Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Garris Elkins: Living In the Green Light: "What Are You Waiting For?"

Garris ElkinsSeveral years ago, Jan and I had the privilege of having lunch with David and Deborah Crone who pastor The Mission, a church in Vacaville, California. When I get together with leaders like the Crones, I often ask what guides them in their ministry. When I asked David this question, without hesitation he said, "We live in the green light of God."

David's words deeply impacted my spirit. An adjustment of my life paradigm occurred as David's words hung over the lunch table. Deborah added to David's comment by saying that God is faithful to give us the red lights when we need to stop if we will simply live in His green light.

As Jan and I drove home after lunch, David's words began to rearrange certain areas of my life and ministry. I knew I had received an impartation of truth.

"What Are You Waiting For?"

Some of our lives resemble beautiful and powerful automobiles that are running at idle while waiting at an intersection, even though the light is green. It has been "green and go" since the Day of Pentecost, yet some of us still wait, continuing to idle and going nowhere. I sense that God is asking His Church, "What are you waiting for?" The reality is that the Heavens are open, and the Spirit has been given to us. We are seated in Heaven at the right hand of the Father on purpose. The green light of God is present in His people. It is time to invite the Holy Spirit to reveal why some of us are stopped instead of moving forward. It is also time to renew our minds and live as people positioned by God to do more than just wait at intersections and idle our engines of faith.

Many of us have forgotten that we really are children of the Most High God. We have allowed lies to remain embedded and unchallenged in our lives. We have created a performance-based relationship with the Grace-Giver. We live in fear of failure, and so we avoid stepping out in faith, thinking that failure means rejection. Some of us are afraid to move forward in boldness because we still believe that God can only love us if our performance is without fault.

This fear has immobilized the prayer of faith in some; it blinds us to the green light and keeps us from pressing down on the accelerator pedal and moving forward. We displace this lie by remembering that we are loved, not as the result of our performance, but out of the very nature of God. He can only love. He is love. He is unchangeable in His love.

Fear of failure and rejection can redirect the focus of our prayer back onto self, and when this happens we become the ones responsible for the results of what we have prayed. We take on the burden of outcomes.

"What if I pray and the person is not healed?" "What if I turn to the table behind me, say the word God asked me to give, and they reject it?" If we feel that we are responsible for the results of our faith, we will inevitably live in the prison of performance, because the perceived power source is with us and not with God. This prison holds our life and faith captive to personal doubt instead of the open road of freedom that comes from living in the green light of God.

Are You a Friend?

In John 15 Jesus said that He would no longer relate to His disciples as servants. He would now relate to them as friends. The shift here was not simply about using a new word to describe their relationship but rather how being a friend would radically change the way the disciples would relate to Jesus in the future.

Remember: servants live with a list of things to do. Servants execute lists of performance, and when they are done performing, they go back to the servants' quarters. A friend is different. A friend lives in anticipation of what their friend desires. They have a relationship that is powered by intimacy and union. They see an open road and the green light of relationship and freedom.

All of God's promises are "yes" in Jesus.

As surely as God is true, I am not that sort of person. My yes means yes because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, never wavers between yes and no. He is the one whom Timothy, Silas, and I preached to you, and he is the divine Yes – God's affirmation. For all of God's promises have been fulfilled in him. That is why we say "Amen" when we give glory to God through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:18-20

This kind of friendship with God that Paul described, and its resulting prayer, looks reckless to people who have yet to realize His friendship. Friendship with God looks reckless because you end up blasting past people who are still parked at the intersection with their foot on the brakes. Friends of God travel right through intersections because they are fulfilling the anticipated desires of the Master: living in the green light of God.

In the area of Oregon where I live, the police and fire vehicles are equipped with transmitting units that send signals ahead of them to change traffic lights from red to green so that the responding public safety personnel can reach the emergency site unimpeded. The vehicles carry with them the ability to change the function of the traffic light. You and I carry the presence of Jesus Christ. That presence changes everything.
Followers of Jesus Christ live in the green light of God's promises. All of God's promises are "yes." "Promise" is a word that can be translated "to announce upon." Jesus told the disciples in Luke 24:49, "And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as My Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from Heaven." When Jesus said these words, He was assuring His disciples that in the near future God would "announce upon them" the Spirit.

The prophet Joel announced the promise of the future outpouring of the Spirit in the latter days. On the Day of Pentecost, timeless eternity announced the reality of Joel's prophecy down upon earth.

Right now, God is announcing His promises upon the earth through His Church. This really is a new day. The fires of revival are sparking and igniting upon the earth on every continent. The promise of God has been announced to us, His friends, and we are the chosen voices of Heaven to speak truth into our world by believing that all the promises are "yes" in Christ and by speaking that "yes" into a fearful and hesitant world.

We live in the green light of God.

Garris Elkins, Senior Leader
Living Waters Church - Medford, Oregon


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