It’s clear that the Lord is stirring His church in ways like He never has before. When the top leaders in the missions movement like Loren Cunningham (founder of Youth with a Mission) and Mark Anderson say things like “the Great Commission will probably be completed in 10 years”, when extravagance of devotion to Jesus is becoming increasingly common among young adults all across the world, and when prayer rooms are springing up across the earth without any coordinated effort by one group or organization, our hearts should be alerted that there is truly something bigger going on. I, along with many others across the world believe that the day of the LORD, the day of Jesus’ return, is drawing nearer. But what if we're wrong and it’s still hundreds of years away? How then should we live?
I believe that every generation, no matter how close they are in history to the Lord’s return, should live with urgency and expectation of that great day of the LORD. From the earliest days of history when the gospel in its “budding” form was preached to Eve (Genesis 3:15), men lived in expectancy of the Day of the promised Messiah or “Seed” to crush the head of Satan and restore the conditions of unhindered communion in God’s paradise, the garden in...
The Lord is clearly moving in an unusual way in our world today. From churches and college campuses in Kansas City, Texas, and Atlanta to New England, Redding, California, and many places even across the globe, there is an unprecedented move of the Holy Spirit taking place. God is revealing Himself to His church as the joyful Father that loves to heal bodies and restore our hearts to the place where we truly believe in His love for us.
I love the extended meetings we’ve been having here at IHOP-KC. The Holy Spirit touches us in so many different ways. The Lord has healed many bodies and even more hearts to receive and believe His love. Just as Jesus said, the “wheat” and the “tares” are both growing up together (Matthew 13:30), and I believe that we will continue to see seasons of refreshing, renewal, healing, and revival that will increase in scope and intensity prior to the Lord’s return. I believe the meetings will even go to some of the stadiums of the earth where many will witness visible, open displays of God’s power and presence.
Many people across our nation are entering into a 40-day "Daniel" fast starting today, eating no meats or "pleasant food" from March 1st to April 9th. The Lord has given us an invitation to focus our prayers on Matthew 9:38, asking the "Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest", specifically to the college campuses of our nation.
I've been examining my own motives for entering into this fast, specifically related to the posture of my heart and the expectation I have for it. I've come to this major conclusion:
Fasting itself is not what moves God's heart. Our humility in fasting is what does.
The difference is subtle but very significant, and the way we respond to that statement sets us up for either great gratitude or great offense towards the Lord. I feel like I've always approached fasting as a "tool in the spiritual warfare toolbelt" to affect change on the earth. With this mindset, I slowly and subtly became religious about my fasting much like the Pharisees were, believing that if I broke a fast that I was letting God or my fellow intercessors down. He wouldn't move with as much power because I had "failed". The accusation about not fasting as "intensely" as others also was a constant condemnation. The lie...
Did you know that “striving” is a biblical concept?
In the church today there’s much talk about “striving” and how not to do it. We wrongly interpret striving as effort to earn God’s love, acceptance, forgiveness, and affection. Rather than fasting and praying out of love and longing to receive more of His presence, we fast and pray to earn His acceptance. We must remember that His love and forgiveness has been freely given to anyone who would accept it because of Jesus’ work on the cross. We were once dead, and it was only because of His kindness that we’ve been made alive and seated with Christ as sons and daughters of God. We should never strive to earn His acceptance.
This idea is often taken too far to the extreme and is expressed when someone says “Don’t strive, just love Jesus”. What they’re really saying is “Don’t be so legalistic, because your intensity is causing conviction in me. If you relax a little bit, God’s grace covers it all.” If you’ve been following my blog at all for the past while you’ll know how dangerous I believe that statement is. We must cooperate with God’s grace, not assume it will come as we live in passivity. God will not do our part and we cannot do His part. We must make quality decisions to deny ourselves,...
I've been pondering Ephesians 1:17-19 lately, more specifically one phrase that Paul prays. He desires that we would know the "hope of His calling", or as the NIV puts it, "the hope to which we have been called". I've been making a little handout on it, so I figured I would share with you some of my thoughts from it!
Hope is an emotion deeply rooted inside of every human. Hope is simply the expectation and desire for something better than what currently exists. For example, the small child hopes to be a teenager, the teen hopes to be an adult, and the adult hopes he or she will find in life that which satisfies. Hope is a powerful motivator. When it is lost, the burden of pessimism and despair can be heavy on its bearer. The Gospel has the power to lift this burden by giving us a confidence – a true and living hope that will not disappoint us.
God created every human with a deep longing to marvel and be fascinated. Since the fall in the garden, we have been disconnected from what we were created for. The intrinsic hope for every human is unhindered fellowship with God as it was in the days of Adam and Eve in the garden.
“One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek … To behold the beauty of the LORD ...” (Psalms 27:...