My friend Kelsey once introduced me to her dad as her pastor, a title I both love and hate. It’s a biblical term and one that I am called to. I love pastoring and shepherding people, helping them to get disentangled from the evil that seeks to entrap them. Much to my surprise, Kelsey told me after the fact that I had a funny facial expression when she introduced me. I had no idea at the time but I do know that I have a hard time hiding the way I’m feeling so it made sense.
My knee jerk reaction when that title was publicly awarded me has some association with what our culture interprets when they hear the word “pastor”. Nine times out of ten it isn’t good. The other ten percent seems to be a title that people give one another when they have ducked out of their responsibility to walk with God as individuals and rely upon others to represent God for them.
Continue reading “Not So Among You”
Where ever we’ve been.
Whatever sins we’ve committed,
however dirty and ashamed we’ve become
He still knows us and desires to be with us.
We must simply turn to Him.
One of the more difficult facets about coming out of an organized and human sustained church environment is transitioning into a life more dependent on relationship with God and with the organic group of people that God has strategically placed us in.
When I received the revelation that God was calling me out of the traditional prescribed organization and into a spiritual family, I was a little shocked and heart broken. I had placed all my focus on living a certain way and working towards goals that, with a simple revelation from the Lord, changed instantly. I felt gypped. I came to the hard realization that I had wasted years of my life. The group that I had given blood, sweat, and tears for fundamentally disowned me and seemingly forgot about me. I found out that when relationships are built on common vision and doctrines instead of God’s relational bond they cannot and will not last (pain and hardship often accompany these). As much as I would want to make these relationships work, they would not. They were not being held together by God’s grace.
I’ve learned through this heartache that God is most concerned with the task of building a Kingdom, not making us “happy” socially. When I stepped far enough away I realized that there was a strong “in or out” mentality, one that was cultish in nature and one that worked against the heart of the Great Commission, the kind of Love that God had been attempting to develop in my heart. Despite my best of efforts during my time in traditional American Christianity, everything seemed to work in opposition to the gentle guidance of the Spirit. It is as if something was wrong… and it was.
Continue reading “From Compartment to Fulfillment (Updated*)”
When infused with the person of Holy Spirit we become awoken to the weaknesses and failures of everyone around us. A fight to use that info is constantly happening, the evil one loves to come in under the guise of religious and lawful thought turning those perceptions into a very satisfying fuel for why you are more right than all those people. Can anyone relate?
The truth of the Gospel is that no-one has hit the bullseye of rightness and upright morality ever, save One, Jesus Christ. He is the only way to have righteousness and that righteousness is only given to those who admit their own failure, and turn away from those failures. Acknowledging the poorness of our abilities. In response Jesus offers us the abundance of His righteousness that He offers us as a gift. This concept is what makes us have any measure of righteousness, not just on one occasion in a baptist church, but on any occasion, ever.
This gospel is the healing factor for our every moment. It is to be infused in every thought, word, and deed.
And that new discernment that’s fun to bash others with? It is a gift given to us as a result of Holy Spirit living inside out bodies. It is to be used to access God and to pray that The Gracious Healer would work in the areas of our friends lives God is revealing to us. Praying that, by the blood of Jesus, a miracle would take place, that God would impart His rightness to that area.
Holy Spirit is working within those who have accepted Christ to bring every person into purity, none have accomplished %100 purity especially not me. And if we get any nearer to %100 it will only be because we are gaining more revelation of how powerful and effective the cross of Christ was.
The gospel stands above every other teaching, and every other teaching must find itself interpreted in light of the true gospel that rightly bestows all glory, honor, and praise unto Jesus Christ. For that is what those in heaven are viscerally proclaiming right now… can you hear it. It is good news indeed.
The spirit of Compromise uses seemingly harmless sinful desires and creates a rope to bind you up with. This process is very covert, it almost goes unnoticed to the unaware. It mimics the voice of God, but it looks like a dead cancer victim.
The way you know your bound up by Compromise is that in some of your actions you intentionally omit God’s counsel on the issue. Somewhere deep inside you know that your trying to sneak it past God, but Compromise says “this is just time for you” or “don’t you deserve time just for you”. These of course are lies, but they sound reasonable don’t they? But this apposes the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives. And in some ways it creates and inward civil war where part of your inner being agrees with these lies and says that God is not good and that His Lordship can’t be trusted.
Compromise reduces the awareness of the harm those actions have. And after you become bound by compromise a whole pocket of resistance to God is established virtually unnoticed. Scour the landscape of your life; Are there areas that you are being held captive? You surely want free from that bondage don’t you? Don’t you want to do what you choose in Christ? Ask God for forgiveness for not letting Him be Lord over those areas. Repent from your actions. Command compromise to leave your life.
In the future, ask God first before you act. He is a good God, He’s wants the best for you. He won’t keep any good thing from you.
Enlarge my heart, warm my affections, open my lips, supply words that proclaim ‘Love lustres at Calvary.’
There grace removes my burdens and heaps them on thy Son, made a transgressor, a curse, and sin for me;
There the sword of thy justice smote the man, thy fellow;
There thy infinite attributes were magnified, and infinite atonement was made;
There infinite punishment was due, and infinite punishment was endured.
Continue reading “Love Lustres At Calvary”
Sometimes the only accomplishment you can point to is your own blood and guts spilled everywhere. Sometimes the death that you die for Christ feels just like that, death. All the joys and pleasures are passed up for the promise of the greater reward. Sometimes amongst the fleeting and numbered victories lies the knowing that one day the sky will split and our work here will be done. For this we bleed and cry and die. For this our portion, Christ himself, we die daily. Bring it on. Put me on the cross. I gladly lay down my life. Come with me…
“What you know can keep you from what you need to know, if you don’t remain a novice; The revelation you have can keep you from the revelation you need, if you don’t maintain a child’s heart.” ~Bill Johnson
“Dear child of God, all your concepts of what God is like really amount to nothing. Do not try to imagine what God is like. Instead, simply believe in His presence. Never try to imagine what God will do. There is no way God will ever fit into your concepts.” ~Madame Jeanne Guyon
A dear friend of mine who happens to be a Catholic Monk (apposed to an Urban Punk Monk which I don’t really embrace at this point) shared with me his understanding of getting to know God and it has stuck with me. It should be mentioned that this guy is the real deal who has been a monk for 18 years and for about 10 years prior to that was a priest.
He says that discovering and learning about God is like looking at a small portion of a diamond through a window where you can only study a few facets. You study the facets as the diamond turns, but the diamond never stops turning and it’s so big you never see it all.
For me this explains why those who are closest to God are the most humble because they have realized that God is much more than they could ever grasp.
“Check me out”-God