Posts Tagged ‘Kingdom people’

Disciple Shift

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” – Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” – Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” – Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (Jn. 1:47-49)

Although I have been a Christian for over 30 years, I am still coming to terms with what it means to have a Kingdom perspective. It is not a religious worldview. It is the worldview of being a royal son of God. I want to see myself the way Christ saw Nathanael, as a man without guile or deceit, as a true spiritual disciple waiting for the King. I have come to understand that mental barriers are bigger than natural barriers when it comes to stepping out of the shadows of orphan-hood. Jesus has seen us, knows us and is calling us out of the shadows and into the Kingdom of His love and power. It is time to make the “disciple shift” – and truly learn from Him!

A Disciple Called Nathanael:

I love the story of Nathanael (John 1:43-51). In order for Nathanael to follow Jesus, he had to undergo a change of perspective. He had to shift his thinking from a traditional Jewish worldview to the Kingdom perspective that Jesus demonstrated and taught. Yet, not only was Nathanael successful, but he would experience the greatest move of God of all time. He became a passionate disciple of Christ and Apostle in the Early Church. He listened to the teachings and experienced the ministry of Jesus, watched the healing and participated in the miracles. This was the Kingdom of God with power and it was rushing in to sweep him up into a lifelong commitment of fresh perspectives. I believe that Nathanael’s story can be seen as a prophetic picture of where the Church needs to go today… from religious tradition to Kingdom discipleship.

Four Key Shifts:

  1. From Servants to Sons: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (Jn. 1:12)
  2. From Future to Present Kingdom: “We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (Jn. 1:45)
  3. From Human Reasoning to Spiritual Reality: ”Nazareth? Can anything good come from there?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (Jn. 1:46)
  4. From Broken Dreams to Open Heavens: “Nathanael answered and said to Him, Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel! Jesus answered and said to him, Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these. And He said to him, Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (Jn. 1:49-51)

A Triumphant Reality:

Shaking ourselves free of the former perceptions of tradition and religiosity causes us to rise from the shadow of Nathanael’s fig tree and become Kingdom Disciples. Jesus tells His Church to once again “Come and See!” We are not of those who shrink back to lame formulas without power, because we are Kingdom People (Heb. 10:39). We have shifted the way we think, because we have experienced the love of God and been washed in the Blood of Christ Jesus. He has made us kings and priests to God the Father (Rev. 1:5-6) and our experience with the Holy Spirit has clothed us in the Glory poured out at Pentecost (Lk. 24:49). We do not need to live with only the dreams of the past or hopes of a future move of God. We can live in a present move of God!

These things are available to Kingdom Disciples. We do not need to wait for revival, but we do need to change the way we think. Revival is here – we live beneath an open heaven! This is our triumphant inheritance through Christ!

Pathway for Glory

“The Glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isa 40:5)

Kingdom People are designed to carry the Glory of God and release shifts in the atmosphere where peace is needed. Throughout the Bible we are commanded not to quarrel over words or be divisive. Our affections are to be set on the Holy Spirit, who is referred to as “Comforter”, “Counselor” or “Helper”. We must recognize that the work of the Holy Spirit needs a platform, a pathway to enter. The Holy Spirit must feel welcome if He is to stay active in a person’s life.

Preparing the Way:

In the verse above, we see the central goal of John the Baptist. His ministry was to be a voice crying in the wilderness, “prepare the way of the Lord”. People needed to examine their hearts and repent of their sinful ways, because the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. John was not looking for just any Kingdom or any King. The Lamb of God would be recognized by a very interesting symbol… the ”dove”. God had given a word to John that in His baptism, the Holy Spirit would come like a dove and land upon Him and stay. God was asking John to notice how Glory would come into the world through the peace of Christ. The Lamb of God would serve as an entry point for the “dove” and for Glory to be recognized. That is an important pathway… “a place for the dove to land”. It was the pathway for Glory (Heb 1:1-4).

Looking for Peace:

This is the picture God has shone us through Noah. When the rain had ended and the ark continued to float aimlessly, Noah begins to look for a resting place. Not just any resting place, but a place for a dove to stay. Even as he waited for land to appear; he could not be confident until the dove, having been released from his own hand, found a place to land and stay. Noah was not just looking for land, he was looking for an entry point. A new day was about to begin with a rainbow… and a promise that would promote life.

Kingdom People must look beyond meetings; we are looking for an open heaven, where the dove will have a place to rest… a place that will promote life.

Peace and Glory:

Its important to understand that God’s Glory is a weighty substance that rests in the atmosphere of God’s Peace! When Jesus sent out the 12 disciples He said, “freely you have received now freely give”, yet when they went into a community, they were to look for places to impart peace. If the household was worthy, they were to impart their peace into it, but if not then they were to wipe the dust off their feet and journey to the next house (Mt 10:8-14). Peace seemed to be an atmosphere that could be imparted at the will of the disciples based on how well the house embraced the ministry of the Holy Spirit. And it would be needed, if the ministry was to continue in that region.

Making Glory Visible and Recognizable:

What Jesus was saying is that we must be looking for places where the “dove” will be welcome. Places of peace provide rest for the soul, give access to God’s deliverance and freedom from the oppression of the devil. The dove is the Biblical symbol for Peace provided by the Presence of the Holy Spirit. This is still our urgent mission; not just to win a bunch of people to our point of view, but to bring an atmosphere that unlocks the revelation, that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Peace is Heaven’s influence. The pathway for the Glory of God is a significant point of entry, where God is welcome and the Holy Spirit makes habitation among us (Eph 2:19-22).

5 Disciplines to Welcome the Holy Spirit:
1. Humility: (1 Pet 5:5-7)
2. Praise and Worship: (Psalm 63)
3. Passionate Love: (Eph 3:17-19)
4. Entrance of God’s Word: (Neh 8:1-6)
5. Fellowship of Believers: (Mt 18:19-20)

Faith in the Earth

I believe God wants to bring a fresh revelation of peace to the World. There are however two major themes that run through Scripture… light will get brighter, while the darkness will get darker. God does some of His greatest works when all the Earth seemed to be asleep. It makes sense to me for the Holy Spirit to release such an outpouring of God’s Glory that all could see the goodness of the Lord in these days of confusion and desperation. But if He did this, would we recognize it?

It was Jesus who asked the question… “will I find faith in the Earth?” (Lk. 18:8)

A Fresh Vision of the Lamb of God: (Jn. 1:14)

No question, in order to release revival in any part of the world, there must be a fresh vision of Jesus… and a corresponding faith in the Earth. You might ask, “so what does that look like?” Here is a good example from John the Baptist. He understood that faith requires preparation. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). It was John who prepared the path for the Lamb of God to come into view for the nation of Israel (Jn. 1:6-10). The prophet Isaiah tells us that John needed to… “make straight in the desert, a highway for our God” (Isa. 40:3-5). So we find the powerful impact John the Baptist makes by passionately baptizing thousands of repenting hungry Jews at the Jordan River. One man was releasing a radical shift in the way people would see and feel about their future. Faith was to follow their experience in the waters of baptism. His revelation was enormously valuable… you have to change the way you think. Living with faith means a death and rebirth of heart perceptions. What an amazing reality… to carry such influence within your heart and release such impact in the Earth.

Making straight in the desert, a highway for our God!”

The valleys would need to be exalted and the mountains made low. The crooked places needed to be made straight and the rough places made smooth. And why? “For the Glory of the Lord to be revealed” in such a way that everyone would see it! Today, this is our mandate – the Glory of the Lord!

“For the Earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea!” (Habakkuk 2:14)

Kingdom People are designed to carry the Glory of God and create shifts in the atmosphere. Shifts that release faith in the Earth. Jesus tells us to pray for the Kingdom to come and the Father’s Will to be done, in the same way that the Kingdom is a reality of Heaven… “on earth as it is in Heaven” (Mt. 6:10). John was a voice crying in the wilderness saying… “prepare your hearts, repent of your ways; for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. The Kingdom is at your finger tips and all you have to do is believe to receive it. Can you catch this revelation… believing engages the spiritual revolution we are after – God is after!

The Key is the Sign of His Glory:

John was not looking for just any man when he looked for Jesus. He was looking for the One in whom God had spoken previously in the secret place of John’s heart. The Lamb of God would be recognized by the fact that at His baptism the Spirit would come like a dove and land upon Him and stay. God was asking John to notice peace coming into the world by way of the Glory of God. The Lamb of God would serve as an entry point for the “dove” to land… and for God’s Glory – once lost – to be recognized again.

“…to give the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus.” (2 Cor. 4:6)

New Levels of Faith

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” – Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” – Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” – Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (Jn. 1:47-49)

Faith requires fresh perspective… unobstructed vision and values. Although I have been a Christian for over 30 years, I am still coming to terms with what it means to have a Kingdom perspective. It is not a religious worldview. It is the worldview of being a royal son of God. I want to see myself the way Christ saw Nathanael, as a man without guile or deceit, as a true spiritual disciple waiting for the King. I have come to understand that mental barriers are bigger than natural barriers when it comes to stepping out of the shadows of orphanhood. Jesus has seen us, knows us and is calling us out of the shadows and into the Kingdom of His love and power.

A Disciple Called Nathanael:

I love the story of Nathanael (John 1:43-51). In order for Nathanael to follow Jesus, he had to undergo a change of perspective. He had to shift his thinking from a traditional Jewish worldview to the Kingdom perspective that Jesus demonstrated and taught.Yet, not only was Nathanael successful, but he would experience the greatest move of God of all time. He became a passionate disciple of Christ and Apostle in the Early Church. He listened to the teachings and experienced the ministry of Jesus, watched the healings and participated in the miracles. This was the Kingdom of God with power and it was rushing in to sweep him up into a lifelong commitment of fresh perspectives. I believe that Nathanael’s story can be seen as a prophetic picture of where the Church needs to go today… from religious tradition to Kingdom discipleship.

Four Key Shifts:

  1. From Servants to Sons: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (Jn. 1:12)
  2. From Future to Present Kingdom: “We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (Jn. 1:45)
  3. From Human Reasoning to Spiritual Reality: ”Nazareth? Can anything good come from there?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (Jn. 1:46)
  4. From Broken Dreams to Open Heavens: “Nathanael answered and said to Him, Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel! Jesus answered and said to him, Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these. And He said to him, Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (Jn. 1:49-51)

A Triumphant Reality:

Shaking ourselves free of the former perceptions of tradition and religiosity causes us to rise from the shadow of Nathanael’s fig tree and become Kingdom Disciples. Jesus tells His Church to once again “Come and See!” We are not of those who shrink back to lame formulas without power, because we are Kingdom People (Heb. 10:39). We have shifted the way we think, because we have experienced the love of God and been washed in the Blood of Christ Jesus. He has made us kings and priests to God the Father (Rev. 1:5-6) and our experience with the Holy Spirit has clothed us in the Glory poured out at Pentecost (Lk. 24:49). We do not need to live with only the dreams of the past or faint hopes of a future move of God. We can live in this moment, confident of a present move of God! These things are available to Sons and Daughter, who have hearts that respond to the breath of heaven!

Wait for revival no longer… its in the heart of God’s Child! Revival is here – our triumphant inheritance through Christ!

Atmospheres of Peace

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13)

I believe God is wanting to bring a restoration of hope into all the Earth. In order to release revival in any part of the world, there must be a fresh vision of Jesus… Jesus is our Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6-7) (Eph. 2:14). Interestingly, the Apostle Paul saw “hope” as something tied directly to our joy and peace in believing. We can abound in hope, but never without the power of the Holy Spirit releasing atmospheres of peace.

Prophetically: A Pathway for Jesus!

John the Baptist prepared the path for the Lamb of God to come into view for the nation of Israel. The Prophet Isaiah tells us that John needed to “make straight in the desert, a highway for our God” (Isa. 40:3-5). The valleys would need to be exalted and the mountains made low. The crooked places needed to be made straight and the rough places made smooth. And why? “For the Glory of the Lord to be revealed” – that everyone would see it… everyone would experience God’s peace!

Kingdom people are designed to carry the Glory of God and enjoy the atmosphere of peace that goes beyond our understanding (Phil. 4:7). John was a voice crying in the wilderness… “prepare your hearts, repent of your ways, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. John was not looking for just any man when he looked for the Christ. The Lamb of God would be recognized by peace. John would identify the Messiah by this sign, at His baptism the Spirit would come like a dove (the symbol of peace), land upon Him and stay. God was asking John to notice how peace would come into the world. The Lamb of God would serve as an entry point for the “dove” to land and for peace to be recognized. Remember the phrase… “a place for the dove to land”.

Visible and Recognizable:

When Jesus sent out the 12 disciples in Matthew 10, He said freely you have received now freely give, yet when you go into a community look for places to impart your peace. If they will not receive it then take it back unto yourself, wipe the dust off of your feet and journey to the next community. What Jesus was saying is that we should be looking for places where the “dove” will be welcome. The dove is the Biblical symbol for the Peace provided by the Presence of the Holy Spirit. This is still our urgent mission; not just to win a bunch of people to our point of view, but to bring an atmosphere! Our mission unlocks the revelation that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. And all are welcome to see into its Glory and live in its Peace.

Today – let the Peace of God find its rest in your heart and mind!

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