Monday, October 21, 2013

Christianity Impossible…..

If you watch the food network you have probably seen the show Restaurant Impossible. People who are in a “once successful and now failing” business have Robert Irvine—the brash, loud, ex-military Brit come in and show them what is wrong and how to fix it. He has run into filth, bad marriages, poor service, attitudes, frozen food, no seasoning, and fiscal mismanagement. Usually when he is interviewing the owners it becomes apparent that they got discouraged at some point and just kept burying themselves in defeat and despair. Sometimes they are afraid to change because it worked before. Most do not take a salary and many are about to lose everything.

Robert brings a crew to redo the restaurant’s d├ęcor. He retrains whatever other area needs work. The show’s bi-line is “We’ve got $10,000 and 2 Days to Make this Work.” He also goes on to remind people that this is about these people’s lives. Now this is not some nice, gentle, soothing man who comes in to coddle people; he is a powerhouse and hurt feelings aside he KNOWS what he is doing. He transforms failure into success.

I was praying for the body of Christ and realized my focus was on the “seasoned saints”.  Those Christians who have been in the battle for many years. My heart was breaking for the weariness, for the defeat, for that longing to come into the “success” of the fullness of His presence, His transformation and His love.

I believe the word of God is true. It is sharper than any 2 edged sword. So, when I read something, I not only want to apply it to my life I want to see how I can use it to intercede for others. He said, “Don’t be weary in well doing…” What does that mean? It means we will have plenty of opportunity to get tired.
So, like I said, I started praying for the “seasoned saints”. Those Christians who at one time were powerhouses that have “wearied” and do not seem to be moving where they want.

In weariness so any things can happen. Just like in the businesses in Restaurant Impossible people often feel the anointing is diminishing and instead of pressing through they become weary—that creates a downward spiral into defeat.

What are some of the reasons all this happens? Sometimes when people get tired they:

  1. Filth—people move into old habit patterns—though they may be milder because people put “rules” on their sin. Ephesians 5:3-4 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  2.  Bad marriages--people forget they are a bride preparing for her groom and they start looking for some ‘short term lover” rather than waiting for their true love who is looking for a bride without a spot or wrinkle. Revelations 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. WARNING: (the lyrics of this song will offend religious spirits) it starts with short term lovers but farther down the chorus it speaks of true love: “Short term lovers under covers, Well, now that don't mean a thing. When you find out what you're missin', Well, I hope it ain't too late. 'Cos when you need someone to hold you, When your world comes tumblin' down; I'll be there if you ever need me, True love won't let you down.
  3. Bad service—Christians begin to resent serving others when they are weary. Luke 10:40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.”
  4.  Frozen Food—how many become cold in their attitudes? Their hearts? Isn’t that the end result of weariness in well doing? Revelation 3:14-16 “…These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” 
  5. No seasoning—often Christians are enthusiastic and zealous when they are first saved. Their words
    bring the truth of God. But, as they mature their words begin to lose their “spice”. Nothing is worse than a meal with no salt….Ask Robert Irvine! The Message Bible says it really well in Luke 14:34
    “Salt is excellent. But if the salt goes flat, it’s useless, good for nothing. “Are you listening to this? Really listening?” Colossians 4:6 presents another warning about remaining salty: “Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.”
  6. Fiscal mismanagement—how many teachings are there about tithing? God is serious about this. So many Christians consider throwing a $5 bill into the offering plate a tithe. It isn’t. Most Christians would not steal a thing but they will steal from God without blinking an eye. Creating callouses brings about a weariness. It is hard work. Malachi 3:7-9  “Since the days of your fathers, you have turned from My statutes; you have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Hosts. But you ask: “How can we return?” “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me!” You ask: “How do we rob You?” “By not making the payments of the tenth and the contributions. You are suffering under a curse, yet you—the whole nation—are still robbing Me.

Do you know of Christians who are weary? Unable to break out? Robert Irvine comes in with power and the answers. Call on the Holy Spirit to come in—He stays more than 2 days. He brings more than $10,000. He brings all the answers.

The whole show would be a failure if the owners did not implement what Robert shows them. The same thing is true in the Christian walk.

As intercessors it is time to get serious—Robert Irvine is nothing if not serious. We need to be aware of the weary saints and start praying. Ask the Holy Spirit to come in with the gifts: the word of knowledge and wisdom, prophecy, discerning of spirits etc. We need to pray with power and purpose. We need to call on the Holy Spirit to enter the situation and remake lives with Power and Comfort.

This is not Christianity Impossible—
with Christ it is Christianity Possible!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

How Much Kool-Aid Have You Consumed?????

Emotional attachments are not exclusive of spiritual insight. I think this is an issue for people because most people are run by their emotions and therefore they do not understand that you can love someone and still speak truth.
There are times that God reveals things to us and we ignore, justify or compromise what we hear. We want to be wrong. The enemy attacks—he wants us to be wrong also. He blames us. We are too cruel, too harsh, and too judgmental… we believe what the enemy tells us or what we rationalize in our own minds. We do all of that before we move to the spirit realm and ask God what those nudges are and what He is saying.

This causes frustration in us and intense spiritual warfare. Satan hates exposure and he goes to extreme measures to remain hidden. If the gift of discerning of spirits is operating, move into the spirit realm make sure you have a pure heart and hear His voice. He did not give you the gift of suspicion so do not run willy-nilly. But DO hear the truth of His voice and move on that.

I realized, after a few months, I had been hearing and feeling a lot of red flags BUT did not want to be negative so did not share with anyone and just watched. I ended up in a large spiritual battle. I was hurt and so were others.

Fighting hopelessness? Failure? Inadequacy? None of those are from God. The enemy is a liar. Don’t drink the Kool-aid.  Demons hate exposure. Shine the light.

We often use Isaiah 54 to mean in a church or a ministry—how about generational curses and cycles? How about your life? Let the plans of God open that door for you…

Break forth—break forth out of your old places and into God’s new for you.

Enlarge your house—Let God add rooms to your house. Clean out whatever rooms necessary and allow him to expand your house. How many moves of the Spirit in your life have been quenched due to fear?

Spread out—expect the expansion of God—He never downsizes. Soar over the problems. It is time to stop blaming God for the negative and partner with God for all the good in your life.

Burst at the seams—Burst forth with joy. Are you stuck in the birth canal? Allow yourself to be birthed into you destiny. The enemy wants you bound—don’t let him be in charge.

Compromise is the Kool-aid of the church.

If you do not take and walk in the authority God gave you, the enemy will steal your vision, your hope and your destiny. Jesus warned about the strong man in Luke but He also told us in Luke 11:21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his estate, his possessions are secure.” A strong man has a strong hold. 

The enemy tries to steal a seated position of false authority in our lives—take your throne back. We are created as kings and priests. Can you think of ANY king in history who was willing for anyone who wanted his throne to just come in and sit in the throne? NEVER. Operate in your God given authority. This is an individual endeavor but sometimes it is the fruit of a corporate stance of intercession.

Some days we just need to intercede for ourselves. Is today your day?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Are You Wrestling or Resting?

I am going through so much contemplative stuff recently. You know, that kind of time where you just sit before the Lord. So recently I turned off everything and did just that. Sat before the Lord. Now realize, for me, it rarely means being quiet for very long. I have LOTS of questions. Always have. Just ask my mom. 

“God, what about???? God have I???? God should I????? God help me see..... God how can I do what you call me and be so vilified??? Am I really expected to perform like a puppet from a little box that I have NEVER fit in? God???? I have no answers Lord, so I will rest in YOU.”

This is never easy for me. I can DO 40 things at once and be comfortable BUT resting is a different matter. I LOVE hearing from God but do not appreciate (like I always hear I should) resting in Him. To me it feels like I am moving backwards. I feel stagnate and I usually end up taking a nap. I always feel better after though…..
Several people have really hurt me lately---and yet none of that causes God to slow down. My reaction and/or attitude can make a difference but we are in end times and God is moving forward. Being hurt has made me wonder how many have I hurt? Unintentional to be sure. If I know I hurt someone I am pretty quick to apologize.

Has God discarded me? It feels like He has but I know better. Yesterday I was running through the list of THINGS I have done. Good and bad, In the spirit and in the flesh Really none of it mattered, it is what God is doing that is important. In the middle of all this “resting” (sounds more like wrestling in the Spirit doesn't it?)  GOD reminded me that I am a "breaker" in the spirit.

I have had several “words” along this line but it was in 2009 that I finally understood what that meant.  I break hard ground, I break icy hearts, I break resistance in the spirit realm. Then the way is prepared for others to come in and fulfill their calling. He again reminded that I am like an ice breaker ship. It is a cold, isolated, hard calling in the midst of harsh circumstances but without it there are deaths. 

God will do what He wants done in spite of man. So many people reject strong, anointed, confident Christians because they are afraid of that strength and confidence or they are competitive or jealous or....

I had a pastor tell me one time he did not “accept” me at first because I was such a strong woman and they can cause problems. I wondered how many men he had said that to! Cracked me up.

God is redeeming the time and you are running a good race----be blessed today in the midst of all the “circumstances” of life. And while you are at it—pray for every “strong” Christian you know. Make them a point of intercession both today and often and reap the results of that intercession in your own life. 

Check out Psalm 55--it is subtitled Betrayal by a Friend

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Roll call....

You have seen the scene and probably been in the situation: small children choosing teams. One child, probably a little chubby, hoping he/she gets chosen, bouncy, excited, “Choose me, choose me.” You see the hurt in their eyes. The rejection when they are passed over time after time. A good teacher will watch over their students and make sure that different children are chosen to be the captain each time BUT rejection and pain happen. 

I understand that the schools today want to make sure that no one has hurt feelings and everything has to be fair—but life is NOT fair. Those times of rejection and hurt should be balanced with times of recognition. They can cause us to develop character—or not. They teach us to acknowledge our areas of lack and grow them up into areas of strength—or not. We can handle these times in so many different ways. We can fall into a martyr spirit, a spirit of self-pity, a spirit of rejection, a spirit of revenge, inferiority or a dozen other things or we can let it go and grow into the character of Christ.
How many people feel this way?

The thing is, I see this in churches. The cliques, the groups forming, the
rejection of anyone who will not conform to “their” idea of Christianity, anyone who looks differently, talks differently, resides in a different socio-economic arena, goes to a different church. The “team picking” that brings hurt, rejection, pain. Part of this is human nature. Part of this is demonic. Demons do not have to do too much if they can just plant a thought and watch the “Christians” jump on it, turn it into a religious “truth” and destroy each other. It is sorta like throwing a bone into a pack of starving dogs. People want to be the “top” dog and in their justification of Christianity they destroy whoever doesn’t bow down at their altar.

Several years ago one of my friends, who has several sons, saw one son doing something wrong and said, “Paul come here.” The child was standing in the doorway looking at him but did not move. My friend repeated, “Paul, come here.” The child continued to stand and stare. By now my friend, who is used to his children being very obedient said with a lot more force, “Paul, come here right now.” The child did not budge and my friend’s temper began to rise. His wife, watching this transaction, leaned over and said, “Honey that is Ben.” My friend was completely shocked and totally cracked up—it happens in families. My grandmother used to call it the “grandkid roll call.”

How do these things relate to intercession?
  1. It is time to recognize that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. It is time to move to godliness.
  2. It is time for us to allow holiness to override our personal wants, desires, attitudes and the cliques in the church.
  3. It is time to recognize who the enemy is and stop just spouting running the “demon roll call”, hear from God and speak truth to the situation.  
  4. It is time to get into the watch tower, walk the walls, walk through the “streets” of the church and protect the sheep.
  5. It is time to take our calling seriously.
Where are you positioned?

What does your watch tower look like?

Are you assigned to a wall? A tower? Inside the walls?

How far do you see ahead?

Are your walls crumbling?

Do you get side-tracked in your calling?

As intercessors we need to be that "hand up" in the spirit, that person who lifts the "too small" child to the drinking fountain of living water. 

Time to pray.....