Tag Archives: Christian

Experiencing God’s Love and Freedom in Spiritual Community

Did you know that some of the lies we struggle with can be extinguished as we do life in community? 

There are some lies we can be set free from especially as we do life with others in community. Things that can only be proven to us when we are not alone, not isolated nor in hiding. I’ve recently learned this in a big way in the midst of my own Christ-centered spiritual family.

As someone both in spiritual community and in leadership, I was so afraid to let my guard down. By choosing to face my fears, I discovered that I can stop trying to be perfect and that I don’t have to act like I’m okay when I’m not. I’ve discovered I can be the “still-in-process” me around them.

I’ve come to know that I can share my pains and struggles, knowing God will meet me there and display His love through them. I’ve seen the love of Jesus in the people of the house of prayer where I have planted myself.

Some of the lies that can be confronted in community include the fear of being rejected, abandoned, or hurt by people. Other lies relate to feeling like you don’t measure up, or that you have to be perfect or good enough to be loved or accepted. Continue reading

In Times of Testing, Jesus Is So Worth It

Have you ever felt as if everything was going opposite the Lord’s promises? Have you felt like throwing in the towel, wondering if you’ve missed it because nothing worthwhile seems to be happening anymore?

These are the times when our true motives and resolve are tested. What is truly in our hearts is brought to the surface and God wants to bring beauty out of the ashes.

What comes to the surface can lead to a valuable searching of our hearts. As the house of prayer where I lead worship goes through a challenging season, God has brought some motive-searching questions to mind:

  • Are we doing this to exalt God who is worthy of worship or to grow in number?
  • Will we pray and serve simply because we want His will to be done and His Son to be glorified?

Continue reading

Results and Relationship: It’s Time to Abide

Recently I have embarked on another level of spiritual growth on the issue of being versus doing. God has shown me how often I was grading my relationship with Him based on how I feel or what I accomplish. Likewise, I have realized the Body of Christ as a whole tends to struggle with this issue.

As Christians we often declare that life with God is about relationship not religion. But we have often replaced relationship with another form of activity, one of seeking for results. Religion’s traditions, rituals and rules have been replaced with a striving to produce and see results.

In our quiet times with God, we often grade ourselves. Did we feel His presence tangibly, did we accomplish a lot in prayer or studying the Word? Often we do not even recognize we are viewing our time based on what we feel or accomplish ourselves.

We may even try Christian self-help strategies hoping for more answers to prayer. Yet life with God is primarily about friendship with Him, not getting our prayers answered. Prayers come as the fruit of that loving relationship.

In our congregations, we tend to base a successful outreach on how many people were saved or healed. Sometimes we even go after marketing strategies in attempts to get more results. But human methods will eventually fade.

At times we even view small churches as less than, or having something wrong. Nonetheless,  numbers and results we see are not necessarily an indicator of God’s approval or lack thereof.

God loves us before we accomplish anything. He is a God of relationship and love, not performance. Before Jesus had done any ministry, the Father’s declaration over Him was that He was well-pleased (Mark 1:11).

Numbers and results are not necessarily an indicator of God’s approval or the lack thereof. God loves us before we accomplish anything. He is a God of relationship and love, not performance.

It’s time for a 180. In John 15, Jesus said we would bear fruit (results) if we abide in Him (relationship). Only if we abide.

The Lord wants good fruit in our lives, but it cannot come unless we cultivate an ever deepening companionship with Him. And the fruit that comes through this friendship will alone be lasting.

This is the relationship Jesus opened up to us through His sacrifice on the Cross. This is the relationship we want others to enter into through our outreach. How can we tell them of their own need for relationship with the Creator if we ourselves are not truly pursuing it?

Abide in Christ, then fruit will come. Without abiding in Christ, we cannot truly know the heart of the King whose Kingdom we represent. Without abiding, we cannot rightly display the great love which He has for others.

May we set our hearts on knowing Jesus. We do not want to be hindered by our desire for results or to prove we are doing enough. May it be that we come to the place of knowing we are loved by God and rest in this truth.

As we love and obey the Father’s leadership, we can trust Him with the results. Let us choose to take Jesus at His Word, which He still proclaims to us today:

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 (NKJV)

Seeking God Early

There is a preciousness to be discovered in rising early to be with the Lord. I’ve found this to be the best time to spend with Jesus. Before anything else holds me back, I awaken the day to be with this One who never slumbers nor sleeps.

It is probably your quietest time of day. The birds have yet to sing, the sun yet to rise. Our homes are quiet and few cars break the silence in passing by.

The Lord looks forward to the moment we awaken each day, just to be with us. As we set aside time to open our souls to Jesus, we declare His worth into the atmosphere of our lives.

We must be intentional. God’s Word speaks of seeking Him early. When we do not, daily tasks can steal away this time.

“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.”‭‭ – Psalms‬ ‭63:1‬ ‭(NKJV‬)

Caitlyn, a fellow intercessory missionary, shares about her own mornings with Jesus as she ministers to Him in a prayer room in Texas, awakening the dawn at 5AM. It is so precious to Him!

Anyone can do it. I encourage even those who do not see themselves as early risers to try giving that time to the Lord by waking earlier.

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Prayer Warriors

I’m convinced some of the greatest in the Kingdom of God are those we’ve never heard of and who perhaps are often stuck at home unable to do much that seems worthy to the world.

Yet they pray. And pray. And pray. Then lean and lean some more into the King of kings. Perhaps you are one of these, beloved of God?

They are warriors in the Spirit, always interceding.

They may never see the results of their prayers this side of Heaven. Nonetheless, heaps of people touched by their intercession await them in a grand homecoming.

Your prayers are effective! What does His Word say?

“The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” James 5:16 (AMP)

When you feel there is nothing you can do for God, lean into Jesus and pray. Pray His Word and pray in the Spirit. Ask Him for His heart and pray, pray, pray.

You are affecting far more than you know for the Kingdom.