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Wednesday, June 23, 2010


"However, it is written: 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him' - but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God." I Corinthians 2:9-10

"So that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ." Philippians 1:10

Some of you know that I have been doing a Bible Study by Beth Moore entitled, "Living Beyond Yourself." There is so much richness here. There is much I could say after this session, but I will focus on "heightened discernment" at this time.

A look through the Bible will show you that the word "discernment" is used more often in a positive context than a negative one. This caught my attention. I was already invested in the teaching, but I suddenly realized that something was about to step on my toes. I was right. Beth went on to talk about how a critical spirit will often mask itself as discernment. How does one know the difference? Discernment is rooted in love. A critical spirit is rooted in pride and arrogance.

A couple of weeks ago, while I was swimming, God began speaking to me about something rather uncomfortable. He showed two different glimpses into my life.

The first was me at peace. It was during a season when my ability to see the giftings and potential in people was quite high. It was a nice picture.

The second was me nervous and discontent. In this scene I was seeing in others motives, etc. that were not good. I was building walls around myself.

Which was discernment? Both were rooted in a similar gifting or instinct. What made them different? Holy Spirit empowered discernment is rooted in love. Since perfect love casts out all fear, there was no need to worry. I was free to say, as Paul did, my life is worth nothing to me, because I know how valuable my life is to God. I know He handles me carefully and purposefully. (I may not always like how some things feel along my journey, but that doesn't make them bad.)

A critical spirit left out love. What good does it do anyone, including myself, if I can see the heart only to despise it? Does this help the person? Does it protect anyone else? Does it protect me? The only way a critical spirit can help is by building walls. It may seem helpful and protective at the time, but eventually I will come to see that I have succeeded only in building myself a prison.

Now, I rarely walk completely in HS led discernment or a critical spirit. In one day, both could make an appearance. However, I want to continually grow closer to being able to walk in HS led discernment. After all, without love I am only a resounding gong, right?

How do I move in the direction I want to go? I get into the Word and I ask for filling of the Holy Spirit. That could take me off on an entirely different bunny trail . . . .

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I read Colossians 1:13-17 this afternoon. I have read this passage many times. My head knew what was there. My heart did not. Things that awaken in our spirit are often inadequately described by words, so please try to read on with your spirit rather than your head.

"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,in whom we have redemption,[a] the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

I knew Jesus spoke us into creation. But this passage was huge for me. Let me pause for a moment to tell you a short story.

The past 2 nights I have woken up to the bed shaking. It felt like a minor earthquake. Now, to the best of my knowledge we have not actually had any earthquakes recently - not even little ones.

Last night, I woke up to the shaking (I am using the term "woke" very loosely!) and thought, "Are we having an earthquake? Do I need to be ready to spring out of bed and rush to the doorway?" "Is my blood pressure doing crazy stuff?" Then, the thought occurred to me that some people have talked of spirits shaking their beds at night. This may sound arrogant, but my automatic response to that was, "What demon would be stupid enough to do that to me?!" (It is not that I never face attack, I often do. They just tend to be more subtle.)

Before I could follow that line of thought anywhere, I felt something (God, I would imagine) prompt me, "Don't follow that train of thought. It will feed fear and you don't have anything to be afraid of." ooookkaayy. "Just say 'Jesus.'"

Now, have you ever been in a state where your mind seems to be quite conscious, but your body is still very much asleep? That is where I was. It took an absurd amount of energy to turn my body over and force out the word, "Jesus." I had a song going through my head, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" I think. But there was no way my vocal chords were going to squeak out a melody.

I grunted the name of Jesus and almost immediately passed out again. (I was tired!)

You see, I have known for years that we come against evil "in the name of Jesus." I knew demons shuttered at the thought of Him. I knew that He was God. But, for some reason, I always thought of Him as the weaker part of the trinity. (I know, theologically it doesn't make sense, but emotionally that is how I saw Him.) He was kind, loving, etc. He is The Word. He spoke creation into being. He spoke ME into being. What I seemed to miss along the way is that He also spoke angels, demons, principalities, and powers, rulers and authorities "of this dark age" is the way Paul put it to the Ephesians.

Why do we use the name of Jesus when fighting on the spiritual realm? It is not just because Father God wants Him to receive honor. It is because HE CREATED THEM! The thought crossed my mind, "He spoke you into this world and He can speak you right back out." (Mother's often threaten that sort of thing, but Jesus could actually DO it.)

Jesus. So much more than I understood. So much more than I understand. Wow.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Trembling, Rejoicing, and Kissing

I woke up this morning wondering what I wanted to do with the day. Most of my friends are at the Bill Johnson conference. I had decided not to go. I decided to head into Logos Bookstore where I found a used book section. I certainly could not pass up the opportunity to add to my library at $.25 and $.75 per book. (I did splurge and spent $2 on one of them.)

As I step into the much dreaded role of leadership, I have been thinking seriously about what I really believe. I grew up in one of the more strict holiness denominations. Lots of rules. Some poor people saw only the rules and no power. I was one of those blessed to see both. I am part of a non-denominational church plant where grace and activation are highlighted. Beyond that, now I am in the charismatic world at large, I also see a subculture of people who stress experience and emotion.

As a leader, which of these things do I water? What is okay to neglect and trust that God will take care of? When does one cross the line into micromanaging someone else's relationship and walk with God? These are just a few of the questions I have been asking myself.

One of the books I picked up today is entitled, "Passion for Jesus," by Mike Bickle. In one chapter, he goes through Psalm 2. Here are verses 10-12

"Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him."

I could paraphrase what he says, but instead, I will just quote him,

"God is awesome in splendor and terrifying in His greatness. This royal One has no superior-no equal. When we get a glimpse of His eternal, majestic splendor and beauty we are filled with reverential fear. We tremble before Him."

"If we only feel fear and trembling in the Presence of God, we will never experience the fullness of His grace. David says we are to rejoice before Him as well. We are to exult and rejoice in the benefits of our inheritance."

He goes on to describe how the phrase "kiss the Son" speaks metaphorically of the special intimacy we are designed to have with God.

I like these three anchors. Trembling, Rejoicing, and Kissing. I get the feeling that it is not a balancing act. It is all - of everything. All of me trembling in awe before Him. All of me rejoicing in the benefits of my inheritance. All of me embracing the passion of my God.