October 30, 2012 § Leave a comment
My five year old son had a (somewhat abstract) nightmare a couple of weeks ago about “what’s inside an insect”. It really bothered him for a few nights afterward.
When I put him to bed, after we pray, I always end by asking him where Jesus is and what he is doing. One night this week he said; “Jesus is drawing me a picture of what’s inside an insect”.
It’s such a privilege to be allowed peeks into what Jesus is revealing of himself to my little boy. Isn’t that so like Jesus?: he not only says “don’t be scared” but he travels with us right into the centre of our fears and shines his light on them until we have victory. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.
I love him.
October 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
In Hebrews 11 it says that Moses kept right on going “because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible”.
That’s a pretty serious level of spiritual-sight. Because of what he could see through faith, Moses refused his royal position, chose to suffer for the sake of Christ, left Egypt and did not fear the king’s anger.
I am trying to grow in being able to see what the Invisible One is doing. It feels like it requires training!
It’s important because it is the starting point. Jesus did only what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19). What is more, Jesus said; “whatever the Father does, the Son also does”. There was a tangible union between what Jesus incarnated and what he saw by faith. Seeing led to doing.
That is why James writes; “I will show you my faith by my good deeds” (Chapter 2). He is not talking about having to prove his faith by “works” in a religious way, I believe he is talking about this alignment and cohesion between sight and action. He is almost saying, I do as I see (by faith). Just like Jesus.
It is part of our privilege and our role here to be the hands that mediate the gap between the Invisible and the Incarnate Kingdom of God. It’s a real challenge but in a broad sense, it is not enough to simply see. James says that “faith without good deeds is useless”. He talks about Abraham, who saw and believed far into the future of God’s plans, yet still, James says that his faith was only made complete when he actually put Isaac on the altar (James 2). Seeing the invisible by faith is only the starting point.
So there are two halves to this equation that are challenging me at the moment: 1. Can I keep my eyes on the Invisible One and His kingdom– even in noisy strife, even in deep disappointment, even in the midst of the horrors of many kinds of evil? and 2. As I get better and better at tracing His movements and seeing what He is doing, is my faith being made complete by action?
September 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
July 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
My friend recently shared this and I wanted to repost it because it is just so beautiful:
I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,
exalted for you or brought low for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty,
let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
July 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
Build your house on the Who. Not on wisdom, not on circumstance but on Him.
You see, your circumstances can easily tell you things that are counter to what He is saying or doing or promising to you. Don’t listen to them too closely. Don’t build your life on them — always reacting to what is happening in the now.
Sometimes immediate circumstances are disappointing and it is tempting to diminish Him in those moments. To think that perhaps He won’t deliver. Perhaps He won’t be that in my life.
Recently, He challenged me with one of these areas of circumstantial, recurring disappointment and asked me “what if I am to you who you let me be?”.
I realised that as I had become disheartened, I had stopped expecting, asking and inviting God to be present in my life in a certain way. Indeed, I assumed that He would never love me like that and so I coped using my own strength.
I’m tired now and my prayers have changed their tenor. I have stopped following the map of my circumstances and started believing in His power. I am praising Him for who He is.
Paul’s words about Abraham in Romans 4 were suddenly full of life for me when I read them this week:
He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
In faith, he ignored the tale told by circumstances and only listened to what God had said. He praised God and let God be God — able to do what He had promised.
May 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
There is a careful distinction that we must make between ministering to one another’s strongholds and serving them. When we serve someone’s strongholds, we are adding power to them.
It might make more sense if I put it in terms of a practical example. Say that you were beginning to pastor someone who was hurt by an authority figure when they were young and now struggles with trusting leaders. We can minister to them by taking care to be gentle, by repatterning their perceptions and experience, by encouraging forgiveness and praying for healing and by challenging the person to seek freedom from the rule of the wound in their behaviour patterns.
Serving the stronghold would mean becoming dictated to by it –avoiding exercising any kind of authority whatsoever. If somebody’s issues move from the realm of “struggle” into “opposition” to what we believe God is doing, then it is probably time for confrontation.
I had this in mind last week when I read the story of Stephen:
Stephen was falsely accused of blaspheming against Moses. Instead of smoothing things over with the religious leaders by reassuring them that Moses was indeed, the bee’s knees, Stephen preached a sermon that went straight for the jugular of the idolatry and religious spirit that was making these insecure men feel so threatened. Their nerves ripped raw, they stoned Stephen to death.
Not a good day for Stephen’s mortal body but just look at what happened in the Spirit realm: He died already-in-glory and fell at the feet of the Jewiest Jew himself, Saul. Saul who sat prize-like at the pinnacle of this pretension that had set itself up against the kingdom. Stephen’s actions precipitated a fresh wave of intense persecution against the body culminating in a confrontation between God and Saul at Damascus and his transformation into Paul. Paul the badass body builder-upper.
I am praying at the moment that like Stephen, I can look at Him and know which and when. Peace and sword.