Wednesday, March 19, 2014

We're Mended Vessels

I just finished watching an old message by Lonnie Frisbee on YouTube. I ended up watching it because I was youtube surfing through some Vineyard UK Live videos and songs. At first, when I saw how long the video was and what Lonnie was speaking about, I wasn't going to continue to watch and listen, but I felt the Lord wanted me to, so I did.

If you aren't familiar with Lonnie Frisbee, he was apart of the Jesus movement in the 70's where the Holy Spirit broke out and changed millions of lives. A huge part of where we are today is because of the Jesus movement as well as the move of God in Toronto and other places as well. Lonnie was a hippie who would trip out in the desert on LSD and I'm sure other drugs and then Jesus encountered him. He became a John the baptist figure and droves of people would come to the ocean where Lonnie was and he would baptize them. Lonnie's ministry continued in the power of the Holy Spirit and he ministered in the Calvary Chapel and Vineyard churches where he was accepted. Not everyone accepted him because he was weird and he did weird things, but he followed the Holy Spirit and his leadings. He would preach at church services and do things like call all the 20 year olds to the front and then simply say "Holy Spirit come," and every one of the 20 years old would fall over in the Power of the Holy Spirit. This is how Lonnie's ministry continued for a long time.

Unfortunately, he fell. Slowly but surely he slipped into sin and kept it hidden. He would party at gay bars on saturday nights and then speak on sunday mornings were the Holy Spirit would move in power. Eventually Lonnie's sin came to light and he was rejected by a lot of people. If i remember correctly, I believe some of the head pastors and spiritual fathers stayed with him to help him be restored, but people still didn't receive him and the Power that was delivered through him by God the way they used to. The haunting question came to light, "was it God moving through Lonnie from the beginning, or was it all farce?"

It's a dangerous question to ask and the reason I bring it up and the reason why I'm writing now is because the we as the church have a really bad habit of glorifying men above God. The Holy Spirit moves powerfully through vessels like Lonnie, that wholly surrender themselves to God to be used in any way He likes and we focus on the vessel rather than what that vessel contains. Also, we don't notice the mended cracks and wounds of the life of brokenness that God has repaired and healed so that He can work through them. So, when an old crack springs a leak and the wounds and imperfectness is revealed, a lot of times we are tempted to say "that wasn't God" when we were enamored with the Power we were experiencing.

I haven't though about it until just this moment, but maybe the reason why we are so quick to deny the move of God through a broken vessel is we think that if their hidden sin was exposed, that maybe our hidden sin will be exposed as well. And if we reject sinners won't we ourselves be rejected as sinners?

Unfortunately Lonnie's sin led to AIDS and then death.

One of the most important things I think we should pray for is for us to have the strength and courage to humble ourselves and confess our sins to one another, and if not that, then pray for God to humble us and reveal our sin and to bring it out of the dark. One thing I know for sure, in a move of God, things that are hidden always come to light, true intentions are made known. Simply put, truth is made known; truth that cannot be corrupted, truth that God is love and love for all. The truth that God loves us too much to let us perish in our own filth of our sin. Thankfully, we have a savior who died for all sin and, to deaths detriment, paid the price for our sin because we couldn't, can't, and will never be able to. So, God is to be praised, not men, for the works of the Spirit. Who is to be blamed for man's stumbling? The people around them. Confront the sin in your brother, if he hasn't confronted the sin himself already. Remember that the Kindness of God leads to repentance and the Spirit convicts us of our sin. So, if your brother is sinning, listen to Jesus and make sure you remove the plank in your own eye before you attempt to remove the spec from your brother's eye.

We must remember that we were all once broken, shattered vessels, clay jars, hand made by the Creator and Maker of all things. And if we hold Living Water inside of us its because He mended us and made us whole. Most of all, we must remember Him, that made us whole by breaking Himself to pieces and spilling His blood out all over us.

Thank you Jesus for paying for what I could not pay for and satisfying death's thirst for my blood with your blood. Help me to humble myself before You and men so that I can be used by You in this earth. And if I fail to humble myself, humble me by whatever means necessary so that your Glory may be made known and your name be on the lips of everyone I encounter. I pray I wouldn't fall victim to the glory of man or its false pretenses. I pray I wouldn't be flattered by the empty words of men. Let me be filled with your love and the reality of your truth, and if men speak your words let me receive them as if I heard them directly from you. I pray that I would never think of myself above any other, as I am just as susceptible to sin and its temptations as any man be. I am yours for the taking and yours for the making. God, I am yours for the breaking if I must be broken. Heal me of my doubt and unbelief and flood me with your love and faith. Thank you for the cross and the great Glory it has revealed to man. Let Christ sit enthroned upon my heart so that he may reign wherever I am. Thank you for your blood, and thank you for your mercy and grace that sustains me through the day. You are the Light of the world, and let that Light shine through me.


Lonnie Frisbee YouTube message:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp4jfl02gAc
Link where you can find a documentary about Lonnie called "Frisbee" and to learn more about him:
http://www.lonniefrisbee.com/
A song that is anointed and began the YouTube surfing and eventually resulted in this blog post:
Adore Him by Samuel Lane
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDdtXqZ2C6I

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What does He reveal?

Something that has been, for lack of better words, haunting me, is the constant life question, as a follower of Christ, "How am I supposed to live?" It's a straight forward question to the mind, answered by, "like Christ lived." Its a great response but then its lacking in application living through day to day interactions with God and others. In the States we are more than blessed to have such free access to the Bible. Most of us have two or three of them, maybe more. A non-christian may have one or two lying around their home as well. The Bible is the written revelation of God and a guide to how we are each personally supposed to live, but I feel we (Christians) look over and past it way too often.

This morning I sat down on my couch in my living room to read my bible, write in my journal and to talk to God. I tend to express my most vulnerable thoughts in my journal, and this morning this is what it reads, "I continually struggle to know how to live my life. To live above expectations and honor of men and live only for the Glory of the Lord. I'm divided because of what the Bible says, how man interprets in, and then what alone does God say. Above the interpretation of man is the revelation of God. What does the Bible say and what does God reveal through it?"
Its really easy to get caught up in what respected men and women say about God and what they have interpreted in the Bible and taught to others. If I had not been encountered by God and He had not spoken to me that first time and I not heard him, I would still be following the teachings of men and the religious church rather than the teaching of Jesus and His Bride who is the true church. Its no fault to man for our ignorance, but many of us are not ignorant to the truth and yet we get distracted by the customs and traditions of men which successfully diminished the power and will of God in the church today. Therefore every sunday is the same, a feel good powerless meeting at most. 

God doesn't want this for us. He wants us to live fully, in our new lives in Christ, abundantly. We have been given, to each of us young and old, the fullness of the Holy Spirit, which is wisdom, revelation, power, love and a sound mind. Instead of relying on the interpretation of men, rely on the revelation of God. Jesus would not entrust Himself to any man because He knew what was in each of us. He did not need our approval. Why do we need the approval of men? We don't. Then why do we seek it? We forget what we have. 

Each of us as believers carry a testimony of how God works and that is more powerful than any testimony that man can give. Its our duty to carry the testimony of God in our lives. For me personally, I forget what I carry and the power of what I carry, so I run to man for approval more often than I run to God. Its important for me to remember the truth and live how God tells me to live, not how man expects me to live. And for me to remember that, I need to go to God everyday and listen to what He tells me by His Spirit and follow and obey Him and Him alone. Jesus said it a lot, "I tell you the truth..." He is the truth, He is the light, He is the way.

Should we Love honor and respect men? Yes, but not above God. In the same way God first loved us we should first love, honor, and respect God. Then we are able to purely love, honor, and respect men, because we went to the Source for these things. 

Part one of living fully and abundantly: Listen to Jesus our Savior, not the world, because He tells me the truth.

God, help me. Help me to hear your voice above the world and above what others say. Let me rely solely on your Spirit to walk with me day to day, moment to moment. Remind me that I am filled and not being filled. God, purify my heart. Set a fire to burn away my flesh and my will, so that I may burn fully for you and you alone. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I am still with you.



Lately The Lord has been bringing me back to the same passages. I've been tempted to go off from His leading and read something new in search of fresh revelation or some captivating knowledge. But I've had to trust that He knows what's best for me now in this moment and the moments I seek Him. I've been constantly pushed to Psalm 139 which is one of the most well know psalms in all the ages and continents. What I have been constantly reminded by reading the text is that He is with me. In so many facets and ways. Not only is it fact and truth that He is with me, wether or not I realize it, or if I want Him or don't want him, He is there/here, always. The Lord is changing my mind to live in the reality that the actual person of God is not only dwelling in me but He is dwelling with me, and to know that and believe that on a moment to moment basis is what is changing me. It's amazing what we think keeping our focus on God looks like and all the time His focus is on us literally all the time. Not just the present time but past and future as well. To think of Him in this way would be... I'm not sure how I put it into words, I think it would be as Adam walked in the garden with God, or as Enoch walked, or any of the great men and women that have preceded us. Not only is He with me, even though I may not perceive it, I am still with him, every morning, every evening. I am within his reach always. I really really want my false perception of a far off heaven dwelling God to dissipate with all the other unimportant religious hubbub just so that I may finally enjoy his presence that he breathes into us. His presence is a very important reality to grasp. Even in the stillness, and in the silence His presence is here.






You are with me, God; still with me.


I am with You; I am still with You.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Prayer

Lord, you are faithful. You are faithful to complete the work that you have started in my life, and in those around me. You are good in all of your glorious ways. I will no longer fear what is unknown because you know all things and I know You. Help me in my disbelief, help me to cast it aside. I will trust in You, O Lord, and the words that you have spoken. I will be obedient to the words of your will. God, you are there in the loneliness, you are there in the silence. You are there in the busyness and in the commotion, in the loud and in the chaos. You are the one who provides peace in the unknown and misunderstanding. You are the source of rest, the rest in which my soul confides. I won't worry about tomorrow because you are with me now. Teach me your ways, teach me your will. I will follow you all of my days. I will love you with all of my heart, with all of my soul, and with everything that I am.
Selah.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The First Piece of Dough

I suppose it been a long time since I last wrote... A very long time. Its definitely not because I have not had anything to write, but the fact that time passes so easily that busyness and commotion afford outlets, like these, to be forgotten for a while.

Recently, I resigned from a management position with a residential renovation company. It has been almost a month since I stopped working there. The time that I have had has been good and continues to be good. Although its good, it is neither easy nor as restful as many people may assume not having a job may be. I am certainly not complaining, but simply putting the question, "Why?" on the platform. So, you ask, "Why?" do you? I will tell you.

Rest is required. I need it to survive. Formerly, I have not been resting due to lack of time and other excuses as such. Rest is not optional. God created, formed, and spoke things into being in six days, then rested. What do you think He was doing before He began to create? Rhetorical questions are so much fun. Rest is not an easy state to enter into and to even think of it as an action is to misinterpret the meaning of rest. Rest is not a "doing" at all. It is neither not doing anything, nor doing something that creates a relief internally. Rest is not achieved by going on a vacation, nor is it not doing work. Rest is a state of being. Not a doing but a being. This is why Jesus' yoke is light and easy. Learn from Him, and we will have rest for our souls. 

Honestly, I'm struggling to find the right words to describe. One part of the struggle is that the audience has changed. The possibility that someone may come across my blog and read this affords me the idea that I must speak to someone versus just writing my thoughts. Which would allow me to avoid concerning myself of what others may think, or if they will agree or disagree. My journal is a safe spot. I can write and write and no one is there to judge me or misunderstand me. I can't make everyone understand me either, which is a harsh reality for me. I want for what I have learned and understood to be communicated in hope that my brothers and sisters through Christ may somehow benefit. I suppose this whole post is about genuinely coming into the understanding of who we are in God's eyes. I don't want to use the word, "identity" or the phrase, "who we are in Christ," because it seems these phrases and truths have been so widespread. Yet, the effect of these truths are not nearly as widespread as the knowledge of these truths are. Just as Paul wrote to the Romans, Corinthians, and various other countrymen to teach, rebuke, and encourage, I believe we in the United States need our own letter. If Paul had wrote a letter to us, the church in the United States, I believe it would be very encouraging and enlightening, but I think he would also be stern. Through all the religious trials and history in the States, the true life of the believer and what it looks like has been watered down. I sincerely believe it has not been watered down on purposed but because of ignorance and lack of experience. We need a letter written to us telling us of our faults and accomplishments, in the States, and where and how we are to improve as the church, as the body of Jesus. If there was a letter that was written, I know of one thing that would be in it. It would say something to this effect. 

"You constantly refuse to believe what has been done for you. You walk in the shadow when there is Light two feet beside you. You dwell in the dungeon that has been unlocked centuries ago and you refuse to walk into the land of freedom and joy that is just beyond the gate. What is this Gate? You know what it is, it is Jesus. For some reason you work and toil day after day believing that it is necessary and required for life to go on. Is this necessary? Do you not know that God provides for you? Do you not remember what Jesus said, that if God cares for the birds of the air, how much more so does he care for you? You must rest in the joy of your salvation. If you have not rest, get rest. If you have not joy, get joy. If you have not salvation, get salvation. You must start walking as Jesus walked, trusting and obeying in His heavenly Father. This starts with rest, work hard to enter into rest so that you may know who are are in God's eyes."

Rest is the catalyst for knowing who we are as a son or daughter of God. We cannot work to know who we are, how does that make sense? We must start with every day in rest, knowing that we are His. When God was creating the world and the universe as we know it to be, it states in Genesis, "and there was evening and there was morning, one day." And it continues like this through the sixth day. The actual day started at night, began with sleep and moved to morning, when work was done and then finished by the end of the day, for the next day to start at evening. We have it all mixed up. In the morning, when we wake up, it is not the new day. It is already the second part of the day. We first rested, and then we arise to go about our day. We do not awake and go about our day and get tired and then spend the evening resting after work. We rest in the evening first, sleep through the night to awake in the morning to work forwards from our rest. We could not accomplish anything if it was the other way around. Our perspectives need to change, our goal for the day is not to rest from our work, but to work from our rest. To explain more, we are never to be in a mode of work and then rest from our labor. We are made to be in a mode of rest constantly and consistently, then to work from that rest, still being in a mode of rest. As an example, even as I am writing this, I am in a mode of rest. Before I began writing I was in mode of rest. In that mode I am working to write this and when I am done writing I will return to rest but having not left it. I'm not bragging or saying that I have this rest thing mastered. It is so important to offer any explanation that will offer help any one to get on the right track of how we were made to be. I'll tell you right now, a lot of people will disagree with me and tell me I'm wrong and tell me I am misinterpreting the scriptures. Here's the possible offensive part, if there is a disagreement with me on this, its because we have not been taught how to enter into this rest. Its because we are missing an intimate opportunity to know God as a person. This is not a debate or argument or comparison to see who knows God better or anything like that. This is a challenge to change our minds, to change our perspectives, and to seek out truth and abundant life. Jesus came so that we could have abundant life and I am seeking that abundant life out. Abundant life is knowing Him, and one key factor to knowing Him is being where He is currently, which is, has been, and always will be, in rest.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

reckless abandon

A few weeks ago I had a great honor of speaking at my church about worship and what it looks like as a lifestyle, our identity as worshipers of God. The few weeks leading up to that day were amazing in everything that the Lord was showing me, teaching me and letting me experience. I can't begin to express how often worship is on my heart and how big of a desire I have for all of us to come into full realization of what true worship is.

When I was sharing about what I had been learning, I said something to the effect that every day belongs to the Lord and we should begin our day in worship by sacrificing our will, desire, and expectations of that day and say, "Today is yours, Lord." A dear woman of God, who I respect and admire tremendously, approached me afterward with ample excitement.  She had been reading Isaiah 11:3 which says, "He will delight in the fear of the Lord, and He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear." She had asked the Lord earlier that day or that week, "What does it mean to delight in the fear of the Lord?" and she continued to tell me that when I said,  to offer every day as a sacrifice before the Lord, it had answered her question. So, she thanked me for answering her question, and I thanked her for revealing what it is to delight in the fear of the Lord!

For a while now, probably since I was in middle school, I had read passages about the fear of the Lord, and I would ask repeatedly for the Lord to teach me and show me what the fear of the Lord was. It was great to hear her revelation and her encouraging words, which I often hear from her. This new revelation hit me in a hard way. It made me think further and further still, that I didn't fully understand what I had taught. It never even crossed my mind that it was tied into the fear of the Lord. I know it was tied in with honor and with purity, but it blew me away and took me off guard to hear that it had to do with the fear of the Lord.

The Lord reminded me recently about what I did a few years ago when I was really struggling with keeping my focus on the Lord. The majority of the issue was that my mind was consumed with wanting to get married, finding a wife, looking for a suitable mate, what have you. I grew tired off every waking thought being, "Who should I marry?","I would date her.","Do I see myselff marrying her?", etc., etc., ETC. Suffice it to say, it was ridiculous.  So, I made a decision and I said to the Lord, "I am only going to pursue you for now, wholeheartedly, with everything I have. I will seek no other but You."

When I was reminded of this, the Lord showed me that this is delighting in the fear of the Lord. At the time, it was a conditional and limited confession. But, I now see that this is how the Lord wants us to act everyday. For every waking thought to be His every waking thought, to take up our cross and follow Him every day, to offer our body as a living sacrifice every day, to completely and utterly surrender everything we are to Him. Not only is this our identity as worshipers, but it's the fear of the Lord, and how to delight in the fear of the Lord.

I guess the most valuable object or thing the Lord has given us, beside Himself, would be time. It was given to us freely along with our life, but unlike the eternal life we've inherited, our time is limited. I cannot think or conceive a better notion of worship or sacrifice of praise other than to take the days we have numbered to us and completely waste them on God. What better gift, to the Lord, than us? He gave us life to live alongside Him, then we lost it and then He sent His Son to get it back. Why? Because He freaking loves us so dang much. So, what better gift, hmm? than to give him what he wants so much for? You and me. The End.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

restless

so here I find myself for the second night in a row, not able to close my eyes or slip away into a deep sleep like I usually do around 12:30 at night. Instead I find myself trying to settle my mind from its increased activity.
I am restless.
It's not a bad feeling, but it's incredibly uncomfortable. It's from God.
I can't tell you how many times I've desired to sit and devote some time to my blog and really attempt to develop it and make it into something that a passerby would benefit from. And I have conceived thoughts of beginning a new blog about brewing beer as well. But when I've thought about content, my fingers were dead. The pages in my journal, once filled in their days, are also blank. Now I'm thinking about how rusty my righting skills and creativity have become. Oh and grammar.
Its now wednesday morning, but previously tuesday night and previous to that monday night. Monday night was a prayer meeting with a core group of leaders at a church I'm involved with. We worshiped the Lord and listened for his voice. I was stirred so deeply that I didn't even realize it until later. But it was as if someone had connected a battery charger to my brain. There were so many electrical charges shooting through mind, so many thoughts, so much activity, it was incredibly abnormal. Usually its not difficult for me to settle my mind so that I can rest and sleep, but I could do nothing. I even enjoyed a hot cup of Bedtime tea with orange blossom honey, in hope, to help fall asleep when I came home about 11:30 pm and then attempted to go to bed about 12:30 am. I didn't see sleep until past 4 am.

Tea time.

So now we find me... sleepless... again.
Earlier tonight I was at another prayer meeting that occurs weekly. We worshiped and listened for the voice of the Lord. Again I was stirred and I couldn't shake this sense of restlessness. I eventually spoke up and asked if any of the other 8 in the room felt it. Many replied "yes" but I couldn't help but think that this restlessness was a step beyond what the others were feeling. But, all I am sure of is that this feeling was incredibly new to me. I have felt anxious in the past, obviously bad and not God. I have felt giddy and have not been able to sit still because of joy welling up inside of me, obviously good and God. But to feel so much activity inside of my spirit that I couldn't readily discern if its good or bad, or if its God or not, is so foreign to me. This is what the Lord revealed to me. The Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus becomes so troubled and sorrowful to the point of death because of what is about to take place. Jesus asks three times of His Father to take the cup from him, yet not his will, but his Father's will. After each time he prayed he went to his disciples and found them sleeping though he asked them to stay awake and keep watch with him. The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak. It says they fell asleep because their eyes were heavy.
I cannot say I'm am troubled or distressed even to the point of death but tonight I have found myself asking the Lord to take this restlessness from me. Its almost unbearable. My eyes are heavy, I want to sleep, but its as if my spirit will not allow it.
Last night when I could not sleep, I was prompted by the Lord, very clearly, to get my journal and write. Did i do this? Nope. Instead, I replied, "I am too tired," and then continued to not be able to sleep. Eventually I arose and started watching TV to try and wind down and somehow trick myself into falling tired enough to sleep. Nope. I finished watching TV and returned to my bed, again, not being able to fall asleep.
Tonight I decided to follow the prompts of the Lord and actually obey. I arose from my bed and grabbed my guitar, worshiped for a while and then started writing what I am currently writing.

Conclusion... It is not the time to sleep. It is time to keep watch. I cannot be found unready, or my lamp without oil. Too long have i procrastinated in too many areas in my life. This time is important and it cannot be wasted. Its not as if we're running out of time or some doomsday theory like that, but it is now time for us to arise and become what we were made to be. To live this life as we were blessed to live it in the fullness that was purchased on the cross. No more lack, no more. We were created to live an abundant life and it must not be quenched any longer.

I am not making plea on behalf of Christ's return, though He is coming soon. He is not coming for a boatload of Christians, He is coming for a Bride that is a unity of brothers and sisters in full realization of who they are. Christ is not bringing heaven with him when he comes. When He comes, He will find His Bride living in heaven on earth.

My spirit is willing, but i'm tired. Interestingly enough, Gethsemane means oil press. I will not be found without oil. I will not be found asleep, or unready. I will not be found as a mute dog, unable to bark for lack of understanding.

We must be like watchmen on the walls. Looking, therefore knowing what is coming. We must be like the sons of Isaachar, discerning and understanding the times and seasons, so that we know what to do. Our spirits must awaken and not be overtaken by our heavy eyes. We must come alive and live in the fullness Christ intended for us live in.

What would it look like to live in full realization of God's love and abundance?