follow_me

Follow Me. – Jesus

Matthew 4:19 says

Come, follow Me…

Do you ever feel stagnant in life? How about in your walk with the Lord? I do….right now.

It’s funny how we lose what we have gain sometimes. You look to the horizon and see the light…then we realize we are facing west and the light is going away. And we wait for another dark night of the soul as they say. Why? Why do we lose what we gain? Sometime I think it is because we stop following. We set up shop and stay put. It’s interesting that Jesus said, “Follow Me.” How many actually follow? There is a dynamic aspect to our walk with God. There’s another term we use often yet never think about. Our walk with God.

There’s another interesting thing Jesus said is in John 5:17

My Father is working until this hour, and I am also working.

We need to be active in our life with God. Proactive. Interactive. Not passive or inert. It kinda goes back to the whole Inheritance or Entitlement thing. Are we active participators in with Jesus or are we just along for the ride. If I’ve lost sight of the horizon maybe I should keep following the sun(son). Maybe I’ve seen the signposts and forgot about them and am looking for other ones. Maybe if I don’t hear “Left” or “Right” then I should keep going straight. On a side note, personal prophecy is God’s desire for you but it will only be fulfilled if our desire connects with it. Co-laboring with and in His promises.

So all of this ^^^^ above is what I was originally writing then I was like, “What am I even writing about?” I mean, I know what I was getting at but was I even picking up what I was putting down? Am I going to pose or be real? Am I going to do what I think others need to do? To be honest I’ve been really….discouraged. Kind of lost sight of the bigger picture as well as the smaller picture I would like to see myself in. It’s weird because several weeks back I was full of anticipation and joy. I saw a horizon I could reach.

I was really looking forward to this Waterboyz Wild at Heart Boot Camp this past weekend but during the weekend I just felt….indifferent. Not to say God didn’t speak to me, because He did. Also I don’t want to diminished how blessed I was to see many other men’s lives were changed. There were many great things that happened like 15 men being baptized in the Chesapeake Bay. Four father and son’s hearts were radically turned towards each other. These were amazing things and I shed many tears of joy for these awesome God moments.

What did He speak? I felt He told me, “Well done, son.” I wept. I also realized how many times I’ve spoken negatively over myself in regards to me being overweight or stupid or being an idiot. I took that “Yellow Passport” and wrote all the names I’ve spoken over myself and others have spoken over me. I threw that thing away. I was no longer my identity or destiny. It’s been a week and I still feel….well shitty. Forgive my language but it’s how I feel. Nothing has really changed externally. All my circumstance are the same as they were previous weeks ago. Maybe I picked up on some critters? Maybe I’ve been sensing someone else’s stuff? It does happen.

I guess dreaming long is key where I am at now. People say you need to press through. What does that even mean practically? “Press in” they say. What am I pressing and how do I press? And what may be on the other side? I’m not trying to be negative or have a pity party but process out loud so to speak.

You know it can be very easy to reach out for the imitation. There’s a quote by Bruce Marshall (not Chesterton) which is

…the young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God.

Now this is incredibly true in all aspects. I’m currently ringing that bell at food. I also ring it at adventurous activity. Of course the brothel is never, ever a good idea and that bell should never be rung. But is food bad? Or marital sex? Or adventure? Or anything clearly within God’s character? It’s all about focus. What am I focusing on? What is my intention? Where is my validation coming from? What or who am I giving power to be the report card on my life?

I often look how behind I am in life. I’m 31 and have a crappy car…super thankful for that car though. I’m in a career field that I’m good at but not passionate about. I want to be in ministry and being able to support a family with that but that seems extremely far-reaching. I feel lost and confused…if that is where I am validated. If my currency and current(cy) is determined by my following something temporal then I’m set up for disaster or heartache. I need to learn to enjoy where I am. Moment by every precious moment. I can enjoy my beautiful God-breathed marriage. I can enjoy actually having a job and being able to pay bills. I can enjoy my times when I can do adventures. I can look and see God’s total provision for my Nicaragua trip. I can choose to acknowledge but refuse invalidation from dealing with anxiety/panic stuff. I can live with having Asthma and allergies and bad teeth. I can see external facts but live in internal truths. I can agree with the process of an outworking salvation, a grasping for a future growth into a present reality, and I can live, with God, moment by moment because I am a much-loved child of God.

I have what it takes. I am noticed. My heart matters. My Father adores me.

You have what it takes. You are noticed. Your heart matters. Your Father adores you.

P.S. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t don’t feel dumb for this blog. It’s title has nothing really to do with the ending. I figured I will keep the title and the featured image.

The disciples belonged before they believed. – Bill Johnson

 

GIFTS

Wisdom, Knowledge, and Prophecy – The Same Or Different?

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit…to another prophecy. 1 Cor. 12:7,10

Here we see three different gifts or charisma of the Holy Spirit. Root word is charizomai which means give or forgive as well as to do something pleasant or agreeable (to one), to do a favor to, gratify. The other word is charis which is the word grace which means that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech.

From what I’ve seen in the body of Christ is confusion or misinterpretation of these three gifts: Knowledge, Wisdom, and Prophecy. I would add interpretation of tongues but I’ve rarely heard corporate tongues and interpretation of tongues in Church. It may be a more Pentecostal thing but not so much so in Charismatic churches. Also discerning of spirits could be thrown in the mix too but I’ll focus on the three. On a side note, I would love to bring attention to the fact that the Apostle Paul saw that the gifts were being abused or misinterpreted and wrote this passage in the epistle to teach the Church…the Church and not the apostles. So in other words, the gifts weren’t given to prove the Apostles office or the confirm the canon or whatever opinion some believe. The gifts were given for the common good of the Church as a whole. Especially considering 1 Corinthians 14:5 which indicate Paul wanted the Church as a whole to speak in tongues and prophesy even more. And yes there are different tongues, not really different but tongues as a whole has different applications but that may be for another blog.

In my opinion based on what I’ve learned and been taught, is that the gift of knowledge tends to be more diagnostic or it gives a diagnosis which means the identification of the nature of an illness or other problem by examination of the symptoms. Word of knowledge coincides with the fruit of joy. Knowledge in Greek is gnōsis which means  knowledge signifies in general intelligence, understanding. So God gives a word of knowledge, then what do we do? Immediately deliver it? Yes and no. While I firmly believe in the saying, “deliver the mail don’t interpret it,” there are times when we should sit back with this diagnostic word of knowledge and ask God to show us what to do with it. Let Him direct you with the word without you trying to understand the word. He may say to release it. For instance, I don’t remember who it was, a speaker got a word of knowledge and it was simply “macaroni & cheese.” ??? Really? So this person just spoke it out in faith without reading it and “macaroni & cheese” meant the world to an individual in the seats. This woman was praying for someone’s salvation or something like that and the person being prayed for drove a Kraft Macaroni & Cheese truck. This was the confirmation that woman needed to encourage her. More on confirmation later. But on the other side I recall a story from Graham Cooke where a man came up for prayer and Graham immediately saw a spirit of lust all over the man (this knowledge came from discerning of spirit mixed with word of knowledge). Graham didn’t release it but stepped back into his spirit and asked God what to do. In this instance releasing it could have cause a lot of damage, heartache, etc. What did God say? To proclaim the opposite (which would be prophecy) and to release what was needed to set the man free. Graham released something like this, “I see an incredible amount of purity coming upon your life. I see you loving you wife and cherishing her.” The man broke down in tears…beautiful healing and life-giving tears. There are some who probably would have said, “Thus saith the Lord God Almighty. You have lust all over you and you will burn for it unless you repent.” Not really life-giving nor seasoned with salt. Again God may have you say something like this to the person not using a microphone, “God showed me a spirit of lust operating in your life. You need to stop it otherwise your life will be in shambles. God is not into public shaming but public redeeming! They only public shaming Jesus did was against religion and the religious structure that promoted public shaming. So we receive a word of knowledge and step back into our spirit and ask God what to do with it. Next will come either a word of wisdom or the gift of prophecy may manifest.

The gift of prophecy is probably the most controversial amongst the three. The gift of prophecy coincides with the fruit of goodness. Prophecy in Greek is prophēteia which means a discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; esp. by foretelling future events. Most people when you say the word “prophecy” they only think of prophecy in the Scripture foretelling Christ or other events. But of course in New Testament there is both as we see in many epistle, gospels, and the book of acts. We also see prophecy in regards to day-to-day things like in Acts 21:11 which says,

 And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Funny thing is the word of knowledge/prophecy pointed to a negative thing but the recipient, Paul, knew full well what would happen and accepted it. Almost like another confirmation for Paul. Personal prophecy is a beautiful thing. Truly beautiful. I call personal prophecy in a meeting a “public honoring.” God points you out and highlights you. He confirms in open what He has spoken to you in private. Beautiful! I love personal prophecy. It is a great thing. I would also like to note that personal prophecy is, generally speaking, conditional. 1 Corinthians 14:29 says

But let two or three Prophets speak and the others discern.

Even a large amount of Old Testament prophecy was conditional in regards to current day-to-day things. Do this and that will happen. Do this and that won’t happen. Some get a prophetic word and run with it. Some rely on prophetic words to know what to do. Both are imbalanced in my opinion. Yet some get a prophetic word that makes no sense and they toss it out which is also not a good thing to do. You won’t lose your calling or destiny by throwing out a word that doesn’t make sense but it may cause delay because there was a nugget in there you needed to get to the next step. There are some who have receive prophetic words 5-30 or more years ago that are just now coming to fruition. Personal prophecy is personal promise with conditional and relational involvement. When Scripture says we are co-laborers then we are co…laborers. We are saved by grace through faith yes, but our growth is determined by our plow.

So the gift of prophecy provides an expected end or expected signpost. A glimpse into the future you and the future space around you. I love Graham Cooke’s teaching “Bringing the future into today” which basically means you take your prophetic word and see the character that is needed to walk in it and start acting in that character now. Prophecy speaks the potential and possibilities. It will provide a future and a hope. It can also provided the prognosis of the diagnosis. Prognosis means a forecast of the likely outcome of a situation. I said it before, “do this and that will happen.” So what happens from word of knowledge to prophecy….?

A word of wisdom. This coincides with love. Wisdom in Greek is sophia which means wisdom, broad and full of intelligence; used of the knowledge of very diverse matters and the intelligence evinced in discovering the meaning of some mysterious number or vision. When I think of the word of wisdom I think of how to get from point A to point B and possible pitfalls in the middle. You get a word of knowledge to diagnose something then receive the prognosis by prophecy but now you need a word of wisdom in order to walk through it all. The word of wisdom can give you a course of action. The remedy for a situation. Supernatural wisdom they may defy logical action. Jesus told different people different things in order to get healed. He didn’t just say you have “this” or you have “that” but said go wash over here or here is some mud…put that in your eyes to help you see. I would say a lot of dream interpretation comes from the word of wisdom as well or even dreams are a word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and/or prophecy. Words of wisdom offer the prescription to get you from the word of knowledge to the prophecy.

I do hope this all makes some sort of sense. Biggest issue I have is getting what is jostling in my brain into something coherent. The illustrations I used hopefully explained the differences and similarities of the three gifts. Three manifestations or diversities of gifts but the same Spirit work in all. There can be much more taught, discussed, and experienced with these three gifts. Let all be done decently and in order, thinking of others before ourselves or platforms. Regarding one another more highly than ourselves. The fruit is always the foundation for the gifts.

Be blessed this Resurrection Sunday for without the resurrection we would still be in our sins and new life wouldn’t be possible. Check out my blog from last year about Great Friday!

 

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Divine Nature Assimilated

As He Is So Are We:

Read this with discernment and excitement. May we not desire milk any longer but the meat. Some may not be able to grasp this but no worries. Science is catching up with God’s creative abilities.

Originally posted on Sons Of Issachar:

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott  

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb 4:12).

The deepest level of transformation is the dividing or separating of soul and spirit, bone and marrow: at the genetic level, in our very DNA.

A record of past generations

We each get half our genes from our mother and half from our father, just as they got half each from their parents, back and back generation upon generation. Therefore we all carry a record of our past generations back to Adam and Eve. Only about 2% of our DNA is coded for our physical appearance and characteristics, and 98% used to be considered ‘junk’, because scientists couldn’t figure out what…

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Inheritance or Entitlement?

How does the Kingdom work? By inheritance or entitlement?

Inheritance is Hebrew is nachalah which means possession, property, inheritance, heritage. It is also translated as heritage in Scripture. Another Hebrew word for inheritance is nachal which means to get as a possession, acquire, inherit, possess. Greek for inheritance is klēronomia which means an inheritance, property received (or to be received) by inheritance and what is given to one as a possession. Inheritance in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines it as money, property, etc., that is received from someone when that person dies, something from the past that is still important or valuable, and/or the act of inheriting something.

Entitlements in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary is defined as the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something and/or the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges). Entitled means believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. As far as I’ve searched I cannot find the word entitled or entitlement(s) in Scripture.

How many of us, including myself, feel entitled to so many things in our walk with the Lord? I have. I do. But are we…entitled? In my opinion, entitlement is seeking inheritance apart from and before maturity. Seeking what is given to you and acting like it is owed to you. Perfect illustration is in Luke 15:11-32 which is the story of “prodigal son.” One could argue that the father was the prodigal but that’s up to your viewpoint. I would post the whole passage but we all know it. The son asks for his inheritance prior to becoming mature enough to handle it. He felt entitled to it and, as we can see, the father obliged and handed it over. Asking for your inheritance before maturity is an entitled mindset. Galatians 4:1-2 says

Now what I mean is that as long as the inheritor (heir) is a child and under age, he does not differ from a servant, although he is the master of all the estate; But he is under guardians and administrators or trustees until the date fixed by his father.

Here it says an heir or inheritor, present state of being, does not differ from a servant but is under those designed to mature the heir until the date fixed. Date fixed in Greek is prothesmia which means set beforehand, appointed or determined beforehand, prearranged.

This is no way conflicts with 2 Corinthians 1:20 in my opinion. All of the promises of God are “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ who we are joined with. Heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. I was thinking about what would happen if we lived in full authority and inheritance without the fruit necessary for its foundation. Would I end up squandering it with my own will? Would I declare things that shouldn’t be declared? Would I command mountains to be cast into the sea when that mountain should stay put? Can we be trusted with our full inheritance before our set time? Will we demand it with a servant/slave entitlement mindset? Or will we be patient? He sure is patient due to Him not be slack considering His promises.

Proverbs 17:6 says

Children’s children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their fathers.

God is a God of generations. He works through others and through generations. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God of generations and a God of inheritance. If you don’t believe then throw out 1st Chron. and 2nd Chron. as well as Luke 3:23-38 and Matt. 1:1-17. I mean one of Jesus’ names is Son of David. Son of. Who are you a son of? That will tell you your inheritance or debt. Yes we are sons of God. Mercy and grace are blasting into our lives but there is a process.

Hebrews 7:7-10 says

 But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater. In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on. And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

Here we see actions done by others are passed on to those who didn’t do anything. Look at Adam and Eve. They sinned and it passed on to us. Christ died and rose from the dead and now many are made alive. This was done 2000 years ago and is passed on to those that believe.

Some of us have inherited a positive inheritance and some a negative inheritance which I like to call debt. Most of us are a mixed bag. We have inheritance and debt. Not that we are indebted but we have to make up for what was either lost or not provided. For those who notice a debt then I would suggest reading Generational Deliverance to get a clean slate as it were.

1 Peter 3:9-12 says

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For,

“Whoever would love life
    and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
    and their lips from deceitful speech.
They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

So that you may inherit a blessing. So there is a way to inherit a blessing. There is also a way to create an inheritance of blessing. If you have debt, get delivered and cancel out that garbage. Get that clean slate and press forward. Sow. Water. God will give the increase. Proverbs 13:22a declares

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…

Inheritance. Generations. Children’s children. Three generations listed here which basically says leave something your grandkids can use and not something they need to break off. Sow into generations future. Believe you me this is spiritual and physical. Occupy till He comes. Heaven isn’t our eternal home. This earth will still be around for a millennia after Jesus comes back physically. What if we have to restore in the millennium what we blatantly destroyed prior? What if we can leave something for ourselves in the future? Lets give our kids and grandkids a break. Give them something to fight from instead of something to fight for. Lets get rid of our debt and create a surplus. Lets be patient in the waiting of our reaping. Wait for your appointed time when your inheritance will be opened up to you. Get out of entitlement. Get into patience and maturity. Grow. Get pruned. Do not despise when God works on you because it proves your sonship…it proves you do have an inheritance.

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I wish someone had intervened…

As He Is So Are We:

People need freedom. They need to connect with who they are. Our spirits are designed to interact with our selves and to do that exploration is necessary. What makes you come alive? What makes you move? What speaks to your inmost being? Do it and thrive!

Originally posted on Living Differently:

little princessAbove:  Conventional school made this creative-creature very, very miserable.

Every time I read this story, I get a bit emotional…

Gillian was only eight years old, but her future was already at risk.  Her schoolwork was a disaster, at least as far as her teachers were concerned.  She turned in assignments late, her handwriting was terrible, and she tested poorly.  Not only that, she was a disruption to the entire class, one minute fidgeting noisily, the next staring out of the window, forcing the teacher to stop the class to pull Gillian’s attention back, and the next doing something to disturb the other children around her.  Gillian wasn’t particularly concerned about any of this – she was used to being corrected by authority figures and didn’t really see herself as a difficult child – but the school was very concerned.  This came to a head when the school wrote to…

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Going to Nicaragua!!

Dear WordPress family,

I am writing to share some exciting news with you. I plan to be part of a mission team traveling to Nicaragua June 16th through June 21st. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in our hemisphere (Haiti is the poorest). I’m going to sow into the land and the people. I have felt called to go ever since I had a dream with a well known prophet. In the dream this prophet named three names, two of which I don’t remember but Nicaragua is the one that stuck with me so I’m going!

My church, Harvest Christian Fellowship, in Frederick, Maryland, in partnership with Cristo Centro Church of Diriamba, Nicaragua, sponsors TrueHope4Kids, a ministry outreach to school age children in Diriamba. The children who participate in TrueHope4Kids would, were it not for this outreach, likely not attend school at all, but would be out in the streets begging or scavenging the local dump for “treasures” to sell to help keep food on the table at home. In exchange for their caregivers agreeing to keep them in school, TrueHope4Kids provides a nourishing meal and high-quality vitamins every school day, along with Bible studies and other educational activities. The children receive help with uniforms, and receive backpacks filled with school supplies every year. Over the years, many of the children and their families have surrendered their lives to Christ, become active church members and productive members of their community.

Our team will be serving and ministering to these children and their families each day, not only at the TrueHope4Kids location, but also visiting in their homes, hearing their stories, encouraging them and praying for their needs. We will likely do some street witnessing as well. And because we will be there during Cristo Centro Church’s 30th anniversary, we will get to join the congregation for their celebration, where we will have opportunities to serve and encourage them as well!

I am asking for your help to make this trip possible. First, I covet your prayers for success in raising funds and for productive ministry and safety for our team during the mission trip. I know that much prayer is vital for success, and I would be greatly encouraged if you would agree to pray for me and the whole team.

Second, I cannot make the trip without financial partners. I need to raise $1,320 to join this mission team, half before April 15th and the remainder by June 2nd. If you are able to help with the finances, I would be richly blessed. You can use the PayPal donate link below. Donations done that way will not be tax exempt unfortunately. To receive a tax deductible, receipt use https://giving.onthecity.org/hcfchurch/uauth_giving/new and put “NIC Missions 1 John 4:17″ as the memo.

Thank you for your friendship, prayers and any financial support you are able to provide. I plan to provide a follow-up report to you when our trip is concluded.

Sincerely,

Jordan Gresczyk

 

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inner healing

Free Generational Deliverance Course!

Free Generational Deliverance course online. It used to be $100 but is now free on Aslan’s Place website. Thought I’d share it with those who are interested. Have a blessed weekend!

Shalom