In this season, God is giving out new "out of the box" ways of doing things. Don't get set in "your" ways, but learn to embrace His ways. What does this really mean? It means not to think as the world thinks. Do not accept what the world calls normal. We need a fresh Gospel mentality that is willing to walk away from the things that hinder and hamper our call.
God is looking for people who are willing to respond to His call. Take Matthew the tax collector as an example, or any of the disciples. Jesus said, "Come and follow Me." What we do not see is all the details that were involved in the sacrifice of those who followed Jesus.
Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
There is a hidden treasure that is only discovered by those who answer this call. For Matthew, it was deliverance from operating in the world's system as a tax collector, a boring occupation. God invites us to a life of adventure in the Gospel. It is better than we could ever imagine. When we respond to His invitation, He lifts the heavy burden of all the things of this life. I can imagine that Matthew had much burden, much boredom, and much anxiety. When he chose to follow the Lord he left all that behind. His burden became a thing of the past as He embraced the easy yoke of Jesus. Instead, he chose to experience the glory of God being with Jesus.
It really comes down to the question of "What are we here for?" What is the point? Are we storing up treasure in Heaven, or are we looking for our reward on earth? Are we still trying to be somebody when Jesus is saying, "Come, follow Me"? He lifts the heavy burden, bringing us into a place of ecstatic joy, life, and peace. The Gospel is still good news. Do you still feel it in your heart?
2. A Time For Heaven's Strategies
We are in a time where God wants to release new strategies to us that go against the typical trend. There are ways of doing things that work. Being in a religious rut causes you to do the same things over and over again with the same result, never learning to move into something new, fresh, and different. Those caught in a religious trap are afraid of adventure, new things, different approaches, and will hold others back so that they won't feel so bad. Misery loves company. One of the main characteristics of fear is control. People in fear have to control to keep things safe for themselves. They will take things into their own hands rather than trusting the Lord.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
When we learn to trust the Lord, we then get a new and fresh perspective on things. It is like you had been in a box. As you learn to trust the Lord, you climb out of that box, seeing sunlight with the blue sky rather than darkness in the box. This is the way it works when we see as God sees. He has blueprints for each of us that will release life, making us contagious with His love and presence. Ask the Lord to get you out of the old place. Question your own thinking. Is your thinking in alignment with man's accepted way, or does God have a better way? Then, what are you willing to lay down for a fresh blueprint from Heaven?
3. The "YES" Harmony Experience
2 Corinthians 1:20-22 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
When we get in on God's plans, it is then that we experience the "YES" from the Lord as a seal upon His best for us. The good is the enemy of the best. When we discover God's best plan for our lives, then we experience an even greater affirmation of His voice to us. As we come into harmony with the Holy Spirit, He brings us into a revelation of God's acceptance. Jesus received the affirming voice of God, not only because He was God's Son, but because He was walking according to he desires of the Father's heart. There is a place of precision and excellence where His affirming voice is made even clearer to us. This comes as we come into synchronicity with His voice and desires.
4. The Sum of Two
One day in the last month, I was looking at our boy in amazement of how wonderfully made he is. The thought came to me that he is the "sum of two." There is power when two come together. When we are alone we have limited capability, but when we are together with the heart and mind of God we are not limited in what can be accomplished. This is why Jesus told us that when "two or more gather together in My Name, there I am in the midst of them." Together, we have an exponential impact for the Kingdom of God. In the Book of Acts they went out in pairs of two. God is looking for people to come together in unity so that His power will be released. When we are of the same heart and mind, God can do extraordinary things. When we look at the historical account of the Tower of Babel, God said that nothing would be impossible for them.
Genesis 11:6 And the Lord said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them."
Those people were speaking the same language and were unified, operating out of demonic power. How much more is nothing impossible for us when we are operating in the unity and power of the Holy Spirit?
5. The Spirit of Honor
1 Peter 2:17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
Scripture says that we are to honor all men. If this includes people outside of the faith, then how much more those who are in.
What does it mean to honor? God gives us all opportunities to honor people. David was convicted when he cut a piece of cloth of Saul's robe. He was grieved that he did such a thing. Are you grieved when you speak ill of someone even though they may be wrong? We reap what we sow. If we sow the wind, we reap the whirlwind. Our mouths are to be a means of blessing people, not speaking curses over others. Maybe you think someone needs to repent. Did you know that it is the "goodness" of God that brings men to repentance? Try praying the goodness of God upon people's lives. Ask for God's love, goodness, and mercy to be displayed instead of gossiping about people. Or is it that people really don't want other people to change because of their own bitter hearts?
In many cases most would rather gossip than pray for others. Some prayer groups are more like "gossip groups." People look for places to vent their opinions. If you see this happening, expose it on the spot. Whenever you presume to speak negative things about others behind their backs, you are uncovering them and dishonoring them. It is backstabbing. God is not pleased with this. Make sure you have a heart that honors people, and avoid those who talk about others in dishonoring ways. Keep yourself clean. Then pray God's goodness and love be poured out on all involved. When you honor others in private, God will honor you in public. Let your speech be seasoned with salt. Salt is a cleansing agent. It preserves, heals, and restores.
God is faithful!
Live In His Presence Ministries