A call to the carriers
Many have asked me when they would be seeing something from me about my time visiting Asbury, and I have been wondering the same thing myself. It seems that each time that I sit down to write out what is on my heart, I feel the need to pause and eventually come back and delete what I had previously put into words.
The truth is that it is difficult to express in words, especially written word an encounter that marks you so deeply. I believe that each individual that took the time to answer the call and found themselves on the campus in a small town in Kentucky had very intentionally, specifically unique encounters with God.
I will say this.... God is loving a generation back to life.
God is taking a generation that has been cursed and is speaking life and potential into them. He is positioning them to know him, be changed by him and to bring him into every space that they walk into. This is the "show me" generation. There are so many counterfeits in this world, they are looking for an authentic encounter with God. Nothing less will do.
I have many words that swirl around that I hope to some day put into black and white. I am not sure that the words I have now will ever suffice. God is so much bigger and greater than the words that I can come up with. His gentle love and compassion is restoring and reviving what we have lost, what has been forgotten. God is kind and merciful, he is patient and continues to draw us as a people back to him.
He is still saying, "Seek me while I may be found!" He is answering the people whose hearts desire him over all else. I am forever changed because 10 kids could not go back to class, but stayed, leaned in and cried out to God. Ten kids turned into over 50,000 people in 13 days. I cannot wait to see what multiplication God does with that 50,000!!
I am thankful for ten kids who stayed behind, creating a call to the carriers to go out and do the same thing. If you want to see God move, give up your titles, give up your stages, give up your five point sermons and get on your face and seek HIS face. Ask him to search your heart, and respond when he shows you what needs realigned.
I will end with this. I do not pray for revival. I am convinced that seeking God, seeking his face, needing him more than anything else is what God responds to. We say that we want to see revival, in reality, we may just want a place or thing. Do you want revival or do you want a show that you can control the narrative of? God has told us time and time again that he isn't interested in those things. He wants hearts that are devoted to him. He wants us to remember our first love, the things that we did at first. He loves to pour his love onto us, as we pour our love and adoration out to him.
Next time you feel a pull like that on your heart, or a want to stay, I challenge you to be the one who stays behind, and watch how many lives can be changed.
A call to the mountain
Today I am going to take us back to Exodus. God took a people out of a land of slavery, he had a gift of a promised land to deliver them into and he wanted to meet with them in person. His presence had been leading and following them. His presence had been visible and I am certain palpable. He called them to consecrate themselves and to come and meet with him at His mountain. He wanted to speak to them.
Exodus 19:10-13, 20:18-19
Then the Lord told Moses, “Go down and prepare the people for my arrival. Consecrate them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothing. Be sure they are ready on the third day, for on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai as all the people watch. Mark off a boundary all around the mountain. Warn the people, ‘Be careful! Do not go up on the mountain or even touch its boundaries. Anyone who touches the mountain will certainly be put to death. No hand may touch the person or animal that crosses the boundary; instead, stone them or shoot them with arrows. They must be put to death.’ However, when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, then the people may go up on the mountain.”
When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear. And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”
The people could not bear the weight of God speaking to them. They opted to have Moses do it for them. Today it would seem that we have taken this same approach in the western churches. We look to the pastors, church leaders and intercessors and say, "You can speak to God and let us know what He says."
I believe that we are now at the mountain moment once again. God is calling His bride to come and consecrate themselves. He is asking to meet with them, to speak with them one on one. He paid a mighty price to position us to be able to do so. Jesus died to create the ability for us to be brought back into the presence of God and hear what He is saying to us. He has a word for you, individually, that He would like to share with just you. He is a personal God. Just like it would be strange to have your parent tell another person what they think, feel or see in you, so that they can then relay it to you, it is no different when it comes to the Lord. How much can be lost in the translation? How impersonal would it be to have to hear that your dad told someone else to tell you that he loved you and was proud of you? Wouldn't your heart desire to hear that from his own mouth? The plans that He has for your life can only truly be known by hearing them directly from the source. We have so many safe guards in place that we have over complicated a relationship that should be the easiest and purest form available.
He is calling us to the mountain, or maybe He is bringing the mountain to us. Some will say, "Surely we will die!" And to that I say, yes! We are called to die to ourselves, to this world, and the life we gain is so much more!! God has always desired to meet with us, speak with us individually. Are you ready to lean in and hear what he is saying??
Gentleness for today
Be cheerful with joyous celebration in every season of life. Let joy overflow, for you are united with the Anointed One! Let gentleness be seen in every relationship, for our Lord is ever near. Don't be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God's wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.
I feel as though I have preached this passage about 5 different ways in the last 48 hours. There is a lot to unpack and a lot to meditate on. We are living in a moment of time that we need to be very aware of what we are saying and how we are saying it. There is so much going on in the world right now and for those who proclaim the stewardship of the name of Jesus, it is very important that we are aware of all that we are stamping His name upon.
I am convinced that if we were to uncomplicate our religiosity and step into the actual teachings of Jesus, so many of our issues would just fall away. If our thoughts were continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind, I believe that 80% of our social media feeds would dissolve into the darkness that they came from. If we spent time rewiring our mindsets to all that is from the character and nature of our Father, there would be no need to chase people down to express our faith. If we lived out the simplicity of this scripture, people would flock to us. They would line up outside of our doors, demanding to know what we had that they desperately needed.
Can we start with just one piece at a time? Can you today make an effort to ensure that gentleness is seen in every relationship you connect to today? Can you take that extra breath and remind yourself that they are as fragile as you have been in your journey? What kind of a difference do you think will take place? Maybe we just spend a week there.
Gentleness. How can you walk out gentleness to those around you? Let's start with that for the day...and then maybe tomorrow we can move into that bigger idea of how important it is to be saturated in prayer throughout your waking (and sometimes sleeping) hours.
Peace and Prosperity
Jeremiah 29:4-7, 10-14 NLT
This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.” This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”
I have been sitting with this text for awhile now. There are a few select statements that people like to use out of this passage. I continue to go back to the ENTIRE passage. Yes, God has plans to prosper us. Yes, when we pray, he will listen. The thing is, there is meat in between those statements.
God sent His people to Babylon. They were taken from their land, others scattered to the far corners of the world. The people who were brought to Babylon were told to make a home, they were told to build a legacy. They were told to plant themselves. The reality is, they were told that they would be there for 70 years, that is almost 2 generations worth of time. (The desert was 40 years) So, they were to grow their descendants and ready them to be brought to the restoration of their nation.
The world we live in today is happy to repeat the good points, the God will remember us and bless us statements, but we also need to remember that he said to be planted in the midst of their enemies. Not just planted, but to bless them, and by blessing them THEY would be blessed. It is easy to jump over that part. Who wants to think about being stuck in places that are not surrounded by their traditions and their ways and find a way to not only prosper but to bless those living so differently than our own beliefs?
We are living in some defining times right now. We can choose to circle up and call out to God to heal our land, or we can step into the things that He has shown us and told us over and over that will bring blessing to our people and our land. We are to prosper and bless in the worst of situations, in the worst of places. We are to show His love and kindness even when it doesn't make sense, when it doesn't feel good. We are to yield to Him and not our own feelings. We are to build homes and plant gardens in the midst of our captivities, showing those around us the absolute goodness of the Father we serve.
There are always time limits involved, and sometimes we are so focused on what is promised at the end that we have missed out on all of the "in between" opportunities. We are so focused on what is promised to our next generation that we have forgotten to bless those around us to ensure that promise can be fulfilled. As the Lord said, the welfare of the these places determines OUR welfare. Are you working for peace and prosperity of your city? Are you waiting on what is to come instead of doing the proactive now? Are you waiting to leave exile, dreaming of going back to your homeland? Israel was not returned to a beautiful city and land, they had to rebuild everything when they returned. (We forget that part a lot too.)
My prayer today is two fold. May we be focused on working towards the peace and prosperity of our cities and may we be readying the next generations to be ready for the work ahead of them.
Find Your People
Well, here we are again. I find myself sitting with my computer in my lap instead of a pillow under my head. There is something about laying in that "in-between" space that allows words to start formulating that I have waited day upon day for.
Tonight I have had timelines and people filling my head. Moments of significance, moments worth notating and remembering. I have a friend who relishes over my memory of specifics. Dates, years, specific moments that I need to continue to bring to mind. God told His people to remember, so I feel as though I should too.
Years ago I was given a language for these hash marks upon the timeline on my butcher block paper. Kairos moments. Moments when God breaks through and touches a specific moment in your life. There are dramatic moments, and there are moments that take hindsight to see. Tonight I find my mind filled with the moments of the past few years. The hash marks seem to be so many as the encounters multiply through the dates and meetings and connections. It is as though a puzzle was being built, piece by piece. Person by person. A puzzle without the picture on the front to tell you what you are looking to see completed, but none the less, a puzzle that needs to be fitted together.
Thoughts swirl and connect to just over the past 2.5 years. My brother had just died and a month later my son left for boot camp. January began with a desperate cry to God for break through and to see MORE of what my new level of expectation had reached. As the blistering cold of January moved into February and March, life looked like it was settling, and then came a harsh reality. As words came to complete empty pages I had been waiting to fill, people began falling from the pages of my daily life. There was a moment that I realized that I had given God permission to clean house, and He was actually doing it.
I had to fight to keep from losing myself over the months that came next, fight to know my identity, really and truly know who I am. God was quiet during those months, and the silence felt like fire to my bones. I know God's character, so there was no questioning of motive, no questioning of His love for me. Those things were in tact. It continued to go back to the question, "who are my people?" Who can I count on when times are good, when times are anything but good. Who speaks truth to me during the times I need to hear it most? Anyone can be a good cheerleader, who can love some truth into me when it's time to take a breath? Who can push me forward when it looks like it is a cliff ahead? The answer looked very different than I expected. The answer hurt more than I expected. The answer was that God was slowly building me a new village, the hard part was that there didn't seem to be any near by huts yet.
Fast forward to "the year of the pause." I had been waiting on this new found KNOWING that God was ready to do something new. All of the cells of my being knew that He had a new plan and a new thing....and then the world shut down. But, it didn't. It just got quiet enough for those who were calling out to be able to hear each other. Who knew that God could use a global pandemic to create an entirely new eco system around me? Tribe, people, family, like-minded prayer warrior-God worshiping people! The puzzle still doesn't have a picture on the front of the box, but there is more of one coming into focus within the pieces being fitted together.
I have never doubted God, never doubted He was for me, and that His love is endless for me. I have not always been able to see through the lens in front of me the fullness of those truths. He is patient, He is kind and He is always good. Building a new tribe takes time, and there are days that it seems that you may never find people that match your spirit, that make your calling come alive....I just want to tell you, they are out there. Do not give up! It can seem lonely, IT IS LONELY. Find His love while you wait... it is worth it. Do not settle for less than the Lord has for you. And when it comes, do not run from it either! The enemy tries to convince you that you are better alone, and let me tell you...you are not!
Wherever you find yourself in this cycle of belonging, know that you ALWAYS belong with our gracious Father, and He has so much in store for you and your yes!
Don't Look Back
Welcome to the season that everyone is now referring to as the "new normal." There are some who have accepted this and embraced learning new avenues of connecting and growing. Others have made changes to continue doing what they have always done, just thru a new avenue and then there are others who have found that it is time to do something completely new in this new time. This afternoon an email and a conversation brought my mind to Matthew 9:14-17 in which Jesus explains the need for a proper patch on a garment as well as a new wine skin for the new wine.
Right now there are those who have embraced the Church leaving the building and those who feel a desperate need to hold onto the old ways, and biding their time until it goes back to "normal." Do we really want to go back and be okay leaving behind all that we have learned in this time? I am not saying that we shouldn't return to the building. On the contrary, I believe that we cannot go back with the same mindsets and habits. We have changed. God has not changed, but our relationship with God has. (I pray this is your truth as well) There has been shaking and awakening going on and we cannot expect nor should we desire to go back into the same routines as we had before. Many have realigned, gone deeper, found that they want more than the more they knew before. We are looking for a new wineskin for our fresh wine.
In Isaiah 43 and 44 God told His people not to look back, that He was doing a new thing. (also noted that they would not call out to Him, proclaiming His praises even then) He said that He would pour His Spirit out and bless their descendants. I am leaning into this passage and digging a bit deeper. We have so many new opportunities to lean into the refreshing rain and gain new perspectives, new Words, new directives. We have an opportunity to do something unique for our city, for our area, and leave out the man made plans. We can stop looking back at how things have worked in the past and we can just allow ourselves to be brought together to worship and proclaim His praises. We can find new ways to bring prayer into every corner of our city, not recycling other's ideas and plans, but leaning into a fresh Word from God who has a specific call on our prophetic city, different than the purposes He has for others.
We don't need programs. We don't need scripted meetings. We need room for God to speak a fresh Word into a room of praying people. We need a lot less of us and even more of Him. We need to fill a room with His praises and acknowledge who He truly is. We are building His legacy after all, not our own. There is an opportunity in front of us to lean in and to implement a space, inviting God to come and commune with us. He is anxiously awaiting the invitation.
My heart sees churches all over my city, meeting together openly, each taking a different day, filling a space with worship and prayer. Doors to churches open to anyone who is able to come. The unity of The Church transforming the community. My heart sees the war being waged in the heavenlies through the worship, prayer, and unity of The Church. There was a shift just over a year ago and the atmosphere has changed. There is a heavy weight in the air, there is a war far greater than I ever expected that seems to be growing in size and momentum, just out of sight. But I am not afraid. I am not dismayed. My God is not surprised, He is the Creator and the Author. There is a heaviness, but His glory has more weight than that of the atmosphere. There is also a floating Hope that is the reality of WHO He is and the list of promises He given us.
My prayer is that this picture, this new wine would find a new wine skin to be filled into. That not just the dream that God has placed into my heart, but that all of the dreams being birthed would find a proper housing. I pray that we would be looking for the fresh rains and not looking to go back to our pasts. God told the Israelites over and over to remember, but the key is WHAT should be remembered. We are to remember God, the testimony of all He has done, not what man has done. I pray this is a time for new beginnings, new depths with God. That we would take this time to build God's legacy and dig deeper into "New Thing" He is doing today.
Round and Round we go
I have been trying to be very careful over the past few days as to what I am posting and where I am spending my time. It is easy to get sucked into the roller coaster of emotions as 2020 continues to deliver the dramatic, polarizing feels. This morning it was a moment of clarity that though we have a two party system fighting things out, and we all feel as though we are behind our perspective winner, we need to have Kingdom sight and wisdom. In Isaiah 55:8 God reminds us that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways not our ways. It is easy to try to build up our cases and bring God into our sides, our ways. There is a much bigger picture that we are losing sight of (maybe have lost sight of long ago) and it is time to lean into what the Lord has actually said to us.
Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
Joshua is asking a question that we have been asking a lot, the answer is not what any of us expect to hear. (In some versions it actually just says the reply was a simple NO.) We want God to take our sides, we want to convince God and others that WE know best. In this moment with Joshua, He has come as the commander of the army and He then shares the battle plan.
Today my heart is replaying this simple thought. God is not Democrat and He is not Republican. God's ways are higher than our ways. We need to meet with Him in His spaces, not expect Him to come down to ours. There is a greater war being waged right now than what we can see. There is a much higher stake than most take the time to realize. Are we asking God what message He has for us? Are we willing to march, (SILENTLY) and trust God has a plan far better than we can produce?
Are we ready to love our enemies and lay down our righteous indignation to share Christ's love for those who are entrenched in the weightiness of all that is being spewed into all of their senses? Are we ready to walk out the peace that passes all understanding and pour it into those spaces we walk into? Are we ready to be so filled with His love that it pours into everyone we come into contact with and we can be known by that love?
In the midst of this chaos, do we believe that God remains the same? Will we be blown by the wind or grounded in the truth of who Jesus is and what He has already accomplished? This seems to me to be the best time to be proofed by the fire. We have an opportunity to BE THE CHURCH now more than ever before and to let the world know that we look different and we are different than what everyone else is offering. We have the opportunity to stand in prayer, speaking power over truth and light. It is time to pray for all of the parties and all of their hearts. It is time to remember that our enemy is not flesh and blood.
This is a new time for the Church to arise and shine. It is actually our calling, our purpose. It is time to stand as His Church, united together by His love. It is time to live out the reality of Jesus' prayer in John 17. Let us unite in a way like never seen before. Let us not miss this opportunity.
John 17:20 TPT
And I ask not only for these disciples,
but also for all those who will one day
believe in me through their message.
I pray for them all to be joined together as one
even as you and I, Father, are joined together as one.
I pray for them to become one with us
so that the world will recognize that you sent me.
For the very glory you have given to me I have given them
so that they will be joined together as one
and experience the same unity that we enjoy.
You live fully in me and now I live fully in them
so that they will experience perfect unity,
and the world will be convinced that you have sent me,
for they will see that you love each one of them
with the same passionate love that you have for me.
What the World Needs Now is Love
if Mark 12:29-31 TPT
Now a certain religious scholar overheard them debating. When he saw how beautifully Jesus answered all their questions, he posed one of his own, and asked him, “Teacher, which commandment is the greatest of all?” Jesus answered him, “The most important of all the commandments is this: ‘The Lord Yahweh, our God, is one!’ You are to love the Lord Yahweh, your God, with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, with every thought that is within you, and with all your strength. This is the great and supreme commandment. And the second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor in the same way you love yourself.’ You will never find a greater commandment than these.”
I have been sitting in this passage for several months now. As the hostility within our country continues to grow, the lines being drawn and an expectation for people to pick a side and defend it, my heart questions the root causes. We will never heal as a people if we do not find the root of the issue. As I continue to pray and seek God in these times, this is the answer that continues to come forth.
To love the Lord with all of the passion in your heart, all of the energy of your being, with every thought within you and all of the strength you hold. Let that sink in. If you are consumed with God in such a way, there is no room for any of the enemy's words. If your heart and energy and thoughts and might are consumed with God, there is no room for anything that is not of God. There is no room for hatred, there is no room for greed, there is no room for anything that is not represented in the Kingdom of Heaven. If we are loving God in such a way, we are receiving that love back in response. If we are pouring our love out on God, we are stepping into a holy relationship that is defining identity and purpose. When we truly know who God is, and allow Him to tell us who we are in Him, our identity becomes established, allowing us to then find our purpose and calling to live out our lives as His children.
Once we establish our personal identity in Christ, we are then able to love ourselves as Christ loves us, and through that love, we are able to love others. If we are trying to love others without the understanding of our true identity, I think we are failing ourselves and we are most definitely going to fail others. How can we show the love of Christ if we are not infused with it? If I am believing the enemy's lies about myself, those lies that like to try to creep into my thoughts, I will allow those thoughts to be transferred onto those around me. I have found that in the times that I have felt less than worthy, I find those around me even more unworthy. When I am doubting my purpose, I find I question others in the same way. It seems to be a domino effect. When I am walking in my identity and purpose, when I am rooted in knowing who I am and what I was created to do, I can honestly say that I find those traits much easier to point out in others. Am I consuming truth about who I am, or am I consuming lies? If I am allowing my mind to deter from who God is and what He is saying, I am likely going to bring that into every relationship and interaction that I have.
It seems to me that the younger generations are really looking for an identity. They want to belong. They want to feel as though their voice matters and that they aren't left out. Inclusivity has become a wrecking ball over our society. If you are not for something then it is believed that you want to destroy it. If you do not love something, you must hate it. Life is becoming black and white. Truth has been blurred by the beholder. If ever there was a cry for knowing our maker and knowing our purpose, it is now.
We are missing the greatest opportunity. We are called to love God and love others. We need to be so consumed with God that he leaks out of every single pore of our being. Overflowing with Christ's love allows us to see things that others miss. Being consumed with Christ's love allows us to love the people who are neglected, who aren't usually seen, who the religious might see as unworthy. We need to remember that it is not about a building on Sunday mornings, it is not about belonging to a church, it is about BEING the church. We are called to reconcile other's into the same love and relationship brought us into freedom. We need to live a life so consumed with love that there is not room for anything else. We need to sit with our Father who IS love and allow Him to infuse us with a full measure. We need to remember that we hold within us the fruit of the Spirit, and we should be calling that fruit out in every aspect of our lives.
The Church is calling for a great revival, and I believe that we have the ability to see the greatest revival the planet has ever witnessed. Love is the root of revival. The Church must wake up and begin walking out this scripture. The corresponding scripture in Matthew ends with the statement that the Law and the Prophets are fully contained in these two commands. The entirety of the Bible are contained in those two commands. We want to create programs and processes that overcomplicate things. What the world needs now, is love. The works of the enemy are overcome by compassion and love.
My prayer for our country is that those who are called by His name would find time to sit in the promise of His love, would come to know their identity in the One who created them and would passionately pour His love on those they come into contact with.
Beacon of Light
Matthew 5:14-16 TPT
“Your lives light up the world. Let others see your light from a distance, for how can you hide a city that stands on a hilltop? And who would light a lamp and then hide it in an obscure place? Instead, it’s placed where everyone in the house can benefit from its light. So don’t hide your light! Let it shine brightly before others, so that the commendable things you do will shine as light upon them, and then they will give their praise to your Father in heaven.”
There is something about light. Even the smallest flicker can push back the darkest spaces. The darker it is, the more clearly you can see the smallest of lights. This has been a big part of the conversations that I have been having over the past few months. Darkness and isolation are a few of the best laid plans of the enemy. He seeks to deceive and distract, he seeks to kill all that is good and leave us feeling forgotten and rejected. But God gave us a seed of hope. God gave us His son to light up the places inside of us. God made us a beacon of light, HIS light to share with those still lost in the darkness.
I received a message last night that truly pierced deep into my heart. A message from a relationship forged a lifetime ago. One of the friends turned family from my time in the service. The message began letting me know that my name had come up on a Zoom call with a group of his old Navy buddies....in "adoration." It was brought up by people I did not directly influence, but that had witnessed my influence over himself and a few others. My response was a bit shock and a larger amount humility. His response to that was that he would never forget me as his lighthouse. The conversation continued but throughout the rest of the night, my mind kept going back to that statement. Nearly twenty five years has past and this person still remembers me as a lighthouse.
The reality is that I never set out to be a lighthouse. I found a group of boys that needed someone to push them to be better. The other truth is, I needed people to need me. My identity was in what I did for people in those days. I needed people to take care of. So, at the age of 18 I became known as "Mom" to a group of misfit boy/sailors who were all older than me. It is a bit comical to look back over, but I took my duties seriously, including a night run to Radford, VA and back...just in time.
We may not always be aware of how far our light may go, but we need to be aware of the fact that it is there. We need to be living with it prioritized. The days are dark right now, but we have the light of the world living inside of us. What happens when we begin to purposefully pour that light into all of the spaces we inhabit? What happens when we look for darkness to take our light into? Light is not pushed out by darkness, instead it takes over the darkness, it pushes it out. Light flowing from us, and the love that should be accompanied with that light is what truly overcomes the darkness we are witnessing.
My prayer is that you look for the inner light and find new ways to bring it into all of the spaces that walk into. May we all find ourselves remembered as a lighthouse for those trying to find their way through the dark storms of life.
Just As You Are
Luke 9:1-6 TPT
Jesus summoned together his twelve apostles and imparted to them authority over every demon and the power to heal every disease. Then he commissioned them to preach God’s kingdom realm and to heal the sick to demonstrate that the kingdom had arrived. As he sent them out, he gave them these instructions: “Take nothing extra on your journey. Just go as you are. Don’t carry a staff, a backpack, food, money, not even a change of clothes. Whatever home welcomes you as a guest, remain there and make it your base of ministry. And wherever your ministry is rejected and not welcomed, you are to leave that town and shake the dust off your shoes as a testimony before them.” The apostles departed and went into the villages with the wonderful news of God’s kingdom realm, and they instantly healed diseases wherever they went.
This passage is one I keep coming back to during this shut down time. Jesus sent out His disciples, His followers and told them to take nothing with them, outside of the authority that He gave them. He sent them and said that they were demonstrating and proclaiming the kingdom had arrived. They took the gospel (good news) and life (healing) showed up wherever they went.
We keep praying for God to bring revival, we keep asking God to DO a lot of things. Jesus took back the keys from hell, and he gave them back to us, His followers, and said, do as I taught you, and teach others to do the same thing. Go into the cities and take nothing with you other than the authority I give you. TAKE ME.... TAKE MY LIFE IN YOU, and life will respond. Jesus did not send the apostles and tell them to start a revival, but revival was the response to them being sent. Life to what was once dead, the Kingdom of Heaven arriving. We are bringing Jesus into every room that we enter, we are bringing the Kingdom of Heaven into every space that we breathe in. We walk in the authority of the Almighty King of Kings, and in doing so, we should be seeing revival spill out into every space that we touch.
What if we were to leave all of the extra microphones, the extra lens filters, the "production" side behind and we were to show up into these places with no food, no money, no extra clothing? What if we were to show up in the realness of who God created us, the broken pieces showing, and allow God to shine through us? What if we stopped looking at how we can make things better and start listening to Holy Spirit and follow His plan? What if we "just go as we are?" What if the world has been waiting for us to show our imperfections and rawness along with Jesus inside of us, who is the actual purpose behind it all? What if, instead of setting up the perfect shot, with the perfect lighting, we sat in our basement, allowed our kids to come in and out and we led those plugging in with us to meet the God we know relationally? What if instead of bullet points and scripts, we were to sit down on our couch and say this is what is on my heart today, and look for people to respond? What if as leaders, we step into the places to listen to those who make up our "families" and churches? What if we stopped looking like Pharisees and started looking like the servant Jesus spent His time on this earth being, and do so in relationship with people?
What if we stopped trying to look like everyone else and listened to what God has for us individually and for us in our bodies of believers? What calling is individually placed? What if we dropped the programs and just did life with people?
My dear husband pointed out that without money, food or a change of clothing, they had no choice but to find someone to connect with. If they had money they could have found a place to rent, if they had food, extra clothing, they could have stayed disconnected. Our God is a relational God. Our God wants us to be connecting in the same way.
What happens when we leave the rest behind and go, just as we are? Seated with Christ in heavenly places, Armed with Christ, protected and sealed in Christ? What happens when we take His good news and walk in the authority that He has placed over us?
What happens when you take your eyes off of the end result and put them on the engaging piece of bringing his Kingdom?
I am a wife and a mom of two and a prayer warrior. I love Jesus and love wrestling with the Word of God and finding how my life fits into His story.