Radical You & Me – The Radical Christ

images-2It’s easy to say, ‘We are to be like Christ’, it is RADICAL and yet it a common statement, we may also hear folk say we are to be incarnational, what does that really mean? Someone once said that ‘Jesus put a face on God’ by coming amongst people and touching, lifting, embracing and caring for them in their hurts and needs. I find the scripture in John 1:18 very important for the day in which we live, it states that Jesus “came to explain the father”. He put a face on God for all humanity and this is continuing in the family way, explaining and making people aware of God, being the image and likeness of God to our homes, streets, work and educational establishments. We embrace Christ’s radical mission, recognising that the Father sends us even as he sent Jesus, [John 20:21] then we too can wear the face of God in…

God’s intention today is to step into the cities, towns and rural areas of the nations to touch and lift the fallen, broken, hurting and dying in humanity. We must refuse to fossilize if we’re to avoid becoming a church, a called out people ‘having form without power’.[ 2 Timothy 3:5]

In reality Christ, the supreme restorer, was the most RADICAL man that ever walked the earth. Jesus’ radical actions were not moments of human weakness or intolerance, but expressions of God’s heart. The radical Christ is at all times the perfect image of God the Father. Radical Christianity will always be passionate, jealous as well as zealous, and white-hot for the divine interests involved. Being radically committed to the restoration of the church to God’s full intention brings us into inevitable conflict with custom and tradition.

Before we move on “Radical” a much used term that has often been taken to mean the way out, those who extremely different on the edge kind of people, those that don’t easily belong to cultural or norms. But RADICAL actually means “foundational”, Jesus is radical as he has always dealt with humanities foundational issues. We are radical as we carry a foundational message, life and implication.

I mentioned being radical is being committed to radical restoration, restoration challenges any misplaced sense of loyalty to religious heritage, or sentimental attachment to a religious past. Radical commitment to the restoration of God’s church keeps us moving forward in the direction of the Spirit in our day, and prevents us from falling by the wayside with the religiously comfortable. Its only by being given to a radical restoration will the progress of the church be achieved. Standing radically to break through the restraining religious walls and forces of our time, this is the radical ministry of the people of God.

Our world today and tomorrow will be affected by radical men and women who live as saints from bygone years in the light of God’s purpose.

RADICAL CHANGES

Changes are occurring at a fast pace, the world we live in is getting unrecognizable, shifts are happening, things are changing in this generation; we are growingly aware that what we have now is no longer sufficient for what presently is, or for what is coming. We cannot settle for the average, accepting conventional wisdom. We must do more than merely think of changing; we must change our thinking. We cannot just uphold the same. We cannot just drift by but the need to be foundation-ally radical is there. The kingdom of God is the reality of God’s ways, God’s order, God’s government and pattern in our “time/space” world. The kingdom of God is a very radical experience.

We are being radical when:

· We embrace the gospel that joins us to others and their need, and cuts us free from the destructive influence of our independent self-will.

· We embrace the consequences of following his direction and Spirit regardless of possible consequences, which frees us from self-preservation.

· We maintain an attitude of pioneering, journeying onward rather than settling in self-comfort zones; we are pilgrims, not settlers.

· Living free of any domination of consumer world and the passing unimportant things that try and make themselves important via group pressures. Money can enslave; decisions, actions, directions, relationships, even ministry can be controlled by the desire for the temporal or money.

· Confidently confront the powers of darkness that oppose us rather than allowing them to paralyse us in fear.

· Making things happen is our way of living It is not for others to cause something to happen but for you to make it happen.images

· We refuse to compromise the truth to accommodate religion, or cultural norms.

· We remain committed to Christ as head of the church refusing to get stuck.

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Sound Barrier Removed

UnknownLet me hearBreaking the Sound Barrier

The Need for Speed has been the desire of mankind for a long, long time it seems, getting faster and faster whether a ‘land speed record’ or in flight.   Since mankind ran, caught horses, built carriages and different powered engines there has been a desire to speed things up.   I hope to break sound barriers, I wonder how many of us have heard the boom across the sky when the sound barrier is crossed, as it not only creates a sound but you also feel a thud inside and some times being close enough the ripple of the air.

The need for speed affects us all, speed in travel, the speed of your computer, yesterdays speed is too slow for today’s application.   Faster communication, being able to Skype each other across the world immediately with no time delay, with no regard to time differences but all down to the speed of your Wi-Fi.   Breaking sound barriers in many disciplines has become our pastime and desire then.

Yet there is a sound barrier that many struggle with, today we live in a world with so much noise, hustle and bustle, the world is a hive of sound.   One of the thrills of traveling into Africa for me is the still silence you can find there, the stillness and silence has a volume.   A stillness that has a sound of empowering and ministering to the soul that says, “…be still and know that I am God…”

Breaking the Sound Barrier has been the outcome of the gospel for you and I, that is the barrier of not being able to hear God has been removed, we now live in the realm that we have the ability to hear Gods voice.   The tension is that all around is sound; a hive of cluttered noise it seems that it does cluttered our hearing. Our worlds full of sound in every space, every void silence filled with sound, we even develop techno gadget that help us to fill the spaces, and the sound barrier is to remove in our hearing of God.

I am always thrilled when the youngest amongst us breakthrough the sound barrier and hear Gods voice, so simple some times and yet so clear.   When the hard of hearing, those who have no God consciousness hear Gods voice that transforms them,  when sound barriers are broken.

I have heard it said God is never silent always speaking yet there is a necessity of breaking the sound barrier between us.

We have all perhaps found the reason the barriers of sound are there, it is that God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit speaks to each of us in unexpected ways.   We all get so confident, God has spoken to each, often times, however it is more helpful to say with great confidence ‘…for God said…”,  then better if we preface with “…I think…”, is this not where faith makes sure?

Breaking the Sound Barrier to enable us to hear God starts with our hearts and minds turning towards God, taking a disposition to listen would be helpful, that we train our inner selves to become conscious of our Father God speaking.

I wonder if one hindrance is that we only want God to speak to us, rather than being those who are willing to listen to what God is saying, be careful of the self-centered sound barrier of listening.   Only listening for a word for me rather listening to the whole medium of the sound of God, return what God is saying back to God in our confession, conversation with God (prayer).   Perhaps we would hear more if we just listened as a desire, following listening and hearing comes the doing, the obedience.

Breaking the Sound Barrier – the scripture says that “my people hear my voice”, “know my voice” yet we hold conferences on hearing God, every prophetic instruction will have at least one session on ‘How to hear God”.   But my sheep hear, know my voice, it seems we know and yet we need instruction…?    I can hear some saying but we need to know how to hear God do we not?  My response is ‘of course’ I am suggesting perhaps it’s the instruction focus we have incorrect, instruction on how to hear God when Jesus said we hear and know if we are his.   May be the instruction should be more about believing we are UNITED, ONE with God rather than steps of how to hear God, God is not silent to us.

Having said that to breakthrough the sound barrier and settle hearing God we have to settle who we are in God that we are in UNION with God.   The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are happy to be one with me; the good news of Christ is that we have been made one with Christ.   We need to believe this, rather than believe the lie that we are lost, producing a perception of lost-ness and everything we do is an attempt to be “somebody’s” and hear God when we are actually in union with God.

For over 40 years I had good hearing then one night I went to bed as usual only to be greeted in the morning with total deafness in my right ear.  The consultant, following long enquiry determined I had ‘nerve deafness’, I had gained a sound barrier, somewhere in my past, some infection as a child or like had come home to roost and I had picked up a sound barrier in my hearing losing 50% of hearing overnight.     We pick up or have Sound Barriers when we come to hearing God, they hinder our ability to hear what is natural for the sheep of Christ, as sheep we hear his voice, hearing God is not our struggle it really is doing the will of God, becoming obedient is the struggle.images

I will attempt to consider some of the barrier to sound we can accumulate in our journey toward God.

Be nostalgic or Seize the NOW…

imagesAs we take stock of life and take a look towards the future and being wise looking back over the events of days gone, for this is true wisdom when we can draw from our past and now to mold the future.  As we do this I am sure we all have different thoughts of what the future holds.  Even as we consider the past we would have different thoughts about what got us to this point.

We all get asked in the light of world events what does this mean?   I have to say some times I don’t know helps us Lord in the changes that are rushing towards us all.   Several years ago I picked up a book called “The Tipping Point”, I am told it has become rather a buzz statement for many, with many taking it up to sum up their feelings of now.    The notion is that everything comes to a point of balance, one that is ready to tip and throw its weight towards a certain direction.   Many things can tip the balance, it could be  a reasoned thought, an emotional response, or a circumstance that tips the balance and takes you over an edge.    In other words the statement we often used to hear of  “its got to break” has now moved into a roller coaster a movement, beginning a direction that seemingly has its own momentum.    So many people I talk to feel as if they are either on the approach to or at the point of just starting over, on the edge of their own “tipping point.

Whatever way we consider, the past, the present and the future I have come to one conclusion, that echoes out loudest over all my thoughts, and I have shared this in several settings over the last 3 years.  It was so loud in my thinking that it drowned out every other thought in my mind; it is “what got me here will not get me there”.   An understanding formed in me, that what ever brought me to know what I now knew, whatever had positively assisted, empowered and served me/us, was not sufficient to carry me/us into tomorrow.  A now, new moment had arrived, in every new moment there is a new encounter, which is necessary to envision and equip the day.   Moses saw God in the burning bush, Abraham met God for his journey and new pilgrim life style, even Jesus encountered the Father in the Garden to face he cross, earlier he encountered the Father at his baptism in preparation for the wilderness and the 3 ½ years of function.

Wherever you are, I think the tipping point is becoming a life-style, not just a moment but also a way of life that we are always negotiating.  There is in fact a cost to be considered in every tipping point, be it into an event, a way of life, or a life choice, that will not even allow us to return to where it all began.

A place of no return so to speak, a rub-icon crossed?, this all sounds high and mighty, but we make these kinds of decisions daily.    Decisions effecting people and relationships, how we use our money, our job/vocational choices, we even see it in the small events of life as they may be.    Please realize that most lives are a sequence of small events and we cross rub-icons daily that have no pain attached but certainly are transformational in terms of our friendships and families – people, what we do – time, and the final resource in our lives, money and how we dispose of and work our money – finance.

Can I encourage you to think out of the box before you negotiate the “tipping point” and set your roller-coaster along life’s chosen pathway. Clear the house, your life first with start by determining I QUIT!   This I Quit will help the process of going over the edge taking that step forward I will give you just 4 “I Quit”

Quit making excuses

Quit complaining

Quit living in fear

Quit complaining 

Having chosen to negotiate my “tipping points”, having then welcomed them these “tipping points”, they have in turn set up various directions of life for me over the last 8 years.   It has caused much re-evaluation of resources, hearts, and direction as events and situations continue to present themselves.   I have had to remodel my view of life and more than that, remodel my view of God himself.    Which of course allows the remodeling of how we function.  Knowing this discovering View of God that will determine how well we all live.

Following all that I am excited over the phase we have now began to live though, a phase that clearly brings multiplication in a new way into my thinking.   Seeing Apostolic networks possibly becoming Apostolic families, heavily relational rather than organizational, realizing that we should not replace the single grace that so empowered many and much in last 30 years + with another grace, endorsing a Papal system again, but seeing the release of multiplication of apostolic graces across the countries and world in this phase.    Many networks or movements are giving way to family expressions with a relationship life flowing across them and through them, which is releasing the possibilities of continual multiplication.    It must then continue to fill the world we live in with organic family expression of Christ.

It’s a time not to be  the new phase and take hold of the circumstances that now face each of us.

Self – Sharpening…

images-7I wonder if  there is any one on the planet that has not heard of Nelson Mandela, if you had not known much of him and where near world media along with following the recent events in South Africa, the cerebration of his life and the “world funeral”.   He was a man who became a principled man, willing to allow his own desires and emotions to be adjusted by the principles he held, willing to live and die for an ideal. Through this he has impacted millions of people across our  world.   One value he encouraged and by all accounts practised diligently each day while imprisoned on Robbin Island and continued following his release, which actually explains something about him.   He longed that ever man and woman would self examine for 15 mins each day, considering how they forgave, how they spoke to others, how they loved, etc., a self-examination people in order that our world would be a better place.

Now let me take that though and extend it to our blog.   If we  are to serve effectively we must sharpen ourselves diligently.

Look at yourself – your mental abilities, emotional responses, character qualities, attitudes and skills.   determine to sharpen every aspect to become productive in either redeeming or influencing mankind.

Sharpen your emotions to respond adequately to the working of God in your human experiences.   Be a thanks-giver, not just a thanks feeler.   Train emotions so that when God is excited you are too, when God is at rest you are at rest.

Develop your powers of discernment.  learn to differentiate between the important and the unimportant, the open door and the close door, the door to push and the door to stop pushing.

Sharpen your mind by reading, study, learning and questioning.   Surround yourself with sharp-thinking people.   Get with sharp people, because sharp people will keep you sharp.   Sharp people will not agree with you all the time.   If you only love the people who are agreeing with you, it is only yourself you are loving.   Get with people who get you thinking ‘that is a good thought’, and that it did not come from you.   Get with people who can add to you.   You share the best revelation and they top it…

i can learn from people who see more than me.     Get with sharp people.   Don’t get with those that are gossiping, backbiting or pulling down, or even tell you they or you can do better that those around.   Don’t get with miseries and especially meanes, not with pessimists, get with faithful men and women, those who talk faith and know what it is to be involved with the Work of faith, those who stir faith who loves people, loves God, is reaching towards people.   that is where we want to go Hebrews 10:24, 25

Know when to switch off the computer, TV, Xbox…   Keep sharp by praying in the Holy Spirit.   Abide in the word of God, dig deep in the word, see things that you have not seen before, buy a markable bible, mark, mark, mark until the word is sharp in you John 8:31, John 14:23, John 15:7, Col 3:16

Perform good works.    Good works are full of faith and love.   Look for opportunities to do good Hebrews 10:24, Ephesians 2:10

Link up with apostles, prophets and let them know your fields of expertise Ephesians 4:11-13, Ephesians 2:19,20

Next whatever you are in already, if you are convinced that is where you should be as a sphere of influence, next step is then to establish yourself in it, succeed in it and excel.   Do not settle for mediocrity 1 Cor. 10:31.

Speak confidently to yourself saying I believe God has placed me here, I will establish myself, hone my skills until I excel and gain the high ground of influence.   In order that we become a people on the cutting edge to our life and story.   A radical people.   A people deeply conscious of our heritage and our destiny.   A people bent on discipling the nations. A people ready to meet the challenge of our times and change the world, we are not born to journey through a trackless wilderness in life.   We are to follow the Spirits directions the steps of a journey of faith towards the destiny of the Father as we do the will of God.  We are intended to impact our age and world en route…

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.