Ramping Up

What if Holy Spirit isn’t dependent on your energy level? What if He’s not limited by your abilities? What if your soundness of mind or spirals of thought can’t ruin His day? What if your level of momentum at this present moment cannot stall out His unstoppable forward movement? What if He’s not as impressed with your shortcomings as you are? What if you became more impressed with His ability than your inability? And . . .

What if Holy Spirit is RAMPING UP His work in your life and your world? I could answer all those questions for you, but you know the answer. I want to challenge you to KNOW the answer (so deep in your soul that’s it’s unshakeable in your heart, words and actions). How do you get there? Meditate on God’s ability in you and your world. You may feel like you’re stuck, or drowning, or moving backwards, but know this – Jesus completely understands AND He is, in NO way, stuck or drowning, or moving backwards! Every real transformation, real breakthrough, every miracle – Holy Spirit did it AND He remembers how to do it. He doesn’t have amnesia and He’s ramping up His work in your life and in your world. That’s God’s word for you.

One challenge – read back through the above questions and statements as many times as it takes to get them deep in your spirit! “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:6 NIV)

To All the Dreamers

I rarely ever remember my dreams, but 2 nights ago I did. God spoke through it even! Here’s the secret as to why . . .

All of you are dreamers. You spend about 1/3 of your life sleeping, and have an average of 200 dreams per night – whether you like it or not, whether you remember them or not. You may not remember your dreams, but someone in your life does. And you have a voice in their life when you invite God to interpret.

Some dreams are from YOU – free falling, teeth dropping out, no pants at a speech, etc. Some dreams are from the ENEMY – nightmares, dead things, etc. But some dreams are definitively from GOD. God can redeem 1/3 of your time, when you allow Him to speak in and through your dreams.

So here’s the secret – 2 nights ago as I was falling asleep, I asked God to speak to me in my dreams. And sure enough, He did. It was the middle of the night, I didn’t even get up to write it down, but I asked God to help me remember in the morning – and He did! So I wrote it down and asked Him what it meant, and IT WAS AWESOME! So here’s the challenge – ask God to speak to you in your dreams tonight.

Throat healings at Journey Life Church this Sunday!

First off – watch the above video ^^^^^^^ of what happened during the 11 AM Gathering this Sunday! . . . . Are you back? Did you watch it? Don’t cheat, don’t skip it, you’ll want to see this I promise!

I assume you’re reading this now after you’ve watched it. Here’s some juicy back story . . . I started walking on the stage with no spiritual thoughts in my head. None. Zero. Zilch. In the 4.5 seconds it took me to walk to the middle of the platform I felt like I heard in my spirit, “Nodules, polyps.” RISK TIME – I know nodules have to do with the throat, but I wasn’t sure what a polyp is, so I called it out anyway, assuming it was a throat thing too – haha.

Then God . . .  blew all of our minds by healing 2 of the 3 people completely and instantaneously! Praise God! He’s so good!

Here’s the bottom line – Because you witnessed these miracles you have responsibility to witness TO these miracles! For real, you get to, but you also have to. It’s your solemn responsibility to tell someone what you saw, or share this video with someone. Why? Jesus expects it. Remember what He said, “you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.” (Matt 11:23)

There is a responsibility to steward well with our words what we have seen with our eyes. Jesus healed at Journey Life Church this Sunday – it was undeniable, it was remarkable – let’s be the kind of people who steward His works well!

Autopilot

At least 40% of your daily decisions are made by your habits. That means that nearly half the time you are on autopilot. In fact, for some people that percentage is much higher. How about you? . . .

Habits are powerful. Theologian/philosopher Dallas Willard said, “Habits eat willpower for breakfast.” He couldn’t be more right. What habits are you forming right now during this brand new season? Habits of hitting the snooze more, helping your spouse less, watching a new streaming service, missing your devos, OR are you ready to start better habits?

Be intentional about your habits right now, this is the season, now is the THE time. Take a moment – write down some life-giving habits that God will celebrate in you. EXAMPLES: I will … read the Bible (with my family maybe) each night no matter how late it is (that’s the key). I will … start each morning with an apple (instead of a donut). I will … give everyone who comes through my door a hug every time. If your habits are God-honoring, your life will be more and more God honoring – it’s a mathematical certainty – or a psychological certainty, ahhhh, you know what I mean – it has to happen!

3 Motivation Tips From Joshua

New school year, it’s time to motivate, schedule, kick-butt & take names! It’s time to DO SOMETHING! The problem is you and I’s body rhythm is in summer mode (ie. sleep later, sit more, do less). So how do you jump-start your body rhythm and start doing consistently and productively. Joshua can help us here . . .

  1. Move – don’t worry about productivity at this point. This is just getting off your seat, moving your feet and getting after it. Joshua was actively leading the people when the story started, and there were points in the story where he gives leadership directives without specifically hearing from God about that thing, because he knew they needed to move.
  2. Listen to God while you move. Snow White’s dwarves say, “whistle while you work,” and I say, “Listen while you move.” Listening does not stop the movement in any part of the book of Joshua. Instead, listening to God’s voice is constantly in the rhythm of life for Joshua.
  3. Lead those you influence to move. Had Joshua not pressured, 2.5 tribes (Reuben, Gad, .5 Manasseh) would have stayed behind and not fought (Joshua 1). Without Joshua’s pressure, “Sun, stop! … you, don’t stop!” the Southern conquest would have taken years and not months (Joshua 10). Had he not pushed, 7 tribes would have devoured the land without inheriting the promise (“How long will you wait?” Joshua 18 – Josh’s adulting speech, haha). Without your pressure, your kids will not passionately engage with God in prayer, Bible reading, giving, serving, etc. Without your pressure, your extended family and friends won’t see that church is your priority. Here’s the payoff, with others moving around you (that you’ve influenced) you will get locked deeper into healthy habits with God!

Take a moment with God right now and ask for motivation … God, help me to be productive in this season. What can I do right now to reset my rhythm so that I and the people around me are able to move with You?

Why You Need Marching Orders From God Everyday

In the military a marching order is only good until there are new marching orders. What would happen if we received a Word from God in an area and then God wants to change His order because the time and season has changed and we’re still stuck on the other orders? We do this often. The point is to hear from God continually, so that we know when His marching orders change.

Unlike the written Word of God, the prophetic is specifically designed to give us temporary orders. God is allowed to change His mind on these things. He does not change His mind about what is written in the Bible – that is why He gave it to us that way. Therefore, if a prophetic Word from God is a re-articulation of a Biblical principle, then it is NOT a marching order. Otherwise, we need to think about the words, impressions and visions that God has given as marching orders. They absolutely are from God. They are binding. Obedience is required. However, they are NOT eternal. God will give us new marching orders, sometimes more often than others.

Take a moment to ask God right now – what are your marching orders for me today? Are there any marching orders that I’ve missed? Are there any I’m holding onto that You’ve moved on from?

The Power of Sequence

“Pre-marital counseling works best BEFORE you’re married.” You know, you’d think some things were self-explanatory, but apparently not – haha. I’ll also say that it’s never too late, there are some tools that are helpful at any stage! God can redeem anything, but He’s also wired us for certain sequences. Like – get to know each other (families, etc.), pray, get married God’s way, THEN move in together, have sex and make babies. Another sequence – Hear God’s call, respond with saving faith in Jesus, get water baptized, get baptized in the Holy Spirit. This is a sequence in Scripture – the exception proves the rule that this way is best.

Here’s another sequence for you – Meditate on and talk about the impossible things God has done, THEN pray for the impossible things you need or want Him to do in your life. I’ve heard more complaining prayers from church people than I care to admit. A complaining prayer is telling God your problem without inviting His solution, it lacks expectation that the God who spoke the world into existence is interested in your situation. Here’s where the sequence is important – when you meditate on what God has done, it increases expectation in you; when you talk (out loud to real people) about what God’s done, it activates faith in you. Suddenly the impossible in your life looks probable and you can declare with authority into your situation. Simply look at the Psalms for proof of this sequence over and over, also Acts 4:24-33 and so many other places.

So take a moment, remember anything and everything that God has done remarkably (for you, for others, in the Scripture, all of it)! Meditate on one, feel the emotions, hear the sounds, see the sights. Next, talk about it – relive that story to someone else. THEN, write down your own situation, but this time view it through the eyes of what is possible through God. NOW you’re ready to pray. Don’t pray wimpy prayers. Don’t ever pray complaining prayers again. Take this sequence and let faith rise.

Don’t Leave your Spiritual Life on the Counter

There are few things more irritating to me than leaving a half-gallon of ice cream sitting on the counter, while no one’s serving themselves. Why do I hate leaving ice cream on the counter so much? Because the longer you leave it, the less wonderful it is. 15 minutes go by and all you’ve got is vanilla snot with soggy cookie chunks in it. The disappointment of opening an ice cream that’s 2nd time frozen and freezer burned is hard to beat. In my house it’s called “the artist formerly known as ice cream” – you can eat it, if you dare, but it’s probably going to be wildly disappointing on the way in, and give you outrageous gas on the way out.

The laziness of it sitting out on the counter is scary to me – it’s not neutral, it’s scary. “I will rescue you, my precious,” is what goes through my head as I cradle it, to put it back in the freezer. Why is that important to me? Because I value the contents too much to allow them to be spoiled, or used for any purpose other than their best. Environment matters, moving quickly to the right place matters.

God looked at Moses’ generation and thought, “NO, you’re spoiling.” And they’re saying, “No, I like the counter” “But you’re spoiling there.” There is nothing loving about placating people who are sitting in a place where they can only spoil. Leaving them there is not caring, it’s brutal and heartless. The people of Israel lazily refusing to enter the promised land was scary to God, He knew it would cause them to spoil, so that they’d be useless to take God’s promise.

The laziness of putting your spiritual life in neutral is scary as well. God just wants to rescue you, but He’ll honor your choice, it’s part of His nature. God has put a fire in me to spur you to take bold steps of faith. Your time with God is just a moment away – take it. There’s someone you’ll see today that needs to know the Jesus in you – open your mouth. Let spiritual neutral be scary in your life too – it’s time to take new ground!

2 HUGE Reasons Rahab’s Scarlet Ribbon Matters to You

I hear the word “Scarlet” and almost immediately think of “The Scarlet Letter” the famous book by Nathaniel Hawthorne that used a bright, red, letter “A” to brand someone’s sin. Yikes! That color needs redeemed for sure, and Rahab’s story goes a long way to exactly that . . .

Rahab’s scarlet cord out of the window of her house on the wall of Jericho was a statement of faith in God and faith that God’s people Israel would keep their word. It meant salvation not just for her, but for her whole family! It parallels the red blood of the lamb that was on the doorposts of houses so that the angel of death would Passover the houses. Because of her scarlet cord the army passed by her house, and what’s more God Himself designated her for salvation, even preserving her house in destruction of the wall. The scarlet cord parallels the blood of Jesus, which now washes your sin and my sin so that eternal death passes us over and instead we’re marked for salvation. This is why this matters for you . . .

  1. The blood of Jesus that washes sin is NOT a disgrace for you – it is your source of hope, cleansing and salvation. Just like Rahab’s cord, the scarlet blood of Jesus is a symbol of God’s goodness in your life. When spiritual death looks at you, it sees His blood and has to pass over!
  2. When you demonstrate your faith, by carrying a Bible, marking your house with Scripture, wearing Christian shirts, listening to the Bible and Christian music, talking about God’s goodness to you – you are telling the enemy he has no claim on you and inviting the work of God in your life!

So redeem the image of the blood of Jesus in your heart right now. Realize His hope, cleansing and salvation again. Also, boldly make plans to demonstrate your faith today.

3 Signs You’re Ready to Take New Ground with God

“I feel stuck,” with waterworks, tissues & me sitting across from them in my office saying to God, “HELP!” Health, finances, marriage, job, kids, emotions – for this person everything felt stuck. Taking new ground felt impossible, unrealistic, even laughable in that moment – But God!

Joshua and Israel are about to take new ground for the first time in 40 years in Joshua 3, and here are three special observations from their generation and community that will help you and I take new ground for God’s kingdom too . . .

  1. Your people are in unity after God. It’s not just about you. Taking new ground for God’s kingdom is dependent on the community around you – your friends, your family & your church. These question will help you move forward . . .
    • Who are your friends? Are they going fully after God? How are you affecting them FOR God?
    • What is your NEXT STEP in affecting your family for God?
    • How are you contributing to the spiritual atmosphere at Journey Life Church? What is your NEXT STEP in adding to what God’s doing (ie. in worship, prayer, serving, Life Groups, etc.)?

We are better together. You might be able to take ground alone, but you certainly won’t be able to occupy and hold it without a community. You need people around you in unity after God.

  1. You have a leader worth following. Obviously, God is the real leader. However, in taking new ground for the God, He delegates to human leaders like Joshua. So here are some questions to move you forward toward your leadership . . .
    • Who are the direct and most accessible spiritual leaders at Journey Life Church for you? For some that will be a Life Group leader, serving leader, others that will be a staff person.
    • How can you PRAY FOR those close spiritual leaders and SUPPORT them so that their work is a joy! (Heb. 13:17)
    • How can you pray for and support the other spiritual leaders in your life (staff, pastors, group leaders, me-pray for me!)?
  1. You have an ALL IN attitude. The Reubenites & Gadites said to Joshua that as God’s with you and you’re strong and courageous we will do, “WHATEVER . . . WHEREVER . . . [and] FULLY OBEY!” That “all in” attitude is required to take new ground for God’s kingdom. Here are some questions to diagnose your attitude . . .
    • What stipulations are you giving to your leadership in order to follow them? Are they – God’s with you and “be strong and courageous”? Because if not, then you might need to re-evaluate.
    • How are you making yourself available to God and the spiritual leaders in your life to move God’s kingdom forward? Realistically, what are your schedule, action and heart limitations to being able to make a statement like this without reservation?

You may feel stuck right now too, BUT GOD has new spiritual ground for you to take personally, and I believe it’s directly tied to the ground we’re taking as a church also. Take a moment, go back through the above questions and let God speak to you for breakthrough.