Jesus is…Dayspring

  • Luke 1:76-79 – “And you, child, [John the Baptist] will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Amazing Sunrise At The End Of A Country Road HD Desktop Background

  •  Dayspring – A rising light, the dawn, the sun coming up over the earth in the east, the first light of the new morning.
  •  Jesus Christ is our first light-of-day.  He gently rises over the horizon of our life, and with unstoppable power, He progressively dispels darkness from our lives.  As His light dawns, His creation comes alive with freshness and hope in a new day.
  •  Child of God, whether your horizon is a vast ocean, a great plain, or a high mountain; the light of Christ has already crested your horizon.  And like the sun continues to rise until it’s magnificently positioned at high-noon, He will continue to rise in your life, until the work that He began in you is finished, and there is no more darkness.  He started the day’s dawning light, and He will finish it; and when He is done, the darkness is turned from a time of evil to a time of rest.  Hallelujah!
  •  Son of God, let the light of Christ shine-forth from your life, so that this awesome darkness-to-light transition can be sparked in someone around you.  Release words and deeds that speak of soon coming new-hope from the Light-Source that dwells within you.  As you see others enveloped in darkness, pierce it with rays Light; and boldly continue until you see the sun rising over their horizon.
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Commentary on male/female relationships

I’ve had a number of conversations with folks about some of the male-female relational dynamics that are being discussed and/or pondered as a result of their perspectives gained from reading a book titled Sacred Union, Sacred Passion.  And so I wanted to throw a few (hopefully, balancing) thoughts out there for consideration.

Warning: This is not a light read.  It’s more on the “meat” side than the “milk” side, and so will require more time to consume, and more digestive energy to process.

Up front, I want to say that I haven’t read the book and don’t intend to.  And my limited understanding of it only comes from conversations about it, listening to others speak about their take-aways from it, and reading blog posts about it.  And so basically, the main concept that I wanted to chime-in on is that of male-female relationships; and the idea that fleshly religion has erected false boundaries and hindrances from experiencing the fullness of relational intimacy that God has for His children.  And  that in Christ, there is no male-female distinction, giving in marriage, etc; and so we are all free to go deeply into intimacy with any believer, regardless of gender, age, marital status, etc.

 On the surface, I totally agree with this concept.  Removing all humanness and fallenness, and picturing absolutely pure spiritual union; then I believe any and every believer can have the deepest of fellowship by the spirit at any time and any place and with anybody, regardless of gender, race, age, religion, socio-economic status, etc.  And the rigid, religious boundaries put on us by our parents or past-church-life are not “life”.  But they are like the law, that acts as an schoolmaster/tutor/escort to Christ (Galatians 3:24).  The rules and laws are like guard-rails that keep us from driving into the ditch and killing ourselves while we’re young and foolish, but leave us longing for something life-giving to govern us from the inside instead of bouncing off things on the outside.  When we mature to being governed from the inside (by Christ in us), then the guard-rails are still there, it’s just that we’re able to stay in the middle of the (narrow) road (that leads to life), without constantly slamming into the guard-rails.

Underneath the surface, a potential problem with this teaching is that none of us are absolutely pure spiritual beings yet, and have lots of humanness, brokenness, unhealedness, selfishness, neediness, lustiness, and-the-like that we are bringing into every relationship.  And  I believe it’s VERY UNWISE AND DANGEROUS to throw out lofty, overly-spiritual, idealistic teaching about a future, full, perfected, completed state of being; along with repeated encouragement to “be free” and “fully explore” this new-found intimacy with anyone and everyone who’s willing, regardless of spiritual maturity-level, gender, marital status, etc.  Additionally, to  me, repeatedly pressing this concept in multiple formats actually smells like an “agenda”.  Christ is our only agenda.

Add to the truth that we’re a “work in progress” and not fully mature/perfected, the reality that the Lord ordered His eternal plan to include different ages (time-periods) in which He is working out His eternal purpose by specified administrations during each age, then it’s important for us to consider which age we’re currently in, and which age is coming.  And how the Lord plans for us to live in each age.  In this age, there IS male & female, marriage, humanity mixed with spirit, fallenness, crying, trees without leaves that heal, zero streets of gold, etc.  In the NEXT age, there is no male/female, no marriage, trees with leaves that heal, streets of gold, etc.  I realize that the Lord has called us to “bring heaven to earth” by faith, and that He gives us glimpses, visions, and tastes of the next age in all of its glory (with no brokenness and sin-tainted flesh to deal with), like He beckoned the Israelites with the  vision of a “land flowing with milk & honey”; but the  promises (of the next age) are inherited little by little, step by step, throughout this life, by “faith and patience” (Heb 6:12).  If we try to rush forward, casting off all restraint and wise relational boundaries; then we can easily end up like the prodigal son, wasting our inheritance  (which was meant to be in-part now, and in-fullness later) in worldly living .

Regarding the truth about the ages, 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 has always been a comfort to me when life is hard and I don’t seem to be experiencing the amount of the next age that I’m desiring.  It’s ok that we “earnestly grown” for more.  It reminds us that we’re in desperate need of Him here and now, and presses us to go deeper and deeper into Him; but it also leaves us unfulfilled enough so as to long for the next age.  Verse 5 specifically states that the Spirit is given to us (here and now, in this age) as a GUARANTEE (deposit), for the fullness that we’ll receive in the next age.  Think of the guarantee/deposit like a down-payment on a 10 million acre farm filled with endless fresh water supply, livestock, oil wells, and gold mines.  The down-payment on something this huge would be above and beyond our imagination, but it’s still a small measure compared to the whole farm.

 2 Corinthians 5:1-8

5 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee (DEPOSIT).

 

6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

NKJV

 I see this teaching about male/female relationships as like the story of young Moses, when the Lord called him to be Israel’s deliverer.  The call to deliver was of the spirit and a true and powerful unction from God.  And in Moses’ youthful & impatient zeal, he struck out and killed the Egyptian.  God put a powerful vision of a future work that HE was doing in Moses’ heart, and Moses didn’t wait on the Lord to show him what that looked like in his day & time & daily-life.  He leaned on his own understanding, bypassed the spirit’s leading & restraint, and executed PROFOUND, LIFE-CHANGING, WRONG, ACTIONS.  It cost Moses 40 years in the wilderness (to learn to not only hear the Lord, but to also FOLLOW the Lord instead of his flesh).  And it cost an Egyptian man his life, and Egyptian woman her husband, and some Egyptian children their dad.  Take a lesson from Moses brothers and sisters: just because we’ve heard the Lord, doesn’t mean we automatically know exactly how to walk-out what we’ve heard right here, right now.  We hear/see the vision, but then we walk it out slowly, carefully, and patiently; as the Lord guides each step; discerning the spirit vs flesh/soul; without jumping to conclusions based on youthful zeal or carnal (but spiritual sounding) reasoning’s.

I also see the temptation around this teaching as akin to the years of transition that a teenager goes through in the years of going from his parent’s house to being on his own. As a teenager begins to develop into an adult, he has a strong desire to know who he is and begin exercising his adult freedom.  He wants to test his father’s teaching and life-style, and decide for himself if they’re for him or not.   He wants freedom and independence.  All this is natural, good, and healthy “sprouting of wings”.  But the teenager also seems to fixate on their freedoms, and be oblivious to their responsibilities; and totally clueless as to the true magnitude of what taking full responsibility for their life really entails.  So, in their drive to experience freedom, coupled with their immaturity around responsibility: 1) on the positive side, they venture out and life begins to come to the forefront as their main teacher and they begin to gain wisdom and experience for living; 2)  on the negative side, they do lots of goofy things, and potentially do some very dangerous, life-altering things.  On the positive-side, it’s great when they discover their personal identity, advance their education & training, get jobs, explore new territory: basically grow in productivity/fruitfulness.  On the negative-goofy side, it’s funny when they come out dressed like a clown and think it’s “cool”, or smell like a rotten fish bcs they forgot to put on deodorant, or get fired from a dink-job for being on their phone.  On the negative-dangerous side, it’s tragic (and potentially life-altering) when they have sex with someone who’s not their wife and create a life that  they’re not ready to raise, try hard drugs that can kill or addict on one dose, drive faster than their skill-level can handle and have a wreck, etc.  You get the point.  Many of us have been told what-to-think and  how-to-live by the institutional church all of our life, and now that we’re “free” and in organic church, then we could be tempted to blast past all wise boundaries to experience all of life that we can handle, and end-up deeply damaging ourselves, others, and the church.  One of the fruits of the spirit is self-control, and God’s word encourages us to be sober-minded.  All “restraint” is not religious, and we are foolish if we don’t think that we are not like a horse in the Lord’s bridle.  We’re “free” to follow the Master, not our flesh.

Lastly, I want to highlight a very real & living warning around this teaching that I believe the Lord has allowed me to see, around 2 couples that I’m aquainted with who recently swapped spouses with each other after several years of marriage.  I have no idea if they read the book or not, and doubt that it had anything to do with the wicked and depraved wife-swapping that’s occurred.  However, the necessary and vital wisdom around guarding our heart and handling relationships with proper boundaries was obviously not employed, and the fruit of the lack spiritual maturity and vigilance has resulted in life-long tragedy.  There’s no way to throw a coat of paint on this development and call it “good”; it’s a full blown manifestation of sin and depravity around improper male/female relations.  I have zero condemnation for the these couples and lots of love for them; but Proverbs 24:30 shows that wisdom can be gleaned from looking at the fruit in another’s life, and that’s the only reason that I’m highlighting this situation.  Get wisdom from the bad fruit of improperly handled relationships brothers and sisters, and let it guide you to having appropriate walls around your gardens (relationships), so that any old beast can’t just roam in and devastate your crop of good and godly fruit.

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Breaking Through – Vision of the latex walls

I saw a hallway, and down the length of the hall where periodically spaced latex walls that went floor-t0-ceiling, and wall-to-wall.  The latex was very thin, and looked like the kind that surgical rubber gloves are made of.

Once the scene registered in my mind, I was compelled to take-off running straight into the 1st latex wall.  When I hit it, the resistance was small; but because I was running fast, it quickly became stronger and stronger.  Eventually, it was so strong that I was just able to bend my head forward like a bull, take most of the pressure on my forehead, and put one foot in front of the other until…POP!  The latex broke, and shattered into powder.breakthrough

After the first wall, the rest of them became invisible; but I “knew” they were there.

Since the 1st wall became very difficult so quickly, and since I couldn’t see the walls anymore; I slowed my pace to a steady walk down the hall.

As I encountered the 2nd wall, I instinctively entered into “trudge mode”; which was the bulldozer-like hike that pushed me through the very end of the previous wall.  Sure enough, after bulling-down my head and pressing-in until it got extremely difficult; it POPPED too.

I walked through a couple more, and realized that the Lord was showing me a pattern.  Seasons of easy walking, and seasons of difficult pressing.  Then He said “this is what getting the breakthrough is like”. 

In that statement, I realized that He was showing me that normal life will be interspersed with obstacles, tests, trials, resistances, mountains, valleys, and on-and-on.  But that He is with me, His grace is on me, and that He is calling me to set the gear-shift to “forward”; so as to “take the land”, “break the chains”, “run the race”, and so on.  And that I am not to run away from, try to avoid, or try to get out-of or around the trails when they come; but instead to get the victory, overcome, break the chains, and go-through.

This is how we learn to walk-by-faith, and be vessels through which heaven comes to earth.

We are called to be “more than conquerors” in Christ, and that only manifests when we become willing to go-through.

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Jesus is…Creator

  • Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
  • Genesis 1:26 – Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;”…
  • John 1:1-3 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
  • Colossians 1:16 – For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
  •  CreatorCreator – Maker, designer, architect, artisan, sculptor, inventor, author, initiator, conductor, orchestrator.
  •  Jesus Christ is the one who thought up all of creation.  Before creation, there was only God.  And then God decided to create, and man is part of that creation.  All creation originated from the mind and heart of God through Jesus Christ.
  •  Holy child of God, you were created in His image and likeness, and like an inventor patents his creation, all rights to you are forever retained by Jesus Christ.  For a season He has orchestrated that we created-ones would come under the harsh rule of one who is not our father, but even this is a master stroke from the brush of the Artist, because the suffering of it activates faith from within the creation to reach out into unseen realms crying-out to be tuned into harmony with the Conductor of heaven’s symphony.
  •  Gifts and talents abound within you, and from your belly flows rivers of living water.  Image bearer of Jesus Christ, release the creativity from within you so as to display the beauty, wonder, truth, and awesomeness of your Creator.  Teach, write, sing, dance, paint, draw, sculpt, landscape, build, speak; whatever it is that’s in you that’s good, lovely, noble, and pure; RELEASE IT, RELEASE IT, RELEASE IT.
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Jesus is…the Consolation of Israel

  • Luke 2:25 – And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.Consolation of Israel
  •  Consolation of Israel – The comfort of Israel in the midst of their distress.  Their long awaited Messiah and deliverer.
  •  Israel had suffered greatly under the oppressive regimes of Egypt, Babylon, and Rome.  When the captivity was like iron bars, when their rulers were cruel, when taxation drove them to poverty, when the oppression was relentless; they took deep comfort and encouraged each other continually in the truth of God’s promised Messiah; even swearing by the truth of His promised redemption saying things like “by the Consolation of Israel, I will do thus and so”.  Messiah would come and save them one day, and this was a comfort sewn into the very fabric of the nation.  And Jesus IS the manifestation of Israel’s long awaited consolation.
  •  Many today have a special place in their heart for the Jews and the nation of Israel.  Just as Jesus is your hope and redeemer, He is theirs.  You need not be intimidated by their claim to be “God’s chosen people”, like there’s something special yet to happen for Israel.  Jesus IS their Messiah, and He IS who they’ve waited thousands of years for.  In Luke 2:25, Simeon, by the power of the Holy Spirit, bears witness that Jesus IS the long awaited Consolation of Israel.  And He is the same for all nations, tribes, and tongues!
  •  Ambassador of God, you may be confident that Jesus is the Jew’s Messiah.  You may boldly declare this to be true without excuse or cowering under the intimidation of being called an anti-Semite or some other anti-Jew term.  By telling the truth of who Jesus is to Israel and to all nations, you will be declaring the truth that Jesus is the Consolation to everyone who is captive, impoverished, enslaved, or oppressed in any way.  Be bold about it…be bold about HIM!
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Jesus is…The Christ

Christ_the anointed one

  • Matthew 1:16 – And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.
  •  Christ – Jesus official title, Anointed [One], Messiah
  • Anointed – consecrated, rubbed or painted with oil [Holy Spirit], moral excellence [in character or demeanor]
  •  Jesus is not only anointed, but He is THE Anointed One.  Prophets and priests of old all knew-of and looked-forward-to THE ONE who would come…to save, heal, deliver, lead; and do and be more than they could even imagine.  Many in the OT were anointed, like David, Samuel, Isaiah, and Daniel; but Jesus is much more than just anointed…He IS the Anointed One.
  •  Child of God, have you been waiting for someone or something to come that can help you?  Are you stuck, sick, in bondage, ignorant, trapped, depressed, confused, brokenhearted, or not at peace or wholeness in any way?  Well, the good news is that your wait is over.  The One who is consecrated with the moral excellence and Holy-Spirit-power to gather you in, heal you, calm you, and set you free has arrived.  Be like the woman with the issue of blood, and press into Him by faith until you touch Him; and His virtue (anointing) will flow to you, and you will be delivered into His peace and wholeness.
  •  Have you already encountered the Anointed One, and KNOW who He is?  Then go and preach the gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, set at liberty those who are oppressed, and proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.  You are anointed, but you must remember that you are not THE Anointed One.  As He works through you, you should rapidly become less and He becomes more in the hearts and eyes of those to whom you are ministering.  They should be left holding onto Him as you fade into the background.
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Jesus is…Chief Shepherd

chief shepherd

  • Peter 5:1-4 – The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
  •  Chief Shepherd:
    • Chief – Head, leader, prince, ruler.
    • Shepherd – One who takes care of the sheep.  Leads, guides, protects, provides, tends, nurtures, corrects, mends, finds, trains, oversees.
  •  Jesus is over all good shepherds.  He works through them to lead His sheep, care for their needs, and protect them from predators.
  •  For a season, He delegated some of those duties to your father, mother, older sibling, teacher, coach, pastor, uncle, aunt, grandparent, or others.  Now you should see through these people and know that the good leadership that they provided was Jesus working through them, and give Him honor, praise, and thanks for His diligent oversight.  And you should give forgiveness where these under-shepherds fell short of the Chief’s best care for you because they were still in the learning process themselves, even as they were endeavoring to lead you.
  •  There are many sheep who need to experience the loving care of the Chief Shepherd, and Jesus is still seeking people who will love and lead His people in the paths of life and righteousness.  Do you have a family?  Begin with your spouse and children, and if you are skilled and faithful with them, then the Chief will send other sheep for you to tend to.  Pour your life out to see that your sheep are properly cared for, put their needs before your own day-in and day-out, and let the promised crown of glory motivate you to remain faithful in these duties all the days of your life.  You will have been a good shepherd if at some point your sheep mature to find themselves transitioned from following you to walking beside you while you both follow the Chief Shepherd side-by-side.
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