Giftings, calling, where I fit

A while back, God put something on my heart which I believe is for this new season.  The word was this: “the body (of Christ) won’t be healthy until each one takes their place, and each one is allowed to take their place”.

I’m not sure if you have noticed, but the body of Christ for the most part is dysfunctional – or at the very least, segregated.  And that segregation is not separation by skin colour or race as much as it is by gifting.  You see, I want people around me who think like me, talk like me, are just like me – because I understand them.  But that’s not what makes a healthy body.

You get churches who are great at exhortation (bringing the basic message of salvation to the lost), but don’t want anything to do with inner healing or prophecy.  Or you get churches who are great at teaching, but won’t accept anything to do with Holy Spirit.  And so on…

So what if my gifting is prophecy, and I am in a church whose gifting is exhortation?  Well, unless the leadership embrace this word, then you don’t fit.  You feel like a square peg in a round hole.  No one knows what to do with you, and so you end up serving in a capacity that doesn’t develop you, or release you to be you*.

What we need is a paradigm shift.  A radical shift that allows each one to play their role in the body of Christ, from a foundation of love.  This shift that means we take a look at our own wounds and triggers, which cause us to control others.

So, here are some thoughts based on what God highlighting to me at the moment:

  1. Be leaders who aren’t afraid of looking at areas of our lives/businesses/churches that aren’t bearing fruit.  What is it that’s causing me to control others, or not allow them to be who God made them to be?
  2. Learn to lead without control.  (Trying to control people to be like us, when actually, most will not be like us).
  3. Be the kind of leader that can bring out the treasures of each person’s unique design, whilst moving towards the common goal, without hurting them.
  4. Set people free, to let them be who God made them to be
  5. Embrace this season, where intimacy with God – being in His presence – is crucial, more than some goal or target.  (What kind of gospel are we sharing when most of us don’t intimately know God ourselves?  And what kind of fruit can we bear apart from the vine?)

I know that I’m not there yet, but this is the journey I am on, and believe anyone in leadership needs to be on.

*God works all things for good, to those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Rom 8:28), however I believe that God’s heart is that this would only be a season, and not a lifetime.

True intimacy is available…

Wow, it’s been over 1 year since I wrote anything on this blog, but recently I felt Holy Spirit prompt me to start writing again.  So here it goes!

So the topic that came to me to write about is intimacy with the Holy Spirit.

You may not realise it, but nearly everything we do is driven by a desire – no, a desperate need – to have life (and life to the full).  We are all looking for life (and rest).

Stop for a minute and examine yourself.  What habits do you possess that you do almost automatically, without thinking about?  For me (at the moment), it’s checking news sites!  I asked The Lord, “why do I do this?”.  And He said to me “You are looking for life”.

And He is right.  For some reason, deep inside of me, some part of me seems to think that life is found in keeping up to date with current affairs.  The truth is, however, that life – and life to the full – is only found in Jesus Christ.  (John 10:10).

For others, it’s sexual sin (I believe that sexual sin is out of control primarily today because people are starved of intimacy, and true life).  And for others it’s success, money, or something else.  Everyone is trying to find life.

God then reminded me of a truth He showed me a while back, when I was searching for more of Him.  I was in the USA at the time, and was about a 10 hour drive from a church that is known for it’s intimate connection with God.  So I decided to take the drive, to see if I could get more of Him.

Fast forward 10 long hours, and I arrived and was about to head over to the service when Jesus quite unexpectedly blindsided me.  I turned on the TV in a hotel room just as I was getting ready to leave for church, only to see a preacher come on (first channel I turned to, quite by accident), and explain everything that God has been doing inside of me the past 2 years!  I was completely glued to the TV as I heard someone put words to the amazing things God had been doing inside of me, but couldn’t explain.

All those nights spent seeking The Lord, with all my heart, and that presence that I felt, that refreshing that I experienced – something I couldn’t articulate, all explained in this quick interview that “randomly” came on the TV just as I was about to leave for Church.

Now, the church service was good, but the thing that changed my life forever (and I pray will change yours too) was to bring me across this fellow, Eric William Gilmour, and the understanding he has of experiencing God, and living in a genuine relationship with Jesus, receiving the life He has for us.

I love what he says in his book, Union: The Thirsting Soul Satisfied in God.

  • Prayer is not the vine
  • The Bible is not the vine
  • The church is not the vine
  • Pastors are not the vine
  • Ministries are not the vine

“…Jesus alone is the river of the divine life of God that can be and must be drawn from, now.  If there is to be any production, growth, or vitality in our lives, we must cling to Him.” p55.

Jesus (the person of Jesus), is the way, the truth and the life.  (John 14:6).  And to get this life from Him, you need to experience Him.  Not know about Him, but tangibly experience His presence and the life that He has come to give you.

So how do you do this?  Actually, it’s scarily simple.  But I’ll let Eric explain this to you in a short excerpt of his teaching on this.

I pray that this blesses you, and helps you to come into the life that Jesus died to give us.

3 dreams. Sexual Spirits, Persecution, Manna from heaven.

Today I felt God say to spend some time with Him, so I did.  And during this time I received 3 things:

1. A sense that the enemy has released lots and lots of sexual spirits across the world, so that we might be seduced into a false intimacy with them.  Real intimacy is with Jesus, but this false intimacy plays on our flesh, and it’s very easy to want this when offered, instead of the real thing.

2. I was with a bunch of fellow believers, and it felt like the tide had turned against Christians in general.  Like the favour we used to have was lifted, as far as non believers go.  They weren’t killing us or anything, but they didn’t like us.

3. In the final vision, I was staying in a kind of dormitory type place with lots of other believers, and I went outside and it started raining.  But instead of it being water, it was this light fluffy corn type thing that you could eat!  I opened my mouth and some just floated in there.  (I don’t recall a taste, but it was defiantly edible).  At first when I saw it, i thought “is this a plague?”, but then I realised it was something like Manna.

God is building a home, and it’s inside of you!

Just felt the Spirit of God tell me just now that He is looking for a home He can live inside of – and it’s not bricks and mortar buildings!

People – this is talking about Sanctification and the healing journey.  How much time do we spend on activity and other things for Church, and “building” the Church physically versus co-operating with God to make our bodies (lives) a place where God is at home himself?

God wants a home to live in, and YOU are that home.  How about we start to prepare ourselves by co-operating with Him so that He has somewhere He can call home?

Ephesians 2:19-22:
19 That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all – irrespective of how we got here – in what he is building. 20 He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone21 that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day – a holy temple built by God, 22 all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home

“I only do what I see the Father do”

19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.

John 5:19 is a familiar piece of scripture, but tonight I got a revelation of what this might mean.

I used to think that Jesus could somehow see the Father (either physically, or in a way that He could watch Him, similar to how we see with physical eyes).  Maybe He could, but the thought hit me tonight – what if “seeing” the Father is actually observing HOW He deals with situations?

Could this be the one of the reasons for trials?  (Jesus went through many trials).  We already know that our trials make us perfect (James 1:2-4), but perhaps it’s our trials that also SHOW us the Father.  HOW He responds to situations SHOWS us His character.

So recently, I have been going through some trials.  I understand the Word of God better than anyone else (of course 🙂 – detect note of sarcasm here)  so when I heard something come from the pulpit recently that I knew was not biblical, how did I react?  First, I just had to tell at least 1 or 2 people: “Look – that’s wrong!  I can show you at least 3 scriptures that prove it!”.  So I judged that person in my heart, and got all upset about it.  I was right, and they were wrong!  I mean, how many people are they leading astray with that!  If I were Father, I would have judged that person immediately!

But do you know HOW Father dealt with the situation?  By striking down that person?  No.  Instead, He dealt with the attitude of MY HEART!  He rebuked ME – and not the wrong teaching!

Wow!  I was amazed.  He is more concerned about the attitude of my heart, than agreeing with me on judging someone else.  ***  Revelation: He really does love us A LOT!  Why?  God’s mercy is incredible!  He is giving everyone the maximum amount of time to repent, including me and including that person too (2 Peter 3:9).

Who am I to judge another man’s servant?  Maybe I needed to get the log out of my own eye before getting the spec out of the other persons eye! (Mat 7:5).

So that day I “saw” the Father.  I saw how He dealt with the situation.  Even though I may have been 100% right, I was actually 100% wrong.  Why?  Because I was judging someone – someone I had no authority to judge.  And even if I did have authority over that person, where was Love? (which bears all things 1 Cor: 13:7, and covers a multitude of sins 1 Pet 4:8).  No – that day, I saw my Father in Heaven – and His Mercy absolutely blows me away!

Fallen brothers

On the 16th of September, I had dream.

We were in camp, but there were many fallen brothers and their dead bodies lay on the edges of the camp.  But they were not covered, and were starting to smell.

So I with some others began to cover them with leaves that were nearby. (We didn’t dig proper graves because the bush was too thick, but there were lots of leaves).

I felt God say to me today (19 Sep) on reflecting on this dream, that this is a warning for believers on two fronts:

1. Don’t play around the edges of the camp – ie. either you are in or out.  It’s time to get off the fence.

2. The leaves are a sign of not having enough oil in the lamp (ie. Holy Spirit).

In Feb 2011, God gave me this vision which I believe relates to this.  In the vision, I saw an Oak tree with all it’s leaves falling off.  They were very dry and crunchy, all falling to the ground.  A few days later I found this verse: Isaiah 1:30  “You’ll end up like an oak tree  with all its leaves falling off, Like an unwatered garden, withered and brown.”   Verse 31: “The strongest among you will disappear like straw their evil deeds will be the spark that sets it on fire. They and their evil works will burn up together, and no one will be able to put out the fire.”