Living the Resurrected Life

He barged into my office without a knock and without an apology. I could see he was deeply troubled in soul but nothing on his face gave that away. I had not seen this old acquaintance in quite some time. Instantly I stopped typing.

“Just came by to say hello, David.”

“Hello. How are you?”  

“Good… Just fine…Happy belated Easter. You don’t celebrate Easter do you? You don’t strike me as the type of Christian who would…”

Ignoring the question, I was breaking for him now. I felt his heart and Dad opened up to me Henry’s thoughts and fears and some of his darkest issues to me in that instant.

“What’s wrong, Henry?” I replied meekly.

“You know I don’t really believe in God… but I know He hears you and answers your prayers. I need you to pray for my dying brother.  Pray that he lives.”

——

Another Easter come and gone. Another year we collect the data and post our results. How many conversions? How many answered the altar call? How “successful” was our “program” this year?

I rarely follow social media. This morning however, I was troubled as I read the numerous posts from the bride of Christ extolling those who participated in their local Resurrection Day sermons. What grieved me more than this though, was all the varied forms of exhortation I read in regard to not getting discouraged at the “lack” of results… Next year will be better… perhaps.

Next year?

Are the traditions of man so ingrained in us over the traditions of Christ that we have long ago ceased realizing the Power of the Living Resurrection abides in us daily? Do we find anywhere in scripture where the church is told to prepare for a day in which to stir up the witness of the Holy Spirit?  We are created for good works that will be an outflow of our union with Him… Moment by moment. Not year by year.  Does the church not realize that if we are living in fellowship with Him it is simply impossible to exalt a certain day?

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” (I Peter 1:3)

The church has forgotten that if we live the life of Christ, we have no need to cajole the lost to come hear a sermon. The sermon is already inside all of us.

Please- I beg you. Read the book of Acts. Tell me, when the first century church… who were just getting started… would have had time to hold an Easter sermon?  I submit the scriptures make it very clear they were living the resurrection. What is now a once a year observance was at one time a moment by moment encounter with the Holy Spirit that led people to the Lord, daily… not yearly. Nor did it come via a Bishop acting as an Evangelist delivering a sermon before a meeting of mixed believers and “lost.”

Salvation came through the daily living witness of the pentecostal church of Jesus Christ.

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God  which I command you. (Deut 4:2)

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. (Col 2:8)

Let me clarify something that has been long forgotten in many circles of fellowship. The Holy Spirit does not comfort us in our carnal mind. He is the great Comforter that partners only with the Mind of Christ. He cannot partner with death. The Word makes it very clear He resists those who contend with His Word. The Kingdom is within the body of Christ. Every one of us is called to stand before the fire of His presence. Have we swapped that indescribable privilege of communion restored… with religion?

We are righteous, holy, without blame, spotless, sanctified and loved fully. (2 Cor 5:21, Col 1:19-22, 2 Cor 5:17, Eph 1:6, Heb 10:10)

It is time for the Bride to live relationally

a walk that reflects what the torture of the cross gave us positionally.

We are righteous in His eyes already. Do we live this way? We are blameless before Him. Do we think this way? We are holy in His eyes. Do we walk this way?  We are living beneath who we truly are. We cannot accomplish this without deep union.

This is not about “works.”  Works leads to more dead religion.

This is about outflow.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Prov 4:23)

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart,”  (Luke 6:45)

This is about forsaking the convenience of dead religion and seeking to know Him and Him alone. Everything has a cost. Everything grown comes from seeds. Planting seeds takes work both for His kingdom and anything… not.. of His kingdom realm. We work at it every day. We say we want to hear His voice. We want to visit His throne-room. We desire to be used of Him.

But… what are we really sowing to? How many of us, if we are really honest, are quite comfortable with the confines and structure of born-again religion? In what areas are we really submitting to the traditions of man and not the life of Christ?

It’s not hard to agree to pray for those to come to accept Christ on Sunday. That is pretty darn easy, isn’t it?  Yes.. it is. How difficult is it to lay hands on a stranger the day after Easter while gassing up on your way to work?

Now the question to ask ourselves is… Why is this so?

When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John… So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (Acts 3:6)

Peter and John were not on their way to Revival. Nor were they on there way to heal this man. They were on their way to meeting. This stranger got in their way. We can only freely give what churns violently inside us. What areas of the Lord are we moving in more than last month? Last year? 5 years ago? I am not talking about theology. These Christians didn’t even have a bible yet. They had Jesus Christ. They lived Jesus Christ. They gave the life of the Resurrection everywhere they went. It was freely flowing.

We have replaced the life of Christ with theology and doctrines, memorization, and a checklist to make ourselves feel respected by others and in our own eyes.

Father-God is calling us home. He is calling us to Him. Live the resurrection. Find out who lives inside you. You will not get closer to God going to Church. The scriptures tell us that fellowship was meant to cultivate the gifts within every one of us and to minister to one another. The Corinthian church was a wonderful and dreadful example of this for us. Gifts do not equate to maturity. Hearing a sermon does not mature us. Intimacy in Christ does this. Prayer time does this. Denying the desires of the dead man and living for the Lord and for what is on His heart… This is how we draw closer to His heart and go deeper into His kingdom.

The scriptures tell us in the last days a great falling away will occur.

It’s already upon us in this nation

and we have not even entered into persecution yet.

 

The Word also tells us the Love of many will grow cold. Here is a gentle wake-up call: only those who have Christ have true Love… this is a prophetic word spoken by Jesus about the church that will be fulfilled… but to what degree, will depend on us.

Disciples of theology… or disciples of Christ?

Imitators of religion… or imitators of Christ?

Theology is not a relationship. Theology is the word of God rightly divided that provides a stable platform from which we draw to the realm of the spirit in order to live, breath and have our being In Christ alone.

Please hear His heart. I am not saying to stop enjoying a tradition. But how we live day by day is what our Savior died for and is interested in. He is longing for us to enter into such intimacy and union that the result is we cannot but release the kingdom upon all those around us. Afraid of being “weird”? Was Jesus weird? Did it look weird when Peter healed the beggar?

Bottom line: if we are looking to a day to win souls… the church has drifted from the faith and the Power of the Resurrection. The Resurrection is not a day. It’s a relationship we seek and walk out.

Religion breeds weirdness. Relationship breeds Christ. Please… Let us stop confusing the two.

He is calling us. He is waiting. His lost are waiting. They cannot wait another year to hear the gospel. The world needs to see it in power through us every day. As always, first things first…

Seek His face. Seek His Love. Seek Him alone.

No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord.”  (Jer 31:34 & Heb 8:11)

 

Happy belated Easter all…. let us live it every second as we learn to draw into Him every moment of our lives.

—-

 

 

 

 

 

To Build A Fire…

Exhortation. Encouragement. Motivation. I have seen these gifts in operation. I have seen what they can do… Let me back up.

I detest writing.

Writing for me is to intimately feel and express pain, and joy and fire and love. Who can contain such things? Fire is great for many purposes… but does that mean one wants to hold it? Perhaps… far enough away… on a stick, where it may be viewed and discussed and pondered without ever having to feel it. And so it often is with things that deal with our Dad’s heart.

Having said all that, I shall write a couple of things I have seen and felt.

I have seen first hand how a mob can be rallied to storm the homes of the innocent. I have watched in sands of time past how a nation will hearken unto the cry of a lone voice and step foot on foreign soil in the name of  “….”  I have seen babies taken from mother’s arms, and parents torn from their childrens’ desperate clinging grip; the nail scrapes around the back of the father’s neck evidence that the incident did not go without contention. Some of the most atrocious acts in history, and scripture tells us, is yet to come, have and will continue to be  done under the “guiding leadership” of motivation and exhortation by those who would lead us. I have also seen what happens when His Bride is motivated to crusades and bigger gatherings, and programs and… things.

I have seen…

All under the banner of motivation, exhortation and comfort.

Any gift(s) used outside the heart, mind and will of the Father is a gift perverted. It is fine to rally to something… only if that rally is birthed from the kingdom of God. This is of course true, only if viewed from the spiritual mindset that we are seeking the kingdom of God and not… anything else.

“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God,”  Joel 2:13

“No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.” Rom 2:29

I can do nothing but listen when my Redeemer is speaking. Here are some things He is asking His bride.

Who is motivating His church?

What is His church being motivated toward?

And so, I must ask us to consider: what we do or do not do, when we gather “in His name.” We are gathering, perhaps… but are we gathered to seek Him? If we are, how much of it is compromised because we are being exhorted, motivated or encouraged not to simply seek Him, but to seek an emotional feeling, or …. anything else?

Every one of these questions cited below will elicit a response. That response either comes from the heart and mind of Christ alone… or from the traditions of man and carnal minded thinking.

What do light shows in fellowship have to do with Christ?

What does a drummer and three guitarists have to do with worship?

Why does a worship team face us and we face them?

Why is there a screen so we can look at the person “leading” worship?

Why is there emotionally stirring music played when a spiritual commitment is supposedly asked for during an “alter call”?

Why do we use titles?

Why do we refer to only some as anointed when the Word says all NT believers have an anointing?

Why do we invite non-believers into the holiness of a Believers Fellowship- and yet hold water baptisms, which is the sign of our public profession, inside a building, and not on a public lake or beach or park?

“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.” 1 Cor 10:23

Who, or what, began motivating us to do these things? From whence did they come? What changed?  Why are we doing the things we are doing? We are a spirit, we possess a soul, and we live in a temple of flesh.  But what is governing our walk… or compromising it? Is the Holy Spirit sharing His throne with our soulish desires?

The Word says to judge actions and not each other. But… what I am sharing here is actually not an act of either.

They are questions our Lord is asking us. Who will answer them in the deepest part of their inner being? Who will enter into the Holy of Holies that churns inside us and discuss these things with Him face to Face? Who will spend time with the One who died for us and dare to hash out the issues that are on His heart?

Please hear the heart of our Father here.

It is not where we gather… it is what we are gathering toward.

What is our “fellowship” motivating us toward? How long ago did we commit to Christ? How many of us… all these years later, know their giftings and function in them daily? When was the last time we held someone who tearfully committed their life to Christ? When did we last pray for a stranger we just met in a supermarket, gym, or gas station? The bible explains in great detail that we are all to walk in the vast ways the Holy Spirit desires. All of us. The Word gives great detail into how corporate gathering will evolve as we seek Christ alone. The Word also tells us how they will devolve once we begin to drift from seeking Him alone. How long have you been in church fellowship and how many times have you used your giftings?

Brothers and sisters there is something out of sync with the church body in America in regard to the heart of our Dad.

“Well, David. You are just causing division. You are in rebellion. You are looking to divide.”

Let’s examine that religious statement against the Word of God.

“For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Matt 10:34

“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” Luke 12:51

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:5

The Word of God divides. Truth divides. He divides that which is worldy from that which is of His heart, mind and kingdom. Speaking a challenging word does not divide people… it divides and exposes the motive, and the motivations of men in light of the gospel.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Heb 4:12

We are called to rightly divide. The Word of God is an all consuming Fire. Fire is Love. The Word of God will always divide. It will always do this. Always.

He loves you. His joy is beyond measure at the thought of His church gathering in order to glorify and seek Him and Him alone. Without compromise. It is the ultimate expression of His gift of free will given back to Him. He is Communion. Communion is Love personified. If this discussion prompts one to feel shame, anger, or the need to defend a person or cause,  it reveals we are not walking in the Mind of Christ and do not understand who we are as a child of God to the depth we are meant to walk in. This is not about pastors, or elders or home fellowships, or church buildings, or how uncomfortable it can be to sit on my old couch during prayer when we gather. This is not about any thing or anyone else who will not be standing with you when you appear before your Judge one day and He asks with tearful eyes,

 “David.  Did you seek to know Me, and Me alone? I have waited a long time. Let us begin… finally… now.”

Dare to challenge the status quo of our traditions and manner of corporate “fellowship.” I assure you. The colors of any light show cannot compare to the colors of His eyes staring into yours. The beat of high-end, amplified worship music cannot in any way compare to the love that beats within the spirit and soul of a child of God who has had intimate encounters with our Lord. This is our calling. This is our destiny. He is calling His Church to Himself. Who will answer the call of His heart? There is no condemnation in His calling. There is only Fire in it. Let Him build that Fire within you. Allow Him to make it all consuming… so that nothing else matters. Not what is popular or comfortable or easy or convenient. Or lukewarm. Only Fire. The fire of His heart beating to have all of yours…beating one with yours.

I love writing.

What a dreadfully wonderful way to express His pain and joy and fire and love. Who can contain such things? Fire is great for many purposes… most of all it divides.

So that we may all be one In Him.

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” Psalm 73:25

We say this. We all say this….

Humbly… and imperfectly,

David