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Reblog – Jesus Christ is how we understand ourselves

15 May

A good friend Mel Wild, posts some profound insights and foundational Christian imperatives.  A recent post on his blog In My Father’s House, addresses a vital aspect for living the overcoming Kingdom life as a believer.  I was going to write a post on this subject but I don’t think I could say it any more clear or succinct.

Our Father’s desire is that we see ourselves the way He sees us.  The Bible says that His perspective of us is staggering… likely more than is easy for us to believe.  I don’t think this topic could be overstated. 

Here’s an excerpt from Mel’s post: 

In the gospel stories where Jesus is ministering to sick people, who do you identify with…the sick person, the disciples…or Jesus?

If you answered, “Jesus,” you would be correct.

I think it is nearly impossible to live in victorious, co-heir, co-ruler realities if we don’t get this powerful truth awakened in our belief system and exercised in our actions. 

Got your attention?  Then click on Mel’s post: Jesus Christ is how we understand ourselves

Enjoy!

— MLH

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Living within God’s grace

12 Dec

There are many voices ‘out there’ vying for our attention, hoping we’ll conform to their standards.  Those voices could be divided into 3 basic categories; God, the devil and ourselves.  Unless we’re teachable and have great mentors as sounding boards, or a possess a strong God-centered internal ‘plumbline’, we could be easily confused or duped.

And ‘old fashioned’ character is still a virtue.  It will help to hold a person from being 1)naively impetuous… or from being 2)fearfully indecisive when these voices present themselves.  Both unbridled actions can derail us.  

Many people, without a God-centered ‘plumbline’, find themselves chasing ‘the three G’s’ – girls, gold and glory.  

For all that is in the world, the 1)lust of the flesh and the 2)lust of the eyes and the 3)boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. – (I John 2:16)

This leads to dissipation or exhaustion.  Anything that is not supported by God’s grace will automatically deplete us, because it requires our own strength to attain it.  

Jesus learned this truth and He invites us to embrace it, also. 

Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. – (John 5:19)

This truth and this lifestyle is sustainable.  For sure, ‘sabbaths’ are still needed, but you won’t ‘run out of gas’ doing Father’s business.  Listen to an insight from Jesus.

I receive My nourishment by serving the will of the Father who sent Me and completing His work. – (John 4:34 Voice version)

Our Grace level fluctuates throughout our lives. It’s imperative that we learn to live within God’s Grace.

Consider the scenario in this graphic.  We’re excited about the growth curve that’s happening in our lives.  God is blessing us with favor of many kinds.  We’re happy and life is rewarding.  

Getting more ‘things’ has become easily attainable and within our own power.  We want bigger and better positions, possessions and power.

So we ask for more favors, incur debt, burn the candle at both ends, experience anxiety and fatigue, and find that we have almost no time for personal sabbath-type refuelings.  Of course, everyone else is running hard, too, so it seems normal.  And besides, “We’ve got to keep up with the Jones.”  This reminds me of a Lily Tomlin quote: 

“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you’re still a rat.”   

Without question, this life mode is guaranteed to have a ‘moment of reckoning’.  Something will break; health, finances, relationships, etc.  Then we’ll be forced to reconsider and reevaluate what’s really important in our lives.

If you’ve hit a snag in life… something isn’t working anymore… and your patience and endurance is running thin, consider that you may have exceeded the grace of God in your life.  You may have to ‘reduce’ back to where the grace level is.

It usually takes a pretty strong force to change a mindset and lifestyle… imagine stopping a locomotive or turning a ship.  And this ‘reckoning’ usually requires some level of trauma to ‘encourage’ us let go of self acquired things… especially, if our identity is wrapped up in them.

We’ll have to search for where we exceeded God’s grace.  Where did we grasp for something in our own strength?  Where did we exchange the unmerited favor of God, for sacrificing personal sweat?   Consider this:

godliness with contentment is great gain – (I Tim 6:6)

with food and covering, we shall be content. – (I Tim 6:8)

These two verses present values which serve as guardrails on our lives.  They show us the bottom-line.  We must coach our hearts into the ability to be happy even if these bare-bones conditions are present in our lives.  If we can be happy ‘here’, then everything else is icing on the cake.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not advocating poverty.  And this is certainly not a poverty mindset.  Rather, we’re getting back to living within the grace that God provides… whether that means to be abased or to abound.  (Phil 4:12)

This is how we stay out of the ‘sweat zone’.  Isn’t it amazing… God’s ways always prove to be better than our ways.

— MLH

Your inheritance includes super-natural provision

3 Dec

So how do we get started living in supernatural provision?  Well, since you’ve asked, I’ve created a graphic that explains the transition that takes place on our journey toward living in the Law of Blessing.  This graphic also describes some of the pitfalls of not using wisdom on this journey.

Most of us start out with our vocation supplying our primary source of income.  And even though we may have some level of spiritual relationship with God, any ‘income’ derived from our spiritual ‘reality’ is fairly small to non-existent.  Our objective should be to move into a place where our spiritual life is vibrant and exercised enough that it begins to activate Heaven’s ‘supernatural’ supply… in other words, a supply that is greater than the effort, time and intellect that we’ve invested.

I describe supernatural provision like this:

If your income is only commensurate with the amount of time, effort and intellect that you’ve put in, then that is natural provision… which is simply living under the Law of Sowing and Reaping.  It goes like this: if I don’t sow… I don’t reap.  If I sow sparingly, I reap sparingly. Etc… Who’s in charge of this setup? I am, of course.

But if your provision measures significantly above the time, effort and intellect that you put in, then this is super-natural provision.  This level of provision is activated as we learn to devote ourselves to being about our Father’s business in the unique way that He’s made you and I.  At that point, I believe Heaven rallies to be our total Jehovah Jireh.  This is living in the Law of Blessing.

This is an overly simplified way of saying it:

If you put in a ‘dollars’ worth of time, effort and intellect… and you get back more than ‘dollar’, then you are experiencing the increase of Heaven.

Provision Chart

Consider this graphic:

Notice the left side of the graphic. Initially, our primary provision is ‘sweat’ income… in other words, it comes solely from our vocation.  Very little provision comes from our spiritual impact or influence.  But as time passes and as we mature, we want those dynamics to switch so that more of our provision comes from our spiritual impact and less from our ‘sweat’.

Of course, our society has it’s version of this. It’s called a retirement plan.  But who wants to work their whole life time, by the “sweat of your brow” on a ‘rock-pile’ job, beating big rocks into little ones, just so we can have a few years of retirement.  Why not (as early as we can understand these principles) get serious about cultivating and maturing our unique spiritual identity until it is honed and invaluable in it’s respective place in society.  That way we get to do what we love to do all of our life and eventually we find ourselves living in the Law of Blessing rather than the Law of Sowing and Reaping.

For more of my posts on how to find and live within our unique identity, click here and here.

A common pitfall is that people get trigger happy when they see this possible route to supernatural provision.  They think they have enough faith to jettison everything and live by faith… or ‘walk on the water’, so to speak.  They don’t realize that their ‘leap of faith’ isn’t true Biblical faith at all.  It’s just naive hoping.  They haven’t built a ‘position of faith’ sufficient to support them.  Sadly, many people live their lives in such a way that they don’t actually need faith to live… as a result they don’t have a history of faith.

Then, when a person tries to live beyond their level of faith, they inevitably face lean times of lack and want.  This will lead to a moment of reckoning.  Deut. 7:22 describes how this can happen; “I’ll not give you the promised land all at once lest the wild beasts overtake you.”  Some of the “wild beasts” of our day are; fear, bills, hunger, lack, etc.
Supernatural Provision book cover

So it’s really important to apply wisdom on this journey. But the reward of living outside of the ‘sweat’ zone, is so worth it!  And in the process, you get to do what you love to do… enjoy God and activate your true identity.  Now that sounds like living!  I’ve posted five practical steps here.

For more on this subject, check out my book Supernatural Provision.  To get a copy, click here or see me personally.  You’ll find priceless gems; insights, practical tips and inspiring testimonies to launch you into your own life of living in Heaven’s super-natural provision.

Are you ready to live in your inheritance?

— MLH

Note: I delete, block or unfriend…

15 Nov

Some have asked about my announcement, “Note: I delete, block or unfriend any comments that are contrary or oppositional.”  Let me explain…

Most people view Facebook as an interactive social platform, designed for conversing with one another.  And I agree.  But just as in face-to-face conversation, social freedoms leading to correction (especially public correction) need to be like salt… used sparingly… or maybe not at all, especially if you are a dinner guest at your friend’s house.  And it’s probably wise to refrain from recounting the defects you perceive about their house… especially when you’re in front of other guests.

On occasion, I’ve been invited to public debate on FB with people who’ve already said they disagree with my position.  In my opinion, to accept would be folly on my part.  The wrangling of loud voices in public is almost never enjoyable or constructive.  The minds of the main arbiters are rarely changed… and there is the high probability of long term residual offense.  But an even bigger problem is the collateral damage to all the innocent people who witnessed the impassioned venting.

This is not much different from parents bickering in front of their children.  The parents probably didn’t solve anything in their tangle, but the innocent children will undoubtedly carry the resulting wounding and scarring… possibly for years.  Respect says, take the dispute to an appropriate forum where the innocents don’t have to carry the hurtful consequence of the fray.

And closer to home: Spouses, what happens if we release a volley of uninvited opposition, correction or criticism?  How does that work out?  Okay, I think we’re starting to get the picture.

I always find it strange when a someone who has never commented on anything on my FB page, takes the liberty to correct me in their very first comment.  I just find that very interesting….  Maybe they could have at least tried using the ‘sandwich rule’: Start with one slice of commendation, then add a couple thin slices of correction, and finally, top it off with another slice of commendation.

Some have said that my policy is unfair and not “tolerant”.  Unfortunately, the one who initiates uninvited correction is often the one who is intolerant.  Just a cursory look at the spiralling social trends in our country in recent years, clearly reveals this sad fact.  The ones who protested so loudly for tolerance, are now overtly intolerant.  I wonder… is this a result of a short-term memory loss… or a character problem… or a faulty value system?

It’s possible that when I ask questions in my narratives, it may cause a little confusion.  People may wonder if I’m inviting a response.  But as we know, there are many ways to artfully present a point.  Asking questions is just one of many effective communication mediums.  Sometimes questions are intended to solicit dialog… and sometimes questions are meant to inspire thought.  In most of my writings, my questions are meant to inspire thought (as in the previous paragraph).

The way I see it, my Facebook page is my turf… my ‘real estate’.  When I present a topic, I want to stay on topic.  I am not willing for someone of the opposite opinion to determine the direction of my narrative.  Unfortunately, the self-appointed ‘PC police’ in our country are all too eager to shout down and rudely hijack all voices that they don’t agree with.  To be sure, I want them to enjoy the same 1st Amendment rights afforded to all of us… just do it on their own turf.

For the record:
1. In many of the venues where I speak, I pointedly solicit open dialog and response… even on an open mic.  If everyone remains respectful, this type of group interaction can be very effective.

2. I have never posted a contrary or oppositional idea on anyone else’s public Facebook page!  That would be extremely rude and a usurping of their turf, in an attempt to assert my own agenda.  But I have sent them a private message if I felt like the situation was serious enough for me to offer uninvited advice.  Even then, my communications employ some level of finesse and decorum… since I wasn’t invited.  I never assume that I have the right to invade another person’s turf with oppositional conversation… unless I do it privately.

Let’s look at this same principle in a completely different setting.

Let’s say that you live in a neighborhood where all your neighbors have come to respect your reputation and convictions.  You have served them, blessed them and won their favor.  Then one day I come to your street and post oppositional signs in your yard.  The signs say how much I disagree with your views, your values and your message…. how much you are misguided and wrong.  You would be absolutely incensed!!!  No one would be ok with my actions… or even tolerate them.  As soon as you realized what I had done, with a flourish of indignation, you would immediately yank out my sign.  And you would wonder why I hadn’t come speak to you privately.  Why would I take my confrontation of you and your values to the public forum without first imploring you privately… the respectful and Biblical way?

Further, wouldn’t it frustrate you that I felt freedom to impose my values upon your friends… friends with whom you’ve worked so hard to earn their respect?  They don’t even know me… but I’ve just asserted my currently trendy freedoms to use your ‘platform’ of influence to devalue you and to assert my values.  That can’t be good any way we look at it.

Further, if you had always been nothing but kind to me… you had always affirmed me and my family… and then my first public discourse with you was to oppose you and point out how wrong you were… Wouldn’t my offensive behavior be confusing for you, after you had been so kind to me?  I imagine that by now the reader understands….

Our society’s short-fused volatility incites even more angst because there seems to be no boundaries to how far one can go.  Public correction and dog-pile pile-on humiliation is as common as a fish drinks water, these days.  The bully pulpit seems to know no ethics.  Once the assailing has begun; accusation, amplitude, verbosity… and even lies… seem to have no limit until the target person gets shouted down… not unlike a pack of rabid hyenas.  Has anyone seen this in the public arena, recently?  Were any of us inspired?  Were we repulsed?  I going to guess that we felt the latter… even to the point of switching it off!

I think most people know… and if they don’t know, they innately feel… that arguing is wrong… and definitely out of place, in the public eye.

The one bullying and the one trying to present their conviction… both will often pay a high price when suckered into this kind of fray.  In reality, both participants will lose a portion of their reputation and the good will in the hearts and minds of those who know them.  Almost no one enjoys a combat-prone person.

Now, I want to give the benefit of the doubt, regarding this matter.  I’m confident that most people don’t mean to be disrespectful.  They’re good people for sure!  It’s more likely that they’re just gullibly following the world’s trend of edgy social acceptabilities… and they don’t realize how they’re coming across.  It is for this reason that I preempt potentially negative comments with my notice… (“Note: I delete….”) just to give people a heads-up.  Maybe people will think before they disrespect themselves… and the person they’re communicating to… and the innocent viewers who were happy with the original narrative.  Maybe together, we can help promote a “kinder and gentler” world.

So let me sum it up by saying that it gives me no pleasure to enforce my policy.  I much prefer that people would be respectful.  But simply put, I am not willing for my narrative, on my ‘real estate’, to be hijacked by someone else’s oppositional values.  Private message communication will always be acceptable for me… and I believe, it is the first approach in any respectful conversation that is going to be confrontational or oppositional.  I know it’s not the trendy way to do it, but then when did the world ever start setting the standards for respect and rightness?  Let’s have an honorable conversation like respectable grown-ups.  We can do this!

— MLH

One hour to empower

26 Sep

I was asked this question:

If you had only one hour to pour into a new or growing believer, what ministry tool, verse, inspirational thought, exercise, or discipline would you share with them to help them?

Get ‘tools’ for your ‘toolbox’
With just one hour, I could hardly serve justice to a new believer.  Even Jesus needed three years to equip His disciples before He turned them loose to build the Early Church.  I have asked many times, “As maturing believers, how many (spiritual, character and skills) ‘tools’ are in your ‘toolbox’?”  So in one hour, I would emphasize these points below (all found on my blog: Beyond the Map), to empower them on their journey of growth and co-reigning with God.  Each of these points represents a powerful insight and tool for living in joy, spiritual vibrancy and strength.

Hang around people who have a ‘fever’
I’d recommend that they find Godly, wise and spiritually vibrant people to hang around… knowing that generally, we will become like the company that we keep.

A plan to succeed
I’d emphasize the supreme importance of regular and heartfelt personal communication with God – and I would give them my very practical
 plan to succeed.

Don’t let your heart bounce on ‘E’
Every once in a while we must evaluate how we’re doing… not how many verses we can quote, but the actual health status of our heart.  Sometimes it feels like our heart’s fuel gauge is bouncing on ‘E’.  If that’s the case, it’s time to refuel our heart.

Stayin’ alive
I’d point out how vital it is to keep their heart alive, “for out of it comes all the issues of life”.  There are no good alternatives to
 stayin’ alive in God.

Where/how do I feed my heart?
Along with that, they must learn how to feed their heart?  Just like our bodies, our heart needs to be fed.

Heart ‘dipstick’
Evaluating ourselves to see how we’re really doing, can be fairly subjective.  So just like you check the internal status of your car engine with the oil dipstick, here’s an objective 
‘spiritual dipstick’ to check on the status of our heart.  Keep this handy because it will be a very practical tool to use through all of the seasons of life.

Must-have God-encounters
Occasionally we go through cycles in life where we feel dry and callous… but we must not settle for lengthy times of this… we all need God encounters.

A little child can do this stuff
Our relationship and journey with God must be an easy yoke and light burden… in fact, walking with God has to be easy enough that a little child can do it, because Jesus said, “unless you become like a little child you won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven”.  Knowing this, helps me determine what is of God… or of something else, like; fear, pride, driven-ness, culture or religious duty.  All those lesser motivations will lead us to dissipation.

You are a treasure: Find YOU!
If we don’t know who we are, we will grasp for straws… or be lured by the highest paying job… or the career door that ‘uncle Joe’ opened for us.  This leaves us vulnerable, aimless, exhausted and confused.  So we must find the ‘treasure’… and
 the treasure is, the real ‘you’.

Find your ‘On-ramps’
We each have uniquely personal ‘on-ramps’ that are effective for helping us ‘into’ the presence of God.  These access points also help us discover our unique identity.

Must be able to hear His voice
Central to our life and journey in God, is the need to hear His voice, because “man cannot live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  So we must discover a tried and proven way to know that we’ve heard His voice.  My
 Fleece Template is a real-life-tested way.  It will work if you’re really serious about hearing.

Tears prophesy
One of the ways that you can discover who you are is by watching what unique circumstances, environments or topics make you have God-tears Believe it or not, if you learn how to ‘read’ your tears, you’ll find that they’re prophesying to you about your identity.

Expect and live by God-signs
Life with God must evidenced by the supernatural.  We must learn to expect and live by God-signs, which are one of the powerful ways that God uses to establish our lives and our way.  God signs still happen… and we need them to help us hear God’s voice… and besides that, they become one of the practical ways that God affirms our heart and assures us that He’s covering us with His presence.

You’re already a winner
Jesus ‘defanged’ the devil by taking the keys of hell and death.  And then he raised you up to sit with Him in Heavenly places.  Then as His “co-heirs”, He gave you nothing less than HIS righteousness. 
 You are a winner!  Believe it!

No more pickle juice
It’s time to upgrade our prayer life from the sour ‘pickle juice’ of beggar prayers.  We must embrace our status of royal heavenly citizens who are co-heirs with no less than, Jesus Himself.  Try a one-week fast from plaintiff prayers… even from the normal ‘asking prayers’… Really!!!  Get His mind on the matter, then make authoritative declarations in keeping with Romans 5:17, “reign in this life through the one man, Jesus Christ!”  Your exhilarating winner-orientation will result in:

1) Desperate beggarly intercession becoming confident kingly declarations,
2) Praying from earth toward Heaven will be trumped by praying from Heaven toward earth,
3) Instead of praying TO God… we’ll pray WITH God,
4) We won’t pray FOR victory… we’ll pray FROM victory… because, “It is finished!”  

Expect good!
Based on the Word of God, establish once and for all, that 
God is good.  From there, we must expect that God will “make all things work together for good”… despite any hardships we experience along the way.  If life gives us lemons then God has an awesome way to make lemonade.

Believe and live for increase
Expect that God will increase our authority and influence as we learn to “be about our Father’s business”.  But we must know that favor increases as we get better at being “about our Father’s business”.  As we’re about His business, He takes care of our business.  Another way of saying that is, “God’s will is God’s bill”… and there ain’t anything much better than receiving his supernatural provision for all necessities of life.

Declarations of favor and joy
Finally, I’d pray and prophesy the tangible favor and joy of the Lord over them… and bless them with 
angelic assistance to help, protect, minister to and escort them through life.  And then I’d bid them God’s speed!!!


Hopefully I could communicate this in one hour.  The abbreviated points above represent very useful resources that are both Biblical and real-life tested.  They are ‘tools’ to add to our ‘toolbox’… which help equip us to live life victoriously.

Mark Hendrickson
Dwelling Place Ministries

Happy son of God, worshiper, husband,
father, grandfather, friend, life coach,
musician, public speaker, Jesus re-presenter
and author of Supernatural Provision book

____________________________________________

Links to articles above, posted on Beyond the Map:

A plan to succeed
Bouncing on ‘E’
Stayin’ Alive
Where do I feed my heart?
How’s your heart?
How can I feel God?
A little child can do it
Finding the treasure – You
On-ramps into God
Fleece template
The language of tears
Signs – do they still happen?
Why do I need 2 or 3 god-signs?
He shall cover you
No more pickle juice
Increasing our authority
Life’s lemons – make lemonade
Defanging the law of Jante
Man… lower or higher than angels?
Insights – angelic interactions

Have you experienced the shift, yet?

20 Jul

There’s a very encouraging shift taking place in the prayer vocabulary of the saints.  I think that it’s because we’re growing up.  More than at any other time in history, we’re becoming aware of our elevated identity and favor in God.  Our new upgrade is contrasted by our past vocabulary, where we used just launch our immature plaintiff petitions before our Father with little regard or responsibility for our language or position.  Consider this:

1) Babies and plaintiffs don’t know their Father’s mind… they cry/pray out of their pain and need.
2) Mature sons know and are gripped with Father’s heart, more than their own needs.

I believe that our Father has always dreamed of a company of saints emerging on the earth, who know that they are truly kings (Rev 1:6) possessing a kingly authority that literally shifts atmospheres and calls our Father’s will into being on the earth.  As saints mature, this kind of praying will become more commonplace, more effective and more contagious, creating desire in others to discover their identity and favor, too!

You may be asking, “Then what or how should we pray?”  The simple answer is, “Pray what’s on His mind!”  That seems easy… and most would probably agree… but few will take the time to find His mind… or know how.  So here’s a simple approach to find out how to pray:

1) Look to the Word of God to find His will
2) Identify the rhema ‘words’ that have been made ‘alive’ to you.

Note: Almost everything we would normally ask for, has already been promised or addressed in Scripture.

To ask again after He has already promised it, is redundant and actually robs our faith.  Now is the time for the sons of God to radically believe that God’s Word really means what it says… and then begin to co-rule with Him by using declarations that are becoming of kings. 

This ‘kingly’ type of intercession by mature sons is empowered by our favored position in Heaven (Col 3:1-3).  (More in this post) From our ‘new address’, we declare the mind of God down into the earth… and into the (second heavens) atmosphere. (See this graphic) We stand as kings (versus babies or plaintiffs) and move into our role as maturing co-rulers (Rms 5:17) with Christ.

To carry the authority of Heaven sufficient to shift earthly paradigms, we must spend time with our Father and search His mind in order to be confident that we’re not “praying amiss”.  If we pray from the opinions or desires of our soul-man, it makes us vulnerable and in jeopardy of wandering outside the ‘covering’ of Father’s grace… or worse.  We must become more responsible for what we pray and how we pray… because our words are spirit and life (Prov 18:21)… and as we mature, our words have more weight and impact.

In this process, we’re beginning to learn how to govern and take dominion (Gen 1:26, 28; Dan 7:27; Lk 10:19; Rms 5:17) over our God-given territory (which is earth and the second heavens).  Since we’ve been raised and seated with Christ, we have a much better vantage point to govern!  We’re not just mere humans any longer, praying loud desperate prayers.  We’re not praying in hopes that Heaven will relent.  We’re not plaintiffs.  Rather, we’re duly authorized and empowered oracles of God speaking from Heaven… partnering with Him in establishing His Throne of righteousness on earth and in earthly situations.

“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.” – I Pet 4:11

Here are a few ways we can pray and still have integrity with our theology and with our current ‘heavenly address’.

1. Asking prayer… IF we don’t know our Father’s will for a matter
2. Declarative prayer… AFTER we know what our Father’s heart is

3. Thanksgiving prayer… for all His gracious acts
4. Praise prayer… for His character and nature
5. Devotional prayer… lavishing our worship and affection on Him
6. Conversational prayer… “as a friend speaks with a friend” – Ex 33:11
7. Affirming our theology… repeating our Biblical position back to God

Can you feel it?  A shift is happening.  We’re growing into our inheritance and identity as co-kings under the Great King.

— MLH

For more of my posts on this topic, click below:

Dual Realities of the Believer – (No More Pickle Juice)
Reigning Declarative Prayer: What’s the big deal?
Intercession: From faithless beggar petitions to confident kingly prophetic declarations
Time for an Upgrade: Authoritative Prayer
Proclamation prayer… it’s what Kingdom saints do
The Faith OF God to Proclaim, in the 2010s
Our New Prayer Posture: Declare / Prophesy
The Changing Face of Christianity
Grace Unto Co-reigning
Three Eras of Prayer Posture
God: “Hey! Wanna play toys in your sandbox?”

Why do I need 2 or 3 God-signs?

25 Feb

Question:

Mark, even though it’s biblical to look for signs to confirm God’s voice, is it considered more mature to simply trust His voice rather than depending on two or three witnesses to confirm His voice?

My response:

Good question.  Let’s assume that most people would truly like to know the will of God.  That’s good!  Unfortunately, most of us haven’t perfected our hearing skills… or developed a satisfying track record.  And quite frankly, many haven’t practiced that level of intimacy, yet.  It’s very likely that our hearing is limited by religious traditions and compromised by lethargy, fear or ambition, so we’ll probably need a method more objective and tangible as we start on this project.  Our hope is that eventually we could be certain that we’ve heard His will through something as simple as the “still small voice.”

So my response is, “If you’re having 100% successful results on hearing the voice of God… and the decisions that you are making based on your way of hearing are working out satisfactorily, then don’t stop what you are doing!!!!!!”

BUT if you are having trouble hearing… or when you think you have heard and yet you’re torn with doubt and second guessing, then you may want to try my Fleece Template (click here), which works 100% of the time for me.

Sheep fleece on grass

I have a question to those who are just trusting that they’ve heard His voice through their subjective-impression-antennae-system; “Where do you give God the opportunity to be sovereign… and what way have you created for God to be able to say in an indisputable ‘black and white’ way, “Yes” or “No”?”

I know my own humanity, and if I don’t have a way for God to interject His sovereignty, then I’m vulnerable to ‘tricking’ or rationalizing myself into hearing anything I may want to hear… or not hear.

My Fleece Template (based on Gideon’s fleece in Judges 6:36-40) gives that kind of opportunity for God to speak clearly.

As I use my Fleece Template, I always take note of my initial impressions and compare them against the outcome of my Fleece Template.  If, over time, my impressions AND the outcome of my Fleece Template are the same… then I learn that I can trust my impressions more and more.  As a result, I become more confident in my hearing process and that process becomes increasingly more simple.  After a while I use my impressions for the smaller decisions, but I still use my Fleece Template for the ‘big ticket’ items.

It’s kind of like a conversation I had with a friend who is a Missouri state trooper.  I asked him one day, “How much over the speed limit I can drive and still be OK?”  He quickly replied, “How much can you afford?”   Hmmm!

So it is for me, regarding my decisions.  For small ticket items, I use my impressions, because I’ve been comparing my subjective impressions against the outcome of my Fleece Template for decades and have developed a certain measure of trust in my impressions.  But even so, since I don’t want to have to pay for the consequence of an erroneous and embarrassing outcome of a ‘big ticket’ decisions, I still use my Fleece Template.

We’re all in a process of growing in God… which requires growing in hearing.  This is a learning curve for us all.  The important thing is to be conscientious and truthful about our hearing and decision-making process.  I can’t just ignore my bad decisions that I made when using my subjective ‘warm-fuzzy’ impressions.  I must get ruthless with myself and identify the faulty method from which I made that bad decision.  I must determine that the next time my method of hearing will be much more strict… and less easy to ‘fudge’ (rationalize).

This is the way we grow.  If we don’t grow in hearing, we’ll just end up circling around the same ‘mountain’ again and again.  But the good part is that after implementing objective hearing methods we become confident in our impressions and in our decision making.

Now that's livingNow where could that kind of confidence take me?  It could take me out beyond the gunwales of the boat… out onto the water… out where the fun begins.  Now that’s livin’!

Hope that helps.

— MLH