Archive | January, 2013

Gold – A Personal Family Anecdote

19 Jan

A very short story from my family history four generations ago regarding the power and misuse of gold.

(An excerpt from Supernatural Provision book)

Here’s a true story about gold which happened in my family history. My great-great-uncle was a farmer, but he had a penchant for going on gambling binges from time to time. Now his wife had no fondness for such excesses and was very put out each time he ventured off unannounced to seek his fortune. You see, he could be gone for weeks without a word regarding his whereabouts while she was left to face the bill collectors and hopefully make a bid for more time. He always eventually came home.

As the story goes, one time he returned and entered the front room where he found his wife sitting quietly occupied with her knitting. Her stony face and the icy absence of a greeting were clear warnings that all was not well. With measured approach, he walked up to her and began to toss one gold coin after another into the skirt which stretched across her lap. As each coin clunked into the others, the icy atmosphere gradually but steadily warmed into a tolerable summer day. My father chuckled every time he told us this story about his great uncle.

Let it be known, our family does not advocate gambling, but this one anecdote illustrates the power that gold has exerted on people’s hearts for millennia. Gold in itself is neither bad nor good, but the intents and motives of humankind’s heart make it a tool for good or evil. Isn’t it interesting how something so inert and base can be either luxurious and regal or destructive and evil?

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Excerpt from SP book: Discovering Your Treasure

5 Jan

Let’s talk a little about how to discover your treasure. If it’s inside of you, how do you find it? For starters, ask yourself these prompts:

What experiences made you feel really alive?
• You couldn’t sleep for thinking about it the night before.
• You haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.
• You refer to that experience as a high water mark in your life.
• If time, money, and fear weren’t an issue, what would you love to do the rest of your life?
• Have you ever experienced tears of joy over what you were doing?

What have you done that caused unusual response from people you influenced?
• People profusely expressed their gratitude to you.
• People told you how it transformed their lives.
• People told you how it adjusted a deep attitude or broke a stronghold.
• People offered you money or reciprocation of favor.

What is it that always seems to just work for you?
• People and things just come together uncannily.
• Money or practical issues come together when you do this.
• Unusual grace and freedom from difficulty make it easy.
• Your spirit, mind, and strength seem empowered beyond normal.

What comes up repetitively in prophecies over you wherever you go?
• No matter where you go, do you seem to get picked for a prophetic word?
• When you transcribe the words, do you find a familiar pattern emerging?
• Is it an activity? Is it a grace? Is it a skill? Is it a commission?

Do recurring dreams cause you to wake with unusual passion to live your dream?
• Have you written down your dreams? What pattern is emerging?
• What kind of setting? What kind of people group? What are you doing?
• Have you experimented with recreating this setting and doing this activity?

I imagine that something clicked for you in these prompts. Next, you’ll want to begin to purposefully experiment with this activity, skill, or service that came to mind to see if it gets easier and more effective as you exercise it. If it gets easier and more effective, and if you find it deeply fulfilling, then you’ll want to study it and pursue it with the same commitment as if you were going to college. This is quite likely your treasure. In the premise I’m presenting, this treasure will afford the best potential to inspire you and provide for you in life. Why? Because it is the treasure God placed in you, and He has a special plan for it. There is a void in this world that truly needs your specific treasure, and God will give you the grace to empower you to fulfill that void. Your treasure is designed to bring God glory by answering the problems of your world. And if you’re wondering where to apply your treasure, just look for the needs of others that are within the scope of your treasure. Many of your opportunities will be found in solving the needs of others.

You must find and comply with Heaven’s design for your treasure, because only in that connection with Heaven’s plan will you get the life source necessary to soar with this treasure. If we live pursuing our treasure our hearts will grow and we will thrive in life! (Excerpt from SP book)

To secure a copy of Supernatural Provision click here

Luke 18’s Unjust Judge… God or Satan?

5 Jan

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.  Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’  And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”  Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.” — Luke 18:1-6

Widow perspective

The prevailing opinion has been that we should liken ourselves to the widow… and that we should plead with the unjust judge (who represented God) until He relented because our unceasing persistence wore Him down.   I think we mostly believed this perspective because we were taught it… and because we didn’t see God as a gracious and benevolent God.  We mostly saw Him as austere, hard of hearing and not that fond of us because of our sinfulness (how could He ever even look on sin).  And the fact that we didn’t receive answers to our petitions as fast as we would like, only fueled our erroneous perspective.  In this perspective God’s delay seems to confirm that He’s fairly determined to not give us anything… and that He’s not even aware of our petty needs because He’s so preoccupied with more important things.

Break it down

1. Our old perspective says that we’re the widow (who in the old Hebrew culture had no rights, whatsoever)… but this can’t be accurate because we know that we’re the Bride of Christ.

2. We’ve believed that the unjust judge was God… but this can’t be true for several reasons.  Twice Jesus emphasizes that the judge did not “fear God nor regard man”… which makes it impossible for this to represent our God.

3. Another erroneous perspective says that God is strongly disinterested and even resistant to us… which is antithetical to everything we know about God’s big benevolent heart toward us.

So why did we ever believe this diabolic perspective?

Satan, the unjust judge!

Now if we just think about it for a moment, who would want us to have this distorted and diminished perspective of God?  Could it be the one who hates you and me… and hates God?  Could it be Satan?  Well, of course it is!  You see, he has perpetrated another lie on us.  He’s accomplished the degradation of God in our eyes exactly as he did with Eve when he asked, “Did God say…” causing Eve to doubt God’s good intentions toward her… and eventually leading her to being deceived.  Satan’s intention was to redefine God into his image and deceive us, too.  Satan has never stopped this ploy throughout all of history.  He’s a master at undermining God’s goodness.  You see if he can’t get us to blatantly sin, then he’ll get us to believe a lie about God which will weaken our confidence, security and faith in God.  Satan wants us to see ourselves as victims (the widow), rather than “more than conquerors through Him who loves us” and as those who have been duly authorized with Heavenly authority to speak into any terra firma situation which may be resisting God’s Kingdom in our lives.

It works like this: when we buy into the perspective of a disinterested and resistant God, we gravitate to the begging mode.  There is no faith in the begging mode and of course, “whatever is not of faith is sin”.  Then our begging mode leads to whining and reciting all our ills to our unjust-judge-god that Satan has created for us.  Satan’s smile and pleasure increases as we focus on (‘worship’) the problems more than the Problem Solver… and we lose sight of our authority to be the co-problem-solvers.  At this point, Satan has now successfully voided our effectiveness with God because “according to your faith be it unto you” and since we believe that He is disinterested and apathetic, any real faith we may have in God is now nearly nil.  Doesn’t this just sound awful when we lay it out in front of us like this?  Guess who wins in this scenario?  The perpetrator of the lie… Satan, of course.  He’s the unjust judge!  He hopes we won’t grasp Jesus’ exposé of Satan’s kingdom in these first 6 verses, because the truth is that all of Satan’s subjects are widow-like… having no rights… and are the focus of his hate.  He just hoped that we (like Eve) would fall for his lie and worship him.

We must not bow down or buy-in to the paradigm of verses 1–6.  This paradigm is the M.O. and tactic of Satan’s regime… it’s his protocol… it’s what NOT to do!  This paradigm is NOT for us!

The Contrast

So now that Jesus has just exposed Satan’s tactics, listen to the contrast Jesus gives of the M.O. of the Kingdom in the next two verses.

And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?  I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” — Luke 18:7, 8

Here Jesus contrasts the old perspective of the widow (verses 1-6) with a new perspective of our position with God… here He calls us “His own elect” – not widow.  The contrast is that if a beggar widow could extract some kind of response out of hate-filled Satan, how much more will our Loving God “speedily” avenge us.  You see, the contrast is 180 degrees polarized.  It’s as opposite as it gets.  And in the last sentence of verse 8, Jesus makes the point so relevant and personal.  Each time Jesus “comes” to you and I, will He find our hearts in the faith-less-widow-mode motivated by sheer desperation and pain begging the unjust judge (Satan) for some relief from his oppression… or motivated by the faith-filled, in-love heart of a Bride who is confidently assured that we are the apple of our Father’s eye and whose delight it is to give us the Kingdom?

Conclusion

We’re choosing to embrace the latter perspective thus circumventing the pain and curse that Adam and Eve experienced.  We believe that God is really good and has a full heart to quickly respond.  Never again will we equate ourselves with the widow who had no rights or favor such that we stoop to begging for a morsel from the lessor god who Satan intended to create in our eyes.  O, he thought he had us… but we’re breaking free into the favored and royal status of kings unto our God… kings who sit on the Throne with Christ as co-reigners with Him… NOW.

Can you say… God is not an unjust judge… and I am not a widow.  Say… I am the highly favored Bride of Christ and a duly authorized and empowered king unto my God who has been honored to co-reign with Him.

— MLH

 

Quote: Take The Snake By It’s Tail

2 Jan

(This article is a recent daily inspiration from Joseph Prince)

Exodus 4:2–3     So the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.” And He said, “Cast it on the ground.” So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.

God wants to take the natural things in your life and make them supernaturally blessed. He does this by asking you to give Him what you already have in the natural, and He will do the supernatural.

That is why the Lord told Moses to cast his rod on the ground. And when Moses cast his rod on the ground, which represents him giving the rod to the Lord, that same rod became the rod of God. With that rod, the Red Sea was opened. (Exodus 14:16) And when that rod was used to hit a rock, water flowed out of the rock. (Exodus 17:5–6) It was no longer a natural rod, but the supernatural rod of God!

But why did the rod become a serpent when Moses cast it to the ground?

Moses never realized that there was a “snake” in his rod. You see, because of the fall of man, there is a touch of the curse — a snake — in every natural thing, including your career, natural strength, talents and ministry.

So how do you deal with the “snake” that is in all the natural things in your life?

First, cast it to the Lord. Then, do what the Lord told Moses next: “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail”. (Exodus 4:4)

Now, it could be fatal to take a snake by its tail because it can easily turn its head around and bite you. So why did God say that?

When you take it by the tail, God will take the head! He wants you to let Him handle the head, and not grab it or hold on to it tightly in fear or self-effort. That is how you see your career, strength, talents and ministry supernaturally blessed.

Beloved, there is a snake, a touch of the curse, in everything in the natural. But give what is natural to the Lord and see the touch of the curse replaced with the supernatural touch of God!

by Joseph Prince

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Additional insights by MLH:

A rod symbolizes our own authority or strength of influence. Our ‘rod’ of authority could be expressed anywhere; reputation, ministry, relationships, material possessions, family… But God says in Zech 4:6, “It’s not by (our) power or might, but by My Spirit says the Lord.” He asks us to lay down our own rights and to be able to rule (by grace exercise self-control) over these areas, then He can shine through our unique and personal giftings… and give us more. Moses had to lay down his rod (personal symbol of authority) then God displayed it in much greater power.