Archive for August, 2014

Victory Dance

Dancing In Kenya

Everybody Dance

“Let them praise His Name with the dance.” (Psalm 149:3)

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; It’s about learning to dance in the rain. The oil of joy is released in the dance. What may have overwhelmed us in the night season is given fresh perspective in the morning hour. Joy springs forth and the suggested form of expression is the dance. A heart that dances is a powerful tool that breaks a person out of confinement and into celebration. Sometimes its the only way to shift our focus.

Dancers are releasers.

They may be like Miriam the prophetess (Moses’ sister), who lead the Hebrew women in celebration after their victory over Pharaoh (Ex. 15:20-21) or like King David who expressed excitement over the Ark of the Covenant being restored to its place of honor in the Tabernacle (2 Sam 6:15-18). Dance is the human body’s most radical expression of joy and triumph. Joy and triumph must have a voice; for when we do not celebrate our victories, we misinterpret the measure of our strength. Joy and triumph celebrate the reality that God is with us.

Join Him in the Celebration!

The Hebrew word “guwl” means to spin about or dance violently and is the word for “rejoice” in Zephaniah 3:17. “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

God expresses His extreme joy over us, because through every situation, He has triumphed. He has won the victory. All He needs to do is get us to see it and believe it. He has triumphed over our enemies, He has broken the curses that once caused us to stumble and He has set our feet to dancing. Our greatest dance is released in the rainy seasons as we join Him in the song of celebration. Hallelujah for the Victory Dance!

The Foundation!

I believe the most common reason people fall away from the Christian faith is because of how they are building their life… the wrong foundation leads to the offended heart.

“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” (Lk. 6:46-49)

The building of a life is a process of listening and learning, growing and trusting those who are around us. But it requires us to test the words and actions of those we love and those who seem to be influencing others. Building a life is all about who we put our faith in… ultimately. Jesus tells us that it requires a good foundation… one that is based upon some work. Notice: that Jesus tells us that in order to have a good foundation, we must dig down deep and lay our faith and belief on the rock… not just any rock, but the truth that Jesus is Lord. Its not lip service, but heart belief… hearing and responding to the voice of heaven as it comes through the person of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God! (Mt. 16:16)

Who to Trust:

Sometimes we put our faith in a church. We become very passionate about our church and may even develop a “my-church-is-better-than-your-church” attitude. But there are a lot of great churches in the world. And we are all part of the Church, not just a particular church. We may have a favorite Bible teacher or like one pastor better than another. This even happened with first-century believers. The Apostle Paul warned, “For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?” (1 Cor. 3:4–5).

There is nothing wrong with liking a certain pastor or enjoying a church that you are a part of… but don’t build the foundation of your faith on these things. Churches will disappoint you, because they are run by people. And people make mistakes, and sometimes they are misunderstood. Pastors will disappoint you as well, because they are human… like everyone else. So if you build your foundation on a church or on a pastor, you will find yourself vulnerable and susceptible to offense, because those people might mess up. When I speak to people who have given up on God… they usually say things like “their just a bunch of hypocrites” or “Christians are judgmental and intolerant”. Those are the words of an offended heart.

The Apostle Paul said, “…no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11).

Jesus is the True Foundation!

Jesus said all other ground is “sinking sand”… all other things, even good things; have their limits as to, how far they can be trusted. When you stand before God one day, He will want to know what you did with His Son – Jesus. He will not be asking whether everyone you knew, who claimed to be a Christian… behaved like one.

So don’t build your faith on people. Build your life on the foundation of Jesus Christ!

Finding God’s Glory

Just keep looking into the face of Jesus Christ!

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  (2 Cor 4:6)

At the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, Jesus stood up and cried out with a loud voice, “Is anyone thirsty? Let him come to Me and drink, because believing will release in you rivers of living water!” (Jn 7:37-39) Not reasoning, doctrinal traditions or church programs… believing will do this. Yet its not just any believing it is believing that is moved by the Spirit as we look into the face of Jesus Christ.

Looking into things:

When we look into things, they reveal their glory. They reveal the nature of their design and their purpose. As a youth I can recall buying Hot Wheel toy cars and spending hours just looking at their unique style, color and cool features. Some were very tough looking and I could imagine driving wilderness roads and crashing through any obstacles in my path. As I played, my mother would often shout from the other room, “It sounds like an amazing adventure in there!” Whereby I would feel embarrassed by my intensity as the discoverer of the “glory” of my new car.

God’s Amazing Adventure:

When God created Adam, He made a powerful decision. He asks Adam to name the animals. In doing this He was teaching Adam a basic principle about glory. He was teaching Adam that when you look into the nature of something it will eventually reveal its character and purpose. When these things are discovered, “naming” it becomes simple. But it also creates a platform for relationship with the animal being named. Adam would need to discover how a porcupine was unique to the elephant, lion or bear.

The Point:

In this process God was making Himself vulnerable to the desire of Adam, because the training would serve to help him value the Glory of God. Adam would sin and fall short of the Glory of God (Rom 3:23) and all would be lost except the memory of God’s heart toward Adam. As God returns to the Garden of Eden to find the man hiding himself, it was not man who could not find God… it was God who could not find man. Oh, God knew where he was, but his sin now created seperation because of the Glory that stood as a barrier between the perfect and the fallen. God calls man to Himself and clothes the man with the garment of a lamb, shedding blood and forever revealing the pattern of recovering a lost Glory.

The Nature of Our Father:

This is what a Father does, he creates avenues back into relational Glory. He restores, redeems and invites the son or daughter back into relationship even when the requirements for reconciliation have changed forever. And change they did! There would never again be access to the Garden on the same level of relationship. Adam and Eve would need to set their eyes upon a new Tree of Life… the Cross!

2000 Years Later:

The Lamb of God would come and take away the sin of the world and the same God who commanded light to shine in the darkness would shine in the hearts of those who believe. The light would reveal a knowledge like no other, it was the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Note: the knowledge of the Glory is not the Glory… but the Glory itself is found in His face, looking into the face of Jesus Christ. Just keep looking into His beautiful face and you will find the Glory of God.

Forgiveness #4: Triumphant

“Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Rom. 6:11-14)

You cannot fight sin successfully until you know your sin is forgiven!

Forgiveness is the first step in your battle over the power of sin! The only sin that you can triumph over in practice is the sin that Christ has died for. If He had not died to take away your condemnation, then you could make no progress at all in sanctification. You don’t make yourself holy in order to be justified. You are justified by faith in order to become holy.

Notice the Progress:

  1. A righteousness revealed by faith… (Rom. 1:16-17)
  2. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God… (Rom. 3:20-26)
  3. Christ died for your sin… (Rom. 5:8-9)
  4. You died and rose with Christ… (Rom. 6:1-6)
  5. God united you with Christ by faith… (Rom. 6:5)
  6. God justifies you… (2 Cor. 5:21)
  7. You can have peace with God and triumph over sin… (Rom. 5:1-5)

Your triumph over sin in the body follows Christ’s triumph over sin on the cross. Satan wants to defeat you with the hopeless reality of a guilty conscience. But rather than a guilty conscience… you are given a clean slate to begin again – Praise God! What is your hope? Forgiveness! How do you rise triumphant over sin? Faith in Christ… Its the reality of looking by faith on all that He has done – who He is and what He promises to do in you. Your righteousness, is Christ on the inside of you; revealed by faith and received as a free gift… to become the triumphant King in your life.

“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,  in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:13-14)

“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,  having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” (Col. 2:13-15)

Forgiveness #3: Spiritual Exchange

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” (Isa. 61:10)

Forgiveness is a spiritual exchange… our filthy rags for the riches in Christ! Its the letting go of our guilt and shame, and the accepting of our freedom in Christ! Freedom is beautiful, in that it reveals the work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life! When we confess our sin, heaven touches earth for the cancellation of a debt (1 Jn. 1:9)… “sins are blotted out” and “times of refreshing” are experienced (Acts 3:19-21). As we confess our sin and wrestle through the mixed emotions of shame and hurt, we find the wonderful embrace of the Holy Spirit. I believe it’s necessary to set aside time where we talk with God, reasoning together and waiting for His response (Isa. 1:18), so that this exchange becomes a source of strength and confidence.

Breaking the Grip of Sin:

In seeking forgiveness, we are not just trying to “feel better”; but break a covenant agreement that has been set in our heart. As a Child of God, we will never find freedom to live without shame and guilt until we break the power of sin (Rom. 6:11-14). By confessing our guilt and letting God deal with our shame, we are removing everything that hinders love. We are breaking covenant agreement with sinful behaviors that try to rule our hearts and minds and committing ourselves in the spirit to the “New Covenant of Love” in Christ Jesus. Forgiveness is not really about what we “release to God” but what we receive from God in prayer and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Our agreement with God transforms our thinking, restores wholeness to our relationship and times of refreshing break forth from the Presence of the Lord.

Unhindered Love:

Freedom to love God without hindrances, while loving others out of that same resource is the measure of our spirituality in Christ. We experience His love, affection and tenderness towards us and love begins to “abound, still more and more” (Phil. 1:9). The love of Christ has power for the heart and soul of a man in a way that is different from any other force on the earth. It’s actually more than what we feel and think, when the love of Christ touches our heart; it’s how we see and what we become. This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he prayed that love would abound “in knowledge and all discernment, that we would approve the things that are excellent…” (Phil. 1:10). Forgiveness allows us to see into the excellent things of God and appreciate them as a lifestyle… Jesus said, “abide in My love” (Jn. 15:9).

Spiritual Pits:

The grace of God is the only way to truly escape the spiritual pits and snares of sin. Attitudes of bitterness, cynicism and anger rise from shame and guilt ridden hearts. The Bible calls it a “yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1). Yet the promise of God is that His anointing breaks every yoke and removes it from our shoulders (Isa. 10:27)… so we bear it no more. He tells us He will remove our sin and cast it as far away as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12).

“In Him [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us” (Eph. 1:7-8).

The Great Exchange – Our Rags (Isa. 64:6) for His Riches (2 Pet. 1:2-4): Jesus became our Substitute in the battles that overwhelm us.

• Jesus took our sin, so that we could receive His righteousness! “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:5). “He (God – the Father) made Him (Jesus – His Son), who knew no sin to be sin for us; that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
• He took our sickness, so that we could be completely whole! “By His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5). “Who Himself bore our sins in His Own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24).
• He took our grief and sorrows, so that we could have peace! “Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows…” (Isa. 53:4). “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you…” (Jn. 14:27).
• He took our poverty, so that we could be rich in Him! “He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9).
• He suffered fear and became separated for us, so that we could be united in His love! “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice… My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mk. 15:34). (Now, in Him) “…we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him” (Eph. 3:12).


All contributions are welcome and deeply appreciated.

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