Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Messy room: messy life

When your room is a wreck it's a good time to ask, "why?"

My room is a wreck. My bedside table is littered with beer bottles and pint glasses. Not because I'm a drunkard or alcoholic, but because I have a beer every other night or so whilst watching netflix before going to bed. Two habits that I'm keen to kick. 
Tonight I'm drinking a beer wilst blogging before going to bed, about why I am so distraught by the state of my room and therefore the state if my life. 
Before you judge me and crucify me for drinking beer, just look at your own life real quick and realize you have faults I could judge you all the way to town if you were blogging about them, but your not and I am. It's called being vulnerable.
Why am I being vulnerable? Because if you find yourself in your bedroom that has become the epicenter of chaos due to lack of time and lack of self discipline, If you were me, then making fun of yourself would help kick your butt into gear to change something. So this is me kicking my own butt and me being vulnerable, so I will do something about it. 
I need to say "no" to some things. And I have no clue what to say "no" to because I take pride in the fact that I am a man of my word and that I follow through what I say "yes" to... All the while I'm dying inside because I'm giving all my time away to everyone that asks it of me therfore I have no time to myself and when I do get time to myself it's spent in recovery avoiding the mess, that is my room. 
It's an odd predicament because, I can honestly say that I am in a bit if a personal revival, that Jesus is stiring new life in me everyday. It gives me an excitement that makes me want to take on the world and conquer everything in my path. So I am taking on everything that is in my path and that is coming on my path and pulling more things on my path in front of me because I feel this fire that is burning me from inside out can consume everything that dares to step in front of it like a twig standing before a rolling roaring forest fire. But really it's a burning flame that is being snuffed out by being fed way too much way too early. Momentum has to be gained, the campfire needs time to grow into an unstoppable force that devours ancient trees in one bite. 
The lesson tonight is: I have got to say "no" to more things than I say "yes" to. I have got to clean my room. I must let the fire that burns so fervently grow steadily. Someday, sometime, it will be an unstoppable force. The truth is, the day the flame was struck, it became an unstoppable force that grew to what it is today. And it will keep on growing and growing. But how fast it grows, is completely up to me... And you. 
Let your fire burn and grow steadily. You're an unstoppable force because He is and He is in you living inside you. 
Cheers and blessings.

P.s. Please forgive my elementary grammar and quotation errors. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Nothing. Part 1

The thought of fasting always brings me back to a few years ago during the Lenten season. I was in a long period of fasting, one day per week and drinking only water on that day. A friend and I had decided to fast for a specific cause that was particularly emotional, painful, and draining, to instead focus our hearts on God rather than the situation that haunted us daily. After fasting for months, I began to contemplate wether I should break the fast. With the approach of Lent, there was increased hubbub of what people were going to "give up" for Lent. I had always avoided Lent because I didn't understand it and though it was a Catholic thing. But this year was different, it had spread to my non-denominational church. So, people were running around saying what they were going to give up for Lent declaring "soft drinks," "TV," or "Video Games," all stuff like that. I would brashly ask "what is Lent anyway" and either I would get a reply like "its when you're supposed to give up something for Jesu," or "I don't know." I wasn't satisfied with either of those answers. The un-satisfaction heightened my awareness of not understanding. So, I began to ask more and looked deeper, and I really learned what Lent was about.

So, on Ash Wednesday, the day of the week that I would normally fast, I gave up fasting for Lent... 

Permanently. 

Why? Because things given up for Lent were never meant to be a temporary abstinence of a certain thing. And I was honestly sick and tired of multitudes of people participating in a religious festival that they did not understand. Granted it is not any fault of the people. Rather, its the church who failed to teach and make it known clearly what it was all about.

Each consecutive year I would give up another thing for Lent that I felt the Lord leading me to give up. Specifically things hindering me from Him. I gave up religious semantics one year, which helped me to see how "churchy" my vocabulary was. 

Recently, I had been feeling a call to fast. Ever since I gave up fasting I have sought earnestly after God to show me what true fasting is. Even more recently my church leaders had asked the congregation to consider fasting in this season for specific reasons and things for our church. I began to ask God wether I needed to fast or not and I felt He answered "yes," but what to fast from was the real question. It was not going to be a fast from food. 

In Old Testament times, fasts were meant for consecration, to separate, or take something apart from another, to make unique, to make holy, to change the actions and outcome of the everyday grind, not going about doing exactly what you were doing yesterday onto doing the same tomorrow. Fasting is meant to signify a difference. God declared a handful of different fasts like abstaining from sexual relations, abstaining from bread without yeast, abstaining from work, etc. all for the purpose of consecration so that they could appear before the Lord.

I'll have to finish this in another post, its getting a bit long.
Thanks for reading! Part 2 is coming soon, so come back if you want the rest.

Blessings!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Going through the motions, or not

No matter where we are in our lives, there may always seem to be a place that we find lacking, or that we believe needs improvement. Like situations or relationships that have become stagnant, I feel there are many in all of us.

This "spot" looks different for all of us, but basically I think we have three choices. One, to stay exactly where we are and do the same thing expecting different result or waiting for the world to change around us so that it fits our mold. Two, to step back and take a break, try to recover from the complacency and get passionate by mere absolute need for survival, therefore only ending up where we were before. Decisions one and two form a vicious cycle of waiting for ourselves to change in order to move forward but the only forward motion we see is moving from where we fell back. Thankfully there is a third option, to push past what is normal, expected, and customary. To fight where it seems we would lose. To face our fear and say to it, "screw you." We have to constantly fight to take new grounds in our lives otherwise everything unclaimed will be ravaged by the enemy. So, theres really no difficult decision here, its logical. Push forward to move forward, its not a promise that it will be easy or smooth sailing, but theres a promise for abundance and that it will be good.

A friend recently quoted General Patton to me saying, "After you make a decision, do it like hell – and never take counsel of your fears."

Fears are bastard thoughts, little illegitimate thoughts conceived outside of covenant relationship. Fears are not from God. 


I'm calling myself out in a ton of areas, but I want to call you out too. Make the decision in a difficult area in your life and do it so you can move forward. Its well worth the hard work you won't regret it. Ask the Lord to lead you and to guide you. He will make your path straight, and he will speak to you and help you if you will listen to his voice.


So, where do you need to push forward?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Leviticus. So many rules all at one time.

Once again, I started reading the Bible from the beginning. But instead of having some sort of goal, to read the whole bible in a year, I decided to take it slow. I try to read every day, but that doesn't happen all the time. One or two chapters per day is what I'm tackling at the moment. I found that it is a good pace because it keeps my mind from jumping to quickly and therefore missing what God wants to say through it. Its sometime really hard to see the Father heart of God in the Old Testament, but its there because He's always the same God with the same heart, always.

When I started reading Leviticus, I had many intentional thoughts telling myself, "I can't let reading all these rules make me start thinking legalistically again." I had an underlying fear that it would change my heart, and I thought maybe I should skip Leviticus and go to another book that I know is good for me to read and that its immediately uplifting, encouraging and beneficial. But fear isn't from God so I spit those thoughts out of my mind as quickly as they came. Thankfully, I have found so much good in Leviticus. Yet, it hasn't been an immediate knowledge that came through sitting, thinking and studying. It has mostly come out in conversations during this past week. As the words were coming out of my mouth I knew the Lord was encouraging me that these truths were party due to what I was currently reading.

Below is what I wrote in my journal this morning:
Leviticus: so many rules all at one time. God wants the best for us at all times. It doesn't mean that it will be great and glorious or what we think is best for us. But, may look like a lot of not doing things we're accustomed to doing, and doing a lot of things that are awkward and not normal to us. But in it, it sets us apart from the rest of the World and it makes us holy. Not necessarily what we do or don't do but Jesus makes us holy which enables us to do what we couldn't do and not do what we always did.

All these rule that God laid down were for Israel's good. They came out of Egypt with this slave mentality and a hopelessness that there was nothing that they could do to change the outcome in their lives. But God brought them out to be their God, which called them to be holy and set apart like God is Holy and not like any other. In that, God, demanded a change in the Israelites. In their thinking and in their actions. So, He told them what was good for them and not good for them and that if they didn't act accordingly that they would die. Simple things like, don't let your bull gore your neighbor, if he does, you need to kill the bull. And then really complex thing of what type of sacrifice was acceptable and when to do it and how to do it and all these stipulations or people would die. There were two sons of Aaron that went into the temple to offer incense before the Lord and the Lord struck them dead! Its craziness and absolutely confusing to us today, especially in our culture, to think about these things and how God is still good in everything. But if you think about what the Israelites were exposed to in Egypt, knowing what we know today, the Egyptians worshiped everything and the god in everything. The sun, the moon, the harvest, the rain, fertility, etc. everything! So the Israelites had to be so messed up in their thinking going from having Pharaoh, who was seen as a god who ruled the people, to a God who is unseen and had true power and and a messenger and leader, Moses, whose face literally lit up when he spoke to God so that the people told him to cover his face. Big changes in the community called for big changes in action and in deed. So, then all the impurities had to be washed away from the people God had chosen to be Holy like He is Holy.

But the point is, for us today, that in everything, God wants the best for us in every moment, the right now immediate moment. I promise that it wont look like what we expect or what we think is best for us but God has His best interest for us and in us, still. So, it calls for a change of mind and action. Thankfully, we have the holy spirit who actually makes it possible. And the whole purpose is to set us apart, make us Holy, make us different then the rest of the world so that it may draw interest from those who don't know Him. Ultimately to bring us back to our true purpose, to rule, reign, and have dominion on earth. To live here abundantly and to walk with God.

Bless all of you who find and read. My prayer is for you to know God deeply and that He would continue to make Himself known to you and that His Face would shine on you, so that those who need to see Him would see Him through you.

Love,
Jared

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Christ Is All Revelations Combined Together

This is an excerpt from Kamran Yaraei's book, "Food For The Heart."

Sometimes when we get a revelation from the Lord or we hear a new truth, we treat that revelation or small truth as God Himself, not just a revelation that came from Him. Our food is not revelation but Christ Himself.
We don't treat a piece of the puzzle as the whole picture. Why should we treat a single revelation or truth as God?
Sometimes we get so caught up in teachings and revelations that we forget about Jesus our Lord.
He is all revelations and truth combined together. He is the whole picture. He is everything. May we never stop looking at His eyes. May we never get distracted by a small piece of truth. Christ is the Truth.

Taken from page 37.

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.