Kingdom Authority

People go to Bible school or to seminary to obtain a degree so they can be ordained as a Pastor and have a position in a church. The school they attended taught them a doctrine they would operate out of. Many men and women who genuinely loved the Lord and His people went to Bible school or seminary, the challenge is they went in with a love for God and people and they came out with a doctrine of man.

The Pharisees were a school of thought, as were the Sadducees. John 7 says, “Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?” Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.” Jesus was taught by God therefore had the doctrine of God not of men.

The same was said of Jesus’ disciples who became apostles as stated in Acts 4 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” The apostles didn’t go to their schools but they were taught in the Word of God!

The church age was all about the doctrines of men, based on what school you attended, how many people go to your church. The church age is over and the kingdom age is here. In the kingdom people recognize your authority not by a title or by your education but by the authority you carry from spending time with Jesus. This threatens titled and schooled people because in the kingdom titles don’t equal influence or authority.

Jesus carried authority; those who spend time, lots of time with Jesus have authority so they aren’t seeking a title or a certain seat, a microphone or a position, they know who they are in Christ so don’t need to be clothed in all the trappings that come with the doctrines of men. Jesus taught in the synagogue and when He spoke everyone knew He was different even the title people. Welcome to the kingdom age!

Gap Standers

Believe it or not, I never saw myself as an intercessor. The reason being, because I thought it meant I had to be one that prayed all night, woke up in the middle of the night to pray, or had to rock like Lou Engle. My idea of what an intercessor was and the view I had of it, was not me, so I never considered myself an intercessor. I even remember telling the Lord I don’t even feel like I know how to pray. Now, people contact me to pray for them, pray for their neighborhood, the sale of their house, their spouse, and I have even been invited to pray for cities. How did I get here? I got here, because I am not locked into to a formula, a model, a title or a ministry, I am locked into a Man and whatever He wants from me, I do it.

Ezekiel 22:30 says, “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” God and people are always looking for someone who is available and has authority to stand in the gap for them. Intercessors operate in word and spirit. They do prophetic acts, they fast and pray, they are seen, heard and invisible. We all are invited to be intercessors, but not all have the time, maybe one of the ways God is calling us to make room for Him is by having time to stand in the gap for others, for nations, for whatever He invites us to do.

I got introduced to a couple who live in Delaware this week. They are wanting to sell their house and ministry properties there, so they can move to the Nashville area, but it is proving challenging to sell their house. I tell my friend who introduces us, I have a track record of helping people sell their house, I pray and God brings the buyers. She said, oh I have to tell LuAnne about you, so she connects us and I tell her I am going to pray for your house to sell on Saturday, this was on Thursday. Yesterday, I get a message she has someone coming to look at the house for the second time today (Saturday). I said perfect, I will let you know what the Lord says.

Today is Saturday and I am asking the Lord what weapon do you want me to use in prayer for the sale of their house in Delaware, and the Lord says, “Easy Strike”, I knew immediately it was the arrow from 2 Kings 13:18. I grab my arrow head to the prayer garden and strike the ground for each property they want sold. The ground was so soft, it was truly an “Easy Strike”. I then hear the Lord say one more time, “Easy Strike” and I drive the arrow into the ground with ease and it hits bedrock. Now I wait for the report of their properties selling. Do I benefit from doing this for them, no I don’t, but I do get the pleasure of standing in the gap and partnering with God for their breakthrough sales of all their properties and I will have a new friend when they get to Nashville. I pray we all become gap standers for others!

Two Fears

The difference between strong believers and weak believers has to do with fear. Fear is a powerful word, just the mention of it makes people sit up and take notice. The Bible describes two prominent fears, one is the fear of man and the other is the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man will prove to be a snare…” I am pausing in the middle of this verse on purpose, because I want us to really realize how truthful this statement is. The fear of man will prove to be a snare. Have you ever feared someone and did what they wanted out of fear of their response, reaction, or resistance to you? I have and the Bible is right, it proved to be a snare.

What is a snare? The Hebrew word for snare is moqesh and means a bait, lure, barbs, trap, noose, hook. That means when we have the fear of man we will go where they tell us, we will be trapped in something we feel like we can’t get out of, we will be lured in, it will be like a noose around our neck. The fear of man will prove to be a snare. It does not start out as a snare, but it will reveal itself eventually. This is not what someone else is doing to you, this is what happens to you when you operate out of the fear of man. Fear of what they think of you, fear of how they will respond to you, fear of what they might do to you. Fear is a punisher when it is attached to man (mankind). People pleasers have the fear of man for example.

Now listen to the rest of Proverbs 29:25, “The fear of man will prove to be a snare, but those who trust in the Lord is safe.” This ties to our second fear, the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord is your safe place. The fear of the Lord is not about living as a monk in a cave, it is about where your are rooted, what foundation you are standing on. Psalm 27:1 says, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?” The fear of the Lord makes you strong internally, so you can be generous externally with people. Fear of man is a shaky foundation, but the fear of the Lord is what makes you strong. The fear of the Lord is trusting God, obeying God, being rooted in God and the fruit of this foundation is loving people, giving grace to people and serving people, not for their affirmation, but from the affirmation you receive because you fear the Lord.

Moving From Familiar To Foreign

Jesus is continually trying to bring us into supernatural thinking, and we continually default back to natural thinking. The natural is predictable, explainable, identifiable, it is actually really boring and we were made for adventure. Addictions are created in people because they are bored with life, pain has taken precedence and adventure has somehow been lost, stolen or forfeited. The ache of boredom is real, the desire for adventure is obvious, but the willingness to leave the familiar and come into the foreign takes courage, faith, risk, and willingness. No wonder we stay in the familiar, the foreign feels funny, but it is an adventure of the likes only God can bring us on. It is childlike faith, it is awe and wonder and it is exhilarating.

I was reading John 6 this morning and Jesus said something to one of his disciples to test him and what the disciple responded with was a natural answer. Listen to this, “Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.” Philip was one of the 12 who would become apostles, so no criticism here, but how much is he like us. Defaulting to the natural, not even recognizing the supernatural in our midst. Jesus, the son of God, was asking the question to test him, to test whether Philip understood the supernatural or not and the answer was no, not yet.

I wonder how many times Jesus “tests” us to find out if we comprehend the supernatural God we say we believe in or are we still stuck in what is familiar? The supernatural life can feel foreign at first, because it is mystery, it is invisible upon arrival, it is the presence of God, not a person you can touch physically. It can feel scary, but oh my friends, the reality of this God, who proves the supernatural is truly superior to the natural. God is abundance, God is divine health, God is truth, God is life, God is light, everything we need He is, but we must recognize the supernatural in our midst. Take the risk, step out in some way with God, you will feel the wind on your face, the fire in your belly and the song of the Lord singing. You will find yourself learning to love the supernatural and seeking it out and the foreign will become familiar, but you will have advanced in faith and adventure. This is how we fight our battles, we find the supernatural in our midst.

Living Sacrifice

Last night I was invited to a worship and prayer night with some women, some I knew some I did not know. The woman leading worship is a friend of mine and she brought out a song I have known for years, but it carried so much more depth of meaning for me last night. It is amazing how our lives change day by day as we spend time in the word of God and prayer, for Lord is the one that changes us into His image daily. We don’t recognize the changes He has made in us until there are moments where if we will listen we will her our hearts singing a song we know but with a different depth than we have had before.

The line in the song was “You provide the fire…I’ll provide the sacrifice. You pour out Your spirit…I will open up inside.” Even thought the rest of the room kept going on in the song I was stuck on these words. You see these words used to sound good in a song, but now they are the cry of my heart, the desire of my innner most being. Songs can be prophetic words we speak, not realizing we are seeding our own souls while we sing them. As I was meditating on these words, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Fire only falls on sacrifice, it does not rest on flesh.” I saw myself laying on the altar as a living sacrifice, singing, “You provide the fire…I will be the sacrifice.” Romans 12:1 says, “I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service fo worship.”

I laid on the altar last night as a living sacrifice, and I let the fire of God consume me again. I don’t want to become familiar with God, I don’t want to think I know every move He is going to make, I want to remain flexible at all times and last night, He provided the fire and I became the sacrifice, right there in that home when everyone else was onto the next line of the song. The more time we spend alone with God, just like with people, the more intimate the relationship gets and the more trust is developed, so when the invitation to be a living sacrifice in worship comes, we do not hesitate, we lay on the altar, for He provides the fire, we are the sacrifice. He pours out His spirit, we open up inside. Thank you Misty Meeker for choosing that song.

Invitation Is Still There

I got saved in a charismatic Lutheran Church in January 1989. This month it is going to be 34 years I have been a Christian. I still remember the day I sat in the back row of that youth group with my black leather jacket on, my Marlboros in my inside pocket, lost as can be and as they sang the song Sold Out and Radical, I heard the voice of God say, “I love you and I will never lie to you.” Those words have been the foundation on which I have stood for 34 years and still keep standing to this day. I love the word of God because I know He will never lie to me (numbers 23:19). People lie to me, people lied to me, but God never has and never will lie to me, that is why I trust Him with everything in my life. Withholding nothing.

One of the hymns we used to sing in that Lutheran Church on Sunday morning was What A Friend We Have In Jesus. I would sing it from the bottom of my heart, hands raised, not caring what others thought. I still sing with passion but now I alter the volume so as to not hinder whoever is next to me’s worship, for I can get loud when I get passionate. This morning, I was praying Psalm 24 and the song What a Friend We Have in Jesus came into my spirit, here is one line from the third verse: “Are we weak and heavy-laden, Cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge— Take it to the Lord in prayer.” For you that know the song, it makes you want to sing along and oh the memories that return when we sing those songs we sang when we got saved.

Psalm 24 sparked these thoughts today, because the Lord reminded me that it is our responsibility to open our lives for Him to come in. He is not going to force Himself in, just like when I first gave my life to Him, it is still the same today. We have to “Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle.” He will even announce Himself, but we still must open the way for Him to enter.

34 years later, I am still saying yes to the King of glory. I still want to live with lifted heads, open gates and open doors for I want the Lord to lead my life, tell me what to do, show me where to go and have complete control of me. I don’t want to be in charge of my life, I want God in charge, just like I prayed when I got saved all those years ago, Here is my life, it belongs to you. Every anniversary of being saved, I make sure I am still saying the same thing in my heart, I give my life to you, do whatever you want to, I belong to you. This is how you stay Sold Out and Radical even after 34 years together.

Root Of All Roots

Humanism is earthly wisdom. It has a form of godliness but it denies the power of God to transform a life. Humanism is what James 3 says is earthly wisdom. “If you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” (James 3:14-16). Humanism is what sparked the “self-help” revolution of which still is in the hearts of many humans. Not only is it is a multi-billion dollar industry, the fruit of it is exactly what James said, earthly, sensual, demonic, it is self-seeking, henceforth why it is called self-help. It does not benefit the person trapped in humanism and it does not help anyone who is the connected to the one who is self-helping.

This weekend I met a man named Robert and he is the brother of my friend Sharon Ward Shirley. We were discussing the root of all roots in our lives and Robert said, he believes it is selfishness. Both Sharon and I said, that’s it. Selfishness is the root of pride, fear, anger, a whole host of issues in our life. It was a powerful Saturday morning conversation and so when I read this in James 3 this morning, it actually was spurred from John 3. Listen to what John says about Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.” (John 3:30-31). Humanism is earth speak and it is not the wisdom of God, just look at the fruitof it.

If humanism stayed in its lane called the world, we would not have a problem, but humanism has invaded the church and brought confusion to believers about biblical wisdom, which is selfless, not selfish. Many in the church lack wisdom, not because they are stupid, but because they are selfish. We must repent of our humanism if we are going to operate in the kingdom. All kingdom activity is selfless, it is others focused and it is about laying our lives down. If that makes you nervous it is because of the humanism in you that God wants to detox out of you. It is time I to decrease so He can increase.

This Is God’s House

I love the fact that Sunday morning is baked into many cultures as the day we go to church. Some could see this as religious, but it is actually a sign of a culture that belongs to God. Even people that don’t go to church for whatever reason, know Sunday morning is the day we go to church. It matters not your spiritual status in life, men, women, children all over the world get up, get dressed and go to church on Sunday morning. The thought of this alone is so powerful.

I was talking to my friends brother yesterday morning and he spoke about the majority of the people in the church he goes to are middle of the road believers. He said it more than once and even those people, who may not have a lot of faith, who may not be “on fire” are still going to church on Sunday morning. Sunday morning is a powerful day of the week and we should not underestimate what really goes on during this time of the week.

When we understand the power of church, we treat people kindly. Many people who are lovers of God, worshippers of God and friends of God do not go to church on Sunday morning. Not because they don’t love God, but because leaders in church have not created a safe place for the people of God. God’s house is supposed to be a safe place for God’s people and when it is not, people choose to stay home rather than come to church.

Now there are others who used to go to church and don’t anymore, because of many reasons. I met some girls on Thursday who have soft hearts, but you wouldn’t have known it because they are tattoo’d from head to toe, literally. They know who God is, but something happened in their life and they walked away from church and God, but their hearts are so soft and it was obvious.

My fellow church leaders and friends, we must realize who we are, the influence we carry and the house we represent. God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son…we are called to love God and love people, to do this we must die to ourself, so we can truly see others around us. People are hurting, people are seeking, people are wanting to come to God’s house, but they don’t feel safe and that is on us as leaders of His house. We must repent for not creating a safe place for people to come and meet God. This does not mean we comprimise the truth of the gospel, but we represent Jesus Christ well by loving others as He loved us. We need them and they need us, and we all need Jesus!

I Hear The Sound of Unlocking

We all have a sphere of influence. For some it is their immediate family, for others it is their intimidate group of friends, for others it is a team they lead at work, still for others it is a group they pastor at church. Everyone is in a sphere of influence and most of us are in more than one. Therefore, what we do, known or unknown to us, affects those around us, depending on how much influence we yield in which sphere.

When we allow the Lord to unlock us, it unlocks others around us that we have influence over in our sphere. When we remain bound, we either lose our influence in our sphere or those in our sphere remain bound as well. The more free we are, the more influence we carry, because people want to be free, so they gravitate to people who are free. Free to what? Free to be generous on all occasions. Freedom looks like generosity. We are free to smile, laugh, joke around, play, sing, shout, dance, cry, pray, grieve. Freedom is the ability to live in the now, so whatever that moment presents you are free to engage in it.

Yesterday, I went to an appointment that unlocked 47 years of shame in me. There were many things that led to this moment, but this moment unlocked me from 47 years of shame. While this unlocking was manifesting there were 8-10 other women in the room and I shared with them how Jesus has healed me internally and now it was time for a manifestation of that healing. With tears in many people’s eyes including my own, 47 years of shame was unlocked for me and those who I had momentary influence over saw the transformation and were able to partake in the unlocking.

As we get more and more unlocked, we will see others unlocked as well. In Psalm 20, David made 8 statements saying to his people, May God…when David saw, God did for them what he asked, he said, “Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.” David became unlocked when he saw God unlock Israel by answering their prayers. My friends, I hear the chains falling! I hear the doors unlocking!

God Is A Craftsman

I went to a Presbyterian Church last night to listen to a Pastor speak on Church and Culture. I pulled into a field to park, thinking are these cars for the townhomes or the church? I walked through a packed parking lot, into a little country church and it was wall to wall people. I took a seat right inside the back door as there was nowhere else to sit. As I sat there and listened to this man speak, I was thrilled the whole time. His intellectual understanding of culture not just today but historically, tied with his biblical understanding made for a refreshing time of learning of the likes I have not had in years. His words were filled with fire, passion, life and theological depth. His delivery was at a pace that demanded a biblical worldview to grasp all the truth he was espousing. It was exhilarating for me on many levels.

When I left I was thinking about how the Charismatic church needs the denominational churches, and how the denominational churches need the charismatic churches. Not because of worship style, but because each brings something to the table we need for wholeness as believers. Charismatic preaching can be very life coachy and lack depth, while Denominational preaching can be dry and lack the fire of God. Oh if the two would merge it would set this nation on fire again. Depth of truth with fire is what the circuit riders brought and many of them were Methodist ministers. Many of the revivals we love like Cane Ridge and Azusa Street were Denominational preachers that God set on fire.

Psalm 19:7 says, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;” The word of God is an architectural structure in our soul that creates the infrastructure we need to be inside strong. When we do not have the word of God inside of us, we are weak, like a beautiful house of cards but lacking structural soundness. Just like developers who throw up houses fast, if we don’t have the word of God inside of us, we lack the craftsmanship that is needed to build a high quality life. I pray the word of God becomes desirable again to us as the Church, for without the word we are a house of cards.