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.

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 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.

Learning to Love

In six grade, I change schools. It was supposed to be a good thing, but instead, I lost all my friends. Every kid in the new class rejected me, even the girls. I spent the next three years without any friends and under constant abuse from my peers. By the time I got to high school I was very angry, bitter, confused and wounded. I was angry even with my parent for not understanding, for not fixing it. I was so angry with my peers that I could not even finish school. I dropped our my senior year three months before graduation. I was a broken person.

What saved me was a simple choice that God put before me. I met a young lady in another town who I choose to befriend and for some reason I had to prove to her that God was real and good. I decided that I was going to show her what the love of God really looked like. I memorized 1 Cor. 13, hoping to put every aspect of love into action. I gave up lying completely to demonstrate there she could trust someone who lived by love.

That simple choice to focus on blessing another person, changed everything. Up to that point I had been focused on how much I hated my peers; how much I resented them; how hurt I was; what they had done to me. When I turned my back on my own pain, my own woundedness, choosing to focus on being love. I chose to live for someone else.

I actually got so focused on giving love away that I forgot my pain. Those feelings of rejection left me like a forgot bad dream. My life turned around and I gained two best friends and even my wife.

Later I learned that even them I had to release to God. My wife was also hurt and unable to give love back. She feared intimacy. God had to teach me to live without her love and once again lead me to become love for the sake of another. After five years of marriage, I went to complain to the Lord. I told Him of all the love I was pouring out and it had been five years and she still felt like sex was rape. I asked Him when I would get some love back. I told Him that I needed her to love me too. He said, “Jason, you don’t love your wife enough.”

I choose then, to abandon myself to being love and never expect it back. This choice has moved me into new realms of peace and love. It has opened the heart of God to me. I have turned my back on woundedness, and embraced my sonship. God is better then regretting what I lost out on. His destiny for me is better then not having a mother to love me or friends to like me. He loved me when my wife could not. I found my joy in Him.

After I made that decision, within a few years God used me to help heal my wife and now she chases me. Our marriage is wonderful because neither of us need the other. We both find our joy in the Lord and then give His love to each other. It is a choice to make Him my only source for love and comfort; to put all of my hopes on Him and Him alone. It is a choice to let go of my desires and say I’m satisfied with You Father. It is contentment, and peace, and love, and rest. I would not trade it for anything.

Seeing Jesus

When asking The Lord to train me: “How do I stay in You presence?” “How do I stay aware of Your love?” “How do I carry Your presence?” His response was, “See Jesus.”

One of the greatest points of deliverance in my life occurred as I was seeking God for answers about my insecurities towards Him. He said, “Jason you are like Peter. I was chasing him and I’m chasing you. I won’t stop till I catch you.”

Every time I came into a moment of worship in the past few months I heard Him saying over and over, “You are Mine.” These simple words of possession reaffirm that He won’t let me go, that I can trust Him, and that I am at the center of His affection. As I reflect and receive this truth I frequently have a vision of Jesus stand by my side with His arm resting across my shoulders.

When ever Jesus ministered deliverance and healing, those that received would see the Father in the loving face of Jesus. Jesus was the perfect expression of God and His love. If you got touched by Jesus, you knew that God had visited you.

The apostles were so keenly aware of who Christ was and who they were that they carried the presence of God into every circumstance.

The person you spend time looking at through out your week will be reflected in your face as you interact with others. They are the persona you will release day to day. The issues that we think on day to day influence our influence.

Jesus pursued time alone with the Father, as a consequence, He was always a reflection of His Father. I believe that God desires that we become a reflection of both the Father and Christ.

I have found that by chasing an ability to hear God, that my focus upon God has greatly increased. My encounters with God cause me to constantly consider Him and desire His word on the subject.

This has impacted my marriage, my character, my demonstration of love, and my sense of worth. It has also diminished or removed selfishness, areas of sin, and the need for other’s approval. I have also notice that my faith has increased and the effectiveness of my prayers, and the level of anointing I carry.

Your true self is revealed as you gaze upon the face of a loving God.

Revival 101

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A Step by Step Guide to Starting Spontaneous, Contagious, Lasting Revival

Many revivals have been started by men (and women) of extreme passion. Some were driven by the things that they saw in God. Smith Wigglesworth was driven by his faith and love of God after he fought for faith to prevent a loved one from dying. John G. Lake was driven by the presence of God that he carried after he had learned that he could live through the Spirit of God. Evan Roberts was driven by his relationship with God, having spent years encountering God.

Other revivalists are passionate men with charismatic type personalities. They are driven internally by a desire to see something, or to be something, or to matter; to make a difference. Regardless where the drive in a man comes from, it is a driven man that is usually the catalyst and sustainer of revival.

So how is revival started? Many have speculated that revival is a sovereign thing that God has determined and He simply brings the right people together. That maybe He is building something and requires sporadic revivals to establish His purposes. Well I don’t believe this idea is correct.

The Lord has been teaching me a lot about faith in recent days. Faith, at its core, is simply the conviction that a person is trustworthy. This conviction produces a high level of confidence in the person they trust. Confidence is another word for faith. This type of confidence in another is impossible to create without having multiple interactions with the person you trust. Additionally, faith is a substance that is produced in the spirit realm that is felt by the spiritually sensitive. Faith has a fragrance. Faith has the same language as God. Faith changes our image. We are anointed by faith. Faith is a sword in our mouth. Faith sees from God’s perspective. And finally, faith is produced naturally in those that experience God’s love and start to see God’s perspective.

Because faith has substance, is an anointing and has a fragrance; faith in the room is often what we are feeling when we sense the presence of God or the anointing. Obviously, we are feeling more then just faith, but faith is a big part of what we are experiencing. Every time God puts His anointing on something, it is because faith has been released. “He inhabits the praises of His people” -Psalms 22:3, “where two or more are gathered together in My name, there I am in the mist of them” -Mat.18:20, “whoever.. does not doubt in his heart, but believes… will have whatever he says.” -Mark 11:23. This concept that faith has substance (“now faith is the substance of things hoped for” -Heb. 11:1) explains why Jesus so often would remark on the level of faith He found in people following Him.

So how does revival start? The Lord told me many years ago that revival will start with one person who carries revival, one person who has become revival. Revival is actually easy to start, but is hard to maintain. Revival is often started in hundreds of churches each Sunday as the Spirit falls on the congregations in worship. But since it is hard to maintain, by the end of the meeting the Spirit of God has left and the people have focused on other things. Here’s what the Lord showed me:

Revival is produced and maintained when there is a corporate release of faith.

Here is the inherent difficulty, corporate experience requires unified focus, and maintenance requires continued releasing of faith. This is where a passionate leader becomes key. While it is possible for a body to be unified in a moment without leadership, it is near impossible for the unity to remain without the leader.

In the Brownsville revival, Pastor John Kilpatrick focused the church to pray for revival two years before the revival started. This prayer effort produced a longing and hope for coming revival. In 1995, when Steve Hill came, the church was primed and eager for any move of God that signaled that revival had started. Steve Hill was used to provide that signal and the congregation’s hope for revival shifted into faith and a mighty move of God began. Steve Hill and John Kilpatrick became the maintenance. Without their leadership, the revival would die. Thus, for the most part this powerful move of God remained in house with few transfers to other locations. Those transfers occurred as a result of leaders from those churches receiving a touch and becoming catalysts themselves.

So how do we sustain revival and make it transferable? Well the shift must be in what is the catalyst for revival.

A corporate understanding of the depth of God’s love for each individual is a better catalyst then passionate leadership.

When the Lord showed me that faith sees from God’s perspective, I asked Him what His perspective was. He said, “My perspective is, ‘Christ is Risen’. Read Romans Chapter eight.” Romans 8 talks about sonship, living by the Spirit, freedom from bondage and sin, bringing freedom to a bound creation, and God’s love. ‘Christ is Risen’ means that I am free, there is nothing that can hold me down, nor stop me. It means that God is for me and happy with me. It means that nothing can separate me from His love, nor stop me from experiencing it. It means that I can be a son to God, and God wants to father me.

When we discover God’s personal love for us individually and experience it regularly, we start to live from faith rather then toward it. We are being transformed into love, rather then trying to learn how to love. We take on God’s way of thinking, God’s way of talking, God’s way of loving, God’s way of living. We start to look like Christ, not because we try to live better, but because we hear God say, “I love you,” “I’m proud of you,” “I want you.” We start to live from the reality of God loving us at all times. Such people will not need a leader to remind them to focus on God, or believe on God, or remember to pray. These people will cause others to desire God without preaching. When you get a group of such people together, you will have revival, because each person has become revival itself. Now a leader’s job is only to provide vision or direction, rather then maintenance.

So what are the steps to have lasting revival?

  1. Individuals learn to hear God everyday for themselves.

  2. Individuals experience God’s love.

  3. Individuals learn to walk/stay in that love.

  4. Individuals become passionate with God.

  5. A corporate understanding of sonship and God’s immeasurable love is gained.

  6. The corporate body begins to release faith towards a common vision.

  7. Revival

As you can see this process is longer then the normal process of a charismatic leader showing up to a church that is longing for revival. But the result is spontaneous, contagious and long lasting. The body that learns to experience God individually will produce converts that know God. This church will know what it means to walk in the new covenant.

Hebrews 8

11 “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Isaiah 54

13 All your children shall be taught by the Lord, And great shall be the peace of your children.

14 In righteousness you shall be established;You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;And from terror, for it shall not come near you.

15 Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me. Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.