Monday, March 23, 2009


I enjoyed reading a word from Bill & Marsha Burns this morning. ( Specifically I felt the word from Bill came with deep insight into the call of the watchmen. I loved when Bill says,
"Watchmen, what of the night? Not only declare what you see in the darkness, but declare that the morning also comes with the glorious light of the Morning Star to lead, guide and show you the way."
I loved the emphasis on the call of the watchman to see and DECLARE what he sees. This to me is in line with the true purpose of the gifts we have received from God. Isn't it true that the gifts and calling we have received from Father are to be used for the building up of the Church? The watchman opens his EYES and sees what transpires in the darkness so that he can bring that reality into the view of the Church and inspire her to rise up in the spirit and live intentionally and not needlessly under the oppression that she oftentimes cannot even see!

And the watchman reminds her of the coming morning. He declares HOPE and REMEMBRANCE of the faithfulness of our God.

To me, these are all things which are released into and over the church, with no strings attached. So often I would take ownership over the things that God had shown me and would take it personally if people would not receive them or take them seriously. The watchman doesn't have time for this! There is too much going on and too many distractions. He calls out what he sees and makes declaration of the truth of Who God is. This is all an invitation for the Church to rise up. Certainly the enemy is on the move AND SO IS THE KING OF KINGS. This war rages whether we are aware of it or not and whether we mount our horses or not. The watchman sounds the alarm and declares the unseen realm to all who have ears to hear!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We the Persecuted

You wouldn't think it would take 15 years of walking with God to grasp some of the more fundamental truths of Christianity, but in my case...well, I guess I'm slow. I don't think I can find a Christian who could not quote at least one scripture regarding worry and fear. To know the truth, however, and to walk in it, are two entirely different matters.

We drop our jaw in amazement at the stories of believers in other nations who face daily persecution for their faith. We hear how they persevere even though their very lives are threatened, and we marvel. We don't seem to be able to correlate, however, that the remarkable growth of the church in those nations, is tied directly to the fact that these people have chosen Christ, with their very lives on the line. They have faced their death, just by saying yes to Jesus, and those around them want in. Why?

Those who live afraid will desire whatever it is that those who live without fear possess. Someone willing to take a bullet for what they believe in, makes others sit up and notice.

I have heard of, and been a part of, many North American prayer meetings where we fall on our faces, praying for the freedom of the Christians in these nations. I wonder how many of us actually realize that the believers in these nations are far more free than we are, and are on their faces, praying for us!

We do not have our governments kicking in the doors of our churches. Our lives are not at risk preaching the gospel. Yet we are the most fearful group of Christians in the world.

The fear here, however, is very deceptive, yet utterly convincing. It is based on a lie spoken over us from the time we are remotely cognitive. We are under its weight every day. It keeps us with our hands on the wheel, even if steered with a baby finger. It whispers to us first thing in the morning, and we try and drown it with every method of escapism at night. Quiet yourself, and you can more than likely hear it now. "Everything you have can be taken from you, so you had better do everything you can to prevent it!"

Our faith is not persecuted in the physical realm, but I strongly believe that this weapon formed against us can invoke a terror just as strong as any physical threat can do. This lie is our persecution! The more we believe it, the more independent from God we become as we fruitlessly try to hold our fear in check.

If we truly believe at our very depths, that His heart toward us is good, we would not be as easily swayed. Yet here we are. Some of us knee deep, others up to their necks. All because we don't really trust Him.

To face that which we fear the most? Those who choose to trust Him with that are the ones who truly discover just how big He they watch their fear wash away like rainwater down a drain. I have only begun to taste this life absent from fear. I assure you, I ain't going back!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Failed Commission

Most Christians who have been raised in an institutional church setting have heard the words of Jesus, recorded by Mark, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation," numerous times. It is interesting to me that this "great commission" is hung over doorways and preached regularly, usually with a healthy dose of guilt and performance-based unction.

On the other hand, the actions described immediately following this verse, including healing the sick, drinking poison, casting out demons, and picking up snakes are normally preached in a slightly different light. Since everybody knows we can't manufacture a bonafide healing or drink poison and survive unless the Spirit of God is actively involved in the process, we are taught that we must rely on Him for these miracles to take place.

Without over-simplifying the concepts here, I wonder if we could just ponder the idea that we can no more raise the dead in our own strength than we can "make a disciple" in our own strength. I think we understand intellectually the idea that it is Father who draws men unto Himself, however I believe we have been convinced throughout our lives that it is up to us to convert people and to then lead them to become disciples.

Driving into my daughters' gymnastics class last night, I found myself dreading having to enter into another conversation about God with the onlooking parents. I realized this false belief was still deep-seeded in my heart. I have been taught by the institution that I am the one who must try to "witness" and convert the unbelievers. I might as well have been given a belt and a belt-notcher. Then He reminded me that this actually wasn't up to me at all; that it is up to Him. All I am doing is making myself available for Him to work through me. This realization is so freeing, isn't it? It really is not up to us at all.

I can't help but wonder if one of the reasons we see so few attesting miracles in our society is that we start out all wrong. Without an honest reliance upon the Holy Spirit from the get-go, I think we have already started out on the wrong path. We then try, in our flesh, to manufacture "faith" so that we can see the miracles that we have determined would best fit our circumstances. This is independent thinking. Perhaps we should ask Him to cleanse us from this mindset and to remind us of the treasure we carry in these jars of clay.