Category Archives: Anointing

Musings from a Madman: The Reality of Relationship (Part 16)

One never leaves the presence of God in the same way he or she entered. This is especially true when we pursue his intimate presence on purpose. Each time we encounter God, we are changed and we never leave his presence empty-handed.

In Exodus 24, Moses spent an extended period of time with God alone on Mt. Sinai. While there, he experienced the manifest presence of God. He saw God’s glory pass by as God hid his servant in a crack in the rock and shielded Moses with his hand. Moses saw the glory of God’s back as he passed by. As Moses descended the mountain and returned to camp, the people were astonished and filled with fear. His face glowed with the radiance of God’s glory. The surface of his face reflected God’s glory because his skin had absorbed the glory of the One in whose presence he had spent time. No one had to ask Moses where he had been. It was evident!

When we spend time in God’s presence we always receive far more than we give. God will often enhance our covering, authority, anointing, power, or the intimacy of our relationship with him. Intimate time spent in his presence assures us of more of whatever we need at that instant in our lives.

In those moments, we are changed. And—when we pursue the intimate presence of God and experience him on a regular basis—no one will have to ask you where you’ve been or whom you’ve been with. They will know when they see the glow on your face and hear the flow of your words as they spill from your mouth. We always reflect who or what we spend the most time with.

One moment in the presence of the King changes everything!  

Musings from a Madman: The Reality of Relationship (Part 14)

Speak God your servant is listening!

Once the need to do something subsides and the joy of being in God’s presence settles in, things happen that defy explanation. Often in these moments of enjoying his company, God will whisper a fresh promise or revelation into our spirit and soul. That word is a gift that gives us a glimpse into our future. It is something we can deposit in our bank, begin to build on, and know that it will surely come to pass.

Often it will be a verse from the Scriptures you have read in your quest for a deeper relationship with God. It may be a verse you’ve memorized and prayed for years. This word now takes on a fresh meaning as God speaks, interprets, or applies it personally to you and your life. This utterance or rhema word is timely and will be extremely valuable in your future pursuit of God. Wrap your arms around it—it’s yours!

Sometimes the Holy Spirit will speak a specific word to your spirit. This word may be the answer to a situation, the solution for a dilemma, or clear directions for the next phase in your journey. It may even be a word of commendation or validation, precisely tailored for you. A word that settles so perfectly into your inner being that the very act of hearing those words comforts and confirms for you that God knows what you are facing or struggling with—that God is intimately aware of your every thought.

All of us hunger to hear the answers to the questions we hesitate to ask or the ones we cannot even put into words. It is here in the silence of these moments that those answers come or the solution is given that radically alters our life. This is not just any word, this is God’s word for you—his heart revealed.

 Listen carefully. God may disclose a word that allows you to destroy the enemy’s stranglehold on your family, your finances, your job, or any number of things associated with you and your sphere of influence. Often God will pour out warfare strategies that when implemented bring freedom and a rapid expansion of your territory.  A word spoken over someone who humbly hears it and then obediently applies it without hesitation, almost always brings a powerful anointing and an equally powerful demonstration of God’s power. This kind of word will transform your destiny, as well as those around you.

One sentence or one simple word spoken from the mouth of God has the power to change everything. Lean in closer and listen. Listen with your spirit and grasp what it is God is speaking into you right now. As he etched the Ten Commandments on a stone with the tip of his finger, so too will he engrave his instructions into the recesses of you heart if you will only listen.

The Pursuit of Humility

The greatest single element missing in the 2011 edition of the Church is the precious attribute of humility. It is the essential building block needed in constructing a character of obedience to and a love for Christ, as well as the people around us. Its glaring absence seems to cast a long, dark shadow of serious doubt on anything else we claim to personally believe, publicly witness, or practically carry out in our communities. The alter ego—the hideous Mr. Hyde—the dark side of humility is arrogant pride and sadly, the church is filled with enough of this to permanently choke the life out the 9.6 billion people presently living on this blue-green planet.

Humility for most of us is like catching a fistful of wind or a handful of water. Once we’re convinced we have achieved it we find it has vanished through our fingers. The reason is simple: humility is not something you add to your collection of achievements, rather it is a choice you make—moment by moment—in that painful process of dying to yourself. We enter this world selfish, self-centered, and self-consumed. All we think about as infants is what we want. Truth is, we could care less about the rest of the little Johnnies and Jennies scattered around us. If you doubt this, visit a nursery or pre-school and quietly observe the little human inhabitants that populate it. No one teaches us to grab for what we want or scream for that holy grail of someone’s personal attention—we are born with that defective DNA. It’s a gift from the original inhabitants of the Garden. Sadly, we carry that with us as we mature emotionally, as well as spiritually. This terrible tendency does not miraculously evaporate just because Christ comes to live in us. We have to kill it; and believe me, its death will be a bloody one.

Humility is hard to define, but we all know it when we see it. Its presence refreshes us like water on the parched lips of a thirsty soul. Its encouragement pushes us to reach for more than we ever thought possible. Its validation empowers us to be everything God intended. Humility has a way of bringing forth the best of what we were created to be. It is a catalyst for real life—the quality and nature of that life Jesus died and arose to impart to us.

No man or woman is more like Jesus than in those moments when humility guides their actions and attitudes. It is cultivated, not acquired, through the seasons of our life as we willingly exchange what we desperately crave for what Jesus longs to give. As we surrender those areas of our will to His will, His kingdom comes in our lives and humility takes root and produces the sweet fruit of selfless service. Selfless simply means less of me and more of Him.

Perhaps that is the ultimate definition of humility—“me” dies and He lives in and through me. Perhaps it would do us all good to remember that if we confess Christ as Savior and Lord, it means we were crucified with Christ. For me that means I died the day Christ came to live in me. The goal of crucifixion was death, and as far as I know, not one person ever climbed down from a cross. I no longer have a right to what I want or what I need. Rather, Christ is set free to do in and through me whatever He wills because I am dead and the dead offer no resistance.

A life marked by humility has an aroma that attracts both the dying and the desperate and offers a quality and quantity of life that can be found in no other place. To be a person of no reputation allows the reputation of the risen and living Lord to be lived out in a vibrancy of color that nothing else in creation can rival.

The first step to humility is the transfer of personal value. That is, everyone else must become more important than we think we are. That, my friend, is a bloody decision to embrace death. If you think not—just try it.

Revival: Normal May Not Be What You Think

Revival is not a scheduled event. It is the manifest presence of the Lord located in a particular person or group of persons—a community saturated in God. It is the presence of the Kingdom and the King come to earth through His sons and daughters. It is Immanuel—God with us.

I believe Jesus intended His Bride—the church—to be a visible representation—a fully functioning illustration of revival 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Revival is the supernatural presentation of the Father’s love, grace, and favor purchased by His Son, guided by His Spirit, and revealed through the daily life of the church—that’s you and me. It is a miraculous ongoing experience with the King manifested in His children through supernatural lifestyles and divine encounters. It is according to the record of the early church in the Book of Acts—the “normal” life of the church.

Most of what we have experienced and called “church” is an “abnormal” representation of God’s original purpose. We get excited if we have good programming, intimate lighting, rousing sermons, and well-crafted worship that can invoke a chill bump or cause the hair on the back of the neck to stand up now and then. That may offend some, but read the early accounts of the church—a “normal” day was marked by the miraculous presence of God in them and through them. They were doing the “works and greater works” that Jesus spoke of in John 14:12 on a routine basis. They possessed as a lifestyle what we are so desperately crying out for.

We have accepted far less than Jesus promised in the Holy Spirit. The Lord’s guarantee was that the Spirit would jar our memories about everything Jesus had taught (John 14:26) and He would clothe us with power to be Jesus’ witnesses (Acts 1:8). Sadly, the church as a whole is largely naked of power and ignorant (unlearned) of most everything Jesus promised. We have not listened, thus insuring and insulating our ignorance in the clothing of unbelief. Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ (Rom. 10:17).

Therefore, we have turned relationship into religion, holiness into hard work, praise and worship into a ritual of crescendos, guitar riffs, piano runs, and mind numbing repetitions of catchy lyrics with no meaning, the proclamation of the Word into three alliterated points and a poignant poem, and worst of all, a lifestyle of revival into an emotional event in the spring and fall where no lasting corporate change ever occurs.

Revival is not an event. It cannot be planned, manipulated, or constructed. It is the sovereign work of God. In the early days of the church, regular people like you and me walked the streets clothed in the power of the Holy Spirit doing all the works of Jesus and revival was the literal atmosphere of the church. It was the normal air of a supernatural lifestyle—the life’s blood of a growing, thriving organism known as the church. Today…the church has evolved into an organization, and organizations don’t need the heavenly air of revival to live. Organizations have no life, and therefore, the children they reproduce are lifeless. All they really need are well organized workers with numb spirits, selfish souls, and deep pockets.

If you long for a change—if you’re desperate for something that seems to be missing—wake up: the Holy Spirit is gently shaking you. He is calling you back to the lifestyle of the miraculous—the bondage-breaking, disciple-making, Spirit-shaking, city-taking lifestyle Jesus intended when He promised to clothe us in the Holy Spirit. Strip off those hand-me-down generational garments of unbelief you’ve been given and stand in the purifying presence of God and cry out for the mantel of revival. Once you receive it, walk in what God calls the “normal Christian life.” Walk in real revival!

Am I A Christian Zombie?

Am I a Christian zombie?

Now that’s an interesting question you might be thinking. Freeze that first picture that just raced through your mind. Everyone knows what a zombie is. In our culture they have become folk heroes, video game celebrities, and movie icons. It might even be chic, bad, hot, rad, or cool (depending on your generational language) to be a zombie.

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, let’s get a working definition for a zombie. It’s a dead body that appears alive. I could give a more graphic description of one but this will suffice. We use the term “zombie” as slang denoting someone who is just one click on the life meter above a corpse. We’ve all had days when we just wandered around in a funk or fog wondering what I am doing. I’m breathing air, occupying space, but getting nothing done. You know what I mean—it’s the dead man walking syndrome.

It’s very easy to do the same thing in our relationship with God. Most of us, if we’re honest, have. You may have been weary and exhausted, caught in some sin, discouraged, or hurt by someone you trusted, and then all of a sudden you woke up two weeks later and found yourself mindlessly coasting—your spiritual gear knocked into neutral. That’s what I mean by a Christian zombie—going through motions but making absolutely no difference in the Kingdom of God.

I’m not talking about being a Pharisee—a hypocrite. They belong to another class of zombies for which I don’t have the time, energy, desire, or word space to describe. I am talking to regular people who love Jesus, follow Jesus, but without knowing it, are aimlessly wandering around out in right field in the high grass near the bleachers, and can’t remember how they got there.

Right now might be a good time to test yourself and see where you land in the zombie zone. January is always a good month for self-evaluation—a good time to check your spiritual oil. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Am I existing but not living abundantly? In other words, am I just here getting by? Jesus said in John 10:10 that He had come that we might have life, and might have it abundantly. That means a life of superabundance—excessively good—over and above—life over the top.
  2. Am I modeling a powerless life?  Is my life marked by religious piety—that mindless list of do’s and don’ts. A life externally shaped to look one way, but on the inside a life totally empty, like a Hollywood movie set— a hollow, powerless façade. Do I hold a form of godliness, yet I have denied its power? (2 Timothy 3:5a).
  3. Does my daily walk require faith? Am I walking naturally or supernaturally? If the Holy Spirit decided to step out could I survive without Him? Perhaps I am walking without him—walking without any faith whatsoever? A faithless walk is a natural walk that does not require God to get by.
  4. Does my outward reputation match my inward devotion? Is there any passion or do I have it all—job, family, the right church, membership in the right organization, etc…? Do I look good on the outside but feel dead on the inside?

To sum it all up in one simple question:

If Jesus had preached the gospel I’m living right now, would they have crucified him?

Wake Up Sleeping Beauty (part 7)

The Church in America is, for all practical purposes, powerless. I have no stones of accusation or judgment to throw at her; instead I simply state a troubling fact. I am a part of her and this sad truth is obvious to anyone who reads their Bible.  She no longer resembles the militant Bride found in the book of Acts, who trampled and routed the kingdom of darkness like a conquering army. Like Sleeping Beauty, she has swallowed a lie and fallen asleep. Sadly the slumber of the Church has lasted far longer than the one hundred year nap of the fairy tale character.

At her birth, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead filled the infant church’s lungs with a resurrection fire that had the capability of bringing the dead back to life, both literally and figuratively. The enemy could not withstand her power so he purchased it. That’s right; he bought it for almost nothing with some cheap trinkets and worthless baubles called prestige, fame, riches, and influence. For almost 1,800 years the Church has sought the power of the world rather than releasing the power of the Holy Spirit who resides within her. Her pristine gown has become soiled with the stains of worldliness, and unbelief has shackled her like a prisoner in the stocks.

Like the Old Testament hero Samson, the Church possesses an anointing that is unrivaled—beyond belief. The power of God resides in her and is accessible to her. But, like Samson, she is more concerned with her wants than with what God wants. She has forsaken her anointing or worse merchandised it like a prostitute to obtain a comfort level that looks amazingly like a coma. Samson played games with both the anointing and his people until he was lulled to sleep on the lap of Delilah, the devil’s handmaiden. That nap costs him more than the price of a haircut; it cost him the presence of God. Tragically, his response is no different than ours: “I will do the things I have always done”—but with one major difference—the Lord had departed from him.

In the 13th century, the famous theologian Thomas Aquinas visited Rome for an audience with Pope Innocent IV. The pope took Aquinas on a tour of the Vatican treasury and showed him the church’s priceless treasures of jewels, art, gold and silver. As Aquinas looked on the massive wealth, the Bishop of Rome rather smugly said, “So, you see, Thomas, we cannot say as did St. Peter, ‘silver and gold have I none.’” And with a deep sadness in his voice, Aquinas replied to the pontiff, “No, but neither can you say, ‘rise up and walk.’”

Our Sleeping Beauty rests on a golden bed entangled in the invisible chains of worldliness. She has obtained everything she ever dreamed of, but in the process lost that which is most precious. And the saddest part of this story…we are not even aware that He’s gone.