Friday, August 19, 2016

New Doors for a New Season!

As we were driving home from vacation today, we drove by something that caught me by surprise. Among all the shrubs along the highway, all of a sudden there was this door. It seemed so out of place, suspended by just wires or who knows what. It even had a house number on it, but there was literally nothing but shrubs on either side of it! No building to attach to. It was a door without a door frame around it and it didn't even seem to lead into a house or building. Weird indeed!

It was one of those things that made me just wonder why someone would put a door there, but it occurred to me that sometimes, you know, God does that too. (wink!) He puts a door in an unexpected place. He doesn't need the expected framework or structure in order to place a door where one is needed. As a matter of fact, He can actually create a new door where the expected structure keeps people from coming in or going out, or when a position needs to be created. He can create a new door when someone else blocks the door He would like to use. He knows how to get us around obstacles and doors that won't open! He loves to create the solutions we need, just because He loves us! Our Father is committed to helping us fulfill our destiny, and He can create the custom made solution you need, too. Keep your eyes open and your spirit in tune to His, because suddenly, you might just find yourself staring something right in the eye that seems like quite an unusual encounter. HIS DOOR might show up in a very unexpected moment in a very unlikely place. Ask Him to create the door you need. Ask Him to show you who He wants to use to open the door for you. Ask for divine encounters. Eyes wide open!

What I am finding to be true in this season is that God wants us to be available to shift with Him.New seasons bring change, and often those changes include a change in direction or relationships. Sometimes even geographical moves, or a move into a new community. God uses people to open doors. and if our current social circles or places that we frequent aren't going to cause us to encounter the right person God wants to use to bring us into the new thing He has for us, then He has to move us. He has to redirect us so that he can cause us to 'bump into' that destiny connection. There are certain people that are in our destiny. People that we must minister to, pray for and share our testimonies with. Those people are the ones that will receive from us and are key people that we must meet. In order for each one of us to fulfill what God has put us here to do, it's important for us to be able to shift directions and go where He knows we will run into those key individuals, so obedience is vital to His purposes being able to be carried out. It's already written into the plan of God for our lives! 

Change often feels awkward, and some people may not understand why all of a sudden we seem to go a different direction. They may not appreciate the fact that God didn't include them in His plan for our lives, but we simply must obey God and do what He has put in each of our hearts. God has redirected our path on many different occasions, and the reasons why weren't always clear until some time after we had taken the step of obedience. Feelings of frustration, being stagnant, restless or discontent often precede a move. Things that we once found enjoyment in may no longer bring that same sense of fulfillment or joy. Sometimes God even causes turmoil in relationships in order to make us willing to move out of our comfort zones. If you're in that place, just keep asking, seeking, knocking on Daddy's door until He releases clarity. He will in due time. Pay attention to your dreams, for He often leaves clues as to what he's doing in dream language. That is so that you can gain understanding but also come into agreement with what He's showing you in prayer. Keep praying until your answer arrives! 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Old Forms Are Passing Away!

Mark 2:21-22 AMP 
"No one sews a patch of unshrunken (new) goods on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and the rent (tear) becomes bigger and worse [than it was before].
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the bottles destroyed; but new wine is to be put in new (fresh) wineskins."

God has done an incredible work in and through the body of Christ. He has changed the flavor of the messages coming forth, and changed many hearts in the process. People now understand the importance of integrating with the unchurched in their communities and are actively looking for ways to connect with them like the church at large has not done in a long time. That in itself is wonderful news! We are the new wine that God is pouring out so that others can taste and see the Lord is good.

Here's what caught my attention in the above referenced scripture. New wine cannot be contained in an old wineskin. It will rupture and burst out of the old form. I look back to a couple of dreams I had some months back and I knew that the message was about a mass exodus from many churches. Some churches are still stuck in tradition, and it has kept people stuck in a dry and frustrating place. Many others churches have the message right but they are still trying to operate out of the old form, and it won't work for long. I believe God will come soon with a giant seam ripper and tear the old wineskins.

People have a hard time adjusting to change, and when they cannot bring themselves to make the changes that are necessary, God will bring a variety of circumstances that will force people out of the old form. Just as the act of a mother giving birth forces a child out of the womb and into the world, so it is with us. The bride (the church) must give birth and force her children out of their comfort zone and into the world.

We cannot remain the same, and we cannot remain stuck inside an old form. There are many things coming in the days ahead and God is trying to prepare us now to accept and adapt to the necessary changes. It's a new day. Labor and delivery can be messy and difficult, but the mother cannot try to stop the birth. If she refuses to push the child out of the womb it can kill her and the child. That is a message to leaders in the days ahead. Do not fear the birth! It is time for the children to be equipped and released.Do not try to hold on to them! Release your children to go do what they are called to do. Do it with joy, not reluctance! This is not a time to get stuck in religious traditions or man-made restrictions that keep people dependent upon others. Holy Spirit is responsible for bringing people into maturity. Trust HIM with other people's processes.

There will always be a need for leadership, guidance, prayer, teaching and equipping but it needs to be brought out into the communities rather than expect people to go find what we typically define as a local church. Our verbiage and our concept must change, too. The church is not the building. We are the church, and as such, we bring what God has given us to be given as gifts to others. We are the loaves and fishes that are broken and distributed to feed others. We are going to see more and more of this in the days ahead. Isn't that great news?

God's leaders will always lead. A person's true calling is contained in their gifting, character, heart and attitude towards others. It shapes who they are regardless of where they are. A pastoral calling doesn't go away even when the form changes. A prophetic voice isn't silenced when the church empties out into the streets; the voice just finds a new place to release the words of God. And so it is with all the gifts. They must find a place to impact others. The gifts, callings and mantles are not dependent upon being contained in the old form. It is a time to trust in the Lord for the new. It's time for new places and new faces!

Often, in times of change, we must remember that something needs to die in order for the new to come. Letting go and letting something die is a painful process, but joy comes in the morning as God honors the act of letting go and trusting Him to give us His promise. He longs to give us a gracious provision for a new beginning! It's a time of letting go and trusting God. Old forms are melting away. NEW WINE CANNOT BE CONTAINED IN AN OLD WINESKIN OR IT WILL CAUSE IT TO BURST. The walls that once kept people stuck in the old wineskin are disintegrating. A true apostolic mandate is to send people out to do the works of God. In that sense, we are ALL SENT ONES. It is time to help others to fulfill their dreams and calling. Ask yourself how you can help others achieve their God-given assignments. Ask yourself how you can help connect them with those that may be divine connections for them. Pray God would do for others the way you want Him to do for you. Ask for new alignments. Send them out with blessing! Send them out so that they can birth! It's time for the body to arise and shine!