You are Incredible

•June 20, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Why is it we battle so much in our identity?  I’ll tell you why…it’s the enemy’s focus to get us to believe we are anything but a child of God.  If the enemy can get you doubting yourself and especially God then he has won.  I want to touch one a few things Pastor Nick spoke on this past week.

1.  Control

Control is an illusion.  Truth be known…none of us have any control over anything.  Yes, I have control of my toothbrush as it skims over my teeth.  Yes, I have control of the steering wheel as I press the gas and drive.  Yes, I have control over my own mouth and actions.  But, I cannot control other people.  I cannot control God.  I cannot control what other people think about me.  Sometimes, it’s a thing of just trusting God.  Trusting in the promises of our King.  Knowing HE is in control.  The enemy will fight to get you to believe you can control.  You can fix.  You can heal.  You can mend.  But, let’s be  honest;  we have 0 control.  The only control we do have is what comes out of our mouth.  How we spend our time.  If we open our bible or pray….or not.  How we talk to people.  How we react to people.  The thief tries to steal that from you.  What is THAT?  Surrender.  John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destory….”  Us surrendering control is overcoming the words of the enemy.

2.  Who you are

I recommend listening to ther sermon this week.  Pastor Nick talked about different things that define us.  I want to share one that he didn’t mention that I push a lot with the Worship Team.  YOU ARE A PRIEST.  1 Peter 2: 5, 9 both say that we are a royal priesthood.  And you know what?  We need to live like it.  The enemy wants you to believe you are a nobody.  That you cannot be as good as “_________”.  That you cannot be who God wants you to be.  Ephesians 2:10 says otherwise.  You are His handiwork.  Created to do HIS work.  He empowers you.  He equips you.  He guides you.  He will never leave you.  As a priest you are to Minister to the Lord, bless His people, carry His presence, and be a meeting place between God and His creation.  You are a priest.  ACT LIKE IT.

3.  Incredible

Colossians 3:1-4 talks about us to seek the things that are above.  To keep our heart and mind focused on KINGDOM.  And less on satans kingdom….kingdumb.  hahahahaha, yes.  I said that.  I think if we were to keep our hearts on things above we would see, more, the beauty that God created in us.  I think we could see what God sees more.  I think we could feel what God feels more.  We could hear the things of heaven more.  God has created you to do INCREDIBLE things.  And if you are busy worrying about everything other thing then you won’t see it.  In fact, you’ll believe the lie the enemy tells you.  The enemy says “you aren’t incredible”.  HE’S A LIER!!!!!!!!!!

WAKE UP!!!  WAKE UP!!!  WAKE UP!!!!

God says you are beautiful.  He says you are mighty.  He says you are incredible.  Maybe if we set our minds on HIM we would hear Him more often.

In conclusion.  You are a beautiful work of art who God calls you to be His royal priesthood and submit complete control to Him and for Him.  You are beautiful and you can and will do this.

Eyes up.
On Him.

Now, close your eyes.  Feel His heartbeat in yours.  Feel His breathe in yours.  Hear His voice.  Know that you are loved and cared for by the very same God to send Christ to die for you while…”we were still sinners”.

You are incredible

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Altar of Sacrifice

•June 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I love the Tabernacle.  I challenge you to read Exodus 25-30 and read about the Tabernacle the instruction to Moses and the Priests.  Once we enter into the outer courts the first thing we come to is the Brazen Alter, or the Altar of Sacrifice.  This is huge in our daily worship and walk with Christ.

This past week Pastor Nick talked about our baggage.  He talked about different things like Shame, Pride and Sin we deal with.  He talked about our need to perform and our battle with fear.  We all have baggage.  We all have things we are dragging around with us.  A lot of which weighs us down.

I was sitting here trying to decide what I was going to write today.  My brain kept falling on the Altar of Sacrifice.  I think the reason is because we have to bring our baggage to God.  The Altar was there for people to bring their JUNK and let it BURN.  There were horns on all four corners of the Altar that represented mercy.  Anyone could fall and grab these horns as a sign of mercy.  It was also an act of submission to God.  It was taking the baggage and throwing it in the Holy fire of God and letting it burn.  The next thing we see int he outer courts is the Laver.  This represented the daily washing in the Word of God.  Do you think it is an accident that God wanted this specific order?  God was very adamant about them following his instruction  down to every single minute detail.  Maybe surrender and submission are far more important than we realize.  Maybe us laying our baggage down and letting His Spirit burn it away is far more VITAL than we want to admit.  That should follow daily washing in the Word of God.

I know.  I know.  The Tabernacle was the OLD Testament…right?  So, it doesn’t hold as much weight as the NEW Testament.  WRONG!!!  I believe this order is still important in our daily worship.  Letting go of the baggage in our hearts and on our backs is important as we follow Christ.  How can you follow Christ into what WILL BE if you are holding on to what WAS?  How can you live the life God has called you TO if you are holding onto the life that he saved you FROM?  It’s time to fall on our knees, lift up our hands in surrender, and give it all to Him.

Here’s my challenge today.  Get alone at some point today.  Take the baggage that is on your back right now and speak it out before God.  If you are angry, confess this to God.  Yes, He already knows.  But there is power in confession and in leaving it on the Altar of Sacrifice for Him to burn.   Otherwise you’ll keep picking it back up.  Then, get in your Word and wash in it daily.  Set a time aside each day to wash in the Word of God.  Your baggage is NEVER to much for Him.  Look at the weight of what Christ said in Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them.”  The law brought death.  We were a cursed people and Christ became that.  He became our baggage.  He took the weight of the baggage of EVERYONE before that moment and took it to the grave with Him.  Now, we can leave it at the Altar because of this.  Don’t think your baggage is too much.  DON’T GO THERE.

Christ just wants your heart.  Give it to Him as you submit and leave it all at His feet.

You are not alone

•June 6, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I started doing something pretty cool here at work.  The headset I use plugs into the computer and that is how I talk to people.  I am able to stream music through youtube while I’m on the phone.  I found instrumental worship music to play quietly while I’m on the phone.  It’s so nice and calming while on the phone.  Sitting here worshiping God while I talk to customers.  I love it.  I can feel Him here with me.  I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck as the Spirit flows.  I know I am not alone.  I know my God is with me.  I know His Spirit comforts me.  I know His love and mercy is with me.  I know His grace and kindness is with me.  I feel……still in Him.

You are not alone.
You are not alone.
You are not alone.

Do you feel as though no one listens?  When’s the last time you listened to God’s voice and was obedient?  Do you feel as though no one cares?  When’s the last time you stopped and just showed God your attention?  Do you feel like no one understands you?  When’s the last time you opened your bible, asked God to guide you in your reading, and studied the Word of God?

I think some of the problem is that we put the pressure and expectation on EVERYONE ELSE.  As Pastor Nick was saying on Sunday.  I have heard many people talk about the fact that they felt disconnected a Church and ended up leaving.  Then if you ask them how they were involved and what efforts they were making to engage people…no response.  I am going to brag on Skip Thompson for a second.  I had a men’s group this last term and we read through a book.  Skip didn’t sign up at first but called me one evening.  He told me because his work schedule it is hard to make it to group but he wanted to make sure and stay connected.  This impressed me.  You see, he wasn’t sitting on his butt waiting for a phone call or someone to engage HIM.  He made the effort and was pro-active.

We aren’t alone.

1.  God is there.  He will never leave you nor forsake you.
2.  There is a BODY of believers that are there to pour into one another and edify one another.

You are not alone.  Sometimes it does take an effort on our part to get up.  If we would just press in more we would feel God more.  If we would reach out to your local body of believers you would connect more.

You are not alone.

Now, what are you doing to connect more with God?  With your fellow believers?  With the lost?  I challenge you if you are feeling alone right now to step out.  God is there.  If anything, just sit, turn on some music and press into Him.  He is there already.  Surrender to Him.  Surrender to His bride.  You will feel Him.

Agar

•May 30, 2018 • Leave a Comment

One of the Hebrew words for Harvest is Agar which means to gather.  One thing we need to get through our heads, and one thing Dad pressed on this week, is that we have to stop the CONSUMER mindset and understand we are here to GATHER.  We are called to gather….not consume.  So many people go to Church ONLY to consume.  God has called us to gather.  To disciple.  To win the lost.  One thing dad touched on is what I want to write about today…………..the Harvest requires GRACE.

We love to talk about grace.  We love to think about the fact that God loves us no matter what.  Christians love to tell people they are Christians, right?  “Yeah, i go to Church”.  As if this is an accomplishment or something.  I’ve noticed a lot of people who do more TALKING than LIVING are consumers.  They go to church to GET.  But, when it comes to showing grace…they are void of it.  Now, I am not writing this from a place of mastery in grace.  I don’t consider myself a grace scholar.  Truth be known…that does not exist in the the physical world.  I am writing from a heart that fights to understand grace.  AND ACCEPT IT in my life.

I will share a moment of a lacking of grace in my own life.  My previous job I really did NOT like my manager.  And, i think most of the time it was pretty obvious.  I was on my way to work one day and I was picking him apart in my head before I got to work.  I felt the Spirit nudge so hard….”I love him just as much as I love you, Jerod”.  I started crying immediately.  I was not showing grace to this guy.  And God called me out on it.  My manager was the harvest and I missed it.  SHAME ON ME!

I don’t want to be a consumer of God’s grace.  I want to be a conduit and through that gather people to my King.  I’m afraid we only consume God’s grace and stockpile it for ourselves.  We sit and feel good that God loves us while John Doe sits in the corner afraid and alone needing someone to reach out with a loving hand.  What does a conduit do?  “A channel for conveying water or other fluid”.  Let’s adjust it to fit what I’m talking about, “A channel for conveying the power, the Kingdom, the love and grace of God to all the world“.  When Christ told us to go and make disciples I don’t remember him saying…”find a church, sit on your butts and let everyone else do the work”.   I don’t remember hearing Him say, “Grace is only for God to show you so don’t worry about it.”  He expects us to take that grace that we receive and pour it into every life we touch.

DON’T BE A CONSUMER!!!

BE A CONDUIT!!

BE A GATHERER!!

So ask yourself.  “Am I only occupying a pew?”  “Am I only consuming?”  I challenge you to examine your life and see how you can move from being a consumer to a conduit for God’s grace in the lives around you.  God’s grace is amazing.  It’s beautiful.

Don’t be a consumer.  Be a conduit.  Be a gatherer.

In Christ

•May 17, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I read a quote just now that I love:

“Outside of Christ I am weak; in Christ, I am strong.  Outside of Christ, I cannot; in Christ I am more than able.  Outside of Christ I have been defeated; in Christ, I am already victorious.  How meaningful are the words, In Christ.”  Watchman Nee

I don’t know a whole lot about this man, Watchman Nee, but I am going to research and get to know him a little more.  He was someone who started churches all over China and raised up leaders as well in the early 20th Century.  He spent his last 20 years in prison.  He was persecuted for his faith.  And knowing that…read that quote again.  It comes down to knowing our place.

So, let me ask a question:  Are you in Christ?

Are you choosing to trust HIS strength or your own?
Are you choosing to trust HIS wisdom or your own?
Are you choosing Him?  Or are you not?

It’s an either or type of situation.  There is no such thing as , “well, I’m kind of choosing Christ”  You either are….or you aren’t.  Or as Dad used to always say, “you either is or you ain’t”.

A scripture that is ingrained in the DNA of Canvas is Ephesians 2:10.  This is the Message version.  I love how it words it in the Message version.
“He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”

To JOIN Him in the work He does.  It isn’t OUR work. It’s HIS work that He empowers us to do.  When we are living IN Christ we are JOINING with Him as one.  Man, that blows my mind.  Really sit and chew on that.  If that doesn’t make you feel empowered then what will?  The fight is not YOURS.  We tend to make it all about US.  Right?  Now, the battles we face are real and the enemy will try to devour you.  But, we must remember that there is a big picture.  There are a lot of times we are fighting certain things because of our own choices.  That isn’t always the enemy.  If I push someone off a cliff, me getting arrested isn’t the enemy.  But, yes, there are times when the enemy fights and we just know it’s the enemy.  In the fight, we must remain IN Christ.  We must JOIN in with Him in the work He does.

Our battles are very real.  The enemy does want to pull us from God.  He wants to get us to hear his voice more than God’s.  Not all battles are huge, loud, bloody battles. Some are subtle.  Sometimes the enemy will try to fly under the radar.  So, living in the Spirit and IN Christ puts us in a place where our hearts are beating at one with His.  That is why Paul pushes the thing of the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).  These are things that protect but also gives us offensive as well in our fight.

If you walk away from reading this with one thing. I want you to walk away considering one phrase…..IN CHRIST.  Are you living in Christ?  Don’t believe the cop-out that “I can’t be like Christ so what’s the point?”  I cannot be like Christ, but you sure as heck better believe I am going to strive to be like Him.  I am going to strive to live for Him all day everyday.  When we live int he Spirit.  When we live IN Christ.  The fight doesn’t go away.  But, we find that the fight does get more peaceful as we aren’t fighting on OUR own strength but are empowered by the very Spirit of God.

So again, let me ask…

Are you IN CHRIST?

Enemy. You. God.

•May 2, 2018 • Leave a Comment

There is a song I did at Men’s Attack called You’re an Army by a guy named Rick Pino.  I changed it to WE’RE an army to make it more personal.  But, one of the versus says this:

“We cut off the giants head, we eat giants for our bread”

In this verse he is alluding to what Joshua and Caleb said about the “giants being as bread…”.

I want to share a vision I shared with the men at Men’s Attack.  I really want you to use your imagination with this.  I would say close your eyes, but if you did…you couldn’t read along, haha.  But…

You are sitting in a waiting room…waiting.  The room is cold and lifeless.  You feel distance and alone.  For each of you reading this, this could look different.  You are waiting on different things.  You are praying for and about different things.  All of a sudden you feel something rumbling.  You feel the ground shaking and fear begins to take hold.  You look up and one of the walls in the room is completely torn away.  You are suddenly walking out onto a battlefield.  As you stand on the battlefield, alone, you feel the ground shaking even more.  You look up and see what looks like a shadow stretching across the land.  As the shadow gets closer you begin to realize it isn’t a shadow…rather….an army.  Demons with blood stained teeth and claws.  They are aiming right for YOU.  So, fear gets stronger and stronger and you are left with choices……
1.  Lie down and let the fear grip you and the army devour you.
2.  You can clinch your fist ran right at the army and fight on your own strength.  (This won’t work well)
3.  You look up, and begin to praise God.  When you do this a light bursts out of you blinding the enemy.  Fear falls away and boldness in HIM takes hold.  

So, which are you choosing right now.  Are you choosing to have faith in the power of the enemy?  Faith in your own power?  Or in the power of God?  These are the choices we are left with.  As you face whatever Giant you are facing what choice are you making?  Read the story of David, he praised God as he rebuked the enemy prophesying of his own deliverance before it happened.  You can do the same.  Praise God for the freedom that is yet  come.  Praise God for the victory that is yet to come.  You’ll see Giants falling all over the place.

So, again I ask….what choice are you making?

The enemy?
Yourself?
God?

God is the ONLY RIGHT choice!!!!

ABBA

•April 27, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I love Psalm 40:2 “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.”  

In The Message is says it this way,

“He lifted me out of the ditch,
pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn’t slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
a praise-song to our God.”

Lately I have had a mental image of God just buckling up next to me ready to weather the storm with me.  I love how He FATHER’S us.  How many of you Fathers out there have a kid that fell and you bent down, wiped off the dirt, made sure they were ok, and set them on there way?  God goes even further than that.  He wipes off the dirt, puts us back on our feet, puts a new song in our heart, teaches us how to sing it…etc.  He guides us.  

Ultimately, God is in control so excuse my analogy.  But, I love this mental image that I am driving down the road and we are about hit some rough terrain.  God looks over, makes sure my seat belt is fastened securely and says…”well, let’s do this”.  I don’t know why but I am tearing up just thinking about it right now.  He is our ABBA.  He loves and adores us.  He doesn’t just pull us out of every storm.  If He did, we would never learn anything.  But, He DOES go through it with us.  If you ever question if God is with you during the storm then chew on this……….

Romans 5:8 “‘but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Christ, also God, took on flesh.  He came INTO this world WITH us and LIVED as a man.  He dealt with temptation.  He felt hunger.  He felt pain.  He pleaded as we do with God.  He got into the car with us, strapped on His seat belt, and took the price of the wreck on HIS BACK.  We got out of the wreckage completely spotless.  Forgiven.

Abba
I AM
YHWH
Elohim

He cares about you. He loves you.  He desires intimacy with you.  He wants to walk with you not just on the mountain tops but also in the valleys.

My suggestion to you is this…………..

LET HIM