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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?”

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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

 

 

‘Ahead of Time’ people

23 Feb

I love sharing about our identity in God.  And one of the features of our identity is that we are “co-heirs” with Christ.  And since we’re “co-heirs”, we get to speak as Him, from Heaven into the earth.  We even get to look ‘ahead’ and see what He’s going to do… and partner with Him.   We’re not just “mere humans” (I Cor 3:3) anymore!

Throughout history, uncommon people have accessed Kingdom realities ahead of their time.  But then, isn’t that just like God who “calls forth those things that are not, as though they were” (Romans 4:17)?  Of course it is!  Uncommon people with uncommon believing become God’s special agents to release Heaven’s will and Heaven’s storehouse into the earth.

These Biblical examples will inspire you to be an ‘ahead of time’ person.

– Jonah
– The Syrophenician woman – Matt 15:21-28
– The woman at the well – J0hn 4:1-42
– Mary (Jesus’ mother at the Cana wedding) – John 2:1-12

One was reluctant… one was unwitting… and two were gripped with the catalyst of desperation and faith… enough catalyst to release a Heavenly reality into the earth, that was ahead of its time.

https://youtu.be/y-TOJBHvzd0

Heaven implores us to see beyond the natural world… to see what’s in God’s heart… and then call forth those things that are not yet manifest on the earth, as though they already were.

To hear me share, click here, Ahead of Time people .  (about 70 minutes long)

— MLH

Man… lower or higher than angels?

13 Dec

Let’s begin by establishing Jesus’ position first.

“To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” – Heb 1:13-14

This passage starts out by asserting the place of Jesus over the angels.  No debate can stand against Jesus’ deity and elevated status.  This passage ends with the assertion that angels are sent as ministering agents to serve all who inherit salvation (and that’s talking about me… and you).

Let’s continue establishing how Father has set Jesus above all heavenly beings:

“which He exerted in Christ when He RAISED Him from the dead and SEATED Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, FAR ABOVE all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.  And God put everything under His feet and made Him head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” – Eph 1:21-23 (caps mine)

Okay, I think we’re solid that Father has given Jesus supremacy over all other powers and authorities… which includes superiority over angels.  

Now, let’s look at man’s position and status. 

“What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?  Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty!  You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet…” – Ps 8:4-6

Originally God saw man as being only slightly lower than Himself… and God gave man authority to rule over all the works of His hands. 

Unfortunately, we abdicated our position in The Fall.  We became blinded by the wound and consequence of sin, from our elevated position of being made in the image and likeness of God Himself.  We’ve lived for thousands of years under the devil’s lie that we were just ‘clay pots’ and damaged goods and shouldn’t ever be presumptuous to think that we were capable of receiving our long forgotten favor or qualities of God.  

But by Grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9) in Jesus’ work on the Cross we are given back our abdicated place of favor and position.  At the time of salvation we WERE raised and seated with our Lord Jesus in Heaven.

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” – Eph 2:6-7

Notice that this is a past tense event.  We HAVE BEEN raised and are currently seated with Him in Heaven.  Other passages confirm this:  Col 3:1-4; Rms 8:17; etc. 

Now I don’t know if you’ve caught it yet, but if we were raised with Christ… and are seated with Christ…  then we realize that WE TOO are “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion“… and that means above angels.  This may difficult to embrace, but the truth is that the believer has been elevated to a position that is superior to angels. 

In fact, we realize that angels are sent to serve us… (Heb 1:14) not rule over us.  They are emissaries and messengers sent to enable and empower us to fully embrace and carry out our Father’s business.  Our Father’s heart is so rich in favor toward us that He even commands angels to help us find our way! 

“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;” – Ps 91:11

My personal opinion is that since we’re so elementary in our understanding of this powerful reality, we must walk carefully with our newly discovered status.  Maybe this is similar to the boy Joash (II Kings 11&12) becoming king when he was too young to understand.  He was overseen by tutors, aides and priests until he was old enough to rule.  In reality, young Joash had more status and position than they, but wasn’t wise enough to wield that authority yet.  He had to cooperate with his tutors until he could fully handle his elevated position and authority as King.

Now that we’ve got the principle, watch how it works similarly in a different context:

“Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.” – Gal‬ ‭4:1-2‬

You see, as we’re discovering and growing into our kingly status unto our God… we’re simultaneously being served by angels who are helping us into our full understanding and function as kings.  We must cooperate with angels in the growth process.  This process and transition from immature ‘kings’ to mature ‘kings’ will end up with a full manifestation of man ruling over every authority under Heaven and in earth. (Dan 7:27; Luke 10:19; Rms 5:17)

Then to give this whole idea a final paradigm boost, Apostle Paul tells us, “Do you not know that we will judge angels?” (I Cor 6: 3).  Before we knew our favor, status and position in God, this passage was confusing and overwhelming.  But as we understand God’s heart defining us and positioning us, we begin to see and have faith that He has placed more favor and Godly authority on us than we ever imagined.

So now we heartily welcome the angels’ service to us on our spiritual journey.  Without a doubt, they currently know more about our true status than we do.  But they’re committed to escorting us into our place and function as mature kings unto God… knowing full well, that even in our immaturity, we’re already “far above” them.

Don’t you just love angels more, now!!!

–MLH

A Meal With Jesus – an intimate worship encounter

26 Jul

If Debbie and I are given lots of liberty, we like to take a regular meeting and create a setting of intimacy.  Thank God for formal gatherings… they have their important place in our Christian experience.  But intimate and informal settings also have their powerful place of importance.  In fact, this kind of setting, is almost always where the deep spiritual encounters happens.

In the Last Supper, Jesus admonished, “as often as you do this, do this in remembrance of Me” – I Cor 11:25.  Jesus is always inviting us to His table to have ‘a meal with Him’ and a special time of intimacy.

So on this special morning there was gentle exhortation, worship and freedom of body ministry in Jesus’ ‘living room’.  And then it all culminated in communion around His table.  The whole morning was a tender encounter with His presence and was accompanied with many tears.

Allow about a hour of your undistracted time to watch and come along with us.  It’s quite likely that you’ll have your own encounter… an intimate encounter, with this most lovely man, Jesus!  Click here to watch ‘A Meal With Jesus – an intimate worship encounter’.

 

For more videos from Dwelling Place Ministries – see our DPM Youtube Channel.

Special thanks to Lloyd & Brenda Rindels-pastors of New Day Church – Kansas City, MO.

— MLH

Progression of the corrections of God

1 Jul

The Lord 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. – II Pet 3:9

God is so patient that some think He doesn’t care… or is going way too slow.  But really, He is just taking all the time needed to keep people from “perishing”.

God’s love is always persistent and pursuing us.  He uses the simplest and most subtle ways to get our attention first; such as, leading us with His eye (Ps 32:8) or whisper (I Kngs 19:12) or whistle (Zech 10:8).  And if that doesn’t get favorable results, then He resorts to stronger measures.  But we must not mistake the ‘stronger measures’ for God turning His back on us.

“the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” – Heb 12:6

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
– Heb 12:11

Lest we mistake His more serious attempts to get our attention as being less than loving, we must remember that God is love (I Jn 4:8); the full embodiment of love.  No matter the means He uses, they are motivated out of His goodness and love to get us to have a different mind about whatever needs to be corrected.

“…the goodness of God leads you to repentance” – Rom 2:4

(Greek for repentance is, ‘metanoia’, which means, change your mind/thinking.)  He would love to change our mind with his kindness and gentleness.  But He will go to great lengths to prevent us from ‘falling over the cliff’ of ‘no return’.   The love of God will even allow resistance to bring our hearts into alignment with His.  Who among us would not want the intervention of God to stop us from continuing in a wrong direction?

“Indeed God speaks once, or twice, yet no one notices it.  In a dream, a vision of the night, when sound sleep falls on men, while they slumber in their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction, that He may turn man aside from his conduct, and keep man from pride; He keeps back his soul from the pit, and his life from passing over into Sheol.…” – Job 33:14-18

Have you ever thought about all the ways God uses to get our attention?  Well, I believe that not only does God use a myriad of ways, but there is a definite progression of intensity in His ‘invasion’ into our lives to get our attention.  The love of God will even allow resistance to bring our hearts into alignment with His.  So I think it goes something like this:

Progression of His ‘voice’ to us

1.  He speaks to our conscience
2.  We hear/see His ‘voice’ in Nature – Roms 1:20
3.  A verse jumps out when we’re reading our Bible
4.  We have a relevant dream – e.g. Nebuchadnezzar
5.  An ‘innocent’ phrase from an unaware person gets our attention 
6.  A person unaware of our issue shares a relevant dream
7.  We hear a sermon on the matter
8.  General invitational prophecy – non-specific / non-confrontational
9.  An aware friend has a dream about the issue
10.  An aware friend shares loving counsel
11.  Direct prophecy – specifics / exposure

If we persist, we risk stepping outside of Grace – Romans 1:24, 28; Ps 81:12; Ps 106:15.

12.  Circumstances – hardships / finances – from poor choices, etc
13.  Consequences from the ‘law’ – civil, moral or church take their toll

14.  Physical afflictions – consequences of unhealthy lifestyle, etc

In the New Covenant, I am increasingly convinced that God doesn’t give sickness or calamity, but I think He may allow it if we ‘demand’ it… which may look something like this: As we walk in covenant with Him, His strong hand is around us.  But if we increasingly determine to walk outside of covenant with Him, we effectively ‘dis-invite’ His covering.  We then begin to walk outside of His protection.  Hardships that come our way may be the ones we’ve allowed the enemy to perpetrate upon us because we’ve chosen to walk out from under God’s protection.

“… yield unto God …” Roms 6:13

This hurts our Father’s heart, just like it did the prodigal son’s father.  Consider that he willfully walked away from his father’s ‘jurisdiction’.  The father honored the son’s choice.  But just like the prodigal son’s father, our God has always been reaching out to us and is ready at first signs of our returning to receive us with open arms.

It just makes good sense to yield to God early on when His corrections are gentle.  Who wants to be ‘arrested’ by stronger methods?  Not I!

He’s always there waiting, because His love never stops.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” – Jer 31:3

nothing can separate us from the love of God….” – Roms 8:38,39

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” – Acts 3:19

Consider this: Wouldn’t it be alarming to not experience the intervention of God when we’re moving in a wrong direction?  That would probably mean that we’re on some ‘prodigal detour’ and will likely have to experience some consequences of our own actions until (like the prodigal son) we’re sufficiently motivated to return and yield to God.  God forbid that we resist this long.

But thanks be to God, we now understand that God’s pursuit of us is motivated by love, which makes our yielding so much easier.

To be reminded about how much your Father loves you, click here to hear the song Everlasting Love, which I wrote and our family recorded on our Heart Songs CD.

— MLH

Finding the Treasure – You!

6 Jun

Let’s start with this basic premise:  God made each one of us uniquely.  Are we in agreement?

But, if God made us unique, then why are we all so doggone the same?  We dress the same, follow the same trends, line up at the factories to do cookie-cutter pre-programmed repetitious jobs, etc.  Why is there so much stress and burnout?  Does anyone ever question why we’re so easily ‘herded’ into our trendy societal norms?

Maybe it’s because we’ve been ‘dumbed down’ to the acceptability of same-ness.   When we’re the same, we’re less trouble for the leaders of our society… on all levels; government, jobs, education… and even church.  For the most part, this is not ill-intentioned.  Rather it’s the best that our leaders have known how to do.  

But that same-ness will likely leave us feeling hollow and unfulfilled… like we’re ‘dangling’ out in the middle of a big world without knowing who we really are.

So continuing with our premise: If God made me unique, then because He’s good, He has a Heavenly grace to empower me to be ‘me’… and a ‘place’ that needs me.

Unfortunately, most people don’t have a sense of their unique identity.  They do the same stuff as everyone else, somehow hoping that they will find special meaning for their life.  And if they don’t find God’s design for them, that leaves them without the full empowerment of grace that God intended.  They end up receiving the general grace that “rains on the just and unjust alike” (Matt 5:45).  As saints our inheritance involves much more than just general grace.  So, my quest in life is to discover ‘who I am’!  If I find that… and walk in it, then my life will be graced to the fullest intent of God’s heart.

(This graphic depicting Heaven’s ‘Bank Vault’ of Grace can be found in my book entitled: Supernatural Provision – Where God Guides He Provides.)

In order to fulfill God’s amazing intentions for me, I’ve got to find ME!  Who am I?  What works for me?  If I could find out who God has designed me to be, how empowered would I really be?

Here are a couple easy questions to begin the discovery process.

Objective: To find out 1) when you felt most alive… and 2) when you have tears.  It’s likely that aspects of your environment are touching the some of the core values, motivations or passions of the real ‘you’!

Question #1.  What did you do in your life that made you feel most alive?  ‘Secular’/’spiritual’… it doesn’t matter.  All your senses were completely engaged…  Your passion was fully ignited… Kind of like the little boy just before Christmas… and just after Christmas.  All he can think about is that favorite gift.  You have measured many other things in your life against that ‘alive’ experience.  Now, the follow-up questions are:

Why did you feel most alive?  Were you with people… or alone?  Were you the plan-ner… or the servant.  Were you the leader… or the follower?  Were you the problem spotter… or problem solver?  Were you the visionary… or the do-er?  Were you the runner… or the stay-home person?  Were you supporting others… or were they supporting you?  etc…   Ask the Lord for more ‘why’ questions.  

Question #2. What makes you have tears most predictably?  (We’re talking about the good kind of tears!  Not tears of pain, sorrow, remorse, rejection, etc.)  Check another of my blog posts for more insights on the Language of Tears and how your tears can ‘prophesy’ to you.

What was happening?  What songs, what sights, what activities, what conversations, what topics, what relationships, what anointings, what Scriptures, etc.  When you answer this question, you’ll want to ask these follow-up questions:

Why did you identify this?  Were you with someone… or alone?  Do your tears involve being around people… or not?  What virtue is being highlighted or expressed?  What anointing is present?  What was the topic of the conversation… or song? etc…  Ask the Lord for more ‘Why’ questions.

Each answer to the ‘why’ questions will require another ‘why’ question… and so on.  Each answer will give clues to help define the essence of who you are.

If this makes as much sense to you as it has for me, you may want to literally make notes of each time you have these two experiences: 1) feel most alive and 2) have tears.  As you evaluate these repetitive occurrences, you probably see a trend that will help guide your life decisions.

Conclusion: Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard over your heart with all diligence for from it flow all the issues of life.”  So, if I’m going to stay full, tender and ‘alive’, then I must begin to make decisions that place myself in the fullest measure of God’s grace.  Note how this graphic Knowing Your ‘Treasure’/DNA (also found in my book Supernatural Provision) illustrates our hearts’ status, depending on how we make decisions.  Thus, it’s paramount that we find out who we are and pursue life accordingly.  

Over the years, I’ve talked through this subject with more people than I can possibly remember.   As we talk I usually scratch out simple notes on a coffee shop napkin.  Then of course, I give the notes to them.  Some have told me many years later that they still carry the napkin in their Bible to serve as a memory jogger.  This pic is one of those napkin notes.


I hope these insights will serve as another tool to help launch you into the powerful discovery of the unique YOU that God has made you to be!

— MLH