This post is raw and coming from the place of prayer and a stirring based on recent conversations (several different ones) that I have had. And it also relates to the subject of Kingdom Vision Unto Mission, but is an unplanned blog w/not much formatting like my other post. I warn you, it is more like reading a chapter in a book than it is like reading a short post. So bail out now if you want. I will regain my formal unfolding of what I planned on sharing in my next blog, but had to get these thoughts out of me for the time being. I know that there are many places where holes can be shot through my processing, but decided to just put myself out there. There are many scriptures and study that I have stirring in the place of study to bring along side what I am about to say, but don’t have time to do a full layout at the moment. All of this comes from a place of realizing how little I have known, and still have no clue, concerning the magnitude of this subject. However, I created this blog to process my thoughts and revelations out loud and so here goes:
For who among them has stood in the council of the Lord to see and to hear his word… Jer. 23:18
MEASURED, WEIGHED AND FOUND WANTING
As the eyes of my heart are getting enlightened in the knowledge of His will in order to know the hope (resurrection) to which he has called me to (Eph. 1:17,18), I am beginning to see clearly (as through a dim lense) how quickly us in the western Church (bcuz of living here, that is the only church I can relate to) talk as though we have seen and touched the reality of His Kingdom in the heavens above, in such a way that we then feel we can exercise it shortly thereafter. In the past, I have thrown around language surrounding that Kingdom as though I was the authority on the subject and many times it flowed from a spirit of pride. I have found that as a result of that mindset, my prayer life waned (gave little prayer time to discovering the reality of His tangible Kingdom above) and I spent that time in different things (books, teachings, etc) to prove the reputation of the language I’ve was bringing. The face of it seems genuine enough, but over time God has exposed the depths of my heart in this subject, weighed me and I have been found wanting. In speaking the truth in my own heart, I found myself not fully concerned w/His agenda and in the end , seeking to prove what I had been saying, apart from knowing Jesus (meaning communing w/the man who sits at the right hand of the Father currently).
DOING FOR THE SAKE OF PROVING
I had tried to fashion a cookie cutter form of discipleship that taught people in the ways of my lackings and ultimately not leading to the realities of the things above (which I am finding to be vital for believers). Basically, I felt as though I needed to prove what I was saying and teaching sooner, rather than later (so I wouldn’t lose status), through the means of doing in the “now,” rather than waiting for empowering from on high. But recently I have been realizing that the revelation in spiritual wisdom and understanding must be matured first, rather than stripped away and trampled under doing ministry, based on the slight burden that hits me in light of a sliver of revelation. In feeling that burden, my western thinking defaults to a preaching burden, when really I am finding that it is a prayer burden I must take on in order to fully develop His will and desires within me. SO THAT I preach not with wisdom of words but in power. In past years, rather than taking the time to consistently learn how to lock my gaze on the things above, be gripped w/the King and His Kingdom to the point of having it seared onto my heart in such a way that I really felt as though I was a foreigner in a distant land, I traded it for the immediate “doing.” Why? Because of pleasing men and a void of not learning to wait upon the Lord.
WHAT IS OUR AIM IN WAITING?
I am finding that waiting is an offensive thing to our minds in the western culture. We are always waiting for God to give the go ahead (I am finding that many times it is far before it’s time that we anticipate the “go ahead” from Him), and frustrated in the process of waiting. And in waiting, for some it is still out of obligation and frustration, or filled w/passing the time in other things. In light of the little glimpses I am getting of His throne room, it changes and shifts all that, causing the fear of God to hit my heart like fire. And brings forth an overwhelming faith to bring His power, and a burning in my bones for the truth to come forth.
I am still far from walking fully in what I am feebly seeking to communicate, yet have a knowing that this is what gave those in the Word the faith to carry out signs and wonders, passion to preach, teach of the reality of their (His) Kingdom burning on the inside. I am getting moments of heart explosion from meditating and zeroing in on the realities of His Kingdom (not an ethereal floating place in the sky) through Scripture. It has caused faith to blow it’s roof on the inside of me, and stirred a compelling in my heart to evangelize, teach and preach for short moments of time. All fear of man leaves for a second and all that is left is a trembling over me, in fear of Him, and a desire to get the message of what I tasted to others. However, as soon as it shows up, it is gone, leaving me back at a state of wanting more of His Kingdom and a knowing that I need much more time to cause that to be my consistent reality. It has been provoking me to the place of prayer and helping me to realize that I must wait and gaze UNTIL that place of Kingdom vision is my reality. I have had 30 years of believing and receiving this world as my reality and know that it will take time to unravel my worldly thinking and even my Greek Christian mindset, in order to make His Kingdom my home (in the heart). Many days I desire that I could perceive as easy as the Hebrews could based on the foundation that was already laid in their culture for the things of God’s Kingdom. There are so many negative Christian western world views that have been bred/rooted into me and it takes some deep uprooting to see certain mysteries of God, correctly, that have been placed in the Word.
OFFENDING MY HEART
God has been hammering me w/several questions over the months that have wrecked and offended much of my heart, leaving me w/a choice to follow Him or my ways. Do I do His will my way or His will His way? Here are a few of the questions that God has been asking me recently. If I called you to lay aside “ministry” for several years (while pursuing His Kingdom) or even a decade, would you be offended? Or would you feel it was a wasted time that could have been given to getting so much done for “My glory”? Why are you so set on feeling like you have to strive in outward things “for Me,” w/taking very little time to know the reality of where I am currently? Do you give more energy to seeing My Kingdom come to the earth, than you do knowing what My Kingdom really looks like in the heavens above?
I can look as though I am the authority on the kingdom of Spain because I have read a lot about it, know the stats, economy, etc, and woo people with my knowledge on that country, yet still have a disconnect in the realities of what Morocco is like. To become a citizen of that kingdom, I must give my whole self to it and living unto it, causing me to feel foreign when physically away from it.
PATIENT GAZING VS INCONVENIENT WAITING
As I continue to get my heart shaped in whole new ways, I am pondering the fact that many (including myself) arenâ€™t patient enough to receive the magnitude of His greatness and glory from seeing into the realities of His throne room and Kingdom. As a result, there is a minimizing of His Kingdom and seeking to bring it, in what I am beginning to understand as, a deformed way (man-driven/striving). Where waiting on God is found in our language but really serves to be an inconvenience to our inside Christian worldview. And a need to save all of humanity overruns the very fact that we must seek first His Kingdom, so that we can then “do” from a place that truly transforms.
What does ministry look like after you have sought His Kingdom and it has become your reality? Is there a time frame that can be placed on the overall of Christianity to get that reality, so that we then can fabricate Kingdom people who really do? How do we do discipleship in light of knowing that we must have the reality of that Kingdom before seeking to demonstrate and proclaim the gospel of that Kingdom?
MUST HAVE RESSURECTION REVELATION DEEPLY ROOTED
And another huge piece of the puzzle that I have barely hit on in this post is grasping the hope of the resurrection. Kurt, my good friend, pointed out the last verse of 1 Cor. 15 to me the other night and it sealed in my heart even more, this revelation that God has been unraveling inside of me. What motivates us to be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord our labor is not in vain”? I’ll leave it in your hands to get the answer, so I spare you from having to read a blog that is the size of a book (right now this is just a chapter). If my hope is not fully realized in His Kingdom and what is to come, then how can I bring that Kingdom to come?
SO HEAVENLY MINDED THAT I ACTUALLY BECOME EARTHLY GOOD
I guess the whole point in writing this blog, is that I wanted to address the mindset of fear or generalization over people of prayer that we donâ€™t do the things of His Kingdom because we are to heavenly minded. I know that dialogue has been going on around this subject for longer than I have been alive, but just had to journal on some of what God is revealing to my heart as I see His Word in light of the bigger mission that I am finding at the core of scripture. Really, the cry of my heart is to make a call to us all, to set our eyes on the things above for as long as it takes, and ask the question “How long has it been since I have trembled at His Word, and how often do I tremble?” Our hearts are what God is after and it is inclined to wickedness. I guess what I am saying is that we underestimate the darkness in our own hearts, and underestimate the greatness of who God is (because we don’t have a real grasp on the things above), when that seems to be key throughout the Word, in order to do what God has asked of us.
Similar to what I tweeted weeks back, “I am pondering why many believers violently defend their “doing” for Him far more than their “being” w/Him?” The fear and argument that people “seek and then never do,” is built on the concept of needing to seek fruit in the physical based on a time frame and methodology we have assumed upon God and His Word. In light of His overall mission, I must be careful not to step into a place where I become the authority and seek to place myself as the one overseeing the process. I think we will “do” for God, and be a witness for Him, when we see what we are to be a witness about (the King and His Kingdom). We will speak of what we have seen and heard w/o needing to fabricate it.
June 17, 2009
wow Rich! Thanks for that. I am still re reading and processing through it but as always I love hearing your heart. and thanks for being vulnerable :)I'll get back to you as i re read this again
June 22, 2009
No matter what goes down the one thing I always know with you is that whatever you're saying or doing it's out of a genuine motivation to love and serve Jesus and be faithful to His revelation to you!I always know your motivations are in the right place. It's a beautiful thing and challenges me constantly! It also makes you one of the best friends to have!!
As for the blog post, I appreciate your thoughts and love hearing your heart. One thing I struggle with constantly is whether it enough that Jesus knows my heart, my motivations, and sees the things I do? If that satisfies my heart,and I can rest in the knowledge of His pleasure over my obedience, then all of the pressure to please man and concern myself with their perceptions and unfounded criticisms is gone. At the end of the day, God calls so many of us to different expressions, work, anointings, and ministries. Each one of us has a tendancy to look at those in other callings and camps and say "look at what they're doing (or more often NOT doing)." Or to take the revelation we have received personally and try to do the work of the Holy Spirit ourselves in applying it to the rest of the church. I'm reminded of the time Jesus tells Peter how he is going to die and Peter then asks Jesus "what about him (referring to John)"? Jesus replies: "If it's my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?" (John 21:23)Those words are always in the front of my mind when I think of pointing out what I percieve to be inadequate in someone else's ministry or "generalizing about the prayer movement's lack of doing": ). I guess the question you ask (and rightly so) is: "have they spent the time before Jesus to have actually heard his calling or did they just jump into 'doing' presumtuously and prematurely?!" Who knows…
We can ask the questions of each other, (none of us are beyond criticism) and it's essential to be challenged by faithful brothers. But we still may not see eye to eye or fully understand "in the moment". Even so, at the end of the day it still hurts and aggravates us (especially me!), and especially if it's unfair or misconceived criticism. I have found this to be the hardest thing to swallow. Sometimes I think that the scriptures ought to read "PRIDE is the last enemy to be defeated"! : ) So, the bottom line for me is that the Spirit dispenses the gifts and callings as He sees fit. If I know a brother loves the Lord and seeks His face earnestly and is walking out His calling with the best light he has then praise the Lord. Dialogue and some debate is beneficial and strengthening, but faithfulness to the calling and revelation in our own heart is what matters for both this age and the age to come. Some of us will be "in the wilderness" for 30 years and some not at all. Some will do "cookie cutter discipleship" and some will engage in the radical and cutting edge. The question of Jesus is: "What is that to you"?
I do think you're asking great quesitons about the revelation of the kingdom and speaking of the things we have seen and heard.
June 22, 2009
Thanks Spanky for the comment! I totally agree w/what you are saying. Even in what I am saying, I know that many are planted in different ways and love them all. In fact, I don't sit around asking the questions that I posted in my blogs toward other minitries or ministers, but do desire to walk out the Word and according to His will in my own life and the ministry that I am facilitating. So, as a result of seeing where I used to be in light of the revelation of now, I say what I am saying.
There will always be those who are doing and get the finger pointed at them and there will always be those who aren't doing and the finger will be pointed at them. Even more the reason why we must fear Him and not man. I don't think either of those things are the point for me, but it is a burning for those who say they know Him, to endure to the end so they might be saved. Salvation is revealed on the day of resurrection, and some will say "Lord, Lord…" in that day. We must be rooted and grounded in love, and that is what my heart is after, so that those who live in the last days might endure and overcome. I am preparing for mighty harvest which for my heart, I am finding, takes some big time preparation in order to endure even the pressures of success in the outworkings of His Kingdom.
I have been so blown away by God's love in the midst of thanksgiving around His mercy on my life. I used to be a struggling person on the inside because of striving, while looking alive on the outside in doing ministry. Now, my heart is shaken by His love in ways that causes me to tremble, and yet I know that my feet are just getting wet after years of knowing w/my mind but not being alive in my heart. You are so right, pride was my platform for so much of what I did in ministry. Good word! Blessings!
June 22, 2009
I guess most of my comments were based off of this statement: "the whole point in writing this blog, is that I wanted to address the mindset of fear or generalization over people of prayer that we donâ€™t do the things of His Kingdom because we are to heavenly minded." I got the impression that your motivation was primarily self-defense for the prayer movement so I kind of was reading between the lines a little too much. I just wanted to encourage you not to worry about it!! But I know that you know better than I do that the wisdom of waiting on Him will be shown for it's eternal value in due season! You're the man. Don't ever change! : )Well, except for your horrible smoking habit. You really should give that up…
By the way, is it hard for me to be taken seriously with a pseudonym like "Spanky"? I didn't even know that was my google name till I posted here! Must be my former login or something. It's a nickname a friend of mine has been calling me for years.
June 23, 2009
Good call spanky! In some ways my last statement does point to the reality of your comments and me being defensive, but the remainder of that paragraph voices the heart behind why I address that generalization that can come w/prayer people: "Really, the cry of my heart is to make a call to us all, to set our eyes on the things above for as long as it takes, and ask the question â€œHow long has it been since I have trembled at His Word, and how often do I tremble?â€ Our hearts are what God is after and it is inclined to wickedness. I guess what I am saying is that we can underestimate the darkness in our own hearts at times, and underestimate the greatness of who God is (because we donâ€™t have a real grasp on the things above), when that seems to be key throughout the Word, in order to do what God has asked of us."
Love you tons spanky and great comments! I'll work on that smoking habit. :) And don't worry about your pseudonym, it makes me smile when I see it. Love ya!