What Are You Tapping?

Before I became a Christian, I used to go to parties at people’s houses. At those parties, you would pay for a cup, and then with that cup you could drink whatever beverage they had bought. But, to do this it required you going to the tap, which produces the beverage you were seeking to consume. Depending on the number of “tappers” the host had, would depend on the number of kegs that were tapped at a time. So, you would see kegs without a tap and know either that keg was empty or it was yet to be tapped. No matter how many kegs the host purchased, eventually, the beverage would run out, for those kegs, even though they were tapped, were temporary, there was an end to what was inside of them.

I share that experience because I was listening to a podcast on the way home from the gym today and the preacher, who is well known, very passionate and has a large church, was speaking on being planted in somewhere bigger than you are, so you can grow the greatness inside of you. He said, that small places grow small people, that is why many, despite their titles in small churches, left the small church, to come and sit in his church, because they knew they needed to be planted in something bigger in order to grow. His passion, makes you want to shout AMEN, but the spirit of God spoke to me and revealed that anything we tap other than God Himself is temporary and will eventually run out.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”

God has planted eternity in our hearts, so anything you tap that is not God Himself is an idol and it will eventually run dry. Remember when you bought that new car, you were satisfied temporarily; remember when you got that new job with that big salary, then over time you began to want something more; do you recall when you got married, why over time did you long for a deeper love, more passion, something more in that relationship, that the other person was not capable of providing for you? The reason is because God has set eternity in our hearts, He has created us with an insatiable desire for more. Some may call it greed, but I call it eternity and I have learned that no matter the size of the church, no matter the amount of money you make, no matter how big the house is, or how amazing the marriage may be, there is something in our hearts that is eternal and only God can meet that need.

We tap so many temporary things and then wonder why we struggle, fight and compete with each other. James 4:1-3 says, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” You are tapping the temporal and it’s not satisfying!

God has created you to be an eternal being, but to tap into your identity, your design, your image, you must tap into the God of heaven and earth, the Lord of all creation, the Master of everything. Your battle is not with other people, it is with yourself and God. The Israelites rejected the invitation to tap into God Himself and instead chose someone temporal, Moses to tap into, which eventually led them into tapping into another temporal thing, the golden calf. We do the exact same thing, we tap into people, thinking they have what we are looking for, we tap into stuff, thinking it will satisfy our longing, we tap into a company or church, thinking that is the answer to my eternal itch. But the truth is, the only One who satisfies, the only Person who is lacking nothing, the only thing that can quench the insatiable need inside of you for more is God, Yahweh, Yeshua, because He alone is eternal. Until you tap into God, you will always be tapping something temporal and you will live a life of want, lack, or deficit.

The question I want to ask you, honestly, what are you tapping? If it’s something temporal, it will run out, but if you tap into God, He is eternal and to Him and His kingdom, there is no end, that is where I am tapping into and I am still hungry for more, but there is no end, so I can stay hungry, because I tapped Who I was made in the image of and so can you. When you tap into the temporary, it is like sugar, it will give you a spike of satisfaction, but it won’t be long until you are seeking something new to tap, but if you tap into the Lord, it is like tapping into the eternal in which there is no end.

The Darkroom 

Psalm 27:5 “For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.” 
When I was in high school one of the electives I chose was photography. In my naïve high school mind, I thought it would be an easy class to get an A in, for it was just about going around and taking pictures or so I thought. Little did I know that now over 30 years later, this class would have such spiritual significance. Paul Manwaring says, “God wastes nothing and uses everything,” this is one of those moments for me. Here is what I heard the Lord say yesterday… “I WANT TO TAKE THE NEGATIVES INTO THE DARKROOM TO DEVELOP THE IMAGE ON THEM AND THEN BRING THEM OUT INTO THE LIGHT.”
After hearing these words, I immediately flashed to my time in photography class in high school, because we were required to develop negatives that we took with our cameras. We would enter the darkroom with our negative. Next we would take the negative that was black and we were required to put it in a bin of water to clean the negative; then we would put it in the developer for a set amount of time (if it stays in the developer too long it will become over exposed); next it went into the stop bath, to halt the developing process; then it went into the fixer; before entering a final time in another bin of water for one more rinse. We then would clip the negative to a wire for it to air dry. Once the negative was dry, the image was visible and the ability to make a print was ready. 

We are God’s negatives, we are without the obvious image, but even though it is not visible, the image is still there, so God calls us into the darkroom, the secret place, the prayer closet, where others cannot see us. We are called out of the public eye not for our destruction, but for our development. You cannot develop negatives in the light for you will destroy the image. You must bring it into the dark, so it can work through the process of development (Selah). Many of us have been invited into the darkroom, we have not been able to see anything, we have no idea what is really going on, but we know we are not alone, we know God is with us. We have been in the darkroom for the sake of development. 
God Himself has invited us to His darkroom so He can develop the image of Himself in our lives. Many refuse this process, but those who said yes, not knowing what they were getting into, just knowing they heard the voice of the Lord, went in and we are about to be put on display. His image is visible, He can see Himself in us, the negative that was once just a black film, now has the image of God on it. It is still dark, we are still not clear yet where when we are coming out, but we can know for certain it is in the dark that He develops us into His image. 
One final thing I remembered about my high school dark room, the only light in that room was a red light. It was in the red light that we would look at the image to see if it still needed to be in one of the tubs to bring forth the best image possible. The Lord is looking at our image through the blood of Jesus and once we are the best image of Him, we will be brought out into the light, not for our glory, but for His because we will now be an accurate image of Him in the earth. This is the reason for the darkroom!

The Witness Gap

1 John 5:6-8 “This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.  For there are three that testify:  the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.”

Did you know that water, blood and Sprit are what testify to the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God? Did you know that those three witness are the same witnesses inside of you as a human being? Did you know that you are made up of 70% water, 7% blood and 7% air (spirit, breath)? Did you know that Jesus was made up of the exact same percentages when He was on the earth in the body of human being? Did you know that 777 means spiritual perfection multiplied in both power and completeness resulting in a rest found only in Jesus the Anointed One? Did you know that in your humanity, God made you perfect in Jesus the Christ?

Life has a way of focusing us on our weaknesses, our sin, our depravity, our lack, our insecurities, but God by the very design of your human body made you perfect, powerful and complete, so you can rest. This is good news, this is something only God can do. By your very design as a human, God made you a witness that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God because your water, your blood and your breath/spirit testify to this truth. So, where is the gap, where is the disconnect, where is the challenge in our witness?

While in prayer and studying, the Lord revealed to me that every person has a framework in their brain that determines how they think. He invited me to consider that we as people are a witness to who God is, but the way our minds are framed is hindering our witness. You see your mental framework is determined by what you have been taught. I chose an image of framework, for this blog so you can see how the unseen is what is framing what you think and if you want to operate by design and bridge the witness gap between your design and your mental framework, you have to change the way you think.

Most people do not have a kingdom worldview or even a biblical worldview. How do I know this, because out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. People speak what they think. Most people have a worldview that has been shaped by the media, the culture or religion, but not by the Word of God and definitely not by the kingdom of God. So, our challenge is not that we are not a witness, our human body, which is blood, water and spirit testify that Jesus is the Christ, it is our mental framework that is betraying our witness to the world.

As people that believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is imperative, that we deliberately work on our mental framework. This is your building project, if you chose not to work on this issue, you will live with a witness gap. However, I will say Jesus is a Master teacher, a Master builder, and a Master constructor of mental framework, but you must submit yourself to Him and His word, with a YES in your spirit and attitude that says, Your way, Yahweh! When you allow Him to reconstruct your mental framework to a kingdom worldview, you will no longer have a witness gap and you will begin to operate by design. We are a witness by design, now we need our mental framework to align.

Redefinition of Words

Redefinition of Words 11.11.16
Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
America is going through what some perceive as a national crisis with the election of a billionaire business man to the highest office in the land, the President of the United States. But what we as American’s don’t recognize is that the crisis is not because of who was elected, but because of what God is going to use him to restore. It does not take any discernment or wisdom to recognize that Trump said somethings on the campaign trail that were off color, inappropriate and in some instances, downright mean. However, before you cast a stone, ask yourself if you have done the same thing a time or two in your life. I know I have, so I adhere to the words of Christ which say, “He who is without sin, go ahead and cast the first stone…” (John 8:7). I would like to propose that some people’s issue with Trump is not his rhetoric or hyperbole, but rather his policies, his principals, his call for law and order. 
Over the past 20 plus years, our nation has gradually and systematically been changed in a way that many missed. With the propagation of proposals came a redefinition of words. We redefined what marriage is with the acceptance of homosexuals into the word marriage. Marriage by definition around the world is the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Another word that was redefined is that of love. Love is defined in culture by many as getting your own way, being able to do whatever you want, by a feeling or an emotion. With this redefinition of love our divorce rate has skyrocketed to over 50%, because people say, I no longer love that other person. We have redefined truth. In John 18:33, Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” Jesus in John 14:6 said, “I Am the way, the truth and the life.” In the movie A Few Good Men (1992), Colonel Nathan R. Jessep Addresses the Court on “Code Red” and says, “you can’t handle the truth!” Truth in a postmodern era has decided it is dependent on what you believe it is. Finally, we have redefined what grace is. The church at large has defined grace as the freedom to be you, do you, love you, accept you, without judgment, consequence or question. But biblical grace is defined as the empowerment to succeed. Jesus gave us the grace to repent, to change, to be transformed. Grace is an empowerment, not a freedom from consequences. 
I recognize there are many other words we have redefined as a culture, but these are enough to establish the point being made. So, what are people protesting, what is their angst about with the election of Trump? I believe it is the reality that law and order is about to be restored to our nation. One of the greatest assets of America, which is unique to many places around the world, is the adherence to law and order. We are a nation of laws, which produce order and keep all the citizens safe. Romans 13:1-7 says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.” Civil authority is for our protection and if you are not in compliance with the laws of this land, there truly is reason to be afraid, not because the law has not always been there, but because some thought they could avert the law or redefine it. 
With the redefinition of words came lawlessness. I know some believe they do not have to adhere to the laws of God as stated in the 10 Commandments, but this nation was formed with Judeo-Christian values in mind, just read the Federalist papers for confirmation of this, but the truth is, we are a nation of laws and with the increase of lawlessness we redefined words to fit our lifestyle. I am so thankful that this nation rose up and said, enough is enough. Lawless people will not throw a party when law and order are restored, but when the benefits of the return of law and order are established, when words are defined as they were originally intended, we will see Yahweh move in our nation with healing, restoration and prosperity again. However, not all will want this as Matthew 24:10-13 says, “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved”. This is not about Christianity, for that too has been redefined, this is about the kingdom of God that is advancing and we are seeing an act of God’s mercy on our land and for that I rejoice as God Himself is releasing a reformation for all.

Why the Kingdom Suffers

Why The Kingdom Suffers 11.1.16
Matthew 11:12 “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and violent men take it by force.” 
While in prayer this morning, out of my mouth comes this statement, the kingdom of God suffers violence, and the violent take it by force, then I continue to pray. After I was done praying, the Lord highlighted this verse to me, so I sat down to study it and what I discovered opened up an understanding I had not seen before. Here is what I learned…
1. John the Baptist inaugurated the kingdom of God on earth. He was the last Old Testament prophet who spoke of Yeshua and His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
2. Suffers violence means to rush into; seek with eagerness; enter into without information of the price, persecution or pressure of being a kingdom citizen. 
3. Violent men means one who uses force, one who hurries to appropriate without measuring the consequences. Those who came to John to be baptized without repenting of their sins. A vehement desire for anything. #strongsconcordance
Therefore, what I heard the Lord say is, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force means, people rush into it with their words, prayers, or actions without counting the cost, knowing the responsibility involved, without repentance or an understanding of the kingdom culture. The kingdom of heaven suffers violence because people want to stay the same and yet claim they are citizens of the kingdom. 
The kingdom of God is an invitation to lay down your will, your way, your desires, your thoughts, and to become a kingdom citizen. In order to do this, you need to understand the kingdom’s culture, the way the kingdom operates, what they kingdom says, how the kingdom says it. The kingdom suffers violence because people have forced their way into without repentance and without a desire to take on the King’s culture. They want citizenship, benefits and safety that comes with this kingdom, but they don’t want the customs, cultures and commands of this kingdom. This is why the kingdom suffers violence, because violent men have claimed citizenship without adopting its culture. 
Remember Daniel and his 3 friends when they were invited to serve in the king’s court (Daniel 1). They had to be taught the king’s literature and language along with obeying the king’s commands. They had to do this for a wicked king in order to serve in his court, how much more to serve in the King of kings court? The difference between these two kings is that there is nothing to resist in the King of king’s kingdom, because everything gives glory to the King, Yeshua!
Here’s the point, the kingdom of heaven is suffering violence because violent men have taken it by force. Many people who say they are kingdom citizens are not representing the King or His kingdom as it is. They want it their way, their thoughts, their plans, their control, and yet they want to call it kingdom of heaven, so then people who don’t know the King or His kingdom, see “kingdom citizens” and say, there is nothing about this kingdom worth inquiring about or coming to. Until the people who claim to be apart of this kingdom take on the King’s culture and obey the King’s commands, the kingdom of heaven will continue to suffer violence. And honestly, they will never serve in the King’s court, even though they claim the King’s citizenship. We must repent if we want to see a change in our culture, because they need to see people who are representing another kingdom and His culture. This is why the kingdom suffers.