Friday, October 31, 2014

Inheritance

But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.
I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, 'Thou art My son, today I have begotten Thee.
Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance,
And the very end of the earth as Thy possession.
(Psalm 2:6-8)

i first saw him sitting alone just before the service. i went over to welcome him, and to speak with him. He is someone who is new to the state, having moved here for a change. A quiet man who is painfully shy, he answered all my questions with one-line sentences. 

Later, when the people started streaming forth in response to the spoken word, i saw him come up. Strangely, i was drawn to him. As i made my way to him, someone stood before him to pray with him. So, i turned to pray with someone closest to me. 

"Thank you," he said at the end of a word that God had given him, "Really appreciate this." i gave this man a hug. As i turned around to face the front to see if there was more to do, my eyes fell upon the first man again. When i move towards him, another came and laid his hand on his head. i found myself standing in front of the lady besides him. As i prayed with her, tears started streaming down her cheeks. i took time to stand with her. At the appropriate time, i like to step backwards to allow some privacy between the person and the Holy Spirit. While i was there a step back from the people, i was drawn to him again. A sentence which started circling my mind when i looked and saw him was still there. i waited. At the right moment, when he opened his eyes, i smiled at him, and asked if he would like me to pray with him. He nodded. 

There was very little reaction on his face at that sentence, which made me question if i had got it wrong. Or, that the way i had structured the sentence had thwart the meaning or the intention of the Holy Spirit. So, i closed my eyes to stop myself from reading his face, and prayed. i do not remember what poured out of my heart, or what words i spoke. But i remember the tinge of pink on his nose; i remember the tears that came discreetly down his cheeks. i remember the sweet air that enveloped us. i remember the calm and peaceful expression on his face as he breathed in this sweetness. i stood astounded. i stood wrapped up in the wonder of what was happening. i stood breathing in this sweet air myself. At the right time, i took a step back. Sensing my movement, he opened his eyes, smiled at me, pointed to his chest, and said sheepishly, "Something touched me here."

"That's the Holy Spirit." i said. i felt like giving him a giant hug; i felt like telling him again how much God loves him. But i could not. There was something precious about that moment; something pure and should not be tainted by my own intentions. i myself, at this point was caught up by His presence; was completely floored by the goodness and kindness of the Holy Spirit. And i found myself falling in love with Him again. How i love the Holy Spirit; how i love His brilliance, His gentleness. His love for people. i find myself longing to be just like Him.

What if life is truly about Him; life is really about living with Him, walking with Him. And as we do, we tumble into the wonder of being transformed (again and again); we suddenly find ourselves the privilege to look into His heart and share in His inheritance. And we fall on our faces to worship. He is indeed Lord of all.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Inheritance Word

Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
Thou hast anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
(Psalm 23:5)
 
When he spoke it, it was like the coming together of two puzzle pieces. What i had heard or experienced before was further illuminated in an instant. It was perhaps a year ago that the Holy Spirit gave the same verse to me in a different season, in a different context. It was a transforming moment; the word of God coming to life moment. i had the privilege to experience the reality of this verse. It was like a so this is what i can do moment or a so this is what i have moment. It was a wow, this is so cool moment. So, when the same verse was spoken again, suddenly i received an add-on, like an upgrade or a discovery of another layer to the revelation. The idea presented was that perhaps God has a higher purpose; that even though we would love for Him to completely wipe our enemies off with one blow, He has a more brilliant intention for us. He intends us to be raised up, or grown or nurtured into the stature or the maturity of a person fully confident of our place or full right (inheritance) to sit in a banquet, to share a meal with the Lord in the presence of our enemies. What He intends for us is so much better than what we seek for ourselves. i completely get. i immediately leapt with joy at this truth.

Suddenly, i caught a glimpse of my inheritance. This is now my inheritance word. The privilege to dine intimately with the Lord in peace and rest while my enemies watch on writhing in torment and jealousy, is mine. The strength or the secret of how to be untouchable is now mine. It is a discipline that is grown, or nurtured. What now i see as my inheritance, i must continuously embrace to fully receive, to fully become.

i would like to honour the young man who stood in confidence, in full authority to speak out the above verse. When spoken in the Spirit of the Lord, in humility and meekness, with the full backing of the Lord, the very declaration of His word becomes prophetic. A word of God like that changes the atmosphere, signifying something has been executed in the spirit realm. It is no mistake that God calls His word sharp. What this young man did was a giant swing by the sword of the Lord in the spirit realm. And by that action, cut deeper than he knew. This is  a young man who, in the short time he has served us as pastor has consistently, and phenomenally grown before our eyes; a young man who wears the authority and the call of the Lord excellently. He has far to go, and it will look nothing like what others often misunderstand success to look like. He will acquire the secrets of true success or true significance in the Kingdom of God. When i guard him in prayer and intercession, i know always to guard that tremendous heart that he has for people; he is a true pastor. And to him, i would speak the permission of the Lord to love people to his heart's content; to never be talked into, or lied to, or deceived into, or cautioned into not giving out that overflowing love that he has for people as freely, fearlessly, unrestrained, not calculatedly, and abundantly as he like. It is in the exercising and continuous practicing of this freedom to love as much as he is led to, that he becomes his true identity. He is to guard the fearlessness of his love for people and the sensitivity of his listening heart. As long as the Lord wills it, i will stand where i am (perhaps for a season) to watch over him, and guard him.
 
Of course, there is so much so much more to him than a lover of people. He will become a new breed of pastor leader; he will break into grounds not yet explored, but in a different way. He will govern with the sensitivity of a listening heart. He will pastor as a listener for the God dreams within others; he will empower carriers of God dreams. The Lord will gather to him brothers to complement him; he will be key in a band of brothers. A time is coming, and has already arrived that the Lord will govern His people in a new and different way. The methods of a season past has expired; it is time for sensitivity and a listening heart. He chooses unlike how men would choose.   
 
   

Sunday, October 26, 2014

(Under)ground Work

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change.
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Come, behold the works of the Lord, who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; 
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two.
He burns chariots with fire.
"Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
The Lord of host is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
(Psalm 46)

"I have a feeling she'll be back," my friend said with a worried look. "She said this is where God wants her to be." i laughed out loud; a private joke i shared with the Lord. Seeing the expression on her face, i placed my right hand over my mouth, desperate to contain the laughter. 
"Perhaps, He does," i grinned. 

"I think," she continued thoughtfully, "there is something my pastor has to learn from this. She will not just go away; there is a lesson here for him." She weighed her words carefully as she attempted to put into words what she had been discerning in this situation. i nodded, enjoying this ticklish sensation within. Peace filled my heart. 

We were sitting at the dining table sharing lunch while our kids played in the backyard. When i enquired about the intercessory prayer team that she leads, she shared news of what disciplinary measures her pastor had taken to handle a sensitive issue involving this lady. i saw it months ago; especially for the territory God has planted this young pastor, for the growth He intended for him, to become who He already sees him as in years to come. The nature of war in this region requires for him to acquire an in-building into his character, into his heart, into his ministry the ability and wisdom to pastor someone like this lady. This was not just a test; it was training. What my friend did not realize is that, out of this incident, there are lessons lined up for her as well. i marvelled and mused at how brilliant He is.

Sometimes, most times, we like to interpret or translate the word of God as according to our agenda, as according to our wants. Often that is when we see people become presumptuous, reading into a prophesy from the desires of their own hearts, from the need to pacify their flesh. We love the grandeur of a future full of great things, especially when in it there are promises of our own greatness. Have you like me, ever wonder if there is more than that grand carrot dangling before us, always seducing, but never attainable? Have you like me, ever wonder if perhaps He intends the journey to the destination the greater reward? Have you, like me, discover suddenly by His kindness, that perhaps all along, we have looked at His word with tainted lens, through our preferred perspective? 

One of the lessons i have learned and continue to learn is the speed i give my obedience to His voice. It means, when He says, Don't Move. i cease from moving. It is a discipline because by nature, i do not obey well Stay Still instructions; i am one quick to react. i am a warrior; i like to think that i am quick, alert and vigilant. i am ever ready with my sword by my side, at the slightest sound would fly into battle. For the last two weeks, this lesson was reinforced. Over and over again. i have to master Stay Still discipline; i am to perfect my obedience to His Don't Move instructions.

The above psalm is chosen because it is where we get that much loved verse: Be still and know that I am God. What is interesting is: the pictures painted all over this psalm are not green pastures by quiet waters. And i get. i know it is important to Him that even now, i master obedience, especially the ability to be completely still and at rest within Him. i trust the higher, and more prominent purposes He has for me; i trust the in-building of a strength i will need where i will go. i trust that being still at the appropriate time is the Lord's strategy. i trust knowledge of the Lord in quietness is new armour. People often liked the words Upgrade or Increase or Promotion, but very few will give in to the much needed discipline, or the giving up and giving into deeper, and underground work. Hidden work that escape many. Recently, i found myself riding on a lesson a man had learnt. It took him twelve years to get what he got. And i deeply respect him. i get. The things that last, the things that will take us into forever are things not grown in a weekend, not acquired from a few encounters. Depth does not just happen; robust, healthy roots are not accidents. Therefore, for me from here onwards, revival is no longer an event; revival will have to be a daily discipline. i am after the indwelling of the Spirit of the Lord; i no longer am satisfy with visits from Him. God is not cheap. He cannot be bought nor can He be dabble upon like perfume whenever we like. He is a Person. At the centre of His heart is His relationship with us. 

Like all of His gifts, i believe an upgrade in whatever capacity He intends for me will be for others. That's cool; i have already the desire of my heart - Him.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Groundwork

For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him. Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks terms of peace. So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear. (Luke 14:28-35)
 
Have you, in observing certain individuals, discover you are able to see into the huge potential in their lives? Have you, the ability to see the disciplines or the groundwork needed for them to reach that potential? In other words, to become who they are set to be in ten years, twenty years, thirty, forty or even fifty years in the future, there are disciplines, boundaries that need to be established and built up now. If we truly believe the destination of where we are aiming for, we will be faithful to build, to sow into the groundwork, to invest into what God is doing in us now. We know God is not a haphazard Person, nor is He someone who gives in to chance; He does not work in a random, hit or miss way. Though compassionate, merciful, and good, our God is intentional, ordered and impartial. The Bible tells us that His every word hits targets He intended; every word which goes forth from His mouth, does not return to Him empty; every word accomplishes His desire, and succeeds in the matter which He sent it. He is a good Businessman; He is a good Steward.
 
Consider this: Who would go into war as civilians; who would go to war not fully understanding the disciplines of a soldier. Who would go up against another with very little knowledge of the nature of the war he has entangled himself in. Is it possible that with God, He intends to match the bigness of our dreams to even bigger underground, hidden preparation work; that with Him, He is interested in the bigness inside of us? So when He calls us to Himself, we would not be found like luxuriant plants on the outside, with shallow, poor, small roots. Instead, may He finds us having giant healthy and robust roots that supports the overflowing life on the surface. After all, our true identity is to be oaks of righteousness that last eternity.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

New Territory III

She came to the front for prayer because she had another condition; she had another medical term foreign to me. i used the word another because this family battles one ailment or another continually. She is a beautiful, warm and genuine friend, a fun and creative soul crippled with a heightened awareness of all things unhealthy when it comes to food. This obsession or over fascination with what is mixed into the food we eat has unfortunately given birth to an unusual fear of diseases. Because her husband is a scientist, this fear is reinforced by information, research, and facts so readily available in her household from the scientific world.
 
Every time i stand before someone like her, i am overcome by compassion. This is when i wish i own a magic wand, the ability to grant wishes. You know, like a Fairy Godmother. 
 
The good news is: God is not a fairy godmother. He is not overcome or overtaken by compassion. He is fully in control, and has a wisdom beyond mine. As i placed both my hands on her shoulders, i was flooded with His love for her. This love surpassed my love for a friend. And i knew; i saw right into the root of what shows up again and again on the surface. What the Father did was placed His arms around her; He wanted her to know His full acceptance of her. He wanted her to know His full protection upon her. He came not as fairy godmother to grant wishes, instead spoke to what was missing in her heart. Though she knows Him as the God she comes to church to greet, she does not know Him as the Father that He is. The issue is not the medical condition, it is the misunderstanding or the lack of a true knowledge of God who loves her; He who is able to have a close relationship with her. He is not a far away God; He is a Father fully able and willing to cover her, to shield her, and protect her; He will hide her in times of trouble. He is more than willing and able to care for her, and keep her safe.
 
i am not sure if she fully grasped the word; i am not sure if she heard everything because of the loudness of the music. i am not sure in such a short time, and in such a space if she had received the heart of the message. i am thinking, perhaps with her, i may have to keep on keeping on to present her the true picture of who He is, of what He is like. And perhaps to continuously present Him in varied and creative ways, until whatever holds her is completely shattered. And she can fully see and understand deep inside how she can trust Him to meet all her needs; how she can lay down that heavy burden of fighting and striving to fend for herself and her family. i have a nagging feeling that we are to continuously introduce her to Jesus, and not Christianity.     

Saturday, October 11, 2014

New Territory II

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might
He increases power.
Though youth grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired
They will walk and not become weary.
(Isaiah 40:28-31)

The atmosphere immediately changed. As if a dry, dusty and angry place became invaded by a gentle breeze and immediately filled the atmosphere with the freshness of a cool spring morning. And he turned. He tried to make what he had said into a joke. In an instant, the spirit's grip has been loosen by the gentleness of the Holy Spirit. i was surprised. Now i am curious to see how the Holy Spirit will battle this spirit when it rears its head again. From where i was standing, i caught a very faint, very brief glimpse into his true or original identity, who was very quickly hidden, or encamped again by self erected fortresses all around him. To rescue or draw this true and original him is the work of the Holy Spirit. Warfare to set this one loved deeply by the Lord has to be done with the Holy Spirit. Sensitively, delicately, but sharp and accurately.

The word of the Lord spoken in the Spirit of the Lord is spoken in humility. In meekness. It is not an outer demonstration of false humility, because our body language often speaks louder than what our mouth says. It means, we take that posture, the heart condition of knowing who we can be without Him, and who we are in Him. Meekness is strength fully controlled; it is anchored in rest and peace. It is a deep understanding of the grace of God that has first touched us, and set us free; an appreciation that who we are, how we have arrived at where we are, the wisdom or knowledge, the ability to see and discern,  the weapon or word He has graced us to now give to others, all originate from Him. It is His kindness that leads us all to repentance, to freedom. To take an elevated place above anyone in this realm, in this ministry is liken to exposing holes in our armour, is liken to an invitation to the enemy to our weakest points. Like Goliath, calling forth in arrogance, in self-exultation, in an self-elevated place for his own defeat.

The good news is: We are called to be like David. We are to be those marked as men after the heart of God; those called to seek after Him. A lot of people when they read my last post would immediately think that New Territory means new ministry opportunities. New access into the uncharted realms. New ways to make me look good, look better. Again, self-centred. Self-elevation. Still concerned with me, with mine. Friend, i do not define New Territory this way. When God looks at us, He sees eternity in us. He is after more than what we can do for Him here and now, even though He loves, like a Father, to have His children work with Him. He is after more than my partnership. He is after me. New Territory has a very different meaning for me. It is an invitation to deeper relationship with Him, to uncover another facet to what is already in my hands. It is a call to an upgrade of what i already own; it is a promotion to see into another element of His character, or His nature and be invited to share in with His heart. It is both the re-discovery and new discovery of what i am capable of in Him. It is a step up to another level of exercising my true identity in Him. And i get to do this all with Him as Beloved. That is what is so cool.

"i don't know why all these things happened," i answered a friend who enquired about how we are doing. i had just told her that we are doing brilliantly; we are back on track in every area of our lives, doing phenomenally better than we were before everything blew up in our faces. My husband had received another raise in his pay. This time it was not even informed him. He found out from his pay slip. As soon as that sentence left my mouth, i sensed a nudge in my heart. It was a lie. i knew why He had allowed these things. i knew that we had been tested, than changed and transformed and now propelled far ahead. i knew He wanted us. He wants to set a place inside of us that keeps on keeping on growing and uncovering our true identity. He wants us to keep on keeping on uncovering Who He is for us. It means that no matter where He leads us to, no matter what He calls us to, no matter what changes all around us, we are always intact inside, we are more than more than able to follow. And He remains the same for us every place He takes us to. There is no shortage to what He can achieve in us and through us. We are not confined any more to anything temporal; we are being made into eternal beings that we already are in His sight. There is so much more to our relationship with the Most High. May we be quick to see and make it ours.    

Friday, October 10, 2014

New Territory

Wait for and expect the Lord and keep and heed His way; and He will exult you to inherit the land; [in the end] when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it. (Psalm 37:34)
 
Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling in your stomach; an immediate adverse reaction to something someone said or do? i had one of that recently. It came out of the blue, not expected, not anticipated. It felt like a slap to my face; a stab to my heart. i was ready to walk away, shut that person out indefinitely, delete him completely out of my life when i sensed the Holy Spirit come in, and gently brought composure to my inside. He brought a calmness that only He can bring. Suddenly, i had a reply to the accusation, to the twisting of my very words turned around to spear me in my stomach. Suddenly, a peace flooded over me, and strength came. i gave my point of view in the opposite Spirit to what had manifested itself. i replied respectfully, politely and fearlessly. Self-controlled.
 
Later in the day, while i was still tending to the wound, pondering on the incident, i heard the Holy Spirit said: This is New Territory. To say that i completely understood, or even now understand fully what He meant is untrue. Having walked with Him thus this far, i have learned and continue to learn to expect more than that immediate interpretation of what He says. What He often means is always more, multi-faceted. What was/is amazing is that following that one sentence. He began to uncover to me what is needed to step into this more or this new.
 
Teach me Your ways, O Lord,
and lead me in a level path because of my foes.
Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and such as breathe violence.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see
the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.
(Psalm 27:11-14)
 
i am already in full training. Even before i realized that was what He was up to, i have already been thrust into this journey without my knowledge. He knows me well, He did not enquire of my permission nor chum for my compliance. He knows i would fight Him hard; and i would chicken out. Instead, He led me here as one who need Him most above every other. He led me to this place as one broken, as one seeking my own redemption, my own wholeness, my own complete and total need for Him. No one can teach us what only the Holy Spirit can give us. The wisdom, the wealth, the keys that we acquire in real experiences in the Holy Spirit can not be bought or taught. This is how brilliant He is; He prefers and He chooses those who are completely insufficient in themselves. When we see this, we will start to see people as He sees them.
 
He gave one word: Boundaries. i immediately get; i immediately know that this is the next stage of my development. On top of giving Him full permission to train me or shape me into who He already sees me as, i give Him full cooperation to teach me, to give me tools and weapons to walk in this realm; to be equipped and armed to traverse here. To be clothed in Wisdom; close to Him. In other words, it is time to identify Boundaries that i am to set up in relation to the spirits i may encounter, to set up Boundaries as His representative. At this level, we do not regard one another as according to the flesh; we are to be sensitive and sharp and delicate in the Holy Sprit. This is warfare in another realm, unseen, hidden; this is the realm where we set captives free, heal hidden diseases of the soul, of the spirit and the heart. This is where we expose all outer, surface, useless Band-Aids to apply true medicine to cancers hidden inside, to wash wounds, undo chains and break people free from their prisons. This is a continuous enlargement of my heart, an expansion and transformation of my perspective, an upgrade in my gifts. It is a call to courage, to step up and take up, to draw closer to Him. This is a reinforcement of who i am in Him; to only go, do, say what He instructs. This is no children's playground.  
 
This is a place not for beginners. This is a place not for civilians. This is a place not for fired up zealous, gung-ho people seeking  adventure or excitement or fame or notoriety. There is no place for arrogance in this realm. As fear smells strongly in this realm, arrogance is like a huge target sign on our chest. This is a realm we thread with humility, with courage, a high awareness of the movements of the Lord, lest we be tempted ourselves. This is a realm we must know who we are in Him. This territory is to taken only by the Lord. Therefore, it is a high privilege that He invites us to partner with Him. For He has a better and higher purpose for us; His plans for us far exceed the temporal that we eye here and now. He is looking at eternity when He looks at us.