams can be inspired by the Spirit of God or by a work of hell. Still, others can be the result of an over-active imagination or too much pizza right before bed. We need discernment to understand what is taking place in our mind when we dream. I had a dream I believe was inspired by God’s Spirit not only for me but for some of you who are reading this article.

In the dream, I sent my car into the shop to get new tires for a new journey. When the car was returned it was delivered atop an earthen dam. The dam was holding back a large reservoir of water. There was a problem. The new tires were those skinny low-profile tires that I knew could not navigate the rough terrain of the future. I sent the car back to the shop and told those servicing my car to install a set of large, knobby-studded tires. The car was eventually properly outfitted and delivered once again atop the dam. That was the end of the dream.

As I debriefed the contents of the dream the Lord gave me several impressions. If the Lord gives you permission, make the dream your own. 

God wants to move us past a timidity that fails to confront inadequacy. This inadequacy can be in resources like enough money or personnel needed to accomplish a God-ordained mission. It can also be in the way we think. Inadequacy is an equal opportunity dismantler of hope. If the spirit of inadequacy is not dealt with we can resign ourselves to just go along with less and falsely label it as something spiritual and assume a false humility. When in reality, we actually need more, not less, to make the journey of faith and accomplish the Kingdom purpose for which we were created. 

The car sitting atop the dam holding back the water was a significant image in the dream. While the Lord wants us to move in partnership with Him, He also wants us to get out ahead of the implications of a move of the Spirit so we can be in a position to welcome and minister to those who will become inundated by the flood of God’s presence. That is why the inadequate tires would not work. Some of the things we will have to move through will be the embedded obstacles in culture and within the Church that will cross our path in the unfolding process of revival and reformation. None of this will be an easy road. Inadequate tires will stop us dead in our tracks.

All feelings of inadequacy are created by a fear that is birthed when we have a skewed image of God. In fact, the majority of our dysfunction in matters of faith is sourced in this single issue. If you know what God has called you to do there should be a fearless confidence to ask Him to resource the vision and mission He has revealed to you. To remain atop the dam of potential not properly outfitted because of fear is not where you want to be when the dam breaks. You won’t drown but you will become like many believers in past movements of God who were found floating along with the rest of culture bobbing up and down in a failure of their faith. You don't have to accept that definition or that end result. 

God wants to get us out ahead of what is coming. To do that, we need adequate tires on our faith. Those tires will be the evidence that we believe and trust God to do all He has promised because He loves us and knows that without His provision none of what He called us to do will take place. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Our Place of Unity and Our Way Forward

As I travel and minister, I have the opportunity to visit many different expressions of the Church. I was recently in a gathering populated by tremendous thinkers and theologians. In that mix were differing opinions on major topics of theology and God’s Kingdom. The people loved Jesus and had given their life and treasure to Him, but some shared different understandings about truth and how it is applied.

During one evening session of worship, I looked out across the hundreds of people gathered. The worship had reached a point where the glory of God was manifesting throughout the sanctuary. Some of those worshipping were expressive in their worship and others were more sedate and meditative. Then it hit me. I was seeing the only place where the Church will ever have a single point of agreement. That agreement will be in our worship of God, not in our points of theology, or how we should worship or what constitutes an authentic church service. Worship is the only place where each of us makes the choice to focus on the One who is worthy of our love and affection. He is our shared point of agreement.

That night in worship, I saw the Church as one, united in focus on Jesus, not on diverse points of theology or opinions that many times can separate us.  I came away from that evening more at peace about the future of the Church than at any time in recent memory. 

When you find yourself in a place of frustration about an opposing opinion regarding a matter of faith, get to a place of shared worship where those who are creating your frustration are worshipping next to you and choose to focus on the Savior with them. As you worship in the diversity, open your eyes and look around. Like me, you might come to realize the image of that single focus of worship amidst diverse opinions is where the love and oneness Jesus spoke about will have its beginning and its greatest chance of survival once we leave the sanctuary.  


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Witchcraft Must Exit

Jan and I were driving through Spokane, Washington on freeway I-90. Jan was born in Spokane and I did a couple of years at Whitworth University, so the city holds a special place in our lives.

As we entered the city traveling westbound from Idaho, up ahead I saw one of those large mobile digital signs positioned on the freeway to alert drivers. There is only so much space on these signs so the person who programs them must economize the message because they only have so many spaces on the sign to insert their phrasing. 

I was doing about 80 mph (the speed limit is 75 on that section - I like to fudge a bit). At that speed, I took a quick look at the sign in passing. It actually read, “Wtrcraft must exit” meaning watercraft must exit the freeway to be inspected for invasive waterborne insect species. What I thought I saw was, “Witchcraft must exit”. I took a double take. 

On the second glance, I realized my error. At that moment, the Lord impressed upon me it wasn’t a mistake in the Spirit. As cool and urbane as we in the western Church may want to appear, in that pursuit, we can dismiss the spiritual reality of darkness and relegate it to those unrefined folks who handle snakes and dance on sawdust floors in worship somewhere out in the sticks. The folly of our dismissal does not negate the reality of those who work in partnership with darkness to cast spells on human minds and release interfering works of hell against individuals, families, and cultural institutions. 

When I “mistakenly” read the road sign, I believe it was a promise. The works of darkness initiated against you personally, against your family and against our nation are being commanded to depart the roadway of our future. God wants you to know there are dark agendas taking place in the unseen world that you may never come to realize as you go about the normal affairs of your life. These things are at work with an assignment to destroy you and your loved ones. God knows this is taking place. He is commanding these dark influences to remove their grip from the thinking and decision-making of individuals, cultural institutions, and national politics. A witching presence is being told to depart the highway at the next exit. This departure will become exceedingly evident in the days to come.

God does not expect you to see and understand everything that is taking place in the spiritual realm. The roadway of your future is being cleared of a hellish influence by a compassionate and understanding God. He is clearing the roadway into the future for you, your family and our nation. Trust Him and keep moving forward without fear.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Faith Collisions

This morning, I saw two robins flying erratically around a tree just outside a sliding glass door. A few moments later,  I heard a loud thump as one of the birds collided with the window. The window was reflecting a false reality of blue skies and freedom that lured the bird into the glass. The bird hit so hard the collision knocked him out. I was sure he was dead. After about 20 minutes he righted himself and while still trying to gain his bearings. Two hours later, he was finally able to fly off. Not all birds survive such an impact. 

Be careful who and what you follow. Like the bird that crashed from blindly chasing the lead bird, not everyone will accurately or wisely interpret the course of your life. That is your decision. Each of us has to be responsible for taking the lead of our individual life of faith under the direction of the Holy Spirit with the instruction of Scripture. No one should stand between you and the Spirit or the Scripture no matter how gifted or charismatic they may appear. 

Faithfully follow Scripture, and the leading of the Spirit and you will not collide with a false reality interpreted by someone who may not navigate through life with the same integrity and beliefs you hold to be true. To remain airborne and free in your faith, you have the responsibility to make sure your course of flight is free and clear of obstacles.  God will never ask you to blindly follow a person, the vision of a ministry, a political platform or anything else that may be offered to you no matter how exciting the pursuit of those invitations may appear. 


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Confronting the Demons of Culture

We are at a point in our national history where the hot-button issues we currently face appear like the demon-possessed man Jesus met in Mark 5. The demon was the real problem, not the man who carried the dark presence. The fearful culture tried to chain the demon-possessed man but that natural solution failed. It was not until Jesus arrived and confronted the powers of darkness with the light of truth that real and lasting change took place. Today, the possibility of a demonic element at work in our politics and culture makes some in the Church feel uncomfortable. That uncomfortable feeling may be part of our problem.

Just as the demon-possessed man complained to Jesus that His presence was torturing him, so it is with anyone who holds a position and social posture different than the demonic agenda. We are seeing an increase in bizarre manifestations and confrontations taking place against truth in the public square. This is not just a reaction created by opposing positions and worldviews. Demons and dark agendas are reacting to the presence of light and truth.

Each of the influencing demons affecting our culture has a name. That is why Jesus asked the demon within the man to identify himself. That identification is necessary because it uncovers the influencing presence and identity that is controlling people and helps us see them as victims, not as perpetrators. If this distinction is not made we will continue to fight in the arena of a flesh and blood conflict, not in the realm of the Spirit where real and lasting change is possible. 

When the demons were sent into a herd of pigs and the possessed man was finally set free, he came back and sat at Jesus' feet dressed and in his right mind. I believe part of the reformation taking place in our culture will have a deliverance component. Individuals and institutions will emerge from a season of cultural insanity, delusion and demonic deception and sit before us as someone who has awakened from a nightmare. If you and I have been able to see the conflict as spiritual and not personal, those who eventually come to sit before us, spiritually clothed and in their right minds, will become our allies in the mission of God. That alliance will be the greatest affront to a demonic agenda of darkness.

The Way Forward

Some of the most profound answers to your prayers are waiting on the other side of what appears to be an unrelated question or a random act of obedience. You may find yourself processing something that is so important it is consuming all your time, energy and mental concentration. In the middle of that intense focus be careful to not dismiss what you might prematurely label as an interruption to the assumed process. It is easy to dismiss an interruption, especially an interruption that appears to have no connection to what you are processing. The greatest turnarounds and open doors can appear out of nowhere and may not be on your current list of considerations. These things are not an interruption. They are the way forward. Ask God for the wisdom to know the difference.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Something

Signs announce something. Shadows reveal something. Prophecies declare something. Welcome the signs. Study the shadows. invite the prophecies, but only build your faith on the Something, not the signs, shadows or prophecies no matter how exciting and inspiring they appear to be. 

There may come a season when you will be without any outward indicators to support your faith. In those times, your faith will be strong because you remained faithful to trust only in the One who is your Something, not in the evidence about Him.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

These Boots Are Made For Walking...And More

Recently, while attending the Hub Nation conference in Bend, Oregon, I took a short walk around the parking lot of Eagle Mountain Fellowship where the conference was being hosted. In an adjacent retail complex is a business called The Boot Barn. As I walked by the front entrance of the store, I sensed the Lord say, “Go into the store and buy some boots.” It was an unexpected request. I have not had a pair of cowboy boots in over 40 years. I hung a right turn and entered the store. After trying on a few pairs of boots, I settled on some Ariats and out the door I walked, two inches taller with new boots on my feet. It just so happened that I was wearing a pair of blue jeans long enough to make the boots work and not look like an urban western wannabe with high-water pants.

While still processing the “why” of the boot purchase – they are expensive – the Lord began to download some thoughts to me and maybe for some of you who are reading these words.  

The Lord began explained two things about the boots. One, He actually enjoyed seeing me wear the boots. He was sharing my joy. Secondly, the boots were a metaphor for the needed preparation of our hearts as we enter the coming months. This preparation will need to take place if we are going to be a reforming presence in culture. 

Paul told the Ephesians part of their required armament for spiritual warfare would be to have their feet covered with the gospel of peace. To walk with the spirit of a peacemaker will become one of the most powerful preparations we can make for navigating the increasing turmoil in our culture. Those who choose peace will literally walk over the plans of the enemy crushing division and destruction. True peace is never a compromise to the truth. Peace reveals things that the two sides in a heated dispute may not yet realize. Peacemakers are cultural prophets who reveal what anger, wrath, and malice cannot see. 

It was comforting to walk back into the Hub Nation conference with new boots on my feet. The boots felt strong and secure. Our spiritual strength and security will not come from flowing in and partnering with the turmoil-creating atmosphere currently taking place in our culture. It will come when we yield to the Spirit’s presence and walk in the ways of peace through the battlefields of life. Your spiritual boots were made for walking into the current cultural upheaval to leave the footprints of God’s heart. Get your boots on! You have places to go and people to see that only peace can reveal.