Experiencing God’s Kingdom

taling-pic-of-castleExperiencing God’s Kingdom is your goal.  You’ve taken a good picture of what you believe it looks like.  However, there’s so much drab and rainy weather – not to mention the muddy roads between you and personally enjoying the King’s castle.

Stress Mud

Why can’t there just be a clear, dry, untwisting road between me and my destination?  With every step I take, it seems like I slip (and too often) fall down.  My hopes and commitments (once again) to keep myself clean from the mess around me is beginning to seem more impossible by the day.

There’s the King’s castle.  But how am I going to get there?  Will I ever be able to do anything more than take a picture?  Will I personally experience the atmosphere of it’s love, peace, and joy?

The Quiet Whisper Within

An almost imperceptible whisper penetrates through the chaotic din of noise that surrounds me.  It’s quiet and gentle but has an unearthly quality that pierces the darkness of doom like the first rays of the sun on an overcast day.

Here’s The Way

I am impressed and influenced by an intuition to look inside past the muddy road and allow myself to be guided by a heart beat that is not my own.  When I say those words out loud that sound confusing and illogical.  But, somehow my invisible self knows what they mean.

I’m being challenged to listen for a heart beat that is not my own like a mother listens for sound of her baby in the other room.  There’s another room inside of this body, and I have ears to perceive it.

heartbeat-clipart-clipart-best-amaeun-clipart

 

 

It sounds like love.  It feels like peace.  It seems to be wrapped in a cloak of joy that gives strength to its pulsing.

What I’m hearing is the echo of Jesus’ heart!

As I pay attention, the rhythm gets clearer.  It awakens a fresh desire in the core of my being.  I want to pay attention to You.  You give me life.  You give me wisdom.  You fill my heart beat with Your own.

There’s a reason why the Scriptures counsel us to look unto Jesus, rather than doctrines, and opinions of every sort.  It’s Jesus where the life of God’s Kingdom is found.

Not a Method – Instead a Man

I’m always looking for a “right method” to navigate the muddy paths of life.  But, those methods are natural wisdom.  Natural wisdom has its own legitimacy.  But, God’s Kingdom is spiritual in origin.  The path is traversed spiritually.  The distractions are spiritual in nature and motivation.  Therefore, guidance and victory on the path can only be achieved by follow a Spiritual Man not a natural opinion, doctrine, or method.

Be cautious.  Some will think that following the Man of Scripture is knowing and relying upon words about the Man.  It is not.  Truth about the Man and about His heartbeat may help focus our thoughts.  But, hearing and experiencing – in a personal, intimate way – the “sound” of His Heartbeat is the only sure way to navigate the muddy path to the castle without getting your shoes and cloths dirty.

Practice listening.  Practice feeling.  Practice sensing.  The Man is closer than your breath.  Ask Him for ears to hear and then practice quietly listening.  The result is your salvation.

Gary

The Kingdom of God and the United States Election

handsflag-280x595I have great hope for the Glory of God’s Kingdom and the United States 2016 Election.  

I didn’t say that I have great hope for everything to turn out according to my opinion of what is best.

I said, I have great hope for the Glory of God’s Kingdom and the United States Elections of 2016.  Not because of what is happening politically or from other natural factors.  But because I know that God is orchestrating many things in front of the scenes and behind the scenes.

I have great hope because God has made a promise to His people. “If you humble yourselves, pray, and turn from your wicked way…I WILL heal your land.”
I have great hope because God’s people have increasingly has been taking instructions and promises like that seriously.  It’s been happen.  It has already been happening – with ever growing numbers – for the past few years.
Too many of God’s own sons and daughters are stressing because they don’t have eyes to see what has been happening in prayer in and all over the world for America.

I have great hope because Tuesday’s Election doesn’t decide the truth. God’s promises do! The wheels are already in motion whether it’s the size of a man’s hand or in the mighty storm cloud releasing it’s rain.

I have great hope for the glory of God’s Kingdom and the United States of America!

Gary

What Is Reality?

glassesGod’s Kingdom on earth has the same nature as God’s Kingdom in heaven.

The atmosphere of God’s Kingdom is hope.

Not as in “wishful thinking.”  But as in confident anticipation.

There are two kinds of people in the way they approach living.  Glass half full people and glass half empty people.  Optimists and Pessimists.  Which are you?

The glass half empty folks (the pessimists) don’t like what I’m about to say, but faith and hope is more of a mental emotional challenge for them than it is for the glass half full people.

On the other hand, the glass half full folks can tend to sweep legitimate challenges under the rug and not give them the thought they are due.

Hope comes more naturally to a glass half full person.  They anticipate good more easily.  Glass half empty people lean toward seeing the possible problems.  They call it “being a realist.”

So, let’s look at that for a minute.  The only way that a person can define something as real is if there is proof. Proof isn’t possible until something has literally occurred.  Now, the realist will argue that they are looking at past evidence to draw a future conclusion.

However, that is a kind faith in operation.  That is applying Murphy’s Law (which is the opposite of hope),  The opposite of hope can only summon up fear.

Confused yet?

The point is that people who a pessimists and call it “being a realist” doesn’t understand what reality actually is and therefore they are constantly struggling and stressing over all the things that could go wrong.

To enjoy the abundant life of God’s Kingdom, one has to be thinking about all of the things that could go right.  That’s hope.  That inspires faith.

Be a true realist.  The true…the actual…the authentic realist is the one who believes, “I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

May your life be saturated with the half full glass of water!

Gary

When You Feel Like a Mess

90830d4d416563a3ed597771a3093caaI was taking a shower and thinking about some things that I had repented of and repeated over and over again ad naeseam.

Although I battle temptations and sins like every human being, I am referring more to my lack of consistency, procrastination, and follow through on things that are very important.

Discouraged with myself, I said, “Lord, I’m such a mess.”  Immediately I sensed the response in the middle of my chest, “But, you’re My mess.”  The words seemed to be coated in a warm layer of Fatherly love that caused my self disdain to melt away.

I listened to my heart to see if I sensed anything else He wanted me to know.  There wasn’t anything other than the idea that those five simple words of grace were enough.  I simply needed to accept them and be encouraged.  He said, “But, you’re My mess.”  He was identifying me as his own.  That is an endlessly profound revelation…if you take the time and pursue it.

What would it mean to you if you heard the most powerful, resourceful, wisest, richest, loving, and caring man on earth say to those around, “He/She’s My Son/Daughter?

Do you know Whose you are?  Have you ever really contemplated that?

Perhaps you would be better off to stop in your pursuit of doctrinal, theological accuracy and started focusing on what it means…really means to be God’s own child.

Ya know…My wife and I were just discussing this the other day.  We concluded that it was good to believe correct doctrine, but it was better to major on the majors and minor on the actual minors.  In so doing, let God sort out all your messed up theology.  (Because, you and I most likely have some…or a lot.)

But, you’re My mess!

Gary

 

No Shame Zone

o-guilt-shame-facebook-postThe Kingdom of God is a “No Shame Zone.”  Therefore, as a son or daughter of God, all thoughts that produce an emotional response of shame, are not the critique of Father, Son, or Holy Spirit.

Don’t filter through all the reasons why your feelings of shame are earned.  Reject it!  Turn you back on it!

What’s The Fruit?

Is the shame producing a desire to improve in that area of your life?

Does it bring on the twin emotion of…What’s the use…why try?

Does shame encourage hope?

Does it give you a sense of greater courage?

A common phrase when a child is being scolded is, “Shame on you.”  That rebuke is carried on into adulthood.  That is, therefore, the reason that many people struggle with self-doubt, feelings of guilt, and inner reactions of worthlessness, or self-condemnation.

But There’s Hope For Greater Confidence

I was bemoaning something in prayer one day.  I was in prayer so that’s a good thing, right?  Well…not so much if moaning is the language of your prayer life.  I said, “Lord, what’s wrong with me?”  It seemed like a legitimate question.  However, the Lord’s response was,

“I’m not going to talk to you about that.
Let’s talk about what’s right with you.”

At first, I didn’t think I actually heard the Lord’s response.  I thought it was pop psychology seeping through the walls of my soul.

However, I’ve learned – through a lot of trial and error – the “sound” of the Lord’s voice.  Those were His words to me.

My inner critic (my flesh) is well versed in the vocabulary of shame and takes every opportunity to block the encouraging words of the Lord.

The other day I was on the slippery slope of feeling shame about something.  The Lord spoke to me – in the shower no less – and said, “That’s not productive.  So, let’s move on.  You’re not evil.  You’re my son.”

I knew I wasn’t “evil” as we typically think of it.  But, the flesh gets very wiley.  If you look at the word evil when often used in scripture, it means depravity,  corruption of heart, or disposition to commit wickedness.  The emotion of shame takes me down that path.  I feel ill of myself.  Not well. Unsuitable.

Because of the freely imparted gift of grace, Jesus changed all that for me and gave me a new heart that is not evil.  In fact my new heart always wants to be a partner with Jesus and produce the best fruit the Kingdom of God has to offer.

Here’s The Mental Challenge

As good earthly citizens of Western culture, we are micro wave in our expectations.  We’ve been trained to look for the quick, easy fix.  We’ve come to believe that if we finally discover how to do it right everything will fall into place in a big way right here and right now.

It doesn’t work that way in God’s Realm.  The dominion of the Kingdom of God on earth is about “the seed.”  Care for the garden.  Plant the seed, and the garden will do the “heavy lifting” over the process of time designed for each unique seed.

Self Reflection:

Are you easily lured into the swamp of shame?
Is it productive?
Shall we stop submitting to the suggestions of the Evil One?
Instead, shall we take care of our grace garden and plant sonship seeds?

Happy Gardening!

Gary

 

Guaranteed Good Days

planI woke up in a funk.  I talked with the Lord, anyway.  I was hoping for a good day.  Then the Lord spoke (quickened a thought).

“Plan for a good day and you’ll have a good day.  That’s taking dominion.”

Hoping and Planning Are Not The Same

When I use the word hope here, it’s not actually the biblical definition.  That would be “confident anticipation.”  In this post, I’m using the term much the same way that we use it in our communication today.

From the perspective of scripture, planning would come before hoping (using hope as confident anticipation).

Hoping (as we usually say it today) is “wishful thinking.”  In this way a person can hope until (as my dad used to say) the cows come home.  Unless that hope is strong enough to motivate you to plan, it’s pretty much useless.

On the other hand…

Planning is a mental and physical activity that has the potential of getting you somewhere.  Let’s say I want to go visit my Dad in Des Moines.  And, I want to get there the quickest way.   Since I’ve gone to my Dad’s place many times, I already know the best way.  But, let’s say it was the first time.

I wouldn’t just get in my car, start the engine, back out of my drive, and start down the road.  I only do that when I want to go get something to eat. 🙂 

(ummm…not a good example on the going to eat thing.  Sorry, honey!)

But, let’s say my Dad lives in the same city but has changed addresses.  What do I do?  (a) Hope to get there quickly? – or –  (b) Plan by using a map, etc?

B wins!!  It did win…didn’t it??

Taking Dominion

Genesis 1:28 holds the principle that guarantees a good day:

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

In the original thought of God, dominion has the idea of designing, setting in order, and guiding to completion.  It does not have the meaning of being a dictator.

A Word About Good

You may ask, “But what if bad things happen during the day you’ve planned to be good?”   Guess what?  We live in a real world that is broken and bad things happen to good people.  The thought wasn’t …and you’ll have a perfect day.

Things don’t have to be without flaw to be good.

For too long too many people let “life happen to them” instead of them “happening to life.”  Happening to life is as simple as beginning to take dominion.  Set out a plan.  It would be surprising if everything fell into place perfectly.  However, if you don’t know what the pieces are and are only floating along on a wish and a prayer (a prayer that is more of a verbalized wish), then you’ll never really know if you accomplished a good day or not.

Emotionally Good

You may be a person who judges the quality of their day primarily on an emotional response to it as to whether it was “good” or not.  But, there’s a better way.  Give yourself the opportunity to accurately judge the quality of your day by specifics that were accomplished.  When you approach your day that way, the emotions will fall in line.

Here’s to good Kingdom Days by taking dominion over them.

Have a good day 🙂

Gary

 

Communication Steps

communications-607298God’s Kingdom revolves around relationship and relationship revolves around communication.

But how is Kingdom, or spirit realm communication received?  What do we need to “look” for?

Truth be told and understood, the process of natural communication is not that much different that the basic principles of communication that’s from the spiritual realm. 

Unfortunately, we’ve tended to make “hearing” the Lord speak too mystical.   But let me explain:

A Parallel To Listening For God’s Voice

I was on my way to the hospital today to be with a friend.  I had gotten up early and my wife was still in bed.  She was still in bed as I was leaving.  I looked over at her to see if she was awake before speaking good bye and I love you.

As I was looking at her, I suddenly had an impression that felt like it was God’s whisper to me.  It was focusing on something I had been doing for some time.  I made the connection that this same way of
“checking on my wife” paralleled listening for God’s “voice.”

Maybe it’s because at our age in life we are more aware of death.  I don’t know.  It’s not a fear or morbid thing.  It’s just a love motivation.

Very often first thing in the morning I do one of three things to make sure she is “with me.”  I know.  I know.  That may sound weird, but….whatever.  That’s what I often do if she seems very still.

What I Look For

I draw my mind to focus on one of three things:

  1.  Watching For Movement (Do I see physical movement)
  2.  Listening For Breathing (Do I hear the sound of breathing)
  3.  Feeling For Warmth (When I touch her, is there warmth)

Now let’s apply this to paying attention – focusing – for the purpose of perceiving communication from the Lord.

The key is that it “feels” the same as focus on a wife, or baby, or anything you are attempting to pay very close attention for.

The same focus is employed when a person is listening very closely to detect anything they are trying to perceive.  Have you ever heard a noise in your house at night and suddenly you attention was very focused to see if you could sense anything else?  It’s the same sensation when you are focusing to hear/perceive the inner voice.

Watching For Movement

Close your eyes (to eliminate natural distraction) and look for an image to appear on the screen of your minds eye.  Pay close attention.  Give it some time.  Does movement appear in your imagination in a visible color, or image of something?  Movement can also include physical sensations that are suddenly in your body that aren’t  normal to you.  Most times these kinds of physical impressions come in real time during a meeting.  However, they also can be felt in advance when you are focusing to hear what God may reveal for later.  It’s also interesting to note that physical “words” like these normally go away once they are identified for another person.

Listen For Breathing

A spontaneous thought occurs to you.  It doesn’t shout.  The thought presents itself as gently as breath that could easily be dismissed.  When “breath thoughts” occur to us about something we haven’t been already thinking about, it’s important not to critique them.  We miss many of God’s words by assuming they will come with a booming, authoritative voice.  However, we receive many of God’s thoughts as light “suggestions” that come and quickly go.  However, if we “catch” the thought and pay attention to it, that thought often begins to stand out in a way that is not easily dismissed.

Feeling For Warmth

This is a word from the Lord that comes as an emotional response that you feel.  It could be the feeling of peace, or joy, etc. that you spontaneously feel.  Although it could also be a more negative feeling like depression, anger, stress, or confusion that comes over you for no reason.  I remember the true story of a man who suddenly felt like he wanted to commit suicide.  He knew there was no reason for himself, personally, to be feeling that.  As it turned out, it was a word of knowledge about someone that was in the meeting who had those feelings.  The good news is that, once discovered, the person that actually wanted to end their own life was set free.

There are so many ways the Lord can speak His heart for others to us.  But, these three can help refine the way we receive.  We often make it too mystical when, in fact, hear God speak is naturally supernatural.

Words of God’s knowledge are powerful tools that reveal God’s heart.  I personally do not believe they are “optional equipment” for special people.  They are standard operating equipment for all believers who desire to show the God’s kingdom real and relevant.  We simply need to take it seriously and practice.  In so doing, we become more effective with use.  Most people are not converted by right doctrine, but instead by righteous demonstration. 

Let’s get practicing!

Gary

 

 

 

 

Practical Faith Activation

90830d4d416563a3ed597771a3093caaGod’s Kingdom is manifested in the earth through the spiritual realm.  The Holy Spirit is the Source of the manifold graces.  However we – His sons and daughters – are the activators and administrators.  We are His partners in the earth and without our cooperation, His wisdom, love, and power remain inactive.  As someone once said, “God’s Kingdom is at hand.  My Hand.”

Communications Infrastructure

Prayer was never intended by God to be a religious ritual.  Prayer is simply a word that is used to describe the communications infrastructure of God’s Kingdom.  It is the active connection between the visible and the invisible.  Truth be told, without clear lines of communication naturally or spiritually, everything comes to a standstill be it the nurture of relationship or for the purpose of wisdom and strategy.

Prayer Information Gathering

The purpose of this post is for those who already have a basic understanding and belief that the Holy Spirit works through us in the earth through the vehicles of what we often term, “The Spiritual Gifts.”  God desires that mankind would know and experience His great love for them.  The Spiritual Gift Manifestations through His sons and daughters are given for the purpose that individuals would open their hearts and experience His love.

So, for this article, let’s talk about activating (making active) the Spiritual gift manifestation of Words of Knowledge.

Words of Knowledge/Pieces of God’s Knowledge (not of the intellect but by spiritual understanding) is one of the most powerful ways to get an individuals attention – skeptic and believer alike.  When one’s attention is retained, the door of faith begins to open.

For far too long, Christians have attempted to rationally argue people into faith.  It won’t work for a skeptic, and frankly doesn’t really work for those already of the “household of faith.”

However, when personal names, addresses, specific physical conditions, etc. that would not have been naturally known  them,  something powerful in God’s Kingdom begins to happen.

Myth Buster

Before I list some specific ways to receive Words/Pieces of God’s Knowledge for ministry purposes, I must say that it is a myth that only the experts and specially gifted can and do function in the spiritual gift manifestations.  Although, as Christians, our goal is to always be holy and righteous in our lives, it is a myth that God only uses the most holy and righteous to manifest His grace.  If you can hear God’s “voice,” you can gather supernaturally known information.  And the more you relax rather than strive about receiving, the simpler it is.

Start With Submission and a Pen and Paper

Be someplace without outward distraction.   Then say,

“Lord, you want to use me and I submit my pride and fear to you now.  Please use me as a son/daughter that You use to communicate your love.”

(Take a deep, slow breath and relax)

After a little time of being at peace, “put up your antennae” in the same way a mother listens to sense the sound of her baby.

Do not attempt to make your mind blank

Attempting to “empty one’s mind” is a New Age approach to “listening.”

Slowly, and one at a time, fill your mind with questions like.

  1.  Holy Spirit, do you have a name for me (that I know or don’t know)?
  2.  Holy Spirit, what emotional conditions or situations would you like to address?
  3.  Holy Spirit, what physical conditions would you like to heal?
  4.  Holy Spirit, what other questions should I ask?

With all of these, His response may be

a. An intuitive thought that is more like a “sensing.”
b. A picture in your mind’s eye,
c. A sensation in your body that is not normal  d. An emotional response that you weren’t feeling before you asked.
e.  Words that arise spontaneously as you are asking.
f.  Color of clothing being worn.

The more specific, the better.  If you get a word of a physical condition, for example, ask to see if you can narrow down the location of the condition (unless it is a physical sensation in your body.  Then you already know).
Another question to help specify for greater faith release, is when did this happen.  (Possible answer impression)  “Sports injury.”  “Car accident.”
“3 years ago.”

Write Down What You Receive

ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT WHAT TO DO WITH IT.  SOMETIMES IT’S JUST FOR PRAYER.  IF IT’S FOR MINISTRY, AS HOLY SPIRIT TO OPEN THE DOOR FOR YOU.

Share with Appropriate People in an Appropriate Setting.

You can also do this before you go to work.  Ask the Holy Spirit to share some specifics about your work place that you can pray for or minister to.

NOW THAT YOU HAVE GATHERED SOME INFORMATION, NOW YOU CAN STEP OUT AND BE MORE EFFECTIVE

 

Gary

 

 

 

 

Kingdom BFF

bff_main_image_44c923d6-7e49-499b-a3ce-ff44f531648b_1024x1024I’m increasingly awakening to the reality that the heart of the Kingdom of God message is about our friendship with Him.  Him who?

“Him” the Three in One (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

This gets unfortunately confusing and distracting from the real goal.

Don’t Get Hung Up On Which Personality

Probably most people best relate to the idea of friendship with “Jesus” because it’s easier to imagine.

And, yes.  I know there are theologically different aspects and truths to each person.

However, as important as good theology and doctrine is, relationship is about personal interaction between personalities.   What I’ve discovered is the multi-faceted reality of the words of Jesus…

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”   (John 15:15)

With that statement, Jesus introduced fresh light to His disciples (then and now) on the truth of servant-hood and friendship:

The servant that Jesus first speaks of is a functionary.  He/she is a person who performs the will of the master to get the master’s desire accomplished.  End of story.  No personal intimacy of friendship.  On the other hand, best friends serve each other all the time.  In fact, if they don’t have a reciprocal relationship, the friendship is questionable.

The BFF always has the well-being of his or her counterpart in mind.  A BFF is each other’s biggest fan and supporter. 

God’s Kingdom Is A BFF Kingdom

The BFF relationship (starting with Jesus) is – in my opinion – the missing link of revelation that has stunted our growth and maturity in God’s design and desire for His sons and daughters.

The religion of it all has produced sons and daughters who have not grown beyond “doing the will of God” as a slave…just because He said so. 

We’ve been limited to the false mentality thatGod wants our obedience…just because.” 

I, too, believe in obeying without having to know every reason.  Responding to a close friend doesn’t mean you always know every reason behind what’s happening. 

Close friendship is motivated, not by the rules of proper response, but by the care we have for each other.  The invisible glue.

Where we’ve fallen short of the “glory” of God’s Kingdom life is living long on a slave mentality and short on “BFF-ness” with Jesus.

How do you start?

  1.  Know it will be a process.  Un-learning and re-learning is not done well in a microwave.
  2.  Reserve 15 minutes a day (or any amount) where you can just “settle down.”
  3. During those intentional times, practice relaxing, breathing slowly, and asking the Holy Spirit to help you “see” and “sense” Jesus in the way that will best relate to you as a Best Friend.
  4. Keep presenting yourself in this way day to day.
  5. Choose “moments” where you turn your thoughts to His personalized revelation of Himself whenever it comes to mind.

Let the Kingdom Friendship begin!!

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

Feeling Anointed As A Stick

Moses RodIf you are a normal son or daughter of God, you sometimes feel as “anointed as a stick.”  I’ve said that a few times when I’ve been sharing about our spiritual abilities and how it doesn’t have anything to do with how we feel emotionally at the moment.

I was writing a note of encouragement to a friend today and was expressing an experience where the Lord was talking with me and I said, “At the time the conversation started, I felt as anointed as a stick.”

Immediately the impression of Moses’ rod came to my thoughts.

Moses rod/stick – given to and empowered by God – became miraculously anointed.

I had never made that connection before, but God was making it for me as He spoke in my heart/spirit.

Under challenge Moses trusted the Almighty One.  It’s clear that Moses was given to strong emotions, so I’m sure he was feeling the stress.  But…He chose to put confidence in His God and throw down his rod.

To me, that can be taken as a metaphor for worship unto the Lord.  Casting down self confidence as an action of faith in God.  When He did so, God took it from there.

We see many examples of Moses rod and how God anointed it for the task at hand.  So, the next time you feel “as anointed as a stick” remember Moses and his rod.  On the outside it was just a stick.  In God’s hand that stick was the rod of God.

Gary