Living Without the Flesh

The Spiritual life we are capable of expressing is amazing. It has the power of transforming lives around you. Often we are unaware of what releases spiritual substance. In this video we talk about how we can set our minds on the Spirit,  being led by Him and ultimately releasing glory into the atmosphere around us. This is a study of Romans 8 and Shifting Atmospheres.

Grace Works Better Than Repentance

After seeing yet another post on Facebook displaying someone’s frustration of sin in the lives of believers, I decided to try and nail down God’s prescription for setting us free from sin, in contrast to what is usually taught in church. God wants all believer free, but we have never been successful when we take on the responsibility ourselves. Watch now and see how simple God’s plan is, and how easy it is to step into it.

Living for Purpose, or Living in Purpose

Most people spend their life looking for meaning. They are chasing their purpose. Some have tried to classify this as the reason why we were created, but these are two different things.
I have spent my whole life trying to understand value, and looking for my worth. The enemy has a way of tricking us into chasing value through the world around us. This actually destroys out value and makes us puppets. I know that we have inherent value. Jesus paid such a high price just to get us back into His family. That we have value is without question. Yet we still chase it. We even use God to try and find value, asking Him if He loves us, hoping that He will display it and come comfort us. Not that experiencing the love of God is wrong, but we chase it as if we have no value and need it to pacify this feeling. Our struggle comes from the fact that we don’t feel valuable. It actually is an issue of faith.
But when you are caught in a life where you ‘feel’ like you are not making a difference, it is very hard indeed to believe that you still matter. Alternatively, it is hard to not put your value on performance when you ‘are’ making a difference. Most have even spent their whole life just trying to be worthy of God and His love. So we can see that performance has a direct impact on our perception of worth. I have spent years trying to believe that I matter, divorced from performance, and I can tell you that I not sure that it is possible.
So what are we to do? Well, recently I was talking to God about the reason for my life, my purpose. Now just to frame this right for you, I believe that there are multiple reasons for a life. I know that God’s reason for my life is to love on me. Most people have a problem with that line of thinking because they are trying to connect every purpose for living into a single one. As if my purpose for living should be the exact same as God’s purpose for creating me. But scripture clearly tells me that God created me for fellowship. Many are trying to make serving God the ultimate purpose for living, but that diminishes my God given value as a son, I am not a servant.
To break it down a little more. My purpose for having children is to have little me’s that I can mature into my image (approximate) by pouring my knowledge and wisdom into, and to pour out my love upon. But I don’t want them to live just to make me happy. I don’t want me to be there only drive in life as if they have no will other than my happiness. This is what we do with God. We think that God create us just so that we can spend our every waking hour trying to make God happy. But this destroys the image of love in God. “Love seeks not it’s own.” Love looks to cause fulfillment in others without looking for attention in that fulfillment.
So God has a purpose for my life – to love me and mature me into His image of selflessness.

I have purposes for my life –  to express love, and provide and nurture those I care for.
But I also have a purpose for living, but it is not a destiny as some might assume. My purpose for living is the thing that causes my heart to pound. It is the thing that drives me.
Let’s back up and talk about destiny. Destiny can be described as all the great things I will do and accomplish with my life. For instance, feeding the poor, becoming president, starting a non-profit organization, healing 4000 people (random number), saving 2000 people, doing tent meetings, holding crusades in stadiums, etc. You get the idea. If this is the thing that gets my heart pounding then it would be easy to think that my purpose is my performance and if I don’t perform then I have no purpose and therefore no value. Can you see why destiny is not the same as purpose?
So let’s talk about what purpose really is. If I start looking for value through doing then I am doomed. Purpose has to be a reason for living that is independent of other people’s desire for us, even God. Purpose has to be the focus of my life without turning my life into one big crusade to find meaning. Purpose is the thing that make my heart tick. Purpose is whatever I am passionate about. Purpose is something that God created in me, but He didn’t create it for Himself, He created it to give my life meaning. He created my purpose for me. Purpose let’s me see why I matter without stealing my value if I don’t reach it. Purpose is the thing I long for. Purpose does not make me important, it allows me to give away importance. Purpose is always in agreement with love.
Alright, so this might be confusing. But let me add clarity by telling you what God said is the why behind my life. I asked God to tell me the thing that my heart is desiring, to show me my reason for living. What is it that I truly care about and long to do with my life?
He said that the thing I longed for was to see His image rise up in other people.
The moment I heard Him say that, I knew that it is true. See this is not my destiny. It is the thing that makes my destiny happen. It is the why behind everything I do. Sometimes the enemy has tried to trick me into thinking that the elements of my destiny are the things that I really want. He promotes fortune and fame, acceptance and itching ears. But my destiny is not what I want. What I want is my purpose. What I want is to see God shining through the life of other people. What I want is to see individuals step into deep relationship with God and come out changed.
See, now I don’t have to chase destiny and feel like I’m always failing. Now I can chase my own purpose and see my destiny handed to me. God’s purpose for my life is to help me fulfill the purpose He gave me. He is my Father and He just want’s to have a relationship with me as He teaches me to do what He put in my heart to do. I get to ask Him how and when and what about all the things He hid in my heart. We get to be partners in my purpose.
Remember that I said that we have multiple purposes. Remember that every relationship I have has a purpose attached to it. With my wife, my purpose is to prove that she matters to me, over and over again. With my children my purpose is to help them become all that God has created them to be. With God, my purpose is to learn how to become utterly surrendered to His love and trust Him in all things. But in all these relationships, my overall purpose is shining through. Now I know how to have a proper purpose for my relationship with myself. See, I’m longing to see the image of God rise up in me too. This is also my purpose for knowing you.
If you want you know you God created purpose, the thing that your heart longs for, you only need to ask Papa God.

How to Encounter God Every Day

Most Christians go from visitation to visitation with lulls of the Spirit in between, but that is not necessary. From God’s perspective, He is waiting for us to be in a position of openness.

Here is God’s perspective.
13 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them.  14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”  15 And He laid His hands on them and departed from there. (Matthew 19:13-15)

God is always ready to lay His hands on you and release the blessing.

The biggest hindrance to you experiencing His presence in your life, is what you think about God’s love for you. God always comes when you say ‘yes’ to His love. He is always ready to pour His love. He is waiting even now to love on you. He is always waiting and ready.

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20)

God’s love is constant, He does not reject us nor get frustrated with us. He is constantly drawing us toward releasing His image; helping us grow in faith; encouraging us to laydown our fears and display love to others. He even holds us every time we need it and will allow Him to hold us. He will never reject us.

35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.  37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. (John 6:35, 37)

He wants to be our source for love and empower us to become His expression of love to others. He wants to help us bear His image.

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32)

You were created for intimacy with God. He considers it a privilege to love on you. He is always ready to give you His presence. If you desire an encounter with God today, the only requirement is that you believe that He loves you enough to come and spend time with you. The more you engage the Spirit, the more you will sense His love. He is always ready to pour out His love on you. He considers you His precious child. He cares for every part of your life and will make you an overcomer if you allow Him to minister to you. The choice has always been yours to make. As soon as you open your heart to Him, He will come and give you the amount of love you are open to receive.

How God Parents Us.

I was meditating upon how God taught me to parent my children. When I was younger He gave me a simple approach: strict discipline and constant value and love.Because of what He showed me, I have a great value for spanking. Spanking give me direct access to the hearts of my children when their hearts have been far from me. Now that two of my children are in middle school and my youngest, my most outgoing daughter, is in elementary school, I find that I don’t have to do very much spanking. All of my children are open to me, all of my children are anxious for my love and desire to please me. And the biggest reason that they live this way, is because they know that their mother and I love them unconditionally and will always love them unconditionally. They can find comfort in our arms even when they have felt rejected by everybody else. And they prefer our comfort because our love does not change.What I’m actually trying to do, is impart my value, my beliefs, and more importantly, the image that I get from Father, into their hearts. I’m trying to transform them from selfish and insecure, to loving and self-sacrificing. Just like all parents, I’m literally trying to do with my children what God does with us.I know that my approach was from God because I have some of the most loving, most giving and most spiritual children of anyone I have ever met. Even my youngest, my strong-willed child, is obedient and desires to show love to people.

So my thought is: if God gave me this approach for my children, then it must be His approach to parenting us.

There are two prevailing perspectives on parenting. One is focused on strict discipline, and the other is focused on building self-esteem. Many people struggle merging those two perspectives.

It is also true that there are two perspectives on God. Some see Him as a strict disciplinarian who demands obedience, and others see Him as full of Grace who never disciplines but woos us into His embrace by love. The fact is there’s truth in both of these perspectives.

I am not able to change my children by discipline. I am only able to gain access to their hearts by discipline when their hearts have been far from me. The transformation of their character occurs through the love I give them. It is not for the discipline I give them. Therefore discipline has only one purpose, to give me access to their heart. This is why so few parents are able to merge these concepts. They see it as either discipline that changes their children or love alone that changes their children and have rejected the other concept.

But how does God discipline? Most people believe that God disciplines us by life’s circumstances, and there is a measure of truth in that. But the truth is not that God is directly authoring trouble for our life, in fact that would be contrary to His nature. Jesus said, “if you ask for bread, will God give you a stone?” God does not send trouble and disease your way just to discipline you. But He does allow you to get yourself into trouble so that you can see His goodness. So you can see that He is better than just being independent.

For the Christian, He has given us His spiritual authority on the earth. This means that the life and death you speak will impact your environment. He says, “The power of life and death is in the tongue.” This is your tongue. One of God’s best ways of discipline is by giving you the power to speak death into your environment, or life. If you don’t have His nature, the only thing you will be releasing is death.

But God also has other methods of discipline. He has those in spiritual authority, and He has His own ability to speak to our hearts and our consciences and tell us what the truth is and love us into His embrace. God has more direct access to our hearts than any parent has.

Imagine a situation where your child is dealing with a bully at school. What if your child desires to fight back? If your child does fight back, and over reacts by punching a child just for calling him or her names, Then your child has overreacted and is probably going to need you to disciplined. But what if you could have access to your child’s heart and mold the way they respond to this bully? What if you could teach your child to show this bully God’s love even in the face of meanness? What if you could teach your child to kill hatred with kindness?

In order for you to accomplish this mythical feat, you would need direct access to your child’s heart. You would need for your child to be able to expose their fears, and all of their insecurities about the situation. You would need to be able to build your child’s identity up, to make him or her strong in the face of adversity.

This, talking through insecurities and fears, is God’s preferred method of discipline. He desires and we would expose every fear and every insecurity so that He can talk us through it and begin releasing truth and new identity into who we are.

Most people are looking for God to protect them from the world. They have been so beaten up and so destroy that they no longer believe they can handle anything. They see themselves as failures. But God does not mold us into His image so that we can hide from the world. God is not offering us protection from the world, He is offering us the ability to overcome every obstacle that comes our way.

But, in order to move into a lifestyle of overcoming, we have to get past the brokenness of our past realizing that this is no longer who we are. We have to stop approaching God as if He is a bad father. We have to believe, and trust Him to mold us into an image that overcomes. This means we have to surrender, to abandon ourselves into His parenting and stop fighting Him.