Jesus is Alive!

If you believe Jesus is alive today, then you have to believe that He is still healing and raising the dead today. Otherwise, you believe that His character is inconsistent, and you’ve rejected the Word that says: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Heb.13:8).”

The Bible says we are the body of Christ, and the Spirit of Jesus lives in us. If you believe these scriptures, then you should understand that the gifts of the Spirit (1Cor.12) are still active today. Otherwise the Spirit, who is God, is inconsistent as well.

“God is Spirit (John4:24)” and He is our “Father, who does not change (James1:17).” “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you (1 Cor.3:16)?” “To each person has been given the ability to manifest the Spirit for the common good (1Cor.12:7).”

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things (John 14:12).” Not because we are greater than Jesus, but because He is alive inside of each of us, instead of being constrained to just one physical body.

Look closer. He lives in you. – Rafiki

He Lives In You // Lion King

Reflection - Lion King

– 1 Cor. 13:12 – Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

The gifts are our puzzling reflection of Christ. The gifts exist until His return when we see him with perfect clarity.

Advertisements

The Kingdom of God – 7 Mountains

The Seven Mind Molders of Culture
The Seven Mountains

– Rev. 17:9,14 – This calls for a mind with understanding: The seven heads of the beast represent the seven hills where the woman rules… They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.

The Kingdom of God - The 7 Mountains

1)Arts/Entertainment, 2)Government, 3)Media/News, 4)Education, 5)Religion, 6)Business, 7)Family

These 7 mountains make up the kingdom of God, but unfortunately the church has not claimed the kingdom yet. God is ruler of everything in heaven, and its our job to help lift Him up as king on earth. We need to disperse from our fortress on the religion mountain, and go take the others.


Peter casts the nets

As a whole, the church isn’t affecting cultural transformation like Jesus did. Why?

Jesus called us to make disciples of nations, but instead we are trying to make disciples of individuals. Our influence is severely limited through this method. If we, instead, went into the systems of the nations, we could win souls more abundantly. Jesus said, ‘follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ Jesus didn’t teach Peter to fish with a rod, but with a net. Peter brought in fish by the boat load. As long as we continue our current method, with a rod with a one fish capacity, we will not be able to claim the Kingdom that Christ gave to us.

So, how do we operate in the full extent of the Kingdom? How do we make disciples of nations?


– 1 Sam. 9:16 – Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines

– 1 Sam. 10:1,5 – Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you ruler over his inheritance?… Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is

Saul was told to go to the mountain of God to save God’s people from the Philistines on the mountain. Why were Philistines on God’s mountain? That’s what we should be asking ourselves. Christ came to preach the coming of The Kingdom; He made us kings, told us to go out and proclaim the kingdom, but we aren’t! There are Philistine giants on the mountain of God. They are ruling the mountain of Arts, Family, Religion, Government, Education, Media, & Business. These mountains are rightfully ours for the taking, but we have to go into ALL the world and claim these realms. Where the church used to go into territories, we now need to go into systems. At the moment we are stuck in the system of religion, and allowing Philistines to rule all the others…

You are a Royal Priesthood

You are the royal priesthood. We go before God’s presence for the world. We invite them in to see His face.

– Matt. 10:7 – And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

– Rev. 5:10 – And you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth

– 1 Peter 2:9 – you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation

We are God’s children and He gives us His authority to reign on the earth. We are royals, with His power, to go forth and claim the mountains of His kingdom. He gave us dominion. He gave us the gifts, abilities, wisdom of His Spirit (who is God Himself) to do so.

– Zech. 14:9 – And the Lord will be king over all the earth

– 1 Cor. 10:26 – The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it

– Rev. 4:10 – They lay their crowns before the throne and say:You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

The Earth is the Lords, and everything in it

Everything here belongs to our God, and He has made us kings. We are to take these 7 mountains and occupy them, giving God our crowns, our power, and allowing Him to lead what is rightfully His. We can only do this by allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us. As long as we reject the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we have no power to take the kingdom. A King puts forth the power to claim His own kingdom. The Spirit of God lives in every believer, but we have to yield to the power of it to see God move on the earth.

– Luke 19:12-13 (MSG&KJV) – There was once a man descended from a royal housewent to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then returnBut first he called ten servants together, gave them each a sum of money, and instructed them, ‘Occupy until I return.’

Jesus went to heaven to receive the kingdom. He left us in charge and told us to occupy the mountains until His return.


Christians haven’t left the ‘Religion’ mountain to go into all the world, and so Christians haven’t affected the world. Homosexuality, however, has successfully transcended in America because it took all 7 mountains. They put the right characters on tv, and in the arts to entertain us. Government leaders have now tailored their speeches around the topic to gain votes. They saturated the other mountains so heavily, that even some Christians, on the religion mountain, are succumbing to the gay agenda. Same sex advocates have discipled a nation in the same 20 years that Christians were seeking revival. They succeeded because they didn’t aim only at the church. We haven’t succeeded, but even Islam has discipled 7+ nations in the past 50 years. Muslims and Buddhist are modeling nations based on religion. America thankfully has separation of church and state, but we still need to do our part to help our nation. The church will never see revival unless they leave the church…

David plays harp as tending sheep

Many of us are not called to stay in the mountain of religion. Yes, believe in Christ and don’t ‘leave’ your church, but go into all the world! Jesus gave you gifts and talents to use to bring glory to Him. Your gifts are meant for all people, not just the church. It’s the sick that need a doctor, right?

Let’s look at David. He believed in God, but we also saw him in the:
– business mountain – managing sheep
– arts mountain – playing the harp for a king
– business mountain – as he took on Goliath
– media mountain – as his fame spread, and people glorified his expertise
– government mountain – as he became king
– arts mountain – using the arts to advance on the mountain of education

David was successful, because he understood the kingdom of God. He climbed the religion mountain, but he didn’t camp out there; he took God to the other mountains. If we want to be successful, we should learn from him. We need to figure out our purpose, and which mountain God has called us to. We need to climb to the top of that mountain and proclaim him. We can trust Him to get us to the top.


Marketing to the target audience (the unbeliever):
1.
 Nations instead of souls (souls come with nations)
2. Now instead of eternity
3. Natural (secular) instead of the spiritual
4. Teaching (covertly) instead of preaching (overtly)

This is the gospel of the kingdom as opposed to the gospel of only salvation. If you want to penetrate world systems, don’t advertise prematurely what your agenda is, because you have enough challenges without waving a red flag that makes people twice as upset with you about where you’re going. You need to establish preeminence in your field and then you can unveil your theology.

Well, ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel’! Yes, but it is also written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ — the things God has prepared for those who love him (1Cor.2:9).’ 

Esther

1. God had a plan first. He prepared. No one saw, heard, or had the idea of it. He later revealed these things to those who fell in love with Him.

2. ‘Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you. (Matt.7:6)’ No wise person reveals the depth of themselves to their enemies. If the enemy attacks your victories, they will definitely mock your failures. We are meant to reveal ourselves to those who we are in relationships with. It’s good to have friends in all walks of life. We don’t have to talk, strictly, only to Christians. Jesus talked to sinners, and to those that accepted Him, He shared with them who He was and taught them His ways.

3. Esther didn’t reveal herself too soon. She was not ashamed, but she had a goal. She did not reveal her goal to her enemy. She revealed the thing at the moment that it would help the most people, and she revealed to the one who loved her (her husband, King Xerxes).

4. Duck Dynasty, the tv show, said they weren’t going to get religious on the show until they had a big following. They understand this principle. Love is most important–Love is God. After someone loves you, they begin to respect you. It is inside of respectful relationships that we start to unveil who we are.

5. Daniel didn’t ask Nebuchadnezzar to be circumcised or worship the jewish God. Daniel simply followed God, and Nebuchadnezzar followed suite. Neb pushed his nation to learn about this God, after Daniels God had proven himself true. Neb said, ‘There is no other god who can rescue like this! (Dan.3:29)’ 

6. Joseph was at the top of the family mountain, but he fell. His experience on the mountain of religion, and education, brought him up in the business & government mountains. Joseph helped Pharaoh first, then Pharaoh wanted to know more about his family. Because Joseph had spread out over all the mountains, when the family mountain fell, he was able to concentrate his efforts on the other mountains with God given success. Likewise, we don’t invest in just one thing, but many things, in case one fails. God never fails, but sometimes the church(religion) does.

Power In The Holy Spirit

Joseph was a prime example that: When you have established your credibility, people will start coming to you for wisdom. We don’t have to put a giant christian label on everything. We need to be strategic about how we can get to the unbeliever. A dog can be a loving creature, but once its stuck in a barbed wire fence it will be fierocous. You cannot approach a wounded animal head on or it will attack. The better option is to come up from behind it and gently break it free from the death trap. Our goal is to bring life, but they don’t yet trust us, so we need to be strategic about this interaction.

Joseph was doing dream interpretation, for scenario planning in an economic forecast, for a government. He wasn’t in the church interpreting peoples dreams. Get out of the church and go into all the world to use your gifts, which are given to you so you can walk in your God ordained destiny.


Covert: not openly acknowledged or displayed
Overt: done or shown openly; plainly or readily apparent, not secret or hidden

Many successful Bible people were on a covert operation. We need people in the music and arts who don’t slap a christian label on everything. We need them to use the arts to teach biblical principles covertly; and show people who God is once they start digging in to see who the musician/artist truly are. We reveal more about ourselves as people grow into a more intimate position.

– Mal. 3:10 – “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

We should be brainstorming together as a community of believers. We should be funding covert operations, for the unbeliever, with tithes. To get the increase, we have to invest in those who are not already in the church.


For more on the 7 mountains, listen to Dr. Lance Wallnau’s powerful teaching

Here are some covert musicians:
Firework, by Katy Perry (turned down by the Christian music industry)
Re-Bel, by Head (former lead singer of Korn turned Christian)
Bring Me To Life, by Evanescence 

Remember who you are

Prayer: Lord, some have taken the mountains and fallen away. Don’t let them give up on you; bring Katy Perry back. Cause people who already sit on the mountain to see your power and turn to you; raise up more people like Head. Raise up Daniels, Josephs, and Esthers in government to take the kingdom. Raise up people willing to take the truth into news and media. Raise up journalist to seek out truth and fight to make it public. Give them the money needed to take truth to the nations. Cause the sinners wealth to pass to the godly. Release the gifts of the Spirit and bring words of wisdom (1Cor.12), words of knowledge, and strategic business plans to them. Give us wisdom beyond ourselves through the Spirit, the very mind of God. The same mind that created the universe lives inside of us. Activate new solutions, ideas, creativity, entertainment that brings you glory and shows all the world who you are. Position creatives in the movie industry to reach specific groups. Raise up people with a strategy to infiltrate the porn industry, bars, and gangs. Help Alabama come up with solutions to take down anger, immorality, and murder. Thank you for local farmer markets and grocery stores returning to natural, unadulterated foods. Cause more companies like TOMS to find creative solutions to help those in need. Make these companies the head and not the tail. Convert these mega companies who exploit. Cause justice and righteousness to rise. Cause people to get sick of the condition of their relationships and turn back to you and your ways. Set the family mountain in order again. Open the eyes of Christians to help us see the true you and tear down anything in the church that opposes you. Cause the body to rise up and take its rightful place again.

Simba takes his rightful place as king

Go into all the Bars (World)

Give a drunk person 10 minutes and you’ll know more about his life than anyone else.

Jesus wasn’t scared to go anywhere. He said go into all the world to proclaim the gospel.

I met one of my best friends at a bar. Through our interactions he gave his life to Christ. Be intentional with your actions and words. You don’t have to go to the bar with the intention to drink. You can go with the intention to minister.

Those of you who prophesy, should be there prophesying. Call those people up. Encourage them, and call out their destiny. Its a great practice ground. If you are too scared to talk directly with them, then write the prophecy as a poem and hand it to them. Everyone loves entertainment and compliments. It doesn’t have to say ‘thus says the Lord’ and be spoken in king James.

Take another Christian with you for accountability, and find a different missionfield if alcohol is an addiction you struggle with. But to those who are not tempted, or out of control, go into all the bars (world) to proclaim the gospel. The Bible said Jesus drank and celebrated, but He never sinned. He would’ve been there winning souls too.

Matt. 11:18-19 – For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

– Mark 16:15 – And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

– Eph. 5:15-18 – Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit

– 1 Cor. 12:7 – Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good

– 1 Cor. 14:1,3 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy… the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort 

There are enough people called to the mission field of the church body. We need people going out to the world and taking the Kingdom of God. He will rule the whole earth. Let’s make Him king.

Put a Bird On It!


Put a Bird On It! 
This awesome scene from the tv show Portlandia says so much! #WakeUpPortland

Christians like to put a certain stamp, or bird, on everything they do. But when it comes to life, or comes inside the building, they kill it; they panic and freak! Why?

The seal of God is the Holy Spirit, who is described of as a dove:

– Luke 3:22 – and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove.

– 2 Cor. 1:22 – God set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

– Rev. 9:4 – They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads (renewed mind).

Seal
It’s the end times! We need to put the seal of the Holy Spirit on every mind! We can’t say we believe God is active today then deny the power He left with us. A seal often marks the currency of a kingdom: You are God’s riches! A wax seal leaves its form behind: God created us in His image with the seal of His Holy Spirit!

– 2 Tim. 3:5 – We often have a form of godliness but deny its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

We like the bird until it comes to life. We like the cross until we have to die on it.

– Acts 1:8 – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

– Matt. 28:19 – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

– Acts 2:4,38-39 – everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability… 38Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off (2015)—for all whom the Lord our God will call

– 1 Cor. 12:1-10 – Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit isgiven for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,a and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Russian Doll
The Gift of the Holy Spirit is for you! He is the gift that keeps on giving! Once we have Him, He gives us more gifts! They are contained in Him.

– 1 Cor. 14:1 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.

–  Eph. 4:22-24 – You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 tobe made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

–  Rev. 3:14-22 – To the Church in Laodicea 14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 21To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

–  Gen. 3:11, 21 – And he said, “Who told you that you were naked?“… 21The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

–  Luke 24:49 – I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Proverbs 31:25–  Acts 1:8 – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…
… Acts 2:2-4 – When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Lord, I ask that you blow right now, mighty breath of God (Holy Spirit), on every person present. That you fill the house, their bodies (your temple), with power and gifts that you enable so that we may go to all the earth as witnesses, and with evidence, of the One True Living God!

Just as you empowered Jesus to start working in miracles when the dove descended on him. You promised us in John 14:12 – ‘I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works’

#RaiseUpYourPeopleToBeTheLightOfTheWorld

dove

If you liked this post please +follow lovedisciple to see future posts.

Four phases of the Christian walk

All of us know about Jesus, at the Passover meal, taking the cup and saying, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”. All of us know about salvation, but did you know there’s more than salvation? There isn’t just one cup at the Passover meal, there are four! And if you’ve ever felt like the cup of salvation wasn’t enough to make you fill like you were living a life of abundant and fulfilling life, then let me challenge you to read this and step into the other cups of promise. This post is based on notes from a book, so read it in parts if you need to; its well worth it


The Four cups of Passover and the four original promises of God

Passover is the celebration of God’s deliverance from Egypt. God gave the Israelites four promises before he brought them out from under the yoke of slavery. These four promises are still celebrated at Passover in the four cups. Let’s look at His promises:

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.” – Ex. 6:6-7

In this verse you see the four promises to his people:
1. I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians
2. I will free you from being slaves to them
3. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment
4.  I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God

Every physical act in the bible also is a spiritual act for us to use. These promises are still the promises God has for all of us today! The four stages of the Christian walk are the same as they were for the Israelites, and they look like this:

  1. Freedom
    Gods promise to rescue you from the bondage of sin and death (Salvation)
  2. Deliverance
    Gods promise to deliver you from whatever holds you back
  3. Purpose
    Gods promise to help you discover his original intention for your life (Restoration)
  4. Fulfillment
    Gods promise to make you part of a family that is making a difference in the world

“God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” – Num. 23:19

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” – Phil. 3:12-14

“I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” – Phil 1:6

Salvation is all that is necessary for eternal life with God, but there is so much more; a life of fulfillment and abundance on earth! Here are some quotes from Chris Hodges book, “Four Cups”, and some personal notes on the topic:

Don’t settle for less than God’s best for you. Don’t stifle that voice in your heart that tells you there has to be more.

It took 40 yrs. of trailblazing in the desert, and then a faith-based fight, before the Israelites were able to claim the Promised Land. And along the way they grumbled and stumbled and second-guessed God most of the time.

But even with their doubts, fears, and uncertainties, they couldn’t dismiss God’s promises. His words got them dreaming again – a dangerous luxury for slaves. They began to foresee their future-a future filled with freedom and joy and the promise of a better life. Like most of us, they needed to see the hope in the journey – sort of like a vacation brochure – before they could take the first step.

You’re going to have to face your dream killers. Here are three big ones:

1. Unfulfilled expectations – “Hope deferred makes the heart-sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life” – Prov. 13:12. And wasn’t it His original hope in Genesis that we would eat from the tree of life rather than the one of death? Dream! Abraham was promised a son, but when he felt like he was running out of time from old age, his own attempt to move things along backfired. God holds the plan. Get closer to him and let him reveal & fulfill it. “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” – Ps. 139:16.

Why keep putting it off by carrying it on your own? Let God take you into your purpose. If you aren’t letting God do it, you might be missing the point. Get closer to him and wait on his perfect timing. Remember, God is eternal; Satan is not. So who do you think makes us worry about timing? 

2. Unrelenting doubt – Doubt typically takes hold in our minds when we allow the enemy of our souls to question what God has promised us. Don’t let your temporary circumstances deter your lifelong purpose.

Study about God’s faithfulness to combat his strategies. Surround yourself with people with a testimony.

3. Unchangeable circumstances – The dream killer makes us want to give up. It’s a faulty mentality that believes we’ve reached a point from which our lives can never change. We serve a God who can raise the dead. Abraham was about to sacrifice his only son, the son of Gods promise about which he said: ‘Isaac, is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.’ Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again – Heb.11:17-19

God not only rescued his people from bondage in Egypt (Salvation), he also freed them from a slavery mind-set. This is the second promise. We have to learn how to live free. God gave the Israelites many laws to teach them how to be free, covering areas like personal hygiene, finances, parenting, and choosing a spouse. Not because God is a strict taskmaster, but because his people didn’t know how to live in true freedom. The new testament laws are no different. Its God’s manual on healthy living. People who have been slaves – subjected to abuse, mistreatment, and confinement – often don’t know how to function as they were originally intended. When we find ourselves captive to our own selfish and sinful behavior, we lose sight of our purpose. God promises to redeem us. He promised that we would be part of his family, even though we were slaves to sin; he promises that we belong and are loved by, Him, the father. 

“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” – 2 Cor. 1:20

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will” – Rom. 12:2

This is one of my favorite verses, and a topic I love to discuss. The Process of Renewal is one of my previous blog posts on this subject.

Perhaps you find yourself in some type of bondage right now. It could be an addiction or a secret habit that you cling to. It could be an unhealthy relationship or an obsession with appearing successful in the eyes of others. An addiction is anything we do that we don’t want to do but we can’t stop doing. It is any ingrained pattern that pulls us to false idols to escape our pain. Break the idol; God is not far from you. He wants to quench your thirst for more and show you the power of the real and living God.

For me it was an addiction, to fill every second of my day, to avoid loneliness. An unrealistic expectation that made me tired and put burdens on my friends and boyfriends. Something I suffered with, circling around in the desert, for over 10 years, before I recently gave it to God and said please take my burden and show me your presence in a real way that quenches the loneliness. Loneliness was my idol. I held on tight, worshiped it and couldn’t let it go. I set it above God saying, ‘I think you have more power than God.’ God is so good though! He brought me to a place that I could recognize this idol and gave me the faith to trust Him to break it and its false power. What used to be depression, even suicidal thoughts as far as taking preventive actions, is now an overwhelming desire to be alone so that I can delve into more of Him. I’m walking in victory, in Jericho, but I know there are still other areas that I hide and hold from Him; other battles to fight and other false gods in my life. But as long as we follow Jesus, He is going to lead us into greater freedom on earth and do all the fighting for us. – Jehle

So many people, including Christians, believe that God requires us to make changes before we can approach him. But that’s not true. We don’t get our lives together in order to get to God. We go to God to get our lives together!

And just like Christ didn’t just take a beating for us, but gave everything; his life. We can’t just give Him part of us. We have to give Him everything; our lives. We can’t say, I have salvation, now I’m through with you. We need him to be our daily bread; our daily manna/miracle/present help in the midst of our deserts leading us to the promise of a fulfilling life.

Once God becomes Lord of your life, he begins working in your heart to give you both the desire and the power to change; Not before. A lot of change will happen after you’ve been set free, but you don’t change in order to become free. Salvation is a gift.

It’s like being lost in the woods and you come across a hiker who knows the way out. You are faced with the choice of trusting them to guide you out, or to trust yourself to find it on your own.

Every day we have the same choice. Are we going to keep following or are we going to get tired of the hills and turn back to the unrelenting woods and loneliness.

When the Israelites left Egypt, they still had part of Egypt left in them. They still had a slave mentality and still acted like slaves. They had a wrong view of themselves, a distrustful view of God, and a skeptical view of the future. And at some points they thought surely it would be better to be a slave in Egypt than to continue forward to a land that we can live in freedom.

It’s common knowledge that good things come from someones sweat, blood, and tears. Jesus took on all the sweat, blood, and tears for you, so that you could have a fulfilling life; but if you want to do all the work yourself, and not give up your idols (loneliness in my case) and go through all the pain by yourself, he’ll let you. He is polite. He wants to help us, but he won’t force his hand.

Left unchecked, your addictions will keep you on a treadmill of frustration and mediocrity, never growing into your God-given potential. Its easier to cling to anger and bitterness, but there is no freedom in that. It turns our stomachs and makes us sick. We find freedom in forgiveness, and the other instructions of God. “if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” – John 1:9. Any effort to break bad habits without a change of heart is a short-term fix at best.

We can only change through God. We can only know God through Jesus; and Jesus is the word of God (John 1:1,14). Simply put, we can only change by filling ourselves with more of the bible! “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit” – Heb. 4:12. The bible causes change in those who live by it. When we are faced with something we don’t understand or feel like we are doing wrong. Do a bible study on that.

God reminded me of this example; reminded me of previous attempts to get rid of loneliness through fasting people for a time.

When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” – Matt. 12:43-45

That’s how it was with me. I used the fasting to clean and tidy my spirit house, but I didn’t fill that space up with a new tenant. I should have filled it to the brim with Jesus, so that when the spirit tried to come back, he couldn’t. Instead, I left it tidy and unoccupied, so when I fell right back into my old ways, the problem was SO much worse. Because it showed me that my effort was useless on my own. I should’ve been looking into God’s word for the answer to my problem. Looking for his promises and his presence and asking him to take it himself. Learning is important if there is a lack of knowledge. But for those who already have the knowledge…

Bible study and discipleship isn’t all about learning more stuff – its about discovering and developing the reason why we were created and living it out.

Church isn’t another form of entertainment, it’s a call to action.

The goal is not to just learn, but to apply.

Faith without works is dead; it is stagnant, and unchanging, and there is no power in the lives on those who possess it.

Once you are saved, and you’ve let God heal the pains and scares of yesterday, you are restored to your original function. You can then walk in your purpose and destiny. 

In Matthew 25, three servants were given talents (what a convenient term for money!). One got 5, the next got 2, and the last got only 1 (A little spoiler here, the last is first in the kingdom of God!). The three servants all had the same opportunity to use their talents wisely and profitably on behalf of their master (just like God gives us talents and abilities and an opportunity to use those for his glory). The two servants, with more talents, invested them and gained even more talents, but the servant with the one talent hid it because he saw the master as a hard, unreasonable, and overbearing judge rather than a kind father.

If you live by fear, you will bury your talent. Instead, you must bury your fear and invest your talent. Once your fears, pain, and limitations are confessed and healed, its time to explore your personality, gifts, passions, and dreams. From the four basic Greek temperaments to the Myers-Briggs personality types, there are many different ways to explore the way you were designed by God.

I have a previous blog post called Finding your Purpose and Giftings, which has a test to find where your gifting are.

“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other” – 1 Cor. 12:4-7

Our different personality traits, temperaments, and gifts are not to be measured or compared with one another, as if some have more worth or value than others. There is no room for inferiority or envy in the body of Christ; we are all “fearfully and wonderfully made”.

Each with a purpose and a destiny, so that one cannot be better than the other.

God took the Israelites out of slavery and into greatness. The jews have won more than 20% of the Nobel Prizes awarded, even though the jews comprise less than 2/10 of 1 % of the world population.

80% of Christians have never discovered their calling. Can you imagine what your body would feel like if 80% was dead or inactive?

Let’s all pray that God revive his body of believers, for we are meant to be the body of Christ. How can others see Christ but through us? Can you imagine if Christ had been on earth and not showed us who God was?

I personally think that part of this death in the body of Christ is due to the church rejecting the Holy Spirit. Christ is the head of the body, and the spirit is how we hear Him. We can’t be a part of the body of Christ without the baptism of the spirit of God. That’s what John meant when he said, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” This is what Christ meant when he said,Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” And further, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body”. We CAN NOT be part of the body of Christ without the Holy Spirit. Thankfully, we received the holy spirit when we accepted Christ, but then everyday our churches tell us to ignore the spirit. Someone, somewhere didn’t like the gift of talking in tongues, and everyone abandoned the spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is SO much more than gifts. I’ll be writing another blog soon about him. We need to know him, because he is the one who guides us into all truth. God’s spirit living and breathing inside of us, without whom we have no breath of life.

(the topic ‘born of water’ will be another blog post conversation. It’s already in the works)

The final cup of the Passover meal is called the hallel, meaning to rave, celebrate, or boast. With this cup they celebrate the fact that God formed them into a new nation after their deliverance from Egypt. God intends for us to literally live our dreams – the dreams he placed in us, so we can experience contentment, joy, and wholeness. God’s ultimate plan for you is to be full and filled – fulfilled.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10

He didn’t give you a dream so that you could constantly feel frustrated and defeated; rely on God as your power source. 

Lasting happiness, doesn’t typically come from writing a bestseller or climbing a mountain, but from helping others and making a difference in the lives of other people; Not out of obligation, but from the joy of helping meet someones needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory based on 5 levels of human need; not just surviving, but also to give our lives meaning.

One youth pastor decided to show young men and women a global worldview; to show them how God wanted to use them in his grand design for great things. Amazingly, he realized that the trivial issues that plague most teens fell away once they were focused on a purpose. Very few got caught up in drugs, partying, and even the dating scene. 

If we truly hone in and focus on God, everything else fades away. Sort of like the last scene in the recent movie Lucy, when she realizes her purpose, she loses sight of everything else.

“You are the light of the world. … You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses… to the ends of the earth” – Matt. 5:14, Act 1:8

We’ve made ministry a profession, and we like to sit on the sidelines and watch. 

I personally think that Satan has exalted so many different forms of entertainment in our generation, so that we start to view church as entertainment as well. Our pastors might as well be our tv, because once he’s done, we click the button and turn it off. We have made entertainment our idol; America screams entertainment above God.

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” – Eph. 4:11-12

Every Christian is called by God to change the world.

“God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful.” – 1 Cor. 12:4-7

Unfortunately, some people go around thinking, ‘It’s too late I’ve already messed up my life. The mess is too big and complicated to unravel.’ Don’t believe it!

Time, after time, after time again, in the bible, God uses the weakness of his people to show his glory and his strength! Both your strengths and your weaknesses are gifts!

I like to think of it like this:
1. God gives us strengths so that we can help his body, the church.
2. God uses our weaknesses to show his power to the world!

Ultimate fulfillment is about ministering to others from our own unique stories. Our struggles and battles and our testimony of victory! Fulfillment never comes alone, but with a group of people. The body of Christ rejoices with us and its a huge party celebrating God’s goodness. It’s easy to see why Satan goes to great lengths to destroy our relationships. He is trying to stop our potential to make a difference. Contribution, Community, Celebration


If you want to know more about this topic. Get the book “Four Cups” by Chris Hodges. Every page is wonderful and its last chapters are great for those in leadership; it shows how to take these topics to another level in outreach and church growth.


Summary:

1. Accept Christ as your savior. Continue to walk with Christ further than just salvation. Get connected to other believers. Most people do this by joining a church. (Conveniently, Church of the Highlands gave me this book for free when I joined their church. They base their church on these principles, so that they continue to help you grow in your walk with Christ.)
2. Delve into studying the topics you struggle with. Get involved in a bible study group, to share with and encourage each other. Work out your issues by asking God to take control of them. Let the Holy Spirit be your counselor through the healing process. Find a mentor in your church to help if you want.
3. Explore your gifts. Get involved with, or in, different areas of your church until you find your niche. Study what the Bible says about that niche. Find a mentor in that niche to help challenge you to grow into it, if you want.
4. Once you know your gifting. Walk in it with others! And repeat steps 1-4 as needed for cleansing, healing, and more talents!