Tag Archives: tears

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

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

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 downloadable worksheet 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.

— MLH

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!

— MLH