Jumat, 31 Juli 2009
Ground Zero Theology
By Robert Ricciardelli www.vision2advance.com
Joyce and I recently chatted with friends about what the Lord has been showing us. Here was Joyce’s reply that I whole heartily agree with;
“God has been reducing my theology to loving Him with all that I am, and loving others with His love. “
37Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Jesus gave His life to fulfill all the law, and all the commandments that we could never fulfill, and then presented us with His new commandment, that we love.
It seems like theology and doctrine that does not bring life needs to be reconsidered. We have created quite a mess in the messed up mindsets of doctrine, theology, and religion. We have had a severe famine in the agape love of God, the very thing Jesus said was everything.
1John 4:19- We love each other because he loved us first.
It is time we come down to ground zero of our faith as He takes us from the pinnacle of powerless religious activities to becoming ambassadors of His divine nature, and His Glorious Kingdom.
It takes God to love God!
Our love can only join His as we engage in loving Him and loving others in His “Most Excellent Way.” Everything of the Kingdom originates with God. Father is Agape… He is Love. The essence of the Kingdom is returning to the Father, His love in the purest form, 30, 60, 100 fold, for His glory.
I have heard of a ship that is now built that is fueled with Plutonium. The Ship does not need to be refueled for 35 years. The Plutonium of God is His agape love, and as His people we need to be fueled for every good work, by His divine agape.
Jesus plus nothing is Everything!
Jesus said that if you had seen Him, you had seen the Father, and that He and the Father are one. By His obedience, death, and ressurection, we have been included in the mix;
22“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me, and that you love them as much as you love me.
Jesus was the Incarnate of the Father and now has established us as the Incarnate of the Father to bring His government to the earth. How is this done? By His Agape presence within us and His Agape presence as we relate to a hurting world.
The Kingdom of God does not need or want revival. It just is… Revivals often turn into man centered and man controlled environments, and then they end. They are not bad, just inadequate in light of His Kingdom. The Kingdom has no end, so that is what I am pursuing.
Seek first the Kingdom of God, and live in His righteousness, and Father will give you everything you need.
Religion loses its plutonium, (agape) and functions on principles… Gifts that the Lord has given us can be operated outside of love, and can manifest through personal agenda’s in the form of manipulation and control.
Faith plus anything without Love is Dead
I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love
May we all seek after His “Most Excellent Way”, the way of His Kingdom, and an authentic visitation that overwhelms us in the embrace of His Agape…..
See Roberts Previous Articles http://vision2advance.blogspot.com
Selasa, 28 Juli 2009
GETTING BACK to 'CLASSIC' CHRISTIANITY
-by J. Lee Grady.
We need voices from the past—like Andrew Murray, Corrie Ten
Boom and Charles Spurgeon—to help us find our way to the
During a visit with my parents in Georgia, two of my daughters
asked if they could listen to a tape recording my father made in
1962 when I was only 4 years old. So my dad rummaged through
some drawers and found the old reel-to-reel tape, which was
amazingly still intact. Then he went to the garage and found the
old Realistic tape player that no one in the family had used since
the Nixon administration.
To our surprise the scratchy tape actually played without breaking,
and my girls laughed when they heard me—in a babyish Southern
drawl—describing a Florida vacation and a fishing trip with my
grandfather. After my "interview," it switched to an older recording
made in 1956. It included a conversation with my dad's mother,
who died before I was born.
It was eerie to hear her voice. I'd never heard it before yet it
sounded hauntingly familiar. After that brief segment of the tape
ended we listened to comments from my other three grandparents
—all of whom died in the 1960s or 1970s. Their voices unearthed
long-buried but fond memories.
These sounds from the past reminded me of some other distant
voices I have been listening to recently. They are the voices of
dead Christians—writers of classic books and songs that we are
close to forgetting today.
Their names are probably somewhat familiar to you. Jonathan
Edwards. John Wesley. Charles Finney. Catherine Booth.
Andrew Murray. Evans Roberts. Charles Spurgeon. Fanny
Crosby. E.M. Bounds. Watchman Nee. A.W. Tozer. William
Seymour. A.B. Simpson. Corrie Ten Boom. Leonard Ravenhill.
All of them could be labeled revivalists. All challenged the
Christians of their generation to embrace repentance and humility.
They understood a realm of spiritual maturity and a depth of
character that few of us today even aspire to obtain.
When I read their words I feel much the same way I did after
hearing my grandparents' voices on that old tape. I feel as if I am
tapping into a realm of spirituality that is on the verge of extinction.
What was the secret of these great Christians who left their
legacies buried in their books? They considered humility,
selflessness and sacrifice the crowning virtues of the Christian
journey. They called the church to die to selfishness, greed and
ambition. They knew what it means to carry a "burden" for lost
souls. They saw the glories of the kingdom and demanded total
surrender. They challenged God's people to pursue obedience—
even if obedience hurts.
Even their hymns reflected a level of consecration that is foreign in worship today. They sang often of the cross and its wonder. Their
worship focused on the blood and its power. They sang words of
heart-piercing conviction: "My richest gain I count but loss / And
pour contempt on all my pride / Forbid it Lord that I should boast /
Save in the death of Christ, My God."
In so many churches today the cross is not mentioned. The blood
is avoided because we don't want to offend visitors. And worship
is often a canned performance that involves plenty of rhythm and
orchestration but little or no substance. We can produce noise,
but often there is no heart ... and certainly no tears.
In the books Christians buy today you will find little mention of
brokenness. We are not interested in a life that might require
suffering, patience, purging or the discipline of the Lord. We
want our blessings ... and we want them now! So we look for
the Christian brand of spiritualized self-help that is quick and
We're running on empty. We think we are sophisticated, but like
the Laodiceans we are actually poor, blind and naked. We need
to return to our first love but we don't know where to begin the
These voices from the past will help point the way. I've found
myself drawn to reading books by Ravenhill, Ten Boom, Murray
and Spurgeon in recent days. I've even pulled out an old hymnal
and rediscovered the richness of songs that I had thrown out
years ago—because I thought anything old couldn't possibly
maintain a fresh anointing.
I realize now that I must dig for this buried treasure. We will never effectively reach our generation if we don't reclaim the humility, the brokenness, the consecration and the travail that our spiritual forefathers considered normal Christianity.
-J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma.
Sabtu, 25 Juli 2009
Dr. Kluane Spake
THE IDENTITY CRISIS
Statistics say that 87% of the church is dysfunctional. Many Christians are neutralized and unproductive. Religion has caught us in a TIME WARP. We tend to live in our yesterdays - in regret - wishing we could live our life over again. We worry about how we messed up and why we are in the mess we're in.
Most believers only have a head knowledge about what the Bible says... it isn't a reality.You and I both know that study can sometimes be dull and impersonal. Lengthy explanations can contain more content than you can capture or retain. And, even when you can understand some conceptual ideas, they can still seem too lofty, too distant, and even irrelevant to your life right now.
But... there's no more important quest than to discover your identity.
Too many Christians live in the past and their past identity -- and then spend the rest of their lives looking for sympathy for their past. The truth is, you may have messed up in the past. But... WHAT TIME IS IT???? NOW! Now is where God IS. God is ONLY in the NOW. HE SHOWS UP IN NOW. Today is a new day! It's the day to discover who you really are.
THE ONLY THING you CAN CHANGE about your PAST is your
PERCEPTION OF PAST. The past is NOT WORTH LOSING YOUR PRESENT OVER. The NOW IS PRECIOUS. Today is the day to begin to find out who you really are.
What is the sound of NOW? It is your ultimate IDENTITY IN CHRIST. It really is time for this paradigm shift to happen IN YOU. The fullness of the Godhead bodily LIVES IN YOU!
Here we are - spiritual beings living on earth. Trying to understand dual citizenship -- of living on earth and in heavenly places at the same time. Our heavenly identity often collides with our emotions and disappears depending on our circumstances.
Paul often used the phrase "in Christ." We've read it for so long that it usually doesn't register what that means to us to be "IN CHRIST," to be moved out from the collapse of the Fall and to share in Christ's death and resurrection LIFE.
The number one problem in the Church today is that believers don't fully know our identity. The question remains... "WHO are you?" The greatest warfare should be in your minds - to renew to who you really are.
My friend, these are Strategic times. The weariness is lifting off your expectations as the door of understanding opens your eyes. It's time for expansion within. It is a time of uploading and activating all that you have learned. Broader vistas await. There is a positional shifting everywhere you go, get ready to receive!
Great and unexpected truths of extraordinary magnitude unveil as your identity in the Lord is more firmly established. From today, your life and ministry are energized. You are released to reap the provisional harvest.
Minggu, 19 Juli 2009
REFORMATION - NOT Just REVIVAL
-by Andrew Strom.
Of course, I have written on this theme before. (My first book was
"The Coming Great Reformation"). But recently I have sensed God
reminding me again that unless there is massive "shaking" and
change in the church - then any 'move' that comes will not achieve
what He desires. Some people simply want a return to repentance
preaching and holiness in the churches. They just want an old-
fashioned 'Revival'. That is a laudable aim - and one that I personally love - but it is not enough. In fact, it is nowhere near enough.
The fact is, Reformations are far messier, more contentious and
immensely more "shaking" than Revivals. They tend to target pet
doctrines, ingrained cultures and structures that the church has
been clinging to for years. They bring massive disruption and
division. They force people to "choose sides". Those of us who
have studied history think that simple "Revivals" are bad enough.
Well, Reformations are ten times worse! And yet, without this
level of "shaking", God simply cannot achieve what He wants to achieve.
I believe God longs for a 'new' Church. I believe He will not be
satisfied until He has a bride for His son that is "without spot or
wrinkle or any such thing." And since we are in the Last Days,
I believe He wants a full restoration - back to the true original purity, pattern and power of the early church. Nothing less will do. And the "shaking" that is required to achieve such a thing is almost
beyond comprehension. But it is coming - in fact I believe it is now
upon us. The economic shaking we are going through is nothing
compared with what is about to hit the church. It will create a giant "mess" - but it will be a glorious mess. And at the other end of it lies a glorious church - truly fitting for a glorious Savior.
So what does all this require of us? -Simply that we co-operate with God in what He is wanting to do. For many there will be a temptation to settle for the simple restoration of holiness and repentance - and to oppose anything that looks like causing much of a 'shaking' beyond that. Brothers and sisters, let me warn you that if you oppose this tidal wave of "change" that God is wanting to bring to the church, then you will end up opposing God Himself.
And yet it will be very tempting for many. A lot of us don't like
upheaval and spiritual "revolution". But that is exactly what God is wanting to bring. In fact, I believe that without Reformation we will not get the Revival that we are seeking either. This time Revival must come through "shaking" and Reformation - and no other way.
So if you want to be part of the next move of God, my friends,set your backbone to be part of the tidal wave - not standing in the way of it. God is coming to "clean house" - and we better be ready to be "revolutionaries" along with Him if we want to be part of what He is about to do.
Send feedback to- firstname.lastname@example.org
God bless you all!
Jumat, 17 Juli 2009
The Hidden Christ
by Chip Brogden
Jesus, the Christ of God, did not reveal Himself to the world at large, but to a handful of disciples. We ought to ask why He did not appear upon a mountain in blinding light, or descend in a cloud, but was born into the world as a baby in a stable. A few shepherds worshipped Him the night He was born, Simeon and Anna blessed Him in the Temple at His dedication, and two years later some astrologers from the East worshipped Him. But no one else in all the world grasped the significance of this Child. It was hidden from 99.9% of the world.
When Jesus first met Peter, what was Peter’s perception of Jesus? Here is a rabbi who has attracted quite a large gathering of people with His interesting stories and teachings. Very well, there is nothing wrong with that, I’ll even let you borrow my boat while you preach. Did Peter perceive Who this Man really was? Of course not. He called Him “Teacher” and “Rabbi”.
But then the Teacher said to go out into the deep and let down the nets for a catch of fish. Peter must decide whether or not to obey. After all, Peter was a fisherman, and since he had fished all night and caught nothing, what would be the point? What does a carpenter know about fish? Nevertheless, he complied. When he did as Jesus said and let down the nets they caught an abnormally large amount of fish, so much so that their boat threatened to capsize.
To you and me this may sound like a coincidence, or luck. Some might call it a miracle, and it is miraculous, but it is more than a miracle, it is a sign. A sign is a miracle which points to some truth. This is a miracle, but the miracle was not done just for the sake of Peter gaining an abundant supply of fish for his business. It was a sign given by Christ in order to reveal Himself to Peter. In Scriptural language, it is “revealing His glory.” There is nothing glorious in the Son of Man, but in the Son of God we see glory.
Jesus merely said, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch of fish.” Nevertheless, Peter perceived that Jesus was no ordinary man. For when he saw what happened, he fell down and sobbed, “Lord, depart from me, for I am a sinful man.” The One he called Teacher he now calls Lord, and Peter is immediately made to see the contrast of himself, a sinful man, and Christ, the Holy One of God. Everyone else heard the teaching, but Peter saw the Person.
Why would catching a huge net of fish produce this reaction in Peter? Why was he not simply thankful, or happy, or incredulous? What caused him to fall down upon his knees and confess his sin? It was not because Jesus gave him an altar call, or led him in the Sinner’s Prayer, or even asked if He could be his personal savior. It was not necessary, because once Peter’s eyes were opened to see the Real Jesus, he fell to his knees quite naturally.
The object of Christianity is not to give people a teaching or to lead them in a prayer, but to introduce them to a Man. I would rather have thirty seconds of seeing than thirty years of preaching. People can listen to me preach all their life and never understand a word, but if the Lord opens their eyes to SEE Who I am preaching about then they will understand everything.
When people are in your presence, what do they touch - a system of beliefs, a code of conduct, an ethical standard, or a Person? We may have an abundance of words and teachings, but all of them together are nothing but letters if they are not constantly pointing us to a Living Christ.
We have surely failed if we can put together a teaching that is so easy to follow that we do not need to know the Lord Jesus. Unfortunately, when I listen to some people teach, I realize that anyone can put their teaching to good use, whether they know the Lord or not. So the teaching is worthless to the Kingdom of God because it creates no dependency upon Christ as All in All.
Eventually the revelation of Christ moved Peter to make the bold confession that “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus did not teach Peter what to say, He merely revealed Himself to Peter. He did not sit down with His disciples and say, “I am the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Now repeat that after Me several times, and I will test you on this in the morning.” He did not teach them a catechism or a rosary or a mantra or a confession, He merely revealed Himself to them as He in fact is. They made the confession in due course, having revelation.
The Testimony of Jesus always springs forth from the Revelation of Christ. If we do not have the Revelation then we cannot have the Testimony. That is to say, we cannot bear witness of what we have seen and heard if we have not, in fact, seen or heard anything. We try to get people to confess in order that they may ATTAIN to something, but true confession comes forth naturally after they have OBTAINED it.
Not only was Christ Himself hidden and revealed in degrees, but most of what He taught was hidden. He purposely disguised the truth in parables, and only explained Himself privately to His disciples. Even then, much of what He said was misunderstood, and they failed to grasp the significance of it until after His resurrection, when He opened their minds and hearts to understand, and the Spirit came to bear witness of Christ and teach them inwardly.
When Christ rose from the dead, we would expect Him to present Himself alive to Pilate, to Herod, to Caiaphas, and to the all the people who had Him crucified. But He did not. We see that Christ had the ability to reveal, or not reveal Himself to people. For Mary mistook Him to be the gardener, and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus did not perceive Who He was, because it was hidden from them.
You see that Christ is revealed or hidden from men as He so desires. So many professed disciples of the Lord Jesus fail to recognize Him. The Lord tells them to go to Galilee, but they go to Emmaus. Many people sitting in church would not discern the Lord Jesus if He walked up the aisle and sat down on the altar. They are not really His sheep, therefore they cannot hear His voice, and they do not know Him.
Even His closest disciples are prone to doubt and unbelief. After the resurrection, Thomas declared, “I will not believe unless I see the scars and put my hand into the wound in His side.” When Jesus therefore appeared to them He did not argue or try to convince Thomas. He simply said, “Behold! Look! See my hands and my feet!” When Thomas saw the Lord, he spontaneously cried out, “My Lord, and My God!” This is revelation. Revelation does not require any arguing or convincing, as if it all depends on how well we can make a defense of the Gospel. I see no argument in the Lord Jesus, I only see Him. Seeing Him, I am convinced, and no argument is necessary.
Now we want to impress upon you that the seeing which we talk about is an inward seeing, an inward revelation, an enlightenment of the heart. Jesus told Thomas more blessed than the ones who see with their eyes are those who see with the Spirit, and know and perceive Christ as Lord and God.
There is an apostolic prayer recorded in Ephesians 1 which touches upon this issue:
“I pray that God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ will give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the (full)knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and the riches of His inheritance in the saints, and the exceeding greatness of His power in us who believe.”
This is a rich prayer. It is very high. There are a couple of lessons for us here.
First, God must reveal His Son to us by way of the Spirit who illuminates our heart. How can we pray the Lord’s Prayer for years and never enter into God’s thought or mind for what it all means? Because we learned to recite the Lord’s Prayer but we did not have the spirit of wisdom and revelation to SEE what we are praying for. But Paul saw it. Who showed it to him? It came to him by revelation from God Himself. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Where and how do they see Him? Their heart is enlightened and thus made pure. In like manner, Paul prays that we too would be given this revelation of Christ.
Second, the word “knowledge” here does not mean head knowledge or facts we can learn from an encyclopedia. It is the Greek word EPI-GNOSIS, which is a compound word more accurately translated, “full-knowledge”. It means to come to a mature, experiential, existential, and complete knowing of Christ. So, Paul is praying - not for sinners, but for people who are already Christians - that God will reveal Christ to them in ever increasing measure so that He may fill all things. It is another way of saying, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.” For this indeed is God’s will, thought, and design for the Church, the earth, and the universe - the whole of creation.
It is amazing to see how many times Paul uses the word “all”. He says the grace of God has appeared to ALL men, that his mission is to make ALL men see, that Christ is to fill ALL in ALL, that ALL things will be gathered together into Christ. God’s end is not the Church, but ALL. The Church is only the beginning. He begins with a man (Abraham), then with a family (Israel), then all the nations. In like manner, God intends to fill the individual, then the Church, then all things.
God has purposely hidden Christ and makes Him available to us only by revelation when we have humbled ourselves as children and forsaken our wisdom. Revelation is sufficient, for if we have the revelation of Christ then we see all we need to see, and if we do not have the revelation of Christ, nothing else will do us any good. The Church is the synthesis of individual disciples who have the revelation of Jesus and have received His Life, and Jesus is building His Church upon the revelation of Himself.
Minggu, 12 Juli 2009
A good friend sent me an article that another friend had written that defined the various types of churches available today. Larry Keefauver, Senior Editorial Advisor for Ministries Today magazine, came to the conclusion we need Presence driven churches - which is exactly what we are trying to do in our network of house and relationship based churches. I've listed his 4 categories with my comments below. I'd also like to share how to enter into his presence - how to be 'in the Spirit', or at least what works for me.
Types of churches he lists
1) The past-driven church. It's always remembering big events of the past, their history, their legacy with the idea God will move again!
2) The policy-driven church. This church has a model and follows it, whether denominational or holding to a founder's way of doing things, and those policies often take precedent over people.
3) The personality or pastor-driven church. It's often led by a very strong personality, and passes the church to family members or a close associate. This is the type most closely resembling a family business.
4) The purpose-driven church. This church has a core set of values, picks a main purpose, and builds around that purpose - if a program doesn't fit the purpose, it gets shut down.
I would add
5) The gift-driven church. This type of church focuses on being a "worship center" or "family ministry" or maybe "Word church", or other label. They state up front what they are all about and that is their strength.
6) The cutting edge-driven church. They are the first to jump on whatever and wherever God seems to be moving, and usually have room for all the fleshly manifestations one could want, often highly emotional.
7) The "we're-not-like-the-rest"-driven church. They often appeal to youth, people in alternative lifestyles, people with different worship tastes than Integrity, Hillsongs, choirs, or 1960's era TV evangelist style.
8) Home based churches of all flavors - some emphasize the home, some meet anywhere and perhaps emphasize 1 on 1 accountability, some center around the Lord's Supper, etc, etc.
9) Seeker friendly churches - easy in and easy out, no pressure, everyone feels good.
I'm sure the reader may come up with more types of churches, but my point today is that we all need to be presence-driven no matter the form. What I mean by presence-driven is that a meeting is focused on doing what it takes to bring in the presence of the Lord.
Many worship schools teach worship leaders to start with happy, bouncy "horizontal" songs that are centered about what the Lord has done for us and usually he is referred to in the third person - I can run through a troop and leap over a wall, I traded my sorrows, I've got the joy, joy, joy - and so forth. All focused on earth and more importantly, on "me".
But horizontal songs do little to usher in the presence of the Lord. About the time most worship services go vertical - songs directed to the Father or Jesus in the first person and when God's presence actually manifest in a tangible way, there is only time for 1 or 2 songs, and the flow gets cut off for the announcements.
Another friend sent me this quote a couple weeks ago:
"In the New Testament church it says they were all amazed - And now in our churches everybody wants to be amused." -Leonard Ravenhill.
So many people think a meeting was anointed if they laughed a bit, learned a bit, and left feeling really good. I can't count the number of times I've seen a leader has wiped his brow with a hanky after either a hip hop worship time or some yelling/preaching, and proclaimed the presence of the Lord in the place. Sweat doesn't equal anointing for me. I don't like getting yelled at by the preacher and I don't like services where the worship leaders judge you on how active or bouncy you are. Some may feel God's presence in those types of services, but on the whole I wonder if people think emotion equals anointing
The presence of the Lord can also be found and felt in an in-depth study and discussion of God's Word. One of the most intimate times with the Lord I've had in a meeting was around a breakfast table with our house church here in Tulsa - the closeness and love between each person during the meal, discussion, and songs were all super glued together by the tangible presence of the Lord.
Presence driven, what it means
King David was a presence driven man, and being presence driven holds a special place in the Father's heart I think. After all, Jesus said the Father is looking for people who will worship Him in Spirit/spirit and truth, thus true worship certainly brings the presence of the Lord.
In II Samuel 6 David brings the Ark of the Covenant into town, sets it in a tent, and worships the Lord directly, minus any priesthood, brazen altar, laver, show bread, incense, menorah or anything else resembling Moses' tabernacle! He was worshipping more in a New Testament manor than Old Testament, because he was seeking the presence of God, and the Lord not only allowed it, but defended him in it.
To me, a presence driven meeting means everyone comes together for one purpose, to come into the presence of God. That is what drives all participants.
I've often pondered why the New Testament doesn't say more about how the early church met in homes - what meetings looked like. Certainly we are told in I Corinthians 14:26 that worship, revelation, teaching, and the gifts of the Spirit are all manifest, but no form is mentioned in terms of what it actually looked like.
I've come to the conclusion that is because they were presence-driven meetings, and they recognized that the Lord's presence would manifest through the gifts within the people because He lives in each. Participatory in nature rather than sitting back and listening to 1 person share his or her gift, home based meetings offer everyone the opportunity to become involved in whatever is happening- worship, teaching, revelation, the gifts of the Spirit, etc.
But meetings are made up of individuals
If you examine "good" worship services in a traditional church, you'll find many people know corporate anointing and they enter into the presence of the Lord in that way, but relatively few know how to enter into his presence 1 on 1; just them and the Lord alone at home.
I've traveled all over ministering in churches of all types, and honestly, few pastors and worship leaders really know what to do with the presence of the Lord. Some have told me they were trained not to have any times of silence in a service, to keep things moving. One told me he felt awkward when there was silence, not knowing if the congregation was waiting for him, or if he should wait for them to start singing on their own.
Presence driven meetings offer only the lightest touch from the presence of God unless those attending know how to get into the presence of God on a personal level. I was leaving a service in a traditional church one day when a lady commented about how strong she felt the presence of the Lord in worship. I too felt he presence of the Lord, and it was wonderful, but it was cut off before the congregation could move deeper. I thought how much stronger I've felt his presence at home in my living room - but all they knew was the corporate anointing. We need both, don't get me wrong, but nothing replaces personal time in his presence.
This has caused a mind-set to develop that one must go to church to get into the presence of the Lord, which is error and leads to a weak and spiritually anemic congregation.
I can only share the grace given to me, but for me, it's a discipline. As soon as I wake up, and I mean as soon as I'm coming out of that 'twilight zone', I start praying in tongues and I always ask (this may sound funny) "So what do you think Father?"
I don't know why I do that, it just happened one day years ago, coming up out of my spirit, and now it happens every morning. As soon as I am even 1/2 way awake, I want to know what he is thinking, what I should know, what's going on that day. Then I mentally survey all in my 'circle' so to speak, and as I pass each name in my mind I sense if I should linger or pray for them in particular.
That process goes on throughout the day, when I have a chance to break from what I'm doing in one area, and that 'front burner' before the Father is my 'neutral' so to speak. Whenever I can I am praying in the Spirit under my breath - it's habit now! I pray in tongues when reading the paper, when listening to an oldie song on the radio, when listening to talk radio, as I'm typing now - basically if I'm not talking more often than not I'm praying in tongues under my breath.
Each season of life offers a perspective from the Father. When our sons were young, the things I thought on and talked to the Father a lot about had to do with fatherhood. Part of it was how could my dad leave my mom and us 4 kids, part 'Father keep me from ever doing something so horrible', part amazement of what it meant to be a father.
Now I'm a grandfather times 5, and that's a whole other season of reflection and prayer; thinking of the generations that have passed before the Father, how timeless he is, and so forth.
Discipline yourself to be presence driven - first you have to have the heart, then you have to have the follow through. Find what works according to how He built you - a walk in nature, a warm bath, a drive in the country, early morning or late at night - discover what works best, and follow it. He will show up!
Presence driven in life,
Kamis, 09 Juli 2009
THE LORD BLESS and KEEP YOU in ALL YOUR WAYS
-by David Wilkerson (16 June 09).
Recently I reread the life story of George Muller who, in the mid-
1830s, cared for over 2,000 orphans in England – all by faith in God.
Muller was a known as the man who got answers to his prayers.
Before he died, he had listed in his journals over 50,000 answers
When asked how he determined the will of God on any matter,
Muller listed the following steps he believed were necessary:
1. “I get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to any particular matter.”
2. “I do not leave the result to feelings or simple impressions.
That can make one open to great delusions.”
3. “I seek God’s will through, or in connection with, his Word.
If you look to the Spirit without the Word, you open yourself to
4. “I consider providential [God-controlled] circumstances.”
5. “I ask God in prayer to reveal his will to me.”
6. “I make sure I have a clear conscience before God and man.”
7. “Every time I listened to men instead of God, I made serious
8. “I act only when I am at peace, after much prayer, waiting on
God with faith.”
Those who walk by faith, seeking only God’s perfect will, are often
sorely tested and tried. More and more in my own life, I am finding
out how important diligent prayer and Bible reading are. Sadly, not
many of God’s people pray diligently nowadays. Instead, there is
much TV viewing and very little of waiting on God.
When I give myself to prayer, my faith rises. And when I feed on
God’s Word, my confidence in his power to lead and help me
increases. The Lord becomes my banker, my advisor, my
May you find him doing the same for you.