Sunday, April 3, 2016

Your Kaleidoscopes-- More of Jesus Response, Part 1

Rather than a normal letter, this post will be one of a three part series. 

I'm in the process of crafting a prayer for what "More of Jesus" (the church's focus for the year) means for me in 2016. Asking Jesus simply what these words look like lived out through me, according to Him. I then felt led, as I'm waiting for the words of my own statement, to write what you will read below.
It  feels so much like an anthem for the Church as a whole and I really just wrote it from a place of standing in my personal convictions. Ideas came from scripture-- I only listed one reference merely for myself...there are others. They also came from what I gathered/ concepts that stood out while reading Jimmy Seibert's Passion and Purpose  and re-listening to His vision message for 2016 online from 1/17/16. 

We know that revival begins with repentance and if we want to see radical, extraordinary revival in our lives, our church, and our sphere of influence we must be willing to open up every dark place within us and relinquish the conditions we have both unknowingly and knowingly set upon your power, and your love towards us. We repent for how we have lost our desire and capacity for authenticity because of the pull of the world towards compartmentalization of our lives, our relationships, and our souls. We repent for accusing, instead of asking with expectation: “where is Jesus?”, when we know that it is not that Jesus is absent in our lives... but that He wasn’t invited to be present in every area of our life. We repent for the things we have not consecrated to our Lord because we once were misguided by selfish ambition, the distraction of our pasts, the unfulfilling pull of comfort, and the lie that what you ask us to do is still not enough for a purposeful life.

                We declare that The Church is a multicultural people who hear God and send people to the ends of the Earth so that people are added to the Heavenly Kingdom day by day (Acts 11:21-26, ch.13). We stand with resolute hearts agreeing to pray prayers with purpose and boldness, knowing that God is inviting us to do the mission of bringing THE Kingdom to earth TOGETHER WITH HIM.

We declare that we are authentic in all things, living in full abandon to engaging the world around us and bringing His love and light to every place that are feet touch. We willingly give of what is Truth, regardless of how we are feeling,  because the power of the Holy Spirit is in us and uses us in ways that can not be contained by mere flesh and bone. We seep authenticity, which includes vulnerability and empathy with action to all those around us, regardless of their backgrounds, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographical location, or their ability to repay us.

                We do not wait for someone to go before us, because we are fearless in our humble beginnings because we ask Jesus and rest in what He says about all we do. Yes indeed, the ground has already been given to us as sons and daughters. Simply obeying what He calls us to start and proceed in is our role, nothing more or less. We live like Jesus goes before us in every area that the flesh declares fear or trepidation in, because we are not guided by the world.  We don’t plan history, because with God we live it… we joyfully run to the battle, equipped in all things because of time sown in secret with the Mighty Warrior himself. We stand on your promise Father, that He who calls is faithful. Therefore, as sure as the sun will rise we fix our eyes on you pervasively and submit everything about us as a living sacrifice.

Let us preach like Paul once did, shouting that we know the “unknown” God, and let us not shrink back by the response we receive. No, let us be willing to stand alone for the sake of declaring HIM. Knowing that every moment we take breathe is a moment that we let go of our idols and lay hold of Jesus more than anything or anyone else.
We lay aside all the extra weight, the things that are un-needed and unbeneficial in our run so that we can give space for what we are called by Your own words to do. We declare that 2016 is about more of Jesus. It’s about making Jesus the foundation not the additive. 2016 is about believing and seeing the power of breaking sin and staying free come in to life in all cracks, crevasses, and hidden places of ourselves, our church, and our community. We live out day to day, the knowledge that tweaking our lives will not prepare us to run this new race towards more of Jesus--radical change in every area will. We won’t let our strength be robbed because we viciously stand in our place of meeting with the Lord and wait for Him to speak so that we can follow. No other name is worthy. We rightly align ourselves with our Father because we need our strength back forever, not just for a fleeting kick. We’ve had enough of the sin and shame and will do anything He asks us to break its back because we know where to run when the stronghold is broken… and we fill the empty space with the good of the Gospel, the good of Jesus. You are our friend, our savior, our best Marvelous Comrade. You win so many battles we don’t see and we proclaim that today you will win the battle for our mind and our actions. Today you mark upon our hearts-More of Jesus. Even more than we could ask or imagine.
We surrender asking in our hearts for you to do more than prepare, but also give, because we want you to take your rightful place. Help us live authentically, even if it kills our image, destroys our fleshly desires, and makes us to be more like little Christ’s because the truth is those things really do scare us…but we want it anyway. Because courageously taking the MORE you will give us today, is worth the fleshly pain of our surrender. 
All glory to You, 
Your Kaleidoscopes.