Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Release of Dormant Callings

In this time of cultural pause, unrealized callings empowered by a prophetic promise will rise to the surface to be discovered and released. God never wastes a season, no matter how challenging it might appear. Each chapter of life is filled with the potential fulfillment of a promise. Dormant promises rising to the surface and being released in the middle of the painful seasons of life has been the history of God working in His people since the Creation.

22-years ago, I stepped off the platform at the De Bron conference center in Holland when a prophet named Jean Darnall, reached out a took me by the arm and said, “Young man, you will write for God.” To be honest, writing anything was the last thing in my bucket list. That word remained dormant and unattended until ten years later when, as a tired pastor in need of spiritual refreshment, I was invited to a leadership gathering at Bethel Church in Redding, California. During that visit, I had a deep and profound encounter with God. In that encounter, the word about writing was ignited and released. That was 8 books and 2,000+ blog articles ago.

Prophetic promises have seasons attached to their fulfillment. Those seasons are used by God to release the most impact once a promise is activated and engaged. Each of us carries these promises. Some of them are forgotten. Others are put on the back burner of our memory because they did not align with our desires at the time of their delivery. 

In the coming days, expect promises either forgotten or neglected to come to the surface of your consciousness and ask for your engagement. In the challenging and stressful seasons of life is where God does some of His most unique promise-fulfilling work. 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

A Beautiful Passage

There is an interesting shift that takes place in our thinking as we grow older, and our remaining days are less than what has already been lived. A lessening of stress from the demands of life slowly arrives and sets up camp in our mind. The need to always strive, push, or do something profound seems to walk off the platform of our life. We then experience a shift in our focus and begin looking at life’s finish line welcoming its release. The demands that once pulled on our peace vanish and are replaced with a strangely beautiful abiding. None of this is a compromise of excellence or abandoning of purpose. It is the power and beauty of rest being expressed in preparation for the final passage.

Apocalypse Sells

Apocalypse sells books and movies; it promotes some ministries and creates insular, fear-based fellowship, but does little to advance the Kingdom of God. 

When we forget the truth expressed in the following verse and others like it, we will too easily buy into an apocalyptic, end of the world mindset as our only option and forget God's ultimate end game - the redemption of all things. 

“The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him. All the families of the nations will bow down before him” (Psalm 22:27 - emphasis mine).

During this time of global isolation, fear wants to infect us with a deadlier virus than COVID-19. If we follow the lead of fear, we will never arrive at a God-inspired destination. Just as a natural virus separates us from those we love, so can a spiritual virus of fear separate us from those God intends us to love.

Get on the side of faith and hope. Abandon the appeal of fear and dread. God has something better in mind.



Friday, April 3, 2020

Springing the Trapdoor of Evil

The gallows of control and subjugation of God’s people are being constructed by the spirit of Haman in an attempt to destroy the work of God’s Spirit. While individuals are being used to build these gallows in the political and economic sphere, do not focus your attention on them. These individuals are only a diversion, pawns used in a broader strategy of evil. The real battle is taking place in the second heaven, the realm of spirits.  

Above all this intense warfare, Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of the Father, the place of supreme authority. No plan of hell or an evil plague will have the last say if God’s people will pray. The spirits motivating people toward these evil agendas will soon fall through the trapdoor of their own devices. Some of the individuals held captive by these spirits will see the error of their ways and turn to God in repentance. In this time of unusual conflict, focus on the end game, not emotional diversions, and you will see the glory of God released in the Earth.

“So, they hanged Haman on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai (Esther 7:10).

This is Our Issachar Moment in History

A great deal of social and political maneuvering is taking place in the shadows outside the spotlight of this global crisis. What you see playing out is not the real focus. Ancient political spirits are positioning assets and making plans that are not visible to those who only see the surface implications. History must be studied and understood, or our naivety in these matters will catch us unprepared.

As I considered these things, I saw the hand of God clasping a leather-bound book of history. From Heaven, the Lord extended his hand and passed the book through the veil of space and time. He then placed the book in the hands of those in the Church who carry the spirit of Issachar. 

The destiny of the cultures of the world is being placed in the hands of the Church. The transforming and reforming power of God’s preferred history for our world is greater in power and authority than the collective plans of darkness.  

Wake up from the slumber of death and begin to prophesy a future of life and hope to a world that only sees death, not the possibility of resurrection life. This future of hope, not despair, is being announced by God’s prophets. Listen for its sound. It is the sound of reformation of the cultures of the world. That sound has been released from the throne of God and will define our history before we actually live it. It will become the sound of a faith that sees the substance of things not seen.

“The sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do” (I Chronicles 12:32).

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Emotional Solitary Confinement

When I was 12-years old, I went pheasant hunting with my dad and brother near Los Banos, California. We saw a promising field and asked the landowner for permission to hunt. He was gracious and took us out on his property to show us where the birds hung out. 

On the way to the field, we passed an old, abandoned farmhouse. The house was where the landowner stored some of his farming equipment. As we approached the house, a deep and threatening growling and barking began. The farmer kept a guard dog locked up in the house to deter theft. I saw the dog in the window and called out to say hi and was told by the farmer not to address the dog. He said he wants no one to speak to the dog so it would not become accustomed to human contact and remain aggressive to strangers. Even as a kid, I knew that was wrong on so many levels.

That guard dog reminds me of what happens to people who are isolated and alone for too long. They lose contact with reality because they lost contact with human interaction. As this time of social isolation deepens, make sure to reach out to the people you know and might not have seen in a while.  It is good for a person’s emotional health to know they are not forgotten. 

They say solitary confinement in prison can really mess with our mind and turn us into someone we would not recognize before the isolation took place. Maybe before the farmer isolated the dog, he was a friendly family dog and not suspicious of every stranger who approached his prison cell of life. 


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Make This Day Count

In this time of forced isolation from the familiar, I have felt a bit of malaise. Each day, Jan and I choose to refocus and reset our hearts on the purposes of God. This morning over breakfast Jan remarked, “We want to make this day count.” 

Those who choose to listen for a fresh word from the Lord and prepare for its implementation will emerge from this time of isolation, ready to hit the ground running in the Spirit. Acceleration has been planned by God that will be attached to each of these personal words.  This is not an acceleration that will be empowered by our natural human desire to get out of our homes and return to familiar places. It will be a new move of God that will have an assignment to reform and transform all our relationships. This not acceleration to return to what was but an invitation to move into something not previously imagined.

The end of this virus will resemble a spiritual starting gate where trained and prepared racehorses are jumping at the bit to run once the starting gate is flung open. Their focus is solely on the anticipated sound of the starter signal, not the noise coming from the nervous and excited bleachers. 

God has assigned each of us a race lane for this move of His Spirit. Get in your lane with the word the Lord has given to you. Stay there and listen. The bleachers of the culture are noisy and agitated and will increase in volume in the coming days. If you focus on that distraction and join in with its fear-based chorus,  you will miss the sound of the start. Make this day count. Quiet your soul and listen for the sounds of God's Spirit. Your future is about to be announced.


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

THIS!

My wife, Jan, just wrote and released this powerful blessing.

--------------------

Blessing of Suddenlies

Isaiah 29:1-8

Isaiah prophesies sudden deliverance, which is fulfilled and recorded in chapter 37:36-38. He is not only speaking about a specific time in history, but a truth about what God is like for His people and towards their enemies. 

In the name of Jesus Christ,
      I bless your spirit with the wonder
      of living in His presence,
      in His preserving favor.
Whether experiencing great blessing
      or distress, you are always directly
      face to face with Him.

When trouble hems you in on all sides,
      keep looking to God—persevere in hope.
If you are humbled by adversity
      and under great stress and duress,
      if you are filled with sorrow and fear—
      your voice reduced to a whispered prayer—
      believe deeper still in God’s word to you.
He has already spoken a word of deliverance!

Your enemy considers himself powerful,
      yet that is how completely he is deceived:
      he is culpable and he will be humbled;
      his power doesn’t compare
      to the awesome ease of divine action.

This is what God is like:
      He will dispatch the threat,
      completely removing it—
      forgotten as though just a dream.
Divine deliverance will happen suddenly;
      in a dramatic, last-minute instant—
      it will happen!

I bless you with new faith,
      refusing to live by working the system
      and by practicing religion,
      yet not believing God’s word.

Without minimizing human culpability
      and the reality of evil in the world,
      may you no longer be run around
      by the noisy sounds of discord:
      no longer live as though you
      are at the mercy of earthly forces;
      no longer live as though you are dealing
      with secondary causes.

You are blessed with a direct face to face
      relationship with the Lord Almighty
      in every circumstance.
Though His mercies may seem delayed,
      He will not delay—
      He will never fail you:
      He is sovereign in history,
      He is your Higher Reality,
      He will preserve you,
      He will have the last word—
      and it is a word of deliverance.

Fighting in a Dark Place

When I was a cop, I was so familiar with each weapon at my disposal, I could run the weapon, break it down and reassemble it in a dark room and not miss a beat. I didn’t need natural light to know the feel and function of what I carried.

In times of personal or cultural darkness, a similar principle is present. If we become familiar and regularly train with our spiritual weapons in times of light when life seems to be prospering, then when things get dark, we will still be able to function while others stumble in the darkness. We will not become dysfunctional based on what we cannot see or understand.

Some of the social angst taking place in the community of faith in this dark moment is because many did not make themselves familiar with their spiritual weaponry while it was still light.  The spiritual weapons God gave us to fight off the assault of fear and faithlessness do not depend on the natural light of human understanding to function. They work anywhere and all the time, no matter what is taking place.


Monday, March 30, 2020

Prophesying Hope to the Seed

“Israel will remain a stump, like a tree that is cut down, but the stump will be a holy seed that will grow again.”
—Isaiah 6:13b

When I was a boy, I watched my father trim the mulberry trees that lined our driveway. When these trees were in full bloom, they provided a wonderful place of shade during the hot summer days. The first time my father trimmed these trees, I thought he had killed them. He literally cut them back to a stump and a few branches. But each year the trees grew back healthier and larger than before because within the DNA of the tree was a life and a structure that no amount of trimming could destroy. Life is like the mulberry trees of my youth; there are times when we get so trimmed, we wonder if we will ever grow back, and then life happens again.
Once, when I read this verse from Isaiah 6, the words seemed to hang in the air. The Lord spoke to me, saying:

I am raising up a host of prophets who will prophesy hope to the seed that remains in the stump. I never leave a stump without a seed. This seed contains the DNA of My life. It is activated and brought to life by hope. Raise your voice and speak hope to the seed that remains. The seed is waiting for the sound of hope. Do not focus on the stump. The stump only carries the seed. This present devastation is temporary. Words of hope are anchored in eternity. Rise up and stand before the stump just as My servant Noah did when I asked him to build the Ark. You will look foolish to those who only see the stump, but I will grow the seed and the tree will stand again. Prophesy to My seed.


(excerpt from Prayers from the Throne of God)

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Challenge of Reduction

Recently, I was asked to write a magazine article from the content of my new book, BEYOND. When you have written tens of thousands of words and framed them within the pages of a book, reducing the critical elements down to just a couple of thousand words can be a challenge. Everything of value and worth can and must be able to be reduced to a simple thesis statement, or we haven’t done our homework.  

Some of us are in a season of reduction. In the process of that reduction, the thesis of our life is uncovered, good or bad, as the accumulated clutter of life is stripped away. We will discover what is at our core motivating our choices. We will also find out what we have allowed, remaining unchecked, that has determined the range of our emotional response to unexpected change. As painful as reduction can be, it is really a needed exercise. Without an occasional reductive reset, we will continue on with the status quo of our recent history and miss the new thing God wants to do in and through our lives.

If you are in a moment of personal reduction, don’t fight it, go with it. It is part of a journey to return you to what is most important in life. The process will become a reminder that you need less than you have been led to believe. Reduction is not less. It is more. More of what truly matters.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Have You Noticed?

Have you noticed arguments about the non-essential issues of life and the theological arguments over personal preferences have left the online conversations? When a globally fearful presence is prowling the streets of our cities, we rise to something better in our soul, something God put there when He created us, something that remained hidden in times of self-reliance. Don't waste this time. Something beautiful is taking place.

Increase in Decrease


The Lord is doing a work of increase in this time of decrease. While the garment of your patience has become frayed and threadbare, and you feel naked and exposed, the Lord has been crafting something new to clothe your thoughts and emotions. He will not waste your sorrow. As you come to Him in this strange and unfamiliar time and cry out in your pain and confusion, the Lord will create a new and stronger garment from the sacrifice of your praise and worship. It will become an insulating shield between your vulnerability and the raw elements of this exposed and separated time. He promised to never leave you or forsake you. The Lord is about to confirm that truth to you in a very personal way. What God has promised will not return empty of fulfillment. 



Thursday, March 26, 2020

Sheltering in Place with God Almighty

For the last 40 years, whenever my life entered a confusing and challenging time, I went to the Psalms. This morning the Lord invited me back to the Psalms into a quiet place with Him. I am sheltering in place with the peace of God.

Historians tell us that in times of great social upheaval and revolution, the voices that brought the most comfort were the musicians, poets, and prophets. There are books in Scripture called the books of poetry and wisdom. Among those books are Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. This where I will park my heart and mind until this global crisis passes.

People are trying to find answers when no answer is yet available.  They want to feel peace when peace is only possible in the presence of God, not in solutions or outcomes offered by human intellect and understanding. This lack of clarity and its resulting futility will create more fear, dread, and anger-fueled violence in the coming days. Only peace can offer us safe passage into the future.

I invite you to step into the peace of God. His peace is the only sane place in this uneasy time in our history.

“Many people say, “Who will show us better times?”
    Let your face smile on us, Lord.
You have given me greater joy
    than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe” (Psalm 4: 6-8 NLT).

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Most Dangerous Virus

Dread has become the most dangerous virus now stalking our nation. Psalm 91:6 addressed the issue of dread, “Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.”

The Cambridge Dictionary defines dread as “to feel extremely worried or frightened about something that is going to happen or that might happen.” Dread is the constant fearful expectation that something terrible is happening or will happen. It is the result of a shift in our focus from hope to hopelessness. As a result of that shift, dread enters our thinking.  

This current global pandemic will pass, but dread will remain to return again if we do not challenge its presence.  It will return if we did not learn to live in the truth of the opening verses of Psalm 91, “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.” 

Rest and trust are the only known antidote against the virus of dread. We need to repeatedly inject our thoughts with rest and trust and declare that God alone is our only refuge and our place of ultimate safety. That injection of truth will destroy the virus of dread and return to us a proper perspective on how to live in a challenging moment of history.


Monday, March 23, 2020

Wearing Your Boots of Victory

You will wear the failed plan of the enemy like a pair of expensive snakeskin western boots. What the enemy had planned to use to crush your life will become a testimony of God’s intervening love and deliverance in this time of great cultural shaking.

As I prayed this morning, I saw a pair of cowboy boots made from python snakeskin.  The finished boots were being prepared for delivery to a customer. The boots were very expensive and beautifully handcrafted. To make the boots, a python had to be killed and skinned.

Pythons are powerful snakes. They kill their prey by constriction, suffocating, and crushing their victims to death. In the spiritual realm, there is a python spirit. He slithers into times of personal and national trauma, looking for his prey, and then he attempts to squeeze the life out of them. 

God is preparing a pair of spiritual boots for you made from the skin of the python spirit assigned to constrict your life. The boots will be a testimony of hell’s failed attempt to destroy you in this uniquely painful time in our history. The beginning of the end for this constricting spirit comes when you shift your focus from your circumstance and call out to God keeping your attention focused on Him until your time of deliverance. That single petition will deliver God's supernatural power into your life situation that is immensely more powerful that the constricting presence of the python spirit’s lies and deception. 

Shift your focus. Call out to God and get ready to wear your new boots. They will be a perfect fit and a profound testimony of God’s delivering love.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Grace is Difficult Times

You will make it through this challenging season. The fear and panic circling your mind like hungry wolves are lies that must be confronted, or they will devour your hope. This is not a time to rely on your personal strength. It will not be enough to get you through what you are facing. Like Jesus said to Paul, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." Your weakness can become your greatest strength if you allow that weakness to be empowered by the grace of the Lord, the One who promised to never leave you or forsake you, especially when a deadly virus is on the prowl.

Out from the Shadow

One will come forth and walk in the shadow of another. This shadowed one is the primary, not the secondary. A covert positioning is taking place – a positioning of purpose to determine and steer an agenda contrary to the heart of God. Let discernment rule as you exercise your will. All is not as it appears. The one in the shadow is being positioned to step forward at a predetermined moment to occupy the place of the primary one whose departure will come unexpectedly. All of this will take place under the cover of this painful global diversion. Those who have ears to hear the Spirit, listen. The One who speaks with a still small voice is speaking. His voice will not be heard in the wind, earthquake, or fire of social posturing from either side of a human issue. He speaks from the heavens. His word will not fail.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Overwhelmed

This morning the word “overwhelmed” floated across my mind. I sensed this was a nudge from the Spirit to engage the word to see if the Lord had something to say. So, I checked out overwhelm in several dictionaries. 

Overwhelm has been used to describe something being submerged, sunk, engulfed, covered with water. It also means to be overcome by emotions or perpetual stimuli. One definition was especially interesting, considering the coming of Passover and Easter, “to pass or go over something.” The interpretation of the word can be good or bad, depending on what is doing the overwhelming.

We will all be overwhelmed by something. Many are beginning to realize how easy it is to be overwhelmed in a negative way at this time, especially if your job is affected and your family is trying to keep the kids educated and the bills paid. We can begin to feel alone and isolated. We can drown in these uncharted waters feeling like we are being submerged without our permission, buried alive, and emotionally suffocating.

With sensitivity to you and your situation, I want to make a suggestion. Jan and I have learned a life-principle that has never failed us in those times when it felt like we were being submerged in despair, and our life was descending into dark depths out of control. In those instances, we got down on our knees and worshipped. We did it out loud, not with cute Hallmark card kind of religious slogans, but with gut-wrenching words of honesty, praise and declarations to the goodness of God, especially when what we were feeling was anything but good.

There are times in life when the way forward is only revealed through worship.  We will either be overwhelmed by the presence of God or the disasters of this life. We will leave behind a testimony of our response and interaction with this unique moment in history. That testimony will be crafted from the choices we made that determined what we allowed to overwhelm our lives. 

Friday, March 20, 2020

The Wave Has Broken

Something has broken overnight in the spiritual realm regarding the deadly Coronavirus. It is like the wave of this virus had mounted up to its full height and finally crashed its intensity upon the beach of our culture. The remnants of the wave are beginning to flow off the beach back into the sea. The presence of this virus still requires continued wisdom and diligence until the beach is finally clear, but the wave has broken, and so has its authority. Expect to see God reveal His power and love in unusual ways as we approach Passover and Easter. 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Three Words of Encouragement

Early this morning, the Lord spoke to me. He shared three things:

-       a word for pastors 
-       a word about what is happening globally 
-       a word about communion 

PASTORS: I wrote last week that this is a “before and after” moment in history.  When we return from this time of isolation, things will have changed. While the economy and quite possibly your church finances are experiencing a significant adjustment, none of this has caught God off guard. As an elder among pastors due to my age and years of service in that role, I want to encourage you to not lose hope. When all of this upheaval is over, you will return to a Church that may look and think differently. Don’t try to return to how things were before all of this transpired. This is a time to seek the Lord and ask Him to show you how He wants you to conduct the business of your ministry in a new way. In some cases, this will require a significant step of courage.

GLOBALLY: We are in a season of tremendous reset. Just as God has done throughout all of human history, He can turn what appears to be a disaster into a blessing. This is a Kairos moment where God will intervene supernaturally in human affairs. When humanity seems hopelessly trapped in fear and has lost all hope, God will intervene to display His love and goodness. He will use the hands of the Church to touch a troubled world. Our culture feels leperous and isolated. Be willing to touch human pain and sorrow with acts of love and mercy. 

COMMUNION: Consider taking communion with your family and friends. Do it every day if you can. It is the meal that heals. In your time of communion, draw upon the healing power of God. Pray for each other. Encourage the discouraged ones. Strengthen the weak ones. Let your communion become your primary fellowship in this time of isolation.




Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Layers of Understanding

Every event in life has layers of understanding. As we explore the depth of these layers, we begin to see things not realized when an event first began. We can park at one layer, thinking, and in some cases hoping, we discovered the deepest layer. Fear, deception, fatigue, and cultural pressure are all motivating factors that can cause us to park at one level and not dig deeper.

Once we begin to explore the depths of an issue, we begin to see things we may have previously written off as the undisciplined imagination of a conspiracy theorist or the storyline of a pulp fiction novel. At that moment, a battle with our pride and self-image is engaged. Truth seekers must push past that stalling event if they want to dig deeper to discover what is actually taking place. 

There is so much going on in our world at this moment. It is not wise to allow our thinking to park at our current level of understanding and think we have discovered the bottom-line for any issue or event. Only God knows the depth of what is taking place. Follow His lead, and you will see and hear things only the Spirit can reveal.

“But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets” (I Corinthians 2:10).


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Gifts of Isolation

When the barriers and restrictions come down, and we eventually all come back together, those who did not waste this time expending their energy on unreasonable fear will be given great treasures to bring back. They will return carrying gifts they received that were made possible in this time of isolation.  

Parents will carry back the gift of a child’s laughter birthed from a goofy, creative moment made possible by a school closure. Celebrity will be redefined. The label of hero will be placed on those who sacrificially worked in markets and hospitals while the rest of us kept our distance. Books will be written by new and previously undiscovered authors who did not think they had anything to say but found their voice in isolation. Many who serve in government will be shaken free from a partisan spirit as opposing sides were forced to come together to survive and protect each other as the virus ran its course. 

God is always at work doing abundantly more than we can ask or think in times of sorrow and pain. When we return from these times we discover the gifts we were given during our time of isolation.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Before and After

The social and emotional reset taking place because of the Coronavirus is so profound it would be a mistake to not consider its implications on the life we once knew. 

In times of rampant fear, what was considered an irrational response in times of peace and safety will be seen as practical and sensible. This only happens when something out of our control like a terrorist attack or a new and rapidly spreading virus pays a global visit. No matter what you think about this virus and the cultural response to its presence, we are in a moment similar to 9/11. The Coronavirus will become a before and after marker on our historical timeline.

Many will return from this time of social separation desiring to make a change in how they express their faith and fellowship. A reset is taking place in this absence from large gatherings. Those who discovered a more personal expression of their faith may want to continue that expression as their primary fellowship event. They will seek out leaders who make room for and honor these smaller expressions as being equally valid as a full sanctuary on Sunday morning.  

The virus will eventually run its course, but its impact will deliver lasting change. I believe God is using this challenging time to reset His Church. We will emerge from this season stronger and more agile in our faith if we allow God to direct our steps, not fear. His perfect love has purposed to remove fear from our hearts if we remain open to the sound of His voice.  We will emerge fearless from this reset able to make courageous adjustments to our faith and its expression in culture. As a result,  the fruit of our partnership in the Great Commission will accelerate at speeds far greater than the spread of a deadly virus.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Defintion and Dispersal

It has been years since I used the word “para-church.” That word describes a form of ministry taking place outside a traditional understanding of the Church. The dictionary defines “para” as “beside or alongside” something. The word establishes a separation. Scripture reveals something different. Every expression of faith where two or three are gathered in the Lord’s name is the Church. It does not matter what day, what hour, or what context. None of what we do is para anything. It is all part of the larger whole.

A dispersal of the Church is currently taking place in Western culture. In this dispersal, we will hopefully erase the para-church mindset from our thinking. As I write these words, a global virus is impacting all areas of our lives, even how and when we meet to worship. In some ways, it is similar to the persecution the first believers experienced in Acts 8. They had been meeting by the thousands for several years in the Temple complex. Amid all the good and miraculous things taking place, there was a problem. They were not going out beyond Jerusalem under the mandate of the Great Commission. They were stuck. Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost part of the Earth still needed to hear the Gospel.  

As the Coronavirus grips the world in fear and immobilizes entire cultures, the Church is being dispersed once again. This dispersal is not outward but inward. This dispersal is moving us away from what is known and familiar. Our understanding of a Church gathering and the way we do ministry in culture will undergo a revamping in this inward dispersal. We are being dispersed inwardly to explore smaller, more intimate gatherings and create unique and more agile ways to fulfill the Great Commission. 

As you gather in your home this Sunday with a small group of family or friends, your experience is every bit as valid as a mega-church meeting where thousands met just a week ago. When you return to your workplace on Monday morning, what you do in your sphere of cultural influence is a valid ministry, as valid as a ministry with a professionally designed website and an established donor list. Nothing we do in Jesus 'name is para anything. It is an integral part of a larger magnificent whole that expresses the unique creativity of God. 

God is using this challenging moment in our history to help us see our faith in a different light. Hopefully, this experience will return us to the Lord’s original intent without all the added definitions, baggage, and financial burdens we have accumulated along the way that have limited our Kingdom potential.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Reset in Times of Crisis

While we are in the middle of a bitter election process, a global pandemic, and rampant fear - God is at work offering a reset of our priorities, our values, and the potential for our future. 

A couple of months ago, while doing a final proofread for my book, BEYOND, I highlighted the following quote. It seems to bring clarity to something greater that God is doing while so much negativity and fear is filling the social environment.                                                                              

"God is currently resetting the course of individuals, businesses, ministries, and governments. Without a reset, we will enter the next season guided by assumption from the past, not revelation for the future." (chapter 8: Preparing for the Journey)                                                                                                                           

If you attune your heart to the voice of God and respond only to the impulse of the Spirt, you will experience this needed reset. Like a course correction made to a mariner's compass heading, you will be able to navigate this challenging moment in history and arrive safely at a future harbor filled with hope and promise.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Practicing Peace

We have entered a domino moment in history with the fear of a deadly virus spreading around the globe. If another significant domino falls, like the outbreak of a major war, a global financial collapse, or a natural disaster of national significance, our sense of cultural stability will vanish. What seemed so secure and lasting in one moment will fall in the next.

When we allow our emotions to have their way in times of peace, we will only have emotions to fight with when we engage in a real battle. Paul listed self-control as one of the fruits of the Spirit. It’s in the mix with the other fruit because the rest of them don’t have a chance to emerge if we don’t have control over our emotions. This is not living without emotions. It’s controlling their ability to form our response to the negative issues of life. Self-control is self-training ourselves in times of peace so that when a major conflict or global disaster comes, we will be led by spiritually wise battle tactics, not by crippling fear.

We have been called to practice the presence of Jesus at all times.  We do this so that when a dark and dire moment of human history does unfold, His peace will guide our actions and keep us from joining an unbridled emotional stampede that can lead an entire culture over the cliff edge of social and spiritual disaster.