Tag Archives: tears

In search of the real Me!

23 Jun

Remember Jesus’ parable of the man who sold all to buy the field that had the treasure hidden in it? (Matt 13:44)  This parable can be interpreted in several different ways.  

We’re all quite aware that the primary truth in this passage is that Jesus is the treasure, and we must sell all to obtain the Treasure. 

A secondary truth is that we are Jesus’ treasure, and He gave His life to buy you and me back to Himself.  Lock these truths in, because we have no intention of diminishing their transforming power as we move ahead into a slightly different application of this parable.

Now try this third perspective: You are the field, and hidden inside of you is the God-placed and God-designed treasure of great price.  You must sell all so that you can ‘buy’ the field (diligently seek to understand our unique identity) in order to possess and develop the buried treasure (the uniquely made and God-designed you) which is of great price.

If you’re on a quest to discover the treasure called you, there are many great resources ‘out there’: personality tests, seminars, books, personal life coaches, etc.  I’ve tried many of them… and each has its strength.

But I’ve discovered two questions that are very simple yet powerful and could start you on your ‘trip’ into finding the basic motivational giftings that make up the real core you.  Start out with the basic question, then each time you answer, you ask the follow-up question of “Why?”

Two key questions

1. What made you feel most alive in your life?
This can be anything, (spiritual/secular, when you were a kid or last week).  But it will be the event or activity in your life that you measure everything by (e.g., “What I just did wasn’t quite as good as that”, etc)  It was the thing that kept you awake with excitement before or after it happened.  These are highpoints in your life.  Did you find at least one answer?
     The follow-up question is: “Why is that important?”
          Your answer might be: “Because I was with people”… or “because I was by myself.” or….
     The follow-up: “Why is that important?”
          Your answer might be: because I got to plan, care, entertain, instruct, fix, make someone’s life better, or….

     The follow-up: “Why is that important?”

Each answer is followed up with “Why?” until you ‘drill down’ to your core values and motivations.

2. What consistently makes you have tears?
This can be anything: a song, theme, verse, experience, daydream, art, beauty, nature, etc.  What makes you have tears most consistently.
          Your answer might be: when wrongs are made right, when right get vindicated, when genuine love wins, etc.

     The follow-up question is: “Why is that important?”
          Your answer might be: “Because of that one line, that one theme, the symmetry, the eloquence or elegance, the fluidity, the beauty, the bottom-line truth, the partnership, the compassion, the love…”, etc.
     The follow-up: “Why is that important?”
          Your answer might be: “Because of how it unlocks my heart, because it gives me a new start, because it affirms my major life values and convictions, or because mercy & forgiveness shines through, etc”
     The follow-up: “Why is that important?”
          Your answer might be: “Because this dynamic met me at a crucial time of my life… and I find myself gravitating to that theme often now as I share with others.

Each answer is followed up with “Why?” until you ‘drill down’ to your core values and motivations.

The point here is to do some soul searching to find the basic motivational gifts that are innately at work in us.  Finding and operating in these giftings/strengths is where we will find the greatest empowerment and effectiveness… with the least amount of ‘drain’ on our internal reserves.  In fact, Jesus said,

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent me.” – John 4:34

So, finding the treasure called ‘you’, will empower you to ‘stay in your lane’… you won’t be so prone to follow the money, or need, or open door, or popular opinion, etc.  You’ll know who you are, which will help identify tracks for you to run on and give you wisdom for making better decisions.

You see if we make decisions in accordance with our uniqueness, then all the grace of Heaven is available to support us.  Consider this verse:

“The eyes of the Lord look to and fro across the earth to show Himself strong to the one whose heart is completely His.” – II Chron 16:9

You see, if we’re in the center of His will then His strength is made available to us.  Conversely, if we’re out of sync with His design and desire for us, we may only get the general grace that “falls on the just and unjust alike”.  Unfortunately, this lack of grace can easily lead to burnout, because our objectives will likely have to be attained by our own strength when we’re in this mode.

You may find this little graph helpful.  You’ll have to stand back a little from your life… then from that perspective try to use as much objectivity as possible in evaluating how your heart is doing.  Don’t use a single day… or even a single week to reference your heart… rather, try to think in terms of months.

The questions to ask: How was my heart 6 months ago?  How is my heart now?  How will my heart be 6 months from now? 

Were you able to honestly assess the trend of your heart in the last six months?  What will your heart look like if you extrapolate that same trend out to six months in the future?  Are you okay with that?  Do you need to change something now so that you don’t end up in the ‘danger zone’?

If you’re not sure how to assess the status of your heart, use this little ‘dipstick’ to check the ‘oil’ of your heart.

These matters are of utmost importance because if we don’t come to grips with these principles then we run the high potential of exhausting ourselves… and if we discover the gold in these principles we will find ourselves empowered to ‘walk upon our high places’ and ‘leap and skip upon the mountains’.

For more on this subject consider this short and very simple study with ‘tests’, authored by my father-in-law, Bob Beckett – What is Your Motivational Gift.

For more related to this subject:
Your Inheritance Includes Supernatural Provision
Living Within God’s Grace



Testimony: Tears… and ‘catch a big fish’

31 Jan

A testimony from my trip to China:

A few weeks ago I joined a couple of my dear friends, Dave Clark and Jack Lee on a business trip to China.  In one of the business meetings, we all spoke to about 50 business leaders.  There were about 30 students from a nearby business university… and about 20 business people… some who were billionaires.  They were Buddhists, Daoists, atheists and a few Christians.

Dave and Jack shared the business opportunity and our values for living from the heart.  I shared about how to live with an ‘alive’ and soft heart… we must live for something bigger than ourselves… bigger than money.  I said one of those ways for our family, is to let our hearts be touched by the poor and to find ways to come alongside them.

I recounted the story of our trip to Cebu City, Philippines… to the Little Palace in Shanty-Town.  As I was telling the story I was overcome with tears… and a very discernable change occurred in the room.  The atmosphere changed from a business opportunity to a heart encounter.

Afterwards the university professor said to us, “I’ve been to many, many of these kinds of meetings but never one as meaningful as this.  Would you come back and do a 2 or 3 day seminar with my students?  I want them to learn how to live for something bigger than money.”

The power of God-tears is almost uncanny.  When we live with our hearts engaged and ‘ablaze’ with passion and God’s glory, it is infectious and revolutionary… especially to folks who have never been in touch with their hearts.

There is not a dearth of knowledge in the earth… there is a dearth of experiencing the realities of the heart.

Living for head knowledge as ‘king’, is the substitute for not knowing a satisfying reality in our hearts.  And we can’t blame the people, because they’ve never had anyone explain and model it for them.

But once their heart has been awakened… and had an encounter… they realize that living for head knowledge, is only ‘surface-y’… only ‘glitter’ that purports to be a life source.  In the end, it is quite powerless to create true happiness or true change.

After the business meeting I interviewed 6 or 8 people to see if we should visit their factory the next day.  After each interview I asked if I could take their hand and pray with them.  I felt like the Lord gave me little ‘sparks’ of special insight to pray for each of them.

At the end, a lady who had been watching, asked why we held hands.  I said, “For a sense of connection and agreement with one another.”  She asked if I could pray for her.  I did… and at the end she was VERY tender and responsive.  My translator suggested that we take the next step of leading her to Jesus.  I briefly presented Jesus and what it means to have a relationship with Him… then I led her in a simple ‘sinners prayer’.  Afterward she was very tender and exclaimed, “Something happened… I felt something change.”  Her eyes were very near tears… and mine already had tears.  We hugged… it was a wonderful God-moment.

I had not interviewed her so I didn’t know who she was, except that her name was Mrs. Cao.

The next day, we visited several clothing factories and as we walked into one large facility, there was Mrs Cao!  We eagerly and warmly greeted each other and I referenced how special our time was together.  Without hesitation she confidently and proudly announced before her associates that she had given her heart to Jesus the day before.

Well, it turns out that she was one of two owners of this factory.  And this factory is one of the main suppliers of uniforms for the airlines and military in China.

Who knew????  God did!  Sometimes you catch a big fish and don’t even know it.  And my translator even had to give me the nod to go the next step. 🙂

Thank you, God!!!!


DPM Update – 2017 Dec – Ministry trip reports

15 Dec

Dear Friends

Manila, Philippines
Our recent trip to Manila will be remembered for a long time.  We experienced more tender and tangible presence of God over an extended time, than in many years.  We co-spoke with Greg and Wendy Simas from San Jose, CA.  A couple days of sight-seeing gave us time to become good friends. 

It all started a month or so earlier, when I was getting acquainted over the phone with the leader Benji Cruz.  I told him that many times in our meetings people experience tears.  In an email the next day, he told me that he was already experiencing tears as I was talking… and that they had been praying for the gift of tears for several months (read more about tears).  Afterward he informed his team of our phone call and they all experienced tears during their staff meeting.  Hmmmm… a good God-sign to build faith for both of us, for our upcoming meetings.  

About 400 people attended the conference and each time we gathered, there were copious tender tears.  I’m confident that the hunger of their hearts attracted His presence.  And the more we talked about the goodness of our Father, the more He rested upon the four conference sessions and each of our smaller team meetings.  Since their culture tends to be a ‘father-less’ culture (fathers are in far off places earning a living for weeks, months or years at a time) it was very fitting to unveil a Heavenly Father who never leaves… and always loves… and always cares.  

The conference ended Saturday night with a 4+ hour crazy-cool fire tunnel… from 8:30PM to 1 AM.  It was a most wonderful marathon for us and the local team.  Amazingly, they waited in line… and if they were that hungry then it was our pleasure to be the conduits of Father’s love and favor to them.  Many sobbed with deep and overwhelming encounters with a good Father.  We hugged them, made declarations of acceptance and affirmation over them knowing that the strongholds of the fatherless orphan spirit were crumbling with every declaration and hug.  That evening, the room was super saturated with a lot of love!!!

While in Manila, we visited some of Cheryl’s (our daughter-in-love) Filipino family.  A gracious meal and a short afternoon and evening in their home made for an truly unforgettable experience, making us fall more in love with her precious family and wanting to go back soon!
Read Manila testimonies at the bottom of this email.

Springfield, MO – A Treasure Hunt – so easy!
I co-spoke at a men’s conference in Springfield with two of my Kansas city friends, Steve Bartlett and Hal Linhardt.  Saturday afternoon the group split up 2 x 2 to go on a Treasure Hunt.  Two of our clues were ‘Panera Bread’ and ‘a woman with flowers’.  On the way there, Lonnie and I released angels to prepare the Lord’s ‘treasure’ for the Heavenly encounter they were about to have.  When we arrived at Panera Bread no one fit our clues, but as we sat down to drink our tea, a young lady sat down not far from us who had a large purse with bright colored flowers.  I approached her and introduced myself and our Treasure Hunt.  I then pointed to her purse and informed her that she fit two of the clues.  She sort of sheepishly smiled.  I then asked her name.  She said, “____ Rose”.  Surprised, both of us couldn’t help but laugh.  She didn’t only HAVE flowers… she WAS the flower!!  I ask my buddy Lonnie to come over.  We talked briefly and prayed for some aches she had from working a double job.  Then Lonnie asked her if she had ever given her heart to the Lord Jesus.  She said, “No.”  He asked if she knew what that meant… and she indicated that she clearly did.  He asked her if she’d like to do that right now.  She quickly, easily and happily said, “Yes.”  We led her in a simple prayer.  It was very easy to see the Lord’s presence upon her as she prayed.  There’s much more to this story, but later as we turned to leave, we heard her exclaim out loud to herself, “Wow!”  When I heard her, I turned back toward her and we caught eyes.  Both of us had a deeply satisfying smile all over our faces, knowing that we all had just encountered a Divine setup. Jesus had expertly led Lonnie and me to His ‘treasure’… and the angels had prepared her for her rendezvous with destiny. So easy… and so fun!

Texas trip
The first week of December, Debbie and I made a little tour through Texas (Mansfield, Big Spring, Abilene and Royse City).  So many good relationships and so many God things took place. One rewarding time happened during the weekend meetings in Big Spring.  We opened up some fresh and current theology about the goodness of God and the stunning favor and position we, His people, have.  I also admonished that someone of every group must pay the price to ‘get hot’ in God. Someone must get a ‘fever’ so that we have something ‘contagious’ enough to ‘infect’ others with.  Well, in the last meeting our worship morphed into an anointed prayer time.  I pressed us to not preach, exhort or beg our impressions, but rather to prophesy and declare them as kings with authority.  (Here are a few of my blog posts on upgraded prayer.)  Understandably, it is more than a little awkward to make the transition in our minds and our vocabulary!  But two notable times were when two of the guys got ‘hot’… and that’s what happens when we step into the grace that God gives to each of us when we do it His way.  Both were overcome with tears of elation as they stepped into an anointing that ‘super-empowered’ them.  Both, tangibly felt the authority of God come upon them as they began to prophesy over their spheres of influence.  As they embraced their anointing, the anointing spread through the room with everyone fearlessly and boldly rising to the occasion.  After the older patriarch sat down, I knowingly asked him why he stood up to prophesy… and why he took his coat off… and why he had tears in his eyes.  He somewhat shyly but confidently said, “I got the FEVER!”  The room burst into unrestrained laughter of approval and affirmation of the elder.  It was electrifying for all of us.  And that is the ‘take away’… when we get ‘hot’ and begin to walk in Father’s anointing… without pressure or fanfare… it automatically awakens and calls those around us into Life.

We prophesied over the local natural spring called Big Spring and the spiritual springs of Living Water in Big Spring.  May they flow fresh and free into the city and region!!!

Wow, I love opening up the believers’ hearts and minds to our Father’s magnanimous intentions… and watching the discovery moments!!  Don’t get much better than that!  You can read more of their responses below.  

Healing in Mansfield
Our good friend Bob has a chronic condition where his heart will start beating fast and require that he take meds to calm it down.  The meds don’t always work… and they have a negative side effect.  We were with him when another episode occurred and he hadn’t taken any meds.  He asked for prayer.  We prayed confident declarative soaking prayers for about 10 minutes.  He said it was better… but about 5 minutes later as he was talking, he exclaimed with surprise, “Wow, it’s gone… just like the meds, but without any of the negative side effects!”  Thank you, Lord!!

Thank you all… SO much, for your prayers and care!!  Literally, we are very conscious of your prayer ‘cover’ and care for us, as we minister.  We love being about our Father’s business and are VERY honored that our hearts are joined with you in this journey!!!  

Lotsa love
Mark and Debbie

PS Click here to view our itinerary.

Testimonies and responses

Manila, Philippines
It’s been a week & we continue to receive stories of breakthrough! Your visit has brought sparks of revival!  I’m preparing now for our prayer and thanksgiving for what the Lord did in the conference.  In four hours, we shall be gathering and remember the goodness of the Lord.  I’m excited on this, even if I’m not a pro.  What you told me about keeping the Presence aflame has never left me so I’m not delaying this any further.  We’re doing it tonight … and I’d like to see a culture of keeping the Presence burning, and tears flowing, in our gathering.  I had a prayer walk this morning and saturated myself with His Presence and I felt He met me.  I can’t thank you enough.  You and Debbie have pointed us to the tenderness of His heart … and feeling the heartbeat of His affection.  We want this to grow in us!  Pray for the fever to go high temperature!

My gratitude to you too 🙂 what you shared was something that truly changed the way I think. 🙂

Thank you for releasing the Father’s heart to us the past few days! Your love and passion for Him is contagious! The message that you carry bears the emotions of the Lord towards us! It was amazing! 

i am really blessed to see and listen to your word of Hope. God is really personal to His children, when i pass through the fire of tunnel all i could hear is God overflowing love. And im so much happy and joyful when you both hug me coz you both look like my mom and dad, but they are together with the Lord. And im so thankful that God has used you to really be His mouthpiece, hands and hugs. I am so thankful and until now im so overwhelm by his love and grace. last friday night, me and my friends are crying coz when you talk, we could sense God is speaking to our spirit.

I felt fire all over my body…and joy overwhelmed me… AMAZING! One great night..🔥🔥

Springfield, MO
Thanks so much!  You were such a blessing and I was powerfully touched. 

Springfield, MO
Thanks for everything this weekend.  The Lord has truly used you… Hopefully we’ll see you and the crew again sometime in the future.  Jolly good jubilant Joy!!!

Big Spring, TX
H-h-heeee y’all. I’m,,, I ben drink’n from a, a, wa, wa, wait, wait, um, a well.  Nnno.  I meeeen a, a new well. Yep. I’m ash sober ash ‘m gonna git.  And nuffin, nuffin I can do boutit.
Well, that is the way I felt when I left the last meeting Saturday evening, and pretty much every day since.  For years we have been waiting for the vocabulary, the terminology, the analogy, and the revelation in understanding what Father God has brought us into.

Big Spring, TX
Hello!  It was such a joy to finally meet you, and experience his presence in such a mighty way!  Thank you for the heart felt ministry!

Big Spring, TX
Thanks Mark and Debbie for coming to Big Spring!!  ❤.  Y’all are a huge blessing to us all!!

Dwelling Place Ministries
11011 Olive St
KC, MO 64131
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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.


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!


A Plan To Succeed

21 Jun

“Apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

At times in my life, I’ve felt overwhelmed with life’s issues… and realized that I hadn’t taken care of my heart as well as I should.  I hadn’t spent the time with God necessary to fuel my heart.   As a result my heart was diminished in spiritual vibrancy.  This left me without the reserve of inner empowerment to overcome.  The fact is simple: empowerment to overcome life’s issues really only comes from spending time with God.

“Guard over your heart with all diligence for from it flow all the issues of life.” – Prov 4:23

Since we’re prone to shame-based thinking, at first glance we may think this verse means to try to keep our hearts as free from the world and evil as possible.  Well, of course… that’s elementary… but what it really means is that we must keep it full of the Life of God.  And there is no substitute for keeping it full except to spend time with God.

That begs the question, “How do I know if my heart is full… or healthy?”   Well, ask yourself what kind of self-talk thoughts are rumbling through your mind.  If you are thinking negatively about life’s issues, you are probably deficient in ‘God-life’.

A great hero in the faith, Bill Johnson says, “If I am more than two weeks away from tears, then I know what I have to do.”  In other words, tears are one of his indicators that his heart has been refueled with God-life. (For more on tears, read: The Language of Tears )  We too must find the indicators which help us become aware of the status of our hearts.

In those times when I was overwhelmed by life, I have discovered that if I give myself to several weeks of more focused God-time, my heart is refueled and life’s issues are now much easier to face.  The solution to most of our inner struggles and stress is really quite simple… spend time with God.

For various reasons, most of us have some level of desire to spend more time with God, but don’t have a strategy or plan to make it meaningful.  Over the years, I have gradually discovered a plan that works for me.  It goes like this:

Plan to succeed

Find a place where I can be fully real and uninhibited with God
Establish regular and predictable set-aside times with God
On a calendar at home, check off my times with God
All conversations with God are ‘out loud’

1. Start with praying in the Spirit

Invite Holy Spirit to pray through me
He prays the right prayers and best prayers
He always prays in agreement with Father
He always gets the answers to His prayers
He edifies me as He prays through me
I ask Him what He’s praying so I can pray with Him

2. ‘Love-on’ Jesus / Father

This is the First Commandment
It is Matt 6:33 “Seek ye first…”
Develop new vocabulary to express my affection

3. Pray God’s heart over each of my issues

No ‘beggar-prayers’ allowed
Must pray faith-filled prayers
Agree with God’s heart and thoughts about me
What does the Word say?
Practice prophesying His will into issues

4. Thank God for this time with Him

Train my heart to expect and love face-time with Him
Anchor my heart in Heaven’s favor today
Declare eagerness to meet here next time

When asked, I have offered this plan to many hungry or ‘stuck’ people and have heard some pretty cool testimonies of break-through as a result.  A more detailed A plan to succeed gives a specific plan to follow and a way to keep one’s self accountable until a new life-pattern has been established.

“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” – Hab 2:2

I have ‘written the vision’ so that anyone can ‘run’ with it.  If you are hungry for more or don’t like your ‘stuck’ feeling, try this plan… be serious with it, and I’m confident that you find a noticeable… even significant changes within a few weeks.

Click here to download A Plan To Succeed ‘work-sheet’… and expect  new spiritual vibrancy.


The Language of Tears

26 Apr

What are tears?

Have you ever wondered why you tear up when you see something stunningly beautiful, such as couples figure skating… or watch two people fall in love… or experience the restoration of a broken relationship… or see a powerful display of the Spirit of God… or you realize that you are fully forgiven and loved by your Heavenly Father?  Why do tears happen?  What insights could we discover in tears?  Here are a few insights.

Made to be fascinated

We were made to be fascinated by God.  When we were created we were given a special affinity for our creator; it’s built-in.  We may not know it… or even know God… but it’s a fact that when even an unbeliever sees God, something deep and latent immediately awakens and gives homage to our creator.  Consider Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus… there was instant recognition of his “Lord” and he paid homage by falling down.  One second he was on a mission to kill Jesus’ ‘body’, the next second he is alive with passion and devotion for Jesus.  A latent God-appreciating-factor was instantly awakened.  And God loves to do that, by the way.  He loves to dazzle and fascinate us.  When we see, hear or feel His perfection, something deep inside of us instantly applauds our perfect creator.  And when we see or experience something of extraordinary excellence or perfection, it resounds with the deep places in our heart.  It reminds us of our perfect God.  Our God-appreciation-factor kicks in.  Our deep places begin calling unto God’s deep places… it’s our spirit man saying, “O, Abba!”  And for most people, tears are a natural involuntary display of a most welcomed deep stirring of the heart.

Prophetic tears

Tears can reveal our unique make up.  Watch when we have the God-kind of tears.  They can give us understanding about our unique destiny and callings in God.  When we are surprised by a tender heart and the overflowing of tears, this is a most significant sign of the Lord’s favor on what we’re doing…. and it can give insight into our uniqueness as a person.  When we are touched by God’s Spirit, our spirit-man begins ‘prophesying’ to us through our tears.  If we take note of (and even journal) our surroundings, environment, themes, thoughts and inspirations we’ll acquire understanding about our unique graces and giftings.  Watching for this ‘sympathetic resonation’ between our spirit and God’s Spirit will reveal vital insights about our uniqueness.

A ‘velvet sledge hammer’

Tears are a gift of God. When God gives them to us, they can become a velvet sledge hammer of effectiveness with precious people God gives to us.  To them, our tears are as powerful as a sledge hammer and as welcomed and soft as velvet.  Tears break through their defenses and empower God’s sneak-attack through the ‘back door’ of people’s hearts.  Even though they’ve  developed mechanisms of defense for most influences that come their way, tears take most people by surprise.  When God grants the tenderness of tears it takes our hearts into a most welcomed captivity to Love.  Tears are kind of like Roberta Flack’s, “‘Killing’ me softly with his song”… such sweet surrender to Love.

When we’re held in Jesus’ tender embrace, we love the ‘breaking’ of tears and the wonderful freshness and cleanness that comes from tears.  Tears wash off the burdens of heaviness, guilt, tension, stress, worry and distractions of the outside world.  Everyone wants to be free of these burdens, so when God grants the open door into this level of tenderness there is an almost automatic one-ness in the room.  And although we won’t fake or hype tears, we know that they are one of God’s sweetest kisses.

We may have a most valid attestation of God’s favor on our meetings.  We may move in celebration, teaching and the prophetic… and all those will be powerful.  BUT tears will level the playing field for all who’ve gathered.  Tears will automatically draw them out of spectatorship and into participation and ownership.  They’ll know that it wasn’t a man or a personality… or even a creed that moved them… because only One Thing can stir this deeply.  People will gladly give credence and their hearts to Him… and their thanks and loyalty to the vessels who helped usher Him into their lives.  Tears can be our rallying power-hitter… the wind in our corporate-gathering sails… and the residual buzz word over coffee for days following.

Many years ago, a prophetic ministry spoke over my wife and me, “God is giving you the ‘gift of tears’ and you are going to take it with you.”  And so it’s true, one the most common manifestations in our ministry is tears.  No matter what denomination or setting, we usually see tears or we personally experience tears… or both.  I wasn’t sure about tears in the beginning, but now I’ve come to REALLY love the gift God has given us.

Do we understand the language of tears?

We probably don’t fully understand the value that God places on tears.  They must be one of His top priority items because He saves them in a bottle and records them in His book. (Ps 56:8)  Why is that?  Well I think it possible that our tears give record to how many ‘holy reunions’ we’ve had with Him. Let me explain:

Have you ever wondered what our spirit man sounds like?  What kind of voice does ‘he’ have?  When and how does ‘he’ speak to us?   What does ‘he’ sound like?

Most of us believe that we have a spirit, a soul, and a body.  We know the voice of our body.  It’s the five senses: sight, taste, smell, hearing, and touch.  If we touch something too hot our body speaks to us loudly when pain says, “THAT’S HOT!”   If someone tickles us, our body says, “That’s pleasant and funny”, even if it is slightly uncomfortable.

You might have guessed already that our soul’s voice is our emotions, our thinking (cognitive) and our will.  So if something disappointing happens to us, our soul man says “That’s sad”.  If something pleasant is done toward us, we get the feelings of appreciation and a desire to reciprocate love.

Now these things are very elementary; they’re the first baby steps we discover toward becoming responsible and mature adults.  But, eventually we won’t make decisions based solely upon our body’s voice or our soul’s voice.  We’ll begin to make decisions based upon right and wrong and from hearing the voice of God.

But what does our spirit man’s voice sound like?  Does ‘he’ even talk?  I dare say that most people don’t really even think about their spirit. We cater mostly to our natural senses and our feelings.  As a result, in a manner of speaking, we’re a deaf mute; we don’t know how to hear or interpret what our spirit man is saying.   We’re designed to walk by faith and not by sight, but this deaf mute condition leaves us groping in the dark and grasping for things… anything to fulfill our soulish or fleshly desires.

Some might say that our conscience is our spirit’s voice.  And I think that is possible.   But we can sear our conscience and then it doesn’t speak truthfully to us.  So that voice may or may not be an accurate voice to listen to.

Let me make one more point then I’ll bring it home.  The Bible says that our Creator made us in His own image.  Our spirit came from His Spirit and we are “members of his body”. (Eph 5:30)  Don’t you imagine with that kind of ‘DNA’ connection, that when our spirit and God’s Spirit touches that it’s like a ‘holy reunion’ takes place?  Of course!  That is when our “deep calls unto deep” (Ps 42:7) and we cry “Abba!” (Gal 4:6)

So let me ask, what happens in those occasions when God’s Spirit is touching your spirit?  What is your reaction?  Have you ever had goose bumps?  Did you shake or tingle or feel warm or laugh, etc?  All these can very real… and very good.  But most commonly people experience tears when God touches them.  Most people can’t fake tears or cry on demand, so tears are likely the most valid evidence that our spirit man is encountering God’s Spirit.  It’s at this point that we are being fed real Spirit food.  Remember, “Man can’t live by bread alone (just mind food) but by every word (and touch) that comes from the mouth (Spirit) of God.” (Matt 4:4) This is Life!  So what are tears about?  Why did you cry?

Encounter = tears

My premise is that tears are one of the most valid ways of knowing that your spirit man has had an encounter with God.  It’s that ‘holy reunion’ thing; where our spirit which came from God and now lives in this temporary container called a human body, has a meeting with our near relative; our Daddy.  Our spirit man begins to jump up and down.  It wants to notify the conscious and cognitive parts of us that it is now experiencing what it was made for and must have more of; we’re having communion with our Daddy.  But how can it notify us since it doesn’t have a mouth or tongue?   One of the ways God equips our spirit man to speak to us is that our spirit man just ‘pushes’ tears out of our eyes.  Have you ever wondered why you’re crying when you may not be feeling any emotion in particular?  Mostly, I think that it comes from a sense of contentment; a feeling of belonging; a feeling of being loved on; a feeling like coming home… really, it’s just being with Daddy.  O, and it just feels so good to be with Him!

If this is true then I believe we should be on the alert for the times when we have tears.  We could discover another way of hearing God’s voice and knowing the will of God for us.  There is so much more I could say about this subject.  Actually, I’m considering writing a book about the Gift of Tears because there is so much gold to be mined from understanding our times of tears.  If we had time we could talk of how to use your tears experiences to identify your unique basic motivational gifting(s) – the tool(s) that you were given the moment God put your spirit inside of your body.  And if you know and understand your motivational gifting, then you can experience the greatest amount of grace that Heaven has available for you.  I believe that it’s possible to find direction for most, if not all of life’s decisions based upon your understanding of the language of tears.

All kinds of tears

Obviously, there are many kinds of tears; tears of pain, healing, remorse, repentance, sorrow, joy, empowerment, commission, contentment,  joy, intimacy, coming home, being loved—just to name a few.  But now, we’re talking about an occasion of tears that doesn’t necessarily have any of these conscious emotions.  In fact, I’ve found myself with tears when I didn’t want to cry or when I didn’t have any emotions at all.  I have come to know that this is one of the languages through which God speaks to me.  We may speak in English, Spanish, Mandarin, German, etc; but how special is it when God uses a uniquely personalized language to speak to you and me.  That’s just what kind of God we have; a very personal and intimate God.  Out of the 4 of 5 languages that He uses to speak to me, tears are one of the big ones.

Most of the time, I’m not rendered ‘out of control’ when tears occur.  I just have that surprise attack of melted-ness inside—even when I didn’t have an emotion to go with it at the time.  When that occurs I know that Holy Spirit has just validated what I am thinking… or have said… or am about to say.  From that moment on I have no fear because I’ve heard the voice of my God.  Remember, “Faith comes by hearing…” (Rom 10:17)  When we recognize the voice of God and understand what He’s saying, at that moment we get an injection of true faith.

‘Barometer’ of tears

Bill Johnson says, “When I’m more than two weeks away from tears, I know what I must do.”  Sometimes I’ll go for a stretch of time without experiencing tears.  But when I realize it, I begin asking God for another encounter of tears.  Actually, what I’m asking for is another encounter with Him.  But sometimes my conscious mind doesn’t know how to get to that encounter, so I ask Him, “Jesus, please make my heart tender.  Melt me again.”  And you know, it won’t be long before He sneaks up on me and so pleasantly surprises me with another tender experience with His presence.  Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!  🙂

You see, our hearts must be fed.  We must have this ‘holy reunion’ with our Daddy for empowerment to live life.  Prov 4:23 says, “Guard over your heart with all diligence from it flow all the issues of life.”  In other words, if my heart ain’t full then I ain’t got nuthin’ to live life from.  And how do I know if I’m feeding my heart?  I recall my most recent time of tender encounter (evidenced by tears) with my Daddy because that’s when and where I was truly spiritually fed.  How long has it been?  How’s that length of time working for us?  (For more on assessing our personal spiritual health go to: Spiritual Health Ingredients)  If you’re wondering why things are a kind of dry and we feel powerless, a famous man of faith, General Booth of the Salvation Army, once asked, “Have you tried tears?”

Got tears?

So how long has it been since you and Jesus used the language of tears to communicate?  How long has it been since you had a feeling of longing for Him—maybe something akin to that homesick feeling you had as a child when you were alone and far away from home.  Remember what it felt like?  Remember how badly you wanted to be back home.  Do you really want Him now?  Really?  Then tell Him.  Ask Him to melt you again; to take you by surprise; to make you melt down into a little puddle of appreciation and love for His almost unbelievable goodness.  From previous encounters, can you remember the happiness and contentment that came with every encounter you’ve had with Him?  Go ahead, ask Him now.

Every time we have an encounter He happily makes another entry in the Big Book, “WE JUST HAD ANOTHER REUNION!”  And it gets heralded throughout heaven.  Oh, Yeh!  Heaven begins rejoicing… and our spirit man begins to rejoice… and thrive.  Here is where the spirit realm commerce really takes place; in the communion (co-union) of God with man and man with God.  This ‘holy reunion’ is where all true spirit life originates.

Consider Gen 1:2, “God brooded over the face of the waters…”  Do you find it interesting that He hangs around water?  Maybe this explains His special affinity for our times of tender tears (waters) in His presence.  “When a king’s face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in spring” – Prov 16:15.  Heaven is happy… and it begins to ‘rain’… tears.

So, let the gift of tears begin!