2019- A Resurrected Life Re-Visited

The last time I wrote anything in regard to Easter was a couple of years ago. Since then, each time the holiday rolls around I just have a deadness within me. I place my hands on the keyboard, close my eyes and…. nothing.

This month I was determined to add something that would bless others. Surely, this holiday, perhaps above all, strikes at the heart of any child of the Lord. I mean, talk about a love story. I consider the metal and bone tipped barbs of the Roman flagrum, the scourging process, and their passion to approach torture with excellence. I hear the shrill of hammer on nails. I see the tomb, and angels. My heart runs its fingers along the broken seal. What was the angel feeling when the cords and clay tore free from that great stone?  I can see Mary’s face upon releasing the caretaker of the garden was actually the Gardener of her heart.

But, alas, here are where my fingers stop. I simply cannot seem to add further. Every expression of His passion that I would feebly articulate bows to the ultimate love story; that He is our daily rebirth. All that Love and Power is within us. Daily… moment by moment.  I blogged on this back in 2016.

With this in mind, I can offer up that which does burn within me more than it did when I wrote it 3 years ago. I ask if it bears witness with your convictions, please share it with others; I hear social media is big these days 😉 Like so so many of you, I long for us all to enter into corporate agreement with our Lord’s desires.

As you read, PLEASE understand, I am not opposed to celebrating the holiday, but there are greater things on Father’s heart.

I too will be with family this day, and not out of obligation! It is a wonderful time to reflect on things and give thanks.

But we need to know Father is not merely looking for an observance to a historical event as an opportune time to share the Gospel. Rather, He would, for the stones within our own inner man to roll away. That His Life may shine more deeply within the fractal of our own garden where He longs to freely walk. This is also what the ‘lost” are longing to see within the true Church.

 How I pray to God with tears that the following  resonates with my family.


Living The Resurrected Life: 2016

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?

The Power of the Living Resurrection abides in us daily. We will not 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.  

“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. 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 is come via a Bishop acting as an Evangelist delivering a sermon before a meeting of mixed believers.

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)

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 do 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)

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.

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. 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 Easter, all. Let us live it every second as we learn to draw into Him every moment of our lives. 


Well there you have it. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Father bless you my brothers and sisters. Enjoy family, holiday, and above that, enjoy a Happy Resurrection Life.

Shalom, 

David~

“In Your name I come alive to declare Your victory

The resurrected King, is resurrecting me.”  ~ Elevation Worship (link here) 

Desire vs Intention

Topical Studies: Desire Verse Intention

The Church is in the middle of a season of deep, relational connections being established with one another, a time of healing, and a time of refinement. These are some of the main war-room plans Father is showing us for this season in America. There is tremendous grace being poured out upon us to flow with the Spirit of Christ to bring healing, soundness of mind, and above all a transformation of our belief systems. There is a special window of time in this hour for this.

The main point I want to encourage us all in is the aspect of our belief system. In short, we are being called to reject the lies that our worth comes from this realm. We are being called to walk in kingdom identity. This releases greater intimacy and authority to bring to pass on the Earth was is on Father’s heart.

Two Belief Systems are in play in this generation

Worldly Belief System (est. circa Garden of Eden). This is a very polite, unobtrusive term to use when we don’t want to use the word demonic or “the god of this world.” This system says we are only as valuable as the world-system says we are. There is a cost that comes with finding validation from others and from our own accomplishments. When we sow to this belief system we reap fear of rejection, fear of failure and shame. We also have the opportunity to reap by the sweat of our own brow, fame, wealth and recognition in the sight of man.  It is what satan offered Adam; it is what satan offered Jesus.

Kingdom Belief System (given back to man circa 2,000 years ago). This system, given to us by the accomplished work of the Atonement states we are forever loved and blameless. There is also a cost that comes with this system.  It is initially very painful to begin rejecting the old ways of finding validation and love.  Especially when we have not yet tapped into the experiential reality of the Lord’s intense love and acceptance of us. This system governs our way of life and we embrace what Father says about us.  There is discomfort felt and courage needed to overcome the fear of man, the uncertainty of trusting God with all our heart and counting all thing as loss for Christ. There is also a major time investment and a structured discipline needed to take every thought and emotion captive that daily interactions with people bring up. We must examine the motives of our own heart.  It is hard work!

Consider though, what this might look like: peace that never fails; perceiving the realm of the kingdom all around us; perceiving the love of Christ wrapping us like a swaddling cloth 24/7; the nature and expression of Holy Spirit flowing in and through us continually; hearing Father’s voice without the distortion that comes from anger, fear, anxiety, or the desire for validation (a major stumbling block in the prophetic office that is crippling the Church) and an ever-increasing sphere of influence and favor that allows one to minister the kingdom wherever one’s feet trod. (Josh 1:9, Gal 5:22-23, Phil 4:7, 2 Pet 1:19, Acts 17:28 and 1 Cor 13 to cite a few of the blessing of living in and with Jesus in regard to our self-worth).

Please take a moment and let that sink in. What might that actually look like as a day-to-day reality? Now,  let’s talk specifics.

One of the most significant stumbling blocks the body of Christ has in this generation has come from confusing desire with intention.

  • Desire: a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.
  • Intention: a thing intended; an aim or plan.

“Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue…” John 12:42

Here we see an example of individuals who had a desire- a longing for Jesus, but were unwilling to take certain actions. they had NO intention of doing anything about their desire.

“…for they loved human praise more than praise from God.” (v. 43) And here we see the root cause for that unwillingness. Fear of man; fear of rejection. There is actually a vast expanse between Desire and intention.

That expanse is called “the wilderness.”

Those people reaped the cost of that decision. Scripture is loaded with examples meant to help motivate us to have the intention of casting down the lie that our self-worth can be added to, or diminished.

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Prov 29:25

“Yes, and amen Yes, and amen!” we say. The word of God says we are fully pleasing, without blemish and are clothed in Jesus’ righteousness.

But… what are we truly doing with this reality?

We all have a desire to feel His love more deeply. We corporately agree we want “more of God,” right? There is no lack of desire. But, here is where we have failed to teach and instruct the ways of the Kingdom of Heaven. We have removed admonishment to work or contend for the desires of our heart. We have been lulled into being passive recipients and have changed the role of the Holy Spirit from Co-laborer to the One who we expect to do everything without our partnership.

As a result, I am seeing more and more brothers and sisters who are confused, angry and wandering in their spiritual walk. Sullen and depressed, we are waiting for something to break, clinging to simple exhortations to “hang in there.” 

But our Lord’s Words give us the keys to get out of the fear and bondage of man and the uncertainty of this world. It looks like this: Desire gives birth to intention and intention gives birth to action.

“For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14

I am often asked where in scripture we can easily find examples of positional and relational righteousness. The above verse is one of my favorites. We are made forever holy in Father’s eyes… and now we can enjoy the process of transformation into His image… if we allow it.

The process of transformation begins with desire and ends with action.

The bridge is intention.

Are we actually willing to do something about the whole thing? Are we willing to take the longing of our heart and put work into it? That decision is where intention resides. Desire is seated in the emotions of the soul. Intention is seated in the will of the soul. For a great many of us, we have no intention of actually doing anything about the Kingdom realities we have been given access to walk in. We choose instead to suffer in the wilderness.

It requires action. That action begins with our thought life. We must take our thoughts, examine them against what God’s word says about who we are in Christ.. And then actually apply it.

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

“For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” Prov 23:7

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor 10:5

Family, if we do not work to change how we choose to think toward God, others, and above all, what we truly think about ourselves, we will never enter into the Sabbath rest of intimacy in Christ. These are not my words, but God’s words.

“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…” James 1:6

That greek word ‘diakrinó” translated in English as doubt  is a terrible translation. It actually means: “I separate, distinguish, discern one thing from another; properly, investigate (judge) thoroughly.”  In other words, it means to contend and argue with God.

“That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” v7

If we do not apply the truth, it is faith without works. Dead; useless to us, and will not transform our soul. Our soul (mind, will, emotions) determines what aspects of the Kingdom within our spirit we will walk in, because it is our soul that is the gatekeeper to the realm of the spirit.

Application:

The next time we feel fear or shame, stop and ask yourself: “What am I believing about this situation right now?”

Examine your emotions. They are the indicators to what we are believing at that moment in time.

  • “Why did I experience anger in response to ________?”
  • Why did I get embarrassed at _______?”
  • “Why am I hesitant to pray for a stranger?”

We so very quickly confess scriptures to one another. But, all of these are signs that our soul is not really living the Truth that our self-worth is in Christ alone, and that His unconditional love is our sole source of worth. Guys, there is not way around this. To be certain, it is work to stop and speak His words over ourselves, and confess:

 “I am feeling fear at this very moment  because I am choosing to believe the lie my identity is not rooted in Father-God’s love. At this very moment in time, I am believing the lie my worth is tied to what this person thinks of me. I reject that lie! I declare your word is what I will choose to live by, Father!”

Brothers and sisters, if this sounds foreign, it just means we need to be more deliberate with the fuller kingdom reality when Jesus declared we are holy, blameless and above reproach in His sight. (scriptures here)

Let’s Knuckle down and decide to put action behind the desires of our heart. The wilderness has its place. It is meant to transform us. We must be willing to do our part. Fear will get replaced by Love.

“After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Gen 15:1

Family, the cost truly is not greater than the blessing.