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Ascended life possibilities

17 Oct

Mostly, Christianity has relegated the benefits of the Gospel to salvation, eternal life, healing, Baptism of Holy Spirit, prophecy and a few miracles.  But Scripture cites many more exciting… even bazaar… benefits that Jesus and the apostles modeled for you and me to emulate.

Let’s see: disappearing, levitating, walking on water, showing up in other forms, transfiguration, translation, looking like a ghost, talking with OT saints, walking through walls… just to name a few.  These… and more, are all plainly and inescapably recorded in our Bibles!  And since Jesus is the Pattern Son, then we owe our Father the courtesy of at least asking Him about the relevancy and possibility of these things manifesting in our lives today!

So, for several years, I’ve been identifying a growing list of Ascended Life possibilities.  Here is an overview of 25 of these possibilities… just for starters.

Then, at the end of the video accompanying this blog post, we ‘moved right into’ Col 3:4.  We observed what kind of glory Jesus or Father were presenting to us and then ‘put it on’.  We asked Him what kind of glory He’d like to give us, that we didn’t know about yet.  It was very tender and effective.

— MLH

I present these ascended life possibilities in a 35-minute video here: https://youtu.be/U1BkEMyBmcg 

Download the notes here: https://www.dpmkc.org/insights/Ascended%20Life%20Possibilities.docx 

I saw satan fall like lightning

17 Oct

When Jesus sent out the 70 and they came back elated at the stupendous results, He responded, “I saw satan fall like lightning.”  What did He mean by that statement?

“And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” – Lk 10:18

I believe He meant that the success the 70 experienced had shattered long-standing fortresses in their minds.  They now knew God was real, was big, was here and was moving through them.  Never again would they say that God was afar off or not relevant!  Diabolic strongholds had told them that God was a distant uncaring God.  But these megaliths had just crumbled to the ground… and great was the fall thereof!!

The father of lies had created lie-based strongholds in their minds and had tyrannically ruled over those erroneous strongholds as a jeering squatter-king.  But he came a-tumbling down in this life-altering experience. Yes, in a moment, he fell like lightning… decisively and permanently!!  His castle was irreparably destroyed.

In the same way, outdated and erroneous strongholds between our ears (mindsets and belief systems) are quickly coming down as we discover a fascinating and dynamic world ‘above the line’.  New and upgraded Heaven-based strongholds are being constructed in our belief systems.  Ooo, and do they feel good… and right!

Thank You, God!!!

— MLH

I present these thoughts in a 6-minute video on our ALC video channel. https://youtu.be/BXrOzw8B7YA

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Good dogs go to Heaven

8 Aug


Stories to Inspire

My friend Sully is a down to earth creative. He loves God as well as anyone, but isn’t exactly your garden variety cookie cutter church go-er. His style is somewhat maverick and very industrious. But God took him by surprise one evening in a group Heavenly experience. There were several great Heavenly encounters that evening, but I think Sully’s impacted me most deeply because Sully wasn’t exactly Sully, when he shared his story. His eyes wouldn’t stop leaking… and his sharing was labored and jerky, between deep waves of emotion. One needed to look no further to be solidly convinced of the powerful nature of Sully’s encounter. He was tearfully happy and a much free-er man than I’ve ever seen. For Sully, Father’s highly personalized Heavenly encounter was unforgettable and life changing.

O Lord, for many more Heavenly encounters!!!

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Good dogs go to Heaven

I was raised to believe that going to Heaven was going to be really cool when it happened.  I was told, “You’ll be with Jesus, the 12 Apostles and all the saints.” Wow that’s cool, is Judas gonna be there, dad?  He was an apostle, right?” Yes he was son; but he got cut from the team, and we made a trade with the Pharisees for Saint Paul”… You’ll be surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, too.” Okay, are they like fluffy clouds or more like stormy clouds?  “No son, the cloud of witnesses is all those who have gone to heaven before you.” Oh, so Grampa will be there? “Yes he will”.  That’s great, I miss him.  What about Teddy (our dog that got killed by a car) and Toots (the turtle whose death was caused by eating beyond his shell capacity)?  No son, only people will be in heaven.  You see son, animals don’t have eternal souls like we do.  Oh…uh….okay.  And so, that was my introduction to Heaven.  Oh, one more thing, you had to be dead to go there.

Fast forward about fifty years and my friend Mark is in my barn with about 20 other people asking all of us if we want to “spirit travel, and go to heaven”. I no longer had a child’s view of Heaven, which was rather unfortunate, because Mark told us that children have a much easier time of spirit traveling because their head doesn’t get in the way of their “golden imagination”.  I didn’t think I’d be going to heaven on Mark’s Spirit bus, with my thick head; but I figured, what the h…eaven, I’ll give it a try.

And so, the journey began, with Mark gently encouraging us to let go of our earthly tethers; and enter through the door… “Jesus is the Door”.  Those were the last words I remember him saying, my mind slipped it’s adult mooring and I was a child of God, wandering in His green and golden Heaven.  I found myself (a much younger me, maybe 13 or so) wandering carefree in what appeared to be an endless green field, on a bright and beautiful sunny day. Suddenly, out of nowhere, my favorite dog, Jedidiah was there with me. He was jumping out of his skin with joy, wagging not just his tail; but wagging his entire body. His excitement was all consuming and as I fell to my knees to hug him, he intensified his affection with sloppy wet face licks for his master. We were having such a joyous reunion, that time seemed to stand still; and all that remained was joy, pure unabashed joy.

I should tell you that I was in my 50’s, not a boy when Jedi was my dog. Also, you should know that Jedi was a ranch dog and didn’t like going to the vet, AT ALL; but when he started acting sluggish we took him anyway. We were heartbroken when our vet delivered the devastating news, our young, ‘wonderboy’ had inoperable cancer. A tumor was growing inside him and the best we could do was to keep him comfortable until it was time to put an end to his suffering.  So when the time came, rather than add to his suffering by taking him to the vet, I took it upon myself to end his life. I’m not a stranger to killing; but putting down my favorite dog was a bitter pill to swallow. 

I’ve been around joy junkies for a while now; and to be honest, I never really trusted them. Haha. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t judge them for their “drunk in Spirit” behavior, I just simply didn’t have a clue as to what the heck they were doing or talking about.  Well, that little trip to heaven really flipped the script on me.  NOW I have an understanding of the joy they are talking about; but I have to say that little 3 letter word is woefully inadequate to describe my experience.  

When Mark asked if anyone wanted to share their experience to the group, I was very reluctant and finally, under the unction of the Holy Spirit, tried to explain what happened. However, I was so saturated by this emersion in God’s bottomless ocean of JOY, that salt water was springing from my eyes! Now, if those tears had letters or words, I’m sure they would tell you about this level of joy a whole lot better than me. I simply cannot find adequate words to describe it; and for 6 months I’ve tried! The closest I can get is “Heavenly Joy”… and I pray you and I get to have some more of it before we get there! – SS

–MLH

Born again, again!

27 May

Over the last few years our ‘above-the-line’ emphasis steadily yields rich and inspiring breakthroughs. Significant new Scriptural building blocks are steadily being added to our belief system which establishes the framework of our expanding faith. And this has led us to making many exciting discoveries in fresh territories of Heavenly possibility.

Expansion… Truly, our spirit and soul were created with this need… to EXPAND. Think of it; everything – plant, animal and human – wants to expand… to conquer… to propagate… to grow. Sadly, if we don’t grow, then something deep inside begins to be agitated. But after a while, if we don’t grow, that agitation begins to subside and inwardly we ‘dumb down’ until we ‘go to sleep’.

Sadly, I think this is the condition of much of humanity… including many believers. If you think about it, this could be one of the applications of Ezekiel’s ‘valley of dry bones’ (Ezk 37). Remember, God asked him, “Can these dry bones live?” Those bones gave evidence of some semblance of life in the past, but there was no fresh life now. Ezekiel had to call the bones together, the sinews and skin on them and the breath of life into them before they could stand up and live again.

God is recreating that same ‘rebirth’ dynamic for many believers all across the world. He’s inviting our soul-man into a Heavenly positioning. And He’s validating our spirit-man as the rightful leader worthy of taking us into the Heavenly realities (under Holy Spirit’s leadership, of course!). This revelatory process is opening up powerful new growth and expansion possibilities. An awakening is happening which is creating new zest and joy for life. It’s an awakening similar to John’s revelatory experience when he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day and he heard a voice say through an open door, “Come on up here” (Rev 4:1).

The invitation, “Come on up here,” is now being heralded across the globe to many hearts that may have been partially dormant but were sincerely hungry for more. In the past, as below-the-line earth-dwellers, it felt like we had ‘maxed out’ the frontiers of formalized religion. We didn’t want to admit it, but we wondered why we felt bored… or why religion didn’t satisfy like it used to. It was because God’s grace was shifting, highlighting yet another of His awe inspiring dreams that He has held until the perfect timing for His people. And now… a large door has been opened granting access to regions ‘above-the-line’… in the Heavenlies.


Jesus said in John 10:9, “He shall go in and out and find pasture.” He made it so easy… and so rewarding. The time has come… the Heavenlies are accessible. With the sentiment of the two faith-filled Promise Land spies, we say, “Let’s possess our inheritance.”

Can you hear the bones rattling together? Can you feel the fresh life of the Heavenlies being breathed into your heart and soul? I can! Honestly, these last few years have been some of the freshest and most inspiring of all of my life! It feels like this is what I was born for. Actually, it’s like I’ve been born again, again. You watch, very soon, many will say like I’ve said many times, “I feel like I came to the Kingdom for such a time as this!”

For more, visit our DPM/ALC YouTube channel

— MLH

Jesus rewrote the story

18 Mar

Stories to Inspire

This story may not be so much different from some other great ministries such as; Sozo, Theophostic, Healing Prayer or Emanuel Prayer…. all of which are methodologies of healing problematic issues in our past.  But in most of those practices, it requires a ‘coach’ to assist you on this journey into our healing.

Isa 2:3 says that He (Himself) will teach us of His ways and we shall learn to walk in His paths AS we learn to ascend to the Mountain of the Lord.   Did you catch that?  We must ascend… that’s UP to to His territory.  Thank God for people who come alongside us to help us into breakthroughs.  We’re very grateful!  But what would it be like if we were led by Jesus Himself?  

I believe this is just one of the many benefits of learning to ascend into the Heavenlies.  And that’s just for starters!!! 

Listen to Karen’s recent story of how Jesus lovingly cared for her as He personally escorted her back in time to a place of a lot of pain for a young 12-year-old girl.  He extracted that pain from her memories.  It reminds us again that He wants to and is very capable of restoring all things in our lives.   

Let’s let Him.

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Jesus rewrote the story

“Recently I was invited to go through the ‘Door’ of heaven (John 10:9).  Here’s my experience.”

“Once I walked through the Door I heard water gushing and I saw a waterfall, high cliffs and beauty all around.”

“Jesus came to me and said, ”Let me love you,” and beckoned me to follow Him.  He led me to a scene in my past where I was recovering from spinal fusion surgery.  I was in a very hot and depressing room in a Children’s Hospital in Nebraska.  My Mom was in the room with me.”

“When Jesus walked into the room it was suddenly filled with beautiful flowers and a lovely fragrance.  He motioned for me (adult Karen) to crawl into the bed with young Karen and hold her.”

“One by one He led me back into many memories in that hospital where I stayed for 3 months.  There were many dark memories that happened in that hospital to myself and others.  I was in that hospital 400 miles away from home at age 12 without my family — except for a couple of visits from them.  Each memory we walked through, He transformed into a fun party.  Every day became a big party in the ward with 30 other girls between the ages of 12-18.  Some days we had our toes painted and some days we had our fingernails painted.  We had angels attending us in a loving and kind way.  There was an atmosphere of great joy in the place.  Jesus rewrote the story… not only for me, but for every girl in that ward.”Jesus rewrote the story

“There is truly a transformation of joy happening inside of me because of this encounter.  I love how Jesus took the memories and experiences and redeemed them as only He can.  As a result, these memories are not holding me as a victim any longer!!  Now, when I remember this season in my childhood I feel a sense of joy instead of dread.” – KD

— MLH

Ascended Life Community (ALC) School

17 Mar

Dear Friends

You may know by now that many of us have been inspired by some fresh new spiritual frontiers in the last few years.  Actually, these spiritual frontiers are not really new, they’re just being rediscovered.

Have you noticed that much of our Christianity is focused on what’s ‘below the line’ – the ‘line’ between Heaven and earth.  A large part of below-the-line focus has been on behavioral issues and spiritual disciplines, etc—i.e., compliance with the Ten Commandments.   Don’t misunderstand me!!  These are all good… they help keep us out of the ‘ditches’ of life.  But it seems as though Jesus’ desire for us, is for something far more than just staying out of the ditches.  What does He really want?  Try this…

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me…” – John 17:24

Doesn’t it sound like Heaven is where He wants us to be?  But, is that possible?  Well… this next verse implies that it’s doable for all of us – now!

“No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” – John 3:13

Did you hear what Jesus said?  He is “in Heaven” AND still in His physical body – AT THE SAME TIME!  Evidently, for us to be with Him in Heaven doesn’t mean that our ‘ticker’ has to stop or that we have to physically leave earth.  We can experience Heaven while still in this physical body. 

That may be a radical new thought for you… or maybe you’ve been experiencing this reality for years, but this revelation is the starting place of a fascinating adventure we’ve been on for the last few years.  Together with some amazing friends, we’ve made crazy cool discoveries about ‘relocating’ to the Heavenlies and we have very tangible stories to show for it.  The truth is, it’s been one of the most exciting times of my Christian walk with God.  And the Ascended Life Community (ALC) would like to share it with you!

So we’re announcing…

ALC school – via Zoom – free!

This Saturday, March 20 we will begin a twice-monthly Saturday 10 AM Zoom (the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month).  We will focus on ‘ascended life’ (Isa 2:2-3) and new creation (II Cor 5:17) realities… and many exciting related topics.  Each time we gather, we’ll 1) share stories 2) focus on an ascended life topic, 3) initiate an activation and 4) debrief.  ALC school is open to all who are interested.  Feel free to send this invitation to others.

Here’s a 10-minute outtake from a recent ALC meeting which gives a brief overview of what our Ascended Life Community is focused on.

What is ALC? A brief overview – https://youtu.be/AqYNXYmt6Og

If you are interested, simply send me an email (below) and I’ll send you the Zoom connection info for this Saturday.

Our love and blessings!!

Mark & Debbie Hendrickson
hendrickson@dpmkc.org
Ascended Life Community (ALC)
in association with 
Dwelling Place Ministries (DPM)

Go back and remake your choice

28 Feb

Stories to Inspire

Have you ever had a regret in your past that you wished you could go back and do it right?  Of course… I think most of us have.  What if there was a way to do just that?

1.  Is it Biblical to go back in time?   Can we have any influence over something so pervasive as TIME?

Paul admonishes us to “redeem the time”.  Most of us probably think that means to just work harder or more diligently.  And I imagine that is good for starters but I’m confident that there is more latitude for interpretation of this verse.  Here are just a few references to changes of time in our Bibles.

“Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” – Eph 5:15-16

“And another king shall rise up… and he will intend to change times and the law…” – Dan 7:25

Sun went backward ten steps for Hezekiah – II Kngs 20:9-11

“So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the people had revenge upon their enemies.  Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.” – Josh 10:13

2. So how can I change things back in time?  How can I change things that seem buried in my past? 

Well, for starters check out a post on my blog of how a daughter was physically healed without knowing that her mother went back in time andrewrote the script.”

And now, check out Donna’s story as she remakes a choice in an event that happened many decades before.
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Go back and remake your choice

“A few years ago I read Nancy Ravenhill’s story and was impressed with how she prayed for Jesus’ help during some abusive times as a child.  Her story reminded me of something that happened to me when I was a little girl.  I wished I could have asked Jesus for help then, but at the time I didn’t know to do that.  Instead, my experience brought fear into my life.”

“Several months after reading Nancy’s book, I heard Patricia King speak at a conference.  She said that Jesus, as our redeemer, “buys back and reestablishes”.  She said, “If there is an area you have remorse over, go back into the memory with Jesus.  Repent, receive forgiveness.  Then make the right choice.  He can then fix and redeem the situation.””

“I decided to go back to my childhood experience and remake my choice, which I didn’t know how to make when I was young.”

“What happened—more than 50 years ago—was that I “saw” a man in my closet, an old man wearing a suit.  I was afraid of him and afraid to get out of bed.  My mom came, opened the closet, and showed me that no one was there.  But the fear remained throughout my childhood and into adulthood.  Looking back on this incident through the years I always saw that man in the closet.”

“I went back in time in my imagination to the experience with the intention to make a better choice than I made as a little girl.  I told Jesus I was sorry that I didn’t ask for His help back then.  I asked Him to help me and to take care of the man in my closet.  It was that simple.  The next part was not a product of my imagination.  I saw Jesus angrily dropkick that man right out of the house.  Gone for good!  I knew Jesus was not happy about what had happened to me, and that too was healing.  From then till now I see only an empty closet.” – Donna

Informed Prophetic Intercession

15 Feb

Recently my friend Earl Ackley, sent a communique to his followers and he used the term, informed prophetic intercession.  That resonated so deeply with me.  I love that phrase!  It connotes that before someone speaks, they have heard first.  It sounds like our ‘business’ of prayer is maturing.

I believe that intercession is getting a brand new definition in this era.  To me, it used to mean ‘petition loud’… but it’s changing to: ‘declare AFTER hearing‘.

As we know, we can’t truly be prophetic unless we’ve been informed… because true Biblical faith only comes by being informed… “faith comes by hearing“.   And once we’ve heard, then we have a “substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not yet seen”.   We can speak with the assurance and confidence that our words are the same as Heaven’s words.  

I feel the pleasure and smile of our Father upon us all as we mature in our hearing first, and then in our capacity to prophesy as “oracles of God.” (I Pet 4:11)  His dreams are coming true in and through us.  Wow!!  He’s always wanted to “give you the Kingdom”, but we had to grow up first before He handed over the keys. 

Can’t you just see Father calling the angels and Saints around and pointing at us with righteous pride and saying something like, “Look!  Look!  They’re getting it.  My dream for them is coming to pass.  Let’s all throw a party in the Heavenlies!  It won’t be long, they’ll be as comfortable governing earth from Heaven as they used to be when praying beggar prayers from Earth.  They’re gonna love spending more time in their Heavenly realm than the earthly realm.”  (just like Jesus in Jn 3:13)

It’s empowering and transformative to enter into the delight that our Father is feeling about us as we discover and embrace our inheritance.  It gives new meaning to the verse, “Well done, enter into the joy of the Lord.”

And if I can take it a bit further, I’ll bet Father is notifying Creation, which has been groaning in eager expectation for the emerging of the Sons of God upon the earth.  He’s probably giving Creation a ‘heads-up’, “FYI Creation!  You’re eager expectations are about to be fulfilled.  My sons and daughters are on a good track to discovering their true identity and latent DNA.  And that will mean your liberation, also!” (Rms 8:19-23)

Can you feel the jubilation of our Father?

Earl, you’re onto some VERY GOOD!  We’re advancing in maturity.  We’re becoming ‘mature sons’.  That’s good news.

I declare over each of you; Much grace, easy hearing and powerful declarations… followed by many compelling testimonies!!!!

— MLH

Sacred heart angel

10 Feb

Stories to Inspire

Every good father wants his children to begin to learn his heart and his values and his world.  We proudly introduce our children to the places we grew up and to the important people in our lives.  Our hopes are that in so doing that it will help form a paradigm for them to mature well.

And our Heavenly Father is no different.  Jesus said, “It’s the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom.” – (Lk 12:32)

So how do we become familiar with our Father’s world?  Well, Jesus said that we can’t even get into the Kingdom of Heaven unless we become like a little child.  I think part of becoming like a little child involves learning how to simply recognize our Father’s leading.  If we can learn Father’s voice and respond to it, then we can be assured we’re safe to explore new territories.

Sometimes, I employ a simple activation that usually yields some pretty astounding experiences – sometimes tender tear-filled and powerfully personal… and sometimes hilarious, accompanied with lots of laughter.  God’s ways are way more personal and fun than we ever expected.  This is just one activation that can launch us into a process of wonderful discovery of our Father’s world.
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Sacred heart angel

At The Well – my sister and bro-in-law’s church in the Nashville area – we initiated an activation to become familiar with our angels.  We asked Holy Spirit to put something in our left hand… and with our right hand to take the first name that came to mind.  This would be a child-like ‘first step’ into the discovery of the function and identity of one of our angels.  

My sister Leann, felt like a glass heart was put in her left hand, but then the glass heart turned into a real beating heart.  The first name that came to her mind was ‘Sacred’.  One possible application of those two things is that Leann may have an angel that brings and reveals the Sacred Heart of the Father to her. 

Two days later, Debbie and I gave Leann and Carl their Christmas gifts.  My gift to Leann was a clear 2” glass angel that I brought from KC (see pic).  She gasped in surprise, “Do you know what this is!?”  Honestly, I had no idea of the significance!  She pointed out that the angel is holding a glass heart in its hands and reminded me of what had happened just 2 days before, with her Sacred Heart angel experience.  Then I remembered.  We were both amazed at how God is so good and so personal as He leads us into His world.  He is so fun!!!

— MLH

Overview of 70 years of church worship – So where to from here?

26 Jan

I was born in the ’50s.  My father and father-in-law were pastors… so over my years, I’m happy to say that I’ve participated in almost every spiritual movement.  I’ve been in almost all the styles of church services, from high church, liturgical and evangelical to charismatic, pentecostal and fringe.   I’ve observed staid and stoic worship and experienced the wild and bazaar.  At this point in life, I’m pretty much OK with all of it IF people’s hearts are truly engaged with God as they’re worshiping… which is the main point, after all.

There has been an undeniable evolution of worship content and worship experience during my lifetime.  So I’ve used my perspective to create a little graphic to help explain what I’ve observed over the last 65+ years.

Disclaimer: Obviously, there were many exceptions to this… and this is a perspective derived largely from our Western paradigm.

Click on pic for full resolution

Before the 60s we either sang theology intense wordy hymns… or we sang dreamy folksy Gospel songs about going to Heaven someday in the sweet bye and bye.  Our song lyrics magnified the great ‘gulf’ of separation between us and God, but we at least had a genuine longing for Heaven.  Then in the 60s we began to get ‘nearer’ to God in our lyrics and it felt like we had more access to Him.  Some of the strong proponents of this came through the influence of the FGBMFI, Jesus People and Charismatic Renewal movements.  Those were some awesome times of spiritual awakening.  In our awareness of ‘proximity’ to God, it’s almost like we sang ourselves closer to Him.  Of course, in the big picture, it was God who was drawing us up to Himself… but at least we were following.

This progression continued through the Scripture in Song songs in the 70s and the spontaneous ‘spiritual songs’ in the 80s.  We felt so close to God that we changed many of our lyrics from 3rd person to 1st person perspective… e.g. from “He is good” to “You are good.”  This continued through several movements until somewhere around 2000 it seems like we plateaued in our progress into His Presence.  Holy Spirit’s moving in average church meetings became more sparse.  For whatever reasons – maybe insecurity had something to do with it – we began trading into surfacy temporal things.  When we lost the poignancy of Presence in our worship, trendy things may have been an easy antidote or solace for the loss.

A few of the temporal trends and styles we traded into…

Multimedia, lasers, smoke, animated screens
Professional hired musicians
Exact copy the big-name versions / like on the CD
Many of our songs are the same as a YouTube experience
Same rote song format, arrangements/sounds…
Band driven experience yields a concert atmosphere
which creates spectators in the audience
which leads to boredom for everyone
Leaders are pressed to try the trendy ‘next thing’
gotta stay current, you know
Hip hop, ethnic, rap, etc

Note:  I am NOT saying that any of these by themselves is wrong!!  They each can serve a helpful function.  But as a steady diet… and if the net result of employing these ‘trades’, ends up sacrificing His Presence, then… well, you get the idea.

We thank God for some notable torch-bearers in the last 20 years; Hillsong, Bethel Music and IHOP-KC, to name a few.  Then in the last few years, we saw God shine His light on some new Presence seekers; like Housefires, Worship Mob, Upper Room and United Pursuit, etc.  Hungry hearts who wanted Encounter, had a place to go.

Then in 2020, Covid and politics created a huge upset… but God decided to use it as a reset.  Externally, everything went berserk, but God is so masterful that He can trump evil and make it work for good.  We were admonished to do church online… something we were always told would never suffice for ‘real’ church, before.  So the Church got shaken.  But many people found a new reality in personal worship on the very organic level.  Those people began ‘digging new wells’ and thriving through this unstable time.  Sadly, there are some casualties, too.  We must remember that God promised that everything that could be shaken would be shaken (Hag 2:7, Heb 12:27)… and boy, did it get shaken!

Many ‘social’ churches with a shallow worship experience will have serious struggles to survive.  O, there will always be some churches whose worship will thrive, because much of Jesus’ bride is still in those churches.  And He still loves them very dearly, no matter where they are in their growth continuum!

In order to establish a contrast, I’ll quote a popular song heard on a popular Christian Music radio program.  The lyrics are: “I’m begging you please on bended knee to help me.”  Did you notice any distance between the singer and God?  I know it sounds humble, respectable and religiously acceptable… and to be fair, that is the usual starting sentiment for all prodigals.  But as we grow, those lyrics should never come out of the lips of maturing saints, because our understanding of our Father’s magnanimous love for us drives out all fear.  No need to beg for His attention… EVER!  When fear is dispelled, we begin to believe Him when He tells us of our elevated status with Him… that we’re “seated with Him in Heavenly places” (Eph 2:6).  There’s no need to live afar off… we’re “hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3).  How could we ever have a bad hair day with this kind of reality?!

Shallow worship leaders and shallow worship times will always keep us at a distance from God… which makes us feel the need to beg for everything that is already ours.

So if we’re going to get back into the overall upward trend of the last 60+ years, I think we’ll find that God is inviting us to recommit to Presence Worship and follow His Presence ‘above the line’ into the Heavenlies.  This time, not just in theology or dreamy lyrics, but in experiential reality.  We’re being invited into partnership with God.  No more plaintiff songs/prayers.  No more beggar songs… no more ‘woe is me’ songs.  The Grace of God has worked a wonderfully transformational work in the way we think of and perceive ourselves… and God.  A large door has been opened to discover our true identity and inheritance.

So, no more songs that make us live back in yesterday!  We’re exchanging yesterday’s mindsets that we were just poor humans singing pitiful songs begging a God who was far away, for a morsel or two… we’re trading those songs for songs with lyrics proclaiming confidence in our Father’s love, our Heavenly citizenship (Phil 3:20), our new creation identity (II Cor 5:17), and our co-rulership with Christ (Rms 5:17).

Our worship is beginning to see powerful lyrics that declare Heavenly realities as ours… now!   We won’t have to wait to go to Heaven to experience Heavenly realities.  We’ll sing of our inheritance realized, rather than somewhere afar off in the future.  We will learn how to declare the truth of our status with God rather than begging Him for a breakthrough.  Instead of distance from God, we’ll confidently proclaim our oneness with God (Eph 2:13) and the benefits of it (Ps 103:2).

Wise church fathers have appealed to the prophetic songwriters, “Do you desire for God’s people to live in powerful new revelatory realities five years from now… then give them songs with lyrics that declare that revelation, now.”

So may our new songs be revelatory and equipping… like a Heavenly treasure map.  May our songs be heralds of a new era in God… ‘above the line.’  We call forth songwriters who are like the “Sons of Issachar who knew the times and the seasons and were able to tell Israel what to do” (II Chron 12:32).

Let the new revelatory, new creation, heavenly realities songs come forth!!  Can you feel it?  It’s happening!  We’re moving on up to our High Places. 

–MLH