Posts Tagged ‘entitlement’

Bad Tipper? You Might be Driven by Three Demonic Spirits: Poverty, Entitlement and Offense

I’m SHOCKED at how many Christians aren’t generous tippers and givers—and many argue against the need to tip their servers at all!

7 But just as you excel in everything–in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us–see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 2 Corinthians 8:7-8 (NIV)

imageAre you the most extravagant giver among those you know? Do you tip passionately? Are you looking for opportunities to bless? Or, are you holding back, expecting others to serve you? Has a spirit of entitlement and poverty gripped your life?

Here’s a truth that will set you free: If you expect other people, systems, the church, the government or any other entity to meet your financial needs, you are destined for a life of frustration and lack. However, if you are focused on giving to others, no matter your current financial condition, your joy will abound and your faith surrounding your finances will skyrocket.

19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NIV)

  • A spirit of poverty will cause us to keep the dollars that are actually meant to be sowed and multiplied back to us.
  • A spirit of entitlement will result in a lack of gratitude, causing us to keep our money in our pockets while waiting for others to give us more.
  • A spirit of offense will cause us to reject the call to use our money to bless others who we have determined don’t deserve it.

These three spirits must be eradicated from our lives. I’m offering a powerful, free resource at the end of this article to help you find freedom. Keep reading.

HOW COULD ANY CHRISTIAN ARGUE AGAINST TIPPING?

12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)

I’ve heard arguments against tipping by Christians who honestly admit that sometimes they simply can’t afford it. I understand the seasons of scarcity, and I know that these seasons can come for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s our fault and sometimes it’s not. However, to presume in seasons of scarcity that we can still live large is a sign of these spirits having a root in our lives.

Entitlement demands they experience life the same way those who prosper do. They argue they have a right to eat out just like everyone else, even if they can’t afford to tip. This is absolutely nonsensical. In fact, it’s selfish and rude to expect a server to wait on us and then to tip poorly or not at all. Everybody is in a different financial position, and some can afford to eat out, some can’t. Some can afford to buy a new car, some can’t. Some can afford to go to the Super Bowl, some cant. Some can afford a new computer, some can’t.

Nobody has a right to things they can’t afford, including eating out. Some actually presume the tip to be an optional but unnecessary bonus for servers if they do a good job. I wonder how many people actually think that the majority of waiters and waitresses are mostly supported by their paycheck every two weeks. They aren’t.

In fact, are you aware that most servers receive ZERO dollars in their paychecks? They live solely on the generous tips from those who are eating at their tables. Taxes on those tips wipe out the $2.13 per hour that most servers make today. This means, if I don’t tip $20 or $30 on my $100 check, my server may miss a student loan payment or they may not be able to buy their children new shoes or take them to the amusement park they were promised. I take this responsibility very seriously. I want every person who serves me to be more blessed than I was by the time the hour-long dinner is over.

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

Our resolve to bless those who live on tips (servers, valets, hairstylists, bellhops, your Uber driver, etc.) should be a core value—even when their service is poor. My wife and I never decrease the tip by even a penny if we receive poor service. Why? There are many reasons. They may have had a bad day. The kitchen may actually be at fault. They are dealing with depression. Their family situation is bad and declining. They dealt with rude customers at their last table. Or, possibly, they have yet to meet Jesus. I guarantee I am not going to try to “teach them a lesson” by decreasing my tip instead of blessing them in the love of Jesus.

If we can’t bless those who don’t refill our drinks quickly enough, how can we presume to bless those who use and curse us?

27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:27-31 (NIV)

When the Bible talks about curses, that includes verbal assaults, insults and all sorts of mistreatment. We don’t seek revenge. We don’t try to teach them a lesson. We don’t leave a nasty note on the check. We don’t decrease our tip. We don’t attack them back. We love them. We bless them. We give.

BREAKING FREE FROM POVERTY AND ENTITLEMENT

I know many who are reading this are rejoicing. Many Christians are tired of others being such a poor representation of Christ. Many servers are tired of dealing with selfish, entitled people. There is a black mark on Christianity because of many in the after-church crowd on Sundays who eat together. They can be demanding, loud, difficult to deal with, entitled and absolutely terrible tippers. It’s embarrassing and many Christians out there have had enough. I know servers who despise working on Sundays. Great job Christians. You’ve made quite a name for yourself. Here’s some advice: If you can’t love your server and financially bless them radically, just stay home.

Nobody has the right to eat out if they can’t afford it. I was engaged in a Facebook discussion on this topic, and some came out of their skin with indignation that I would say such a thing. They feel no obligation to tip their server, and they believe their financial condition should have no bearing on whether they can eat out or not. I wondered if they also might just pay whatever they want instead of the total on the check. Do they just pay what they can afford when checking out at Walmart? Of course not. But, they choose not to pay their server’s bill (their tip). This is a clear indicator of being driven by poverty and entitlement. If you can’t afford to tip at least 20%, you can’t afford to eat out. Most definitely stay home or eat somewhere where tipping isn’t expected.

In order to break free from from poverty and entitlement, we must crucify our flesh and become radical givers instead of expecting others to meet our needs. There are many mad people in the world. Mad at pastors, government, friends, their church family and others for not meeting their financial needs. This mindset will ensure they remain sad, angry, disillusioned and in lack. We break the demonic grip of poverty and entitlement by turning the tables and giving with passion instead of expecting others to give to us.

1 As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-4 (NIV)

The poor widow had every right to be bitter at the church and at the rich. The natural reaction when in lack is first to look to others to resolve our problem, and second to despise them when they don’t. The widow was applauded by Jesus because of her heart. She had the greatest need yet still gave everything she needed to live on. She wasn’t entitled, and, believe it or not, she didn’t have a poverty spirit. She certainly wasn’t offended.

Here’s a comment by my wife, Amy:

We have always tipped both in times of plenty and in times of lack. During our first year of marriage we were very poor, with (nearly) no money for Christmas presents and a sack of potatoes for Christmas dinner. We were barely scraping by. However, if we chose to eat out we calculated the tip amount into the cost when deciding whether we could afford to do so. I'm sure our server made a better living than we did at the time. It didn't matter. It's never appropriate to withhold what a server is due in an attempt to better our own financial situation.

I remember that season very well! In fact, I still vividly remember standing next to the sack of potatoes in the grocery store in Cleveland, Tennessee 23 years ago wondering if we should use our few remaining dollars on it along with a frozen chicken. That was to be our Christmas dinner. We did buy the potatoes and had just a little cash left over. On Christmas morning, my gift from my wife was a belt (that didn’t fit) and my gift to her was a Jenga game (that she was upset I bought because we needed that $10 for bills). That afternoon we had friends over to eat our chicken and potato feast—and then my wife burned the chicken. One of our friends ran home to get a frozen pizza. We enjoyed a wonderful mashed potato and frozen pizza Christmas dinner!

In that season finances were scarce, though we were working hard. Our car was bashed in on the passenger side and the doors didn’t open. We had to steer about 30 degrees to the right in order for the car to drive straight. We replaced the tires with $5 used tires once every couple of weeks due to the misalignment. We couldn’t afford a repair.

The bottom line is we had almost nothing and we very rarely ate out. Why? because we knew our $40 check would end up being $50 after tip. Instead we’d eat at home or grab something from McDonalds. It wasn’t our right to eat out if we couldn’t pay our bill—including what was owed to the server.

It wasn’t only our faithful giving to the church and to ministry that broke us out of lack. It was a “widow’s mite” attitude. We expected nobody to pay our way and we knew that we must be radical givers at restaurants and other places. If we couldn’t afford to tip, we stayed home.

The same is true with the church. I can’t imagine how anybody would attend a church, utilize their children’s ministry, receive teaching and be welcomed with open arms without giving extravagantly. We should give radically to the church, period. We should attend church with the same attitude as when we eat out. We are there to bless them instead of expecting them to bless us. We want to give with passion.

Unoffendable PaperbackIt’s true that the church is called to take care of widows. But, here’s the problem: when we stomp our foot and demand to be served because of this instruction in Scripture, we align ourselves with the spirit of entitlement and poverty, even though the church should in fact be helping. We should give and bless even when we aren’t taken care of in ways we should. Don’t blame, don’t point fingers.

Here’s a portion of my Charisma Magazine article The Spirit That’s Taking Over Our Nation—And It’s Not Jezebel:

It's time to repent for a spirit of entitlement that is destroying our testimony.

entitlement
noun en·ti·tle·ment:

the condition of having a right to have, do or get something
the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)

In a self-centered, narcissistic world, one can only presume entitlement would be in the mix, as well. This attitude is doing great harm to our testimony as Christians in addition to creating a proud, lazy people who expect to be served instead of to serve.

I’ve heard about godly people who always tip double their check. I love this! While I wouldn’t suggest it’s mandatory to do this, I would suggest it’s mandatory to tip at least 20%. In fact, I’d encourage you to consider other opportunities to break off spirits of poverty and entitlement such as tipping double the check, paying for another patron’s check (including a huge tip), occasionally tipping five or six times the amount of the check or more and other opportunities to radically bless. When we give to others instead of demanding they give to us the spirits of entitlement and poverty lose their grip.

A SPIRIT OF OFFENSE WILL ENSURE YOU REMAIN ENSLAVED TO POVERTY AND ENTITLEMENT

Too many live offended lives. Offended that others aren’t taking care of them financially, offended that others are prospering and they aren’t, offended that they are continually overlooked. We should live free from offense. In fact, I’d like to offer my most popular teaching titled “Unoffendable” at no cost to you. Trust me, it’s revelation that will change your life dramatically!

You will receive the audio teaching, the eBook and teaching notes at no cost whatsoever. You can get this powerful resource here: www.burton.tv/free.

A spirit of offense is absolutely deadly. It will cause your love to grow cold and your heart to harden. It’s a death sentence. This spirit will cause you to rise up against others instead of serving them. Your unmet demands and expectations will result in a dark soul, a life of lack and deep resentment. This three-fold cord of poverty, entitlement and offense will imprison all who embrace these evil spirits.

When we break these three spirits off our lives, and discover the power of Kingdom finances, we can live free and full of joy, no matter how much money is in our account.

Faithfully giving and passionately tipping all who serve us out in the world will result in remarkable, prosperous, victorious lives!

Video: Breaking free from a spirit of entitlement

Watch today’s powerful video! God has called us to consider others more significant than ourselves. It’s time to be free from pride driven entitlement.

It’s time for the spirit of entitlement to be eradicated from the church and the nation.

We must go low, serve others and quit making demands that promote our special interests.

Dell-000050246

Everywhere we look people are demanding what is presumably rightfully theirs. This spirit of entitlement drives major, evil movements today such as abortion, homosexuality, feminism. It’s also fueling crusades and campaigns that are generally good, but tainted because of this foul spirit.

What if we stopped focusing on our own rights and started loving people even if it costs us comfort, money and vindication?

In a self-centered, narcissistic world one can only presume entitlement would be in the mix as well. This attitude is doing great harm to our testimony as Christians in addition to creating a proud, lazy people who expect to be served instead of to serve.

    23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 (ESV)

We can presume we are entitled to something because it seems right. If other people stand in the way of what is rightfully ours, we might presume we have the right to obtain it—even at the cost of others. It might be lawful for us, but is it helpful? Does our pursuit of that build others up?

WATCH TODAY’S POWERFUL VIDEO FREE FOR THE NEXT 30 DAYS HERE!

An attitude of entitlement is taking over our nation—and the church.

It’s time to repent for a spirit of entitlement that is destroying our testimony.

entitlement
noun en·ti·tle·ment:

the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something
the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)

In a self-centered, narcissistic world one can only presume entitlement would be in the mix as well. This attitude is doing great harm to our testimony as Christians in addition to creating a proud, lazy people who expect to be served instead of to serve.

3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:3-8 (ESV)

Attitudes of entitlement have overwhelmed so many and it is actually a clear manifestation of the enemy. His character is defined by selfish ambition. Lucifer presumed it was his right, his portion, to be exalted.

12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ Isaiah 14:12-14 (ESV)

Lucifer desired to be lifted high while Christ went low, to the grave, in the greatest act of service history has ever known.  Our invitation is to serve and give ourselves for others just as Christ did.

20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (ESV)

A SIMPLE EVIL DESIRE

23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 (ESV)

We can presume we are entitled to something because it seems right. If other people stand in the way of what is rightfully ours, we might presume we have the right to obtain it—even at the cost of others. It might be lawful for us, but is it helpful? Does our pursuit of that build others up?

Understand, I’m not saying we roll over and become doormats. This is a heart issue.

When in Orlando recently my wife and I had the worst experience with a hotel we’ve ever had in our 20 years of marriage. In fact, this was a celebration of our 20 year anniversary and the room met us with scurrying roaches and hairs in the bed. We had prepaid for four nights, yet we absolutely were not going to stay there. The short version of our long drama was that the hotel only agreed to refund three of the four nights because we had checked in the first night. That was astonishing to us! We didn’t spend more than a couple of minutes in that roach infested hotel room!

So, we absolutely believe it’s lawful for us to receive our first night’s money back since we had to find another hotel to stay in that night. We made some phone calls and dealt with several people, but we continually had a heart check. We refused to cross the line that would have compromised our testimony. It’s better to lose some money than to put people’s eternity’s at risk.

We didn’t want to function in a spirit of entitlement. We wanted to do our due diligence, to honor those we were dealing with and to represent Christ as powerfully as we could. In a way we were being “cursed” and we wanted to bless those who were giving us trouble. Again, it’s a heart issue. It is possible to deal with significant violations of what is right if we learn how to handle the small problems with the right attitude. There’s no room for entitlement whether it’s a minor grievance or a major assault against us.

Entitlement is most usually a simple, subtle desire or expectation that we don’t give much thought to. This is why it’s so important to allow God to search our hearts and to reveal selfish motives, attitudes and issues that bring forth death instead of life.

Entitlement puts us on the throne as others are scrutinized and ridiculed if they don’t measure up. This is an Anti-Christ spirit and we have to allow the Holy Spirit reveal that deadly heart issue to us. We must endeavor to consider others more important than ourselves. We must go low.

AN EMERGENCY IN HAITI

On a recent ministry trip to Haiti, mere minutes after I preached my final sermon of the ten day trip, I suddenly came down with an extremely high fever and an unbearable pain in my lower right abdomen. I didn’t realize it at the time but I later discovered that I was hours away from my appendix bursting—far away from the familiarity of home and the medical care that I was most comfortable with.

A few hours later I was on a flight from Port Au Prince to Atlanta—possibly the worst three hours of my life. By the grace of God, for the first time in many years I was able to sit in first class. This minor perk was so appreciated. I must have been a sight to behold as I turned down the free meals and constant attention of the flight attendant. I was curled up almost in the fetal position with blankets covering me as I futilely attempted to get warm. My temperature must have been over 104 degrees.

The pain in my right side was off the charts. I had to unbuckle my belt under the blanket just for the slightest relief from the pain. I was convinced I would need to have the attendant radio ahead to Atlanta to have medics ready for my arrival.

As I shook from chills attempting to find the slightest relief someone tapped me on the shoulder. The person behind me demanded that I put my seat back up so they could be more comfortable.

This was also a first class passenger who had probably paid a lot more for the flight than I did (I found a ridiculous deal that was cheaper than coach). He was entitled to all the comfort he could muster, right?

Now, the reason I’m sharing this story is not to make you feel sorry for me or to get upset with the man who sat behind me. You see, a spirit of entitlement would want you to do just that!

The reason I’m sharing this is to reveal how simple it was for me to reject a spirit of entitlement and to serve the man in the first class seat behind me. Did I deserve to have the seat lean back a few inches?  After all, I was in the midst of a medical emergency.  That didn’t matter. If Jesus can be slaughtered by and for evil people, surely I could put my seat up. It really was quite easy! I simply had to choose to love a stranger more than myself.

8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:8-9 (ESV)

WAITERS AND WAITRESSES

My wife and I have a standing rule in our family. When we go to a restaurant we always tip at least 20%—no matter how great or terrible the service is.

An attitude of entitlement rises up possibly most often in our nation when seated for lunch or dinner in a restaurant. The expectation is that we are to be served, and if we are then we will give the server a small gift.

What would happen if we turned those dinner tables by determining to serve the server instead of demanding they jump through our hoops.

30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. 32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:30-36 (ESV)

I’ll say it bluntly: servers aren’t dogs we give treats to when they obey our commands.

Additionally, we aren’t there to train them or to punish them when they fail. What better place to break an attitude of entitlement than a restaurant? What better place to serve with passion?

Just as it was extremely easy to push the button to raise my airplane seatback up, it’s just as easy to write in a few extra dollars on the tip line on your receipt. In fact, maybe we should give more when service is poor. That sure would seem to follow biblical principles much more than punishing those who fail us does. 

If we are to bless those who curse us, surely we can bless those who fail to refill our drink as quickly as we’d like.

1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. Romans 15:1-2 (ESV)

I was sitting in a popular national chain restaurant on a ministry trip recently. An older husband and wife were being seated by the hostess at a table near ours. Admittedly the hostess was a little quirky and possibly a bit insecure, but she was, without exaggeration, one of the most friendly people I’ve come across! She was pleasant, extremely attentive to everybody she came in contact with and did an amazing job. The couple she seated didn’t like that the sun was shining in their eyes so they asked if they could move. The hostess very nicely told them she could pull down the shade for them, which she did. After she left their table the couple grumbled. They were exhibiting entitlement. After all, they were the paying customer and they should be able to be accommodated per their wishes, right?

Or, maybe they could have endured the discomfort with cheerful hearts.

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, Philippians 2:14-15 (ESV)

I read a story the other day of a patron in a restaurant that wrote in LOL on the tip line of their check with the comment “1 hour for food” alongside it. The server lost out on over $20 because the kitchen didn’t turn out food quickly enough for the entitled customer. The customer took it upon himself to teach the server a lesson instead of blessing her extravagantly. This has to stop.

REVIVAL

Interestingly, one of the major manifestations of a spirit of entitlement comes when contending for revival in a region (or any manifestation of God’s plans and promises in any setting).

Something happens when the prophesies of a massive outpouring in a region start flooding in. Instead of resulting in a contending spirit in the church it most often results in a lazy, entitled church that presumes they are due a move of God. They wait and wait with eyebrows raised irritated that there’s a delay of the arrival of what’s rightfully theirs.

We need to remember that any prophecy not found in Scripture is conditional. It’s contingent on the response of the people. If revival is prophesied over a region then a primary enemy to revival is a people who are expecting revival to come—without being the laborer that revival demands.

I believe this is the result of a casual, American theology that emphasizes easy salvation and an easy life for those who name the name of Christ. If we jump through the hoops of tithing, praying, reading our bibles and asking Jesus into our hearts (which really isn’t biblical, but that can be addressed at a different time), then by all means we presume to be owed a mansion in Heaven!

It’s no wonder there are over 19,000 cities in our nation and none of them are engulfed in revival. Not one. Is there a presumption that we are entitled to revival and that it will come regardless of our participation?

In one particular region there was an extremely strong spirit of entitlement that had infiltrated the culture. Revival was extremely close to breaking out, yet you could pick up on that spirit as people were slow to respond, casual and lazy. The laborers didn’t show up in sufficient strength.

I’ll never forget a stern prophetic word that was given in that season: If this region doesn’t respond to the opportunity for revival than God will move on.

He named the next city that would be given an opportunity.

Well, the hope of revival did leave that region (not that it can’t return at some time, it absolutely can). Very interestingly last night I was in a meeting led by Mario Murillo here in Branson, Missouri. He named a few regions that are currently on God’s radar for revival. The city that the first prophetic messenger named a few years ago was on that short list. Mario mentioned that God will move if there isn’t a right response. That brought be back a few years, and the truth remains—we must say yes to the call of God and advance as if the prophesy may not come to pass—because it absolutely won’t if we hold back.

The question is, will that city (Chicago) mentioned by both prophetic voices respond in this critical season or will entitlement cause the church in the region to expect the outpouring with no investment?

FALSE FAITH

Entitlement in spiritual contexts can feel a lot like faith. It’s not. It’s presumption.

Faith without works is dead. Maybe another way to say that could be, faith without works is presumption, or faith without works reveals a spirit of entitlement.

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? James 2:14-20 (ESV)

True faith results in action. Entitlement results in inaction.

True faith results in joyful expectation. Entitlement results in grumbling and disappointment.

True faith results in blessing those who curse us. Entitlement results in resisting and rejecting those who don’t meet our expectations.

We need a people to rise up who are dead to self, full of life, driven by faith, relentless in their pursuits and ready to serve others with passion, not expecting to be honored, served or counted.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

It’s time for the spirit of entitlement to be eradicated from the church and the nation.

We must go low, serve others and quit making demands that promote our special interests.

Everywhere we look people are demanding what is presumably rightfully theirs. This spirit of entitlement drives major, evil movements today such as abortion, homosexuality, feminism. It’s also fueling crusades and campaigns that are generally good, but tainted because of this foul spirit.

What if we stopped focusing on our own rights and started loving people even if it costs us comfort, money and vindication?

Celebrating Confusion: The crisis of Bruce (not Caitlyn) Jenner

Pray for Bruce (not Caitlyn) Jenner. If we don’t discover who we are in Christ, and who Christ is in us, a crisis is all we can expect.

Dell-000050074“What did I just do? What did I just do to myself?” ~Bruce Jenner’s description of a panic attack after his 10-hour facial-feminization surgery on March 15, 2015

It’s easy to read about Bruce Jenner’s transition away from his God-given gender identity and experience a range of thoughts and emotions: sadness, compassion, anger, disgust, confusion

Certainly the appropriate reactions for blood-bought Christians should include intense intercession for Bruce, thankfulness for God’s power to keep us free from the enemy’s assaults in our lives and prayer for a better understanding of the issue of identity. Every one of us is at risk of losing our grip on our own identity if we don’t understand who we are in Christ and who Christ is in us.

Galatians 2:20 (ESV) 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

The answer to finding ourselves is to lose ourselves—to die. The old is to pass away so the new can come.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

THE PURSUIT OF IDENTITY

Any youth pastor will tell you the issue of identity confusion, whether it’s gender based or not, is not unusual. Young people are famous for attempting to find and express their “true selves” by altering their bodies through tattoos, piercings, funky hair colors and various other methods. Of course, it’s not the outward manifestation that’s concerning. It’s the despair within that’s resulting in gasping for validation.

They are also experimenting with alternate sexual experiences, exhibiting attitudes of independence and becoming more narcissistic than possibly any generation in history. They are looking for life that makes sense and truly has meaning.

The problem? Without dying to self we can never discover our true identity.

Without Jesus, Bruce Jenner is hopeless—regardless of whether he struggles with gender identity or not. Eternity is a small and rapidly decreasing number of heartbeats away and he will live, as Bruce Jenner, not Caitlyn, for trillions of years (forever) in horrifying, unending torment—a never ending panic attack.

The same is true for every person who has ever lived on the earth. For those who don’t radically, completely die to their own pursuits and their own selfish identities and decide to make Jesus Christ the supreme loving master of their lives, Hell is their future. This is truth. This is terror.

However, the glorious promise for Bruce and everyone is that we can die to our flesh and experience a sudden invasion of love, freedom and clarity about the identity of Christ—and how that brings the definition to our own identity that is so fleeting without God.

John 8:32 (ESV) 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

CELEBRATING CONFUSION

With the increasing hostility toward God in our culture, people’s only remaining hope is to discover self through the magnification of their own desires and inclinations.

This confusion is being celebrated today with exuberance.

How often have you heard about a married man realizing that he is gay—and then leaving his marriage and his children to live life as he was “created to?” Increasingly that man is celebrated for having the courage to “come out” and live how he was supposedly designed to.

What if that same man abandoned his wife and children not because he discovered his homosexuality, but rather because he discovered his promiscuity? Would he be honored for having the courage to sleep with another woman? Just what is the difference?

Our culture is becoming increasingly nonsensical.

Isaiah 5:20-21 (ESV) 20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!

This confusion is leading people to attempt resolution to past sins and struggles in some of the most extreme and bizarre ways. The enemy is most definitely stealing, killing and destroying in unprecedented fashion.

After admitting mistakes as a husband and father Bruce Jenner said, “I have high hopes that Caitlyn is a better person than Bruce. I’m very much looking forward to that.”

He is hoping that a transformation into a new identity—his true identity—can bring healing and strength. He is right. However, the transition isn’t from Bruce to Caitlyn or from man to woman. It’s from old man to new. His only hope is Jesus.

His announcement that he is changing his gender identification shouldn’t bring a celebration. His confusion is heart wrenching—and all of us who have been at one time dead in our sins (which is all of us) should relate to it.

The answer isn’t to encourage and celebrate a humanistic adventure of self discovery. That will only lead to hopelessness and increased despair, even if it brings a short lived respite.

EMPTINESS

Bruce Jenner, talking about how people didn’t understand what he was going through even at the height of his Olympic success: “Little did they know I was totally empty inside.”

He then continues to share why he decided to go through with his gender transition: “I’m not doing this to be interesting. I’m doing this to live.”

Bruce’s answer is not in becoming a woman in the hopes of starting over. It’s in allowing Jesus to forgive him and heal his past wounds. True peace can be his!

Hebrews 10:17 (ESV) 17 …“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

Romans 5:1 (ESV) 1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Without Jesus Bruce Jenner will always experience desperation. He freely admits he has been in trauma for decades.

How is it that such emptiness can dominate a person’s life for so long and Jesus is never invited in?

I’m not only talking about Bruce’s terribly sad situation. Countless others, including Christians, live every day in depression, despair, confusion, bondage to sin and powerlessness. All too often they turn to self-discovery methods and desire satisfaction in the hopes that they can find life. They transition not from man to woman, but from one deception to another, from one sin to another, from one attitude to another.

John 8:34 (ESV) 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.

The answer is to surrender. Fully. Gloriously. Give Jesus leadership and refuse to seek after fulfillment in any way other than him. The love you experience will answer every question.

Romans 5:6-8 (ESV) 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

FALSE HUMAN RIGHTS

This spirit of entitlement convinces us to look inward and fight for our perceived rights. After all, we have a right to be whoever we want, right? We can express it in most any way we desire, according to today’s cultural standard. This attitude is fueled by pride that results in the pursuit of personal attention, gain and satisfaction.

Isaiah 14:12–15: How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Lucifer was focused on self—entitlement. This pride resulted in destruction beyond anything we could measure. He fell and weakened the nations simply because he was focused on self!

Because of Lucifer’s attitude, millions of people have been destroyed, the Holocaust terrorized a generation, an ancient flood destroyed the masses, 55 million American babies have been murdered and Hell is growing in size to hold the increasing number of people who will live there for eternity.

Yes, a spirit of entitlement destroys.

Proverbs 16:18: Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 11:2: When pride comes, then comes shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

Proverbs 18:12: Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility.

It’s easy to rally around one who’s operating in a spirit of entitlement, especially if they are pursuing a self-defining, self-satisfying identity that can be related to. People will champion another’s perceived rights if it means their own pursuits will be strengthened by it. The unity around false human rights is resulting in increased confusion, radical rebellion and an anti-Christ spirit growing in power in our culture.

Again, the answer is to surrender to Jesus. We need a move of God like no other time in history.

It absolutely breaks my heart that Bruce Jenner and others have seen no clear remedy to their many human struggles, fears, sins and disturbances. Where is the victorious church? They can’t find the power. They can’t imagine what deliverance would feel like. This, church, is on us.

PRAY FOR BRUCE JENNER

Bruce’s destiny is in Jesus, as a son. He is entitled to abundant life not because of his human determination to thrive, but because of Jesus’ determination to die for him.

John 1:12 (KJV) 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 10:10 (ESV) 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

I once met someone who had quite a testimony. He was born a male and then underwent a complete sex change operation. After living as a woman he met Jesus—and made the decision to live in his permanently altered “female” body as a man, just as God created him. That man is a champion. That man should be celebrated for his bravery to die to self and surrender all.

There is always hope when Jesus is involved.

Bruce will never be a female. He can, however, be a son of God. Let’s believe together that he is touched by the unmistakable power of the Holy Spirit and falls in deeply love with him. His confusion will be replaced with clarity and his old man will make way for the new. What a mighty celebration we will have the moment that happens!

False Human Rights | They are destroying the church and our nation

Does a moment go by that we don’t hear about some group or movement making demands for their supposed human rights?

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy

What happened to this? What happened to America? What happened to the church?

John 15:13 (ESV) 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Today we are absolutely overwhelmed by the constant, self-centered shouts of those who demand that their country—or their church—gives them what they believe is rightfully theirs.

It’s a false human rights movement.

The RIGHT to abortion. The RIGHT for same sex marriage. The RIGHT to be equal. The RIGHT to be heard.

It’s a sickening, selfish focus that is driven by human desire instead of a willingness to take up our cross and die. How often have people left churches because their supposed rights weren’t addressed? How much dissention is in the workplace because people are looked over in favor of another?

I’ve said it before—today, when people’s self-centered pursuits are rejected, they abandon relationships, leave churches and cause division, but when Jesus was rejected, he didn’t abandon people. He didn’t forsake the church.

He let people kill him so they might be saved. He died so the church could thrive.

My point in this article isn’t to address specific issues as much as it is to deal with a deadly demonic spirit that is extremely advanced in its progress in the destruction of the church, and thus, the nation.

A SPIRIT OF ENTITLEMENT

This spirit is pervasive in our nation, and, unfortunately it has infiltrated the church to such a degree that it has altered the very DNA. Today people attend church with expectations of how they should be treated instead of a plan to lay down their lives for the sake of the mission. There is a predetermined checklist of items that they presume they are rightfully entitled to. If those demands aren’t met, then trouble is initiated—just as the enemy planned.

This spirit of entitlement convinces us to look inward and fight for our perceived rights. It’s fueled by pride that results in the pursuit of personal attention, gain and satisfaction.

Isaiah 14:12–15: How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Lucifer was focused on self—entitlement. This pride resulted in destruction beyond anything we could measure. He fell and weakened the nations simply because he was focused on self!

America, are you listening?

Because of Lucifer’s attitude, millions of people have been destroyed, the Holocaust terrorized a generation, an ancient flood destroyed the masses, 55 million American babies have been murdered and Hell is growing in size to hold the increasing number of people who will live there for eternity.

Yes, a spirit of entitlement destroys.

Proverbs 16:18: Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 11:2: When pride comes, then comes shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

Proverbs 18:12: Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility.

TAKING ON OFFENSE

When entitled people gather together, you have a union. Here in Detroit, this is understood well. There are certain expectations that must be fulfilled by leadership, or, those in union will threaten harm to them or the organization. This concept isn’t hard to understand. Often on the news we hear of school teachers or bus drivers who are in a union, and when their demands aren’t met, they strike.

When an entitlement isn’t met, offense is the result—and when people are in union with another who has been offended, they very quickly take on that offense—and, again, it is deadly.

We see this happen in churches all the time. Offended people have friends, who, unify with them and come into agreement with their arguments.

Of course, it would be very easy right now to start considering all of the secular benefits to actual unions. We could discuss how the playing field is evened and the way leadership treats the working class is improved by holding them accountable.

But, I’ll say this very clearly—this spirit of false unity, entitlement and offense has no place in the church. And, our nation would begin down the road of healing and strengthening if we all stopped making demands and started serving, loving and following Jesus and the principles of scripture.

An offended people will destroy a nation. A surrendered people will build a nation.

As an example, the spirits of entitlement and offense drive the abortion industry. False compassion, demonic in nature, is one of the tools that is used to gain sympathy and support for that movement. The threat is that we will come across as unloving, uncaring people if we oppose that movement. The same is true with the homosexual agenda. False love results in accusations of homophobia and hatred for those who don’t support their movement.

imageAs Christians, we are handcuffed as we are forced into a position of affirming our love of these people, and if we don’t, they win the debate.

Our only weak, predictable response seems to be, “We love the sinner and hate the sin.”

BOLDNESS!

We as prophetic voices in the church must brake off intimidation and fear of man! Keep in mind we are wrestling against demons, not humans. What is difficult is when humans embrace the lies of the demons, we who stand for truth can come across as attacking those people. So, many Christians avoid any appearance of conflict at all.

LISTEN CLOSELY: People are going to enter into Hell today! If we don’t have bold prophetic messengers rise up in the spirit of John the Baptist, in the spirit of David and other historic Godly warriors, millions upon millions of people will actually, literally go to Hell! If it’s rare to make it to Heaven, and common to enter Hell, how can we sit back and avoid a violent conflict with those forces of Hell? We cannot!

Matthew 11:12 (ESV) 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.

Check out this commentary on the above scripture:

Greek: biazo (GSN-<G971>), to use force, to force one's way into a thing. The idea here is that before John the kingdom could only be viewed in the light of prophecy; but now that it was preached, men were pressing into it with ardor resembling violence or desperation. They appeared as if they would seize it by force (Mt. 11:12; Lk. 16:16). It expresses the earnestness that men must have in getting rid of sin, all satanic powers, the world, and in standing true when relatives oppose them (Mt. 10:34-39). Dake's Annotated Reference Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments of the Authorized or King James Version Text.

This is where we are now! Let the fire-branded, love-driven warrior bride arise!

When David killed Goliath, it’s true that he killed a human, but he was actually fighting against a demon that was manifesting through a human. David didn’t sit down in a coffee shop to passively, casually discuss the dispute with Goliath. He was ready for a violent assault against the kingdom of darkness.

He made clear what the situation was and what was to be done! How easy it would be for David to be accused of not loving Goliath! But, the truth is that David loved God first (Luke 10:27) and was fully invested in partnering with him. Human arguments would have to meet the fierce decrees of the child of God! Fear-driven false humility was not an option for David. David was on a mission of salvation—the salvation of God’s people.

1 Samuel 17:26 (ESV) 26 And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

David was bold! Who is this uncircumcised Philistine? He was calling out Goliath’s immorality and his lack of consecration to the Lord.

Come on church! Quit cowering in false-humility and rise up in the greatest love this nation has ever known! It’s time to declare the word of the Lord to the uncircumcised enemies of the Lord in America!

But, beware, many in your sphere, in the camp of the Lord, will also be intimidated by your love driven boldness. The prophetic, apostolic anointing often results in jealousy and accusation against the one advancing fearlessly. Accusations of pride will always accompany those who are willing to live radically by laying down their lives for the Lord.

1 Samuel 17:28-29 (ESV) 28 Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” 29 And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?”

His brother attacked him! I’m sure he felt conviction as little brother David was going to do what every other person should have done—deal with the uncircumcised Philistine with expediency!

Will you raise your anointed, prophetic voice, or will you seek a false sense of peace? Remember we are to be peacemakers not peacekeepers! We cannot keep peace were there is no peace!

We have no obligation to passively form our words in such a way that we will be heard. It’s time to bring a shaking to this nation—before it is literally destroyed!

1 Samuel 17:41-46 (ESV) 41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel…

It’s time that we go after the anti-Christ spirits that are overtaking our nation! We can no longer use human arguments. It’s time that we are anointed in the boldness and power of the Holy Spirit! We aren’t to prove our love, we are to love—and true love brings true problems in the pursuit of liberty for a nation! We see this cover to cover in scripture.

LET ME BE CLEAR: I DEEPLY LOVE BUT DO NOT CARE

I will say it very, very clearly. I RADICALLY love those who are advancing humanistic agendas, even though you may not believe me. That’s your battle, not mine.

Jesus loved people though he would not bend to their demands. He cared about their emotions, their hearts, their eternities—but, he didn’t defend himself. He let his accusers kill him. Who was the one who cared and loved when he was lifted up on a cross that day?

In an attempt to break the church out of a passive, false-love driven debate over holiness and morality I will say this very clearly:

I DO NOT CARE ENOUGH, young woman, about your career, your comfort, your supposed right to independence or the crisis and cost a new baby will bring to your life to affirm your plan to kill your baby. You are not entitled to comfort. You are not promised happiness. I challenge you to lay down your life for a baby that God thought enough about you to entrust its care to.

When you wave a coat hanger in the air during an abortion rights protest, you are declaring that you have more compassion for one who would intentionally harm someone than one who is being harmed. The answer to losing access to ‘safe abortions’ (how is intentional murder safe?) is not to head out to the back alley to abort the baby yourself with a hanger—it is to have the baby and love it with selfless passion! The answer is so simple!

I DO NOT CARE about a supposed right to sexual freedom, gay or straight, that results in a devastating lifestyle that is bringing destruction on our nation. Decrees of holiness must return to our churches and nation again!

I DO NOT CARE about equality in our nation if it results in climbing over people who are in our way or forcing them to affirm our self-centered position. It’s time that we lay down our demands, surrender our agendas and quit manipulating systems in a selfish pursuit of personal gain. It’s time for humility to reign in America again!

Christian leaders I honor you deeply and pray for you and I do understand the pressures you are under. However, I DO NOT CARE about personal agendas, self-centered ministry projects, your self-assigned titles or ego-driven programs and will not unite with those who embrace them. Your legacy and history in the city is meaningless unless it results in a future of Holy Spirit freedom for desperate people. I will expend energy, time and money to run with you if you are humble and passionate about the plans of God in the region. Let’s slow the flow to Hell together.

Philippians 2:4-8 (ESV) 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

I CARE ABOUT THE HEART OF GOD and his overwhelming love for people—and the fact that Hell is swallowing millions of them. I care about the clear truths of scripture. I trust in God’s wisdom and I refuse to allow humanism to gain the upper hand in the debate. I care about bold prophetic messengers who will lay down their lives and open their mouths and shout truth from the rooftops.

Today, not tomorrow, it’s time to die to self and run to the battle as the spirit of Goliath is threatening to destroy us. It’s time for the circumcised, consecrated lovers of God to take back America.

Listen now to Ten Threats to Revival #8: Unbelief

A spirit of entitlement is false-faith. God is calling us to move ahead boldly as people of great faith!

Last night’s teaching is ready for you to listen to now here: http://media.johnburton.net/5885592

image You can follow along with my notes here:

  1. Threat 8. Unbelief

1. You can do this! You are called to live a ridiculously supernatural life!!!!!

1. You must believe! Go after the impossible! Be like Noah and live in such a way that causes people to mock!!!! You are called to live a miraculous life!

2. Understand that most people will not believe. In order to be in the mix of the end-time revival, you must believe!!!!! The more we pray, the more we believe!!! The more we hear his word, the more faith! Faith comes by hearing!!!

1. Luke 18:7-8 (ESV) 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

2. Frank Bartleman wrote Evan Roberts and asked him how to launch revival.

1. So, Frank did it and Azusa exploded and changed the face of Christianity!

2. Mike Bickle prophecy: “I will change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the earth in one generation.”

3. So what is Evan Robert’s prescription?

1. “Congregate the people who are willing to make a total surrender. Pray and wait. Believe God’s promises. Hold daily meetings. ”Evan Roberts

2. Reading this simple yet non-negotiable prescription for revival reveals that the church of this nation is far from ready!

3. Evan Roberts reveals one of the elements of revival is simply to believe God’s promises.

1. In Detroit there’s false belief over this region: Entitlement

1. When people don’t get what they presume they are entitled to, rage ensues.

2. The right to work legislation resulted in violence in Lansing.

4. It’s stunning how little the church believes in the supernatural. Healing, freedom, power and abundant life are tragically rare.

1. 1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world- our faith.

1. The call of revival is the call to overcome the spirit of this age.

1. It’s a HUGE, HUGE mission, and if we struggle in our belief, we just won’t get it done.

2. We must be Believers, not hopers.

[wdsm_ad id=”6675″ ]

3. Matthew 13:57-58 (ESV) 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

1. I experienced this when I was traveling to Detroit… faith was high!

2. Now, who comes with raging, burning expectation of fire every Sunday?

3. If we expect to only have another service, that is what we will get—fire requires fervent, active faith that won’t relent!!!!

1. Most people think faith results in waiting… waiting for God to do something.

2. Not true!!!!! Faith is simply belief that something is to be done!!!

3. We go after it!!!

4. Faith is an action word-when we have it, based on a revelation of who we are in Christ, we rock the world, we work with passion, we burn continually!

1. Start a Tribe!

2. Pray continually!

3. Move! Advance! Do! Go!

1. Mark 9:17-24 (ESV) 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

2. Jesus doesn’t take kindly to lack of faith!

3. Now, get this… the kid was going to die if the father didn’t have faith!!!! This is why he said ‘help my unbelief’… it wasn’t casual!! There was a point of crisis… he had to believe to save his son!!!!

2. Matt 9:20-22 (NIV) 20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
22Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment.

1. Faith is an action word! After the revelation comes the action… it takes both to receive what is rightfully ours.

2. It wasn’t only a hope and a prayer… it was a revelation and response.

3. Mark 4:23-25 (ESV) 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

3. 1 Tim 6:12 (NKJV) 12Fight the good fight of faith

1. We don’t wait for things to happen, we cause things to happen!

2. Matt 21:21-22 (NKJV) 21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,' it will be done. 22“And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

3. DO what was DONE to the fig tree. Faith is an action word!

4. Hebrews 6:11-12 (ESV) 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

5. Action!

2. Oh God, I really want a great job in the ministry- I know you’ll come through for me… it will happen as you have divinely designed.

1. Well, have you submitted a resume?

2. Have you studied to show yourself approved?

3. Have you done the work?

5. I believe one of the most critical areas of both crisis and opportunity has to do with identity.

1. A spirit of insignificance- listen to it!

2. Wrong identity absolutely annihilates faith and ministry.

1. It has people hiding from their enemies in caves.

2. It results in taking a casual approach to ministry.

3. It keeps people at home or relaxing when their comrades are on the wall in the church.

1. Check out this report:

1. We had revival (I mean, full-tilt, make Brownsville Toronto and Lakeland look tame) … we were about to ramp it up… and suddenly most of the people who make it all “work” had “other things to do” —I wept.

2. If we believe, we will advance, work and expect… we won’t pull back or be casual.

3. If there’s someone who’s casual in their pursuit, you can know they are having a faith crisis.

2. If we have a wrong understanding of our identity, we tend to participate in the church or in mission so it can make our life better instead of walking in the power of an accurate identity using our lives to make the church better.

3. George Barna- Americans consider survival in the present to be much more significant than eternal security and spiritual possibilities.

6. Faith is what others will see as evidence that God is who we believe he is.

1. Heb 11:1 (NKJV) 1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

1. It’s when we tithe before we see the money to pay our bills.

2. It’s when we step into the impossible.

3. It’s when we pray for the sick.

4. It’s when we obey the Word!

2. Action

1. Heb 11:4 (NKJV) 4By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice

2. Heb 11:8 (NKJV) 8By faith Abraham obeyed

3. Heb 11:27 (NKJV) 27By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.

4. Heb 11:29 (NKJV) 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land

5. Heb 11:30 (NKJV) 30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down

6. Heb 11:32-34 (NKJV) 32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

1. Action!!!

3. A barometer of our position in Christ has to be whether we can hear or not!

1. John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

2. This is the only way we can believe!

3. Rom 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

4. The only way to be united with Christ in the pursuit of revival is to hear and believe!

5. Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

6. We can't just wait around in doubt, it's time to move!

7. We MUST believe!

1. Mark 16:14-18 (ESV) 14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Nameless/Faceless : Is God done with human leadership?

There is a growing and unified cry in the church for a leaderless move of God.

Twenty-Elements-of-Revival-Box-ShotFirst: Audit theLab this Saturday, June 18! This week’s class is based on my book 20 Elements of Revival. Discover how you can step right into God’s plan for city-wide revival! The cost is $15 and the class goes from 10am-2pm. Just show up, no registration required. We meet at THE TABERNACLE: 14205 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088.


A Nameless, Faceless Revival?

A common, unified cry is echoing throughout the landscape of the church—especially the revival ready church—the next move of God is going to be nameless and faceless.

This sounds right. It feels saturated with humility. In fact, I whole-heartedly agree with the base value that every Believer must embrace radical surrender, humility and must repel temptations for pride and accolade. We must go low and not desire our names or our faces to be known. It’s all about the fame of Jesus.

We decrease as God increases.

However, the assumption that God is done with acknowledging and burning through individual, human leaders is, in my analysis, a knee-jerk reaction to some epic failures in the lives of key leaders in recent movements.

Simply, people are offended. Many have allowed the spirit of offense to take root in their hearts, and it has led to radical distrust of Christian leaders and a violation of clear, theological principles. One of those principles is that God identifies, promotes and even publicizes humans for the sake of Kingdom advance.

Humility Breeds Boldness

True humility doesn’t result in permanent hiddenness. It results in a fiery boldness that rocks religious structures and an alarm that is heard far and wide.

In scripture we have men and women who have been tapped by God to be seen and heard as they gather people and deliver mandates and messages to the masses. They have a name and they have a face.

Consider Moses. He was the meekest man on the face of the Earth. He was also the human leader chosen and promoted by God to be seen and heard by all of Israel. True humility results in legitimate ministry that has visible impact. It’s actually false humility that would cause us to retreat. And, if we expect others to retreat as a visible sign of their humility, we are placing an unhealthy expectation on them. We are not to blend in, we are to stand out and call out.

In fact, God gives grace to the humble. Grace is God’s enabling power to accomplish what is humanly impossible. When mortal humans start walking in supernatural, miraculous grace, and divine messages are delivered, and lives are transformed and bodies are healed, you can’t expect that person to go unnoticed.

True Identity

One inherent weakness with the nameless/faceless campaign is that of identity. True humility results in an overpowering revelation of who we are in Christ. We are weak yet he is strong. We were created in his image. We are the head and not the tail. Above and not beneath. We are serious authorities in the Kingdom.

In fact, it is in God’s nature to promote. He does it out of love and honor of his people, but also because it’s strategically necessary. It’s a divine strategy of Kingdom advance that has been used time and again.

Joshua 3:7 (ESV) 7 The LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.

Joshua was the leader, and Joshua was exalted. He wasn’t nameless and faceless. Just like so many men and women of God who have been called today such as Lou Engle, Bill Johnson, John Kilpatrick and others—Joshua had a name and he had a face that everybody recognized.

Why is this important? So people knew who to follow! It really is as simple as that! The person called of God for that special role must be known so they could lead the masses into their own destiny of revelation of who they are in Christ. So they can move in clear unity under prophetic and apostolic direction.

Paul clearly said to follow HIM as he followed CHRIST. That was a bold statement that I’m sure many translated into pride and arrogance.

What are the issues?

  • Offense: People are so upset with and offended by the failures of people like Todd Bentley, Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart an others that they have simply determined that God must be offended at them too. God must be done with them. However, we know scripturally that a spirit of offense will imprison people. In fact, it can lead people right down a path of extreme destruction. An offended heart that loses trust in people that God is moving through can do great damage to God’s plans for revival. This is why it would not surprise me at all if God chose to use fallen people to launch some of the great end-time revivals through. God still trusts, promotes and governmentally uses people. Apostles, prophets, evangelists and others are uniquely gifted to do what others cannot do.

    In fact, the idea that everybody is to be nameless and faceless is truly nonsensical if we really think about it. Even those who have been deeply offended by the Todd Bentley’s of the world still admit to acknowledging other leaders who have a name and a face. They read books that have the author’s name clearly marked on the front and their photo displayed on the back. They promote other, likeminded Christian leaders they enjoy listening to. They gravitate to certain Bible commentaries that are written by humans. I could go on and on. We aren’t in this alone, and even offense can’t stop us from following anointed men and women of God—though we might be doing it with a wounded, bitter heart.

  • Insecurity: The belief that we are all given equal assignments, equal levels of promotion and equal giftings is simply misguided. Only one person in the entire world was called, anointed and graced to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. His name was Moses. Only one person in the world was called to facilitate the Brownsville revival. John Kilpatrick. Of course there were many other key players in the stories, but there was only one leader. The same will be true in Detroit where God is preparing a massive outpouring. We must keep our eyes open for who were are to respond to. Who will God be using here?

    An insecure leader, and especially an offended, insecure leader, is at risk of devaluing God’s chosen leaders and separating out and away from the greater city mission. A church planting coach once told me that the greatest threat in a new church plant is an insecure leader who refuses to acknowledge others who are more gifted and qualified than he is. They keep their people away from others who have more influence, anointing and authority than they do. They don’t bring on staff that would threaten their leadership abilities. So, in effect, the entire church is weakened and usually dies because of an insecure, threatened and prideful leader. This can happen in the greater city church as well.

    For example, I’m fully aware that the revival that’s coming to Detroit will probably not arrive at my church. The chances are slim. So, with that in mind, I understand that other people, with names, faces, influence, differing theological bents and abilities well beyond my own (or even much less than my own) are great candidates for God to choose as leaders for the Detroit outpouring. So, the right move would be to acknowledge these human individuals and support them just as Israel was called to support Moses and Joshua.

  • Entitlement: It’s extremely easy to presume, especially in this competitive nation of America where every boy and girl is told (improperly) that they can grow up to be the President of the United States if they want, that we are entitled to be equal in every way with other leaders.

    A common take away is this: if someone is flamboyant, aggressive and driven, and they are in front of a revival or Christian movement, they MUST be doing something unholy. There must be arrogance or self-exaltation in the mix. Why? Because we are all created equal, and I haven’t been afforded the the opportunity to be out in the front like they are. My humility is keeping me grounded and their pride is resulting in self-promotion.

    Sound familiar? We simply have to understand that everybody isn’t entitled to be in the forefront. But, just because someone is on the platform doesn’t mean they are there because of selfish desires. Even if they are bold and aggressive and persuasive, it isn’t a mark of an unholy attitude. Often their mandate is so heavy and urgent that they can’t take a casual, passive or slow approach. Study the prophets of the Bible. My oh my, it seemed like they built their own platform and demanded everybody’s attention. However, the reality is that they had a special calling that others didn’t have. They weren’t entitled to. That doesn’t make them better or more loved, but it does mean that they had a job to do that most others didn’t have to do.

Closing Thoughts

I’ll finish by reemphasizing a point that is at risk of being overlooked. God demands humility. It’s non-negotiable. He resists the proud. We should esteem others more than ourselves. We should never take the credit that belongs to God. We should always boast in the Lord.

That being said, the clear, biblical expectation of humility is extreme, anointed boldness that will draw the attention of people, demons, angels and God Himself. In fact, those with the greatest humility will often be those with the greatest call to extreme leadership. Many people will know their name. They will recognize their face. Get to know them well. You just may be called to minister with humility and passion under their leadership.

X