THE FATHER DESIRES A FAMILY

THE FATHER DESIRES A FAMILY

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The Purpose

To touch the heart of the FATHER.

To live as a CHILD of God.

 

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named…” (Eph. 3:14-15)

 

John, the beloved disciple, declares that you are called to be a son or daughter (child of God) and not a child of satan. “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10). 

But the Father loves you immensely and, “…is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pt. 3:9). Therefore, He chases you down with unrelenting love. Remember, Jesus exposed to earth, Heavens’ delight by sharing, “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance” (Lu. 15:7). 

The Father has an immeasurably strong desire for you to be in His family, and He gave up His only Son to adopt you. You are worth it. Wait … no, those words don’t suffice. Let me try this again: the Father’s desire for a family is stronger than the sun in all its glory! When was the last time you could stare at the sun for more than a moment? Even this analogy does not begin to scratch the surface of the Father’s passion for Family. Revival is Family—God wants to spend eternity with you; He wants to be your eternal loving Father. 

The Father affectionately made a promise to His Son about you being a part of the family. A foundational premise of God’s kingdom is the Father’s fundamental promise to give Jesus an inheritance: the Bride of Christ (Eph. 5:31-32; Rev. 19:7-9). Jesus longs for an eternal companion, a Bride, who voluntarily chooses to be equally yoked to Him in love. I know what you are thinking: how can I be the Bride? Am I gonna marry Jesus? Well, yes, but it might not be exactly in the way your thinking (Rev. 19:1-10). You will be married to Jesus without physically engaging with Jesus as a married couple does. (NOTE: Scripturally, the “sons of God” includes women, and the “Bride of Christ” includes men.)

An aspect of His inheritance involves the mandatory obedience of all creation (Rom. 14:10-12). Jesus desires you, and He desires to do the will of the Father—Revival is an Obedient Family.  This immovable trust establishes you as a loved child of God the Father and a loved Bride of Christ—forever!  

Imagine listening to the Father share about people to Jesus for the first time. I know Jesus is God, but the scripture declares you were hidden in Him before the foundation of the world (this is actually your adoption story; read this for further proof [Eph. 1:3-6]). You might ask, “what does that mean?” Genesis 1 sheds monumental light upon this. 

In the beginning...wait, the beginning of what? Glad you asked. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:1-2). 

Did you catch that one little phrase…The “earth was without form, and void.” It was created, but was without form. When was the last time you created something, but it was without form? Actually, you do this a lot. Whenever you create a plan in your mind, the plan exists, but it is without form. Then once you actually execute the plan, it exists. So, there was a time when God created the Heavens and the Earth, but the earth was without form and void. This means it was still in the heart of the Father. There was a time you existed as the dream of the Father’s heart before the foundation of the earth. Remember, He said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb—I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5). In the same way, He created you in His mind, and then shared you with Jesus.

But our story does not start there. You, my friend, must ask where? Where was God the Father when He created the Heavens and the Earth? Interesting questions aren’t they? If you’re like me, you always thought that The Father dwelt in Heaven, but the first Scripture of the Holy Word says that He “created Heaven.” So where was He living before He created Heaven? The answer is (drum roll please….), hidden in a song from the 4 living creatures. They declare, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” (Rev. 4:8). He is the God “who was”. He “was” there in the Secret Place before the foundation of the world. 

He existed in Perfectly Perfect Perfection—He was there where He was. Where was that? It is where the Father was. (Don’t get mad at me, I am actually saying that where He was Perfectly Perfect Perfection.) The four living creatures declare His Majesty while telling the story of His existence before the foundation of the World. 

Imagine if you will that moment when the perfect Father first describes you to Jesus. Yes, describes you, because after all God created you, and He has great BIG plans for your future. (Why do you think the devil is trying to destroy your life? Because God has big plans for you.)

If Jesus knew Jeremiah before He actually formed him in the womb, then we can conclude He knew you before you were actually physically formed (Jer. 1:5). So, I’ll ask the question again: Where were you before you physically existed? Remember, You were His perfect plan; you were the amazing dream in the heart of the Father. 

Do you recall when He created Heaven and earth? Clearly, they both existed in His heart before they were created in the natural; after all, He is the most creative architect. (In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, but the earth was “without form, and void.” It was still in the heart of the Father. As the most skillfully detailed architect, He drew all and planned all ahead of time.) Likewise, you existed before He actually formed you in the womb. The Father knew you; He had a plan for you that lasted into eternity. The Father has a plan to enjoy you—Revival is Family—FOREVER.

So back to the question. What was the Father seriously thinking and feeling the first time the Father described you to Jesus? Seriously think about it. If you, the perfect Dream of the Father, existed in His heart, then when was the first moment that Jesus knew you? Was it before your mother’s womb? 

The book of Revelation gives us a massive amount of insight into this in one simple Scripture. Revelation 13:8declares that, “Jesus is the Lamb slain from (or before) the foundation of the world.” You should be shouting how remarkable this is. Truly, this is a most remarkable discovery of monumental degrees. This means that He saw you, He met you; He saw the Father’s immeasurable LOVE for you. He saw that you are a part of a wonderful family. Unfortunately, He saw that your willful sin would keep you from Heaven’s gate. He first loved you, therefore. Jesus chose to sacrifice His life to be your Savior. He chose to be the Lamb that would be slain, before the foundation of the world, for the sake of LOVE. 

Now hold on, I know what you are thinking. I am some crazy Internet Preacher that is going to bellow about aliens and conspiracy theories. Wrong! I simply want to talk to you about truth. 

What is truth? Truth has three or more components. Firstly, it must be confirmed in the holy Word of God and agreed upon by credible biblical scholarship. (I have heard people twist the Bible to speak whatever hair brained idea they have.) Secondly, truth must be unquestionably inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit must bear witness within the heart of the speaker and the community they serve with. Thirdly, (there are more, but I will just stay at three), truth must be historically possible. When someone is sharing an idea, then it must either have actually happened, or be possible (with God all things are possible). Therefore, the truthful statement I have made is that Jesus met you before the earth existed physically. 

So, now you know, my friend, what you did not know yesterday. The joyful Father held you as a tender dream in His heart. You were “in Him” before the earth was even created. You still don’t believe me? Consider what divine revelation the Apostle Paul had, Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we (you) should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:4-5).  

You should be excitedly standing on your head laughing with joy. You were chosen in HIM! You existed in the heart of the Father as His Dream! You are the dream of the Father’s heart, and not for what you accomplished. Instead, it’s just because He first loved you! 

He fashioned you to be holy and without blame, in love, predestined. (Don’t get tripped up on this word. It means that God knows the end from the beginning, and He still gives us all the dignity of a choice). Again, He predestined you to be adopted, to be a part of His Family. You see, you are not just saved from something, you are rightly saved for something—Revival is Family.

So, in summary, the Father wants a family, and you are a very important part in “The Family.” Also, you were the exquisite Dream of the Father, who loved you before you existed physically. Jesus, for the sake of Love (love for His Father and equal love for you) became your Savior. He chose to humble Himself to the lowest of lows, become a man, redeem you, and He rose up to sit in vibrant intercession for you to succeed (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25).

Thriving In The Process

Thriving In The Process

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I remember a season of my life when I ventured into the thrilling quarters of my parent’s spare room at their house in Upstate New York. 23 and still living with the parents. Can you say winning? Prior to moving back home I was attending a school in California and traveling all over the world seeing signs, wonders, and miracles. Talk about a season shift from travel to seclusion. But all joking aside I found that this season was more pertinent to my relationship with God than if I were to continue travel and ministry. So, I was left with months of transition time to ask God the big question of Why.  I believe this to be the first and most important question you must ask yourself when you feel like the rug has been swept from under your feet.

Ask

God

Why

?

  • Enjoy where you are. This is probably the most important skill that one can develop for their entire life. It isn't conclusive to one season but inclusive of all of them. Enjoying where you are shows God that you believe He is faithful for the promises He has made towards you. About a month into looking for work with nothing to do to fill my days I felt the challenge arise to enjoy the moment I was in. I took it literally. God's challenge was in the form of a question to my heart, "If you can't enjoy the present where you are, how will you enjoy the future that you desire?" Enjoyment reveals your trust in Christ. However, I can't teach you to enjoy your life, but I can show you the door to enter into.

 

  • "As thy days, so shall your strength be." Deut. 33:25 I've noticed a progression in my life that when I set time away with God to get low and surrender in the quiet of the secret place my life has flourished no matter what I was doing. Jesus actually yearns to tell us the secrets of His heart and the answers to life around us. Read this beautiful verse to see what Jesus has told us to do. "What is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs." Matt. 10:27. The problem arises when people don't get alone with God to hear the whisper, they will miss out on what they are supposed to shout. A lot of Christians now-a-days are shouting but haven't heard a whisper. How does this relate to creating momentum? Good question. Here's the answer. Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

 

  • Remain Present. When Israel was released from their captivity and brought into the wilderness they always lived in two spaces of reality; the past, and the future. However, both of them kept them from the Present. They were chained to the comfort of their past and the fear of unknown in their future so they missed out in the now that God wanted to bring them into. Being a dreamer and visionistic person I can't help but to dream for what God has in store for me later in life, but my very dreaming for what is to come can be a block to what God is doing now. If I become too future minded I'll never life presently focused. In order to make it to the future you need to partner with what God is doing in the present. The present is the ever-continuing foundation for what He plans to do in and through you later in life. So remember, dream for then but embrace the present wholeheartedly!

 

Thank you, Father, for the now and what you have planned for the future, may I be ever present in your precious gift of time so that none of it may be wasted with the good and mighty plans you have for me.

How To Embrace Process

How To Embrace Process

I have a confession, I am the worst traveler. From the moment my feet hit the pavement outside an airport until they arrive safely on the pavement at my final destination I become a giant jumble of luggage, snacks, and documents they tell me very specifically not to loose. The ridiculous part of it is, I’ve flown a lot. I should be good at this by now. When I sit down and book my flight to go somewhere, I agree to go on the journey that will come with reaching my destination. This seems to me to be the perfect metaphor for process. When we use the word process, to describe what we are going through to a friend or mentor what do we mean? How do we go through process and fully embrace what God is doing, while maintaining healthy connection with community?

I wish I could sit down with you over coffee and tell you, process will be easy. It will require very little from you and you will love everyday of it. Maybe that has been your experience...but it is yet to be mine. Process in Christians circles seems to be a code for, it feels like my whole life is falling apart, but God is good. Process is hard and intense, and the ridiculous part of it is, we should be good at it by now. Often we just need to be reminded of why we set out on this journey in the first place.  Somehow when we began,  we believed the destination will be worth it. The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians, “ and I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion(1v6).” God is FAITHFUL, He will not abandon you in the middle of the journey. Process is simply the in- between spaces of our life where God continues to bring the good work he started in us to completion.

When I travel, I know without a doubt that the destination will be worth it. I would not venture to even pack a single suitcase if I was not 100% convinced of that fact. What God will do with a simple yes to go on a journey with him will absolutely blow your mind. As you commit to go deeper with the Lord, to walk with integrity, to pursue His heart for business or to finally go after that dream in your heart. I guarantee the moment you agree to run full force after the call of God on your life, process will find you. Your feet will hit the pavement, and as you walk through the airport doors to begin your journey, and boom -process will hit you full force. Maybe you will find out the suitcase you packed so carefully and intentionally is actually too heavy and you will have to leave somethings behind. God knows what will be necessary for the journey, trust Him. In order to successfully reach your destination, trust that letting go of somethings is 100% ok.

I love arriving at my final destination. Even though I would probably benefit from a good night’s sleep and change of clothes, I am incredibly grateful. For the most part, flying is predictable. Process usually is not. I can not think of one person in the Bible who did not go through process on their journey to follow God. The biggest lie we believe about process is that we are in it alone. If you look around at an airport, there are hundreds of people embarking on a journey at the same time as you. In Psalm 23 we see God’s heart for process, an itinerary of what will happen on the journey. The Psalmist David writes about how God interacts with him very intimately in his process. We see that David is never alone and that God is with him every step of the way. David goes on to describe the specific provision available to him in every portion of his journey. Some times when it feels like everything around us it still, God takes us through a process of restoring our souls. Or when we feel surrounded by enemies, He is setting us a table right in the middle of it.  Maybe this process is an anointing process, where God is teaching us how to live a life from abundance. In every portion of our lives, God’s closeness and realness can be felt. God wants to give strength and perspective that can sometimes only come through a process.

So I challenge you. Embrace process, the scary, the messy, and the beautiful parts of it. God will be with you every step of the way. There are somethings we can only discover about ourselves and God during times of process. Remember that when you finally get to your destination, a journey home is just a few weeks away. No matter what, I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion (Philippians 1v6).

Revival For the Whole Family

Revival For the Whole Family

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In 2016 I was visiting the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, North Carolina. The basement hallways are smeared with pictures of Billy, his wife, their children, and world-wide stadiums filled with revival. As I walked past a picture of Ruth Graham (Billy’s wife), Holy Spirit whispered firmly “YOU are a RUTH.” It stopped me in my tracks. What’s that supposed to mean?  My eyes locked back on the picture, but my mind’s eye flashed to the history of another Ruth whose homeland was Israel. It wasn’t until the middle of 2017 that I began to get a grid for what God was saying.

Right now we are living in the beginnings of the greatest awakening ever known to mankind. The words “family” & “revival” are so connected in this hour. As the global family of God is awakening in unity, Jesus’ return to Jerusalem is quickening, thus bringing—the full restoration of all things to the Father—heaven on earth!

The fullness of a family’s revival-destiny involves the entire family.

A vital part of our family has been somewhat “missing” from much of the modern-day church. Like a brother whose memory was lost in a war, so have we, as the majority, forgotten our brother Israel. The Jews are the people God first made covenant with, the very nationality of His Son, and the birthplace of the ekklesia (world-wide church). All it takes is one glance into God’s Word to realize this nation has great importance in revival and preparing the way for the return of the Lord. Jesus isn’t returning to New York, L.A., Hong Kong, or Moscow. He’s returning to the capital of the Jewish State—Jerusalem. 

It is time for us to rise up into our full responsibility of interceding for Israel as a key part of our revival-family.

“But Ruth said: ‘Entreat me not to leave you, or turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you stay, I will stay; your people will be my people, and your God, my God.’”

 —Ruth 1:16

Ruth was not a Jew but she knew that the God of Israel was the One True God and she grafted herself to His people. Through the blood of Jesus we have been bound as well, grafted in to the eternal promises that God has made with Israel (Romans 11:17-18). Many Jewish people are blinded to the reality that Jesus, their brother, is their Messiah. Paul says in Romans 11:11:

“So, am I saying that Israel stumbled so badly that they will never get back up? Certainly not! Rather, it was because of their stumble that salvation now extends to all the non-Jewish people, in order to make Israel jealous and desire the very things that God has freely given them. So if all the world is being greatly enriched through their failure, and through their fall great spiritual wealth is given to the non-Jewish people, imagine how much more will Israel’s awakening bring to us all!” (TPT)

Our very salvation is a gift that provokes Israel to know Jesus. In Matthew 23:39, Jesus says to the Jews “For I tell you, you will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

When the Jewish people gain revelation of Jesus as Savior, He will return! Isn’t this what we are ultimately contending for as revival families? Without the Jewish people the Bridegroom will not receive His Bride in her fullness. This is a call to join together, as Ruth’s, in declaring a Messianic-awakening for this part of our family. May His people be our people!

Interceding as a family for this nation will bring revival acceleration…

We are asking God to awaken His love for Israel in our hearts. Jesus came as a Jewish Man. There are specific Bible verses God has already laid out for us in order to partner with Him in praying for His beloved people (Zechariah 12:10; Psalm 80:3,7,19; Romans 11:26-27; Isaiah 43:5-7, Jeremiah31:7-10; Psalm 14:2; Ezekiel 36:23-25; etc.) As we pray out God’s heart for Israel it will cause alignment for world-wide revival.

While continuing to give ourselves wholeheartedly to Jesus, we are asking God for opportunities that will naturally provoke our Jewish friends unto their own revelation of Messiah—Jesus.

Dear Family, revival lies un-sustained without the house of Israel. For the sake of the Kingdom let the Ruth’s arise! No family left behind.

 

Prayer Points:

-Cry out for the salvation of Israel and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit among the youth and young adult generation.

-Ask God to restore His heart for Israel in America and among the nations. Ask for “One New Man In Christ,” the unity of the Gentile and Jew.

-Decree God’s promises for Israel’s safety and victory as they remain under constant threat from terrorists.

-Pray for Aliyah the Jewish immigration to Israel (Isaiah 43:5-7; Jeremiah 31:7-10; Deuteronomy 30:1-5; Zechariah 12:10). 

Discovering God Through Family

Discovering God Through Family

My freshmen year of college I went to a non- traditional university. I like to describe it as my “hippie school.” My experience was unique in a lot of ways because this school created a a safe haven where misfits could finally belong. My first few months there I found it hard to make friends. In retrospect I realize, this was because I judged a lot of people for being different from what society told me they should be. However, as time went on, I really had to learn how to separate the  prejudices I had, from the  individual in front of me. Just because someone dresses a certain way or looks a certain way does not define  who they are. I was forced to look beyond what my naked eyes told me and to look at the heart. This started my journey of pursuing one person's heart versus lumping people together with my preconceived misconceptions. Little did I know that God was doing a deep work in my own heart. He was using the most unlikely people to teach me something about the family of God.

In Psalm 68, God promises to“place the lonely in families” not just so that we can belong, but so that we can discover God together. When God made us, He made us unique in His image. Meaning, we all have a piece of God to offer to another person and each person's piece of God is different. If I choose to judge a person, I forfeit my right to encounter God in that unique way and therefore miss out on an opportunity to discover more of his nature.

So how do I cultivate family on a weekly basis? Jesus taught us the perfect way to do this right before He was lead to the cross. Luke 22 says “He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them(v.19). Jesus gave us a simple strategy to build family and His kingdom on the earth. Give thanks, break bread, and remember Him. When we gather around a table of food, and take time to get to know others, we get to experience pieces of Jesus that we would have never been able to know from a sermon or a worship service. Don’t get me wrong those things are important, but we need to increase our expectation for Jesus to show up around our tables.

Creating family in the midst of a revival culture has always been an idea I loved so much. Recently I was even challenged to start doing this in my own life. Some friends and I started to invite people from what others would consider a “rough neighborhood” into our home about a year and half ago. The journey that God started me on back in my freshman year of college still to this day continues to play out in a very real way. Now I no longer write people off based on the outward stereotypes that get associated with them. Instead, my solution has been to gather every Sunday night for a meal and to open God’s word with people from very different walks of life. This is how we build family. I have been blown away at the power behind dinner in our home. God shows up in a mighty way. It is not because we have some magic touch, because believe me we don't. It truly is only because of the moment when we committed to building family, we came with the expectation that it would be messy and imperfect. Sure, we have our good and bad days, but Jesus is faithful and family requires commitment. We can't give up on each other even when it gets hard. So we have chosen to look beyond the naked eye and learn together. Building family not only creates a space to belong, but also a place to learn more about God.

The Power of Family

The Power of Family

We all have experienced family in some way, shape, or form within our lives. And like me, you probably had a rough patch (or many) in your family over the years. The word family might even trigger negative memories, signaling an alarm of past hurts. On the other hand, the word family may stir good memories in your mind.

The good news is that family doesn’t have to look like our past. The word "family" has become somewhat of a buzzword in our society. Everyone wants to be a family. However, an important question to ask is: how do we truly become a family? Let’s look at the life of Jesus and his disciples. He is the greatest father example ever, and gave us a written account of what family looked like with him in the first church community in Acts.

Here are 5 examples of how the early disciples did family and how we too can live like them based on Acts 2:42-47:

  1. They shared a common union of prayer and worship.

  2. They built relationship around the dinner table.

  3. They gave extravagantly as anyone had need among them.

  4. They grew in the knowledge of God together through the scriptures.

  5. They had fun together.

Here in Raleigh, we have a community of young adults who meet weekly for what we call The Table. For us, this has become our attempt and a learning process of what it looks like to be a family. We gather together every Sunday afternoon to enjoy a home-cooked meal, worship Jesus, and sometimes just play games and have fun.  From this place of friendship and family lifestyle we pray and minister to each other, and give to the needs among us. It has been transformational in the lives of the students that gather! I want to encourage you to learn what it looks like to create a space where people feel safe to participate and experience what it means to feel important and needed in a community. Sometimes it’s not easy to set healthy boundaries that feel inclusive and beneficial to everyone and it can be a struggle to consistently love someone who shows up each week with lists of needs. We don’t always get it right when we are trying to lead a community. It can be hard to confront people for their attitudes, actions, or shortcomings.

However, building community and a culture of family within it is a learning experience that will make you a better leader. Family is messy and hard, but the joy of what comes out of community doesn’t compare to the pain of the process.

At the Table, we have experienced deep friendships and love for one another in just the first semester meeting together. People came in broken and hurting, with deep wounds of regret and rejection and we have watched the Lord heal their hearts. Others have taken up the call to fast and pray for their own families and experience ridiculous breakthroughs, healings, and total life transformation.

However, family doesn’t mean doing more events together, or scheduling lives to overlap, it is a commitment to love and serve those around you more than yourself. You can’t be a family by talking about it more or by doing stuff. It must be a decision to love and be loved, challenge and be challenged, serve and be served and to lay your life down for others.

When we experience family as believers, it causes faith to be stirred in our hearts for God to build the same thing in our own families. My favorite testimony from this past semester is about how God did that in a young woman’s life. She began fasting and praying for revival in her family back in October, asking God for restoration in her mom emotionally, relationally, and physically. Her mom shared with her this past Christmas break that a few weeks after her daughter began fasting, the Holy Spirit convicted her to write a list of unforgiven sins she had committed against her husband. Upon meeting and sharing, the husband, tearfully repented as well and reconciliation began. Her dad related to her not long after that and said, "I don't understand what you are doing but your mom and I have not had a better marriage in 20 years." Wow!

I want to invite you to believe for this in your community, your personal family, and on your campus. That when you focus on family living like the disciples did in the Book of Acts the wonders of God broke out!

Unity and revival starts when we become family.

 

Collegiate Day of Prayer

SAVE THE DATE: February 22nd, 2018

This year, we are believing that #EveryCampus in America would be adopted in prayer and prayed for by name on the Collegiate Day of Prayer. On Thursday Feb 22nd, join believers, young and old, across the nation as we unite in prayer for revival on college campuses and another great awakening in America. 

Will you adopt the college campuses in your region and pray on Feb22nd?

The Blessing of Fathers & Mothers

The Blessing of Fathers & Mothers

I remember a few years ago, when I was listening to preachers speak of the power of God, I thought to myself that I could not possibly do what they have done. I could not possibly live how they lived or believe how they believed. However, I couldn’t leave myself in a place of disbelief. I did not want to stay in disbelief especially because I hated seeing people suffer and not being able to do anything about it. This is probably why I found myself at a school that specializes in teaching about the supernatural power of God. It was this heart wrenching pain that was present due to my inability to see lives transformed that led to all of the healings and miracles that I’ve experienced now. However, in my early days of this journey I was missing something extremely vital that would empower me to walk in signs, wonders, and loving well. This thing I was missing was something that I couldn’t forge myself or create; it was something that had to be handed to me from someone else’s life.

 

“As a son or daughter of the King, you don’t pray for authority you pray from it,” said Bill Johnson as he was teaching our class one day. Then, he proceeded to share a story of praying for someone and commanding the pain to leave that person’s body. After he commanded the pain to leave, it did. But for me to do that…uhhh I don’t think so. Although my heart was burning through my chest to see that happen through me, I noticed a tangible gap between what he was doing and what I was. About a hundred rows of seats and a large stage in an auditorium that seats over 2000 people. Yeah. Gap.

 

But God. Always gotta love those “but God moments.” It just so happened that a friend of mine came up to me the very same day that Bill spoke. She approached me right at the end of the day, and we chatted for a brief few moments. As the conversation was beginning to come to end, she remarked that she has had pain in one of her knees. I asked her if I could pray for it. “Of course!” Was my response, although not thinking much would happen. Then I laid my hand on her knee and said, “In Jesus name, I command you to be healed and for all pain to leave.” Ooops. That wasn’t supposed to come out like that. Then, I started watching my friend walking around, jogging, and even jumping on her bad knee. There were two possibilities: either she liked antagonizing her pain or something good was ACTUALLY happening. She was pain free.  As the sheer joy and excitement started drawing itself over my friends face, there was a sense of awe and wonder as my friend began running in circles. The pain was gone. Free of a knee pain but moments she had before. As those words even began slowly creeping out of my own mouth, I knew that it was by grace that I even had spoken them. Those words were not me or something I have ever prayed before then. It was almost as if in that very moment of praying, I zoomed outside of myself as that prayer slipped out and thought, “Oh no Josh you aren’t praying that. Ohhh boy. What if this person doesn’t get healed. You will definitely look stupid. And they will walk away still as miserable and hopeless as they were before.” But by and through grace, grace spoke through me not only to heal the person in front of me, but to teach me power was something everyone could walk in.

 

This grace was a grace that was imparted (something given from one generation to another and/or taught from one person to another). It was stewarded and fought for. This grace was cherished. What Bill fought for himself personally, he taught and imparted freely to others. This story reflects the wisdom from the story of Isaac, Esau, and Jacob when it was time for Isaac to give his blessing to his eldest son. However, each son knew that when Isaac was going to declare his blessing it would radically shift the future of the son who it was spoken over. Now Jacob, through cunning, went to his blind father disguised as Esau and the father Isaac blessed and spoke words over the future of Jacob. Words! These simple utterances from the mouth of a forefather that had authority transformed Jacob from just a son to a person who would be later recognized as a nation! This is marvel! The marvel is that fathers and mothers have authority to transform children into nations. If the impartation of blessing is not passed on, it will be lost.

 

This is how families steward revival. Revival can happen when people who have fought for revival in the past, prophecy their blessing into the next generation. Many revivals have occurred throughout history, but how many can you name that were passed on through the next generation? Who knows, maybe your next prophetic blessing will transform the destiny of a person into a nation!

 

In conclusion, make sure to respond! Every message someone preaches that carries revelation invites us into a place of responding to Jesus. This is because revelation is the revealing of Jesus Himself. The challenge for us is to surround ourselves with leaders who believe in us more than we do. I want to invite you to do the following: Seek, Submit, and Serve. As you do this you will align yourself to with Heaven's mandate over your life. 

 

Written by Joshua Densmore, Ignite Movement

 

How Family Fuels Revival

How Family Fuels Revival

Family has been under attack! For decades, America has been under the constant barrage of separation of families. As Christians, it is not only our privilege, but also our duty to turn the tide of the cultural norms that much of America has accepted. It starts with the utterance of our very own voice. Truth does not stop being truth even when it is silent, and today we need to trumpet  that truth with a loud voice. One that says it with arms spread wide open towards hatred and transforms it into love, acceptance, and belief in one another.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.
— Hebrews 10:24-25

It is clear to see in this scripture the fruit of family. It produces passion towards God, love in action, and encouragement towards each other. However, with the void of family comes the lack of loving nourishment. As I travel across America and see this generation of young people both on campuses and in the workplace, I'm burden to see them come into a place of revival that has healthy family life at its core. This generation carries a deep longing to both belong and to be a part of something that’s larger and more significant then themselves. The answer to this heart wrenching cry is family.

What is family?

Family is a place of safety, empowerment, and support. Throughout scripture, we discover that family is the environment of Heaven. This was and is the mission of Jesus – reconciling men to God through the spirit of adoption.

There are many amazing things I can say about the blessing of being a part of a spiritual family, but one of the most significant marking of true gospel communities is its missional identity. What does missional identity mean? Glad you asked! Missional identity is simply a family of believers united around a common vision and commitment to live missional (a life pursing other's with the love of Jesus), both personally and corporately. These are spiritual families that change the world. They are families that not only live life together, but live life on missions together. 

Growing from a simple community to a missional family? 

I want to share three keys of thinking that I’ve discovered from communities who have gone beyond group meetings to missional families. These families are seeing radical testimonies of personal transformation, salvations, miracles, and breakthrough!

  1. Everyone is a missionary. In missional families, evangelism isn’t just a weekly event, it’s a lifestyle. People in missional families are challenged to live with a mission’s mindset in all areas of life and to view their campus, city, and workplace as mission fields.
  2. Intercession looks like praying for people by name. In missional families, intercessory prayer (prayer on behalf of others) is focused and specific. It looks like writing down names of people, asking the Father for His thoughts for them, and declaring it over their lives. If you want to change how you see someone, pray for them.
  3. Gatherings are unto a purpose. Families come together to gather around the presence of God. This becomes more than just a night of worship and song. It becomes a commissioning gathering. We gather and then we send people out to reach the world with fresh boldness and power. What a powerful worship gathering!   

My prayer for you is pursue a missional lifestyle that invites people to become family. Pray this with me:

Father give me a missional heart to pursue my lost friends and those I encounter daily with your love and the power of the gospel.

Written by Niko Peele, Ignite Movement