Posts Tagged ‘people’

Are friendships with people threatening friendship with God?

Friendships are often the glue that hold churches together—but have we gone too far?

When did you last tip-toe out of the sanctuary? When you couldn't say a word to anybody because you were so overwhelmed with the glory of God. ~Leonard Ravenhill

People. They are everywhere, and we are all blessed to have some of them in our lives in a close, personal way. Relationships are the only thing we’ll take into eternity, and they are precious. The people in our lives hold value that’s beyond measure.

As you read through this message, I in no way want you to think I am devaluing people. Jesus died for all because of his great love. It’s a personal love. It’s intense and it’s laser focused on 7 billion individuals. He has the capacity to be deeply connected to every single one of them (while I, as an admitted introvert, may have room for but a few!).

The struggle I have is just how much our lives, our churches and our daily focus is dependent on connecting with other people. To explain further, I want to propose a question: is it possible that human friendships are more satisfying, important and key to our lives than relationship with Jesus?

And, to get right to the crux of the matter, as one who has either given leadership to or simply attended churches for my entire life, I’m frustrated at the amount of energy, time and resources that are given to drawing, connecting and keeping people. Yes, without hesitation, I will agree that we must invest in people, that we have a mandate to disciple them and we should have a burning desire to see them grow in God. However, we are coming at it from the wrong direction. We must expend every resource to ignite the atmosphere with the never-ending presence of God first.

If you know a church on fire for God, tell me and I'll go. A church where (after) you've gone in, you don't come out the same, believing that God is there (and) you've been in His holy presence! ~Leonard Ravenhill

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

In my own awakening experience nearly 30 years ago, there were most definitely people in my life that God used powerfully to introduce me to him. These people weren’t enticing me to come to church with programs and potlucks. Their primary plan wasn’t to grow their church, increase participation in their ministry or make some new friends. They were going hard after God, they refused to be diverted, and they invited me along for the ride.

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NKJV)

The church where I was awakened to the love and power of God was not moving in the wrong direction. They loved people, but didn't allow them to become priority. Way of the Cross Church in Dayton, Ohio led faithfully by Pastor Bill Loudermilk was focused on Jesus. That seems like such an obvious analysis of a church. They are focused on Jesus. What I’m attempting to communicate is that it is becoming increasingly rare to find a church that really does this. Many go to great lengths, create amazing programs and jump through impressive hoops to entice people to come, and to convince them they will be loved. Fewer and fewer do the same to entice the Holy Spirit to come and convince him he is loved. The reality is that the more we invest in God, the less time we have to invest in people. Further, the deeper we go in God, the fewer the people who are willing to follow will be.

What if the focus on friendships and affinity groups and potlucks gave way to intercession?

We see this in churches today, in fact. People will flock to small groups, the potlucks, the picnics, the special events and other functions where they can connect with friends. That's not bad, but what if the call was simply to minister to God without any opportunity to connect with other people? What happens when a prayer meeting is called?

Sunday morning (attendance) shows how popular the church is; Sunday night shows how popular the preacher is; (Wednesday) prayer meeting shows how popular God is. ~Leonard Ravenhill

While there were people who opened the door for my awakening in Dayton, Ohio, my focus was most definitely not on them. I appreciated them and will for all eternity. But I didn’t go to that church to hang out with them. I was struck with such a holy lightning strike from Heaven that all I wanted to do was hit my face and pray! I wanted to be with God!

The pastor gave me the key to the building, and most every day after work I would go into the sanctuary, turn on some worship music and pace around in the most enjoyable prayer you could imagine. As a young, 21 year-old newly awakened man of God, I was experiencing the true, primary purpose of the church! It wasn’t to connect with people. It was to minister to God!

It didn’t matter to me who showed up to the services. While I truly enjoyed the relationships with people there, and some of them are great friends to this day, I couldn’t imagine going into that building with any other purpose than to encounter Jesus.

How many come to church expecting a confrontation with Deity? ~Leonard Ravenhill

But, today, there are churches everywhere that are falling into the trap of presuming that most of their energy should be spent attracting people in the hopes that they might run into Jesus along the way.

The correct way to do it is to gather those who are willing to pray without ceasing and to focus time, energy, services, money and everything else at our disposal to create a habitat for the presence of God. Then, when people do come, they won’t be able to help running into God. He will consume them!

When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 Chronicles 7:1 (NKJV)

23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of meeting, and came out and blessed the people. Then the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people, 24 and fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces. Leviticus 9:23-24 (NKJV)

THE YMCA

Shortly after my great awakening at Way of the Cross Church, I was attending a youth lock-in at a YMCA in Xenia, Ohio. I’ll never forget that night.

God was wildly challenging me and drawing me closer to him. There were a few hundred people there enjoying everything from wallyball to basketball to ping-pong.

They had also set up a prayer room in one part of the building. As a young man who was getting blasted by the Holy Spirit with amazing regularity I presumed the room would be full of hungry young men and women of God. Sadly, I was wrong, though the nearly empty room provided me quite an atmosphere to pray in.

The atmosphere was full of the presence of the Holy Spirit and, to date, it was literally one of the most powerful God moments of my life. I was so full of life that I found myself pacing around with lifted hands and a fire in my belly for quite a long, wonderful time.

All of a sudden, I heard something in my spirit.

“John, I want you to give me permission to take your life.”

Huh? Where in the world did that thought come from? What an unwelcome interruption it was! I shook it off and moved back into prayer and worship. But, something was wrong. The warm and consuming presence of God had left the room. I didn’t realize it then, but God’s presence didn’t leave the room–it had simply changed. God was honoring me with a serious call to follow Him.

I tried for the next fifteen minutes to enter back into prayer, but I felt entirely alone. No unction, no flow, no passion.

I kept hearing the words, “John, will you let me take your life?”

I finally realized that the warmth of God’s presence had transitioned into the challenge of God’s purposes. He was testing me. Was I really ready to take up my cross? Was I really in it for Jesus? Or, was I into this Christian life mostly for what I could get out of it? You see, this crossroads question from the most Holy One would result in ensuring my destiny–either in one direction or in the other. And, it wouldn’t make any difference if I kept paying tithes, going to church and lifting my hands in worship if I chose the road toward personal satisfaction that fateful night.

The Holy pressure in that dark prayer room was extreme. I honestly thought, beyond any doubt, that the decision I was about to make to my Lord would result in my physical death that very night. The call was that urgent. But, I immediately realized I couldn’t stand to live the rest of my life outside of the warmth of the tangible presence of Jesus that I felt as I first entered that room.

“God, if it will result in warming your heart, and in advancing your Kingdom on the Earth, you can take my life. I love you and you are teaching me more about love in this moment than in my previous two decades. I trust you.”

The split second I communicated that in my heart, the fire of the Holy Spirit rushed in with power. It was better than any previous experience with God I had ever had. Far better. I was consumed by his love. I was surrendered to him unlike anytime in my life. I was his.

Song of Songs 1:2-4 THE SHULAMITE Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth– For your love is better than wine. Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; Therefore the virgins love you. Draw me away! THE DAUGHTERS OF JERUSALEM We will run after you. THE SHULAMITE The king has brought me into his chambers. THE DAUGHTERS OF JERUSALEM We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will remember your love more than wine.

To this day I don’t know if God will suddenly take my life–and while I wish to live for a long time on earth, I am longing to live for eternity with my Lover.

You see, my focus that night at the YMCA was not to connect with people. It was to connect with God. In fact, people could have easily gotten in the way of that connect. While there’s a place for fun, and that might have been the place for some of the others who were there that night, for many other people, fun and games did get in the way of a God connection.

The empty prayer room was proof.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

Our goal is not to draw people to the church. It’s to draw God. The church meeting isn't supposed to be used as an evangelism tool. It's a house of prayer, designed for the Bride of Christ to meet with him.

I'm sick to death of the so-called Christianity of our day. What's supernatural about it? When do people come out of the sanctuary awed and can't speak for an hour because God has been in glory there? Dear God, as soon as they get out, they're talking football, or sports or something or there's going to be a big sale downtown or somewhere. We are not caught up into eternity! ~Leonard Ravenhill

I often say the most obvious evidence of God moving in a church is not a packed house, it’s an empty one.

Notice how the passage in 1 Chronicles 7 continues:

1 When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house. 3 When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the LORD, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever.” 2 Chronicles 7:1-3 (NKJV)

Nobody could enter the house of God because God was rightfully in his place. He was first. The focus was on him. His presence was overwhelming and too intense to bear.

The enemy is brilliant at causing us to focus wrongly on human connections, and then to bring strife and disruption to those relationships. In the midst of that chaos, God certainly isn’t being enjoyed, worshiped or ministered to as he should be. People are scurrying into and out of the church, engaging with other people, sometimes happy with them, sometimes mad, always focused on those human interactions…while God's presence is nowhere to be found.

How many people leave churches because of human conflicts? It happens many times every day.

I propose we gather together people that are most interested in cultivating an atmosphere where God reigns and where he can manifest in power. If people come, then great. If not, that’s OK. I’d rather have a church of 10 burning in the fire of the Holy Spirit instead of a megachurch filled with warm bodies who refuse to minister to God in fiery intercession.

I'd rather have ten people that want God than 10,000 people who want to play church. I want to see the glory of God come so our young people don't have to be told to go to church. ~Leonard Ravenhill

Friend, I’m not going to church to see you, though I do like to see you. I’m going to encounter God and minister to him. That’s the passion that consumes my life. Pastor, if your church is more concerned about attracting people and reporting numbers you can count me out. I don’t want to be there when Ichabod is nailed above your doorposts.

 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 1 Samuel 4:21 (ESV)

CoFI Break Video—Good Christian People: Affirming Apathy

Watch: It’s time to stop affirming those who have a marginalized commitment to God and rescue them from a lukewarm life.

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GOOD CHRISTIAN PEOPLE

Possibly the most unbelievable (but common) reaction to the urgent (but rare) call for Christians to burn with great passion for Jesus is the accusation of legalism. To be actively involved with zeal and to call others into a deeper devotion to Jesus and the mission of Kingdom advance smells of unrighteous works to many. I can barely believe I just wrote that.

Further, I’ve heard it said that such a determined devotion reveals a lack of revelation of the finished work of the cross. The thought is that we can now rest easy due to the work of Jesus and, in fact, any energy expended on our part in response to the cross is an offense to the cross. This, friend, is sickening and theologically ridiculous, yet that teaching is gaining ground in many Spirit-filled circles.

Not only should the cross of Jesus evoke the fire of passion from deep within every one of us, we should also understand the radical, costly participation that we must embrace:

Matthew 10:38-39 (ESV) 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

The cross is the very picture of passion, and any response less than all consuming zeal is an indicator of a lack of understanding, certainly not of greater revelation. A revelation of our beautiful Savior being savagely tortured and brutally murdered due to our own detestable wickedness should drive us to our knees in a never ending lifestyle of thanksgiving, worship and intercession. Our desire to go deeper and to get closer to Jesus should wreck us every single moment of every single day.

Yet, even within the context of the church there are masses of people who resist such a focus. I’m shocked and disturbed to say that I heard of a locally popular pastor who actually confessed that he no longer preaches the cross. I suppose it’s old news and time to move on to more positive things. I’m grieved.

WATCH OR LISTEN TO THIS POWERFUL MESSAGE FREE FOR THE NEXT 30 DAYS HERE!

No Naked People | Finding freedom from sexual lust

No Naked People—You can be FREE from the power of sexual lust!

Listen to this teaching delivered at a men's meeting in Prince Albert, Canada:

No naked people. That concept seems nearly ridiculous in today’s sexually driven culture.

Sexual images are flashing before our eyes from every angle through media, marketing, video games and other invasive sources.

I’ve actually had Christians challenge me by saying it’s not possible for a man to avoid lust, as if it’s an expected part of our make up! I heard about another who said that the Bible doesn’t forbid lust, only lusting about married women! The culture is causing many hopeless and some defiant Christians to believe that freedom from sexual fantasy is not possible, or even necessary. God help this nation.image

My wife, two daughters and I were walking through a mall in Wisconsin recently. We were stopped in our tracks right by the food court where families with impressionable children were scattered all around. There was a massive mural that stretched from floor to ceiling of a nearly naked woman. My wife immediately said, “I’m going in there to complain to the manager.” So, into Victoria’s Secret she went.

You might be thinking, “Where have you been the last few decades John? This type of imagery is everywhere!” Yes, that is true. Sadly. Since this is the case, do we simply surrender to the culture? My thought is that Christians are to take dominion and be the drivers of the culture. We can’t sit back and give up. We must fight! However, before that battle can truly begin in the malls and movie theaters, we have to wage war at home—in our own minds.

Consider how far our culture has fallen—including the culture of the church where only 3% of Christian men admit that they never view pornography! Per the Barna Group, 97% of Christian men are actively looking at porn! 87% of Christian women are entertained by pornography! Many Believers don’t “believe” it’s necessary to abstain from sex before marriage. My God!

Check out how it all began:

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Genesis 3:4-7

The serpent pleaded his case by telling Eve that she would not surely die if she enjoyed a deadly fruit that promised a deeper personal experience. The fruit was pleasing to the eye, and Adam agreed. We can see the striking similarities between the first sin and today’s rampant sexual sin. What is different is that they recognized their sin—and covered up their nakedness. Today? While Christians aren’t joining nudist colonies, they are embracing and celebrating nudity by enjoying that forbidden fruit in their minds. Today’s Christians have naked people performing sexual acts in their thoughts that are strictly and clearly forbidden by Scripture.

Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes… Proverbs 6:25

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant…” Exodus 20:17

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. Matthew 5:27-30

I know there are many out there who will disagree with my position regarding eternity, but I firmly believe that continuing in the sin of lust (or any other sin) can result in eternal separation from God. The above passage of scripture in Matthew 5 speaks to this very directly. The reason I want to make this point is so you don’t casually dismiss this warning. Your eternity is at stake if you are entertaining lust. This is a battle we must fight with passion!

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27

The results of lust are tragic. In addition to the possibilities of destroyed marriages, illegal sexual activity and other natural repercussions, I submit the most terrible result is what Adam and Eve both experienced:

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” Genesis 3:8-10

Separation from God. As I stated above, we risk being separated from God forever. We also risk being separated from God now. Those who are in bondage to porn and lust would easily admit they feel that separation. Just as Adam and Eve hid because of their nakedness, Christians today are missing out on their walks with God in the cool, refreshing garden.

INTIMACY LOST

Adam and Eve lost their intimacy with God. I propose they started to lose it before their banishment from the garden. There was a void there, and they sought to fill it with something unholy.

By the grace of God I’ve been blessed to be free from the traps and destruction of pornography, and I am humbled to say that God has enabled me to live lust free.

Several years ago I was deep in the Rocky Mountains on a prayer and fasting retreat. It was just God and me in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. I was connecting with God about a variety of things that night and a simple thought entered my mind.

Even though I was living a sexually pure life, I had a question for God. I’ll be transparent with you and share it.

If God’s design for sex is the perfect model, which it is, then it should bring the highest level of satisfaction. There should be absolutely no other competing desire that’s compelling enough to give in to. If this is the case, why would this happily married man who has the most amazing wife on the planet have an occasional temptation enter his mind? Why would the thought of thinking about someone other than my wife in a sexual way be the least bit tempting? Please understand, I wasn’t acting out on that temptation, but the question remained. Why is the temptation even there?

I understand today that most married people fantasize about people other than their spouses. That reality caused further curiosity. Again, if God’s design for sex is the best, why is there temptation for an alternative?

God spoke simply and clearly. “The one you are intimate with is the one you will desire.”

Intimacy. It’s all about intimacy.

That made so much sense to me! It’s true! When I am emotionally connected with my wife in an intimate way, any other competing thought would be an unwelcome invasion. It’s easy to reject such thoughts when I’m connected in a deep way relationally with her. However, in those seasons where we may be a little more distant due to busyness, stress or arguments (yeah, get over it…we argue it out sometimes!) then intimacy is negatively impacted. It’s easier to desire other things and to find temptation pressing in.

Of course, the same is true with God. If we are madly in love with him and are cultivating intimacy, the unrighteous invasions into our lives will be soundly rejected. We will guard our love connection with God jealously. This is where holiness dominates in a sin wrecked world. Can you imagine trembling before the Lord as his glory overwhelms you and then, five minutes later, watching a movie with nudity and foul language? That makes no sense.

I propose we refuse to be entertained by anything in media or in our thoughts that required the brutal torture and murder of the one we love. That unholy sexual fantasy required the death of Jesus. The cussing and sexual content in movies demanded the nine inch nails that were driven through his flesh. The simple lustful image that tries to dance around in our heads isn’t simple at all. It took a slaughtered Lamb to deal with that.

That slaughtered Lamb is the lover of your soul. His passion is for you!

You can find powerful and satisfying freedom from lust as you draw near to the Lord.

…put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:21-22

THE COMMAND TO LOVE

Let’s talk about the call to love.  This is the call that God has for us to be intimate with him. Have you ever considered this mandate?  It’s very, very intriguing.  I can understand calling someone to serve, to give money, to feed the poor or to avoid sin.  That makes sense very easily.  However, a mandate to love?

Certainly the act of love in many ways is fully intentional and can often be void of feeling.  We act in love toward others.  This is also quite easy to understand.  But this idea goes well beyond a call to act out in right ways.  It’s a call to intimacy,  a mandate to be deeply intimate with our Lover.   

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5 (NKJV)

In the original Hebrew, the word love is ahab. 

It means: to have affection for, sexually or otherwise.

Additionally it means to like as a friend.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I can be forced to like anybody, much less have deep affection for them.  But this is what Scripture is telling us.  Could it mean that the call isn’t for instant intimacy, but rather a determined and unwavering process of pursuit and faith toward the promise of experiencing an enjoyable God? 

As we, in faith, more easily believe that being with God in a continual and significant way will result in continual and significant enjoyment, we will allow the old things to pass away.  We will not stop until we discover the joy that only God can provide.

So, if we are to understand that God is mandating us to fall deeply in love with Him, there is a disciplined process that must commence.  The goal is deep and passionate intimacy with our Lover, the invisible God. 

It makes sense that when we discover this ultimate of pleasures, that we will not be as inclined to pursue the human desires that demanded so much of us in years past.  It’s been said more times and in more ways than we know, “Our sin causes separation from God.  We, in effect, trade intimacy with God for intimacy with the world.”

Certainly there is truth to that statement.  However, if we view the issue from the other side, we could say, “Intentional pursuit of intimacy with God carries with it the reward of perpetual discovery.  Deliberate surrender of human desire coupled with a craving for the manifest presence of God Himself in our lives will lead, sooner or later, to fulfillment that cannot be measured or effectively explained.  It’s that extreme.  It’s that good.”

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you … Matthew 5:43-44 (NKJV)

In the above passage, the Hebrew interpretation of the word “love” is different than ahab.  It is agapaō, which emphasizes the attitude of love.  It’s the moral and socially appropriate act of service and attention to others, including both mankind and God Himself.

Throughout Scripture we do see various translations of that single word “love”, and God is the central figure regardless of the interpretation.  However, it’s that unique call to ahab love that has captured my attention.  It’s a mandate to intimacy.

I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, If you find my beloved, That you tell him I am lovesick! Song of Songs 5:8 (NKJV)

Lovesick!  What a word that is.  As you might guess, the Hebrew translation is ahab.  In the Song of Songs we see this amazing story of love unfold beautifully.  In the following verses the word “love” is translated ahab each time.  As we gain insight into the intimate longing of our God for us, our hearts melt and our understanding changes.

“I will rise now,” I said, “And go about the city; In the streets and in the squares I will seek the one I love.” I sought him, but I did not find him. The watchmen who go about the city found me; I said, “Have you seen the one I love?” Song of Songs 3:2-3 (NKJV)

[The Shulamite to the Daughters of Jerusalem] He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love. Sustain me with cakes of raisins, Refresh me with apples, For I am lovesick. His left hand is under my head, And his right hand embraces me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles or by the does of the field, Do not stir up nor awaken love Until it pleases. Song of Songs 2:4-7 (NKJV)

He made its pillars of silver, Its support of gold, Its seat of purple, Its interior paved with love By the daughters of Jerusalem. Song of Songs 3:10 (NKJV)

How fair and how pleasant you are, O love, with your delights! Song of Songs 7:6 (NKJV)

[The Shulamite to Her Beloved] Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, A most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, Nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love All the wealth of his house, It would be utterly despised. Song of Songs 8:6-7 (NKJV)

Read the last passage, Song of Songs 8:6-7, over and over.  Its communication of passionate desire is intense.  As we establish a vow with our Lover, the intentional and disciplined pursuit of intimacy with Him is alluring and strong.  It is a vehement flame that even water, the fierce enemy of fire, cannot drown.  It’s this that we are pursuing, the fire of passion that will overcome the waters of human desire.

In the following Song of Songs passage, we discover a different translation of love.

Draw me away!
   
[The Daughters of Jerusalem] We will run after you.
   
[The Shulamite] The king has brought me into his chambers.

[The Daughters of Jerusalem] We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will remember your love more than wine.

[The Shulamite] Rightly do they love you.

Song of Songs 1:4 (NKJV) 

The Hebrew word used for “love” in the part of the passage that says, “We will remember your love more than wine” is dôd.  The literal meaning is to boil.  The idea is that God’s love is actively boiling.  It’s hot and constant and intentionally set on us.

The enemy of human desire is a very strong one.  A simple resolution to avoid sin and do good is far too weak to be seriously considered for inclusion in our arsenal.  The burning fire of passion for God, ahab love, is our most effective weapon.  The reward of the perpetual discovery of new depths of God’s zeal for us is enough to keep us burning with a vehement flame that the waters of carnal human desire cannot put out.

Yes, my friend, you can be completely free from lust, and you can live a powerful, joyful life full desire for Jesus.

If you are struggling with lust, don’t despair. Don’t quit contending for intimacy with God. You can absolutely find freedom! God loves you with a passion that’s deep…and he is longsuffering. He will be with you in your journey to freedom.

I pray for radical freedom to overwhelm you as you discover wave after wave of the other worldly, immeasurable love of Jesus! You were born for this!

Let’s make a decree over this nation together. We release a spirit of awakening, revival and holiness. As we go hard after God we will entertain NO NAKED PEOPLE. Not in media or in our minds. Amen!

Sunday Family Dinner : Training prophetic messengers

Starting June 4th theLab will be gathering, training and imparting fire into a company of prophetic messengers.

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Discover the authority that you have in Christ and the burning of the Holy Spirit that you’ll release into people, cities and nations!

theLab Internship is a 13-week pursuit into the fiery heart of God. Learn more at www.revivallab.com and apply TODAY!


THIS SUNDAY we’ll have a wonderful Easter Sunday Family Dinner immediately after the Revival Church service!

Invite your friends and bring a main course AND a side OR a dessert!

Jesus is risen!

God is the fuel behind Facebook’s success

Why is Facebook so successful? Could it be because of God himself?

Now, before you come out of your religious skin, or if the thought of God having any role in the success of something online makes you laugh, read just a little further.

It’s been said that we are living in an ever increasing social culture. Of course, we have social networks like Facebook, social media like YouTube and social shopping through Groupon.

Yep, this culture is social—but, I would propose that we haven’t transitioned into a social people, but rather something huge has happened in this generation that has facilitated the opportunity to visit a common craving that people have had since the very beginning—love.

Facebook is exploding because of people’s desire to be loved. People want to belong, to fit in, to matter—even if they matter to total strangers. Strangers, that is, except in what has become a very real and meaningful world online.

God is love. It was his idea. Love is so prevalent in the mission of God that it actually defines who he is. He isn’t in support of love. He isn’t simply loving. He is love.

And, every person who has ever been born has the same passionate desire—to find that all powerful force. People want to be loved.

We know in Scripture that it’s not good for man to be alone. All of creation was breathed into existence with that reality in mind. God is all about social networking… but his plan goes well beyond a human connection between strangers. There’s much more than sometimes interesting (sometimes ridiculous!) status updates.

The desire is real. The need for acceptance is strong. The hunger for kindness and a caring friend is extreme. And, if we simply believe, simply take a step toward the Lover of our souls, we won’t have to settle for the lesser things.

The sexual revolution was fueled by the mantra, “If it feels good, do it.” Today we can click on whatever or whoever we can find online that provides a momentary fix or a low level connection—a connection with something or someone who just doesn’t have what it takes to satisfy.

Yes, I believe Facebook’s growth is due to the love that God intended for all of us to experience. However, the only way to fall head over heals in very real, experiential and life-changing love is if we meet the one who by his very nature IS love.

That man is Jesus. I’d recommend ‘friending’ him.

God is the fuel behind Facebook’s success

Why is Facebook so successful? Could it be because of God himself?

Now, before you come out of your religious skin, or if the thought of God having any role in the success of something online makes you laugh, read just a little further.

It’s been said that we are living in an ever increasing social culture. Of course, we have social networks like Facebook, social media like YouTube and social shopping through Groupon.

Yep, this culture is social—but, I would propose that we haven’t transitioned into a social people, but rather something huge has happened in this generation that has facilitated the opportunity to visit a common craving that people have had since the very beginning—love.

Facebook is exploding because of people’s desire to be loved. People want to belong, to fit in, to matter—even if they matter to total strangers. Strangers, that is, except in what has become a very real and meaningful world online.

God is love. It was his idea. Love is so prevalent in the mission of God that it actually defines who he is. He isn’t in support of love. He isn’t simply loving. He is love.

And, every person who has ever been born has the same passionate desire—to find that all powerful force. People want to be loved.

We know in Scripture that it’s not good for man to be alone. All of creation was breathed into existence with that reality in mind. God is all about social networking… but his plan goes well beyond a human connection between strangers. There’s much more than sometimes interesting (sometimes ridiculous!) status updates.

The desire is real. The need for acceptance is strong. The hunger for kindness and a caring friend is extreme. And, if we simply believe, simply take a step toward the Lover of our souls, we won’t have to settle for the lesser things.

The sexual revolution was fueled by the mantra, “If it feels good, do it.” Today we can click on whatever or whoever we can find online that provides a momentary fix or a low level connection—a connection with something or someone who just doesn’t have what it takes to satisfy.

Yes, I believe Facebook’s growth is due to the love that God intended for all of us to experience. However, the only way to fall head over heals in very real, experiential and life-changing love is if we meet the one who by his very nature IS love.

That man is Jesus.

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