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:...
In the Christian music arena, the phrase “before an audience of One” is used liberally by almost every church worship leader, Nashville recording artist, and youth group musician. I absolutely love the concept – we don’t play to impress 300 in church on Sunday morning or 50,000 people in a stadium. We play to impress the Lord Himself, because, even though it may seem weak, we truly believe that He is pleased as we play and sing before Him.
But do we really believe that? Can we honestly say, without hesitation, that if absolutely nobody showed up to the show or worship service, that we would still play and sing the same way as if the stadium had 50,000 screaming worshippers in it or the church building was packed and overflowing to the street?
I want to provoke our hearts to really think about this for a little bit. When we say that we sincerely play and sing for an audience of One, can we remember the last time we went into our secret place with our instrument or voice and played and sang to the Lord with the same passion and zeal as we do before the stadium crowd or before our churches on Sunday morning?