To this end…

Donkey power

28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

(Col 1:28-29)

Paul seemed to have been so radical impacted by a short fall during his life, he was so foundation-ally affected, transformed by his falling off a donkey encounter.   As he travelled about his business he lost his grip of the reigns, slipped off the back and wham hit the floor.   Hitting what ever part of his body first on a hard dusty well trodden roadway.   It was not stars he saw around his injured head  but he saw an arrival of God, that is as held within the name Yahweh the “ever arriving one”, the God who came and introduced him not to a theology or r even religion and its forms, but to his very own nature the seeing of the nature of God.   Just as God is introduced to us in Genesis his very nature rushed into Paul’s void in his life.    You might asked how do you know he had a void, let me suggest any one who required  a letter to give him the right to conduct himself indicated he had not found himself, maybe?

Light and sound, a voice God nature arrives, Paul on hearing the sounds of God just as creation heard the sounds of God “light be”, so Paul’s short fall some 1 to 1.5 meters off the shoulders of a short animal was a huge distance in his inner being.    It’s amazing to some such a small incident for some can be so huge for others.   I wonder what was your short fall into a whole new life?

Paul heard the voice of Christ asking, “Why do you persecute me” and some 20 years on, the impact was so evidently foundational to his life that it comes across in him testifying before King Agrippa, the encounter was still powerful to him, still living as the narrative shows, there was still life communicating and conviction pulsating from it to the point in “nearly persuade” the king zeal communicated raise zeal in another.

It certainly was not a take it or leave it approach, Paul said, I have based my whole life’s action, my decisions and direction were all moulded from the foundation of his encounter with Christ and not by his own life’s development, his encounter developed his life!   Now that’s a choice for us, can we bring our life, relationships, money and how we use our resources, our focus and priorities, in line with our meeting Jesus, can we choose to be transformed by our onward encounters?

The narrative of Paul’s life indicates to us that something should happen to every one of us, when we truly encounter Christ.   The narrative emphasizes that it is certainly not about the emotions or ecstasy of the moment but about what is impregnated into our lives, causing us to change.

It is not just about capturing or thoughts or intellect but impregnating deep within us, who we are, if you and I have met Jesus, that is what actually happened, a “light be” exploded in us, for some it had immediate implications, while for others it might take a period of time for the light to make its course to transform our foundation.

There is an impregnating of seed of life, in a word, in a donkey fall, or what ever is yours, the seed of the restoring of the image and likeness to bring about a burden and a breakthrough.

Each one of us have our own “burden”,  we sometimes refer to this as our “call” or “vision”.     That which radically changes everything, that which first asks of us, then demands that our every decision and direction aligns towards the vision.   In this way it will fill out your understanding and conviction as to what God has destined you to pursue in life.

What I am seeking to give to you written here as principles of life in God, are merely a packet of seed.   Seed for you to plant and nurture if they are to become fruitful in your life.  Following are simple steps to feed, take hold of the burden that has impregnated, come to reside to bring our live sot a place to make it matter to make our lives count

First Step – THE DEVELOPMENT OF FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

My enjoyment of fellowship with God started in the initial wave of gratitude for forgiveness which resulted in great joy within me, I was full of praise and adoration for God OUR Father,

In retrospect I see that openness to God and emotional spontaneity were two of the most vital aspects of my early life that have continued to prove fruitful and cause me to progress.

By “openness to God” I mean an attitude of:

  1. Expectation – God can do anything, at any time, in any way, in any place that I am.
  2. Hunger and thirst for God, that is pulling on God, doing all I can to set my hope, my desire, my focus, my thinking on God.   Many older Christ followers would use the term your “first cause”, to hunger and thirst is to make God my first cause and shape my life according to the first cause I see
  3. A heart ready and willing to respond obediently to anything God might do or say.

I experienced enlargement of my expectation as a result of what God did in response to my openness.     It has become an endless cycle of blessing and increase.

By “emotional Spontaneity” I mean learning to laugh and cry, rejoice and repent, pray and praise, which has developed in me a responsive heart to God.      Our emotions are to be cultivated even though they are still to be controlled.      People respond to emotion more than to exploitation.      This is why, if there are two able preachers in the same vicinity, one excellent in teaching the other very caring and feeling for the people, it has been noted the one who is most likely to have the people deeply joined is the person of emotion rather than explanation.

Developing the emotions makes us sensitive to God’s workings, and leads to knowing God intuitively (in the heart). As yet the mind remains largely uninformed, and although this is not desirable as an ongoing thing, it is certainly our initial experience.

Having said this about the emotions, it is equally true that we need an informed faith.      Paul prayed that the “eyes of your understanding be opened” (Eph.l :18).      Feelings will change, whereas understanding will deepen convictions.        As understanding is built-in so we are built up, which leads us now to spiritual discipline.

It is the cultivation of a disciplined way of life that prepares us for a revelation of God.

Next time we shall visit the thoughts of Spiritual Disciplines.            In the mean time let me encourage you to find some donkeys to take a short fall to let the ever arriving God arrive and light fill you again and again.

Whats in arrears

I read this  it made me chuckle, “a lady in front of me in the queue at the bank had a rolled up fiver (£5) in one ear and a tenner (£10) in the other. When she got to the booth they told her she’s £15 in arrears (behind in payment)”, I hope the play on words is seen by those like me who have English as their second language.

In the light of the word play I wonder what is in your arrears or ears, as it’s should say?    What is in my ear, such a stupid sounding questions but profound in its application, in other words what is getting the most, or who is getting the most listening time from you and I.     What are we investing our listening towards there is so many noises and sounds everywhere which we work though in every day, there is so much accessibility to sound today.   I think we live in an era when silence is fought against.    One thing out of many Sandra and I love in Africa is the deafening, still silence, so still that it ministers to you, yes you did hear right, deafening silence, to stand where there is no sound pollution to rob, distract and overwhelm.

Our world seems to be filled with people who have become adverse to silence  with music in lifts, songs in bathrooms, ear buds full of music in people’s ears.    Sounds and noise every where we go, musac, however you say it, lift music, in-store music, music every where.    Even people who have the TV on in the background for noise with no one listening to it, no attention being paid to whats on, TV being for security and comfort that there is some one there rather than have a still silent house, as I said adverse to silence.

Are we polluted by sound or is there a sound producing in us, is this not the difference, when we are polluted we become unable to conduct life normally or distracted for any actions our thoughts filled with cluttered thoughts, distracted from every angle.    However there is a true pure sound, a sound that will produce an inner person, that brings about a purpose.   A sound of the creator that resonates inside us, calling us, making a clear sound in the midst of so much sound pollution, can we hear it?    Here is a different take on a well-known text on Jesus life, while Jesus challenge in the garden of Gethsemane, a fight of what sound would Jesus listen to, the inner thoughts of his own will against the pure sound of the Father, in the struggle of his mind the human sounds, the voice that said “No”,there has to be a different way”, the voice in your head that says this is life threatening, too hard, go another way.   But a pure sound resonated inside Jesus he cleared the sound pollution become clear purposed “not my will but yours”.    That settled it the noise, the sounds became silent, its done now.      I know submitting to the will of God was and today is the challenge for us daily, however I know that when the purpose and will of God is before me noise, sound pollution of my mind speaks to prevent applying the will of the Father and I have to do a clean out of “whats in my eras“.

Where shall I turn to, whom shall I listen to?    So much information is available to make us all experts, I hear the challenges of some teachers and preachers today, discovering that as they teach, the people listening are more expert than they are, as they have the ability to research what is being said on iPad, iPhones and the like, right in front of the lectern, they can discover even more about the subject than the teacher/preacher does.   I even heard of one setting that invited twitter responses with questions as they taught, so they could deal with the questions in real-time, how exciting a use of modern technology, so to speak, it has become a realisation that people know more due to the accessibility of information.   Who will you listen to?

There was a day when we gathered to hear the superior knowledge, when the teacher at school or at the front, knew more than even mum and dad, when the child said “teacher said”, I recall saying it and hearing it from my own children.   Now with so much sound available, through podcasts, multiple teaching CD’s, books and the number of ‘Christian TV ‘ channels, who do you listen to?

In our world we live in if you do not define or outline the words you use, what you mean by every concept or biblical term, we all hear through gained filters of other people’s definitions and communication.   Try its use a term in a room covenant, authority, Kingdom of God, anointing.   To introduce simple words in conversion or teaching only to discover that even in a room with a few say a dozen people 12 different definitions and view of the same word or term are present.   The self-confessed expert has dominated our ears and we struggle to hear anything different.

More than ever it is necessary for us to help each other hear the sound of God, the voice of the Father, to enable us to say “what is in my ear”, so “What is in your ear?

It’s an time in the midst of so much sound, noise pollution, so much being said, so much teaching available that even contradicts.   How can be sure of whats truth any longer?    Neither cannot return to a day when one teacher had the monopoly of our ears, there is so much available today for us all, TV, podcast, books etc., etc.     Which can be and is a good thing as long as we instruct, teach more perfectly how each one of us can hear vice of God, helping us all to distinguish through our sentiments, emotions, insecurities, whats in vogue, whats the now word, even teaching us not to be subjective but how to know a God Sound.     The scriptures say “my sheep hear my voice” so you can hear God is dealing with the polluted sounds to get the pure sound.    Also realizing that revelation is not an individual event when it breaks in on our world but it is meant to be a corporate experience and corporate forming, so God Sounds are to be openly shared to become more perfect through each diverse life filter.    Find people who you know hear the Father and watch while listening so that they can help you here God Sounds.

So finally “Whats in your ears?”

 

Changing Your View

Changing your view: “We must pray the promise not the problem”.     We increase in faith as we boast in our hope, as we are a testimony of things to come. Heb 3:6

Faith must find it’s true measure; it has to be unlocked, unhitched from the wagon of healing, goodies & money and  given a wider and deeper application to our time & our lives, faith is bigger than the few issues mentioned above.   Unfortunately any one looking in on the church will think there are only a few things that are impacted by what we call faith, don’t get me wrong these issues, money, healing and provision will be reorder by our faith but there is so much more to unlock in our understanding when we consider faith.    So many themes, life factors are hijack to a narrow view of our understanding when there is much more to take hold of in Gods promises.   For example healing, when your sick it’s a blessing but when the promise of God to us is full health then healing  for the world around us let’s believe for health as a covenant people, prosperity finance only when prosperity is a fullness of life in peace, even blessing for me when we are to be blessed to be a blessing.    Rediscovering the truth of “living by faith” is a call for our hour, it is a call to live beyond the immediate, beyond my need, it is a way of life, living by faith is not when I look for income its a way of live continuity not just to get my need we are to live by faith not by events of faith only.

Faith must enrich us in every way and not simply adjust the material realm.     Indeed to be in the worst kind of poverty is to have all the material wealth you could ever wish for and yet be empty, unfulfilled, frustrated, and miserable, then, you are really poor.     Poverty is not a lack of resource but a people who are dependent on others for basic resources, our dependency should be on God not on resources.

In the same way that faith has to be unhinged so too Prophecy.   Prophecy must be seen bigger that just used in the realm of signs and authenticating a man or woman and their ministry, its time to find it’s true message to our time.    Prophecy does have a predictive aspect to it but much more we are to be a people who interoperate God to our world in our daily life, this is prophecy.     Prophecy gives the people of God a voice to interpret God’s onward creative acts in society and our world telling and interpreting.       Prophecy is to confront us with a plumb line of truth, enabling us, asking us, to build in the light of it, the prophecy that is, building according to a divine pattern and foundation, this requires our faith to be applied in our daily living.

Prophecy must be elevated in the ministry, to deliver us into our world, and the Kingdom of God into us.    Prophecy takes the taste of the age to come and increases the taste, allowing the breaking in of the Kingdom of God to enfold further in this world.

Faith and Prophecy are twinned, for many prophecy is shouting out things that come to mind, but our faith is tied to that which we utter and live.   Prophecy must be a life style as well as an utterance, the people of God, the church, will become the direct manifestation of prophecy just as the prophets of old, their lives, the way in which they lived was a gift, you could see the life’s message in their life style choice and the way they lived.

Faith and prophecy twinned, Romans 12:6 says “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith” as we are told to prophecy to the measure of our faith it becomes necessary to re-asses our place, that is, what we are involved with or  what we are doing, checking that it is in line, not only with the prophecy but also with my faith, living by faith every moment of every day.

Two basic questions:

Do we feel content to continue as we are?

Do we desperately want to break through into different realms?

These twins are necessary in order that the twins of mercy and goodness can follow us all the days of our lives…There is no release from the lower sphere of this material realm, of content existence, unless we have experienced the liberating prospect of the Spirit freeing us to rise as an eagle, to climb the air to the high altitudes of living.

Faith and Prophecy unlocks us to soar free, to live out our potential in the Grace of the Father.

Promising Sounds

What? Can't hear?

Having recently returned from Africa we are greeted with many things, meeting family, reconnecting with friends and colleagues or better co-workers in the work of restoring and redeeming this world so that it will display the Christ.    How good it is to see familiar things around, things that we have grown up with, things that bring back memories of good times.   What would life be like with out these?

Being away for 8 weeks brings its challenges,  things that were so part of life when we left, we had forgotten,  but the minute we return they rush back in on us.   One of the biggest things that greets us as we arrive is a world full of sounds, some sounds bring a smile and some sounds are simply just noise.   Certainly we left a world  in Africa where the silence is deafening, the kind of silence that invades you and makes itself known inside, bringing tranquil times.

A world with full on noise, this is our island.   We live close to the M6 by the constant drone of tires turning on tarmac highways, all the shops have their music, the bustle of people with their own internal chatter and noise, a world where you find difficulty some times to find silence.   We are never that far away  however from finding that silence that is stilling and ministering.   I wonder what sounds are near to you as you read this, what sounds fill your world and endorse or disturb the inner Sabbath?

What is your ear tuned to now as you read, your own inner thoughts, music in the background or just the noise of your house creaking and making sure you know it’s there?       What comes your way through this one channel of hearing, this gateway into your inner life?

The Psalmist presents to us a sound in his ear Psalm 92:11, he tells of what has invaded his still life, his inner listening.   He tells us to open up, that a certain sound will break through  a sound I would suggest that would transform many worlds.

He says “…My ears are filled with the sounds of promise: “Good people will prosper like palm trees, Grow tall like Lebanon cedars; transplanted to God’s courtyard, They’ll grow tall in the presence of God, lithe and green, virile still in old age. 

Sounds of promise, our world so often volunteers to people sounds of let down, disappointment and criticism and this world is hearing a different sound a sound that our world too could embrace.   A sound filled with sounds of promise, a sound that will groom and direct, that would live and empower that would change your view of God and your self, if only the promises are kept living.     Sounds of promise!

Promises, be bold and recall, bring back to memory a promise, promises that have been spoken.   But you don’t understand you might say they disappointed me, my challenge to believe then that creates a sound that governs once again.   Let them arise promise of old that were yours once and should be again.   We are to be people of promise and promise – blessing.

You see we say “faith is the hope of things” so hope is necessary to come to faith let me put into you that memory is the seed or foundation of hope.   The world around knows if I can fill your memory with negative, if I can rob your memory no hope will come so faith cannot be born.   The fight is not with your faith it’s often in the realm of memory.   Sounds of promise let memory bring them back and let them live again.   Let your era be filled with sounds of promise again.   We become a promised  filled people.

The psalmist in this passage outlines three things I notice here as a character of those who have turned to you in and the experience of life they are involved with.

1      What a beautiful thing – thankfulness, presence, continuously, adding to beauty by my voice and motion

2      You made me so happy – joy, magnificent work, thoughts made known.

3      Ears filled with sounds of promise – Gods people impartation to

So this person, you are to be filled with beauty, joy, promises.    For they live in such a way that they look for beauty, joy and promises a trinity of life.

Looking for beauty, adding to beauty, being part of beauty that brings forth beauty and changes the environment around you.    That joy then flows first by being happy in recognising Gods beautiful works towards each other.   Rather than looking for more like a consumer,  there is a contentment in what God has given us that keeps us pressing for more of him.

Listening for sounds – sounds of promises that they are kept in your ear in your consciousness it seems not far from your audible senses.

Living in beautiful things, happiness and joy from your realisation while keeping the ear filled with Gods word to you.

How to cultivate this life?   What a contribution we would make living this way to life’s onward and upward goal.

Beauty

Joy

Promises

Attitude/disposition – Inner person – and gave thanks as a way of life.

Saw – and was happy.

Listened – held promises in my ear, keep before my mind, eye, heart.

Three lines to change your life:

1      What a beautiful thing, God

2      You made me so happy, God, I saw your

3      My ears are filled with the sounds of promise:

Beauty is when I see and God fills me with ability of seeing him everywhere, happiness/joy comes when you see him in what he has done, the sounds of promise is Him so my hearing is Him – its all God my Father!