Barrier of the Mind

The Barrier of a Closed Mind – Breaking through Sound Barriers…

imagesWe can deliberately and inadvertently close the possibility of hearing God.   This Sound Barrier (see preceding blog)  comes in a number of ways.  As already mentioned one barrier is the lie of believing our lost-ness which makes us unworthy.

Lost-ness is where we have not only a barrier created in our hearing it’s where another sense is changed our seeing becomes skewed, and it is where our insecurities arise and self-centeredness is created.   This Sound barrier creates a preoccupation with ourselves and our welfare, a feeling of loneliness, a need of acceptance, and the drive to prove ourselves, it provokes us to finding something that makes us secure.  This belief we are lost creates threat, aloneness, guilt, it creates a fear and anxiety of the soul, which drives us and forms our relating and responses, the lost-ness in us, forms its own world and history.

The sound barrier is there when we struggle with our worth, this lie has not awakened us to the mission of the Holy Spirit which is to lead us to KNOW what the Father has made of us in Christ.   We are not known as we are known (1 Cor 13:12). NASB    For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

Don’t get caught in the barrier of “somebodiness” find your self in Christ.

“Who, me?” when God speaks it is accompanied by disbelief and discredit.  Gideon’s story paints this picture well, a reaction of disbelief and self dis-credit.   Gideon an unimportant member of a minor family in the weakest clan Judge 6:1, I want a sign to prove I am hearing you, is it really you?    I wonder why we ask for signs, which is such a gift from God, but what is the basis of my asking?

This young unconvinced general doubt, not that God would speak but that God would speak to him, why would the God of the universe and beyond converse with a nobody?

Would God speak to little old me?  O yes remove the sound barrier as God has asked us to ask, align our will to Gods and ask Luke 11:9, the God that has numbered even the hairs on my head Luke 12:7, the Father of the detail of our lives cares enough to speak to you.

“That’s just thunder”, in John 12:29 a place where a conversation between earth and heaven went on, even the voice from heaven was spoken for those around that had a sound barrier.

Some times the closed mind is such we can not hear God because our expectations of how God might speak did not include the way God did speak.  In this passage clearly the way God would speak did not include an audible voice.    When God spoke they heard a noise…thunder.

To Elijah he spoke in the opposite expectation of the prophet 1 Kings 19:11-13 tells me.  Not in wind, fire, earthquake but a whisper a prophet who expected sensational ways would have had a sound barrier.

Our open minds are sensitive to ordinary and surprising ways of God speaking.  images-1

“I might not believe it” or “it might get weird”, “its not the way our protocol is”.   How many cults start with ”God told me…”, how many unbalanced people have engaged in action, crimes and said God told me?   How many times do normal people make poor decisions as they acted under God’s private, specific instruction?

We don’t want to ascribe to God our silly notions, do we; by claiming God told us that and it proved untrue.   No one brings any one to account for it.    April 2014/15 has been announced as being the importance of the four ‘blood moons”, along with this will be climax of the end of the end (Fall 2015), when international prophets through TV sit and affirm this, yet if your reading this, after the ‘Fall of 2015’ – it has not happened and the Christian world brings no one to account…?   How many times doe this need to happen before we say enough….

Caution is admirable, yet we are those who hear God voice, know Jesus speaking don’t switch your new birth right off, you are meant to hear God, designed to hear God.

We live in a world where we all have access to so much information, so many teachings, so much we find agreeable and information we disagree with.   Years ago it was about teaching what we must believe taught from pulpits now we must train, teach, help and empower people on how to hear God in the midst of so much sound.     Train to discern, we have to work with the sound barrier of so much noise to hear God, the Father.

The hearing of God will always be affirmed by other confirming ways.   Simple, we all know it but why don’t we do it?    Confirm it through the scriptures, affirm it through wise counsel our friends.

What a loss to our lives if we did not take heed of some “weird” direction from time to time, the experience, the meeting of God would not have been if I had allowed a fear of “weirdness” to keep me from responding to that word from God.   Do not fear, but do confirm.

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Position Yourself…careful

images-7We must position ourselves carefully to exercise influence. 

Positioning means us saying ‘Let’s get where the action cannot be missed’.   Let’s position ourselves to get involved with this generation.   Position ourselves to be the incarnate body of Christ in our street, work place, education world and homes.

We redeem men by the proclamation of the Christ and his gospel: we influence society by being salt in the street, world.  Both are essential, and often our ‘salt’ is the necessary forerunner to our proclamation.

I recently visited a township in South Africa where the conditions were so dire, the filth and squalor, the heartache, pain, poverty and hunger were indescribable.   This seen is repeated world-wide, its experienced on very continent, in the back streets of Brazil, on the roads of India, in the aftermath of every war, even in areas of the so-called developed world, some time son our doorsteps.     You can’t simple preach, ‘repent of your sins and you’ll be saved for heaven’ and walk away from a place like that with no sense of further responsibility.    God is concerned with people’s social conditions as well as with their souls’ destiny.  True, eternal destiny is paramount, but this doesn’t mean God has no concern for our social conditions.

We are to be ‘Restorers of streets to live in’ (Isaiah 58) and we must not divide images-13our world into social and salvation, our theology into liberal or evangelical, one after the soul and the other after the transformation of society.   One view looking through one eye and saying ‘don’t get side tracked into a social gospel it’s the souls that need saving and the other looking through the other eye ‘but what about saving them?’

Jesus shows us he had two eyes open, as the Son of Abraham he wanted to redeem mankind, as the Son of David he wanted mankind’s world to be an ordered and just society.

It is right to bring God’s saving grace and correct to transform society.

We must position ourselves to do both.

No longer ignoring the deepening plight and worsening social conditions of our world, while protesting we are concentrating on saving their souls, continents and countries need more than a soul-gospel.    We cannot close our eyes to the growing number of homeless building their cardboard cities on our own doorsteps as well as in distant lands, which is our responsibility, let me explain.

One of the early characteristics of the community of the King, in the words of Jesus that an apostolic community, the church as it should be apostolic,  was to be focused in being established where they where local ‘…wait in Jerusalem until the Spirit comes…’, then to have a four focus at one time beyond the local.   This focus I suggest was a command to work on four areas at any time, being the living life church of Christ, ‘…God into all the earth…Jerusalem…Judea…Samaria… and utter most past of the earth…’, we are to be local, regional, national and international in focus, in our actions, message, pray and work of faith.   We cannot close our eyes to our world and end up local minded only or even the a fool with our eyes in the ends of the earth, holding these four focuses will prevent foolish eyes for us.

We have a voice, a gospel to restore our world to the Fathers first thought in creation, beginning with the restoration of the soul to the image and likeness of God.   Therefore  where am I, where are we hitting the streets of our world to create a ‘….street to live in…’ and a people who are able to live in a street with a Godlikeness pursuit?

Too Much for Some

images-12If we keep putting things off we will never achieve anything  – ‘But surely churches, communities with an all out kind of commitment are bound to loose people?’

How can we expect to bring Godlikeness to bear to in our street, workplace, family if we do not find in our hearts a desire to be given to the cause of Christ.   A community that asks for commitment to bring Christ to our world, to be Godlikeness where we live is a good thing is it not?

A community such as this will likely become a challenge for the comfortable and half-hearted, but the community will fill up with the those who are looking for authentic faith, an adventure in life, who are wanting a God who engages people, the needy, the hurting who need help and an encounter with Christ.     Our aim should always be to embrace all, empowering all to be ‘all out’ for the will of the Father, yet reality has to be faced, some will just decide to be the comfortable.    Never mind if some stay comfortable, let us shout loudly ‘not me’, it is necessary that you and I commit ourselves totally to this radical mission of ours, of Christ, to the Fathers will.     To be the Godlike people of God in our generation.   Committed to bring God’s domain, God’s order to all creation, committed to transform our worlds, one life, one house, one street at a time.    Not committed to sit all day and achieve nothing but transform, change my environment, beginning with that which is right in front of us daily.   When we are totally committed we don’t waste time on the little blips, the minutiae that cross the screen of our lives, making the small things major we crowd out the important.   When fully given to this cause the little things will stay little, the big things of life will draw and fill our lives.    As we commit its amazing how this commitment re-scales our world, enabling us to know what is important and necessary rather than stay around in the shallows of life, engaged with the minutiae.

Communities with this kind of commitment you may not see around you but why not images-13start with where you are, be a committed person to create a committed community.   These communities are authentic, what the world is waiting for, they are not self-serving or self-centred but are given, willing to live a poured out, being a drink offering, as Jesus lived a poured out life for the cause of the Father, it’s for us to be poured out for our streets and the Father’s cause.

Find them, these communities, ecclesia’s, churches they are Christ Centred, not programme centred or even worship centred, neither event centred, conference focused all these they may participate with but guaranteed it will flow from a Centred Life On Christ and Christ’s Cause, which is the Fathers desire and the Holy Spirit‘s commitment.

Let it never be too much for us to be committed, let us find a place and pour ourselves out!    Committed to Christ communities, committed to Kingdom communities, committed to Christ and his ecclesia, his church.

 

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.

Our Time…

“And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. 

25 “It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’

images-9Acts 3:24-25

I’m not sure how long I have heard certain types of comments and messages going around the church, not only the church but in politics and society, messages on ‘times of transition’. I think I can truthfully say there has rarely been a year not hurt teams such as ‘days of transition’, ‘changing seasons’, and ‘new day’ and even the buzz term of today ‘paradigms shifts’. Why is it that every New Year we feel we’ve entered into the time of transition and without playing semantics I think a better summation of what has been taking place would be to say, we’ve been caught up in the purpose that his constant change therefore you feel you are in constant transition.

Unfortunately what is meant by transition often is to move from one fixed state of existence to another. Yet with great joy we experience something better than that. We are involved in the progressive and sure emergence of God’s kingdom in life and power in the progress towards maturity of the people.

In recent years it’s become popular paint on walls or to purchase planks with pithy sayings on, I came across one recently which stated, ‘if you only do things the way you have always done them, then you only get what you’ve always got’. Progress to the fullness of Christ, showing the Father that is, is only possible if we escape the fossilized influence of the status quo, of religious acceptance.

I believe we live in a generation that is calling out for Prophets who when they prophesy it’s not insipid prophesying passionate prophets.   Those in-home everything about their life his passion. What they hate they hate absolutely, what they love the love totally. What they do knows no half measure. There is an inch to their sword, conviction and their voice, men and women deeply moved by the spirit of God, men and women carry the burden can’t…Passion.

Over the years we have all recognise passionate preachers. The non-always held, you can be loud and not passionate, and you can be passionate and not allowed. But we could tell if their heart) in one memo from speaking we knew when there was passion inside them. The men and the women believe what they were saying, they believed they carried the word of God and love to such an extent they believe they were the most important person in the building at the moment, and what they were saying was the most important thing in the world at that moment…Passion.

And let me say they were not arrogant, they were not totally sure of themselves but they were sure of the God of the call and the word of the burden. That poured outness, giveness, their abandonment to thy God propelled them.

Passion by itself is not guarantee of truth, but also the passion instead. ‘The letter kills, it is the spirit that gives life’…Passion.

We could join with those 2 disciples that pass comment when they realise that Christ had walked on the Emmaus Road with them and say ‘ did not our heart burn inside this’ when they heard the word of God. We know very well that communicating with heart must be a way forward. There are so many able people to communicate information and do it with such creativity, you when I will be much the better from hearing them, but it also deliver their heart…Passion that captures us.

Should not the things of God, the interests of the creator, the seal of the Lord that will accomplish it be that which triggers and fires a passion?

Samuel and his successors were at the forefront of the purpose of God for their time, and brought to each and burning messages of God’s word. O Lord give us a fire back in words, not empty with no substance words, but words of revelation that carry a fire of heavens throne.They spoke to kings and rulers, who in turn put pressure on them to change their throne to change their message, to change their prophesy. Yet these prophets were 1st and foremost servants of God, and despite all pressures remained such. Political engineering  and electioneering in our day shawls politicians seeking to discover through opinion polls what the people want them to say on issues. When they find this they often change the emphasis opposition accordingly. We have politics of single issues. Not so all the prophets, they know the purpose, they know the heart of God and they press the issue. They are not politicians but prophets.  Men and women who love God and deeply loved the people of God, folding after Christ the great prophet who loved people.

These never measured themselves by people’s response to the word they carried. The fulfilling release they have is knowing that they’ve been the voice of God that time. The response of the word is an issue between people and their God. The prophet is to deliver what is known to be the word of God.

Think about it…your passion, your burden, your abandonment…