Archive for July, 2010

Becoming the Sacrifice

If you ask people what “worship” is, you’ll probably receive many answers related to music, church services, and singing. While worship certainly includes the songs we sing and the services we attend; this common definition limits worship to a time frame or specific activity. Instead, I believe the Bible teaches that worship is a lifestyle… an ongoing response to God in every circumstance and every moment.

 

 Jesus made the comment to the woman at the well outside of Sychar “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth”. (Jn 4:24)

 I have come to understand that worship takes on many forms and expressions, but it always communicates from the heart. Worship comes out of the human spirit as a declaration of truth to say… “I value God!” Loving Him for who He is and for how He has changed my life. It becomes my compelling desire to worship God from the heart… to become an undivided reservoir of love and appreciation for my King.

 While I often bring a sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise for entry into His Presence… when I get there I become the sacrifice poured out for His purpose. To set my life upon the altar is no loss; but a yielded embrace to His voice, that encourages true usefulness.

Like the Prophet Isaiah, my heart is captured and I am undone. I welcome the call to go wherever He leads me.

 …I heard the voice of the Lord saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”

 Then I said, “Here am I! Lord, send me.” (Isa 6:8)

More of God’s Glory

God’s Glory is untamable, unpredictable, and frequently controversial, especially when it violates our religious norms for God. Yet the Glory of God still remains the most influencial and powerful expression of our Christian experience. Throughout Scripture, God calls His people to know Him, to glorify Him and to reflect His Glory. The more intimately we know God, the more His Glory will be revealed to us and in us (2 Cor 3:17-18).

In the Exodus from Egypt, God’s Glory was seen in the cloud that lead the Isrealites by day and the fire that lead them by night. In the New Testament that same Glory now resides within us as the New Covenant written upon our hearts. As the Holy Spirit lives within us we reflect the Glory of God even as the Apostle Paul said in Colossians 1:26-27.

“The mystery that has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the Glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory.”

 There are several ways we can encounter more of God’s Glory in our lives. The Apostle James tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us (Jms 4:8).

  1. Worship: Gives God the worth He is due and increases our awareness of His Glory.
  2. Thanksgiving: Offers appreciation for all He has done and will do and creates room for His Glory to be manifest in our lives.
  3. Fellowship: Recognizing our relationship with the Holy Spirit and soaking in His Presence shapes our hearts as places of intimacy and habitation for greater Glory.
  4. Prayer: Intercession and offering our petitions to God in faith draws His attention, His love and Glory encounters.

We were born to manifest God’s Glory… to embrace the challenge of carrying something so wonderful that were we to truly comprehend its power; WE COULD CHANGE THE WORLD.

Blueprint For Enlargement

“Some time in the future I’m gonna look much better than I look right now!” This proclamation was heard at a conference I recently attended where we felt the compelling urge to prophetically step into the new places God had carved out for us.

 I am absolutely convinced that radical steps must be taken to shift us into the ground already “possessed”.

 The activity of taking the possession is a militant call for a “dis-possessing” of the present squatters. Unforgiveness is a squatter, bitterness and envy are squatters, competition, jealousy, pride, fornication, sorcery, heresies and uncleanness of all kinds are squatters upon the promise ground of God’s work in our lives. 

These deceiving spirits lie and establish false ownerships. They communicate through intimidation… not face to face, but beneath the radar. It is Satan’s goal to kill, steal and destroy without making a ripple in our daily routine. We must first awaken ourselves to the reality of the battle; then we must speak with faith and conviction into the spiritual realm (Eph 3:10). Life and death are in the power of our tongue and we overcome Satan’s lies by the word of our testimony.

His (God’s) destiny is not far from our possession; it just gets obstructed by the deceiving perspectives that the Enemy sets in our path. Deut 30:14 declares God’s pathway for obtaining the inheritance…

He says look now …..the Word is near you even in your mouth and in your heart that you may do it.

 He is speaking here of the opportunity to move into promised land through our obedient use of believing and speaking. Its the activity of faith… and the obligation of all who aim to have influence for the glory of Christ. In this day we must have Kingdom enlargement for the obtaining of every mountain of influence.

Experiencing the Holy Spirit

Jesus stepped up into the crowd as they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles and said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.This He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (Jn 7:37-39)

Rivers of living water overflowing and providing life from the inside… this is to be our experience in the Holy Spirit.

Like an artisan well that releases its delightful bursts of refreshing water, Jesus is wanting us to connect with a resource that comes from within. His life in us bubbles up and overflows as the Holy Spirit moves upon us.

To the woman at the well Jesus said that this water would become a fountain inside springing up into everlasting life (Jn 4:14). Everlasting life is what sustains us in the darkest hours, what rises up in the midst of trials and what enables us when hopes are dashed. Everlasting life establishes peace, releases joy and offers freedom to dance again.

Everlasting life is the supernatural substance of believing hearts.

These are days when so many are hungry for Truth, so many are thirsty for a real drink of satisfaction and so many empty promises are being offered. The Apostle Peter said that this experience with the Holy Spirit is the Promise of the Father to you and to your children (Acts 2:32-33 & 39).

That which would offer everlasting life, full and overflowing has been made available now… simply if we come and drink from Him (2 Cor 6:2).

God Is Irresistible

“The more you know God, the more you love Him.” I hear this phrase quite often from the people I Pastor. What they are communicating is the irresistible nature of God. There is a powerful pull upon our hearts when we begin to see Him for who He really is. It makes Him irresistible to the hungry and “living water” to the thirsty (Jn 4:10).

David  said… “Oh God You are my God, early will I seek You. My soul thirsts for You, My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.” (Ps 63:1-3)

The high calling of Christianity is to know Christ intimately. To know Christ is to know the Father (Jn 14:9). Knowing Him is not about what we do for Him, but about our pursuit of Him. Our aim is for a spiritual relationship that gives us life, releases fullness of joy and establishes peace that rises above our understanding.

Our problem seems to be that somewhere along the way we stopped following Him and began to follow doctrine and traditions of man. We became “churchy” and religious; rather than friends and co-laborers. We need a heart-rending revival of intimacy that calls us back to behold the face of Jesus. To recover our first love, we must look into the eyes that captured our hearts in the beginning.

God is irresistible, beyond any human definition and we who have come to love Him have no better place to be than in His Presence. Early we shall seek Him and consistently we shall follow.

“One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to enquire in his temple.” (Psa 27:4)

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