Tag Archives: beggar

Our New Prayer Posture: Declare / Prophesy

29 Jan

Question: Why is it appropriate to declare / prophesy as my new prayer posture?

There are many possible heart postures in prayer.  Begging, plaintiff, supplication, intercession, declaration, prophesying, devotion, warfare/battle, etc.  Although I don’t think begging and plaintiff are ever a good posture with God, all the rest can be a valid posture to take when engaging Heaven and/or earth in prayer. (See: Three Eras of Prayer Posture)

Now-a-days, I am more convinced than ever that we are not to pray from earth toward Heaven… as in a begging/plaintiff stance.  But rather we are to pray from our position of sitting with Jesus on the Throne.  “We are seated with Christ in heavenly places” (Eph 2:6).  This is our new residence.  Anything other than that is below what Jesus accomplished for us when He ascended on high. (Rms 6:4; Col 2:12)  If we were buried with Christ then we were also raised with Christ… we are seated with Him now… where He is seated at the right hand of the Father.  So this must become our new residence and center of our world… living from the Throne. (See: Where Do Christians Go When They Die? (Can we live in Heaven now?))

We’re not talking about grasping for or presuming more than God intends… rather we’re determined to not let our old sin ravaged mindset (See: Grace For the Sin Issue… and So Much More) terrorize us and keep us tethered to earthly places when we’ve been afforded the palatial environs of Heaven as our new home to live in NOW.

Before we knew the riches of what Jesus accomplished for us and gave to us, we thought we were just plaintiffs and beggars, hoping for a few morsels of provision to get us by till Friday.  This is misery Christianity… and so unnecessary.  It’s a mindset and resulting experience that is quite demeaning, even disrespectful, to the rich inheritance that Jesus offers us.  But thanks to Grace, we’re transitioning from worthless beggar sin-conscious posture to one of a confident and beloved son seated beside our Daddy and Jesus.  In fact, we’re on our way to learning how to be ‘kings’ unto our God… learning to rule and reign with Him.

No, we’re not trying to say that we replace God… or don’t need God… or are equal to God… but we are trying to effectively “put off” our extinct inferior identity (Eph 4:22; Col 3:9) and “put on Christ”. (Rms 13:14; Gal 3:27).

This “putting on” will likely take some time as our minds need to be renewed to see ourselves as God sees us.  You see, we usually practice whatever we believe… and we believe whatever we’ve heard because “faith comes by hearing”.  Unfortunately we’ve heard wrong for far too long.  But that’s all changing now.

Jesus said, “As you go preach that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matt 10:7).  I believe that the Kingdom came during Jesus’ time on earth.  It was fully available then… and always has been, since then.  But we’ve not had very good teaching about what the Kingdom of God is and what it affords to us.  Mostly we thought that the Kingdom of God would be enjoyed AFTER we die (when our ‘ticker’ stops).  But that’s only part of the story!  The Kingdom of God is also available NOW!

Well, we’re retraining/renewing/upgrading our minds by the washing of the Word so that we might conform into the image of His dear Son.  This might sound lofty and elitist to you, but it is right there in the Holy Writ.  And no! It isn’t accomplished by grunting harder… indeed it is unattainable in our own strength… or by taking thought… or by grasping for it.  It is entered by “entering into rest”.

Now back to prayer posture: I’m very sure that Jesus never begged His Father for anything as if He was wondering if Father would ever ‘come through’ for Him.  Yes, Jesus did fervently supplicate in the Garden… but mostly His prayers were in the posture of thanks and commands.  Thanking the Father and commanding the issues.  In fact, look at the occasion at Lazarus tomb.  Jesus begins the prayer thanking the Father that the Father hears Him (and He interestingly interjects that He didn’t really need to pray this way.  He’s only praying this way because of the people).  Then Jesus loudly cries out, “Lazarus, come out!” (notice the command).  This I believe becomes the essence of our new model in prayer… give thanks, then declare and prophesy.

Thus, I believe that if we’re going to walk commensurate with our true identity and position in Christ we must begin to put off the begging and pre-programmed, mindless, no-need-to-grow-up, asking posture… we must learn how to confidently rule with Jesus from our Heavenly residence toward our earthly situations.  In answer to the original question: this is why I use the words declare and prophesy to describe our new prayer posture.

Personal testimony:  Since about 2010 I have very rarely asked Heaven for anything.  I’ve instructed my mind to notify me if I mindlessly assume the rote posture of asking.  You see, most everything that I would ask for has already been accomplished in Heaven and I’ve been duly informed that it is Heaven’s good pleasure to give it to me.  So for me to turn to my left and look into Daddy’s face (remember: I’m seated with Jesus in Heavenly places at the Father’s right hand) and start to beg for something that He has clearly communicated is already mine, is fairly inappropriate.  As my mind is being renewed with my new position and favor, asking is becoming a thing of the past… it’s only acceptable if I don’t know Father’s mind and heart on the matter.  Begging is obsolete.  So, no more begging for me!!  I really believe I can see Jesus smile at me when He watches me begin to think, speak, act and walk worthy of my true identity and position.  And where does it go from here…. O that’s a topic for another day!

So, learn to prophesy what you know to be true, my friends… it’s the M.O. of our future.

For further clarification on my positions on this subject see my posts entitled:

(Intercession: From faithless beggar petitions to confident kingly prophetic declarations)
(Grace Unto Co-Reigning!)

–MLH

Motivations for rewarding and intimate God-times…

19 Feb

1.   My ‘God-times’ must NOT be seen as a duty… (dutiful activity will eventually wear me out and fizzle out).  I want to give Him much more than just ‘duty’.

2.   Because His love is SO good… and because He loves me SO well, I’m learning to love Him more deeply… and love being with Him.

3.   Experiencing life with Him and in Him makes me appreciate our relationship and want to pursue it even more purposefully… at all times.

4.   I don’t like what my life gravitates to when I don’t spend time with Him; unfeeling, cold, stressed, powerless and frenetic… but I am always renewed and empowered when I spend more time with Him.  I love being in His presence.

5.   Life is very pressing and urgent… not always predictable and normal… so I carve out time at any time… middle of day, middle of night, in my back yard, on my park path, in the car…

6.   I watch and listen for those subtle home-sick-like stirrings which ‘pull’ my heart toward Him… I can’t and don’t want to ignore them… I must get away with HIM.

7.   My time with Him will not be contrived, forced or formal… it will be conversational, confident, easy and natural… as a friend with a friend.

8.   My God-times have been changing from formal duty to organic relationship… and morphing into a posture that is more in keeping with how He sees me.

9.   Only by Grace He’s declared me righteous… and He’s given me awesome favor and authority.  I’m learning to embrace my righteousness and walk in my favor rightly and effectively… commensurate with my kingly status and position in Him.

10.  No more do I see myself as a beggar begging for a handout or breakthrough… I see myself as a royal king seated in the Heavenlies with my brother, Jesus… learning how to prophesy and release Heaven’s environs and realities down into earthly situations… taking proactive responsibility for the ‘kingdom’ which God has given me.

11.  As a king, I must rule… I don’t want to ever abdicate my status when He loves me so much… believes in me so much… and wants to share all that He is with me.  His thoughts and plans for me are so good… so exciting… and much better than I ever thought!

12.  And yet as a child/son I always find my ‘home’ resting in His arms… my Refuge and Rock… my Identity and Source.  I love my hang-out times with… my Daddy.

— MLH

Luke 18’s Unjust Judge… God or Satan?

5 Jan

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

Widow perspective

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

Break it down

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

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

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

So why did we ever believe this diabolic perspective?

Satan, the unjust judge!

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

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

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

The Contrast

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

— MLH

 

Dual Realities of the Believer – (No More Pickle Juice)

26 Dec

(Disclaimer: There is a belief called ‘dualism’ which separates God in the spirit realm from man in the natural realm.  The two don’t mix in this belief system.  Conversely, when I speak of dual realities I believe they are intertwined and inseparable.)

Heaven is for real!  And it’s for now!  Yes, we walk on earth, but we’ve been invited to live in and rule from Heaven… and experience both of them simultaneously.  God’s original intention was for us to be aware of and live in the supernatural realm more than in the temporal realm.  Unfortunately, most voices around us scream to give our full attention to this earthly realm.  And even most of the voices which would point us to the Heavenly realm would have us believe that the Heavenly realm is reserved for after we die. Of course this is just not true.  Jesus, our Supreme Model gave us plenty of examples to see how a mortal can ascend into Heaven while still living and breathing on earth.  John 3:13 is a prime example:

“No one has ascended to Heaven but He who came down from Heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in Heaven.”

Jesus is referring to Himself in each instance in this verse… the one who ascended… the one who came down… and the one who is in Heaven.  Just for reference; this verse is pre-cross, pre-resurrection and pre-glorification.  Then how could He say this?  Because He had discovered how to ascend and descend.  He had learned to traverse between the two realms.  In fact, He lived in both simultaneously.  One realm was not mutually exclusive or cancelling of the other.  They had merged into one experience… all under Father’s jurisdiction and care.  Jesus, being 100% man, set the example for us.  He’s inviting us to live in the Heavenlies with Him, now!  No delaying it until our ‘ticker’ stops.  A host of Scriptures reference and establish this powerful fact (if we use the right ‘glasses’ to view them).  So now, while our feet walk on terra firma, we live in and  rule from Heaven where we’re “seated with Christ”!

Unfortunately this world has baptized and marinated us in the pickle juice of shame, insecurity and lack.  And we’ve believed this diabolic lie.  Even as sons of God, we still operate nearly exclusively out of our ‘pickled’ state… in our self-talk, in our conversations and in our prayer life.  Just listen to ourselves talk about ourselves or our conditions next time we talk to anyone, especially when we talk to God.  Do you hear any ‘poor little ‘ol me’ overtones… or rehearsing the sad state of affairs… or outright beggar posture just hoping for another morsel to help make it till Friday.  The following quote says it quite succinctly:

    “One of the most disbelieved scriptures in the entire Bible is found in Col. 2:10: “You are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” This is the root of unbelief that gives rise to all of our struggles. When we do not believe we are complete in Him we spend our every effort trying to become who God says we are. We use our “faith” to get what God says we already have. Our prayer life is consumed with asking God to do what He has already done through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus!”
“Break the power of lack by persuading your heart that you are complete in Him. Memorize, meditate on, sing, say, and worship every scriptural promise that tells you what is yours in Jesus. (And, by the way, every promise God ever made to anyone is yours, in Christ. (2 Cor. 1:20) Lose yourself in Him. Immerse yourself so deeply in your identity in Him that you have no sense of self outside of Christ! No lack can live in a heart that is complete.” – Dr. James B. Richards

Did you catch that?  Even our prayers reflect our beggar mentality because we’re still slaves to the Liar and his lies. Believing this lie will prohibit us from being kings and kingly.  But we ARE kings… co-heirs with Jesus and seated with Him in the Heavens!  This MUST become our greater reality.  We must learn to think, see, speak, pray and rule from this reality.  The now emerging Kingdom era needs and awaits us.  Believing Him who is Truth will launch us into being “filled with all the fullness of God” (see Eph 3:19).

In the beggar posture, we didn’t have to accept responsibility for the rightness or wrongness of our prayers.  We just cried out from our real or perceived pain or lack… and we let Almighty God do the sorting out.  We didn’t have any power anyway… it was all up to Him.  Right?  No!  That’s not scripturally correct!  Jesus said, “I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy…” (see Luke 10:19).  And this is NOT reserved for ‘the millennium’… this is NOW!  Friends, we’ve got a lot of growing up to do, in our prayer type (ruling vs beg), our prayer focus (from Heaven toward earth) and our prayer topics (governance).  We’ll have to determine whether we’ve spent sufficient ‘face-time’ to get to know Father’s heart so that we can pray authoritatively as His spokesperson and emissary.NoMorePickleJuice

Suggestion: Try a fast… a unique type of fast.  Try fasting for one week from plaintiff prayers… even from asking prayers.  Try releasing, prophetic, declaring, decreeing type prayers.  This may feel awkward at first, but you’ll find that it’s much more in keeping with who you are and your inheritance in Christ.  Try thinking, speaking and praying as a ruling king would… as a king who has heard and knows his King’s heart and mind.  Are you ready, kings?  Ok, no more pickle juice!  Welcome to kingship in His Kingdom!

The simple graphic below may help visualize this powerful dynamic. (Click for larger graphic)

The Believer's Dual Realities

To view an 80 minute video of Mark presenting this subject, click here.
For notes to accompany the video, click here.

If good works can’t make a sinner righteous, can ‘bad’ works make a saint unrighteous?

26 Jul

This question rattles the very core of our belief system.  Our religious response to the first part is solid and automatic (we’ve preached it hard and heavy), but because of our culture, experience and emotions we may feel unable or unsure as to how to answer the latter part. But it boils down to this: If we couldn’t get good enough to even COME to God, how could do we ever think that our goodness could KEEP us in God?  So the short version of this great news is: Our righteous status with God is not based on our merit… it’s on Jesus merit… His righteousness alone.

Scripture goes so far as to say that “we ARE the righteousness of God in Christ” (see II Cor 5:21).  I wonder if my head and heart really heard this astounding news… my righteousness is the same as God’s.  It’s not something that we can ever earn.  It’s called the “righteousness of God” because Jesus is the One who kept the law and He gave us His righteousness.  This is so liberating, so easy and so light!

Let’s see how Grace is afforded to us.

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Also through Him, we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, (Rms 5:1, 2)

For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.  19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.  20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:  21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.  (Rms 5:17-21)

Did you notice that we have been declared righteous?  We didn’t get just a little bit of righteousness… that we could somehow lose if we aren’t very careful.  And we didn’t get just a little bit more righteous.   Rather, in the same manner that a judge gives the verdict and declares a person innocent, so God has declared us righteous based on Jesus’ obedience and merit alone.  My mind has trouble with this (because I’ve been so sin and law conscious) but now I believe that God’s heart is so good… even better than I now know, so I choose to let my heart feast on this finest of fare.

This is the crux of the message of Grace.  It’s obviously not a license to sin (see Rms 6:1); rather, the Grace message gives permission to take a radical leap into the incomparable love of God.  This liberating revelation will propel us into the glorious adventure of becoming kings on this earth. No more insecure ‘beggar type’ Christians hoping to not make God mad at us… and hoping to extract another morsel from Him.  No way!  Now we’re confidently exploring the expanses of His love and the stunning destiny awaiting us.

So take a ride on the ‘wild side’… just take God at His Word.  He’s never lied before and this is what He says, “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed… even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference.” (see Rms 3:21-22).  If you in Christ, you ARE righteous!

More on this topic: Rms 10:3, Phil 3:9, Rms 5:17, Eph 2:8

— MLH