Being Dead

I have heard many people wondering about where a deceased loved one might be. I don’t remember hearing anyone answer the questions with any Scripture but 2 Corinthians 5:8.

There are many other very relevant words to be found, though.

This article lists a few of those relevant words, with comments.

Hunting * Gathering * Serving

* What is gathering food for your household like:
(a hunting expedition, a treasure hunt, a boring drudgery, taking a beating, etc.)
* What are some of the types of food in your cupboard?
(Fresh, perishable, long term storage, frozen, etc.)
* What is your favorite means of preparing food?
(Frying, baking, stewing, microwaving, raw, etc.)
* How much of your budget is devoted to securing food for your home?
* How much time is spent daily related to food
(planning, preparing, eating)?

* Now go back and answer each of those questions as they relate to spiritual food…

* What do we need to do differently, in order to better provide for ourselves and/or our families with regard to spiritual food?

* How nourishing is our spiritual diet?

DEUTERONOMY 8:1-10

Ordinary Miracles

Today a friend went through a test.

As a result of a series of errors in their judgement, other people suffered loss. Before they went before a court to determine what they were guilty of and what their sentence should therefore be, we prayed.

I felt led to ask our Wondrous Father for much grace and surprising favor. When I got the “here’s how it went” phone call after the trial, I was impressed at the outcome. It represented much grace and surprising favor.

In my prayers of thanks, though, I felt that I was being instructed to stop being surprised by that much favor. We ask for things to happen or not happen, and sometimes we get what we desire and sometimes we don’t. Interacting with the Holy One is clearly art and not science. It becomes very confusing trying to build a picture in our minds or lives about what is “normal.”

The thought that came to me from the Book was something Luke recorded about some astonishing favor in Acts 19. He wrote that God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul. Clearly, there is a category of “usual” miracles if there is, also clearly, a category of “unusual” miracles.

When are we going to step into the position of expecting “usual” to include “miraculous”?

I think that the door is open in heaven. Help us, Lord, to grasp how to get the door on our end open so that we receive and distribute the wealth of the resources of heaven everywhere we go!

Worship in Truth

John 4:19-24
The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

If there are true worshipers, does that mean that there are fake worshipers?

How can you tell a fake one from a true one?

How often do you worship, at times when the prompt is not simply that it is sunday and you are in a meeting?

What does it look like when you self-start a time of worship? How long does it last?

 

Motivation

Your motives become your motivation.

Everything isn’t this simple, but most of our motivations are either related to our dreams or our fears.

If you are afraid of failure, your dreams become a puff of smoke. If your dreams drive you to accomplish, to build, to assault what is wrong, your fears have been silenced.

Don’t let your fear of failure or of accusation or of offending the religious or fearful stop you from being and doing what you are ordained to. Don’t let others’ fears stop you from being awesome.

The religious and fearful will accuse you of evil when you pursue the dreams the Spirit of God has inSpired you with. Don’t listen.

When you are fearlessly pursuing those dreams, you will be a great danger to business as usual and to status quo and to religion. On bad days, you will even be a danger to truth!

That is not a good excuse to abandon the pursuit. You can fix things that go wrong through zeal easier than things that go wrong through fear or hatred of change. A ship has to be moving in order to turn.

If you have to be dangerous on the way to becoming successful, proceed. But never fail to ask the Spirit, “What’s next?” Always be surrendered to Him. He can correct a serious error for a humble person easier than He can a small error for a proud or fearful or lazy person.

Reflection

Every good thing we do is a response to something Jesus has done.

We worship because He revealed how wondersful He is. We love because He first loved us. We work because we see Him working. We forgive because He forgave us.

The greater and purer your revelation is of His identity and of His intentions toward you, the more powerfully you will stand, fight, encourage others, admonish others, intercede for others, love, praise, and the grander your expectations will be of abundance of Life.

You need to gain skills and knowledge of practical things. Having those strengths is not as important as knowing Him well, though. If you have to choose between ministering to Him and ministering to His people, choose Him.

There is a mystery He mentioned in Matthew 24 & 25 regarding serving His people: when you serve them, it is Him you are encountering. But you should often serve Him with no thought of them. Read something about what He did, or something He said, and meditate on it. The Holy Spirit wants to cause you to know Him better, and will help your imagination become accurate in that exercise.

Know Him. Then serve Him. Then know Him better. Then serve Him better. Then know Him as He knows you.

Soul Armor

Your soul can’t protect your soul.

You have to be strengthened by the Lord and His power. The enemies you need protection from are spirits. You are, too. His Spirit empowers your spirit to overcome those spirits.

Maybe the armor you need to put on is Him. He is the Truth, the Righteousness, the Covering. Your soul just needs to keep making the decision to allow Him to be your safe place. You can’t muster up enough strength to overpower the rulers and powers that are opposed to His work in the earth by being tough. You have to be in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18).

You can’t even stop smoking tobacco without outside help. BUT –  you have Outside Help inside! Let Him fight for you and through you.

Your soul (mind, will, emotions) just harbors strongholds that give your enemies strength if you don’t submit it to the Spirit of God. Fear, bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, addictions, and more – these are built by and in your soul, and will prevent you from victory by being armor that is against the Spirit of Jesus working to change and use and protect you!

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, and be empowered to both effective offense and defense by the Spirit of God in you and on you. Stand – by His strength and His wisdom and His righteousness.

Super Rational

One of my favorite advisors advised me this morning to stop calling myself crazy.

Yes, most of what I believe I am to accomplish before I die is impossible, but that doesn’t mean that I am crazy for expecting it to happen.

Yes, the people who receive the most encouragement through me are people who think the normal Christian Life includes raising the dead and healing the sick and stopping plagues and emptying hospitals and ending poverty and ending stinginess and ending stupidity, but they are not crazy for being that sort of people.

We are not “only human.” We are super-human sons and daughters of the One Who breathed the stars and the sun. We are not subject to nature, but we are supernatural spirits, born of the Holy One.

We are not just rational, every-thing-has-to-add-up people. We are born of God, so it is possible for us to see His Kingdom (John 3:3). We are spiritual people, so ideas and activities that are crazy for natural people make perfect sense to us (1 Corinthians 2).

We are super-rational people. We are bringing the laws of our Homeland into the spheres we have the power and authority to be able to influence. Our influence is going to take the power that is changing us and change our workplaces and our neighborhoods and our towns and cities and states and nations.

Super-rational leaders take 300 super-rational warriors and give them a trumpet, a torch, and a jug and send them out to battle enemies that have them outnumbered a thousand or so to one, and they defend their nation (Judges 7).

Super-rational sons of the king attack an army by themselves and inspire an army of quitters and cowards to rise up and defend their nation (1 Samuel 14:1-23).

Super-rational people like you are going to do supernatural exploits and bring glory to the Name that made you free – because you are like the One Who bears the Name that is above every name.

Spiritual Sowing

Galatians 6:7-10 (NKJV)                                                                                                Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

Life that never stops is a valuable harvest. What do I sow to the Spirit in order to reap nonstop Life? Worship? Service to the people of Jesus? Feeding the hungry? Clothing the naked?

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

You need nonstop Life to have the strength to have serious sowing to the Spirit. You need faith and patience from the Spirit to endure til the harvest.

What do you bury in Him with no expectation of seeing again, so that something multiplied in value appears to you later? Is your seed different from mine?

Ask Him what to plant. Ask Him when to harvest. Sow generously.

What Just Happened

What just happened is not NEARLY as important as what happens NEXT!

No matter what just happened, whether it was the biggest mistake you have ever dreamed of making, or the grandest success, what happens next is always more important.

If you made a mistake, and what happens next is not an educational experience that changes your course, then the mistake has changed your course. If you were a genius, and accomplished the greatest thing ever done by man or woman, and what happens next doesn’t build on the astonishing foundation, you have impacted history, but not the future.

In EVERY situation, no matter what just happened, ask the Spirit Who spoke the stars what to do next. His faith, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, wisdom filled idea on how to respond to the failure or success will transform it into an opportunity every time.

Always seek His guidance to empower you with what is next. That will set you up for success in what is after that.