Functioning primarily out of our soul results in division, fear, recklessness and arrogance.

Riots.

Violence.

Pandemic.

Lockdowns.

National Election.

Social media has been distressing to my spirit this year. Really, all media has been, including the few sources that might be considered trustworthy. I'll be the first to admit it's easy to dive into debates at a soul level, arguing logic that seems so obvious while being legitimately confused at how anybody else just cannot see it the same way.

Everything from masks to President Trump to racism has polarized our nation. The damage left in the wake of the raging debates has been devastating. More concerning, the church has been caught up in the exact same soul-level social battles.

When our soul leads the way in our debates and decisions, the results can be quite toxic. We've seen fear and division overcome the people of the “home of the brave.” Arrogance has been masquerading as authority and recklessness as freedom.

The soul is the center of emotions and logic, and without the anointing of the Holy Spirit, arguments initiated from that level are not to be trusted. Powerful emotions with the help of seemingly obvious logic will convince people they are functioning from a place of wisdom when in truth they are reacting in fear. Faith is eliminated from the equation. Wisdom (fear) trumps faith when we don't live, breathe, pray and walk in the Spirit.

25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:25-26 (NIV)

DIVISION IS NOT ALWAYS NEGATIVE

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law 36 a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' Matthew 10:34-36 (NIV)

The true church will always introduce division simply because of the topics we are promoting. There is an agenda. Jesus made it clear that ecumenical unity wasn't his goal. World peace wasn't the focus.

We can expect division when the Gospel is preached. When revival hits, people will be split like the Red Sea with many running to the altar and many running out the back door.

Many pastors today are attempting to avoid the very necessary schisms that clearly define the remnant and the pretenders. Truth rightly presented demands decisions. In the end the Final Judgment will bring the greatest division of all, separating the sheep and the goats for all humanity to see.

Many Christians have attempted to apply this principle of biblical division to their own humanistic stubborn opinions. They celebrate as their pet positions cause others to get riled up and split off. They feel spiritual, but this is soul-level activity and it is grieving to the Lord.

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another… Ephesians 4:30-32 (NIV)

Preach the Word of God and, often times, you can expect division.

Preach masks, politics, the Constitution and on the racial issues of the day? We as Spirit-filled, blood-bought children of the King should speak with great love and grace. Is there ever a time to strike against wicked arguments with force and precision? Absolutely. But, not from our soul. This type of engagement must be led fully by the Spirit.

WHAT IS GOD SAYING?

Church, it's time to come up higher. In this toxic season of politics, sickness, murder and distress, we need to resist the urge to function from our soul. It's time to minister from our spirits.

We've heard all of the arguments about masks, both pro and con. We know all of the reasons people are going to vote for Trump or Biden. People are dogmatic about taking a knee or not. The memes and GIFS and posts and rants about all of these volatile issues and others have become predictable — and nauseating.

Where are those who have emerged from their closets of intercession, those who have a clear word from the Lord? Where is the tangible anointing that pierces through arguments? In this critical, historic hour, where are the true prophets?

Understand, this doesn't mean we can't discuss issues at a logical level. I'm not even saying the soul (emotions and logic) should be minimized. God gave us a soul and he will certainly cause us to speak intelligently and even passionately on secular matters, with wisdom, love and clarity. Debates and discussions can be beneficial. The critical call, however, for every Christian, is to do so with the mind of Christ.

The greater the activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the more impacting our words will be. I would challenge you to disengage from the madness that has bewitched so much of the world and the church. Pull back. Stop functioning mostly from your soul. Don't get so excited about your logic. Be teachable. Die to your own opinions. Speak truth under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and people will be absolutely confounded.

When the truth you speak causes both people and demons to react, you know you've moved from soul-level arguments to spirit-driven, authoritative declarations:

22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” 25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. 27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching–and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee. Mark 1:22-28 (NIV)

TAKE A BREAK

As I said above, it's easy to get sucked into the soul-level debates of the day. And, as I said, not all of these debates are unhealthy. However, a whole bunch of them are.

They can distract those who are supposed to be functioning in the realm of the Spirit and cause us to fight in the flesh. If your revelations on the matters of the day aren't burning with anointing, take a break. If you aren't having dreams and visions about how to address the madness of this hour, take a break.

Seriously. Resist the urge and stop posting to Facebook. I'm not talking about the infamous month-long breaks from social media that people regularly announce. Those folks are back and active usually in less than 24-hours.

I'm talking about going deeper in God than you ever have. See the futility of your arguments. Humble yourself. Finally understand that nobody needs to hear what your soul has to say. Find your prayer closet and discover what God is yearning to reveal to our nation.

The whole world will want to hear what you have to say then.

Originally published by The Stream.

All it took was a health scare to expose a negative spirit in many American Christians.

22  A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22 (ESV) 

It saddens me quite deeply to see a famously strong American people have their spirits so easily and thoroughly crushed by our recent crisis. However, the reaction of the American people pales in comparison to how disappointing the response of many Christians is. Faith-walkers have surrendered that distinction for one of nervous caution. Walking by sight and not by faith has been the nearly instantaneous shift many have adopted as an invisible enemy has threatened their safety.

Of the weapons God has provided for us to win battles and counteract the assaults of the enemy, I wonder if joy just may be among the most supreme. Instead of scouring the internet in search of the perfect mix of vitamins, supplements, essential oils and unproven medicines to combat a medical threat, the Word of God states clearly that joy is the good medicine we need!

SOCIAL MEDIA REVEALS A LOT

It's telling when Believers in Jesus are posting non-stop everything negative, threatening and discouraging they can find, most of it from the compromised liberal media. This toxic negativity is doing great damage to many and it must stop immediately.

11  it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Matthew 15:11 (ESV)

Continuing to spew fearful statistics, hyped news reports and other information without clearly communicating that we as the children of God are victorious overcomers and that we will fight this giant in joyful, fearless faith, it is defiling to us. Speaking or typing out dread, nervousness, hyper-caution, worry or fear does great damage to our spirits. It crushes us. It crushes many who are hearing or reading our dire reports as well. Instead of ministering life, hope, faith and victory, too many Believers are pawns in the enemy's hands, messengers of pending disaster.

It's astonishing how messages of fearlessness and faith and a resolve to stand against this foe in our nation are met with anger, often by Christians! They have determined our faith is threatening their safety and that our holy confidence is foolishness. Truth be told, when faith meets fear, those who live in fear can become quite enraged indeed.

WHO WILL STAND AGAINST THIS UNCIRCUMCISED PHILISTINE?

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?” 1 Samuel 17:26 (ESV)

This young man would have nothing to do with a paralyzed nation. He refused to be intimidated, and his great, godly resolve was met with initial resistance, not from Goliath, but from his own people. Not only was Goliath positioned against David, his threats resulted in David's very own family turning against him. As if Goliath's army wasn't enough, now he had the help of those in David's camp in shutting him down.

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.” 1 Samuel 17:28 (ESV)

The moment a faith-filled Believer determines to move forward in the face of fear is the moment those who are timid, cautious and tentative will launch their attack against them. Accusations will fly. They will determine that people of faith are presumptuous, driven by an evil heart just as Eliab did with David.

Additionally, in this great biblical story, David rejected Saul's armor. In the same way today, God is raising up people who don't put their trust in the supposed wisdom that seems obvious to everybody else. They have an entirely different plan of action to bring destruction to a wicked assault of the enemy. When you have faith a single stone will do.

But, understand, that stone won't stop the accusations and assaults of the fearful. It won't stop those who are walking by sight and not by faith from mocking your position or methods of battle. Sadly, many in the camp of the Lord are doing all they can to silence their own brothers and sisters, people of faith who won't be intimidated by the threats that have caused everybody else to go into hiding.

SPEAK LIFE!

17  No weapon formed against you shall prosper… Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV)

3  Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. Psalm 91:3 (NKJV)

5  You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, 6  Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. Psalm 91:5-6 (NKJV)

10  No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; Psalm 91:10 (NKJV)

19  Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19 (NKJV)

Now these are verses that should be repeated all over Facebook! Speak life!

It's unsettling that so many people who name the name of Christ are filling their social media and conversations with bad reports. They sound no different than the unredeemed of the world. This must stop immediately if we hope to be a national church that moves in great supernatural power!

If you are triggered by negative news reports regarding a virus or any other threat, you have an opportunity to reject the tendency to share the bad news. Instead, speak life! Be life-giving!

If you read bad news, don't confess it! Instead, jump on Facebook and Twitter and announce to the world that “No plague shall come near your dwelling!” Command the wicked strategies to come to nothing! Take authority and trample on the serpents! Pick up your stone and run to the battle with joy bursting forth from your heart, abundant life exploding out of your spirit and victory resounding on your lips! Allow everyone around you to be astonished that you are free, alive and not stricken by this wicked serpent as it's crushed under your feet!

Don't alert everybody to the taunts of Goliath. Don't fill up your day relaying news reports of his encroaching position. Quit warning everybody about his strength. Don't devise a defensive plan to avoid him at all costs, to lock down in hiding and to just wait it out and hope for the best. No! It's time to advance!

16  For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening. 1 Samuel 17:16 (ESV)

The world needs to see you posting life not death, faith not fear! Confront the evil spirit of the age that's taunting our nation! Let no defiling word, report or confession come out of your mouth!

21  Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:21 (ESV)

Both the lost and the church needs to hear YOU rejecting fear as you abound in unspeakable joy! Decree an overcoming testimony over this nation! Command the enemy to step back and declare with fiery boldness that our faith is more powerful than his mountain!

20  My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21  Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. 22  For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. 23  Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:20-23 (ESV)

Let Psalm 27:13 and Psalm 19:14 be your meditation going forward, and fill up your conversations and social media posts with joyful, fearless, life-giving messages that focus on the goodness of the Lord, truths that will put fear into the enemies of our nation!

13  I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Psalm 27:13 (ESV)

14  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14 (ESV)

You can now watch or listen to any message for FREE!

VAIO-00000013First, I want to offer my thanks to everyone who has subscribed as ministry partners. You have been such a blessing—and I am praying you will still continue to financially partner with us even though the media has been opened to everybody.

We have also streamlined our websites by eliminating some and combining others. You can now go to www.burton.tv for anything pertaining to this ministry.

You can watch or listen to teachings at www.burton.tv/media.

As always, I absolutely LOVE to hear from you!

Contact me at www.burton.tv/contact and let me know how the messages are blessing you!

John

Brand NEW, powerful series for CoFI Media Partners—The Bullhorn Conference!

We are thankful for our CoFI Media Partners! You are helping ensure the message of prayer and revival is broadcast to the nations!

Bullhorn ConferenceWe have a brand new resource available for you!

Dell-000050221

 

THE BULLHORN CONFERENCE

John boldly declares the call for truth to be preached and for a strong stance against the spirit of the age to become the norm again. Messengers of God must open their mouths and communicate fearlessly.

It's time to set our face and prophesy against the spirit of the age!

Watch these intense messages from the Bullhorn Conference in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

Included Messages:

  1. Set Your Face
  2. Revelation Driven Prayer
  3. The Church is Almost Homosexual

 

If you are a Media Partner, you can watch or listen to this powerful series right now, right HERE!

If you have yet to subscribe as a Media Partner, you can do so for $10 per month or $99 per year HERE!

Can you spare a couple minutes? Take a poll and help the development of theFurnace.tv!

Dell-000050116We want to continue to strengthen our new media ministry at theFurnace.tv.

A short poll will help us do that!

You will also have an opportunity to share any thoughts or other comments with us.

The poll is anonymous, so be brutally honest!

GO HERE TO TAKE THE POLL RIGHT NOW!

Exclusively for CoFI Media Partners—a brand new teaching series is available! “Orphans No More!”

Orphans-No-More-SeriesNo more excuses: Don’t let an orphan spirit keep you from fulfilling your destiny! Elizabeth had to be delivered from her barrenness to deliver John the Baptist and Mary had to miraculously overcome the fact she was a virgin to bring our Lord Jesus into the world. It’s time for the issue of fatherlessness to, in the same way, be overcome by the power of God!

I agree that it’s widely acknowledged today that there’s a serious problem with fatherlessness and orphan spirits in the church and in the world.

I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 1 Corinthians 4:14-16

It’s true that spiritual fathers are needed, and it’s also true that sons and daughters must discover their true identities-and those identities are not dependent on whether fathers appear in their lives or not. It’s much deeper than that.

The sins of the fathers are significant, and they impact the succeeding generations dramatically. The call is for every one of us as sons or daughters to break off generational destruction and align ourselves with Father God. If we don’t, the devastation will continue. Children of God arise!

BECOME A MEDIA PARTNER TODAY AND LISTEN TO THIS POWERFUL SERIES HERE!

Are you already a partner? You can listen HERE!

I’m working hard at building a smooth running media ministry machine!

I wanted to give all of you an update on the plans for our growing and developing media ministry. So many of you have written me expressing your appreciation for the message and the opportunity to connect with us. The feeling is mutual!

imageWe are currently getting settled in our Branson, Missouri home, and some of the necessary projects have been more time and energy consuming than we had anticipated—so, the daily CoFI Break videos have not been, well, daily!

The contractors are here as I speak putting the finishing touches on a fairly big job in the basement which includes rebuilding a wall in my studio. In addition to that some additional construction is ahead of us in the studio as we continue to make it ready. We’ll also be setting up the stage, adding new cameras, lighting, and other equipment soon (hopefully VERY soon!) so the broadcasts will continue to be more sporadic than I’d like.

I know it’s important to stay consistent and it wont be long before almost daily videos will be arriving in your inbox.

MEDIA PARTNERS

Another project that I’m working on that is taking longer than I would have hoped is our media archive.

The goal is to have all of our past audio and video teachings available for our Media Partners to access.

The most recent 30 days of audio and video teachings are available to anybody at no cost. For those who want to go back further they will have the option to subscribe at $10 per month.

We will also be adding several new downloadable audio teachings that you can buy and keep on any of your devices.

SATURDAY COFI GROUP

Tomorrow you will have access to the first teaching of a brand new series titled Four Fires. You DON’T want to miss this series.

You will discover how to burn hot for Jesus every and and how to grow deep in preparation of revival!

You can access it (tomorrow) and other teachings here: www.thefurnace.tv/media.

ILLINOIS

Parker and I are about to head out to Collinsville, Illinois for a weekend of meetings. Pray that the fire falls as I communicate the life altering message of Jesus!

If you’d like to host me at an event in your region, it’s EASY to do so! Go to www.johnburton.net/booking and fill out the form. I’ll be in touch right away!

The contractors are working hard…and our broadcasts will be delayed just a little bit.

First, I know, I know…you all are waiting for this year’s April Fool’s joke. Sorry to disappoint, but I think I’ll take a break this year (really…seriously…for sure)!

The target date for our new daily and weekly Carriers of Fire International broadcasts was April 1st, 2015.

Well, the work on our studio and other parts of the basement where my studio is is taking longer than expected. My goal is to start sometime next week.

Also, we are more than excited (I mean, we are BESIDE OURSELVES!) to report that our equipment will be upgraded radically thanks to a very special donation from a true partner of revival. That upgrade will take place soon, but, fear not, the broadcasts will take place during that process!

The new equipment will enable us to truly have a professional video studio to broadcast timely messages of prayer, revival and reformation to the nations!

So, here’s the details of what will be initiating over the next couple of weeks:

  • CoFI Group Teaching: Every Saturday I’ll upload a new HD, full length teaching for use personally or in a small group. Open in prayer, watch the video and then discuss it together!
  • CoFI Breaks: Most every day I’ll upload a short 5-10 minute message to keep you alert, encouraged and equipped.
  • CoFI Partners: Soon you will be able to access our entire archive of audio and video teachings for a low monthly subscription of $10. The most recent 30 days will be FREE and accessible to all!
  • CoFI Donations: Later today or tomorrow our new online giving will be available at www.carriersoffire.org/donate. Your faithful support ensures we are able to continue releasing messages of revival!
  • School of Revival: Enroll TODAY in this life rocking school of prayer, revival and revolution! It’s only $30 a month! www.schoolofrevival.tv

Beginning April 1st, 2015 CoFI will begin broadcasting from our new studio in Branson, Missouri!

FIRST: I’m currently ministering for an amazing man of God, Glen Stead, in Prince Albert, Canada. God has been moving in very unique and powerful ways. We have extended the meetings for an extra night!

Watch the videos of the first three services here: https://www.youtube.com/user/EmbassyChurchMedia 


Our brand new media strategy begins on April first! (No foolin!)

CoFI GroupsEvery week I will be producing a full length teaching that you can use to grow personally or in a group, and on a daily basis I’ll share short teachings—both via video from our new studio in Branson, Missouri!

CoFI Groups are a GREAT WAY to gather together with other likeminded people in homes, churches or other locations. Start with passionate prayer and then watch the weekly teaching. End with a time of ministry or discussion! You can get more information here: www.carriersoffire.org/groups

CoFI Breaks—Every day I will produce a short, 5-10 teaching that will encourage you as you continue to intentionally grow as a carrier of fire!

COMING SOON

Everybody will have the opportunity to access the previous thirty days of teachings for FREE.

If you’d like to access our entire library of hundreds of teachings, videos and podcast you will soon be able to subscribe for a low monthly membership. Stay tuned!

Visit www.carriersoffire.org today!

6 keys to living free from the torment of sin

I’m encouraged by so many of the replies I received from my recent Charisma Magazine series of articles.

People are becoming awakened to their own depravity, and instead of hiding behind the false comfort of unbiblical grace, they are aggressively dealing with their sin. The grace of God absolutely can set us free not only from the penalty of sin but from the act of sin. We can be fully free indeed!

I’m finding myself responding to email after email with the same response to the same question. People are yearning to be liberated from the prison of sinful patterns in their lives—patterns that absolutely do put our salvation at risk if not met head on with the grace and blood of Jesus.

This is why a life of repentance is so beautiful! It leads us right to the cross of Christ. His applied blood completely eradicates every impurity!

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:28 (NIV)

I hear from a lot of people who testify to the power of sin in their lives. They proclaim that they are sinners saved by grace, and that Christians can expect to sin often, every day, for the rest of their lives. No! This is a doctrine of demons that has been embraced by multitudes of defeated Christians.

We are saints saved by grace! We have been given the power to live free from the traps of sin and we can expect to walk in daily sanctification unto holiness. We can absolutely, without question, be free to decide against sin. We should not—must not—sin regularly. What a disgrace to grace that would be!

So, just how can we take steps toward a life free from sin?

It’s simple, but not easy:

1. RESOLVE THE LOVE ISSUE

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:9-11 (ESV)

It’s shocking how many people question and doubt the absolute truth that they don’t have to earn God’s love. The true is that we don’t earn it, we abide in it.

When they sin the immediate accusation is that we have failed to the degree that God is now angry, offended and aggressively building walls around his heart so we can’t get near—until we prove to him that we are again worthy of his affection.

What a horrid way to live! When we fail, God is not surprised. He doesn’t approve of our failure, but he doesn’t pass out from shock. He’s not gossiping behind our backs about what we just did. He’s not shunning us until we pay our dues to get back into the club of the redeemed.

Yes, sin is serious and sin is deadly but we have to know that God is burning with passionate love for us and is there to restore us! If we understand this we won’t have to spend a “sufficient” amount of time feeling guilty and shamed until we can crawl back up into his lap.

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1 (ESV)

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation– if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. Colossians 1:21-23 (NIV)

2. PRAY ALWAYS

…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. 6:18 (ESV)

This one is simple but not easy. Without having a life of continual, fervent prayer that’s driven supernaturally by the Holy Spirit, our hope of living free from sin is slight.

Long ago as a young burning one for Jesus I worked at a car wash along with several yet to be redeemed people. Everything about that job was negative. The pay was awful, the work was hard and every day was monotonous and boring. In addition to that I had to continually walk way from the small groups of employees when they started sharing dirty stories.

Yet, I remember that season as a breakout one for me. I learned how to be free and full of joy in a vile and miserable atmosphere. I sang worship songs under my breath and prayed nearly non-stop. I learned how to deeply enjoy Jesus and to be jubilant in the face of misery! It was easy to talk to people about Jesus as I was burning hotter and hotter for him every day. It was easy to walk away from inappropriate discussions and to stick out as a zealot—because I was one!

One day, in that season of continual prayer and worship a particularly large and threatening man who worked there approached me. He said, “If you ever mention the name of Jesus to me again, I will kill you!” I simply smiled and said, “I can’t stop. He’s everything to me.”

The favorite part of my day was when I got off of work. Sure, it was nice to be finished washing cars, but that’s not what motivated me. The pastor of the church I attended had given me a key to the building so I went there every evening, all alone, and prayed. I turned on the worship music in the sanctuary, dimmed the lights and paced around and fell deeper and deeper in love with Jesus.

In that type of intentional prayer driven lifestyle it’s quite easy to say no to sin. Life starts “working together for good” as the famous verse in Romans proclaims. It’s interesting to note just what triggers a life where everything works together for good:

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:26-28 (ESV)

When we pray in the Spirit with deep groans of intercession our love of God explodes and our life becomes ordered and full of power.

3. TURN IT OFF

Media is killing the church. I’m saddened and sickened when Christians make excuses to watch immoral and unholy activity on the screen, whether its the movies or the television.

How can we allow ourselves to be entertained by sins in media that required the slaughter and murder of the one we say we love? Foul language, nudity, sexual situations, violence and coarse joking required Jesus to be brutalized and killed—and Christians are gaining enjoyment from it.

If you want to be free from sin, you have to turn it off. Shut it down. Stop watching what is abominable.

Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God's grace. 2 Corinthians 1:12 (NIV)

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)

4. TURN IT ON

Try an experiment. Eliminate all music, even most Christian music, for a month. For that month listen to nothing but anointed worship music. Have it play night and day in your home, your car, your headphones. Discover a life of passionate worship that never ends!

I love this verse:

And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” Matthew 28:9-10 (ESV)

Is this not the cry of our hearts? What would it be like for Jesus to appear to us and say, “Greetings!”

What would it be like in that moment when Jesus shows up in our life in a life changing way? We would fall at his feet as though dead and worship!

Check out this long passage. Read it all. This is the God who we have the free and glorious privilege to worship!

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Revelation 1:10-18 (ESV)

Do you want to be free from sin? Be in the Spirit on the Lord’s day! Be ready for an encounter! Worship him with abandon!

5. BELIEVE THE WORD

The Bible becomes amazing when we believe it!

And he said to me, “Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey. Ezekiel 3:1-3 (ESV)

Often people are encouraged to read the Bible through in a year. That’s good, but I prefer to read, lets say, a verse for a month. Pray for the lightning hot power of truth to strike me through just one verse that it captivates me for hours, days and a lifetime!

When our life source and enjoyment truly comes from the very Word of God instead of through media and entertainment, the power of sinful desire is diluted. Diffused. Defeated.

…and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, Ephesians 6:17 (ESV)

The Word of God is a weapon. God’s very Word, when received, believed and acted on, becomes a sharp sword against the enemy. Sin has no chance!

6. GATHER TOGETHER

Be deeply connected at a life giving, Spirit filled church on fire. Be teachable and accountable and let your iron sharpen others as well.

When we live in a community of holy, burning ones the resulting unity is a force against evil that is something to behold.

Worshiping the lover of our souls with others is something we should never live without!

Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD. Psalm 27:3-6 (ESV)