Move…Move…what?

images-7Considering a move – From time to time there comes a moment when we see that repositioning is required to advance all we hold dear.   A new job, a new home all to do with taking steps forward and making a difference although possibly for many it is about their own lives.    Some today are discovering they are in the wrong job, enduring permanent frustration.    The greater part of everyone’s (awaken) day is spent at work, so what I do, my job choice is important.   You will never influence people effectively if you are unhappy, unfulfilled and feeling undervalued.

“Well”, you say “what do I switch to?”.   It does not matter, as along as you occupy the ground that affords its greatest opportunity for influencing people and situations towards righteousness and justice in your time, as you seek to pursue Godlikeness.

You might be a social worker, teacher, engineer, IT, dinner lady, secretary or mother and father, it really does not matter what it is, others of you might be a driver, refuse collector, postman, newspaper deliverer or a student, it does not make a difference  as long as whatever you do, you are committed to it.   Position yourself in life where there is an opportunity to extend the Kingdom, and be happy.   I find more people just survive in work as they have not aligned who they are in their passion with what they do, (that may be another topic we may look at that some other time)

In thinking about changing what I do, we have to face the broader issue of our priorities.   We are to seek the Kingdom first, making it our first thought in life and making it foremost.    If we are to exercise influence for the Kingdom we must be governed by the Kingdom not the  local currency.

Some have come to the realisation ‘I need to relocate’, my home, flat.. is in cosy-ville, comfort-town, settled settlement where nothing is happening.   Nothing about it sharpens you any more.   You are in a rut, with no more sense of challenge.   but you have been around there so long that you don’t even recognise an open door when you see one.   Start to think actively about relocating!    Some live in places where they are really struggling to believe God for anything, it starts with being unable to believe for little things that we push aside, then before we see it they are not stretching to believe for anything.   it is time to reposition yourself along side men and women who are believing beyond, bigger and have a wider reach.    Some live where there are too many relatives taking a bite of your time and not allowing a reaching wider.

Some are too close to other people’s responsibilities.   If you were to move, you would be amazed how people could take up for themselves what they have been dumping on you.

I can hear some saying do you know the condition of the economy, the housing or job market, well what about believing God in all that, tapping into the life of God and going out to live that life….

Here is a challenge some are in a church that is too large for you.   it has 100’s and some 1000’s like you…you are just one in a long line, O yes its progressive, the music the programmes, the facilities but it’s not radical, cost but no challenge you know this week to week what goes on.   but we are to fill the earth with Jesus, Kingdom communities, we are to enlarge the family of God, we are to GO… constantly.   Lets make families, God-families, filling the earth with the family of God in every street, village, town and city by going rather than staying.

Ask yourself ‘Am I in the right work. right place, amongst the right church/people?”  determine to do whatever may be necessary to play your part to the full in touching and changing the world.   Jesus said that the grace and anointing was to do something (Luke 4:18) to set freedom first.

Be what you are, men and women, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters brothers and sisters, people of God, children of God the ecclesia.

 

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Road signs ahead…

images-7As you drive in the rural areas of UK the road signs are some times different to urban driving.   You come across signs that tell you to pay attention of, “Beware of…”.   Generally they are small signs, not mass-produced or government signs but little hand-made, painted on cardboard to wooden board and some times even marked stones.

Signs of “beware lambing season”, “beware heavy plant in road”, “beware ducks crossing”, they communicate one thing in all their ways BEWARE, pay attention, take a second look, make sure you’re paying attention, avoid an accident or an incident.   All these tells us we don’t want you to harm yourself or any one else.

While recently writing blogs on the prophetic a few have come to mind, things written on hearts, hands, eyes, life really.    I would like to knock a few hand-made posts in regarding the prophetic, to hold up some beware’s for us all.   All prophetic ministry, using it in a broad sense if you prophecy or are in ministry call, even if you are an elder, pastor, vicar or teacher you should have a prophetic fervour in you.

All prophetic ministry should Beware of Weariness.  When the scriptures says don’t images-13grow weary, weariness.   Think of the prophets that got tired.    Elijah running from Jezebel, oh the grace of God that he didn’t just wake him up and give him a meal but sent him back to sleep.   Let’s get rid of the weariness.

Beware of a weariness that is deeper than just physical.   beware of the weariness that insidiously creeps into your soul, the tiredness of not wanting to get up and do it again.   Or so much flack that you don’t want to get up and say it again.   weariness. beware of that weariness.

When Jesus pressed himself on in the garden of Gethsemane and had come back and asked them to wait the hour and watch the hour in pray with him, he says “…can’t you even watch the one hour?”   Their weariness.   But he couldn’t afford to let that weariness press his soul.   For if he had allowed that weariness to engulf he soul the cup would never had been drunk and you and I would not have been here.

Beware flattery.  All the apt on the back to the prophet.   Beware those who come flattering you on your delivery, your content. your powerful word and yet don’t change by it.   Flattery comes from the heart that is committed to no change.   It just wants you to feel good about accepting them in their unchanged state.   Beware flattery.

Beware compromise that when you have the word of God, when you have the vision of God, then you don’t indulge in well may be, well perhaps you are right, maybe I will have to tone it down a wee bit and yes perhaps I am asking too much too soon, and by the time they will have finished helping you adjust your vision will be so small you will need a microscope to find it.   Don’t compromise.

Beware of ridding your gift.  Most prophets, not all but most, are articulate.   But when in the unction of the Holy Spirit they bring the word of God it is powerful and articulate, even when they are preaching the prophetic word, it can be very easy to lose your dependence on God and ride your gift.

Beware hypocrisy.  It’s interesting that Jesus didn’t shout out to the crowds there images-12beware of hypocrisy, he accepted the fact that the Pharisees had hypocrisy, but he said to his own, beware of the leaven.  Hypocrisy of demanding in your words what you are not willing to walk and are not walking in, of calling on people to walk by principles that your are not a model for living in.

I have found myself being in situations where people are generous they give, share of their life and give as well as tithe while some men and women live on this generosity yet did not personally tithe, the church required the people to be generous in this manner other wise it would not meet its responsibilities.   I could not believe it, what right did they have to expect what they did not do.   What right do we have to know the depth of their actions and not walk ourselves in it?   Beware hypocrisy.

Beware the influence of wrong companions to you as God servant.   Imagine how many people in the hour of crises or time to strain forward to stand for what is to come from God found themselves in companionship that keep undercutting, undermining, with nice words and suggestions.

Beware trying to prove your ministry.   if you are a prophet you don’t need to prove your ministry.    there is nothing for you to prove.   Listen to what its says in 1 Samuel 3:19-20 ‘Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fail.  And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-Sheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet.   Who confined him?   God, by not letting his words fail.  By brining it about.  You have nothing to prove.   You are either bringing the word, if you are bridging the word, let God do the proving.  It will happen. You don’t fight anything.

 Just be who you are meant to be, enjoy the adventure as you expand and follow Godlikeness, as those who are part of a prophetic movement, a church called to be the voice of God, to enable, to inspire all to hear God, to enable people to hear the Father where ever they find themselves to be far from God or where God has made us near.

Destiny…Purpose…and You!?

images-6I have a destiny? 
I have a purpose? 
Do you?
These are common statements, yet we discover many frustrated people chasing or advancing themselves to the degree that nothing else matters.    While I believe in destiny, each one of us being created, as the scripture puts it ”…for good works…”  I see that the context of the arresting of the Divine in our lives is sometimes sidelined and misquoted which brings about frustration.
We have been born and set in place to fulfil the will of the Father,  our destiny, never mind what we think it might be, finds its source and positioning in the will of God.     Our names have been included in the bringing about of the Father, Son and Spirit’s will,  this is where we find the most fulfilling and a destiny that is true.   A destiny that is not self willed, self-centred, or self-seeking but being poured out for the Divine Call that is on every ones life.
I believe it is time to re-orient ourselves so we can fulfil the will of God.

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love         he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,       to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Eph 1:3-6 
This passage explodes into the life of the  Christ follower, it pulsates, it moves at a pace.   Just as Paul whose thoughts inspired by the Holy Spirit he lets lose in  a 10 verse explosion of vocabulary with out a pause in Eph 1.   Some say this is the longest sentence in written form, no breath, no commas, no fullstops!
 
THE EXPLOSION OF “BLESSED BE THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRISt WHO HAS BLESSED US WITH EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST JESUS
 
An excitement over what God has done for us.   Paul says it is glorious, it takes your breath away what has taken place in Christ with us.
 
Can you feel Paul’s revelation, can you feel his passion as you try read the 10 verses without commas, and pauses?   
We are included!   we are Involved!   See it with Paul!    Paul communicates all history has changed and he is inspired by it.
 
Paul says this is our destiny, to give ourselves not to gain position, quotas, elevation, greater church numbers, more books or TV, bigger and better (is this not competition), events and churches, but to be a part of Divine Destiny.    I have  a destiny, you have a  destiny, it is to be inspired with God’s Destiny and give our selves to it, so we can fulfil the good works set for us as we pursue the destiny of God  we embrace our personal destiny.   My Destiny is found in pursuit of Gods’.
 
So what do I do find people who are giving themselves to “Making God Great”,by following the eternal set ways,  setting Father, Son and Holy Spirit goal as first order and not promoting their church, their ministry but giving all they have to serve the Destiny of God.   Let us be part of a transformation that releases a fulfilled people of God as they give all to Gods’ Goal
 
In the next few blogs I will look at this inspiring destiny,  all our initiatives, all our transformation, missional involvement  and everything we involve with must find its source in the destiny of God, not simply caught on achieving my Destiny, but achieving Gods Destiny  is actually achieving my Destiny God has a goal!

Be counted in…

“The priesthood of all believers” this was once well taught, Martin Luther in the early reformation took it as a central teaching. Yet after all this time we are still battling with it.     Today we have a professional priesthood or pastors more than ever and with it people are moved into a consumer approach to faith, where we come and get God served to us on Sunday mornings.   We all agree with the notion knowing we are all priest unto God.   The dilemma today is this, do we continue to live as we are, are we ‘consumered out’ and so hierarchically set that we have to live with a priesthood once again and thus remain with a professional priesthood ?

unknownI know this is not our desire.  Today with the great cry for freedom  and liberty all around us, we should  take hold of our position through the love of God.

We have to become a priesthood to all creation, while maintaining a corporate people of God understanding and existence.    Some however have taken it to such an extreme that they have become islands of faith and individuals with no connections,  that is yet another extreme.   We are a community and family of priests unto our God, here to minister to one another and bring explanations of the Father to our world.    This is what  our High Priest the Christ has done before us.

Suppose that you gathered one Sunday morning, and some one stood before the congregation  asking, “Would any priest  here please stand?”   I am sure for some their historical backgrounds would determine the response.  Who would stand and who would you expect to stand?

Some would be comfortable to stand and others wait for those in the vocation or profession to stand.   Before you start looking to other denominations and saying ‘Ah they would….’ What have we slowly and subversively come to?   The question deals with the fleeting issue of ‘Image and Likeness’ and ‘Identity’.  This is central to all dealing with how we see and think of ourselves.  One of Gods central concerns, at this time, is to produce his image and likeness back into his world and humanity, that Christ might have supreme position in all – Restoration.   The Holy Spirit is working to bring about a people of image and likeness to the Father in the cosmos, it is an important issue today.

Heavens resources are working to bring the image and likeness of God back in view to all.

Back to the question on that Sunday morning, how many people do you think would rise? More important, would you stand?

You should! every believer is anointed to serve as a priest.

For the early Christian in the New Testament, the word priest is never used of a church leader; it is only used to characterise the role of all believers.  Imagine how it was received by the early Christians. When Peter wrote, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people” (1 Pet. 2:9RSV), he was writing mostly to people who formerly had nothing to do with Israel and its God. Peter confers on these new Christians both a Jewish heritage (“you are a holy nation, God’s own people”) and the privilege of priesthood (“you are a royal priesthood”). Such a notion would have shaken them to the soles of their sandals.

Perhaps to understand the privilege of being named a priest, we need first to examine what priesthood meant to those who had a history of understanding of the practice of Priesthood.     Why do I write on this, I believe that if we could catch our Image and Likeness, our identity, many challenges would pass and life would be lived very differently, its time to finally realise the goal of the Father in this.

A Favoured Person

Priests were chosen from among the tribe of Levi (one of the 12 tribes of Israel) to serve as mediators between God and His people. God told Aaron, the first high priest,

I myself have selected your fellow Levites from among the Israelites as a gift to you, dedicated to the Lord to do the work at the Tent of Meeting. But only you and your sons may serve as priests in connection with everything at the altar and inside the curtain. I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. Anyone else who comes near the sanctuary must be put to death Num. 18:6-7

It was a tremendous privilege to serve as a priest in Israel—a gift. Priests enjoyed a special relationship to God: They alone could offer sacrifices; they alone had access to the holy portions of the tabernacle and the temple where God manifested His presence; they alone were the guardians of the Law.

Then, in the New Testament, all believers are called as priests. The book of Revelation says that Jesus “has made us his Kingdom and his priests who serve before God his Father” (1:65:10NLT). In a sense, when we are “born again,” we are born into a priesthood as if we were actually privileged descendants of Levi. In addition, with our new birth we receive an anointing, not with oil as Old Testament priests were anointed, but with the Holy Spirit (1 Jn. 2:2027). This anointing empowers us to serve God in this privileged and vitally important priestly role.

You won’t have to Kill a cow or a lamb.

Here are five ways we serve Christ as priests.

1. We offer sacrifices. Under the Old Covenant, priests offered animal sacrifices. They slaughtered a lamb on the altar every morning and evening, drained the animal’s blood, and sprinkled the blood on and around the altar. Then they cut the animal into prescribed portions and burned much of the meat (see Ex. 29:38-39). These costly and graphic sacrifices were a constant reminder of the deadly seriousness of sin and the need for cleansing and forgiveness from God. They were inadequate, however, to cover sins; they only pointed to the ultimate sacrifice.

This sacrifice was realised in Jesus who came as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29). The offering of His life on the cross was the final sacrifice. None other will ever be necessary: “He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself” (Heb. 7:27).

Because of Jesus’ sacrificial offering, priests no longer need to make animal sacrifices. But God does call us to sacrifice consider Romans 12:1 “I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship”.

As living sacrifices, we offer ourselves completely to God to use as He pleases.

In addition, instead of the aroma of a burnt offering, God longs for us to offer the pleasing aroma of praise: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name” (Heb. 13:15). This too is part of our priestly service.   I have mentioned in a number of places remember that worship was not singing but a life of obedience, worship was obedience and there to be a sweet aroma to God.    Singing has a place, it helps us express and confess, yet without obedience it is just a sing along, for the sake of enjoying the music or the celebrations of songs

2. We read, interpret, and proclaim God’s . One of the extraordinary blessings of the New Covenant is that we have direct and immediate access to the Word of God. This truth led Christian leaders such as John and Martin Luther to translate the Bible into everyday languages so all people—not just the clergy—could read it, interpret it, and delight in it. God calls all of us to be like the priest Ezra, who devoted himself to studying God’s , practicing it, and making it known (Ezra 7:10).

3. We intercede for others in prayer.    We also have direct access to God—through our relationship with him.   Developing and deepening our intimacy with him.,  Because of our close relationship with Jesus, the great high priest, we can “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Heb. 4:16). At that throne, we believer-priests can serve others by interceding with God on their behalf.      God is still looking for those who will become the one ‘mankind’ who will stand in the gap, intercede and rule in the cosmos on his behalf.

4. We serve according to our giftedness. Not all priests will serve in the same way under this new priesthood. When God poured out His Spirit upon us, He gave us different abilities. God also has provided the church with a variety of gifted people (none of whom constitute a special order of priests) who encourage and prepare their fellow believer-priests to do the ministry. The Apostle Paul says that Christ has given gifts to the church “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service” (Eph. 4:12NASB).     That the people of God transform the cosmos around by their empowering priesthood.

5. We mediate God’s presence to the world. Ultimately, we are channels of God’s blessing. One of our priestly sacrifices is to serve others: “Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Heb. 13:16). We represent God’s presence to those living with us, those in line with us at the grocery store, serving us in restaurants, working next to us, or sitting across from us in our small groups. As we talk, pray, and live with them, we are fulfilling our priestly role as Peter described it:

1 Peter 2:9 “You are…a royal priesthood…[God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.”

Knowing your true identity and role can have a powerful impact on your life. God has called you to a priestly position and has anointed you with His Spirit for this privileged assignment.