The Kingdom of God

Rom. 14:17 – For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking (external), but of righteousness, peace and joy (internal) in the Holy Spirit

The Jews missed their Messiah King because they were looking for a political leader. They missed all the signs in the scriptures they thought they knew so well.

Now, will we miss the kingdom of God? Can we see His kingdom and ask Him to sit enthroned upon on hearts? Can we cast out every other love that takes that seat of honor, and make sure it is reserved for our one true love and allowing Him to reign in His rightful place? Can we be a faithful bride, and in so doing, become an heir and queen of a kingdom?

Faith & Anger

Would God rather us be angry with Him or have a lack of faith in Him? 

– 2 Kings 6 – Some time later, Ben-Hadad king of Aram mobilized his entire army and marched up and laid siege to Samaria. 25There was a great famine in the city… 26As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, “Help me, my lord the king!” 27The king replied, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I get help for you?… 28Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?” She answered, … we cooked my son and ate him… 30When the king heard the woman’s words… 31He said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!”.. 33The king said, “This disaster is from the Lord. Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”

… 2 Kings 7:1-2,20 – Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” 2The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat any of it!”… 20And that is exactly what happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died.

Cannibalism is a weighty subject, and probably got your attention more so than what I wanted to talk about. I hope to say more about it, and leadership, in the coming days. Today, however let’s touch on the topics of faith and anger in this passage.

The king was waiting for God’s to deliver them from the siege and famine, but when he heard that the people were starting to eat each other, he became angry. He started to lose his faith in God and he lashed out at God by threatening to kill Elisha, whom God often spoke through. Elisha responded 1) with force by barricading the door to protect himself, and 2) by telling the king to wait on the Lord one more day. Perhaps God didn’t respond as fast as the king would like, because the king was not acting the way he should.

  1. He should have been in sackcloth, asking for God’s help, while searching himself for any wrongdoing. Instead, he tried to hide his sackcloth under his royal clothes.
  2. He also could’ve sought God out beforehand, instead of waiting until the last second to see what God had to say about the siege. Seeking God should come first.

Nonetheless, there is an interesting principle in this story:

The king expressed anger by asking Elisha, ‘Why should I wait on the Lord any longer?’  Though he went with the intention to kill Elisha, he still listened to Elisha’s response and waited on the Lord one more day. The officer, however, expressed disbelief in God’s ability, and died because of it.

So anger is better than unbelief? Yes.
It is better to have faith in God, and get mad at Him when it doesn’t look like He is coming through for you, than it is to express disbelief in what God says He is going to do.

The king tried to wait on God, and tried to repent by wearing sackcloth. He didn’t do either of them perfectly, but he tried and God honored that. He intended to sin in his anger, but he ended up changing his mind and doing what was right. The officer, who did not believe God could help them, was not honored.

There is a situation in my life in which I have faith, and am waiting, though I may have times of anger or questioning. It’s nice to know that God is okay with that, and can put people in my life to renew my faith. It’s nice to know that there is grace, and that he honors a slip in faith as long as there is an effort of faith. I hope that encourages you as well. Faith is hard, and faith is necessary, but God gives us grace when we try.

Matt. 21: 28-32 – There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”“The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

There is a way to be angry and not sin, but that wasn’t what the king had in mind. Nonetheless, the king turned away from the sin in his heart and chose not to kill Elisha. He came to God in anger, and God helped him because he was willing to listen. It’s better to go to the person you have a problem with, before it turns into wrath, but God has nothing to fear. The correct response for us is to set a boundary, and get help, like Elisha did by gathering elders to barricade the door. God however, just wants you to come to Him for help. If getting to a breaking point, or a rage, is the only way you’ll come to Him for help, then He accepts that. Job expressed his anger to God, and God helped him see how things really were.


Heb. 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.


God asks us to have faith in Him, and to even put His words, ways, principles to the test. If we test Him, in our faith, He will reward us:

Mal. 3:10 – … 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.

When the Bible says that testing God is wrong, it is referring to testing God in lack of faith. Testing God is nether right, nor wrong in itself; it simply depends on your heart.

Jer. 17:10 – I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.

Deut. 6:16 – Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah.

Ex. 17:7 – And he called the place Massah (testing) and Meribah (quarreling) because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

James 1:6-8 – But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Ps. 94:18 – When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.

Mark 9:21-24 – Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

Help my unbelief. That is a prayer that God honors. He loves truth; even when the truth is that you are angry, He honors it. Seek Him first, ask Him to help your unbelief, and just choose to be real with Him today.

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.

The Process of Dreams


– Gen.37:5-8 – Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said, “Listen to this dream I had. We were all out in the field gathering bundles of wheat. All of a sudden my bundle stood straight up and your bundles circled around it and bowed down to mine.” His brothers said, “So! You’re going to rule us? You’re going to boss us around?” And they hated him more than ever because of his dreamsThe brothers were saying, “Here comes that dreamer. Let’s kill him and throw him into one of these old cisterns; we can say that a vicious animal ate him up. We’ll see what his dreams amount to.

Joseph had a prophetic dream, but then became a prisoner. He didn’t understand the fullness of the prophetic dream. He didn’t understand that he wouldn’t be a ruler over the house of Jacob, but over the earth, in the house of Pharaoh as well.

What if all the prophecies we receive, have a far larger application than our original interpretation?

Joseph was a great prophet, and he didn’t know the interpretation to his own word. Joseph used his prophet gift to try to manipulate his own jailbreak. He asked the cup bearer, who he helped, to get him out. God didn’t allow him to get out at that moment, because Joseph would’ve gone home to a dysfunctional family; to a father that didn’t believe he was alive, brothers that were trying to kill him, and they would’ve all starved to death in the 7 year famine. God doesn’t always grant our requests because we would settle for less than the best for our lives. Joseph went from the pit to the palace, and he wasn’t a prisoner in Egypt; he was a prisoner to a prophetic process. God puts the film into a dark room when He wants to develop a clear picture. He agitates the film in the solution to get the picture to come through.

Film Development in Dark Room

Don’t give up on your dreams. If God gives you a dream, He can bring you into it. It might not look like it is working out, but it will. There will be no question that it was Him that brought it to pass.


You have to be able to tackle the mountain of ME before you can take another mountain. ‘For the joy set before him, Jesus endured the cross (Heb.12:2).’ 

The cross is the process of getting from where you are, to your dream
– The cross is the contradiction

We need to understand the paradoxical ways God works, and trust Him to take us through the process to our promised palace.

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

Lord of the Dance


God didn’t create our bodies to respond to music so we would have something else to fight. He made us want to dance, because He wanted us to be joyous! I’m not talking about bumping and grinding, that is a perversion of what God created. The purpose of that dance is to sexually seduce. Footloose did get the Bible verses right though. The true, intended, and holy purpose of dance is to praise God radically and unabashedly! Everything is aligned with its intended purpose when it is used as a tool to love God. Dance is to 1)celebrate what He has done for you, and to 2)ask Him for what you need; it’s 3)to lift moral, because a merry heart brings life and health to the body. Dance is can teach people just as much as song or lecture. Dance is biblical, and maybe if dancing were still in every church we wouldn’t be missing an entire generation of young kids and teenagers; maybe people would wake up excited to go to church, stay longer, build community better, and leave happier

– 1 Cor. 14:26 – What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.

Choreographed dance, theatre, and the arts can show us who God is just as much as anything else. Every person should be able to show what God has given them. Dance doesn’t even have to be choreographed to happen in the church. Everyone should be able to let loose in praise, using their bodies to celebrate the God who gave it to them.

– Ps. 149:3 – Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!

– Eccl. 4:3 -A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance

– Ps. 30:11 – You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.

– Jer. 31:13 – Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.

– 2 Sam. 6:14 – And David danced before the Lord with all his might

David celebrated God's presence with dance

David celebrated God’s presence with dance

David’s wife confronted him and tried to shame him, or say it was ungodly, and he responded with:

I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.

When God delivered Israel from Egypt:

– Ex. 15:20 – Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing.

– Zeph. 3:17 – The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

– Ps. 150:4 – Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!

We celebrate marriage, and festivities, with dancing, and God wants us to do that with Him. Celebrate the God who gave you the spouse, the job, the raise, the home, the harvest, the souls. Celebrate him everyday, even when it seems like you aren’t winning. Paul & Silas praise him from prison chains and the praise set them free emotionally first, then also physically.

– Rev. 19:6-7 – And I heard something that sounded like a huge crowd, like rushing water and powerful thunder. They said, “Hallelujah! The Lord our God, the Almighty, exercised his royal power! Let us rejoice and celebrate, and give him the glory, for the wedding day of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

Rushing water are shouts of excitement and the powerful thunder is dance? STOMP! How are you going to crush the serpents head without a stomp and a dance? Walking gets tiring, but waltzing to the destination give you something different. Joy takes you further. You don’t even realize you’re tired when you are having fun. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be dancing on my wedding day to the Lamb, and I’m gonna go’head and practice now! At church, on Friday, I grabbed up a flag, went to the back of the church, and danced. Jehovah Nissi, is my God; my Banner and my Victory.


Worship:
Stomp, by Kirk Franklin
Dance, by Jesus Culture
Shackles (Praise You), by Mary Mary


Paul & Silas sing in the prison, then an angel opens breaks off their chains

Paul & Silas sing in the prison, then an angel opens breaks off their chains

Prayer: Lord of the dance, bring back the dance! You are Lord of Lords; You are the king of celebration and joy. Help us see you as you are, break every chain of religion, and loose your people to praise you with all their mind, heart, soul, and strength (Deut.6:5); you tell us that praise looses your people from bondage. Use dance to heal, deliver, and set free every mind and body. Tear down every man made law that stands in the way of your laws. Fear of man leave, and fear of God return in Jesus name. Bring joy back to the church as we realign ourselves to your ways and see who you truly are. We may feel humiliated in our own eyes as we dance, but you exalt those who are unashamed to praise you with all their strength! You made joy to be contagious, so raise up people to dance without shame and show your people that there is freedom in You; let all those who are free from the chains of sin and death rejoice!

As our country continues to talk about black&white, slave&free issues, cause your church to lead. Where blacks were once slaves, and white free, today the tables have turned. Your beloved black church is living in freedom, and your white people are slaves to religion and man-made law. Cause a war to rise up, and people to fight for the freedom of every person. Bring your people together. Send out those who will stand for freedom, justice, equality, and tear down the lies, chains, and man-made law that hold us in bondage and keep us from praising God with every fiber of our being. No longer shall it be shameful to say ‘you dance like a white person.’ Let is now be said with the meaning, ‘Wow, your dancing has put us to shame!’ Raise up whites who are radical in praise! Bring the spirit of Africa to us. No matter if we have food, clothing, or water, make us joyful with what we have. Tear down this idol of reliance on wealth and possession, and cause us to take joy in You. When the foot taps, let the body move, and tear down this idea that skill is required. Let the people dance without care of man or level of learning.


My friend is over in Zambia, Africa changing lives and building water wells. The people there know how to celebrate God’s gift of water. Lord, bless us with this Spirit just as you blessed them with water:

You can donate at Water282.org

The Paradoxical Nature of Christianity

I’m in love with a king who became a slave.
I’m in love with a God who is humble.
You gotta go down, if you wanna go up.
You’ve gotta go lower, if you wanna go higher and higher.
You’ve gotta hide, and do it in secret, if you wanna be seen by God.
It’s the inside, outside, upside down kingdom,
where you lose to gain, and you die to live.

I love the lyrics to this song by Misty Edwards: Servant of All

Have you ever noticed how much of the Bible seems to have a paradoxical nature? I’m not saying that the Bible contradicts itself; I don’t think Jesus is bipolar. I’m saying that, the ways of God seem to be the stark opposite of our ways a lot of the time. It’s like watching a movie were there are two realms: 1)right-side up heaven, and 2)upside down earth.


Paradox: Hide to be seen
Misty used some great examples of the paradoxical nature of Christianity in her song. Let’s look at those examples, and some others in scripture, and try to understand why everything seems so backwards to us:

Matthew 6:16-18 – And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

People, by nature, want to be honored and get attention from others. It’s okay to want a reward, but we should want it from God not man. It’s not wicked to expect payment for your work. It is wicked to show off to people hoping that they will think you are better than them. Love is not prideful (1 Cor. 13). Fasting is not for man anyway, it’s for God; and we don’t get God’s attention the same way we get mans attention. We’ve got to hide, and do it in secret, if we want to be seen by God.


Paradox: The servant is made king. Least is the greatest. Last is first.

Matt. 23:11-12 – The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Servant and KingThe one who cuts others down, will be cut down, and the one who builds others up, will be built up. It’s natural for us to try to build ourselves up, by cutting others down – forcing our way into leadership, but that’s not God’s way. God is Spirit. Man is flesh. His ways are higher than our ways (Is.55:8). God says instead to humble yourself, build others up, and then they will build you up and you will have a strong following. Would you rather follow a leader who is clearly in it for personal gain, or one who is doing what is best for the workers?

Philippians 2:5-11 – You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was Godhe did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges… he humbled himself… and died… Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth

Jesus, who was God, humbled Himself, and stepped down from His kingship to become a slave to sin and death. His willingness to die caused billions of people to live. God therefore, elevated Him to the place of highest honor.

Luke 17:33 – If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.

We now have the choice of whether we will: 1)briefly die to our own desires, so that God will exalt us with Christ and give us eternal life, or whether 2)we will live briefly in our own desires, and lose our eternal life.

Matt. 4:8-10 – the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”

Jesus had the option to cling onto His own life. He could have gone ahead and stepped into His kingship, without dying on the cross. He probably preferred the idea, but Jesus realized that if He stepped into His kingship prematurely, without the hard work of dying to Himself, there would be dire consequences. He would have been eternally separated from His father, and He would have led the nations to battle, killing many of the people who He instead chose to save, help, heal, and deliver by being obedient to God’s timing/ways. Though it sometimes seems counterproductive, or contradictory, the best way to get the desires of your heart is to ‘let them die’ and hand over control to God. He will give you the desires of your heart, far exceeding what you could’ve expected or done for yourself.


Paradox: Lose your life, gain the world
Satan desired to be exalted to a higher level. He saw God make man in His image and Satan got mad about it. He wanted our position, so he cut us down for it. In doing so, Satan condemned himself to eternity in hell. If he had instead, humbled his desires, and served mankind, God probably would’ve raised him up to a new level of authority.

Ps. 37:4, 7, 9, 35-36, 38 – Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heartBe still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways… those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land… I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree, but he soon passed away and was no more… there will be no future for the wicked.

1 Timothy 6:10 – For the love of money… some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

How many movie stars and millionaires have we seen that commit suicide? Have you met people who were rich, who were still miserable? Most people desire a life of comfort; it’s natural for us to look to money for that comfort, but God says true happiness and comfort come from enjoying your hard work and by giving to others.

Matt. 6:31-33 – So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matt . 7:7-11 – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

It’s when we stop trying to build up ourselves, and start trying to build up God’s kingdom, that God gives us what we need and  want. If it’s God that makes us unique, and puts desires in our hearts, then its Gods job to bring us the fulfillment of those desires.


Paradox: Stop looking to find

– Gen. 2:19-22 – Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.  So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

Did you notice that it says no helper was found for Adam while he was looking among the animals? Why was he looking for a helper in the animals? Sounds like modern America to me! We should be looking for someone made in God’s image, not a wild beast of a person. But even still, it was when Adam quit looking that God brought him a suitable helper. Not by our works, but by His grace He gives good gifts to those who love Him.


Paradox: Jesus is the Tree of Life

Jesus: the Tree of Life. I love the paradox of Christianity.

Jesus: the Tree of Life. I love the paradox of Christianity.

Jesus' death, on a tree,
 brought Life for all the world to see!
Enter into me,
 O, Jesus, who died on Calvary.
You died in front of all the world,
 yet your Spirit lives inside of me.
Let the world see that you live, you breathe;
 you came back with 'God speed'.
Wisest of the Wise,
 you confound everyone –
The wisdom of the world
 is folly to the One,
Who with a paradox 
 caused us fools to know,
That the battle has been won;
 we can rest in Him who's shown:
That in death, you have true life.
 and in service, you become king;
And to deny our own power,
 is to sprout God's very wings.
The Spirit's gifts 
 are for everyone to partake;
I am wholly yours, 
 make a fool of me and take:
All the lies,
 and all the works of man –
Burn them up, 
 billow and fan.
God is Spirit, 
 and God is Love,
 He lives in every man!
Not by my might, nor by power,
 but by My Spirit, says the Lord –
Go into the world, 
 and knock on every door!
He who hears My voice and opens
 shall surely say:
Jesus, you are my hope;
 the only Truth, 
 the only Way!

– 1 Cor. 1:25 – For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Paradox: We can’t save ourselves, but God can save us. When we accept God, God comes to live inside of us.  … you’re so weird God ❤


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