Why is it that the minute we lay down, everything unresolved in our lives comes to the surface? Every mistake we made that day, the reliving of that argument and what we wish we had said, the regret with how we should have parented that child differently but now it’s too late, the running of numbers to see how the bills will get paid, and on and on.
Where There Is War, Peace: A Kingdom Reconciliation Moment at Conference
At World Wide Conference, God was at work in every dimension, not just in teaching and worship, but even in our times of play. CRM staff Lyle Thomas, who lives in Russia, shared details of what happened the last morning of Conference and why it was such a significant Kingdom moment:
Room at Christ's Table: A Kairos Moment at Conference [Video]
Sometimes God interrupts our plan with his own. One of the things that seemed to be on his agenda for CRM during World Wide Conference was to challenge us to make room for those who are different than us, and repent of any prejudice we were carrying in our hearts. The themes of honor, blessing, and reconciliation for the sake of the gospel emerged over and over again. God got our attention.
Learning to Walk in Spiritual Authority
As I’ve become more familiar with God’s heart and seen what life was intended to look like with Jesus as our King, I’ve noticed a holy discontentment stirring inside me. I look around at this fallen planet, and instead of seeing the peace and goodness and joy of the Lord we were created to know, the intimacy with God and one another, I see people—even Christ-followers—living in bondage to the lies of the enemy, that deceptive, defeated foe. I sense God is calling His people to liberate the captives by going into territory that the enemy no longer has authority over but has yet to surrender. And that’s how I see myself—as a person ready and willing to go into the darkness and, by God’s grace, bring the light of Christ to those He loves.
Matthew 11:12 says, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people lay hold of it.” Or as another version says, people take it by force. I think this means that Jesus wants His planet back—the one He created, then purchased on the cross, but it has to be forcefully taken by those who know it rightfully belongs to their King.
Don't Let This Dirty Word Define You: Seeing Disappointment Differently
Disappointment. Yeah, that’s the dirty word that has had me stuck in neutral far too many times. It looms over me like a mountain too steep to climb, reminding me of failures in the past and whispering doubts in my already fearful heart.
Do you know that word? After almost 20 years on the mission field in Asia, I have decided that I am tired of it. I call it “the dung of disappointment.” Yeah, “dung” is really a dirty word, too...pun intended!
Because of that obedience, God exalted him and multiplied his greatness! He has now been given the greatest of all names! The authority of the name of Jesus causes every knee to bow in reverence! Everything and everyone will one day submit to this name—in the heavenly realm, in the earthly realm, and in the demonic realm. And every tongue will proclaim in every language: “Jesus Christ is Lord Yahweh,” bringing glory and honor to God, his Father! Philippians 2:9
Awhile back, we were given some explanation for challenges my son had faced for years. It was heartbreaking and we began the hard work of formal and home therapy programs.
After we had understanding of what we were working with, I began to fight for breakthrough in a way that I never had previously: joyfully and passionately reveling in the fact that this diagnosis, and the reality we experienced daily, did not rival Jesus.
Finding Your Way to Water in the Midst of a Soul Drought [Resource]
I want to drink God, deep draughts of God.
I’m thirsty for God-alive.
Psalm 42:1 (The Message)
A few years ago, I was flipping through magazines for a project when I stumbled upon a photo from National Geographic that grabbed my attention. The photo showed a country in extreme drought or perhaps a river bed gone dry; the scorched earth was so withered and parched, it had formed thick cracks stretching in a web for miles in all directions. That ground had not seen water in a long, long time. I sat back in my chair at the stark realization of how perfectly (and disturbingly) this picture depicted my soul at that time.
All of us will find ourselves in seasons of “soul drought” at some point.
I was recently in a Bible Study where we were looking at Paul’s letters. One of the themes we looked at was “proclamation with power.” When Paul talked about proclaiming the gospel, he referred to the element of power in the process:
We had a tradition of going to the graveside Easter morning.
Somewhere between sunrise service, Easter breakfast, the overfilled sanctuary of Easter service, and the hunt for Easter baskets, we squeezed it in—my mom, little sister, two brothers, and me. Standing in snow, shivering against the Minnesota cold, I would open my Bible and find words of resurrection:
On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever.
Suffering That Produces Life in God's Kingdom
I had a vivid moment when I was growing up. My parents were pastors and they were struggling significantly in their marriage. I was young, maybe six years old, and felt a lot of uncertainty, fear, and pain in seeing them struggle and not knowing what the outcome was going to be. Would they stay together? Would they divorce? I remember kneeling at that age and asking Jesus to come and help—just kneeling in my room by myself—and receiving a lot of comfort. It was a really sweet moment. Things did not get resolved right away, but my parents’ marriage was eventually restored and there was a lot of fruit that came out of that crisis. So I was able to see God’s restoration firsthand, and how he was hearing my prayers and accompanying me all along. That was a key moment for me. Later in my life, while praying, I felt the Spirit saying, “I planted devotion through that suffering.” Although there was a lot of struggle in my suffering, there was something deep being planted about relating to Jesus in those difficult moments of my early life.