We are in a season of miracles (Dunimus) right now. Take hold of it, embrace it and call it in. Thank God for it. Worship Him for giving miracles.
Father, we thank You for giving healing, financial, relational, turning of the heart miracles. Thank You for the delivering miracles and resurrection sounds. We honor You, Lord for this. We do not make light of this. We declare that this is a word from heaven. Out of the voice of your people are coming sounds that are giving us faith. We are growing with the sound of the roar.
It was written, And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 2 Corinthians 4:13.
Father, we believe and we speak that You are doing this! We honor and glorify You in this. We decree and declare the goodness of God in the land of the living. Amen
Earlier this week, I was waking up and I said, “Lord, give me a dream. I’m old enough to get dreams now. Give me a dream. Not from me, but from You.”
It wasn’t a dream that He gave me, but I began to hear this scripture in my wakeful state:
… “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
Eyes have not seen, nor ear heard, no heart has received, or perceived, or understood, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
I have learned that when I hear the Lord introducing a thought, a scripture, an imprint, a visual, a sound, smell, or anything that is flowing that has the mark and sound of heaven, it is for me to go and investigate. I am to turn aside and look at the bush that I just saw burning. I am to say, “What is that all about?”
I began to read 1 Corinthians. I think Corinth is probably culturally, geographically and demographically very much like Los Angeles, in Southern California. Corinth is a port city in the heart of Greece and a place of great commerce, a place of money, a place of influence, a place of ethnos, and diversity of lots of different nations. Jews and Greeks were there.
Paul had seen this miraculous church birthed. It was a church that was born in the Spirit. It then grew and multiplied; then came conflicts and divisions. The first time Paul was in Corinth, he had a very personal experience with Jesus. The Lord told Paul not to fear because no one would hurt him, as the Lord had many people in this city for Himself.
So, I started reading and allowing the Lord to visit me anew. One thing that I am learning about scripture is that I see everything new again. First, I never read the bible as a book of what I need do. This is because I lived that way a long time and I had to prove to myself I could not do what I read. So, I now read it as an identifier of how I am. And then when I find what I am, I present it back to God and He begins to change me. It is glorious and a lot more freeing. This way, there are no responsibilities of trying to act out what I cannot act out, or try to perform.
Let me introduce a thought. Paul said to the Corinthians, verse 9 of chapter 1, he says,
9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. I Corinthians 1:9
Paul then puts a prayer, or plead, which is the focus now of the next remaining three chapters. He said,
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. I Corinthians 1:10
Anyone who has walked with the body of Christ and tried to move with one another, knows that this is pretty impossible. This is a high prayer, which is way beyond what is normally our situation. It wasn’t that the Church at Corinth was there either. He immediately says to them,
11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. I Corinthians 1:11-15
As it is today, so it was then, that there was in this faith and in this community, The thought of “ I’m of this persuasion or that,” “I’m of this movement or that movement”. “I think Apollos has a handle on where the gospel is going because he can teach us further into the scripture,” or “I know Paul is just this raging fire that is liberating both Jew and Gentile….” And so there were these contentions and quarrels.
Paul continues on in the remainder of this chapter to tell them that this was never what God was doing. He wasn’t giving them a better belief system, a more superior truth, right or wrong clarity.” He was rather telling them that God had chosen, that out of the wisdom of men, man could never find God. Out of the foolishness of the message that is being taught, which is this cross-this Christ, it will be both wisdom from God and strength from God to those who are being saved.
The influence of our Western culture is much more Greek than it is of the East, Asian or Hebrew. They wanted wisdom. They wanted to get it. They wanted to see the broadness of this as well as its foolishness. They wanted the power. They needed a sign. It was a stumbling block to them.
Paul then said, “You know, we do speak a wisdom to those who are mature.”
Here again, we are talking about people like us, who have been walking with God for some time. We are aware that we are in a new time, but we don’t know where or how to walk in a new way in the new time yet because we haven’t yet encountered Jesus in a fashion so that new grace can be given to do the new thing.
We are in this posture like Moses, holding our place, fellowshipping in the relationship we have. We are looking to see what we have not yet seen so we can receive what we do not yet have.
Paul continued to them that they do speak a wisdom, but it was not a wisdom of the world. This was because if the ruler of this world, which were both the kings of the world that are the natural kings and the powers and principalities and princes of the second heaven – if they had known, if they had had the insight of the wisdom that we share, they would never have crucified the Lord of Glory. He then talks about it here,
9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. I Corinthians 2:9-11
Isn’t this true? If someone says, “What are you thinking?” It’s up to you to decide whether to let him know what you are thinking or not. What are your dreams? What are your hopes? What are your fears? What are you anxious over? Husbands and wives battle over this all the time. “What are you thinking, honey?” “Nothing.” “I can tell you’re thinking something. You’re just kind of feeling heavy.” “No, no, no, I ‘m fine.” We simply lie because we are not prepared to open our heart.
Yet this is the very way that God wants to encounter us—open hearted, conscience to conscience, King to king, and Spirit to spirit.
Paul continues. This is where something that is really beautiful is growing for me. It is growing again, another confirmation upon confirmation, another truth, upon truth. This is because he says in verse 12
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. I Corinthians 2:12-13
So, for some of us, we may have just walked through a really incredible revelation and refreshing. But for others, we are just wondering about what we heard. It is all good. We can’t hasten revelation because there are three dimensions of our being before the Lord that we are growing in. This is really exciting because I heard this…look at this next verse,
14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. I Corinthians 2:14
When I was really young, I heard a man teach that this is a picture of the unborn-again, un-regenerated man. He looks at the things of the bible and says it is foolishness and he can’t receive it. But the Lord had me look up the word, as I do when I’m investigating or beholding Him in a new place. I looked up the word natural, as it caught my attention – It means a soulish man.
I then looked at the first part of the chapter. He was writing to saints. He was writing to those who were saved and Spirit-filled and fully inside the body of Christ! Obviously, a soulish man outside of salvation, would probably think this is really stupid.
The soul is a really interesting part. It has the capacity to usurp the spirit and demand that it be fed in a fashion, or satisfied in a fashion, before it can allow movement forward. It can get locked in an offense. It can get hurt. It can get stuck in an argument. It can be thinking thoughts that can’t ever see. It won’t release those thoughts until something is resolved. The soul is the command center that is supposed to be submitted to the Spirit. But it is often disconnected from the Spirit and is running it’s own ship. We call that a soulish Christian.
A soulish Christian is someone who is pretty much, filtering everything from within the wisdom of the world and not the wisdom of God. Therefore, the wisdom of God, when offered, is foolishness. You can’t perceive it being something true.
Here is an interesting thing that flows with that idea. It says,
14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. I Corinthians 2:14
There are three words in the New Testament for ‘receive’. very much, I receive it.” There’s an exchange and something has been given and we receive it.
1. One is labano, which means that I hand you a gift and you say, “Thank you and I’m holding on to it!”
2. Then there’s another word that is more violent – “I’m taking it – I’m not letting it be taken – It is really mine explain it is like receiving a sunset. It is becoming aware of something beautiful that if you linger awhile, you can begin to draw from a sunset, strength and courage You can see beauty. You can find majesty and the largeness of God that He would take the time to build this. You watch the colors change…. We have all seen beautiful sunsets, but we were in a hurry to get somewhere, so we couldn’t pause and enjoy it. Hopefully, when we have had a chance, when we have nothing else to do, have simply sat and watched the sunset and started drinking it.
But then, this word has the idea of almost passivity or subjectivity. The best way I can explain is the picture of receiving. Watch the colors change. It starts in the yellows and the oranges, then it ends in the purples and the violets. It grows brighter. It seems that it gets darker in hue. It gets brilliant. It is an experience that is the kind of word here for receiving the things of the Spirit.
You see, because my mind is locked in a soulish rule, that when the Lord presents the Spirit to me, my first thought is that it does not fit in my grid. I therefore disregard it and I keep moving. I can’t then receive these things that the eyes have not yet seen or the ears heard or the heart has been waiting for understanding because I am just natural. I am just kind of living my faith. I’ve got my rules. I’ve got my plans. I’ve got my hopes…
He then said the spiritual person is now that one of maturity. It is really no fun growing in the spirit. Because spirit means that your soul and your flesh lose their prominence. You lose some of what you once carried that really worked for you, while you grow in something that you never really had working for you. While you outer man is perishing; while your soul is being crucified, you are becoming alive inside.
Yet, unless you spend time with God to enjoy the life inside, it actually can be a point of entering into depression. This is because everything that you once knew is disappearing and you do not yet know how to draw and drink from the well of salvation and enjoy the Spirit engagement.
Once in the presence then you are new; joy-full.
15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. I Corinthians 2:15
Judges is the word for discern. There is an idea of beginning to put things in order, substance, experience and truth into the spiritually discerned. They spiritually discern these spiritual perceptions and revelations. They, themselves are not judged by anyone. This is what Jesus said to Nicodemus when He said, “Unless you are born again, you cannot see the kingdom. Everyone who is born again is like the Holy Spirit, like the wind. You see the wind coming and you see the wind going. You see its effect but you don’t know where it’s coming from and you don’t know where it’s going So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Therefore, if my soulish mind says, “God I feel the movement but I need to know where I’m going, then God goes quiet until the soul has its right of expression and exhaustion. Years later, we say, “God, I’m willing to go even if I don’t know where. And it is good”.
We must not diminish the discovery of God through the failing of all that we have ever known about ourselves –which is the soul and the flesh.
16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. I Corinthians 2:16
This is like, “I know where You’re going. I know what You need to do.”
Prayer is a funny thing. I used to pray in a fashion, where I was telling the Lord what He ought to be doing. I used the scripture, of course, because I’m not stupid. But it was totally outside of the truth of God. The yielded vessel knows that he doesn’t know what to pray for as he ought. Right? He doesn’t know what, not how. Everybody learns how… but the what. What do I pray for? Do I bind it? Do I loose it? Do I stand or run?
The Holy Spirit responds by tell us that He knows and to let Him lead.
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I Corinthians 3:1
Now this is the third dimension of the life-living believers on the planet. These are ones who may indeed see, but they resource flesh more than allow Holy Spirit to bring forth whatever He is going to bring forth.
Mind/ Soulish/ Fleshly. Where do you resource? It’s a funny thing about that. When I have to come up and do what I have to do, where am I resourcing? If I resource my flesh, it can really rise to a very remarkable experience. Remarkable effort and look very much like God. But it will never produce God because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom. So, once the flesh is responding to the word of God, it says here….
2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and
behaving like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? I Corinthians 3:2-4
Carnal is the fleshly experience.
I love the bible because it is no longer a book that I do. It is a book I become. I now love to find, in the bible, places of my struggle. This is because I present my struggle to the Lord as the question: “How are You? What is happening? What do You want to do? This frees me, because I am not carrying this god to God conversation. Every time God tell me to do something, I say, “Yes Sir! I can do it!” Yes! No problem.” This is such a fear-filled servant minded relationship. It is one that is so unsettled in our son-ship and our relationship—but we all learn our journey.
When we talk about envy, strife and division, it simply mean:
1. Envy is heat. It’s what is the foundation of zeal – good or bad. But it basically is the strength of emotion. We have all been in strong emotions before that did not bring life even though they were toward righteous causes.
2. Strife has to do with quarrels—arguments. Some of us are in arguments constantly just with ourselves. We aren’t at peace anymore. We can’t rest. Some of us are in arguments with the television, the newscasters, our president, the world governments, our economy or the Stock Market. We are in arguments.
The servant of the Lord must not quarrel because the way the kingdom of God is coming to find its access and expression through our feeble lives, through the broken parts of us, is by the Spirit and not through the soul and not by the flesh.
3. The third thought, which is divisions, is the idea of taking one and making it into two. All that God did through Jesus Christ, was to take all of the division of the world, all of the breaches and broken things, and make it into . One new man.
And all that we do in our effort of religion is to take what God made one and break it into new divisions. It is a conflict that we can’t control ourselves. We can’t control this. If we move in that fashion, the only thing we can do is recognize, that we have some pretty strong emotions. It is like when we are in a heated moment with someone, refuting somebody else’s advice. We can see that we have strong emotions about this.
Strong feelings—this is a good disarming phrase. I had a doctor say to my brother concerning my mom’s treatment… “I can see you feel very strongly about this. I can see that you’re really afraid.” This is acknowledging an emotion. You can’t tell people to stop having an feeling.”
The idea of quarrel is how can I again lay down natural reasoning, process, offense, hurt, wound or whatever opinion, without it being satisfied? We can’t, unless we begin to understand that it isn’t to be satisfied and doesn’t need to be. The One Who is bringing His Kingdom now is not, in anyway, limited by our soul or our flesh.
Whenever we can say, “This is not where I want to go. How do I step out of that emotion?” Here’s what I do. I say, “God, why am I in so much envy?” I used to say, “I’m not in envy. Not me.”—but not anymore! I want to be caught because I want to have an opportunity to have God look at me with His Word and His love and His life—and liberate me with repentance and a new thought! He is never, ever mean. He is gentle. He turns and He looks at us once we turn to Him and say, “I see something. What is this?” Here then, the unfolding freedom comes.
This is the same thing about the idea of division. We ask, “Why am I dividing in this? Why am I separating myself? Why am I becoming a part of this group and no longer a part of that group? Why do I have no tolerance? No patience?”
Let this settle: It is ALL ok. It is just the maturing of the body. If we don’t recognize these dimensions of living in a position, we can live in the soul for the rest of our lives, but we won’t grow into the things that are prepared for us. We can attempt to serve God with the strength of our flesh the rest of our lives, but we will never enter into the inheritance of the kingdom. And, we can be frustrated and get caught in those tail-wagging and tail chasing moments of
life… and yet, there is this place that Jesus is beckoning every one of us into.
Let’s take a moment here to reflect. In worship, the Holy Spirit begins to expose Jesus to us in a whole new, fresh and powerful way. Here, an awakening in our spirit begins and we want to thank Him and praise Him. This Jesus, Whom we know through the crucifixion, is the door of discovery. Likewise, we will discover Him in our crucifixions. We behold Him, and here, begin to worship Him.
Here we hear the sound, as He says, I am here to multiply and release life and liberty. I am going to do miracles. I will pour out through Myself in this house, all manner of beauty.
As a choice, let’s lay down and ask the Lord to help us recognize any place where my natural man can’t perceive.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 7pm: We have been gathering the Champions to wait on the Lord and enter into the new grace for this season. This Wednesday, the Lord will complete our gathering and commission us into this new grace.
Sunday, February 1, 2015, 9am: Becky Ferris will share, Jesus’ and Our Position in Prayer.
Sunday, 10:20am: Join us for the Nations Prayer—Ask of Me and I will give you the nations as your inheritance. Join us for 30 minutes of reigning prayer over His earth.
Sunday, 11am: I will share, “All Things are Yours” Discovering the place we have in Jesus and the completeness He gives. There is now no condemnation.