Monday, July 26, 2010

selfless faith

The other night, my friend and I drove to Atlanta to see Hillsong. As I stood in a huge room full of people, listening to hallelujah's rise to heaven, I couldn't help but be overcome with joy because I knew Abba must be smiling as His name is being lifted high. I pictured Jesus walking in the room, just to feel the vibrations of the drums and hear, with His physical ears, the praises of His people. I watched Jesus hold out His hands receiving the small amount of glory that our lips were able to bring Him. My heart was crying out that He deserves so much more than our petty efforts to bring Him glory, but Jesus was so happy with our songs, so happy with our surrender. Hillsong began to sing Hosanna. It probably brought Jesus back to the time He entered Jerusalem (Matthew 21), knowing in just days, He would die for every single sin of all humanity. The third verse of Hosanna, says:

I see a generation
Rising up to take their place
With selfless faith
With selfless faith

As this body of believers sang this line, I watched Jesus. I was startled because Jesus was no longer smiling with His arms opened receiving our prayers, but there was tears running from His eyes and down His face. I wanted to run to Him and wipe them off His cheeks and tell Him that it's okay. "Jesus, why are you crying?" I asked Him, humbled by my Savior's tear-stained face. Jesus said to me, "You're generation is anything but selfless. You're a selfish generation with selfish faith and selfish motives." Tears welled up in my own eyes as I saw the truth in what Jesus said.

We are a selfish generation... We don't mean to be, but the reality of it screams that we are.

Jesus, I surrender selfishness and surrender to selflessness. I want to be selfless because you are selfless. Make me selfless Abba. I commit myself to this journey of losing all of me.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

the vision

The Vision - by Pete Greig

So this guy comes up to me and says:
“what’s the vision? What’s the big idea?”
I open my mouth and words come out like this:
The vision?

The vision is JESUS – obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.

The vision is an army of young people.
You see bones? I see an army.
And they are FREE from materialism.

They laugh at 9-5 little prisons.
They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday.
They wouldn’t even notice.
They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the west was won.

They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations.
They need no passport.
People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence.
They are free yet they are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying.

What is the vision ?

The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes.
It makes children laugh and adults angry.
It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars.
It scorns the good and strains for the best.
It is dangerously pure.

Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation.
It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games.
This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause.
A million times a day its soldiers choose to loose,
that they might one day win
the great ‘Well done’ of faithful sons and daughters.

Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don’t need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting again and again: “COME ON!”

And this is the sound of the underground
The whisper of history in the making
Foundations shaking
Revolutionaries dreaming once again
Mystery is scheming in whispers
Conspiracy is breathing…
This is the sound of the underground

And the army is discipl(in)ed.
Young people who beat their bodies into submission.
Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms.
The tattoo on their back boasts “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.

Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes.
Winners. Martyrs.
Who can stop them ?
Can hormones hold them back?
Can failure succeed?
Can fear scare them or death kill them ?

And the generation prays

like a dying man
with groans beyond talking,
with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and
with great barrow loads of laughter!
Waiting. Watching: 24 – 7 – 365.

Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cosy little hide. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.

They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive


On the outside? They hardly care.
They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate but never to hide.
Would they surrender their image or their popularity?
They would lay down their very lives - swap seats with the man on death row - guilty as hell. A throne for an electric chair.

With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days,
they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.

Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.)
Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus.
Their words make demons scream in shopping centres.

Don’t you hear them coming?

Herald the weirdo’s! Summon the losers and the freaks.
Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes.
They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension.
Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.

And this vision will be.
It will come to pass;
it will come easily;
it will come soon.

How do I know?

Because this is the longing of creation itself,
the groaning of the Spirit,
the very dream of God.

My tomorrow is his today.
My distant hope is his 3D.
And my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer invokes a thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great ‘Amen!’ from countless angels, from hero’s of the faith, from Christ himself. And he is the original dreamer, the ultimate winner.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

completely abandoned

Wednesday night I hit a place of weakness quite possibly resembling a piece of crumbled up trash.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3

I realized I have a lot more to throw off than I had previously thought. I have been struggling lately, but there is really quite a lot that I have made into idols and keeps me from growing in the Lord. More than I would like to admit at least.

But Jesus is good.

I wrote down a list of things I needed to surrender. Then I told Jesus they were His and to take them.

As I fixed my eyes upon Jesus and prayed, honestly just telling the Lord that I needed His help to surrender and that I want to live a life COMPLETELY ABANDONED for His glory, He heard and came in response to them (Daniel 10:12). Later the Lord reminded me of a prophetic image the Lord had given a friend of mine for me. The image itself isn't important, but the Lord used it to show that He was stripping all of me away accept just enough to hold His presence. I received this word on December 11, 2009, so for those 7+ months the Lord has taught me so much and prepared my heart to be completely utterly surrendered. July 15, 2010, the Lord took that last piece of me away and now all that's left is Him. I am not my own. I know I used this scripture in my last post in completely different context, but Matthew 10:39 says, "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." And in Haiti I did in a way, but now I think I have truly lost my flesh. Not that I'll never mess up again, but I believe the abandonment that Jesus helped me achieve caused my life to disappear.

The coolest part is the revelation that Jesus gave me after telling me that I am no longer, but I AM is. I ended up praying, "Jesus I have nothing to offer but You. You're all I am. You're all I'm worth. You're everything. You're all of me." And Jesus was like "YES YOU'RE FINALLY GETTING IT BELOVED! I'm perfect and perfectly happy and content and in love with Myself. And all you have to offer is Me. Do you know what that means? I am perfectly happy and content and in love with you." I was blown away. I still am really.

It was so simple, yet so profound.

It wasn't an overwhelming moment where I wept, it was just a beautiful revelation that solved everything. The love of Jesus is no longer something I believe to be true and have had emotional moments to prove, it is something that I KNOW; something that makes sense. It's not like I didn't believe that Jesus loved me or was happy with me, it's just that now I see how He can love enough to sacrifice Himself. I understand now. I don't have to try anymore. I don't have to earn His love. I already knew that, but now I actually understand and it makes sense. I know I probably sound ridiculous, but I can't even explain the peace and joy that I have. I'm honestly having issues putting words to it. I feel like I need a diagram or something.

It may seem silly, but this simple revelation CHANGED EVERYTHING.

The Lord gave me this passage of scripture last night and I think I Paul sums up exactly how I now feel.

But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ's sake. Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One), And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law's demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith. [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] that if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].

Philippians 3:7-11 [amplified]

Monday, July 5, 2010

lub dup, lub dup, lub dup...

My heart beats for the nations. I always knew I loved the children of the world, but Haiti really revealed to me that I quite literally can not survive without being able to love on the people who are enveloped by injustice and don't know the love of the Father. It's like I'm not truly alive until there is a pile of children on my lap. It's like in Matthew 10:39,
"Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." I think it's when I'm overseas and have lost my "life," comforts, normalcy, etc; it's then that I find His life for me.

Kim Walker sings a song called, "Can I Have
More of You?
" One verse says: "God I need You right next to me for my heart to be satisfied." My heart is completely satisfied with children in my arms. I believe God is next to me in those moments. It's as if Jesus is sitting in my lap. He's that close to me. His hands touch my face and He gazes into my eyes. Maybe physically it appears to be a little child, but for me spiritually, it's Jesus.

While I was in Haiti, I wrote this in a letter to one of my best friends':
"As I walked back to see the tents that they sleep in [the children at an orphanage], a sweet little boy took me by the hand. It's moments like that, that I
live for. They would just wrap their arms around me, so hungry for love, and I'm so lovesick to give it to them. You know, sometimes I feel like I suck at the theological crap, but gosh has the Lord taught me to love. I may be lousy at meeting with the Lord sometimes, but holding those kids, it's like wrapping my arms around Jesus. There is nothing like it. You're like enveloped with peace and love and hope. It's so beautiful..."

I breathe in and out Holy Spirit.
My DNA screams Jesus.
The blood running through my veins knows the blood that dripped down the Cross.
But my heart, my heart beats for the nations.