Archive for the ‘Noteworthy Posts’ Category

Experiencing the Holy Spirit in Prayer

Many are awakening to the love of prayer, and are seeking to connect with God in a deeper way.  Seeking to experience the Holy Spirit is a biblical, tangible reality.

In John 5 Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees; He says, “You do not have His word abiding in you, because [Him] whom He sent, Him you do not believe”   The Father sent Jesus, but they don’t believe Him. Why? Because they don’t have His word abiding in them.

  • Verse 39 is when it began to really become clear. He says, “You study the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, but these are those which testify of Me. You are unwilling to come to Me that you might have life (Jn. 5:38).
  • Often we as believers confuse the value of bible understanding we get. We confuse its value, thinking, “It’s complete; it’s enough to have this.”  Yes, it’s valuable to understand the passage, but it’s incomplete, but often you end up with leaders who have head knowledge, but they don’t interact in a fresh way with the Living Son of God, by the Spirit.
  • I read that verse once and I was shocked, I said, “That’s what I do.  I’m searching”—you can also use the word ‘studying’—“the Scriptures. I’m engaging my mind. I thought that through Bible study I would experience life. That was the same problem the Pharisees were having; but here’s the key phrase, in verse 40: “But you are not willing to come to Me that you might have life” (Jn. 5:40).

    What came to my thinking the first time I saw this, changed me forever, it is that you can do Bible study all day long, but if you don’t take the Word to Jesus with a hungry heart, you don’t experience life. It hit me like a arrow, that I wasn’t coming to Him in this way. “You’re not dialoguing with Me. You’re not interacting with Me in your searching of the Scriptures.”  The written word must take us to the Living Word, this is the way to the life and food of the Word..

    So from that point on, I began to try and have a running dialogue with Jesus as I read the Scriptures.  Each passage is a door to knock on and ask Jesus for the Eph 1:17 spirit of Revelation.  The bible never says to read it in a year, but it says over and over to meditate on it.  A verse can be made a prayer quite easy.

  • The implanted Word delivers our soul from bondage to filthiness. 21 Lay aside all filthiness…and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save (supernaturally deliver) your souls. (Jas 1:21)   7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you…ask…and it shall done. (Jn. 15:7)

  • There are three components necessary for the power of the Word to live in us. First, we use our choice to pursue God with a spirit of obedience, faith (confidence He answers) and loving devotion. Second, we feed our heart continually on the Word (implant it in our heart) through mediation. Third, we need the activity of the Spirit to turn meditation into living revelation (turn water into wine, Jn. 2) to save or deliver us from sinful desires.  We must fellowship with the Holy Spirit by talking to Him.   Summary of the three components: we must obey God, feed on the Word and talk to the Spirit.

  • The bible highlights two ways to focus our mind in seeking God: God on His Throne (Rev. 4) and God in our innerman.  The Spirit flows from our “innermost man,” its where the Holy Spirit lives in us if we are born again.  We know from Scripture that He dwells in our innermost man (John 7:38), but we only experience Him in the innerman.  The innerman contains our mind will and emotions (Eph 3:16) We turn the attention of our soul to the Spirit in our spirit to grow in the deep things of God.

1 Cor 2:14  But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

  • Meditation must be made prayer to enter the heart.  Christianity is relationship with the Man Jesus, we are sanctified and transformed by beholding Him, via the Word and Spirit.  Paul reveals here, that Scripture verses aren’t too just be figured out by the mind, but require the Holy Spirit to impact the heart, we want living understanding.  It takes God to get God.

38 If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believes on me, the way the Scriptures say,  From his innermost being (belly, KJV) will flow rivers of living water.  (Jn. 7:38 NAS)

  • By believing the Scriptures with authentic faith, we will connect with God and experience the Holy Spirit.  This experience Jesus likens to drinking from rivers of living water.  I’m going to talk about some very powerful activities that have been highlighted as a focus in the prayer movement.   Its easy to slip from the discipline of pursuing God, we must resolve to go after loving Him with all of our heart.  Getting the Word alive in your heart takes time and focus, it must become your main priority, and you must resist activity and speech that hinders it.  If we will commit to agressively feed our heart on the Love of God, we will take spiritual ground and be anointed by the Spirit to love God in yet greater ways.  If we are not agressively taking new ground, we will lose the ground we have, in stagnation.
The Mind Mouth Heart Method
Reading Scriptures gets them in our mind, and we need to love God with all of our mind, but speaking them over ourselves and speaking them to God, gets them in our heart.  John 15:7 reveals that if His words abide in you, you will have greater authority in prayer and see more answers.
4 ways to go Deeper-

1) Pray-Read Scripture to God (thanking Him, asking for revelation or power to obey).

  • Jesus said “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.  But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40)   Scriptures will impact us when we pray them directly, not just thinking about them or studying them.  We when meet with Jesus, the Scriptures are our anointed conversation material.  “We let the written word take us to the Living Word, Jesus.”
  • So depending on the verse, we can thank God for the truth in it, and then ask for revelation on the verse, or ask for power to obey them.  The Scriptures are living and active (Heb 4:2) and are so powerful to transform us and renew our mind as we pray them.  They rewrite the code of our inner man enabling us to abide in God/Christ to dwells within us (Eph 3;16-19).  We renew our mind (Col 3:10) and walk as a new creation.
  • So with a verse like 26 The Holy Spirit…will teach you all things… (Jn. 14:26) We would pray, Thank you Holy Spirit that you teach me, I ask for revelation on what it truly means for you to teach me, and help me to understand you leadings.  Or John 15:9 As the Father has loved Me, I love you.  We would pray, Jesus thank you for this love, strengthen me with might (Eph 3:16) to experience this love.  I ask for greater revelation of this love.  And we would worship and journal revelation.
  • Continually asking for revelation is so powerful, we grow in revelation.  Each Scripture is like a door we knock on, as God is inviting us into encounter, in the Knowledge of God.
  • The Holy Spirit is with us to teach us, like Jesus taught His disciples.  We must lean not on our own understanding, but seek God.  It helps to ask for the Eph 1:17 Spirit of wisdom and revelation and enlightening of the spiritual eyes.
  • 26 The Holy Spirit…will teach you all things… (Jn. 14:26)
  • 13 The Spirit of truth…will guide you into all truth; He will tell you things to come. (Jn. 16:13)
  • 27 The anointing…abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things… (1 Jn. 2:27)

2) Sing the Scriptures to Him

  • Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord. (Eph 5:18-19 Niv)
  • I believe Eph 5:18-19 is being emphasized by many Spirit-led ministries, as the way to be filled with the Spirit.  The verse says we should not answer the longing of our hearts with drunkenness, but rather be filled with the Spirit, by Singing to Jesus the Scriptures. I believe this is one of the most important verses in the bible about prayer.   This message of singing the Word is being spread all over the world through the prayer movement, and it needs to be a part of our prayer life.  God created the human heart so that singing opens the heart in a way that nothing else does.  Singing the Word is the main biblical prescription, the premier way, to be filled with the Spirit and set on fire for God.  Jesus was the Living Word before He became a man, and now we encounter Him by singing and praying/dialoguing the written word.  So we let the written word take us to the Living Word.  But we must grow our hearts in praying the Word.
  • “Biblical ideas that you sing are ideas that you own.” They become yours.
    Premiere means to get the scripture deep in us: sing it, pray it, and not to the air, but to Him. Often.
    Is there anything as satisfying and powerful as singing about the details of Jesus, and declaring to Him that He is beautiful?
  • To pray consistently, pray the scriptures. The word of God is the “chariot” the Holy Spirit rides on best in our lives and heart.
    To pray consistently, sing the scriptures. Singing unlocks the heart, causes truth to go deeper, and makes prayer enjoyable.
    Sing the word of God until you feel something on the inside move. Then sing more.
    To study the word and comprehend it is transforming; to then pray it and sing it – consuming.
    Prayer & the corresponding power of the Holy Spirit makes the heart fertile soil for the seed of the word to flourish.
  • Click on the picture on the top right to see an archived worship with the Word set, with us at Ihop-kc, a 24-7 worship and intercession ministry.
  • When we stand before God on Judgment Day, He is not going to ask us how big of house did we get, or how big did we make our bank account, but how big did our heart get by experiencing His love and revelation (1st commandment.)

3) Fast

  • Fasting does not ‘earn’ us more of God.  It does increase our capacity to experience the Holy Spirit, and accelerate the process of communing prayer.  I have found fasting on water, 1 day a week, to be unparallelled in terms of its impact on my experiencing of God.  I am calling fiery believers to fast at least one day a week.  The benefits are tremendous in fasting two days a week, but let desire for God drive your fasting, not commands or religious spirit.
  • This depth of fasting is well within the reach of most people.  But we desperately need more revelation of Jesus as our Bridegroom who has burning desire for us and fiery affections toward us.  As we live in the truth of the bridal paradigm, we fast because we long for Jesus.  Jesus told the Pharisees the day would come when the Bridegroom would be taken away from the disciples, and then they would fast out of longing for Him (Matt. 9:15).  When Jesus ascended to Heaven after His death and resurrection, He was taken away in the sense indicated in this Scripture.  The Bride of Christ is meant to long for His return, His Second Coming, and fasting is one way we express this longing.
  • By knowing Jesus as our Bridegroom and seeing ourselves as His Bride, we will become energized with a spirit of prayer and filled with courage to live lives abandoned to God in holiness. Only then will fasting seem appropriate, reasonable or Continue reading

Dealing with Mistreatment

I’m sure you’ve been there, we all have, holding back some words for someone who wronged you in church.  Bless those who curse you and turn the other cheek run through your mind and then we let them have it..  But God has a way for us to deal that keeps us in love and it will serve us better on Judgment Day, when we give account of our lives to Jesus and will be rewarded accordingly.

HOW DO WE DO IT?

  • Mistreatment and opposition are both the context and fruit of a fallen world.  Everyone suffers.  Everyone is hurt, betrayed, abused, taken advantage of, oppressed.  Yet, suffering works only on behalf of the redeemed, the Christians.  When a believer responds in meekness to mistreatment, it produces the fruit of wholeheartedness.

      Saint Augustine states that the same miseries send some to heaven and others to hell.  The test of suffering separates the wheat from the chaff in the Church of God: those who in times of tribulation humble themselves to the will of God are wheat for paradise; those who grow haughty and enraged, and so forsake God, are chaff for hell. 

  • We must part with the fantasy that I was the “one” wronged.  Everyone is mistreated.  Everyone right now is either being mistreated or is about to be mistreated or is mistreating someone else.  The hard part concerning mistreatment is that we expect suffering from unbelievers outside the church.  But in the church a lie moves in and sets up a false expectation, we believe a lie that as we mature we should suffer less mistreatment in the Church.  We expect it from unbelievers, so therefore we have grace to forgive unbelievers.  Yet, when mistreatment occurs within the community, from believers, we list our entitlements.
  • We have had only one entitlement from the very beginning:  We offended and rebelled against our most kind and gracious Maker.  In fact, when given the opportunity, we killed the Lord of glory, the innocent One whom came from the Father full of grace and truth, and are entitled to one thing: everlasting condemnation.
  • Peter asked Jesus concerning the issue of being wronged by your brother. Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (Matt. 18:21-22)
  • Why Does God Use Mistreatment to sanctify us?  It exposes the great enemy of our soul – pride manifesting in anger.  The crucible of mistreatment places pressures on the human heart that expose the fault lines of fear, anger, and pride underneath the surface.  Mistreatment and opposition touches places of pride otherwise unnoticed in our controlled environments. 
  • This is why marriage can be, if cooperated with, a great sanctifier of the human heart.  Your spouse is the cross you will be crucifed on. “When I was single I could control my environment in such a way as to keep my stuff undisturbed in hidden places.  In marriage you can run but you cannot hide.  Opposition and mistreatment are part of the unspoken vows.  I thought I was holy when single, but I found out quickly there is a difference between being holy and being undisturbed” -Allen Hood

  •  Thus, the defense mechanism of the fractured soul – anger – rushes to guard us from the realization that our fallenness is true.  We would rather be proud and angry, clinging to our deluded solidarity than to admit to our inconsistent patterns, fractured pieces, and our humble need for grace to receive forgiveness and to forgive.   Anger, as the defense mechanism of pride, is the escort into the murderous heart.

The Relationship Between Meekness and Anger

Meekness is the primary positive virtue of the kingdom and the one to be most sought out.  Meekness is associated with gentleness and humility and is the restraint of one’s power for a higher redemptive cause.  This is not to be confused with weakness or a laid back personality trait.  Meekness is the cultivation of a spirit of Servanthood even in the face of adversity and mistreatment, in which Jesus is the ultimate example.  Meekness is the cross in the face of mistreatment and will be highly rewarded in the Millennial Kingdom.

Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.  (Mt. 5:5)

  • To be meek, Meditate long and often upon the meekness of Christ and the reward system of the Father.

The Beholding Principle: Whatever we behold about God’s heart is what we become in ours. The revelation of Jesus’ meekness produces a longing in us to be like Him.

(If we are) all…beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, we are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory… (2 Cor. 3:18)

  1. The most humbling thing one can do is to look upon how Jesus responded to suffering and mistreatment.  His whole life was ordered around the attribute of meekness.  It was His greatest pursuit.  From the moment He was born the Father was contemplating His own humility in the person of His Son.  Love would be openly displayed as Jesus went lower and lower.  Anyone who truly looks upon the man Christ Jesus and His meekness will be left staring at the great mystery.  How can One so strong be so tender as He stoops so low?
  2. Looking upon Jesus meekness is the great sanctifier to areas of pride and anger in the human heart.  It produces holy tears of longing to be like Him that cleanse the soul from the trauma of violence and invites the grace of God unto humility.
  3. Looking upon the Spirit we see the Holy Spirit functions as the support ministry within the Godhead. He is fully God yet chooses to work behind the scenes without desire to be recognized. He is happy in humility. The Father and Son fully value Him because they have the same nature.
  4. 13 He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak…14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. (Jn. 16:13-14)

Cover Others

  1. Practice covering the weaknesses and infirmities of others.  Hope all things and believe all things.  See people in this light:  How will they look ten years from now if they fully participated with the grace of God in every area of their life?
  2. Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins. (Prov. 10:12) He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends. (Prov. 17:9) The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression. (Prov. 19:11) And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
    1. 1.Practice the discipline of letting your spouse win the argument, especially when you are convinced that you are right.  2 Practice silence in the face of opposition.  Pray and bless those who persecute you (Mt. 5:44-45). 3. Let kind and gracious words frequently be on your lips.
    2. Understand the fallen state of the one/ones opposing you and leave room for the forgiveness of God.  Get on their team.  Find the smallest percentage of where they are right and repent of that, without pointing out their faults.  They are caught in the same predicament that you are.  They will sin against someone and be sinned against just like you.  This leads us to enter into the greatest community building tools imaginable – longsuffering and prayer.
    3. Beware of being wise in your own opinion.  The great enemy of humility is a profound insight into the situation.  Paul calls it a wise opinion.

Use the Pain to Escort You into Communion with God

– Mistreatment causes our hearts to encounter God.  In the midst of trial none of our human props give us relief.   Relief can only be found in the encountering God and the finding of His grace.

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;  23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; (1 Peter 2:21-23)

A.           We must recognize that the opinions and/or actions of others do not keep us from fulfilling God’s will in our lives.  We alone can disqualify ourselves from fulfilling God’s will in our lives.  The defilement of someone else’s spirit does not have to translate to defilement of our spirits.

B.               Human nature continually seeks to dial down what anger really is, while dialing up our right to entertain it. We do not take anger seriously enough – it is a cancer that, if we are not attentive to deal with it – can invade every area of our heart.  Hindered prayers and relationships, increased demonic activity, joyless worship – all the fruit of subtle, pervasive, unchecked anger.

C.             The Normative Christian life is one of liberty received, yet freely surrendered in the meekness of self-restraint for the sake of love.  The premiere reward of meekness: it’s the magnet that attracts His presence. I restrain my speech and my strength for more of Him.  If we are like Him He can draw nearer.  Profound humility and authentic meekness without the fear of man is one of the foremost issues on the agenda of the Spirit in this hour.  Such holiness perfected in the fear of the Lord is always one of the premiere issues on the agenda of the Spirit of God, in every season.

D.              The professional athlete who has a prize in mind must be disciplined, self-controlled, temperate, restrained, & measured in all things.  How much more must I, who fights for love & for a greater prize, live measured – restrained in meekness – to lay hold of what is before me?

PART 2 The spirit of murder: Escalating Anger

  1. We need faith teaching to equip us to experience grace to walk in the 8 Beatitudes. The promise of being blessed includes living with a vibrant heart by the Spirit’s activity in us.
  2. Jesus identifies six temptations (Mt. 5:21-48) that poison Continue reading

My House will be a House of Prayer

I think to whatever degree the church may be powerless or ineffective it is to the degree we lack prayer, actual connectedness with Jesus.

Satan’s kingdom decreases when we pray. When we pray weak words and Jesus responds His kingdom increases and the enemy loses ground. So the devils attack on the church in America is to get us so consumed with the world that we do not pray.

Jesus said that His house is to be a house of prayer (Luke 19:46) and not a house of evangelism or missions or fellowship because He wants prayer to be the center focus of the church, that all activity of works would flow from the place of our connectivity with the power and authority of heaven. Power and authority which comes from friendship with Jesus and is released through our intercession.

The closer we get to Jesus the more authority we have to tear down the enemies kingdom so the enemy has us lured in a culture where all our free time is spent on media and tv and on the computer, and it all keeps us from prayer.

The more obedience we have especially in the area of speech the more we can get closer in prayer so He attacks us in our relationships, causing us to stumble in anger. He attacks us also with what we give our eyes to, media which puts lust or fantasy in our heart.

Now, i know prayer is boring for so many… But there is enjoyable prayer, and there are posts to that end on this site but just get a hold of this, God is not boring, you just can’t see Him right now. You have to labor in prayer, dialouge with the firey Holy Spirit within, and day by day prayer by prayer the veil lifts and He reveals a little more of Himself. The Word opens up to you and there begins to be life and enjoyment on the weak words on our heart. It’s a laborous journey as we rewrite the code of our heart from agreement for the reality of the earth to the reality of heaven.

But this is our duty to lose our life on the earth, that we would save it. We save it by becoming more connected to heaven and to the seeing of it established on the earth, His Kingdom coming, His will being done.

Let’s not sell our inheritance for a bowl of soup. Let’s not be so caught up in the culture and values of the world, or the computer stuff, the tv programs, the fellowship… that we don’t enter into what we were called and created to do.

Abiding in Christ

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:5-7)

  1. Abiding: Foundation of the Prayer Life
  2. Loving God with our all is the foundational principle of all that God calls us to

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38)

  • We cannot grow in prayer without growing in our relationship with the Lord. Our relationship of love with the Lord is a critical dimension to growing in faith.
  • To abide in the Lord is to develop the heart connect with Him; to exert the effort and time it takes to connect our heart with the Lord in a dynamic way.
  • One of the ways we do this is by filling our hearts with His word.
  • Abiding in the Lord may also be called fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit, because when we abide we are attentive to and engaged in ongoing dialogue with the Holy Spirit Who lives in our spirit.
  • Abiding is two-fold: as we cultivate this ongoing relationship with God, He will abide in us. He will release His activity back in us.

We are responsible to dialogue with Him and give ourselves to Him

  • The Holy Spirit will respond by being active in us: giving us wisdom, releasing His power in us, directing us, etc.
  • Many people have an idea of ‘being led by the Spirit’ that wrongly expects continual direction, we must be proactive in feeding our hearts on the Word, and He will add to to this experience, by anointing it, and directing it, at different times

The Conditions of Answered Prayer

  • We must abide in the Lord.
  • His words must abide in us, or another way to say it is that we meditate on His Word, we talk to Him about His word
  1. The word of revelation must live inside of us. The core reality of the born-again experience is that God is living in us. This is the essence of the abiding relationship: we are talking to Jesus by the Holy Spirit Who lives in us. We cannot grow in our prayer life apart from this reality.
  2. He will not answer prayer that is outside of His will
  3. We must not stumble over the time-delay of answered prayer, nor grow weary in small beginnings

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thess. 5:23)

Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:9)

  • The core reality of the born-again experience and the essence of the abiding relationship is that God is living in us, and we are talking to Jesus by the Holy Spirit. God’s seed is the Person of the Holy Spirit.
  • This is key to learning how to love God with all of our heart. We cannot grow in our prayer life apart from this reality.
  • It is essential that we love God with all of our heart; yet it is impossible to do that without fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit – without abiding in Him.
  • It is in dialogue with the Holy Spirit that our hearts are powerfully connected with God’s heart and all the resource of Heaven.

Father Heart of God pt 1

NEW EYES TO SEE THE FATHER

INTRODUCTION:

There is a longing in the heart of every human being to know the love and affirmation of their father. Something basic stirs deep inside our souls, releasing a compelling drive to do whatever may be required to gain approval and recognition from the one who represents God to the child in the most significant way.

It is my conviction that a deep healing needs to happen in the heart of every person in order that we might see the Father as He really is, and come to the place of rest in our striving for His acknowledgment and acceptance. We need to have new eyes(Eph 1:18) to see the Father that Jesus knew, and the good news of the Gospel is that the Son of God has come to reveal the Father to us.

In this first post, we will deal with some fundamental breakdowns in our ability to see the Father in His true identity, and set some basic principles of healing in place so that we might receive His love for us.

I. THE FUNDAMENTAL LONGING TO KNOW THE FATHER

A. Human identity locked in the Father’s heart

1. Psalms 139:13-18 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. (14) I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. (15) My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. (17) How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! (18) If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.

a. You formed me

b. You skillfully formed me

c. Your eyes saw my unformed being

d. My days were written in Your book before they happened

e. Your thoughts concerning me are numberless and precious

2. Isaiah 43:1 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob,And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;I have called you by your name; You are Mine.

a. You created and formed me

b. You redeemed me

c. You called me by name

d. I am Yours by right of creation and purchase

3. Isaiah 45:4-6 For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me. (5) I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, (6) That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other;

a. You called me by the name You gave me, though I did not know You

b. You clothed me with Your support that the nations may honor You

4. Isaiah 49:1 “Listen, O coastlands, to Me, And take heed, you peoples from afar! The LORD has called Me from the womb; From the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.

a. You called me from the womb

b. You spoke of my name from the womb

B. Innate awareness that the Father holds the key to identity and destiny

C. Authority to impart identity and destiny given to human fathers

Genesis 27:33-34 Then Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, “Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him–and indeed he shall be blessed.” (34) When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me–me also, O my father!”

1. The power of the blessing resides in the father – v.33

2. Absence of the blessing creates massive anguish – v.34

II. THE PROBLEM OF DISTORTION

A. Root of the problem of sin – the lie that we cannot trust the Father

Genesis 3:1-5 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (2) And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; (3) but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” (4) Then the serpent said to the woman,  “You will not surely die. (5) For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

B. Distorted perspective of the Father destroys ability to impart wholeness

C. Distortion cripples subsequent interactions

1. The earthly father speaks a distorted word

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

2. The distortion is multiplied through the child’s wounded heart

Matthew 7:1-2 “Judge not, that you be not judged. (2) For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

Matthew 13:3,8 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow (8) But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

3. Illustration: the wristwatch and the hammer (more to come)

III. THE PROCESS OF RESTORATION

Three basic laws of restoration that apply to our topic:

A. Honoring father and mother – Exodus 20:12 (first commandment with promise – Ephesians 6:2-3)

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

Ephesians 6:2-3 “HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,” which is the first commandment with promise: (3) “THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU AND YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.”

B. This is done by learning to see with the Father’s eyes

2 Corinthians 5:15-17 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. (16)

Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. (17) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

1. We ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the true identity of our parents

2. We set our hearts to think of them and relate to them according to their true identity that exists in the Father’s heart

C. Forgiving and blessing those who curse you

1. Bless those who curse you, thus demonstrating your sonship

Matthew 5:44-45 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (45) that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

2. The freedom to do this is rooted in the confidence of receiving the Father’s blessing

Deuteronomy 23:5 Nevertheless the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam, but the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loves you.

3. Forgiving releases ongoing experience of forgiveness

Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (15) But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

D. Repenting from false perceptions

1. We learn to see false messages as strongholds of the enemy; systems of thought that have controlled our self-perception and behavior

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, (5) casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

2. Repentance – “sweeping the house clean” – tearing down thought structures (strongholds); turning away from false beliefs

Luke 11:24-25 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ (25) And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order.

3. Healing and spiritual growth – rebuilding new thought structures in accordance with the Word of God.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God

a. We must establish a pattern of hearing and perceiving who the Father really is, and what He says about you in His Word to you.

b. Through meditation and contemplative prayer we learn to see what He is really like, and what He thinks and feels about us. This practice is essential if we are to come to a stable place in our emotions, learning to live and respond out of our true identity in the Father’s heart.

CONCLUSION:

Philip said to Jesus one day, “Show us the Father, and that will be enough for us,” (John 14:8).  That is truly the cry of the human soul – we want to know the Father as He is, for in that knowledge is eternal life (John 17:3). My prayer is that through making these verses and concepts a part of your prayer life, you will indeed come to know the Father that Jesus knew, and rest in the confidence of His loving affection for you.

Radical Love

Thought I’d mess you up with what is messing me up write now, this is from the brilliant Dana Candler who co-wrote some Mike Bickle books, but I’ve edited pretty hard and added some.

ABSOLUTE LOVE 

37 Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment.” (Mt. 22:37-38) 

  • We stand before a real Person who extends to us this invitation of the highest order. It is a call to fervency that flows from the fullness of love. Just as His eyes pierced through the crowds of old, Jesus summons each single heart out of its lethargy into wholehearted givenness to God. He beckons us to the only foreseeable future, the only plausible outlook, if we desire to live in the fullness of His highest for us. He calls us to give Him everything.
  • Wholehearted love is who God is, what He gives and what He demands. God does not love inside boundaries or up to a certain point, but fully. And this is how He invites us to love Him and to love others, with the very same love (Jn. 17:26). He is not—and has never been—a God of fractions but of fullness. He has always been jealous for all and has not changed in the nature of His all-consuming desire for our everything.  -Legalism is sadly disconnected from the fire and passion of the One who gave all in pursuing us so that we would surrender all in pursuing Him.  Radical obedience to His leadership and Word flows from the heart that passionately longs for more of God. That kind of longing is sustained by the vision to experience more of His consuming love.
  • Wholeheartedness is fueled by the fire of the Holy Spirit burning in us, and that fire can go out without keeping oil in our lamp, feeding our Spirit with the Scriptures, praying them.  Scheduling our time and priorities to line up with our desire for more of God is a necessary and practical way to keep our cold heart before the fire of the Word and Spirit. (-me).

“The radiant Image of the Father’s glory has come to light a fire in us, a burning love, a consuming yearning. There is nothing lukewarm about the God of revelation. Always radical and total, never does He reduce what He expects of us to fractions. Our communion with Him is to become a blazing fire, a perpetual ecstasy. These strong words will sound strange and exaggerated only to those who have not tasted that the Lord is good. They may have studied and read, but they have not drunk deeply.” -Thomas Dubay

  • Bernard of Clairvaux stated, “It is true that the created ones are love less because they are lesser.  But If one loves with one’s whole being, nothing is lacking where everything is given.”   Meaning to love Him with only portions of our heart, soul, mind and strength is to love Him in ways actually ‘counter’ to the nature of love.  Though our love is not perfect in the sense of maturity, He asks us to love Him now in the way that Love Himself loves—comprehensively and fully given to Him in every area that we know and perceive, with no conscious place of compromise yet remaining.
  • This divine summoning to wholeheartedness does not only have to do with who God is but who we are and how He created us to live.
  1. The truth is that we were made to abandon ourselves, made to give all in love without compromise. Innate in our makeup is dissatisfaction with half-heartedness and a yearning to love and be loved to the uttermost.   Many will surprisingly respond to the call to abandonment.  Many remain passive until they hear the call to surrender everything, for there is something inside them that fully responds to only that.  We were created to give all.
  2. Only in the safety of wholeheartedness will we will be kept secure in the hour of delusion that will sweep the globe before the Return of Jesus. In the day when lawlessness abounds, the love of many will grow cold (Mt. 24:11, 12). Divided hearts will give way to their shifting foundations and only lives built upon the lifestyle prescribed by Jesus—the pursuit of the First Commandment as spelled out in the Sermon on the Mount—will stand firm and be prepared at His Return (Matt. 7: 2427; Rev. 19:7).  At the very least, lukewarmness appears to be an area of concern in the church of the generation the Lord returns.
Present Tense
  • The invitation to wholeheartedness, or abandonment, the call to the first commandment, is a PRESENT TENSE invitation. When God asks us to love Him wholly, He is not demanding immediate maturity but rather complete response in the here and now.
  • On any particular day we can yield to Him fully and in so doing love Him with a love that comes before the Throne of God as whole and complete.
  • Every season will give reasons why not to be wholehearted for God. Commonness. Immaturity. Difficult circumstances. We might say, “When I get beyond this, I’ll be wholehearted.” Some in busy seasons are continually saying, “When things settle down I’ll give Him my heart in the way that I want to.” Others experience seasons of regret and think that they gave up their opportunity already. Jesus says, “It’s about right NOW.”
  • Loving God wholly is not something done or something offered once and for all. Nor is it just a vow made in the heightened moments of sincere desire—delayed in its fruition until the end of one’s life. We live this out in a thousand times a thousand moments, day after day after day.
  • Often we delay in giving God the final fractions of our lives because we want Him to first change our circumstances. We imagine that, when our conditions are different, then finally we will be wholehearted. Yet He has actually put within our paths each circumstance according to His perfect leadership to create the pressures and difficulties necessary to produce a new level of response in us. God has allowed each circumstance to be part of the plan to actually bring into being our full-givenness to Him.
  • The enemy would love to seduce us into the fantasy of the future or the romanticism of the past if only to keep us from radical love and obedience in the here and now. If we perceive today as only a neutral point in time—than we will fall into the deception laid out for us, becoming utterly powerless both in the present and in the days ahead.
This End-Time Generation
  • The love that fuels martyrdom begins in monotony and the power to give all for God does not come in the limitation of a heightened moment of testing but through the cultivation of a thousand moments. The key to winning the race is the marathon pace and the assurance of a right response in the pinnacle moment is the response of sincere love in thousands of ordinary and secret moments day after day after day. Scheduling our time and priorities to line up with our desire for more of God is a necessary and practical way to keep our cold heart before the fire of the Word and Spirit.  If we sow to the Spirit we will reap the Spirit (Gal. 6:8) 
  • Jesus walked among us!  This truth of Jesus’ crowning the common and not distancing Himself from the ordinary expands even more to reveal the way He values the small and seemingly trivial parts of love. He is the God who not only embraced the common on His walk on the earth and gave me access to His heart amidst my everyday life, He is the One who allows His heart to be moved deeply by every choice made in love for Him, every word of affection I pray, every action done in love (Song. 4:9; Matt. 6:1–18; Heb. 6:10; Mt. 10:42)

Contemplative Prayer

But we all, with open face beholding (dimly) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD. (2Cor 3:18).

A.            The “beholding and becoming” principle – whatever we behold (meditation unto revelation) in God’s heart towards us becomes awakened in our heart back to God (transformation).

  1. Bible study is crucial, but so is beholding.  Renewing our minds happens by agreement with the Word.  But transformation happens by beholding prayer.  By beholding we will change our emotional chemistry.  Long and loving mediation on the Word and Dialouge with the Spirit, are values being emphasized with the new wine/wineskin.  As in the wedding of Cana, so in the generation the Lord returns, He has saved the best wine for last, the revelation of intimate prayer and communion.
  2. Men who have done greater revival works such as David Brainerd and Bernard of Claireveau, have testified to the transformative power of beholding prayer.
  3. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all (2 Cor 13:14). (communion of the Spirit -nkjv)

ESTABLISHING A VISION FOR DEEP PRAYER ACCORDING TO Eph 3:19 FULLNESS OF GOD

That he would grant you… to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man… that all of you might be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph 3:16-19).

Key to the ‘new wineskin’ of bridegroom fasting(Mat 9:14-17) is the value of Contemplative Prayer, or ‘Long and loving Meditation/Dialouge with the Holy Spirit).  And secondly ‘key’ to contemplative prayer is establishing and sustaining a corporate vision to go after the ‘fullness of God’ (Eph 3:19).  We set a vision to be filled with the Spirit in greater capacities.  Faith arises as we increase expectation.

  1. I’ve never seen a church sustain a fire for prayer, without prophetic preaching of a vision for going after the fullness of God in the innermanWe need the regular, clear proclamation of what God has in His heart for the heart of the people.” –Mike Bickle
  2. The absolute definition of fullness is that we will progressively pursue it continually, but the relative definition of fullness relates to overwhelming experiences of God’s presence and revelation filling our capacity and understanding.  Some define ‘going after the fullness,’ as being hungry for God.  Illustrating the ‘fullness’ highlights the difference between what we are walking in naturally, and the ‘fullness’ He is offering.
  3. Eph 3 is one of the highest points of revelation of what God will give the human heart.  Paul starts the prayer ‘for this reason,.. I labor in prayer; that you experience the love of God and are filled with all the fullness of God.  Many say ‘I don’t feel loved.’  As they shouldn’t, it is the supernatural divine power of the Holy Spirit moving on us to experience this.  You don’t have because you don’t ask, knock on the door and it shall be opened to you.  Each Scripture relating to the love of God is a door to be knocked on.
  4. God has invited each of us to experience the deep things of His heart. He has opened Himself up for us to understand and feel His emotions, desires and affections. This is foundational to what Paul prayed for the Church when he asked that we would be able to comprehend the depth of God’s love (Eph. 3:18-19). But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God..Now we have received.. the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (1 Cor 2:10-12)

PRACTICAL HOW-TO

John 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

  1. We want to let the written word take us to the Living Word.  –Jeanne Guyon.  Communion with the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 13:14) is our goal in this model.  We see here the principle of ‘coming to Him’ using the Scriptures that testify of Him.  Each verse we can: 1. Thank Him for and 2. Ask for either revelation or power to obey.
  2. So with a verse like 26 The Holy Spirit…will teach you all things… (Jn. 14:26) We would pray, Thank you Holy Spirit that you teach me, I ask for revelation on what it truly means for you to teach me, and help me to understand you leadings.  Or John 15:9 As the Father has loved Me, I love you.  We would pray, Jesus thank you for this love, strengthen me with might (Eph 3:16) to experience this love.  I ask for greater revelation of this love.  And we would worship and journal revelation.
That is the model. There are more examples at the end of this document.
  1. Scriptures will impact us most when we pray them directly, not just thinking about them or studying them.  We when meet with Jesus, the Scriptures are our anointed conversation material.   So depending on the verse, we can thank God for the truth in it, and then ask for revelation on the verse, or ask for power to obey them.  The Scriptures are living and active (Heb 4:2) and are so powerful to transform us and renew our mind as we pray them.  They rewrite the code of our inner man enabling us to abide in God so that Christ can more fully manifest within us (Eph 3;16-19).
  2. The Gen 1 principle is that the Holy Spirit hovers and waits to move in power wherever the Word is spoken by those in covenant with the Father.  Therefore we value the Scripture in prayer, though He speaks many ways and hears all our words.  The Spirit lives to reveal Jesus, and impart His love to us.
  3. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good… (Gen. 1:2-4)
  1. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me (Rev 3:20).  We are seeking to behold and experience, we want to not just ‘read the menu, but eat the meal’.  If a man love me, he will keep my words(written on our heart): and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (Jon 14).
  2. Continually asking for revelation is so powerful, we grow in revelation.  Each Scripture is like a door we knock on, as God is inviting us into encounter, in the Knowledge of God. The Holy Spirit is with us to teach us, like Jesus taught His disciples.  We must lean not on our own understanding, but seek God.  It helps to ask for the Eph 1:17 Spirit of wisdom and revelation and enlightening of the spiritual eyes.

26 The Holy Spirit…will teach you all things… (Jn. 14:26) 13 The Spirit of truth…will guide you into all truth; He will tell you things to come. (Jn. 16:13) 27 The anointing…abides in you, ..as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things… (1 Jn. 2:27)

  1. David calmed and quieted his soul (ps 131:2). We need to dial down or just take our foot off the gas pedal and listen (without stirring our souls up to fervor). An over-active soul keeps us out of sync with the subtle movements of the Spirit. We quiet our soul to connect with the Spirit’s whisper in our heart (the still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-13)). We quiet the turbulent activity of our soul in our clamoring for attention, pleasure, a restless anxious spirit that naturally active.
  2. To fellowship with the Holy Spirit means we talk often to Him as we give our heart to Him. It means we hear back from Him in a two way dialogue. The Holy Spirit honors our part in the relationship by not forcing us to dialogue with Him, if we do not want it. He does not force conversation or friendship with anyone who is not desperate——click to > Continue reading
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