Tuesday, January 21, 2014

knowing the present-tense God.

there is always fresh bread.

it's just easier on the flesh to live off the old stuff.

and we eat it,
thinking it will sustain and satisfy the spirit man.

when we're really just feeding the flesh.

and what we think is bringing life,
is actually starving the Spirit.
quenching the hunger.
hiding the need to partake of Him daily.

and we eat the lie that there's really not fresh bread anyways.
that what we experienced and tasted before, will be enough for right now.

and we become content with our discontentment.

when God is saying,  Come.
Come and see.
Come and see My provision daily.
Come and encounter Me daily.
Come and rely on Me daily.
Come and receive from Me daily.

and we're just like the Israelites,
trying to live off of yesterday's manna, instead of intentionally going to receive today's.

even though He [freely] gave it [daily].

and what originally bred life,
bred worms and stank when kept for tomorrow.
                                                        (exodus 16:20)

because it was never just about getting,
it was really about coming to a place of intimate knowing and trusting and depending on the One who gives.
and it was never just about surviving in the wilderness,
it was about growing and maturing spiritually to a place in knowing Him,
where the soul thrives in any situation, trial and circumstance, whether blessing or testing.

it's all about a present-tense knowing.
it's all about a present-tense hearing.
it's all about a present-tense encountering. [because He is the I AM],
not the I WAS, or I WILL BE.

because relying off of what was received yesterday,
and hoping to store up enough for tomorrow,
is never what He has intended for today.

[Receive fresh bread].

He freely lays out the substance of heaven for you every.single.morning.
so that you may know Him.

"...in the morning you shall be filled with bread.
then you shall know that I am the Lord your God."
(exodus 16:11).

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

[burning heat].

i love that God loves words.
and that He knows the exact definition of them.
and that He chooses to speak to us so specifically through them.

with each new year,
I pray for a new word from Him.
to cling to, to expect, and to prophetically speak over the upcoming year.

in the middle of December,
feeling "bleh" from the hum drum of how the world, and even we, Christians, celebrate Christmas... and just wanting more of His presence and heart in that season, and less of the shopping and planning and busyness,
i randomly text a friend.

i immediately looked up the word "fervence." it simply said [[heat]]; fervency.

>> great warmth of feeling; fervor; passion; ardor
"she spoke persuasively and with ardor" <<
>>intense devotion; eagerness or enthusiasm; zeal<<
>>burning heat<<

and i knew this was my word for the year.
i wrote it down.
and began to pray and seek His heart on it.

on December 31st,,
while praying with some friends.
He spoke so clearly [[radiant]].

a word i've heard many a time, and prayed many a time.

and so i looked it up.

>>emitting heat or light<<
>>filled with light; bright<<
>>characterized by intense joy<<

He just kept speaking heat.

the entire first week of January,
left and right,,
all I've been hearing is Revelation 3:1-6.

“‘I know your works.
You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die,
for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.
  Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.  Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.  The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’"

and the fear of the Lord is heavy.
He sees.
He knows my works.
He sees past the reputation.
what i think of my pursuit of God, what others infer about my pursuit of God, how i compare with other Christians,,
means nothing.
because it's His opinion that matters.
and He sees not only the fruit.
but the roots.

and what may look lively to others, and even myself, cannot manipulate Him.

He knows the entirety of my prayer life.
He knows when I'm just singing to sing.
He knows when my motives are not pure.
He sees the areas of halfheartedness.
He knows when true hunger fades.
He sees when genuine passion and love becomes routine.
He knows when even walking in the Spirit becomes religious.

and He's not impressed even if others are.
because let's be honest.
we all know how to "look alive".

"because only God and the honest, see the heart bare."

and in His mercy,
He says [wake up].

"I know what's inside you. the desire for Me.
strengthen what remains.
stir up the giftings and the callings.
allow Me to breathe Spirit on the embers barely burning,, barely hot...
lukewarm. "


a word i've always applied to others.
to those who clearly just go to church on Sunday, and that's all.. if even that.

a word no born-again Christian wants to relate to themselves.
or admit applies.

it means
>> only moderately warm; tepid.<<
antonyms: hot, cold.
>>(of a person, attitude or action): unenthusiastic; indifferent, cool, halfhearted, apathetic.<<
>>lacking conviction<<
>>having or showing little ardor, zeal or enthusiasm<<

the same degeneration,, showing evidence of decline, in Isaiah (2:21).
what once was a choice vine, wholly of pure seed,, becoming a degenerate plant of an alien vine.
what once was fiery hot,, passionate and genuine,, being affected by the surrounding atmosphere and temperature,, slowing losing heat and fervor over time.

and because it's not drastic. its subtle and over time.
its a scary reality,,
that our reputation,, our former heat,,
can deceive us into thinking we still are what we were.
when He knows,
we're not.


>> great warmth of feeling; fervor; passion; ardor
"she spoke persuasively and with ardor" <<
>>intense devotion; eagerness or enthusiasm; zeal<<
>>burning heat<<

fervency. the exact opposite of lukewarm.
His desire for me.
for us.

to burn for Him.
to truly be alive.

because its not about reputations. success. or impressions.
its about the God who sees.

and is an All-Consuming Fire. (hebrews 12:29).

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
  Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."
   (Romans 12:10-12)

(a continuation from yesterday's post and walking in a tunnel)


Tuesday, January 7, 2014


"the Church as we know it today began with repentance. When Peter preached the cross at Pentecost, thousands came to Christ. This new Church was made up of one body, consisting of all races, filled with love for one another. Its corporate life was marked by evangelism, a spirit of sacrifice, even martyrdom.
   this wonderful beginning reflects God's word to Jeremiah: 'yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality" (jeremiah 2:21). The Lord's next words, however, describe what often happens to such works: 'How then have you turned before Me into the degenerate plant of an alien vine?" (same verse). God was saying, "I planted you right. You were Mine, bearing My name and nature. Now you have turned degenerate."
    what caused this degeneration in the Church? It always has been, and will continue to be, idolatry. God is speaking of idolatry when He says to Jeremiah, "But My people have changed their Glory for what does not profit" (verse 11).
[[the number-one idol among God's people is not adultery, pornography, or alcohol. It is much more powerful than lust. What is this idol?
It is a driving ambition for success.
And it even has a doctrine to justify it.

the idolatry of being successful describes many in God's house today. These people are upright, morally clean, full of good works-- but they have set up an idol of ambition in their hearts, and they cannot be shaken from it.
  God loves to bless His people. He wants His people to succeed in all they undertake honestly. But there is now a raging spirit in the land that is taking over multitudes.

It is a spirit of love for recognition and acquiring of things.

a man of the world said, 'he who dies with the most toys wins.'
tragically, Christians, too, are caught up in this pursuit. How far we have strayed from the Gospel of dying to self, ego and worldly ambition!"
                                                                                                 (David Wilkerson)

I can't shake this. Wilkerson's words describing God's heart in Jeremiah 2:21 won't seem to let me go.
"I planted you right. You were Mine, bearing My name and nature. Now you have turned degenerate."

>>lacking some property, order, or distinctness of structure previously or usually present. <<
>>showing evidence of decline<<;
synonyms: slip, slide, lapse, regress.

"I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality. How then have you turned before Me into the degenerate plant of an alien vine?" (jeremiah 2:21)

and i'm sobered before the Lord.
because if i lay my heart bare,
i see places where i've declined.
where what was once fiery and passionate, is now a mere ember.
barely breathing warmth.

is it every area? no. is it huge areas of sin and struggle? no.
it is subtle.
and it happens over time.
family starts to come before Him.
comfort seeps in.
growth in ministry overtakes desire for growth in our own Spirit man.
genuine thirst and hunger dwindles and our appetite for His Word, His bread, becomes more easily satisfied with less and less.
the need for man's recognition and definition of success, overtakes our identity and desire to please Him alone.
and the scariest of all for me,
looking back on when He first called me, I first heard Him, we first started walking together.. and feeling like my love for Him then was greater. was hotter. was more overwhelming and consuming.

because routine sets in.
and it dulls.
and the cares of this world come in.
and they dull.

and what was once unquenchable..
seems quenched.

and to be honest,
its terrifying.

because it's called [lukewarm].

[post to follow].
[a continuation of yesterday's post, Walking in a tunnel]

Monday, January 6, 2014

walking in a tunnel.

the month with all the hype.
to [[re-evaluate]].
to [[reconsider]].
to [[recharge]] and stop hitting [rewind].

to make this new year,,
a really [successful] one.

and as i posture myself before Him,,
not desiring emotional hype to drive a man-made attempt of change and transformation,
I ask for His heart and a fresh word for this next season and year.
because apart from Him, there really is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
and without Him removing a heart of stone, with a new one..
and the sprinkling of clean water to cleanse us..
and the impartation of His Spirit to fill us.. (ezekiel 36:24-27)

we're just white-washed tombs.
looking beautiful on the outside.
but just dead bones and unclean within. (matthew 23:27)

and we're really just deceiving ourselves.
because only God sees the heart bare. (1 Samuel 16:7)

and as He speaks and begins to reveal,,
my heart cries out within me

[i want Your definition of success for my life].
redefine it for me, God.

because everybody knows we only have one shot.
and nobody wants to mess it up.
Christian or not.
as the saying goes.. [you only live once].
and instead of the reality of that statement causing a shift in perspective from the here and now to what lies waiting for us eternally.
we scramble and stress to do it absolutely right,, thinking only of ourselves and our present happiness and reputation.
get the best job, marry the right person, stack the money high in the savings, get to the top.
or we throw it all away and destroy ourselves for a fleeting temporary high and pleasure because who cares.

but even in following Jesus,,
we have our own definition of success.
and it feels spiritual.
and it looks spiritual.
and it can even come with good intention.

and i can't help but feel like we all have it a bit upside down.

[and that success in life is a lot less about life,, and a lot more about death. ]

"Paul said, 'to die is gain' (philippians 1:21). That kind of talk is absolutely foreign to our modern spiritual vocabularies. we have very little desire to depart to be with the Lord.
Paul said, 'I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better' (verse 23). Yet, for the sake of edifying the converts, Paul thought it is best to 'remain in the flesh'.
Did Paul show lack of respect for the life God had given him? Absolutely not! to him, life was a gift, and he had used it to fight a good fight. He could say, 'It is better to die and be with the Lord than to stay in the flesh.'
Those who die in the Lord are the winners; we who remain are the losers. death is not the ultimate healing-- resurrection is! Death is the passage, and sometimes that passage can be painful-- but it is not even worth comparing to the unspeakable glory that awaits those who endure the passage.
Any message about death bothers us. we try to ignore even thinking about it. Occasionally, we discuss what heaven must be like, but most of the time the subject of death is taboo.
how different the first Christians were! Paul spoke much about death. in fact, our resurrection is referred to in the New Testament as our "blessed hope".
Nowadays, however, the world has trapped us with materialism: 'I dont want to leave my beautiful home, my cars, my gorgeous jewelry."

[[we are bombarded with messages on how to use our faith to acquire more things, even though our lives are already cluttered with possessions. ]]
Christ calls us to come and die-- without building memorials to ourselves or worrying about our legacy. Jesus left no autobiography, no headquarters complex, no university or Bible college. He left nothing to perpetuate His memory but the bread and the wine.

our "gain" is Christ Himself.
may we forsake all to cling to Him continually!"
                                                                                 (David Wilkerson, God is Faithful)

and so.
God has shown me to pray for
[tunnel vision].

>>the loss of peripheral vision with the retention of central vision.<<
>>narrowness of viewpoint resulting from concentration on a single idea, opinion, etc. to the exclusion of others.<<

that as i journey through these pilgrim days,
my vision would be Him. and it would be central.
that everything else would fade black. peripheral. unnoticed.
my view of Him would be unhindered.

and so.
this year.and every year.
my goal.

to focus on growing to full maturity spiritually.
to not get distracted by the details of life.
to be fully grown in Spirit.
to not have such a physically-focused spirituality.

i want to look back when i'm dying and see how life contributed to my growth in faith,,
not how my faith contributed to my earthly life.

because we all live before the audience of One.
and if its not "success" in His eyes.
what is it anyways?