Jan 6, 2021 | Community, Culture, Family, Uncategorized
I once heard Bob Mumford give the most hilarious message back in the early 1980s. The gist of it was to do with doing life together. He shared how he was so over problems in his relationships in his church. We all know those feelings of being burnt out, and needing some emotional space from others! Bob said he felt like buying a house with a ten foot high wall and putting an electric fence at the top. He was kidding of course!
It’s so much easier to withdraw than to build community. There’s nothing wrong with “time out”, but ultimately we have to come back together and do as the Bible tells us to do. I love this verse:
“Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them towards acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. This is not the time to neglect meeting together as believers, as some have formed the habit of doing. In fact we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage each other as we anticipate that day dawning.” Hebrews 10:24,25 Passion Translation.
I’m trying to make the switch to only organic produce in our house. It means I have to go to the farmer’s market every week! I also probably will run into all the folks who live in my little town. And chances are, I will grab a coffee with friends. If you say, “that’s a lot of hard work”, whenever you go for a change, then you will most likely not do it. If, however, you are clear on your set goals, you will do all that is in your heart to do, regardless of the push. It will be on your non-negotiables list!
Being a part of a local congregation or community should be the highest thing on our non -negotiable list. Being a part of community and declaring war on our independence is something that is so healthy, it is like a part of our “health regime”.
In our house, as we were raising our family, with four teenagers, the rule was, you had to come to church unless you were dying of the flu or pouring blood from some kind of mortal wound. It helps to establish this boundary as singles before you get to raising a whole tribe of kids. Families need this as an absolute boundary. We go to church, we worship and we do it every week! Of course there is grace for the week off but if you don’t instill the value of “being together” how will the next generation know what that even is?
This word together in Hebrews 10, is the word synerchomai. It means to assemble and to gather together. It also means to be mixed in together as a giant family does, with all its mess and loveliness! My family growing up was messy. My family with Phil and our 4 kids was also very messy. In fact I don’t know a family that is not messy! Its just the way family is.
Having said all that, there is a beauty as we gather. From this Greek word, synerchomai, we also get the word, synergy. Church or Spiritual community is meant to be a synergetic blending of diverse ones who bond together as one. We are not perfect, but we are in a continual state of being made whole. We become enlivened as we do this, and have a glory that is unique to the overall because we have shared! Why? Because we were created for community. The deepest expression of our ‘coming together’ is where we can facilitate the opening up of our hearts. This deep heart connection will build new habits and new life-styles. It’s one thing to come together and another to do so with your heart wide open. In the now famous words of the Beatles, “come together right now, over me!”
Are you totally committed to the community of God on earth? What needs to happen for you to do deeper covenant with Gods people? In what areas do you need to get healed of past stuff so you can press into a deeper expression of community? What needs to happen on the inside for you to choose community?
Dec 19, 2020 | Culture, Prophetic, Uncategorized
We are living in an era where the darkness is increasing in our post-modern and post truth world, but at the same time, the light is getting brighter on the earth! We are also living in an era where love and miracles are probably the only way the world will see His glory on the church!
I’m releasing this word because of a series of encounters I’ve had in 2020 where I feel that God has given me a fresh glimpse of the power and enormous strength that love has to change nations. Love is not just a feeling, but instead a truly powerful force to change the very atmosphere of culture. This word might seem somewhat naïve or simple. It is.
Welcome to the simplicity of the gospel! The power of the gospel is the power to change nations with love being the very source of that power.
LOVE IS THE ESSENCE OF WHO GOD IS AND IS THE PLATFORM UPON WHICH ALL OTHER PLATFORMS ARE BUILT AND ESTABLISHED.
As believers, we cannot force change upon our society. We can’t change culture by forcing God’s ways on anyone. Furthermore, we cannot legislate righteousness because righteousness is a by-product of becoming a new creation. Instead, if we want to change society, we must first win hearts by practicing and leading with His love. Further to that, we must build up the community of love on the earth – His church. This is the blueprint of heaven – light invading culture with love!
The problem of course, is that through history, the church has often resorted to desperate measures to change culture. Every time the church does this, it is a departure from the authority, that practicing love can bring. Fear is the opposite of love and causes us to become controlling and deeply untrusting of the Lord’s ability to reign. As a result, the church crosses the line and begins to try to legislate how others feel or think.
When the church tries to dictate righteousness through the flesh, it fails at recognising that the Kingdom is in the realm of the Spirit; not the natural.
HERE’S THE THING – WE CANNOT FIGHT THE FLESH WITH THE FLESH!
We can’t fight the ways of the world with our ability to be anything- not even being smart, clever or wise! Jesus Himself said “If My Kingdom was of this world my servants would fight!” (John 18:36)
In our current cultural climate, the polarization of the various views and ideas has divided the world and even now has brought great pain into the church as the worldwide church has taken this hit by falling in with the enemy’s plan. The fruit is division.
This division is being fuelled by a rampant political spirit that seeks us to turn on our brothers!
What a plan! The enemy knows exactly what he is doing. He has crafted the political spirit to work for his purposes and Christians are so susceptible to coming under this spirit because of the temptation to strive, to do “God’s work.”
BEWARE OF THE LEAVEN OF HEROD
Jesus warned us of many things in the New Testament, and one of the most important warnings was to: “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” (Mark 8:15)
The leaven of the Pharisees is obviously the subtle influence of the religious spirit. The leaven of Herod is widely understood to be the subtle influence of the political spirit.
The political spirit, by definition, is a deceptive spirit that operates subtly through the machinery of worldly politics and creeps into the church masked under the seemingly noble ideologies of patriotism and governmental administration. If we are called to leadership, we have to be clean of the subtle influence of this spirit. It is possible to be free from it, because Jesus was. He managed to speak to the political system without getting in any way robbed of His peace and especially of His love.
This spirit has several fruits and the main one being that it polarizes and causes extreme division.
Of course, it is simply not the Lord’s agenda to rule in such a manner. As leaders and prophets in the Body, we are called to stay away from this temptation and instead live with our heart’s motivation being to bring unity, peace and love. Remember Paul warned against division in 1 Corinthians 12:25; “that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.”
One of the main aims of the political spirit, is to shift us away from God towards the power of man alone to transform society. It is therefore a form of idolatry when we yield to it. This spirit is more than a mindset or attitude it is a spiritual power.
The political spirit is a principality that seeks to overtly draw believers into battles we were not created for!
We need to recognise the difference between participating in government and participating in partisan politics. The church is unquestionably mandated to engage government but never to come under the political spirit.
God says stand and watch Him fight. Does that automatically mean that we don’t fight at all? Not at all. There are times when we are meant to be activists but there are times when we are called to be prayer warriors who trust God to do what only He can do. And if our activism leads us to hate or disrespect, then it’s time to lay it down!
Lastly, this spirit will cause us to compromise our love for God and for others by dividing and separating from others in a highly judging, critical manner. All of us have yielded to it, when we were enticed to “point the finger” at others for thinking differently to us.
MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE SPIRIT
As believers, we must be 100% free of the political mindset. We are not called to fight flesh and blood but principalities and powers through moving in the opposite spirit – working towards unity and oneness in the Body and even with the world where we can!
Let God be God and let Him convict the world of unrighteousness. The church is at risk right now of losing her platform if we do not do the hard yards of being lovers of humanity!
When the political spirit intensifies over a nation, it leads to hate, racial divides and even to think in a superior or a vindictive manner. It is not from God (need that be said?), but instead it is a spirit designed to destroy the work of God and His good name.
This spirit is so dangerous, it actually breaks down Kingdom advances and causes damage to His name. It undoes the reputation of the church and the ability to rise in a manner worthy of our calling. I personally think that 2020 is one of those seasons where the battle is so in the Spirit that if you try to fight in the flesh you end up in the flesh! You’ve seen it on the social media platforms – which causes Christians to act in a way that is destructive to their character! What a departure from love!
The current political atmosphere is charged by this political spirit that has enticed and even seduced many to engage in its ultimate plan; to cultivate a culture of disdain towards others.
Right now, we have to rise above it, so we don’t come under it!
COME UP HIGHER BELOVED
When Jesus says to: “Come up here” in the book of Revelation (4:1), He wasn’t kidding.
He calls us to live from the heights of His love in the Heavens – a place where there is no division, judgement or death – a place where you have unfiltered and unhindered fellowship with God and totally unity with all believers!
For the church to shine in this hour we must stay soft – not harden our hearts to others because of fear!
To say that love is the answer, might seem so basic! But if we can grasp this, then we can love our way through all kinds of evil and even chaos, and still come through looking like Jesus to the world. Think of the love that so many demonstrated in the midst of the Nazi regime. Powerful love and forgiveness was demonstrated and revealed through the kindness of many, and love won time and again.
God works in the midst of the chaos and the darkness. If you try to eradicate the darkness, you’re missing the point. Only light and love can conquer it! If we try to fight all the different things that are becoming mainstream ideas, we will end up fried (burnt out). Many believers give it a go, but often find themselves losing their fire, by fighting the wrong battles.
I FEEL THE LORD WARNING THE CHURCH RIGHT NOW – TO COME OUT FROM UNDER THE POLITICAL SPIRIT AS IT IS CAUSING DIVISION AND HATE.
INSTEAD COME UNDER THE HOLY SPIRIT AND BE AN EXPRESSION OF THE LOVE OF GOD IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW!
The political spirit is at enmity with the Spirit of prophecy because it is driven by earthly political agendas and these agendas exalt man and political culture rather than Christ and His Kingdom culture.
The prophetic community needs to recover her royal assignment of speaking from heaven into the chaos, corruption and confusion of living in a post-truth world by calling us to live in a manner that looks like Christ! According to the scriptures, that is not too much to ask!
Our prophetic mandate is to speak truth to power and model love to the world. Jesus made our assignment clear.
Unfortunately, there are so many lies being used to keep us all hooked on “information” that keeps us moving away from the heart of God, and intrigued by the information at hand. As if that wasn’t bad enough, we now must discern the use of deliberate disinformation. This is one of the most powerful tools of the political spirit to hook you into a battle that keeps you pre-occupied and not sure what to believe.
How can you tell if what you are believing is good or bad? First, examine the fruit! Second, give it time to become manifest. Fruit has a way of revealing itself. Look at what is motivating certain political views and ask the right questions.
One thing is for sure – Jesus said you will ultimately know them according to their fruit.
We know fruit to be Christlike character of love, peace, patience, kindness etc. and looking like Christ (Matthew 7:15). In this verse, Jesus was speaking directly to the prophets. I believe this word of examining the fruit in leaders, prophets and communities is the plumbline of 2020.
HAVE YOU PASSED YOUR LOVE TESTS?
HAVE YOU LET GOD TAKE YOU UP AND BEYOND THE RHETORIC OF A THOUSAND VOICES AND THE THOUSAND LOUD TRUMPETS THAT SEEM TO BE BLASTING?
Recently it feels like we have literally been in the book of Revelation. Check this verse:
“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.” (Revelation 16:13)
There are a lot of false narratives around and the Father wants us to live well above them all. It’s time for a fresh discernment to see how these unclean spirits are hiding.
He is releasing fresh eyes to see and fresh discernment. Don’t be taken captive by political agendas that take you down a road of power, fame and the exaltation of man. Listen, God can fix society… but if we fail our love tests, we won’t have a platform to speak.
At stake in all this, is the prophetic witness of the church in the 21st century!
Imagine if the church recovered her royal assignment of speaking truth to power by raising her voice in the marketplace and calling politicians on their use of disinformation and lack of love? This verse speaks straight to it:
“Tell them all this, but do not expect them to listen. Shout out your warnings, but do not expect them to respond. Say to them, “This is the nation whose people will not obey the Lord their God and who refuse to be taught. Truth has vanished from among them; it is no longer heard on their lips!” (Jeremiah 7:27,28 NLT)
The church is meant to be speaking to the false; not being absorbed by hate, rudeness and disrespect. He will deal with that which is false and the liars who have not been led by the Spirit but by their own power.
Further to that, government leaders are called to uphold righteousness, justice and truth and even love! Biblically, the corrupt politicians were frequently the target of fiery prophets in the Old Testament. Second in line were the ‘prophets’ and ‘preachers’ who were in bed with the politicians:
“Your politicians are like wolves prowling and killing and rapaciously taking whatever they want. Your preachers cover up for the politicians by pretending to have received visions and special revelations. They say, “This is what God, the Master, says” when God hasn’t said so much as one word. Extortion is rife, robbery is epidemic, the poor and needy are abused, outsiders are kicked around at will, with no access to justice. “I looked for someone to stand up for Me against all this, to repair the defences of the city, to take a stand for Me and stand in the gap to protect this land so I wouldn’t have to destroy it. I couldn’t find anyone. Not one.” (Ezekiel 22:27-30 MSG)
As a prophetic movement in an age of chaos, it is time to put some distance between our voice and the voice of earthly political power.
Dear prophets – be wary of the seduction of political power that is offered you in this day. It is time to interrupt the silence and to speak truth to power with one clear prophetic voice – a voice that calls us to love without reservation.
So many of the prophets have currently been hijacked by this political spirit and find themselves fighting a political battle.
The biblical mandate is for prophets to call us to live from the heart so love can increase. Remember the admonition to care for one another! Is your heart broken for the poor, the nations and all the many ethnicities and races?
Have you passed your love tests in 2020 -the year of the reset? If so, you’ll know it and if not, grace is available to upgrade your love levels right now.
STAY CLEAN AS A PROPHETIC PEOPLE
For us as a prophetic company, we must be continually upgrading our love and our confidence in His Lordship and authority way more than any earthly nation or authority. If you have placed man in the place where only God is meant to be, then you need to get clean from that.
The battle is always to stay clean as a prophetic people and live with your eyes on Christ… not the world. He is Lord, not a president or a prime minister. He can legislate the redemption necessary in our broken and fallen world. He can heal and restore, and He is in control.
Daniel lived under Nebuchadnezzar and God heard His prayers and placed Him in great favour. Your favour as a believer has nothing to do with your status and your actual influence in worldly terms. Instead, it has to do with how well you are known in Heaven and how well did you cleave to His voice.
Beloved, we must pass every test of love – even with those you don’t agree with –this includes even your “political enemies!” No one will remember the believers for their great arguments and ability to be right. Instead, the Word clearly says that the world will know us for our love. A love that doesn’t diminish when someone is of another belief.
God’s remedy is always quite different to ours.
For us as a prophetic company, we are called to be a people who live from Heaven. This means not being terrified of the days we are in, because God has a plan to prosper the Bride even in dark days! Recently, it was said of Billy Graham that he resisted the pull of partisanship, stood in the middle and was able to respect all the different people God gave him favour with in government. He was not swayed and knew his assignment was to be a prophetic voice of the Father’s love. A man who passed his love tests and stayed faithful to the Kingdom mandate.
Beloved, be filled with love so you don’t buy into the political spirit!
A LOVE REFORMATION
JESUS IS SHOUTING, I AM LOVE, I AM ABLE TO LEAD MY PEOPLE TO VICTORY ACCORDING TO MY HEART AND MY PATTERN; THE PATTERN OF LOVE!
IT’S TIME FOR THE ARMY OF LOVE TO ARISE IN THE EARTH.
Listen to Paul’s prophetic advice:
“You are always and dearly loved by God! So, robe yourself with virtues of God, since you have been divinely chosen to be holy. Be merciful as you endeavour to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble, unoffendable in your patience with others. Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them. For love is supreme and must flow through each of these virtues. Love becomes the mark of true maturity. Let your heart be always guided by the peace of the Anointed One, who called you to peace as part of His one body. And always be thankful.” (Colossians 3:12 -15 TPT)
Love is the hallmark of mature Christians!
HAPPY CHRISTMAS AS YOU FINISH WELL IN 2020 AND …..YES, THERE IS STILL TIME TO PASS ALL YOUR LOVE TESTS!