A New Normal: Kingdom Collaboration on Our Campuses Like Never Before

The EveryCampus coalition indicates we may be nearing a revival.
R. YORK MOORE

A New Normal: Kingdom Collaboration on Our Campuses Like Never Before

The heat and humidity were intense, but the ground shook with the bass of the music and sincere worship of an army of Jesus followers who had come to Washington D.C. for the day.

I had worked with Nick Hall’s national leadership team at Pulse for over a year, planning Together ’16, which turned out to be an historic gathering of over 300,000 young people on the Washington Mall.

The day was here, and I was excited to say the least! While nobody was there to hear me speak, I was honored to be included. As I approached the podium to preach on revival in our time, the stage manager informed me that the entire program was being shut down. We were scheduled to go until 9PM and it was only 2PM but we had seen hundreds of Together goers rushed to the hospitals all around town with heat stroke.

Not only would I not speak, but the hard work of over 600 organizations that year would be cut short. I felt like a leaky helium balloon as all my joy and anticipation escaped me; little did I know something was about to be birthed from this day of disappointment that was bigger than my simple message on the Mall.

That same month, I had just been given a new role in InterVarsity: I became the Executive Director of Catalytic Partnerships. It was a new role, but given we were in a search for a new president, I was told not to grow too attached to the position as it may not continue when we identified our next leader.

Disappointed and a bit disoriented, I decided to prayer walk the streets of D.C., hoping for direction from the Holy Spirit. My simple prayer was “Holy Spirit, lead me.” Immediately in my prayer walk, I was drawn to a man sitting by himself—one of the hundreds of thousands in town for the event.

I asked him why he was at Together, and he responded, “I work for a ministry called Cru, we used to be called Campus Crusade for Christ.” Now, I knew all about Cru. I had started a Cru chapter after my conversion from atheism at the University of Michigan. I had recently spoke on the stage at the Cru national staff conference, but obviously my message didn’t connect with this man as he had absolutely no idea who I was.

I refrained from telling him all this and simply asked, “What do you do with Cru?” He responded, “I am the new national director for strategic partnerships.” Barely able to hold in the laughter, I asked, “So what are you doing with that job?” He gasped honestly, “I have no idea. I’m asking the Holy Spirit to lead me.”

This ‘chance’ encounter led to six months of meetings with Cru’s executive team and InterVarsity’s new senior leadership, and each time this man—Keith—and I would lead the meetings with one single question, “What’s the one thing we can do together that we could never do apart?”

Assuming the Spirit had brought us together for our first-ever national partnership, this seemed like the question to ask. As we sat in this question, soaking in Scripture and prayer together, we each had a strong sense that God was calling not only Cru and InterVarsity, but the church in North America to come together for a new and mighty move of God—for revival in our time!

Since we signed our agreement, initially called the ‘3 Rivers Charter,’ in the Spring of 2017, we have had this sense of calling to revival confirmed dozens of times as we have reached out to new partners for what has now come to be known as EveryCampus.

EveryCampus is our feeble attempt to conspire with the Holy Spirit to instigate revival by catalyzing new gospel movements and prayer all across America. I say ‘feeble’ because nobody can finance revival; we can’t strategize it or schedule it; we can’t even bring revival through our prayers and ministry efforts.

Revival is a unique work of the Lord.

Martin Lloyd Jones said it most simply when he defined revival as, “…days of Heaven upon the earth.” Revival is a punctuated season of breakthrough in word, deed, and power that ushers in a ‘new normal’ of kingdom fruitfulness.

I believe revival, true revival, is so much more than mere mass conversion or spiritual fervor. True revival is like living into the actualized eschatological reign of Jesus in the here and now where the power of the future kingdom is experienced by many.

When this happens, systems and structures are transformed, wrongs are made right, people and places are made new. It is what I expect will come in its fulness when, in Revelation 11:15, it is finally declared, “The Kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ and He will reign forever and ever.”

That is a ‘revival’ that will never end, but I believe we can live into a season of revival in the here and now, and more importantly, many are believing that we are about to enter into that season very shortly! That is what EveryCampus is all about.

Since the 3 Rivers Charter was signed, we have launched a coalition called EveryCampus. Since the beginning, we in InterVarsity and Cru had a deep sense that what God was calling us to was not just a partnership between two organizations, but something much larger.

We are investing seven years into the EveryCampus initiative and are hoping for many to join us. The first phase of this coalition is to build partnerships with other collegiate ministries, churches, church networks, and individuals to prayer walk every single one of the 4941 campuses in American in 2019. To help facilitate this, we’ve launched the site, www.everycampus.com.

This user-oriented site equips people with a prayer guide to physically prayer walk campuses throughout the U.S. We are hoping to join the Spirit of God by crying out to him for a mighty and new revival in America.

To date, there are over 60 organizations, networks, churches, and denominations who have joined the coalition. Some of the collegiate ministry partners include the Navigators, Chi Alpha, the CCO, RZIM, Pulse, Jews for Jesus, Pine Cove, and Luke 18. We are adding official partners each week.

On the back end of EveryCampus.com, we are working with Gloo to build a never-before-possible digital platform to bring organizations together for collegiate ministry. Through the ministry portal, partners in the EveryCampus coalition will share data about ministry efforts, events, and groups and also receive leads from people participating who may want to join local efforts.

This portal is unprecedented and represents a new normal of kingdom collaboration between many organizations that used to operate as rivals. Sharing finances, human resources, digital assets, and platforms at events and online are just a few ways we are seeing the groundwork set for revival.

Unity among believers, significant prayer, and a sincere yearning for revival are all hallmarks historically of seasons of revival. Revival is so much more than a website, a signed charter, or a digital platform.

It is ‘days of Heaven upon the earth.’

Having said this, we are conspiring with the Spirit to instigate this revival by catalyzing prayer and new gospel movements across America. And how we need it! If we add up all the collective ministry from all the churches, denominations, and parachurch organizations, only 23% of American college campuses have a gospel presence on them.

EveryCampus seeks to change that by planting a gospel movement on every single campus in the U.S. in the coming years.

We are seeing signs of revival all around us. One would have to go back to the 1940s (when many of the large, historic organizations were originally started) to find another era in America where we’ve seen this level of new collegiate ministry startups.

Just in the last six months, over 200,000 collegians have gathered at events like Jubilee, One Thing, the Send, Urbana, and Together ’18.

We are seeing young people respond to the gospel in unprecedented ways as well. In all of InterVarsity USA’s 80-year history, we’ve never seen as many students coming to Jesus as we are seeing now. Prayer gatherings and networks of prayer movements are convening in historic ways. Organizational leaders are laying down their logos, banners, and agendas to do something together that they could never do apart.

Showing up at EveryCampus leadership gatherings, Cru leaders are wearing CCO shirts, InterVarsity leaders are wearing Chi Alpha shirts, Pulse leaders are wearing Cru shirts…wearing each other’s ‘flags’ has become a simple symbol of lifting up one another for the greater cause of Christ.

Revival may not be here yet, but if the EveryCampus coalition proves anything at all, it’s that we are closer to it than we’ve every been in recent history!

R. York Moore serves as National Evangelist for InterVarsity USA. He is the author of Do Something Beautiful: The Story of Everything and a Guide to Your Place in It, Growing Your Faith by Giving it Away, and Making All Things New: God’s Dream for Global Justice. As the National Director for Catalytic Partnerships with InterVarsity, York is a convener of leaders for evangelism and missions in America. In this capacity, York has helped to start the ‘EveryCampus’ initiative, a national multi-organizational coalition focused on planting gospel movements on every campus in America.

 

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A Time of Altars

By Jack Hayford

 

Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South. – Genesis 12:6-9

…to the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the Lord… Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the Lord. – Genesis 13:4, 18

Altars are a memorial of the places where God meets us

Altars represent the occasion and place where we have had a personal encounter with God. We may not always be able to make a physical altar, but there can be one established in our hearts. When we celebrate communion, we are celebrating the grandest altar of all, the Cross of Calvary. The Son of God was the ultimate sacrifice, and His work on the Cross reconciled all humankind to God, made possible for our lives to be infused with meaning, for our sins to be forgiven and to give us the promise of eternal life.

Altars appear throughout the Bible in many different forms. Some of them are:

A place of encounter – The Lord met Jacob in a crisis and the next day he built an altar at that place (Genesis 28).

A place of forgiveness – The brazen altar of the tabernacle sacrifice was offered as an advance testimony that there would be a once-for-all sacrifice in God’s Son.

A place of worship – The most common altar built by people to acknowledge their praise to God was the altar of incense, the holy place where priests would offer worship to the Lord on behalf of the people and themselves.

A place of covenant – An altar was built where the covenant was made between the Lord and Abraham, and the land was sealed as a timeless promise to Abraham and his offspring (Genesis 15).

A place of intercession – The prophet Joel called for intercession by leaders on behalf of the people and their devastated economy.

God has a place of “altaring” for us

There is a place of “altaring” and a price of altering. Altars have a price–God intends that something be “altered” in us when we come to altars. To receive the promise means we make way for the transformation.

Have you ever felt that the Lord put in your heart an expectation of promise? Such aspirations come from the Lord (Psalm 62:5). You sense anticipation of something God has put in your heart and underwritten by promises in His Word. You look at the promise and begin to picture in your mind what it’s going to be like. The fact is, we often visualize things that have nothing whatsoever to do with what God wants to do with us.

Abraham knew there was a place for him, and God has a “place” for you. There is a longing in every human heart for where we are meant to be, but we get caught up in our notion of how it’s going to be fulfilled. When the Lord told Abraham he had a place for him, Abraham probably imagined a verdant valley, flowing stream, lovely mountains. But the Scripture says he came to a place were Canaanites were living in the land. The Canaanites were the most perverted, corrupt culture in human history. They were the Satanists of that time.

Abraham’s building of the altar represents his saying: “I’m accepting a promise, understanding that this is different than what I thought it was going to be, but it’s also something that I believe God can bring to pass. I trust You, Lord, that You will make it work.”

Be encouraged to let your heart receive the promise and embrace wherever you are right now, even if it seems much different that what you hope for. If the Lord is there with you He can make it work, but it will require the building of an altar on your part to say, I’m willing and to trust that God is greater than your preconception of how it’s supposed to be.

Abraham calls on the Name of the Lord

When the Bible says that Abraham called on the Name of the Lord, it was more than prayer. The word “name” contains the concept of character.

Our perspective of God is on this side of the completion of the Old and New Testaments. But in Abraham’s time, God was just beginning to rework His communication with fallen humanity. Abraham answered a call because he believed in God and sensed Him drawing Abraham’s heart to a promise of something that he could not be or do in himself.

Abraham believed that there was a true and living God in the midst of the pagan culture around him. Now the Lord says to him, “I want to teach you about Me.” Abraham was coming to know the Lord and he called on the name—and character—of the Lord.

Abraham leaves and then returns to where God met him

When a famine strikes, Abraham decides to take matters into his own hands and moves his family to Egypt (Genesis 12:1-12). That only creates a bigger problem than if he’d stayed and remembered the promise the Lord gave him. The Lord met him in Egypt anyway, helped him through, and Abraham returned to altar he’d made and called on the name of the Lord (Genesis 13:4).

We all fall for that. God’s really busy and He may not notice what I need right now. But if God has a place for you and He’s showing you Himself in that place, provision will never ultimately be your problem unless you try to figure out how to make it for yourself.

There are people who launch out on their own and distanced themselves from the place the Lord says He has for them. Our Father says, “You know Me differently from the way you are acting right now.” Just as surely as He met Abraham and brought him back to the altar of promise, so He wants to meet you today. You’ve got to decide to come to that altar, and that altar is the Cross of Jesus.

Whatever you have done to violate trust with God (and that usually constitutes having violated trust with other people or making compromises you knew were not right) the Lord calls you to come back. Abraham wanted to move on in knowing God, so he came back to the altar he had built and called on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13; Zechariah 13:9).

Redemption means fulfillment of God’s purpose in you

Following the episode of stress between he and Lot over territory, Abraham graciously offers Lot his choice of the land, saying he will take whatever remained beyond it (Genesis 13). Abraham may have wondered if in doing that, he’d given away the store. But the Lord appears to him and says, “I still have the land for you, and I want you to pace it out and see its dimensions.” As a result of that, Abraham built an altar.

Have you ever wondered if what you thought your life was going to be will never be realized to the degree it might have?

I believe it’s a very clear statement from God’s heart saying that ultimately, you don’t need to worry about the things that seem to encroach on the realization of God’s purpose in your life. There are some things that are irrecoverable. You can’t go back and scrape up all the pieces of everything. But our life is not constituted only of those pieces. There are issues over which the Lord promises to bring about the fulfillment of His purpose in you, notwithstanding the thing that’s happened. That’s what redemption is about (Joel 2).

The Lord is telling Abraham that the loss is not irrevocable as far as His purpose in him is concerned, and to that, Abraham built an altar.

There are some who need to come today and say, “Lord, I’m going to decide that You have not called me to lead a second-rate life because I allowed second-rate things to cut in on what was Your first-rate plan.” Let the Lord work His redemption fully and thoroughly as you come to the altar.

The price of altering

What it takes to build an altar are rocks, broken things. The geological application is relevant, there are volcanic explosions in our lives, seismic events, the grinding of life. You can take hard things and arrange them before the Lord or you can drag the rocks around and be burdened by them. Or when you’re frustrated at lugging them around, you get mad and throw them at somebody else. The way you build an altar is to bring those hard, broken things before the Lord and put them there.

The price of altering is that you have to pour your life out over it saying, “Lord I come and present myself to You!”

At the altar, the price is paid for renewal when we’ve been at a distance, for securing hope we may have thought was lost and for receiving promise, even if it’s in an unpleasant environment. Come to the ultimate altar and receive the ultimate promise and provision made offered in our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

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AUDIO Should We Expect Revival or More Social Decay?

 

Interview with John Piper
Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

Audio Transcript

What’s coming to America? Can we anticipate widespread spiritual revival? Or should we expect a deepening social degeneracy? It’s a question from a listener named Cole. “Hello, Pastor John. I’m a 21-year-old recent college graduate, and I’ve noticed over the past few years among younger believers, especially in the college setting, a lot of encouraging talk of revival. Everyone seems to be expecting an awakening (i.e., a lot of nonbelievers repenting and coming back to God).

“However, the more I read Scripture, it seems like we should actually be expecting things in this world to get worse. There are so many instances in the Bible where it says that ‘in those days’ there will be more egregious sins, even within the church, and a lot of deceptive teaching and people walking away from the faith. Should we really be expecting revival? And where did that notion come from? Or should we be expecting the number of believers to dwindle until the coming of Christ?”

I surely do not want in any way to discourage prayer for and God-given expectation of a great move of God in our churches, our denominations, our cities, our ministries, our nations, or the world. But I want to provide a biblical orientation, perhaps, for how to think about such prayers and expectations. I’ve got seven positions for you to think about, and I’ll just briefly try to show that they’re biblical.

1. Widespread Rebellion

Cole, this age — until Christ returns to establish his kingdom — will draw to a close with an intensification of evil and a great outward rebellion against God. The reason I say that is mainly because of what the apostle Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2: “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, . . . that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first” (2 Thessalonians 2:13). I think rebellion is the right translation there, as opposed to just kind of a gradual drifting away.

“We have no authority for saying there can be no great revival.”

Paul continues, “The rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3–4). Paul concludes, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:7–8).

My conclusion from that is that a great rebellion and a singular figure of great arrogance, claiming to be God, will arise at the end of the age. Then the Lord comes and slays him by the sword of his mouth. That’s position number one.

2. Lawlessness at Work

This time of intensified evil and rebellion was already happening in some measure in Paul’s day. He says, “The mystery of lawlessness is already at work” (2 Thessalonians 2:7). There’s a man of lawlessness coming, there’s a great rebellion and lawlessness coming, but the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.

John says in 1 John 2:18, “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.” We have been living in the last hour for two thousand years. That’s the biblical perspective since the time of the apostles. But a final upsurge of lawlessness and rebellion and a man of lawlessness is yet to come.

3. The Gospel Still Advances

There’s no teaching in the Bible that I’m aware of that says a great rebellion will come by a steady, irreversible decline of the church through history. We have no authority for saying there can be no great revival.

The gospel has advanced in the last two thousand years in history mainly by great awakenings and great declines. I just assume that’s the way it’s going to happen until Jesus comes. There will be seasons of remarkable awakening, and there will be seasons of sad decline. We have no teaching about a gradual worsening with no interrupted blessing.

4. Hot and Cold

Jesus describes the progress of the gospel to all the nations in and through the very time when the love of many grows cold, which means that not all have grown cold at the end of the age, because it will not be cold people who take the gospel to the nations at the cost of their lives.

“Jesus describes the progress of the gospel to all the nations in and through the very time when the love of many grows cold.”

I’m getting all that from Matthew 24. This is Jesus talking: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake . . . because lawlessness will be increased” (Matthew 24:912).

That sounds a lot like the man of lawlessness and that season of outbreak at the end. Matthew continues, “Because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end [he’s not going to be cold] will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:12–14).

That gospel, proclaimed in the face of great tribulation, is not going to be proclaimed by cold people, but by white-hot people. Many may grow cold at the end, but not all, because only those with a passion for Jesus will endure to the end through the martyrdom required to finish the Great Commission. Therefore, there will never be a time when the church is completely cold and ineffective. She rises with faith and passion and mission, and she declines in church history, but there’s never a time when there are not people who are red hot for God and pursuing his mission.

5. All Nations Will Come

Is there biblical warrant for knowing and believing that a great revival — with millions repenting and coming to Christ, and a great purifying of the church — is going to happen? Can we expect this with biblical certainty? My answer is that I don’t know of any such promise in the Bible.

There are many promises, for example, in the Old Testament that all the nations will worship the Lord. But that may simply refer to the time when Christ has established his kingdom in person on the earth. For example, “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations” (Psalm 22:27–28).

Amen — come, Lord Jesus! That’s going to happen. I don’t think we can assume that refers to a great revival on this side of the second coming. It certainly is an encouragement to press on with world evangelization, because Jesus underlined that promise that people from every tribe and tongue and nation are going to be saved because they’re bought with the blood of Jesus. Here’s Revelation 5:9: “You were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” They are going to worship — all of them, sooner or later, are going to worship the Lord.

6. Promised Revival

There is one great awakening that we may expect, and that is a great turning of the Jewish people to the Messiah, Jesus. That’s what Romans 11 promises: “For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as firstfruits [that’s Abraham and his people] is holy, so is the whole lump [Jewish people as a whole], and if the root is holy, so are the branches” (Romans 11:15–16).

“You and your church could be among the wide-awake, white-hot servants when Jesus comes.”

Even more clearly, he says in Romans 11:24, “If you [i.e., the Gentiles] were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree [that’s the Abrahamic covenant, and here comes the key sentence], how much more will these, the natural branches [i.e., ethnic Judaism], be grafted back into their own olive tree.”

That much more, in my understanding, is a great movement of God in this world. Then Paul adds, “A partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:25–26). I take that mean corporate Israel turns remarkably, amazingly, to their Messiah, Jesus. That is a great awakening I think we should work toward, prayer toward, and hope in.

7. Torch the Glacier

Lastly, how should we live? This is how I’ve done my ministry for the last forty years. This is my conception. Picture the end coming like a glacier over the world, because it says, “The love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). It doesn’t tell us how fast it’s coming. It doesn’t tell us whether it can come and recede. It’s just coming. There is no requirement — none — no biblical warrant, mandate, or demand that your church or your city or even your people or nation be frozen by the glacier.

Instead, we should live by God’s command for white-hotness, not his providence. We don’t live by trying to sniff out God’s providence. We live by the commands of Scripture, not his providence that brings cold on the earth.

Who knows? You and your church could be among the wide-awake, white-hot servants when Jesus comes. My picture for ministry is that wherever I’m speaking, wherever I’m living, wherever I’m pastoring, I’m going to torch the glacier. If it looks like a glacier is coming over Minneapolis, I’ve got my torch of the word of God, and I’m poking it.

Picture me now, poking it up into the glacier, and I’m melting big holes in the glacier so the glory of God is shining through. Who knows? Perhaps enough churches poking holes in the glacier would make your city a vibrant, white-hot witness being found faithful when he comes.

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The “A” Word

May 10, 2019 by Discerning Dad

 

 

Men…we were created in the image of God to be the covering for our families…the rock, the foundation, the supplier, the hunter/gatherer, the fix-it guy, the put-gas-in-my-car guy, the guy who has all the answers for our kids crazy questions….the guy who mows the lawn and pulls weeds.

Well darn…that’s a lot of responsibility.

But do we let our family see us sweat about it? Heck no. Instead, we bottle in our feelings, restrict our positive emotional output and kick the dog when we are frustrated. If the dog’s not available, we kick the wife and kids…. maybe not physically but certainly emotionally.

A man’s hidden paradigm – anxiety – we bury it deep inside and don’t let ANYONE in to see all of it…maybe glimpses, but that’s all. The American culture is to keep anxiety buried (or medicated) so it can’t be seen. I have been (and still sometimes am) that man. The problem is that anxiety isn’t just about being worried. As men we don’t stand around wringing our hands waiting for things to get better.

We usually look for some sort of outlet to divert the need to think about the things that cause us stress…. any distraction. It can be sports, obsessing over a hobby, or maybe burying ourselves in our job. These things are socially acceptable…and the church community generally doesn’t have an issue with either.

On the socially “unacceptable” end of the spectrum, anxiety can also be the conduit that leads to other issues. We were designed to be on this earth and walk in the power and authority of God, but we trade that power and authority for other things.

Fear, Anger, Lust, Control

These attributes can be manifest in many ways…. family abuse, substance abuse, pornography, affairs…. pick your poison. If you are doing something not honoring God, I guarantee you know it. We may be very good at hiding our sins, but we know the entire time, unequivocally, that it is sin. But is this how God instructs us to deal with stress?

So, what does the Word say about how to deal with anxiety?

Let’s look at a scripture that Paul wrote while sitting in an uncomfortable jail cell, probably hungry (hangry?) and thirsty and not knowing what his fate may be at the very next moment…. a perfectly good reason to be stressed out….and probably a bit agitated.

Phil 4: 4-9 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Okay men…let’s break this down.

1. Rejoice in the Lord always …I will say it again, REJOICE! – God is our #1 priority! You are NOT rejoicing in your circumstances…. you are rejoicing in who God is and that He is with you during your circumstances. If you place your problems and circumstances before God, they are an idol in your life.

2. Let your gentleness be evident to all. – RELAX…. This begins very close to you and your circle of influence. At home. With the kids. With your wife. With the dog. Alone in the car dealing with traffic. At work. In public. Stop being defensive. Don’t feel the need to prove you are right. Take a cue from Elsa…. LET IT GO.

3. The Lord is near. Duh…you know this…. or at least you should.

4. Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERY situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
a. Bring your situations to God – Pray immediately and let God know specifically what your worries are.
b. Be THANKFUL – THIS IS HUGE! Let God know how much you appreciate all He has done in your life!! Think about this…. How great do you feel when your kids show you appreciation and gratitude just for being Dad??

5. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
a. Our Promise from God for being obedient to verses 4-6!

6. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
a. Verses 8 & 9 are NECESSARY!
b. Whatever unnecessary things in life cause you anxiety cut them out…This is necessary and will require for you to do some soul searching. If our current political situation causes you stress, stop watching the news, cut out social media, stop letting people bait you into conversations that get you fired up. YOU know your triggers. Identify them and leave them alone. Think about things that are pleasing to God…. I don’t think our Savior cares too much about Russian collusion.

7. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
a. And the God of peace WILL be with you. Wow! Mic drop.

Prayer: Lord – In the midst of my problems I choose to focus on YOU!! Regardless of the difficulties my path may present, YOU are GOD and YOU are MIGHTY, and YOU are SOVERGN. I will trust in YOU and LEAN on YOU for all things in my life. LORD, THANK YOU for all that YOU are in my life, Thank YOU for my family, my existence and the opportunity to REJOICE in YOU. I give my worries to YOU and accept the PEACE that YOU promise in my life. I choose today to focus on YOU and the things that please YOU. LORD, make your path and will clear to me daily. In JESUS MIGHTY name! Amen!

Jordan Lynde
Guest Discerning Dad

 

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Own your GOD given destiny!

May 6, 2019 by Eva

Dear friends,

Sometimes all we need to do is believe and stand on GOD’S promises to us.

It is when you KNOW that GOD will do what HE said HE would do, when you’ve done all the fasting, all the praying, have been delivered of all things standing in your way, done all the pressing, all the crying, the lamenting, have waited patiently…

That’s when you know that now, all you need to do is stand and believe.

When it is all that you actually still CAN do.

The results may not be visible YET in the world – but in your spirit, you simply KNOW that GOD will not only do it, but that HE has already done it for you.

This knowing, it gives you peace, strength and a certain kind of confidence that you never ever had before in your entire life.

It is not pride, it is not arrogance, it is simply a confidence, a sense of being comfortable in your own greatness, in the destiny GOD has meant for you, in the life HE has meant for you to live, even though you may not be seeing it yet in the world, even though you may still SEEM to be living in the same circumstances which let you be sad and desperate, but yet, something has changed in you, in your spirit…

You know that GOD has blessed you, that HE has upgraded your life, that HE has granted you what you have been asking for for sooooo long.

NOW is a crucial moment in your life.

When you are at this point, it is important to be very strong.

It is important now that you don’t make any mistakes in order to KEEP the blessing, which is already yours – you are just one yota away to truly and fully step into your destiny, into the life GOD has meant for YOU.

There is only one more hurdle you will have to master.

Can you guess what it is, my dear friend?
Have you perhaps experienced it and know what I am talking about?

It is the devil – correct!, I bet you knew it already.

So what will happen when you are just about to enter your LIFE is that an angel of satan will stand in front of your open door and will do ALL they can to prevent you from stepping in.

The greatest temptation of your life, the sin you are still prone to, the lust you have not fully conquered yet – no matter what it is, if it is a woman or a man, if it is fame or earthly riches, if it is something or someone else you are still lusting after, something from your past, something you could never get but have been wanting and desiring for soooo long – the devil will now serve it to you on a silver plate!

He will do ANYTHING to keep you from totally, completely and fully living with and for GOD, because he knows that once you have entered through this door, into YOUR GOD GIVEN LIFE, he will have lost you forever.

Even after you have made the step, he will keep following you – he won’t ever admit it, but he will know that he has lost the battle for YOU.
In fact, a part of him knows that he has lost the battle for all souls for good and that he is doomed for damnation and eternal hell fire – but what is he supposed to do?

Shall he give up and go to hell before his time?

He will never do that.

He knows that GOD will not forgive him, that he has lost and that his destiny, too, is determined.

As long as he is still here, he will do whatever he can to drag as many as he can down with him.

Don’t let this be you, my dear friend!

GOD has a plan for YOU!

He wants you to have LIFE and have it more abundantly, that’s why HE came and that’s why HE gave HIS only begotten son, because HE loved us, loved you and me, all of us.

Even before you were born, GOD knew that HE had a plan for you!

JEREMIAH 1:5 
BEFORE I FORMED THEE IN THE BELLY I KNEW THEE; AND BEFORE THOU CAMEST FORTH OUT OF THE WOMB I SANCTIFIED THEE, AND I ORDAINED THEE A PROPHET UNTO THE NATIONS.

The devil is a liar.

You must NEVER, ever forget this, my dear friend.

The challenges which will come your way just before you are about to succeed, just before GOD will grant you the victory, they will intensify, will seem even more unbearable and un-conquerable, but that is A GOOD SIGN!
It means you are almost there, it means that the enemy is gathering all he has left for one final, last blow… just like in a physical battle, when the losing army is calling their headquarters for all the reserves they can send, because they KNOW that the war is already lost, but they don’t want to admit it – not to themselves and not to their leaders.

It is the same with the enemy and his army – perhaps he himself is fighting against you, perhaps it is “just” one of his earls or lords, who is in charge to destroying you personally… but you can be sure that if he loses, whoever he is, it will not go well with him. The devil has no mercy in him and whoever fails him will not take many more breaths or if they are a spirit, they will not be a spirit for very much longer…

This is not to scare you, it is just to make you see just HOW determined the devil IS to make you fall.

Just as mercyful and loving and kind and benevolent as OUR FATHER is and just as HE always has our very best interest in mind and wants us to be well and saved, just as wicked and evil and malevolent and destructive and deceptive is the devil.

And just as OUR FATHER will ALWAYS love us and forgive us and never forsake us and always help us, the devil will do whatever he can to destroy us, to make us perish with him, to lead us astray, to deceive us, to hurt us and he, too, will never give up on us, just not out of love, but out of HATE.
The devil is a hater and violence, hate, betrayal, lies, destruction, oppression, manipulation, rebellion, possession, compulsion, addiction, torture, hate, malice, slander, these are his domains and means – often not openly, but disguised as something more pretty, more attractive, but once your spiritual eyes have been opened by GOD, you will see right through his snares…

My friend, NOTHING and NO ONE can prevent you from living the life GOD has for you.

Once you have a personal relationship with HIM, once you know HIM and once HE has promised something to YOU, to you personally, nothing can prevent this thing from coming to pass.

Only unbelief and fainting on your side…

So if any of this sounds familiar, be encouraged, my dear friend, it means that your breakthrough is very, very close and that all you have to do is STAND.

Stand on GOD’s word, stand on HIS promises, stand on your relationship with HIM.

DO NOT MOVE!
Do not move one inch, you are already standing on YOUR ground!

If you keep standing and believing, the devil will HAVE TO flee, he has no other choice.

Submit to God, Resist the devil and the Devil will flee from you.

Remember the story about GOD’s people when they were told to go around the walls of Jericho SEVEN TIMES…?

They didn’t do anything other the seventh time than they had done the previous times… and yet, after the seventh time, the walls came down!

JOSHUA 6:20
SO THE PEOPLE SHOUTED WHEN THE PRIESTS BLEW WITH THE TRUMPETS: AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN THE PEOPLE HEARD THE SOUND OF THE TRUMPET, AND THE PEOPLE SHOUTED WITH A GREAT SHOUT, THAT THE WALL FELL DOWN FLAT, SO THAT THE PEOPLE WENT UP INTO THE CITY, EVERY MAN STRAIGHT BEFORE HIM, AND THEY TOOK THE CITY.
(PLEASE READ THE FULL STORY IN JOSHUA 6)

If your breakthrough is not fully here yet, has not manifested in the physical realm yet, that doesn’t mean that you did anything wrong or missed anything or that it your breakthrough won’t happen.

All it means that you need to stay strong and believe.

Be encouraged, my friend.

If GOD has said it, HE will do it!

You will see!

If GOD has brought you from a life of sin or from dire circumstances into your destined life, please let us hear your story (here in the comment section or on the “Your testimonies” page) and rejoice with you…

I hope and pray that this will inspire, heal and bless you and that THE LORD will bless you abundantly in all areas of your life, that HE will keep you and shine HIS face upon you and give you peace. In JESUS’ name I pray. AMEN.

 

Original here

 

The Heart of God

May 10, 2019

 

What would it be like to have the heart of God? What would it be like to know Him, fully and completely, without boundaries and without end? Would we act as we do today, with restraint in our step and caution in our tongues? Loving God is knowing God. If we love Him, we will do His will and we will know Him. His heart will then be our heart, and we will no longer hold back from proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God.

The prophet Jeremiah, who was still a youth when God called him, said this about God’s children:

“I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.” (Jeremiah 24:7)

When God imparts the Holy Spirit into someone, He has imparted His heart into that person. This means that you and I, regardless of race, gender, culture, or otherwise, if God has chosen us and begotten us with His spirit, He then lives in us.

The prophet Ezekiel describes it this way:

“And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 11:19-20)

God wants nothing but good for his people. God wants Christians to know He loves them, will provide for them, and will bless us. In everything we do, the heart of flesh that God has imparted in us will lead us to do His will in spite of the temptation that surrounds us.

This is what it is like to have the heart of God.

 

Original here

A Pilgrimage to Secure Boundaries

by Jack Hayford

 

“Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever…Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.” (Genesis 13:14b-15, 17)

This was the first time that I have ever referred to one of our trips to the Holy Land as a “pilgrimage,” but it was just that—a mandate from the Lord to go and pray in Israel. We were a group under God’s hands, joining in prayer with multitudes also praying for the peace of Jerusalem. We knew somehow that our actions in the invisible realm were pivotal, invoking through prayer the rule of God Almighty. Never have I felt involved in a more significant venture. Believers and secular people alike in Israel were deeply moved by our visit.

We went with a sense of mission to exercise the practice of prophetic prayer, literally moving through the land to touch the North, South, East, and West. As a prayer team, we built altars at each of these boundaries of the nation, where we lifted up key issues to be proclaimed over the land. These are the same issues that need to be raised up over your life—kingdom principles that apply to all of us.

In the South, we built the Altar of TRUTH (Psalm 119:165), praying that Israel will honor the Word; that the Word be made alive—a veil removed to see more than words; to see truth: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

In the East, we built the Altar of LIFE (Ezekiel 37:9,14), praying that there would come an outpouring of the Spirit according to Zechariah 12:10: “I will pour on Israel the Spirit of grace and supplication, and they will look upon Me whom they pierced.”

In the North, we built the Altar of WORSHIP (Zechariah 14:16-18), praying in intercession that all who worship the Lord now in spirit and in truth would become a token invoking further grace, including breaking the drought in this land.

In the West, we built the Altar of PRAISE (Psalm 113:1-3), praying praise to drive back the darkness; praise for what has begun; and praise that Israel’s boundaries not only be secured but expanded in her mission to mankind.

I gained three convictions from this divinely appointed visit to Israel. First, the Spirit of prophecy is ready to come upon people who will rise in faith, obey with action, and work with discernment. Second, the Spirit of life is breathing with force ready to break down walls and bring salvation. Finally, the Spirit of harvest is calling for prayer warriors who will resist the Adversary and contend for God’s boundaries of intended blessing.

More than ever, there’s reason for us as the people of the Lord to let our hearts be quickened with anticipation and stirred with a sense of accountable duty. We are called to occupy until Jesus comes, and that responsibility centers on intercessory prayer and a faithful life of service that shows the love of God in everything we do. As the world faces uncertainty, let us march forward in full confidence that He has called us to action in prayer that will result in the securing and expansion of boundaries of intended blessing in our world and in each of our lives.

Original here